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Track Pack - January 2018

February Working Weekend - Saturday 3rd & Sunday 5th

This month the task in question is to install the new materials into No.6 points at Havenstreet. The majority of the materials are already in stock, while the replacement switches are scheduled to arrive in good time. The idea is to have all the materials adjacent to the site in time for dismantling to start on Saturday morning.

Hope to see you all at the weekend. Sign on at the P.Way Hut, 8.30am, Saturday and Sunday.

What's Been Going On?

The Saturday of the January Working Weekend marked the start of a two-week hire period of a Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP), commonly referred to as a Cherry Picker.  This was to be used to enable clearance of overhead tree growth at various spots along the railway, with the main effort this year being in Rowlands Wood.

The Works Train (D2059, Well B with MEWP on board, 13Ton Open, Shark Brake Van) had been made up the day before and was positioned ready to depart from Havenstreet Down Loop on the Saturday morning.

After loading up with tools and a short train ride, the gang arrived in a drizzly Rowlands Wood at twenty past nine; fortunately the rain ceased mid morning. After working on a tree about a third of the way through the woods to produce some fuel, part of the gang made a start on the requisite bonfire. The remainder took the MEWP back to the East side of Rowlands Bridge to work on the six trees on the bridge quarter adjacent to the road. Four of these were dismantled by dinner time and the resulting material moved back by rail to the now well established bonfire.
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Ian Wilcox and Pete Corby in their high level office.
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The bonfire was soon underway!
After dinner the final pair of trees were worked on, before moving back to a location to the West of the fire. Here a start was made, moving back towards the bridge, to remove the various sizes of overhanging branch from the neighboring trees, it being a shorter journey from there to the disposal point.

After a final run to the Bridge to collect some material to bank up the fire overnight, a trip back to Havenstreet was made at 5.02.
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Good progress was made along the North side of Rowlands Wood during the afternoon.
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Having observed Ian and Pete's chainsaw technique, the gang are ready to offer their unwanted advice!
Similar activities followed on the Sunday, with the weather being a little more friendly.  Steady progress was made along the North side of the track, trees of various heights and sizes receiving attention before the resulting material being disposed of on the bonfire. As the distance from the fire increased a second one was started using the hot ashes of the first.

With some gang members requiring an earlier finish, the afternoon tea break was postponed and a trip back to Havenstreet taken at 3.30.

Thanks to everyone who turned out over the weekend to help out.

What Else Has Been Going On?

After a week of minor jobs prior to the arrival of the cherry picker, most of the two week hire period was devoted to using it to attend to overhanging branches alongside various parts of the Railway.

There was a two day pause in the first week to allow the Estates Department to use the machine to attend to the light fittings in the C&W Workshop, before a session of gutter clearance.

After that steady progress saw both sides of the line through Rowlands Wood, East of the bridge, completed by the 16th. Additional works were carried out at Ashey Station and on the Eastern approach to Long Arch Bridge.
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View from a bridge - working westwards from Rowlands Lane on Wednesday 17th January.
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The following day the overhead clearance team visited Ashey, working in the area of Long Arch and Ashey Road Garage.
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Whilst the overhead clearance work was underway the Friday Gang did a great job of disposing of the large quantities of brash produced by the cutting sessions.
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The first Friday Gang group picture for many months!
Many thanks to the Loco and C&W Departments for the train to carry the equipment, the Loco. Ops. Department for the Drivers and Second Men, and all the other people who turned out to assist in the following days.  

That’s the lot for now,

All the best,
Ian, Phil and Pete

Join The Team

The Civil Engineering Department is responsible for all of the railway's  track, signalling equipment and lineside fencing - It's all healthy outdoor work!

Monthly working parties are organised to tackle important tasks requiring a large team, regular weekly gangs tackle lineside clearance, fencing renewals and many other maintenance tasks.  We also have our 'Friday Gang' who do a great job of keeping the lineside neat and tidy, it's Men In Sheds - but without the shed!

If you are interested in joining our team please contact the railway's Volunteer Coordinator for more details.






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