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THU 21 SEP

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Track Pack - June 2017

July Working Weekend - Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd

Sleeper changing will again form the main work over the weekend, the plan is to spend Saturday on the Smallbrook Single Line.

The area in question will be the section from Deacon’s Lane Bridge back towards Long Arch, those with a good memory will remember that this is the area where this Winter’s batch of rail cropping took place. The plan is to replace the suspect sleepers found during the course of the works. The sleepers at the joints were replaced during the job, the others being left to a more appropriate time, like this weekend. If time permits there are one or two on the other side of Long Arch that could be replaced too.
 
Sunday work is a bit less certain. All being well, a start could be made on the preliminary work to install the new Ground Frame at Wootton. If the Estates Group refurbishing the former Freshwater signal box building, now standing on the platform, are still in residence then we may have to fall back on our old friend lineside clearance.

Look forward to seeing everyone at the weekend, at the usual time of 8.30am at the P.Way Yard.
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Undeterred by the hot weather, the June Working Weekend Gang get stuck into a spot of sleeper changing.

What's Been Going On?

With the Wickham personnel carrier currently out of use with a failed self starter, the Company’s fleet of road vehicles were used to ferry the June Working Weekend Gang to the start point at Deacon’s Lane Bridge. There being only space for one vehicle to park the other was run back to Havenstreet while the main gang got started on the sleeper changing.

With an advance party digging out the intended sleepers work, proceeded towards Ashey and dinnertime. On this section the track is at or around the surrounding ground level which gives plenty of room to remove and insert the sleepers. By the time everyone headed back towards Deacon’s Lane for the dinner break a total of 9 sleepers had been changed.
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Packing ballast under a replacement sleeper before filling in the beds.
Activity continued westwards in the afternoon, the hot and sunny weather continuing with a reduced breeze. The van had been relocated to Ashey station after dinner, to act as a target(!) and enable the tools to be returned to Havensteet. It started to hove into view at about three o’clock by which time tea was served at, and on, Milepost Four.

The sixteenth and final sleeper of the day went in at about four o'clock. This left plenty of time to load the tools in the van before everyone, bar the van driver, caught the final Down train back to Havenstreet.
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With plenty of supervision and advice available, Matt Evans uses the nut runner to secure a new sleeper to the rail chair.
A warm and sunny Sunday morning was spent oiling, greasing and checking the Signalling installation at Havenstreet.

After dinner, brushcutters and loppers were taken up to the embankment between Havenstreet and Bridge Eight. Almost all the South facing bank and about three-quarters of the north were cut by the end of the day. The larger sprouting growth, just too thick to cut with string, on some of the numerous stumps in the area also received attention. 

Many thanks to everyone who helped out over the weekend.
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Ian Corney and Julia Snashall give the signalling equipment a touch of oil.

What Else Has Been Going On?

As is usually the case at this time of year, attending to the various grassed areas of the lineside keeps everyone busy. After a concentrated effort over the last couple of weeks or so, most places have received a visit. Some, especially around some crossings, for a second time this year. “Bobs Bank” and it's neighbour opposite have almost had their second cut of the year.

After completion of the one at Havenstreet over the working weekend, the Signalling installations at Smallbrook Junction and Wootton have received their quarterly round of inspection, testing and lubrication.
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Ivatt 41298 passes the June Working Weekend Gang between Deacons Lane and Ashey Summit.
A series of shelves have been put up in the S&T Storage container. When time allows, these are slowly filling with the results of the sorting/relocation of stores project.

The lack of Passenger trains on the day before Saturday(!) has enabled the Friday Gang to blaze a trail on the Smallbrook section. After clearing the lineside growth from Deacon’s Lane to Irongates Crossing a start back at Swanpond Copse has seen good progress made beyond Callaways Crossing.  

All the best
Phil, Ian 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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