8th January 2012

Happy New Year to all our readers! Yes folks, its true there is still no snow, so its more of the same as last year, i.e. work! The trains have now gone so we can really get on!? Our colleagues in the Pway Dept have started the track relay north of the station with the old track lifted, the ballast bed levelled and the lineside ditch cleared of built up rubbish. All being well they will have the new track laid this week.
We on the other hand have not been doing anything as major. We commenced on Saturday lifting the large manhole covers at the level crossing and breaking out the top course of brickwork (which seemed to be like concrete), before we reinstated the covers at a lower level. This will mean that they are at the same level as the level crossing itself, removing the hump on the road and giving us a truly “level” crossing. At this time of year with the early setting of the sun its out with the floodlights to ensure work can continue in safety.
These manholes give access to the point rodding roller frames under the road. Some of these were broken so we have replaced them. At the same time we also cleared the route of rubbish and mud which had collected over the years. The signal wires which also go through this channel have been disconnected and removed clear back to where we plan to install the new under track crossing north of the station. Doing this makes the job much easier.
On Sunday we began improving the sides of the crossing to suit the new layout, straightening the footpath sides to reduce the chance of people falling off the edges. Quite a bit of accumulated rubbish and mud was also dug out once we had lifted the trespass guards out o the way. These need repair anyhow and adjusting to suit the new alignment. Any offers?
We had a break around lunchtime to attend the christening of the son of one of the railway’s volunteers, where we saw the weighbridge team. We complained to them about having to make our own teas while they are closed but they still won’t be open until half-term running of trains from Saturday 11th February 2012.

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