21st/22nd/23rd November 2014

Hot on the heels of the Up side of level crossing last week, it was the turn of the Down side this weekend. We got an excellent start late on Friday afternoon/evening with the old crossing deck lifted, the rails dragged clear, the sleepers lifted clear and the muck cleared from each end!
Saturday dawned dry, again, and it was time to remove all the old check rail chairs, drill and screw down the new S1 type chairs (a lot easier said than done, and quite time consuming!). Elsewhere all the spoil (ballast is too good a name for it) was dug up and placed into heap for transhipment later. New ballast was unloaded from the adjacent wagon and then rolled flat to form the base layer. The sleepers were then reinstated at their new spacing, to suit the new rubber panels, with further ballast laid to ‘box in’ the sleepers. The rails were then dragged back and crow barred into place. Clipping up and refitting of the fishplates followed. There was even time to put in a couple of edge panels before we gave up for the night.
Sunday started damp but dried up as the day progressed (although dampness returned in the evening). A final sleeper was still awaiting the fitting of its rail chairs so this was completed and the area ballasted up. Final clipping up was completed before more and more panels were laid.
Tomorrow should see the reconnection of the track circuits, the installation of the final panels and a sign off by the PWay before trains begin again later this week.
Thanks are due to all the volunteers who turned up this weekend to answer the ‘call to arms’, including our furthest flung volunteer who came over from Dubai!!!!
Elsewhere around the station the signal box and booking office have had their paint touched up, together with the fireplace in the cottage. The ditch which runs next to the rifle range has been cleaned out and the overhanging grass cut back to rediscover the stone and concrete walls on either side.

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