Watercress Line

The Train Arriving at Miniature Railway Platform 1

Since Andrew Haysoms last progress report (and I must say I thought he did an excellent job of it, certainly keeping me on my toes!) we have installed a sand drag at the eastern (station) end of the line and have commenced work on the platforms. Sleepers were transferred from the top car park to the site by Andrew Haysom, Richard Matthews & Ben Skelton. This was a tremendous effort on their part as they had to get a trolley up to the top car park and then drag the laden trolley all the way to our site with two such trips being required! The northern platform is already in an advanced stage of construction. It consists of an oblong box made of 2 rows of 4 full size sleepers with ends made up of offcuts. The sleepers have been joined to each other with metal pins which David Ford & Ben Spraggen kindly manufactured and installed for us. Along the centre line we have laid blocks of 4 bricks (in 2 layers of 2) at the centre point of each group of 4 paving slabs which will form the platform surface. The inside of this oblong has been in filled with ballast topped off with sand. Once this has fully compacted then it just remains to lay the paving slabs on top and erect fencing. A start has been made on the southern platform with the front row of 4 sleepers plus the end offcuts all laid. Test trains have already been run into the station to check clearances which were thankfully OK!

Dave Mould, Martin Haysom, Lisa, David Ford and the Rangers have been hard at it as well with the path works and re-hanging the White Gate to open inwards. They also attacked with gusto the major task of persuading the gate post to return to a vertical position!

I must say that I find it very heartening to see such great progress being made and we are moving ever closer to having an operational railway once again. We are already receiving enquiries about when we will extend to Four Acre Field! This is definitely a longer term objective but the priority has to be getting what have undertaken so far completed and fully operational first.

Again thanks to all of the above mentioned people and to everyone else that has kindly helped us. Also a warm welcome to new volunteers, Martin Champion, Tony Neal & Nicholas Brown who have already proved very useful in helping with the construction of the platforms.

 

Ray Briscall

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