Watercress Line

Just a couple of things

11 July

A lot of bits and pieces of jobs have had to be done over the last few weeks, of no great import as regards news or photos but important none the less to maintaining the infrastructure of the Railway. So, onto a couple of more newsworthy items- well we think so.

Some time ago a donation of a speed restriction sign was deposited in the yard. It remained there unloved for a few months until it was thought that it should be renovated for display. As the heritage line is restricted to 25 mph it was not suitable for positioning near the running lines. After some discussion with the Ropley Service Crew [RSC] and interpretation staff it was decided that it could be located in the new garden area being created alongside of the path leading to the carriage and boiler shop viewing galleries. Here it would compliment the new display of interpretation boards installed on the field side of the path. Now restored and placed in situ it will form an interesting feature amongst the plants when they have grown to full size. The garden is progressing well, now we have had some rain that is, and will greatly improve the scene along the path, as the upper area now does with the plants fully established there- great work by the gardening team of the RSC.

At Alton, the scaffolding has been adapted following the repaint of the main structure of the balloon water tank in order that the watering arm can have the same treatment. This was completed over a couple of fairly hot and humid days with regular stops for tea. This completes that part of the refurbishment of the tank by the Building Department and Alton station team. A team from Ropley have been busy fabricating the cover panels to cover the top of the tank to improve the quality of the stored water supply for the locos needing a drink ready for steaming up the gradient to Medstead. The cover has now been fitted and a very neat piece of work it is, unfortunately it won’t been seen except by a few passing birds. The pulley wheel was re-fitted, having been slightly repositioned to accommodate a cover strut, ready to accommodate the cord for a newly designed level gauge to be fitted which will indicate the level of water inside the tank.

Bob Brooks

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