21st Nov 2019 in Buildings
2019 has been a very different year for our railway and in particular for Alton Station, which for the majority of it has been completely disconnected from the rest of the MHR.
The recent progress of the bridge works at Butts has at least seen the reconnection of the track, but whilst that means Alton is no longer isolated, we’re still some way off running trains and which from a passenger carrying perspective will not be until the new season in 2020.
It has however allowed the reconnection of the telecommunications equipment and provided access for lineside vegetation clearance ahead of the required testing.
Whilst it’s been very strange not seeing our trains at Alton, no passengers and Mother Nature taking control very quickly, it’s also provided a unique opportunity to complete some long awaited and very much needed jobs, as you’ll have seen via the updates on this blog.
Our attention has started to turn to next year and finishing some of the jobs which remain on our list which since our last update have included:
Platform Railings – the country end of the station is virtually complete and great progress has been made on the London End too. This is a rather laborious task as anyone who has been party to painting the many miles of railing fencing across the railway will testify to, but they do look great in their new green gloss coat.
Lineside Cabinets – the remainder of the Signal & Telegraph cabinets that can been seen from the platform have now been painted. You’ll see in the before and after shot of one of those just how much better they now look. The team have also been repainting the sleeper end carriage stop numbers.
Gardens & Vegetation – the small garden opposite the platform and the concrete hut have received a good early autumn prune. The ivy on the hut had rather taken over and so this has been cut back, under the supervision of the Robins who have been keeping a watching eye over us.
Preparing for Spring – in readiness for spring we’ve also been planning daffodil bulbs around the Strongs sign. This should provide some welcome colour in the early part of our 2020 season.
Painting – a few jobs remain around the station, the Information Kiosk is receiving a makeover, the Southern Railway concrete screen between the kiosk and shop has received a coat of paint and the team have been busy repainting the toilets ready to welcome passengers back in 2020.
As attention and priority across the railway turns very much to the up-coming Santa Specials, work at Alton will be balanced against the need to support this very important event.
As we enter 2020 we’ll very much be in the throes of making the station ready for the new operating season and welcoming our passengers again for the first time that in over a year, and we can’t wait.