Watercress Line

Sat P-way blog 24th Nov 18

A report by Corina Silk with photographs by Corina and Adrian.

A very cold and wet day greeted the gang. No service trains were running, which meant the gang were granted access to the track under line occupations taken out between Medstead and Alton, Medstead and Ropley, and up to the advance starter signal at Alresford. As a bonus, they also had Mark in attendance again to help out operating the RRV (Rail Road Vehicle).

Adrian C, Corina, Martin B, Martin W, Eddie, Pete, Brian Ha, Keith H, John (driving Wickham 1) and Mark driving the RRV changed a sleeper just downside of the Medstead loop. This took some time and care with the close proximity of the country end points and signal equipment. They then travelled down to Alresford to have breakfast at the West Country Buffet, to warm everyone up.

Mark with the RRV and Corina and John with the Wickham then went up the line to start collecting broken sleepers (previously changed), leaving the rest of the gang at the advance starter signal where sleeper number two was changed.

Mark, Corina and John then came back down to collect the others before proceeding back up to the line to the Butts to offload the sleepers, changing a broken fish plate on the way. Eddie, Brian and Martin W were dropped off at Medstead to take the company van down to Ropley with bags of ex. Butts Junction Signal Box bricks which Mark had previously loaded.

After lunch the gang (minus Pete as he was working that evening on the Real Ale Train) headed back down the line to recover more broken sleepers between Ropley and Alresford, dropping off John and Corina enroute at the new Ropley siding where they cut and squared up rail ends and drilled holes ready for fishplates.

Returning up the line for the second time, it was decided to unload the broken sleepers at Medstead as the light had started to fail.

A final task was for Mark to load the rails, which had been cut the previous week for the Missenden Signal Box locking room tunnel lintels, onto the company vehicle, which were then delivered to Ropley by Adrian C, Martin B and Keith H.

A great day’s work by all.

Photo gallery