Watercress Line

Saturday 29th December 2018

Sat p-way gang.

Words and photos by Adam Kitchen.

Saturday 29th December 2018

The last Saturday of 2018 began the same way as always with the track inspections from the mess from Medstead to Alton and Alresford, albeit with slightly more festive weight to lug around than usual. There were no major issues discovered, although the first service train back to Medstead from Alton was cancelled after Cheltenham failed which resulted to organised activities for the afternoon not proceeding. Instead, work continued on the Wickham overhaul.

Also some attention was lavished on the doors of the various cabinets around the railway were the new wooden doors have swollen, making them hard to open without being damaged.

Chris picked up a hat lost by one of the reenactors during war on the line, bringing a bit of class to the gang.

Eddie continued work on the Wickham, welding up mounting brackets into the frames for luxuries such as windscreen wipers.

Saturday 5th Jan 2019

The first Saturday of 2019 was after the last service trains of the previous season had finished, so there's full line occupation taken out to allow major maintenance on the track that can't be performed while trains are operating.

With a reduced turnout, this prohibited sleeper replacement as planned.

The job of the day was the inspection and replacement the RNB6 fastenings that hold the sections of flat bottom rail securely to the sleepers. After marking up the loose fastenings the entire stock of serviceable spares was used in the poorer sections. The removed fastenings were brought back to the mess, where the first stages of overhaul were to begin. The nuts were soaked in oil, and then run up and down the thread to make them easier to fit and be replaced in the future. The various washers, grommets, and plates will be assessed and replaced in further weeks, before these fastenings go back out onto the line to continue the replacement of the other worn out fastenings.

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