Monday, 29 August 2011

Playing Trains

While a lot of work was done today on landscaping, electrical, viaduct and general tidying up, I also spent some time unashamedly playing trains.

37406 on the viaduct.

37406 "The Saltire Society" on the viaduct with a ballast train.

37406 emerges from the tunnel

60163 "Tornado" bursts out of the tunnel.

Tornado passes 37406.

37406 from Tornado's train

L&Y "Pug" 0-4-0ST

GWR 0-4-2T

Single-coach diesel unit with Hen Day headboard.

Hen Day special behind 75073.

Hen Day special behind Percy.

... and just to show we run freight trains too...

A rather grimy Stanier 8F leaves the tunnel on a short freight.

A freight train climbs past the quarry towards the tunnel.

A freshly-repainted Jinty banks a train into the tunnel.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Tunnel

Today, work started in earnest on construction of the tunnel. The site was dug out, hardcore tamped in, and a level bed of conctrete laid. This will provide support for two rows of two building blocks, with a space beween them for the tunnel lining. The blocks will support removable paving slabs at the surface of the path.

On emerging from  the tunnel, the line will curve round to the left.

The tunnel construction site.
Having started tunnel construction, there is a need to get it finished as soon as possible to allow the path to be re-opened. Hence, today the removable treads and their supports were installed, and made good for tomorrow's predicted rain. With the engine in front of it it appears much bigger than necessary, but it will be better when it is landscaped and the portals fitted.

A short construction train simmers by the tunnel entrance, while a mechanical digger prepares the site.
The tunnel trackbed was in place today, and temporary track was again laid to ensure levels and gradients appeared correct. 9F no 92203 had the honour of heading the test train, with the portal (part detailed and unpainted) and a retaining wall in place. These are based on the south portal of Combe Down tunnel, Bath. The change of gradient from 1 in 50 to about 1 in 100 in the tunnel is clearly visible in the picture. It's perhaps rather sudden and will be smoothed in in the final trackwork.

A 9F emerges from the tunnel with a train.

(Sunday 21/8) The track is now laid through the tunnel, the tunnel liner is in place and the cavities filled with foam, and some outside landscaping is complete.

A 4F takes a train into the tunnel.

Penny assists with load-testing of the path over the tunnel.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Extending up the hill

The trackbed running up the hill from the viaduct to the tunnel was pretty well ready for tracklaying, so I thought I'd better get on with it while the weather was good. As I intended to include a turnout for a possible future quarry siding, I decided to firstly check that the layout of the siding is feasible. This I did with a few old bits of track, laid temporarily in place.
Trying out a potential layout for a quarry siding.
By close of play, I had about three metres of track laid and ballasted, including a turnout for the quarry, and with electrical feeds soldered in place where necessary. Between the viaduct and the turnout will be a station platform long enough for 3 or 4 coach local trains, and for this reason the gradient eases to almost level for a short distance above the viaduct.

The new section of track, waiting to be tidied up.

Next day, the ballasting and wiring was completed on the new section. The first train through after the engineering work was a local train pulled by "Tangmere", seen here arriving at the station.

"Tangmere" slows for the station.

"Tangmere" continues up the hill towards the tunnel.
A further 2 metres of track have now been laid, right up to the site of the tunnel entrance. A BR standard 4MT 4-6-0 no. 75073 takes a local train up the new section.
4MT 4-6-0 75073 approaches the tunnel.
Meanwhile, the civil engineers are busy preparing for the tunnel. It will be built under a path using the cut-and-cover technique, with the top removable for maintenance. The portals will be based on Combe Down tunnel. The picture shows the initial stage of construction of the lower entrance, based on Combe Down south portal.
The basic structure of the tunnel entrance, based on Combe Down south portal.