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.

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