No.13 points replacement work.

Preparation work for rail and sleeper replacement for No.13 points took up Jan, Feb and March 06. Replacement rails were brought to site, jim crowed and cut to fit. Holes were drilled for all the base plates to bolt too. A total of 21 sleepers were cut, pre drilled were possible and stacked on site. 50 standard bedplates were re drilled for the 5 in pine screws and a total of 100 screws gathered.

Friday 10th March saw all rails unbolted, unscrewed and lifted out clear of the sleepers.

Saturday 11th March was the day for the all sleepers and ballast to be removed. With the ballast dug out and removed by lunch time good progress was being made. Evan with one of the first bucket loads of ballast taking the top of an earthenware drainpipe! By mid afternoon the sleepers had been laid and the straight stock rail screw down. By the end of the day the straight closer had also been screwed down and the curved stock rail placed on the sleepers and bolted at one end.

Sunday 12th March dawned with steady rain falling in the early morning. By 9am the rain had stopped and good progress was made. With the curved closer bolted and screwed down and of the curved stock rail screwed down by lunch. The afternoon saw all rails screwed down and bolted together and the tie rod installed between the point blades. The end of the day saw new ballast dropped and ploughed out, with a light shovel pack under the sleepers.

All that's needed is a proper lift and tamp of the entire turnout and for all point rodding to be reinstalled. That can wait for the next Saturday.
A big thanks to Ray Gobbe for supplying the digger and for operating it. Also to James Gobbe and our signals guru Rachael Tucker.

Photographs and article by Peter J.

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