March 2007

 

Middleton Railway Index

New Station

We always had a sort of halt at the house end but it was just a line of block pavers sat on the grass and wasn't obvious. This end of the line also suffered from steep gradients. When we built the line we came down both side of the garden and never bothered with gradients. We lifted the track 25mm higher than the existing path. This at the time seemed a huge amount.

Left. The broken out rail from the crossing. The rail at the bottom is steel which we put in last year to replace the worn out aluminium. As we didn't replace the inner rail we just cut through the stud ties.

Work on the line was a family exercise. Even Jasper wanted to join in. The first job was to take a level survey of the exisitng track. It worked out that the line dropped over 90mm in 10m (right side of the garden). Not a lot but on a 3.2m radius it did slow down smaller locos. The difference between the two sides of the garden was 50mm. We ramped this out at 2.5mm per m. Well that was the plan.

On the start of the adjusted tack was the task of adjusting and lifting the block pavers that line the track bed. these were put in orginally straight on to the soil and have moved over the years.

This time we cleared the ballast back and bedded the bricks on to a sand cement bed. The timber with the level on was used to set the second side level with the first.

The red spots in the flowers are pegs which were set to the final rail level. They were space at 1m centres around the work area.

The new platform was set out from the existing track. We left the original block pavers in as they helped support the curved formwork. We made the curved edge of formwork by fixing three strips of hard board together.
With the platform cast attention was turned to the york paving, crossings and lifting the track.

Left - Drena ( the one on the left) working with a breaker lifting up the second crossing.

Below - The track back in place and the new crossing cast in concrete. The timber and clamps at each side were used to suspend the track while we cast the concrete.

We took the oportunity to work in the good weather. One week later and we would have been in the snow.

Above left - Having problems getting ballast we brought the track bed up using concrete. Actually pound for pound (not accounting for labour) concrete is cheaper than ballast.

Left -The first train across the new crossing. We used a rapid concrete on the crossing so the line was back in use 4 hours after we mixed the concrete.

Below - As mentioned back in January we were playing around with treadle switches. We came across a design flaw, mainly that the use of long and short trains together can create problems. Basically if a train stops on a treadle and then starts up again it will reset the signal to green even if a following train has passed the signal.