Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Work Slows

As could be expected work on the extension and Weston station will slow down due to the Covid-19 situation.  Once we can resume the blog will return with regular updates. 

I will look back through the archives to see how things have changed over the years.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

..And A Happy New Year.

Well I don't think that was the 2020 that we were expecting 12 months ago. However CHR has continued as much as possible with the restoration of the railway and the elements that will allow us to hopefully reopen at some point in 2021.

To round out the year here are some progress pictures courtesy of CHR Facebook.

At Oswestry work continurs in the shed with maintenance to the Barclay steam locomotive. The internal inpection of the boiler is complete and all washout plugs have been checked and cleaned. The pressure gauge has been calibrated and all is now assembled on the loco awaiting the steam test.

The cosmetic restoration of Adam continues with the reversing lever, sandbox levers and injector water valve now complete. 

Oswestry works also looks after the railway's plant and equipment, carrying out repairs and servicing. Here one of the cylinders for the JCB has been rebuilt and is awaiting installation.

The final photo shows the air compressor from Alpha having a rebuild. The work involved honing the bores and regrinding the valves.  Now complete the compressor is back on the loco.

So that concludes 2020. A very big round of applause for all of the volunteers who have achieved so much under these conditions. 

Thank you to all who have contributed with their support throughout the year.

And finally thank you for reading this blog and raising the profile of CHR.

Until next year.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Merry Christmas

The last working party before Christmas resulted in two further panels of track being relaid. A break in the middle of the day allowed the team to have a Christmas fish and chip lunch.  Andy G was on hand with his camera to catch the goings on.

We start looking north from the approaches to Weston station. In the foreground are the already relaid sections. In the distance the team can be seen working on the next sections.

At the worksite the rails have been lifted to the side to allow the sleepers and chairs to be moved to the side. In some cases the chairs come out separate to the sleepers so you can get an idea of how much some of the sleepers have deteriorated. 

Where there are multiple consecutive sleepers to replace the excavator is called into action to dig out the ballast before fresh sleepers are placed in position. Here we see the team after lunch just about to kick off a game of hide and seek

The excavator has removed the sleepers and levelled the trackbed ready for the replacement sleepers to be positioned.

In the final picture the first rail has been positioned and the sleepers are tweaked to allow the second rail to be fitted. Once in place the keys are inserted and the fishplates reinserted.

Thank you to all who have helped and to Andy for the pictures.

That brings to the blog postings for this year. I will be away for a few days so updates may take a while to be posted.

With that I wish you all a Merry Christmas and thank you for your support during the year.

Until next time.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Tuesday Track Work

This week is back to normal working days after the full week. Andy G and R share the honours with pictures this week as some wooden sleeper panels were changed for concrete.

We start just north of the point on the Oswestry side of Weston. Once the rails have been moved aside the excavator makes short work of removing the remains of the old wooden sleepers. 

The excavator is standing on the pot of gold from the rainbow and is resting after moving the concrete sleepers into position and placing the rails in the chairs.

After reconnecting the rails the equipment is stood down and the team returns to base for a well deserved pot of tea.
Thank you to all who helped and to both Andys for the photos.

Until next time.

Monday, 14 December 2020

Working Week

The working week has now concluded. It was pleasing to see so many volunteers turn up in spite of the weather. However it is December so being able to work at all is a blessing.

The main focus of the work was the spot resleepering on the line north of Weston towards Oswestry.

Andy G was on hand with his camera at the end of the week to catch the latest progress and movements.

A recent arrival at Weston is the MK1 TSO coach which has been brought down to the station for gauging trials. This will allow any adjustments to be made and ensure that there are the correct clearances to the platform. In the first picture the two coaches are in the bay platform.

Meanwhile the spot resleepering continues. In some places it was decided to change all the sleepers in a panel, the excavator makes short work of digging out the old ballast and life expired sleepers. Their replacements have been moved close to where needed and can be seen in the bottom of the picture.
In this view you can see the relaid rails being connected back to the already completed section. Knowing just how much to lean on the spanner is a skill learned over many hundreds of fishplate bolts.
As the rails are inserted back in the chairs the next panel is unclipped. Here the keys are being knocked out of the chairs.
With the team well out of the way, actually partaking in the tea drinking training, the works train is brought slowly forwards.
The movement of the coach from Oswestry took place in misty conditions.
The train is seen running over the recently upgraded track, heading towards Weston.
Lóoking north we can see the completed section heading towards the poplar tree. This tree is also visible on the photos from the cattle creep. The poplar tree is very roughly half way between the cattle creep and Weston station.

At the end of the week a special celebratory, socially distanced, fish and chip lunch was held in the recently arrived TSO coach. A fitting reward for a fine effort.

Many thanks to all who volunteered during the week and to Andy G for the pictures.

Until next time.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Moving Pictures

The working week is now over and much progress has been made on upgrading the line north from Weston. At the end of the week a short sequence was shot from the rear balcony of the guard's van as the works train returned to Weston.

This link will take you to Colin's video.

Progress during the working week was helped by having mechanical help available. This speeds up the process and whilst one panel is being built the excavator moves on to the next panel and starts by cleaning out the cess to the side of the track. As the line was double track at this point there is enough room for the JCB to move alongside of the running line.

There are still plenty of panels to go before the line reaches the cattle creep. This work will take us well into next year and will depend on the weather.

Thank you to all who braved the weather during the week and to Colin for filming the latest progress. As a reminder here is a picture of the first panels of track to be tackled thanks to CHR Facebook.

Until next time.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

The View From A Bridge

Sometimes it's satisfying to just look down from above to see the progress. The following photos are from the CHR Facebook page and show the recent progress. The link to the Facebook page is on the top right of this page (web version) so if you do visit give the page a like.

Looking over the walls of the bridge you can see the layout of the station and how things fit together.

We start with a view of the works train pulling into the platform from the south. The run round loop is to the right and the grassy bank at the far right will one day be the second platform.

Looking the other way you can see the southern point of the loop and just beyond the recently repaired bridge over the river Morda. Beyond the bridge the line gently curves to the right to cross the A483.
And this is where we stop for now. Beyond the stop sign is the level crossing and the line to Llynclys.
We close with a view of the works train having arrived from Oswestry and resting in the new Weston station.

There is still plenty of work to make the station operational and the line between the cattle creep and Weston requires attention.

As you can see there has been significant progress this year and you can see the net results of your donations. Many thanks to all who have supported CHR during this very difficult period. We hope you like what you see and we look forward to welcoming you on a visit to the railway. As soon as we are able to reopen we will make an announcement. 

Thank you to CHR for the pictures.

Until next time.