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Bluebell Northern Extension - so what's occurring then?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by domeyhead, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The following explanation was given on our Yahoo group by someone who knows what they are talking about:

    "Last actual bucket of rubbish from excavated level went up yesterday to be stored ready for insertion in the hollow. [...] The hollow - which can't be seen from either of the bridges - is where the dumpers are passing up spoil from the bottom to the top in several movements and which will be back filled with said waste when the job is finished.

    The new formation level is a couple of metres higher than the original and a clay capping layer is put on top of a small layer of hard, compacted (by about 40years!) dry waste. However, in order to install the ducting this has to be disturbed at the eastern edge, where funnily enough we are encountering solid bedrock and this small portion is being dug out. The bedrock / clay mix being dug for the ducting is bone dry and hard and it makes sense to put this into the new formation level for compacting as we go along, whilst also widening the cutting base to 7 metres and tidying up any loose bits of rock at the same time which might come down next winter. More clay is brought back down to make up the difference - so I hope that explains why there seems to be more there even after we have announced that the digging job is finished !"

    Tom
     
  2. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    Tom: Yes, you beat me to it. I was just coming back to post the explanation after reading that under John Sandys' images for today.

    In brief, the currently being excavated bedrock and compacted material is being spread on the base of the cutting, and clay capping brought back down to be placed on top for the final level.

    Obvious when it is explained, --as you say--by someone who knows " what they are talking about"...!!

    regards

    46118
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Today's all action set from John Sandys', showing arrival of a ballast train and unloading of the ballast in the cutting.

    NEP Photo Update, Thurs, 21/02/13 - a set on Flickr

    The 66 and its train are not scheduled to depart until I believe 03:40 tomorrow morning. Because of the length of train, it can't leave Bluebell rails and wait in the connecting siding without fouling the main platform at EG, so I think that means one of our volunteers will have to be on token duty at silly o'clock this morning to reset the frame to normal and shut the gate after it finally departs. There is apparently another path booked tomorrow (arrives on the Bluebell about 14:30 I think) but I am not sure if that is to bring in more ballast, or was simply booked as a contingency in case today didn't run.

    This photo is quite interesting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluebellrailway/8494904237/in/set-72157632817451867/ as it shows about where the gradient levels out from 1:60 to level at the summit of the line (under the last couple of wagons). Incidentally, John's photos only show half the train - the other half was stored in our station, with shunting to swap the two portions round. The complete train was I think 17 wagons.

    Tom
     
  4. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully all the unloading will be completed well before then?
    Or are the diggers booked on till 02.00?
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think the ballast is well and truly unloaded, it's just a case of an available path back, threading back through London.

    Tom
     
  6. nigelss

    nigelss New Member

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    I have noticed from the video that the ballast wagons make a hell of a lot of noise/screeching as they go along so there could well be some disgruntled and tired locals in the morning following the night-time activities!
     
  7. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    Looking at the various images from thursday, it looks as though there is still some work to do to make a walking route throught the final gap between the two railheads. No doubt that will be today's priority and all will be well for Sunday!

    46118
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    According to a Bluebell member living in EG, the train spent most of last night well south of the viaduct (and out of the more urban area), only coming forward when it was time to depart. So hopefully not too much disturbance caused! Though that does mean that the Bluebell member responsible for liaison with Network Rail and working the ground frame probably didn't clock off before 3am, by time they had got back to Kingscote Box with the token.

    There is another ballast train due today (should probably have arrived by now).

    Incidentally, for everyone who has enjoyed John Sandys' photos, they could do worse than sponsor him for the upcoming Track Trek: http://www.justgiving.com/MrSandys

    Tom
     
  9. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    RP's images today show the way largely clear through the cutting, with the two heads of membrane and ballast within sight of each other.

    Maybe just a little work tomorrow to be ready for the track trekkers on Sunday.
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Looks to me like it will be OK, since most of the gap is the hard compacted material, and it has also been dry (and cold!) of late.

    Meanwhile, John Sandy's Flickr stream from yesterday, showing the gap between the two advancing lines of ballast, and also the arrival and unloading of the second ballast train.

    NEP Photo Update, Fri, 22/02/13 - a set on Flickr

    Tom
     
  11. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    From the report on the Bluebell website, and John Sandys' images it looks as though the "Track Trek" went off satisfactory, and raised a substantial sum for the extension. Mercifully no "sea of mud", and indeed the dry weather looks set to continue this week which will no doubt help get the remaining short stretch of base material covered with membrane/ballast/drains/ track.

    46118
     
  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yesterday the much delayed track trek finally took place. It is estimated that it should raise between £40k and £50k towards the extension.

    Photos from John Sandys (does he never sleep?) which show quite a good view of the extension, especially the northern part from EG station to the end of the cutting. These include views rarely seen before from inside the cutting. Track-Trek, Sun, 24/02/13 - a set on Flickr

    I didn't take part, but did undertake the training / familiarisation course for loco crew, one of many such courses running for all operational grades at the moment. Makes it all seem a bit more real!

    Tom
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Latest photos from John Sandys, showing the ever decreasing gap between layers of matting and ballast.

    There were comments on our Yahoo group the other day about the number of volunteers involved: on that particular day (which I don't think was anything out of the ordinary) there were 22 from the infrastructure train working in the cutting or at East Grinstead, and another 16 S&T working at HK on NEP related stuff. Not to mention those in other departments working to make things happen.

    Looking forward to my route learning... :)

    Tom
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Latest Bluebell film, this time covering the Track Trek which took place on a bitterly cold day last weekend. The estimated income from that event was £40k, which leaves around £50k to go to complete the project. To put that in context, it is about the equivalent of two days of spoil trains, back a year or so ago when we were running those! Look out for photographer-extroardinaire John Sandys.

    [YOUTUBE]jbcPdi2hQHw[/YOUTUBE]

    Tom
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    And another John Sandys video!

    This one shows the "long" run round at Kingscote (for crew familiarisation purposes) from the cab of the H class - out of Kingscote, north past the starter and advanced starter, through the narrows up to KC53 (the Kingscote down home); then reverse back through the narrows to the station and south as far as the south box; then north again back onto the stock.

    Volunteers from the KESR, NNR and the NYMR may recognise the loco crew...

    [YOUTUBE]sWgxzbD3M6o[/YOUTUBE]

    Tom
     
  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Lots happening today, seen in John Sandys' latest photos.

    Firstly, track laying has recommenced from the north end (with the track now easily visible from the south), and there is now matting down over the whole length of the cutting. The gap in the ballast looks to be only a few tens of yards at its shortest point.

    At East Grinstead, construction of the water tower continues. The tank itself is 18,000 litres - just under 4,000 gallons.

    The travel centre has been put in place and a raised walkway is being constructed to connect with it. The coach that will provide the catering and other facilities will go in the space adjacent. This will be taken up to EG (I assume by rail) and then craned into position; at the same time there will be a bogie swap from the ones it arrived with (which are in good condition) for a worn-out pair in stock elsewhere on the railway. The movement will take place at night so as to minimise disruption in the surrounding area (which is effectively the far end of the Sainsbury's car park!)

    NEP Photo Update, Fri. 01/03/13 - a set on Flickr

    Tom
     
  17. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    Tom, Just out of interest does the Bluebell have its own lining and tamping machines, or will these be booked to come in over NR at East Grinstead? (or by road?)

    46118
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    No, we will have to hire one in. Previously they have come by road but obviously there is now the possibility for one to come by rail.

    Do the SVR or NYMR or WSR have their own? I wonder how long a line you need (and therefore how much use you would make of such a bit of plant) before it gets cost effective to own your own rather than hire one in?

    Tom
     
  19. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Yes the NYMR does have its own Tamper.
    Purchased from not to far from the Bluebell at Three Bridges from Balfour Beatty about 2006
    It usually works about 10 shifts a year generally in tandem with our Ballast Regulator.
    I was out working with them, marking up the lifts and slews, about a fortnight ago following a renewal.
     
  20. PiliPili

    PiliPili New Member

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    We have the Hailes brothers... They count as a machine right? ;-)

    Pil
     

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