News from all the P-way and lineside groups - May 2007
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Extension news is covered separately, and older P-way news is here.
Welcome to a new report on the activities of the various lineside groups detailing their work over the last month.
The Fencing Gang
The Fencing gang have been meeting since 1975 and currently meet on the 3rd Sunday of the month at Horsted Keynes and it still has some of its original members. At Sheffield Park they have been working on the picnic area fencing, at Ketches Halt, repairing the remaining section of original LBSCR wooden fencing and finally in contrast some new concrete fencing South of Holywell.
The Thursday Gang
Their Thursdays have mainly been occupied with the fitting of the new engine in the Wickham Trolley. The fitting of the new side valve engine has been quite complicated as the original installation left a lot to be desired. It was moved into Carriage and Wagon who kindly allowed it into the dock for the fitting of the new engine. The 19th April saw the first running of the engine. It is now out on the track and having some shake down trials. However this hasn't been their sole task and following a request from the Loco Department the various flange greasers on the line received attention.
The Extension Gang
The Extension Gang work every Saturday on the viaduct, close to the railway station and J Sainsburys in East Grinstead. Work is also taking place South of the viaduct, on the cattle creep. Further news from the extension gang is on the Extension Progess page.
The Lineside Clearance / Wednesday Gang
This gang meet every Wednesday, and have the small task of trying to control the vegetation on 18 miles of embankments and cuttings. Recent work has been around the 10 milepost area. As you approach the run up to Three Arch Bridge you will notice the view to the East has been opened up considerably. The gang has recently benefited from the donation of three new brushcutters by Andreas Stihl Ltd., Camberley, Surrey. The gang are very grateful for the help provided by Stihl.
The Sunday Gang
This is the railway's main Permanent Way Gang and they meet every Sunday at Horsted Keynes. The main activity this month has been fishplate greasing. Rail joints are designed to move to allow for expansion of the rails during the summer. To help this happen the fishplates are loosened and special oil sprayed onto the plates (9 miles of track, two joints every 60ft, four bolts to every fishplate, I leave you to work out how many bolts that is to loosen and re-tighten?). The gang have nearly completed the section between Horsted Keynes and Kingscote, including the station areas.
Guess what Pway have been up to?
However this has not been their only task. Following detection problems with the points linking Horsted Keynes Platform 2 road with the Ardingly spur, the gang were asked by S&T to 'jack and pack' (raising the track by lifting the rails and forcing extra ballast under the sleepers) this trackwork at very short notice. Jacking and packing was also required South of Keysford Lane Bridge.
The gang also inspected the extension up to Imberhorne Lane Bridge (below-left), checking all the fishplate bolts.
The gang are actively looking into the acquisition of some new tools to improve our productivity. This (above right) is one of the new tools on demonstration, it is used for drilling holes in sleepers for chairs. The frame supports the drill and the whole operation can be performed with just the use of your fingertips.
The gang did have some help this month with a quick visit from the tamper (below). You may have noticed the yellow coloured pegs between Black Hut and the tunnel entrance. The tamper used these as a guide to re-align this curve and several other areas of the line.
The railway has acquired its own road/rail machine (above) for some of the bigger jobs around the line.
If you happen to win the lottery and have some spare cash left over then the gang would appreciate one of these:
(Broadband users only - 20Mb .wmv video)
Help - Please Join Us
If you enjoy working outside and in the beautiful countryside our railway runs through then please consider volunteering. All the gangs would be pleased to see more members. You will be made more than welcome by any of the groups and even if you can only help once a month that would be great - More details here
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Last updated 17 November 2007 by Richard Salmon with text and photos from David Chappell
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