Eardington Relay Update
Page updated on: 03/02/16 at 18:32
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Closing the Gap
The push northwards had by Friday 29th of January reached within 6 panels of the railhead with final closure of the gap expected early week commencing 01st Feb. The SVR (Holdings) Chairman Nick Paul and Vice Chairman Mike Ball paid a visit to the Eardington Bank site and pronounced themselves impressed with the rate of progress that has been achieved by a relatively small gang of staff and contractors. Pictured is Nick Paul trying his hand with a “Pan Puller” which is used for locking in the pandrol clips that hold the rail to the sleepers. Once the gap is closed the process of top ballasting will take place and using the plough attached to the “Shark” brake van the ballast will be spread. The previous 15mph speed restriction over the section will remain during half term week as the track has been temporarily joined using two hole fish plates in preparation for welding due to take place afterwards. Due to the number of welds, a mixture of SVR and contract welding teams will carry out this operation in order to create the half mile of continuous rail planned. It has been noted that there have been calls to retain the jointed track at this location, but it has to be realised that the SVR has to look to reducing the maintenance load on the PW teams who are not getting any younger. This section will require vastly less maintenance than the previous jointed bullhead rail allowing the resource that we do have to concentrate more on the remaining jointed sections. As a footnote – some wags have suggested recreating the joints by cutting slots on the railhead. This would of course seriously weaken the rail!
Chris Bond (Infrastructure Manager)