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Winter Works 2017

Page updated on: 30/03/17 at 13:32

Please click on the gallery for full-size pictures

Videos below by Brent Cleeton.

  1. Sharking ballast at Trimpley on February 28th. Apologies for the stone screeching!

  2. COLAS tamper machine working north through the newly relaid New House Farm crossing, Little Rock Cutting, Chelmarsh.

March 30th 2017

An image added of 50031 ballasting and spreading.

Leigh King

March 10th 2017

The Colas Rail tamper has now left the SVR after two weeks of tamping various areas of the railway which should have a noticeable effect on ride quality. Colas Rail have generously carried out this work at no cost whilst their staff have gained valuable experience on the machine away from the constraints of Network Rail possessions.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

March 8th and 9th 2017

The team have again been in action at Waterworks Crossing, with the road railer removing the rail, ballast and old concrete pipework out of the formation, putting in new pipework, reinstating the formation and relacing rail, sleepers and ballast. A Class 20 was in attendence too. Images from Brent Cleeton added.

March 4th 2017

A couple of lovely images from Leigh King added to the gallery, the tamper meeting a Class 20, and Colas tamper DR73913 meeting the SVR's own at Highley.  

Also added are videos from Brent Cleeton showing the Shark wagon in use, spreading the ballast, and the tamper in operation.

March 1st 2017

Colas tamper DR73913 arrived at Kidderminster on February 27th, and is shown there in Bill Griffiths' images on the 28th ready to work at Waterworks Straight and Eardington bank.  

The SVR is benefitting from the kind offer of a modern tamping machine for a two week period whilst Colas Rail operatives gain experience using this impressive piece of equipment. During its sojourn on the SVR, the machine will be carrying out several miles of track tamping in various areas along the line. For those unfamiliar with tamping machines, their purpose is to pack ballast under the sleepers using vibrating metal “tines”. The section of track to be tamped is first measured using on-board monitoring equipment that will record the existing state of the track geometry. The computer can then work out what corrections are required in three dimensions to put the track back to the required specification. The machine returns to the start of the measured length and then proceeds to advance one sleeper at a time packing the ballast by the right amount to achieve the desired result. Generally this means a smoother ride for both our rolling stock and, of course, our passengers.
It is hoped to tamp around 3 miles of track during its stay including a second tamp of the newly relayed Waterworks Straight – all for no cost to the SVR! 

Also Stephen Duce's image near the Elan Valley aqueduct, Trimpley March 1st. 

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

February 15th 2017

As we enter the last week before the half term service starts, there is much activity along Waterworks straight. As Leigh King’s pictures show, the railway is once again complete end to end although there is still a lot to do before passenger trains can traverse the relayed track. Ballast that has been delivered from the nearby Clee Hill quarry is being loaded into our fleet of hopper wagons at Eardington. This is then taken to site where it is deposited between the rails as the wagon is moved along at around 3-4 mph. This leaves a trail of ballast that is then “ploughed” by the Charitable Trust owned Shark brake van that has special attachments at each end that can be raised or lowered. This distributes the ballast in readiness for tamping which is due to be carried out on Thursday and Friday this week. This will allow the passage of passenger trains at a reduced speed until further ballasting and tamping takes place after half term week. The relay has been a monumental effort by the full time staff supported by our dedicated P Way volunteers.

Don’t forget that in addition to the relaying work, Bridgnorth P Way volunteers have been carrying out a lot of spot re-sleepering at Hampton Loade station whilst the Bewdley gang have been tackling large quantities of veg clearance in the Northwood Lane area..

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

February 14th 2017

A further image from Leigh King has been added showing ballasting at Waterworks Straight.

February 13th 2017

The final track panel at Waterworks Straight has been relaid. Two images from Leigh King have been added.

February 3rd 2017

This week good solid progress has been made on Waterworks Straight as the track is relaid towards the northern railhead. The initial section of the relayed track was carried out using concrete sleepers. These require handling using a road railer and their obvious weight makes this a slow process. We have now switched to laying the steel sleepers donated by Network Rail and these (as the photos show) are able to be handled by two people. This means that track laying is much more rapid than our method using concretes and PW volunteers have greatly helped with this process. The equipping of the bare sleepers with all the fittings required has also benefitted from our volunteers efforts as they swarm all over the freshly laid sleepers with buckets of clips and pads. It’s a great team effort and what the SVR is all about.

The drainage that has been installed is working very well and disposing of the spring water in fine fashion.

Next week should see the two railheads connected and the movement of some 1200 tonnes of ballast commence.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

January 25th 2017

Contractors were conducting ground investigations near bridge 19 at Kinlet yesterday, January 24th. There was a slight embankment slippage in 2016 and a 10 mph temporary restriction put in place to mitigate the effects. Contractors have been carrying out some ground investigations to determine the nature of the slip and to plan and develop a repair scheme.

Photo: Stephen Duce, with thanks

January 23rd 2017

Week commencing the 23rd January has seen considerable progress on the relaying works. The breather switches and approximately 3 panels of track to the south of waterworks crossing have been installed and welded up. This has allowed the contractors to install the cess drainage unencumbered further up towards Bridgnorth. In the process of doing this a natural spring has been discovered which has a fair flow issuing out of the ground. On top of this, the pipes that run from Chelmarsh reservoir under the SVR to the treatment works across the river, have been responsible for damming the flow of the spring water. This has had the effect of creating a water table that was at sleeper bottom level and accounts for the quagmire that we have found on lifting the track. It is hoped that the substantial investment in drainage will cure this problem and remove the spring water efficiently away from the track bed.

Once the drainage is complete, the track north of the crossing will start to be relaid. It is intended to replace the track under the crossing and the crossing itself after the February half term.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

January 15th 2017

A very wet muddy session for the Signal Engineer volunteers on January 15th. Images added to the gallery.

Bridgnorth Station Facebook

January 17th 2017

The target for investment in the track infrastructure this year is a ½ mile section north of the Hampton Loade up distant signal. The length has been an area of concern for several years as the trackbed has suffered from non-existent drainage and therefore water logging. This has in turn led to contamination of the ballast with mud and silt making the maintenance of the track very difficult indeed. After a spate of loco spring breakages due to dropped joints a speed limit of 15 mph was imposed in 2016 and it was clear that an overhaul of the trackbed was required.

We have been fortunate that this year we have been able to acquire around 60% of the track materials for little or no cost thanks to the generosity of Network Rail who donated a quantity of rail and sleepers from Shrewsbury. A further quantity of steel sleepers from the Helston Railway were obtained in exchange for a number of redundant concrete sleepers.

The actual work has got off to a good start with the lifting of around 80% of the length to be relaid. This process has revealed the extent to which the trackbed is life expired with a great deal of sticky sludge lying under the sleepers and clogging the ballast. Local contractors are then installing around 250 metres of porous drainage pipes that will permanently solve the problem that has plagued Waterworks Straight for many years.

The associated pictures show the area of the works as of 10th January and further updates will follow as progress takes place. (Please click on the gallery for full-size pictures.)

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 


January 9th 2017

Members of the Signal and Telecommunications Department are busy at Bridgnorth moving the compensators on the main platform 1/2 points 6 metres nearer the box. (Compensators are what absorb the expansion and contraction in point rodding between extremes of temperature, so hopefully it will be more reliable in the hot weather, but have to be in the right place to work effectively.) They're mounted a steel plate across two concretes which are quite heavy, especially when filled with soil. For volunteers, this will be a 3 weekend job, that can only be done when there are no trains running.

Adrian Hassell, photo by Bridgnorth Station staff

January 7th 2017

This year's 'Winter Works' involve relaying around half a mile of track along Waterworks straight, just north of Hampton Loade.

In this first week of the closure period the in-house team has been dismantling track, before a contractor lays about 250 metres of drainage that will alleviate the problems with standing water along the trackbed.

Further updates and pictures will be added, but with the Bridgnorth development works continuing in parallel please do bear with us.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

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