Tangent 15-16

Well after today all the spiking on the rails installed yesterday is completed, as well as managing to install and complete an extra 5 lengths. Leaving only 10 to go in this straight.

Unfortunately we forgot to take any photos! But with a bit of imagination you can guess what it looks like.

We also found time to collect all the old jewellery, a big time saver for later on.

Next week will be lineside mowing early in the week, with concrete sleeper replacements Thursday and Friday.

UP leg Tangent 15-16

Another successful day on the re-railing gang, with 27 80lb rails in place and partly spiked.

We started off with very nice mild and overcast weather, perfect for trackwork, it turned to a fairly sunny day but still comfortable. Here the gang unloads all the gear off the trucks.

In no time the unfastening was well under way, a slightly cantankerous rattle gun gave the screw removers a little trouble but they pushed through and got there.

We even got to try out our new gizmo today, it’s a sleeper drill (which featured briefly months ago) which was missing a nose cone to direct the drill into the sleeper plate hole. Bazz finally managed to find time, in between all the other hundreds of jobs we lump him with, to manufacture one! It works very well, much quicker and easier, but a few small tweaks will no doubt occur over time.

You can see the whole gang was eager to check it out!

This section is abundant with steel sleepers and we’ve discovered it’s much easier to fasten them before the timber as it not only sets gauge but it allows more flexibility with installing the lugs, as Will is doing here.

Rolf’s primary task today, closely supervised here by Bruce and Clive, was marking the hole locations for the dogspikes. An important job as there is often up to two previous sets of holes in most sleepers so it’s important to ensure the new spikes go into solid wood.

By close of play all 27 rails we installed, spiked 1 in 3 and tamped. Tomorrow’s crew should easily knock over all the spiking and will most likely try to get in at least 3 more rails, this will reduce the workload for the last section.

Any extra hands always welcome, the more hands the more we can achieve, so please join us at Maldon at 8am or site from 8.30am.


This week is all about re-railing. Today was spent cleaning up the remaining jewellery from last week and dropping out the new jewellery.

Here the ballast has been scraped aside to allow for the rail to moved into position.

Sleeper plates, fish plates, bolts and steel sleeper fastening were dropped out. Here John’s placing one sleeper plate at the end of every sleeper.

A view of all the rail in place ready for tomorrow’s crew to bolt up.

Tangent 15-16

The remaining section of re-railing on the Down leg of tangent 15-16 was tackled today and successfully completed!

Things didn’t start well… Some fairly localised rain decided to start just as we got to the site and continued right through till about 9am, so naturally we spent quite some time admiring the interior of which ever vehicle we managed to scramble into.

But before long and lots of eyes over the weather radar we decided to brave the rain and hope for a clearing. As we’d already removed some of the fastenings previously, the job of removing the old rail only took about an hour.

The first few 80lb rails in place.

By lunch we had all the new rail in place, all 15 lengths of 80lb and were well into dogging. Strangely we seemed to make very similar progress to days with the larger gangs despite only having 6 of us. Read into that what you will…. But we decided it must’ve been down to all the preparation on Tuesday.

The final rail being cut to size. We chose to make use of two smaller rails for our closure here rather than cropping a long one.

Mick and Clive working back up the hill finishing off the drilling and spiking.

By days end we’d managed to complete all spiking, clipping and tamping of the new rails. An effort we were all proud of. All that’s left is to collect all the old jewellery.

We’ll be out again tomorrow, this time preparing rails for the other leg at Muckleford. Any extra hands are very welcome as numbers are a little low at the moment. Meeting Maldon 8am or Muckleford from 8.30am.