Today was slightly ceremonious, as it saw the last ever rail movement into and out of the Maldon Dock – at least in its previous configuration.
The Dock Road Turnout, timbers and roadbed have reached the end of their serviceable life, so a renewal of some sort was required. However given we’re very hopeful of extending the Maldon Platform in the near future, any extension would prevent the use of the Dock road Turnout.
So the decision was made to remove the turnout, and replace it with plain track, we’ve been planning this for some time and today saw the start of the that process.
Infact after much discussion, it was finally decided that the perfect long term exhibit in the Dock Road would be our very own E 371, previously plinthed at the other end of Maldon Yard.
The VGR Young Volunteers Group set about turning the rusty, dilapidated old E, into nothing short of a work of art! It did take up the workshop space for a few weeks, but hopefully once everyone gets to have a close look, they’ll appreciate just what a massive difference it’s made to the overall appearance of Maldon Yard.
It was a very delicate operation to place the E into the Dock, in exactly the right place so we can, if need be, replace the end wall timbers etc…. and in reality, if anyone’s was to write a big enough cheque for its restoration, it’ll be a very easy crane lift to get it out.
And the reason a crane would be required, is that no sooner had the E gone in than the track started coming out.
We’ve taken everything that could be reasonably taken out, but still allow trains to run tomorrow, so on Thursday we can get all of this out and the new track in before the weekend.
We took lots of pictures of how the annett lock was installed, and we’ve placed all that gear safely away as we expect we’ll need it again one day.
Although we don’t seem to have any pictures of it, we’ve also relocated the old Lamp Room and Red Hut, into the civil compound to become an office and storage space. This has tidied the area up amazingly, certainly worth a visit to see how much better it now looks.
Thursday and Friday we’ll be meeting at Maldon from 8am, where we’ll be full swing into getting the old turnout out and new track in.