Work completed over the long weekend
On the Friday we set to and started work on the re-sleepering project east of Forestry Crossing. At Pendre we finished loaded the train with all the tools we required to undertake the work. Additional items we loaded as the train passed Quarry Siding. While some of the gang started laying the sleepers out on the south side others set up the level and alignment pins along the same side. We also carefully measured the gaps at each of the joints, this information would be required when we started reassembling the track with the new sleepers. The fixings were removed and the rails moved to the north side, due to the small size of the gang we were only able to move one end of a rail at a time, this slowed down the job considerably. Before we went home we used the leaf blower to clean up the site and picks to loosen all of the sleepers in the ballast bed. (5 gang members available).
Saturday was digger day. The mini digger was worked up from Pendre and off loaded on Forestry Crossing, meanwhile the rest of the gang lifted and placed all the old sleepers against the bank on the south side. The digger started work at the east end and worked its way back towards Tywyn. Once the digger was a few lengths into the job we set to and laid out sleepers for each length and lifted the rails back on and plated up the joints. The fixings were installed on the north rail. By the close of play about 3 lengths had been completed and the mini digger had made good progress. (6 gang members available).
Sunday saw the completion of the digging process, all the sleepers laid out bar one length and the rails put back onto the sleepers. The last length next to the crossing needed some careful digging to extract a sleeper so that was held over until Monday. (5 gang members available).
On Monday the small gang continued with the assembly work and completed the reconnection at the crossing end. 7 of the 10 lengths of south rail were gauged, drilled and the clips/screws installed. The rest were fixed on the Tuesday. Over the following days ballast was brought up from Wharf by train to re-ballast the section and an initial run through was made with the Matisa tamper. (4 gang members available).
A very big thank to everyone who helped over the 4 days.
Article and photos by Keith Theobald