Civil Engineering Diary - 23 Dec Definitely Christmas is coming, I can sense it! And while it is still coming, works goes on unabated. For example, our S&T team led by David Torbet have been busy putting in a point indicator for the Headshunt points in Pickering Station. This has now just been commissioned and will now show clearly which way the switch blades are set. You can see in photo A that the switches are set for road 1, which is the main platform with the shop, buffet and ticket office. In photo B they are set for road 2 or platform 2, clever stuff! In C Graham is looking on. The next stage is to part rerail the headshunt to get rid of the very poor short rails next to the buffer stop as we have to put in some insulated joints so that eventually the Signalman at New Bridge will know form his track circuits where an engine is. It will be a bit of a squeeze but we can just fit the biggest steam loco in the country in the headshunt. Anybody planning to build a standard gauge Beyer Garrett, please ring me first as we will have to move Pickering Station somewhat! Our P Way volunteers have been regulating the ballast and then tamping the relay between bridge 14 and Yorfalls now that we have had a few trains over it to help settle it down. It was good before but it just gets better and better. You can see them in photos D, E and F taken by Richard in the gathering mist and gloom. Not only is the track system on this section now very good, so is the geometry. After further running over New Year and some more ballast adding the job will be a more or less maintenance length of track. And in photos G and H the curve at Yorfalls is seen with the 15 advance speed restriction sign being for the next relay ¾ mile further on round the corner. Martyn and the P Way gang have already laid out on site a fair amount of the rails and concrete sleepers needed for a start after trains stop running just after New Year. You will see from photo D that the overhanging trees between bridges 14 and 15 have now been felled ready for loading up in 2017. To help improve the drainage at the MPD area at New Bridge we have already had the sewage system upgraded and the trees cut down as seen today in photos I and J. This is all for now, with best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year. Nigel Trotter Ps we are waiting for Barbara to do something to us, but so far it looks as though Scotland is getting the brunt of it. Nothing personal, but if you would like to keep it up there, please do so!