Work has continued all over the railway so I can only show you some, you will have to come to see what else has been done!

  

At the reverse curves at milepost 14, work has continued in spite of the weather - as I have said many times before, we should be relaying in nice warm, sunny weather, not in the mist and cold!  At least so far there has only been a little snow as seen in A and B.  But sometimes driving down the hill into Levisham it has been difficult to see where the railway is with the mist and clouds.  Photo A shows Martyn where the track should be to Bryan’s pegs with one seen painted yellow in the ditch recut as part of the overall maintenance we carry out.  This is an original cess drain that Peter has recut and you can see the water  flowing southwards.  What you can’t see is that it only goes a short way before entering a stone culvert under the formation and discharging into the Beck on the West side.  According to our records compiled by the North Eastern Railway in, I think, 1908 this culvert is like many of the others under the tracks being built with two stone sidewalls and a stone slab for the roof.  It is shown as 1ft 2 inches wide and 2ft high, will let you work out what it is in metric [36cm wide, 61cm high - Ed]!  We need to keep the track formation well drained and as you can see in C, there are many sources of water trying to get onto the track, here successfully intercepted and channelled into the cess ditch.

 

As you will know, the railway was originally double track, well at least after the 1840’s when George Stephenson’s original single line stagecoach railway was widened.  Not being there when they doubled it, I cannot say exactly where the single link formation was and where the extra bits were added on.  The valley around the present 14 milepost has Pickering Beck on the West side of the line with the formation being held up with a stone retaining wall, which has some parts fallen down.  The bed of the river is paved with large stone blocks which are just about all still there and I for one am not venturing into the water at this time of year to check!  Perhaps in the nice warm summer, or could always try to persuade the Wombles from Levisham station to do it, but don’t tell them just yet, it can be a pleasant surprise!

 

The track relaying is now well into the first right hand curve as seen in photo D where the rail end gaps are clamped.  When the relay is completed, we will use the tamper to adjust the track to its final position and this can close up the gaps.  When in its final correct position, these gaps will be drilled and fishplated.  In photo E the regraded double track formation is seen and no we are not putting double track back!  Having an access road alongside the track is very helpful for maintenance and fire patrols in the summer but also more importantly for emergency access, which hopefully we will never have to use.  Just in case you think otherwise, no we are not having a sideways step in the rails!

 

That’s all for now, back to the bridge designing and estimating!

 

Regards

Nigel Trotter