Monday 30th January 2017

Today the weather in Newtondale has been quite pleasant with even the odd burst of sunshine.  The relay at milepost 14 reverse curves is now progressing to an end with the rails nearly connected up.  You can see in photo A the short straight between the two curves and no, we are not preparing for double track! Slightly further on in B you can see the area where the Wombles have been cutting back the overhanging trees including where our boundary is on the other side of the river. Clearing this area will help our people see trains approaching when on the track and also help train crews see us!


The north left hand curve has AD fastening concrete sleepers and the junction with the new G44’s is seen in C.  Having insulted the Western for their SHC fastenings on the southern curve it is time to say something about these AD’s.  But, having started work on what was then the North Eastern Region of BR, my comments on these are far more polite.   Arthur  Dean was the Chief Civil Engineer on the North Eastern Region before becoming General Manager.  He invented the AD fastening seen in photo D which has a headless bolt in the concrete held in place by a horizontal  pin, all now well and truly rusted in.  There is then a square plastic block seen coloured orange with a cast cup holding a coil spring in it before being held down by a shaped nut.  We only have AD’s in this curve and from Summit down towards Goathland.  We have some spare parts but it is the nylon blocks that wear but they are now available in realistic quantities.  The AD’s were designed in the 1950’s and when I worked at Channel Tunnel they were very keen to show me their super-duper fastenings but were a bit dis-chuffed when I took an AD there on my next visit! Only took them 50 years to catch up.


The problem with AD’s and other early rail fastenings is that you need at least a dozen fingers and thumbs to hold all the bit in place while you fasten them up. In photo E you can see Mark, Jim and Pete fastening them up with not far to go as seen in F. 


The ballast comes on the 8th February and tamping on the Thursdays should see another super relay just about complete.


Our S&T have been doing all sorts including preparing to put up the new banner repeater signal in Pickering seen in G, but what they were doing when photographed in H when at Hunting Bridge level crossing hasn’t been revealed – Craig sent me the photo and I hope they find the £50 note or whatever it is!


At Goathland work is progressing well on the new shop seen in photos I and J sent by Mr Bruce.

That’s all for now, back to the estimating for our Lottery bid.



Nigel Trotter