Work has continued in spite of the vagaries of the weather which has been sunny and warm one minute and very wet the next. The second stage of the track relay at Esk Valley is well under way with the old track uplifted, the formation dug and regraded and the new track almost all laid in place. On Monday this week the finished regraded ballast profile is seen in photo A.

Harry with the aid of his laser level, operated by our Jim, has produced a near billiard table top finish. Although you will not see it for long, it certainly helps with the track laying as the individual sleepers are laid directly onto it in their position. When the rails are then laid on them it is much easier to clip them up without too much lifting with bars. In the right of this photo you can see the hardwood sleepers with their bullhead chairs replaced with flatbottom baseplates. This was a slight challenge as the chair screw spacing is different between them, so reusing one hole for a baseplate meant having to drill for the others but avoiding the new holes being too close to the existing. 

We are using hardwood sleepers over bridge 39 as the cover is a bit limited here and wood provides a better cushion than concrete. 

Photo B shows bridge 39 which is Listed Grade 2 and we have had to previously secure some of the arch stones as seen in photos B and C.

Before we secured these stones using epoxy mortar from the top, we had to monitor the movements in the arch for some years using a posh survey system but after we secured the loose stones the movements stopped.

The relay is now well below the position shown in view D which has purple Pandrols as it is in the curve as they secure the rail much better than the red ones shown in view E which is on the straight.

The 6-hole factory-made glued insulated joints, also shown in view E, replace the previous bullhead ones being much more secure in the long term and are also suitable for inclusion in Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) track, which this will be shortly.

View F shows some of the old bullhead rails recovered and ready for returning to New Bridge and disposal. 

By yesterday the relay was sufficiently past the road access to the railway and Haigh Rail were able to start welding up the joints ready for the ballast to be tipped next week.

View G shows one welding team in action during a sunny spell. I didn’t photograph the other team as this one said they were better looking! 

After that the whole of stages 1 and 2 will have the ballast regulated and tamped ready for stressing the week after. It will then be ready for passenger trains to run over it, including of course, Union of South Africa – I can hardly wait!

Our Works team have been working on the suspension footbridge No 42A at Grosmont in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council with photo H showing the exposed timber decking.

It surprising how many locals kept turning up to ask what they were doing!

S&T have been as busy as ever with work taking place at New Bridge Signalbox to do some technical adjustments to the signalling system, which unfortunately isn’t very photogenic so sorry guys, no pictures of you.

However, at Levisham No 2 Points, it was, so here are a couple of Craig’s photos showing the new point motor fitted and all the bits and pieces that go with it.

Nigel Trotter, NYMR Civil Engineer

Previous Entry