The implementation of work done at the Carriage Stable was performed by a huge array of staff & volunteers, it is a very large project, and this blog post only reflects a small sub-section of the work which was completed. We hope to have other blog posts added which go in to detail from other team members. Please keep an eye on the Blog for more posts soon.

Craig Donald, Signalling & Telecommunications Technician, talks us through some of the work the S & T Department have worked on for the Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey Trout Farm Carriage Stable area.

The new carriage stable building is all but completed now just north of Pickering. Not an S&T project in any way but we do our bit to help with other projects if required.

The building of the stable required one large colour light bracket signal to be removed before building works started and replaced with a straight post on the opposite side of the main running line.

This signal was used to control the train movements from Pickering northwards and over New Bridge level crossing. Due to the overhanging roof on the new stable, it was known well in advance that the signal head would be obscured so it was replaced with a straight post on the other side of the running line. This new signal was made from a recovered post and a number of bits in store. Any missing parts we fabricated ourselves as we do nowadays. Many components were sent away to be galvanised before installation as well.

Work started first of all on the old bracket signal, the P Way Dept provided their crane for us, and then scaffolding was used to gain access to the fixing bolts on the top of the main stem. The overhanging bracket was removed and placed onto a P Way wagon once the bolts were removed.

The main stem was dug out using a large digging machine borrowed from the stable contractors and once again the P Way crane lifted it out of the ground and placed it onto another P Way wagon for easy removal away from site.

The new replacement signal had to have a concrete base cast into the ground for it to sit on with fixing bolts cast into it, and once that was ready the crane did its thing again and installed the new signal.

An existing straight post colour light signal nearer the trout farm crossing was also moved to a new position.

A second S&T team were also at work at the same time on the stable and had to install concrete troughs next to the new point work outside the stable for the various telephone cables that are needed for communications with the signal box and elsewhere. In fact that was a small part of a much larger concrete trough-laying project as the new troughs had to be installed nearly all the way from New Bridge level crossing to Pickering station with a separate section inside the stable yard.

In the new siding area to the south of the stable there are four new points all of which required hand point levers fitting to them. The S&T Dept said they would fit them as the P Way were busy relaying track further up the line. We had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for at this stage. We had four lever mechanisms that were recovered from a site elsewhere in the country. But we thought at that time they were complete units, but they were far from complete as many components were missing or had been flame cut off when they were recovered from their original locations.

Most of the springs were missing and some internal castings were also missing along with many of the turn pins that join moving parts together. Normally you would not buy spare parts for a hand lever mechanism as you would just simply buy a complete unit at about £1000 which would last for just about ever in normal use.

We put the components we had together to get the southernmost lever working just to the south of the trout farm level crossing. That taught us how the mechanism actually works as it’s something we have never worked on before.

Now we knew how the lever mechanism worked we contacted a firm near Middlesbrough who made the missing castings for us and one of our regular volunteers machined the large centre hole out for us.

The springs seemed at first to be an impossible to buy item with nobody selling the correct springs off the shelf. But one firm said they could supply some after a discussion. They could get us six springs which we promptly ordered, but these got lost in the post so we could not carry on with installing the levers. We managed to find another supplier and the original firm, later on, also sent us another six springs to replace the ones lost in the post. Then, as if by magic, all of the springs lost in the post suddenly turned up unannounced after being missing for two months or so. So, we now have a good supply of springs!

With more than enough parts to make up the next three-point lever mechanism, we fit all the stable points out with hand levers, much to the relief of anyone who needs to operate the points at the stable.

It was great to now see all the point levers working, but what to do with all the boxes and bags of spare parts we now had (mostly springs). Might make that the next blog as we found a use for them in the end!

Read the previous S & T Blog post and if you like the sound of volunteering alongside our S & T Team, please consider submitting a Volunteer Expression of Interest