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    , In Retirement.
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    Retired P-Way Engineer.

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  1. Northampton Castle station one of the castles smaller gates was re-built into a wall beside the approach road to the station, and there is part of a tower base atop the retaining wall on the other side of the road above where the BRSA club is/was.
  2. No if the timber sleepers were required for the subway there would only be in older track a sixty foot panels worth of them (makes loading the Salmons in the PAD easier if all the sleepers on a panel are the same depth) or more recently with loose sleeper relaying just enough to cover the subway or bridge with a few over on each side so that you do not change the sleeper type on the abutment. As the wooden sleepers ran further than that they were probably just some of the last softwood sleepers installed before the change over to concrete, and hence late survivors.
  3. There were a couple of cycles where the amount of relaying on the south end of the WCML was reduced to save money and our overtime reduced to sane levels. But the CoT boards would then start popping up like mushrooms more money would be found, and we would start virtually living on the track again. The first increase from 75MPH to 90MPH on the slows was a typical BR job where it was only realised that we did not have any 90MPH cutout speed signs about two or three days before the speeds were due to be raised. A certain STO then spent two days cutting up other speed signs and boltin
  4. The track lengths I was referring to were out in the open plain line, mostly of mid sixties vintage, it seemed that relaying in hardwood sleepers must have come back into fashion for a couple of years then. As apart from tunnels and bridges with shallow ballast, both the younger and older CWR track was all on concrete sleepers. There were a few of sections of softwood jointed left in the 1980's mainly in the slow speed areas around the stations at Rugby and Northampton, and a length in the Down Slow near Denbigh Hall South Junction. I nearly gave the Bletchley North PWSS a heart attack by
  5. There were still long lengths of hardwood Pan11 timber sleepers on the south end of the WCML mainly on the fast lines into the late 1980's. There are still shorter sections over shallow under bridges and through several of the tunnels including both lines at Crick to this day.
  6. South portal of Hunsbury Hill on the HNR?
  7. Partly, but the reason they were willing to accept was that after their adventure in Central America, there was not much money left in Scotland, and there is no point being an MP if the feeding trough you have got your snout in is empty.
  8. Sorry to sound picky but I seem to remember from the days when I had a Load Examiner ticket that there should be six chains or straps on a sixty foot panel.
  9. Always amused me how the railway seemed to keep spelling shew with an e long after the rest of the world moved to using an o.
  10. Could there have been a thought of putting some other traffic at the front of the train to improve control by providing a fitted head? Do I remember reading that the LNER did this for some of their London bound traffic using the bogie brick wagons? Did coal wagons not stay unfitted at least in part because the collieries did not want to be bothered with the brake hoses.
  11. In some ways being in a tunnel is safer, less distractions and the twinkle of light as an approaching train blocks half the light coming in at the end of the tunnel is very noticeable. Most tunnels I have worked in had refuges about every chain, with the refuges on alternate sides of the tunnel. Kilsby tunnel once had a big sign at the south end saying that the refuges were under sized and to spread yourselves out so that only two people would be in each refuge. However with the proper incentive six would fit quite easily. It was strange Kilsby is a wet hole with various coloured slimes runnin
  12. Would not want to stress out the H&S snowflakes would we, although the track staff would probably still be quite happy to use them. It was much the same with the toilets, safety, union and office staff getting worked up over something those getting the toilets flushed over them (including me) did not really care about.
  13. Quite nice looking L1 chairs as Martin says usually found on Long timbers / Waybeams / Wheel Timbers, or in penny numbers at the belly end of switches and just beyond crossings, where there is not enough room for S1/AS1 chairs.
  14. Quite a few elms are still growing, they sucker up from the remaining roots, and grow quite happily until they get to a size that suits the beetle that carries the fungus. They then die back and the process repeats.
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