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The Ramchester Chronicles


HSB
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Today I made a little more progress towards getting Ramchester sorted out after the rebuild. On Tuesday Howard had done more work ballasting and doing a bit more to the scenery while I built a new brick base for the shed. 

 

Today I decided to paint the new fascia board and purchased a tin of the same stuff that I had used previously. On opening the tin I discovered that the new paint was considerably darker than the original and even allowing for the fact that it might dry a little lighter it was far too dark. So wielding the paint brush I painted the whole fascia from end to end although doubtless some of it will need a second coat in places where I have applied the paint too thinly or managed to miss a bit (with my eyesight this is highly lightly). We will see tomorrow when it has had time to dry. 

 

Rod

 

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Another session this afternoon. While Howard was busy with a bit more scenic work I managed to mess up the new hut base so I decided to start again.

 

After a cup of tea Howard took over the hut base while I grabbed my paint brush and gave the fascia a second coat of paint. Although it is darker than originally painted I feel that it looks much better than it did before.

 

More anon.

 

Rod

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

It's about three weeks since our last update but we have been plodding away on Ramchester although we haven't had as many sessions on it as usual due to other things getting in the way!

I have nearly finished the shed to go over the point motor which Rod started while he is building cardboard mock-ups of a factory/warehouse to go beside the new front siding. Unfortunately we have yet to decide what industry it will be which is not helped by a lack of pictures of suitable lineside industries despite owning several hundred railway books between us!

I have also been working on a curved section of retaining wall. As this leans back slightly I have not used a single sheet for this section as the radius at the top is slightly larger than at the bottom.

 

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Edited by HSB
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  • 2 weeks later...

At last the retaining wall has been fastened into position which just leaves the curved end near the recently installed hut to be built. It will need to be covered in shone sheeting and painted when Howard has built the curved en. This he will do in the same manner as he did for the other end of the wall. Some pictures are posted here to illustrate progress so far.

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The retaining wall which has just been glued and pinned into place when the picture was taken.

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The curved end was made by using thin strips of wood (coffee stirrers or lollipop sticks) glued into place and later covered with thin card.

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The hut covering the point motor has also now been fitted and the step up into the shed glued into place. Final finishing in the form of tufts will be fitted shortly.

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The brick base to the hut is clearly shown here while the sand bunker is covering the angle crank which transmits the motors throw to the tie bar.

 

So this is progress to date. More anon.

 

Rod

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I've started bedding in the hut today and also made a little bit more progress on the retaining wall while Rod has been doing a bit of ballasting.

 

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4 hours ago, Brian Harrap said:

Who or what lives in that hole under the track?

B

Actually, it's our resident troll but he only comes out at night! :crazy:

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A little more progress this week and the troll is nearly boxed in! :acute: I've also planted a bit more vegetation around the hut while Rod has done a bit more ballasting in the sidings.

 

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Those bins are not for ballast or sand. They are chippings bins, and used to contain chippings to pack sleepers which have dropped below their original position. On the gang we had to do this regularly, on what were known as "dippy joints" (sleepers dropped either side of a fished rail joint) or "washy beds" (where poor drainage had caused a soft formation). The chippings down here were a very hard blue elvan and about 1/2 inch in size, usually a blue-grey in colour.

 

John

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Basically the bin is just there to hide the crank to the point and neither of us were sure what it should contain! I'll have to look through Rod's stock of 'ballast' to see what will look most like chippings.

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Sorry, Rod and Howard, I hope I didn't come across like a grumpy inspector! I love Ramchester and have followed every post with great interest and enthusiasm for this wonderful layout.

 

It's just that I worked out of Newton Abbot on the NA2 gang back in 1974 and so got a good education first-hand on the work of the track gangs. Digging compacted ballast out of the four-foot is a good way of building muscle, that' for sure.

 

John

NA2 Gang 1974 Web.jpg

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13 hours ago, John R Smith said:

Sorry, Rod and Howard, I hope I didn't come across like a grumpy inspector! I love Ramchester and have followed every post with great interest and enthusiasm for this wonderful layout.

 

It's just that I worked out of Newton Abbot on the NA2 gang back in 1974 and so got a good education first-hand on the work of the track gangs. Digging compacted ballast out of the four-foot is a good way of building muscle, that' for sure.

 

John

NA2 Gang 1974 Web.jpg

John, am I correct in thinking that small cans were used for measured packing or am I imagining it?

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Hello

 

Yes, you are correct, there was a measure - a bit like a metal tankard with a handle - which was used. So there was a "one-can pack", a "two-can pack" and so forth. However, by the early 1970s this practice had all but ceased, and the gangs were using exterior grade hardboard (!) instead. This was in pre-cut rectangles the size of a sleeper end, and these were slid under the sleeper once it had been jacked up to just above the correct level. So now you had a "one-board pack" etc. This was actually a pretty rubbish way of doing things, because the hardboard, unlike the chippings, was not free draining, and so water accumulated under it often making things worse. In bad places on our length we had sleeper ends jacked up on a great pile of soggy hardboard.

 

The advent of CWR and the abolition of fished joints pretty much put an end to all this, but the old chipping bins lingered for a long while. In 2008 I was commissioned by West Devon BC to survey the old Bere Alston to Tavistock ex-SR line to assess it for possible reopening. Amazingly, in amongst the enclosing undergrwth at one point I found a chipping bin with its contents intact (after 41 years since closure).

 

John

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While Howard was busy slicing up the embossed stones for the wall I busied myself in removing the sand from the gravel bin next to the hut. Today I hope to replace it with fine granite chipping in line with what John Smith indicated in an earlier post.

 

Rod 

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