Making a Point

At the end of October, a healthy number of volunteers met at the railway for the usual maintenance day. This time, we began replacing the point sleepers which we had previously cut ready for the task. Our efforts were focused on the arrivals point and the throat point at Depot Approach.

Sleepers laid out ready

The arrivals point needed all but three sleepers changed and so it made sense to lift the point out. Whilst the point was removed, we cleared the ballast out from it’s location (necessary to relay it) and took the opportunity to clean it. We also replaced the disconnection box on this point while we were there too.

Fixing the point back in place

The throat point only needed a few sleepers replaced and with room available to slide them out the side, the point did not need lifting. We found it was rather difficult sliding the new sleepers under the rails as they are twice the depth of the original. To get the extra depth, earth and stone had to be carefully removed from a precise area whilst the rails provided an obstruction to any tool used to do this. Also noted was the large amount of dirt which found its way to the surface.

Dirt removal

We were trying to save material by replacing the sleepers in worst condition first, however, our experience with the throat point has told us it would be much better to lift the entire point and replace all of the sleepers in one go.

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