Ignoring the people who think that the railway runs on thin air and we raid a box of monopoly money when we need to replace something the following was taken from a permanent way update.
It’s worth reflecting that track components are expensive. New bullhead rail (forget serviceable bullhead rail from off the network, its like rocking horse droppings – non-existent!) is currently costing £1252.00 per 60ft length. New timber sleepers are costing £55.00 each and ballast is approaching £40.00 per tonne. To relay a quarter of a mile of track you need forty-four rails, five hundred and fifty sleepers and almost 700 tonnes of ballast. That’s a bill of over £100K and that doesn’t include any small materials such as chairs and screws, heavy plant, labour etc. It can be done cheaper using serviceable concrete sleepers (circa £25 each) and serviceable flat bottom rail (circa £500 each if available) but you need a deeper dig and more ballast (approx. 150 tonnes) to fit the concrete sleepers in. Expensive whichever way you go.
And that ladies and gentlemen is why donations are always welcome. Should you wish to donate to the railway you will find a link at the top of the railways main web site. Click HERE to go directly there.
Just remember the above if you’re one of our regular non-paying visitors.
The Fletton loop is an important part of the railway, it’s our link to the outside world railway wise.
From time to time we run trips for visitors down it, normally either with brake vans or the Swedish railcar. We even did a weekend of cab rides in a couple of class 31’s down there, they were extremely popular.
But it’s rare that we put the MK1 coaches down there, and when we do they are top and tailed as there is no run round at the far end.
So last weekend was the Three Peaks diesel gala, and one of the highlights on the Saturday and Sunday were two trips for the Mk1’s down the Fletton loop each of the two days with peak locomotives at one end and a class 14 at the other.
They were popular and I have seen lots of positive comments.
Here are some pictures sent to me by Harry Wheeler who was visiting the railway and he took them on the Fletton loop.
My thanks to him for sending the pictures they are much appreciated.
If you visit the railway and have any pictures you would like to send me for the blog then I would love to receive them. Please send them with full details to the email address for comments that’s on the right had side of the blog.
One question that’s often asked by visitors is what’s passed between the driver and the crew as they pass the signal boxes.
The answer is they are passing the staff. This is given to the driver and authorises the train to proceed, and ensures there is only one train in section at any one time.
The sections are:- Wansford to Yarwell. Wansford to Orton Mere. Orton Mere to Peterborough Nene Valley. Orton Mere to Fletton Junction.
The staff for each section is unique, and here are pictures of them plus the ticket that’s also used between Wansford to Orton Mere. This is to enable a another train to go between Wansford and Orton Mere after the first has gone out of section. The ticket goes with the first train and the staff with the second.
Not easy things to loose. They are an essential part of the safety when running trains on a single line.