Monday, August 23, 2010

Croydon (4)

The trams thread their way slowly through Croydon town centre.

We had seen notices that the town centre loop will be closed for a week and following my first posts I received this email from Graham Feakins. We are now back in Ripley but I will ask him to send us some pictures of the work.

You were lucky - the town centre loop is closed from today until 1st September for "Track Improvement Works" (don't you love that phrase!), despite the fact that the sections being worked upon, with rail replacement in places, were only relaid two years ago!

On the George Street corner, where the line curves in from Wellesley Road towards East Croydon, there is an enormous HSE-oriented palaver.
Railway sleepers are placed across both tracks just east of the curve and a tram is parked on what is now a stub (think Town End by the shelter) simply to house a high-viz pointsman with the longest point iron I have ever seen (as tall as the pointsman). His job is to set the trailing crossover points so that reversing trams from East Croydon on the westbound track can run back to East Croydon! None of your sprung-loaded stuff here or letting the drivers of their own trams change the points!
Beyond the sleepers is a corrugated iron fence surrounding "THE WORKS". Within its confines are some twelve bright orange-suited chaps employed by Volker-Rail standing about watching one hand-pushed rail grinder (linked to a gauging trolley on the other rail) at work on the curve. There are also section-breakers in the overhead on both wires between the crossover and the curve. This has 'permanent' earthing clamps and dropper cables to and clamped in the tracks to isolate the section concerned but personally, I cannot see the possible hazard between work on the rails and the overhead. I had a word or two to say to them about the palaver and they just looked at me in total disbelief. They are not, so far as I can see, going to replace the rail here for a third time.
For pictures of some London buses we saw and DLR click on this link.  Posted by Picasa

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