Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wakebridge 23rd December

1. An air line is being used to blow away dirt and debris.
2. Looking southwards.
3. Looking northwards.
4. The brand new points.
To answer the comment: concrete although tarmac is planned for Town End.Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wakebridge 17th December

These two pictures were taken nearly a week ago. Since then all the rail has been placed in position and bent, welded, clipped and tied as necessary. This morning just two fish plate joints were outstanding and a general tidy up was being carried out prior to the Christmas break. Work is scheduled to start again on 5th January.
I have been impressed by the track work at Wakebridge and am looking forward to seeing its completion in the New Year. My thoughts inevitably turn to what next?
I personally would like to see a scissors crossover at Town End. Whilst Wakebridge has been a like for like replacement I think that alternative track layouts should be discussed for Town End - the present layout was dictated by materials to hand nearly 50 years ago. My design objectives would be
1. level track for at least two trams at the reversing point
2. kerbside loading and unloading (many of our customers are elderly)
3. a separate level loading and unloading point for Berlin 3006 and any future single sided access trams
4. in the long term move the printing office sideways to give better clearances (this could be bundled in with the Ripley Police Station project)
For these reasons I would like a scissors crossover. I know that Ivan and his team will rise to the challenge so how about it? What do you think?

Thanks for your comments Colin, and for your support for a Scissors Crossover at Town End.

The only curved rails delivered to Wakebridge were short sections of Ri 60 that formed part of the point assemblies. The curved northbound track was made from straight lengths of 35G taken from the stack at Cabin Crossing. This was cut to length and then welded before being bent by the hydraulic jim crow. The technique used was the same as we used thirty years ago but to greater precision. Balfour Beatty also claim that the modern jim crow produces a better result because it acts on the foot of the rail as well as the web and the head.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Wakebridge 16th December (2)

1. This a a rail bender known as a jim crow. The aerosol paint is used to mark the position of each useage -years ago we used chalk.

2. The jim crow in action.
3. Behind the Thermit weld the tie bars have been laid out ready for use.
4. John, Ivan, Peter, Steve.

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Wakebridge 16th December (1)

The brand new set of Edgar Allen points was delivered on Saturday 13th, December.
1. The new points have already been laid out.
2. The cast crossing still has a delivery label on it.
3. Lawrence Dutton, John Shawcross, Ivan from Balfour Beatty and Peter Bird.
4. Special fishplates for joining an Ri 60 profile casting to 35G rail.Posted by Picasa

The Journal

A small team of volunteers picked and packed (or stuffed) the January issue of the Journal this morning so you should be receiving yours soon. When I was editor I always used to spot a mistake the first time I saw a printed copy no matter how carefully we had checked it. The same thing happened today. Somehow the last paragraphs of my article, Trams in Siberia, has changed from
This article has been cobbled together from my internet blog. For more details and lots of pictures go to and click on the link for Trams in Siberia.
Ian Longworth has sent an outline of next years proposed trips:
Trams & Trolleys of Sofia (Bulgaria) - 23rd to 27th April 2009. Visiting: Sofia, Pernik, Pazardzhik, and Plovdiv.
Trams & Trolleys of the Crimea & Donbass, Ukraine - 14th or 16th to 28th June or 3rd July 2009. Visiting: Sevastopol, Kerch, Yalta, Simferopol, Yevpatoriya, Molochnoye, Mariupol, Donetsk, Kramatorsk, Druzhkovka, Avdeyevka, Konstantinovka, Yenakievo, Uglegorsk, and Lugansk. Then either Gorlovka, or Krasnodon, Antracit, Stakhanov, Alcevsk, Lisichansk, Severodonetsk, Slavyansk, Dobropolye, Artemovsk, Khartsyzsk, Makeyevka, Donetsk, and Gorlovka.
The Tramways of Iberia - 29th September to 13th October 2009. Visiting: Bordeaux, Vitoria, Madrid, Velez Malaga, Lisbon, Sintra, Coimbra, Porto, La Coruna, and Bilbao.
Contact: Ian Longworth on 01942 815233 or
I think Ian is planning a trip to Ukraine next year. For details contact him or 01942 815233.
I wonder how this happened? I suspect the control freaks on the Board of Management of the Tramway Museum Society.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wakebridge 12th December (2)

1. The heating and bending process is virtually complete.
2. The modified shape of the end of the rail can clearly be seen.
3 & 4. The foot of the Ri 60 rail is slightly wider than 35G so a chalk mark is made and it is trimmed to size.
5. The rails were then Termit welded and here is the result on 17th Dec.Posted by Picasa

Wakebridge 12th December (1)

Two different types of rail are being used on this project, Ri 60 and 35G from Sheffield Supertram. The main difference between them is the height of the web. To enable them to be welded together, the web of the larger Ri 60 is hydraulically squashed so that it will accept a 35G mould.
1. The Ri 60 rail is on the left.
2. The hydraulic press is in place.
3. The foot and the web of the rail is heated from both sides.
4. The foot of the rail is starting to bend.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Leeds & London

1 & 2. Leeds 180 has had all its seats removed ready for re-upholstering.

3 & 4. London Transport 1622 was moved into the workshop this afternoon allowing me to get a picture of a London tram on a traverser.
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A quiet morning

Three pictures taken as I walked back from Wakebridge this morning. Thanks to Peter Bird and John Markham for pointing out errors in my Thermit welding story. These have been corrected.

In reply to Steve's comment:
'Hi Steve nice to hear from you. All the Thermit welds were done using moulds suitable for modern Ri 60 or 35G rail and I think that Balfour Beatty procured the kits. To the best of my knowledge the only other Thermit welding at Crich was by contractors on 35G rail.
Best wishes for Christmas and 2009.
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Wakebridge 10th December

1. The completed rail joint.
2. Unfortunately I didn't see this grinding machine in action.

3. Looking southwards.
4. Another power tool - a rail saw.Posted by Picasa