July 13th, 2016

Building Bridges – July 2016

I recently  had some time out from the railway, and upon my return one of my first ports of call was the foot bridge; what had the guys achieved whilst I was away? When I looked at the bridge, everything seemed to be covered with a thick layer of greasy soot, apparently from the Steam Gala. It took me a few moments to get my bridge-spotters eye in.

It turns out the team had been very busy; their work – being of such a high standard with the new-for-old replacement work, then painted green and overlaid with a thick layer of soot – made it very hard to spot, but the main giveaway was the use of bolts instead of rivets, though even these are getting harder to spot in places (the team are using dome-head nuts which, when painted, look like rivets.)

I asked our bridge engineer how things were progressing and he said, in a very Churchill-like voice, it is not the end of the work, but the beginning of the end – I’m sure I have heard that before. On closer inspection, after stripping away the paint some of the original riveted reinforcing strap pieces were found to be internally corroded, and these sections are being cut out, new sections fabricated and subsequently fitted.

Lots of progress, new decking fitted, more replacement of wasted metal, and one of two smoke deflectors fitted.

Chris Travers