Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sunny day at Broadway

Saturday 19th September

There were 10 Volunteers on site today.  The weather started dull and misty but by lunchtime the sun had broken through and some useful progress was made by the end of the day.


John B, the railway's bridges engineer, spent most of the day at Broadway discussing next Wednesday's staircase demolition with Roger and Jim. The plan is for the staircases to be carefully craned onto their sides so that any remaining wood and the saveable/ re-usable cast iron can be removed and then they will be cut up where they lay.
This is the reason why they have to go, the rust has eaten through the metal. The corrosion on the inside of the stringers where the steelwork was hidden by the wooden treads which trapped the moisture is just as bad and of course is along the whole length of the stringer.
While "John the bridge" was on site he took the opportunity to have a look at the most recent bridge strike on Evesham Road bridge which happened last Saturday. Fortunately two volunteers heard the bang and were close enough to get some details before the vehicle was driven away. Apparently the noise of a bridge strike is an unmistakeable sound.

The end is nigh for the two main supporting towers for the footbridge. At the north end of the site Peter was busy cutting up the two main supporting towers which unfortunately are too badly rusted through to be reused. Phil and Jim assisted and barrowed the cut up lengths to the skip which is now full. By the end of the day only the two blanking panels remained to be dealt with.
Lamppost Jo as you've never seen him before! The sunny weather today provided an excellent climate for painting and Jo took the opportunity to apply the first coat of undercoat to the lampposts that were acquired in July.
Keith looked after the bric-a-brac shop and remained remarkably cheerful despite a low footfall during the morning. Things did pick up a bit after lunch however. It must have been the sunshine which brought them out. It was glorious!

And now for something completely different?; it was for Robin today! An opportunity to try his hand at mixing the muck (or mortar or compo or whatever it might be in your neck of the woods) which he did very well after some initial tuition about what the strength was and what the consistency should be like, "creamy" was the word used I think.

The point of all the mixing was to enable progress to be made on the main station building. The morning was spent building the remaining internal walls up to finished floor level and during the afternoon the two brickies working today concentrated on bringing the south end external wall up to the same level and this was achieved just before close of play.
John, our Construction Manager, said he was very satisfied with the day's work which is good to hear


  1. Just a thought. As the GWSR owns land adjacent to the bridge, could not a big sign be erected either side with a graphic image of a bridge strike, with a warning 'is your vehicle too high' in day glow colours? I appreciate, not very sympathetic to the preservation theme, but perhaps someone has a better idea?

  2. What great progress has been made by the Broadway Area Group during the summer! The Signal Box is nearing completion and looks splendid. The Station Building construction has now started in earnest.
    The Queen’s Award seems very timely, to acknowledge all the hardworking Volunteers on the Railway.
    Bill Britton

    1. Regarding bridge strikes, what about having cameras trained on vehicles passing underneath both ways, with a vibration sensor on the steelwork. Any strike would send shock waves throughout picked up by the sensor to active a recording. Then warning signs to inform that cameras are in operation.

    2. I think if cameras were mounted on the bridge itself, triggered to operate only when a bridge strike happened, they'd probably just photograph the roof of the vehicle as it scraped underneath.

      The one piece of vital info needed is the registration number, which could only be seen from a high angle when the vehicle is a fair distance away. So the camera would have to be set up to take a photo when the vehicle is a few yards up the road.

      I suppose it could be done (camera activated by impact, but timed to actually take a photo a few seconds later?) but I suspect it wouldn't be a foolproof solution. I think the result would be lots of photos that weren't taken at quite the right moment, and didn't show a useful image. It would probably take a few bridge strikes to fine-tune the distance/timing perameters anyway.

      I think preventing bridge strikes in the first place is probably the best way forward.

      There's probably no more to be done in terms of warning signs - there are already large signs on the B4632 on the approaches to the bridge. But all the signs in the world won't make any difference if drivers don't heed them.

      I think a steel beam or similar across the road, just in front of the bridge, to give vehicles something to hit that's not the bridge itself, is probably going to be the only long-term solution. Network Rail has done this on many bridges around the country, so the effectiveness of this solution is pretty much proved, I'd say.

      It's a crude solution in some ways, I suppose, but I think there's no need to re-invent the wheel on this one - just do what the big railway knows works!