Finally we have laid the last section of pipe for the up side outlet diversion of culvert 11B at Stanton. So water is now flowing down the new pipe and then into the outlet of 11A by bridge 11. Or it would be, the drier weather towards the end of August has meant very little flow through the bore under the track of 11B.
Thursday 10th August
Eight of the team attending on what is likely to be one of the hottest days this summer.
Roger and Ian first headed to Cheltenham Racecourse to rectify the latest vandalism on the sidings at Hunting Buttings tunnel. This was to replace a GRP blue mesh cess pit lid where one of the retaining brackets had been smashed. Also to remove the lid and other debris which has been deposited in the chamber. This was on the down side near the siding points. As the retaining clips are obviously not strong enough to withstand these attacks; we are planning to order some grated anti-vandal galvanised steel lids with steel brackets to replace any future damage.
|Repaired blue mesh cover at Hunting Butts. [Photo by Ian]|
Meanwhile, our plant operative, Jonathan had taken the telehandler to Stanton. This was to move two 9 ring stacks of catch pit frames from the store by bridge 11 to nearer the third intermediate and the final exit chambers in the new 11B to 11A up side diversion trench.
|The exit chamber with a very neat job for the outflow pipe.|
Nigel was chief mortar and concrete mixer and block cutter. Martin and Andrew adjusted the level of the trench for the next two sections of pipe; and laboriously widened the trench at the points where the pipe collars will go. This length of trench was dug with a narrower digger bucket - but it has the advantage that less pea gravel packing is needed. The Stanton clay is extremely hard - best way to cut out was with lump hammers, crowbars and bolsters. Initially Dave had the important job of manning the 110v pump to drain the third intermediate chamber and the trench beyond it.
|Martin demonstrates the method of widening the trench at the pipe joins.|
|Third intermediate chamber backfilled and ready for fitting of the catch pit rings.|
Unfortunately time defeated us to get more lengths of pipe installed - so the delivered pea gravel was unloaded onto the slop board at track level. Finally the three concrete rings for the entry chamber were extracted from the now long grass and positioned at the top of the embankment by the existing 11B outlet. An attempt to use the telehandler to move these was abandoned as the telehander would not climb the slope up from the field on Gallery Farm crossing.
Wildlife report (all from Stanton)
Insects - to add the abundance of butterflies we noted quite a few damselflies.
Birds - not previously noted are wood pigeons. Also circling above was a flock of gulls.
Thursday 17th August
Again the score on the door was 8 (number of team members attending). However our plant operative, Jonathan, was on loan to the clearance team for excavation work at Chicken Curve.
The remaining magnificent seven (Dave, Nigel, Ian, Stu, Roger, Martin, and Andrew), achieved a major milestone on the 11B to 11A up side diversion at Stanton. Five pipe lengths were laid on the exit end (low mileage) into the exit chamber. The exit chamber was backfilled with concrete and the inlet pipe to it bricked. Then attention turned to the entrance (1200m away), where the last part of the bund was excavated; the final length of pipe laid, bricked into the chamber and the old ditch to the land drain in the adjoining field blocked. So all water coming through the 11B bore now flows along the diversion to enter the 11A exit by the farm track. The storms over the coming weekend should provide the water for this.
|Remains of a pre-railway land drain, so over 120 years old. Not surprisingly filled with clay.|
|The last section of pipe in the final section of the trench - inlet to the outlet chamber.|
|And the very last section of pipe to be laid - the one at the top of the trench, the outlflow from the inlet chamber.|
|And this is the inlet chamber, the entry at the top is the original under track bore of 11B.|
|As it was at Teddy Bear Thursday, Bev the Bear (our team mascot) came along to view progress at Stanton. However, he was issued with a Safety warning for not wearing a hi-vis whilst lineside!|
Thursday 24th August
Attendance down to six today, but hey it is summer holiday time and even volunteers are entitled to time off. (With pay at the same rate, too, zero!).
First was an urgent request to assist with recovery of a road vehicle belonging to the company undertaking bridge inspections. This was stuck fouling the running line near Gotherington. Thunderbirds 1 and 2 attended with Scott, Virgil and Tracy. They successfully cleared the vehicle. Only a ten minute or so delay to the first trains.
Then back to the planned items. One of the transits continued from Gotherington to collect another tonne of pea gravel from Elliot's at Bishops Cleeve. This was taken to Stanton to complete the pipe surround on the new pipe at the entry at culvert 11B.
The three members who hadn't gone to Gotherington completed the additional concrete back fill on the exit chamber of the 11B to 11A up side diversion.
Then with the arrival of the other three members, plus the telehandler; the concrete rings for the entry and exit chambers were lifted into position. Plus the final bricking around the exit pipe on the entry chamber was completed.
|The team (l to r, Nigel, Dave, Martin, Polly, Jonathan) admire the completed inlet chamber. In the end this received four concrete rings - we had one spare from the first intermediate chamber; it was almost obscured by the summer vegetation growth.|
|Using the telehandler to place the concrete rings on the exit chamber.|
|The completed exit chamber.|
|The last stack of rings to go in, Foremarke Hall passes over bridge 11 bound for Broadway.|
Several more common lizards spotted at Stanton (near Gallery Farm crossing); obviously the embankment is ideal environment for them.
Lots of butterflies -various species which we didn't have time to identify
Fruit ripening - blackberries, sloes and a few pears dropping of the trees
Thursday 31st August
Seven of the team working on the last day of (metrological) Summer. The weather forecast was far from summer though.
The main task was to place 10 concrete rings on the third intermediate chamber of the 11B to 11A up side diversion at Stanton. Using the telehandler and a a block & tackle borrowed from S&T this was accomplished safely and with ease in under two hours. The fourth tonne of pea gravel on the latest PO from Elliots was collected and placed around the diversion pipe between the first and second intermediate chambers. The final two tonnes on this purchase order will complete the pipe surround to the exit chamber.
|Not a monster from the deep; but the telehandler with block and tackle attached lowers one of the catch pit concrete rings over the hedge. [Photo by Dave]|
|Final adjustment on ring position.|
|The completed third intermediate chamber - all 10 concrete rings.|
Water was dribbling out the outlet of the diversion; but not enough rain yet for flow from the original bore to enter at the inlet.
|All that is left to do now on the up side at Stanton is to infill the trench - all 1200m of it. Then later this year we will start on the down side.|
|Evidence of toe ditch just discernable on the down side at Little Buckland.|
With the potential for a very wet afternoon (which actually did not happen!) we took the opportunity to undertake a visual inspection of the northern part of the line by riding the train to Broadway and back to Winchcombe.