Latest page update - Tuesday 21st February 2017

 

 

January 2013 Week 1

The first proper visit of a new year looking south in 2013, hopefully the year that the extension opens. On Friday 4th January little seems to have changed, but on closer inspection ...
... the signal is working! We waited but no train appeared. ;-)

p.s. The camera is skew whiff, the signal vertical.

 

Looking north from Imberhorne Lane bridge lots is happening. They appear to be widening the cutting (we always said it was a tight squeeze)!

In fact it was so interesting we took a video which is available on YouTube http://youtu.be/C7S0vjSOslk . Take a look!

 

The digger is, as previously suggested, having to work over the edge.
Here we can see how much they are cutting away - this shows better on the video. I think it only fair to ask if minor falls are going to be a common sight on this stretch of line for the next few years? Rather like the early years of the London - Brighton. They fixed that problem by building a half mile long wall that still exists to this day!
So where is the extra rubbish going? It is being transported in the blue lorry to the pile beside the entrance.
On Monday 7th January we start at East Grinstead Bluebell Station looking at the foundations for the new water tank.
Breeze blocks have been delivered and the sides filled in with earth and ballast. It looks like work is about to start.
Several hundred Metres of rail are also ready to be laid, but...
.. is the ground stable enough to accept the new rails?

Last week we were getting all optimistic but in the cold hard light of this new week with drizzle all around it is beginning to look difficult to finish the job in just over two months time.

We agree that the Bluebell can't yet state whether the line will open in March..

Take a look at the quagmire below..

 

.. where the side of the cutting was scraped away just a few days ago.
Indeed look even closer and this photo shows piles of sticky wet clay, there was a drain under there last week!

If it stops raining - and that was the forecast for today - then the air is still far too wet to allow the clay to dry.

Ask your wife if the washing is drying at present!

On the southern side of Imberhorne bridge there are signs of progress as work starts to lay the line right up to Imberhorne Lane bridge. Leaving just a 200 Metre gap.

Let's all hope for dry and windy weather to help dry out the whole area.

On Tuesday 8th we start in a different location, the old station site at West Hoathly.
Here they are working to load from their even diminishing stock of ballast ready to transport it north. There is a video of the activity on YouTube http://youtu.be/TTo8AxeL8NE .
Now after our diversion we are at the old Imberhorne bridge where the ballast will soon be delivered.
But there is still a mighty lot of mud to work around. This mini-digger looks very lonely here!
The earth bridge seems to be getting a bit smaller. I would expect this to be removed soon.
Once work is completed transporting the "stuff" back to the other side of the cutting.

A second video from Tuesday is available at http://youtu.be/0orHz_MSFFQ .

 

Wednesday 9th January. The drain now extends to just under Imberhorne Lane Bridge. Although not photographed there has been a delivery of ballast to the West Hoathly site.
The ballast arrives by train and is then distributed by digger and lorry.
Now looking the other way the biggest advance is that the earth bridge is on its way down. People don't like speculation so I shall.

I reckon that the earth bridge will be removed just in time to clear the way and allow delivery of the pre-made rail sections from the northern end without needing to take them off railway property.

Installation will then start from the south.

The earth bridge that stands in the way of access from the north. The only problem 100 Metres of sticky gooey mud!
Which is being removed. A long video on YouTube at http://youtu.be/7KuazciHJl0 .
See what we mean about mud?
We start Thursday's visit with a visit to another new location to take a look at the work to demolish the old East Grinstead BR station.
But Bluebell members will be more interested in this, the new parh that will eventually connect the two stations. The path will turn to the left here to go behind the crash barrier and continue along to connect with the Bluebell Railway station.
A quick look at the new water tower which has had concrete lintels put in and breeze blocks sandwiched between them.
Just one more look today. There is a video on YouTube at http://youtu.be/DTVVrAEH0LI .
On Friday 11th January 2013 the road rail crane works to deposit soil and ballast at the north.
Collecting it from here beside the accommodation bridge.
At the south they deposit more ballast from West Hoathly onto the new track.
If you look at the earth bridge it might appear that the line will soon be clear...
... but a look from the other end shows the large triangular pile of waste still needing to be removed. The pile is quite deep, perhaps 30 or 40 metres from front to back with the earth bridge just visible in the distance. Picture taken into today's sun so lacking contrast, sorry.

Link to following week

 

 

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