Permanent Way Blog

Learn what happens with the Permanent way team and the activities that they regularly undertake in order to keep the trackwork in good condition.

If you want to get involved, come along any Sunday for an informal chat or email  [email protected] with your details and we will contact you. 

Training is provided and it's a great way to meet new friends, learn new skills and keep fit.


9th January 2022

The second week of the UpLine renewal and a good turnout of sixteen members of the PW team.

Work commenced with all the old sleepers being lifted out onto the platform and then the chairs taken off with the use of a petrol-driven 'Nutrunner' to undue all the screws holding the chairs in place.

The old sleepers were stacked in the yard and will be made up into 30 foot panels over the next few weeks, these panels have been sold for use elsewhere to hold some static rolling stock.

After a well earned break for dinner, the team were busy in the afternoon using the grab which had now been fitted to the Road Rail Vehicle (RRV) to remove the old ballast from the trackbed and place it into one of the railways Dogfish ballast wagons.

Next week, the remainder of the old ballast will be removed and then work can concentrate on putting the new ballast and track in place.

Old sleepers being placed on the platform to allow the chairs to be removed
Brenden Hill

2nd January 2022 - UpLine Removal

Our permanent way department takes great pride in the standard of the railway's permanent way. At this time of year and with no passenger trains running, its an opportune time to carry out routine maintenance tasks and also undertake those larger tasks. The first major work for the start of 2022, is the replacement of worn rail and life expired wooden sleepers in the upline platform.

Planning was undertaken in the weeks leading up to the work to ensure that all the required rolling stock was in the correct position within the PW train and prior to the start of the work, all rolling stock was removed from both the down and uplines in order to give the PW members full access to the upline in the station area.

The first task was to remove all the rail clips holding the rails into the chairs, once these had been removed, the rail is then 'loose' although still located in the chairs. The fishplates are removed and then using a petrol-driven angle grinder, the rails were cut into 30-foot lengths and have been sold for use at another location. The rails were then lifted out of the chairs and positioned into two of our Grampus wagons to enable their removal from the working area. 

NB. Working with heavy rail and machinery can be potentially hazardous. All PW members are briefed ahead of the work to be conducted, wear safety clothing and hard hats when any lifting is taking place on the work site and ensure that at all times the work is conducted using safe systems of work.

Upline prior to the commencement of the work
Brenden Hill