The aim for this week is to install the junction point, an additional catch point at the start of the branch, plus up to five panels of track beyond. This will take the head of steel on to the branch line, approximately half way around the long curve near to the GCR junction. This is a tremendous milestone for our volunteers who have worked so hard over the last two and a half years to bring the project to this point.
Progress yesterday (Tuesday 11 May)
By 2.30pm yesterday afternoon the junction point was in and packed. The shorter rails needed to close the gap between the point and the end of the loop had also been cut, drilled and fitted. Volunteers were starting to lay out the sleepers for the first track panel, to take track through the branch gates and onto the branch itself.
Later yesterday afternoon the first panel of track was laid, taking the head of steel right up to the branch gate. This was followed by the laying of the catch point which took track back onto the Mountsorrel Railway for the first time in 50 years!
Progress today (Wednesday 12 May)
There was much work to do this morning before additional track could be laid. This morning’s work focused on further lifting and packing of the the junction point and the new section of rail in the the loop. This was achieved by jacking the rails and then using shovels to pack the ballast underneath. Good numbers of volunteers helped to complete this task relatively quickly. By lunchtime the track in the loop was effectively complete although the point still needs its point blade operation mechanism installing so that it can be set to allow trains onto the branch.
This afternoon's work was focusing on slewing the first panel of branch track and the catch point, achieved by levering bars into the ballast.
We would like to thank all those who have worked on the track laying this week, and the GCR volunteers, staff and management for their support and assistance. We must also thank Andy Higginson and Alan Brassey who have devoted a great deal of time over the past couple of months arranging and planning the work. We couldn't have done it without you.
Currently we only have the funds to buy and lay five panels of track this week. Further tracklaying depends on donations.
Would you consider donating to the Mountsorrel Railway track appeal, so trains can run again from the Great Central Railway to Mountsorrel?
Please see the Mountsorrel Railway track appeal donation form for more information. You can help by donating whatever money you can afford, for example:
- You could sponsor one or more sleepers at £15 each
- You could sponsor one or more lengths of rail at £180 each
- You could setup a standing order donation to the appeal, which would help reopen the Mountsorrel Railway even sooner