Thursday May 13th
Sleepers were laid out onto the branch line formation closely followed by two more panels of track.
Friday May 14th
The gang proceeded to drop ballast between the sleepers so that the new track could be slewed into the correct position and then lifted and packed. This was achieved by loading wheelbarrows and then barrowing the ballast onto the new track.
Also on Friday the hole was dug for the new branch exit signal post. The Great Central Railway's (GCR) signal and telegraph (S&T) department then erected the signal on Friday afternoon.
Saturday May 15th
We were joined today by six volunteers from the GCR's volunteer permanent way (P-Way) group. Thanks to Steve Saunders and his team for coming to work on the branch! Together with our own volunteers we had 25 people working on the trackbed at various times throughout the day. We were able to complete the lifting and packing of the last two panels. With plenty of wheelbarrows and people to help, we were able to barrow more ballast onto the newly laid track.
Tracklaying has also been mentioned on the websites of the GCR and Railway Vehicle Preservations.
We would like to thank all those who have worked on the project over this last week. This has included the GCR P-Way staff, GCR volunteers, S&T for erecting the signal, and our own project volunteers. The entire week has been a real team effort. Everyone has worked really hard to complete our first section of track. This is only the beginning though: with your help we can reach Mountsorrel!
We need a mile and a quarter of track to reach the end of the branch at Bond Lane. With budgetary cuts having a serious effect on the rail industry at the moment, potential second hand track sources are becoming increasingly difficult to come by at an affordable price. Nevertheless we have identified a potential source but we urgently need funds to secure this. Cuts are likely to continue for many years to come so this may be our last chance to secure the track we need at an affordable price. If you are able to support our track appeal please donate as soon as you can. Little and large amounts are gratefully received: whatever you can afford. Every donation takes us closer to completing the railway. We can only complete the railway with your help!