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The Mountsorrel Railway is part of the Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre. This website is no longer updated. For updates see:

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Branch Line Restoration Progress

Our track volunteers have spent the past 6 months "fettling" the ballast around the track. The ballast is very important to a railway as it holds the track in place. The process is a painstaking task which involves shovelling up excess ballast onto trolleys for transport to other parts of the track where there is not enough. The shoulders either side of the track need to be supported, especially on the tight curves. Our volunteers have worked very hard at this and the process is finally complete.

There was one area close to the Swithland Lane bridge where there was a small hump in the track. The only way to deal with this was to shovel all the ballast away, jack the track up so that ballast under the sleepers could be removed, which allows the track to sit lower.

Ballast is hard to shovel and with some 20 tons to dig out were lucky to draft help form AON Insurance who were running a volunteer day for their staff. A team of 14 AON volunteers consisting of 10 ladies and 4 men came to help with the process. There is sometimes the misconception that ballast work is a heavy job best suited to big strapping lads, but the girls from AON certainly dispelled that myth and on a very hot day managed to remove all the ballast from the track!

With help from our track volunteers the track was lowered, the hump removed and the line repacked with ballast and ready for trains.

A big thanks goes to AON for their help!

This means that the track is complete along the full length of the line with the exception of the final 100m which is still to lay at Mountsorrel Halt.

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