Progress on completing the track ballasting and carrying out Tamping has been held up for over a month now due to awaiting available supplies of stone. Funding is in place, but freshly quarried stone hasn't been readily available to us due to supplier priorities to bigger volume customers; the same problem has also affected possibilities of obtaining secondhand ballast from NR at Basford Hall in Crewe.
Once ballast deliveries recommence, potentially this week/next week then a Tamper can be hired in.
Fabrication of the station platform has proved to be more time consuming off site by the builder than originally anticipated, and some adjustment to the foundation levels as well as some earthworks testing work has needed to be made to finalise the detailed interface with the reinstatement of the embankment following the completion of the recent flood relief culvert project.
In the meantime, progress has been made with closing out 'snagging' items on all the track between Carrog and Bonwm Halt. The initial list of 89 items has been reduced to around 40 at present. Works have included boxing off ballast shoulders, building up the level crossing decks, cleaning out some culverts and improving catchpit spillways that were blocked with debris following excessive waterflows from some partially collapsed A5 highway drain outfalls during last winter's heavy rain, as well as a host of other minor tweaking and tidying up jobs needed before Tamping can take place. One such tweaking exercise has been the Thermite welding of rail joints on Bridges 27 & 28 to eliminate risk of rail hammering under traffic and reduce long-term maintenance liabilities for the bridges.
Subject to guaranteed ballast deliveries enabling the hire of a Tamper, parallel with on-site platform works and completion of snagging should enable a train service to commence to and from Corwen this summer. Initially a low key DMU shuttle might be run for the first few weeks to aid train crew familiarisation with the route and allow the new track to bed in. The shuttle would connect with the existing steam service at Carrog, and once a propelling vehicle has been approved to operate by the ORR a steam service will then run throughout.
interim report from LR's Civil Engineer' June 2014.
June Extension Update
One of the drainage snag works in progress between Carrog and Bonwm
Below are some shots of the vintage Ruston RB19 crane loading the ballast hopper wagons at Carrog Station Car Park on June 23rd.
Because Carrog Station is the Railway's present terminus station and it is now high season, these transshipments must be timed around the day-time presence of cars and coaches in the car park.
1500 tons of ballast delivered by 40 ton HGV tipper wagon presents a logistical challenge to the volunteer workers, drivers and Carrog Station staff.
Today's pictures represent the first three of what will be a total of 47 deliveries of ballast with each lorry load carrying 32 tons to make up 1500 tons.