02 March 2017
Ron Walker, scribe to the Drains Gang, reports on the February working party on the Ffestiniog Railway.
With the old Mess portacabin now gone we used the new mess for the first time.
Our first job was to remove the deposit of lime mortar dropped on to our trackside drain during the recent re-roofing of the goods shed at Minffordd yard – we carefully removed the top layer and replaced it with clean ballast.
Second job of the day was up to Tan-y-Bwlch Bottom points where our trackside drain had been pulled up during the recent track relay – this job was made easier as the fence had been removed ready for renewal.
Sunday we had a train from the top end of Tan-y-Bwlch up to Tunnel South, where we had put in a replacement pipe nearly two years ago – getting to the remote site with a works train for a few hours is not easy. The new pipe had been overgrown by the fern and grass which we removed first then back filled with new ballast. This area has been refenced, but the old fence and post were still waiting for removal. With a party of nine people, we loaded all the old fence, wire and posts that we could, with still more yet to be removed.
We then went down to 9miles 14 chains (Bunnys’ Foot Crossing) to remove the old concrete pipe. With no room in the wagons to take them away, we then lined the trench with terram and laid the new plastic pipe in, and covered it up with what little clean ballast we had. Bitterly cold wind on this exposed part of the line last weekend !