Trams and Tribulations…..

After the hectic seasonal whirlwind that was Santa we turned our attention to those winter jobs that had been waiting quietly in the background. One of these jobs was the replacement and relaying of the tram track nearest to Horsehay Pool. When it was first installed it more resembled trainset set track with a curve then a straight then another curve then a straight and made for quite an interesting ride. Now that we had to lift the entire track to re-sleeper this stretch it was decided to dig out the bending tools and set to in providing one continuous curve. So out came the entire track along the bottom stretch with the old bed being scraped away. A fresh ballast bed was then installed along with the new sleepers. Next came the tricky bit in aligning the track in to a continuous curve without losing the current length. Once we were happy with the lie of the rails they were spiked to the sleepers, ballasted, jacked, fettled then tamped. To add to the excitement we gave ourselves a deadline of the Heritage Railway Association visit with the track work only being completed the day before they arrived. When our VIP guests got to have their ride you couldn’t tell that only 24hrs previously the track wasn’t connected or finished. At one point on the Saturday, with the work gang getting soaked by that fine rain, the stuff that makes you wet, someone was heard to mutter ‘we must be mad’. In the minds of like-minded preservationists then yes, we most definitely are.

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