Updates on rebuilding of the Canterbury & District Model Engineering Society Track will appear here
We are very grateful to all local residents, Model Engineering Societies around the country, local businesses and other interested parties for the fantastic and overwelming support we have recieved since our track was damaged !
Having just received the very timely payment from the Just
Giving Crowd Funding page courtesy of Chris Holloway, CDMES Chairman Paul
Kemp sends the following message:-
Over the last week having taken delivery of the new rail and
with all other preparations complete, laying the replacement track has
commenced and is progressing well. There is still much to be done but if
the weather holds and we can continue at the current rate we will be well on
target to be back up and running in May. Whilst the rapid progress with
the physical work has been down to a dedicated band of members it has only been
made possible by the generosity and support of the local and wider community,
other model engineering and model railway groups, individuals, Brett's and of
course Chris Holloway who initiated the just giving page that became a focal
point for donations from some incredible people and generated over £1,700.
We are extremely grateful to all who have shown support and made
contributions towards the repairs. The insurance claim has now been
agreed but as yet has not been settled so the funds from the just giving appeal
will be crucial in ensuring repairs can continue. Words of thanks on a web site
or printed page seem a rather small thing in acknowledging the incredible
generosity and support we have received. Therefore based on the progress
we have made so far we are provisionally planning an official re-opening of the
line for Saturday 27th May where all can attend and see the new track, ride the
trains and hopefully be entertained by some other attractions but generally to
come and have a good family day out and allow us to thank you properly.
At present it is too soon to cast that date in stone but that is what we
are working towards as a target and in the coming weeks, hopefully before
Easter we will be able to confirm it as definite date. So very many
thanks to all who have supported us through this unexpected incident and we
hope we can thank you properly in the way we know best on 27th of May.
last update some very good progress has been made
sorting out the fixing scheme, bending the first lot of rail and welding down
the first length along the straight. The various jigs were tested and
proven in anger and we are ready to press on and get the majority of the rail
bent if not laid. Thanks to Ernie, Terry Jewis, Dave Pearson, Duncan
Graham and Chris Davey for their efforts proving everything works.
The aim at this point has
been to get the rails laid and welded to the newly designed and produced tie
plates. The track in this state is still a long way off being able to be used
Milestone ! Shortly before five on 23rd
the rails were connected from both directions at Woody Curve so we now have a
circuit again. See below shortly after Duncan Graham and Mark Cox drove
in the final spike that made the final join !
Whilst this is very good
news it also marks the next stage of the work required which is adjusting the
sleepers for height and the rails for alignment and of course the onerous task
of fitting the infill sleepers, so while tonight may be a celebration, we are
not there yet and are still some way off running trains again and help is still
required. Many thanks to those who have already made significant effort,
you know who you are. We should also mention at
this point those that very kindly transport any tooling and machinary we need
on a daily basis, and then of course transport it back to their homes at the
end of the day. From the financial point of
view we have been funding this work from a small club reserve and donations
very kindly made directly to the Society without which we would be unlikely to
have got this far. We have still to receive the insurance settlement or the
money very kindly raised by Chris Holloway and all those who donated on the
just giving Crowd Funding page.
However as already noted we
still have a very long way to go. Whilst progress has been greatly helped by
some unexpectly good weather we are still looking at many weeks hard work by
our small band of workers.
Rebuilding begins.... Following the removal of the last of the vandalised track, an
inspection of the main concrete beams revealed minor frost damage to two sections.
We are fortunate that we have spares and this morning a good number of
members turned out to help with the heavy lifting.
There was a tea break before the new beams were lifted into
position and the Chairman Paul Kemp ably assisted by Mark Cox made the
final checks and adjustments.
As we don't keep
any tools or machinery on-site each working party is preceeded by our
members transporting all the required equipment which is then assembled
on-site and then returned to their workshops afterwards, so each day is
quite a long drawn out affair.
Work has started on the milling and
drilling operations on the main steel ties which will hold the new
steel rails in position and there is pleanty of hacksawing and other hard work going on in a variety of members workshops around the local area.
There has been a delay with delivery of our new rail but there is still pleanty of activity going on in the background.
We are grateful to New Romney Model Engineering Society who are kindly loaning us their railbender. Words and pictures from Granville Askham and Paul kemp !
Everything stops for tea !
Many hands make light work !
Machining of the metal rail ties. You can see the locating slots which enable accurate location of the rail section which will speed up the build once on site. The rail will be welded to these on-site however transporting all the welding gear and other tools and equipment for each working party is a big job in itself as we don't keep any tools or machinery on-site. These have been machined by Granville Askham and Ernie Millard however threaded stainless steel rods and other items are being cut and prepared in a variety of members workshops around the area....
There will be some wooden sleepers in between the metal rail ties. This jig made by Paul Kemp enables accurate drilling and the correct angles. Some slightly angled wooden sleepers have been machined by Ray Darvell to give the superelevation required on some curves. For the uninitiated superelevation is the slight raising of the outside rail on tighter curves to prevent the engines and riding cars tipping and counteract the forces of gravity as the trains go round a bend .... Just like the full sized railways....