Will it rain on our working day?

Its that time again. The ID&RPG have once again been down at RBR for another working day. With a limited number of people starting the day Toby and Stephen Got the morning shunt underway ready to work the ballast washing and get ‘IMP’ outside over the pit. With the forecast of rain and possible thunder storms we wanted to get going early.

Betty Shunting the morning train

Soon after the Ruston Guys Started to arrived. Their work for the day was to continue on preparing areas for paint and then priming up ready for top coat.

They also removed a few parts including the fuel tank and the sander boxes. The fuel tank was in remarkably good condition but the same could not be said for the sander boxes. These will need a bit of repair work before being of any use.

Moving across to the other side of the site the ballast washing plant had been set up. Before getting going a few additions were being made in order to be able to control the water pump from where the mixer controls are. There was also a water pipe that needed replacing as it was leaking more water than was going in the mixer. As soon as this was done a trial run was done before breaking for lunch.

The Ruston guys also post their own updates on the progress of the restoration covering the work done off site on their Facebook page.

After Lunch

Soon we were back to work and now we were ready for full production speed. For starters Andy manned the mixer with help from Ben. Andy was also manning the JCB to unload the mixer and dump the now clean ballast into the hopper.

Stephen was in charge of collecting Ballast from the pile at the other end of the carpark and bringing it back to the plant and slowly feeding it into the chute.

Each bucket is roughly half a cubic metre or roughly half a tone. During the day we must of done at least 8 loads so that’s another 4 tons of clean ballast ready to put down by the guys in the week.

While this was going on Toby and Thomas were busy fitting a rubber sheet to the doors of the workshop to try and prevent birds getting in. This was soon completed and Toby joined the ballast washing team manning the JCB.

This is when the system really got going well as by the time I had returned with the CAT and the next bucket of ballast. The last load had been cleaned and was being unloaded. Now the water pump control has been fitted we can now get a full day done of this and get through the ‘mountain’ of ballast that still remains. But this will now go down quickly

The End of the Day

Time was getting on and with one final load of ballast washed we began the packing up process. Firing up the locos to get air building. The ‘Tailings’ from the ballast washing were shovelled up using the JCB and the CAT and were used to fill and level the track through the yard.

During the whole day we were watching the cloud drift round us leaving us in the glorious sunshine for the majority of the day.

Whilst moving everything back the Ruston guys got some experience being shunter, being taught the hand signals required, the safe places to stand and being seen and finally the techniques of the shunting pole.

The Ruston crew gaining shunter experience ID&RPG 03-07-21

As per previous posts our chairman decided to experiment with his photographic skills as the locos were being driven back to the shed.

So with another days work done the teams headed home. This time to the sound of thunder in the background as the storms had finally decided to make an appearance.

Man power was not available to progress the dogfish but this project is still at the top of our list to complete. With the steel now onsite this will make good progress in the very near future.

You may think that a lot of the work we are doing at the moment doesn’t exactly fit with the name of our group but there is still jobs being planned in the background. We must remember to ourselves that without the track being finished, where would we drive the Locos? Relaying the track is a job that doesn’t have to be done too often especially with the way we have done it. So we will hopefully have many years of happy running once the job is completed.

We hope you will join us again next time and also hope you still enjoy reading these updates from the ID&RPG

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