More Pits than Silverstone

t would seem that all current civil engineering projects at Apedale involve the word Pit. With the Traverser completed, we have moved on to a re-lay of the inspection pit trackwork. This was laid in a considerable rush a couple of years ago. The reason for the urgency was the discovery that it was not possible to do the boiler exam on the Joffre without access to an inspection pit! Experience has shown a few problems with the layout, mainly caused by the point used being rather too tight a radius for comfort. This has meant steam crews are reluctant to use it to drop their ash – and hence someone ends up having to shovel it out of the yard track area. Also, the long-wheelbase coaches don’t like the curve, making their annual pit exams rather more exciting than is strictly necessary. So, the tight point had to go.
And go it has. During a weekend rather more suited for sitting in a paddling pool with an ice cream rather than heavy P-Way work, the existing layout was stripped out, a new point craned in, and the various linking trackwork reinstated. There’s a lot of work to do to finish the job, but the key was to re-gain the “straight through” route, since that leads to the end-loading point. Inevitably, there’s always time pressure. In this case, it’s because the Hayfield coach is off on its annual holidays to our friends at Amerton for their forthcoming charity weekend. This, by the way, is a very worthwhile endeavour and highly recommended – visit them before (or after) coming to us at Apedale. It’s steam at Apedale next weekend, by the way – looks like Hudswell on Saturday, Stanhope Sunday. As ever, get in touch here.