The culmination of many weeks of work by Mick and Tim, wiring in the Platform 2 lanterns and providing a ready access to mains electricity on Platform 2 took place this morning with the inspection of our installations by an NiCEIC certified electrician. Ben from BMJ Electrical installations inspected all aspects of the installation and the safety measures employed in the supply wiring from the station input cabinet to the Ticket Office
Ben started with the testing of the newly relocated and installed switching cabinet. As some of the tests involved forcing the safety trips to interrupt the supply at the correct simulated fault current levels, there were a few interesting moments when the main site supply decided to trip first (it should not have done so)!
The end extremities of the lighting circuits were then tested and we are pleased to be able to report that all the results obtained were “within spec” and we were given a pass on the new lighting/power installation. The paper work to back up this claim will be delivered in the next couple of weeks or so.
Thus……….we are pleased to advise that another long running project has now been successfully completed – that’s 3 this week and time for a rest !!
My thanks to Mick and Ben for their specialist work this morning, to Brian Mason in the Booking Hall and Anne in the shop/waiting room for working around the unanticipated interruptions.
5542 takes on water in anticipation of a busy Easter Friday…
Bob Stark writes:-
So much has been happening to move things forward at CRC Station since the weekend that I felt moved to put digit to keyboard for an update. On Tuesday 22 March Severn Trent Water arrived to connect up the dedicated new water supply to the Loco Department water treatment plant at our station. This task has been “ongoing” for a long time and has been required as with lower summer water pressure in the mains we have had supply problems for both the loco water treatment plant and for our “facilities” on Platform 1.
Completion of the task involved much trench digging within the station and the excavation of a fair sized hole adjacent to the very busy Evesham Road bridge, so was left until after the Cheltenham Festival was over. This morning (Wednesday) in the best of British traditions the traffic lights to control the traffic to single lane on our bridge were working, but not a single member of the contractors were to be seen. I hope we do not get the blame for this traffic congestion!
The good news is that the pipes have now been connected and a new meter installed. In due course we assume the excavations will be backfilled.
I was present at the station this morning to take delivery of our new “Billy Goat”, not the variety that provides cream cheese, but the mechanical variety that sucks up leaves and pine needles.
This much awaited new arrival could not be housed until we had an appropriate secure venue to contain it and will be pressed into action once it has been assembled, instructions read and operator briefings given. This should make the life of our pine needle sweepers less physical, but a bit noisier.
It was interesting today to see so many families with young children were traveling on our steam service, some schools at least must have broken up early for Easter. They were watched by Tim on his knees painting our wooden fencing on the Platform 1 ramp
And finally our mystery question of the day. This large raw bone (ie NOT Jurassic) was spotted this morning at the bottom of the Platform 1 embankment. It seems too large to have been brought in by a wild animal, or even thrown over our fence by a hungry punter last week. It is well gnawed – any guesses??
On the final day of the Festival Meeting, it seemed appropriate to try and capture some the Cheltenham Racecourse Station action. As with the other Festival race days the challenge is to safely get two full trains in, unloaded and out again within the hour. It’s no mean feat and all the GWR Volunteers on duty rise to the challenge of keeping the racing punters happy and safe.
11.27 Here 5542 brings the first train (Chocolate and Cream rake). The challenge is then to encourage the merry (some literally!) racegoers off the train and away to their afternoon’s racing.
The picture below gives an indication of the numbers involved.
11 42 Here 7820 (Dinmore Manor) arrives (below) with the second train (Maroon rake)
11:43 Dinmore has a clear road into Platform 1, the first train (now hopefully empty of passengers!) having been move on to the South Head shunt, beyond the Evesham Road Bridge.
12:13 Having unloaded the racegoers from the second train , Dinmore Manor couples up to the first rake and heads off to Toddington. 5542 then runs around the 2nd rake and similarly heads back to Toddington , both to get ready for the return trips at the end of the day.
In the meantime the Crossing Monitors need eyes front and back to ensure the safe movement of racegoers across the tracks.
Platform 1 with the 2 returning trains – not quite fitting in!
I am grateful to Mick Best for the content of this report and for his work on Platform lighting in between marshaling the crowds passing over our busy level crossing at the Cheltenham Signal Box.
Tuesday morning saw the first of our Railway’s special “At The Races” trains from Toddington to the Racecourse. This is what our station was built for and in years to come we will no doubt see even more arrivals coming via this road friendly alternative transport means.
Mick’s image above shows Great Western locomotive 5542 in charge of the 1st morning special train coming into the Racecourse station the driver having just passed the “staff” to the signalman.
After the last morning incoming train of passengers Mick left his patrol duties and carried on with the installation of the final piece of the electrical jigsaw in the Platform 2 control cabinet successfully completing the connection of the mains power supply to the cabinet.
As can be seen from the image above, having first tested the operation of the protection RCD inside the right hand side power supply consumer unit we tested the connection of the new supply by plugging in a recently tested piece of equipment – it all worked as it was supposed to – thank you Mick.
Mick then tested the resistance of the lantern circuits that have been installed over the last 3 months and replaced all the supplied Halogen lanterns lamps with low energy LED bulbs. The system was then powered up and the Platform 2 lighting switched on for the first time. The culmination of recent weeks of digging, wiring and rock moving and the earlier installation work carried out by the Broadway builders is there for all to see in this final image below taken as the last train pulls out under the watchful eye of the Station Master Dave Griffin.
The Platform 2 Lantern circuit was then switched off and is scheduled for safety testing in the near future by an NiCEIC certified electrician. For the time being the Platform 2 lighting has been isolated from the station lighting, but will be reconnected following this certification.
A short offering today. Chris Howl who has cut down the undergrowth (and some substantial trees) from one end of our line to the other, very kindly agreed to come to the Racecourse Station today to cut up the fallen tree on the Platform 2 ramp. We reported this wind damage in an earlier entry to our “blog”.
Chris’s very sharp blade made short work of the tree and it was quickly reduced to a pile of kindling and logs. Thanks Chris, that is another job promptly removed from the CAG volunteer “action” list.
As we were enjoying a cup of tea Stephen Wilson arrived with his car and some of the logs are already “off-site” and heading for his wood pile. Another visitor entertained to tea was Jo Roesen who collected our cast iron letters (H,E,L and a small S) to assist with the production of the Hailes Abbey halt Running in board. I have repeated this item here to ensure that we do not forget to nudge Jo in due course if the letters do not return to Cheltenham.
Chris Howl in action (DMU in the background)