Better than New!

p1060583Dear Bill,
    Since I have been absent from your missives for a while, here is an update on one of our mini projects that had been completed in Grandpa’s workshop rather than in the trenches of the container slab laying at the station.
    During the surfacing of Platform 2 the cast iron drain cover for the old GWR Platform 2 building drainage chamber received mortal damage at the hands of the machinery involved. The cover was recovered from the bottom of the chamber in several pieces, but the mounting ring for it was firmly integrated into the new platform surface. Following an internet search I was unable to find a replacement cast iron cover (which seems to date from the 1950s or 60s) and as we did not wish to start excavating the wonderful new platform surface to install a replacement cover and ring, I set the challenge to our local blacksmith to repair the broken cover and strengthen it to let it serve for years to come.
    Cast iron can be difficult to weld requiring preheating and controlled cooling and the loss of a couple of the smaller pieces broken from the cover made the task even more challenging. Over several weeks the cover was reassembled and strengthening bars of mild steel welded to the inside to give mechanical strength in the areas of the welds. In the last week I have further strenghtened the cover with fibreglass resin and matting and today the last task was to give the cover a final coat of anti rust paint. I attach below an image of the finished job. We now just need to remind vehicle drivers tempted to use Platform 2 that their help in not damaging the cover for the 3rd time would be appreciated.
    For advance notice – installation of the repaired cover will take place this weekend

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