Monday, June 29, 2009

Progress Report 21 - Platforms and ballasting again

Sunday was a day of unbroken sunshine and so unfinished 'work' work was put to one side and a full 14 hours was spent on doing a few of those railway jobs which have been on the to do list for more than a while.

Platforms for Beeston Castle

First of all the platform sections were cast for Beeston Castle station. As this is a curved island platform it had to be prefabricated, using the same method described in 'How I made the platforms'.

The moulds were made from 1/2" chipboard for the bases and 1/8" ply for the sides. These were liberally greased before the cement was poured in both the protect the wood and to prevent the cement from adhering to it.

Using the technique learned from Bickerton station platforms, the platform edges were masked with off-cuts of wood and sand was sprinkled into the centre. When the cement was partially set (ie 'green'), the masking strips were removed and the exposed edges were scribed with the end of a trowel to represent stone edging blocks.
These will now be left for a week for the cement to harden off, then they will be removed from the moulds, tidied up and cemented into position.

Here's the platform in situ (just after clipping the hedges). All that needs to be done next is ballast the track.

Ballasting the extension

The extension to Beeston Market and the Copper Mine was ballasted using a combination of the techniques described in 'How I ballasted the track'.

This time, once the dry mix of sand, gravel and cement had been brushed into place:

... and the whole lot dowsed in water from a watering can (with rose attached). Liberal amounts of watered-down PVA adhesive were dribbled on in an attempt to bond the mix together and help it stick to the underlying roofing felt.

After this, the sides of the rails were cleaned up with a screwdriver, to removed gunge from the running surfaces, and a damp cloth was wiped over the surface of the rails to remove as much PVA as possible.

So now Beeston Market station:

the Copper Mine sidings:

and Peckforton station:

have all been ballasted.

Only Beeston Castle station remains unballasted. This will be done once the platforms have been fixed into place.

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