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Major Track Upgrade 2020 - 2021

In line with current government guidelines regarding coronavirus we are suspending all public activities of the KDMES for 2020. We are as disappointed as you are but are taking the opportunity during these uncertain times to make improvements to the track.

Please note that Marley activities centre is a restricted area as it is used for Covid 19 testing. Please do not attempt to visit the site.

First day back after lockdown This was the sight that greeted us when we visited Marley railway track for the first time after lockdown. Marley was being used as a Covid 19 testing station so we had special permission to assess what we planned to do while public running was suspended.
Grass cutting first First job was to cut the grass. Fortunately the weather had been hot with little rain so it was not too bad. That was to change in a few weeks.
Starting to survey. Derek brought his theodolite to help the survey. It went in the middle of the first curve and we then took readings to find out how much the track went up and down.
Week 2. Behind the bushes near the river. We got into our stride and in week two got down the back straight and then on to the curve behind the bushes where the tunnel used to be.
Week 3. Round by the car park. Week three and we took the readings round by the car park and on to the steaming bay.
The rain came as we got to the station. The last job was along the station as it started to rain. At least all the measuring was finished for Derek to draw out the track and start to work out what quantities of materials we might need.
Marking out trench for excavator Derek and Ian set off round the top curve with a couple of chains dangling from a cross beam on a truck. The grass was spray painted to mark out where the excavator should dig a trench.
End of excavator trench at beginning of back straight. The trench was marked out on the grass either side of the track to the beginning of the back straight. This is as far as we will go for the moment as the back straight was rebuilt only a few years ago.
Supervising the removal of bolts in the track. All the bolts holding the track down had to be removed so the curve could be dismantled.Colin took a major role supervising the work.
Bolts undone and track about to go. With the bolts undone the track was loosed before being stored away.
All the track on the first curve stored away. End of a good afternoon's work. All the track on the first curve stored away.
Start of removing sleepers. Starting to remove sleepers. Most were quite rotten but have gone to good use in people's gardens.
Unbolting and carrying away. Unbolting and carrying away the sleepers went remarkably smoothly.
The first curve cleared of sleepers. All the first semi circle from the station to the back straight was cleared of sleepers, leaving only the posts in the ground.
Digger team. Then we had some mechanical help to dig the footings. Many thanks to both Lingfield Services (Cross Roads) and Judsons who kindly undertook the excavation works for the track.
First curve dug out. The digger team made light work of clearing the bases and digging the footings.
Footings to back straight. The footings were dug as far as the back straight and some chippings put in the base.
Making a start on bridge repairs. The bridge is constantly being vandalised, so the opportunity is also being taken to make it as sturdy as possible.First thing was to attack with the angle grinder.
Seem to have sprung a leak. The old upright sprang a leak which was unexpected.
Two replacement post in. Day one saw the first two replacement uprights going in.
Bridge with new uprights and handrails. Four new uprights were put in along with handrails across the top.
Checking gradient of footings. The footings being checked for the gradient. The plan is to make it a little easier to get a smooth start away from the station.
Colin mowing and towing. Colin mowing and moving concrete blocks at the same time. Who said he couldn't multi task?
Colin mowing and towing 2. Close up to show the board hitched to the back of the mower to move the concrete blocks from one end of the field to the other. So Colin doesn't just supervise.
Lawn mower activity. The grass got really long and sometimes we overdid it. Here the mower is having the belt replaced.
Off loading materials. Supplies arrived by lorry on a rather hot day.
Off loading materials. Off loading the concrete beams was easy with the hiab crane.
Off loading materials. Next was the plywood for the concrete shuttering.
Off loading materials. Just the steel mesh for reinforcing the concrete left.
Hammering pegs for the shuttering boards. The pegs for the concrete shuttering boards needed a sledge hammer to get them into the ground.
Working on the concrete shuttering. Fixing the plywood shuttering to the pegs.
Working on the concrete shuttering. First piece of shuttering screwed in place.
Working on the concrete shuttering. This is how far we had got at the end of the first day fixing the shuttering.
Working on the concrete shuttering. Day three of the concrete shuttering and we worked on the outer plywood.
Working on the concrete shuttering. At the end of day three we left everything neat and tidy.
Colin back. Good to have Colin back supervising after his eye operation. Unfortunately he can probably see what we're doing now.
Filling in behind the shuttering. Chris banking the soil up on the outside of the shuttering. We need the ground level with the concrete for the mower.
End of day 4. At the end of day four we were about half way round.
Load of road scalpings. There had been a delivery of road scalpings for us. This is what the pile looked like at the beginning of the day.
Scalpings going down. During the morning working party we moved scalpings to the track bed and to fill some pot holes on our access road. We had started to make an impression on it.
Tractor towing block. As we were tidying the piles of earth by the track we found another concrete block. Quick work to move it with the mower and sled.
End of day 5. By the end of day five we had made good progress.Probably 2/3 the way round now.
Shuttering the outside curve. Day six and Derek shuttering the outside curve.
Taller boards here. Having to make use of taller boards here.
Nearly there from station. Nearly there. View from the station.
Nearly there 2. By end of day six we are nearly there.
Theo filling the barrow. Day seven and Theo came down to help move the scrapings. Here he is filling yet another barrow.
Really deep boards here. At this point the surrounding ground is so low we are starting to need really deep boards.
Sides banked up as we left for lockdown 2. We did as much as we could to bank the sides up as we left for lockdown 2.
All the scrapings used.All the scrapings were used and the area left tidy.
Just tidy the ends to do. Really close now. Just tidying up the ends to do, but we have to stop for lockdown.


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This page was last updated on Monday 19th October at 20:00.

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