As described in the page for the structure of the whole project, the Running Shed is being built in seven phases. The first of these was to obtain the necessary planning permission, and the the second involved constructing a pit that eventually would be between the rails in the shed. This was needed to allow easy access to the working parts between the frames of the locomotives, either when preparing them for service or when carrying out maintenance work on them.
We already had such a pit in the track outside where the running shed was to go, and so constructing this new pit actually just involved extending the existing one at both ends. This was all done during the first few months of 2015, and the first stage in it was to lift the track from the existing pit. This was done at the very beginning of January 2015, and then (undeterred by the weather) excavation work started on 15th January.
Once the holes had been excavated, they needed to be prepared for laying the concrete base of the pit. This involved constructing wooden "shuttering" to contain the concrete at each side, and putting down a layer of sand (known as a "blinding") on top of special geo-textile (which stops mud coming up through the sand). The sand then had to be rolled firm, and steel mesh cut to shape to reinforce the concrete.
Once all this preparation was complete, then the concrete could be laid, which was done on 7th February.
After a few days to allow the concrete of the base to cure, work could start on laying the concrete blocks that form the walls of the pit. Like the walls of the existing pit that can be seen in the picture above, each side of the pit consists of a base course of pairs of blocks laid on their sides, and then two courses on top of the base ones to form two parallel walls with a cavity between them. This cavity is then filled with concrete.
Once the cavity between the walls had been filled with concrete, and this had cured, then the timbers that support the track on top of the walls were set in place and the chairs to hold the rails screwed down temporarily to them.
Laying the blockwork was the longest part of the job, and so while it was progressing on the part of the pit that would be in the running shed, work was also going on to complete the southern end of the pit, so that this would be available for use.
Once the timbers to support the track had been laid, and a lot of careful measuring done to make sure that the rails would be to the correct gauge (ie exactly the right distance apart) when they were put into the chairs, holes were drilled down through the timbers into the concrete, and bolts fixed into these holes in the concrete with resin adhesive. Once the adhesive had cured, then nuts could be screwed down onto the bolts to hold the timbers securely, and the chairs could be screwed down permanently onto the timbers.
Once all of the blockwork had been completed, then the timbers for the northern part of the pit could be laid on top of it, and the track work could be completed to connect up again with the track inside the existing workshop. This was finished in April 2015, and marked the end of phase 2 of the project.
For the next stages of the work, see other pages for this project.
Go on to the next stage in this project.
Go back to the previous stage in this project.
Return to the overall description of this project.
Other pages about this project and the "Buy a Brick" appeal:
- An overview of the project and the appeal;
- The "Buy a Brick" appeal;
- The structure of the project;
- The progress with the project;
- Design and site preparation;
- Construction of the foundations;
- Erection of the framework;
- Construction of the walls;
- Fitting out;
- The opening ceremony.
Other pages provide more information about: