Struggling leaderless in the woods

As a reward for the excesses of August, a special mid-week excursion was organised for mid-October 2008, to experience a slightly different form of training. Again trackwork, but this time improving on our previous efforts. As one participant put it: ‘It’s really quite simple, we clean the ballast off the rails, unclip the panel, unbolt the fishplates, jack up one rail, Jim Crow the ends until the curve looks right, regap the gap, jack the rail down, bolt up the new, improved fishplates, clip the rail down, check the alignment and repeat for the other rail. Then we move to the next joint and do it all again’.

Unfortunately he omitted to mention the weather forecast, which was not good for our second day, the Thursday. Warm, quite blustery rain in the morning and cold, very blustery rain in the afternoon. In the absence of Our Leader, who had read the forecast, it was never going to go the full distance, and we retired early for the night. The return journey to Rhyd Ddu was notable for the demonstration of the efficiency of the new track drains, and for the slipperiness of the up-gradient through Beddgelert forest. Fortunately Spooner’s provided the necessary means of revival, and the weather improved significantly for the following day’s R&R on the Ffestiniog Railway.

Some photos of the working are
here and of the resting are here.