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Keith Theobald reports on progress made during Spring Outdoor Week

A  real gem weather wise no rain, and quite a lot of sunshine, though a little chilly at times. The key task was relaying in the Ty Mawr bridge area and further pointing work on the bridge itself.

We used another 440ft (11 tracks lengths) of the new OBS50 rail and the Grade A seconds sleepers that we have acquired. To maintain height clearances under the bridge we reused the best of some of the Jarrah sleepers from the work in November. Jarrah sleepers are much thinner than the others we were using, mother Wales precluded lowering the ground under the bridge. The condition of the selected Jarrah sleepers was very good and they should last a good few more years yet. Further east we were able to reuse the clean ballast. At the end of the nine days the joggle plate at west end still awaited workshop attention and the first five lengths still need taming.  

A large group of people sat on upright logs, having a cuppa in the sunshine.
Tea break in the sun. Photo: Keith Theobald.

The bridge gang pointing gang concentrated on the SE side and the SE corner Pilaster. The ivy was removed from the SW side and its pilaster rebuilt and the multiple ivy stems on the NW side growth were cut. The growth on the parapets was also removed.

Other tasks tackled:

  • Drainage maintenance on the extension
  • Drainage work on the forestry road
  • Drainage maintenance west of Abergynolwyn 
  • Drainage work in the Dolgoch area
  • Leaf blowing west of Dolgoch
  • Milepost painting – Mileposts 4 between Nant Gwernol  with exception of two and another 7 mileposts further west though the latter ones still need the black paint applying 


  • All the displaced sleepers were stacked on the south side of the line east of the bridge.
  • Any spare relayable sleepers were stacked ready for the next relaying session in November.
  • The displaced rail had previously been pulled clear was divided into individual lengths ready for picking up.
  • The fishplates that had been removed were taken to Pendre and the nuts and bolts returned to stock. The plates themselves were neatly stacked to await a decision on their future in the next few weeks.          
  • All the rest of the tools were moved east to the train stabled west of Hendy Halt or the materials site located  adjacent to the start of the relaying.

I wish to thank all staff and volunteers for their skills, time and effort over the week. It was a busy week and we achieved a lot in lovely weather conditions. Over the 9 days 23 people gave 125 people days. Very many thanks again.