A busy winter works programme

The South Devon Railway's permanent way and civil engineering departments are working hard on major projects on the line this winter.

The rail overbridge at Southport Leat at Staverton, between the station and Nappers Crossing has had all the track, ballast and decking removed, the ironwork inspected by experts, prior to shotblasting, the replacement of wasted metalwork sections and painting before the replacement of timbers and the replacement of track and ballast. The bridge is as old as the railway itself and has not had such a thorough checking and refurbishment in many years and is part of the SDR's policy of maintenance and repair of all structures on the railway.

The work, overseen by the SDR and carried out by specialist contractors, Ultim8 Construction, took place during January and February 2012.  

A large team of PW staff and volunteers was on hand to put the track back in place on 8th and 9th February  and the S&T equipment was re-instated on Friday 10th for steam trains to run on Saturday for the February half term week. 

This has been quite a taxing project for everyone involved, but it has gone virtually to plan and to programme from day one on Monday 9 January to planned completion on Friday 10 February -- so, congratulations are due to the small team of SDR personnel, main contractor and sub-contractors who together planned, costed, sourced, programmed, followed the various legal and safety requirements, and delivered the various tasks, materials and quality workmanship at every stage on a difficult job done against the clock, but which has been completed bang on time and under budget too!

Meanwhile, at Caddaford, just south of Buckfastleigh, the PW department is relaying several sections of track southwards from Nursery Pool Bridge (below). If anyone fancies getting fit, the PW gang is always after volunteers! If you can help, do email us.


Relaying at Caddaford (above) and work at Southport Leat Bridge (right). Photos by Sarah Anne Harvey and Dick Wood.


13th February 2012


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