Relaying in Amberley
March 2012

The original track in Amberley Station had started to show signs of its age so in the early part of 2012 the opportunity was taken to replace it with heavier steel sleepered track.

The old track was unbolted (mostly with the aid of an angle-grinder) and the rails removed. Note the safety flag in place in case someone doesn't notice that the track has gone!

General view of the site from the opposite direction.

Four prefabricated panels of track had been prepared and are stacked in readiness.

The old sleepers, not going to be reused, were lifted and stacked on a wagon.

The old ballast was then levelled so that it formed the base for the new track.

The replacement panels were then laid on the levelled bed and the fishplates bolted on.

Where the track curves away towards the headshunt, the new panels were placed over the old track so that the alignment of the curve could be copied.

Fresh stone was then tipped from the skip wagons and the track packed and levelled ...

... producing a neat and tidy section of track ready for the passenger trains in a couple of weeks' time.

The third panel, once the old rails had been removed from under it, although pointing in the right direction, was a few inches short. But we had a cunning plan.

The next short length of the old track was removed and then, using one of the rails from the fourth panel which we had by now dismantled, the outside rail of the curve was bent to shape using the Jim Crow railbender - of which more in a moment.

The rail was then cut to length.

The remaining length was then turned, the fishplates fitted and the rail bent to form the final piece of the jigsaw.

Every effort was made to get the maximum torque out of one turn of the screw! Get up Geoff, it needs a bit more!

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Gerry Cork & Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre - August 2014