One of our previous Winter projects was to re-position the Brockham Station points to lengthen the run-round loop.

We did this in 2004 when we were all a lot younger. Can't believe it's that long since we completed this.

The following pictures show just one example of a major engineering project tackled by the RailGroup at the Museum over the winter period - in this case, 2003/4.

The job was to extend the length of the run-round loop at Brockham which involved moving the points from their present position to a new location on the bend approaching the station. This involved not only dismantling the points but also reforming the geometry to suit the new layout. It was transformed from a conventional right-hand turnout to a curved left hand. Here is how we did it.

The first step was to take a few photos of the point in its present position, from this direction ....

and from this direction .... and also to record the point operating mechanism for future reference.

Then on the third Sunday in January, we set to and dismantled the point, bolt by bolt,

fishplate by fishplate (although one or two had to be "persuaded"!)

and rail by rail.

Then the old timbers were lifted (some are sufficiently good to reuse - others only on the industrial railway) and replaced by new (second hand) sleepers which can be seen lying on the bank ready for placing in position.

By the evening of the first day we had lifted the point and laid the section of plain track in its place - a feat which surprised us all!
And we were able to run the works train over it.

Over the next few weeks the point began to take shape in its new home .........

.......... with a little judicious use of the "Jim Crow" rail bender.

At the same time, sleepers were laid and the trackbed prepared for the extension of the loop from the platform to the points.

Progress was so good that by Sunday 8 February the job was all but complete - here all that remains is for the last section of plain track in the loop to be bent to shape, drilled and fish-plated ...........

........ and it soon was. This was the position on Sunday 15 February, just four weeks (working two days a week) after we started. Not bad for a bunch of geriatrics (well it feels like it sometimes!). This is the view from the platform - just a little tidying up to do - once it has rained a bit all the dust will be washed away.

Looking towards the station it is evident that the main job left is to reconnect the point lever and facing point lock. The lever frame is being relocated to the end of the platform.

Finally, a general view of the station - the original postion of the point is where the locomotive (Motorail 60S MR11001/1956) is standing.

The points are now in use - here's Polar Bear on Easter Monday bringing the Groudle Glen set into Brockham Station.

Polar Bear running round with the "new" points behind.

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Gerry Cork & Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre - August 2014