Welling & District
MES

Promoting education and re-creation for recreation in South East London

02/08/2021 Update

The New Track is Started
See the Magazine for picture

Ground-works for the new permanent track are now complete and a number of "A" Frames have been sited accurately upon their respective concrete pads. This requires excavation of the track-bed, insertion and compaction of "ballast" and careful leveling of each of the "A" frame with respect to itself and the previously placed "A" frames. Not a quick job - and there are circa 240 in total to do !

The delivery of our Drivers' Rest and First Aid Room (aka Drivers' Hut) and our new Society HQ have been delayed due to shortage of materials - caused, we are told, by COVID and Brexit that has hit the whole of the construction industry.

Meanwhile, a dedicated painting gang is working on applying paint protection to the circa 240 steel support sections for the track and track-panel assemblers are working on the 120 track panels. Each panel has three rails to cover 5" and 3.5" gauge running, so that's 360 rails that need to be rolled into shape (if necessary), cut to length and drilled with 2 holes each end for the "fish-plates" (joining each panel to the next) - that's 1440 holes.

Each track panel is 3 metres long and has 20 "sleepers". The rails are held to the sleepers using "chairs" and each chair has two screws to fix it in place - that's 120 screws per panel and 14,400 screws in total - all of which have to be tightened to the correct torque.

To assemble the track panels to the steel supports and each other we will use 10 nuts & bolts/panel to bolt them to the steel - 1200 nuts and bolts in total - and 720 fish-plates and 720 fish-plate nuts and bolts.

Not to mention the 240 sets of washers, nuts, threaded rod and other hardware, fixing the steel supports to the "A" frames.

It looks like an insurmountable task, however, with the volunteers we have (and a few more "pressed men", we hope to have the track in operation by the end of this year - finances, weather and manpower permitting - ready for public running in April 2022.

Please watch this website for updates, or go to our Facebook page at "Welling & District Model Engineering Society"