The upper dual gauge track has been a popular but highly problematic feature at BGRA for many years. The main issue has been the complex nature of dual gauge points. Over the years many members have sought to address the problem of relaying it and improving the usefulness and reliability of the circuit
The enforced shutdown over 2020 and 2021 has forced the issue and the committee has authorised a rebuild and improvement plan.
The main improvements will be scrapping of dual gauge and replacement with two concentric loops of 45mm and 32mm track with appropriate sidings at both ends. A further improvement will be the addition of electrical bonding to allow track power on the 45mm loop.
The three main problems are as follows:
Mike Riley convinced the committee that the job was viable and the committee agreed it was essential work. Mike has taken the lead role and work commenced in August 2022. Completion should be possible sometime in October 2022
This page hopes to document the work undertaken
Various members took the photos.
Top track all lifted
The whole track base is concrete so should not be an issue when relaying the track. The bridges were found not to be fixed
Ballast removed and guttering all removed
Interestingly the track was bonded and this appears to be the feed
What - no bridge?
Careful measurement to make sure of the bridge dimensions
Setting up the 45mm siding
Track not being laid but laid out to confirm the plans
MVL Bridges to supply the custom made bridges
Now a bit of track laying
Setting up the 32mm sidings (spot the mistake?)
The 45mm siding laid out (in the correct location)
Longest bridge (Under Beam)
Under Beam detail
A Pony Truss Bridge
Through Plate Bridge
To be supplied by MVL Bridges
Mike, Tom and Glenis relaying track
Dave Gordon in the team too but behind the camera
Mike running a test engine
Tom guarding the end of the track with Glenis supervising
Finishing the base widening, track laid just needs balasting
This is where a 32mm over 45mm crossing is needed to take the 32mm loop into its sidings
Front track base being fixed in place
Lots of work done but still lots to do. Amazing progress by the Relay Crew
Good progress on the awkward curve nearest the cabin
Front of layout widening in place and site of station in the distance
Mike revisiting the completed widening to add extra fixings
Mike, Alan Bowen, James Hewitt, Tom and Glenis are todays Relay Crew
Balasting round the new station. Tom, Eric and Mike behind the camera
Looking brilliant but progress now awaiting the bridges
Crossover arrived 25th October, bridges arrived 2nd November and completion expected before end of November 2022.
Brides laid out in rough positions.
Track laid temporarily to check alignments.
Everything fits well. Some minor adjustments needed to complete the job. Filcris and ballast have arrived ready to continue.
Start of permanent bridge fixing (7th November 2022)
All bridges fixed in place but a long way from finished.
Green bridge fitted and ready and it looks stunning. Some fettling needed but this is the first one almost completed. Relay crew in the distance
Red Bridge in background, proving to be the biggest challenge. Crossover in the foreground looking amazing.
Brown Bridge in place but needing more work.
All bridges fixed but needing some fettling to complete. Meanwhile Serious track laying begins. (9th November 2022)
45mm Track now complete
Frequent Showers stopped play
Some levelling needed into the crossover
45mm sidings ready for relaying
Shuttering and ballast still to complete
Amazing and most significant little video from Mike...45mm and 32mm Track now looped and running (11th November 2022).
Shuttering around the bends nearly complete. Back breaking work in the most awkward spots. (18th November 2022)
The Red Bridge bend shuttering in place
32mm sidings laid, some fettling remaining
Cabin end bend looking great but still needing bottom retainers and ballasting
45mm sidings laid.
A lot of work remaining including further shuttering, ballasting to complete but looking great.
Well nearly. Finishing touches to come soon.
Last bits of shuttering (23rd November 2022).
Tom, Alan and Dave B were in the crew today along with Dave, who also took the photos. Mike stuck at home with nasty bug.
Photos by various members
If you have more photos to add to this or other galleries then please send them to email@example.com.