The other day The Dog and I wandered round to the railway crossing, as we do every other day or so. We found two guys in yellow jackets there, in the middle of the crossing. One of them was obviously keeping watch for trains, while the other was walking backwards across the road, between the railway lines, making chalk marks every so often on the steel of the rail, as he did so. This was too much for both The Dog and I, so we went on down to the crossing to see if either of them were in a talkative frame of mind.
It turned out that they were both pleased to have someone ask them what they were doing, exactly. Several months ago we suffered a weekend of round the clock din and disruption while the track laying machine trundled its way across our embankment. This is a fantastic machine. It pulls up track, sleepers and ballast and replaces it while, itself, running on the track it is rebuilding and replacing. It takes about twenty four hours to to work over a couple of miles of track – and from our own experience, it is a very noisy business.
But apparently, it can’t do level crossings. They still have to be done by hand. My two guys were measuring up the rails at the crossing so that they would be able to put the new lines in exactly the same positions as the old ones. They did the work over a Saturday night – Sunday morning and I’m pleased to say we heard nothing.
As you can see the new rail is just starting to pick up a bit of a polish.