Trains were cancelled today at the Sling and Lavan Tramway due to staff being deployed onto bridge works.
The pond was started last year, but has taken until this spring to come to fruition. Then the stream (pumped from the pond) was added, and finally the reason for all this has come into being – a bridge over a stream!
On Friday I had planned to get the bridge cast, but the amount of time to fix all the formwork and the supporting structure was underestimated (isn’t always?) and then the rain arrived early, and so mixing concrete was abandoned. The formwork is way over scale but … today the concrete was mixed and the bridge is now setting. The pre-cast concrete stone effect arches were bought from GRS. Just before lockdown I collected them from the Warwick show but hadn’t realised then just how long it would take before I could deploy them. I have several of Cain’s retaining walls and wing walls, and I have to say that the GRS ones are most certainly not up to his standards!! However, they are now fixed in place and will do their job, I’m sure. The formwork was made broadly in line with the guidance of the late Peter Jones in his book on Garden Railways. The arches are slightly un-symmetrical, however, and so each template was made to correspond to a particular casting. The final arch formwork was made using “flexible plywood” which was well oiled. I’ll find out soon if all this worked. I glued some brass screws to the inner faces of the arches using Milliput to try to prevent them peeling off, and also some bolts which were used to tie across to help spreading. The formwork and associated supporting structure to hold the arches level, vertical and at the correct width apart took a lot longer than I had imagined.
Hopefully tomorrow some trains will run – but not over the bridge just yet! It won’t be long now though until trains can run this way again.