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Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Signalling on heritage railways

Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Unread postby dscroggins » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:10 pm

Swindon Panel has moved three inches closer to preservation!

http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/2016/03/ ... n-the-air/

(only about 24 miles, 79 chains, 21 yards and 30 inches to go!)

The panel has been lifted up so that the steelwork frame can start to be inserted underneath for lifting. Bars through the panel clamp it down to the frame so that it doesn't fall off!

Further work taking place over the next two weekends

As with all things of this nature, we're learning a lot as we go along (should help us when we come to do the next one HA HA!)
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Re: Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Unread postby dscroggins » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:39 pm

Society Work this Weekend - 19/20 March

Never a more important time to get involved!

We will be in Swindon Panel again this weekend working on the next stage of the panel extraction.

Two large beams will be brought into the operating room to complete the lifting frame, and the panel will be moved backwards, sideways and upwards to line up with the door - its exit route two weeks later!

There will be A LOT of material arriving this weekend in readiness for the move onto the roof - so all hands very welcome in sorting these out. If you can help, even if for only part of the day, please do. Swindon Panel needs you!

We also have several jobs at Didcot this weekend -

- Undercoat-painting of wooden doors for new panel building

- Continuing work on the rail wagons to be used for bringing the panel into the Centre. Mainly scraping and painting.

- Also, the metal panel door plates are expected to move to Didcot this weekend and will need help being carried through the station. Probably about 60 minute's work for 3 people - and cheaper than going to the gym!

Please let us know if you can help with any of these and we will make arrangements at DRC.

Many thanks!
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Re: Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Unread postby dscroggins » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:13 pm

Progress update on Monday 21 March 2016.

Photos: http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/2016/03/ ... -can-help/

Thank you to everyone who has helped at Swindon Panel this last weekend. Fantastic progress was made and we’re pleased to say that the last of the major hurdles have now been cleared.

The two large frame beams were brought into the operating room and now complete the lifting frame at the front and back of the panel. With this being complete jacking screws were fitted to allow the whole frame, with panel on top, to be raised up about an inch and a half, which was sufficient to allow wheels to be fitted to the bottom of the frame. The panel was then moved back, against the back wall, (in the space on the right of the picture above), to align it with the doors.

The end door and window – another hurdle – were successfully removed by the team on Sunday (featuring father and son Chris and Andrew, pictured above), making a gap wide enough for the panel to escape the building on 2 April.

The handrails on the, rather substantial, walkway on the flat roof outside the building were removed by the team on Saturday (featuring father and son Jeremy and Danny).

Never let it be said that Swindon Panel won’t be a great day out for all the family!

These simple-sound tasks took a lot of materials, a lot of manpower, and a lot of working together. As with most things in railway preservation, they take longer than they would seem to, require more tools than they would seem to, and uncover all sorts of problems along the way!

But we are getting there – our dream is finally coming true! The panel has now been raised above 9″ (23cm) off the ground, and next weekend will be raised a further 12-14″. The “runway”(!) will then be built underneath it to give it a level journey out onto the roof (over all the obstacles such as the door threshold and flat-roof walkway).

There is still A LOT of work to be done to get the panel that last little bit raised up and the runway built out onto the roof in readiness for the move which is planned for 2 April. All hands very welcome in helping with this on SATURDAY 26 MARCH, this weekend. If you can help, even if for only part of the day, please do. Swindon Panel needs you!

We are meeting only on Saturday this coming weekend (Sunday is Easter Sunday), at 10am at the panel.

The following Saturday is….. move day.
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Re: Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Unread postby rower40 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:00 am

<Tongue firmly in cheek>
Can't you just do it in software? :wink:

But seriously - this is a fantastic effort for what will be a terrific resource. When I joined BR Research in 1988, I was tasked with replacing the blown bulbs on the "Leamington Spa" training and development panel. ("Painting the Forth Bridge"-style task - once you've gone through from one end to the other, some more bulbs near the start have now blown.) Running simulated trains around it to check every track circuit and indication was my first introduction to signalling. I hope the Swindon panel can inspire many other budding engineers.
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Re: Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Unread postby dscroggins » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:22 pm

An absolutely astonishing effort by the thirteen SPS members in attendance today at Swindon PSB has seen the panel drawn up to the signal (the door) ready to depart the sidings and embark on its journey to its new home and its new life.

The panel has been raised a further 12 inches from last weekend, up to its required height to leave the building, and a blockwork runway has been built underneath the frame. The jacking bolts that have worked so hard over the last few weeks raising the panel up have been retracted allowing the frame roller wheels to be lowered down into steel channel on top of the blocks. This concludes the preparations in the control room for Swindon Panel’s extraction from the building!

As a test the panel was moved about 4 feet along its runway towards the Bristol-end doors of the building and it was found that the panel does move with relative ease.

THANK YOU, on behalf of everyone involved with and supporting Swindon Panel, and from me personally, to everyone who has contributed in all and any ways to the progress of our project thus far; getting to this stage is an immense achievement! It has not been without its hurdles, but a significant number of people helping in exactly the right way at exactly the right time has got us over those hurdles. The breadth of skills in our supporter-base is immense and everyone’s willingness to contribute has been very impressive indeed.

So the panel is ready to leave the control room, but there is still a lot of work to do to get it to Didcot.

Commencing at 0600 on Saturday 2 April the panel will start to be rolled-out onto the roof. Help is needed with this! As the rear of the panel clears the runway at the back, so the blocks are require to be moved around to the front to support the further forward movement. The panel is 30 feet long and requires to move about 40 feet and there is about 15 feet of runway blocks in hand.

The road lorry will arrive at about 0700 and lift at about 0800. If all goes to plan the road journey will commence at about 0930. (Don’t forget our Photo Competition regarding its journey!)

Then, from 1000 our main working days starts in the making-good of the building: The doors and windows have to be replaced and all our waste and debris tidied away to leave the building in a good condition for hand-back to Network Rail.

So there is plenty to do, and if you can help on Saturday 2 April then please get in touch – many hands make light work and we can promise you’ll feel very rewarded at the end of the day when you see how much progress can be made!

The panel will be taken to Didcot’s West Yard (Deutsche Bahn locomotive fuelling point) for transshipment to a railway wagon, on which it will move into the Railway Centre, via Didcot Parkway station. It is expected that the panel will move into its new building in Didcot at the end of the week, possibly the Thursday or Friday.

Great work everyone – keep it up!
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Re: Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Unread postby StevieG » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:03 pm

Can't praise the work so far achieved enough Danny.
Sorry I've been so far unable to make any practical contribution, but hope to rectify that soon.
BZOH

/
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/// \ \ \ \
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Re: Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Unread postby JRB » Sat Apr 2, 2016 6:31 pm

Having seen the progress reported elsewhere, I wish to congratulate the team on getting it safely to Didcot. Best wishes for installation & restoration.
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Re: Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Unread postby dscroggins » Sat Apr 2, 2016 9:41 pm

Thank you John.

More details and photos here: http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/2016/04/ ... he-making/

* * *

The Panel Preservation Movement is Born!

This morning there were no large-scale preserved panels. This evening there is one.

Thanks to an excellent turnout of SPS and GWS volunteers and P&D Specialist Services at Swindon Panel today, the culmination of two years’ careful planning and preparation since the project was first formed over three years ago, the panel was successfully extracted from the building at last!

The team assembled at Swindon Panel at 6am to start the roll-out of the panel. The panel had been raised up to the appropriate height and position on previous weekends, and the runway out onto the roof had been prepared on Friday.

Lots of checks took place on the frame and panel to ensure it was ready for departure. The wooden boarding that had temporarily replaced the end window and door was removed and steel channel rails laid out of the control room onto the roof. In small steps the panel was pushed out onto the roof by SPS volunteers.

By 8am the panel was positioned outside on the roof, and was ready for collection.

Meanwhile an enormous lorry and hi-ab had arrived outside the building (much to the concern of the driver, given the access available!).

Shortly after 8am, right on time, the lifting harnesses were applied to the frame and, after more checks, the hi-ab took the strain and whole panel was inched off the roof. Once confident, the panel was lifted over the barriers that were around the edge of the roof and down onto the trailer. It was a momentous occasion for all those present and everyone in the Society following on Facebook, Twitter, etc, that the day we had waited so long for had finally arrived!

The panel lorry departed at about 9am, on schedule, for Didcot, followed by an entourage of SPS members’ vehicles taking photographs! It arrived at Didcot shortly after 10am.

The panel was then loaded into a waiting wagon in the DB Fuel Point yard by P&D for onward transit by rail. Some other items, such as blocks and steelwork was also loaded into the same wagon.

66176 arrived at about 11.40 to collect the very short train and at 12 noon it moved from the West Yard to the Main Yard, and then about 15 minutes later shunted forward at Didcot East to set-back into the Railway Centre.

The panel then spent a lovely afternoon in the sunshine that it would have seen so little of in its life before, sitting alongside the Demonstration Line platform. Later that afternoon it was shunted into the locomotive shed for under-cover storage until later this week.

Meanwhile, at Swindon, the team worked hard to restore the building to better-than-original condition. All manner of debris of the closure, decommissioning and our removal of the panel was removed, picked up, hoovered, replaced, squared up and secured: The window steel frames, uPVC fittings and glass panels were all replaced, door frame welded back into position, the handrails on the roof replaced, the floor in the control room made safe and holes covered with wood. The control room really is cleaner a lot than we found it!

At Didcot, work continued in the afternoon in preparing the building for the acceptance of the panel on Thursday. The many tools and items of equipment that we had used over the last several weekends were also brought back into the Railway Centre and returned to their correct places.

It was a fantastic day at Swindon and Didcot. We hope you enjoyed being part of it, whether that’s because you were there or because you followed progress through the day on Facebook or Twitter.

If you took photos today, please do send them in. The photos are extremely useful for ‘selling’ the Society to prospective supporters.

A huge thank you to everyone who has helped the Panel Society reach this stage – what a fantastic achievement for all of us! WELL DONE!



Not finished yet!

However…….. we must remember that the job hasn’t finished yet!

Not least because we need to now get the panel into its new building and settled in.

The interior of the new building is a long way off completion, and then requires to be fitted with an education and interesting set of displays and equipment.

The panel also needs wiring up (which will be a huge task) so that it can work as realistically as the real thing.

Come and join us at Didcot in completing the preservation of Swindon Panel – it will be great fun!

We will be at Didcot tomorrow (Sunday 3 April) and then from Thursday (7 April) to Sunday (10 April) inclusive, during which time we will install the panel in the new building.



Photo and Video Competition

We will be very pleased to receive photographs of the panel on its journey today – being lifted off the panel roof, being transported by road, being lifted onto the train, then being moved by train into the Railway Centre (including through Didcot Parkway station!)

More details: http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/swindon- ... mpetition/



Welcome To Didcot – Saturday 30 April

Let us welcome you, and give you the opportunity to welcome the panel, to Didcot!

This will be the first time the covers are taken off the panel, and everyone can take part in starting to re-insert the Domino tiles!

More details: http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/welcome-to-didcot-day/
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Re: Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Unread postby dscroggins » Mon Apr 4, 2016 10:44 pm

We are in the Swindon Advertiser again: http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news ... _new_home/
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Re: Swindon Panel - Moving Home

Unread postby TimMiller » Thu Apr 7, 2016 4:37 pm

The panel is now safely in its new building - thanks to all who helped today.
https://www.facebook.com/swindonpanel
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