Last November, Network Rail’s contractors started setting up the “construction village” behind the signalbox in conjunction with replacing the level crossing equipment, equipment that we understand dated from the late 1970s.
Then in February things really got going.
For the 9 days starting on 5 February the crossing was closed to road vehicles ….
The old crossing equipment was removed for component recovery
The “construction village” on the field rented behing the signalbox came into its own
and hoards of contractors were involved busily working away. Over 50 at one stage ….
Whilst the signalbox presided over the beginnings of its eventual demise
By Tuesday 7 February the new equipment had been erected and was being connected up
Whilst the trains continued to run with supervised pedestrian access over the crossing
and lots more going on
By Saturday 11 February the finishing touches were being put in place
Whilst the machines moved in and out of the field and along the road
Lining the road out on the Sunday
And all handed back on time for Monday’s services
The new equipment cabins adjacent to Mobberley Signalbox, and one of the signalmen, Darren, chatting to Jenny who commutes most days by train from Ashley to work at The Railway Inn close by Mobberley Station.
Then the start of the big clear up ….
The road, pavement and verges were in a bit of a mess after being “trampled over” by the heavy equipment
A little digger was employed to remove the tyre marks from the verge
And lorries turned up to take the heavy equipment back to base
The nearby pub, The Railway Inn, had suffered from loss of patronage due to the impression there was no road access to it, despite the road signs stating otherwise
The contractors found there was insufficient space on the road to park their vehicles, so parked on the pub car park – here on 20 February
And some of the contractors’ lorry drivers deciding it was too difficult to reverse with their trailers to the field to collect the temporary accomodation, used the pub car park to turn their vehicles round
We hear the pub complained about the holes made in the car park surface, a surface designed for cars, not heavy lorries turning trailers. Apparently Network Rail sent a manager to see them who sympathised with them and explained it was not Network Rail’s policy to pay for this type of damage caused by their contractors
The road has cracked under the weight of the vehicles
And the pavement now pushed lower than the road and turned to mud
I asked the contractors reinstating the verge what they planned to do about the damaged pavement and road. They told me it was not policy to repair these as the road should withstand the weight of the vehicles and they did not use the pavement ….
The crossing is working well.
Shame about the way Network Rail and their contractors seem to treat the neighbours.
(All pictures (c) John Oates apart from those of the pub car park area (c) Lynda Davies)