Station Rd Replacements
On the 28th October, I had some free time, so I went down and managed to get quite a few photographs, as well as having a chat with the workmen. I arrived at about 9 o'clock in the morning, and already, another column had been lowered to the ground. (Column 35473)
The Opticell on this lantern was damaged and clearly had been for some time - moss was growing on the inside of it. I kept the HL4N cell as a souvenir - it'd probably just be scrapped if I'd left it. The yellow tube is the air supply for the pneumatic drill the workmen used to dig the hole for the new column.
This view shows a couple of the new columns, all neatly wrapped in bubblewrap and padding to protect them whilst being transported.
Sadly, the old column did not receive such loving treatment, and was cut into two pieces to save space on the HIAB.
The hole for the old column can be seen just above the drill, and the new lantern can be seen on the extreme right of the picture.
The bracket was then chopped as well - notice that the cell has now been removed.
The old column sections were bundled up into the HIAB, and the new one was lowered onto the ground. The old column had had some sign plates fixed to it (a double one to warn about mobile speed cameras and a no parking one), and so these had to be transferred to the new one before it could be raised into position.
With the plates fastened to the column, the last task before lifting was to fit the lantern. The column has a spigot welded onto it, so the lantern just fits on top and then is secured by a couple of allen screws.
The column has a good two metres of root that go under the ground. The small hole is where the supply cable enters the column. (The angle grinded base of the old column can be seen on the HIAB.)
I had to go back a fair distance to fit the entire column in shot here! After this picture was taken, the column was lowered into the ground and was then checked to make sure that it was completely vertical. It wasn't wired up straight away as the service cable had to be moved from the old hole to the new one.
Moving onto the next Alpha 1 along (just visible by the boom of the HIAB)...
This column was harder to change (35474) as it doubled up as the location to a bus stop, and so it was difficult to do any work whilst people were waiting there.
The door from this column was already removed so the old service could be disconnected. The instant start ballast has definitely seen better days!
Here, a sling is being fitted to the column - this clips onto the hook on the HIAB boom. The hole around the base of the column has already been excavated.
It took quite a bit of shaking to remove the old column due to the large amount of concrete around the base.
Eventually though, the old column was removed and angle grinded to size and the new one was prepared for lifting.
The column was spun through 180 degrees and the lantern was brought down, ready to be installed.
The lanterns all use Monostar 1000 cells. An example of the spigot I mentioned earlier can be seen in the top right-hand corner.
As the column was raised, it started to come towards me, so I decided quite wisely to step back a few paces!
As before, once the column was raised up, it was very high!
Once the column was positioned correctly, it received a quick vertical check before the concrete was poured into the hole.
The column was then wired up, and the HIAB moved onto the next column. The temporary traffic lights were used to guide motorists around the HIAB whilst it was parked up.
I left at this point, but returning later revealed that the next column (just visible here) had been changed, as had another down the road. The two columns that feature on the Survivors page are still there (as of 30th October) however - probably because they're near to some shops and so would be quite difficult to get to - with cars pulling in and out at all times during opening hours.
Links to the other Station Rd pages:
Photographs of the replacements:
Other information about or involving the Station Rd replacement scheme:
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