Swindon Panel Ready to Go!

An absolutely astonishing effort by the thirteen SPS members in attendance today at Swindon PSB has seen the paneldrawn 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 The jacking bolts that have worked so hard over the last few weeks raising the panel up have been retracted allowing the frame roller wheels to be lowered down into steel channel on top of the blocks.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.

Before:

After:

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!


Re-enacting a famous scene!