Future in Action

Future in Action

Barrington Rail Restoration Open Days – Fun in the Sun

At the end of Sept CEMEX UK hosted a grand event to celebrate the completion of the Barrington Rail Restoration Project at Barrington Works.  We invited local Councillors from the County and Parish Councils, local resident association members and project contributors at Barrington Hall.

Barrington Rail 2 resizedOur Country President, Jesus Gonzalez, welcomed everyone to the Open Day and gave a brief overview of the project which was the first of its kind undertaken by the CEMEX’s Engineering Team.

He explained the many challenges faced such as requiring re-laying 3km of rail track from Foxton Sidings through into the quarry to the new unloading platform, passing close to residential properties in Barrington Village, over three road crossings, a river, a flood plain and a cattle creep.

Barrington Rail 3 resizedThe viaduct over the river required specific strengthening with additional piling and substantial steelwork in order to bear the weight of a class 66 locomotive and 22 wagons of inert material, and required special anti-vibration mounts under the wooden sleepers and continuous welded rail to reduce noise and vibrations.  All guests were then invited to take a ride on a steam locomotive, driven by John Drayton, the now-retired Barrington Site Manager.

Barrington Rail 4 resizedIn the afternoon, a class of children from the near-by Haslingfield Endowed School visited, enjoying a brief talk by John Drayton about the historical interest of the site and seeing his display of fossils, before having a sit and play in a CEMEX tanker, an 8-wheeler lorry, and various items of plant and then finally having a ride on the steam locomotive.

Barrington Rail 5 resizedOn the following Saturday a Rail Enthusiasts and Rail Press morning was held before the general public were invited in the afternoon.  The Open Day proved hugely popular with the local community, with many of the children from the previous day returning with their families to enjoy further rides on the steam locomotive in the autumn sunshine, and to see if they could beat their previous scores on the plant simulator provided by L-Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage Limited!

Small sections of old bullhead rail from the Barrington site were sold as memorabilia alongside promotional gifts to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Barrington Rail 6 resizedMany happy faces left Barrington clutching goody bags, pieces of rail and excitedly talking about the steam train rides, and that wasn’t just the children!  Due to the future development of the site this was probably the last time a steam locomotive would ever ride the tracks at CEMEX Barrington Works.  As the sun went down, the final ride of the day was for the open day organisers, with Sally Newman and Andy Salmon at the helm, bringing an end to two very successful and memorable days.

Special thanks must go to our contributors Trackwork Limited, Tony Gee & Partners LLP, Railway Electrical Services Limited for their popular stands, and L-Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage Limited for the plant simulator; to RMB Contractors Limited for the donation of operative Chris to help out for the week; to David Atkinson, Andy Salmon and Rocks By Rail for lending the steam locomotive, brake vans and platform (we couldn’t have done it without you); to TA Birch & Sons and Lollie Dollies for refreshments; to Nigel and Dot from East Anglian Air Ambulance for their support, never-ending enthusiasm and help; to Liz Young for the photographs and Cycle Safety; to Scott Christie and Paul Baldwin, CEMEX tanker and truck drivers, who went over and above to assist the team; to Mark R Brown, Graham Laight and Vishal Puri to driving the minibuses continuously on Saturday; to Sally Newman, Den Williams, Steve Spark, Angus Newman, Louise Newman, Mark Norton and Mark Grimshaw-Smith for shunting; and finally but not least, to the organisers of the Open Days, Ian Southcott, Sally Newman and Louise West – a brilliant job well done.