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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Leamington Spa Station: gwrls225a

Close up showing workmen laying timber planking to the track and track bed between the up and down platforms

Close up of image 'gwrls225' shows workmen laying timber planking to the track and track bed between the up and down platforms. The workman is carrying a 'boning rod', which is the staff shaped like a crucifix, which was a simple device used to determine approximate levels of the bottom of trenches between fixed points. The writer believes the planking laid between the rails is the only evidence of the work undertaken to excavate the new passenger subway which was constructed during the rebuilding. How the subway was actually constructed is not known to the writer but based on current practices the rails would have be lifted during a series of 'possession periods' conducted on Sundays when the contractor would be allowed to occupy the line. Once the rails had been lifted temporary works would have been constructed such as driving steel piles into the ground to act as columns to carry the track either side of the proposed subway. The columns would then support beams carrying the track over the area to be excavated. Once the temporary works had been complete the subway could be constructed in normal hours without disrupting traffic. The time taken to construct the subway would otherwise have taken many weekends and escalated the costs. During this possession period through traffic would be diverted from this area of the route probably via the goods line to the rear of the station.