15th/16th April 2022

For a freight driver bank holiday weekends inevitably mean an abundance of ballast work. Friday night Saturday morning sees me working 6G15 on a worksite just outside Virginia water. This is a large job with new signalling being commissioned and control of the area moving from Feltham to Basingstoke ROC.

I arrived on site at around 21:00 and relived my college around 45 mins early. Needless to say he was pretty happy with this. Ballast work is one of those things where you can be flat out or stood still. Tonight was the latter in fact I didn’t turn a wheel for the entire shift.

After watching a couple of films I decided to make myself comfortable and get some sleep. Working nights into your day off is never nice so if you can get a few hours of shut eye then that helps.

66s are not the most comfortable things to drift of to sleep in, but I was just getting comfy (ish) when my GSMR radio went off with a general call. This is a voice call that goes out to all trains in a certain area. This call advises that GSMR testing was taking place and to acknowledge the message but to take no actions. The radio then proceeded to send an emergency call. This went on and repeated for around an hour with various engineers talking to each other. I did manage to get a recording though which is nice, considering I’ve got a half filmed GSMR video waiting to be finished.

Anyways I did manage to get a few hours sleep and am now on the train home to enjoy some R&R with the family. I’ve got my dad comming over for a BBQ later #grandadrail ?

Have a lovely Easter Weekend everybody! 



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