Saturday, 8 August 2009

Back on the Main Line.

6 Locks, 6 Miles, 3 Swingbridges. Now moored at Parbold.

This morning we wandered up to the local railway station which we understood to still be running on the old token exchange system between the driver and in this case the level crossing keeper. Sure enough it is only a single track with the passing loop at the station. Once the railcar had stopped the keeper and the driver exchanged a wooden oblong block for a steel hoop with what looks like a bum bag attached.  There are no signals here just the token exchange to gain right of way to the next section. One hundred year old technology still in use.

Rufford Arm 051 The driver and level crossing keeper have just exchanged tokens so that the railcar can proceed through to the next section.

Just as we were about to leave Rufford we came across Takey Tezey II with Steve and Diane. They had been out for a trip but had to get back to St Mary’s Marina as Diane had to go to work. Hell we feel sorry for all these boaters still working but your day will come. At lock 3 a boater called out on passing ”we know all about you” and then at lock one another skipper said “I know you, I follow your blog”. It would appear that we have become well known on the Rufford Arm, good thing or bad, I’m not quite sure!

Rufford Arm 053 Paddle gear doesn't come much simpler than this. The near one is open, the far one closed.

As luck would have it there were quite a few boats on the move today so we found locks set in our favour and as we were about to leave some locks, boats arrived so we could just cruise on out and leave them to it. We stopped at Rufford Junction facilities for water but the rest of the facilities are locked off due to vandalism of the toilets and showers. Another reason was that the facilities are not on town sewage and it costs BW £20,000 per annum to get the septic tanks pumped out. So that’s where some of our money goes. With the facilities just up the road at Burscough and Spark bridge on the Rufford they could just about do away with this block and just leave the water supply. Why waste money doing up Rufford junction when better facilities at Wigan would make more sense and also be an advantage. Anybody from BW reading this?

1748 locks, 3643 miles, 66 Tunnels, 82 swing bridges and 53 lift bridges since Nov 2006


Peter said...

I jumped ship at the Rufford Branch but Albatross should be in your neck of the woods by now. We enjoyed our trip to Liverpool, hope you continue to enjoy your voyage!

Derek and Dot said...

Thanks for the good wishes, yes Albatross passed us a few minutes ago.