The track was dismantled and the area cleared for the first time in 30 years as the planned redevelopment of the area became a reality. The fishplates, keys and rails were the first items to be removed, revealing the sleepers which had to be dug out of the ground.
The central area will be levelled and will form a junction between the new platform for passenger rides, seen in the background of this photograph, and the quarry curve to allow the iron ore trains to access the loading dock and Cottesmore West Pit.
All of the materials recovered in this demolition phase are being assessed for reuse but it is clear that most of the rail is now life expired and will be replaced with new. The pointwork has been donated by Heidelberg Hanson Cement and recovered from their redundant quarry line at Ketton. A catch point will protect new staff and visitor crossings in due course.
We look forward to one of the largest track projects in the life of the Museum but which is now essential to secure the long term viability of our operations.