Telford & Wrekin Council crews are in Jackfield this week preparing the site for the arrival of the newly renovated railway crossing gates.
The mammoth gates will be arriving in three sections on Wednesday, after a year-long project to restore them to their former glory by Coalbrookdale-based Small Woods Association.
Over the next two days, crews will be sanding and painting the cast iron posts and digging a trough to prevent the new gates having too much contact with any standing water. They will also erect a temporary shelter where the gates will be finished off.
Once on site and under the protection of the shelter, the gates will be joined together and given a final onceover. They will then be given three coats of paint before the metalwork is put back on. After all this is done, the gates will be lifted in place.
Council engineer Gareth Rushton has helped to oversee the project. He said: "The gates have taken a team from Small Woods over 1,000 hours to build. They have used traditional skills and techniques which has been really great to see. Each gate measures 38ft, which is longer than the wingspan of a Spitfire. When you think about it like this, you realise what a feat this has been.
"J & A Stevenson, another local firm, has also done a fantastic job restoring the metalwork which will be used on the new gates. This has been a real labour of love for everyone involved. The gates are part of the industrial history of Ironbridge Gorge and one of the reasons it is designated a World Heritage Site. We’re in the final phase now. In a few weeks’ time, the gates will be lifted into place and back where they belong.”
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