Increasingly we are all being urged to reduce, reuse or recycle, and the DFR does this wherever possible - witness our latest project (https://www.dfrsociety.org.uk/wye-valley-track-recovery) where we are removing redundant railway track near Cheptstow for re-use at the railway. However, we are now pleased to announce that we can also recycle old ballast - thanks to the help of local manufacturer, The Bucket Manufacturing Company of Chepstow who have donated a brand new riddle bucket to the Society, seen below fixed to the railway's JCB excavator.
When we relay sections of our track, we generate large amounts of spoil - waste ballast mixed with soil and other detritus. Until BMC's generous donation, we were unable to recycle this material other than as infill for construction work, and we had to purchase fresh ballast from local quarries for trackwork. The riddle bucket features slots cut in its base, so our volunteers can use it attached to our excavator to sift through the spoil and separate the larger, useful pieces of ballast from the smaller stones and dirt. Not only is this more cost-effective and will save much expenditure on fresh ballast, but it will also allow us to tidy up unsightly piles of spoil, and is better for the environment as it reduces the amount of fresh stone we use.
The Bucket Manufacturing Company Ltd (BMC) is based in Chepstow, South Wales and is now recognised as one of the few truly professional manufacturers of excavator attachments in the United Kingdom. They manufacture heavy duty high quality excavator attachments from 0.75 - 52 Ton machines, suiting all aspects of Ground Engaging Tools on all types of terrain, including rock.
The Dean Forest Railway Society is extremely grateful to BMC for its generous donation, and our permanent way team are already eyeing up piles of spoil to process. It may only make a small environmental difference, but in the words of the famous TV advert, every little helps!