If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Great Central Railway after the link up

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Reading General, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. hst43009

    hst43009 New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gypsums run several times a week with no issues. The track is maintained to ensure the 10mph speed for such heavy trains can be maintained alongside 25mph for passenger trains.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
     
  2. hst43009

    hst43009 New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Only 2 restrictions currently. One due to condition of the embankment approaching Barnstone Tunnel from the Rushcliffe Halt direction due to a fragile embankment. The other over the viaduct over the River Soar which is an ORR requirement unless catch rails are fitted. Neither affect Gypsums. From experience, GCRN track condition is actually significantly better than many other heritage railways.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
     
  3. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,092
    Likes Received:
    1,157
    Didn't there used to be? Definitely can't reopen it that's for sure as was just looking at the TWO - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/2585/made/data.xht?view=snippet&wrap=true

    In section 10, operation of the railway, It specifies that East Leake will not reopen for passengers. The other interesting thing is that it prohibits passenger trains outside of the hours of 9-6pm. Does this still apply? If so that could have an effect on the extended full line operations.
     
    std tank likes this.
  4. Luke McMahon

    Luke McMahon New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    27
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Are there plans to repair the embankment near barnstone tunnel?

    We all know the major problems that the GWR & others have had with embankments slipping. Take it the 9-6pm restrictions at east leake are in relation to a noise curfew or similar being as it's in a fairly rural spot, although I somehow doubt this applied when the station was open. .
     
  5. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    3,285
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I thought the issue was about neighbours, not being in a rural spot.
     
  6. Tim Light

    Tim Light Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2016
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    370
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I know we have to be patient, and the GCR can only move as fast as funding allows, but I would like to believe that the long term vision is in line with the MLST's original goals of recreating a main line. For me this means, amongst other things, double track and higher speeds than a normal light railway.

    To achieve this goal will need a lot of money, but without such a vision I can't see the point in joining the two lines together.
     
  7. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    3,285
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I am a member of the GCR, but not of the GCR(N). Visiting the two, I notice that there are significant differences between the two operations in scale, style and stock. I also observe that the double-tracking of the GCR has yet to extend south of Rothley.

    Considering those, and bearing in mind the legal and financial constraints of exceeding 25mph, and even though I'd be delighted to see Loughborough to Ruddington as a twin track mainline operation, I would place that aspiration a long way behind two other objectives - the "Gap" bridged, and the two railways organisations working closely and harmoniously together.

    I think the latter, in particular, will be a key challenge for all involved - arrangements at Porthmadog show how possible it is to get things wrong.
     
    Black Jim and jnc like this.
  8. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    478
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Forget higher speeds. Higher speeds would mean secondary door locking, TPWS, OTMR and possibly GSMR. In effect you would cease to be a heritage railway and become a modern railway.

    Sawdust.
     
    35B, Bluenosejohn and Forestpines like this.
  9. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    2,499
    Likes Received:
    811
    It has been pointed out that the scenery along these (not yet joined) lines is not particularly thrilling. The original concept was to preserve a main line. So I'm with Tim on this. Yes, higher speeds would require a lot of extra stuff and cost a lot of money, but the end result would be a restoration of a steam-age main line, with some concessions to modern requirements but not at all the same as the national network. It's clearly out of the question for many years, but maybe one day.
     
    Black Jim and jnc like this.
  10. Tim Light

    Tim Light Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2016
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    370
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I have been to the GCR(N) ... once. It was nice to travel behind the O4, but we seemed to trundle along very slowly, with nothing much in the way of lineside interest (whereas on the Southern section there are interesting, well presented intermediate stations and the experience of passing trains going the other way). I'm not criticising the GCR(N), but I firmly believe that it will be a much more attractive ride in the long run if there is double track and a more exhilarating maximum speed.

    I agree with 35B that a harmonious link-up between the two operations is the first priority. But there needs to be a longer-term vision. If not then the GCR will be offering an expensive 3-hour trundle which will certainly not appeal to families with children.

    How about this for a long term view:

    - Double track throughout, except for the "gap" at Loughborough.
    - Line speed of 50MPH
    - Ruddington South Curve
    - Main Line termini at both ends of the line.
    - High quality transport-oriented attractions at Leicester North and Ruddington.
     
    Black Jim likes this.
  11. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    3,285
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I buy the idea of the main line termini and attractions (NRM Leicester, Ruddington), but see the 50mph as pushing way beyond what will be practical or affordable. My one trip on GCR(N) was enjoyable and of no worse landscape interest than the line south of Loughborough.

    As for travel with the family, I would see the interesting challenge as being how to balance the northern and southern parts of the line, so it doesn't rely on people travelling end to end. That said, if the NRM does go ahead at Leicester, I see that being a significant destination to draw traffic from the north - which may itself be an issue to address (says he thinking of WSR Bishop Lydeard/Minehead, NYMR Pickering/Whitby balances)
     
  12. meeee

    meeee Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    167
    I don't really see how reopening an abandoned railway in it's entirety is getting things wrong.

    The situation is a lot more nuanced than is made out, and the two organisations reguarly cooperate and have done for many years.

    Tim
     
  13. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2015
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    522
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Its not a 'rural spot' any more!- and that is the issue. Recent photographs show a relatively new housing estate right next to the remains of the island platform (not dissimilar in concept to those erected on the original Groombridge station site on the Spa Valley) which is bound to pose problems.

    Not having seen trains for years the locals are not happy at the prospect of noisy trains or hordes of visitors blocking their streets with their cars and as such will no doubt be lobbying the local council to keep a strict lid on the amount of noise / general 'nuisance activity' the 'Preservationists' can create.
     
    35B likes this.
  14. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2015
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    522
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The GCR and the GWR railways are very different in construction terms.

    As the present day GWR discovered, when their line was built the contractors / designers were very much of the 'bodge job' category. Embankments simply laid directly on top of grass medows (the 100 year old plus grassland being found perfectly preserved when the GWR were forced to rebuild the Chicken curve from scratch IIRC) rather than being 'keyed in' by the proper stripping back of the original ground surface while drainage was generally inadequate to cope with the run off from the Cotswold Hills.

    By contrast the GC (and their contractors took good care to ensure that their main line to London was built to the very latest and most robust standards possible - and thanks to the lateness of its construction there is an extensive library of evidence to demonstrate this.
     
    Black Jim likes this.
  15. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    3,285
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I refer only to the relationship between the two WHR companies, and the non fulfilment of the intentions announced before reopening.

    If relationships are better than headlines may suggest, I am delighted to hear it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  16. meeee

    meeee Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    167
    The two railways on the whole cooperate in a friendly way. A change in management and a lot of the hardcore FR haters having passed away or moved on has helped thing considerably. There are plenty of people who volunteer for both organisations too. The press tend to portray it as the big nasty FR stopping the WHHR playing trains. The reality is much more complex.

    The main hold up right now is a dispute over land at Pen-y-mount. Neither side is particular keen to give way on this sadly.

    The FR has a number of items on loan the museum at Gelerts farm, its also donated objects such as Moel Tryfans old wheelsets. There have been numerous loco exchanges at special events and WHHR test trains have been run, among a lot of other things.

    The regular running of trains is complicated as the original agreement involved the WHHR rebuilding the line to Pont Croesor. So the FR would have had to access part of the WHHR to get to Porthmadog. However this didn't happen and the FR ended up rebuilding it. So the legal obligation for running trains is questionable and i doubt the WHHR have the financial means to fight it.

    On the ground there are a number of hurdles to jump through. A big one is that the railway is using staff and ticket so releasing the WHHR train requires someone to bring the staff from Harbour Station or Pont Croesor. This is ok for one offs but for regular services it create problems. A "wireless" ETS system has been developed and is being implemented but it will take time and money to do so over the whole railway. I suspect the FR will not be keen to pay for an implement this at pen-y-mount all on their own unless there is some real benefit. The FR have donated some equipment to signal the junction though and a signal box originally intended for the Cambrian crossing.

    There are also difficulties with the braking systems as the WHHR uses single pipe air brake as apposed to vacuum. Test trains have been successfully run to show the effectiveness of the system on the long 1 in 40 gradient. The main worry now is the lack of an air braked loco capable of rescuing a stranded train in a reasonable time.

    Then you have all sorts other issues like training crews, maintenance standards, whos insurance covers what, who pays for what, are tickets from one organisation valid on the other ones trains, what do you do when something goes wrong and so on. This is not to say either side is doing something badly, the two organisations are just very different. You need to make sure people are working to the same standard and under the same safety management.

    This doesn't have much to do with the GCR but it does show the difficulties involved. It's compounded in the WHR case as the two organisations are so different in structure, scale and resources.

    Tim
     
    Johnme101, jnc, Bluenosejohn and 2 others like this.
  17. Luke McMahon

    Luke McMahon New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    27
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Personally I cant really see why residents at east leake would have that much of an issue, if they haven't complained about the gypsum trains which will more than likely make a lot more noise & run several times a week. The GCRN trains are mainly only going to run at weekends, the car parking issue wouldve obviously been an issue, shame it's not happening but such is life.
     
  18. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,308
    Likes Received:
    587
    Location:
    Nantwich, Cheshire
    I love the fact that on here you talk about how the GCR(N) needs double track and faster speeds to attract families... really???

    As a father to two young lads they will tell you the GCR(N) is far better than the GCR. You have a miniature railway that is great fun, a model railway they enjoy looking at, a MASSIVE park just over the other side of the railway. Surely the GCR(N) actually would make the day fun which the GCR certainly isnt for kids. So actually both railways compliment each othet quite well. I wouls say the priorities (once the gap is bridged) is double track to the new museum at Leicester, the museum at leicester, the facilities at Ruddington for a nice cafe that has more variety and some healthy food and the change of direction of the curve to enter Ruddington.
     
    class8mikado likes this.
  19. Tim Light

    Tim Light Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2016
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    370
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    So ... the point is not that double track and high speeds will attract families. The point is that low speeds will deter customers from travelling the whole distance, especially families with young children.

    I had always assumed that once the gap was bridged then the two railways would be unified and would operate as a single railway, but the feeling I get from some posts is that they will remain separate and loosely coupled. What's the official strategy?
     
  20. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    478
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The question is how will the combined railway be signalled and controlled. Presumably they currently operate under separate SMS's?
    Getting the infrastructure up to scratch will be quite a challenge.

    Sawdust.
     
    Bluenosejohn and Gav106 like this.

Share This Page