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Island Line under threat

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Shaggy, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    It's a valid concern (I suspect cost is the fly in the ointment too), though it's worth noting that crude oil prices are notoriously volatile. Of interest, was Walmsley referring to lead/acid, LiCad batteries or both? Do you happen to know when his appraisal was made? Manufacturing costs have reduced somewhat over the last few years, at the same time as battery performance has improved (rather too slightly).

    There are several significant costing differences between the two technologies. The Drumm cells on the GSR managed just over a decade (the diagrammed use from 1933-43 involved around 17,500 miles per unit per month, before timetable cuts during "the emergency"). The lead/acid of the Derby BEMU (conversion) gave rather less. (The Drumm units gave 15-20 years further service as hauled stock, the Derby BEMU awaits new batteries at the Royal Deeside Railway).

    Another variable is the cost of recharging. The Irish installation was government driven, largely to use some of the spare generating capacity of the Shannon Hydro-electic scheme and pretty much hit the buffers when government support for the whole Drumm project was pulled, just as replacement batteries loomed. The last unit ran in service in 1949.

    Another downside of battery units compared with an EMU is weight, with a lot of energy consumed just lugging about the power cells themselves, though probably no worse than a loco in working order. The Drumm units had an axle load of around 17t 5cwt. I can't find the figure for the BEMU, though the batteries themselves weighed 8tons (neccessitating chassis strengthening).
     
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  2. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    We ought not to forget the condition of the pier as an unknown factor.

    PH
     
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  3. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    This year, including that the batteries would need replacing 3 times in the life of the train. Not sure which technology he referred to.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  4. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Mmm ..... yes. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the structure below the running deck has been receiving regular "as and when" maintenance and that there was nothing too major expected, but that the running deck itself needs some tlc, though I'm not aware of any recent comprehensive survey in the public domain. Who picks up the bills for the (railway) pier anyway?

    Whatever happens with the railway, unless there's some secret plan to end passenger ferry services to Ryde, at least one of the parallel piers will need to be kept in good repair. As I've heard neither hide nor hair of any recent scheme involving "the T word", I'm guessing access arrangements will stay 'as is' for the foreseeable future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 2:43 PM
  5. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Network Rail I think but I could well be wrong.

    Paul H
     
  6. Romsey

    Romsey Active Member

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    I think it could be Wightlink who own the pier.
    See post 800

    Cheers, Neil
     
  7. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yes all the railway related infrastructure is the responsibility NR except for track i believe, but the track and associated equipment is due to come back under network rail after 2019, and heres the rub, even if lines close they are still responsible for the upkeep of structures such as tunnels bridges culverts etc
    The pierhead including the buildings and vehicle pier are owned and maintained by Wightlink
     
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  8. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    Wightlink are only responsible for the vehicle and pedestrian pier, the Railway pier which is totally separate is the responsibly of Network Rail. The old Tram pier is in-between them, no idea whose responsibility that one is.
     
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  9. cav1975

    cav1975 Member

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    From page 5 of the consultation document (Link in post #992) "Ryde Pier is Network Rail’s responsibility to maintain rather than the franchisee; the extent and timing of major renewals on the pier is unknown.".

    I think it belongs to Wightlink, but not 100% sure.
     
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  10. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That makes me wonder, if thats the case, would Wightlink ever rebuild it, to run a land train type operation down the pier , and round the esplanade up union street then down to the seafront then back up the pier if the Railway were to be closed at some point in the future .
     
  11. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Active Member

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    A lot. Where London Underground runs both stock types through the same platforms (for example, the Uxbridge branch) they use a compromise platform height which involves stepping up onto the surface stock or down into the tube stock. Neither could be said to be in any way DDA compliant. If you were talking about converting a line from one stock height to another, you'd realistically have to close the line for a few weeks during the changeover period.
     
  12. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Is Walmsley's paper available online (initial searches have failed to turn anything up)?

    Though it's concerned with bi-mode applications, there's a summary of some of the relevant considerations in this article by Malcolm Dobell (Rail Engineer 24th October 2017) which may be of interest:
    https://www.railengineer.uk/2017/10/24/bi-mode-trains-unlocking-opportunity/
     
  13. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    plus during this time the loop would have to be moved to Brading, it could potensially be longer than a few weeks, most likily a couple of months and then theres the logistics , as i would assume all the ballast would have to be brought in from the mainland and off loaded somewhere as the shingle ballast is a lot of the reason for bad riding. i suppose somewhere like Bembridge would be closest potentially you could see the line closed for 3 months assuming that the line is relayed thoughout with new ballast .
     
  14. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Not sure Modern Railways is available online - my copies are resolutely analogue!
     
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  15. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    Aggregates either come by the lorry load on the ferries or if by ship it is unloaded at Medina wharf. Yes it would make sense for all of the works to be done in one big hit, if the 3rd rail is to be dispensed with its removal can be added to the list.
     
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  16. SilentHunter86

    SilentHunter86 Member

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    How often did batteries need replacing on the MLVs?
     
  17. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    how many open wagons have you got Gary, you might be getting a call, " you know all that stuff we sold you , wagons, the 05, can we hire it back " oh and can you come and pick up those two ballast wagons in the head shunt see if you can get them working :)
    If it is 230 units, they could also, if its in the period january to march be unloaded at havenstreet worked to Ryde and the old 38's dragged back for loading or scrapping at the same time if one of those converter wagons could be made runnable ,
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 3:53 PM
  18. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Well-Known Member

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    But what exactly was wrong with the 1966 decision? As far as I can see the decision was made to retain the railway to cope with the number of foot passengers that came off the Ferries at Ryde in the summer, and it did that job well for as long as the foot passengers came in large numbers. What other option were sensibly available at the time?
     
  19. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    Have you any idea how expensive rebuilding even a closed railway as a guided busway is? Renewal of the electrification equipment may be cheaper!

    Steven
     
  20. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    If the conductor rail cost too much to get off the island, perhaps the IWSR could find a use for it pinning down the slippery stuff at Wootton (how deep is the lubricating layer?).

    Of course, if the decision ultimately is to abandon the Island line, some extra storage capacity for rolling stock at Ryde wouldn't exactly go amiss. Every cloud, and all that .....
     

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