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Rother Valley Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by nine elms fan, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Active Member

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    I visited the Rother Valley Railway at Robertsbridge last friday 02/11/2012 there seems to have been a lot a work done there the railway track is now down to what was once the A21 and now just the road into Robertsbridge town does anyone know where they go from here, how are they going to cross the Robertsbridge bypass [A21] etc
     
  2. TonyMay

    TonyMay Member

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    Does anyone know how to use sentences and full stops?
     
  3. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Active Member

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    Do you!
     
  4. seawright

    seawright New Member

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    I have no connection with the Rother Valley Railway but based on conjecture, together with information from their website and blogs, crossing the bypass would appear to be a long term objective. The how will be determined by an engineering report which is yet to be commissioned, awaiting funds. Whatever method is chosen it is likely that the majority of the work will be outside the capabillities of the volunteers and will therefore have to be put out to contract, more expense.

    The trusts immediate objectives are a running line and sufficient rolling stock to enable them to run a service. This will provide an income and help to attract further funding.
     
  5. brendan

    brendan New Member

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    That,s not quite the case, I would suggest reading the blog section of the website again. Also look around on this forum as there are other treads on the subject.

    The plan is to cross the three roads by level crossings, which I am led to believe are being designed.

    As a Kesr volunteer the talk is now 'when we get to Robertsbridge' rather than 'if'
     
  6. 32110

    32110 Member

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    I assume that the proposals for these crossings have been discussed with the correct local/national goverment authorities. I am surprised that they would permit new level crossings to be installed especially on an 'A' road even though they may have been there previously. Assuming they were when were the taken out/last used?
     
  7. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    KESR website says their last stock movement train from Robertsbridge to Bodiam, before dismantling of this section, was in February 1972.
    I believe some of the team working on the RVR scheme also worked on the Welsh Highland project which also included reinstatement of long-abandoned level crossings over A-roads. No guarantee of success, but the people involved clearly have experience in this field.
     
  8. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Active Member

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    Very interesting, thanks for all the replys.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    From a conversation I had with one of HM's Railway Inspectors, I quote: ' We are not in the business of authorising new level crossings.' However, I also understand that present legislation does not allow for a properly authorised (statutory) level crossing to be formally closed. It would require an Act of Parliament to do so. I might have got this wrong, but I'm reasonably confident that this is correct, in which case, an old level crossing can be re-instated.
     
  10. seawright

    seawright New Member

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    The question is how old is the bypass? Was it there when the railway was last in use? If not then that would make this a new level crossing, getting approval for which could be problematic.
     
  11. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    The bypass wasn't there when the railway closed. The bypass proposal was one of the reasons the government in the 1960s opposed the re-opening of the K&ESR.
     
  12. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    From a conversation I had with one of HM's Railway Inspectors, I quote: ' We are not in the business of authorising new level crossings.' However, I also understand that present legislation does not allow for a properly authorised (statutory) level crossing to be formally closed. It would require an Act of Parliament to do so. I might have got this wrong, but I'm reasonably confident that this is correct, in which case, an old level crossing can be re-instated.

    Whoopee, Rillington Junctuion here we come!
     
  13. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    Interesting. I assume when passenger services were withdrawn in 1954 and freight in 1961 (and finally the Robertsbridge Mill stub in 1970) BR went through the statutory procedures needed to close a railway. Did this closure procedure not rescind the original powers to build and operate the railway? I think RVR are assuming they will need a TWA Order plus Level Crossing Orders to obtain the powers they need to re-open the line.
     
  14. seawright

    seawright New Member

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    How can you re-instate an old level crossing that wasn't there originally?
     
  15. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    No-one has suggested you can, although some contributors may have been unaware that the A21 Robertsbridge bypass (a single carriageway road, not the dual carriageway planned in the 60's) has been built since the railway closed. Finding an acceptable way to cross it, whether a bridge or a level crossing, will be one of the RVRs biggest challenges.
     
  16. 32110

    32110 Member

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    The crossing point would appear to be very close to a round-about which may add further problems/costs.
     
  17. seawright

    seawright New Member

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    I guess a lot will depend on the relative levels of the road and the original track bed but as I stated in my original posting,
    "The how will be determined by an engineering report which is yet to be commissioned, awaiting funds"

    or to quote directly from the Rother Valley Railway website at Objectives,
    "Some of the supporting engineering studies may need to be funded in the short term".

    If this information is out of date and the relevent engineering studies have already been completed I would be interested to know the engineers proposals.
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Could be wrong but I thought that the KESR always was a Light Railway and BR simply transferred this order to the present organisation so it never went through any statutory closure, as such. There is an occasional poster on here who no-doubt knows the answers to all these questions if he is minded to post!
     
  19. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    I'm not sure what the legislation required at that time but Nick Pallant's book, Holding the Line, about the early days of K&ESR preservation says after BR proposed to close the line in 1961 objections were received and an inquiry was held by the Transport Users Consultative Committee however the closure decision was confirmed and services ceased.

    However there may be something in what you say. The Tenterden Railway Co.'s statutory notice advertising their application for a Light Railway Transfer & Amendment Order appeared in the London Gazette dated 23/3/73 and can still be read on the Gazette's website. This says the proposal was to transfer from the BR Board "railways (or part thereof) which the Board are authorised to work as light railways", and referring to the original Light Railway Orders. As you suggested, this means the original powers to operate the railway were still considered to exist at that time and could therefore be transferred to the new company.

    The notice also makes it clear the application was for the railway between Tenterden and Bodiam only. Therefore the 1973 Transfer Order does not apply to the current RVR proposals. In 1973 this part of the railway had not been dismantled or land sold after it closed. If it had, would this have made a difference?
     
  20. martin butler

    martin butler Part of the furniture

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    As far as we members of Kesr have been told, a transport and works order will be needed for the Northbridge St to Junction Rd section, talks are on going with the highways dept on crossing the A21, the favoured method is still a level crossing with full barriers and i believe that the highways dept are not raising any questions and dont see it has raising any problem with traffic flows , as they would like to see traffic calming on this section of road in any case. delays to traffic would be minimal as the gates are only going to be down for a very short period of time .
    The person spearheading the project over saw the welsh highland extension and is very experienced at rebuilding railways, i am sure that every possible problem has been looked at and a solution found , i for one take the view that its a case of when we start operating to Robertsbridge, not if .
     

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