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Bluebell WESTERN Extension - so what's occurring then?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by domeyhead, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. domeyhead

    domeyhead Member

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    April Fool! (for now).
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Now, had you said SOUTHERN extension, that really might have been an April Fool!

    Tom
     
  3. nferguso_wyvern

    nferguso_wyvern New Member

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    All the best April fools need to have a grain of plausability and this one certainly qualifies!
     
  4. William Shelford

    William Shelford Member

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    Or EASTERN Extension (East Grinstead - Groombridge) !
     
  5. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    And here I was about to post 'Love the thread title, but alas I'm afraid it will be some years before there's anything to post about'!

    Noel
     
  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Nah, Sheffield Park - Uckfield, using the route of the abandoned Ouse Valley Railway. Would be easier that SP - Lewes!

    Being serious, and without wanting to set hares running, it is interesting that the draft LTP does have more to say about the Ardingly extension than the existing one.

    The current one (so current official policy) says:

    The draft LTP (so not yet official policy, but up for debate at the next AGM) says:

    So, without yet doing any major fundraising, it looks like the planned answer to Domeyhead's (slightly tongue in cheek!) question has moved from "undertake a feasibility study" to "continue enabling works". Some of those enabling works have already taken place: for example, HK is now signalled fully to allow arrivals / departures between platforms 1 or 2 and Ardingly; and the draft LTP also talks about bringing Platform 1 up to passenger standard, which with the existing track layout only makes sense in the context of a western extension. There has also been quite a lot of consideration into how to bridge station approach road, which is the biggest single civil engineering challenge between HK and the edge of Ardingly.

    Tom
     
  7. Man of Kent

    Man of Kent New Member

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    Linking this thread with the EG extension, is there still any clay etc from Imberhorne to be transported to the Ardingly spur embankment, or is it all staying around Imberhorne?
     
  8. A1X

    A1X Well-Known Member

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    Or from the north. Would be a very handy place to stick a railtour, for example.
     
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    AFAIK there is still some to shift south.

    Tom
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    We have Platform 2 for that, while still leaving 3 and 4/5 to cross service trains, without needing platform 1. I can't see an occasion when we would get two charters on the same day needing two platforms at HK while also leaving two free to cross the service trains..

    Which isn't to say that platform 1 wouldn't get used for berthing a charter if it were available. But I can't see that we would go to the expense of relaying track, tidying up etc, just to make a berth for what will be in my opinion very rare charter trains. Whereas doing all that work as an enabler for going to Ardingly makes more sense.

    Tom
     
  11. A1X

    A1X Well-Known Member

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    Could maybe be useful for clearing the stock out from the end of P2 so, if we did need extra flexibility at HK for whatever reason (engines have been banned from 4&5 before now, or you never know when a point or signal might fail) we could keep the show on the road without impacting on the service? By my reckoning on Google Maps you could fit a tour in between the north end of 1 and the far end of the Ardingly spur without much hassle while also being free from any running areas.

    Obviously that's an unlikely scenario, but better to plan for an eventuality and never need it...
     
  12. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Would I be put on a "Bluebells most wanted" list for suggesting that any extension to Haywards Heath should include reinstatement of the juice rail ?.

    After the marathon of getting to East Grinstead, I think you guys can be excused not much happening before 2020.
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Well, if you fancy volunteering as a shunter so I don't have to couple / uncouple...

    The draft LTP says:

    But I rather get the feeling that that is a bit of a sop to a very small number of people who would want it to happen, while putting it effectively so far in the future that it won't happen... (Just my opinion, BTW). I think the S&T engineer (whoever it might be in 2038) would probably have a pretty big influence: we have more or less completed a major resignalling at HK, that includes using 12V DC track circuits. If we electrified, the whole area would have to swap to 24V AC, which includes much more than it sounds, since (if I understand correctly) it is not just a case of changing the hardware of the track circuits (a big enough job in itself), but all the interlocking between track circuits and the mechanical lever frame.

    And that is before you got into the safety issues of having volunteer and occasional loco crew working with a live third rail.

    That's probably a fair timescale: I can't see anything more than nominal amounts spent on Ardingly before then, unless there is a cast iron opportunity to bridge Station Approach Road more quickly (which, just possibly, might happen if the railway starts to get concerned that if they delay, the Highways requirements become more onerous, which is always a possibility).

    Tom
     
  14. Corbs

    Corbs Well-Known Member

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    Would running trains with a suitable electro-diesel supplying the juice (As at Pontypool and Blaenavon) be out of the question?
     
  15. John Stewart

    John Stewart Part of the furniture

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    By that time the Brighton line might well have been converted to 25kv ac!
     
  16. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    Tom: Just out of interest, does the future bridging of the station approach road run to the Bluebell quietly keeping in contact with possible sources of a second-hand bridge superstructure? ie Network Rail and the like?

    46118
     
  17. tamper

    tamper Member

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    73128 does not supply the juice, it supplies the power (nominal 700 hp on diesel) as does 73210 at the Mid Norfolk with the ex Lymington set and indeed as did 73136 Perseverance on clay trains at the Bluebell.
     
  18. Shaggy

    Shaggy Well-Known Member

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    The legitimacy to re-energise the Ardingly Branch would definitely create a deal of interest and would be historically correct however, I cannot see any authorisation being granted for its re-instatement. No new 3rd rail projects are in the pipeline on the big railway and as said elsewhere, 3rd rail technology is being replaced throughout the south with 25KV knitting on the mainlines anyway. When this happens, I can see juice at ground level will be outlawed under 'elf and safety legislation.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes. Hence the comment in the draft LTP about continuing enabling works "as finance and opportunities arise".

    Tom
     
  20. Lingus

    Lingus New Member

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    Unfortunately this would negate the efforts of the 5BEL Trust.
     

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