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Bridge that Gap: Great Central Railway News

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Gav106, May 8, 2010.

  1. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Hi Andrew
    I think the Main Line magazine is available from the Kiosk on Loughborough (GCR) platform...of course you could also get it delivered four times a year by becoming a member - details on the website. It is certainly packed with lots of information each quarter (90 + pages), one of the best such magazines.
     
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  2. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    They have posted a Reunification update on YT earlier this afternoon....
     
  3. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison Member

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  4. Andrew MI

    Andrew MI New Member

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    Back from a lovely visit to the GCR - I don’t think I’ve been since the early 1990s (when I was very young so can’t remember much).


    The ability to effectively hop on and off fairly regular trains is a strong and different feature of the GCR to other lines I’ve visited but to go back to the previous page you really notice the difference in intensity of service south of Rothley station (ie the single track section).


    It has got me thinking about how reunification is not an end in itself, and it is far from it. It is the (major) catalyst for a whole laundry list of projects that are needed for the vision of an 18 mile preserved mainline.


    The gap is clearly going to be open for some years to come, but it may be that within 5 years or so it will be closed. When that is done, there will be questions about the: (a) location of the locomotive shed; (b) doubling of track infrastructure (if you double track to Leicester, aside from cost why would you not double track to Nottingham?); (c) construction of a “proper” southern terminus at Leicester (museum et al); (d) construction and extension of a “proper” northern terminus at Nottingham (extension to the NET?); (e) how to make the most of the heritage museum at Ruddington); (f) how to deal with all the changes operationally including how to timetable it all and include branches to Mountsorrel and Ruddington; (g) how to phase these elements of the project; and (h) how to pay for it all (including support from public funds given the scale of the final attraction).


    There is an incredible amount that can be achieved, it will take some time but in particular when it is complete I cannot think of anything comparable (ie there are plenty of what I would say are more scenic and spectacular routes, but I cannot think of any other preserved mainline between two large cities).
     
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  5. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Hi Andrew MI
    Glad that you enjoyed your visit to the GCR. You are quite correct with your list, however, I suspect that doubling (b) of the GCR(N) will not be a feature as there is always likely to be the constraint of the single track over the MML. It may well be that there could be long loops at East Leake used for two train operation on the North section?
    The Loughborough locomotive shed (a) is likely to stay in place for 20 plus years as it has had a major refurb.
    The other aspects, (c) L North terminus/museum complex with its double track to Rothley
    (d) Northern terminus (Chord into Ruddington?)
    and (e) Ruddington development.....
    ..... could progress quite quickly if the finance is available.
    It all improves, what is already, a very special Heritage Railway.
     
  6. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    I would be delighted to be proved wrong, but I think as far as north of the gap is concerned, the next few decades will (and should) be dedicated to securing a sustainable single track railway/infrastructure, not an unsustainable double one?

    Sent from my moto g(8) power lite using Tapatalk
     
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  7. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    I don't follow this argument. Apart from the physical cost of laying the track, which will be covered by new fund-raising, why should a single-track infrastructure be sustainable but a double track not ? Double track seems to work all right on the southern section so why not on the north ?
     
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  8. Andrew MI

    Andrew MI New Member

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    I’m certainly not the person to answer, but I would have thought the issues with eventually double tracking the northern section between Loughborough and Nottingham would be: (i) the maintainence burden, which would require an intensive and economic service to make ends meet; (ii) whether there are the visitor numbers to justify an intensive hop on hop off type service over 18 miles as opposed to the current 6 or so; (iii) if a solution to this is permitting trains to run faster over certain sections what are the costs of that; and (iv) the gap is almost certainly going to be no more than single track for at least the MML bridge anyway - can that be overcome with signaling.

    I see the issue - the double track section of the existing line feels like a different railway to the single track to Leicester and that may repeat post reunification - but I can see the advantages of a unified railway in terms of a physical connection, operating structure and quality and standard of infrastructure. In the very long term I hope that is possible.
     
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  9. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    Just to pick up on your point (iv) about the single section : as far as I can see the longest this section is likely to be is, roughly, 600 metres from Loughborough Station to where the NR connection merges. It can't take very long to lift a train from the halt at either end until it clears the section so I can't see it as anything more than a minor delay, and I doubt the service will normally be that intense anyway. Nor can I see anything complex about signalling it, unless you are thinking of the need to cover the NR connecting spur and even that should be straightforward.
     
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  10. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    The argument is not about single vs double track as an overall concept, it's about the state of affairs on the northern section. All the extra infrastructure "works OK" on the southern section because of the dramatically higher number of volunteers, paid staff and operating income, the bridge repairs on the southern section in the last ten years alone illustrate this. The northern section in comparison has effectively been stopped from running any sort of trains at all, groaning under neglected infrastructure and resource shortages. (Not entirely their fault I hasten to add!)

    So my original point was that the focus north of the gap for the foreseeable future (10 to 20 years) shouldn't be WIBN infrastructure, it should be to stabilise the foundations so that our successors can build the rest in the future. IMO the best section for the fund raising machine to double track next (after the gap is filled) would be Rothley-Leicester, but that's just me...

    I think the fund raising team for the gap are doing a fantastic job by the way, they seem very competent and I'm sure they know exactly where to invest next and in what order the dream will be best realised.

    Sent from my moto g(8) power lite using Tapatalk
     
  11. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison Member

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    Is double track north of Loughborough warranted though?

    Doubling Rothey to LN makes a certain amount of sense in order to 'finish the job' for the current GCR. It would also remove an operational handicap (albeit one that seems to be of a minor order except for special events like the steam galas).

    For Ruddington to Loughborough doubling to be a viable project, you'd be arguing
    1. That Ruddington becomes the operational HQ of the combined railway (thus all the facilities at Loughborough become superfluous)
    2. That most passenger journeys start from Ruddington or Leicester North (I don't say this is unlikely, but would merely note that Loughborough has the better public transport links and seems to be where most of the journeys on the GCR currently start from, and it seems a bit of a stretch to argue that just because the railway now starts 9 miles to the north automatically means most passengers will go to that point to start their visit)
    3. That all trains run the full length of the line

    I'd argue a counterpoint which is that when the Gap is plugged the railways align themselves in terms of rule book, signalling etc but they may choose to keep their services relatively separate. In which case you'd be treating Loughborough less as a through station and more as a terminus for services from both north and south. You'd probably still have a number of through, full line services but equally a number would only do half of the line. In the context of trying to 'recreate the steam age mainline' I think that sort of operational pattern gives a better option - a mix of full line and shorter local diagrams. And considering the vast majority of visitors are those who just want a ride on a steam train and probably not too interested in where it goes, again I ask is that additional double track necessary?
     
  12. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Well-Known Member

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    Double track means half the wear and tear on each track.
    Laying the second should be easier due to the rail access for the heavy stuff (panels of track / sleepers & rails).
    In use it allows the signalling to be arranged to allow operation with most boxes switched out except for high days and holidays (an uptick from the list clerks, I imagine!). Even the single line over 'The Gap' could probably be worked as part of an Absolute Block section.
    Just my ramblings, but I do worry about the dogma about double track.
    Pat
     
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  13. mikechant

    mikechant Member

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    It's quite possible that the state of the formation north of Loughborough (embankments, drainage etc.) might mean some serious and nearly prohibitively expensive rebuilding before reinstatement of the second track. Anyhow I'd be surprised if it was a serious consideration in the next decade or two.
     
  14. Mark_108

    Mark_108 New Member

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    It reduces rail head wear yes (although pres hardly hammers the rail) but, you now have twice the number of sleepers to replace, joints to jack n pack, fishplates to lube plus the reduced access having lost the non running line.
     
  15. damianrhysmoore

    damianrhysmoore Part of the furniture

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    does the single line in the north stick to one side of the formation or would double tracking mean signifcant relaying of that also? I think it very unlikely that single track isn't a cheaper option , albeit a less exciting one, given BR took the opportunity to single lines when they could
     
  16. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Well-Known Member

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    It follows the northbound formation from 50 steps down to just north of the disused East Leake station where it transitions over to the southbound formation
     
  17. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    Going back to what this particular thread is supposed to be about (The clue is "Bridge that Gap" in the title....) they have posted this today.....

     
  18. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Perhaps the mods might like to move several of these recent posts to the general GCR Thread rather than this "Gap" thread...or do they merit a new thread?
     
  19. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    They’ve all been moved to the other thread.
     
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  20. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Getting back on track, the first priority, once the gap is filled, has to be to install a basic signalling system on the northern section, and to join it up to the existing set up, then you have the question of the standard of the track on the Ruddington section, is it in need of attention, then what to do about Ruddington, do you build a new station or a chord line into Ruddington fields but the short term has to be to get the northern section in a fit condition to operate services to Loughborough,
     

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