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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. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    I believe it’s just designed for single track but I don’t see why that would prevent ACB northwards, so long as it’s all within Loughborough station limits, fully track circuited between there and the ‘box, and some means is devised of ‘tail lamping’ trains to the MML from the north.

    Which is not to say that’s what will happen, of course! I’ve no idea.

    As for 2023 a dose of realism is required I feel. Loughborough south resignalling took a number of years, and Loughborough north is potentially a bigger scheme involving a main line connection, new infrastructure and relocating the loco shed. I personally see no point in rushing to get an historic first train over if public services can’t follow relatively soon thereafter. Better to take time and get it right.


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  2. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road New Member

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  3. sycamore

    sycamore New Member

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    Presumably as Loughborough is likely to become the 'middle section' of the GCR in the future, any future double track would be more beneficial towards the outer extremities? Although at apx. 16 miles in total, I'm sure a bit of single track in the middle shouldn't cause too many delays in the grand scheme of things!!!

    Will
     
  4. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Well it has been mentioned before on this forum that there are a few examples of single track sections on the mainline that don't really impede operations all that much. It's just how you arrange the timing for the trains really, making sure the timetable is arranged so you don't get trains crossing paths on that straight section and therefore have to stop for the other to pass. Though I honestly can't imagine the GCR ever running that many trains to the point that sorting the timetable to do that would be tricky to pull off. This is a long time problem at any rate, as this issue would only arise when the northern section of the GCR is double track too, and I can't see that happening for a good long while yet.

    The next double track project I reckon will happen next if it does is finishing the job so to speak on the southern section, getting the double track all the way to Leicester North itself.
     
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  5. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    pmh makes good points.... But the Loughborough South resignalling took place after the Double track was in place, Also I believe that most of the double track project was funded by David Clarke - not a mass public fundraising process. We are told that the Engine Shed is a separately funded project - but obviously its position is critical to the Gap project.
    Four years may be ambitious, but it is realistic - If the funding keeps pace. This depends on marketing the project and maintaining up to date progress reports to keep people's enthusiasm high and maintaining their donations.
    As the 50th Anniversary represents such an obvious target, it would appear to make a "Win Win" for the Railway and the wider Heritage audience.[/quote]
     
  6. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Phil, the Loughborough South remodelling was not done ‘after’ the double track project, it was an integral part of it which had to be finished before anything other than the occasional ‘locked in’ demo train could access the single line. It involved 9 new sets of machine-operated points/traps, the almost complete re-locking of Loughborough box, two new relay rooms, every signal (bar 1) south of Loughborough relocated and ultimately controlled by a different lever, new buried cable the length of the Loughborough - Rothley section, and all of the new signals and point machines refurbished from various states of scrap. It was a mammoth project and the 10 days of commissioning at the end was just the culmination of many years work by a lot of people (all of whom are a lot older now and several of the key players are not around as much or at all). And yes, David Clarke’s financial contribution was a massive part of the project but there was also a public share issue about 8 years previously. And this was all without having to build the infrastructure first, or interface with two other railways. Personally, I’ll be pleasantly surprised if a train runs north out of Loughborough within 10 years of now, and I doubt even that will be under anything close to the final arrangement.


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  7. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Hi pmh
    As you correctly say there was the occasional "Locked in" demo train.......before the completion of the massive South end remodelling. That is Exactly what I think should be aimed for - by 2023.
    There is a lot that has changed about peoples perceptions and expectations with the advent of the internet. I very much hope that you will indeed "be pleasantly surprised" and that we do get a train across the gap...by the end of 2023!.......and a fully signalled service later, by 2029.....or sooner.
     
  8. class8mikado

    class8mikado Member

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    Thats interesting, could you explain the advantages of doing this to the ignorant ( ok, me then)
     
  9. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    The only advantage to gauntletting would be the saving of two sets of pointss as the section would have to work as a single line anyway. There are however many ways the section could be operated. Kidderminster to Bewdley is track circuit block with acceptance lever and is tokenless. For safety it is imperative the guard as well as locco crew observe the section signal at either end as this is the only authority to procede.

    As an aside GCR (N) to midland main line tail lamp is covered on the SVR by rule 147, as in the black book. 147 can be given by the guard by telephone or train complete plunger. We have the problem at Arley and Hampton Loade where trains pass wwithout the rear of the train passing the box. Also at Bridgnorth where the box is near the north end of the platform. The guard will confirm to the bobby that the train is complete and inside the clearing point and hence out of section so the token can be put through the token instrument
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  10. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road New Member

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    As I tried to say, but messed up, in #942. It avoids several potential failures and also the repetitive task of checking FPLs. I think it may also be possible, with track circuiting and suitable interlocking, to operate it as a AB section , albeit one where trains could not pass over the interlaced bit (obviously!).
    (In that regard I am thinking of the 'Exceptional Load' procedure on the Big Railway. There are places where such trains are not allowed to pass other trains on double track due to their width - between Romsey and Salisbury there is such a stretch on the Down where trains carrying Warriors were not allowed when another train was on the Up.)
    Pat
     
  11. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    We used the same method at Rothley in single track days, where the Up train tail lamp was somewhere behind the platform buildings and hadn’t passed the box yet, so that the Down train could be given a clear run onto the single line.
    However, I don’t think it is as simple as that when Network Rail want to receive a Gypsum train at 5am and the Loughborough signalman is still in bed.

    My final word on this, as someone intimately involved with the double track project signalling (no, I don’t claim to be the brains behind it, but I did put hundreds if not thousands of hours into it), is that setting unrealistic expectations helps nobody. That’s all.


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  12. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    pmh_74

    .......My final word on this, as someone intimately involved with the double track project signalling (no, I don’t claim to be the brains behind it, but I did put hundreds if not thousands of hours into it), is that setting unrealistic expectations helps nobody. That’s all.

    I'm sure we both want the same thing and know how much time, effort and expense is involved. I am just suggesting that having an ambitious - but not unrealistic target, that resonates with a wide section of the public, may well gain significant interest and raise more money faster, to make that target more likely to be achieved.
    As ever it will be the railway that decides - but they have achieved so much over the past four years I am optimistic that good progress on closing the Gap will be maintained.
     
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  13. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    Going back to the canal bridge, does anyone know when the target date is for the towpath to re-open? (If I visit the railway while it's closed I'd want to allow a bit of extra time for the walk from the NR station to Loughborough Central).
     
  14. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Hi Mike
    The footpath is still open on the other side of the canal, between the road bridge near the NR station up to the GCR bridge.
     
  15. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    Thanks for that, I'd got the impression it was closed.
     
  16. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    It is the Towpath that is closed, which is on the North side of the canal, there is the Footpath on the South side, just up to the bridge, that is open.
     
  17. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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  18. fergusmacg

    fergusmacg Well-Known Member

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    And some wonder why "enthusiasts" get a bad name by the general public, and its not like we have never been down the same road before:

    https://www.national-preservation.com/threads/sad-enthusiasts.1069422/
     
  19. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Work has moved to under the canal bridge, with scaffolding now across the canal. You can also see some of the new steel where the bridge rests on its stone bearing block.
    DSCF7244 s.jpg
     
  20. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    This is a view of the work on top of the canal bridge. DSCF7242s.jpg
    It was taken from where the rails presently end, North of the shed - so not too much to be laid and get a steam engine through the shed and "posed" on the bridge......:D
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
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