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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. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Inevitable bit of thread drift so here we go.
    Regarding D123 and running at higher speeds does that have to have a different maintenance spec? Something more akin to say the mainline Class 50's and how they're maintained obviously barring things like TPWS and OTMR as I don't believe that their fitted to it?
     
  2. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    By your assertion if I wanted to build a footbridge I could build it out of balsa wood so long as I promised only to let one person tiptoe over it at a time. I’m afraid standards don’t work like that.

    I’m not going to prolong this debate as it is pointless; I’ve already given a perfectly sensible example of how the heritage use could load the bridge up to 250T+ and there is absolutely no way anything currently not planned to travel over it is going to exceed that anyway. And I’ve no idea what it was specified at anyway but you can safely bet the above example won’t be testing it to its limits.

    Oh and I never said carrying modern freight was WIBN either. I think it would be a perfectly horrible idea. The railway I want to see would be a heritage timewarp.


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  3. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    In an ideal world, sure. Thought ..... were commercial freight to become a reality, could the heritage portion of route perhaps form a single 'locked out' section, facilitating that nasty modern stuff moving outside heritage operating hours? Photographic types'd be falling over themselves to get night shots like that. Win .... win .... if it were feasible.
     
  4. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Of course there is a section of the GC that does carry "Modern freight" as there are still the Gypsum trains running from the Midland Main Line up to East Leake on the GCR(N) section.......and they travel very close to the new bridge!
     
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  5. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Yes there is, but it already avoids running ‘out of hours’ (even though it could) at the behest of the freight customer who understandably wants to maintain good relations with the locals.

    Apart from Mountsorrel quarry there isn’t any significant heavy industry anywhere near the southern section, and the quarry already has its sidings on the Midland main line, so I’m really not sure where this supposed traffic is coming from. If the link generates any new traffic at all it will most likely be short term training and testing jobs.


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  6. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    The intermediate ‘boxes can already be closed, creating longer block sections, but you can’t avoid manning the boxes at the double- to single-track junctions.

    It’s also far from a ‘win win’ situation. When it was being considered, people were talking about building a new chord line (through ancient woodland), upgrading one of the running lines to modern spec rail (so think UIC60 rail, welded, etc.), and building a massive long holding loop right next to one of the ‘heritage’ stations. Had all this come to pass, the ‘heritage’ side would have been playing second fiddle to the commercial traffic and the railway that so many of us have built into what it is, over many decades, would have had its character changed forever. So I, for one, am very pleased that the idea went in the bin.


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  7. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with pmh regarding the nature of the railway changing had that particular scenario been followed. However I'm sure that having the potential to move stone via the GC, albeit far less efficiently, does provide an extra degree of resilience to the quarry operation. Thus I feel that the eventual closing of the "Gap" will only strengthen the GCR as a whole. Let's just keep the money flowing in so that it happens sooner!
     
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  8. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Phil, thats as may be but we are not raising money from railway enthusiasts in order to subsidise a massive commercial enterprise; I think we need to be clear on that. Had we gone down that route, the present funding model would simply not have worked.


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  9. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    ...Well I did say that "I totally agree with you" and that it was only a "potential".....So rest assured we are clear about the use and benefit of "bridging the gap"....I am just looking forward to following the progress of the "Factory Flyover" with stages 3 and 4 of the project......as I'm sure many others are.
     
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  10. ianh

    ianh New Member

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    Any mileage in moving stone to fill the gap by rail? - what ever happened to the self discharging train that used to run from the Quarry
     
  11. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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  12. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Whats the method of construction of the factory flyover going to be ? , brick faced concrete arches or is it more like a normal bridge .
     
  13. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I suggest that the nature of the business whose premises will be passed by the gap is such that more precise and less intrusive techniques would be required to recreate the embankment.


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  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don't see how the second sentence I've highlighted follows from the first. If a heritage railway had on its doorstep an industry that would potentially benefit from rail transport, but wasn't actually at that point doing so, then that would feel to me like a pending risk to the heritage atmosphere of the heritage railway without actually getting any direct financial or other benefit. That doesn't feel to me a recipe for strengthening the heritage railway, assuming the desire is to see it flourish as a heritage attraction.

    Tom
     
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  15. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Agreed. Especially now the Mountsorrel branch is in place (NB - must make effort to visit when possible again), I can’t see how restoring quarry traffic could be anything other than highly destructive of the heritage operation.


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  16. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    From memory, when the "Gap" scheme was first mooted, there was an idea/proposal to link the Mountsorrel Quarrying operation, via the Mountsorrel Branch to the "rejoined" parts of the GC to enable the rail traffic to run via there and the existing link to the Midland line to access the National Network.
    This would enable the existing links to the sidings on the MML and the current movements to/from there to be eliminated, thus increasing the MML capacity fairly quickly as a result. The existing arrangements were said to cause significant limits on other traffic using the MML.
    At some stage, any proposal for this was dropped from the scheme, but, without checking back through old copies of Main Line (assuming it was recorded in there), I can't remember much more about the details. Must have been 10+ years ago, I would think.
     
  17. Davo

    Davo Member

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    Would have that been where the mount- sorrel line after it crosses the river soar joins the midland main line near sileby?
     
  18. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    I can see that I have caused confusion....The point I am making is that ....potentially.....some stone could be shifted by rail via the GC so IF say the conveyor belt to the MML broke, and the stone stock by the MML ran out, then over a short period, the GC could, Potentially, be used to get some stone moved as an emergency measure........ If they couldn't use lorries for some reason......that is just being a good neighbour.
    I am certainly NOT SAYING that the GCR should become the stone moving route for the quarry.
     
  19. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    That sounds about where the current rail loading point is on the MML, as the old trackbed into the quarry from the Midland line is now occupied by a conveyor belt that carries the stone to the loading point there.
     
  20. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    I think this is in pie-in-the-sky territory, quite frankly. To do that you’d first need to extend the branch a few hundred yards, which would involve rearranging the quarry’s stone grading yard, removing a massive earth bank and sorting out the drainage at that end of the branch before even thinking about track. The two bridges on the branch are tight for clearance and would probably need rebuilding. The branch track is probably too lightweight/old (second hand rail etc.) and would need upgrading. By the time you’d spent all those millions (and months) you could have just fixed or replaced the conveyor instead. And you haven’t even considered the staff costs of getting the stone out that way - you need at least three GCR operating staff on duty just to run a single train even if someone else is driving it. Oh and not to mention the damage this train would do to the track, or the relationships with the neighbours.

    It sounds like a nice idea down the pub, but less so when you sober up the next day.


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    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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