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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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    Very sorry to read about your poor experience Belgarath001.......but if you want to help with the Windcutter group please contact me, I'm sure we can find plenty for you to do!
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I know of someone else who joined the GCR with the intention of volunteering in the loco department, had a very similar experience to you, gave up and now happily volunteers elsewhere. He was quite unimpressed by the GCR's organisation (or lack of it) with regard to volunteering.
     
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  3. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Good to see an update on the GCR website re the £1M+ raised so far.......and news that we are also benefitting from HS2!
    .........".Meanwhile Reunification has received an usual boost from an unlikely source. The brand new High Speed 2 rail line is currently being built between London and Birmingham. It’s crossing the site of the original GCR station at Finmere in Oxfordshire. During the work, some masonry has been recovered, including eight handsome Victorian bridge coping stones. They will be used in the construction of the Reunification scheme, giving the new project a real connection to the past."
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
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  4. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    From the GCR Website - another Zoom talk to help raise funds for Reunification

    "Great Central Reunification.
    [​IMG]



    An online talk - The Bala Lake Railway

    Join us on Sunday 7th of November for another of our hugely popular online talks....

    This time we're headed to Wales for a conversation with preservations man of action Julian Birley. He's been a longstanding supporter of the Bala Lake Railway which runs alongside of the lake. In 2012 he was responsible for bringing home three narrow gauge engines which had worked at Penrhyn Quarry - and then been shipped to the USA for a transport museum project only to disappear from public view."
     
  5. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    I was able to pop to the canal bridge today and was pleased to see the decks covered in ballast. There is also a bit more room, as Boscastle's wheels and tender tank are now inside the shed as a complete tender.
    DSC01169.JPG DSC01170.JPG
     
  6. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Great to see the Canal bridge looking really spick and span (groans at his own unintentional pun)
     
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  7. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    The latest Main Line that turned up today does state that the total raised so far (at the time the article was written) for the current phase was £1,090,000.
    Nothing updated on the website as yet to that effect though .
    Also states that designs for the A60 bridge refurbishment/rebuild are to hand and that quotations have been sought for the work, but nothing else concerning what is going on with the embargoed line north of Loughborough.....
     
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  8. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    It is good news that the fundraising is still progressing well for the "Gap" project. I suspect that the priority for management time is the replacement/repair of the small bridge (348) to the North of Swithland reservoir. This has a 5mph speed limit which impacts on train timekeeping and is stopping any high speed testing work.
    I hope that the lack of news re the North is a good sign....certainly better than some of the "statements" in the recent past.....
     
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  9. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman New Member

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    In all honesty I really still have no idea what this whole 'Bridging The Gap' actually is.
    I know it's to link both Loughborough and Nottingham sites together but what is that ment to achieve?
     
  10. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Hi WRH
    There are full details on the GCR website but essentially there are two parts in answer to your question.
    1 Emotionally, it will be the culmination of a 50 year dream to link Leicester and Nottingham with a steam operated Main Line.
    2 It creates an 18 mile line, with significant double track, directly connected to Network Rail.
    This then gives the present, two heritage railways, several benefits. The North can run to Loughborough Central Station rather than out and back to Ruddington. Visitors to Loughborough can choose to go North as well as South. The opportunities for testing contracts are enhanced by the longer running line and main line connection, as are filming and charter operations.

    What should be remembered is that, 50 years ago, it was the stated aim to have NO steam engines on BR......There were essentially only a few preserved branch lines (KWVR, SVR, Middleton, Bluebell and the Welsh TR and FR narrow gauge.
    Thus the "Main Line Preservation Group" (MLPG) was set up to do as its title suggests. This then became the Main Line Steam Trust (MLST) and then into the Great Central Railway (GCR) which could, only just!! afford to buy the single track from Loughborough to Rothley. Everything built since then has been to preserve a Main Line for heritage operation.
     
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  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Recreate a stretch of main line railway that BR split 50 years ago.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman New Member

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    So effectively, for nostalgia, a longer line and for trains to come and go without the need of lorry?
    Sounds fair.
     
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  13. Drop_Shunt

    Drop_Shunt New Member

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    It is fallacy to talk of “bridging the gap” on one hand, and of maintaining two separate and distinct operating entities on the other. Especially as the current incumbents north of the MML are presently crippled by a lack of manpower, resources, policies and procedures, functioning organisational structure, training opportunities, and so on - all things which the GCR has in relative abundance. The only way in which bridging the gap can bring its full benefits to both halves is proper and full reunification.

    Indeed it is hard to see what advantages the proposal you suggest can possibly bring to the north, becalmed and encircled by the regulators as they are. In fact it serves to deprive them of their only real “jewel” and bargaining position - the main line connection, which was coveted by certain individuals to the south as much as they apparently despised the GCR(N) itself. Hence the apparent policy of “divide and conquer” of recent years, which was seemingly positioned towards driving wedges and splitting the GCRN into two pieces, with the main line connection and commercial traffic going to the GCR, and the rump of the line, from Ruddington Fields to just north of Hotchley Hill, becoming a minor league heritage line - “Nottinghamshire’s Heritage Railway”, with the consolation prize of running powers into Rushcliffe Halt.

    Hopefully, with the recent departure from the GCR of the likely architect of this plan, and the imminent departure of the secessionists from control of the GCRN following the impending re-coup, the two lines can get back to honouring the intentions of their founding fathers - making reunification *mean* reunification, and creating an 18 mile long, world-beating heritage railway.
     
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  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    As an armchair DCRT member and standing order holder, the advantage of allowing "north" and "south" to share Loughborough would have been to allow for a coming together of the two organisations as they realised the advantages of working as one. Looking through the very dark glass of what's been happening in private, it feels like that opportunity may have been squandered.
     
  15. Drop_Shunt

    Drop_Shunt New Member

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    I don’t think irretrievable damage has been done chap. And trying to share one station between two different heritage railways, with their own separate and distinct policies, procedures, rule books, safety management systems, operations and engineering teams, management structures, etc. etc. was never going to work for a moment. Joint stations on the big railway were fraught with difficulties, and only worked with the formation of Joint Committees to run them. I can’t see any benefit in creating a third organisation to sit between the two existing ones, when it would be far simpler to just merge the two together (a long held ambition of one railway, and founding principle of the other).
     
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  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Alton? Eridge? Matlock?
     
  17. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Operationally, each is 2 separate stations. Running Loughborough as a mini-Carlisle Citadel feels like a (waking up screaming) nightmare to me.
    At Alton there is a signalled connection between the 2 railways, but it requires both Woking ASC and Alton box to work in concert and release each others signals.
    At Eridge there is no physical connection. (Am I right?)
    At Matlock there is a ground frame, presumably released by the Ambergate - Matlock staff. Basically in all cases there is a "Top Dog" who has the last shout.
    Pat
     
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  18. mogulb

    mogulb New Member

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    Who exactly has departed the GCR ,whom you claim as the architect of this plan?
    Imminent departure of the secessionists from the GCRN following impending recoup, have I missed something as the GCRN is now the NHR with a virtual clean sweep of directors many months ago ? Or are you saying than another change round is about to happen?
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Doesn't this happen on the big railway with lots of organisations with their own SMS's, management structures, operating practices and engineering engineering teams, not to mention the practicalities of couplings? The commonality is the Rule Book and, in this respect, the NYMR when it started running through to Whitby its staff had to contend with two rule books. It still does but a lot of the anomalies have now been eliminated, such as where the token was carried on trains with two locos.
     
  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I'd like to know about Eridge too. Sort of assumed there was some arrangement. Point being tho', with goodwill on both sides (I know!), there oughtn't to be anything insurmountable.

    The change which covid has wrought to attitudes has been marked, in one key regard. There seems now to be a real 'bunker mentality' regarding any sort of 'new provision', which reveals itself in many more questions being raised regarding cost and practicality of any proposals. Maybe, for as long as the pendulum doesn't swing to a full stop, that's no bad thing
     

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