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Didcot Railway Centre

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Pannier Man, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Pannier Man

    Pannier Man Member

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    As it generated some interest before the forum was updated, I thought some of you might be further interested in the latest site acquisition news. http://www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/news/latest.html#news02 is the direct link.

    The most recent meeting between the Great Western Society, in the company of our local MP, Ed Vaizey, and Network Rail representatives, finally took place at the end of November.

    The meeting began with the Manager who had been responsible for the Great Western Route Utilisation Survey (GWRUS) outlining what this had entailed. Amongst the suggestions were proposals to build a new flyover at Didcot East and two new platforms on the avoiding line. Both had been examined and costed in detail and we were told that neither stood up as a business case. It is assumed by the Society therefore that any risk to the main demonstration line is beyond the horizon. However, Network Rail have reconfirmed their desire that this chord of land should be treated separately to all the other land at Didcot Railway Centre.

    We then had a discussion as to what use Network Rail might wish to make of the site and none of the Network Rail representatives could see any reason for wanting to take back any part of the site. This has been reiterated in a subsequent letter from Network Rail offering the Society a new 35-year lease and advising us that in the very unlikely event of the site being required for operational use, compensation would be offered in respect of any investment made. We accept that it is impossible to foresee the future and at some time in the future rail expansion could affect our site, but this would be subject to compensation terms.

    Network Rail have taken away a number of points we made, including our desire for the period to be longer than 35 years and we will continue negotiations to try and better the terms. In due course the agreed proposals will need to be submitted to the Office for Rail Regulation and it is probable that this process will also take some time.

    Nevertheless this is a very positive step forward with Ed Vaizey commenting that “We are making progress, and we will get a lease that the railway centre can live with”. Richard Croucher, Society Chairman, added that “this is a great boost to the future - by allowing us to invest in refurbishing the historic locomotive depot buildings, which are listed, as well as realise our master plan for the site. The railway centre already has a collection of international importance, and site improvements will make it world class, on a par with any other national railway museum.”
     
  2. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Does a 35 year horizon unlock various sources of grant re repair of the loco shed and other buildings? - or is this still too short a timeframe?
     
  3. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Congratulations on getting a result. Was there ever a 'Plan B' to up sticks and move elsewhere?
     
  4. Well this is much better news for the start of GW175. Lets hope that the 35 year lease can be extended.

    FC
     
  5. gwr4090

    gwr4090 Part of the furniture

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  6. m0rris

    m0rris New Member

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    Iron Duke to DRC, and lots of other interesting developments, I wish them good luck with the future (I really need to volunteer soon!) and sometime in the future I would love to see GT 18000 go to Didcot but they've got enough on their plate at the moment!

    M0rris
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Unless things have changed, HLF would definitely run with a 35 year lease. Making the project fit their present funding requirements is always going to be the hard bit. But not impossible.
     
  8. HY_4273

    HY_4273 New Member

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  9. Rlangham

    Rlangham Well-Known Member

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    Great news - can't wait to see Iron Duke at Didcot as well, has it been there in steam with Firefly in steam as well, before?
     
  10. Pannier Man

    Pannier Man Member

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    No, the two have yet to meet.
     
  11. baldric

    baldric Member

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    I think that you will find that Iron Duke has not got a boiler ticket at the moment so while there will be 2 broad Gauge engines together for the first time in years they will not both be running, shame really but still worht seeing though.
     
  12. Rlangham

    Rlangham Well-Known Member

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    Visited Didcot a few days back, been a long time since my last visit, 5322 and 3650 looked superb. Interesting to see the Broad Gauge turntable being put in place near the entrance, is it due to have something on it as a static display or is the broad gauge line to be extended?
     
  13. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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  14. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    Hi, reviving an old thread as it seemed to have the most appropriate title. :)

    Just wanted to draw attention to the recent Great Western Society appeal. To quote their own website at
    https://didcotrailwaycentre.digitickets.co.uk/category/31097

    "Didcot’s Water Tower and Coaling Stage


    For some time, we have been concerned about the condition of the Water Tower and Coaling Stage, which is now over 80 years oldand has served us well over the years. Unfortunately, we have been advised that without immediate repair and restoration there is a possibility that the water tank could fail at any time which would make running steam locomotives almost impossible in the short term and also bring about the loss one of our most popular visitor attractions.


    As a result, there is now an urgent need for funds for the restoration and repair of one of the most important buildings and pieces of railway heritage at Didcot Railway Centre. The Water Tower and Coaling Stage is vital to us if we are going to continue running a heritage museum with steam locomotives at Didcot.


    The overall cost of the remedial works is estimated to be in the region of £300,000. Scaffolding has already been erected around the structure to allow a start to be made on the work on the water tank and then we will commence work on the other parts of the building that are in need of restoration.


    The Water Tower and Coaling Stage is probably the most iconic building reminiscent of steam locomotives at Didcot. Built in 1932 it has coaled and watered GWR engines without fail since that date and as it is a listed Grade 2 building we cannot leave it to deteriorate further. We now need to restore it to a level where it can service our living collection for another 80 years.


    Whatever help you can give at this time to help us carry out and complete this work during 2022 will be much appreciated and is vital in our efforts to bring back to life or continue running our magnificent collection of locomotives and rolling stock."
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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  16. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    “The coach was withdrawn from passenger service around 1952". What services were using 6-wheel coaches as late as that?
     
  17. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    I believe it was actually converted to a camping coach in the 1930s and subsequently withdrawn and transferred to departmental use around 1952.
     
  18. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    There certainly were 4-wheel coaches in use as recently as 1952 on workers' trains taking miners to some of the pits in South Wales. Whether these workings also included any six-wheelers I have no idea. Then there is the Ventnor West Branch on the Isle of Wight, which closed in 1952. I don't know whether bogie stock was introduced in its final years (someone from the IOWSR may know) but the pictures I have seen all feature non-bogie stock.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
    Gareth and 30854 like this.
  19. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    I seem to remember that in its last few years there was a Push-Pull Bogie set. I think this was introduced around the time the last Terriers left the Island and a pair of O2s were fitted with Push-Pull gear to work these trains. I could be wrong though
     
  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    All bar 2 of the LCDR 4w stock in passenger service went just before WWII (Last LBSC 4w stock went in 1934). The very last were returned to the mainland in April 1949, though how recently they'd actually been used is anyone's guess.

    Bogie P-P operations (5 carriages, all ex-LBSC) featured on both Ventnor West and Bembridge branches. The first 3 were shipped over in 1938, the last 2 in 1947. All were out of use by May 54, dumped at St.Helen's and sold for scrap in 1956.
     

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