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East Midlands Railway Trust/GCR (Nottingham)

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Flying Phil, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    There is a page worth from the EMRT Chairman - basically stating that the infrastructure between Loughborough and the Gypsum works needs "significant" expenditure and there is no short-term prospect of the freight services restarting. Frankly. the GCR won't be in any hurry to spend money on that section when there is work needed on the Loughborough-Birstall section. Sanford Viaduct, East Leake Tunnel and West Leake Road bridge and Bunny Lane are all highlighted as requiring repairs.
    A survey is currently under way on the Bunny Lane to 50 Steps Bridge section with a view to resuming trains once the required works are identified & costed (and paid for, somehow...) - under a phased reopening programme. As the Bunny Lane Bridge is one of the ones that needs work carrying out on it, they won't be able to reach Rushcliffe Halt until that's done.

    It's basically a mess...........
     
  2. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison Member

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    Thanks for the summary.

    My view is that how the GCR treat Loughborough to the gyspum works now is instructive in how they view the Gap project. So if they're saying 'it needs work and we're not going to spend the money' my reading would be that the reinstating the Gap is being done with the sole intention of achieving a mainline link. And as I've made clear in the past, that's not something I'm willing to bankroll.

    If, on the other hand, we're saying 'it needs work, we're trying to estimate what will be needed to restore it for passenger traffic and we will open a donations fund for it', I'm listening.

    Either way my moratorium on donating to the Gap remains in place until it's clear exactly how the link will be used.
     
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  3. DCSA

    DCSA New Member

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    Personally I won’t be making any further contributions until I see a sensible, thought-through proposal for running a meaningful service across a genuinely reunified railway. I currently have no confidence that the railway see this as anything other than a main line connection and a long siding.

    If others are happy with that, then thats fine and more power to their arm, but it isnt what Ive been waiting decades for, and it isnt what I was led to believe bridging the gap stood for.
     
  4. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    My contributions are on the basis of the original communicated approach, which I see continuing. Management changes south of the gap appear to have weakened the impetus for a mainline connection only, while the latest copy of Main Line clearly shows the scale of the challenges facing the NHR in restoring operations south from Ruddington. It is also clearly focused on restoring a single railway.

    I think the team are entitled to the benefit of the doubt as they deal with the complex web of circumstances facing the railways today.


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  5. NBDR Lock

    NBDR Lock New Member

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    Once the gap is bridged the situation will inevitably be what you describe, with a single track around the locoshed and over the new link to a junction with the track from the MML and an unsignalled single line running away to the north. It will take considerably more time, work and money to improve on that. You cannot expect a fully formed unified GGCR from the start, so what is it that you actually want to see happen?
     
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  6. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison Member

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    I can see both points of view here.

    1. It is pretty much inevitable that for at least a few years after completion of the Gap project, the '5 miles of double track and 10 miles of siding' @DCSA speaks of will be the situation. I've taken that as read from the outset and I donated for several years under the comprehension that initially at least the situation at best for the linkup would be something akin to what we see at Porthmadog. I can't stress enough - and I sincerely hope someone from the GCR is reading this and taking notes - the principal reason why I stopped my donations was the sustained and continued comments in Mainline from the ex-Honourary President of the GCR PLC that the link up was first, foremost and solely about a mainline connection and nothing else. Leading on to point

    2. As @35B says, rehabilitating the line from Loughborough to Ruddington is, essentially, going to amount to a heavy civil engineering project in its own right. I agree with 35B that of late the 'MML link first and foremost' talk has abated, however (and I haven't received the Winter 2022 Mainline yet, so would be very very pleased if what I say next is proved wrong when it lands on my doormat), I haven't seen any talk yet about how the GCR propose to improve the Loughborough - Rushcliffe section. I'm prepared to give them benefit of the doubt if they're prepared to share their thoughts on getting at least Loughborough - Ruschliffe up to scratch preparatory to completing the Gap.

    What it boils down to is

    A. For a couple of years officers of the GCR PLC put out contradictory messages about the ultimate aim of the project;
    B. Consequently I (and I've no doubt many others) have walked away from it;
    C. Subsequent to one person in particular walking away, the GCR PLC haven't exactly been quick to confirm or deny whether this really is a link up, or just a mainline connection.
    D. I'm open to reinstating my donations but this is firmly dependant upon
    1. Being told definitively what the PLC wants to gain from the project, or
    2. Seeing the PLC undertaking works between Loughborough and Rushcliffe specifically to bring the line back to passenger-carrying status and
    3. Being told how the GCR and NHR plan to work the line.

    I don't think at the moment that the GCR understand that the stumbling block isn't so much the stop-go nature of the civil engineering side of things, it's their (as I see it) failure to communicate what's going to happen operations-wise when the people in orange jackets and the Tonka toys have finished their work.
     
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  7. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The work that has been going on in the last few years would be equally necessary whether the long-term intention is a single long railway or just a main line connection for the southern section. Neither of those outcomes is possible until the present work is finished, including a running line north from Loughborough station towards the new and refurbished bridges. There has been much discussion of how to fit that line in past the present shed, and the associated additions to the signalling. Those details would seem to depend on what pattern of train operation north of Loughborough is envisaged in the fullness of time, even if refurbishment of the infrastructure north of the main line connection is a few years away. Are there to be regular through services, regular services separate from those to/from Leicester, or only occasional workings to/from the main line? One might expect at least an outline plan to exist.
     
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  8. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Both J Rob't and DCSA make good points, but we all seem to want the same thing - an 18 mile preserved railway running between Leicester and Nottingham. Once the "gap" is bridged (and that is getting tantalisingly closer), we will see trains running between the two - as is stated very clearly in all the official documentation and on the GCR website.
    Yes it would be nice to have better communications at times and Yes there have been some confusing messages from individuals at times, which have clouded the issue.
    Obviously as 35B and NBDR Lock note, the North will need a lot of investment and inevitably that will take time. It should be remembered that even when the North was running on Gala events there were only a few trains timetabled to run down and back to Loughborough (A60 bridge).
    I look forward to following the next part of the build process - the "Factory Flyover" section......and Yes, I will continue to put a few quid into the pot to help it happen that little bit sooner.
     
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  9. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don’t expect that plan to exist, because it requires too much forward thinking about hypothetical scenarios. The whole concept of the EMRT sitting between GCRN and GCR struck me as well designed to avoid confronting difficult questions about organisation and operations at a time when failure to resolve them could jeopardise the whole project.

    That approach carries risks but, in the light of the last few years, seems to me to have had more advantages than disadvantages.

    Like others, if the purpose of the project becomes just a mainline connection, my funding will stop. The difference is, I’m prepared to give the project team the benefit of the doubt.


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  10. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    My point is that, without at least a rough idea of what trains will be running north of Loughborough station, you don't know what track and signalling to install as part of the present project to Bridge the Gap.
     
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  11. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison Member

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    Well, my copy of Mainline turned up this morning. I think it's encouraging that Loughborough - Rushcliffe has at least been mentioned, even if only in the context of 'we've had a look, bridges need work, it's counterproductive to try and cost that work at a time of rampant inflation'- it shows that at least some attention has been given to structures well to the north of any hypothetical kickback siding to the MML.

    I was also pleased to read that the NHR is progressing with restoring Ruddington Fields - 50 Steps Bridge back to use.
     
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  12. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    I would think the first priority has to be the missing section, get the factory flyover and embankment done first, so the lines can actually then link up, Once that work is done, and tracks are laid, then thats the time to start upgrading the existing section, towards Ruddington, and decide on the future lay out of the termini, either a new GCR station, with foot access to the present Ruddington fields, or slew the track round, otherwise you will have to run the loco round, then propell it back, each time, prehaps a separate Station, with run round loop , leaving Ruddington fields as a separate centre, might make sence?
     
  13. NBDR Lock

    NBDR Lock New Member

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    I don't think we need to fret about any proposed level of service north of Loughborough at this stage, let's just get the gap closed and tracks joined so that a train can run. With getting on for 5 miles before any opportunity to pass a southbound service appears (Rushcliffe) and no signalling there to make that likely, it's clear that services to the north will not be frequent for several more years and will require significant further investment, above and beyond that for the bridge and track repairs already mooted. Softly, softly, catchee monkey!
     
  14. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works Member

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    Yes, I would say the small matter of actually bridging the gap is a more pressing matter than hypothetical plans for train services and speculation about how two organisations will operate together, as interesting as the topics are!
     
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  15. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison Member

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    But the latter has a profound impact on the design, specification and execution of the former, speaking as someone who has professional experience of building a railway.
     
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  16. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I find it hard to believe that there isn't a master plan against which to move forward. These things may change going forward due to changing circumstances but to plan piecemeal is a recipe for a mess.
     
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  17. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    You believe a plan must exist, and I hope you are right, but others are saying there's absolutely no need for one at present. If there is a plan, perhaps a very tentative provisional one, shouldn't it be put out for comment? Posts #715-#720 on the Great Central Railway General Matters thread discuss whether two tracks can be squeezed in past the shed. Someone surely should have decided whether that is to be done if at all possible or whether it is not important.
     
  18. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    I think there are in fact several "Plans" and what actually gets built will evolve slightly over time as various constraints alter.
    However, if we look at the facts, there has been a continuous development of the GCR from the original double then single track from Lbro to Rothley, the extension to Leicester North. The building of a loop at Quorn, the building of the double track and Swithland sidings. The development of Loughborough Station trackwork. The building of the Mountsorrel branch.
    To the North, there was the original running at Ruddington and the gradual extension of running down to the A60 bridge.
    All this is consistent with the Aim of preserving a Main Line between Leicester and Nottingham as stated in the original prospectus of the Main Line Preservation Group then Main Line Steam Trust and GCR (Plc) and reiterated ever since then.
    Whilst it would be reassuring to be told in more detail what is intended, I think there needs to be a recognition that the people involved have a lot of work that needs to be done and keeping us informed in great detail is not always the best use of their time.
    I am just very pleased to see, and be part of, this steady progress towards the original aim ....Forward!
     
  19. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    From the A 60 Bridge, will the track to and from the Midland main line, need to be worked as a separate track from GCR services, as far as a loop, can be put in, and basic signalling, to ensure any move to or off the main line isnt effected by anything that may be running from, or towards Loughborough, ?
     
  20. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    There were two tracks, one for mainline and one for the GCR on the proposed layout previously posted on here.
     

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