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The Gwili Railway thread

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Matt78, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. alexl102

    alexl102 Member

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    How is TVR 28 coming along?
     
  2. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    work has paused on 28 while Haulwen is completed, but expect that she will move into the shed later this year for work to recommence.
     
  3. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    I think everyone would wish that was true! I don't want to discourage anyone but a little dose of reality is needed.
    Amazingly I still have some of my old notes from a while ago. I suppose I spent so long track walking between Bronwydd and Abergwilly and Llampunsaint I've been loath to chuck them away! Anyway... Bridges..
    Dan-y-coed to Conwyl
    Bridge 10 Steel girder. Very poor condition, needs replacing and stonework repairs. Might get some money back on scrap as it's old cast iron
    Bridge 11 Brick arch. Needs serious wing wall stonework and arch checking. Not too bad otherwise
    Bridge 12 Brick arch. Much the same as 11.
    Conwyl Station.
    There is not a lot of detail regarding the condition of bridges north of Conwyl, (I didn't fancy paddling in the river just to get a look at the condition of the arches!)
    Bridge 13 Brick arch (just north of Conwyl station and will be needed for any run around)
    Bridge 14 Brick arch Cattle Creep. Linking fields either side of the railway. Only 5 foot headroom underneath (EDIT. See below)
    Bridge 15 brick arch, Bridge 16 Steel girder and Bridge 17 brick arch. I think 16 was replaced sometime around 1900/1920 so in better condition than 10 which is original 1800 and something.
    Bridge 18 is the road bridge at Llanpumsaint but the Gwili owned trackbed ends just prior to this bridge
    All bridges are over the river (except 14 the Cattle creep) and some of the arches are quite high so they will not necessarily be easy or cheap to work on. Remember that there is no road access past Conwyl until you get to Llampumsaint. Add to these bridges there are some 20 or so known culverts and drains north of Conwyl and if in reality the mapping of culverts on that length turns out to be as sparse as it was on Bronwydd to Abergwili then I would not be surprised to see that number go up - maybe even as high as 50+. Eromillions.. Where are you??? :)
    EDIT: The day after the post:- I'm having second thoughts about bridge 14, the cattle creep. It's just over 6 foot wide (and hence is classed as a bridge) and with only about 5 foot headroom means there is no room for an arch. My old and befuddled memory is now suggesting that it may simply be a concrete slab on brick pillars.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2024
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  4. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Now and again reality creeps into the threads on NP, not singly any thread out but you probably know the ones. This is one of the better threads: Matt usually gives us a good and accurate read.
     
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  5. thb17

    thb17 Member

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    I agree but never say never - I don't think many would have believed what has already been achieved.
     
  6. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan Member

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    Well done everyone the work that’s been finished up the gwili
     
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  7. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    Having second thoughts about the construction of Bridge 14,the cattle creep. It's just over 6 foot wide (and hence is classed as a bridge) and with only about 5 foot headroom means there is no room for an arch. My old and befuddled memory is now suggesting that it may simply be a concrete slab on brick pillars. I've edited the original post to include this. Apologies to all.
     
  8. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    Digging through my old stuff I've found a few memories that might be of interest:-
    NB All images my copyright.
    May 2012 Work begins on bridge 6
    01 The start (after a week of rain).JPG
    Dec 2013 Trackbed cleared northbound
    2013 Dec B6 North.jpg
    Dec 13 rail stop removed ready to start track laying (Captions welcome)
    2013 Dec rail stop.jpg
    Track being laid northbound.
    2013 Dec track laid north.jpg
    Oct 2014 Track laid and ballasted at Abergwili
    October 2014 Abergwili.jpg
    What's missing is the snow and horizontal rain etc. Oh we had such fun...
     
  9. Fireline

    Fireline Well-Known Member

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    But never say never. Just look at the RVR....
     
  10. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    Oh I'll not say never, anything is possible given the finance. How often do you hear "So when do you start the next extension?" (and I don't mean just at the Gwili) It's easily said but to go even 10 yards further north from where the track currently ends will need a new bridge. It's just not economically viable to try and repair the existing and even if it was repaired that bridge would need continuous ongoing and expensive maintenance. So yes, lets look forward to extending while remembering that the next 20 or so yards will cost somewhere in the region of a million quid. Be patient, it's going to take some time to gather the pennies. (Unless Network Rail suddenly come up with a redundant one of the right span and exactly the right skew ;))
     
  11. thb17

    thb17 Member

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    It will be expensive but not sure if it's beyond the possibility of restoration - there have been big leaps in the economies in the refurbishment of bridges and I am sure it could be done situ. Even if not the railway now has a crane! You would need a contractor to take a look and see what they could come up with.
     
  12. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    They already have had a look and the amount of rust and delamination of the beams and plates will require a huge amount of plating or doubling. (Practically rebuilding in places) Professional assessment suggested that works would be easier and cheaper if the structure was lifted into the adjacent field for the work to be carried out rather than having to work on it over the river. (Especially underneath :eek:) Comments were made that even when you have done all those works you still have the basic structure of a 180 (?) year old bridge that you still have to maintain to manage the continuing decay and that it would be far more cost effective to replace with new, built with modern fixtures and fittings and covered with rust preventing coatings that would require minimal attention for at least 10 years. (And there could even be some money earned from the scrap value of the old, if it's not all rust by now :()
    Just to give you an idea of the decay, the bridge was surveyed back in 2009/10 (? Matt) I think. The surveyor refused to even consider suggesting a maximum axle loading for the structure at that time. Their only comment was "Significant remedial work is required" :eek:
     
  13. thb17

    thb17 Member

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    Crikey!
     
  14. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    last surveyed in 2011. Bridge 10 is believed to date from the line’s construction in 1860, and was not replaced around the time of WW1 like Bridges 9 and 15 (both also girder structures)

    the engineering solutions aren’t particularly difficult but the lie of the land does not make a refurbishment any easier. It’s quite feasible to retain the girders as a feature but build a new structure in between which is load beading (similar to the solution used at Nursery Pool on the SDR).

    At the end of the day it requires £££. Possible that bridges could be repaired and the line extended one bridge at a time eg 10 first, then 11 etc. There is enough rail in stock to get to Conwil.


    regards

    Matt
     
  15. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Today’s work saw the derailer fitted at Abergwili Junction.
     

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  16. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiosity what is the operational need for a derailer at Abergwili? Is it in place of catch points or something like that?
     
  17. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    it protects the main line (now into platform
    One) and stops any stock stabled in platform 2 or the carriage shed running away “down” the main line.
     
  18. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    6430 on duty today and work has recommenced on GWR 216 with doors being adjusted and “T” handles being fitted.
     

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  19. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    6430 out on duty and the doors are now on the carriage shed….still a few bits left to finish but another milestone.

    regards

    Matt
     

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  20. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Work is ongoing on Aberaeron Signal Box which is being restored to “as was” condition with lever frame and token instrument. Meanwhile we held a successful day with “Paddington Bear” today.
     

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