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West Somerset Railway Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

    That bit was owned by Taunton Cider. The fencing between the Minehead rails and the main line was removed when teh signalling was upgraded a year or so back.

    The actual boundary is at Milepost 165 and a quarter. The cattle grid is further on towards Norton Bridge - its location seems governed by the need for less fencing either side than would be needed at the milepost.

    [​IMG]

    WSW
     
  1. Nick Gough

    Nick Gough Member

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    Thanks for the clarification.
    It's a couple of years since I last passed through Norton Fitzwarren.
     
  2. gwr4090

    gwr4090 Member

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    An interesting proposal has recently been published which might one day see the WSR get a new branch from near Dunster out to an artificial island about one mile off shore in the Severn Estuary, where there would be freight sidings and a dock/jetty. This is all part of a new proposal for a 12mile Minehead to Aberthaw Tidal Power Reef scheme. The report may be found here http://severntidal.com/pdfs/Severn_Tidal_Power_Reef.pdf

    David
     
  3. mick wilson

    mick wilson New Member

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    Forgive me if I don't hold my breath waiting for it to happen with the type of governments we elect in the UK. ](*,)
     
  4. gwr4090

    gwr4090 Member

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    The West Somerset Railway has today announced plans to build a new station at Norton Fitzwarren. This will become the 11th station on the line. Initially it will take the form of a simple 4-coach long platform alongside the existing running line, just short of the boundary with Network Rail. It will be used for access to the nearby Norton site during special events. It could also be used as part of a park and ride scheme for special events. Subject to various approvals, the platform is expected to be complete by August 2009. More details at www.wsr.org.uk and also at the WSR Association website.

    David
     
  5. afvideo

    afvideo New Member

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    I may well have missed some bit of further news in the last few months about this, but I never did hear any more about the development at Station Farm beside Bishop Lydeard station for the building of the museum, carriage shed, houses etc following the granting of planning permission back in May 2008 - has that all been put on the back burner by Gadd Homes due to the economic recession?

    Regards

    Andrew
     
  6. jimbo

    jimbo New Member

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    Dont know Andrew, maybe someone on here whose more informed can tell us?
     
  7. I understand the paperwork is progressing and discussions between the relevant parties are continuing.

    Steve
    (WSW)
     
  8. AnyFile

    AnyFile New Member

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    I have just found this page
    http://www.wsra.org.uk/norton.htm
    and the pages there referenced, interesting about the Norton triangle.

    I wander how all that section, the connection with the main line and the junction between the main line connection and the connection to the triangle will be signalled and what will be the token arrangements?
     
  9. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    It may sound stupid, but why was the decision made to make the triangle on a spur of its own rather than use the existing formation for one of the sides?
     
  10. It's a fair question, and I think this has been asked before. The layout allows for trains to be "locked in" to allow other trains to pass unhindered. Also, with the WSR/NR boundary being at milepost 168 and a quarter (and not at the "new" Norton junction a quarter mile to the east, as some might reasonably imagine), there would be barely enough room to accommodate a loco at the eastern end of a triangle utilising the main WSR running line, whereas the eastern spur on the planned layout allows for locos and coaches (up to four, I believe).

    I will leave the question about the triangle signalling arrangements to those who know :)

    Steve
    (WSW)
     
  11. gwr4090

    gwr4090 Member

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    Under the current arrangments, the section from Bishops Lydeard through to Norton Fitzwarren Jc on Network Rail is operated by Electric Token under "No signalman" token regulations controlled from Bishops Lydeard (BL) signalbox. A train running from Network Rail to the WSR is accompanied by a WSR conductor driver who collects the key from BL signalbox before travelling to Taunton by road to meet the train. The conductor then passes the key through the modified token instrument at Taunton station (or the similar one at the Silk Mills relay room). This allows the Exeter panel to set up the route onto the WSR. The route is cancelled automatically when the train occupies the relevant track curcuit at the junction. A train leaving the WSR (accompanied by conductor and token) just runs up to the first Network Rail signal (E627) which controls access onto the mainline. Exeter panel is notified of its approach by a track treadle near the WSR/NR boundary which provides a warning on the panel.

    The connection from the WSR running line to the triangle at Allerford Junction is controlled by a ground frame which is unlocked using the token key. The key is held captive in the GF until the connection is reset for the running line, so it is possible to lock a train in on the triangle and return the key to allow another train into the section. The whole of the triangle is effectively a siding. An auxiliary token instrument is provided at Allerford Jc so that a token can be extracted or returned locally (under control of the BL signalman) without going to BL. There are currently no WSR signals at Norton. This arrangment is simple, safe and entirely adequate for current needs, although I guess that in due course we might possibly see electrically operated signals controlled from BL or maybe a new WSR signal box near Allerford Jc at Norton.

    David
     
  12. PaulJ

    PaulJ New Member

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    I was wondering - does this all mean that the WSR has given up on building their own alignment to Taunton? I remember reading something in the past saying the main obstruction to this was the old level crossing, which has now been replaced by a bridge? Or am I talking nonsense?
     
  13. It's not so much the former level crossing. The former up relief formation is all on NR land. Also, since it was ripped up, the remaining lines have been realigned for faster running at the curves at Silk Mill and Staplegrove Bridge and now extend onto the former up relief trackbed. Also, the WSR would be looking for a proper main line connection, rather than simply terminating at the old Minehead platform at Taunton. There also seems to be an issue with WSR trains running for nearly two miles just a few feet from a high speed line. And being NR property and track, WSR trains might need to be NR "plated". So, it'd be rather more than just laying some track and a loop. Given the likely revenue from Taunton Station, the sums just do not add up.

    Steve
    (WSW)
     
  14. mendipsengineman

    mendipsengineman New Member

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    All this red tape between network rail and preserved railways is creating unnesseccary stumbling blocks. NR needs to recognise the value of heritage railways and that oneday there will need to be more of a seamless transition and less "bulls*t". This could be a simple matter of screening and training loco crews of preserved railways to a higher competence standard. I am sick of reading about it costing millions to perform simple operational and engineering feats because of red tape, and I am sure many thousands of railway supporters are sick of this crap too. ](*,)
     
  15. blackfive

    blackfive New Member

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    It can be done without a lot of fuss. Look at the NYMR's Whitby & Battersby operations for example?
    There are other railways that could greatly benefit from the same sort of thing besides the WSR. Swanage springs to mind for one.
     
  16. Autotank

    Autotank New Member

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    Great post! Heritage lines also need to gear up for more through workings by making sure signal boxes can be switched out where possible so services can be run out of hours with minimal staffing requirements.
     
  17. Hmmm - piece of cake, eh? So simple you'd wonder why it didn't happen years ago :)

    Steve
    (WSW)
     
  18. Jamie C. Steel

    Jamie C. Steel New Member

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    They can...I can point out many examples of boxes that can be switched out on preserved lines. Quorn & Woodhouse (GCR), Hampton Loade and Arley (SVR), Damems Junction (KWVR), Horsted Keynes and Kingscote (Bluebell) and I'm sure quite a few others can switch out too.
     
  19. Even the WSR has...for example Crowcombe Heathfield. And thirty years ago, Williton was switched out when the WSR was running its daily year-round service. :)

    Steve
     

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