GCR Bridge Project

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by Flying Phil, 18 Apr 2016.

  1. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Thanks Scott for sorting the link.
    It is interesting that NR are not sure about the long term sustainability of the GCR - In fact the GCR have run the railway for longer than the GC/LNER/BR individually did!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    There is now a much more detailed and up to date section on the GCR Website of this project. This is from that source.

    Latest News

    27th May, 2016
    At the completion of the tendering process a preferred bidder has been selected to build the bridge abutments and construct and install the new all steel bridge. After further formalities are completed, particularly with Network Rail, the contract will be awarded with construction due to start by the end of the summer.
     
  2. Flipper

    Flipper Member

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    With the MPD unable / unwilling to relocate they will ultimately have to accept some significant curtailment of their freedom of movement to and from the shed - once the tracks are in then the end of uncontrolled movement of vehicles and plant across an open passenger line is inevitable. Expect to see a gated crossing interlocked with the signalling. It will also result in the almost complete, if not total, loss of the space currently used for staff parking.

    As for why it is advantageous to extend the double track as for North as possible, I shall try to explain. Yes, it has been determined that the formation will be single track by the time it reaches the new Bridges 328 (over the Midland route) and 329 (Railway Terrace). However there is still a quarter-of-a-mile of formation between there and the current location of the loco shed, and, from an operational point of view, there is a great deal of advantage to be had extending the double track as far to the north of Loughborough Central as is possible - and certainly beyond the current location of the loco shed.

    In order to get a single track through the westernmost span of Bridge 332, which it would have to go through to clear the shed, the junction would of necessity be some way to the south of that bridge - barely 200 yards past the current Down Platform Starting signals.

    There is very little impediment to the double track extending 100-150 yards north of Bridge 331 over the canal. The quarter-of-a-mile of extra double track between these two possible locations for the junction would make a massive amount of difference to the operational capability of the remodelled Loughborough.

    The cost of restoring both sides of Bridge 331 is not a great deal more than restoring only the Down side. There would have to be some remodelling of the layout immediately north of the station, as the Up and Down mains would have to be slewed appreciably to the west (there goes the shed's parking) in order to get them under the western span and past the shed, but I am assured this is achieveable.

    The reason for this desire to have the double / single junction as far north as possible ? Well . . .

    The line south of Loughborough is, operationally, extremely well equipped, with the ability to handle a considerable number of trains, and the flexibility to permit degraded working to be not too degraded. To the north, however, it is essentially a single track with little or no signalling and, with the best will in the world, this situation is unlikely to change significantly before through services become a possibility. Being brutally realistic - it will take decades before the line to the north can operate with anything approaching the flexibility of that to the south, and longer still before it has comparable capacity.

    Having the junction south of the existing shed is tantamount to an open invitation for operational mayhem on any day when more than one or two trains are run as a through service to the north of Loughborough. There is plenty of scope for a train delayed "down the Ruddington branch" to bring Loughborough to a total standstill, and taking some scenarios, for example significant delays during one of the GCR's famously intensive gala timetables, to the extreme, to gridlock the entire line.

    The GCR already has an operational pinch point to the south of Rothley, where the current single line to Birstall commences. By necessity it appears they will end up with another, with this one at the single busiest point of the line. To fail now to ensure that everything possible is done to mitigate the risk to services that this future restriction poses may well see generations of railwaymen, yet to be born, banging their heads against the cab wall / handbrake wheel / lever frame / operations desk and cursing their forebears !
     
  3. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Thank you Flipper - that now makes a lot more sense and it is good that these aspects are being properly planned in advance - we/I just wanted a bit more explanation....
     
  4. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    From this month's issue of "Steam Railway"
    Managing Director Bill Ford has confirmed "The end of year target has been agreed with the contractors who will build the embankments and bridge, with a handover date of December 29th.
    With all the necessary funds (just over £1.8 million) in place, work is planned to commence in August.
    The bridge across the four-track MML will be installed during an engineering possession over the festive period".
     
  5. Tempest3K

    Tempest3K Member

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  6. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    .... and in the latest issue of "Mainline", the preferred contractor has been selected - MPB of Corby. "It is currently envisaged that work will start on building the abutments in late Summer"
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    From the GCR Website!!

    Investment Gives Boost to the GCR’s Projects
    Dennis Wilcock : June 20, 2016 5:52 pm : Main Line, Main Line Xtra, News Banner

    Leicestershire County Council has announced an investment of £250,000 in one million shares in GCR plc. This gives a major boost to the Reunification project part of which is to Bridge the Gap across the Midland Main Line and to the new museum to be built at Leicester North.
     
  7. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Excellent news. Fantastic railway, I've got family living in Quorn so whenever I get up there I try and have a day on it. First went in 1987 and to see how it's developed since is incredible. Well done to all.
     
  8. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    I was in Loughborough yesterday and went to see if any start has been made. There is some building work being done at the Preci Spark unit which is next to the South end of the GC bridge but no sign of any work on the GC bridge abutment sites........Also a large refuse lorry was going to the council tip and the embankment/viaduct/Reading bridge deck will have to be quite high to give the clearance needed.
     
  9. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    In the latest issue of Mainline magazine (168) there are details of more Gap/Bridge progress.
    The bridge over the MML will be built by the GCR, subject to full NR approval. Then it will become NR property with GCR right of way. But that means NR have full responsibility for future maintenance and replacement.
    There is a Severn Trent Water Combined Sewer Overflow which needs diversion , but there are several options and STW needs to select the best one.
    The main Fibre-optic cable, that runs under the link route, is to be diverted away from the work so the canal bridge can be repaired.
    Work on the North abutment is due to start ......now!....?
     
  10. Pinza-C55

    Pinza-C55 Member

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    I wonder if the S&T department are looking forward to this ?
     
  11. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    I believe that the bridge project is a bit behind schedule? Has work started on the abutments yet? Unfortunately I have not been able to visit recently and the GCR website has not been updated.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Well there is now an update on the website - but only up to July 27th. So still no actual abutment work yet?
     
  12. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    In the latest issue of "Main Line" ( #168) Steve Evans writes " I'm very happy to be able to make the first report of work on the Loughborough north extension, which has started with refurbishment of signal fittings".
    So S & T are on the case!:)
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I visited the bridge site today and sadly there is no sign of any preparation work being done. I suspect this means the bridge will not be erected over the Christmas break. It would be nice to have an official update though....
     
  13. duffield

    duffield Member

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    I don't know if it will happen this Xmas but I guess it's no longer critical that it does - I believe the original MML electrification schedule mean this was the last chance before the wires went up, which would have made it much more expensive, but now there's probably a few years to spare so to speak.
     
  14. Gus

    Gus Member

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    So the new National Railway Museum at Leicester North can and will open before there is a connection from the GCR to the National Rail network at Loughborough? TIA
     
  15. duffield

    duffield Member

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    Seems very likely. The 'exhibits' might need to be transported by road anyhow, I would guess they might well not be cleared for mainline running...
     
  16. Gus

    Gus Member

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    Thanks and a very good point duffield.
     
  17. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    I had another visit to Lbro today and there was no sign of any work done at the MML bridge site so there is no chance of the bridge going in at Christmas. There has been no indication if the new bridge deck has even been ordered?
    The GCR website has had no news update since July 28th. I am sure that I am not the only person to feel frustrated that we do not get more regular updates - even if it is to say that things are "delayed because of...."
    I realise that the Railway is doing/must be doing, a lot of work behind the scenes with the Museum project and Gap project but, as they are quick to seek help/funds from the public, they ought to feedback more information to that same public. They do have the regular "Rail Mail" "E-Letter" but that is also silent on these things.
     
  18. L+Y

    L+Y Member

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    Difficult to disagree with this: I can only assume that things are moving more slowly than expected in terms of planning permission and so forth...?
     
  19. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Another trip to Loughborough and there is no sign of any work being done. The electrification of the MML North of Kettering seems to have ground to a bit of a halt as well......
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    In the latest GCR "Rail Mail" is this snippet of news....
    "Ironically, it will not be on site long, as LMS are moving their operation to a dedicated site still in `Loughborough but not rail connected in the next few weeks".
    The LMS operation is outside the North end of the locomotive shed and so it appears as though the area is being cleared so that access to the canal bridge (for refurbishment ) and embankment (For re-building) is being started on.
     
  20. Gus

    Gus Member

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    The new Main Line magazine came in the post today, in the magazine the CEO talks about Spring 2017 for the bridge to be built, it does seem that there has been a lot of meetings with different groups and lots of i's to be dotted and T's to be crossed.
     

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