Great Central Railway(s) - Bridging the Gap

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Monty

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I have a feeling they are still trying to raise funds for engineering study to see if the project is feasable or not. They did have their own seperate website for it though it's since been removed. Not an awful lot on their website about it either. However they have just completed a new signalling project I think their short term aims are to re-double their existing single track section to Leicester North.

Their project for rebuilding a large engine shed (from Workington?) has also gone quiet. :(
 

Tomnick

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The feasibility study has been done (some time ago now) and confirms that the project is indeed feasible. Behind the scenes, a lot of effort is still going into securing funding for it - but yes, things do appear to be quiet!

Swithland's the new signalling installation, recently commissioned. I'm sure double tracking to Leicester is still on the radar, but it's not a short term aim as far as I'm aware. The less said about Workington shed, the better!
 

Cyberbeagle

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Always thought it was a shame the local planner allowed so much development, demolition of viaducts, etc., it essentially rules out saving what's left of Leicester Central Station :(
 

Tiny Tim

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I think there's a vid on the GC website explaining their plans. Ambitious, expensive but achievable.

Local planners rarely take account of redundant railway structures, they have no reason to - they're planning for the future (as they see it) not the past.
 

Cyberbeagle

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I think there's a vid on the GC website explaining their plans. Ambitious, expensive but achievable.

Local planners rarely take account of redundant railway structures, they have no reason to - they're planning for the future (as they see it) not the past.
True, but isn't there some sort of planning policy in place to protect routes?

Here in Northern Ireland we have PPS3, which at least offers some protection for alignments, though largely for road use!
 

LE Greys

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It rules out reconnecting Leicester Central, though I thought the station buildings were secure as it's in use as part of an industrial estate now.
It's also hugely frustrating that the bowstring bridge would not fit the Loughborough gap. It would have been very convenient. I hope it happens one day (contributing a big slice of money to the project is on my 'if I win Euromillions' list) with turning facilities at either end of the line and decent connections to the city centre.
 

Tiny Tim

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True, but isn't there some sort of planning policy in place to protect routes?
I don't know of any such protection in mainland Britain. Even routes that are only OOU get encroached upon. The original Portishead station is separated from the line by a road, and the other stations have been sold off. One lucky buyer has built a conservatory on the platform, that's going to be interesting when the line reopens.
 

CarltonA

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I was in Woodford Halse and Helmdon the other day. The bridges seem to be standing the test of time. Finmere is probably in the worst condition being metal and getting no obvious maintenance. Unfortunately they went to a lot of trouble to destroy the Brackley viaduct.
 

brianthegiant

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I try to support GCR & other heritage lines in the area by taking groups as part of walking or cycling trips, but the 25 min walk between the lboro stations is a bit of a faff & not the nicest walk...

If I'm not mistaken the actual bridge over the mainline near Lboro station will be the most expensive bit by a long margin, due to the necesity of paying some hefty fees to NR. From my perspective, GCR at least ought to prioritise relaying the track between Lboro central station and the mainline. (though I think this entails rebuilding their engine shed which currently sits over the tracks, also possibly work on the bridge over the Lboro canal.

If they could at least get near the mainline on the south side, they could put in a temporary scaffold platform which would be within easy walking distance of Lboro 'Midland' station. I think this would increase ticket take due to increased visibility and raise the profile of the project, not least in the eyes of potential funders.

I suppose a temporary station on the north side of the mainline (near Brush works)on the NR section would be much more difficult due to need for changes to NR signalling, need for double headed operation due to lack of loop, difficulty of building station on the embankment and difficulty of access.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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I think the local council is in favour of the link up too, but I guess it's all down to money, it would be good if it t did go ahead. How would it work at Ruddington?, would the GCR train coming from the Leics, Loughboro direction have to reverse to get into the platform, which is what I did last summer on a UKRailtour train there (Which also had to split into 2 sections owing to the shunt length) , or would they build a platform/loop by the junction and continue towards Nottingham which I think maybe their aim ?
 

Tracky

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I wonder if they have considered making the trackbed into a walking route to make the walk from the mainline station easier in the short term. The bridge over the canal requires restoration before it can be used so it could be lifted out and replaced by a simple footbridge while it is restored and stored.
 

MCW

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The plan to run back into Leicester Center involves a new station near Beaumont Leys Lane??? I might have that wrong... basically a good whack of the trackbed is intact down to near Abbey Pumping Station. they mentioned putting a halt there and having a little branch from Leicester north to the Halt, as the gradient was quite steep and they wouldn't be able to accommodate full trains and turn arounds etc...

As for the bridging of the gap I say it will be about another ten years before they have the money to start it. They also need to repair/replace the bridge over the canal at the back of the sheds.

As and when this happens, I hope they invest some money into the GCR(N) I wouldn't exactly put their stations and stock in the same league as the Leicester GCR.

The potential for it is there and I support it, I think it would be a fantastic idea as it would also open up the potential for a commuting service between Leicester and Nottingham (which they also Planned). Also considering the NR link spur, it could possibly be used in the future as a diversionary route should the MML need to be closed for XYZ reason.
 

brianthegiant

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Had a go on the north section yesterday & looked some of the interpretation at the 'heritage centre'.

My impression is that for the North group, prioritising an interim solution of starting work on the Loughborough high level station, would seem to make sense, it would be a lot cheaper than a bridge over the MML. I think it might be just inside the boundary of GCR(N) land so wouldn't require NR approvals. (the location is adjacent to the Brush Transformers site). Depending on long term plans, this might be a permanent or temporary station, could just be a platform & portacabin in the first instance.

They could then run a vintage bus between the 3 Loughborough stations (High level, Midland and Central). (initially on selected weekends) & allow people to travel Leicester- Ruddington. I think this could significantly increase ticket take & raise the profile of both GCR sections which would help with funding to do the rest of the link-up.
 

LE Greys

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Had a go on the north section yesterday & looked some of the interpretation at the 'heritage centre'.

My impression is that for the North group, prioritising an interim solution of starting work on the Loughborough high level station, would seem to make sense, it would be a lot cheaper than a bridge over the MML. I think it might be just inside the boundary of GCR(N) land so wouldn't require NR approvals. (the location is adjacent to the Brush Transformers site). Depending on long term plans, this might be a permanent or temporary station, could just be a platform & portacabin in the first instance.

They could then run a vintage bus between the 3 Loughborough stations (High level, Midland and Central). (initially on selected weekends) & allow people to travel Leicester- Ruddington. I think this could significantly increase ticket take & raise the profile of both GCR sections which would help with funding to do the rest of the link-up.
Excellent! That's one on the list for when it opens.
 
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