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Bluebell Northern Extension - so what's occurring then?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by domeyhead, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Certainly does a good job from my perspective on the footplate.
     
  2. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Presumably there is the normal dilemma. Hire one in and it will cost a deal of money and may be unavailable just when you want it because it is has gone to another hirer. With your own it will have cost capital and it may also be unavailable because it is old and has broken down!

    Narrow gauge lines have little opportunity to "hire one in" The F.R./W.H.R. have a sophisticated machine which had to be altered from, I think, metre gauge. The W&LLR acquired one from Plasser's South African branch where their fleet for hire to gold mines had one 2ft. 6ins gauge example. As few, if any, South African mines use this gauge it had no more than five hours use on the meter when acquired, so I gather. Sometimes it pays to be a bit different!

    P.H.
     
  3. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    Tom: Looking at the various images from RP and JS, the EG station site looks very cramped, with what appears to be a narrow "raised walkway" onto the site, ie past the green ticket office. On first seeing this you tend to think it will at peak times be a problem, or are there other entrance/exit routes from the platform?

    I fully appreciate the limitations of the site you have, so is there space for a permanent building without acquiring more land? I vaguely recall many moons ago that EG would ideally receive a 1920's/30's Southern "art-deco" style building.

    I stress these comments are made only by viewing the images, not by seeing the site "in the flesh" .

    46118
     
  4. desperado

    desperado New Member

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    I went there with the UK Railtours class 73s in 2011. You can clearly see how cramped the site is from my (poor) attempts to get pictures of the EDs there.

    73208 at East Grinstead | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    and

    73208 at East Grinstead | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    If I'm judging the pictures correctly, the water tower is going where the picnic tables are in the 2nd picture and the kiosk is being put about where I was standing to take the 2nd picture.
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Day-to-day, tickets will be purchased from a mobile ticket office sited at that foot of the ramp onto the platform. The travel centre is for more complex enquiries, for example tickets for the Pullman, special events etc.

    These photos (not mine), though a few years old, show the location:

    Looking from the platform back to the ticket office:

    Bluebell Railway Northern Extension - East Grinstead Station - Derek Hayward's Photos

    The ticket office:

    Bluebell Railway Northern Extension - East Grinstead Station - Derek Hayward's Photos

    Bluebell Railway Northern Extension - East Grinstead Station - Derek Hayward's Photos

    Longer term we will probably build a more extensive building, but at the moment, we are waiting to see how traffic develops. We have built in provision at a later date to construct a canopy - the brackets are already in place behind the fence along the back of the platform. I'm not sure exactly where a permanent building would be built without acquiring more land or relaying a bit of track. The original planning permission diagram showed a building at the north end of the platform, but the platform flared out at that end, and the point was "handed" the other way, such that the loco spur was where the temporary facilities are going in now.

    That said, I'm not sure we need really extensive facilities at EG. Most passengers are likely to just need somewhere to buy a ticket and shelter for a short period waiting for a down service; or if they arrive on an up service, I'd imagine they will either head straight back (as passengers generally do at Kingscote now) or else head into town. So I don't think we need extensive facilities, and a canopy will do a lot to make the station more welcoming. Probably the best analogue I can think of is what the IoWSR have recently done at Smallbrook Junction: it's a nice attractive building in SR style and provides the long-term facilities needed (ticket sales, shelter, toilet) but realistically it is nota station you would ever linger at beyond trains. I suspect EG will be our equivalent, at least unless we could acquire significantly more land.

    As for the "art deco" building: That would be nice! I think a long time back (probably ten years or so) there was talk of a town redevelopment project for that part of EG, encompassing both stations. With that in mind, I think there was talk of a true joint station built in art-deco style. The recession probably put paid to the redevelopment, and Network Rail went ahead with their own building, so I guess that is now well and truly off the agenda.

    Tom
     
  6. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    Thanks for the info Tom.

    Looks a reasonable weather forecast for the coming week, so dramatic progress I'm sure.

    46118
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Latest updates from the Bluebell newsletter:

    And a note from Roger Kelly, noting that soon we will stop collecting "fiver for the finish" certificates: this scheme (and the previous "tenner for the tip" scheme) mostly consisted of on-train sales (though they were available online and in the shop as well), and raised over 1/3 million pounds!

    Tom
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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  9. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    Job well done up to now.
    Just the small matters of changing the rails, stoning up, Tamping, S+T work more ballasting and trimming off, Site clearance and tidy up and then approval from those on high.

    Congratulations anyway.
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes, I'm not underestimating the work still to do. But quite likely by tomorrow there will be a continuous line of rails between Victoria and Sheffield Park for the first time since the mid 1960s!

    Less than three weeks to opening, and less than two weeks to the first crew familiarisation trains. Is there a smilie for "fingers crossed"? :smile:

    Tom
     
  11. 73129

    73129 Member

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    Looking on Philpots web site tonight and with only a few weeks before the extension is open. Phillpot highlights the issue with people parking their cars near the road bridge to photograph trains or just to watch the trains go by. I wonder how long before the police take an interest in this issue. Maybe someone at the Bluebell could advise to the nearest place to park your car in a safe place.


    Thanks
     
  12. dan.lank

    dan.lank Member

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    My word that's quick tracklaying! I looked at Philpot's site earlier and nothing much seemed to be happening, otherwise I would have popped up after work for a look. Bravo to all concerned. Does Tom or anybody know if there's a plan to get Stepney or something else in steam up to EG symbolically or is the plan more likely to be just to get the job done without worrying about ceremonial things? Exciting times either way!
     
  13. Paul42

    Paul42 Member

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    There is not much room for cars (near Imberhorne Lane) to park just 3 small areas at Hazelden Crossroads. A small area on Saint Hill Road and 2 areas on the Turners Hill Road, one of the Turners Hill side, left when heading to Turners Hill and one the East Grinstead side, left when heading to East Grinstead. Look at Google Street view.
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    There's a safe parking spot just by the crossroad where Imberhorne Lane / Saint Hill Road crosses the B2110. That's about 200 yards walk from Imberhorne Lane bridge (narrow, busy road!) and just over 1/4 mile walk (with a pavement all the way along the main road) from the occupation bridge.

    (If you look on a map, the spot is on the western side of Saint Hill Road, on the opposite side of the B2110 from Imberhorne Lane).

    Be careful crossing the main road - visbility isn't that great for traffic coming from East Grinstead, and Imberhorne Lane itself is busy and narrow.

    51.113545,-0.031307 - Google Maps

    That's just my view of where is suitable to stop - I'm sure Robert (who occasionally posts on here) may have a view about where he feels is / isn't safe.

    Edit: Paul beat me to it and offered alternatives to the one I suggested.

    Tom
     
  15. Paul42

    Paul42 Member

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    A lot of people( myself included) use it when the A22 is busy - at weekends as well as rush hour.When people are on the bridge it is not possible for cars to pass at the same time in opposite directions.
     
  16. mithuthecat

    mithuthecat New Member

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    Lets be honest the Bluebell have done a great job which a few years ago was a impossible dream, remember the Mid Hants nearly went bust on the extension to Alton, so why are people already moaning about East Grinstead station, you should be happy that the Bluebell have made it, remember Kidderminster when the SVR moved in, yes it was nothing,yet now its a station in its own right, yes it takes time and money and a share issue, so to all you moaners if you are not happy about East Grinstead, put your hand in your pocket of shut up
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Don't know for sure. The first guaranteed steam arrival will be Birch Grove with the ECS from SP on the morning of March 23. I've heard rumours of a trip for the three surviving founder members and other VIPs, but only a rumour. Think it was in Steam Railway, so it must be true :)

    The week or so before the opening will be busy with crew familiarisation over the extension, but I don't know if they are going or be steam or diesel hauled.

    And a comment from our Yahoo Group about the exact moment of the "golden pandrol" moment:

    "I gather the gap (10 ft or so) between railheads will remain for a little while, since the next two tasks, replacing the 30-ft rails with 60-ft lengths, and adjusting the curve to its final design shape, will result in the gap changing in any case, after which the "golden" moment will be achieved. I gather the timing of that is still uncertain!"

    I guess that also leaves time to arrange suitable publicity coverage.

    Tom
     
  18. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me Member

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  19. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me Member

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  20. Southernman99

    Southernman99 New Member Friend

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    Its not a matter miles now its a matter of metres. I make out the gap to be 3 maybe 4 sleepers now.
     

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