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Bolton Abbey Station Developments

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Platelayer, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Platelayer

    Platelayer Member

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    Bolton Abbey Station – the future

    It is now some 13 years since the Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust (YDRMT) commenced operations to Bolton Abbey and 12 years since the new-build station was officially opened by Sir William McAlpine.

    So, what has happened over the years at this charming location and what does the future hold for Bolton Abbey Station?

    The official opening was overseen by very basic railway services – the line from Embsay burst out of Hambleton Cutting, a run-round was provided, the former Guiseley signal box was in-situ, as was the former Skipton water column, and the station could boast a completed Booking Hall but no retail facilities,

    The priority, then, after re-opening was to complete the station facilities and to this end a new shop was fitted out and a 70-cover tea room provided – both of which have proved very successful and a real asset to the railway.

    Next was the railway ‘look’ of the place. A colleague commented that his idea of ‘proper’ railway appearance would consist of an extensive track layout featuring many roads fanning out from the station throat so a suitable layout was conceived. Suffice it to say, the effect is now ‘there’ and it does look ‘proper’.

    Initially, the opportunity was taken to reinstate the former ‘Duke’s Siding’, which once permitted coal wagons access to the lime kilns on the Duke of Devonshire’s Estate but would now terminate in a bay platform at the west end of the station.

    To the south of the station, at the rear of Platform 2, there used to run a number of sidings which were latterly pressed into service as storage for excursion carriage sets not required in service. These sidings were accessed from the east end of the station and terminated in the former Hambleton Quarry. The topography has changed somewhat since those days and any sidings to the south of the station would now commence at the west end throat. At this stage only one siding was provided.

    This state of affairs has been the status quo for a number of years as the YDRMT has consolidated and invested elsewhere – most notably in providing a passing loop and new-build signal box at Stoneacre, thereby permitting a frequent train service, and also in the construction of a major 5-road workshop facility at Embsay which should cater for all the YDRMT’s steam, diesel and rolling stock engineering requirements.

    Meanwhile, at Bolton Abbey Station, things were stirring. A second Midland Railway signal box, this time from Sleights Sidings East, located in Pinxton, Derbyshire, had been purchased and was erected at the east end of the station in the same position as the original, long-demolished, Bolton Abbey signal box. Whereas the ex-Guiseley ‘box at the west end would be used to control railway operations, the Sleights ‘box would be a demonstration ‘box, accessible from Platform 1.

    Expressed simply, the development strategy for Bolton Abbey Station would see the following:


    Short/Medium Term

    • Complete the track layout at the station west end giving access to 2 sidings and a headshunt – completed.

    • Complete the restoration of the former Sleights Sidings East signal box as a visitor attraction – ongoing.

    • Commission and build a second platform face – next challenge.

    Longer Term

    • Commission and build a third platform face creating an island platform.

    • Acquire, or construct, and erect a Midland Railway footbridge;

    • Design and construct a new station east end track layout;

    • Commission the former Guiseley signal box

    Blue Skies

    • Provide a replica of the original Platform 2 building;

    • Erect a replica Midland Railway canopy over the island platform?


    So, what progress is being made with the Short/Medium Term Plan?

    At the time of writing, the station west-end track layout is complete, mainly using materials recovered from Leeds Station during the ‘Leeds 1st’ development. The track principally consists of flat bottom rail on concrete sleepers.

    The second tranche of track material for sidings became available when the Winter 2010/2011 main line track re-lay was completed, thus releasing suitable materials. This section will be bullhead rail on timber sleepers.

    The former Sleights Sidings East signal box is in-situ and is being regularly worked on by the YDRMT S&T Team. The S&T Team are funding this development themselves and great credit should go to them for undertaking this important and very interesting project. A recent re-boarding and paint has resulted in a very presentable north aspect to the signal box with more to follow.

    This leaves the Platform 2 construction as the only element not yet being addressed.

    Platform 2 will be a relatively simple straightforward piece of work and the wall construction has been designed by the in-house team. Construction, to match the original, will be of dense concrete blocks with concrete oversails and copings.

    So what is stopping us cracking on with this exciting project?

    Quite simply, money!

    This project will greatly improve the ‘railway look’ of the station and return it to how it would have looked during the Midland, LMS and British Railways era.

    The YDRMT has started a dedicated fund with the aim of raising sufficient finance to underwrite the cost of providing Platform 2. So far, YDRMT Members have been asked to save postage stamps, foreign coins and postcards as a fundraising venture and also to sponsor a concrete block towards the several hundred required for completing the platform face.


    We would like to extend this fundraising venture beyond just YDRMT Members and therefore I invite followers of National Preservation to contribute to making this project a success.

    There are two ways to help:

    Send your postage stamps, foreign coins and old postcards to Frank Barlow c/o Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, BD23 6AF.

    More directly, Sponsor a Concrete Block – the project will need 4450 concrete blocks to complete the platform face. Buy a block for £5, or multiples thereof, and see ‘your’ block (or blocks) become part of a great heritage scheme.

    Everyone who sponsors a platform block will receive a unique certificate acknowledging their backing and we intend to have on display, at Bolton Abbey Station a list of benefactors who have supported the project.

    If you wish to sponsor concrete blocks at £5 each, please fill in the attached form and send it together with a cheque for the relevant amount, payable to YDRMT, to David Barlow c/o Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, BD23 6AF.

    If you are a UK tax payer please do Gift Aid your sponsorship.

    Play a part in delivering an exciting heritage project in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales!

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope you will be able to support us.

    Regards

    David Barlow
     

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  2. smiler

    smiler New Member

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    Great project and will improve the situation greatly.

    Thanks for such great information.

    Cheers,

    Smiler
     
  3. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    Not meaning to decry this undoubted progress, but what value does this add to the visitor, and what operational flexibilities does it add to the Railway ?
    Isnt the hope that, at some point there will be a run to Skipton on your Roster and that platform is in some need of refurbishment... ?
     
  4. Muppet

    Muppet Member

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    Right - I'm afraid I'm going to bite...

    Are you really saying we should NOT devlop things further to COMPLETE the project?

    Why does this project have to be put on hold for the Skipton extension??

    Putting in the second platform improves the appearance of the station. Adding access to this platform gives another perspective on the station so that visitors can appreciate the reconstructed station on the main platform. Buildings on it give the visitors soemthing else to see / do whilst waiting - we can have displays at the like.

    A demonstration signalbox is obviously a bad idea as it encourages people to see a different side of life on the railways. Again, something to DO whilst waiting for a train and enjoying the atmosphere. Another vantage point for photography. Maybe a simple bus shelter would be better. Pre-fab concrete anyone?

    Thought not.

    The signalling scheme allows us to shunt between trains and have station limits. We're working on an automatic run-round scheme (in its infancy) so it *could* work without a signalman, thus we have the additional flexibility without the need for additional staffing.

    I really cannot see how improving things does not have a positive effect on what is on offer to the visitors.

    Skipton is a separate project - the platform is there and whilst it needs refurbishment it IS in situ, so it is all together different. We don't own it either...
     
  5. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    Good bite.. and good luck though i still question the need for two platforms for one train. Now i dont know whether to get another Skipton extender or buy a concrete block on my next visit.
    One thing i will suggest is that you might improve the footpath, either as curbed flags out of the entrance road, or if possible a gravel track to the end of the carpark and on through to the underpass (for people walking to Bolton Abbey/ Devonshire arms...)
     
  6. Muppet

    Muppet Member

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    The footpath is something that will benefit from the eventual tarmacing of the drive (and associated pavement I would assume).

    Two platforms allow an incoming train to be stabled whilst services continue. I doubt the need for 3 passenger platform faces (ie ones that allow for departures, not just rolling stock), but two platforms would also allow BA to be a passing place for operations to Addingham eventually, and currently would allow one train to arrive, another to depart. This would allow 4 train operation on the line... We can currently do 3!
     
  7. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    It all makes sense looking at the Bigger picture doesnt it, The formation looks to be pretty much intact right to the edge of addingham. fantastic.
     
  8. 47406

    47406 Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting plans; best of luck with them all; it will be great to see the line develop in the years ahead.
     
  9. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    How far towards Addingham can you realistically go?

    Is a Park and Ride off the A65 a possibility.
     
  10. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    Not my place to answer but the line and station in Addingham is long gone so the Terminus would have to be North of the Village, the A65 is the Defacto 'by pass' and runs south to west....so not really. At some time in the future Addingham to Leeds, change at Skipton.....maybe
     
  11. Ralph

    Ralph New Member

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    I remember playing in the ruins of the old Bolton Abbey station as a kid. Fantastic project, best of luck with it, and i'll drop you some money next time I'm back to "see us folks".
     
  12. Platelayer

    Platelayer Member

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    Hello Bryan, thanks for your interest.

    The trackbed into Addingham has been obliterated on the western approach so I'm not totally convinced of any business-driven desire to extend there. The lure of Lob Ghyll viaduct, though, is strong! See photos. 636px-Lobb_Ghyll_Viaduct.jpg walk19.jpg

    Commercially, the extension of services into Skipton make the most sense in the medium term and could open up a raft of new possibilities.

    In the meantime we're trying to enhance the look of Bolton Abbey station, hence this update.
     
  13. the dodger

    the dodger New Member

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    The best thing about this railway is its potential. Bolton abbey station fully restored would be great and I think this can only be a credit to the YDR and its members. I agree the lure of Lob Ghyll viaduct is strong and just would love to see trains return there one day..but I guess into it Skipton is more important. After Bolton Abbey station is restored and the Skipton connection is doing its thing, I suppose Addingham one day would be great. Its a great little village, one great fish shop and a much recommended country walk into Ilkley, where you can still see some remains of the line. And ofcourse I still hear some locals who can't wait for the first train to arrive!!!
    I guess this is all down to cash..so if you can help..this railway has so much to offer!!
     
  14. Platelayer

    Platelayer Member

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    Thanks for your kind words!

    Yes, the railway has a great deal of as yet unlocked potential, and, yes, please do support us!!
     
  15. 47406

    47406 Well-Known Member

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    http://www.embsayboltonabbeyrailway.org.uk/bap2.html

    This page explains the project to reinstate the second platform at Bolton Abbey station.

    It is now some 13 years since the Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust (YDRMT) commenced operations to Bolton Abbey, so what has happened over the years at this charming location and what does the future hold for Bolton Abbey Station?

    Short/Medium Term

    Complete the proposed track layout at the station west end giving access to two long sidings and a headshunt. Status: COMPLETED.

    Complete the restoration of the former Sleights Sidings East signal box as a visitor attraction. Status: ONGOING.

    Commission and build a second platform face. Status: NEXT CHALLENGE.


    Longer Term

    Commission and build a third platform face creating an island platform.

    Acquire, or construct, and erect a Midland Railway footbridge;

    Design and construct a new station east end track layout;

    Commission the former Guiseley signal box

    Distant Future

    Provide a replica of the original Platform 2 building;

    Erect a replica Midland Railway canopy over the island platform.

    What progress is being made with the Short / Medium Term Plan?

    At the time of writing, the station west-end track layout is complete, mainly using materials recovered from Leeds Station during the ‘Leeds 1st’ development.

    The former Sleights Sidings East signal box is in-situ and is being regularly worked on by the YDRMT S&T Team.

    This leaves the Platform 2 construction as the only element not yet being addressed.

    Platform 2 will be a relatively simple straightforward piece of work and the wall construction has been designed by the in-house team. Construction, to match the original, will be of dense concrete blocks with concrete oversails and copings.

    So what is stopping us cracking on with this exciting project?

    Quite simply, money!

    This project will greatly improve the ‘railway look’ of the station and return it to how it would have looked during the Midland, LMS and British Railways era.

    The YDRMT has started a dedicated fund with the aim of raising sufficient finance to underwrite the cost of providing Platform 2. So far, YDRMT Members have been asked to save postage stamps, foreign coins and postcards as a fundraising venture and also to sponsor a concrete block towards the several hundred required for completing the platform face.

    We would like to extend this fundraising venture beyond just YDRMT Members and therefore I invite viewers of this website to contribute to making this project a success.

    There are two ways to help:

    We can sell many different things on our Ebay account for which, as a charitable seller, the fund receives 100% of the sale costs.

    Send your unwanted model railway equipment, rolling stock, etc., postage stamps, foreign coins and old postcards to Frank Barlow c/o Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, BD23 6AF.

    More directly, Sponsor a Concrete Block – the project will need 4450 concrete blocks to complete the platform face. Buy a block for £5, or multiples thereof, and see ‘your’ block (or blocks) become part of a great heritage scheme.

    Everyone who sponsors a platform block will receive a unique certificate acknowledging their backing and we intend to have on display, at Bolton Abbey Station a list of benefactors who have supported the project.

    If you wish to sponsor concrete blocks at £5 each, please fill in THIS FORM and send it together with a cheque for the amount, payable to YDRMT, to David Barlow c/o Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, BD23 6AF.

    If you are a UK tax payer please do Gift Aid your sponsorship.

    Play your part in delivering an exciting heritage project in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales!
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Whilst I think that the plans for Bolton Abbey are something well worth aiming for in future years, I do think that the existing buildings at Bolton Abbey are in serious need of some TLC and this really needs to be the priority. We had a trip on the Railway a couple of weeks ago and even my wife commented on the air of neglect and she is better described as paying public rather than any sort of railway enthusiast. She was seriously unimpressed.

    I'm sorry to have reached this opinion as I've long admired the Railway and its achievements.
     
  17. Muppet

    Muppet Member

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    Are you going to come and help us?

    I suppose you also noticed that work is being done to the buildings, or did that slip your notice? Sadly, it cannot happen all in one go...

    The problem stems back to the cladding being done with plywood in the wet to get it complete in time. This has been steadily tackled, and whilst some sections (one in particular) look bad, we now have not had a 'good' summer for three years...
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    If you can arrange eight or more days in a week, I might find time but, as I generally spend most waking hours on heritage railway work, the answer is going to be no. The visit was a rare day off.
    Have to say that neither I nor SWMBO spotted any evidence of recent work. I still stand by my comment that it would be better to get this sorted before embarking on an expansion project, though.
     
  19. Muppet

    Muppet Member

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    We'd love to have it sorted. But the project to expand is very different to the ongoing work to maintain the station.

    The interior has all been repainted recently, and several sections of the exterior have been treated likewise. Had the weather been better, wood could have been replaced and even more would have been repainted. However, tehre is no point painting wood that needs replacing!

    I see no reason why we should NOT expand - it is not going to dilute what we are trying to do - the weather is far more to blame for that. Maybe a Very Big Tent would sort things out...
     
  20. Platelayer

    Platelayer Member

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    A bit of news from Bolton Abbey: as part of the overall development of the station, work has been ongoing with providing enhanced flexibility to the 'down' sidings. A new head shunt has been constructed using cascaded materials and featuring a genuine Midland Railway buffer stop.

    The rails on the buffer stop are 85lb/yard bullhead as opposed to the 95lb/yard bullhead used on the head shunt. Cue the P'Way searching for junction plates held in 'store'!

    Once ballasted, the head shunt will be levelled and fine lined. This completes track work at the west end of the station and we hope the next stage will see work start on the platform, Concrete Block Appeal finances permitting.

    A new page has been set up on the Railway's website, currently linked from the 'News' pages. We hope to have Paypal capability set up very soon to facilitate the easy purchasing of concrete blocks.
     

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