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Bridge that Gap: Great Central Railway News

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Gav106, May 8, 2010.

  1. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Martin is quite correct in his assessment. I suspect that there will be two parts for the track upgrades as it must be hoped that rail traffic returns to the Gypsum plant at East Leake (Has the track now been reinstalled over the A60 bridge?). To the North, now that Ruddington is reawakening, they will gradually extend the running down to Rushcliffe Halt.
     
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  2. Mark_108

    Mark_108 New Member

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    It will do, there has been work on the line from Bunny Road bridge (north of Rushcliffe Halt) north, with sleeper replacement, flailing, packing and fish plate oiling on going. However, south of here is the responsibility of EMRT so who knows, it was pretty well maintained prior to running stopping but, based on needing to oil every other fishplate every year and 10% of the sleepers being life expired every 12 months, there could be quite a bit of catch up needed. Needs a survey

    The chord has always been the utopia but, it would likely be a seven figure sum as it needs purchase of land from two stakeholders, one is supportive, the other sees it as a retirement fund opportunity!
     
  3. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    There is a new picture from the GCR showing a single track has now been laid across the new A60 bridge and so the GCR(N) is now reconnected to NR. Slow but steady progress.
     
  4. dr gerbil-fritters

    dr gerbil-fritters New Member

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    Exciting news from the lads half an hour ago....

     
  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Does not answer what will be most people's question though of where the locomotive works will be moving to,? will it be moving over the bridge, to the site that was explored, or further away, Ruddington maybe? if the original site of the station is accessible then rebuilding a new station, there might free up the Ruddington site to be developed into the overhaul and servicing depot for the entire railway, it would also be in the right place to service mainline engines coming in off the spur, as well as providing a ideal depot for the engines based on the line that are going to run on the mainline,
     
  6. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison Member

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    This is a development that wouldn't occur if the gap project was being undertaken purely to get the GCR a mainline link. I honestly think this is something that should hopefully (viewed holistically with other positive developments regarding the management of the project and the relationship with the GCRN) put that idea to rest.

    So, what next for the shed then? Being essentially a prefabricated modular structure is there opportunity to (carefully!) dismantle and relocate it? It would after all be an appalling waste of scarce resources to scrap the new cladding, new doors etc that have been fitted over the last few years.
     
  7. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Like I said in my post, aquire , if availible the land of the old station site, and rebuild Ruddington station, with just enough land to allow for a head shunt, nothing fancy, that would then enable ruddington to become the maintenance depot for the entire line, plus, it enables access to the main line, from that end,
     
  8. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison Member

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    I believe the LNER GC Heritage Trust own the trackbed up to and including the site of Ruddington Station. However I also remember hearing that new housing either side of the station site means that there's barely room to get track in alongside the platform (which itself has been partially grubbed out for a footpath) and then the bridge providing access to the station has been strengthened by at least partial infilling. Then if you want a headshunt beyond you're in a SSSI...

    All surmountable issues of course- with enough money- but what do you get at the end of it? A terminus with at best two platform fences, hemmed in on either side, oh and the station entrance is directly onto a busy road. The Heritage Centre has issues too of course, not least of which the current lack of a southern chord, but it has far more potential. Also of course a couple of decent car parks right next to it and safe access/ egress for pedestrians...

    On the one hand we rebuild on the site of the original Ruddington station, and that gets us a terminus similar to what the GC had through the 1970s and 1980s.
    On the other hand we persevere at the Heritage Centre, and who knows we might end up with a mini-Marylebone.

    I think you're correct in assessing though that Ruddington has the potential to become a significant maintenance centre, the workshops there are quite capable if you're looking to overhaul a loco. It's a problem that we've got a few years to solve yet and I'm sure the Railways are looking into it.
     
  9. JorgeR

    JorgeR New Member

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    The point that made me sit up and listen was the argument that engineering and running sheds need not exist at the same location. I wonder if one option under consideration is to keep one or the other at Loughborough, while potentially sending the other to Ruddington or elsewhere?
     
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  10. sycamore

    sycamore Member

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    Surly the best place for an operating base would be either in the middle or at each end of a 18 mile line? Loughborough would be well placed to send out two trains in opposite directions, and of similar distances to each end. Loughborough also already has planning permission for such facilities in the area and is well established - something the NIMBY's might not like if the setup was moved lock, stock, and barrel elsewhere. Nottingham South / Rushcliffe (whatever you call the northern end of the line) only, would create a limited train service at Leicester North unless there was a base there too??? I suspect the best way to maximise profit is to minimise your empty / quiet stock movements???
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2024
  11. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Exciting news and one that should please many people. Obviously it will be an expensive option but one that keeps maximum flexibility for the future. I suspect it will be two sheds eventually, a two road running shed - possibly on the West side a bit further up towards the canal bridge and a smaller "works shed" on the East side, with a bigger works at Ruddington......but we will see.
    First let's get the Factory Flyover started by the end of this year.
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The best place for a running shed is where your demand is and where your first trains of the day start from and end up at the end of the day. At the moment that is undoubtedly Lougaborougha as it is the current end of the line. That may not be the case once Ruddington is connected. To some extent it will depend on how the railway is marketed. Bodmin, for instance is a mid way station but is the major starting point on that railway.
    A running shed at Ruddington shouldn't need planning permission (as distinct from Building Regs approval) if it is on existing railway land as it is an operational facility. A workshops is a different matter.
     
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  13. Andrew MI

    Andrew MI New Member

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    I suspect this means the central organization has been giving some thought as to how the railway will operate as an 18 mile line and the time in which that is achievable.

    For example, they talk about the existing shed having c.4/5 years of “second life” left. The inference I took from this was that we can not expect the gap to be bridged in a smaller timeline (or at least if it is bridged the operation may not be settled into a commercial rhythm in that timetable).

    either way, a positive waypoint.
     
  14. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    I agree with Andrew MI about the timeline, much as I wish it to be quicker, I expect the Factory Flyover to start by the year end but will take probably 18 months. Then there is the 300m embankment to build between the Canal Bridge and Factory Flyover....another 18 months. After that there is the short 50m embankment to the North of the MML bridge, possibly another 6 months (or done with the longer embankment if sufficient funding available?). Finally there is the track laying and signalling, so easily 4 to 5 years before regular train operation. Obviously, if there was a big injection of money, the timescale could be shorter. But current fundraising is around £1m per year - which is actually very good!
     
  15. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison Member

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    I think there's another element to consider here and that is the state of the line between the Gap and Rushcliffe. I'm sure I read in a previous 'Mainline' that the GCR undertook (or commissioned) an inspection of the major structures on that stretch when they took on the lease from the LNER GC Heritage Trust, which concluded, in essence, 'bridges, viaduct and tunnel all need work but we'll wait for inflation to sort itself out before we even think about doing anything about them'.

    It would be a terrible shame if we spend all this time and money extending across Loughborough to find we've filled one gap but allowed another to open up whilst our attention was elsewhere. I wonder if there's appetite to start another appeal to get south of Rushcliffe in order, or whether there's a feeling that it would just reduce money coming in to the Gap works?
     
  16. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    In the latest Main Line there is a lot about the reunification work and the statement that there will be a tamper going up the chord off the Midland Main Line in March to tamp the track over the new A 60 Bridge. So more progress.
     
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  17. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    I've also heard that the GCRN were expecting another bridge inspection. It should have happened by now, but I haven't heard anything about the outcome. I think they were hoping that the bridges giving most concern (there are two or three, I think) are fit for slow-speed movement, but whether that proves to be the case or not I don't know. If it does, it would give them some breathing space to raise funds to repair them.

    Going back to comments further up, I think you can forget any sort of engineering facility on the site of the former Ruddington station. It's surrounded by houses and would never get permission. The original station could, at a push, be rebuilt one day, perhaps, but unless trains are going north of there there may not be much point. And there isn't very far to go north before you hit the aforementioned SSSI (though there is room for a headshunt beyond the bridge, if the bridge could be rebuilt to take trains again). Anyway, all of this is so far off in the hazy future that I think it's irrelevant at this point.

    Beyond that... I would say that anything and everything should, and I expect will, be considered. But the important point to note is that there will be a period - which could be anything from several months to a few years - when the north end of Loughborough is being remodelled and resignalled into the final configuration; some of this work will need the shed gone, and there will be a need to keep some sort of service running while that happens, and to keep overhauls progressing, which needs a shed. And there will most likely be no useable link to the north for much of the same period. So I think something south of the 'gap' is inevitable, even if it is only a temporary facility or a stepping-stone towards whatever the end game is.

    Personally, I like the idea of keeping the running sheds, at least, at Loughborough, with the Ruddington shed being an outpost in the way Highley is on the SVR. That would seem to maximise the operational flexibility. The workshop location is, I guess, less dependent on the day-to-day operation of the line and as the likes of Swanage and Ian Riley will tell you, doesn't even need to be rail connected, at least for long-term overhauls, although not having them rail connected does of course bring other problems.

    It's a really positive announcement and one which should have been made years ago. Interesting that the millionaire former backer was quite publicly uninterested in going any further than the main line link, and was aided and abetted by the former MD who was quite publicly hostile to the GCRN... both of these gentlemen having been shown the door seems to have predicated an outbreak of common sense, and has to be a good thing even if it makes the fundraising harder and stretches out the timescales. Do it once, and do it properly.
     
  18. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    I think the comments about a shed to the North were not on the former station site but on the spur line to the present Heritage centre. It is fantastic that the dream of the MLPG is steadily becoming a reality - Leicester to Nottingham on a preserved main line.
     
  19. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I mis-read that bit. Never mind.
    Well, edge-of-Leicester to village-outside-Nottingham, lets not get carried away. The original intention was to preserve as far as Rugby... apparently?
     
  20. mattspencer

    mattspencer Well-Known Member

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    I doubt they would have got to Rugby as the M6 is in the way. Would've been nice for a preserved railway walking distance for me...
     

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