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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. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    There was a proposal outlined in 'Main Line' a few issues back for a loco shed (I presume primarily a running shed rather than a workshop) to be put where the existing jumble of grounded bodies and containers is, to the side of the original Up & Down lines which could then be reinstated. Although it would only be two roads instead of three, it could be quite a bit longer than the present shed. Personally, I would put another single-road shed (or there may even be room for two roads if one is shorter) on the other side too. But of course the present shed is in the way for building any of this.

    Since that article I have heard one or two other suggestions aired although none has reached the 'artists impression released to the public' stage and most don't involve land we actually own or lease, so are probably best left as messroom chit-chat for the time being. What is certain is that it is a topic at the forefront of the minds of many of the volunteers.

    My current 'best guess' is that a single line will be bodged around the existing shed as a stop-gap solution to get the line open, and we'll then be stuck with that for the next 25 years. I do hope I'm wrong!
     
  2. frazoulaswak

    frazoulaswak Member

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    http://www.railwayarchive.org.uk/map/planBookThumb.php?planNo=14
    This 1901 survey of the Loughborough Central area is rather interesting as is seems to indicate that there ought to be room for a two road engine shed on the west side of the running lines between Empress Road bridge and the Grand Union canal. Looking at a modern aerial view, the land in question is still in the hands of the railway.
     
  3. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    I think you would have fun fitting anything in that area and some of the new neighbours would have a thing or two to say about that. Now if the window factory moved...

    Edit Sorry I had a senior moment and looked in the wrong place. Looks possible.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  4. Flipper

    Flipper New Member

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    A two-road shed on the Down side between Bridges 331 and 332 should be worth a second thought, although it would require building right up against the boundary, which would neccesitate earthworks. And space and environmental constraints would would probably dictate that it be more of a running shed, rather than a locomotive works as it is currently. Just for the love of God don't let a nearby rail vehicle preservation society have anything to do with the design or execution of the structure !

    There are a number of other interesting possibilities for a relocated locomotive works, but as my colleague says, these are probably best kept for internal discussion right now.

    D_S
     
  5. Alan Brader

    Alan Brader New Member

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    I disagree
    The more open discussion and information about all aspects of this project will convince the sceptics that it may be feasable and that a genuine plan of both construction and funding are in discussion if not fully in place. This will lead to more people considering dipping into their pockets.

    A time for some lateral thinking is require IMHO.

    Build a running shed to the side of the current shed to allow Double track and relocating the repair shed to say Quorn where there is plenty of space seems a sensible suggestion without even putting a lot of thought into this. Before I get shot down in flames re cost and relocating of workforce etc, firstly the entire project is costly and adding this to it is not a massive addition. As regards working there instead of Loughborough, if there are complaints, then remind these people it is part of the evolving railway and they should consider the overall contribution this will give rather than a little inconvinience to them personally.
     
  6. Flipper

    Flipper New Member

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    It's much easier to shoot you down in flames by pointing out that there is by no means "plenty of room" at Quorn !

    Quorn station yard represents the only halfway decently sized piece of event space on the entire railway, and the only place where more than a couple of dozen cars may be parked. Since the appearance of a large circular white-elephant at the southern end of the yard has now accounted for a sizeable fraction of the previously available space the remaining space is at even more of a premium. Fill the yard with a loco works, and you will have nowhere to hold any event requiring parking, tentage, bonfires, hardstanding, &c. This precious space is, arguably, more important to the GCR than "bridging the gap".

    Of course, the above is largely academic. The chance of Charnwood Borough Council (who are, let us not forget, the landlords) agreeing to the erection of a heavy engineering works directly behind a considerable number of long established residential properties is, I suggest, slim to none. They already receive enough complaints regarding the exisiting shed, which in mitigation long predates the neighbouring residential properties.

    Of course, as Statutory Undertakers, the GCR have certain powers with regards to the unilateral erection of operational buildings, but Charnwood, with their landlords hats on, have hitherto been minded to make the submission of a planning application a conditon of their consent for building works on their property. Even if you did not need to go through that process however, I could see any new shed at that location being very quicly served with any number of prohibition notices that would severely curtail their ability to carry out their business.

    The fact is that there is no suitable space on any land currently owned by, or leased by, the GCR.
     
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  7. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    Has the been any discussion about suitable parcels of land which might be acquired for a reasonably modest sum?

    Noel
     
  8. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    What is the extent of GCR plc ownership and what areas are leased?

    Steven
     
  9. Flipper

    Flipper New Member

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    The DCRT owns Lovatt House, and allows the plc the use of it. The plc rent Green Acres from Leicester City Council, and rents everything else from Charnwood Borough Council. One of the resident RoSCos, RVP, also have a leasehold on a mile and a bit of the former mineral branch to Mountsorrel.
     
  10. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    Do the sheds have to be on the GCR? Or can they be on the GCR (N) instead? Surely there is room somewhere up that way for an engineering base? And leave just a small base at Loughborough for locos needed in service? Say a single lane shed that could hold 4 locos?
     
  11. desperado

    desperado Member

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    I remember a couple of places on the GCR(N) where the boundary fence moves some way away from the running line. You'd need road access for an engineering base and both were rural.

    Jon
     
  12. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    Many thanks - I must admit I hadn't realised that the track and stations weren't owned by what was the GCR (1976) plc.

    Steven
     
  13. Pesmo

    Pesmo Member

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    Whenever I have visited Nottingham transport Heritage centre I have been impressed by the amount of space that they have. There possibly is sufficient room for a Loco shed providing the politics were okay, the Council on board and they were not too ambitious. From what I recall there are some plans for the site anyway to try to remove some of the many temporary structures and build a station building. The site would need something of a layout reorganisation though and it could be an good opportunity to raise the profile of the Bus Heritage centre and the excellent minature railway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  14. Flipper

    Flipper New Member

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    To be slighty clearer than I was in my previous post, the plc hold a long* leasehold on the line, but Charnwood are the freeholders.

    *Although with nearly 40 years of the 99 year lease already expended, not as long as once it was !
     
  15. Flipper

    Flipper New Member

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    I'm less familiar with the line north of Loughborough, but they do have a number of larger areas which might have potential, and I believe that they own the freehold on their line.

    The former sidings at Gotham have the advantage of being well away from residential areas, but the disadvantage of being well away (over a mile, IIRC) from everything else, such as electricity and roads, as well.

    There is also the land around "50 steps" and the Heritage Centre itself, but I believe that there are significant problems with theft, vandalism, arson and antisocial behaviour in that location, which might need to be considered.
     
  16. John Stewart

    John Stewart Part of the furniture

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    I very much hope that they do not do this. It would be quite improper for a Local Planning Authority to ask for planning applications for development that is permitted under either Part 11 or Part 17 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order. They must excercise control purely as land owners.
     
  17. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    The same sort of "open discussion" which, a few years ago, caused an adjacant landowner to break off negotiations with the GCR and sell their site for housing instead? Sorry, but there is a time and a place to go public and that is when there is a firm plan which all parties are committed to. In the meantime it should be sufficient to realise that it is a problem which is being looked at.

    Besides, if the £0.5M raised so far by public appeal and £1.0M raised by local government grant do not convince the sceptics, I'm not sure what will.
     
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  18. Alan Brader

    Alan Brader New Member

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    Well the £1.0m from the Govt is only if match funded and the £0.5M, although impressive, is still well short of its target which may mean the govt money is not forthcoming either, if not reached, so that in itself does not convince me and I would suggest a good few sceptics as well, or they may have already contributed and the £.05M would be £1.0M or more and my above statement would be irrelevant.

    I appreciate that some elements of any plans and projects have to be kept under wraps until certain points but reading through this thread and other online media, there does not appear to be a long term plan of how the line is actually going to be connected I.E. funding for the enbankment, other bridges, and the PWay not to mention the shed debacle that cannot be just ignored, and again has little information available to how this is going to be resolved. If this continues and funding cannot be found to "finish the job off", then the bridge is going to be the most expensive white Elephant in the Heritage movement, and I am certainly not prepared to put my hand in my pocket to assist with something that does not have a definitive long term plan.

    I might be in a minority with how I feel about this, and in honesty I hope I am, but in reality I feel I am not.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    My observation of similar fundraising appeals is that, when income is plotted against time, you get a somewhat "S" shaped curve: an initial flurry of donations sees the amount rise rapidly in a short space of time; then a long period when donations come in slowly, then a final flurry towards the end when you reach a tipping point in which the majority of people become convinced that the project really will happen. So I would expect an upturn in donations from the current £0.5m once real tangible progress on the ground starts to be made.

    I would also not discount the £1.0m Government money just because it is match funding rather than "in the bank". That actually acts as a powerful incentive if properly marketed: effectively, the fundraisiers can go out with a message that every £10 donation can really be worth £22.50 to the railway (the £10 donation, plus £2.50 Gift Aid, plus £10 of released Government funding). That represents a real selling point. Effectively marketed, there is scope to raise a real buzz around a "double donation dash".

    Tom
     
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  20. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    £25 Tom - the Gift Aided Donation = £12.50 so matches £12.50 of Grant!

    (Checked with the aid of a spreadsheet!)

    Steven
     

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