If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Bridge that Gap: Great Central Railway News

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

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    22,141
    Likes Received:
    42,485
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Well, that's even better, though it suggests the Government is match-funding its own money! Either way, the presence of substantial match funding should be an incentive to donate to teh project for the GCR's supporters.

    Tom
     
  2. Drop_Shunt

    Drop_Shunt New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    74
    I don't think that there is any absence of a "long term plan" here, and I would have said that the long term aim was perfectly obvious - to join the Birstall - Loughborough and Loughborough - Ruddington sections of the GCML together.

    The decision was taken, sensibly IMO, to split the job into a number of discrete steps. You can't eat an entire apple in one go, but you can easily eat it in a number of bites. The decision to make the first bite the provision of a new bridge over the MML was an easy one - Network Rail have categorically stated that there is a "sweet spot" window in which it can be accomplished before the MML is electrified, and it seems clear that it would cost vastly more, and face considerably more obstacles, if that window is missed. So much so, in fact, that it would effectively become impossible for the GCR to achieve.

    The effort currently therefore is focussed mainly on providing that bridge within the window of opportunity. Once it is in place, it is in place - even if it then sits there for another ten years waiting for the remaining infrastructure to reach it. If the Link team sit around for years waiting for funding for the entire project to be in place, and spreading their resources and energies ever more thinly trying to solve every challenge before proceeding, then they will never progress the job. If the bridge does not go in instanter then none of the other tasks (shed relocation, embankments, bridge refurbishment, &c. is worth progressing. I suspect that the vast majority of the interested parties understand that !

    None of the separate parts of the entire task seems at all insurmountable to me, given the motivation and the resources. The former and, it is to be hoped, the latter, will flow more easily once there is a bridge in place over the MML to spur things along. To describe the situation where the ultimate location of the shed has not been decided as a debacle is entirely asinine - it is simply not on the critical path yet.
     
  3. Alan Brader

    Alan Brader New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Idle so and so
    Location:
    On a platform watching trains
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Then please explain to a simple person where the money is coming from.

    I would not be impressed if I had donated to the bridge and then it sat unused for 10 years as you suggest.

    It may come over that I am against this, and I will say that I am not at all against it and wish you all the best with it, but I would prefer to know a LOT more about the entire project before donating, and at the moment it all seems a bit too fragmented with no definitive plan of how its all going to be excecuted and funded.
     
  4. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,663
    Likes Received:
    1,776
    Location:
    Nantwich, Cheshire
    How much is "needed"??

    Surely the same could be said for most things, ie a loco group that restores say the tender then cant restore the engine as its too much for them.

    Once the bridge is in i would have thought the best option would be to connect it to the GCR (N) as you could then drive a loco onto it and get great publicity to help fund the section between. And it could be seen from the gcr very easily. People will donate when they see an end. But it depends on how much the end costs..... any ideas?
     
  5. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,511
    Likes Received:
    2,704
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Atlantic
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    If you feel that way, donate to something else, then.

    Noel
     
  6. Flipper

    Flipper New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    19
    Alan, it seems to me that if the GCR / link sit down for the year or two of solid work it would take to do the detailed planning you demand, then the boat will have sailed with regards to the bridge over the MML and they may as well not bother. The bridge over the MML is the key requirement of the whole project, and is currently the only part which has a deadline attached to it. Devoting the greatest part of their current efforts to that seems eminently sensible to me.

    As I say, none of the individual tasks which will make up the completed link are impossible, especially when viewed in isolation. Funding for them will obviously have to be addressed "as and when", but I do know that very few people are going to be prepared to invest in those parts of the project when their time comes if there is by then no realistic prospect of the MML being bridged !
     
  7. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    265
    Location:
    Bristol / Priddy
    Alan are you asking the same question to projects like the new P2, the future extension of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway to Blackmoor Gate and the push to take 76084 onto NR metals? Admittedly none of these 3 projects may be of interest to you, but they have all received support from significant backers whether its councils, shareholders, sponsorship or the enthusiastic public. These projects are no different to the 'Bridging the Gap' scenario and I'm sure their fundraisers won't be able to tell you where the funding is going to come from either!! I for one don't doubt that any of these projects will succeed and with the recent news on the Gap I'd include the greater GCR in this bracket too!

    I personally don't feel that a project such as this with existing significant backing is unlikely to get off the ground, however if it was a Facebook group with an artists impression and £50 of pledges to their aim then I may think differently. Even in the case of the latter I wouldn't consider this grounds to knock those down who are trying to achieve something, I just merely chose to stop reading that story and read about another project that takes my interest as appose to airing my scepticism.

    Kind Regards

    Paul
     
    jnc likes this.
  8. Alan Brader

    Alan Brader New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Idle so and so
    Location:
    On a platform watching trains
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I find it quite amusing that it is assumed that I don't already donate to other projects or that I have not enquired about the ones I am interested in before I donate and I see nothing wrong with that and make no apology on this occasion for asking the questions I have.

    If I was not interested in this project to the point I did want to donate why would I have asked the questions I have.

    As regards comparing this to other projects then I thought this thread was about the GCR and not other projects.

    So I will say no more on the matter and take the advice of giving my money to others who might be a little more forthcoming with information and appreciative of both my interest and contribution.
     
  9. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    32,838
    Likes Received:
    17,288
    Occupation:
    Training moles
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    But that's pretty much how all heritage projects work. Very few are short term and if people don't back them from the outset, none would come to fruition. It's a question of believing in a project and keeping the faith.
     
  10. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,778
    Likes Received:
    4,046
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    C.Eng
    Location:
    On the 45th!
    Over the years I have seen that there are differences in how people view projects, there are the 'starters', the 'dreamers' through the 'sloggers' to the 'let's finish it'.

    The starters and dreamers tend to have more input and contribution at the beginning and then there are those that contribute at the end when they can see the achievements and can appreciate that the project really is going to be finished. The preservation movement needs all types of people to donate (both with time and money) so no need to alienate potential donors
    So whilst some may hold out until they see more visible progress it is important to capture the input from the starters and dreamers now and follow up with more campaigns to reach to the 'finishers'. Something that the Bluebell did admirably with their various 'pushes'
    I would say that the GCR have a clear overall vision and the individual steps are clear, perhaps it needs tying together a bit more, but I can definitely see why the need to concentrate on the bridge first, without that the rest becomes prohibitively expensive.
     
  11. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    32,838
    Likes Received:
    17,288
    Occupation:
    Training moles
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Interesting post but there are also those who are in at the beginning and are still there at the fruition but as you say, it takes all types.
     
  12. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,778
    Likes Received:
    4,046
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    C.Eng
    Location:
    On the 45th!
    Yes, sorry I should have added that these observations are over and above the 'core'. The core is always there it's how to target the 'transients' that can make a big difference to the overall scheme. Early days at 'green' sites and it's interesting to see familiar names crop up that then move on once the site is more established, more than a few went from Buxton to Wirksworth via Darley Dale.
     
  13. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,809
    Likes Received:
    908
    What a depressing little exchange of messages.
    Alan, this is a public discussion group, not the GCR/DCRT's own forum, and I know for a fact that whilst there are some active GCR volunteers reading and commenting on the discussion, the "gap" team themselves either aren't reading it or have chosen not to comment. This is quite understandable for a number of reasons:
    1) They may well not be members of this group; indeed they may not be particularly prone to reading internet discussion groups which, in my experience, seem to be the domain of a certain kind of person (the internet-savvy, for which read the under-40s, and/or those generally with a bit of time on their hands!)
    2) They may prefer not to be drawn into a public discussion as there are obviously 'official' lines of communication to report progress through (GCR website, press releases and the like) and they also need to keep their partners 'on side' (Network Rail etc.) which might mean that a 'quick response', which a discussion group requires, is simply not possible.
    3) Well, I'm sure you can think of some more possible reasons.

    This being so, before you complain about your questions not being answered, can I suggest that you write to the DCRT (appeal details on GCR website) with a letter along the lines of "I would like to donate £x but before I do so, please can you give me some assurance about xyz". Now, I might suggest that if x is less than the price of a stamp you might not get a reply, but if it is an appreciable sum then I am sure you will get a reply, and if you don't like the reply then please come back to us here and have another moan about it. Otherwise...

    What I can tell you is that when I last asked one of the 'gap' team how the fundraising was going - and this was some months ago - he said they were totally overwhelmed and indeed humbled by the level of support, stating that "donations were coming in all the time", including many people who had set up standing orders. I can also tell you that there is a provisional date for installing the bridge, and that if the appeal continues at its present rate then there is no doubt whatsoever that there will be a bridge. I gather also that there have already been "boots on the ground" in terms of ground condition surveys and signal sighting (one Network Rail signal needs moving). Things are happening.

    From a personal perspective I don't really care if the bridge, once it's up, sits there unused for another 40 years, so long as the project is still "alive". Besides, we could always connect the two railways with a zip wire...
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  14. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    32,838
    Likes Received:
    17,288
    Occupation:
    Training moles
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Yes, there are always those who are happiest building things and do move onto new projects once one is complete.
     
  15. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,809
    Likes Received:
    908
    Latest 'gap' appeal total is £590k.
     
  16. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    215
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Remember, the Bridge HAS to be in place before the MML is electrified - if it were not so, then end of story... The whole picture is about £6.5 Million - and from that you can now deduct a Government Grant of £1 Million - to be released in two chunks of £0.5 Million. The first chunk will be released when the Bridge is built and paid for, the second will follow after.

    Reunification Project - the next phase of work has started with the Canal Bridge

    THOUSANDS OF POUNDS HAVE BEEN SAVED AS LEADING CONSULTANTS SPONSOR CANAL BRIDGE SURVEY

    Survey work has taken place on the bridge over the Grand Union canal in Loughborough as the Great Central Railway steps up its reunification project. XEIAD, a specialist civil engineering consultancy examined the bridge, which dates from the late 1890s, to determine how much work will be required before it can carry steam trains again.

    So the Government grant could be used towards the repair of the Canal Bridge - and the survey shows that it is repairable at a reasonable cost...

    Then there is the Planning Consent for the remainder of the 'Missing Link' - the Charnwood Boro Council was only tasked by Network Rail with permission in detail for the MML Bridge - as it was expected the final plans would change the original concept.... Not a lot, the MML Bridge is to be built a little further South, so all the other plans need to be updated - THEN the GCR will submit the remaining plans.

    As well as replacing the embankment, there is another bridge required - across the road to the Civic Amenity Site.

    There will need to be a line laid around the Loco Shed - until the options for the Shed are determined (this line may be a requirement in the planning consent - in order to bring in material for construction - minimising vehicular traffic).

    This Missing Link will not happen overnight - the speed of progress is limited by several things:
    Final design
    Planning consent
    Contractor availability

    AND most of ALL - the Finance (and there is a possibility of further grants from various sources - fingers crossed) - For the MML bridge the appeal target for Christmas is thought to be £750K

    Remember also (as stated in the thread above) - The GCR has financial and commercial partners in this project - do not expect any of the core team to comment by return - any comments and answers will be carefully thought out and agreed before publication - just as they would be in any Major Project
     
    jnc likes this.
  17. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,809
    Likes Received:
    908
    Hi folks,
    From the latest GCR newsletter, the 'gap appeal' has now raised £650k. Also some initial environmental surveys and the like have started on the embankment section which, of course, is not part of the present appeal, but a future stage.
     
    nigelss and jnc like this.
  18. JFlambo

    JFlambo New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Any updates?
     
  19. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,809
    Likes Received:
    908
    An update on the GCR website today. The appeal has now raised £705k.
    http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify/

    It seems we are now going for a single-span bridge (new?) and not the ex-Reading decks. What the reasoning behind this is I'm unsure, as I haven't yet read the mentioned article in the latest Main Line magazine.
     
  20. frazoulaswak

    frazoulaswak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    1,450
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired (at last!)
    Location:
    Hartford
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I was also surprised by this turn of events, but the reasons for it appear sound as Network Rail are of the opinion that the cost of a new steel single span will be more or less balanced by a reduction in construction costs, notably a central pier and signal relocation which would no longer be required, not forgetting reduced maintenance costs into the future.
    One of the ex-Reading bridge decks seems to have been earmarked for Railway Terrace, with the other possibly used instead of a section of embankment in the vicinity of the Precispark works.
    Hopefully the GCR will update their website with the article from issue 161 of Main Line for the edification of those who are not (yet?) friends of the line.
    Cheers,
     

Share This Page