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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. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Actually you can't use conventional steamrollers to roll asphalt (as in the photo) as it is too soft. It was the widespread introduction of asphalt that hastened the demise of the 3 point steamroller although Wallis & Steevens with their Advance rollers and Robey with the Tandems tried to slow the demise as these had more equal weight distribution for the softer materials. A conventional steamroller is fine for compacting the stone sub-base where the high rear axle loading is an advantage or even rolling in chippings on a 'tar & chippings' coat but they were really from the era of water-bound Macadam roads.
    Ray.
     
  2. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Huh, I did not know that, thanks for the info. Always nice to learn something new. Though it has got me curious as to how many Steamrollers are preserved now... Perhaps something to investigate sometime.
     
  3. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    It is good to report that workers are now back on the Canal Bridge site. This is the start of the winter work which should see the bridge lifted so that the end support steel beams being made good.
     
  4. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    DSCF7090s.jpg I popped along yesterday and there are a pair of big girders in place across the North end of the canal bridge. I assume this will be welded in place and used to lift that end?
     
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  5. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison New Member

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    The Autumn Mainline landed today with an update. Work to proceed with the canal bridge soon: "The pause in works while the summer boating season floated past will be over by early autumn, when the contractors are due to return to site". Interestingly "it has been resolved to find a way to repair both up and down sides of the bridge now, rather than just the one".
    Looking ahead, "The canal bridge work should be complete within the next 6-9 months and the current thinking is the next phase of the works will centre on the section around the Preci Spark factory, where it is intended to make use of the recovered bridge decks from Reading".

    Quoted directly from Mainline.
     
  6. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Quite interesting that their repairing the whole bridge now, as it does lead to the assumption that they may plan on relaying both sides so as to have the double track run just that bit further, even if by necessity it has to have some stretch of single track in order to bridge this 'gap'. Seeing as how the long running of double track is the GCR's key standout feature, I can only see this assumption as a good move on their part.

    What I'm really curious to know, is how will their new engine shed be laid out, where will it be positioned exactly and what it's max capacity and overall size? We've been given a vague idea what it will be like, but it would be great to know more details.
     
  7. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Hi JMJR
    You are quite correct in assuming that the double track will run over the Canal Bridge and along most of the embankment. This does make the most operational sense and reduces the chance of a "log jam" of trains at Loughborough during Gala events.
    The engine shed details should be made known quite soon as they were promised "within twelve weeks" at the AGM ( 6th July) ie any time now.....
     
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  8. Davo

    Davo New Member

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    Any idea what the fundraising target will be phil? to bridge the carpark at preci spark and railway terrace or has the planning for bridging the gap got that far yet?
     
  9. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison New Member

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    [​IMG]

    I made a slight detour on my way to the Gala today to have a look at the canal bridge. The girder on top is part of a lifting beam. You can see some ties coming down the outside of the bridge structure and then another girder going underneath it.
     
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  10. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Hi Davo
    I have no inside knowledge but the intention I believe, is for three abutments to carry the two Ex Reading single track bridge decks, plus two, two arch, brick clad, precast concrete arches. As these will all be on Precis spark land the consents will be much less and the piles will not be so deep compared to the MML structure (I think!).
    So cost.....I think around £1.0M to £1.5M, at a guess.
     
  11. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Nice picture J Rob't.....much clearer than mine!
     
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  12. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Thanks for the info on the canal bridge, I figured as much that was the case. And good to hear more details about the engine shed should be coming soon, as it's an aspect of this overall Bridge The Gap project I have the most interest in (besides the bridge over the MML which has more or less been done with now), and would love to know more about it. An engine shed is the core for many heritage railways, and generally speaking while useful for it's time the old shed has a lot left to be desired.
     
  13. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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  14. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    From the still picture it looks as if the bridge is to lift itself by its own bootstraps. The video helpfully explains that the beam is a cantilever which will "allow first one side of the bridge and then the other to be lifted very slightly ...".
     
  15. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    There was a large crane working today moving some pieces of steel, later I went "Topside" and it was explained what is happening....(As MellishR says) The new "cross girder" is anchored on the left hand side and those red and white containers have 10 tons of water to hold that side of the bridge down. At the right hand end there are 2 hydraulic rams to lift the tie rods - and the end of the old bridge girder, by a few cm. That corner of the bridge bearing surface is repaired. The Centre span girder acts as the support and does not need repair. DSCF7169s.jpg
    Repeat for the other side and other end (possibly only one corner).
    They could not risk jacking up from the towpath underneath as they were unsure as to its stability and strength.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  16. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Whats the intended time span for the joining up of the two sections of railway ? and could 70013 be the first main line loco GCR based to move to and off the mainline via the re instated link once completed ?
     
  17. Davo

    Davo New Member

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    Look on wikipedia about G.C.R. bridge the gap i think cos of the fundraising timescales by the G.C.R. preservation group and planning permission off charnwood council and preci spark to bridge over their carpark and railway terrace, completion date is around 2024/25
    .
     
  18. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    That seems like a reasonable timescale to me, it's a big project overall to take on after all, though arguably they've tackled the hardest part first by crossing the midland mainline. I know many times in the past, few believed it would ever happen, glad to they were proved wrong!

    It would be great if it was 70013 that was the first to officially cross the gap with a passenger train, although that'll be dependent if it can be overhauled in time. That said the engine was given a thorough overhaul last time so all being well the GCR won't have too big a challenge in their hands to get it running again. I'd hope the GCR O4 will be running by the time the gap in completed as well though, what with it being the only operable original GCR engine, be great to see it cross the gap too. Of course then there's the new build for 567, although I can't say for sure if that'll be completed in time, most likely not but perhaps not too far after either considering how many parts they have to hand for what is a relatively simple locomotive mechanically wise to build.
     
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  19. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    As Davo says, the fundraising and planning will be the major constraints on completion timescale, so 2024/5 is possible/probable......however, I'm sure if A LOT of money became available soon, then that could well be shortened...there is a full time GCR manager working on the Gap Project now.
    As Martin 1656 asks though yes 70013 could well be the first locomotive to return to the Main Line via the Gap and Chord line. I must confess that I (and quite a few others) would like to see Boscastle as the "First to Cross" the Gap as it was the first main line steam locomotive to arrive in 1973 Hhhmmmm and 2023 will be 50 years...........
     
  20. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    JMJR wonders if 70013 will be ready in time. The plan is that it will be completed by the end of 2020....and it is on schedule at present.
     
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