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. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    14,923
    Likes Received:
    9,214
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Is the Northern end going to be anywhere near ready to operate, or accept any trains from Loughborough though in the early days, might that be why the plc say, they are only concentrating on the main line connection, because that would be the only bit that would be of use, and extending services may take longer, as such things like signalling, and the spur into Ruddington would be needed before a workable operation from North to South and vice versa, could be achieved ?
     
    jnc likes this.
  2. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Messages:
    1,604
    Likes Received:
    2,872
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I am still awaiting my copy of Main Line but I think it should be remembered that, although Mr Gregory is a very significant benefactor and is obviously influential...he is not a director of the Plc and in the publicised Strategic Aims of the Plc, from the 2020 Accounts, they are.... "working towards reunification of the northern and southern remaining sections of the Great Central Railway and in so doing provide a link to the main line railway".
    You cannot have a Main Line link to the south end of the GCR without filling in the "Gap". So the physical reunification is fundamental for both to happen. Equally once the infrastructure is in place -bridges, viaducts, embankments, then the track and signalling will need more investment for regular operation. So, it may well be that the MML connection is in infrequent, special use initially, whilst the rest of the scheme is brought to fruition.
    As Drop- Shunt and others have said "...achieving full and meaningful reunification is a matter of the highest priority..."
     
    Landshrew, AndyY, jnc and 3 others like this.
  3. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    1,147
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I haven't received the latest ML yet, but I just checked the last one, which contains an article on signalling the greater GCR, written by an EMRT Trustee, indicating that the day to day control for trains between Loughborough (NR boundary) and Hotchley Hill Gypsum plant would likely be in the hands of the GCR(S) Loughborough box, with the section north to Ruddington being under GCR(N) signalling control on an "open as required" basis. If that has been published, then that would tend to indicate a possible way the whole set up is going to be operated in the future.
    From what I have seen and become aware of more in the last 18 months from various sources, is that GCR(N) do not have the resources to do much in the way of developing the site - vide the building that is supposed to take the GCR RST coaching stock that seems to have been under construction for years and has only now got to the roofing stage with no sign of any connecting trackwork. There never seems to be much cohesion between the disparate groups that call the site home either and I've certainly become aware of competition for "space" there between the different rail related factions, all tied in with the general "Politics" of the place.
    I wouldn't consider contributing to any funds to the "site" (as opposed to some of the groups based there, which I already do/have done) until a clear plan of action and timescales are more or less "set in stone" for the development of the place.
    I'm still waiting to see where the 125 Group building is actually going to go at Ruddington as well..........

    EDIT: Out of curiosity, I looked back through my back copies of ML to see when construction work started on "Building 4" at Ruddington - the one for the GCR RST vehicles, and discovered it was 2008 !
    In that 12 year timeframe elsewhere on the "Greater" GCR a branch line has been rebuilt and opened for traffic and a Heritage Centre & Museum buildings constructed as part of that scheme and all paid for by donations......
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
    Landshrew, J Rob't Harrison and 35B like this.
  4. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    190
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stafford
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    My copy of Mainline arrived this morning and in all honesty I don't know what to make of it. We have one article saying the primary objective of the Gap should be a connection with the MML, we have one article that makes repeated reference to the mainline connection but says nothing of the GCRN, and then we have an in-depth review of the repair of Bridge 331 that says it is a crucial part of the linkup with the north.

    Talk about a mixed message.

    I also think it somewhat disingenious that in the same magazine that features a number of articles casting doubt on the overall objective of a project we've been asked to donate to for the last 6 or 7 years, and which is likely to go on for at least that again (quick calculation based on the rate that Phases 3 and 4 are raising money), there's an 'Emergency Appeal' for a further £179,000! There's no real information on what that money would be spent on (I want an explanation more specific than 'track maintenance' or 'signals infrastructure') and there's no word whether any projects funded via the appeal would be seen through to the level of completion the donors would expect to see.

    Until I'm convinced that my donations to date have not been secured via false representation I'm not inclined to give a penny more to the GCR.
     
    Landshrew, jnc and Great Western like this.
  5. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    17,684
    Likes Received:
    16,702
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Let me offer some hope for you.

    I expect that some key people on the GCR (north and south) read Nat Pres. If it becomes clear that your recent copy of Main Line has clouded things to the point that the intentions of the Railway are now unknown then I would hope that the PLC will engage with its supporters to clear the air. Clarification, if nothing else, will help.

    With the lessons from West Somerset ringing in the ears of the GCR you might expect that this will be addressed quickly and well?
     
  6. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    1,147
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I'm still waiting for my copy of ML to appear, as this seems to be the third day this week that there have been no postal deliveries to the area where I live.....
    I am certainly interested in seeing what the various articles are saying, particularly as they received a very large cheque towards the project from me earlier this year, so a letter is likely to end up winging its way to the GCR board if I'm not happy.
    The project should have a common, "Corporate", shared goal, and not be subject to various individuals own interpretations of the future course of the project. "Singing from the same Hymn sheet" is essential.
    The "Emergency Appeal" seems to refer to the one they started (late) during the first Lockdown for funding various jobs (like the replacement bridge at Quorn, Converting Quorn Goods Shed to "educational use" etc - there may be a bit more info on the GCR Website. They reduced the figure being sought once the Heritage grant appeal was successful, as I'm sure it was originally something like £450K.
     
    Landshrew and jnc like this.
  7. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Messages:
    1,604
    Likes Received:
    2,872
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I too have now received the latest Main Line and can appreciate why people have expressed serious concerns about the reunification aims. However my over-riding impression is that the impact of Covid has been longer lasting and more severe than anybody anticipated. This must be true for pretty much the whole country!
    Thus income to the railway has fallen by over £620,000 (AGM information). Naturally they are trying to raise funds for the railway as a whole hence the Emergency Appeal for £179,000. This is to cover various specific areas.
    Also on-going is the Gap/reunification project and funds for this via the DCRT are quite naturally "ring fenced" by charity rules.
    There are many benefits that will happen when the gap is filled. However a priority must be to generate more income over the next few years and the main line connection will achieve that. Obviously it is then possible to run passenger trains across the gap but they will not generate as much extra income so will be a lower priority. I think the articles in Main Line are reflecting that commercial reality.
    There is, of course, the on going lack of running at the GCR(N) and obviously some customers and others have got confused about the two operations.
    I should add that I am not an "official voice"....just a long standing supporter and volunteer.
     
    The Dainton Banker, jnc and Raimondo like this.
  8. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,051
    Likes Received:
    3,696
    Isn't experience on other railways that the revenue from railtours coming in from outside barely compensates for the hassle and possible adjustment of timetables? Regular through trains between north and south would seem to be more profitable.
     
    35B, Paul42 and Sheff like this.
  9. LC2

    LC2 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
    Messages:
    773
    Likes Received:
    884
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    70B
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    There are some big ticket locos that only visit by rail.
    I suspect that could be a decent financial benefit of having the connection initially, to help recoup some of the 2020 hardship whilst working out how to run full length.
     
  10. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,503
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    UK
    Agree with the first point, I think one would need to understand the attributable costs to form a view on the second.
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,780
    Likes Received:
    41,395
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think the actual benefits of a mainline connection tend to be somewhat in inverse proportion to enthusiast interest. Rail tours attract lots of photographers; a night time arrival of a thousand tons of ballast rather less so ...

    Tom
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,559
    Likes Received:
    7,396
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Who actually owns the track between Loughborough and Ruddington? That could be a significant factor.
     
    2392 likes this.
  13. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,795
    Likes Received:
    902
    There are several more £millions to spend and several years of construction before anything gets recouped; 2020 will be a distant memory by then.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Messages:
    1,604
    Likes Received:
    2,872
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The GCR has been quite successful in attracting rail testing contracts and this will be easier with a rail connection. The double track facility gives a lot more operational flexibility so there is less hassle and timetable adjustment.
    I just hope there is not too much time to wait before seeing more progress on Bridging the Gap. As ever there is the funding - progress - funding circle.
     
    misspentyouth62, Sawdust and huochemi like this.
  15. Drop_Shunt

    Drop_Shunt New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    67
    Given that the majority of the testing the GCR carries out is done on vehicles which do not yet have acceptance to run on the national network, the need to demonstrate the necessary qualities required to gain that acceptance being the reason for the testing being carried out in the first place, it is questionable how much advantage a connection to the national network is in that respect.

    The one group who do unquestionably benefit from a main line connection are locomotive owners, who will save on the cost and trouble of road haulage when transporting their locomotives elsewhere. I note that the gentleman seemingly pulling all the strings in the background here owns at least two locomotives.
     
    Landshrew and jnc like this.
  16. pgbffest

    pgbffest Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    350
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somewhere with a lot of letters!
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    There will always be some disruption with railtours, but with clever communications it turns in to an advantage. When UKR's 'Silver King' ran on the SVR, it took out the morning train path, but it was agreed that the charter would become a service train from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster and back. As a result, the number of people that visited the railway that day to travel on something unusual - went up quite a bit. The only grumble was general from those who had turned up on the day using a timetable leaflet as their information and finding the 1030 didn't exist.
     
  17. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,795
    Likes Received:
    902
    Only one of which has any hope of ever running on the main line, and it duplicates several similar locos elsewhere so it’s debatable how much work it would get. Spending £8-10M to avoid a few thousand on lorry moves seems daft to me, but I suppose if you can spend £8-10M of other peoples’ money it’s not so bad. Said gentleman is reportedly worth £250M himself so I can only presume he doesn’t feel that the link is important enough to spend his own money on as he could surely afford to. It’s a very murky business in my opinion.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    2,120
    Likes Received:
    2,134
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Taunton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Many times there has been talk of a south cord at the north end to save problem gettinging trains into Rushcliffe station but I think this will be a hard battle as where I think it will have to go will have to cut through a section of the Rushcliffe Country Park and include cutting down a lot of trees as well so will will be very hard to get approved to be built. Screenshot (44).png Above to me will show where I think it will go. Screenshot (41).png
    The second one shows where the line will go to the south west with the trees in front of the walker having to have a gap cut through them for the track. Screenshot (44).png Screenshot (41).png
    Screenshot (42).png
    With the third one showing where the new cord will have to cut down many trees to link onto the existing north cord.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,795
    Likes Received:
    902
    I don’t think trees are your primary concern there. Most of your proposed route would be in tunnel.

    PS: You mean Ruddington not Rushcliffe (station).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
    Sheff likes this.
  20. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Messages:
    1,604
    Likes Received:
    2,872
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    As ever there are interesting posts on NP.....and, as ever I remain optimistic that the majority of supporters of the GCR remain confident that the process of turning the dream of having an 18 mile main line railway is becoming a reality. Fortunately many people recognise that there are significant benefits from having a railway of that length connected to NR.
    Along with many other preserved railways, we have benefitted over the years from the significant financial support of individuals. For the GCR Richard Willis, James Tawse, David Clarke and Bill Ford are obvious ones but there are many more both large and small. To all we owe a debt of thanks. They also offered advice and guidance at no small cost to themselves. Michael Gregory has been supporting the GCR in like manner for over 10 years now..... and I believe the railway is in the best physical and financial shape ever. So "Thank You" said gentleman!
    Re the Ruddington South Chord that GWR man thinks will go - I believe the plans for it are for a tighter curve further to the North and so not through the Country Park, but it does depend on getting track on land that it does not (currently) own. I'm sure somebody from the North can give more detail.
     
    Will RL and J Rob't Harrison like this.

Share This Page