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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 Well-Known Member

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    Good analysis Johann, I suspect option 4 will be the choice as this bridge is as old as the recently repaired canal bridge to the South and the bridge recently replaced on the GCR North of Quorn. Also a similar bridge had to be lifted and repaired at Swithland, (fortunately services could be diverted over the loop line) in about 1998/9 ish.
    Of course it was always known that it would need significant work as it has always been part of the "Gap" projected "works".
     
  2. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Is the bridge in the gap plans then, or is this something out of the blue,? for instance is there funding for the works, or a program in being to in any way, bring the work forward if needed, And more to the point, does the GCR have a span section that it can replace it with, if the old one is found to be beyond repair ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  3. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    It's one of the last stages of the Gap scheme, so no fundraising has been carried out so far. It was known to need a fair bit of work, but this serious problem seems to have appeared out of the blue.
    Bridge ownership is in the hands of EMRT with GCR(N) the "operator", so I doubt that any detailed investigations have been carried out in the past as to its condition by anyone from the GCR(S) end......
     
  4. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Hi Martin
    Short answer.....Yes, Yes, No, No, No. However there is more detail on the GCR website in the "Reunification" section. But the project has been split into 7 sections and the A60 bridge was no 7. The present focus is on sections 3 and 4 the "Factory Flyover" ( 1 was the MML bridge, 2 the Canal Bridge). The long Embankment is no 5, the short embankment North of the MML bridge is no 6.
    The GCR does have two bridge spans, ex Reading, which are to be part of the "Factory Flyover" section.
     
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  5. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    I really can’t see the GCR paying for, or even making a contribution to the works. The North will probably see it as at best charity, or at worst a grab on North infrastructure.

    What concerns me is the direct effect on the commercial freight flow onto the North, this traffic not being able to run effects jobs with GBRF and wider afield.

    If the North can’t keep the leased track in operational condition then they should hand back enough track to permit the freight flow.

    I know a section of line leased by a firm who at the end of the lease handed it back to NWR in such a poor state PWay closed the section with immediate effect trapping a commercial freight at the terminal. Needless to say the firm leased it back instantly! The firm areb5 fly by night either !
     
  6. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Great Western makes some interesting points but I'm sure many people are working hard trying to sort out the problems without keeping us on NP informed....There are a couple of points though, all 4 bodies GCR, GCR(N) EMRT and DCRT have stated many times, and in many ways, that they are working together to a shared objective of an 18 mile railway. The A60 bridge refurbishment is, and always has been, part of that joint plan.
    Re the Gypsum traffic, I'm sure I read that this material was from coal burning power stations, where it was a by product of the flue gas cleaning process. As there are now far fewer such power stations, and they are mainly a reserve to keep CO2 emissions low, does that mean significantly less need for those trains in the future?
    Also on the EMRT wesite it says that 25 ton axle loads were allowed in 2019 so presumable the bridge was inspected and passed for that load at that time?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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  7. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Presumably your fourth player is the East Midlands Railway Trust, who actually own the line. I note that it has three Trustees, one of which is also a DCRT Trustee so there is an obvious connection between the two. Are the other two involved with the GCR in any way? I would hope so, otherwise it could lead to all sorts of problems. The DCRT are seemingly able to give grants to the EMRT but it is all a bit messy.
     
  8. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Steve, Yes I didn't have EMRT in my post but I have now corrected. There are several connections/people involved with more than one organisation so I am confident that progress will be maintained towards that common aim.
    It does appear complex at times because of the history of how the line/organisations came into being over the last 50 years. It has been "touch and go" several times (as with many heritage railways!) so totally understandable.....if messy.
     
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  9. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Having one or more people as trustees of the different organisations might seem to be a good idea but that leaves a conflict of interest which needs to be declared and those involved should not partake in any Decision making
     
  10. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    You’re right, but I understand the stuff is now being imported instead.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    It creates a potential for a conflict of interest, which must be addressed if and when it arises. It does not automatically create a conflict of interest.
     
  12. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    Here’s a thought....

    GCR realise the public issues with the North, as in asking them to not use the GCR brand etc has dented confidence in the overall bridge project. Panic mode engaged at GCR towers, so they throw out the double tracking to Leicester as a distraction with the condition the gap needs filling before double track can be extended.

    It would be nice to wholly believe once / if the two come together there’ll be nothing but harmony and peace, but who have they got to blame for the lack of faith ? The industry as a whole, it’s littered with bitter, long lasting and often bloody nasty disputes which dent confidence and more importantly money being donated.
     
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  13. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    A bit harsh Great Western....... the double tracking/museum project at Leicester North has been a desire for many years. As with many such projects it depends upon several elements to come together at the same time ie City Council, County Council, NRM, Possible external funding (Nearly HLF!).
    Also, although there are disputes of varying natures and degree, you are ignoring the many more examples of where people have worked together to achieve amazing things.
    The industry, as a whole, is actually very co-operative and supportive......which is why so many people contribute in so many ways.
    The internet is a relatively new thing and can act as an amplifier for all sorts of views....Asquith had a very apt saying...."Wait and see".
     
  14. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Certainly if this Nat Pres thread is representative of the wider world, there does seem to have been more concern about just what the railways will look like once the gap is bridged in the last few months than I can ever remember before. This seems to have brought concerns to the surface that were not generally circulated outside those closely involved in the organisations.
    I am mildly apprehensive about what the long term repercussions will be of the interactions of the two railways in the last few months. I remember a little over 10 years ago there was significant ill feeling among GCRN volunteers towards the GCR for various reasons, some of which I am not aware of, but they could all be summed up as a feeling the Loughborough was waiting to get the bridge in, then they could swan in and completely take over the place. There was even a joke facebook group set up called 'Widening the Gap' which joked about how GCRN volunteers should go and dig up bits of embankment that existed between the two lines to hamper the reuinification efforts. It speaks volumes that many key volunteers were quite behind this notion! A lot of work has been done to heal these wounds, and certainly I don't think 10 years ago we would have been in a position where many people would have been comfortable with a GCR loco on long term loan at the GCRN, as is currently the case. I just hope the last few months don't undo all that hard work...
     
  15. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais New Member

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    EMRT/GCR is indeed compiling the necessary survey and records. Surveyors, Civil Engineers and Engineering Contractors are compiling necessary worksheets for repairs. This part of the work was supposed to be completed by mid of Feb, but things are slipping due to CVirus restrictions - so early March looks like an end date to that phase. Then the ORR can agree what is useable or not (some repair work is not understood to be major - just a speed limit)?
    With the A60 Bridge being a designated part of the @Bridge the Gap' project - it is in the best interest of both parties to review and comit to the necessary work on this vital link.
    Unfortunately, the GCR567 Chief Engineer is having to run this EMRT Project oversight - so 567 Engineering management is having to take a back seat - although others in the group continue to manage some sub-contract work - watch this space on BOTH of these Projects....!
     
  16. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much for this Legrandanglais. I don't know why some people on here seemingly prefer to believe that groups/people would rather not co-operate than actually work together.....
     
  17. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    Maybe we've seen too much of it.

    Noel
     
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  18. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Update from the GCR website.....
    February 2021 update
    Posted on 10th February 2021

    With grateful thanks for all your support the funds available for building phase three and four continue to climb. Coming on the 1st of March we'll have some major news about the fundraising total so far and plans for the future of the Reunification project and a remixed project film to enjoy!
     
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  19. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Good news from the GCR and it was even on the local TV news last night...
    "latest ‘Money Match March’ promotion. Just a year into the ‘Factory Flyover’ appeal, we have more than half a million pounds in the pot - and now we can boost that even further! During March 2021, thanks to a very generous supporter, any money given to the appeal will be matched pound for pound up to a value of one hundred thousand pounds."
     
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  20. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works Member

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    Wow that really is a generous supporter! Good luck with the fundraising.

    Despite the noise on here about what might or might not happen in several years time to link up north and south, the railway’s achievements in civil engineering and financial terms is mightily impressive. A scheme of this complexity would be a challenge even for the Big Railway and cost many times more.

    Hopefully the momentum can be maintained, I’ll put a few pounds in the tin, every little helps!
     

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