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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. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison New Member

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    This popped up this evening on my 'recommended videos' on Youtube. It's encouraging to see the mainline connection back in its 'additional benefit' place rather than being touted as the be all and end all it was a few months ago (has peace broken out at high level in Loughborough/ Ruddington?)

    I'm noting with interest that the factory flyover is now described as a concrete structure, that comment suggests to me at least (speaking with my structural and civil engineer's hat on) that design work on it has progressed beyond the initial concept 'bridge here, something maybe a little like this' stage, and also note that this time around the animation shows a structure composed of concrete beams, rather than the blue-brick-faced concrete arches that have been mentioned and shown previously. I'm sure there will be more info in the next copy of Mainline- due next week, I believe?
     
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  2. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that post J Rob't.
    Certainly it does look like the structure will have concrete beams ....... if the animation is accurate. In the past they were talking about precast concrete arches with blue brick facings, which would be a great link to the past look of the GCR - but I suspect we will just have to wait and see what can be paid for and designed. Let's just get it built.
    It certainly is a great incentive to contribute in March...."Thank You"..... to the donor.
     
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  3. mattspencer

    mattspencer Member

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    That video does sound a lot more positive now referring to the creation of an 18 mile heritage railway so hopefully the comments over the last few months were just a blip.
     
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  4. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Hopefully, indeed. But then, they can't exactly change their media from the last several years at this point. Besides, we're still several years away that any talk about the exact nature of how the railways will be joined, at the moment at least, is speculation.
    Am I reading in to things a bit too much to see that the GCR(S) end in the video is represented by what looks like a King, and the GCR(N) by a humble Pannier? Probably...
     
  5. ianh

    ianh New Member

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    This may be of interest - preliminary works have started in South Wales on the dualing of the A465 heads of the valleys Rd between Dowlais Top and Hirwaun. this will see the removal of the Rail bridge in Cefn Coed that carried the Brecon and Merther Branch over the A465 - its apx a 30mt clear span - new in the 60s when the road was built.
     

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  6. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Much more information has now appeared on the GCR website in the "Reunification" section including this....

    "While one of the reclaimed Reading bridge decks will still be used to cross Railway Terrace road, the remainder of the new sixty metres of formation are expected to be created using pre stressed concrete bridge beams and decks. Cass Hayward believe this approach will be more economic, simpler to build and in the long term simpler to maintain."

    So it does indeed look as though the blue brick arches will not appear.
    This is a shame, but it would have obviously been more expensive, taken more car parking, been more disruptive and longer to build so inevitable.......although, at some stage in the future, or elsewhere, we may get a blue brick arch or two??
     
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  7. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Forgive my ignorance - what is the significance of a Brick Arch specifically painted blue?
     
  8. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Sorry RSH
    These are the blue engineering bricks that were used for the viaduct arches used by the GCR to carry the railway across parts of Leicester (-and other places). It was how many people remembered the GCR in this area - together with the "Birdcage" bridges. There are still a few arches in place.... DSCF6749.JPG
     
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  9. AndyY

    AndyY Member

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    Blue Bricks aren't painted blue, they are blue all through from the firing! They are very hard, tough bricks used for engineering purposes such as bridge-building.
     
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  10. mogulb

    mogulb New Member

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    Looks like the new design gives more than a nod to the original MML bridge.
     
  11. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Personally, I can't see any point at all in facing a modern structure with purely decorative blue bricks. It just seems an unnecessary extravagance. Especially as they would most probably be metric, with cement mortar, so are never going to look remotely like an original GCR structure anyway. I would far rather build the link to a conventional modern design, and save the ££ for maintaining existing historic original GCR structures elsewhere on the line (like the Canal bridge and certainly unlike that poor little underbridge at Quorn).
     
  12. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree pmh_74.....it is just that IF the costs were equal, then I would like to see a nod to the blue brick arches that typified the GCR through Leicester. So Yes let's get a modern concrete structure and...... Get it Built.
    Good point Mogulb!
     
  13. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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  14. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS New Member

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    when the platforms at Bath Spa were extended outwards for electricifcation the blue bricks were replaced with artifcal ones on panels and very good they look to you would struggle to know they are nort real
     
  15. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    Yes, I struggle to believe you could tell metric from imperial bricks without other clues. But any work not devoted to making the thing stay up is a cost that isn't making the trains go, so it's got to come second IMO.
     
  16. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Has anyone offered the discarded blue bricks a home? We've seen how much trouble sourcing appropriate materials has been to more than one restoration, over the years.
     
  17. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works Member

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    I’d say that a modern concrete replacement would be a bold statement and it would fit in with the evolving industrial story of this part of town. Instead of laying blue bricks there are cheaper alternative e.g. a bonded facing of ‘bricks’ or pre-fabricated concrete panels in almost any size, material and colour you like. Still something of a luxury though and unless blue bricks are required in a conservation type setting I would think the money can be better spent elsewhere.
     
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  18. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    Agreed. There is no "heritage" here, it was demolished and tarmac-ed over.
     
  19. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    The brochure still rambles on about the main line connection being a benefit of reunification, as if no connection exists at present.

    Edit: corrected a typo.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  20. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    You can tell it's been written by somebody involved at GCR(S) thinking of the ways it will benefit their current operation. While it is true the mainline connection does get a lot of use, it is almost exclusively used for British Gypsum traffic. There have been a number of heritage diesels that have arrived and left by it, but the only two steam locos I can think of that have used it were Tornado in 2018 and Rood Ashton Hall in 2003. The GCRN with their current operation does not need to make use of it to bring in locos because they are not in the market to use locos where arriving by mainline would be preferable to arriving by road. Plus, until a south chord is installed, they can't take advantage of Ruddington as a tour destination as the loop and headshunt length at 50 steps limits the length of trains that can arrive at Ruddington Fields to about 6 coaches. Whereas once the GCR(S) gains access to the connection, they will be able to have guests and home-based locos with mainline careers come and go via the connection.
     
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