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GWSR General Discussion and Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by michaelh, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Adam Tandy

    Adam Tandy New Member

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    35006 Peninsular & Oriental S.N. Co battling the elements this afternoon -

     
  2. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    If that plot of land was at all appealing to developers, wouldn't one of them be ahead of GWSR in the queue to buy it?
     
  3. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Don’t know, has it actually been available for them to buy?

    I was thinking more local authority led as part of the local housing master plan, although I was only suggesting as a possibility, not something I think will necessarily happen.
     
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  4. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    The site has no road access. It was built for crews of north going coal trains to change locos with the south going iron ore trains.

    I heard an anecdote from the driver of the company that used to supply building materials for the Broadway station rebuild. His father was the signalman at Honeybourne West Loop, and it was his daughter that used to bring him his sandwiches by bicycle along the tracks from Honeybourne station. It was a lonely post!
     
  5. Biermeister

    Biermeister New Member

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    GWSR perhaps??!! (If something might be useful to buy, not necessarily now but for the future, and you have or can somehow generate the funding required, then why would you not so do? The opportunity might otherwise be lost. Think of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that might then eventuate.)

    It seems to me that GWSR would benefit from an L&BR-style Exmoor Associates: tasked with buying (leasing?) the necessary trackbed and infrastructure for a future Honeybourne extension, so as to insulate GWSR from any financial over-stretching. (If NR were to recreate the Honeybourne to Stratford line (a not unlikely scenario) then this plan would become far more attractive to GWSR.)

    A Cheltenham extension via a realignment from Hunting Butts tunnel to the Birmingham-Cheltenham main line sounds like a great idea but the difficulties to be overcome just seem too great (for the foreseeable future...)
     
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  6. Will RL

    Will RL Member

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    I’ve never really thought to express a view in a forum to such a project as after all, what weight do forums hold. However, it was interesting to read up thread about the viability of the route north to Honeybourne and how it would be used.

    I always thought the extension carrying the most weight would be Cheltenham - direct access to a busy mainline, and any incoming race traffic/charters would interfere little with current operations.

    However looking at the Honeybourne extension. It is true, would an already hour long journey over 15 miles be enhanced going further to Honeybourne - what’s there to entice new business/travel that isn’t capitalised on by going to Broadway? I wouldn’t imagine anything more than adding direct connection via the island platform at Honeybourne station. I would’ve thought any benefit in extension would lie around the following:

    - special events where running to Honeybourne would attract a market (I.e enthusiast gala)
    - host incoming movements from the mainline (railtours (incl. Race day traffic), loco movements where lorry loading isn’t wished for, stock movements etc.)
    - establishing a triangle on the route to the station and from Long Marston facilitates a means to turn locos and stock
    - ability to create extra storage space away from the public eye
    - establish a test bed

    The last point would be a financial benefit bringing in additional income for the railway, creating a new source of income to supplement and support the core operation. You’re utilising an old mainline that is for the vast majority dead straight, and there being a captive market at Long Marston as well as a mainline connection being a means to invite other work. Not using the extension for regular traffic means there’s the ability to run almost uninterrupted throughout the year without interfering on normal GWSR running. Similar testing on lines such as the SVR and GCR would bring a halt to the lines core running.
     
  7. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    That's more along the lines I was thinking!
    'Park your vehicles here', or 'try out your vehicles without going on a NR main line'.
     
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  8. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Having just undertaken a comprehensive survey had a gander at Google Earth, I'm curious. With all that housing and a campus building, all close to the old course of the line (and is that a cycle lane I'm looking at? If so, good luck negotiating with Sustrans!), plus what looks suspiciously like a level crossing needed to cross a dual carriageway, how realistic would any aspiration to restore the mainline connection at Cheltenham be?
     
  9. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    Are you talking about continuing along the former trackbed to Malvern Road, or the (one person's) idea to build a new line west across to the existing main line, then go along it with mainline trains, to the current Cheltenham station?

    If continuing along the old trackbed, check out my Flickr site with a walk along it:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/73536293@N02/albums/72157632569562864
     
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  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    The barriers along the old trackbed from north to south are as follows:
    • Missing bit of embankment along edge of Rugby field
    • Missing Bridge over Prince Regent Avenue
    • *Something* at Folly lane
    • Bridges and brick retaining wall through St Paul's area will need money throwing at them
    • Bowstring bridge by Waitrose will need complete replacement as unsuitable for railway
    • St George's road over bridge insufficient clearance for trains currently
    • Car park at Cheltenham Lansdown recently extended to incorporate Honeybourne line trackbed
    • Gym building right where our line would link up with the mainline, clearances look rather tight, but maybe possible?
    • Trying to negotiate with NWR for a new junction on a very busy bit of mainline
    The land south of Price of Wales Stadium is owned by the local council, not Sustrans, and yes, it is currently a cycle path.
     
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  11. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Looking at those photos, Jo, it's a dismal environment, for sure. Sports pitches, floodlights, housing estates, unbridged access roads, supermarkets, graffiti, alcoholics anonymous, cyclopaths, and maybe a tenuous connection with the national network, all yours for a King's ransom. Not really a great prospect to start or finish a journey on the GWSR, is it?
    However, if the Honeybourne end could be developed along the lines of a commercial partnership, a test bed for rail vehicles with GWSR access on an "as required" basis, it certainly could be made to work.
    It would need a novel and creative approach, but the will is there from the NR side, for sure.
    Peter Hendy has shown his stance towards joined-up railways very clearly, just in the last week.
     
  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    It's all sounding rather a lot like "Someone else can pay for it" wishful thinking to me. In fact, I'd class it as WIBN! :eek:
     
  13. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Always worth a punt- if you don't ask, you don't get. If there's no takers, c'est la vie, it just doesn't happen.
     
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  14. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    You've summed it up pretty well. Plus, it brings you to a pretty downmarket area of town.
    We do of course own the first 3/4 mile, and it ends at a nice park, but to get there you have to pass a dire housing estate, open up Hunting Butts tunnel and let all the vandals into CRC. So there is no desire to go south.
     
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  15. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    You'll be moving to an island off the mainland and railing against gricers and anything bigger than a 2mt before you know it.

    It is a slippery slope that ends with you shaking your fist at passing clouds and rmbs.

    Yoda says 'the dark side you must not go' ;)
     
  16. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    • *Something* at Folly lane
    Area 51? (Given the doughnut-shaped neighbours...)

    I thing the idea of EA-style seperate organisation to take on the trackbed liabilities seems sensible.
     
  17. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Haha! I think there's a missing bridge there, but the way it's landscaped now it's not entirely clear how it was, nor how it might be in the future.

    You'd still need deep pockets for any bridge repairs that came along, but yes, that would be preferable to having it tied to the rest of the railway.
     
  18. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    He’s already disappointed with the Modified Hall being over the top and campaigning for Cadbury to return as it ain’t to big :D It’s also unauthentic running such big engines & those MK1’s even if both regularly appeared in BR days :rolleyes:
     
  19. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    The truth is out there...!
    In terms of civil engineering, from what has been said, the embankments will be suspect too... (based on the GSWR blogs)
     
  20. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Folly Lane used to run up to the railway and then alongside it without crossing the formation, then ran under a bridge roughly where Prince Regent Avenue is now. For many years the stadium site was the Folly Brickworks. After the stadium was built the lane was altered to it’s present condition.
     
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