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Swithland Steam Gala 26th – 28th April 2013

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by Bifur01, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Bifur01

    Bifur01 New Member

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    Sorry that it's way too early, but this just popped up on the GCR's website:

    "Join us as we open Swithland to the public for the very first time!
    A mecca for photographers and enthusiasts – this will be a truly spectacular event and another first from the GCR.
    Check back soon for more details."
     
  2. polmadie

    polmadie Member

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    This is not the first time Swithland has been open to the public. Before the double track was introduced, at one Gala they ran trains running in parallel to each other. Generally a freight train being overtaken by a passenger train.
     
  3. Bifur01

    Bifur01 New Member

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    Not really sure what they mean though...
     
  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    I remember that complete with free vintage bus shuttle from Rothley.
     
  5. Orion

    Orion New Member

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    Just a fantasy perhaps, but it would be nice for the GCR to develop a station at Swithland.

    Regards
     
  6. lewis.maddox

    lewis.maddox New Member

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    Has parallel running ever happened over the full length of the double track before? I would love to see this.

    Thanks,
    Lewis
     
  7. Orion

    Orion New Member

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  8. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    Why ?, a few stations in preservation have multiple loops and can do overtaking (Horsted Keynes, Bewdley etc), Swithlands unique in being passing loops and sidings on a double track route, with likely a fully functioning Industrial Branch in future, a feature regularly seen on Mainline's, even today, but not in preservation.

    I'm not quite sure how they plan to achieve this, given the difficulties outlined in another thread by posters/volunteers, but top marks to the GCR for listening and looking to provide what people want, will definetly try to attend this.
     
  9. Orion

    Orion New Member

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    Why? Well there seems to be little point in having this feature on the railway if they can't show it off and make money from it. I assume a car park is out of the question as would be a bus service except on gala days, so having a place where the paying customer can alight from a train and watch the goings-on would seem to me to be a good thing. (Perhaps a footpath from Rothley would help too). As it is Swithland is effectively, but unintentionally, hidden from the general visitor and I don't see there is any value in that.

    In answer to my own post earlier (#7), I have re-viewed that DVD and it does include shots taken of Duchess of Hamilton and 92212 from a loco on the parallel line. Very nice and well worth watching.

    Regards
     
  10. Tomnick

    Tomnick New Member

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    For me, a station would remove one of the most attractive features of Swithland - that, as freight trains are recessed to do whatever they need to do (or just for regulating purposes), all manner of passenger trains run through non-stop. I think public access to Swithland has been discussed here recently, and I agree that it's a shame that such an impressive installation is largely hidden from public view - I think that a footpath from Rothley (or similar) is the most practical of your suggestions to allow controlled access to view the site (on the Down side only?), but even that comes with lots and lots of practical difficulties to overcome.

    Parallel running is only a possibility within a possession - that's not to say it'll never happen over the length of the double track, but it's certainly not a possibility as part of any special event (and shouldn't involve passenger trains in any case).

    Tom
     
  11. TonyMay

    TonyMay New Member

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    it's too close to Rothley, in the middle of nowhere, there's not that much car park space, and the entrance/exit is straight onto the Swithland-Rothley road, and the exit via the road access features a big blind spot. Apart from that, great idea.
     
  12. campainr

    campainr New Member

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    Interestingly Swithland was originally going to be a station when the line was built, hence the widening of the track at that point - but the current site of Rothley station was used instead.

    I agree that Swithland should remain station-less. If one of the aims of preservation is to preserve certain features of railways past, then Swithland fulfills the function of running loops and large signal box controlling them on a double track mainline, which is (I believe) unique. Develop a station there and it just becomes another station on a heritage line.
     
  13. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiousity, is the GCR signalled for bang road running ?, could be useful on a normal low timetable day if the PW guys need to do something, you could operate it as a single line.
     
  14. frazoulaswak

    frazoulaswak Well-Known Member

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    Why would it be necessary to have access to a station at Swithland from the road? I hope that, in the fullness of time, there will be an occasional passenger service in the form of a shuttle on the Mountsorrel branch, and rather than running it to and from Rothley, passengers might be catered for by building basic one or two coach length platforms at Swithland to support interchange there. I must stress that this is an entirely speculative suggestion as while a site for the main line island platform is obvious, I haven't yet tried to identify any possible locations for a branch platform at Swithland.
    There are certainly precedents for junction stations without access from a public road...
    Cheers,
    Mick
     
  15. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    Using a not unknown scenario from Network Rail, say your running a gala and a train derails somewhere and the lines blocked as a result ?, how do you get people back to their cars or whatever transport they are using ?.
     
  16. jamesd

    jamesd New Member

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    How do you get passengers back from Dduallt (Festiniog), Deeside loop (Llangollen), Dan y Coed (Gwili) and probably many others if ther same situation occurred? I think having all that activity at Swithland and only allowing people a passing glimpse on the train is pretty silly so a station is a must in my opinion.
     
  17. frazoulaswak

    frazoulaswak Well-Known Member

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    Thinking a little more about how a gala use only station at Swithland might work, the GCR could get away with only providing a short platform on the Up loop line with level access to a fenced off viewing area for spectators to stand in safety. The platform could be shared by Loughborough to Rothley local services and eventually also a Swithland - Mountsorrel shuttle service. All Down services would run through non-stop as is now the case, so anyone travelling from the north who stopped off at Swithland would have to return via Rothley. while passengers from the south would only be able to stop off on their return journey. Such an arrangement would avoid the need for another foot crossing over the Up main (and Up loop) as now exist at Quorn and Rothley. However, I rather suspect that timetabling constraints might dictate that anyone visiting Swithland might need to be prepared for a stay of over an hour.
     
  18. Tomnick

    Tomnick New Member

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    No - other than within station limits, the only signalled movement in the wrong direction is the (non-passenger) movement in the Down direction over the Up Main between Rothley and Swithland. Single Line Working is used on a regular basis (usually midweek), however, to operate traffic in both directions over one line when the other is blocked by the p-way.

    Leaving aside the impracticalities of signalling passenger trains to and from the branch at Swithland (which has been discussed to death here - but, to summarise, isn't possible without special arrangements under the current signalling), which might or might not be resolved in the fullness of time, a platform solely in the Up Loop at Swithland imposes its own significant constraints on the operation. One of the biggest benefits of Swithland is the ability to recess an Up freight awaiting a path to turn back at Rothley, or turn it back at Swithland, both of which require the movement to occupy the Up Loop. That'll be made more difficult by the need to run passenger trains into it on a regular basis, and - as above - I think it'll completely destroy the atmosphere of the place.
     
  19. Steamage

    Steamage Well-Known Member

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    On a gala day, that would be no hardship. Indeed, I could imagine staying there half a day without getting bored.
     
  20. frazoulaswak

    frazoulaswak Well-Known Member

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    Dealing with boredom is not quite what I had in mind when I stated that visitors needed to be prepared for a longish stay. There's a distinct lack of the facilities that cater for basic human necessities at Swithland!

    Mick
     

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