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West Somerset Railway Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. gwr4090

    gwr4090 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Work on the West Somerset's new turntable at Minehead is now well underway and the view from the station platform is changing rapidly. Frequent picture reports may be found at http://www.wsr.org.uk. The turntable itself is due to return in December after refurbishment and extension to 65ft by a contractor in the Midlands. Installation is planned in the first quarter of next year with a project completion date in June.

    Meanwhile 22 miles away at the other end of the line, the Norton triangle project is progressing steadily with the new embankment earthworks well on the way to completion. The next phase of track laying onto the Barnstaple line formation is expected soon. No firm completion date for this project as yet, as it is quite weather-dependent. Network Rail's High Output Ballast Train top-and-tailed by Freightliner Class 66s is making almost daily visits to the line, bringing in used ballast from various PW engineering sites on the national network in the West Country. See the Norton Project link at http://www.wsr.org.uk for more info.

    David
     
  2. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay Part of the furniture

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    The WSR really is going from strength to strength. Well deserved too.

    I like the GM's sense of humour. Pun of the year?.... "West Somerset Railway General Manager, Paul Conibeare, said: "This is a turning point for Minehead and the West Somerset railway and will attract excursion trains from all over the UK. It is also a tribute to the dreams of the pioneers who, 30 years ago, brought back the turntable from north Wales. We are pleased to be working with our partners to turn their dreams into reality." "
     
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  3. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    From the latest pictures of the turntable project on wsr.org, am I right in saying that there was once a turntable on that site at Minehead in earlier times?

    Also, is there any current mainline loco that cannot be turned on a 65 ft table?

    46118
     
  4. West Somerset Wizard

    West Somerset Wizard Part of the furniture

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    Better WSR historians than I will surely fill in the gaps but yes there was a turntable on that site in GWR/BR days. And there was an earlier turntable slightly to the NE in Minehead Railway days.

    In answer to your second question, I understand the 65ft turntable can accommodate the longest main line locomotive likely to visit Minehead (but only just). Again David (GWR4090) is much more likely to provide a definitive answer.

    More pictures put up last might on http://www.wsr.org.uk (if you like looking at a hole in the ground :-( )

    WSW
     
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  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Rumour has it that WSR have passed 200,000 passengers already this year so looks like they'll beat our total easily this year =P~ Well done to all concerned at Minehead.
    Once we get our main line connection up and running, however, we might be able to catch up a bit ! Here's hoping :-k \:D/
     
  6. gwr4090

    gwr4090 Part of the furniture Friend

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    I think the longest wheelbase loco on the main line is the Princess Royal at 63ft 10in, so it should just fit a 65ft turntable, albeit with a big overhang (about 5ft) at either end. The biggest problem will be balancing it as there is so little room for manoeuvre. It will probably need a full load of coal and water in the tender.

    David
     
  7. jimbo

    jimbo New Member

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    Also, hopefully, to start this winter is the second shed road into the compound at Lydiard with longer pit etc.
     
  8. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay Part of the furniture

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    Its also the big overhang that is preventing Lizzie doing any of the Torbay's She will fit on the table at Churston, but a fence at the bottom of someone's garden would fowl on the overhanging buffers! Its quite frustrating.
     
  9. boldford

    boldford Member

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    Looks like most will beat ours this year. :-({|=
     
  10. Rlangham

    Rlangham Active Member

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    Good stuff, can't wait to visit the WSR again next year, when the weather's a bit nicer!
     
  11. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    Just pondering how often the new Minehead turntable will be used. Clearly of benefit for visiting steam, but will the WSR service engines be turned regularly? If they were, they would then need to go to Norton to turn on the triangle at the other end of the line.


    46118
     
  12. West Somerset Wizard

    West Somerset Wizard Part of the furniture

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    I don't think there has ever been a suggestion that the turntable would be in constant daily use. For one thing it is the opposite side of the station to the loco shed/servicing facilities (coal, water) and locos would require a trip or two over Seaward Way Level Crossing* to access both turntable and loco shed. But it does provide a facility long missed from the WSR's infrastructure. And is sure to help with visiting locomotives. I think it can be used for turning coaches as well as locomotives, useful for the ever-present problem of sun one side and salt air the other suffered by WSR coaching stock. Soon they can be salted and baked on both sides :)

    * why oh why, when building the new road, did the county council not build a bridge over the railway at this point.

    WSW
     
  13. hassell_a

    hassell_a Active Member

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    You've hit the nail on the head here - I think you'll find that the main benefit of your Minehead TT will be by semi-regular turning of the home fleet engines and coaches to balance up weathering of the paintwork and, depending on the curvature of the line, flangewear. Certainly on the SVR, the prevailing westerly weather caused the paint work to last a much shorter period on that side of rolling stock before the Kidder turntable was commissioned - and I guess that your prevailing weather makes an even bigger impact! The SVR also benefits from evening up the flange wear caused by the U shaped direction of the line on the Arley to Kidder section.
     
  14. Willesden Grey

    Willesden Grey New Member

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    Its also the big overhang that is preventing Lizzie doing any of the Torbay's She will fit on the table at Churston, but a fence at the bottom of someone's garden would fowl on the overhanging buffers! Its quite frustrating.[/quote]

    So just swing her round on the table and remove the fence - problem solved!! \:D/
     
  15. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    I had forgotten about the benefits of turning stock to even out flange and paintwork wear. Just impressive how quickly it is all coming together.
    I guess the local authority will want the whole development next to Minehad station done by the summer. As far as I recall when I was down there in the Spring that site appeared to be largely disused, so the whole development should benefit Minehaed, and tidy up a town-centre site at the same time.
    Is any further covered accommodation for the steam loco's in the pipeline? Most of the working fleet appear to live outside.

    46118
     
  16. jimbo

    jimbo New Member

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    At the moment no covered accommodation for engines , unfortunately, but a big carriage shed is planned for Lydeard, & maybee we'l get an extra road into th compound , but no plans for an engine shed along with the carriage shed, a good opportunity missed if you ask me!
    Volunteers info. meeting later on this afternoon, so we might hear a bit more then.
     
  17. jimbo

    jimbo New Member

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    At meeting, plans for 2nd road etc plus all covered over by 2009 . Yes!
     
  18. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    Good news, Jimbo.

    Makes me wonder how the WSR manages to generate the cash to fund all these projects!

    46118
     
  19. jimbo

    jimbo New Member

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    The Lydiard shed & development is partnered with the council & SW regonal dev. fund or such like , same with the table, good for them I say! Look on http://www.wsr.org.uk & 'latest pics'.
     
  20. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    A news item on wsr.org raises the interesting possibility of moving a complete disused Brunel station from High Wycombe to Norton Fitzwarren.

    46118
     

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