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 Post subject: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:20 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
Posts: 401
Location: Ipswich, UK
I can't recall this scheme being mentioned on here before (and the "search" function didn't come up with any matches).
The Great Central Railway here in the UK are currently engaged in a project to rejoin the two main preserved sections of the former GC main line (closed late 1960's/early 70's) which includes a brand new bridge over the 4-track midland main line at Loughborough.
After a slow start, the bridge construction phase is well under way, as shown in the link below. The new abutments are completed and the 1000 Tonne crane is now being assembled to lift the new bridge (which has been fabricated off-site)onto those abutments in the coming weeks.

http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify/index.php

Still a lot of work over several years (and a lot more money) before the whole scheme is complete, but a significant milestone in the preservation scene here.

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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:12 pm 

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Love this update!

In US terms, this project is tantamount to rebuilding missing link of the old PRR main. The fact that it joins two heritage railroads is even more astounding.

I have to hand it to England this year, the hits keep coming. Earlier this year, regular service was reinstated on the Swanage Branch. That's an incredible story:

Late 1960's: entire branch torn up

1970's-90's: Heritage railway volunteers restore entire branch for steam and diesel tourist trains

2000's: Connection to national network restored, special through trains from London run a few times a year.

2017: Regular service begins to the mainline junction, where passengers can change trains for London - just like they did pre-abandonment.


Add on the increase of service on the North Yorkshire Moors and other lines, and you have a movement that not only is restoring old trains, but serving the public. Incredible!

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:17 am 

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Location: Ipswich, UK
As a footnote to the original posting, this press release was issued in the last few days...
http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/2017/08/brid ... s-release/
Note the cost of the bridge element of the project being around £2.5 Million - around US$3.2 Million at current exchange rates.
The two main bridge girders were duly installed in the early hours of this morning (3rd Sept) and photos of this work can be found by clicking on the link in my original post.

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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:16 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:24 pm
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Location: Columbus, GA
Thank you for your posting, Robert John. The vision and "guts" required to take on a project like this is is formidable. I wish nothing but success to the venture.

Once again, UK preservationists are leading the way.


Sincerely,
Glenn

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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:53 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
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Location: Ipswich, UK
The Great Central have now launched a £475,000 (US$620,000) appeal to raise money for the next stage of work on the link, which involves refurbishing an existing bridge.

http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify/

The video at the bottom of the page linked to above provides a useful summary of the whole project to reinstate the link between the two sections of line.

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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:52 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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Thank you for posting this this 70000, I have been digging around for information on this heritage railroad and the old GCR since then (check out their roster for those most interested in equipment, almost unbelievable http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/the-railway/locomotives/).

What are the possibilities for track expansion once the line is linked up at Loughboro? I note that two relatively large cities, Nottingham and Leicester, are within around five miles at either end, is the right of way still unobstructed into downtown for both?


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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:49 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
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Location: Ipswich, UK
PMC wrote:
Thank you for posting this this 70000, I have been digging around for information on this heritage railroad and the old GCR since then (check out their roster for those most interested in equipment, almost unbelievable http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/the-railway/locomotives/).

What are the possibilities for track expansion once the line is linked up at Loughboro? I note that two relatively large cities, Nottingham and Leicester, are within around five miles at either end, is the right of way still unobstructed into downtown for both?


Very little chance of extensions north of Ruddington or Birstall (Leicester North) I'm afraid - not unless someone has some serious amounts of money to throw at the project(s).

I believe the trackbed northwards is owned into the former Ruddington station site - only about another 0.5 miles or so from the existing railhead - and beyond that there is a cutting which is now a nature reserve and then the Nottingham Express Transit Clifton light rail line uses a section of the former GC trackbed (about 0.75 mile of double track) for part of its journey into the City.
There was a vague suggestion that an NET spur be built off the Clifton line to meet up with the GCR at Ruddington station, but the question of who pays and for what overall benefit seemed to be ignored!

Southwards into Leicester, there has been talk of extending another 1.5 miles or so as far as the Abbey Park area which would put a terminus near to the National Space Centre (museum). The elevated trackbed is still there - BUT there is a large gap immediately to the south of the current station where a (wide) road has been put through since the line closed, so new earthworks and a bridge would be required. Unless someone else is paying, the financial return on the southern extension doesn't make it a viable proposition.
Having said that, I believe the redesigned Leicester North station which will be built as part of the ongoing project to build a new National Railway Museum "outstation" adjacent to it, will allow for a possible southward extension of the line in the future.

This website http://www.gcrleicester.info/ has some interesting photos of the former GCR route through Leicester and what can be still seen there today.

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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:34 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
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Quote:
Once again, UK preservationists are leading the way.


The Virginia & Truckee was restored through Gold Hill to Mound House in the 1990s - 2009.

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:28 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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70000 wrote:

This website http://www.gcrleicester.info/ has some interesting photos of the former GCR route through Leicester and what can be still seen there today.


Wow, thanks for this link, very thoroughly documented, exactly what I was looking for, it will take a while to get through all of it. I wonder if all the little shops in the arches of the viaduct would be forced to move if you started running steam over it again? Still, from what you say, not hopeless as far as ROW transgressions after decades of being out of service.

Edit: Perusing the photos, returning the rails through here would be very tough, most of the Roman-style viaducts and embankments are gone, and buildings are all over the right of way. Too bad.


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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:28 am 

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Location: Ipswich, UK
Now that the first two phases have been completed, an appeal has been launched for the next stage of work, nominally costing £3 Million (US$3.85 Million).

http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify/

They are intending to use a couple of large steel bridge sections that they were given by Network Rail as part of the scheme, so that has enabled some cost savings to be made.
It is going to be interesting to see how quickly the money comes in for this, given it is the most expensive phase of the work so far.

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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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70000 wrote:
Now that the first two phases have been completed, an appeal has been launched for the next stage of work, nominally costing £3 Million (US$3.85 Million).

http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify/

They are intending to use a couple of large steel bridge sections that they were given by Network Rail as part of the scheme, so that has enabled some cost savings to be made.
It is going to be interesting to see how quickly the money comes in for this, given it is the most expensive phase of the work so far.

It is a bit odd that the next phase is the most expensive, given the massive engineering involved in replacement of the Midland main line bridge. I've been looking around for a photo of the location of the next part of the project, a street bridge and what I am guessing is the replacement of an embankment onto what is now a car park (parking lot for us in the USA). Do you know of a photo of the location, it is hard to imagine what is involved without a photo.

Edit: found these two photos which show the issue, a company called PreciSpark has built right up against the right of way and so an aqueduct style bridge is necessary here.


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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:37 am 

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Location: Ipswich, UK
The "Bridging the Gap" section of this website
http://www.gcrleicester.info/html/bridging_the_gap.html
has some photos of the area in question (scroll to bottom of page).

My understanding, from the Friends of the GC magazine over the past year or so, is that immediately south of the Midland line bridge, there will be a twin arched construction, using prefabricated concrete castings (to be faced in blue brick) which will then lead into the two ex Reading bridge sections (with central support pillar) and then another twin arched section. Can't remember offhand how long the Reading bridges are, but the whole section will, at a guess, be over twice the length covered by the Midland line bridge.

EDIT: - I took this photo back in 2017 from the canal bridge, looking towards the new MML bridge. The grassed area between is the course of the old embankment, though the Preci Spark site (on the left) has intruded slightly into its original "footprint". The replacement will be single track on a slightly different alignment (One of the old bridge abutments on the old alignment can be seen where it says "...Spark Ltd" on a sign). Preci Spark use highly sensitive equipment in their factory, so that is going to be a bit of a challenge as well for the builders...
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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:21 pm 

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Here is an interesting set of videos I found about the about the abandoned portion of the Grand Central https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN37aX5EKfo .It is distressingly familiar to us in the USA, many of the structures, including most of the stations, were removed in the 1980s, and in many places you would not be able to tell it was ever there. A rough comparison might be the Erie Lackawanna through Ohio, always the secondary line in the area, but more densely populated and much more expensively built in the case of the Grand Central, with impressive viaducts and Victorian era stations, and terminating in the London metro area


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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:43 pm 

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Location: Ipswich, UK
The Canal bridge is now more or less finished, following a bit of a delay c/o the wonders of Covid-19.
Video update here.....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... e=emb_logo

Fundraising continues for the next phase of the project, though the flow of money has obviously been affected by all and sundry other lines making emergency appeals to cover themselves through the Covid shutdown.
Hopefully donations will increase now that things are starting to return to some form of "normal" (if you can call it that) and lines start reopening.

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 Post subject: Re: A $13,000,000 restoration project
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:47 pm 

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70000 wrote:
The Canal bridge is now more or less finished, following a bit of a delay c/o the wonders of Covid-19.
Video update here.....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... e=emb_logo



Interesting, at 3:26 you can see an illustration of the next task, the proposed double arched bridge over an access road and car park just south of the canal bridge. However, it looks as though the track bed will either require a sharp jog, or be impractically close to the Preci-spark building if that illustration is accurate. It would be neat to be working a few inches from a steam locomotive at track speed just on the other side of a wall though.

Here is a video showing an extremely attractive engine passing through this area very fast before the 1500 ft. gap was torn out in the early seventies, starting at 0:35. Anyone know what class this engine is? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWAMdI-YfK4


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