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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: 196
Location: Suffolk, 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 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
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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 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
Posts: 196
Location: Suffolk, 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
Posts: 147
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
Posts: 196
Location: Suffolk, 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
Posts: 352
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
Posts: 196
Location: Suffolk, 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
Posts: 352
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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