Great Western Coffee Shop

Journey by Journey => Swindon to Gloucester / Cheltenham => Topic started by: Chris from Nailsea on August 14, 2008, 02:30:24 am



Title: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 14, 2008, 02:30:24 am
Commuters are being invited to join the campaign for the re-doubling: see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/7557830.stm for details.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Lee on August 14, 2008, 06:36:57 pm
More on this in the link below.
http://www.rmtbristol.org.uk/2008/08/call_to_arms_for_doubletrack.html#more



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 16, 2008, 12:44:35 am
... and also http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/news/Campaign-launched-double-railway-tracks/article-266772-detail/article.html

To register support for the campaign visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/railpetition or write to Freepost RRYJ-GCLA-TLHR, Gloucestershire County Council, Environment Directorate, Shire Hall, Gloucester GL1 2TH.

The closing date is September 3.

Hopefully, with all this publicity, things will actually happen!  :D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 16, 2008, 08:16:59 am
It's a shame they haven't got a real heavy-weight politician such as David Cameron fighting in their corner like with the Cotswold Line re-doubling. Amazing how NR/FGW can stump up the cash for a major new project when the probable next Prime Minister is nipping at their heels!  ;)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Lee on August 18, 2008, 09:23:45 pm
Further related link.
http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/latestnews/Sign-petition-rail-upgrade/article-273431-detail/article.html


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Lee on August 20, 2008, 11:41:39 pm
390 people have already signed Gloucestershire County Council's online petition calling for the ORR to look again at installing the extra track (link below.)
http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/latestnews/Campaign-extra-train-track-gains-momentum/article-278261-detail/article.html

More than 100 others have filled in its freepost campaign coupon.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 05, 2008, 09:48:55 pm
"More than 1,800 people have signed a petition in Gloucestershire calling for an extra railway track between Kemble and Swindon."

For full details, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/7597752.stm
and http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/wdp/news/Extra-rail-line-fight-picks-head-steam/article-307978-detail/article.html


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Lee on September 11, 2008, 12:06:04 am
Related blog post link.
http://cheltenham4u.blogspot.com/2008/09/campaign-to-double-swindon-to-kemble.html


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Lee on September 27, 2008, 10:30:37 pm
Businesses are being called on to add their clout to a campaign to improve rail services between Swindon and Kemble (link below.)
http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/news/Businesses-county-demand-better-rail-services-Swindon-Kemble/article-357295-detail/article.html

Gloucestershire First, the countywide economic partnership, has appealed to private sector companies to back the Gloucestershire County Council push to double the track.

More than 40 companies have responded to the partnership's call for support.

Between them they employ 9,000 people and have a turnover of ^2,273 million.

Their views have now been sent to transport minister Tom Harris and the ORR.

Interesting quote, highlighted in bold below :

Quote from: Steve Jordan
"I wrote to both the Office of the Rail Regulator and Rosie Winterton, minister of state for transport supporting the doubling of track on the Kemble-Swindon route.

"The Government has now replied to say they are likely to change the criteria for judging schemes. I hope this is good news for the Kemble-Swindon plans, but we will have to wait until October for the final decision by the ORR."


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bemmy on September 28, 2008, 12:51:29 pm
Call me cynical but doesn't "changing the criteria" mean making it harder for things to get approved.... after all, the countless billions now needed for baling out the banks will have to be cut from somewhere, and it won't be the steady flow of money to the government's friends in the consultancy and IT industries that will be reduced.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stebbo on October 08, 2008, 08:43:00 pm
I'd read somewhere that the ORR had turned this down.

Don't get me wrong, I'd support it as I use the line regularly but I'd support redoubling of the Cotswold line first. The Cotswold line is a shambles which is why I don't use it these days. I have to say that, since I started using the Cheltenham services over the last 12 months, I've never been delayed on account of the single line - held up at Paddington or Gloucester once or twice (not too seriously), but not at Kemble or Swindon.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Lee on October 08, 2008, 09:17:33 pm
I'd read somewhere that the ORR had turned this down.

They have, but there has been a renewed campaign to get them to think again.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on October 13, 2008, 10:45:36 pm
Take a look at the rail regulator's website. There is a barrage of responses in favour of redoubling - more so than any other individual scheme. And not just the likes of you or me, but FGW, EWS, Cardiff Council, South East Wales Transport Alliance, Warwickshire County Council, as well as the more obvious local authorities and MP's closest to the scheme.

http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.9204


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: gwr2006 on October 30, 2008, 08:40:26 am
The Office of rail Regiulation (ORR) has issued its final determination and Kemble to Swindon HAS NOT BEEN FUNDED

The following is extracted from Chapter 9 of the 449-page document now on the ORR website

"9.121 We received a number of representations suggesting that we should provide funding for particular schemes through the periodic review. The most numerous related to Swindon ^ Kemble, East Midlands re-signalling and additional funding for Gatwick Airport (covered above)..."

"9.123 We have reviewed the case for each of the schemes not specifically funded in the draft determinations."

"9.125 We received many letters about the Swindon-Kemble redoubling project. In its SBP update Network Rail proposed this primarily to improve performance, but said that the scheme was not required to deliver the HLOS targets. We did not fund it in our draft determinations because we said 'we would not fund projects whose primary benefit would be to improve performance or capacity beyond levels explicitly specified in the HLOS'. Network Rail has provided no further evidence to support the scheme. If funders subsequently decide to support the project it can be taken forward through the investment framework."

So there we have it, if someone else comes along with the money then the scheme may go ahead but the money has not been made available to Network Rail as it does not meet the criteria for funding.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on October 30, 2008, 07:04:11 pm
In other words, "we asked for your views, and despite having a wide range of public and private bodies comment supporting this particular scheme, we completely ignored them." 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 30, 2008, 09:53:23 pm
BBC news item, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/7699202.stm and video report, at  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7701023.stm

Chris >:( from Nailsea.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on October 30, 2008, 11:10:37 pm
Maybe a revised scheme with a short dynamic passing loop somewhere in the middle should be proposed. Would reduce knock on delays when one train is late by enabling the train coming the other way to advance as far as the loop, and increase capacity when the ST is closed. Not ideal, but half a loaf is better than none at all.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Btline on October 31, 2008, 12:51:36 am
Agree. Even one HST length loop, would reap major rewards.

That's what I think they could have done on the Cotswold line (in several places of course).


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on October 31, 2008, 08:32:17 am
Probably minimum should be enough to accommodate one full length freight train, else some of the diversionary benefit would probably be lost and the business case weakened. But I think we're agreed on the principle. 

Another puzzle to me is why when they relaid Standish Junction a few years ago they didn't increase the turn out speed. So trains have to slow to 40 ( IIRC) and then power up to get up the hill to Stonehouse (and then brake again to stop exactly 2 miles from the junction). Not very efficient.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Lee on October 31, 2008, 09:22:29 am
Network Rail has provided no further evidence to support the scheme.

Really?  ???



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 31, 2008, 10:19:53 pm
Indeed, Lee: that's what it says, on page 199 of the ORR document, available at http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/383.pdf : I, too was rather startled at that statement.  ???


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Lee on November 01, 2008, 12:00:01 pm
The link below contain articles on this from a Welsh perspective.
http://www.rmtbristol.org.uk/2008/11/plan_to_speed_up_south_wales_t.html#more

Also, some interesting comments from Bill Emery, the chief executive of the ORR, on why some schemes were not funded :

Quote from: Times article
Bill Emery, the chief executive of the ORR, said that he did not have the power to challenge the Government^s cap on expansion despite receiving several representations saying that it would worsen overcrowding.

The Government said that it would fund Network Rail to expand capacity by up to 22.5 per cent by 2014. Passenger numbers are currently growing at about 7 per cent a year. At that rate passenger growth will be double what the Government plans to accommodate, meaning that thousands more people will have to stand on trains each day for up to an hour.

Mr Emery said: ^We don^t have the power to say, ^That^s not enough capacity^. We have already drawn attention to the forecasts of high demand and it appears that passenger growth is holding up.^

He said there was also a possibility that the Government would not deliver all of the 1,300 carriages it had promised by the 2014 deadline. The ORR has approved the extension of 500 platforms to accommodate trains that are up to 12 carriages long.

The ORR approved ^26.7 billion of funding for Network Rail from 2009 to 2014, ^2.4 billion less than the company said it needed. There was no money for electrification of lines up to 2014 despite the claim by the Government this week that it wanted to convert lines from diesel to electric power.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Ollie on December 23, 2008, 01:25:18 pm
I'm not one for getting peoples hopes up but:

This was included in a internal news type thing all colleagues get:

"Work on redoubling the North Cotswolds route will begin next year, which includes a six-week blockade to kick-start the work. It is a shame that the Office of Rail Regulation didn^t give the OK to funding for a similar project between Swindon and Kemble, but we have been encouraged by possible alternative funding opportunities, and I hope to give you an update on this in the New Year. "


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 25, 2009, 01:41:01 pm
Well, it's back on the agenda, apparently:

Quote
After a cross-party group of MPs met the transport minister the situation appears to have changed.  Martin Horwood, Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham said there was now clear ministerial backing.  "The first step is quite a major engineering study which will (cost) several million pounds, but we hope the government will make a considerable contribution to get that rolling."

For full details, from the BBC, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/7848436.stm


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Ollie on February 09, 2009, 07:58:30 pm
Further Update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/7878852.stm


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on February 09, 2009, 08:15:12 pm
Thanks, Ollie!  ;)

Quote
It is a turnaround of events for groups campaigning for the extra line.
In October the Office of Rail Regulator (ORR) said (the) scheme would not be included in Network Rail's business plan for 2009-14.
The ORR said the case was not funded because it was judged to be outside the scope of what the government wanted for improving punctuality and capacity.

Well, I'm glad to see Lord Adonis has put the ORR straight on that one, then! ::)  ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on April 03, 2009, 12:34:41 pm
DfT announces ^2.5m for preparatory research:

Quote
Doubling 12 miles of the single track between Swindon and Gloucester is an excellent project which has the potential to make a real difference to people travelling through the South Cotswolds on this line. It is also an important diversionary route between South Wales and London when the Severn Tunnel is closed.

"My Department will now work with the South West Regional Assembly and Welsh Assembly Government to explore other funding opportunities for the full scheme. The co-ordination between three organisations is a demonstration of the importance of this project.

"In total the Government has committed to investing ^15bn of public money in the railways in the next five years."

The funding will allow engineers to carry out a full evaluation of the existing route and produce detailed plans for work to be done.

Depending on the outcome of the report and funding for the project being secured, work on doubling 12-miles of single track into two lines on this busy Swindon to Gloucester route could start as early as next year.

http://nds.coi.gov.uk/environment/fullDetail.asp?ReleaseID=397716&NewsAreaID=2&NavigatedFromDepartment=False (http://nds.coi.gov.uk/environment/fullDetail.asp?ReleaseID=397716&NewsAreaID=2&NavigatedFromDepartment=False)

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: eightf48544 on April 23, 2009, 09:53:52 pm
DfT announces ^2.5m for preparatory research:


This gets a mention in May's Modern Railways.  What I don't get is why does it cost ^2.5 million to study redoubling?

I'd do it for ^250,000 and still be overcharging.

I bet IKB when he first surveyed the route it didn't cost that much.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Btline on April 23, 2009, 10:17:03 pm
I can do the study here and now:

START OF STUDY
It's needed.
END OF STUDY

There we are! Now, what was that? - ^2.5 million? ;D

Seriously, ^2.5 million is a waste of money. We as a country need to stop these stupid "studies"! (the French have, why can't we?)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on April 24, 2009, 12:27:30 am
It's not some sort of vague study of the desirability of the idea. As the DafT announcement makes clear, this is a proper detailed engineering evaluation, as part of the Network Rail Grip process, which will take the whole thing up to Grip Stage 4, where you fix the final option for the work, before you get the money in place and move on to the final design stage (ie where the Cotswold Line is now, at stage 5) and get out on the ground to do the work (which is stage 6, where the Cotwold Line will be from the summer).

And I expect Swindon and Wiltshire councils will also be expecting serious consideration to be given at this stage of the process to their aspiration to have a new station built to serve the north-west of the town or just beyond it at Purton.

It may look like a lot of money but in the context of the overall bill for the Cotswold Line scheme (estimated at^48m-^105m depending on who you believe) it's a drop in the ocean.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on July 31, 2009, 11:02:27 pm
Gloucestershire County Council is urging Lord Adonis to give the go-ahead for redoubling to help with diversions during South Wales electrification http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/gloucestershireheadlines/New-bid-fast-track-work-Kemble-Swindon-line/article-1215081-detail/article.html (http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/gloucestershireheadlines/New-bid-fast-track-work-Kemble-Swindon-line/article-1215081-detail/article.html)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on July 31, 2009, 11:14:01 pm
 I would have thought there will be a fairly lengthy closure of the tunnel, maybe several months, around 2012 to 2014, which would make it a no-brainer.   


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Btline on July 31, 2009, 11:22:40 pm
Fingers crossed, although you wonder whether the money's there - they'll be hard pushed tagging more millions onto the GWML project.

It's a shame that the railways don't have the bottomless wallet like the 2012 Olympics... >:(

And of course the Tories may just axe it when they come in. ::)

Fingers crossed.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on August 01, 2009, 11:41:24 am
There is a great deal of the money there, as the council's letter says:

 "You will recall that, at present, the RFA [Regional Funding Allocation] programme - recently approved by the Department for Transport following submission by the South West Region in February - contains a ^20 million allocation for the Swindon to Kemble re-doubling.

"However, the estimated scheme cost, which will be refined following the completion of the GRIP4 study early next year, is around ^40 million."

That is to say, ^20m is there in some form already, unless someone axes the regional budget, and ^40m sounds like an awful lot of money compared with the ^62m committed so far to a more complex scheme on the Cotswold Line, but I suppose they haven't plucked the number out of thin air.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 01, 2009, 12:15:57 pm
That is to say, ^20m is there in some form already, unless someone axes the regional budget, and ^40m sounds like an awful lot of money compared with the ^62m committed so far to a more complex scheme on the Cotswold Line, but I suppose they haven't plucked the number out of thin air.

That might well have more to do with the Cotswold Line's ^62m being woefully optimistic. Closure of the Severn Tunnel, and the other work required between Swindon and Newport to bring an electrified railway, might well give the Swindon-Kemble redoubling the extra push it needs to finally get off the drawing board. An extra ^20m here or there in the context of the GWML electrification is a drop in the ocean.

It reminds me of the WCML project when signalling upgrades on the section from Banbury to Leamington Spa (including the removal of Fenny Compton box) was funded and rushed through so that the signalling headways would reduce from 7 mins to 3 mins and therefore a suitable alternative to the WCML into Euston could be provided via the Chiltern Line. Otherwise, such a project would have probably waited until the eventual replacement of Banbury's boxes into the vast area controlled by the WMSC at Saltley slated for 2014.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: eightf48544 on August 02, 2009, 11:18:19 am
IndustryInsider's comment re extra signals between Leamington and Banbury, should also apply to any work on Swindon Gloucester,  including the redoubling, should also include a few more section siganls to provide closer headways on the line. It's already TCB throughout so hopfully it should be realtively easy to slot some extra signals into place.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Btline on August 02, 2009, 01:34:52 pm
I think the Banbury to Leamington re-signalling was done as part of Chiltern's Evergreen project.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on August 02, 2009, 04:49:47 pm
I think the Banbury to Leamington re-signalling was done as part of Chiltern's Evergreen project.

No, Evergreen schemes have only ever applied south of Aynho junction, near Banbury, being the two redoubling schemes, expansion of Marylebone and addition of extra signal sections.

See http://www.railwaypeople.com/rail-projects/chiltern-evergreen-24.html (http://www.railwaypeople.com/rail-projects/chiltern-evergreen-24.html)

Evergreen 3 is the Oxford via Bicester scheme.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 02, 2009, 05:17:31 pm
No, as Will says it was nothing to do with Project Evergreen - although of course Chiltern were a major benefactor of the scheme.

More details here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/press/releases/sra/2003a1/2003b/imillionpoundsignallingi1361.pdf (http://www.dft.gov.uk/press/releases/sra/2003a1/2003b/imillionpoundsignallingi1361.pdf)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Btline on August 02, 2009, 05:23:48 pm
Ah - I knew the work was because of Chiltern. It took places around the same time as Evergreen 2 so I assumed it was part of the same project. :-X ::)

Thanks for the details! :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Class 50 on August 13, 2009, 05:32:03 pm
Its very important the Scheme contains provision for a turnback at Swindon North, so as not to predudice a staion there ( where most people live now in Swindon), and a the end of the Dual Carrageway, the other cost is the embankments, which will need extensive renovation, this explains the higher cost per mile than the Cotswold Line.
However the benfits are huge and compaired to the ^70 ( CBR??)for the Blunsdon bypass it seems exellent use of public money, with I suspect a CBR of over 5 when delay atribution for the GW electrifiaction is factored in.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 08, 2009, 11:12:09 pm
From politics.co.uk (http://www.politics.co.uk/mps/press-releases/party-politics/conservatives/a-green-light-for-swindon-to-kemble-re-doubling--$1332688.htm):

Quote
A Green Light for Swindon to Kemble Re-doubling?

In a letter to the Chairman of the South West RDA, Sir Harry Studholme, Jim Knight MP, the Minister for the South West, has given the strongest indication that the re-doubling of the Swindon to Kemble railway line may get the go ahead.

The letter from Jim Knight MP has been met with a guarded welcome by Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown who has spearheaded the long running campaign along with local councillors to secure funding for the re-doubling of the 12 ^ mile section of single track line which has produced countless headaches for commuters and businesses in the region.

On the 5th June 2008 the Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR) announced its funding plans for 2009 ^ 2014 and whilst there was good news that the Cotswold Line would be re-doubled, the Swindon to Kemble Line would not receive funding. Mr Clifton-Brown had met previously with the ORR to present the case for the improvement and when the project was not included he immediately called an adjournment debate where he was able to demonstrate the importance of the line for the regional economy and as a diversionary for numerous other lines on the network. During the electrification of the Great Western main line for example the Swindon to Kemble line will be the primary diversionary route. With numerous other rail projects due to go ahead over the coming years the MP was particularly concerned that if the scheme was not completed within the next 2 -3 years it would be out of the question for a further decade.

Subsequent meetings with the then Transport Minister Tom Harris MP and the current Secretary of State for Transport, Lord Adonis, First Great Western and Network Rail convinced Mr Clifton-Brown that the case had been made for the work ^ the challenge was finding the money. Following the lobbying campaign the Department for Transport committed ^900,000 towards a feasibility study and ^20m was put aside from the Regional Funding Allowance but this still left a funding gap. When the South West Regional Grand Committee met on the 3 September Mr Clifton-Brown raised the issue of the re-doubling again and challenged Jim Knight to produce one positive outcome from the committee.

As a consequence Mr Knight has now said that if the South West Regional Development Agency can produce ^an agreed, realistic and deliverable five year programme^ by November 16 then the funds that had previously been allocated to the Westbury bypass, which has been refused planning permission, could be re-allocated to fully fund the Swindon to Kemble scheme. However, the total cost of the scheme has not yet been fully costed.

Commenting on the announcement Mr Clifton-Brown said today ^I have been only too pleased to devote much of my time to campaigning for this enhancement because I recognise how important it is to the Cotswolds and the wider region. All those from councillors to commuters who have lobbied for the improvement have managed to convince the decision makers on this scheme that the initial decision by the ORR was clearly wrong. However, the case is not yet closed and there remains much work to be done before the 16 November and I will be doing all I can to liaise with the South West RDA, the Department for Transport and Network Rail to ensure that this work finally gets the green light^

The news has been warmly received also by Gloucestershire County Councillor Barry Dare (Con) who commented that ^Gloucestershire Conservatives have been fighting for years to get the Swindon to Kemble railway line re-doubled. If this news bears out it will bring a better, more reliable train service to the residents of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud. We^ve worked hard for this not just because of the massive benefits it will bring to Gloucestershire^s train travellers but also because we know just what a boost it will bring to the regions businesses as they fight their way to recovery from Labour^s recession.^


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stebbo on October 15, 2009, 09:16:55 pm
I have been absent from the site for a few months, due mainly to moving house nearer to Cheltenham. I've used the Cheltenham to London service again recently, and again roughly on time. The journey to London was delayed by 5 minutes due to some mess outside Paddington; the return was 1 minute early.

I'd support the redoubling wholeheatedly but I have to say I've never been delayed on account of it.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Phil Farmer on October 28, 2009, 10:08:42 pm
The following is hopefully the link to the Hansard record of the parlimentary debate held on the 27th. October in connection with the Swindon to Kemble redoubling -

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm091027/halltext/91027h0008.htm#09102768000001


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on November 12, 2009, 08:54:38 pm
Great news for Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds!

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/gloucestershireheadlines/Kemble-Swindon-rail-link-funding-secured/article-1510399-detail/article.html

 ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 12, 2009, 10:05:15 pm
Indeed: good news, Railfriend - and welcome to the Coffee Shop forum!  :)

(By the way, I am aware that we have a slight duplication on the topics of 'Kemble to Swindon re-doubling' and 'Swindon to Kemble re-doubling': I'll deal with that 'in due course'! ::) )

In the meantime - from the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/8357996.stm):

Quote
Funding agreed for railway works

Funding has been secured to turn the railway line between Swindon and Kemble from single-track to a two-way service.

A meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Board gave its approval for the ^30m ahead of final approval from the Department of Transport. The work will remove the bottleneck on the Cheltenham to London route.

A Gloucestershire County Council spokesman said the council and local community had worked hard to get the improvements through. Councillor Stan Waddington added: "We know just how big an improvement this will bring to rail travellers and to businesses right across Gloucestershire."

The Conservative MP for the Cotswolds, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, has been campaigning for the line to be upgraded for more than 10 years. "It's good news for the businesses, an all-round a win-win situation. I hope we can turn the funding into action and get the work carried out over the next few years," he said.

The ^30m has become available because the Westbury bypass in Wiltshire is no longer going ahead. But the council needed the support of the South West Strategic Leaders' Board to guarantee the funding - which it got on Thursday.

The track from Kemble to Swindon is part of the Stroud Valley line, which links Gloucestershire and surrounding counties with London and the South East.

It branches from the Birmingham to Bristol main line south of Gloucester, and joins the Great Western Railway route from south Wales to London at Swindon.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on February 04, 2010, 10:38:44 am

Has anyone heard any more news on how the Grip4 study on Swindon-Kemble is going?  I've heard something about the study being due for presentation to DfT by the end of March, but maybe others have more definite news on this?  Have any of the Cheltenham/Gloucester/Stroud travellers noticed Network Rail crews on the Swindon-Kemble section during their trips?  I travel London to Stroud often, but haven't seen any activity beside the track.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 23, 2010, 01:59:06 pm
From the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/8582725.stm):

Quote
Study puts cost of Kemble to Swindon rail plan at ^52m

The cost of converting the railway line between Kemble and Swindon into a dual track will be about ^52m, a Network Rail feasibility study has shown. The estimate is ^7m over the amount of cash already committed to the project by the government.
Conservative MP for the Cotswolds, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, said he is concerned the shortfall will delay the scheme.
The Department for Transport has yet to comment on Mr Clifton-Brown's claims.
The MP has called for an adjournment debate in the Commons to press for an early decision on the work.
"I had [information] from Chris Mole, the transport minister, which indicates that Network Rail's latest costing is ^52.4m and the committed funding is ^45m, so theoretically there's a 7m gap," he said. "I am deeply concerned that the government are not going to find that money and are going to leave a decision on this till after the election. If we don't get a decision to get this slotted in now, the cross rail project's going to start, the upgrading of Reading station's going to start and I think all the money and skills will be committed to those very big rail projects, so this is very serious."
Doubling the line from single-track to a two-way service will remove the bottleneck on the Cheltenham to London route.
A spokeswoman for Network Rail said: "We believe that the Swindon-Kemble project offers good value for money and our proposal has a robust business case. We want to maximise the benefits for passengers and we will continue to work hard on seeking full support from the government."


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 07, 2010, 03:27:34 pm
From thisisgloucestershire (http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/gloucestershireheadlines/Funding-gap-rail-improvement-narrows/article-1977416-detail/article.html):

Quote
Glimmer of hope for Kemble Swindon re-doubling rail plan

A funding gap that threatens vital rail improvements in Gloucestershire has narrowed, the Government has revealed. And efforts are continuing to be made to close it further, insist ministers.

The update on the dualling of the Swindon to Kemble track came during a Parliamentary debate into the scheme, secured by Tory MP for the Cotswolds, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.

The project is seen as critical to the county's economy and a 'gateway' to the region. The current single track limits the reliability and frequency of trains on the line, which is vital for access to London.

Westminster had heard that while there was ^45 million available for the scheme, a feasibility study had priced the project at ^52.4 million ^ a shortfall of ^7.4 million. But yesterday Rail Minister Chris Mole revealed that this gap had been reduced by ^2.6 million after taking off the cost of the feasibility study. Further options were being examined to cut costs further, including contracting arrangements and offsetting the future cost of maintenance on the current single-track line, MPs heard.

He also agreed with the suggestion made by MPs that using the same team working on redoubling the north Cotswold line could save money.

Mr Mole was confident the cost could be brought down even further. Network Rail was due to report back in June on the latest costings. "If a positive result is forthcoming, I hope a deal can be struck," said Mr Mole.

But he said issues remained, including the "formidable challenge" posed by the existing track layout. However, he acknowledged the importance of the scheme. "I recognise redoubling the line is a regional priority which could facilitate growth."

Mr Clifton-Brown said, "We are getting there", but he warned: "The longer we take to try to find funding, the more it will cost."

Highlighting the cross-party support for the scheme, Mr Clifton-Brown said: "Doubling this track would provide a significant extra benefit. Many of my constituents fail to understand why a scheme with ministerial support has failed to progress. There's a clear window of opportunity if the go-ahead is given soon."

Skills and equipment could easily be transferred from the North Cotswold line.

Labour MP for Stroud, David Drew, agreed. He said: "We need to know now that the team will come over from the Cotswold line, and that has to be the absolute priority."

In November, more than 800 individuals and 60 local businesses had signed an online petition, launched by Gloucestershire County Council.

If the money is finally agreed, the redoubling scheme could start in ^ or even before ^ 2011.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on April 07, 2010, 11:38:35 pm
I can't quite understand what the "formidable challenge posed by the existing track layout" might be. At either end it's a straight forward double to single connection isn't it? What am I missing?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 08, 2010, 01:30:51 pm
I would have thought a piddling amount like that could easily be absorbed by the GWML electrification program funds under the 'benefits it would bring as a diversionary route during that work' banner?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on April 08, 2010, 09:47:10 pm

Should anyone want to read the Hansard report of the debate, it starts on this page http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmhansrd/cm100406/halltext/100406h0007.htm then click on the next section link to read the rest


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 08, 2010, 10:57:42 pm
Thanks, willc.  ;)

John R - the reference to the 'formidable challenge' is here, in that Hansard record:

Quote
Network Rail is undertaking an evaluation of the earthworks and associated structures on the Swindon to Kemble line, in particular the disused sections where only minimal maintenance has been carried out since the line was singled. There is also a need to determine the most efficient means of bringing a number of level crossings up to modern standards. Much of the present single line is laid along the centre line of the old double track formation. That makes for a slightly more formidable challenge in redoubling compared to a situation where the single track takes up just one of the paths of the old lines. In December 2009, Network Rail concluded that, on the evidence available, redoubling the 13-mile section of route would cost ^52.4 million, reduced from a previous and less sophisticated calculation of ^62 million.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on April 08, 2010, 11:39:00 pm
Thanks to both Will and Chris for solving the mystery.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: onthecushions on April 12, 2010, 10:03:35 pm
I too watched the Westminster Hall debate (ch 81) (link given above).

Govt seems peculiarly ineffective when the Minister (Mole) wrung his hands over the funding shortfalls from the various lower levels of Govt (RDA's and CC's) and  speculated whether Wales or the EU could be touched for chip-ins towards the 7M shortfall. There are now so many overlapping bodies all with little bits of money and influence that any positive outcome is pure chance....

Problems raised included the previous slewing of the single track across the track-bed, meaning that both tracks would need replacing. Also LC's were a point of debate as they are against modern standards and "grandfather" rights on existing routes have to be fought for.

The cost of about 52M/12.5 miles double track is at least an improvement on the Lewes - Uckfield absurd figure of 140M/7.5 miles single track!

When Phillip Rees (then WR CCE - he deserves a statue next to Brunel)) wanted to upgrade the South Wales line from Wootton Basset in 1975, he closed it completely for months, dug it out to a depth of about 2m, re-opening on time at 125 mph. Perhaps that way is also the cheapest.

OTC






Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: signalandtelegraph on April 13, 2010, 08:09:36 pm



When Phillip Rees (then WR CCE - he deserves a statue next to Brunel)) wanted to upgrade the South Wales line from Wootten Basset in 1975, he closed it completely for months, dug it out to a depth of about 2m, re-opening on time at 125 mph. Perhaps that way is also the cheapest.

OTC




Thats the beauty of a piece of line with no stations to serve (if you discount Bristol Parkway)  Divert all trains via Bath and people can connect to cross country services to get to Parkway at BTM.  That said there wouldn't have been the huge franchise/contractural issues then that there would be if you tried to do it today.  It's the best way to do major renewals unfortunately its at the expense of a 7 day railway.  :(


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: onthecushions on April 13, 2010, 09:42:43 pm



When Phillip Rees (then WR CCE - he deserves a statue next to Brunel)) wanted to upgrade the South Wales line from Wootten Basset in 1975, he closed it completely for months, dug it out to a depth of about 2m, re-opening on time at 125 mph. Perhaps that way is also the cheapest.

OTC




Thats the beauty of a piece of line with no stations to serve (if you discount Bristol Parkway)  Divert all trains via Bath and people can connect to cross country services to get to Parkway at BTM.  That said there wouldn't have been the huge franchise/contractural issues then that there would be if you tried to do it today.  It's the best way to do major renewals unfortunately its at the expense of a 7 day railway.  :(


There aren't that many stations between Swindon and Kemble.

If I were a Cheltenham line user or even FGW as franchisee, I might rather go via Yate for 6 months for the long term benefit of a proper service (and likely electrification).

A 7-day railway means being able to do quite serious work like relaying, overnight, like BR used to, including dynamic tamping, so that re-opening next am is at line speed. It is silly to spend half the possession doing "paperwork", then laboriously assembling track parts on site, rather than prefabricating panels at day rates etc.

The BR way to re-double would possibly have been to slew the present line back and then relay the second track, all using overnight possessions. 12.5 route miles would  probably have needed about 30 nights.

Just some idle thoughts...

Regards,

OTC


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on April 13, 2010, 11:04:00 pm
Quote
The BR way to re-double would possibly have been to slew the present line back and then relay the second track, all using overnight possessions. 12.5 route miles would  probably have needed about 30 nights.

Which is effectively what they are doing on the Cotswold Line, once the main phase of tracklaying gets under way. Track was repositioned in various places last summer or renewed to one side of the formation to allow this.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on July 27, 2010, 07:42:08 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-10775309) (27/07/2010):

Quote
MP says Kemble to Swindon railway upgrade is in doubt

Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood has said the Kemble to Swindon railway line upgrade is in doubt, after he met Transport Minister Theresa Villiers.

A feasibility study by Network Rail has shown converting the line into a dual track would cost about ^52m.

The Liberal Democrat MP said there were "clearly threats" to the project because of proposed cuts to the government's transport budget.

Ms Villiers said all transport spending had to be assessed "with great care".

The previous government had committed ^45m to the project.

Mr Horwood said the rail plan was "clearly a candidate for cuts".

He said: "We need to demonstrate lots of support for this project to make sure it still goes ahead."

Remove bottleneck

Mr Horwood was joined by other Gloucestershire MPs in meeting the minister. He said he hoped politicians from other areas affected by the railway line would join their fight. "The point we were making is this is a very important project for Gloucestershire, for local business, for green growth. This is the kind of investment in the public transport system we really want to see if this government is to live up to its claims to be the greenest government ever." He said the minister told him she did not yet know the scale of the cuts in her department, but that he left the meeting feeling that there was a "50/50" chance of the project going ahead. "We aren't going to know for a while," he said.

Ms Villiers told BBC Gloucestershire: "I recognise the benefits that doubling the Swindon to Kemble line could bring. However, the pressing need to tackle the public finance position inherited from the previous government means that we have to assess all transport spending with great care to ascertain what projects are affordable."

Doubling the line from single-track to a two-way service would remove the bottleneck on the Cheltenham to London route.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Btline on July 27, 2010, 11:15:25 pm
Thanks goodness the Cotswold redoubling was already underway before the election!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 25, 2010, 08:59:44 pm
From the Stroud News & Journal:

http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/8308544.Transport_minister_Theresa_Villiers_backs_Swindon___Kemble_line_redoubling_issue/

A flicker of hope that this badly-needed project will avoid the cuts.  Ms Villiers' comments suggest to me that it could survive.  For those interested in better rail transport to Gloucester and Cheltenham, maybe a short support letter to Ms Villiers would be helpful!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on October 26, 2010, 03:32:55 pm
Network Rail has apparently come up with a cheaper way to do the redoubling, according to Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/cotswolds/New-solution-improve-rail-service-Cotswolds/article-2795844-detail/article.html


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 27, 2010, 01:00:15 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-11630062):

Quote
Kemble to Swindon rail upgrade plan still on the cards

Plans to install a second railway track between Kemble and Swindon could still go ahead despite funding cuts, Network Rail has said.

A ^52m plan to double the capacity on the line had been put in doubt due to transport cuts and the abolition of Rural Development Agencies.

Network Rail said it was now working on a cheaper version of the scheme.

But Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said government transport cuts still left the plans in doubt.

At present, trains on the Cheltenham to London route are delayed by a 12-mile bottleneck of single-track rail.

Details of the new double-tracking scheme have yet to be worked out in detail, but significant savings can be made over the old design, Network Rail said.

But Mr Clifton-Brown said he still was not sure if any of the ^45m pledged by the last government to the scheme could now be found.

He feared the line work could be pushed back from 2011 to 2015.

"I think the scheme still has big question marks over it. The existing unsatisfactory status quo will continue," he told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: caliwag on October 27, 2010, 09:12:39 am
...and see snippet from Rail News article via Newsnow Rail site. End of article

http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/general/2010/10/27-hammons-names-some-reprieved-rail.html


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 27, 2010, 07:56:16 pm
See also the Swindon Advertiser (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8479139.Rail_scheme_misses_deadline_for___600m_in_regional_pot/), for an interesting angle on the story:

Quote
Rail scheme misses deadline for ^600m in regional pot

A major rail scheme to improve journeys between Swindon and Kemble faces a delay of at least five years after supporters failed to submit a bid for Government cash in time.

The Department For Transport said yesterday that no formal application for funding for the redoubling of a stretch of the rail line had been received under its so-called Regional Funding Allocation.

A pot of ^600m was announced yesterday to help fund local authority projects for the duration of the Network Rail Control Period 4, which runs until 2014-15.

But no business case was submitted for the Swindon project and it is still deemed to be in the early stages of development.

It means the earliest that a fresh application may be approved is within the next five-year period, which begins in April 2015.

It was hoped the scheme to double the 12.5-mile Swindon to Kemble railway line would provide a boost to rail passengers in the town and the wider region.

Campaigners say redoubling the line by laying another track next to it would bring great economic rewards, including from an hourly service Cheltenham to London linking to Gloucester.

Because the line becomes just one track for the stretch, trains currently have to wait in passing places and are often delayed, while the number that can run on it is always limited.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said yesterday: ^Under the Regional Funding Allocations system, regional and local bodies identified a longer list of schemes for future funding. The majority of these schemes were in the early stages of development with no business cases submitted to the DfT. The redoubling of the Swindon to Kemble line is one such proposal and we have been clear that we cannot consider funding for new schemes such as this at this time.

^However, as Transport Secretary Philip Hammond made clear, Swindon to Kemble is the type of scheme which could be put forward for future alternative locally funded processes. Alternatively, it could be submitted as a proposal in the next Network Rail settlement from 2015.^


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on December 05, 2010, 06:50:04 pm

Maybe some hope?!

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/news/Swindon-Kemble-redoubling-happen-2015-say-Gloucestershire-MPs/article-2969120-detail/article.html.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: mjones on March 23, 2011, 01:35:22 pm
In the budget speech:

"1305: ^100m will be added to the science budget, Mr Osborne says. ^200m extra will be invested in regional railways - including schemes in Manchester, and Swindon to Kemble. ...."



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on March 23, 2011, 03:05:00 pm
Confirmed! Well, no one saw that coming!

http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/8927333.Kemble___Swindon_rail_redoubling_gets_go_ahead/


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: anthony215 on March 23, 2011, 03:16:57 pm
This should be good when  swansea to london trains are diverted when the severn tunnel is closed


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on March 23, 2011, 03:25:33 pm
They'll need to do Gloucester - Newport too though for that....


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: chuffed on March 23, 2011, 04:03:53 pm
No we didn't see it coming ,did we ?
All praise to the Cotswold group of past and present MP's who made this issue a real pain in the proverbial for both governments and who seemed to manage to mention Swindon or Kemble in the Commons every day for months!

Persistance pays off !

Could we but wish Dr Liam Fox could follow their example and leave his defence portfolio behind for a couple of minutes each day, to mention the Portishead rail link occasionally. His last meaningful contribution on this issue was an adjournment debate in 2007 at just short of midnight with just 3 MPs in the chamber....

Perhaps this is something those 2 bright up and coming Conservative MP's Charlotte(Leslie) and Chris ( Skidmore) could take up, to get themselves noticed, as it would surely benefit the whole of the Greater Bristol traffic clogged area.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 23, 2011, 07:51:31 pm
Brilliant news!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on March 26, 2011, 07:13:38 pm

Anyone know the time frame for the Swindon-Kemble redoubling to start?  I would hope it would be within a few months, with the work crews and equipment on the Oxford-Worcester line being moved to it as planned earlier.  There won't be much time saving if it's delayed until 2014, since it was first-in-line for the next five-year plan starting in 2015.  So ...  anyone have info on when the work will begin?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on March 26, 2011, 08:32:06 pm
I suspect completion by 2014 was FGWs best guess, given that was the suggedtion in their press release


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on March 26, 2011, 11:44:13 pm

Anyone know the time frame for the Swindon-Kemble redoubling to start?  I would hope it would be within a few months, with the work crews and equipment on the Oxford-Worcester line being moved to it as planned earlier. 


Bit more complicated than that. While many of the Network Rail staff involved have worked on both schemes, the actual work on the ground on the Cotswold Line is being carried out by contractors, following a competitive tendering process. The same will have to be done for Swindon to Kemble.

Thanks to the preparatory planning work already done, it shouldn't take too long to gear up for the detailed design and tendering processes. I'm sure Amey-Colas, which is doing the Cotswold track work, will bid, so you may end up with the same team, but it's not a case of finishing one job and moving across to the other end of the Cotswolds to start the next.
   


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on March 27, 2011, 07:19:20 am
In the budget speech:

"1305: ^100m will be added to the science budget, Mr Osborne says. ^200m extra will be invested in regional railways - including schemes in Manchester, and Swindon to Kemble. ...."



More detailed question that someone posed to me:   "If the Swindon -> Kemble section is a scheme (in part) to provide improved diversionary robustness during electrification of the Severn Tunnel, does this announcement also include other much smaller items such as re-instating the link from Bradford North Junction to Bradford East Junction to allow for diversions during the electrification of Box Tunnel?"


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Deltic on March 27, 2011, 10:36:23 am
Much as we might like to see that chord reinstated, I suspect that a diversion via Bristol Parkway will be quicker and requires no additional infrastructure.  The additional signalling for 2 junctions would probably be quite expensive.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on March 27, 2011, 10:38:15 am
I suspect the surveys would need doing again?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on March 27, 2011, 10:56:55 am
... I suspect that a diversion via Bristol Parkway will be quicker and requires no additional infrastructure ...

True, but it then means that you've got to make alternative arrangements for "Chippenham Platform" and "Bath Halt".  Oh - wait - they can be quite busy  ;)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Timmer on March 27, 2011, 11:10:22 am
True, but it then means that you've got to make alternative arrangements for "Chippenham Platform" and "Bath Halt".  Oh - wait - they can be quite busy  ;)
Exactly, though Bath passengers can be served by sending some Bristol to London services via the Berks and Hants. Chippenham served by a more frequent Transwilts services to connect at either Swindon or Westbury for London.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on March 27, 2011, 12:09:27 pm
Exactly, though Bath passengers can be served by sending some Bristol to London services via the Berks and Hants. Chippenham served by a more frequent Transwilts services to connect at either Swindon or Westbury for London.

Yes - there's a degree of sense in that ... running Temple Meads services hourly via Trowbridge and via Badminton.  Hourly TransWilts (each way) at those times (3 train service rather than the proposed 2, Swindon to Salisbury) with connections at Trowbridge and Swindon for London [for Chippenham and Melksham passengers].  Doesn't do great things for Chippenham to Bath and Bristol passengers - need to watch the connections at Trowbridge!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: chris from stroud on April 01, 2011, 11:18:40 pm
I only posted this one, as my own: there is no such publication as the Kemble Chronicle.

CfN.  ;) :D ;D

With articles like that, why on earth not? :P

I may head out to Kemble tomorrow to get a few photos of the current state of the line beyond Kemble tunnel. I'm quite intrigued as to how they're going to manage with the level crossing at Minety.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on April 02, 2011, 12:02:13 am
How so?

You can either adopt the Chiltern approach being used in places on Oxford-Bicester and apply for closure - but I'm not sure how workable that would be at Minety, as it would require one heck of a detour - or you just put in a new crossing with barriers.

Don't be deceived by how things look there at present. When someone sets to work on vegetation clearance, you may be surprised just how much room there is on that old broad gauge trackbed. This is the cutting just west of Charlbury station in 2004 http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/pictures/oxfordshire_galleries/cotswoldline2009/view/gallery_105411.Cotswold_Line_redoubling/
and this is what it looks like now  http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/pictures/oxfordshire_galleries/cotswoldline2009/view/gallery_193143.Cotswold_Line_redoubling/

And I had a good chuckle when I saw the suggestion in the caption of one of the pictures in this gallery http://glostransporthistory.visit-gloucestershire.co.uk/Kemble.htm that the old crossing keeper's cottage might have to be demolished for redoubling. Compared with Clayfield, west of Honeybourne, that house is a country mile from the line. At Clayfield, the wall of the house is right up against the trackbed and the new track will run right next to it - I'll try to remember to get a picture showing its position if I pass that way over the weekend.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on April 02, 2011, 06:12:14 pm
This is what i mean about the position of the house at Clayfield, alongside the Cotswold Line:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/willc2009/5582556146/


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 02, 2011, 08:40:43 pm
Hmm ... they may well have to reposition those satellite dishes!  ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Electric train on April 03, 2011, 08:01:50 am
More detailed question that someone posed to me:   "If the Swindon -> Kemble section is a scheme (in part) to provide improved diversionary robustness during electrification of the Severn Tunnel, does this announcement also include other much smaller items such as re-instating the link from Bradford North Junction to Bradford East Junction to allow for diversions during the electrification of Box Tunnel?"
Nothing to special about Box Tunnel relatively short, dry and it is straight and level. 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on April 03, 2011, 09:08:43 am
Straight perhaps, but I think you'll find it has a 1 in 100 gradient through it, falling towards the Bath end.

Quote
Hmm ... they may well have to reposition those satellite dishes!

I would be more worried about that post for the electricity supply, which has somehow been placed inside the railway boundary.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: chris from stroud on April 05, 2011, 07:12:08 pm
At last, I've got some photos! You are indeed right willc, the house by Minety crossing is in no danger whatsoever. The road could do with a fair bit of work, mind.

Feast your eyes here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gloucestershirerail/
 :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stebbo on June 26, 2011, 01:00:48 pm
The local Gloucestershire paper has an interesting report yesterday on page 12. The go-ahead for the redoubling will allow the introduction of EXPRESS trains on the Swindon/Gloucester/Cheltenham line - complete with nice pic of an HST......

Where do they get this stuff?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on June 26, 2011, 01:05:21 pm
Oooh, non stop swindon-gloucester, how useful!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: willc on July 07, 2011, 12:17:52 am
The redoubling work will start in 2012-13, according to Theresa Villiers.

http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/9116879.Government_confirms_work_to_double_Kemble_to_Swindon_line_will_start_next_year/


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on March 02, 2012, 06:30:52 pm
The Swindon to Kemble redoubling seems to have gone a bit quiet; I have not seen any press releases from Network Rail or DafT of late, but this has popped up on Cotswold District Council^s Planning Website:

http://www.cotswold.gov.uk/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=2297&tt=cotswold&step=2&myID=12/00457/SCR (http://www.cotswold.gov.uk/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=2297&tt=cotswold&step=2&myID=12/00457/SCR)

The Application is a request from Network rail to CDC to determine if an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required.

Various snippets can be picked up in the document:

1 ^ The Contractor (in Glos at least) is Morgan Sindall

2 ^ Design has advanced to a level of detail, and quoting from the Application:

^The Proposed Development ^ Summary of Works within Cotswold District
Within Cotswold District, it is proposed to reinstate approximately 1.5 miles of railway track, to be laid wholly within Network Rail^s existing operational railway land boundary. This includes the realignment of the existing railway track, earthworks, installation of a second railway track and associated minor track works, relocation/installation of trackside equipment/infrastructure, the installation of new signals, improvements to 2 no. pedestrian level crossings, and minor alterations to existing bridge structures (1no. underbridges and 2 no. overbridges).
In order to facilitate the above works, 3 no. temporary site compounds and temporary new accesses to the existing railway line will be required. They will be located adjacent to the railway line at various locations along the route (where required by the contractor ^ Morgan Sindall).^    

I have been unable to find similar applications on the Wiltshire Council or the Swindon Borough Council's websites. 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 02, 2012, 07:00:41 pm
Thanks for that very useful update and information, Sapperton Tunnel - and welcome to the Coffee Shop forum!  :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on March 02, 2012, 08:00:37 pm
The December 2011 update to the CP4 enhancements plan has the physical work for the redoubling (GRIP stage 6) taking place between Jan 2013 and April 2014.

Page 195 of the last document here: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/12072.aspx

Shows how the plans tie in with other projects, such as signalling recontrol... 

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on March 05, 2012, 05:47:28 pm
Thank you for that, Paul7755,

The December 2011 Network Rail update says that the "linespeed remains unchanged" The speed has always been 90mph, with a 100mph for HSTs in places.


This is at odds with a letter from Theresa Villiers to Geoffrey Clifton Brown (MP for Cotswolds) in August 2011 which said (from his website):

""In a letter to Cotswold MP, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, the Minister for Railways at the Department for Transport, the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, confirmed that:
 
^We have changed the scope of the Swindon-Kemble redoubling to a higher line speed of 110mph from the earlier plan of 100mph^
 
^This should enable a further reduction in journey time on services.^"

http://www.cliftonbrown.co.uk/08082011_getting_up_to_speed (http://www.cliftonbrown.co.uk/08082011_getting_up_to_speed) 


Guess someone needs to tell Network Rail




Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on March 05, 2012, 08:24:33 pm
Not unusual for Network Rail to be the last to know.

Most commentators reckoned that NR had absolutely no idea whatsoever that the Autumn Statement would come up with all that OHLE up north, so I guess a minor linespeed proposal would fall straight through their floorboards...

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stebbo on April 18, 2012, 08:43:28 pm
I have just had an exchange of e-mails with my local MP, Lawrence Robertson (Tewkesbury) that goes like this (I would copy and paste but my PC is getting old and a bit crappy):

1. I receive a constituency newsletter this week that tells me how Laurence Robertson and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown have recently gone to see the PM and secured the redoubling of Kemble to Swindon;

2. I e-mail Robertson and tell him that, as far as I was aware, the redoubling had been approved in 2011 and was due to start in 2012/13. I quoted BBC News website articles as far back as March 2011 and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown's website - so wasn't Laurence being a bit "economical"?

3. Robertson replies like a shot to say that the redoubling hadn't been approved last year at all and the earlier news stuff was not quite true - and gets a bit shirty with me to boot.

Any comments?



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: anthony215 on April 18, 2012, 09:23:08 pm
Nice MP  ::)

I am sure I read  back in december somewhere that approval had been given.



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 18, 2012, 09:26:47 pm
My personal suggestion: forward your e-mail exchange to Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and invite him to comment on his colleague's views.  ::)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stebbo on April 19, 2012, 08:32:11 pm
Which I did.

Mr. Clinton-Brown says that as I'm not a constituent of his, he can't reply to me...!

Mr. Robertson (my MP) to whom I courteously copied my e-mail has responded with what appears to be further "obfuscation". No clarity on whether the public promises made last year actually mean anything.

So I assume the redoubling is going ahead as planned in 2013. But if any reader of this lives in Clifton-Brown's constituency feel free to have a go.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stebbo on April 20, 2012, 09:16:43 pm
And I only tried to get to the bottom of the question of whether:

1. the redoubling hadn't been approved last year as we all thought; or

2. my MP was re-cycling an old story

My guess is no 2. What do you think?



Show Details FROM:ROBERTSON, Laurence   TO:essage flagged Friday, 20 April 2012, 13:
I am afraid that I do not understand why you are so exercised by this. I have explained the position. Whether or not that took place last week or last year is irrelevant. I^m afraid that, as I receive over 1,000 emails a week, many on important issues, this has to be my last response on this issue.

Yours sincerely

Laurence Robertson M.P.

 
>


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on May 25, 2012, 11:33:42 am
Network Rail made a presentation to Kemble and Ewen Parish Council on 13th April and the draft minutes (of the whole Parish Council meeting) including a summary of the presentation have now been published on the Kemble Parish Website:

http://www.kemble.co.uk/images/Uploaded_Files/Parish_Council/Minutes/2012_13thapril_draft.pdf (http://www.kemble.co.uk/images/Uploaded_Files/Parish_Council/Minutes/2012_13thapril_draft.pdf)

I have summarised the summary (!):


The Presentation was made by Michelle Scogings, Senior Programme Development Manager, (National Programmes), and Liam Bateman, Community Relations Manager.They plan to return every quarter to update residents, both users and neighbours of the line, on the plans. 

The project aspiration is of an hourly Cheltenham to Paddington service throughout the day. 12.5 miles of former double track between Kemble and Swindon will be reinstated, along with signalling improvement between Kemble and Standish. The provision is for 4 train paths an hour in each direction.

Earthworks will start in late Summer 2012, with track works in March 2013. The line will be closed for 23 days in August 2013 ^ requiring alternative road transport, and liaison with Councils to ensure roads are not under repair - and for a further 9 days over Easter 2014 to re-signal Swindon.

The Parish Council also took the opportunity to raise concerns about the state of Kemble Station generally. The feeling is that the fabric is neglected and deteriorating. (The last significant refurbishment work was done in early Railtrack days - my added note). 

Car Parking issues continue with station users parking in residential roads either to avoid the charges or because the car park is full. There is a new funded scheme for 65 more spaces, but this may turn out to be only 45 because of the site topography. If the site is moved the funding may be lost. 

Sapperton Tunnel



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on May 30, 2012, 01:34:20 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-18261108):

Quote
Work to redouble Kemble to Swindon line to begin in October

Preparation work to redouble the line between Kemble and Swindon is to begin in October, Network Rail has announced.

The ^45m project was given the go-ahead in March 2011, despite concerns it would fall victim to government spending cuts.

Doubling the 12.5 miles of single-track will remove a bottleneck on the Cheltenham to London route.

Network Rail said the work would culminate in a 23-day closure of the line in the summer of 2013.

But Mike Gallop, director of route asset management at Network Rail, said the "vast majority of works will be undertaken at night".

Guy Dangerfield, from Passenger Focus, said information on planned rail closures was "absolutely critical to passengers".

"There are clearly going to be benefits to passengers from having a two track railway where there's more flexibility operationally and greater capacity overall," he said. "And passengers say to us that as long as they know about it sufficiently far in advance and information is all accurate and clear - they can generally work around things."

The section between Swindon and Kemble was "singled" in the late-1960s as a cost-saving measure by British Rail, under agreement with the government.

Work on the scheme is expected to be completed by spring 2014.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on May 30, 2012, 09:11:53 pm
Hmmm. Even the BBC seem to think that this given the nod in March 2011. Still, not too late for your MP to secure a bank holiday next week for the old Jubilee!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: eightf48544 on May 31, 2012, 01:37:09 pm
4tph doesn't seem very high. I would have thought they needed more particulary for diversions while the Severn tunnel is wired.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: quedgeley2002 on November 16, 2012, 06:36:14 pm
I notice that two long-term work compounds seem to have been created.

At the Kemble end a series of cabins have been set up with power supplies and plumbing just to the north of the station on the western side of the track. The cabins are white with blue and red bands painted on them.

At Swindon just as the single track becomes the current short double track section a similar compound has appeared on the eastern side of the tracks and is adorned with cabins of a similar colour scheme. This morning there was match activity going on with the neighbouring fishing lake being fenced off as well as vegetation clearance going on on the embankment.

Presumably we can expect some of the preliminary civils work to get going shortly?

As an aside the December timetables for the line show adjustments to the hourly service pattern with trains from Swindon to Cheltenham being brought forward by 15 minutes or so starting at the end of March. There are minor revisions in the other direction too. Why is this necessary on a single line railway?     


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Electric train on November 16, 2012, 08:59:56 pm
As an aside the December timetables for the line show adjustments to the hourly service pattern with trains from Swindon to Cheltenham being brought forward by 15 minutes or so starting at the end of March. There are minor revisions in the other direction too. Why is this necessary on a single line railway?     
If work has started the shift in train timing might be done to give teams on the track longer working periods between trains, some of the work by require "Line Blockage" there are several methods to take non disruptive (that is the gang do not foul the line of remove rails etc) possessions to enable access such as through tunnels, cuttings, over viaducts etc and for works to take place where there is limited clearance.



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 16, 2012, 11:57:01 pm
I'm pleased to see that the late evening replacement bus service has been split into two with a fast bus to Gloucester/Cheltenham as well as a slow one calling at all the intermediate stations.  Journey times through to Gloucester and Cheltenham are only extended by 10-15 minutes over the normal train timings.  That's much better than when the (North) Cotswold Line was redoubled and if you wanted to travel through to Evesham/Pershore/Worcester you were looking at a journey by bus that added about an hour and a half to the usual journey times.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on November 19, 2012, 10:48:57 am
There are also cabins in small compounds at the south end of Kemble tunnel and the next overbridge along (Kemble to Oaksey minor road), with the topsoil bulldozed back in the adjacent field to make an access road parallel to the railway. I can only assume that this is to enable the cutting to be shaved back at the top on the down side, in a similar fashion that the up side was done after the small landslip and minor derailment in 2008(?) .

Geology wise, the cutting leading to the tunnel is in what is known as 'Kemble Beds' which is a highly fractured limestone typical of where Cornbrash meets Forest Marble. 
After exposure to the elements it goes soft and crumbly and retaining walls have been built over time to prevent landslides, but this has led to blocked and poor drainage and pressure against the wall from the field side. Removing the top layers of the cutting helps relieve this pressure.

Signs are appearing that the redoubling work is being carried out by a 'Colas Rail and Morgan Sindall Joint Venture'.

 



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 24, 2012, 03:58:53 pm
From the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard (http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/10067909._/?):

Quote
Improvements to Kemble Train Station welcomed

Long-awaited improvements at a Cotswolds train station have been widely welcomed.

Although Kemble station provides a crucial link between the Cotswolds and the wider area, there is only a single track to Swindon, severely limiting the number of trains which can travel to and from the station. Limited parking has also created problems for commuters and people living in the village.

Now, however, work has begun to double capacity between Kemble and Swindon by adding a second a second track, allowing four trains to travel along the route every hour.

Planning permission has also been granted for an additional 42 parking spaces at the station, which it is hoped will relieve the problem of commuters parking on residential streets throughout the village.

Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said he was delighted the work was going ahead. "The doubling of the line between Kemble and Swindon is something that I have been campaigning on for a number of years," he said. "I am also pleased that work will be proceeding to enlarge the car park which should relieve parking pressure on the street in Kemble village."

He added he was pleased the station^s garden was also set to be restored, saying: "When all of this is complete Kemble should be a fantastic place to welcome visitors and locals to the Cotswolds."

Kemble and Ewen Parish Council recently formed a working group to address parking problems in the village and chairman Cllr Roger Pettit said he welcomed the news. "The additional spaces are certainly necessary and I believe will help with the nuisance parking," he said. "However, I anticipate that some commuters will persist with roadside parking rather than pay the station parking fee, so we shall still need to find a solution to this."


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on November 24, 2012, 07:33:27 pm
Very good news! This should be done by spring 2014. A shame the line to Cirencester isn't being replaced, though.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 24, 2012, 08:02:30 pm
... nor the line to Tetbury - a particular favourite of mine.  ::)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on January 06, 2013, 02:46:54 pm
They've started!!

During the Christmas & New Year period I took photos at all the overbridges and crossings between Kemble and Minety. The only work in progress was at the south end of Kemble Tunnel where they have started scalping back the cutting on the down side. A photo taken on December 22 is attached.

I will do Minety to Swindon in the coming weeks. They have also erected low (approx 2 feet high ?) screens, which I guess is to prevent small animals and foxes, badgers etc from trespassing.

I have never had a modern camera before and only got this one as the Mrs had a ^25 off voucher for Tesco, so you must excuse the poor shot. I am unable to put in the time, effort and have nowhere the skills that Will C used for the North Costwold redoubling, or Industry Insider's fabulous before and after videos, but will do my best from time to time that I can. I have converted the photo into a PDF as the original size as a JPEG was 3.76MB and I don't know how else to get it below the 256KB maximum size for posting


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: swrural on January 06, 2013, 03:15:52 pm
Much appreciated ST and look forward to future instalments, thanks very much.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: CLPGMS on January 06, 2013, 04:59:43 pm
If those screens are of the same as type as were used during the North Cotswold Line redoubling, then they are to prevent newts from getting back onto the track after it has been cleared of them.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 06, 2013, 06:48:58 pm
I have never had a modern camera before and only got this one as the Mrs had a ^25 off voucher for Tesco, so you must excuse the poor shot. I am unable to put in the time, effort and have nowhere the skills that Will C used for the North Costwold redoubling, or Industry Insider's fabulous before and after videos, but will do my best from time to time that I can. I have converted the photo into a PDF as the original size as a JPEG was 3.76MB and I don't know how else to get it below the 256KB maximum size for posting

Your contributions will be very gratefully received.  Sadly I don't get down that way too often, though I'm hoping to find an excuse to soon.  ;)

Regarding file sizes, there are some free software options around for saving files in much smaller sizes with little loss in quality.  Photoscape is one of them: http://photoscape.en.softonic.com/ (http://photoscape.en.softonic.com/)
Or (as Willc did) you could set up a Flickr account, and as long as you don't go too mad with uploads that is also free.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 07, 2013, 12:17:21 am
I have never had a modern camera before and only got this one as the Mrs had a ^25 off voucher for Tesco, so you must excuse the poor shot.

No problem at all with your picture, Sapperton Tunnel - thanks very much for posting!

In addition to the other helpful suggestions from our members, I can only offer a link to ImageShack (http://imageshack.us/), which is the site I use for posting my own pictures on this forum. It's free, although I have to say it's a little cumbersome in its process for uploading images.

If you do have any problems, with whichever method of posting you may choose, please do let us know: I'm sure we'll be able to help you to resolve any issues!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on January 07, 2013, 09:36:31 am
Thank you all for your encouragement.

The 11 year old who installed the camera software on my PC and does my systems admin will be back in a couple of weeks, so I'll ask her to sort out an Imaging site then from your recommendations.

Thank you for your help and advice.

Regarding the screens and fencing, there appears to be 2 different types:

The attached photo is looking towards Kemble from Oaksey Bridge. Down in the cess, on both sides of the solum, are orange coloured plastic fencing posts with about 3 or 4 strands of wire from ground level up. I would think they would stop badgers, but not foxes, rabbits or deer. At the top of the embankment are the green screen - these would be the newt ones I would think and would also stop rabbits and other small animals. The screens are quite prevalent between Kemble and Swindon, the fencing less so.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on January 11, 2013, 06:08:11 pm
Network Rail press release about the year's plans today:

http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/News-Releases/7285/Swindon-to-Kemble-railway-enhancement-project-begins

Includes a couple of key items:

"While the impact of the work will be minimised, some rail services will be affected during this project. From Monday 25 March 2013, the last train in each direction between Swindon and Gloucester/Cheltenham will be replaced by road transport on Monday to Thursday nights until Thursday 5 December."

"From 23.55 on Friday 9 August to 05.00 on Monday 2 September 2013 Network Rail will close the line between Swindon and Kemble and rail services will be replaced by road transport between these two locations."

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on January 11, 2013, 11:10:57 pm
BBC Points West also said tonight the line would be closed for a week early in 2014.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 12, 2013, 08:31:17 pm
From the Gloucester Citizen (http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Celebrations-Kemble-Station-main-rail-line/story-17828596-detail/story.html):

Quote
Celebrations at Kemble Station as main rail line redoubling begins

Campaigners have celebrated the long awaited start of a ^45 million scheme to redouble the county's rail line to London.

After well over a decade of political pressure and persuasion MPs and rail bosses were among VIP passengers who  took the train to Kemble Station yesterday (fri) to mark the beginning of the engineering work.

A 12 mile stretch of the West Country to Paddington route, between Kemble and Swindon was made into a single line in the late 1960s  to save British Rail money. But now it is to be upgraded again to improve social and business links with the capital and boost economic ties.

Regular passenger Max Comfort from Stroud said it was "excellent news" and the town's former Labour MP David Drew, who campaigned for the work for 15 years, said: "This was the one thing that everybody could agree on.  I welcome it."

Conservative MP for the Cotswolds Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has already welcomed the "significant increase in capacity", the work will bring.

The new  line should open by Easter 2014.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on January 12, 2013, 08:37:12 pm
Another journalist fail .... "West Country to Paddington route".  ???


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on January 12, 2013, 08:42:56 pm
Begs the question - just where is the West Country?

I guess we all have different views.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 12, 2013, 09:16:11 pm
Hmm. Well, the Citizen journalists are apparently 'locals', so they should know better. From their own profile (http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/people/CitizenNews/profile.html):

Quote
Why I like Gloucestershire
The Citizen loves Gloucestershire - the people, the places and the passion of the rugby fans.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on January 14, 2013, 09:29:23 pm
It's a bit of a shame that there doesn't appear to be any reference to improving the 40mph linespeed at Standish Junction. Particularly heading south (IIRC) the delay in being approach controlled and then having to accelerate up the hill before braking for Stonehouse seems unduly restrictive.  Appreciate that with only 1tph normally it's probably got a low cost benefit analysis. But with it's use as a diversionary route, and hopefully increased traffic post doubling, maybe it could justify a higher turnout when replacement becomes due.

Though I guess any revised diverging speed would have to be quite high to get around the approach controlling requirement?

 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on February 27, 2013, 05:22:30 pm
From the First Great Western press release:

Quote
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Norman Baker and Martin Horwood MP visit Cheltenham station following line upgrade announcement

MP for Cheltenham Martin Horwood has met Transport Minister Norman Baker at Cheltenham station, as Network Rail begins a ^45m project to upgrade the line between Swindon and Gloucester via Kemble and Stroud. The new infrastructure will increase capacity at Cheltenham allowing for the operation of four trains per hour in each direction.

Martin Horwood MP said: ^The redoubling of the Swindon to Kemble line will be good for Cheltenham, good for the local rail network, good for passengers and good for local business. I^m delighted that after years of campaigning and lobbying, the actual work has now begun.^

Mark Hopwood First Great Western Managing Director, said: ^We have been talking to our customers about these improvements for some time and we are grateful to them for their feedback and help in realising this project. This upgrade is vitally important to improve our customers^ travel experiences for the future. Further improvements to the network infrastructure will pave the way for faster, more reliable services and makes the most of the Government's planned investment in electrification and new trains - whoever has the honour of running the franchise beyond 2014.^ 

The planned work will include the reinstatement of the second line between Swindon and Kemble, upgrade to earthworks along the route to accommodate this new track and new signalling equipment.

This capability will be essential during the planned electrification of the Great Western main line when Bristol Parkway and Severn Tunnel are closed and south Wales trains are diverted along this route over the future years.  While the impact of the work will be minimised, some rail services will be affected during this project. From Monday 25 March 2013, the last train in each direction between Swindon and Gloucester/Cheltenham will be replaced by road transport on Monday to Thursday nights until Thursday 5 December.

From 23.55 on Friday 9 August to 05.00 on Monday 2 September 2013 Network Rail will close the line between Swindon and Kemble and rail services will be replaced by road transport between these two locations.

To allow Network Rail to carry out other upgrade work, at weekends during this period trains will be replaced by road transport between Gloucester and Swindon. Customers are advised to plan their journeys in advance.

The works that have already started on site are part of the planned earthworks programme which are planned to complete prior to the commencement of track works. They will take place at Kemble North, Kemble South, Kemble Wick, Galton Way and Moredon. These works can be undertaken whilst the railway remains operational.

Other works that are part of the project will notably include additional signals between Kemble and Standish Junction, the upgrading of level crossings at Minety and Purton Collins Lane and a new footbridge in Stroud.

The programme of enhancement work on this route will conclude in Spring 2014 when there will be another week-long service alteration over the Easter period.

Passengers are advised to check their travel plans online at www.nationalrail.co.uk, or please call FGW customer services on 08457 000125 or visit www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: quedgeley2002 on April 09, 2013, 05:28:31 pm
Whilst the work going on at Reading over the past few weeks has grabbed lots of attention the re-doubling work here is continuing.

The activity seems to be centred on two sites at the moment;-

1) Just to the south of Kemble tunnel where the cutting on the west side of the line has been reprofiled. A wire mesh with tie rods is also being fitted to make sure everything stays where it should be. A few folks may remember the derailment a number of years ago caused by a landslip at this site. The repair for that was massive with a concrete wall extending for quite a distance on the eastern side of the track. Presumably the geology here means that they have to complete a significant amount of reinforcement work on the other side of the track alignment too?

2) Just north of where the single line starts at Swindon there is signifcant piling and embankment reinforcement works going on. The first signs of trackbed clearance work can be seen where the remnants of the former long siding used to be.

Now a few questions;-
1) What is the work that is planned for Kemble North presuming that is the current double track section?

2) At Stonehouse station new signs have been added at each end of the 'Up' line platform saying that "Trains can pass in either direction on this track". There are no signs in the 'Down' direction. Does this mean that we can expect a 150/153/155 service as far as Kemble when the August blockade starts such that the trains will 'reverse' back up the single track to Standish Junction? If that is the case what about protecting all of the foot crossings and the one at St Marys?

Thoughts anyone?     



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: phile on April 09, 2013, 05:34:08 pm
We can't expect a 155 service but could be 158


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: quedgeley2002 on April 18, 2013, 04:54:49 pm
It seems that an engineering train in last night's possession managed to break the points in some way at the Swindon end of the single track section. As a result trains towards Swindon have had to run 'wrong line' from the start of the two track section as far as the junction that leads to the platforms.

Presumably repairs will be made this evening to remove the delays that have been encountered today? In the meantime considerable overnight civils work is being undertaken based simply on the volume of equipment that is on site at this location.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on April 22, 2013, 08:39:03 pm
Took advantage of the reasonable weather today and a Wiltshire Day Rover bus ticket to go and look at the level crossings at Minety and Purton (Collins Lane) before the redoubling.  Got some good exercise too as both a a brisk walk from the nearest bus stop.

Firstly Minety with its portacabin type accomodation for the crossing keeper - which they have tried to brighten up with a plethora of flora and fauna.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/mine2.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/mine1.jpg)

The gates remain closed to road traffic unless a vehicle wishes to cross, when the keeper, who can be summoned by a bell if he or she doesn't spot you waiting, comes out and unlocks them. Pedestrians can cross using a gate without the keeper's assistance.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/mine3.jpg)

I like the vintage lamp on the far side of the track in the left of this picture which I guess is still lit at night.  I assume the crossing isn't manned all night so I presume the gates are locked across the railway after the last train of the day.

Anyway then a walk back to the bus stop - I didn't want to miss it the next one was tomorrow morning (!) - and off to Purton.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/purt1.jpg)

Nothing too remarkable with this one - although of course the track layout will see changes....

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/purt2.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/purt3.jpg)

Is that the new second line lying in the four foot?   ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on April 22, 2013, 10:52:21 pm
Is that the new second line lying in the four foot?   ;D

Could be, although it won't be the four foot then!

Presumably, the days when Alan Titchmarsh can send a postcard to the crossing keeper, asking for the barrier to be raised to let him cross with his ball-barrow are coming to an end? That most horticultural and floribund of portakabins will need a new home soon, surely, as the 19th Century finally succumbs to the charms of the CCTV camera.

BTW, my sister-in-law, who begins most journeys from Kemble Station, refuses so far to believe that the line will be re-doubled, with the same conviction as my grandma, who didn't trust electricity until 1972. S-i-L still insists on flagging down trains by waving her petticoat. As she gets older, more forgetful, and less attentive to her under-garments, I begin to yearn for a second platform to stand upon.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: swrural on April 23, 2013, 12:18:24 pm
You can tell Purton is nearer Swindon because of the graffiti.

Will Minety crossing Lane suffer. once unmanned?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on April 23, 2013, 02:02:00 pm
In defence of the people of Swindon I am not sure you can lay the blame for graffiti in Purton at their door.

This antisocial behaviour, which I detest, happens anywhere there is a centre of population.  The latest figures I can find puts the number of people living in Purton at just under 4,000.  The crossing is but a short walk from the centre of the village.  The crossing at Minety is nearly a mile down a country lane from Upper Minety which of itself has little in it apart from a graffiti free bus shelter and an immaculate post box.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/minepost.jpg)

One can therefore hope that Minety crossing is a walk to far for those with their aerosol cans.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 23, 2013, 07:38:44 pm
I think the staff at Minety Crossing should be highly commended on their evident pride in their workplace - that's what a working level crossing can look like!

And Kemble is perhaps my second favourite railway station - after Nailsea & Backwell, obviously!  ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: swrural on April 23, 2013, 07:40:52 pm
@CfN

What - unmanned?  ???


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 23, 2013, 08:49:22 pm
Both Nailsea & Backwell and Kemble stations are manned, albeit on a part-time basis.

No, I rather meant that they each have a certain charm all of their own, continuing as mere shadows of their former bustling glory ...  ::)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: swrural on April 23, 2013, 09:48:19 pm
@CfN
You misunderstood, I was referring to the idea that the crossing cabins at Minety would not escape graffiti, once it became unmanned.  I assumed from BobM's story that once doubling takes place, the crossing would be replaced with an automatic half barrier.

Will it?  Perhaps I got that wrong.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on April 23, 2013, 09:59:55 pm
I was referring to the idea that the crossing cabins at Minety would not escape graffiti, once it became unmanned.  I assumed from BobM's story that once doubling takes place, the crossing would be replaced with an automatic half barrier.

Will it?  Perhaps I got that wrong.

The cabins will escape graffiti when the crossing becomes an AHB. For the simple reason that they will no longer be there.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on April 24, 2013, 07:47:22 am
In defence of the people of Swindon...

A sentence I don't think I have ever seen before.

One can therefore hope that Minety crossing is a walk to far for those with their aerosol cans.

Oh dear. The correct spelling is of course a***hole, as any fule kno. I blame that Gove cove.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: swrural on April 24, 2013, 11:24:53 am
I was referring to the idea that the crossing cabins at Minety would not escape graffiti, once it became unmanned.  I assumed from BobM's story that once doubling takes place, the crossing would be replaced with an automatic half barrier.

Will it?  Perhaps I got that wrong.

The cabins will escape graffiti when the crossing becomes an AHB. For the simple reason that they will no longer be there.

Why is that BNM?  They seem to have them everywhere else.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 25, 2013, 11:09:35 pm
The level crossings will be as follows:

Purton Collins Lane - AHBC(X)
Purton Common - Footpath and MSL
Minety - MCB CCTV with single boom each side

Acronyms:
AHBC(X) = Automatic Half Barrier Crossing Bi-Directional
MSL = Miniature Stop Lights
MCB-CCTV = Manned Controlled Barrier with Closed Circuit Television

Also of interest is that a new facing crossover will be provided at the London end of Kemble station to allow Down trains to terminate in the Up platform and also to allow Up trains to terminate, crossover to the Down line in outside Kemble tunnel and reverse back into the Down platform.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on April 25, 2013, 11:15:11 pm
Also of interest is that a new facing crossover will be provided at the London end of Kemble station to allow Down trains to terminate in the Up platform and also to allow Up trains to terminate, crossover to the Down line in Kemble tunnel and reverse back into the Down platform.

So will the driver have to change ends in the tunnel? 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on April 26, 2013, 07:02:56 am
The level crossings will be as follows:

Purton Collins Lane - AHBC(X)
Purton Common - Footpath and MSL
Minety - MCB CCTV with single boom each side


Many thanks ... and I have added the acronymns (helpful list, thank you) to that page.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on April 26, 2013, 07:33:37 am
Why is that BNM?  They seem to have them everywhere else.

I'm not aware of Portakabins^ fully connected to utilities at any locations other than where they are needed. When Minety is double-tracked and converted to an Automatic Half Barrier crossing I contend that Network Rail will remove the Portakabins^.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on April 26, 2013, 07:37:13 am
I agree.  I suspect they will be replaced by location cabinets to hold the equipment for the crossing but I believe for the reasons I outlined earlier their ..err.. location will not make them a target for the taggers.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 26, 2013, 09:24:23 am
Not so.  Most (but not all) new level crossings have REB equipment rooms.

BNM: As per my post above, Minety will be MCB-CCTV not AHBC.

Acronyms:
REB = Relocatable Equipment Building (aka Portacabin)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 26, 2013, 09:30:32 am
Also of interest is that a new facing crossover will be provided at the London end of Kemble station to allow Down trains to terminate in the Up platform and also to allow Up trains to terminate, crossover to the Down line in Kemble tunnel and reverse back into the Down platform.

So will the driver have to change ends in the tunnel? 
No.  The turnback signal on the Down line is at the Swindon end of the tunnel so the actual reversal point will be outside of the tunnel.  Original post edited accordingly ;)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: eightf48544 on April 26, 2013, 10:09:40 am
Interesting article in May's Modern railways on the East Coast with a comment to the effect that:

"Why are we are we spending money on redoubling Swindon Kemble when there's still the Welwyn bottle neck."

The answer semed to be because it's easier and cheaper and wouldn't involve trying to close a station.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: swrural on April 26, 2013, 11:05:19 am
Not so.  Most (but not all) new level crossings have REB equipment rooms.

BNM: As per my post above, Minety will be MCB-CCTV not AHBC.

Acronyms:
REB = Relocatable Equipment Building (aka Portacabin)

Thanks, S and T E.  If they were clad in less inviting material for graffiti taggers, would that be so expensive?  Is there such a material?  I began to think (for instance) of creosoted timber but that could just be seen as potential firewood, I suppose. ::)

On a serious note, NR's exemption from many planning rules does lead to some appalling eyesores in As'ONB (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) such as the structures at Purton (see BobM's post) and that's without the graffiti added.

Yes I know Purton is not in the AONB (unless it is   ;D ).   


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 26, 2013, 11:33:38 am
......how about this for starters.... ;) ;D

That is supposed to be anti-graffiti paint 8)

(http://cbrailways.co.uk/PhotoAlbums/album_1357222339/Chard_and_Axminster_13_January_2010_046.jpg)
Image (c)2013 SandTEngineer


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 26, 2013, 11:39:01 am
Interesting article in May's Modern railways on the East Coast with a comment to the effect that:

"Why are we are we spending money on redoubling Swindon Kemble when there's still the Welwyn bottle neck."

The answer semed to be because it's easier and cheaper and wouldn't involve trying to close a station.

.....but S2K is being done to support its role as the South Wales diversionary route during electrification work west of Swindon.

Acronymn:
S2K = Swindon to Kemble


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 26, 2013, 08:15:06 pm
I began to think (for instance) of creosoted timber ...

There are various legal restrictions on the use of creosote, as detailed on the Health and Safety Executive website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/biocides/copr/creosote.htm


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: swrural on April 27, 2013, 12:11:15 pm
@ChrisfN

Er, it was actually an intended joke (see my added smiley).

But I like the dark green anti graffiti paint, I wonder if it works?   


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on April 27, 2013, 01:21:03 pm
The textured anti-vandal paint certainly works, so long as someone with a power washer gets there within a few days.It also inhibits fly posters.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: swrural on April 27, 2013, 05:35:42 pm
Great news, then perhaps we should admit final defeat and pretend the whole area is Southern Railway and paint everything dull green.  They took us over in the end, not the other way around.

Mind you, chocolate would not jar in the countryside and neither, as it happens, would GWR 'Dark Stone'.   ;)

A National Trust (NT) manager once opined to me that a dull pink was good for farm buildings.   


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: quedgeley2002 on July 06, 2013, 07:24:13 pm
Work on the redoubling seems to be gathering pace in anticipation of the first shutdown on 10th August.

There are a number of work sites along the line the most significant being just north of Swindon at Morden where the embankment extension and stabling work is largely complete. On the land behind the B&Q superstore adjacent to the line various track and sleeper components are being assembled that would appear to be a set of up and down cross overs. Perhaps these will be installed during the first blockade period?

At milepost 76 there is a mile of so of sleepers and track installed on what will become the Up line. Line side clearance of the track bed has occurred where the alignment allows and just north of Minety crossing a further stretch of ballast sleepers and rails is in place on the Down side. At Kemble the work seems to have been completed on the cutting stabilisation on the Down side with some earthworks completed to allow the second line to be installed. 

There is no activity at Kemble station itself, the site 'village' at the north of the station seems not to have seen any activity for a few weeks.

On the double track section between Brimscombe and Stroud AWS magnets have been installed on both lines and what presumably are signal bases are being constructed.

Perhaps those 'in the know' can explain the work program as I was surprised to see the signal work being down now when that part of the scheme is not due for completion until next Easter?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on July 06, 2013, 11:41:40 pm

Perhaps those 'in the know' can explain the work program as I was surprised to see the signal work being down now when that part of the scheme is not due for completion until next Easter?

I'm not so much "in the know" as "in the guess". The planning for this project will have been done with the entire route broken down into smaller pieces. There are many different skills needed along the way, from basic gardening to ecologist to electrical engineer to civil engineer to painter and decorator. And also project manager. That last person will have timetabled the whole panoply of skilled operatives to use each of their abilities in a way that gets the job done in the least time, for the least cost, and without having one man have to dig up something another man has already done to do his bit.

I fitted a new kitchen in my home many years ago.  I worked out every job that would need to be done, then worked out how long each would take, and how long each would mean the kitchen being out of action. The first 4 hour "possession" involved moving the central heating controls from one side of the room to the other, without damaging the floor. I was pleased as punch when I finished, having spent hours creating a small hole where the boiler used to be, then working under the floorboards before rejigging the wiring to take proper account of our new boiler. Mrs FTN got home from whatever she had been up to, and said "Is that all you've done?"

So I reckon the signalling has been scheduled because the people to do it were available, it would not impact on the running of the railway, would not get in the way of any other aspect of the redoubling of the track, and because one job done is one job less to do. Same goes for any apparently random bits of track work, which can be welded, aligned and ballasted as pretty much the last bit of the construction. Kemble station's refitting will be trivial in comparison to some of the other engineering that will have been done.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on July 10, 2013, 03:52:39 pm

As someone who travels the Swindon-Kemble line infrequently but has a huge interest in the redoubling work, I hope that others who travel the line frequently can keep us posted on the work being undertaken.  Does anyone know if there is any discussion underway of Minety, Chalford and other locales on the Swindon-Gloucester line getting local train service?  Living in Cashes Green, Stroud, I remember the Autotrain that ran on a regular schedule from Chalford to Gloucester up to the 1960s.  Great new book available on life in 1950s/1960s Stroud, including comments and photos of the Autotrain: 'Up The Green' by Bryan Leach.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 17, 2013, 07:32:42 pm
George Osborne popped by to check on the progress in the build up to the first of the two main stages of the work starting:

http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/News-Releases/CHANCELLOR-SEES-WORK-ON-SWINDON-TO-KEMBLE-STRIDE-FORWARD-1def.aspx (http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/News-Releases/CHANCELLOR-SEES-WORK-ON-SWINDON-TO-KEMBLE-STRIDE-FORWARD-1def.aspx)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 01, 2013, 04:33:38 pm
I have finally managed to upload some photos to Flickr and you can find them at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/sets/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/sets/)

They are at 11 different locations and going from Kemble to Swindon they are:

1 - The South (Swindon) end of Kemble Tunnel
2 - Wick Bridge, which is on a minor road between Kemble and Kemble Wick
3 - Oaksey Bridge
4 - Minety Lower Moor Crossing
5 - Minety Bridge by Minety Station
6 - Black Dog Bridge on the B4696
7 - Purton Common Crossing
8 - Widham Bridge by Purton Station
9 - Purton Collins Lane Crossing
10 - Bremhill Bridge on the B4553 by the oil terminal
11 - Moredon Bridges (old and new) on the B4534

I have taken 3 sets so far:

22nd December 2012,
Easter and/or Spring Bank Holiday 2013
22nd July 2013.

I will endeavour to take the next set during the blockade.


Sapperton Tunnel



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 01, 2013, 11:25:34 pm
Many thanks for posting that useful visual record of progress in this particular project, Sapperton Tunnel!  :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 02, 2013, 04:27:43 pm
My thanks also, ST. Things are certainly moving, and we can expect big changes in the next few weeks.

I once planned a flight to Oaksey Park airfield, for my first landing on grass. In the event, I couldn't raise anyone on the phone, so we went to Kemble instead.  I have just had a look at the airfield's circuit chart, and presciently, the railway line is shown as double! The current ICAO charts still have it as a single track - I hope someone tells them?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on August 02, 2013, 09:33:15 pm
Indeed, thanks ST. Great that someone is providing a record of the work.

I'm curious in the earlier pictures at Moredon Bridge. They show very old sleepers roughly where the new line has now been laid. Have they really lain there since the line was singled 40 years or so ago?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 02, 2013, 09:49:14 pm

I'm curious in the earlier pictures at Moredon Bridge. They show very old sleepers roughly where the new line has now been laid. Have they really lain there since the line was singled 40 years or so ago?

It certainly looks that way. Too much trouble to collect them?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 02, 2013, 10:10:45 pm

I'm curious in the earlier pictures at Moredon Bridge. They show very old sleepers roughly where the new line has now been laid. Have they really lain there since the line was singled 40 years or so ago?

It certainly looks that way. Too much trouble to collect them?

Judging by the 'Easter' pictures, it looks like the old sleepers were more or less compost! You can see bits of them that have been shovelled to the side.

I'm guessing they were probably pretty rotten when the line was singled - so no salvage value.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Phil Farmer on August 03, 2013, 12:11:44 am
The old sleepers run from Swindon to the Purton refuelling depot and were originally a siding serving the Fuel Depot at Bremill Sidings, it was last used about 15 years a go.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on August 03, 2013, 08:22:11 am
Ah, thank you. I did find it surprising that they could have been there since singling.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 03, 2013, 04:32:10 pm
Just as an aside, and as John R will already know, there is still a similar long-disused siding line alongside the main line at the old Flax Bourton fuel depot, east of Nailsea & Backwell station, where the wooden sleepers are quietly developing into compost.  ;)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on August 03, 2013, 05:20:33 pm
Indeed Chris, not forgetting another one just south of the Freightliner depot at Parson St. Although the difference with that one is that after probably 20 years of disuse it was brought back into use last year as part of an expansion of the depot. It didn't look as though they did anything other than a spot of "weeding" to rehabilitate that line, so presumably the sleepers were found to be reasonably sound.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 04, 2013, 01:33:25 pm
The South Liberty Lane depot is getting busier. I think a little more was done there than just gardening, and I think two sidings have been relaid. It only took a day or so, there was nothing fancy involved.

(http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/Boyamijealous_7108a707/Bedminster/IMG_1994_zps4aac9dd5.jpg)
Constellation receive bulk deliveries of wine imported through Tilbury docks here, then take it by lorry to their bottling plant. Then the bottled wine is returned to the depot, and shipped out in containers. If you drink a bottle of Banrock Station, it has been through Parson Street Station, twice. This shows what can be done with the will and a bit of imagination, although it doesn't explain why the wine isn't imported straight into Avonmouth, nor why it isn't taken to Avonmouth by train. I'm not so familiar with the line from Swindon via Kemble - any similar commercial / industrial opportunities likely to be opened with the redoubling?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 05, 2013, 10:30:04 am
The old sleepers run from Swindon to the Purton refuelling depot and were originally a siding serving the Fuel Depot at Bremill Sidings, it was last used about 15 years a go.


There is a railway underbridge somewhere between the oil depot and Swindon that required repair or upgrade or renewal to maintain the rail access because of the high axle load on the tanks serving the depot. BR decided it was uneconomic to do and withdrew the service, causing the depot to be road served only. An Esso executive (Esso operated the depot) once told me that in the end it cost more to upgrade the depot for road transport only than it would have been for Esso to have paid for the works to the bridge.

I understand that the rails and any good sleepers went to the Swindon and Cricklade railway.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on August 11, 2013, 03:11:34 pm
Lots of the tracklaying machines on the line behind B&Q in Swindon yesterday.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: quedgeley2002 on August 11, 2013, 05:47:35 pm
There is work in progress today along the entire length of the line.

At Oaksey the existing single track has already been slewed onto the down side to make space for the new track and about half a mile further south new track laying was in progress that further extended the down line in that alignment.

At Minety Crossing various deep holes have been excavated presumably to allow for cable runs. The crossing gates have been removed presumably to allow more space for the track slew to occur here too. In Minety village itself the embankment has received significant attention with numerous metal rods and cement materials injected to stabilise the formation. There is also much evidence of piling where metal large 'motorway' style armco style barriers have been driven in. These seem to be used where space around the formation is difficult.

Looking at Real Time Trains for Monday 12th there are numerous engineers trains scheduled from Bescot to Kemble to enter the worksite. These seem to come in waves of three at a time before all three exit to return to Bescot later in the day before the next set of three pitch up. Are these delivering ballast and/or sleepers or collecting spoil, or both?

These works are obviously planned with military precision so if anyone with the inside 'track' on this can share any of the detail it would make interesting reading!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 11, 2013, 08:25:28 pm
I'm looking forward to pictures and video of this. I don't think I'm likely to be to be around the area before the end of the work.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 11, 2013, 11:01:44 pm

There is also much evidence of piling where metal large 'motorway' style armco style barriers have been driven in. These seem to be used where space around the formation is difficult.


Is this really Armco, or is it interlocking sheet piling?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on August 12, 2013, 07:53:24 am
Slight teething problems on the first working day of the blockade. The first westbound shuttle from Kemble to Cheltenham Spa was delayed for half an hour due to, according to Journeycheck, over running engineering work.

As a result it was terminated at Gloucester with the return working also starting from there.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 12, 2013, 05:54:49 pm
There is work in progress today along the entire length of the line.

At Oaksey the existing single track has already been slewed onto the down side to make space for the new track and about half a mile further south new track laying was in progress that further extended the down line in that alignment.

At Minety Crossing various deep holes have been excavated presumably to allow for cable runs. The crossing gates have been removed presumably to allow more space for the track slew to occur here too. In Minety village itself the embankment has received significant attention with numerous metal rods and cement materials injected to stabilise the formation. There is also much evidence of piling where metal large 'motorway' style armco style barriers have been driven in. These seem to be used where space around the formation is difficult.

Looking at Real Time Trains for Monday 12th there are numerous engineers trains scheduled from Bescot to Kemble to enter the worksite. These seem to come in waves of three at a time before all three exit to return to Bescot later in the day before the next set of three pitch up. Are these delivering ballast and/or sleepers or collecting spoil, or both?

These works are obviously planned with military precision so if anyone with the inside 'track' on this can share any of the detail it would make interesting reading!

A couple of photos of the Bescot Engineers trains waiting at Wick Bridge for collecting spoil:
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7349/9493453813_98b99230b1_b.jpg)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9493453813/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9493453813/)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7378/9493444141_981425805d_b.jpg)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9493444141/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9493444141/)



Over the weekend work was going on at 6 sites and the main ones were at Oaksey and Bremhill with track slewing. According to one of the workmen at Sunday lunchtime they were ahead of schedule and everybody was pleased with progress. The track slewing machines at work in the distance:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5527/9496228210_de8eacfa5d_b.jpg)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9493444141/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9493444141/)

I don't have a telephoto lens I'm afraid. You can see where the track has been slewed from the middle to the down side formation. Also according to another one of the workmen, Network Rail's entire national fleet of this type of slewing machine was either here at Oaksey or further up the line at Bremhill.

Slewed Track looking towards Kemble at Oaksey:

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2872/9496237982_2798ae69c4_b.jpg)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9496237982/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9496237982/)


By the time I got to Bremhill the track had already been slewed and I couldn't find the remaining slewing machines:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7293/9493407119_c09c71cb40_b.jpg)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9493407119/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9493407119/)

and preparation for the new down line had already started, with white polythene sheeting going down in the distance. The locomotive is 66607:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7361/9496218442_b8fb15cc7a_b.jpg)


http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9496218442/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9496218442/)


Finally, I did try to get a couple of shots from foot crossings, but all had been blocked off with Heras type wire mesh panels at the railway boundary with an apology notice from Network Rail advising that the crossings are closed from 10th August 'till 2nd September. It is Sheet piling that is being installed at Minety Skew Bridge by the way.


ps many thanks to bobm and grahame for sorting out Flickr issues


ST




Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 12, 2013, 09:48:41 pm

Just giving this topic a boost as grahame and bobm have sorted out my Flickr problems in the above post.


ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 12, 2013, 10:00:05 pm
Great to see the ongoing works, Sapperton Tunnel.  Many thanks for posting.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 13, 2013, 07:17:04 pm
Good stuff, Sapperton Tunnel, and thanks for posting. Seems to be going well!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 14, 2013, 09:28:30 am

FGW have now put some photos on Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/firstgw/swindon-to-kemble-redoubling-project-august-2013/ (http://pinterest.com/firstgw/swindon-to-kemble-redoubling-project-august-2013/)


ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 14, 2013, 06:57:43 pm

Anyone have photos or information on the realignment work started 10 August?  Are they working from the Kemble end and Swindon end simultaneously, or from one end toward the other?  Closed for about 4 weeks, so must be completing about 1/2 mile of double track a day.  Has anyone seen a plan of the work, showing where new points are to be located?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 14, 2013, 07:14:15 pm

For some reason the recent posts from ST and others weren't showing on my machine when I put up the preceding post.  Thanks for all the great photos that have been placed on this site in recent days!  I'd still be interested in knowing if they are working from both ends simultaneously, also if anyone knows where points are to be positioned.  Thanks!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on August 15, 2013, 09:08:01 am
The track slewing machines are on the section at Black Dog Bridge (B4696) this morning. So far, there has been little activity on this section during the closure; so little that, when I used one of the local farm crossings the other evening, there was significant rust on the rail faces. It doesn't take long!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 15, 2013, 11:08:36 am
The track slewing machines are on the section at Black Dog Bridge (B4696) this morning. So far, there has been little activity on this section during the closure; so little that, when I used one of the local farm crossings the other evening, there was significant rust on the rail faces. It doesn't take long!

Black Dog Bridge is about half way along the single line from where it begins at Swindon Loco Yard (78m 20ch) to the north end of Kemble Tunnel (90m 65ch)where it ends. It is said that about half of the 12 1/2 miles of single track (ie about 6 miles) requires slewing, so having reached half way from one end or the other must be good progress, considering they are 6 days into a 23 day blockade. 

They have been working from both ends - the track slewing at Oaksey as in my photos taken on Sunday 11th is the first stretch from Kemble that had to be slewed and that at Bremhill is the first from the Swindon end. After Oaksey, they were going to move up the line to Minety on the Sunday evening for the next stretch.   

It will be interesting to see which bits of track get used when the line re-opens.

Looking at this First Great Western picture from Pinterest which is looking towards Swindon from Bremhill Bridge:

 
http://pinterest.com/pin/452330356294979192/ (http://pinterest.com/pin/452330356294979192/)

On the left is the slewed track, which becomes the Up line and the new track on the right is the Down line. Now, at Swindon Loco Yard, it is the Down Line that becomes the single track, effectively allowing trains from Swindon to go 'straight on' and accelerate, whilst those from Kemble have to slow down and use the turnout bit. It would appear, therefore that the newly laid down line will be in use here as it looks nice and straight, whilst the slewed track remains 'wiggly'.

As noted by quedgeley2002 there are a set of crossovers constructed on the waste land just after Loco Yard on the single section and they seem to be for installation on a straight length as opposed to a curve, so I would guess that they will be installed somewhere near Loco Yard and replace the crossovers just outside the station at the start of the Kemble Branch (Swindon Junction) which do look a bit ropey, but undoubtedly safe.

As also noted by S&T Engineer in his post, there will be a signalled single facing crossover between Kemble Tunnel and Kemble, so that trains arriving on the down line from Swindon can cross to the up platform at Kemble and trains from Stroud can also reverse to go back again. Otherwise there would be no crossover between Swindon and Standish Junction - a distance of about 28 miles.

I would also be interested in the signalling arrangements and whether the 'famous' cantilever signal gantry on the Up platform at Kemble will stay or go. To clarify, the reason why it is such a large structure with an unused position for a second signal head is that in the original rationalisation proposal it was intended also to have two separate single lines between Kemble and Stroud. Passenger trains would use the 'Up' line in both directions, reducing the station to the one platform and London/Swindon - Cheltenham trains would cross at Stroud. The 'Down' line would become a reversible freight line and would be downgraded requiring less maintenance. Hence the need for a signal at Kemble for Up freight trains arriving on the former Down line and wanting the single line to Swindon. The then Area Manager at Gloucester was not involved with the planning and did not find out about it until shortly before implementation was due to start. He pointed out to the authorities at Paddington / BRB HQ the effect this would have on diverted South Wales trains and as a result only the singling between Swindon and Kemble was carried out in the end, allegedly because it had gone too far to stop, otherwise even that may not have happened.   

ST

 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 15, 2013, 11:28:58 am
On the left is the slewed track, which becomes the Up line and the new track on the right is the Down line. Now, at Swindon Loco Yard, it is the Down Line that becomes the single track, effectively allowing trains from Swindon to go 'straight on' and accelerate, whilst those from Kemble have to slow down and use the turnout bit. It would appear, therefore that the newly laid down line will be in use here as it looks nice and straight, whilst the slewed track remains 'wiggly'.

I'm sure they'll set a tamper onto that slewed track to make it a little less 'wiggly'!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 19, 2013, 03:18:31 pm
Was out and about again on Sunday (18th August) and took a set of photos for progress as of Day 9 of the 23 day closure. The lot can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/sets (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/sets)

I couldn't really find so much 'action' as last week, so the photo's are more of a 'for the record' type of thing and the ones showing the most changes are here.......

At the Kemble end, there is no real visible progress, as I suppose it is still a proper working railway. The DMU shuttle from Gloucester goes about a couple of hundred yards beyond the tunnel to a signal where the driver changes ends to go back again. There are some location cabinets and other gubbins to move before the new down line can be installed as well as the signal itself (SN 156 I think) which will be either fouling or actually in the 4 foot of the new Down line. 

South end Kemble Tunnel where the Shuttle DMU's reverse:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3687/9547871208_2664d62aa6_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9547871208 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9547871208)





The first real progress is to the north of Oaksey, about a mile and half from Kemble and here is a photo of the new up line, firstly looking towards Kemble:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3726/9543615075_b3a4bd02d6_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543615075/

and then towards Swindon:
(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3741/9543610117_4660037847_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543610117/in/photostream/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543610117/in/photostream/)



At Minety Crossing the track has been slewed to the Down formation and the bed excavated for the new Up line:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7309/9543603509_80f475c092_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543603509/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543603509/)

The locomotive is 66012 and just happened to be parked there awaiting to go further up the line. Apparently there had been a very minor derailment with a wagon on another train and it was all hands to the pump to get it back on the track again, but I couldn't find where it was.


Minety Crossing looking towards Swindon:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3754/9543597581_ea24e77434_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543597581/in/photostream/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543597581/in/photostream/)


Next, Minety Askew Bridge, which is a railway underbridge between Minety Crossing and Minety Station. Here, embankment stabilisation is in progress, with anchors being installed. Also apologies to Quedgeley 2002 - there are Armco (Motorway) type barriers awaiting installation on the up side to some 'H' beam piles already driven in. There has been some sheet piling on site as well in the past so Red Squirrel and myself are also correct!!

The next two photos are the grouting unit. The locomotive is 66200 and is nothing to do with the embankment works - they just happened to be excavating spoil for the second track. In front of the loco's bogie you can see the H piles and Armco to the right awaiting installation:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3748/9543591561_5302f322a2_b.jpg) 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543591561/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543591561/)


(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2815/9543580655_04db1d4d83_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543580655/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543580655/)

Drilling by the abutment on the Up side:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5544/9543586347_7e4e2225a4_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543586347/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543586347/)


and it looks completed on the Down side:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5550/9546364650_64d5889734_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546364650/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546364650/)


Track Slewing has taken place at Minety, looking towards Kemble:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3759/9546358640_f5f34106a7_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546358640/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546358640/)

and towards Swindon:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7441/9546352486_7dd1712ea0_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546352486/


and, as Patch 38 noted, at Black Dog Bridge. Firstly, looking towards Kemble:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5489/9543549951_138df2cd42_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543549951/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543549951/)

and then towards Swindon:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7441/9546352486_7dd1712ea0_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546346284/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546346284/)


At Purton Common Crossing, Excavation has taken place; looking toward Swindon:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3677/9546327086_a7b39b0b73_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546327086/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546327086/)





At Purton Collins Lane Crossing, the only thing that seems to have happened is diversion of the cabling and removal of the barriers. The track still has to be slewed and the area for a mile or so around the crossing seems to be the only bit left to slew:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7414/9416239314_772e0f74b1_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9416239314/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9416239314/)




At Bremhill Bridge track has now been laid and the new down line is in use. Looking North to Kemble:

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2834/9546286322_35a0f94b20_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546286322/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546286322/)



In the background is a ubiquitous DBS Class 66 loco. About 2/3rds half way down on the right hand side is a scaffolding platform, possibly with a time lapse camera attached. If it is, hopefully something will appear on You tube or Network Rail website one day.


Looking South towards Swindon:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3673/9546293300_34f8e7396a_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546293300/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546293300/)




Finally, I made a trip well into Dragon Country (Dragon Country is somewhere where I don't go) to behind the big B & Q in Swindon where the new Crossover has just been installed:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7447/9546260872_7c244ff8c6_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546260872/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9546260872/)

I couldn't get any higher or nearer the line without trespassing on the railway for a better shot I'm afraid. I would think that this end of the crossover is just slightly nearer Kemble than the previous single to double connection. There was also a scaffolding tower with a camera on, so again hopefully there will be some time lapse video of the installation to see eventually.


Depending on the weather and any other last minute commitments will do another set on the Bank Holiday weekend (25 / 26 Aug) and then again on 6 / 7 September.


ST

 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on August 19, 2013, 04:09:56 pm
Some more fantastic photos ST - keep up the good work! To save you trespassing, FGW have helpfully put some shots of the Rodbourne Road crossover on the Pinterest site:

http://pinterest.com/firstgw/swindon-to-kemble-redoubling-project-august-2013/


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 19, 2013, 05:16:18 pm
Indeed - many thanks for posting those pictures, Sapperton Tunnel!  :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 19, 2013, 11:56:40 pm
Those are indeed brilliant pictures, ST, and I add my thanks to the others. This is railway history in the making, and your archive is valuable.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 20, 2013, 11:55:08 am
Many thanks for your encouragement, Patch, Chris and FTN!

I guess that I am having my 15 minutes of fame! I have 'lurked' on this site for several years and thought it would be nice to take some photos and keep folk up to date with progress as it is reasonably local and as a way of contributing and saying thank you to the website for all the knowledge and information that it has given me over the years.

The only camera that I had before was a Kodak Instamatic about 40 years ago but last autumn my wife had a ^25 off voucher for Tesco's Electrical and what with other coupons I took the plunge and bought a modern electronic camera.

It takes about an hour and a half to go from Kemble to Moredon, as it is all either 'B' roads or narrow country lanes with passing places.  I normally only go as far as Moredon as it is the first overbridge from the Swindon end and about 2 1/2 miles from the station, so a round trip out is really the best part of an afternoon.

Most of the bridges are either the original ones or still narrow; they are not the safest places to be, so I don't hang about. I park where I safely can and get to the bridge quickly and just point and click, taking about  4 or 5 shots, then over the other side of the road for the other view and back to the car as soon as possible. 

I don't wait for the sun or have any appreciation of photography and I have been quite amazed at some of the photos for a complete and utter novice. The idea is just to provide a technical record of the work.

The plan is to do a further set at the Bank Holiday weekend and one after that a fortnight later on the 6th /7th / 8th September, when the line has reopened.

I will keep an eye out for work going on over the winter and will do the last sets next Easter (2014) when the double track is commissioned.

ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grumpysocks on August 20, 2013, 12:01:49 pm
A great effort ST. Very important to record these details. I don't think much is planned at the Kemble end during this block, mainly slewing the operational track to enable the second track to be fully laid prior to the final 'chop and shut' blockade next year.

Best of luck to the team carrying out the works, let's hope they have their summer holidays booked for September to relax after such an effort.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 20, 2013, 01:32:47 pm
I'll add my thanks too, ST - all exciting stuff!

Can't wait to watch them doing Filton Bank! Maybe I'll dust off my Box Brownie when they do.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: chuffed on August 20, 2013, 03:57:59 pm
Oooh... that sounds painful RS. I'll leave the (in)decent exposure jokes to others ! ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 20, 2013, 07:50:19 pm
I'll add my thanks too, ST - all exciting stuff!

Can't wait to watch them doing Filton Bank! Maybe I'll dust off my Box Brownie when they do.

I'll be up there with you, RS. Can't wait to see Four Track, Now!

Has work started on the rail depot that way yet? I haven't been through on the train for ma while, and can't gett close enough by road. And now Filton Airfield is closed, I don't even fly over it.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 20, 2013, 08:20:12 pm
The two new crossovers (Nos. 8655AB and 8656AB) will be installed between the 78 1/4 and 78 1/2 mileposts (just North of the existing double to single line turnout No. 368 that will be recovered).

The existing Signal No. S149 on the cantilever structure at Kemble station will be recovered and replaced by a new straight post Signal No. SW1334.

The new crossover between Kemble Tunnel and Station (No. 8658AB) will, as previously advised, allow Down trains to terminate in Kemble station Up platform (a new stop Signal No. SW1335 being provided North of the Up platform to limit the movement) and will also allow Up trains to crossover from Kemble Up platform from Signal No. SW1334 to a new Limit Of Shunt Signal No. SW6546 on the Down line South of Kemble Tunnel and then reversing into Kemble station Down platform from new Down line Signal No. SW1333 located at the South end of Kemble Tunnel.

The existing turnout and trap point leading from the Up line at Kemble station to the old Tetbury Cirencester branch platform siding will be retained and continue to be operated by the existing Kemble Ground Frame (Release No.8659).

The new signalling will be controlled from the existing Thames Valley Signalling Centre located at Didcot.

Edit: to change name of branch line at Kemble (I should have known better) ::)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 20, 2013, 08:57:40 pm
SN291 will be retained, then??   ;)

See http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=6189.msg60853#msg60853   ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 20, 2013, 09:16:29 pm
SN291 will be retained, then??   ;)

See http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=6189.msg60853#msg60853   ;D

Yes, but it will be renumbered SW6548 ;)

CfN: Once its renumbered you will be able to enter it in a quiz again :D:P


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 20, 2013, 09:22:04 pm
SN291 will be retained, then??   ;)

See http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=6189.msg60853#msg60853   ;D

Yes but it will be renumbered SW6548 ;)


STE, that sounds a very blas^ description of a mere change of name, but your earlier post hints at what a major change this really is.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 20, 2013, 09:29:49 pm
 ;D

I should have also added to my earlier post that the two existing crossovers on the Gloucester Line at the West end of Swindon station (Nos. 360AB and 361AB) will be recovered and both running lines from the new crossovers to Swindon station will become fully reversible.

If I get some spare time over the BH weekend I will draw all of this out in a sketch.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 20, 2013, 09:45:02 pm

Anyone know if any changes are being made to the track at Swindon station, such as to the track leading to Platform 2?  What about a crossover added from Platform 4 to the Kemble line?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 20, 2013, 09:53:44 pm

'Four Track, Now': does your name have any reference to the double track between Didcot and Swindon being increased to four tracks?  I've seen reference to this possibility at times, but don't know if there are any plans.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 20, 2013, 09:57:53 pm

Anyone know if any changes are being made to the track at Swindon station, such as to the track leading to Platform 2?  What about a crossover added from Platform 4 to the Kemble line?

As I stated in the post above yours the changes at Swindon station only involve the recovery of the two crossovers.  No other changes are planned, even when the station area is resignalled next year (2014 that is).


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on August 20, 2013, 11:12:17 pm
With the signalling moving to Didcot, which I must admit I hadn't realised was happening - but makes sense - what is the thinking behind the SW prefix? 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 21, 2013, 10:05:07 am

'Four Track, Now': does your name have any reference to the double track between Didcot and Swindon being increased to four tracks?  I've seen reference to this possibility at times, but don't know if there are any plans.

No - he's a collector of vintage recording equipment!  :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 21, 2013, 10:51:26 am
Some signalling changes due to come into effect after the blockade have been deferred apparently.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 21, 2013, 11:59:06 am
The two new crossovers (Nos. 8655AB and 8656AB) will be installed between the 78 1/4 and 78 1/2 mileposts (just North of the existing double to single line turnout No. 368 that will be recovered).

This is what had been installed on Sunday 18th, then, when I went up the back of B & Q / Rodbourne Road.


The existing Signal No. S149 on the cantilever structure at Kemble station will be recovered and replaced by a new straight post Signal No. SW1334.

The new crossover between Kemble Tunnel and Station (No. 8658AB) will, as previously advised, allow Down trains to terminate in Kemble station Up platform (a new stop Signal No. SW1335 being provided North of the Up platform to limit the movement) and will also allow Up trains to crossover from Kemble Up platform from Signal No. SW1334 to a new Limit Of Shunt Signal No. SW6546 on the Down line South of Kemble Tunnel and then reversing into Kemble station Down platform from new Down line Signal No. SW1333 located at the South end of Kemble Tunnel.


As mentioned by FTN, this represents a considerable investment by Network Rail, for what is just really a contingency to be able to reverse trains at Kemble from Swindon in times of disruption with a signalled move to the Up platform. Wow. I guess they really do need a crossover somewhere between Swindon and Standish Junction and presume that this will be the only one as there is currently no other between Kemble and Standish.

The existing turnout and trap point leading from the Up line at Kemble station to the old Tetbury branch platform siding will be retained and continue to be operated by the existing Kemble Ground Frame (Release No.8659).


I really appreciate all the info, STE, that you so kindly supply, but just a tiny correction if I may; the siding is the old Cirencester branch trailing into the Up line.


I should have also added to my earlier post that the two existing crossovers on the Gloucester Line at the West end of Swindon station (Nos. 360AB and 361AB) will be recovered and both running lines from the new crossovers to Swindon station will become fully reversible.


Good, they have been one of the weak spots and given trouble over the years as the crossovers are on the curve as the line leaves Swindon Station. Many years ago I was on a Gloucester RC & W Cross Country set going into Swindon and we stopped dead on one of these crossovers as the driver thought we had derailed on the turnout due to the noise and banging going on (not from the passengers by the way).


Anyone know if any changes are being made to the track at Swindon station, such as to the track leading to Platform 2?  What about a crossover added from Platform 4 to the Kemble line?


There isn't sufficient room between the end of Platform 4 and the Gloucester line Junction.  Years ago there used to be a crossover from the reversible Up Through line to the Platform 3 line, just beyond the west (Down) end of the platform, so that trains to or from the Gloucester line didn't have to use either the Platform 3 or Platform 1 lines as they have to now. The last time I saw it in use was for a Cheltenham Race special on the Up Through waiting to turn right after the departure of a service train from the Bay platform 2. Must have been the mid '80s.

ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 21, 2013, 05:54:38 pm
With the signalling moving to Didcot, which I must admit I hadn't realised was happening - but makes sense - what is the thinking behind the SW prefix? 

SW=SWindon

Usually it would be SN (first and last letters) but that one is already used for Slough New.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 21, 2013, 07:46:40 pm

'Four Track, Now': does your name have any reference to the double track between Didcot and Swindon being increased to four tracks?  I've seen reference to this possibility at times, but don't know if there are any plans.
No, it is connected to the campaign for the re-qaudrupling of the linw (http://greaterbristolrail.com/vision/four-track-will-lay-the-foundations/) from Bristol Temple Meads to Filton Bank, and was what was before me on the day I signed up and had to thinl of a name quickly. Had it been the following evening, it could have been "Dog taking a dump" or something. It has served me reasonably well. Further analysis can be found here. (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=12414.0)


No - he's a collector of vintage recording equipment!  :)

I'm the only man I know with a record player. You are not the first to hold that opinion. (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=12414.msg132837#msg132837)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on August 21, 2013, 07:55:32 pm
Had it been the following evening, it could have been "Dog taking a dump" or something.

Well really, and at dinner time too!   ;D

Thank the Lord you signed up when you did and not 24 hours later....


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on August 21, 2013, 08:28:46 pm

I'm the only man I know with a record player.

I have several. But then, I suppose you don't know me  ;)

Back on topic with a brief sitrep: lots of activity around Black Dog Bridge today - the old single track bed (which is now the new Up track) is being cleared and the ballast relaid. There are still odd sections where there has not yet been any realignment of the old track. Not sure why that might be but hopefully the insiders can enlighten us?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 21, 2013, 08:44:55 pm

The existing turnout and trap point leading from the Up line at Kemble station to the old Tetbury branch platform siding will be retained and continue to be operated by the existing Kemble Ground Frame (Release No.8659).

I really appreciate all the info, STE, that you so kindly supply, but just a tiny correction if I may; the siding is the old Cirencester branch trailing into the Up line.

Thanks ST, my mistake.  Corrected in original post.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on August 21, 2013, 09:07:21 pm
With the signalling moving to Didcot, which I must admit I hadn't realised was happening - but makes sense - what is the thinking behind the SW prefix? 

SW=SWindon

Usually it would be SN (first and last letters) but that one is already used for Slough New.


I assumed the new signalling would be have references for Thames Valley.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on August 21, 2013, 09:25:13 pm
With the signalling moving to Didcot, which I must admit I hadn't realised was happening - but makes sense - what is the thinking behind the SW prefix? 

SW=SWindon

Usually it would be SN (first and last letters) but that one is already used for Slough New.


I assumed the new signalling would be have references for Thames Valley.

I thought Slough New - the IECC had closed, but in any event SN is already used for signals around Swindon controlled by the original Swindon panel.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on August 22, 2013, 06:59:35 am
From FGW Website

Quote
CHANGE TO PREVIOUSLY ADVERTISED SERVICES: 31 AUGUST to 1 SEPTEMBER 2013:
We are no longer able to run trains between Kemble and Gloucester on the weekend of 31 August/1 September. Customers are advised that rail replacement bus services will operate between Swindon and Gloucester/Cheltenham Spa that weekend.



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: GlawsterPanelS&T on August 22, 2013, 07:40:15 am
Good morning everyone. I'm a 'newby' and an ex-railwayman from Gloucester. Do any of you with inside knowledge know the details of the extra signalling being put in between Kemble and Standish Junction in connection with this scheme? Before I retired, access to this information would have been simple. Little detail has appeared in print about this work to add extra line capacity.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on August 22, 2013, 08:01:04 am
Welcome to the forum keredsonej!

Although signalling is a particular interest of mine, I don't the answer to your question.  However I am sure if the information is available it will be posted here soon, and I will be keen to learn the details alongside you.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on August 22, 2013, 08:47:01 am
Further to what Sapperton Tunnel was saying about a derailment at the weekend:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-23784244



Quote
An engineering train, working on the re-doubling of the railway line between Kemble and Swindon, has derailed causing damage to the track.

It happened between Minety and Swindon, a Network Rail spokesperson said.

The line is currently closed due to ongoing engineering work, and is due to reopen on 2 September.

A spokesman said the extent of the damage was being assessed and they were "working towards" resuming services by that date.
 
Mavis Choong from Network Rail said: "Two sets of wheels from an engineering train came off the track on Sunday, 18 August.

"One wagon of the train was affected, but remained in an upright position.

"Thankfully, no one was injured by this incident.

"We are currently undertaking an investigation and, once completed, it will help identify the cause of the incident.

"We are also assessing the extent of the damage caused by the derailed wagon, to enable us to make plans to repair the affected infrastructure.

"In the meantime, we are working towards resuming services by 2 September, and commissioning in 2014."

A source, who did not wish to be identified, told the BBC it was believed that more than four miles of track had been affected, and the damage would delay engineering work by "at least a week".

The project to upgrade the route between Kemble and Swindon to a two-track operation is part of a ^45m project ahead of the Great Western Main Line's electrification.

The line was "singled" in the late 1960s as a cost-saving measure by British Rail, under agreement with the government.

Adding the second track is expected to allow up to four trains per hour to travel on the line in each direction.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 22, 2013, 03:44:19 pm
Good morning everyone. I'm a 'newby' and an ex-railwayman from Gloucester. Do any of you with inside knowledge know the details of the extra signalling being put in between Kemble and Standish Junction in connection with this scheme? Before I retired, access to this information would have been simple. Little detail has appeared in print about this work to add extra line capacity.
As far as I am aware nothing is planned for North (or should that be West) of Kemble.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: BandHcommuter on August 22, 2013, 04:38:31 pm
Good morning everyone. I'm a 'newby' and an ex-railwayman from Gloucester. Do any of you with inside knowledge know the details of the extra signalling being put in between Kemble and Standish Junction in connection with this scheme? Before I retired, access to this information would have been simple. Little detail has appeared in print about this work to add extra line capacity.

I don't have any inside information, but there is some limited information in the public domain, for example http://www.networkrail.co.uk/CP4-delivery-plan-update-enhancements-programme.pdf (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/CP4-delivery-plan-update-enhancements-programme.pdf). Page 214. It is fairly high level but gives a few insights:

Quote
Scope of Works
The scope of works will include:

re-doubling the railway between Swindon Loco Junction (78m 20ch) and Kemble (90m 74ch),
based on predominately slewing works to the existing single line and the relaying of a new second
track, associated signalling and other discipline works; and

additional intermediate infill signalling is to be provided between Kemble and St Mary^s crossing,
and between this crossing and Standish junction. This new signalling to include associated cable
routes, telecoms and signalling power supplies. Consideration shall be given to possible
implementation of modular signalling elements. This line of the route is controlled from Gloucester
Signal Control so the works can be developed in two parts.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 22, 2013, 05:33:22 pm
Good morning everyone. I'm a 'newby' and an ex-railwayman from Gloucester. Do any of you with inside knowledge know the details of the extra signalling being put in between Kemble and Standish Junction in connection with this scheme? Before I retired, access to this information would have been simple. Little detail has appeared in print about this work to add extra line capacity.

I don't have any inside information, but there is some limited information in the public domain, for example http://www.networkrail.co.uk/CP4-delivery-plan-update-enhancements-programme.pdf (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/CP4-delivery-plan-update-enhancements-programme.pdf). Page 214. It is fairly high level but gives a few insights:

Quote
Scope of Works
The scope of works will include:

re-doubling the railway between Swindon Loco Junction (78m 20ch) and Kemble (90m 74ch),
based on predominately slewing works to the existing single line and the relaying of a new second
track, associated signalling and other discipline works; and

additional intermediate infill signalling is to be provided between Kemble and St Mary^s crossing,
and between this crossing and Standish junction. This new signalling to include associated cable
routes, telecoms and signalling power supplies. Consideration shall be given to possible
implementation of modular signalling elements. This line of the route is controlled from Gloucester
Signal Control so the works can be developed in two parts.


From Kemble to St. Mary's crossing and then St. Mary's crossing to Standish and vice versa are the 2 block posts between Kemble and Standish Junction. The St. Mary's to Standish section has both Stroud and Stonehouse stations in it and obviously only one train can be in the section at a time, including any train waiting to join the Bristol - Gloucester line at Standish, making it very operationally inconvenient. Both sections are controlled from Gloucester panel and are about 8 miles long and as I understand it, the plan is to split the Kemble to St. Mary's and St. Mary's to Standish sections in half, but I am not certain on this, and as both keredsonej and BandHcommuter say, information in the public domain is a bit limited. Other documents refer to 4 new signals.

The section from Swindon to Kemble is about 12 1/2 miles, but the speed is much greater with an HST limit of 100 mph as opposed to the 50s and 60s and suchlike from Sapperton Tunnel onwards; the signal spacing will thus need to be closer to maintain the headways with a lower speed.

The FGW Pinterest site has a picture of a new signal on the Down at the Kemble end of Sapperton Short Tunnel

http://pinterest.com/pin/452330356295027913/ (http://pinterest.com/pin/452330356295027913/)


ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: GlawsterPanelS&T on August 23, 2013, 07:51:43 am
As correctly stated, both lines between Kemble and Standish Junction are split into 2 block sections. On the Down there is an entry signal at Kemble, SN160 I believe, which is Swindon controlled but slotted by Gloucester. St Marys Crossing is protected by Gloucester signals DK98R and DK98, the latter controlled from Gloucester but slotted by the crossing Annetts keys. Standish Junction is protected by signals G217R and G217. On the Up, entry from Standish is controlled by signal G272. St Marys Crossing is protected by signals UK99R and UK99, the latter also slotted by the Annetts keys. The first signal on approach to Kemble is at Coates.
I would imagine that both lines will have new signals somewhere in the Sapperton/Frampton area and at Stroud, giving 4 block sections on each, but this remains to be seen.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 23, 2013, 04:31:09 pm
Some really interesting stuff on the RMweb board:

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/63590-swindon-kemble-re-doubling/ (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/63590-swindon-kemble-re-doubling/)

ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 24, 2013, 03:55:19 am

GlawsterPanel, you mentioned that you were a former railwayman.  I find it very interesting about the comments on here in regard to placement of the signals controlled from Didcot or Gloucester, and how their placement dictates train movement through track blocks and thus train speed.  Can I ask whether the control centres also communicate directly with the train drivers en route and give instructions on train movement and the speed at which they can operate.  Or do the control centres only communicate with train drivers en route in case of emergency or signal failure?  Just wondering.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 24, 2013, 03:17:17 pm
Good morning everyone. I'm a 'newby' and an ex-railwayman from Gloucester. Do any of you with inside knowledge know the details of the extra signalling being put in between Kemble and Standish Junction in connection with this scheme? Before I retired, access to this information would have been simple. Little detail has appeared in print about this work to add extra line capacity.

I don't have any inside information, but there is some limited information in the public domain, for example http://www.networkrail.co.uk/CP4-delivery-plan-update-enhancements-programme.pdf (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/CP4-delivery-plan-update-enhancements-programme.pdf). Page 214. It is fairly high level but gives a few insights:

Quote
Scope of Works
The scope of works will include:

re-doubling the railway between Swindon Loco Junction (78m 20ch) and Kemble (90m 74ch),
based on predominately slewing works to the existing single line and the relaying of a new second
track, associated signalling and other discipline works; and

additional intermediate infill signalling is to be provided between Kemble and St Mary^s crossing,
and between this crossing and Standish junction. This new signalling to include associated cable
routes, telecoms and signalling power supplies. Consideration shall be given to possible
implementation of modular signalling elements. This line of the route is controlled from Gloucester
Signal Control so the works can be developed in two parts.


I wouldn't read too much into that.  Its only a wish list of things that could be done but I don't expect to see Kemble to Standish appearing at the top of the list when we consider the current railway project resourcing issues (i.e. we don't have enough - again ::)).


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 24, 2013, 04:49:25 pm
From This is Wiltshire (http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/10632952._/?):

Quote
Train line work is on track

(http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/resources/images/2605433.jpg?type=articleLandscape)
A large ^tamper^ train pictured working on the new rail line being built between Swindon and Kemble

Work to upgrade the Swindon to Kemble railway line to boost capacity is still on track, despite an engineering train being derailed this week.

The ^45m project will double the track along 12 miles of railway to cope with increased demand, as train usage in the West Country is expected to grow by 44 per cent by 2019.

The bulk of the work is being completed during the five-week blockade of the line, which is due to re-open on September 2. But the increase in capacity will not come into play until Easter 2014, when the whole signalling system is centralised in Didcot.

Paddy Gregg, the western planning director for Network Rail, said: ^We have worked hard with First Great Western to get all the work completed at a time when there will be the least disruption. Recently there was a derailment involving an engineering train when two rails came off the track. There was some minor damage and it is currently under investigation.

^There is some recovery work which has to be done but we still anticipate handing back the railway on time, despite some of the damage that has been caused. There was some damage to the sleepers and tracks, but we still expect to come in on time.^

Patrick Hallgate, the route managing director for Network Rail, said: ^Over the last 40 to 50 years the embankment surrounding the track has worn away, which has caused the line to migrate into the middle. This project is more than just putting a track down. It is five individual civil engineering projects. At the end all the tracks will be in their old positions and 12 miles of new line will be put down. The western operation is double the level of investment than the west coast, which makes it the biggest scale operation Network Rail has ever undertaken.^

Robert Buckland, the MP for South Swindon, said: ^This reinforces Swindon as a transport hub and is a great selling point for the town. I am delighted to be here to see the reality of a very important engineering project which will improve connectivity for Swindon and will increase the frequency of trains coming through Swindon to London. The new signalling will be another example of investment in railways to ensure they are up to date, which is vital, mainly due to the fact that more people are using railways and we will need a reliable, efficient and frequent system which should hold a far greater capacity, particularly in peak times.^

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson said: ^This is the record amount of money put into the railway network since the Victorian times. It is unbelievably important for the economy, and really strengthens Swindon^s hand. It is all about driving up capacity, which just makes Swindon an even more attractive prospect for businesses to relocate to the town, creating jobs and prosperity. The signalling system is essential to the whole project, because it only takes that to trip up for the whole thing to fall down.^

Alex Evason, the senior construction manager at Swindon Network Rail, said: ^The three miles of old track will be used strictly to service the rest of the works for engineering cars until the whole thing can be opened up next year. Even though people may not see masses of new trains straight away, the network will have a new artery.^


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 24, 2013, 05:03:37 pm
From This is Wiltshire (http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/10632952._/?):

Quote

...Patrick Hallgate, the route managing director for Network Rail, said: ^Over the last 40 to 50 years the embankment surrounding the track has worn away, which has caused the line to migrate into the middle...


Really? Can someone explain this process?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: martvw on August 24, 2013, 09:44:46 pm
Hi this would be the same problem that affected the line on the north Cotswold line lots of embankments on that line also !!



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on August 24, 2013, 09:55:56 pm
From This is Wiltshire (http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/10632952._/?):

Quote

...Patrick Hallgate, the route managing director for Network Rail, said: ^Over the last 40 to 50 years the embankment surrounding the track has worn away, which has caused the line to migrate into the middle...

Really? Can someone explain this process?


Have you not heard about the migratory habits of the lesser spotted F27 sleeper?

So the embankment wears away and the track moves to the middle of the alignment all by itself. Presumably this is one of the lesser known achievements of the British Rail Research and Development Department in the 1970's.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 24, 2013, 10:49:23 pm

Have you not heard about the migratory habits of the lesser spotted F27 sleeper?


I hadn't, but now you say that I suspect that it is actually caused by changes in the refractive index of ballast caused by increased levels of chlorophyll in the local environment - this could easily reverse the polarity of the neutron flow in the sleepers, even at that distance from Cardiff.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 25, 2013, 08:26:41 pm

Have you not heard about the migratory habits of the lesser spotted F27 sleeper?


I hadn't, but now you say that I suspect that it is actually caused by changes in the refractive index of ballast caused by increased levels of chlorophyll in the local environment - this could easily reverse the polarity of the neutron flow in the sleepers, even at that distance from Cardiff.

And there was me. thinking it had been put there by skilled operatives from BR.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 27, 2013, 12:07:45 pm
Further to what Sapperton Tunnel was saying about a derailment at the weekend:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-23784244


The offending wagon was in the naughty siding at Kemble at the weekend (24/25 August):

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3795/9604022629_bcc48c281b_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9604022629/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9604022629/)

Apparently about 4 miles of track was damaged. One of Network Rail's giant track replacement trains (TRT) is said to be arriving one night this week (26th - 30th Aug) to replace the damaged track.


 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 27, 2013, 12:36:34 pm

The offending wagon was in the naughty siding at Kemble at the weekend (24/25 August):

;D ;D

I like the way they put a coach in it to stop it rolling away again.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stuving on August 27, 2013, 12:46:56 pm
I like the way they put a coach in it to stop it rolling away again.

Yes - but where did they find a half-scale one that would fit inside?.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 27, 2013, 12:50:10 pm
Good morning everyone. I'm a 'newby' and an ex-railwayman from Gloucester. Do any of you with inside knowledge know the details of the extra signalling being put in between Kemble and Standish Junction in connection with this scheme? Before I retired, access to this information would have been simple. Little detail has appeared in print about this work to add extra line capacity.

I don't have any inside information, but there is some limited information in the public domain, for example http://www.networkrail.co.uk/CP4-delivery-plan-update-enhancements-programme.pdf (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/CP4-delivery-plan-update-enhancements-programme.pdf). Page 214. It is fairly high level but gives a few insights:

Quote
Scope of Works
The scope of works will include:

re-doubling the railway between Swindon Loco Junction (78m 20ch) and Kemble (90m 74ch),
based on predominately slewing works to the existing single line and the relaying of a new second
track, associated signalling and other discipline works; and

additional intermediate infill signalling is to be provided between Kemble and St Mary^s crossing,
and between this crossing and Standish junction. This new signalling to include associated cable
routes, telecoms and signalling power supplies. Consideration shall be given to possible
implementation of modular signalling elements. This line of the route is controlled from Gloucester
Signal Control so the works can be developed in two parts.


I wouldn't read too much into that.  Its only a wish list of things that could be done but I don't expect to see Kemble to Standish appearing at the top of the list when we consider the current railway project resourcing issues (i.e. we don't have enough - again ::)).


Somebody has found some resources from somewhere to at least install the signal structures and do some testing!!

All eight of the new signal structures are in place. There are the Section signals themselves (4 No) and their associated Repeaters (4 No distant type signals for simple folk like myself). On the Down, the Section signals (I'm sure Section is not the correct phraseology, hopefully S&T Engineer will correct) are at Sapperton Short Tunnel and at a guess about a mile before Stroud Station. On the Up the first new Section signal is about a quarter to half a mile on the Kemble side of the Stroud Station, with its Repeater at about milepost 103 between Stonehouse and Stroud. The fourth Section Signal is on the Up, also at the East end of Sapperton Short Tunnel adjacent to the new Down one, with its Repeater at the top of Sapperton bank near the West portal of Sapperton Long Tunnel. The new Sapperton Signals are called DK94 on the Down and UK94 on the Up. The Repeaters for DK94 and the new Section signal on the down near Stroud Station are about three quarters of mile before them.

DK94 on the Down at Sapperton Short Tunnel 

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5529/9607225088_2a67b53979_b.jpg) 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607225088/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607225088/)


UK94 on the left in the distance on the Up line to the east of Sapperton Short Tunnel.

Notice the AWS ramp for DK94 on the Down line

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5491/9607236898_72de56c22a_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607236898/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607236898/)


Close up of UK94. The technicians said they were 'Testing'.
(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5451/9607230952_e38c375ed5_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607230952/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607230952/)



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 27, 2013, 01:14:28 pm

During the closure, the shuttles have been running from Kemble to Gloucester only, using Class 150/1 and 150/2 dmus. On Saturday 24th August, they were extended to Cheltenham which requires 3 dmus for the hourly service and the SWT hire-in was used:

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2821/9604028351_f6cdd3dc6a_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9604028351/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9604028351/)


Reversing the trains at Kemble requires the use of a Pilotman. The trains go into Kemble Tunnel far enough to safely clear the points and the driver changes ends. Before they were going all the way through the tunnel to the Signal there to reverse.

150202 reversing in Kemble Tunnel:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3826/9604007039_74664594a0_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9604007039/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9604007039/)


The Pilotman chats with Train Staff after a reversal.

Notice the pristine 'BR-WR Pilotman' armband

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3692/9607252908_8545ed0a80_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607252908/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607252908/)



Will post some more pictures of activity between Kemble and Swindon taken on Monday 26th August in the next day or two.


ST 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: trainer on August 27, 2013, 02:20:11 pm
The Pilotman's curling moustache adds panache to his fine hirsute facial features.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 27, 2013, 02:29:42 pm

ST, was there any announcement as to just how the 'offending wagon' damaged 4 miles of track?  Did one of its sets of wheels drop between the tracks while it was moving, causing the distance between tracks to increase for 4 miles?  It looks so lonely, all alone on the siding.  Can't see any damage to it.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 27, 2013, 03:06:39 pm

ST, was there any announcement as to just how the 'offending wagon' damaged 4 miles of track?  Did one of its sets of wheels drop between the tracks while it was moving, causing the distance between tracks to increase for 4 miles?  It looks so lonely, all alone on the siding.  Can't see any damage to it.


The press have mentioned 4 miles, so I expect it to be wrong as much as it is correct!!, however the person who told me on the 26th August that the TRT was coming said that it was to do about 4 miles of replacement due to damage. According to the FGW press release, both wheelsets had come off.

There was certainly damage at Purton - you can just make out the spalling and chipping of the concrete sleepers to the right hand side of the rails in this shot looking South towards Swindon. Collins Lane Crossing is in the background:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7305/9605196809_7bdf5e94c6_b.jpg) 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9605196809/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9605196809/)

I think the wagon has been repaired as it now has a green card on the solebar above the left hand wheelset.

ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 27, 2013, 04:04:50 pm
I do like the pilotman's armband - wonder where he got it? Online auction? (http://www.gcrauctions.com/sale137P/lotdetail.php?lotno=13)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on August 27, 2013, 10:29:08 pm

The offending wagon was in the naughty siding at Kemble at the weekend (24/25 August):

;D ;D

I like the way they put a coach in it to stop it rolling away again.

Brilliant! That response had me guffawing, FT,N.

Not an ideal thing to do with a leccy fag in yer gob.  ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 27, 2013, 10:49:59 pm

The offending wagon was in the naughty siding at Kemble at the weekend (24/25 August):

;D ;D

I like the way they put a coach in it to stop it rolling away again.

Brilliant! That response had me guffawing, FT,N.

Not an ideal thing to do with a leccy fag in yer gob.  ;D

The concept of a "naughty siding" had me clutching my sides, and Mrs FT, N! wondering what was wrong with me.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on August 27, 2013, 11:29:12 pm
The concept of a "naughty siding"

....which had me thinking that Sapperton Tunnel was temporarily possessed by the spirit of the Rev. W Audrey.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 28, 2013, 02:28:08 pm
See also http://ttte.wikia.com/wiki/File:The%22real%22S.C.Ruffey.jpg for a striking similarity ... ;) :D ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 29, 2013, 11:42:21 am
Did another set of Photos on Monday 26th August which was day 17 of the 23 day closure. They are all at http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/sets/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/sets/) and the more interesting ones are here.

From Kemble going towards Swindon they are:

66599 waits at Wick Bridge for a driver before exiting the possession at Kemble:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3769/9607219356_20c303fabd_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607219356/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607219356/)



At Oaksey Bridge the new Up line was being Stressed after welding together the lengths.
Looking towards Swindon:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3741/9543610117_4660037847_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543610117/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9543610117/)



My wife read the instruction manual that comes with the camera and found that there is a telephoto lens on it. I wondered what that button was for.
So, looking in the distance from Oaksey Bridge towards Swindon:

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2832/9603965807_b28d09f0d8_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9603965807/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9603965807/)


What intrigued me were the extra clips on some of the sleepers; it would be nice if someone could explain:
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7374/9604012439_a3764de5e3_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9604012439/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9604012439/)



At Minety Askew Bridge work continues with the ground anchors. On the left you can see the reinforcement rods that have been grouted in and the rock drill is still at work on the right.

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3707/9603948611_bfab55d104_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9603948611/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9603948611/)



and a better shot of the completed North West side:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7350/9603953659_804181a710_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9603953659/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9603953659/)



At Minety Crossing the new track has been laid in front for the Up, but the levels need sorting!! Workmen were making shuttering for the new crossing barrier posts. The Crossing Keepers hut is still extant, but looking a little forlorn. This one and Purton Collins Lane Crossing will remain shut for a week after the line scheduled reopening on 2nd September according to the closure notices.

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5462/9603959603_8018db2124_b.jpg) 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9603959603/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9603959603/)



At Minety Bridge, tracklaying continues in the distance towards Swindon:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5524/9607156604_ab1bf5965c_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607156604/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607156604/)


At Black Dog Bridge, new track for the Up on the right has been laid. Looking North towards Kemble:

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2846/9603909541_633b00201e_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9603909541/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9603909541/)


and is being tamped, looking South towards Swindon:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3681/9607150438_c91df66d14_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607150438/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607150438/)



In the Purton area, very little has been done and I would think that there must still be some track to slew in the Collins Lane Crossing area; looking towards Kemble:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5327/9607122380_046612c2b8_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607122380/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607122380/)



Finally, at Bremhill, some of the old Single line track that was slewed into the Up line position has now been lifted, with trains running on the new Down formation. Looking South towards Swindon:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5457/9607116454_9715c337c2_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607116454/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9607116454/)


I will do the next set on weekend 7/8th September when the line has reopened. Overall, I think they are on plan except for the Purton Collins Lane area, but that is just my opinion and might be due to the wagon derailment


ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 29, 2013, 11:58:55 am
Brilliant stuff as ever, ST - thanks!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 29, 2013, 12:46:59 pm

Thanks, ST.  Great work.

As I understand the plan, the track from Swindon to Kemble is being realigned such that the line will reopen in a few days with one of the two tracks (either up or down) being in its final position, with the other track to be completed over the coming months.  If so, does anyone know if there is an expected date for both tracks to come into use -- or will use of both tracks only start after the Easter 2014 official completion date?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on August 29, 2013, 01:43:14 pm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9604012439/

When they stress the rail, they temporarily fit these devices all the way along the length of rail to hold the rail up off the sleeper pads, you can just see a roller at an angle to the rail web under the railhead on the RH side.  They allow the entire rail to move along the line of the track without moving any sleepers.

Manufacturer's info here:  http://www.vortok.com/rail-stress-management/vortok-stressing-rollers-vsrs

Click on pictures or videos.  You see much of the complexity is because they have to be adapted to match the clip system in use on the sleepers.

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 29, 2013, 02:09:26 pm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9604012439/

When they stress the rail, they temporarily fit these devices all the way along the length of rail to hold the rail up off the sleeper pads, you can just see a roller at an angle to the rail web under the railhead on the RH side.  They allow the entire rail to move along the line of the track without moving any sleepers.

Manufacturer's info here:  http://www.vortok.com/rail-stress-management/vortok-stressing-rollers-vsrs

Click on pictures or videos.  You see much of the complexity is because they have to be adapted to match the clip system in use on the sleepers.

Paul

Thanks, Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 29, 2013, 03:01:07 pm

Thanks, ST.  Great work.

As I understand the plan, the track from Swindon to Kemble is being realigned such that the line will reopen in a few days with one of the two tracks (either up or down) being in its final position, with the other track to be completed over the coming months.  If so, does anyone know if there is an expected date for both tracks to come into use -- or will use of both tracks only start after the Easter 2014 official completion date?

Both tracks will only come into use at the Easter 2014 shutdown. The signalling between Swindon and just beyond Kemble is controlled by Swindon 'A' Panel which is due to close at Easter 2014 and the control transferred to the Thames Valley Signalling Centre (TVSC) at Didcot.

There is a big shutdown in the Swindon area at Easter 2014 to do this, as SandTEngineer has posted. It would be a waste of money to modify Swindon 'A' to accommodate the extra line just for a short period of time before the move to TVSC.
The closure of Swindon 'A' and transfer to TVSC has always been the main driver for the timing of the Kemble line redoubling - any earlier completion would in reality just leave the asset unused and not earning its keep.


It will be interesting to see how much of the original Single line sleepers and rail remain. As in my last photo at Bremhill, some of the old Single line track is being lifted and at some overbridges the new track is about a couple of feet or more lower than the old in order to provide clearance for potential future electrification.


Talking to one of the now retired gangers a little while ago, one of the reasons why the track was slewed to the middle in places was because the ballast needed renewing and instead of digging the old out, new ballast was just dropped on top and the track slewed to keep the correct clearance under the elliptical bridges. The side ballast could also be easily dealt with.
I think that this proves that Wiltshire chlorophyll is in accordance with the relevant EU specs and not at increased levels as suggested by Red Squirrel - in short you leave our Cotswold chlorophyll alone. I admit, however, my explanation does not account for the actual migration process.

   
ST   


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 29, 2013, 07:12:47 pm
Nice wok Sapperton Tunnel, and thanks! It's extremely interesting.

Now, back to my Latin prep...


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 30, 2013, 01:35:34 pm

I hadn't, but now you say that I suspect that it is actually caused by changes in the refractive index of ballast caused by increased levels of chlorophyll in the local environment - this could easily reverse the polarity of the neutron flow in the sleepers, even at that distance from Cardiff.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Fritillaria_meleagris0.jpg)
Photo from Wikipedia

As I said, you leave our chlorophyll alone - especially when it produces such beautiful flowers as the Snakeshead Fritillary, above. These are rare flowers in the UK now, but are found at Clattinger and Lower Moor Farms, Oaksey, which is just a really damn good stones throw from Oaksey Bridge.

More information here...

http://www.wiltshirewildlife.org/Reserves/clattingerfarm.htm (http://www.wiltshirewildlife.org/Reserves/clattingerfarm.htm)


ST



PS..... seems that all is well for the reopening of Kemble to Swindon on Monday, as of Friday morning according to the BBC........possibly including the new Signals between Kemble and Stroud as buses replace trains between Kemble and Gloucester all weekend. In the original plan is was trains Kemble to Gloucester on Saturday and from Sunday afternoon.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23895702 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23895702)



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 31, 2013, 04:27:09 pm

Anyone know what is the minimum separation that has to be maintained between double tracks?  Based on some of ST's photos the tracks appear to be separated by 7 or 8 feet.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 31, 2013, 04:41:02 pm
Not sure, but it's always called the 'six foot' within the railway world regardless of distance.   ;)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: GlawsterPanelS&T on August 31, 2013, 05:31:01 pm
I believe the minimum allowed distance between track centres is 3.26 metres (10' 8.5" in old money).


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on August 31, 2013, 05:31:54 pm
I'm guessing that minimum seperation has many variables. There's line speed, rolling stock loading gauge, curve radii and cant/superelevation....

Probably more.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stuving on August 31, 2013, 07:47:43 pm
Indeed, there is a wide choice of "official" values for track interval (the "six foot") or spacing between centres:

Even the note "Guidance on Gauging" (GE/GN 8573) gives a number of values, but none that is the definitive answer:

1) ^8.1 A possible structure gauge for Britain^ in which the track interval is 1970 mm (track centres at 3405 mm). "The structure gauge model is based upon the traditional BR structure gauge defined in BR Handbook 4 and further described in withdrawn GC/RT5204."

2) ^8.4 UIC compliant structure gauges^ for straight and two curve radii, giving track centres of 3597 mm, 3858 mm (on 250 m curve), and  4092 mm (on 150 m curve). "The [^] structure gauges have been developed from UIC leaflet 505-4 [^]."

3) For high-speed lines, under the heading ^Part 10: Requirements Relating to Gauging in the High-Speed TSIs^, it says:
Quote
     Distance between track centres
The minimum nominal distance between track centres on upgraded lines in Great  Britain shall be 3165 mm.
10.2.2.11   Part G of GC/RT5212 sets out requirements for new, altered and temporary  infrastructure, including track intervals. These requirements could require a greater distance between track centres than the minimum set out in the TSI.
10.2.2.12   The accepted distance between track centres in Britain is 3400 mm for straight track.

The main relevant parts of GC/RT5212 are:
Quote
G1 Minimum upper sector clearances for new infrastructure
G1.1 Requirement for normal clearances
New infrastructure (as defined in section B3) shall be designed to provide at least normal clearances (as defined in section C2) to all types of rolling stock that use the route or can reasonably be foreseen to use the route.
The required clearances shall be calculated in accordance with Part D of this document.
G1.2 Additional clearances at vehicle window level
The following clearances shall be provided at the level of opening vehicle windows (normally between 2000 mm and 3000 mm above the plane of the rails):
a) 450 mm where vehicles operate with opening windows allowing passengers to lean out
b) 250 mm where vehicles operate with opening windows for the use of train crew.
GM/RT2456 requires passenger door windows that are capable of being opened (drop lights) to be locked so that they can only be opened manually by train crew. This requirement is to be implemented by 31 December 2005 for all vehicles that are intended to remain in passenger use after 31 December 2007.
Quote
G3 Track intervals for new infrastructure
For each section of track the infrastructure controller shall determine track intervals to be used for new infrastructure, taking into account:
a) the requirement to provide normal clearances, as set out in section G1.1
b) where necessary, the requirement to provide additional clearances for opening windows, as set out in section G1.2
However, it should be noted that this document tells you how to set your own track interval, rather than specifying a value for you, and covers many other relevant factors.

Note that a gauge of 4^ converts to 1435.1 mm. This is rounded to 1435 mm in the definitive value in GC/RT5021 ^2.9.1.1. Track interval is generally measured between the gauge faces (i.e. it includes one rail of each track).

So there you have it - if there is an answer it's 3.4 m between centres on straight track, a bit more on sharp curves. The lines through Reading are, as far as I can measure them, at 3.4 m. That appears to have been set to allow for you sticking your head out of a window; if that's no longer a possibility then maybe the spacing could come down in future.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on September 01, 2013, 10:07:53 pm
FGW advising the line will not reopen until at least 11am on Monday.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on September 01, 2013, 11:17:20 pm
Looks like Network Rail jumped the gun a bit with their comments to the BBC today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23920961

 ::)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on September 01, 2013, 11:19:45 pm
Looks like Network Rail jumped the gun a bit with their comments to the BBC today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23920961

 ::)

It doesn't say at what time on Monday they'll return to normal  ;) and it only says due to anyway ...

Quote
Rail services between Swindon and Kemble are due to return to normal on Monday following three weeks of work, Network Rail has told the BBC.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on September 01, 2013, 11:43:17 pm
FGW were certainly expecting to run trains first thing.

They are now frantically organising buses and drawing up a train plan for start of service on Monday morning.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ReWind on September 01, 2013, 11:57:09 pm
FGW advising the line will not reopen until at least 11am on Monday.

10am now;

http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/

 ;)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on September 02, 2013, 12:11:22 am
11am on National Rail Enquiries, @NRE_FirstGW on twitter, and via internal industry sources.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on September 02, 2013, 08:15:16 am
FGW were certainly expecting to run trains first thing.

They are now frantically organising buses and drawing up a train plan for start of service on Monday morning.

As it's not the first time engineering works have overrun, presumably it is to a contingency plan, even though things will be frantic as it is implemented  ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on September 02, 2013, 08:46:48 am
Might this be a glimmer of hope from Journeycheck?

Quote
09:55 Gloucester to Kemble due 10:26

This train will be diverted from Kemble.
This train will call additionally at Swindon.
This is due to over-running engineering works.

For the latest rail travel news, why not follow us on Twitter @FGW.

Message Received :02/09/2013 08:39

Scheduled Expected Destination
09:55 09:55 Gloucester
10:07 10:07 Stonehouse
10:12 10:12 Stroud
10:26 10:26 Kemble
10:43           Swindon


Looks like this one might run through....


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grumpysocks on September 02, 2013, 03:15:58 pm
It looks like the route opened around 11:00

National Rail Enquiries is now showing trains running through relatively disruption free.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on September 02, 2013, 03:49:19 pm
Data from Real Time Trains http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/KEM/2013/09/02/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=pax-calls&order=wtt (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/KEM/2013/09/02/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=pax-calls&order=wtt) shows that the first train was 2Z28, a 10:40 DMU shuttle from Kemble to Swindon, arriving in Swindon at 10:56 1/4. This was a continuation of the Gloucester to Kemble shuttle highlighted by bobm.

The first train from Swindon to Kemble was 1G21, the 09:36 Paddington to Cheltenham HST. It left Swindon 5 mins late at 10:44 1/2 and I guess was held at Swindon loco yard for the 10:40 from Kemble on the single line, (how ironic) departing there at 10:56 1/2 (14 late) and arriving into Kemble 11:13 (21 late).

ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on September 02, 2013, 06:33:19 pm
Well, trains are going past (quite a shock after three weeks of relative silence) but quite gingerly by the look of things. Is there a blanket speed limit on the whole section or is it because there are still various Colas and Network Rail staff pottering around nearby?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on September 02, 2013, 07:52:29 pm
FGW were certainly expecting to run trains first thing.

They are now frantically organising buses and drawing up a train plan for start of service on Monday morning.

As it's not the first time engineering works have overrun, presumably it is to a contingency plan, even though things will be frantic as it is implemented  ;D

Sadly that contingency didn't allow for a train service, or replacement road transport, in either direction serving Melksham this morning.

The first train from Swindon to Kemble was 1G21, the 09:36 Paddington to Cheltenham HST. It left Swindon 5 mins late at 10:44 1/2 and I guess was held at Swindon loco yard for the 10:40 from Kemble on the single line, (how ironic) departing there at 10:56 1/2 (14 late) and arriving into Kemble 11:13 (21 late).

I was at Swindon this morning around 10am. Can confirm that was the case. The last rail replacement bus left Swindon at 1005 for all stations to Gloucester, with Cheltenham passengers advised to take the 1016 to Bristol Parkway and change onto CrossCountry. The 1031 Cheltenham to Paddington HST ran as scheduled, becoming the first normal timetabled up service.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on September 04, 2013, 01:30:15 pm
Well, trains are going past (quite a shock after three weeks of relative silence) but quite gingerly by the look of things. Is there a blanket speed limit on the whole section or is it because there are still various Colas and Network Rail staff pottering around nearby?

RMWeb has the current answer on this one:

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/63590-swindon-kemble-re-doubling/page-6 (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/63590-swindon-kemble-re-doubling/page-6)

Quote
There is indeed a speed restriction along most of the current Single Line length, to allow the re-laid track to 'bed in'. It would normally have been 90 mph, but currently one section is 75 mph and another section 50 mph, pending imminent PW works to raise the lot to 75 mph. After that, following the above-mentioned 'bedding in' period and further tamping etc., the temporary speed restriction will be removed and normal (90 mph) line speed will apply

Looking at Real Time Trains website for Kemble, http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/KEM/2013/09/03/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/KEM/2013/09/03/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt)
the average delay on the journey time from Swindon Loco Yard to Swindon and vv has been about 3 to 5 minutes since reopening.


ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on September 06, 2013, 07:29:53 am
Anyone tell me what class ran the 1739 CNM to SOU last night? I ask here because my sister-in-law made her first journey from KEM to BRI via SWI last night. She said the line has been doubled, but she didn't see any train on the other line, and that it took longer than usual to SWI - all of which I could explain using knowledge gained here. But she said it was a much nicer train than usual. Real Time Trains shows the code as 2O00, but is not specific about type. Just for fun, I would love to know.

BTW, the CNM to SOU via SWI was one neither of us were aware of. Is it new?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on September 06, 2013, 07:58:15 am
BTW, the CNM to SOU via SWI was one neither of us were aware of. Is it new?

Not new at all. I have always assumed it was convenience for stock movements. It is quite often a 158 and is useful to get the hired in SWT 158 back to Salisbury. The outward train through Melksham is the balancing working to get the stock in position.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on September 06, 2013, 07:59:00 am
That service is very often run by a South West Trains unit (158 883 is (?) quite common) based at Salisbury.  There's been a similar service since 2006 - starting back a Worcester and even Great Malvern for a while.  Because there are many other Glouchester / Cheltenham to Trowbridge / Westbury services via Bristol that occasional traveller between these points use, the two services via Swindon come as a bit of a surprise if they happen to come across and use those journeys.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on September 06, 2013, 08:24:54 am
It is quite often a 158 and is useful to get the hired in SWT 158 back to Salisbury. The outward train through Melksham is the balancing working to get the stock in position.

It's rather more than just a stock move  ;)

It allows the train operator to meet the current government franchise requirement of what was intended to be a peak train from Westbury (07:02) to Swindon (07:48) in the morning and from Swindon (18:44) to Westbury (19:24) in the evening, and use the same train to provide a truly peak service from Swindon / Kemble / Stroud into Gloucester and Cheltenham, and back in the evening. 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: quedgeley2002 on September 06, 2013, 01:41:13 pm
As we are coming to the end of the first week of operation after the reopening then I thought a travellers view of the work done so far might be of interest. So here we are!

Starting at Kemble no work has been done at all other than some preparatory work to relocate lineside cabinets. The line continues in the 'Up' alignment for the first mile on the single line where the slewing comes into effect. The line sits on the 'Up' formation all the way to Purton where it moves over to the 'Down' as far as Loco Yard Junction. As at the time of writing there is a 75mph restriction from Kemble to Purton where a 50mph limit covers the rest of the line to the Junction. It would seem that just about the entire line has been renewed. However there are a number of rough sections that will presumably be tamped out over this weekend.

It is clear that a lot of work has been done on the embankments notably at Minety, just of Bremhill and at Moredon. The new cross-over set has been installed at Moredon by B&Q with the switches secured out of use. Trains use the down alignment and the existing points to regain the double line. The signal protecting the exit from the single line to the double in the down direction has been relocated to the right hand side of the track as it previously sat in what will become the Up cess!

As for the second track and trackbed it is evident in isolated locations only. There is still a lot of work to do especially around Purton where the line switches from the Up to the Down. Some basic excavations have been done to prepare and in some areas bottom ballast has also been dropped. Presumably this work can proceed overnight. It seems that only short stretches of the pre-blockade track remain and so presumably the rest will be new sleepers and track.

The derailment damage has left discarded lengths of track and sleepers crudely dumped either side of the formation near Purton. The state of some of those sleepers shows just how bad the damage was! Hopefully the mess will be cleared up at some stage?

From Kemble to Standish junction the new signal blocks have been brought into use effectively doubling the capacity. The new structures look very odd! They are of the latest lightweight design and seem to have little or no substance about them. They are single LED headed. The older signals have been refitted with single LEDs too. 

So still much to be done in anticipation of the final (we hope) nine day shutdown next Easter.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on September 06, 2013, 01:52:47 pm
Does anyone know if the re-opened Swindon-Kemble track is in the final position of the up track or down track all the way from Swindon to Kemble?  Or is the re-opened track still assuming the up track position at some locations and the down track position at others?  I had thought that the point of the three-week closure was to place one track in its final position, with the second track being worked on over the coming months so that further closures of the track would be only minor.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on September 06, 2013, 01:58:46 pm

It seems quedgeley2002 must have been reading my thoughts!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on September 06, 2013, 03:13:37 pm
Thanks, Ellendunne and grahame, later enquiries have confirmed that it was in fact a SWT train. Her point was that it was a nicer train than her usual chariot.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on September 09, 2013, 08:39:45 pm
Was out and about yesterday (Sunday 8th Sept) for some further photos which echo Quedgers' report of September 6th.

Firstly, starting at Stroud. In the distance, looking towards Kemble is the new signal UK101:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3671/9708496709_97682bb7cd_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708496709 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708496709)



and a close up:

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2862/9708488331_f477848801_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708488331/in/photostream/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708488331/in/photostream/)



and at the East end of Sapperton Short Tunnel are the 2 new section signals DK94 on the down and UK94 on the Up:

DK94:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3740/9708478577_f5ff7aaf50_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708478577 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708478577)



UK94:

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2867/9711707520_7bc6e6e86a_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711707520 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711707520)


The fourth new signal is on the down between St.Mary's Crossing and Stroud at about mileage 100 or 101, but I have not been able to photograph it. Before these changes, the section signals between Swindon and Kemble would normally show red as the default, changing to green when a train was about. Now they seem to be green as the default.




Next, onwards to Wick Bridge. Firstly, looking towards Kemble. In the last month or so the final clearing out of loose material and scree in the cutting has taken place.
The black cross on the yellow board is an AWS Cancellation sign. I'm sure someone will be able to explain the technicalities of this one.

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7400/9711698682_beb244a601_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711698682 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711698682)



Still at Wick Bridge, looking South towards Oaksey. Here is the advance warning board for the temporary 75mph limit. There are some really old sleepers - they pre-date Pandrol clips and must be from the 1960's. Note also there are lineside cabinets and a staircase to move before the second track can go in:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3709/9711680320_b8ec2714e2_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711680320 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711680320)



Still looking in the Oaksey direction. Just beyond the orange cable pipe is the former structure for signal SN158R, which was the distant for SN158 situated at the Swindon end of Kemble Tunnel. This has now been repositioned on the other side of the track just around the bend.

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7351/9711689056_8e04f2fbc9_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711689056 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711689056)



Moving on to Oaksey, and looking back North to Wick Bridge and Kemble with a telephoto shot.The original single track which was had been slewed to the down formation on the left has been taken up. In the distance on the right is new signal SN158R and you may be able to discern the old signal post in far distance just as the track curves out of sight. New sleepers have also been laid.

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7392/9711671194_79cb4e3768_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711671194 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711671194)



Also looking North towards Kemble normally. New rails for the Down line have been dropped in the 4 foot of the Up line. The original track which had been slewed to the Down formation is being removed

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3761/9711662378_fd8dfdc695_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711662378 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711662378)



And finally at Oaksey Bridge, looking South towards Swindon; the new Up line in use and the new rails for the Down line dropped in the 4 foot of the Up.

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2878/9708414959_5afa2f2c96_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708414959 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708414959)



Next, on to Minety Crossing. I was unable to get any closer than this due to the roadworks as Tarmac was being laid. To the left of the machine you can see that the old 'Farm Gates' have been reinstated. Presumably this will still be a manually operated crossing until the signalling is transferred to Didcot from Swindon 'A' at Easter 2014

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2880/9711810426_9eb1747806_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711810426 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711810426)



At Minety Askew Bridge, the ground anchors more or less seem complete. The Armco barriers have been fixed to the H beam piles near the top:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3825/9708405845_47d6bed6cf_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708405845 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708405845)


At Minety Bridge, looking North towards Kemble with a telephoto lens. The Single line track has been slewed from the centre to the left onto the Down Line formation and the new Up line laid on the right. Presumably the slewed track will be removed and replaced with new track, as new rails have been dropped in the 4 foot. The signal is for Minety Crossing.

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3816/9708388273_f6dc9624b2_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708388273 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708388273)


More dismantling of the old slewed track, this time looking South towards Swindon at Minety Bridge:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5323/9708379555_668d18a61f_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708379555 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708379555)



At Black Dog Bridge, looking North towards Kemble, where old joins the new:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7396/9711599120_4917159ac5_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711599120 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711599120)



Next, at Purton Common Crossing, with a bit of excitement in the form of 158 763 forming a Swindon to Cheltenham service:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7394/9708343429_30648262dd_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708343429 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708343429)


Onto Widham Bridge, Purton Station. Very little work has taken place in this area. As Quedgers notes, this is where the single line changes from the Up side on its route from Kemble to the Down side for the rest of the way to Swindon. Purton Collins Lane Crossing is in the back ground and I could not see any changes there at all:

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2867/9708316361_9d5554b63d_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708316361 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708316361)

Finally, Bremhill Bridge, where again the old track after being slewed and used as access for the construction of the new Down line has been removed. Firstly, looking North towards Kemble; also about half way along the track note the treadles for Purton Collins Lane Crossing:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3766/9712848078_c491e07a31_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9712848078 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9712848078)



Close up of the treadles for Purton Collins Lane Crossing:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3774/9708287797_3184c57deb_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708287797 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9708287797)



and lastly, still at Bremhill Bridge, looking South towards Swindon; again the old slewed track has been lifted:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5348/9711544514_03941b1857_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711544514 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9711544514)



In all I guess they are more or less on schedule. There are some 30 weeks until next Easter when there is the 9 day shutdown to transfer control of Swindon 'A' to the TVSC at Didcot and commission the new second track. I suppose there is about 10 miles of new track to install, plus the new crossover at Kemble to go in and all the associated signalling. The crossings at Minety and Purton Collins Lane seem a bit scrappy, possibly not all of the intended scope of works has been completed. I think Industry Insider did make a remark about the Signalling scope a bit back.

I don't intend to do a full photo session of line until Christmas or thereabouts, but if anyone notes anything of interest I'll see if I can get out to snap it at a weekend. First on the list are some photos of Minety Crossing when it is back in use.


ST


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on September 10, 2013, 08:28:11 pm
Thanks ST, those are great pictures, and really show the methodology of this project in detail. I didn't realise that the old line would be renewed in such quantity, thinking that the British way of doing it as cheap as possible would hold sway. It does make perfect sense to start afresh with both tracks in the same new condition, I just wasn't expecting it. A couple of questions arise - was the single line becoming too old, or will it be reused elsewhere?

The new signals will change the look of the railway as they appear more commonly. I assume that they are three-colour LEDs, so will last for a long time and save power. What happens for double-yellow - a second lamp on the post?

You said the crossings looked a bit scrappy - presumably, they will be finished at the end, when it is clear they won't be damaged by further works.

Again, though, thanks for an excellent set of detailed pictures of both the progress so far, and the work left to do.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on September 11, 2013, 03:26:58 pm

Thanks for all of your effort, ST.  Seems to be an awful lot more work involved in relaying a second track than in removing one!  It's difficult to see how there won't be a number of further closures before Easter 2014 since some of track presently in use is in the up position and some in the down position, and some photos show no work has yet been done at various locations.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on September 11, 2013, 05:40:50 pm
The new signals will change the look of the railway as they appear more commonly. I assume that they are three-colour LEDs, so will last for a long time and save power. What happens for double-yellow - a second lamp on the post?

See page 2 here: http://www.unipartrail.com/WebPDF/ProductBulletins/Dorman-iLS.pdf


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on September 11, 2013, 06:41:13 pm

See page 2 here: http://www.unipartrail.com/WebPDF/ProductBulletins/Dorman-iLS.pdf

Thanks STE, I  had no idea that you could buy signals at Unipart. They make it look so simple.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 11, 2013, 07:02:45 pm
The new signals will change the look of the railway as they appear more commonly. I assume that they are three-colour LEDs, so will last for a long time and save power. What happens for double-yellow - a second lamp on the post?

See page 2 here: http://www.unipartrail.com/WebPDF/ProductBulletins/Dorman-iLS.pdf

That's a real eye-opener for me too. All they need to do is add a push-button and have it show a green man/red man aspect to the side, and they could do away with expensive footbridges!

Actually, for those who think things can move rather slowly in the rail environment, I do recommend this history of the pedestrian road crossing (http://www.cbrd.co.uk/histories/pedestriancrossings/). Note that it took about 30 years to decide to adopt the principles of the 'Forest City' crossing, in which time a lot of money and time was spent trying out more or less daft alternatives.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on September 23, 2013, 01:33:35 pm
Did a few more photos this weekend and here are some of Oaksey, Minety Crossing and Minety Askew Bridge.

At Oaksey, they have now dismantled the old track. The rails have been taken away and the steel sleepers stacked up and banded ready for removal:
 
(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3697/9894212123_5d7d3a7017_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894212123 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894212123)



Moving on to Minety Crossing.

Here is the approach from the North Side. The original Gates, Lamp and Call-button have been reinstated. The separate Pedestrian Gates have gone, though. Compare with bobm's photos taken back in April on page 9:
http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=3266.msg131278#msg131278 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=3266.msg131278#msg131278)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7460/9894033454_e9dcca014d_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894033454 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894033454)



The Crossing Keepers Hut is back in use again. The crossing has been lowered and the approaches raised, making it all much flatter to try and stop any vehicles or trailers or caravans from grounding.
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7378/9894094174_6a3a8def8f_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894094174 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894094174)


The Gates themselves still open outwards into the road, hence the white line in the picture above
(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3676/9894046245_b39c56e968_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894046245 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894046245)


And here is a close up of the gate locking mechanism. As I understand it, if no train is approaching, the keeper can turn the signals to red which then releases the gate key from a frame in the crossing cabin. The key then goes in the slot at the top right, which slides the bar, so that the round handle can be lifted upwards, which in turn releases the gate.

When the line was singled, all the crossing keeper had was an indicator as to whether a train was approaching or not. Unfortunately there was a fatal accident between a car and a train in the early / mid 1970s killing both occupants. As a results, 4 signals were installed (MX1, MX1R, MX2 and MX2R), 2 either side of the crossing acting as a 'distant' and a 'home', plus the gate interlocking.
 
(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5348/9894064154_284aeff735_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894064154 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894064154)



And finally, here is a very large equipment cupboard, presumably to control the new barriers etc when they are installed:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5531/9894037116_3312aa0e7a_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894037116 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894037116)



Work is starting to get up together at Minety Askew Bridge. Along the line, some foot crossings have reopened, as has this one at Minety Askew Bridge, but others are still closed. All the lineside photos have been taken from behind blue barriers. At some crossings they have put blue plastic fencing across the down line; I have kept within those boundaries.

Handrailing has now appeared:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3771/9894073483_dc88e4f6ba_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894073483 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894073483)



And new steps, complete with posh new handrails as well:

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2850/9894087783_3e98319943_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894087783 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894087783)



More Ground Anchors, just a further bit towards Kemble than the ones in the photo above. Taken from the new steps:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3807/9893984515_d69cd013b5_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9893984515 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9893984515)



And finally, from the other side of the track, looking towards Minety Crossing and Kemble:

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5480/9893990406_dcd5bbfc1e_b.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9893990406 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9893990406)





If anyone notices activity in a particular area, please post on here and I'll do my best to take photo next time I'm out and about.


ST



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 23, 2013, 04:46:57 pm
Thanks again for those excellent update pictures and commentary, Sapperton Tunnel.  :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on November 14, 2013, 02:16:45 pm

Few more photos, with comments on the crossings, here:

www.bristol-rail.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2594



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on November 14, 2013, 02:34:45 pm
A Worcester guard said on Monday that he'd heard this route was being electrified....

I guess it would be sensible, being the diversionary route for South Wales.

(also that the wires were now going to Exeter. We'll just have to wait & see if he's right)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: anthony215 on November 15, 2013, 12:18:53 am
I will not be too surprised to see the go ahead given to further extend the wires on the GWML certainly it will benefit many area's. The problem is however that these lines would not be wired until at least the end of CP6 with Network rail already having a lot to do now without taking on more.

I and I think I can speak for everyone else on this forum would like to see a substainable rolling program of electrifcation especially with all the skilled jobs it would bring especially if Network Rail & the DFT ordered a 2nd HOOP train to allow more routes to be wired in a shorter timescale.

I do think we have a long list of lines being put forward for electrifcation one of the main contenders being the Crosscountry route from Derby/Birmingham through to Bristol and onwards to Exeter and all the way to Penzance.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on November 15, 2013, 12:50:55 am

Anthony, re electrification from Exeter to Penzance, wouldn't overhead electrical cabling have problems from the heavy spray on the Dawlish coast?  Probably a long way off anyway, since London to Swansea is apparently the priority.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: anthony215 on November 15, 2013, 01:05:30 am
I am sure there are some exposed sections on the East Coast Mainline in the North of England/Scotland which are electrified and manage ok.

Besides I am sure Network Rail could come up with a solution.

Yes and I do agree with you about these extensions being a long way off as Network Rail have a busy list of routes to be electrified to go through.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Timmer on November 15, 2013, 06:08:36 am
I am sure there are some exposed sections on the East Coast Mainline in the North of England/Scotland which are electrified and manage ok.
But nowhere near as close that waves get near to them as they would along the Dawlish coast.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on November 16, 2013, 06:14:41 pm
I have said before that I don't think there will be much by way of deviation from the current HOOP programme for electrification, and I am surprised to read of such a substantial possible extra bit. I can't see there being a second HOOP train, but I hope the current model is retained on a rolling programme until as much of the network as can be electrified is.

There are more problems than simply stringing up the cables. There have been some huge works to bridges and tunnels in preparation for electrification, and these will be the limiting factor on lighter used lines. The cost / benefit ratio is high on the GWR, but may not be so on every line.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stebbo on November 25, 2013, 07:56:51 pm
Surely there must be a case for electrifying Bristol to Birmingham. The wires are being extended to Bromsgrove so why not to Bristol? Added to that electrification of Birmingham to the ECML would seem sensible. 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on November 25, 2013, 08:19:33 pm
Agree it's sensible, but given the considerable volume of electrification planned for CP5 there has to be a limit to the engineering capacity and project work that can be taken on. Highly likely for CP6 however.

Besides, I would have thought Felixstowe to Nuneaton would have a better case in terms of the sheer volume of freight that will soon be headed that way, and I have read somewhere that the govt have asked NR to consider that possibility.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on November 25, 2013, 08:39:46 pm
I agree it is only a matter of time.  There is a limit to how much electrification that can economically be done at once. 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on November 25, 2013, 10:08:20 pm
Surely there must be a case for electrifying Bristol to Birmingham. The wires are being extended to Bromsgrove so why not to Bristol? Added to that electrification of Birmingham to the ECML would seem sensible. 

What rolling stock would you suggest using once this isdone, assuming done in this control period?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on November 27, 2013, 04:56:55 pm
Class 390 "Pendolino" would be nice. Or some extra IEP sets. These would have to come from somewhere, which probably means buying new. The aspiration must be for an eventual all-electric railway, something that will be a very long time from now.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: eightf48544 on November 28, 2013, 12:34:17 am
Once started on eletrification a rolling programme would seem sensible don't forget that after the ECML was finsihed, apart from Scotland, there's been little electrifcation in England and non in Wales.

Scotland being a good example of what can be achieved with a rolling programme. Most of the Glasgow Suburban services are already done and 2 routes between Edinburgh and Glasgow wired and the 3rd being started.

Bristol Birmingham Derby should be the next Mainline once the GWML and MML are finished.

Once Bristol Birmingham was done Swindon Standish Junction would be a good follow up.



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on November 28, 2013, 10:57:17 am
You've forgotten the 'electric spine', due before either of those.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on November 28, 2013, 02:04:34 pm

Chris, what route is the 'electric spine'?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on November 28, 2013, 02:13:11 pm
(Up from Southampton) -Reading West - Didcot - Oxford - Banbury (onto West Midlands)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on November 28, 2013, 02:56:41 pm
To add to Chris's info, north of Banbury it includes electrification of the route from Leamington through Coventry to Nuneaton, i.e. to the WCML, but not the route via Solihull towards Birmingham.  I think this emphasises that it isn't principally concerned with Southampton to Birmingham, but to destinations further north and north-east.

The best 'quick description' is in the DfT's CP5 HLOS which introduced the concept, which emphasises that the whole of the MML electrification (i.e. north of Bedford), and the East West Rail electrification, are also considered part of the 'spine'.  In terms of a national programme I don't really think this latter point has been widely appreciated.  Perhaps earlier references to doing the spine after the MML should be re-appraised?

Quote
The Electric Spine

34.The Secretary of State wishes the industry to develop and deliver within CP5 the major rail electrification and capability enhancement referred to as the ^Electric Spine^, in order to increase regional and national connectivity and support economic development by creating a high-capability 25kV electrified passenger and freight route from the South Coast via Oxford and the Midlands to South Yorkshire.

35.The routes to be electrified as part of the Electric Spine are:
- Southampton Port ^ Basingstoke (conversion from 750 dc);
- Basingstoke ^ Reading;
- Oxford ^ Leamington ^ Coventry;
- Coventry ^ Nuneaton;
- Oxford ^ Bletchley ^ Bedford (East West Rail core route);
- Bedford ^ Nottingham and Derby, and Derby ^ Sheffield (Midland Main Line); and
- Kettering ^ Corby

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-level-output-specification-2012


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on November 28, 2013, 04:04:38 pm
There has been talk of Avonmouth to the Midlands being electrified so that it can join the electric spine. around the 8th vertebra. What time scale is unclear, as the deep sea container port has been put on hold.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: anthony215 on November 28, 2013, 05:14:02 pm
There has been talk of Avonmouth to the Midlands being electrified so that it can join the electric spine. around the 8th vertebra. What time scale is unclear, as the deep sea container port has been put on hold.

If the wires do reach Avonmouth at some point in the future then I hope the other lines around Bristol will get similar treatment. Electrification I would believe bring another boost to the local rail services around Bristol.




Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on November 29, 2013, 02:37:17 pm

Given that the Electric Spine scheme apparently doesn't include electrifying Nuneaton to Leicester, the Oxford to Bedford link would seem an important part of the north-south scheme.  According to rail maps on the website describing the Electric Spine, however, no regular train traffic presently operates between Bicester and Bletchley (though presumably the track reamins in place), so it seems a bit curious that such disused route would be chosen to be part of the scheme.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on November 29, 2013, 04:22:31 pm
According to rail maps on the website describing the Electric Spine, however, no regular train traffic presently operates between Bicester and Bletchley (though presumably the track reamins in place), so it seems a bit curious that such disused route would be chosen to be part of the scheme.

The East West rail re-opening project was already well on the way to funding, predominantly for a passenger service, but its advantages for freight (particularly in the southbound direction) were already widely recognised.  So I should think the 'electric spine' decision process probably considered it to be almost guaranteed to be open.  Then of course the GW electrification had by then included Oxford.   Because EWR's business case already assumed through running of services between at least Didcot and Milton Keynes, if not from Reading, I suggest electrification of EWR started looking like a 'no brainer' for the passenger service anyway, as both ends of the route would already be wired.

Going back to freight mentioned earlier, NR had earlier worked out that crossing conflicts of southbound freight trains in the Nuneaton area could be solved by leaving them on the WCML slows as far as Bletchley, where they'd be able to take the flyover route towards Oxford, joining the GW without conflict at Wolvercote Jn, so you'd have a sort of one way route system for freight, with northbound through Leamington and southbound through Northampton!

Another issue is that for through services from the south getting through Nuneaton towards Leicester for the MML and thence the north and northeast, is a bit of a nightmare in the current layout.  To cross the WCML without conflict would require a reversal beyond Nuneaton on the Birmingham line, returning over the flyover and through the new platform 7.

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: narkoman on November 29, 2013, 08:55:29 pm
To add to Chris's info, north of Banbury it includes electrification of the route from Leamington through Coventry to Nuneaton, i.e. to the WCML, but not the route via Solihull towards Birmingham.  I think this emphasises that it isn't principally concerned with Southampton to Birmingham, but to destinations further north and north-east.

The best 'quick description' is in the DfT's CP5 HLOS which introduced the concept, which emphasises that the whole of the MML electrification (i.e. north of Bedford), and the East West Rail electrification, are also considered part of the 'spine'.  In terms of a national programme I don't really think this latter point has been widely appreciated.  Perhaps earlier references to doing the spine after the MML should be re-appraised?

Quote
The Electric Spine

34.The Secretary of State wishes the industry to develop and deliver within CP5 the major rail electrification and capability enhancement referred to as the ^Electric Spine^, in order to increase regional and national connectivity and support economic development by creating a high-capability 25kV electrified passenger and freight route from the South Coast via Oxford and the Midlands to South Yorkshire.

35.The routes to be electrified as part of the Electric Spine are:
- Southampton Port ^ Basingstoke (conversion from 750 dc);
- Basingstoke ^ Reading;
- Oxford ^ Leamington ^ Coventry;
- Coventry ^ Nuneaton;
- Oxford ^ Bletchley ^ Bedford (East West Rail core route);
- Bedford ^ Nottingham and Derby, and Derby ^ Sheffield (Midland Main Line); and
- Kettering ^ Corby

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-level-output-specification-2012
We live in interesting times.  Particularly interested in Southampton Port to Basingstoke. Where does that leave Waterloo to Southampton services?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on November 29, 2013, 09:50:49 pm
Much modern third rail stock can easily be converted to dual voltage, (partly so it improves the residual value to the leasing companies), so I would imagine that would be the solution.



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 30, 2013, 12:00:34 am
Meanwhile, thank you for posting a thought-provoking question, narkoman - and may I offer you a very warm welcome to the Coffee Shop forum!  :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on November 30, 2013, 12:59:29 am

Paul, thanks for the last post on the Electric Spine.

When I looked at the HLOS 2012 maps I assumed that the Bedford-Sheffield electrification route was primarily carrying heavy freight bound for Southampton and vice versa rather than freight on the WCML being re-directed through Oxford as your post mentioned.  That was why I wondered about the Nuneaton-Leicester line not being electrified.  Northbound freight via Leamington and southbound via Bletchley makes sense for freight moving between Southampton and the WCML.  Given that the heavier freight is on the WCML I can't help but wonder if consideration was given to electrifying the WCML north from Bletchley rather than the line north from Bedford to Sheffield if it is cheaper to move freight using electrification.  Maybe the Bedford-Sheffield electrification was well underway for passenger services before the Electric Spine linkage to Southampton came along?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: RichardB on December 01, 2013, 05:55:00 pm
Much modern third rail stock can easily be converted to dual voltage, (partly so it improves the residual value to the leasing companies), so I would imagine that would be the solution.



Thankfully the South West Alliance would far rather put the wires up via Andover and Romsey than convert the main line through Winchester.  I hope that turns out to be the solution.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on December 01, 2013, 07:20:10 pm
But part of the justification was that it would be a pilot for the conversion of the entire 750V dc network to 25kV.  As has been said the power supply equipment and the rolling stock for 25kV is cheaper when it has to be replaced and there are also significant energy savings.

As someone else of this community says "The future is 25,000 Volts a.c." I am sure he can explain better than I.  Calling Electric Train!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on December 01, 2013, 07:33:23 pm
Thankfully the South West Alliance would far rather put the wires up via Andover and Romsey than convert the main line through Winchester.  I hope that turns out to be the solution.

I don't think that proposal has any official standing, despite being reported in various media as the MD's personal preference.   I just don't see the 'alliance' as meaning SWT can decide their own infrastructure priorities at this level - it is a DfT decision.

Paul



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on December 01, 2013, 07:36:25 pm
We seem to have strayed off topic here.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on December 02, 2013, 02:19:00 pm
Given that the Electric Spine scheme apparently doesn't include electrifying Nuneaton to Leicester,

Check out the quoted text from Narkoman above....it is included

Sorry, ellendune, but if this gets hived off, my post will go too!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on December 02, 2013, 02:35:53 pm
Given that the Electric Spine scheme apparently doesn't include electrifying Nuneaton to Leicester,

Check out the quoted text from Narkoman above....it is included


That's not the impression I get.  Nuneaton is already electrified of course, and Leicester will be, but not the line between the two places.  As I tried to explain earlier, Leamington > Coventry > Nuneaton > Leicester is not a practical route for through freight trains, as it would require reversal and the loco to change ends.

DfT published a 2019 electrification map (end of CP5 summary) a while back and that doesn't show Nuneaton - Leicester:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/3647/map-hlos-electrification.pdf

I suggest it would only become useful for electric freight services as part of a future Felixstowe to West Midlands electrification project.

(I'm also thinking this topic drift might be better somewhere else, perhaps in 'the wider picture' board...)

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on December 02, 2013, 02:49:31 pm
You may be right - the map linked to that quote I mentioned is here -

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/3644/map-all-schemes.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/3644/map-all-schemes.pdf)

and doesn't show that either, even though it's mentioned in the text.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on December 02, 2013, 05:17:59 pm
We have strayed a bit, but it is interesting. It is correct to say that 25KV offers advantages over 750 V DC. Transmission losses are lower, because high voltage AC can be transmitted at lower currents, with transformers on the train stepping down the voltage and upping the current for the motors and other equipment. DC current cannot easily be transformed in the same way, so third rails and OHLE tend to carry the power at a current that will deliver what the motors need. Transmission losses are proportional to the square of the current,  meaning that more feeder stations are needed on 3rd rail DC than on AC, using much thicker cables to carry the current to the rail than is the case on overhead systems. Otherwise, at the end of a long stretch, the current and / or voltage drop, causing lower performance. Third rail systems may be cheaper to install, I don't know. But what is saved on overhead infrastructure will be lost in lots of other ways. After the icing problems of last winter, I heard a NR spokesman say that if they were starting electrification now, third rail would not see light of day.
Hopefully, the Swindon to Cheltenham via Kemble line will be electrified to keep this on thread.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: onthecushions on December 02, 2013, 08:22:49 pm

The argument for replacing 750Vdc with 25kVac overhead springs from the normal replacement costs of dc (33kV lineside cable in trough, substations every 3.5 - 5 miles and TPH's in between) being about the same as for a completely new installation, including clearances etc of OLE. Energy use and maintenance costs are considered lower, hence the move to convert.

As the Swindon - Kemble line dualling has involved relaying or slewing most track, the clearances on this section at least should be satisfactory. If NR find the justification and money for the freight links North of Sheffield to the ECML system at Doncaster and Moorthorpe, this may well speed up XC wiring and hence the infill of our Standish Jn - Swindon link.

OTC


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on December 20, 2013, 04:27:39 pm

Just wondering if anyone might have travelled the line in the last week or so and could give a few brief comments on how the work is going!  Best wishes to all for Christmas and the coming year.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on February 07, 2014, 10:11:16 am
Four month delay announced today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26067520 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26067520)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on February 07, 2014, 11:29:30 am
Not surprising if they need those engineers in the flood-hit areas for urgent repairs


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: wabbit on February 07, 2014, 06:40:33 pm
A pity, but understandable if the people are being diverted to re-connect the West Country.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on February 11, 2014, 02:05:01 pm
It seems the delay will now mean the signalling on the line will be handed over to the Thames Valley Signalling Centre at Didcot at the end of August at the same time as control for the rest of Swindon panel area moves there.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: quedgeley2002 on March 13, 2014, 11:41:09 pm
With the onset of the lighter mornings and evenings it is easier to see what progress is being made with the redoubling work. So here is a quick update of what can be seen from the daily commute!

Starting at the Kemble end various new bases and ground structures have been laid for signals and line side cabinets on the Sapperton side of the station. Presumably this is to even out the signal spacing to the new sections already installed and in operation. At Kemble itself other than the signal base prep little has been done. Moving southwards and work to relocate the cable runs is in progress in the tunnel and beyond but other than that no trackbed works have taken place. The second line in the 'down' formation is in place from about two miles beyond the tunnel and continues past Oaksey towards Minety before it runs out. At Minety crossing a large new concrete base has been built and during this week a large metal box has appeared (larger in size than the crossing control box) presumably to house electronics as it has a cooling fan at one end. The second track has been laid in some parts but at Minety village and beyond is where the majority of the excavation and trackbed prep work is currently happening.  There must be a few miles of temporary lineside lighting installed, it seems to go on forever!

Towards Purton there is some significant drainage prep work going on and after all of the rain it is very wet in some areas. The work seems to end a couple of miles from Purton crossing where the current line crosses from the up formation to the down.  Little work has been done around the crossing area. Towards Swindon with the second line already in place little remains to be done since the major possession last August

At Loco Yard Junction a number of signal and cabin bases have been installed. The area behind B&Q has started to receive materials and equipment probably in anticipation of the completion of the cross over works and the removal of the double line to single line turnout.     

The line between Swindon and Gloucester will be closed on Saturday 12th April and Sunday 13th April. On Monday 14th April and Tuesday 15th April the line will be closed between Swindon and Kemble with the hourly shuttle running from Kemble to Gloucester and Cheltenham. For the following Easter weekend the line is again completely closed on Friday to Sunday 18th to 20th April. Presumably this will allow for some of the major works to be undertaken before the final push in August!

The new footbridge half a mile or so west of Stroud station is now open and what a grand structure it is complete with LED lighting and long slopes. It has been built high enough to allow overhead wires should we see electrification in the future!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on March 15, 2014, 02:20:03 pm

Thanks for the update, Quedgeley.

Seems as if there is still a great deal to be done before completion.  What with the extensive damage to the rail network by recent storms, such as on the south coast, I wonder if Swindon-Kemble will be completed by the end of the summer.  Perhaps the end of 2014 is more realistic.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on March 20, 2014, 12:46:42 pm

A few recent photos of the redoubling here:

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/63590-swindon-kemble-re-doubling/


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on April 15, 2014, 09:21:06 pm
Some more photos on Twitter from FGW

https://twitter.com/FGW/status/456031022552203264/photo/1 (https://twitter.com/FGW/status/456031022552203264/photo/1)

https://twitter.com/FGW/status/456030738874630145/photo/1 (https://twitter.com/FGW/status/456030738874630145/photo/1)

Not sure how to embed the pictures


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: tom m on April 15, 2014, 09:35:06 pm
Not sure I would like to be the driver of this train

(http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_08_2013/post-57-0-58473900-1376425384.jpg)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 16, 2014, 12:10:23 am
They're redoubling it in narrow gauge - what's your problem?  ::) :o ;D


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on April 21, 2014, 02:04:25 pm

Does anyone know if the speed limit on the Swindon-Kemble section will change once the redoubling is finished?  A while ago one of the coaches on FGW trains had screens on the back of seats and software that allowed you to track the speed of the train.  On the Swindon-Kemble section I noticed the speed hitting 120mph.  Just wondering if any existing speed limit on the single track will decrease once trains are running on two tracks.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 22, 2014, 12:55:17 pm
On the Swindon-Kemble section I noticed the speed hitting 120mph.

That would be a GPS innacuracy!  Swindon to Kemble is a maximum of 100mph and I doubt that will raise, though journey times might reduce slightly if trains don't need to slow for crossovers at the end of the single line sections.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: quedgeley2002 on April 24, 2014, 05:31:41 pm
A week or so has passed since the short possession before Easter so here is a quick update on the work completed as far as can be seen from the daily commute.

At Kemble a new low speed leading cross-over has been installed between the existing lines between the station and the tunnel. The trackwork in the up direction is complete but some further work will be needed on the downside to complete this connection.

At the tunnel entrance the double to single track pointwork remains in use. The remainder of the major works were completed at Purton. Previously the single line switched from the up to the down alignment here. This has now been eliminated with the current single line now running in the up alignment all the way from Kemble to the new 'high speed' cross over set by B&Q at Moredon. Here the running line uses the crossing to gain the down alignment for the few yards to Loco Yard Junction where the existing double track section is regained. Presumably this arrangment will remain until the final work is completed to remove Loco Yard Junction and commission the new signalling.

Along the rest of the line work is concentrated on preparing the last parts of the trackbed in the down alignment. Ballast, track and sleepers are in place for about 60% of the way with ongoing works very evident along the remainder. Numerous lineside cabinets and cables are now in place in support of the new signalling.

Hopefully the project is still on course for the revised August commissioning date, we then just need to find some extra trains to enjoy the increased capacity!

 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on May 01, 2014, 08:28:13 pm
I finally managed to get over to Kemble on Sat 26th and Sunday 27th April for a few photos and they echo Quedgers' report:

Here is the new crossover between the Station and the Tunnel. It looks as if they will not be able to complete it until they have removed the current single to double points:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7040/14063023392_8d3f0a28db_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894073483/in/photostream (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9894073483/in/photostream)


and looking from the Tunnel; the unit is 150 266:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7418/14066162495_c350418075_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066632844/in/photostream


At the South (Swindon) end of Kemble Tunnel moving of cables, cabinets and troughing is well under way:

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2940/14043027946_72cf17b1b4_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14043027946/in/set-72157634881696135/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14043027946/in/set-72157634881696135/)



Moving on to Wick Bridge, the trackbed has been prepared towards Kemble Tunnel and sleepers have been dropped off:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7065/14085898533_0e5b9e7ef9_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9412987229/in/set-72157634881696125/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9412987229/in/set-72157634881696125/)



and looking South towards Swindon:

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2917/14062705732_50605a65e9_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14062705732/in/set-72157634881696125/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14062705732/in/set-72157634881696125/)



Next is Oaksey Bridge, looking North towards Kemble; Tamping of the Up line is in progress:

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2939/14066371134_924d3663b0_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9415811236/in/set-72157634888306802 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9415811236/in/set-72157634888306802)



Looking South towards Swindon:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7300/14085971133_83c24dc727_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14085971133/in/set-72157634888306802 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14085971133/in/set-72157634888306802)


Onwards to Minety Bridge, looking North towards Kemble. The Signals are for Minety Crossing:

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2916/14086013463_68030d1f37_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9415842062/in/set-72157634888785708/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/9415842062/in/set-72157634888785708/)


Looking South towards Swindon from Minety Bridge:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7442/14065942495_3315046dbf_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14065942495/in/set-72157634888785708/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14065942495/in/set-72157634888785708/)


Then to Black Dog Bridge, on the B4696. Looking North towards Kemble and getting ready to lay the rails:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7303/14066440104_3ac73c517b_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066440104/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066440104/)


Looking South towards Swindon, with the Sleepers dropped off and ready to position:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7299/14042879956_f1172015e0_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14042879956/in/photostream (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14042879956/in/photostream)


The next site is Purton Common Crossing. Looking North towards Kemble:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7357/14062844852_55c1cb47a9_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14062859172/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14062859172/in/photostream/)


and South towards Swindon. The bridge is Widham Bridge, at Purton Station and in the background is Purton Collins Lane Crossing. I did not visit the Crossing as the approach roads were blocked off.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7365/14062859172_32089c5f70_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066038915/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066038915/in/photostream/)


The view North from Widham Bridge (Purton Station) looking back towards Purton Common Crossing and Kemble:

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2931/14086111533_3e0bdef54d_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14042962316/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14042962316/in/photostream/)


and the view South towards Purton Collins Lane Crossing and Swindon:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5207/14066038915_4817bac8c0_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066038915/in/photostream (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066038915/in/photostream)


At Bremhill Bridge, this is the view looking North towards Kemble; I think the width of the formation still gives off the aura of Brunel's broadgauge.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5339/14042962316_7d78e45a9e_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14042975646/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14042975646/in/photostream/)


South towards Swindon:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5184/14042975646_97bd651127_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066108295/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066108295/in/photostream/)


The final location is Moredon Bridge; the last overbridge before Swindon.

Looking North towards Kemble from the old bridge. On the right are ongoing embankment works and a new housing estate is on the left:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7319/14062968472_4566275bf5_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14043027946/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14043027946/in/photostream/)


The final photo is looking South towards Swindon from the new bridge; If you have a good resolution screen you may be able to spot Reynard walking towards Swindon on the very right hand rail

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7342/14066108295_667d7e38c6_b_d.jpg)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066108295/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/99295362@N07/14066108295/in/photostream/)



All in all good progress but still quite a bit to do.

Sapperton Tunnel



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on May 01, 2014, 08:45:31 pm
Some cracking photos Sapperton Tunnel.  I'm looking forward to going back to Minety and Purton Collins Lane crossings once the work is finished.  However Minety will not be so easy as they have cut the bus service to Upper Minety right back since I went last year.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on May 02, 2014, 11:20:15 am
More fantastic photos ST - thanks. Love the fox on the rail. Hope he doesn't stray two pictures further west: I know a gamekeeper thereabouts who would like to meet him...

If you use the B4696 after 11pm, it's amazingly spooky when you cross Black Dog Bridge at the moment. As you are essentially in the middle of nowhere out there, it's really pitch dark with virtually no artificial light and then you come across an eerily glowing ribbon of bright white from that string of 110v work-lights as you cross the track. If I was a half-decent photographer, I'd try and get a shot of it for posterity!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on May 02, 2014, 03:14:05 pm
Love the fox on the rail.

Hasn't (s)he heard that it is dangerous to trespass on the railway?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 02, 2014, 03:22:36 pm
To echo Bob and Patch, great photos - thanks!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on May 02, 2014, 04:33:10 pm
Love the fox on the rail.

Hasn't (s)he heard that it is dangerous to trespass on the railway?

Any such advice will probably be brushed off.  ;)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on May 06, 2014, 05:25:14 pm
Any such advice will probably be brushed off.  ;)

Boom, Boom!

Excellent set of pictures, ST! Not sure how good the resolution is on my tap-lop. Is that a mouse or a vole that the fox is carrying?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on May 07, 2014, 12:14:40 am
Is that a mouse or a vole that the fox is carrying?

Or possibly a young trout (see another topic (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=13948.msg153761#msg153761)) ... ?  ::)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on May 07, 2014, 05:14:22 pm

Or possibly a young trout (see another topic (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=13948.msg153761#msg153761)) ... ?  ::)

Come now, CfN, it isn't wet enough for that. Although it may rain 'ard soon...


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on May 24, 2014, 08:25:39 am
http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=12821.msg154812#msg154812 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=12821.msg154812#msg154812)
Quote
Network Rail has announced a delay in the closure of Swindon Panel and the transfer of control to Didcot.  It was originally going to be the August Bank Holiday weekend but will now be Christmas this year or Easter 2015.

Does the further delay in closure of Swindon panel affect the implementation of the double track?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on May 24, 2014, 02:54:31 pm

I'm afraid so, Ellendune.  The two projects have always been linked, as many posters here have pointed out.  Easter 2015 does now look possible for both.  There have been so many delays on Swindon-Kemble that this is no surprise. 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on June 09, 2014, 04:24:12 pm

Ellendune, apparently Network Rail or one of its contractors is setting up a temporary control system at Swindon that will run alongside the Swindon Control Panel so that the Swindon-Kemble double track will come into full operation at the end of August, i.e. no need to wait for regional control to be moved from Swindon to Didcot.  The contractors need to have all of the double track in place by 13 July to avoid heavy overrun penalties.  By that date all of the new track should be in place apart from the connections to be made at both ends when the existing pair of switches are removed.  Their removal and connection of the double track will take place in the same closure period (end of August) as double-track control starts.  :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on June 10, 2014, 08:42:29 pm
Excellent news I went up there yesterday morning at a time when it is normally dark, but it is June so I can report that apart from the section at Kemble, there is only one short section where the track is not complete and that looks as if it is all there to ballast level and mostly sleepered. 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: eightf48544 on June 11, 2014, 08:52:41 am
Interesting they've manged to come up with a solution to the siganaling on the new line coupling it to the existing Swindon panel.

One wonders if that could have been at Wolvercote and Norton Junction to allow a short length of double track at either end of the Cotswold line to allow trains to get on the branch and clear the mainlines.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on June 12, 2014, 08:55:37 am
According to the latest update  (http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/resources/updates/Swindon_Panel_Update_7.pdf) issued by the Swindon Panel Preservation Society, the signalling control of the re-doubled line will be installed at the Thames Valley Signalling Centre in Didcot rather than from a temporary unit at Swindon.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on June 20, 2014, 05:07:29 am
According to the latest update  (http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/resources/updates/Swindon_Panel_Update_7.pdf) issued by the Swindon Panel Preservation Society, the signalling control of the re-doubled line will be installed at the Thames Valley Signalling Centre in Didcot rather than from a temporary unit at Swindon.

bob, does this mean that Swindon will still be in control of the other lines into Swindon but Didcot will be in control of the Kemble segment?  If so, how would control be co-ordinated?  Doesn't it require the same person(s) in one location being in control of all traffic in/out of Swindon?  Just wondering.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on July 16, 2014, 06:48:54 am
http://www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk/Doubling-Kemble-Swindon-railway-line-live/story-21465816-detail/story.html?

Quote
Commuters rejoice: The doubling of the Kemble to Swindon line will go live this September promising fewer delays and more trains.

Quote
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Conservative MP for the Cotswolds, said: ^I have campaigned for the redoubling of the Swindon-Kemble line for many years and I am naturally incredibly pleased that this work should be completed soon.

^I was pleased to have successfully convinced the Chancellor of the Exchequer to invest ^40 million in this line and since then I have been pressing hard to ensure that when the line is completed First Great Western operate an enhanced number of trains to increase the regularity of trains.^

Where do the aspirations / plans for an increased service sit?   I've seen / heard certain ideas, but would love a fill in from our 'line experts' as to the options, possibilities, etc.




Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on July 16, 2014, 09:01:13 am
"New signal equipment has also been installed."

It hasn't yet, has it? Or at least it's still in progress. There was, however, a minorly momentous occasion last week where I saw two trains pass each other on the line for the first time (a NR test train on the down and a scheduled service on the up).


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on July 16, 2014, 09:45:28 am
As part of the locally-consulted timetable changes for May15, I do believe some were for the South Cotswolds.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on July 16, 2014, 03:06:25 pm
"New signal equipment has also been installed."

It hasn't yet, has it? Or at least it's still in progress. There was, however, a minorly momentous occasion last week where I saw two trains pass each other on the line for the first time (a NR test train on the down and a scheduled service on the up).


Some signals have been repositioned and are in use, otherwise they would foul the line where the new track has been laid. There are two new signal sections in each direction already in use between Kemble and Stroud as it is no good doubling the Swindon to Kemble bit if you don't increase the capacity between Kemble and Standish Junction.

There has never been a case, other than resilience, for doubling Swindon to Kemble in hard economic terms on its own. With an 11 minute scheduled journey time from Swindon Loco Yard, where the single line begins, to Kemble, a 1/2 hourly interval service has in times past reckoned to be feasible. I think in the days of the route studies (or whatever they were called) Wales & West / Wessex / GWT / FGW had 'aspirations' for a '1 or 2 trains an hour' service from Gloucester to Swindon, '1 of which will continue to London Paddington'.

A year or so ago, the provisional train plan for IEPs was published on WNXX and referenced somewhere on here. Looking at it I noticed that Up and Down IEPs were due to pass each other between Swindon and Kemble.

With the DfT requirement for a certain level of national train punctuality (92.6% is it?) resilience and timekeeping therefore has a value to it and that, along with providing a diversionary route to South Wales, plus lots political pressure and the government trying to spend as much as it can reasonably justify on infrastructure, the re-doubling happened.   

     


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on July 16, 2014, 03:26:34 pm
A year or so ago, the provisional train plan for IEPs was published on WNXX and referenced somewhere on here. Looking at it I noticed that Up and Down IEPs were due to pass each other between Swindon and Kemble.

That is logical ... it's going to be just under an hour's run from Minety to Cheltenham Spa, and just under an hour back.  The fact that a train takes slightly over an hour to get from Swindon to Cheltenham has lead to the need to have 2 units for the 2-hourly 15x service that runs at present, with a unit sitting at Swindon for painfully long periods.

Should the IEP run hourly to that pattern, with a fill in train meeting the "more trains" aspiration stated in the Gloucestershire echo, then those fill in train would logically pass each other at around Minety too, leading again to a 45 minute turn around at Swindon in every hour  :( ... except  ;D ... if the fill in train carried on west and south, it would pass the next one just before Chippenham, and the one after that at around Dilton Marsh ...


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: SandTEngineer on July 16, 2014, 08:01:12 pm
I thought the main driver for this project was it will be used as a prime diversionary route for South Wales trains when electrification work gets well underway.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on July 18, 2014, 01:25:26 pm
http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/11350983.Kemble_upgrades_on_track_for_September (http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/11350983.Kemble_upgrades_on_track_for_September)

Quote
Rail improvements to redouble the line between Kemble and Swindon are on track to finish in late August. 
The ^45million project to upgrade the railway started in January 2013, planning put an old double line back into service.
Work for the upgrades has involved improving earthworks to accommodate new track and adding signalling equipment along the stretch of railway.
 
The confirmation of the works^ progress was confirmed by network rail during a recent sitting of the Environment and Communities Committee and will be officially announced in the coming weeks.

When works are finished the new redoubled line will allow four trains an hour in each direction.
 
Cllr. John Cordwell, who was involved for a long-time with the redoubling of the line through his regional work, said: ^m very pleased that it is going ahead at last and hope that it will lead to faster and increased services to and from London.^
 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on July 20, 2014, 01:53:09 am
"New signal equipment has also been installed."

It hasn't yet, has it? Or at least it's still in progress. There was, however, a minorly momentous occasion last week where I saw two trains pass each other on the line for the first time (a NR test train on the down and a scheduled service on the up).


Two trains passing each other.  Does this mean that the ends of the new track have now been connected to the existing track at both ends, with the switches at both ends (including the one at the north end of Kemble Tunnel) no longer being in use?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on July 20, 2014, 08:36:25 am
I thought the main driver for this project was it will be used as a prime diversionary route for South Wales trains when electrification work gets well underway.

Agreed.

But.

Once something has been done with a "main driver", though, the question should be asked "what else does this give us?"  The DfT, for example, sees that it give the ability to be more efficient with daily use trains on the London to Cheltenham Spa route, with services passing one another for efficient stock use where that hasn't been possible for many years ...


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on July 20, 2014, 11:24:17 am
I thought the main driver for this project was it will be used as a prime diversionary route for South Wales trains when electrification work gets well underway.

When the work entered the CP4 enhancement plans (and it was a late edition during 2011/12) it was described primarily as a capacity increase:

Quote
Scope of Works
The scope of works will include:
 re-doubling the railway between Swindon Loco Junction (78m 20ch) and Kemble (90m 74ch),
based on predominately slewing works to the existing single line and the relaying of a new second
track, associated signalling and other discipline works; and
 additional intermediate infill signalling is to be provided between Kemble and St Mary^s crossing,
and between this crossing and Standish junction. This new signalling to include associated cable
routes, telecoms and signalling power supplies. Consideration shall be given to possible
implementation of modular signalling elements. This line of the route is controlled from Gloucester
Signal Control so the works can be developed in two parts.
Output
This enhancement will provide capacity for 4 train paths an hour (in each direction) between Cheltenham
Spa and Swindon. The linespeed remains unchanged.
Significant interfaces
 Swindon A resignalling and re-control to Thames Valley Signalling Centre. The commissioning of
this project has to coincide with this renewal as the Swindon to Kemble line will be controlled from
the new location. Coinciding of the commissioning works is essential and a strategy to achieve
this has been agreed ^ albeit with the detail being finalised.
 GWML electrification (this line of route will not be part of the electrified route, however it will be a
diversion route when core works are undertaken in the Bristol area). The programme is to
complete this project in advance of the core works in the Bristol area so the benefits of the
diversionary route can be realised
; and
this capacity is being delivered in support of the IEP proposed timetable. This timetable has been
developed on the premise that the infrastructure delivered by the project has been commissioned
in advance of the new timetable.

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: rower40 on July 23, 2014, 08:19:59 am

Two trains passing each other.  Does this mean that the ends of the new track have now been connected to the existing track at both ends, with the switches at both ends (including the one at the north end of Kemble Tunnel) no longer being in use?

The new line and its associated signalling has not yet been commissioned.  But it sounds as though the points at (at least) one end have been installed, and can be swung to access the new line to allow a test train to get onto it (likely to be within a possession), then swung back for normal traffic to resume on the existing line.
Once the signalling is commissioned, the lines between Swindon Loco Junction and Kemble will be uni-directional - i.e. up trains may only use the up line etc.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: quedgeley2002 on August 15, 2014, 01:12:11 pm
So at long last we only have a matter of days to wait before the redoubled line is complete - the final closure period beckons!

Over the past week there has been a steady build up of materials and machinery at both ends of the single line where the 'old' turnouts and signalling will be removed. New signals are in place in both directions along the line and with the removal of the crossovers at the Swindon station end we could be in for some interesting movements as the lines from the station to the 'new' Loco Yard Junction are being set up for bi-directional working. The work at Kemble will be slightly more complex due to the need to fit the final part of the new crossover in the down line but with as much of the new track in place as can be through the tunnel it shouldn't take too long to complete. A turn-back facility looks as if it is being implemented at Kemble with an associated walking route from the end of the up platform towards Sapperton already in place. Are we to see London - Kemble - London trains in the future as why should so much trouble be taken at this stage?? 

I am surprised to see a significant build up of materials near Purton where, I understand, further work is needed on the up line where the track needs to be significantly lowered. Why was this not dealt with when the line was closed for relaying this time last year. No doubt there is a good reason and someone will be able to explain why?

With the line closed it leads me on to the replacement bus services next week and the publicity of them. I was expecting, in line with earlier closures, that a timetable booklet would be provided that as well as showing the bus arrangements would also confirm the details of the through London services via Bristol Parkway. But alas nothing! At Swindon station, and in support of the works between there and Didcot during August I was able to pick up a booklet "Alterations to train services from Swindon".   The booklet does just that! It only covers services leaving Swindon but there is no mention of the times to get to Swindon. I can't see the logic in producing this kind of limited material, to me it is about as useful as a wet paper bag as I will still have to resort to other means to find out times of travel to Swindon - assuming there is travel 'To' of course!!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on August 15, 2014, 01:35:04 pm
I am surprised to see a significant build up of materials near Purton where, I understand, further work is needed on the up line where the track needs to be significantly lowered. Why was this not dealt with when the line was closed for relaying this time last year. No doubt there is a good reason and someone will be able to explain why?

Possibly that the extra work incurred after the derailment damage caused an overrun? (See earlier in the thread).


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Timmer on August 17, 2014, 09:00:41 am
With the line closed it leads me on to the replacement bus services next week and the publicity of them. I was expecting, in line with earlier closures, that a timetable booklet would be provided that as well as showing the bus arrangements would also confirm the details of the through London services via Bristol Parkway. But alas nothing! At Swindon station, and in support of the works between there and Didcot during August I was able to pick up a booklet "Alterations to train services from Swindon".   The booklet does just that! It only covers services leaving Swindon but there is no mention of the times to get to Swindon. I can't see the logic in producing this kind of limited material, to me it is about as useful as a wet paper bag as I will still have to resort to other means to find out times of travel to Swindon - assuming there is travel 'To' of course!!

Last weekend I picked up the alterations booklet for services for London Paddington over the weekend of 2/3 August and the work taking place 19-24 August and like you I was far from impressed. Very little in the way of showing full revised timetables with page after page of useless network maps when one would have done showing where all the work was taking place along side each date. I really hope this is not the way FGW are going to highlight major engineering work in future. Just do a full revised timetable (as has been done so well in the past such as during Reading closures) covering the lines affected by engineering work along with basic information such as ticketing and replacement bus arrangements will do.

Surely it must have cost more to print different alterations booklets instead of just one?

Looking at publicity for the October closure of the London to West of England line between Castle Cary and Taunton, it looks like a proper revised timetable will be made available for this work nearer the time.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on August 17, 2014, 09:19:00 am
There's a sticker on the Reading August alteration booklet mentioning the Kemble closure, leading me to think that they were printed well in advance, maybe before the timescales slipped on the latter, and they chose not to reprint


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 17, 2014, 10:47:13 am
There's a sticker on the Reading August alteration booklet mentioning the Kemble closure, leading me to think that they were printed well in advance, maybe before the timescales slipped on the latter, and they chose not to reprint

All the information is here (https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/contents/travel-advice/summer-improvements-on-the-great-western-main-line/bank-holiday-works-19-26-august-2014), folks, although it's a bit light on specifics.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Timmer on August 17, 2014, 12:51:52 pm
Trains to/from Gloucester and Cheltenham are scheduled to go via Bristol TM on Saturday but not Sunday, so suggest if traveling on Sunday get a train to Bristol and change there or it's a two and a half hour bus trip to Reading.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on August 17, 2014, 01:42:18 pm
Trains to/from Gloucester and Cheltenham are scheduled to go via Bristol TM on Saturday but not Sunday, so suggest if traveling on Sunday get a train to Bristol and change there or it's a two and a half hour bus trip to Reading.

The way I read it the advice all week is for travellers to Cheltenham and Gloucester to take a Bristol (Parkway when that line is open) train and change.  The only through trains are in the peaks.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 19, 2014, 02:52:02 pm

Has anyone heard anything further on how control of the new Swindon-Kemble double track is to be handled until the new Didcot control centre fully takes over from the Swindon panel?  I seem to remember someone mentioning that Didcot would have control of the double track from its opening later this month, even though the Swindon panel would still be in use until later this year.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: phile on August 19, 2014, 06:26:22 pm

Has anyone heard anything further on how control of the new Swindon-Kemble double track is to be handled until the new Didcot control centre fully takes over from the Swindon panel?  I seem to remember someone mentioning that Didcot would have control of the double track from its opening later this month, even though the Swindon panel would still be in use until later this year.

Please Refer to Post #345 on this thread.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Phil Farmer on August 20, 2014, 10:30:26 am

History in the making.....
The Kemble Line closes tonight for the last time on Swindon Panel. It re-opens on Monday 25th August controlled from the Thames Valley Signalling Centre.... as a double line.
There has been a concerted effort in the last few weeks to repair the block bells between Swindon Panel and Gloucester Panel (that have been out of use for ages), in order that the two boxes can close the line in the time-honoured way.
There is an elegant symmetry to the line being singled with the resignalling TO Swindon Panel in 1968, and being re-doubled with the re-signalling FROM Swindon Panel in 2014.
Had the original scheme proceeded as planned, the line would also have been single north of Kemble, with a passing place there. The large cantilever structure at the Swindon-end of the station shows where an additional signal would have been supported, SN.151, to allow moves back towards Swindon from the down platform (that would have been very useful over the years in any case!). SN.160 at the Gloucester end of the station would have had an opposite number, SN.162, to control moves from the down platform towards Gloucester. Neither SN.151 nor SN.162 ever came to be.
As well doubling the number of tracks, which reduces the propensity for a late running train in one direction to knock on to a train in the other direction, the single signal section from Swindon Loco Yard to Kemble Cutting is being split down into three signal sections, with two-aspect stop and repeater signals protecting each one. The non-block signals at Minety become block signals, and new signals are inserted at Purton. So the ^40m+ scheme has actually multiplied the capacity of the route by more than six!
Minety Crossing itself becomes CCTV, the crossing box closed last week.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on August 20, 2014, 02:50:53 pm
I do hope someone(s) will be on hand to record the final 'blocking out' on the bells.

7-5-5 isn't it?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 20, 2014, 11:40:57 pm

Has anyone heard anything further on how control of the new Swindon-Kemble double track is to be handled until the new Didcot control centre fully takes over from the Swindon panel?  I seem to remember someone mentioning that Didcot would have control of the double track from its opening later this month, even though the Swindon panel would still be in use until later this year.

Please Refer to Post #345 on this thread.

Thanks, Phile.  Based on control over all in/out rail traffic at Swindon having to be at one location and based on Swindon-Kemble double track being operated from Didcot from the end of this month it must follow that Swindon Panel will no longer be in use from that time.  Some earlier posts indicated that transfer of control to Didcot was behind schedule and wouldn't take place until late in 2014, but I guess that's not the case.



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on August 21, 2014, 07:27:30 am

The non-block signals at Minety become block signals, and new signals are inserted at Purton.


One of the Minety signals also seems to have moved or there has been a new signal inserted: I noticed yesterday that there's a new signal on the down line just to the east of the B4040 bridge, by the Vale of The White Horse Inn.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on August 21, 2014, 11:09:08 am
From the Swindon Advertiser (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11422775.Train_firm_gives_residents_a_break/)

Quote
NETWORK Rail has paid for weekend breaks for residents living close to the Swindon to Kemble redoubling works who are affected by constant noise and vibrations.

Sleepless nights and damage to roads will soon end in Purton as disruption from the redoubling of the Swindon to Kemble rail lines comes to a close this month.

Residents living just yards away from the rail lines have been kept awake by work on the line between midnight and 5am, and some have been offered hotel accommodation by Network Rail as compensation.

Following reports of extensive damage to Collins Lane, which intersects the track, Network Rail says it will work with the Highways Agency to repair faults after the work is completed.

The project has taken 12 months to complete, and First Great Western has warned commuters travelling over the bank holiday weekend that the route between Swindon and Gloucester will be closed for the completion of the ^45m scheme.

Purton resident Jacqui Lay said: ^My sleep patterns have been unbelieveable while the work has been going on and we are glad it is nearly over.

^I have had a huge train parked outside my house for a long time now and they do not work day shifts, so we get the noise from the works all through the night.

^A lot of residents have been consistently woken up at around 2.30am every night and this train is probably around 50 feet away from me. When it is so close it is very much in your life.

^There is an awful lot of damage that has been done to Collins Lane, and there are, particularly people living right on the level crossing, who have been badly affected by the vibrations. The company have paid for them to go on breaks for some weekends to help out, and they have been very good at communicating with us along the way. My view is they need to learn from this because they have got the electrification project still to come.^

Network Rail has said it will investigate damage caused by the works alongside the Highways Agency.

A spokesman said: ^The redoubling of the Swindon to Kemble line is vital work to pave the way for increased capacity and reduced journey times, and better performance and punctuality that electrification and new electric trains will bring for future services.

^As is the case with most major works near to residential properties, a certain amount of disruption is unfortunately unavoidable. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.^


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 21, 2014, 04:32:53 pm
No pain, no gain. Or in this case, no train, no pain.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 21, 2014, 06:03:00 pm
Here are 4 photos of the action at Kemble taken on Wednesday afternoon, 20th August. I can't seem to get into Flikr so I have added them as pdf's, which is the only way I know how to make them small enough

Kemble No 1 is a shot from the footbridge at Kemble Station. The new Signal SW1334 is in front of the old SN149 Gantry. Also of note is the new 100mph speed limit sign.

Kemble No 2 is taken from the bridge looking towards the tunnel. The old single to double switch has gone and has been replaced by plain line, which was done on Tuesday / Wednesday. The new facing points in the down line have also been completed.

Kemble No 3 is taken from the tunnel looking towards the station. The train of used track on the left is the first train over the new down line. It had come from Purton where they were replacing old track, some of which had been damaged in the wagon derailment last August. The train was well over a quarter of a mile long and 3 rails deep, so there must have been nearly a mile of track on the train. On the right, the ballast train has moved up over the new line.

Kemble No 4 shows ballast being unloaded and placed between the sleepers and on the shoulder of the new track. The road/rail machines went to the construction depot area beyond the station and got off the track to allow the engineers train in Kemble No 3 to pass. A fellow observer said that they were due to finish all the trackwork in the Kemble area today (Thursday 21st August).

Enjoy!!!

Sapperton Tunnel     



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on August 21, 2014, 06:14:05 pm
Kemble No 3 attached here, as the cumulative size was too big with all four on the same post


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 21, 2014, 10:39:35 pm
Great pictures there, ST. Thanks!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on August 25, 2014, 05:26:11 pm
Done!  :)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-28925722 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-28925722)

Quote
Work to increase rail capacity between Swindon and Kemble has been completed and trains are running on the two-track route.

The redoubling of the track means trains can now head simultaneously to and from Kemble in Gloucestershire into north Wiltshire.

The line was reduced to a single track in the 1960s as a cost-saving measure by British Rail.

Rail operator First Great Western said the ^45m work was vital.

The project to add an extra track to the 12.5 mile (20km) stretch was approved in 2011 and began in January.

It is needed before the electrification of the Great Western Main Line (GWML).

Dan Panes, from First Great Western said: "This prepares the way to run those services more quickly and more frequently should we need to."

First Great Western said there would be no extra trains on the route until a new service franchise agreement in 2017.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "In the long-term it will increase the capacity to four trains an hour in each direction on the route."

There still seem to be speed restrictions in place, particularly on the new down line.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: edfielden on August 25, 2014, 11:31:21 pm
Went out today to see the reopened line at Kemble, where I saw 1G21 (0939 Paddington-Cheltenham) emerging from the tunnel at Kemble on the new Down line. Then pottered through the country lanes to Minety Crossing and saw 2G83 (1138 Swindon-Cheltenham) passing also on the new Down line.

For info, Minety and Collins Lane (Purton) crossings are still closed to road traffic for now, pending further work to enable their control and monitoring from TVSC at Didcot.

(http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_08_2014/post-20180-0-81518000-1408968488.jpg)
(http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_08_2014/post-20180-0-20250200-1409005602.jpg)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on August 25, 2014, 11:51:52 pm
Thank you edfielden and welcome to the forum

An excellent way to celebrate a major achievement which will hopefully lead to better services from Swindon to Cheltenham in due course.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on August 26, 2014, 12:56:05 am
Nice pictures. Even if one features an 'out of area' loaner DMU!

A very warm welcome to the forum edfielden!  :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 26, 2014, 07:16:28 am
Nice pictures indeed, edfielden! I add my welcome to those of ellendunne and bignosemac.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Oberon on August 26, 2014, 09:52:57 pm
Presumably whomsoever takes the GW franchise over after the interim we are currently enjoying will have to create a new timetable for when the Turbos become redundant and more stock is available for trains on the Kemble route? If so I wonder what nature the additional services might consist of, perhaps Swindon-Worcester or Swindon-Newport, or will we just have more trains to Cheltenham?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 27, 2014, 09:14:59 pm
From the Western Daily Press (http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Commuters-wait-years-new-line/story-22831084-detail/story.html):

Quote
Commuters to wait years for new line

A ^45 million project to open the West's "rail bottleneck" has finally been finished ^ but desperate passengers will not see any benefit for another three years because of a government franchise bungle.

The project to re-lay a second track on the 12-mile stretch between Swindon and Kemble is supposed to mean extra trains can run between Gloucestershire and the Great Western mainline to London.

But because of delays to the appointment of a new long-term franchise train operator for the West Country, the extra services connecting Gloucester, Cheltenham and Stroud with Swindon and London will not be brought on to the new tracks until the new franchise is up and running ^ in 2017. The line through north Wiltshire was downgraded and one track was pulled up as part of the Beeching cuts in the early 1960s.

For 50 years, Intercity services between Gloucestershire and London, along with connecting services to Swindon, have had to wait for each other in passing areas with only one train able to be on the section.

For years, politicians, councillors and passengers in Gloucestershire said the poor service was badly hitting the economy in the county, and there were celebrations in Gloucestershire when the Government decided back in 2010 to switch ^35 million earmarked for a new road bypass around Westbury to the "re-doubling" of the Kemble line instead.

The following year the rest of the money was found and work began a year ago, and despite being hit by bad weather, and even a derailment of one of the track-laying trains, work was completed over the August Bank Holiday.

The redoubling will also make it much easier to continue the massive electrification of the Great Western Mainline to Bristol and south Wales, and allow the route via Gloucester to be used as an alternative if or when the electrification work closes the main lines further south.

"This prepares the way to run those services more quickly and more frequently, should we need to," said Dan Panes, from First Great Western. FGW has been awarded a temporary three-year franchise until 2017, to allow the Government extra time to sort out its franchise-awarding process, following the debacle over the awarding of franchises elsewhere in the country.

But passenger groups and local politicians in Gloucestershire want to see the benefits for them much sooner than three years' time, and will urge the Government to help FGW put on more trains.

"I think it's a great shame we're not going to have more trains and I will talk to the MP to try to lobby Government to help First Great Western to do this before then, because we've got the capacity to do it," said county councillor Will Windsor-Clive.

Network Rail said it had increased capacity, but it was up to the Government and rail franchise to sort out filling it.

Spokesman Simon Maple said the work to re-double the line was the first step in a longer programme to improve rail services in Gloucestershire. "It's a long term programme," he said.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Rhydgaled on August 27, 2014, 10:45:03 pm
Presumably whomsoever takes the GW franchise over after the interim we are currently enjoying will have to create a new timetable for when the Turbos become redundant and more stock is available for trains on the Kemble route? If so I wonder what nature the additional services might consist of, perhaps Swindon-Worcester or Swindon-Newport, or will we just have more trains to Cheltenham?
Have any of the announcements actually said there will be more trains? I believe it is planned to double the PAD-Cheltenham through service to hourly but I'm not clear whether that is in addition to the existing Swindon-Cheltenham DMU workings or simply extending those to run through to London.

From the Western Daily Press (http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Commuters-wait-years-new-line/story-22831084-detail/story.html):

Quote
Commuters to wait years for new line

A ^45 million project to open the West's "rail bottleneck" has finally been finished ^ but desperate passengers will not see any benefit for another three years because of a government franchise bungle.

The project to re-lay a second track on the 12-mile stretch between Swindon and Kemble is supposed to mean extra trains can run between Gloucestershire and the Great Western mainline to London.

But because of delays to the appointment of a new long-term franchise train operator for the West Country, the extra services connecting Gloucester, Cheltenham and Stroud with Swindon and London will not be brought on to the new tracks until the new franchise is up and running ^ in 2017. The line through north Wiltshire was downgraded and one track was pulled up as part of the Beeching cuts in the early 1960s.

For 50 years, Intercity services between Gloucestershire and London, along with connecting services to Swindon, have had to wait for each other in passing areas with only one train able to be on the section.

For years, politicians, councillors and passengers in Gloucestershire said the poor service was badly hitting the economy in the county, and there were celebrations in Gloucestershire when the Government decided back in 2010 to switch ^35 million earmarked for a new road bypass around Westbury to the "re-doubling" of the Kemble line instead.

The following year the rest of the money was found and work began a year ago, and despite being hit by bad weather, and even a derailment of one of the track-laying trains, work was completed over the August Bank Holiday.

The redoubling will also make it much easier to continue the massive electrification of the Great Western Mainline to Bristol and south Wales, and allow the route via Gloucester to be used as an alternative if or when the electrification work closes the main lines further south.

"This prepares the way to run those services more quickly and more frequently, should we need to," said Dan Panes, from First Great Western. FGW has been awarded a temporary three-year franchise until 2017, to allow the Government extra time to sort out its franchise-awarding process, following the debacle over the awarding of franchises elsewhere in the country.

But passenger groups and local politicians in Gloucestershire want to see the benefits for them much sooner than three years' time, and will urge the Government to help FGW put on more trains.

"I think it's a great shame we're not going to have more trains and I will talk to the MP to try to lobby Government to help First Great Western to do this before then, because we've got the capacity to do it," said county councillor Will Windsor-Clive.

Network Rail said it had increased capacity, but it was up to the Government and rail franchise to sort out filling it.

Spokesman Simon Maple said the work to re-double the line was the first step in a longer programme to improve rail services in Gloucestershire. "It's a long term programme," he said.
That article doesn't sound very correct to me. Firstly, I don't see how a 'franchise bungle' has delayed the start of improved services since as far as I know there were never any improvements planned before IEP, ie. 2017. Even if there are non-IEP plans for the route as well, these will in any case have to wait until the electrification futher east is done to cascade DMUs. As Northern-land have found out with the new curve recently completed, there is very little in the way of spare stock to introduce improved services (although wasn't there talk of FirstGW re-introducing the CDF-Taunton loco-hauled workings?) Also, they may be correct in saying the single-tracking was done in the Beeching era, but I think the fairly recent redoubling at Gowerton was putting back capacity which was lost about 20yrs more recently than Beeching, so was Swindon - Kemble actually a Beeching cut or a more-recent one?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on August 27, 2014, 11:24:37 pm
Swindon to Kemble was singled at the same time as Thingley to Bradford - 1967 as I recall - when Swindon was last resignalled

The d.m.u. workings from Swindon to Cheltenham Spa are very inefficient - running time of the train is only around 50%.  With the Kemble - Swindon section redoubled, it might be possible to retime trains to pass near to Swindon and thus get up to a service about every 40 minutes.  Lots of ramifications, I suspect, and I've not seen it suggested. 

There are aspirations beyond the introduction of IEP; an hourly London - Cheltenham Spa train with an efficient turn around at Cheltenham Spa would have trains passing each other every hour at around Minety on the newly redoubled section and there is scope for an extra service (making it half hourly overall) to also pass there.   That means ... (again) a unit at Swindon for the best part of an hour (45 mins), unless it formed an onward service to somewhere else, with an incoming train from that somewhere else carrying on to (or beyond?) Cheltenham Spa.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Phil Farmer on August 27, 2014, 11:59:56 pm
Admin message - the original post was fascination information about signalling changes at Swindon with a particular reference to Kemble redoubling and signals there - a long article.  That article may now be found at http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/2014/08/27/kemble-line-migration/ and I comment readers of this thread to take  look at it. Not quoted in this post, as it's been clarified to be their copyright, but member are welcome under normal "fair use" rules to quote small sections for review if they wish.  [1st September / 11:30]


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Oberon on August 28, 2014, 08:16:54 am
When reading in newspapers or media generally it is always Beeching who is credited with singling & rationalising lines, Swin-Kem, Thingley-Bradford Jct, Castle Cary-Dorchester, Salisbury-Exeter being obvious examples. But of course the "Good Doctor" departed in 1965. The real culprits for the damage inflicted on the railway, lasting right up until the 1970s, can be laid squarely at the door of governments who saw rail as a thing of the past and put in place ministers' of transport who had absolutely no idea or interest in the workings of their department. I know this is academic now but lazy media reporting always annoys me..


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on August 28, 2014, 02:21:53 pm

Phil, thanks for your very informative post detailing the transfer in control from Swindon Panel to Thames Valley.  As I understand it, the Swindon Panel is now disconnected and all control is from Didcot.  Do you know if the Thames Valley Center will be allowing visitors to watch the train controllers at work (perhaps by appointment)?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on August 28, 2014, 02:44:04 pm
Groups can visit by appointment


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: onthecushions on August 28, 2014, 03:05:51 pm
When reading in newspapers or media generally it is always Beeching who is credited with singling & rationalising lines, Swin-Kem, Thingley-Bradford Jct, Castle Cary-Dorchester, Salisbury-Exeter being obvious examples. But of course the "Good Doctor" departed in 1965. The real culprits for the damage inflicted on the railway, lasting right up until the 1970s, can be laid squarely at the door of governments who saw rail as a thing of the past and put in place ministers' of transport who had absolutely no idea or interest in the workings of their department. I know this is academic now but lazy media reporting always annoys me..

Yes. It was Barbara Castle, Transport Minister 1965 - 1968 that closed over 2k miles of railway (Wiki - presumably track miles.). She didn't even drive.

... and M Thatcher doubled the numbers in comprehensive schools.

Irony ever,

OTC


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: GlawsterPanelS&T on August 28, 2014, 05:06:07 pm
I worked at Gloucester on the S & T for 43 years and can confirm that the line was singled in the summer of 1968. I worked there on the weekend the work took place. There was no thought of mothballing it for a period of time in case of a re-think, just rip it out and centralise the single track for ease of maintenance (to save money).


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on August 28, 2014, 05:17:32 pm
Swindon to Kemble was singled at the same time as Thingley to Bradford - 1967 as I recall - when Swindon was last resignalled

The d.m.u. workings from Swindon to Cheltenham Spa are very inefficient - running time of the train is only around 50%.  With the Kemble - Swindon section redoubled, it might be possible to retime trains to pass near to Swindon and thus get up to a service about every 40 minutes.  Lots of ramifications, I suspect, and I've not seen it suggested. 

There are aspirations beyond the introduction of IEP; an hourly London - Cheltenham Spa train with an efficient turn around at Cheltenham Spa would have trains passing each other every hour at around Minety on the newly redoubled section and there is scope for an extra service (making it half hourly overall) to also pass there.   That means ... (again) a unit at Swindon for the best part of an hour (45 mins), unless it formed an onward service to somewhere else, with an incoming train from that somewhere else carrying on to (or beyond?) Cheltenham Spa.

There is to be a big reshuffle of the timetable over a wide area to accommodate Crossrail, something which I have seen described as the best way to fit in Portishead and MetroWest trains. Presumably, the best use of rolling stock on this newly redoubled line will be (or probably already has been) looked at in thew same context.

The more I think about the ramifications of retiming even one branch line service into a major station, the more I doff my cap to those who work it all out.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on August 28, 2014, 05:30:32 pm
The d.m.u. workings from Swindon to Cheltenham Spa are very inefficient - running time of the train is only around 50%.  With the Kemble - Swindon section redoubled, it might be possible to retime trains to pass near to Swindon and thus get up to a service about every 40 minutes.  Lots of ramifications, I suspect, and I've not seen it suggested. 

I've spotted a fallacy in my suggestion.  The 40 minutes service would be possible, I suspect, to Gloucester but not on to Cheltenham Spa. May be able to do London - Cheltenham, Swindon - Cheltenham and Swindon - Gloucester every 2 hours but the loss of clock face and the headaches caused amongst al the other services around would lead to in being, I suspect, of questionable gain.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on August 28, 2014, 09:09:37 pm
As I understand it, the Swindon Panel is now disconnected and all control is from Didcot. 

I do not think that is the case.  As I understand it for the time being Swindon Panel controls everything it used to except the Kemble line which has transferred to TVSC.  A train from Gloucester to London therefore passes from Gloucester panel to TVSC to Swindon Panel then to TVSC.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: GlawsterPanelS&T on August 28, 2014, 10:38:08 pm
Great post Phil Farmer and very interesting. Panels used to, and still do, use block bells to communicate in emergency conditions and when power is down (they used to be tested weekly). Do you know if this will still be the case between Gloucester and the TVSC? If not, do you know how the two operating centres interface with each other?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on September 07, 2014, 03:42:44 pm

Ellendune, Glawster, I still remain in confusion as to 'what and where' controls a trains moving from Gloucester to London on the section of track between Gloucester and Didcot!  Surely control has to be at one location, not two.  Is it Swindon or Didcot?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on September 07, 2014, 03:46:37 pm

Ellendune, Glawster, I still remain in confusion as to 'what and where' controls a trains moving from Gloucester to London on the section of track between Gloucester and Didcot!  Surely control has to be at one location, not two.  Is it Swindon or Didcot?


As I read it,  from Gloucester the train gets passed to the new Didcot panel at Kemble, then back to the old Swindon panel just before it gets to Swindon.  Presumably somewhere on the way from Swindon to Didcot, it gets passed back to Didcot - as I read it, at the moment Didcot has got an isolated island of control on the Stroud Valley line as well as its main area based around Didcot.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on September 07, 2014, 03:47:59 pm
From Gloucester to north of Kemble trains are controlled by Gloucester Panel.  Control then switches to Didcot as far as Swindon Loco yard where Swindon Panel takes over.  It then moves back to Didcot around Uffington.

It is a similar situation where trains leaving London are signalled by Didcot until they approach Slough when Slough Panel takes over and then hands back to Didcot at Ruscombe.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Trowres on September 07, 2014, 09:09:07 pm
An explanation of the changes and new (temporary) arrangements can be found at:
http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/2014/08/27/kemble-line-migration/ (http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/2014/08/27/kemble-line-migration/)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on September 20, 2014, 03:47:49 pm
I worked at Gloucester on the S & T for 43 years and can confirm that the line was singled in the summer of 1968. I worked there on the weekend the work took place. There was no thought of mothballing it for a period of time in case of a re-think, just rip it out and centralise the single track for ease of maintenance (to save money).

Glawster, you mentioned that you were working 'on the weekend in the summer of 1968' when the line was singled.  Probably took more than just one weekend to remove the second track and slew the remaining one, but probably didn't take much more than a few weeks.  It says it all about our modern times when it takes (including planning and preparatory work) more than a year and 45million pounds to relay the second track from Swindon to Kemble.  Same thoughts as I have on the costs for extending the Jubilee Line versus the costs (in 1900 pounds) and simplicity/functionality involved in building of the Central Line.  One might say that endless safety considerations and workers no longer working for peanuts makes up the difference, but I think there's more to it than that.  Just too much red tape and Government involvement in every aspect of our lives these days.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on September 20, 2014, 04:00:20 pm
I worked at Gloucester on the S & T for 43 years and can confirm that the line was singled in the summer of 1968. I worked there on the weekend the work took place. There was no thought of mothballing it for a period of time in case of a re-think, just rip it out and centralise the single track for ease of maintenance (to save money).

Glawster, you mentioned that you were working 'on the weekend in the summer of 1968' when the line was singled.  Probably took more than just one weekend to remove the second track and slew the remaining one, but probably didn't take much more than a few weeks.  It says it all about our modern times when it takes (including planning and preparatory work) more than a year and 45million pounds to relay the second track from Swindon to Kemble.  Same thoughts as I have on the costs for extending the Jubilee Line versus the costs (in 1900 pounds) and simplicity/functionality involved in building of the Central Line.  One might say that endless safety considerations and workers no longer working for peanuts makes up the difference, but I think there's more to it than that.  Just too much red tape and Government involvement in every aspect of our lives these days.


Item 1 Lay x miles of track and connect up - Easy
Item 2 Carry out 50 years of back maintenance on earthworks to allow track to be laid - Much more difficult
Item 3 Move everything out of the way that has been put there in the last 50 years - Complicated
Item 4 Resignal

There may be other items I forgot.

The ^45 covers all 4 items not just the first, though I accept that there is some overlap between 3 & 4.



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on September 20, 2014, 04:02:38 pm
Item 5 - provide compensation to TOCs for the period of line closures.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on September 20, 2014, 04:12:59 pm

Item 1 Lay x miles of track and connect up - Easy
Item 2 Carry out 50 years of back maintenance on earthworks to allow track to be laid - Much more difficult
Item 3 Move everything out of the way that has been put there in the last 50 years - Complicated
Item 4 Resignal


Item 5 - provide compensation to TOCs for the period of line closures.

Item 6 - modernise provision that's not to modern standards but has been allowed through Grandfather rights

I'm thinking of where footpaths and level crossings exist and there's now a requirement to provide extra elements, or indeed to raise the crossing so that it's no longer level.   I'm not sure about how much of this (if any) there was on Swindon - Kemble, but I do know that there are several examples on the Oxford - Claydon section - both the section that's been freight only and the section that's had a local train service.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on September 21, 2014, 02:20:52 pm

Glawster, you mentioned that you were working 'on the weekend in the summer of 1968' when the line was singled.  Probably took more than just one weekend to remove the second track and slew the remaining one, but probably didn't take much more than a few weeks. 

The singling itself did take one weekend - I remember it. Slewing the track in a couple of places to connect former up and down lines and taking out some sections of track to install a couple of switches is far far easier than putting in new. I would think that far more complicated was the reduction of the 4 tracks to 2 tracks from Standish Junction to Gloucester when the former GW down line from Standish towards Gloucester became the up line from Gloucester and the former Midland down line from Gloucester to Standish was reversed to become the line from Standish to Gloucester. Love to hear any stories from GlawsterPanel S & T on this.

Going back to Swindon to Kemble it took about 3 to 4 years to dismantle and remove the second line which was done by the PW gang. In some places where the redundant track had been slewed onto the embankment / cutting sides to accommodate new signal posts in the 4 foot, it must have ben 1974 or 75 before all was removed. Regarding the single line itself, it was found that the maintenance costs were much greater than anticipated. A lot of this was due to wear and tear of the jointed track due to trains travelling over it a relatively high speed in both directions.

It was explained to me that they found that the joints needed two to three times as much maintenance as they had planned. When a wheel goes over a joint a vertical impact occurs and the rail joint dips. The length of rail that wheel goes onto dips a bit more so there is a fall from the first length to the second length. Over time the track settles into this arrangement. When you suddenly start running trains at 75 and 90mph (the speeds of the old dmu's and Westerns) in the opposite direction the wheels suddenly have to rise at the joints and this causes a far bigger impact which ultimately leads towards more maintenance. Although this was anticipated, it was thought that the joints would even out over time, but they didn't. It was also found that this occurred in other parts of the country where singling on higher speed main lines was done.   

In the period from 1971 a lot of the line was replaced with CWR to overcome this as well as 'natural' replacement of life expired track, and at the same time was slewed toward the centre. One of the reasons for singling were the alleged state of the embankments in some places - some of which has proved to be spurious in the redoubling exercise as in the case at Oaksey - requiring the track to be slewed. Also, CWR requires a deeper bed of ballast and to alleviate the need to dig out under bridges it is easier to slew the track. By 1973 - 74 quite a lot had been replaced with CWR and the redundant second track either removed at this time or in the course of daily work by the PW gang. It was somewhat fortunate that it had done by then as of course in 1974 we had the first of the miner's strikes, the 3 day week, a reduction in train services and a corresponding maintenance / renewals holiday. Replacement rails for track renewal in Kemble station lay there for over 3 years.

Sapperton Tunnel             


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on September 21, 2014, 03:47:35 pm
That's a really interesting post Sapperton Tunnel, so thank you for that.
It's worth noting that even in the early 80s there were even more draconian proposals. The Nov 83 edition of Rail Enthusiast (as was) listed the BR 5 yr plan in detail, including singling of:-

Newbury - Cogload (42m of)
Standish - Stroud
Gloucester - ST Jn  (13m of)
Ascott - Moreton.

Many of the proposals were carried out, including dequadrification at Taunton and Filton Bank, and some were carried out and have subsequently been reinstated (Gowerton, Cornwall singling).

It was this 5 year plan that recommended closure of the Settle & Carlisle and Marylebone. The well respected author and journalist Geoffrey Freeman Allen described the Marylebone proposal as "no grinding hardship" and in respect of the S&C, " it was beyond belief that any government, left or right, would finance rebuilding, and no way BR could justify allocating such money to a basically duplicate trunk route with slim local traffic".  That gives a sense of the state the railways were in then. Thankfully that is all history, but for those of us who lived through it, it was the depressing reality.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on September 21, 2014, 09:38:15 pm
Thank you, Sapperton Tunnel - a very interesting account of the fall and rise again of the Kemble line, which confirms some of what I suspected and teaches me a few things I didn't know. The singling and redoubling, like so many other things, echoes the fall and rebirth of the railways. As with so many things, the original idea of singling the line seems to have been crazy, but it has to be seen in the spirit of the times in which it was made. The hard-argued case to redouble the line does not mean the original decision was wrong, but it must surely be mad to think it would ever be made again. It does show how much of railway planning is done "just in time", or maybe later, and is subject less to what is needed than to how loose the purse strings can be let.

John R, I for one have keenly awaited the re-quadrification of Filton Bank, hence the moniker, and it now seems to be unstoppable. Signs of changes in weather can be found in the smaller forms of nature rather than the mighty clouds, and the same is true in railway improvement. In St Marks Road, by Stapleton Road station, last week I found a poster advertising a farewell gathering for Easton Roots, the community garden centre that occupied the trackbed between platforms 3 and 4 at SRD. There may be drinks.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on September 23, 2014, 09:28:27 am
It seems there are still issues with the crossing phones on the newly-signalled section. When the work was carried out over the bank holiday weekend, some (all?) of the new phones at the farm crossings between Swindon and Kemble were ringing continuously. This resulted in the phones being disconnected and some of the farm crossings being locked out of use. It now seems that Network Rail are manning some of these crossings during hours of operation which seems very resource-hungry (although, of course, safe) given the very minimal use the crossings get. At one point there were signs on one of the crossings giving the direct dial number for the signaller at TVSC but these now seem to have gone.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on October 04, 2014, 07:06:40 pm
From the bbc (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-29483906)

Quote
Minety level crossing barriers cause concern

Fears have been raised over the safety of a newly designed level crossing which is due to open in Wiltshire.

The crossing at Minety near Malmesbury will no longer be manned but instead will have automated barriers left up unless a train is to pass through.

Resident Stuart Richens said: "We're going to have a crash with two vehicles racing to make the barrier."

Network Rail said it was speaking to residents and Wiltshire Council to resolve any concerns they had.

'Improve safety'
A company spokesman said: "The crossing itself has been built to plans approved by the local authority, but we will continue to look at ways to improve safety on our network."

Several people in the village lobbied to have the road closed when the revamp was first proposed.

But a parish council survey found 800 people wanted the road kept open.

Councillor for Minety Chuck Berry said investigations were taking place to see if the view across the crest affected road safety due to the reduced visibility.

Wiltshire Council has asked for anyone concerned to raise the matter during local area board meetings.

The refurbishment is part of major improvements being made to the Swindon to Kemble line.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on October 04, 2014, 07:40:12 pm
How much view does a driver need, other than the flashing lights and the gate itself?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: rogerw on October 04, 2014, 08:35:56 pm
Those of you who know the road will also know that it carries very little traffic so that the chance of two opposing vehicles arriving at the same time as the barriers start to lower is very slim.  The biggest problem with the crossing according to the (road)safety audit is the visibility from a private access being obscured by a high hedge - rumour has it that both are in the same ownership.  The 800 people who wanted the road left open probably use it about twice a month, if that.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 04, 2014, 08:36:46 pm
From the Swindon Advertiser (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11514440.Mum___s_horror_after_near_miss_by_train/):

Quote
Mum^s horror after near miss by train

(http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/resources/images/3296127.jpg?htype=0)
Kate Blye had a narrow escape at Purton railway crossing

Mother-of-three Kate Blye was inches from death at a Purton railway crossing on Thursday when a train whistled past ^ seconds after she got the all-clear to cross the line from Network Rail.

The remote pedestrian crossing connects the ends of New Road and Witts Lane in the village, where there is currently no automated system in place for safe passage.

As it stands, a Network Rail employee remains on-site from 5am until 10pm each day, and directs each person to contact a remote signalman for clearance on a telephone at the crossing.

When Kate, of New Road, made her call to cross on Thursday at 2.50pm, she was told she was clear to cross by the man on the phone. But as she went to open the gate, the train^s horn sounded.

^I went to cross and there was someone there because the lights aren^t working and haven^t since they dualled the line,^ she said. ^You have to use the phone and the person on the other end of the phone said I was safe to cross. But as I turned to go, I heard the train sound a horn and it passed me in, at the most, 10 seconds. If I had taken notice of the person on the phone, as a child probably would listening to an adult, I would have been hit by the train. You take the word of the person on the phone. You^d like to think they would tell you if a train was less than 10 seconds away. Luckily, it did hoot. If it hadn^t, I probably would have gone.^

Kate, a health and safety consultant herself, has three children, aged 10, seven and five. She said she would not allow her children to use the crossing on their own. Her concern is for other, older children in the village using it on a regular basis. ^You can^t see both ways at the crossing,^ she said. ^You teach your children to listen to them [adults in authority] and to do what they say. I would expect them to cross when they were told it was safe. I have three children, and I know others who let their children cross there alone, so something needs to be done. I would like them [Network Rail] to put in a safe crossing really, a footbridge. There is a road bridge further up the line, but that has no footpath. It used to be that the gates sat some way back from the line and you could go inside them and look both ways. But because they have moved, if you bypass the gates you are in the danger zone.^

The Network Rail marshal at the crossing yesterday morning, who did not wish to be named, said: ^I normally get 10 (people) crossing here each day ^ my locals, as I call them. The youngest is 12 or 13. He crosses in the morning on his way to school, but I have seen nothing like the complaint this woman has had. Normally it^s overkill on the waiting, with people being made to wait three or five minutes before they can cross. It^s a long time and they normally get quite impatient. They say they could^ve gone five or six times in the time they^re made to wait. It gets a bit awkward because some people just go. They get fed up of waiting and cross anyway. There^s nothing I can do to stop them.^

The automated lights at the crossing are expected to be back in operation on October 18.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: ^We are aware of the incident and are urgently investigating how this happened.^

A personal comment from me, if I may (rather unusually, on any item of news that I generally post with complete impartiality ::) ):

Quote
A spokesman for Network Rail said: ^We are aware of the incident and are urgently investigating how this happened.^

I'll bet they are.  :o :o :o


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 17, 2014, 12:06:41 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29657045):

Quote
Calls for more trains on redoubled Swindon to Kemble railway line

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/69563000/jpg/_69563220_44ecc6d4742313e89c56e23370bbed45-1.jpg)
The line between Kemble and Swindon was reduced to a single track in the 1960s

There are renewed calls for more trains to be run on the newly redoubled track between Swindon and Kemble.

The redoubling, which cost ^45m, has increased capacity, but no extra trains will run on the route until a new service franchise agreement in 2017.

Conservative MP for the Cotswolds, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, said it was "not very good" to have no more trains available.

First Great Western said it was "not feasible" to run additional services.

Mr Clifton-Brown said: "First Great Western have had plenty of time. What is the point in the Government putting in a ^45m investment, only to say to us we've got to wait at least two years before you're going to see any improvements whatsoever in service?"

James Davis, from First Great Western, said: "The improvement in service can only be delivered where we have a rolling stock to be able do that. That's coming through the Government's investment in the Intercity Express Programme, with those additional trains coming into service from 2017 onwards. There are huge demands on our rolling stock across the network. We run over 1,500 services a day, so to be able to put on additional services straight away on this line is just not a feasible option."

Mr Clifton-Brown said he was also concerned there could be extra delays on the route now the re-doubling was complete. "First Great Western have told me they are going to be using this line for diversionary services when they do rail improvements into Wales. I think we want to be really sure that we're... not going to have delays on the existing services."

The line was reduced to a single track in the 1960s as a cost-saving measure by British Rail.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on October 17, 2014, 02:30:43 pm
1.   Election next year.

2.   MP gets name mentioned by BBC, even though he would have already known the answer to his question.   

3.   Aim achieved.

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 17, 2014, 03:18:25 pm
Meanwhile, Princess Anne, a frequent user of the railways (though when she's due to catch a Turbo operated service, it's amazing how a HST can be rustled out of nowhere instead  ;)), has officially 'opened' the new section of track:

http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/11542616._/ (http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/11542616._/)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bignosemac on October 17, 2014, 03:25:50 pm
Her son-in-law uses the line as well. I spotted him at Swindon earlier this week.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on October 18, 2014, 07:23:36 am
Her brother lives close by - not sure if he ever leaves the Sikorsky at home in favour of the train.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: phile on October 18, 2014, 12:02:07 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29657045):

Quote
Calls for more trains on redoubled Swindon to Kemble railway line

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/69563000/jpg/_69563220_44ecc6d4742313e89c56e23370bbed45-1.jpg)
The line between Kemble and Swindon was reduced to a single track in the 1960s

There are renewed calls for more trains to be run on the newly redoubled track between Swindon and Kemble.

The redoubling, which cost ^45m, has increased capacity, but no extra trains will run on the route until a new service franchise agreement in 2017.

Conservative MP for the Cotswolds, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, said it was "not very good" to have no more trains available.

First Great Western said it was "not feasible" to run additional services.

Mr Clifton-Brown said: "First Great Western have had plenty of time. What is the point in the Government putting in a ^45m investment, only to say to us we've got to wait at least two years before you're going to see any improvements whatsoever in service?"

James Davis, from First Great Western, said: "The improvement in service can only be delivered where we have a rolling stock to be able do that. That's coming through the Government's investment in the Intercity Express Programme, with those additional trains coming into service from 2017 onwards. There are huge demands on our rolling stock across the network. We run over 1,500 services a day, so to be able to put on additional services straight away on this line is just not a feasible option."

Mr Clifton-Brown said he was also concerned there could be extra delays on the route now the re-doubling was complete. "First Great Western have told me they are going to be using this line for diversionary services when they do rail improvements into Wales. I think we want to be really sure that we're... not going to have delays on the existing services."

The line was reduced to a single track in the 1960s as a cost-saving measure by British Rail.

It is happening quite often.  Infrastructure nearing completion on Cardiff Valleys but no trains to operate the increased services yet and also the Todmorden Curve reopening but no trains to operate a service.    They always say - "we are awaiting the cascade following electrification".


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on October 18, 2014, 12:45:50 pm
While rolling stock is without doubt an issue, I think there is also the fact that the line will be intensively used by diverted South Wales services during the electrification of the Severn Tunnel and possibly by some trains while work continues on the line via Box.

The improved TransWilts service was launched with a clear warning that it would be disrupted during the electrification works.

An improved service could be launched on the Kemble line but given the forthcoming disruption and the lack of additional rolling stock it probably ended up in the "too difficult" pile.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on October 18, 2014, 05:42:34 pm

It is happening quite often.  Infrastructure nearing completion on Cardiff Valleys but no trains to operate the increased services yet and also the Todmorden Curve reopening but no trains to operate a service.    They always say - "we are awaiting the cascade following electrification".

Which I am sure is largely the case. It seems a better problem to have than a siding full of cascaded trains with no capacity to run them.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on October 19, 2014, 08:45:46 am
http://www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk/Editor-s-comment-Great-Western-s-attitude-new/story-23256783-detail/story.html?

Quote
Editor's comment: First Great Western's attitude to the new Kemble to Swindon train line stinks

First Great Western^s attitude to the opportunity the new Kemble to Swindon railway line has created is little short of a disgrace.

And someone senior in the Government needs to get them back on track.

As the newly-doubled line was officially opened by the Princes Royal yesterday, it emerged that FGW has no intention of allowing travellers to benefit from more frequent services and faster trains.

It has said that it won^t be able to do anything until the new franchise is awarded in 2017.

It calls into question the whole way the franchises are allowed to operate. An operator should not be able to just ignore the wishes of MPs and rail users for three years because it suits them.

"And someone senior in the Government needs to get them back on track." ... I would suspect that if someone senior in government provided the extra trains needed to run extra services, and a financial / contractual environment in which it was sensible to do so, then those trains would be running.   

We were commenting at our TransWilts Link meeting yesterday that the coalition MPs for the area are in a difficult position on this one, as the improved line is there and open and with more capacity - should they be seen out there with the campaigners saying "we demand more trains" when there are no more trains for their government to allocate, or should they risk a vote-loosing unpopularity by saying "give it until 2017"?  Perhaps their easiest route is the middle ground, where they're not taking up photo and other publicity opportunities, neither are they sticking their necks out to back up the "sorry you'll have to wait" line from the DfT / Government.  This improvement is one that many parties would prefer to have opened quietly, perhaps without even a royal ceremony.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Rhydgaled on October 19, 2014, 12:37:23 pm
Quote
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29657045):
James Davis, from First Great Western, said: "The improvement in service can only be delivered where we have a rolling stock to be able do that. That's coming through the Government's investment in the Intercity Express Programme, with those additional trains coming into service from 2017 onwards. There are huge demands on our rolling stock across the network. We run over 1,500 services a day, so to be able to put on additional services straight away on this line is just not a feasible option."

Mr Clifton-Brown said he was also concerned there could be extra delays on the route now the re-doubling was complete. "First Great Western have told me they are going to be using this line for diversionary services when they do rail improvements into Wales. I think we want to be really sure that we're... not going to have delays on the existing services."
Unlike Todmorden etc. I don't think it there ever has been firm plans to put on any additional services over the redoubled Swindon-Kemble line. IEP just extends the local Cheltenham-Swindon DMU service to London. The main reason for the redoubling, I thought, was "to be really sure that we're not going to have delays on the existing services" during the increased diversion of south-Wales services while electrification work is going on. And, of course, improved reliability in general of the existing service through not having a single-track bottleneck which risks amplifying delays.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on October 19, 2014, 04:55:28 pm
...The main reason for the redoubling, I thought, was "to be really sure that we're not going to have delays on the existing services" during the increased diversion of south-Wales services while electrification work is going on.

No, there's a definite increased capacity provided by the redoubling project, (as explained in the CP4 enhancement plans), indeed that was the only output:

Output
This enhancement will provide capacity for 4 train paths an hour (in each direction) between Cheltenham
Spa and Swindon. The linespeed remains unchanged.

Significant interfaces
 Swindon A resignalling and re-control to Thames Valley Signalling Centre. The commissioning of
this project has to coincide with this renewal as the Swindon to Kemble line will be controlled from
the new location. Coinciding of the commissioning works is essential and a strategy to achieve
this has been agreed ^ albeit with the detail being finalised.
 GWML electrification (this line of route will not be part of the electrified route, however it will be a
diversion route when core works are undertaken in the Bristol area). The programme is to
complete this project in advance of the core works in the Bristol area so the benefits of the
diversionary route can be realised; and
 this capacity is being delivered in support of the IEP proposed timetable. This timetable has been
developed on the premise that the infrastructure delivered by the project has been commissioned
in advance of the new timetable.

Use as a diversionary route affected the timing of the project, but it is definitely an IEP capacity scheme, not primarily a diversion.  AIUI, projects whose only real output is diversionary capacity stand very little chance of approval.   A good example being the much debated Arundel 'north to east' chord.

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: John R on October 19, 2014, 05:04:12 pm

Use as a diversionary route affected the timing of the project, but it is definitely an IEP capacity scheme, not primarily a diversion.  AIUI, projects whose only real output is diversionary capacity stand very little chance of approval.   A good example being the much debated Arundel 'north to east' chord.

Paul

Usually true, but maybe not in this case. It's worth noting that south wales councils were strong advocates of the scheme, to enable more reliable, frequent and faster services to run when the Severn Tunnel is closed.  The fact that the tunnel is going to be closed for a considerable time at some point in the next three years was key to the decision.  The secondary effect is to improve reliability on the line under normal operation, and the tertiary benefit is the ability to provide additional services once rolling stock becomes available.

As an aside, if Box is going to be closed for 6 weeks for electrification, does anyone know yet how long a closure we are looking at for the Severn tunnel?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on October 19, 2014, 05:46:51 pm
My understanding is that the redoubling from Kemble to Swindon will allow IEP trains to Cheltenham Spa to have a "sensible" turn around there rather than a long layover, with the train from London and Swindon passing one coming the other way around Minety ... and that's likely to save one (rather expensive ?) train diagram.

The diagram limitations removed by the redoubling could even in the short term have the HST with the HST 2 hours later passing at Minety, and the 15x with the 15x 2 hours later also passing there. That would then mean that the unit that spends 74 minutes of every 120 in the bay at Swindon could spend up to 100 minutes in every 120 there .. a bit of a pointless change at the moment, and an un-welcome and unwanted recast of the Stroud Valley timetable for a couple of years - unless you were to use that 100 minutes to provide a Swindon to else service.  I can think of two candidate destinations.

P.S. I'm forever being asked about trains from our town to places like Kemble and Cheltenham, and how to get to Oxford without having to make multiple changes.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on October 24, 2014, 07:11:46 am
 We were commenting at our TransWilts Link meeting yesterday that the coalition MPs for the area are in a difficult position on this one, as the improved line is there and open and with more capacity - should they be seen out there with the campaigners saying "we demand more trains" when there are no more trains for their government to allocate, or should they risk a vote-loosing unpopularity by saying "give it until 2017"?  Perhaps their easiest route is the middle ground ...

Which looks like it's happening ... from the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard

http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/11556381._/?

Quote
He said it would be an intolerable situation if these diversions meant passengers experienced delays similar to those when the redoubling work was being carried out.

Mr Clifton-Brown said he was also unhappy at the lack of car parking spaces at the station and he has raised the issue to First Great Western and Network Rail who says seem to have been transferring responsibility from one to the other for at least two years.

I note no comment or complaint at the lack of extra trains, so it's rather curious to read on

Quote
But James Davis, a spokesman for First Great Western, hit back at the criticisms and said that the reason that services on the line are not being improved is because the government is currently unable to provide more trains.

^We have a limited number of trains and rail stock and there is not an option to run more services.^

He said there would be no delays when the route is used to accommodate diversionary traffic.

And he added that First Great Western is looking into providing more car parking at the station and would be making an announcement about this soon.

Almost like answering a criticism assuming it's been made when it hasn't!  Odd article!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on October 24, 2014, 07:24:55 am
It is indeed a strange article as it doesn't say who Mr Clifton-Brown is nor afford him a first name.

To assist the newspaper I can tell them his name is Geoffrey and he is the MP for the Cotswolds  ;)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on November 03, 2014, 06:37:35 pm
A further editorial comment - this time in the Stroud News and Journal

http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/11576576._/?

Quote
Despite a ^45 million government investment, and despite the fact the infrastructure is now in place, there is not a jot of benefit for commuters from that station or from Stroud to be had.

and

Quote
Why do we have to wait until 2017 for the service to improve? This was sold to us as opening up opportunities and encouraging investment from businesses based in London who would bring money into the county.

At the moment, and for the foreseeable future, everything stops and starts at Swindon.

I can understand the frustration at having all this spend and infrastructure come through, with very little initial local benefit, but I can't help wondering if the author of this piece has checked his facts

* There has been - on at least one occasion - trains passing each other on the section that used to be single track; for sure, not extra trains for Stroud commuters, but certainly a reduction in potential disruption when trains aren't running to time

* Everything briefly pauses at Swindon, but the implication of a change of trains there is wrong; half the trains from Stroud to Swindon go on to London.

If you want to find out who's really disconnected from the new works, and hasn't seen a jot of public transport benefit, take a look at the unitary authority of Wiltshire, through who's dominion the trains run without stopping.   And if you want to take a look at which line always stops at Swindon, take a look at the TransWilts.   Singled at the same time as the Kemble section and not yet redoubled.   But then, it only serves the largest three towns in Wiltshire, including the county town.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on November 03, 2014, 09:56:16 pm
If you want to find out who's really disconnected from the new works, and hasn't seen a jot of public transport benefit, take a look at the unitary authority of Wiltshire, through who's dominion the trains run without stopping.   And if you want to take a look at which line always stops at Swindon, take a look at the TransWilts.   Singled at the same time as the Kemble section and not yet redoubled.   But then, it only serves the largest three towns in Wiltshire, including the county town.

grahame! Control your emotions!

But seriously. Dr Beecham recommended closure of a lot of railway because a lot of rolling stock would otherwise have needed replacement, and there weren't so many passengers wanting to use the routes in those days. Things are different today, to quote Sir Mick Jagger, but we have to choose the paths to reopen. Hopefully, you will be able to put the business case for redoubling TransWilts soon enough.

The glacial pace of change on railways is complained about hugely. The complaining is mainly done by people who don't realise that there are no spare trains, and even if there were, it is a massive job to fit even a single branch service into a complicated timetable. The Kemble re-dub is a fantastic piece of work to add capacity that will be available for so long as trains run from London to Gloucestershire, but it will not be fully realised until Crossrail has been finished and the whole timetable re-jigged. A couple of years' wait for some actual trains (and let us not forget signalling) is what the French call "un clin d'oeill" - the blink of an eye. Complaints will cease when two trains depart Kemble simultaneously.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on November 03, 2014, 10:31:02 pm
But seriously. Dr Beecham recommended closure of a lot of railway

Him as well - thought he just made medicinal powders! 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on November 05, 2014, 11:31:21 pm

'Four Track, Now', ellendune, others:  Do you know of any timetable for doubling Didcot-to-Swindon to four tracks now that Swindon-to-Kemble is open, or at least adding a third track?  Surely Didcot-to-Swindon is the next bottleneck.  Maybe an extra track or pair of tracks should be added from Didcot all the way to Wootten Bassett, given the heavy traffic to Bristol and S Wales.
 


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on November 06, 2014, 05:54:06 am
Quote
04:50 Hereford to London Paddington due 07:59
This train has been delayed from Hereford by 38 minutes, will be further delayed between Worcester Shrub Hill and Reading and is expected to be 63 minutes late.
This train will be diverted between Worcester Shrub Hill and Reading.
This train will no longer call at Pershore, Evesham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Kingham, Charlbury, Hanborough and Oxford.
This is due to train crew having been unavailable earlier.

Another benefit  of the redoubling with only (?) two or three limited junction sections of single track now in the alternative south Cotswold routing.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stuving on November 06, 2014, 09:54:53 am

'Four Track, Now', ellendune, others:  Do you know of any timetable for doubling Didcot-to-Swindon to four tracks now that Swindon-to-Kemble is open, or at least adding a third track?  Surely Didcot-to-Swindon is the next bottleneck.  Maybe an extra track or pair of tracks should be added from Didcot all the way to Wootten Bassett, given the heavy traffic to Bristol and S Wales.
 

The Western Route Study doesn't even mention it as a possibility. The capacity of that line, combined with the mix of traffic, is identified as a constraint. However, the only intervention proposed (I4) is the provision (by extension) of two dynamic loops so that more freight (in the same number of paths) is handled without slowing the passenger trains. Of course there are no stopping trains - presumably the speed mix between SET and whatever is slowest is manageable over about 24 miles. They even include grade separation at Wootton Basset Junction as a higher priority...

The text refers to services on East-West Rail being extended to Reading (or London!) or to Bristol, and includes these in the extra services over this line. However, they are not in the "tph" diagrams. So arguably they have not been fully considered - that might justify a consultation response.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on November 06, 2014, 10:05:01 am

'Four Track, Now', ellendune, others:  Do you know of any timetable for doubling Didcot-to-Swindon to four tracks now that Swindon-to-Kemble is open, or at least adding a third track?  Surely Didcot-to-Swindon is the next bottleneck.  Maybe an extra track or pair of tracks should be added from Didcot all the way to Wootten Bassett, given the heavy traffic to Bristol and S Wales.
 

The wording in the route study mentioned in the previous post being:

Quote
In the long-term additional capacity would be required between
Didcot and Swindon to accommodate growth in passenger and
freight services. The Route Study has examined the provision of
12-mile ^dynamic^ loops in each direction, formed by extending the
existing short loops and will further assess the timeframe for when
this intervention would be required.
Wootton Bassett Junction, west of Swindon, where the lines to
Bristol Temple Meads and South Wales diverge, is due for renewal in
2036. This would be the best opportunity to consider remodelling
the junction to increase the current 75mph speed limit for services
to/from the South Wales direction which could contribute to
improvements in overall end to end journey times.

They have probably taken into account that the majority of 'mixed traffic' (XC, EWR, GW and most of the freight) from the 4 track section east of Didcot takes the Oxford route, so that would eventually become a higher priority for full four tracking:

Quote
Two possible interventions to accommodate any growth
in services [towards Oxford]  are grade separation north of
Oxford, or provision of four tracks between Didcot and Oxford,
together with changes to the platforming of services at Oxford
Station to avoid the need for grade separation at Oxford.
 

But as indicated 4 tracking is seen as an either or option with grade separation at Oxford North.  

However, what really has to be considered is if, (in comparison with other high speed two track sections of the national network), Didcot to Swindon is actually that busy?

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on November 06, 2014, 02:16:57 pm
Definitely needed for non-125mph stock (eg EastWest to the West) and/or Wantage Road additional station


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: stuving on November 06, 2014, 03:56:51 pm
Definitely needed for non-125mph stock (eg EastWest to the West) and/or Wantage Road additional station

Well, Wantage Road is on the bit that's already 4-track - I take it that's the goods loops to be extended, despite the lines being labelled as Relief/Main. And with 12-mile dynamic loops, about half the distance would be 4-track. So it's getting towards being a difference without a distinction. Though of course if those freight paths are still a constraint, "4-track" would mean 4 tracks plus loops as well.

Looking at the back of this timetabler's envelope, the 2043 passenger service seems to be 10 tph, so 6 minutes apart. For 120 and 80 mi/hr, the times are 12 and 18 minutes - using up all that spacing. So the mix only works with a smaller speed differential (even with ERTMS) or some other timetabling constraint.

And of course the study doesn't mention any such new station.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on November 06, 2014, 04:01:57 pm
Any future westward extension to EWR could easily be running with 110 mph EMUs - they seem to get on ok with 125 mph Pendolinos nowadays, over greater distances...

It's not necessarily going to be the same problem as it would be using today's stock.

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on November 12, 2014, 06:50:25 am
Just for completeness, according to the Swindon Panel Society (http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/2014/11/04/minety-level-crossing-recommissioned/), the new level crossing at Minety has been brought into use.

Quote
After various false starts, the level crossing on the former Swindon Panel area at Minety has finally been brought back into use and the road re-opened.

For the benefit of history:

The equipment was brought into use at 0259 on Monday 3 November 2014, and it is now controlled from the Level Crossing Workstation at the Thames Valley Signalling Centre.

The first train over the crossing was 3S32 0353 Worcester to Swindon at approximately 0310 top and tailed by 37175 and 37219!

The Level Crossing Workstation at Didcot already controls the two crossings at Steventon and one at Appleford.




Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Railfriend on November 12, 2014, 02:42:02 pm

bobm, have you heard of any planning for a possible local train service that would stop in places such as Minety or perhaps Chalford in future?  Or alternatively, have you heard anything indicating that the double-tracking will have no effect on adding stations and local stops?  I often think back to the days when the Auto-train used to run between Chalford and Gloucester, with maybe 10 halts in-between.  A different Britain!  How I cherish memories of those days!



Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: grahame on November 12, 2014, 05:27:26 pm
I often think back to the days when the Auto-train used to run between Chalford and Gloucester, with maybe 10 halts in-between.

Purton; Minety and Ashton Keynes; Oaksey; Kemble; Coates; Chalford; St Mary's Crossing; Brimscombe; Bridge; Ham Mill; Borowbridge Crossing; Stroud; Downfield Crossing; Caches Green; Ebley; Stonehouse (Burdett Road); Haresfield; Gloucester ... there are certainly aspirations for an extra service every hour, but whether that would go so far as "planning" for one I'm not sure.   The only station I have heard talked of would be one to serve the north west of Swindon.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 12, 2014, 07:46:31 pm
From the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard (http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/11593764.Seasoned_rail_commuter_airs_grievance_over_Swindon_to_Kemble_rail_line/):

Quote
Seasoned rail commuter airs grievance over Swindon to Kemble rail line

(http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/resources/images/3369314.jpg?htype=41&display=1&type=mc2)
Stock picture of a First Great Westrern train

A LONGSTANDING train passenger is the latest commuter to air his frustration with First Great Western over the recently redoubled Swindon to Kemble rail line.

Princess Anne officially opened the line last month but more services will not be considered until 2017, even though the infrastructure exists after a ^17million investment. Trains currently run on average hourly between Kemble and London.

Jim Woodcock, who has commuted between Kemble to London for 18 years, told the Standard he has previously had to put up with "all manner of excuses and delays" from FGW and their predecessors, with connections at Swindon being cancelled or delayed due to the single line.

Mr Woodcock said: "Now this is no longer a barrier FGW must put on a more frequent service at peak (all day would be nice but one step at a time!) than seen at present."

In an email sent to FGW's managing director Mark Hopwood on Monday, Mr Woodcock wrote: "I have commuted from Kemble for 18 years, I cannot tell you how many times I have sat at Swindon station where a Paddington train has been delayed which has resulted in me missing the connection to Kemble - given the bottleneck of the single track has been removed you now have the infrastructure to offer a half-hourly service at peak."

He went on to say: "I am sure that rolling stock availability, or the lack of, will be raised as an issue."

Mr Woodcock had not received a response from Mr Hopwood when the Standard went to press but was told by FGW's customer relations team, in response to a previous email: "The December timetables have not yet been realised so I am unable to advise you further".

Last month Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown joined commuters in criticising the delay in upgrading services from the Swindon to Kemble rail line.

MP Mr Clifton-Brown said: ^It was expected by myself, my constituents and everyone that uses this line that in return for the huge investment into the infrastructure we would receive improved and increased services. If I travel from Swindon I wait 20 minutes maximum for a train.^

James Davis, a spokesman for First Great Western, said the reason services on the line are not being improved is because the government is currently unable to provide more trains.

Mr Davis said: "There is a national shortage of rolling stock. Just because the infrastructure has improved at this moment in time it does not mean there is more rolling stock to provide additional services - but it does allow immediate improvements in reliability to help passengers keep moving on trains as Network Rail continue to electrify the Great Western mainline."

Mr Davis added: "Clearly there have been some services that don't run according to the timetable and that is frustrating for passengers."


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on November 25, 2014, 04:09:58 pm
More services demanded but no increase in parking - article from the Wilts & Glos Standard.

http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/11624219.Residents_frustration_over_Kemble_station_car_park_chaos/ (http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/11624219.Residents_frustration_over_Kemble_station_car_park_chaos/)

Quote
Car parking chaos at Kemble railway station is causing misery for residents and commuters.

As there are not enough spaces in the car park, commuters using train services early in the morning have been forced to park their cars on grass verges and in narrow streets around the village, causing congestion.

Bob Williams, who lives near the station, said that cars were being parked all along the Station Road and Windmill Road sides of the car park.

They are also being parked near the junction of Station Road and Windmill Drive, making it a blind corner and very dangerous, Mr Williams said.


He added: ^I am sure that in the last year or so it has become much more of a problem. I am not sure why.

^You can see cars parked there all week.^

Mr Williams is concerned that if train services are increased as expected in the next few years, the car parking problem at the station will only get worse.

He said: ^With the railway redoubling that has happened that means that more trains could be going through and more commuters - the traffic will only increase.^

Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has campaigned for a solution and in 2011, First Great Western (FGW), which is responsible for the car park, agreed to spend ^145,000 creating 65 new spaces.


But those plans were scuppered when FGWfailed to get planning approval for the upgrades.

James Davis, a spokesman for FGW, said he understood that there was a need for a solution to car parking at the station and that the company was investigating how to do this.

He said: ^I think car parking is in demand and there is a demand to park. We are looking into car parking works and providing car parking spaces.^

But Mr Davis said he was unable to give any more details on the car parking plans at this time.

However, Nick Spindler, clerk to Kemble Parish Council, was able to give more clarity on the work FGW was doing to improve car parking.

He explained that Bathurst Estate is in ongoing discussions with letting land it owns in Station Road to FGW so the company can create more parking spaces.

He said: ^We are in discussions with both parties. Our position is we definitely support it and we are pursuing all options. We are addressing the issue.We want the car parking upgrades done.^

Jeremy Lilley, parliamentary assistant to Mr Clifton-Brown, said that for the past few years rail infrastructure operator Network Rail and FGW have been shifting responsibility for upgrading the car park between each other.

He claimed FGW had told Mr Clifton-Brown that it was unable to commit to investing in the car park as it was unsure if it would be given a new franchise period with the government after its current one ends in 2016.

Mr Lilley explained that Claire Perry, who works for the Department ForTransport and is responsible for railway issues, has said to him she would be working with FGW to address the parking problem at Kemble.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: paul7755 on November 25, 2014, 04:19:57 pm

Quoting the local media...

Quote
Jeremy Lilley, parliamentary assistant to Mr Clifton-Brown, said that for the past few years rail infrastructure operator Network Rail and FGW have been shifting responsibility for upgrading the car park between each other.
[...]
Mr Lilley explained that Claire Perry, who works for the Department ForTransport and is responsible for railway issues, has said to him she would be working with FGW to address the parking problem at Kemble.


Does he really not know she is an 'under Secretary of State' at the DfT?   

Or is it an intentional demotion?

Paul


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on November 25, 2014, 04:34:14 pm
He is the writer / reporter in this case, not Mr Lilley.

The reporter obviously forgot to ask mr Lilley what position Claire holds. Reporters in our regular experience, are not intelligent animals


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: patch38 on November 25, 2014, 04:37:40 pm
The reporter probably spent a good many seconds exhaustively researching Ms Perry on Wikipedia...


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on November 25, 2014, 05:06:39 pm
Quite


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ellendune on November 25, 2014, 09:54:22 pm

'Four Track, Now', ellendune, others:  Do you know of any timetable for doubling Didcot-to-Swindon to four tracks now that Swindon-to-Kemble is open, or at least adding a third track?  Surely Didcot-to-Swindon is the next bottleneck.  Maybe an extra track or pair of tracks should be added from Didcot all the way to Wootten Bassett, given the heavy traffic to Bristol and S Wales.
 
The latest draft route study talks only of extending the Challow to Wantage loop to allow more flexibility in overtaking trains. If it were all four tracked this would be very expensive an have a high impact in Steventon and Stratton St Margaret.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 05, 2015, 10:36:19 pm
I often think back to the days when the Auto-train used to run between Chalford and Gloucester, with maybe 10 halts in-between.

Purton; Minety and Ashton Keynes; Oaksey; Kemble; Coates; Chalford; St Mary's Crossing; Brimscombe; Bridge; Ham Mill; Borowbridge Crossing; Stroud; Downfield Crossing; Caches Green; Ebley; Stonehouse (Burdett Road); Haresfield; Gloucester ... there are certainly aspirations for an extra service every hour, but whether that would go so far as "planning" for one I'm not sure.   The only station I have heard talked of would be one to serve the north west of Swindon.
Wow! I remember the platforms - or one of them at least - at Ebley halt, but it had long since ceased to have services. There was vague talk of reopening it in the late '80s.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on May 06, 2015, 09:05:25 am
A lot of the work over the next Bank Holiday has been cancelled by NR owing to lack of contractors. Trains will run over 25th/26th - check updating publicity. Melksham shuttle included!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on May 06, 2015, 09:23:13 am
Isn't some of the work being cancelled because there has been a delay in transferring signalling from Swindon to Didcot - or is that because there haven't been the contractors to do the work in the weeks leading up to this weekend rather than a lack of staff for the bank holiday weekend?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on May 06, 2015, 09:30:38 am
Lack of staff all round, #i think


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Timmer on May 06, 2015, 10:07:23 am
Is work still planned over the weekend of the bank holiday the 23rd and 24th? FGW site says work from 25th - 28th has been cancelled with work still taking place 23rd/24th but this was mentioned on their website a few weeks back. Have plans changed again?


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: ChrisB on May 06, 2015, 10:08:01 am
I understand 23/24 is still progressing


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Timmer on May 06, 2015, 10:19:57 am
I understand 23/24 is still progressing
Thanks Chris


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on April 27, 2016, 02:45:04 pm

Looks as if the line is going to be busy over the Spring Bank Holiday (28th - 30th May) with not only London - South Wales trains diverted but Cross Country ones as well. Combined with the normal (Paddington) - Swindon - Gloucester - Cheltenham services, Real Times Trains show about 100 trains a day total compared to the normal 36 weekday ones.

The most interesting one looks to be the Monday 30th 22:33 Robeston - Theale Murco loaded tanks. 2400 tons up Sapperton. Passes Standish at 04:27 and Swindon at 05:12 on Tuesday 31st. Empties have frequently gone the other way during diversions, but this is the first time that I have noted the loaded ones. Be interesting to see whether it does run or not as timetabled diverted Freightliner ones have generally been cancelled on the day. 

 Sapperton Tunnel


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Timmer on April 27, 2016, 04:53:08 pm
Good to see the redoubled section of track being put to such good use over the Spring Bank Holiday.


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Rob on the hill on May 27, 2016, 05:07:14 pm

Looks as if the line is going to be busy over the Spring Bank Holiday (28th - 30th May) with not only London - South Wales trains diverted but Cross Country ones as well. Combined with the normal (Paddington) - Swindon - Gloucester - Cheltenham services, Real Times Trains show about 100 trains a day total compared to the normal 36 weekday ones.
I feel a visit to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Cotswold Festival of Steam coming on!
http://gwsr.com/planning-your-visit/2016-events-calendar/cotswold-festival-of-steam-2016.aspx
Swindon to Cheltenham Spa in around 40 mins by Cross Country HST.  :)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: tomL on May 27, 2016, 07:16:24 pm
Hate to be a cynic, but thats a lot of pressure on a line if something was to go 'bottoms up'...  ::) :o

Here's to hoping I haven't jinxed it!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: TonyK on May 27, 2016, 07:35:51 pm
I was planning a ride "for no particular reason" but have to drive to Devon instead. Shucks!


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: bobm on September 30, 2018, 01:23:01 pm
Finally managed to get back to the two level crossings on the Golden Valley line between Swindon and Kemble.

I visited both before the redoubling but the cutbacks to bus services mean it is now all but impossible to get to Upper Minety by public transport.  The bus from Swindon has been withdrawn leaving a service from Malmesbury or Cirencester and a two and a half hour wait in Minety to get back.  However thanks to bignosemac we were able to take a trip out to see how things have changed.

Minety 2013
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/mine1.jpg)

2018
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/minloc.jpg)

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/miniet.jpg)

Purton Collins Lane 2013
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/purt2.jpg)

2018
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/purton1.jpg)

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/purtiet.jpg)


Title: Re: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 30, 2018, 05:10:58 pm
Good timing there.  :)



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