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1  Journey by Journey / Heart of Wessex / Re: Weymouth tramway-the final curtain? on: Yesterday at 12:22:00 pm
I've heard no report or suggestion of the lifted rails being perhaps donated to a heritage railway somewhere.  It might sugar the pill a little for some of those most upset by what has happened.

In my limited experience of removing tram old lines from under roads removing them intact may well have been more expensive than removing them in small chunks.
2  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The West - but NOT trains in the West / Re: Stroudwater Canal to be reconnected to the network on: October 22, 2020, 08:09:25 am
There are some good pics of the work to be done at

(You can also browse through the site and explore the remaining derelict sections of the canals. There'll be a couple of tricky railway crossings heading east from Stroud, but that's currently allocated to "Phase 3"...)

I walked a fair chunk of the last couple of miles to Sapperton summit a couple of years back. A good pub there...

The Daneway perchance?

That would be the Tunnel House Inn at the south tunnel entrance between Coates and Tarlton. My mother lived in Tarlton for a time and it was sort of the village pub.  Except it wasn't in the village or on the Coates road, the quickest way was to walk across the fields on the footpath.
3  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Where was I today and when did travel on it by train? on: October 22, 2020, 08:03:21 am
Is that Wadebridge - the Camel Trail to Bodmin in front of you and the gate on your left being across the North Cornwall Line?

Yes got it in one. Wadebridge Junction.

Now AIUI the line closed it January 1967.  I remember going on a train from Wadebridge to Bodmin (and back) with a guide giving a commentary on a portable PA system along the route. It was a DMU. I think it was after formal closure which would have put it in August 1967, however it could have been in 1966. I don't think it was a one off perhaps a short series for the summer season.  Does anyone know anymore?
4  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Where was I today and when did travel on it by train? on: October 21, 2020, 09:21:29 pm
Where was I today. I remember going on it on a train as a child which was I think the summer just after it closed could I be correct?
5  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Public transport, Climate change, Coronavirus and Brexit. Crystal Ball Time. on: October 20, 2020, 06:54:17 pm
My daughter cycles the 3.5 km to her school every day...
But only until the end of this year. From the spring term it will be officially 413,385 barleycorns. She does have a Sturmey Archer three-speed hub and a Brooks saddle?

Are barleycorns Rees-Mogg customary units?
6  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Re: Teignmouth rail development suspended on: October 20, 2020, 06:45:38 pm
As I said pump grout(liquid concrete) into the cliff face, the same technique has been used to shore up parts of London during the Underground & Crossrail constructions.

Although I am a Civil Engineer geotechnics is not my specialism and I have not studied the geology of the area.

That said there is a huge difference between compensation grouting to prevent building subsidence during tunnelling, and grouting to stabilise embankment slopes. They are very different solution to a very different problem. 

If the cliffs could be stabilised by grout treatment then I am sure that would have at least been an option. I am not aware that such a solution possible, Is anyone with more specialist expertise and local knowledge able to comment?

My understanding is the the proposed stabilisation solution is a combination of rock bolting and a buttress at foot of the cliff. Unfortunately, the buttress requires some space and so requires the railway to be moved. 

An alternative would be to moved the cliff back and do the same; or even batter the cliff back to a more stable slope.  These would require land take at the top of the cliff.  What is there? It would also require an extended closure and would be very expensive.

I look forward to hearing what NR propose next year.
7  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Public transport, Climate change, Coronavirus and Brexit. Crystal Ball Time. on: October 18, 2020, 12:48:23 pm
With reference to your first paragraph alone, I think we should be cautious in proclaiming the long-term decline of commuting. Firstly, we're still a long way off the "new long term" when we go about whatever without a thought for lockdowns and distancing. But secondly, what we do see is complicated: a lot of firms are urging their employees back into the office, for all sorts of real or spurious reasons from efficiency to mental health, and a lot of people want to go back to the office. The two don't always align, of course.  Undecided And for those making a commute, 55 minutes a day is still 55 minutes a day... I think we'll probably see a significant amount of office downsizing and sell-offs in the next year or two but also a continuation, not always willing, of traditional Monday to Friday commuting for a substantial chunk of the population, while others work complicated rotas. "Complicated" is the only definite so far...

I agreed. Also remember how small a proportion of travel is rail.  Even with a reduction in travel a model shift could easily make up the difference.  Some people are seeing this as an opportunity to move out of the city with perhaps a less frequent journey to the office, which may add up to similar route miles. Whatever happens it seems quite likely that travel patterns will be different just difficult to predict in what way.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Aberthaw Power Station on: October 17, 2020, 12:38:48 pm

Perhaps renewable sources need the same as UPS systems used to have; large motor/alternator sets running continuously.

There's a small energy (and cost) penalty but that's just part of the joy of sustainability.
It might even make re-newables more useful/marketable as a consistent energy supply.


Other solutions are being found including flywheels in Scotland
9  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020 on: October 17, 2020, 09:11:05 am
With a good campaign that could come back to bite the tory candidate if Sadiq Kahn manages to put the blame where it truly lies it would be seen as the intended policy of his tory opponent.
10  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Re: Teignmouth rail development suspended on: October 17, 2020, 09:00:23 am
It's a good idea, but from speaking to local people they want the railway line to stay where it is, The loss of Spray Point is one of the main issues along with the reduced beach. I don't see why grout couldn't be pumped into the cliff to permanently bond it together?

So what is the alternative? 

What are these far simpler and cheaper solutions they speak of? 

How would the locals feel about moving the cliffs back so they have a nice neat engineered slope or a quarried face further inland?  The visual impact would be quite significant.  Can't see it would be cheaper either.

Edited to add note about cost
11  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: The new way of running the rails - what do you EXPECT of the new system? on: October 15, 2020, 11:21:47 pm
Rubber pollution from tyres is not IMHO a significant problem, it is a natural material  and once divided into fine powder soon breaks down. Plastic pollution is a greater problem since plastic micro particles end up in the sea where plankton eat them, and they build up in larger sea creatures that eat plankton.

Natural rubber, may well be... um ... natural, but modern tyres are not made from natural rubber and haven't been for some time as this article from  national geographic explains
12  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: The new way of running the rails - what do you EXPECT of the new system? on: October 14, 2020, 09:20:48 pm
Yes somewhat is the word. If charged by renewable electricity they eliminate carbon emissions and air pollution from exhausts. However, rubber tyres are still giving rise to microplastics pollution and there is still an environmental cost in the manufacture of the car. There is also the environmental impact of the roads they use. 

Lets see them as a step on the way to a sustainable future.

Electric cars sustainable?

Uses massive battery packs that last only 10 years, meaning they either have to be replaced, or the car scrapped. Where is the power coming from to charge the car?

The power can at least come from renewable sources - but is does rely like many other measures on decarbonising the electricity grid.
13  Journey by Journey / Thames Valley Branches / Re: Misuse of level crossings - highlighting but not limited to Marlow branch on: October 12, 2020, 08:59:42 pm
This from the BBC, concerning trespass at Crewkerne Gates

Network Rail issued a warning that live rails carry 750 volts of electricity, which can kill.

Has 3rd rail been extended further west as far as Crewkerne while I wasn't looking?
14  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Reversing Beeching - bring heritage and freight lines into the passenger network on: October 11, 2020, 09:53:55 pm
As close a fit as Okehampton is, I cant help feeling that grahame has somewhere else in mined...

Oh do tell...
15  All across the Great Western territory / Active travel: Cyclists and walkers, including how the railways deal with them / Re: POLL - How many of these are within 15 minutes walk of your residence? on: October 10, 2020, 07:39:12 pm
Perhaps I should have also ticked workplace since for the time being (at least the next 6 months) I am working from home
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