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Author Topic: Dawlish Signal Box to be demolished  (Read 32920 times)
bobm
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« on: May 26, 2013, 08:30:30 pm »

It seems the signal box at Dawlish station is to be demolished.

The local council have given permission - letter here.

Although the building was listed it has now been delisted and it seems the building is going to cost too much to bring back into use - Officer's report.


As it looks today

I'd imagine in its heyday, in the days of steam, it must have been an interesting place to work with some great scenery and the ever present power of the sea ready to be whipped up by spring tides or winter gales.

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ellendune
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 08:44:15 pm »

Given the very exposed location maintaining this building is always going to be very expensive.  Given that there is no use for it, I cannot argue against its demolition.  Of course if someone wanted to take it on...
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 08:56:13 pm »

Sad.  It could have been moved elsewhere (at a cost).  I wonder if a preserved railway would take it.......
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Andy
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 12:37:45 pm »

Sad.  It could have been moved elsewhere (at a cost).  I wonder if a preserved railway would take it.......

It would be a great pity if it were lost. It'd be nice to see it stay in the SW - at Helston, the Bodmin & Wenford or another former GW (Great Western) line.

 
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South Western
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2013, 08:24:06 pm »

Good. The modern railway should not be a museum of decaying structures. Unless someone wishes to replace signal box with a ^plastic^, almost maintenance free, replica like the Dawlish footbridge.... but at least that has a purpose.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2013, 08:28:57 pm »

Thanks for posting a rather thought-provoking comment, South Western - and welcome to the Coffee Shop forum!  Smiley
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"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
grahame
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2013, 09:38:08 pm »

It would be a great pity if it were lost. It'd be nice to see it stay in the SW - at Helston, the Bodmin & Wenford or another former GW (Great Western) line.

Good. The modern railway should not be a museum of decaying structures. Unless someone wishes to replace signal box with a ^plastic^, almost maintenance free, replica like the Dawlish footbridge.... but at least that has a purpose.

I've got strong feelings on this one - both for it to be retained AND for it to not stand in the way of progress, nor cost the passenger ^ by being saved in situ. We live in a listed building, which was uninhabitable when we bought it.  And we've turned it back into much more of what it was ... that's not to original (it rarely is - we have electricity which wasn't installed in 1814, for example).   And it's so sad to loose history when a place / building / icon / childhood memory gets removed - for ever.  And yet ... a moved building to a preserved line is such a shadow of itself, with such places eeking out a few more years from old carriages, locos, buildings ... and a building left in place on a working railway could limit that railway for the future and act as a money pit. 

Good discussion ... I have no answer to how to celebrate history, yet move on.  But move on we must; please can we have some 15x or 17x units for our line in Wiltshire.   Don't really want 10x, 11x or 121, thank you. And looking forward to hourly 334  Grin
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2013, 10:20:06 pm »


 ... a moved building to a preserved line is such a shadow of itself, with such places eeking out a few more years from old carriages, locos, buildings ... and a building left in place on a working railway could limit that railway for the future and act as a money pit. 


The first principle of architectural conservation is that where possible a historic building should be left in situ. Moving it is the last resort. The next principle is that a use has to be found, because without that a building is doomed. The trouble with signal boxes is that they are a bit specialised, and tend to be in difficult places for re-use. It'll be interesting to see what becomes of the listed Severn Bridge Jct box when Shrewsbury is resignalled - as I understand it there is no public access, so what can they do with it?

Dawlish Box is allegedly in a bit of a state, so (sadly) it is probably difficult to justify spending money on it. Maybe rather than dwelling on its loss, we should rejoice at how many boxes the heritage railways have managed to retain, working as pieces of living history.

We are living through a period of huge change on the railways; one by one Brunel's lesser structures on the GWR (Great Western Railway) are being flattened or altered to accommodate electrification, stations are altered for DDA» (Disability Discrimination Act - about)-compliance; personally I used to really like the atmosphere at Reading! But all this is certainly preferable to the 60's, when change generally meant dereliction, decay and demolition.

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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2013, 10:45:31 pm »

But all this is certainly preferable to the 60's, when change generally meant dereliction, decay and demolition.

Or just as bad, concrete!
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JayMac
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2013, 11:32:31 pm »

There are, however, some excellent buildings built in concrete.

Coventry Station. De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill-on-Sea. Trellick Tower, Kensington, London. Preston Bus Station. National Theatre, Lambeth, London.

It's in the eye of the beholder though. And I'm a fan of Modernist and Brutalist architecture.
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2013, 11:37:03 pm »

There are, however, some excellent buildings built in concrete.

Coventry Station...

It's in the eye of the beholder though. And I'm a fan of Modernist and Brutalist architecture.

You're right.  And in the eye of this beholder...  Coventry!!!  Wink
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2013, 04:34:57 pm »

It's always good to know someone likes something you find hideous...it adds to the richness of life.  I wouldn't want my ideas to be set in...um... Grin
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JayMac
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2013, 05:40:25 pm »

All those buildings I mentioned, apart from Preston Bus Station, are listed. So I'm not alone in appreciating their architectural aesthetic.

Listing has been refused on a couple of occasions for Preston Bus Station and it's living on borrowed time. The local authority are determined to bulldoze it.

As for Dawlish signal box, it will be a shame if it's demolished. But spending money to further underpin it to stop it falling down (it's already propped up on the landward side) would be a waste of funds for what is no longer a functioning railway building.

Perhaps more should have been done, using legislation that backs up listed status, to force Railtrack/Network Rail to have maintained it better when it was listed. Ultimately though a use would need to have been found for it, and no-one has come forward to either buy it in situ or have it moved.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2013, 08:24:19 pm »

Listing has been refused on a couple of occasions for Preston Bus Station and it's living on borrowed time. The local authority are determined to bulldoze it.

They should be commended on that stance: see some example picturesLips sealed Roll Eyes Grin
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William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

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JayMac
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2013, 09:00:27 pm »

They should be commended on condemned for that stance

Fixed that for you.  Tongue Wink Grin
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