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Author Topic: Swindon resignalling, closure and preservation of Swindon Panel box (merged topic)  (Read 87933 times)
JayMac
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2014, 06:57:46 »

RailUK Forums are currently conducting a poll to see which preservation project, from a list suggested by forum members, will get a donation of ^500 from RailUK's surplus funds.

One of those listed projects is the Swindon Panel Preservation.

Obviously posting here will give folk a fair idea of who I've voted for!

Members of this forum, who are also members over there, are of course free to chose whichever project they think would benefit most from the donation.  Wink

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=108104
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2014, 18:31:56 »

As a member of RailUK Forums, I, too, have voted over there.  Lips sealed

Their poll closes on 16 November 2014, by the way.  Wink
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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.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
ChrisB
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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2014, 13:33:35 »

yup, I've voted. :-)
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JayMac
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« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2014, 22:04:59 »

A final bit of canvassing on my part. I think The Swindon Panel Society would really appreciate the ^500 being offered by RailUK. Swindon Panel is a little different from the usual preservation appeals that go on in the railway heritage sector.

The vote closes on 17th November 2014 at 00:18. Any members here, who are embers over at RailUK, please do vote.

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=108104
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John R
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« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2014, 22:20:20 »

I've voted too for the Panel.
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JayMac
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« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2014, 00:56:27 »

Swindon Panel missed out by one vote!  Shocked

At least 50 votes, by my reckoning, were excluded with a retrospectively added rule that new members with a zero post count were ineligible to vote. A very real danger of accusations of rigging for doing that. I've certainly expressed my disappointment at the removal of a fair number of votes.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 01:03:39 by bignosemac » Logged

"Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for the rest of the day. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."

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grahame
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« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2014, 01:57:09 »

Swindon Panel missed out by one vote!  Shocked

At least 50 votes, by my reckoning, were excluded with a retrospectively added rule that new members with a zero post count were ineligible to vote. A very real danger of accusations of rigging for doing that. I've certainly expressed my disappointment at the removal of a fair number of votes.  Roll Eyes

* Logic suggests that there would have been a different winner had there not been a last minute rule change - otherwise there would have been no point in going to the trouble of changing the rules.

* If a vote with a substantive outcome such as this one has a problem, the fair convention is to declare it null and void and to rerun the vote with the problem / rules sorted.

* I am a little surprised that who voted for what is published, and the voting isn't secret.

Railforums has left itself open to accusations of vote rigging, and of running a vote in which peer pressure takes a role that it shouldn't.  Reminds me of a recent local test of opinion ... several comments of "I support your 'yes', Graham, but I dare not say so in public because the 'no' leader is part of my close business community".

Congratulations to the Loughborough Gap project; it will be interesting to see if they accept the money or ask for the vote to be rerun in these circumstances. Although Swindon Panel came second, we should not come to any foregone conclusion that it's that project that would have won without the rules being changed after voting.
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grahame
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2014, 08:42:39 »

Following up on my own post, there has been considerable activity on the other forum on this topic.  Hindsight is a marvellous thing ... and they appear to have sorted things out which looked rather ugly and perhaps unfair yesterday morning.

I'm somewhat re-assured by the statement that the extra votes which were discounted were for none of the top three projects; it seems like they accounted for some 20% of the votes and brought a project which had little support from the regulars out on top.  And there is a suggestion that the sign-up-to-vote elements weren't genuine.  But only somewhat re-assured; a vote such as this should help encourage new posters (one of our prize competitions was won by someone who signed up to take part ... and has since become a regular, occasionally-posting member) and voting should be secret - not only for the people who vote, but also for the members who choose not to vote and so don't appear on the lists.

Contrary to my post as this developed, I now feel that it's reasonable for the Loughborough folks to accept the forum's donation without considering it to be seriously tainted money.   We seem to have moved from a possible "rigged vote" scenario to one that's had its problems, but seems reasonably fair in outcome.
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John R
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« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2014, 09:52:38 »

I think it was a reasonable action to take when it became clear that there was an element of vote rigging going on, but it might have been better had the rules been changed once that became clear.  Remember that the people running Nat Pres are (I presume) volunteers, have day jobs, and set up the competition in good faith not being experts on ballots. It was clear that some people were looking to take advantage of that lack of expertise, and so it was right to block them.

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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2014, 21:16:58 »

It seems to me that the Swindon Panel Preservation project can take heart from the fact that two moderators and two administrators on RailUK Forums voted for them - a very good level of moral support, even though they were ultimately pipped by just that one vote!  Wink
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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.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2015, 20:48:49 »

A video news update, from the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

Quote
All change as Swindon's 1960s signal box departs for museum

A signal box, which has kept trains in the West of England on track for the past 50 years, is to be preserved as a piece of railway history.

The panel, at Swindon railway station, controls trains over more than 200 miles of track.

But from the end of May, a computer in Didcot will take over and the panel will head to a transport museum.
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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.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
bobm
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« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2015, 22:08:05 »

News today that the closure of the panel may well be delayed for unspecified reasons.

http://www.swindonpanel.org.uk/2015/03/27/swindon-panel-decommissioning-deferred-again/

Quote
Unfortunately we have to report that we have been advised by Network Rail today that it is highly likely that the Swindon Area Signalling Renewal, and associated decommissioning of Swindon Panel, will be deferred for a third time.

It is not yet clear when the work would be deferred until, this is something that Network Rail will no doubt need to work out. We will report further details as soon as we know them and report as soon as we can on how this affects our plans and expectations for the future.

(more in the link above)
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TonyK
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« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2015, 21:16:18 »

News today that the closure of the panel may well be delayed for unspecified reasons.

Doesn't sound like a disaster to me, more a blessing in disguise.
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Now, please!
bobm
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« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2015, 21:18:04 »

For those preserving the panel I'd agree but, as their news release says, I do feel for the Network Rail staff working there who are in limbo a bit.
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ellendune
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« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2015, 18:28:50 »


From the Swindon Advertiser

Quote
Network Rail plans major signalling works on November 21 and 22

TRAINS will be replaced by buses next weekend when the railway is closed around Swindon to allow Network Rail to carry out signalling works.

Replacement bus services will run from Swindon to Chippenham, Didcot and Kemble during the 48-hour shut-down over Saturday, November 21, and Sunday, November 22, which will see no trains run through or to Swindon.

During this time Network Rail will be installing and testing a new signalling system which will replace equipment dating from the 1960s and 70s. This, they say, will pave the way for greater reliability and fewer delays for passengers and is necessary for the arrival of the new electric trains expected from 2017.

Paddy Gregg, Network Rail^s signalling project director for the Western and Wales routes, said: ^This project forms part of our programme to re-signal the whole of the Great Western route, providing passengers with greater reliability, fewer delays and smoother journeys.

^Our work to increase reliability, together with the ability of the new electric trains to reduce journey times and accommodate more passengers, will also help to drive economic growth across the Thames Valley, west and south west England.^

The work taking place over the weekend of 21 and 22 November is the second stage of the Swindon re-signalling project, which has already seen the installation of more than 700km of signalling and power cables.

Around 250 members of Network Rail^s ^orange army^ will be working along 80 miles of railway over the weekend, with testing of the new signalling system being carried out before control of the railway moves from the mechanical signal box at Swindon to the state-of-the-art Thames Valley signalling centre in Didcot early next year.

Network Rail said that all signallers who used to work at the Swindon signal box have been moved into other signalling roles, predominantly at the Thames Valley signalling centre.

Paddy said: ^Replacing and upgrading 40-year-old signalling equipment is very complex and for safety reasons must be carried out when trains aren^t running.


"I would like to thank passengers in advance for their patience and understanding while we complete this essential upgrade that will lead to greater reliability and fewer delays, and pave the way for the advantages electrification and the new electric trains will bring to both passengers and those who live close to the railway.^

The third and final stages of the Swindon re-signalling project will take place early next year, the details of which will be provided later this year.

All passengers are advised to check travel information before leaving by visiting www.gwr.com.

------

To date, the Swindon re-signalling project has included the installation of:

Eight new under-track crossings

Three new under-road crossings

Under-track and under-road crossings are large ducts that allow power, signal and telecoms cables to run from equipment on one side of the track/road to the other.

740km of new signalling and power cables

80km of telecoms cables

165 new signal post telephones, enabling train drivers to contact signallers if needed.

109 new signals
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