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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 47594 times)
The Grecian
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« Reply #405 on: October 18, 2018, 09:56:43 pm »

There are plenty of aesthetically pleasing photos of the Lune Gorge on the West Coast Main Line or Burnmouth on the East Coast Main Line post-electrification which the wires haven't spoilt. The Woodhead Line wasn't too badly affected either. Plus virtually every line in Switzerland is electrified, and it doesn't seem to cause too many complaints about the view being spoiled inside or outside the train.

And if you're looking for human designed vistas, York or Manchester Piccadilly railway stations (much larger than Bath) look alright to me...
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eightonedee
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« Reply #406 on: October 18, 2018, 10:12:06 pm »

Sadly, I do not have a picture to post, but there are some very elegant steel hoops used on the Clermont Ferrand-Beziers line in France to support the OHL, albeit I recall that's mostly single track.

PS - I have now found the attached with some suitable pictures ( http://transportrail.canalblog.com/pages/la-ligne-des-causses/31796112.html)- the line also has the magnificent Viaduc du Garabit
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 10:19:02 pm by eightonedee » Logged
bignosemac
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« Reply #407 on: October 18, 2018, 10:15:46 pm »

Every time I see the GWR catenary I am surprised how much more heavy duty is seems from other electrified main lines. Is part of the project's problem that it is over-engineered?

I don't see the two track GWML sections, with their individual cantilevered OHLE as over-engineered. The four track portals are arguably more intrusive, as residents overlooking Hermann's Hole have long since moaned about, but it should always be engineering over aesthetic. The recent dewirement of the headspan section nearer Paddington has brought into sharp focus the need for robust OHLE.

Better engineering should mean fewer dewirements.
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broadgage
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« Reply #408 on: October 18, 2018, 10:45:47 pm »

Every time I see the GWR catenary I am surprised how much more heavy duty is seems from other electrified main lines. Is part of the project's problem that it is over-engineered?

I would prefer "well built, solidly engineered" as a description of the GWR electrification, rather than over engineered.
In the last few days we have had a high profile failure of cheaply done "under engineered" OHLE on the route into Paddington.
Whilst the proximate cause appears to have been an errant train, this closed all lines and resulted in epic disruption.
With the more substantial portal frame construction that is now in favour, only one line would have been affected.
With the cheapo lightweight span wire construction, the whole lot came down.

The place for heritage is on a heritage line. Busy main lines should be electrified with the emphasis on substantial and durable structures.

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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
stuving
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« Reply #409 on: October 18, 2018, 10:54:31 pm »

With the more substantial portal frame construction that is now in favour, only one line would have been affected.

Really? I am not convinced that separate registration - certainly a good idea on a vital stretch of line like that out of Paddington - needs such massive steelwork to support it.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 11:14:41 pm by stuving » Logged
bignosemac
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« Reply #410 on: October 18, 2018, 11:01:31 pm »

You can of course have seperate cantilevered arms for each running line, but that requires more space between lines, and many more borings for the stanchions.

Hence formation spanning portals across multiple lines.
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eXPassenger
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« Reply #411 on: October 18, 2018, 11:07:46 pm »

. the line also has the magnificent Viaduc du Garabit

The viaduct is a stupendous piece of engineering designed by Eiffel.  There is a very good view from the autoroute rest area.  The same autoroute also has the stupendous Millau viaduct.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #412 on: October 18, 2018, 11:31:02 pm »

the stupendous Millau viaduct.

British architectural design at its best.

On my bucket list of drives.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #413 on: October 19, 2018, 08:54:19 am »

To me OHLE .................. is quite visually pleasing.

OHLE is not pretty.

I rest my case !

Yesterday was my first chance to properly sample the delights of the IET.  One train was a 10 car, the other a 9 car - both running on diesel. Overall impression - not bad....seats not quite as hard as I had feared (wife agreed), plenty of room generally. Ride was good, acceleration from rest seemed quite spritely. Engines were audible but not intrusive - electric should be very quiet.
The only glaring negative point was the (already) appalling state of the seats and the carpets - I got the impression that spilling a teaspoon of freshwater would leave a permanent massive stain !!  The final part of my journey was in a very well worn 166..........the seats and carpets may well have been dreadfully stained - but it certainly didn't show on the fabric/carpet used.
Used 5 trains (all GWR) - not one on time: best 3L, worst 20 L.
BUT.............Warminster-Bath-Swindon-Gloucester-Westbury-Warminster  for 12 (OPDR + Railcard) - a good deal !
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #414 on: October 19, 2018, 09:13:45 am »

There's very little on a railway that I would describe as pretty. Some of the painted decorative cast iron columns on Victorian stations, especially when accompanied by hanging baskets. That's about it, off the top of my head. But there's an awful lot that's visually pleasing, including the snout of an HST and OHLE that works. 
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eXPassenger
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« Reply #415 on: October 19, 2018, 09:55:00 am »

the stupendous Millau viaduct.

British architectural design at its best.

On my bucket list of drives.

Definitely a great drive and not to be missed.  The Millau viaduct is amazing.
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BBM
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« Reply #416 on: October 19, 2018, 10:35:11 am »

Sadly, I do not have a picture to post, but there are some very elegant steel hoops used on the Clermont Ferrand-Beziers line in France to support the OHL, albeit I recall that's mostly single track.

PS - I have now found the attached with some suitable pictures ( http://transportrail.canalblog.com/pages/la-ligne-des-causses/31796112.html)- the line also has the magnificent Viaduc du Garabit

That style of OHLE portal (called 'ogive') was used by the Midi Railway in the 1920s on a number of their electrified lines including most notably the mainline between Bordeaux, Biarritz and the Spanish border at Hendaye. Here's a good Flickr photo from that line:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/collectif_grand_sud_2/36644695755
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johnneyw
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« Reply #417 on: October 19, 2018, 10:43:08 am »

There's very little on a railway that I would describe as pretty. Some of the painted decorative cast iron columns on Victorian stations, especially when accompanied by hanging baskets. That's about it, off the top of my head. But there's an awful lot that's visually pleasing, including the snout of an HST and OHLE that works. 

I'll keep this short to avoid too much topic drift (although aesthetics legitimately should have some place in the discussion surely?). Heritage aside, some working mainline stations, especially if they are well maintained Victorian examples can look wonderfull. Great Malvern, even Bradford on Avon and Torquay spring to mind. Revamped Victorian masterpieces like St Pancras and Paddington are also impressive to the eye in a different way.
It seems in current times these aesthetic considerations have now been lost. BNM's earlier observation that engineering comes before aesthetics on a modern railway is, of course, quite correct and equally, cost is now a massive factor in the present economic evironment.
My thought here is that will future generations look on our more mundane/bland/ugly aspects of functional, modern railway architecture as a lost opportunity?
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broadgage
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« Reply #418 on: October 19, 2018, 11:19:45 am »

I consider it more likely that future generations will admire "early 21st century railway electrification equipment" and demand that it be preserved.

This may seem improbable at the moment, but diverging towards architecture, a number of once vilified structures are now listed.

The new Euston station was heavily criticised  but there is now a campagain to save it.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
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grahame
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« Reply #419 on: October 19, 2018, 11:44:10 am »

I consider it more likely that future generations will admire "early 21st century railway electrification equipment" and demand that it be preserved.

Too true - but will it be considered to be safe enough?  There is already a serious and unsolved problem running 3rd rail electrics in preservation, and even our own IETs that have come onto GWR are suffiicient of a safety concern (risk or people using inter-carriage cable harnesses as ladders) to be on hold for the East Coast.  We may end up seeing extra protection quite soon like that already seen in the USA -
 http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19567.msg234879#msg234879 - and not able to run trains in the current more carefree way!
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