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Author Topic: The Great Robertsbridge Train Robbery  (Read 4212 times)
CJB666
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« on: May 13, 2018, 10:26:51 am »

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5719665/Families-accuse-steam-railway-trying-grab-farm-land-7million-project.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/11/plan-re-open-steam-train-line-leaves-farmers-fuming
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2018, 10:36:13 am »



See also our discussion of this at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=17973.msg237608#msg237608


From The Daily Mail

Quote
Train lines closed under the controversial 'Dr Beeching' cuts are set to be re-opened and serviced by 'no-frills' trains.

It is understood a £4milion trial will be launched within the next two years using cheap, low-speed trains built from 'lightweight' materials.

The new technology could see some of 5,000 miles of disused track opened again after it was originally closed in Dr Richard Beeching's review in the 1960s, when he was chairman of British Railways.

I have started a list:

[snip]
Robertsbridge to Bodiam
[snip]

... Can you spot the one or two sillies I have put in there to make reading it a bit of fun?

Robertsbridge to Bodiam was one of those odd ones I posted - a difficult line to see as a part of the daily network. Yet as a heritage line - could it make sense?

From The Daily Mail again

Quote
For some, there is no finer sight than a locomotive in full steam chugging majestically through the glorious English countryside.

But in one idyllic corner of East Sussex, that prospect has got the locals, well, rather steamed up.

They are trying to prevent a heritage railway line being extended by two miles from Bodiam to Robertsbridge amid accusations of bullying and environmental vandalism.

To make it clear ... the Kent and East Sussex railway is looking to restore its historic link along the old trackbed that was in use until 1961.



I'll leave this thread open here, as it may well we worthy of a topic on its own!

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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 10:45:26 am »

An interesting discussion.  I note that a transport corridor has to join up all the pieces of land it needs to run over in a logical series and is far more constrained that other land use activities which have a second dimension of flexibility.  I also note that the land in question was in use as a railway for around 100 years up to 1961 (track in good enough condition for the track lifting train as late as 1970) but had been in use as farmland for hundreds of years before that.  Presumably at one time it was scrubland as per the Ashdown Forest?
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CJB666
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2018, 10:57:32 am »

In the late 1960s I rode a jigger from Robertsbridge to Tenterden. That was at the start of the preservation efforts. The railway societies have achieved much since then.

I am minded to compare the restoration of the line with that of the Wey & Arun Canal. If you see the newly constructed locks and bridges they are of a far higher standard and more extensive than were ever built originally. The rebuilt canal will ultimately cater for full length narrowboats from the main system, rather than short barges for local farmers.

It is the same with this line. The standard of rebuild (not restoration) is far higher than Colonel Stephens could ever have envisioned. The line is being rebuilt for heavy weight engines and long trains likely off the main line. In a way the gap to be filled will be far more extensive than was ever there originally.

More info. here about the protest:

http://greatrobertsbridgetrainrobbery.co.uk
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 11:18:33 am by CJB666 » Logged
rogerw
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2018, 11:27:03 am »

It is interesting to see the slant that people put on things. The railway will be an environmental disaster with its 10 trains a day.  The A21 is obviously not despite the fact that it is heavily congested.  Of course these people have cars but not trains so that the road and its associated pollution is not an environmental problem.   Roll Eyes Huh
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CJB666
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2018, 03:42:49 pm »

The Cholsey and Wallingford line crosses a very busy dual carriageway fitted with only half barriers. Haven't heard of any issues or near misses.
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JayMac
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2018, 03:59:06 pm »

I don't think using Compulsory Purchase Orders is the right way to progress the project.

Sadly, if the landowners don't want to sell up at any price then that should be that. If the landowners want to name a price then the project backers should find the money, not use the local authorities to force sale through a CPO. This is not a project to improve public transport in the area. Its a private enterprise.
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JayMac
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 04:24:18 pm »

It is interesting to see the slant that people put on things. The railway will be an environmental disaster with its 10 trains a day.  The A21 is obviously not despite the fact that it is heavily congested.  Of course these people have cars but not trains so that the road and its associated pollution is not an environmental problem.   Roll Eyes Huh

It's a false equivalence to compare existing A21 pollution with future RVR pollution. Those against the RVR project are not campaigning to reduce road pollution. See https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Not_as_bad_as

It is however right for the protesters to point out that pollution on the A21 is likely to increase with the installation of a level crossing. It's even worth pointing out the increased road vehicular traffic the RVR (if built) will attract. Those are legitimate environmental issues to raise, along with habitat removal, flood risk and train emission pollution. Rebuilding a railway is not done in a bubble no matter what extant formation is there. There are very real and genuine environmental concerns.
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onthecushions
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2018, 05:51:24 pm »


Having walked the route, I think that the RVR has already contributed greatly to flood relief in its rebuilding of its bridges and reshaped watercourses underneath, benefiting the objecting landowners also. It has also faced determined opposition previously in its land purchase attempts - reversing, irrationally when ownership changed, allowing the progress to date. I believe the Bluebell R has also had problems in only being allowed to buy half its track bed in parts, i.e fencing in the six foot!

Heritage railways have a difficult time with land acquisition and planning. BR (British Rail(ways))/MoT didn't want to risk re-openings (like Henry 8 and the monasteries) and so disposed of land destructively, voiding useful rights of way. The record of Sustrans may be studied and the fiasco of the Helston fight is of recent memory.

Where one can sympathise with affected owners (the original railway acts are still extant) is in change management. An elevated railway to provide underpasses or funded exchange of land to provide separate but viable farm businesses each side of the railway could be sought. Often major road schemes lack this modest piece of humanity.

I don't think that the pub will maintain its opposition when custom increases..

Good luck to the RVR

OTC
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bobm
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2018, 05:59:04 pm »

The Cholsey and Wallingford line crosses a very busy dual carriageway fitted with only half barriers. Haven't heard of any issues or near misses.

It was a big issue in the 1980s when the society was trying to get back to Cholsey.  The Wallingford bypass was being built and threatened to cut the line in two.  I am not sure with the policy having changed how easy it would be to insist on a level crossing now.

There was one non-injury incident in the early days but nothing since.
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CJB666
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2018, 11:04:10 pm »

The Cholsey and Wallingford line crosses a very busy dual carriageway fitted with only half barriers. Haven't heard of any issues or near misses.

It was a big issue in the 1980s when the society was trying to get back to Cholsey.  The Wallingford bypass was being built and threatened to cut the line in two.  I am not sure with the policy having changed how easy it would be to insist on a level crossing now.

There was one non-injury incident in the early days but nothing since.


The issue was neatly solved ...

https://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/index.php?title=File:Cholsey_and_Wallingford_Railway_level_crossing_over_Wallingford_Bypass_-_Geograph_-_393273.jpg
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2018, 07:24:08 am »

Here's another possible solution - note the commentary saying it was filmed on the Kent and East Sussex

https://www.facebook.com/BBCArchive/videos/566491307057237/UzpfSTY0NzI0NzYzNToxNjkyNzMxMzk0MDk2OTcy/
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grahame
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2021, 09:00:43 pm »

Came across this ... RVRailway News

Quote
Inquiry - Statement from the RVR Trust
A message from Gardner Crawley, Chairman of the RVR Heritage Trust

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who wrote in  support of the Bodiam to Robertsbridge reconnection project. Many of you wrote to express your backing for the RVR’s application for a Transport and Works Act Order, and several of you gave evidence during the Public Inquiry this summer, all of which was greatly appreciated by the Trustees.
 
The Inquiry finished on 3 September and it is worth reading the closing submission made by our counsel Richard Olney. He counters all the issues raised by the objectors and makes the case that the scheme has an overwhelming public benefit. This can be found at the Inquiry website, as INQ 164, under the heading ‘documents submitted during the inquiry’:

We are now in the hands of the Inspector who will write his report to the Secretary of State for Transport and anticipate his decision will be made around spring or summer of next year.

Who's interest is it in for the process / time to be so protracted? Is it really necessary to take up to 9 months to come to a conclusion?
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grahame
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2023, 10:40:37 pm »

The standard of rebuild (not restoration) is far higher than Colonel Stephens could ever have envisioned. The line is being rebuilt for heavy weight engines and long trains likely off the main line. In a way the gap to be filled will be far more extensive than was ever there originally.

From Kent Online

Quote
The largest ever locomotive to run on a heritage railway in Kent will be staying on the line until the summer.

257 Squadron, a 1948 Battle of Britain Class locomotive, ran its first trip on the Kent and East Sussex Railway in Tenterden on Good Friday

I find myself wondering whether it's in the K&ESR (Emergency Speed Restriction ) / Colonel Stevens mould to run a Battle of Britain pacific on there.   Mind, the Colonel was good at running old wrecks on his lines, and 257 was recovered as a wreck from Barry.

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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2023, 03:38:11 pm »

From Kent Online

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Tenterden to get new link to London as Kent and East Sussex Railway to be extended

Currently, KESR runs steam locomotives to and from Tenterden and Bodiam in neighbouring county East Sussex.

However, affiliated charity Rother Valley Railway (RVR) has been trying for some years to gain permission to reopen a lost link in the line to connect it with Robertsbridge Junction, to the east of Bodiam

After an application was made under the Transport and Work Act 1992, the campaign eventually went to a public inquiry by the Department for Transport (DfT» (Department for Transport - about)) in 2021, which was finally decided in favour of reopening the line on Tuesday, after considerable delay.

The move will connect Tenterden with tourist traffic coming from London via Robertsbridge – which is just over a 60 minute journey direct from London Charing Cross.

As part of the application, workers will establish new level crossings across three roads – most notably including the A21 outside Robertsbridge.

The report by the DfT surmised that while there would be delays on the affected roads because of these new crossings, the disruption would be at a level where traffic could cope.

“The Inspector concludes that the effect of the proposed level crossing on the free flow of traffic and congestion on the A21 would be acceptable and would not weigh materially against the Order scheme,” it added.

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