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Author Topic: Passengers to get faster journeys between Somerset and Dorset  (Read 3471 times)
Timmer
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« on: January 17, 2020, 05:48:30 pm »

https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/passengers-to-get-faster-journeys-between-somerset-and-dorset-following-bridge-renewal-at-yetminster-1

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Network Rail is to carry out upgrades between Castle Cary and Weymouth over a series of weekends this spring to provide passengers with a more reliable railway and faster journeys.

Between January and April, engineers will strengthen tunnels, bridges and refurbish and renew track on the Heart of Wessex line, which links Weymouth and Bristol.

The main area of work is at Yetminster in Dorset where a 129-year-old bridge crossing the River Wriggle will be renewed. This requires the closure of the line for six days between Yeovil Pen Mill and Weymouth from Saturday 15 February to Friday 21 February when buses will replace trains.

Replacement transport will run between Weymouth and Yeovil Pen Mill to connect with Great Western Railway (GWR) train services towards Bristol Temple Meads.

Engineers will work around the clock to replace the deck of Yetminster river bridge, providing a new, a more reliable support for track.

There will also be further closures over four weekends to complete the other upgrades to the line.
Continues...
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2020, 04:22:12 am »

Quote
Between January and April, engineers will strengthen tunnels, bridges and refurbish and renew track on the Heart of Wessex line, which links Weymouth and Bristol.

The main area of work is at Yetminster in Dorset where a 129-year-old bridge crossing the River Wriggle will be renewed. This requires the closure of the line for six days between Yeovil Pen Mill and Weymouth from Saturday 15 February to Friday 21 February when buses will replace trains.

The name "River Wriggle" brought a smile to my face (as does the River Piddle a bit further south).  Is the opportunity of these work being taken to increase line speed (make the line a little less wriggly, perhaps) so that an  hourly service can be run, trains passing at both Yeovil Pen Mill and Maiden Newton?
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bradshaw
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2020, 08:46:09 am »

That bridge is only 100m north of Yetminster station, where most trains stop. It was originally one of Brunel’s wooden bridges, as were most bridges over which the railway was built. These had a life of 25 years before being replaced. So, if it follows the same path as Cattistock mill bridge, it would have been renewed in timber around 1880 before the current version replaced it in 1891.

When the Dorchester A37/35 link Road was built in 1988 Whitcombe bridge needed rebuilding. During the work they found the original 1857 bridge entombed within the 1885 replacement! Dorset County Museum and myself were shown around after work had been completed and some of the bridge is still there. We were also given photographs of the remains as well as copies of the original plans.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2020, 02:35:01 pm »

From a different bridge on the Wilts Somerset and Weymouth - the one over the river Avon near Staverton (between Holt and Bradford Junctions) ... here's a photograph of some of Brunel's original plans held at the Wiltshire and Swindon history centre in Chippenham.



This too originated as a timber bridge; I don't have an early change history for it though.   The bridge itself was replaced by a single track bridge at some point after the 1967 singling of the line, and is now one of the more significant obstacles to redoubling throughout. 
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2020, 05:34:15 am »

The GWR leaflet covering these engineering works which run until 29th March 2020 is mirrored at

Engineering works / trains replace by buses - various dates to 29th March 2020
Line / Service - Weymouth, Dorchester, Maiden Newton, Yeovil Pen Mill, Castle Cary
Trains running on all dates Castle Cary, Bruton, Frome, Westbury and north thereof

See the leaflet above for service changes details.
See http://gwr.passenger.chat/22869 for a description of how / why we are mirroring this data on the Coffee Shop forum.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 06:24:13 am by grahame » Logged

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bradshaw
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2020, 01:29:55 pm »

NR Wessex have shared these photographs on Twitter showing the bridge reconstruction at Yetminster.

 https://twitter.com/networkrailwssx/status/1229386694778028033?s=21


Edit.
Working at 21.49
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 09:49:56 pm by bradshaw » Logged
rogerw
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2020, 08:01:08 pm »

NR Wessex have shared these photographs on Twitter showing the bridge reconstruction at Yetminster.

 https://twitter.com/networkrailwssx/status/1229386694778028033?s=21

Now saying page does not exist
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Timmer
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2020, 08:21:41 pm »

NR Wessex have shared these photographs on Twitter showing the bridge reconstruction at Yetminster.

 https://twitter.com/networkrailwssx/status/1229386694778028033?s=21

Now saying page does not exist

Try this one:
https://twitter.com/networkrailwssx/status/1229442498432466944?s=21
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Celestial
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2020, 08:31:52 pm »

I love the way that routine maintenance is always spun as a big improvement for passengers. Whether it be faster journeys (wonder how much that will be?), a smoother ride, more reliable service, or whatever. Nope, it's just the year in year out maintenance that's required to keep the railway running, and if it does mean a faster service because a speed restriction has been imposed it's because Network Rail has previously slowed the service due to a backlog of work.  

Meanwhile, I'm telling visitors to my house that they will soon get a much brighter, drier, and more speedy welcome as I finally get round to painting the flaking front door, repairing the overflowing gutter and replaced the battery in my front door bell. They'll be so thrilled to know.  
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bradshaw
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2020, 02:37:54 pm »

Current update from Network Rail
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Lee
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2020, 07:06:48 pm »

Emergency train service put in place...

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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2020, 07:51:19 am »

Emergency train service put in place...

The loss of certain main lines in the 1960s is sadly to be regretted today. I can quite envisage a "might have been".

Trains from The Midlands and north thereof carrying on straight ahead - underneath at Westerleigh through a two level (Galton Bridge / Tamworth / Worcestershire Parkway style) Parkway and via Mangotsfield, Downend and Fishponds into the old Brunel train shed at Temple Meads (or carry on through towards Taunton through the Matthew Digby Wyatt section of the station.  Reversal at Bristol, via Mangotsfield then Warmley, Bitton and Kelston for Saltford and to Bath (Green Park). Reversal again for Radstock, Shepton Mallet, Bruton and Cole (another two level station), Templecombe (yet another) and Blandford then into Poole and / or via Wimbourne and Ringwood into Brockenhurst.

With HSTs, or with IETs, reversals would be cheap in time; maybe some Bristol avoiders at Mangotsfield like there could be Birmingham avoiders via the Camp Hill line there. Local rail provision into Bristol from what has become a rail desert to the north east of the city, and on to Bath too.  Dealing with the isolation of Radstock – around 45 minutes by bus (or 25 minutes by daily National Express) yet part of BaNES from Bath, and putting other places back on the map.  Saving current overload / congestion problems at Bristol Parkway.  Looking south, if the Wimbourne / Ringwood plan was effective, adding in rail for those now-significant communities too, and the whole providing a new route for freight from Southampton north - relieving congestion around Reading / Dicot / Oxford.

Sadly, had the "S&D" stayed open, there would have been a threat to the Yeovil to Dorchester section of the Heart of Wessex which was one of the lines who's future was perilous at one point. And is the very line this thread is about. Pretending the enlightenment suggested above, it's plausible to pretend further that the HoW would survive with yet another (!) two level station neat Yeovil, or with a reversal at Yeovil Junction over a reinstated south to West line (realigned to come into Junction rather that a freight facility beside it).

There would have been other modern facilities we would have not gotten too. Bristol Parkway may have been much smaller or not existed at all as a station, in favour of Sodding Chipbury Parkway and a much enhanced Patchway. That marvellous cycle and footway from north east Bristol into the city would not have come into being, and that applies to the path to Bath too. The Two Tunnels walk so much enjoyed by so many would not be.

The Somerset and Dorset main line would also provide key public transport connectivity across the Western Gateway Sub-National Transport Body'a area - see https://westerngatewaystb.org.uk . Politically slightly imperfect as Western Gateway resembles a horseshoe which does not include Somerset (why are Western Gateway and Western Peninsular separate? - we need "Transport for the West", don't we?)

The case for the other line listed on the 1966 poster – Evercreech Junction to Highbridge – is beyond my knowledge; although originally the Somerset and Dorset main line, I suspect it may have been a harder one to save if Beeching had only been "50% Beeching".

Looking at other closures at around the time the old Somerset and Dorset main line closed, one has to wonder at the closure of the old Great Central line's section outside the greater South East – from Aylesbury via Rugby to Leicester and beyond, and wonder if retention of this section might have provided an alternative to the current investment (and angst / discussion) of a new line from Euston to Curzon Street.

When this forum started, there was serious concern at a further wave of Beeching Style Closures.  A further wave had been proposed in the Serpell report, and the SRA around 15 years ago was letting franchises based on no growth or routine replacement of stock - which has lead to many of the problems today because people wanted and used the trains when they weren't supposed to.  Campaigns like CANBER (Campaign Against New Beeching Report) helped alert us and - more importantly those with some influence - to the risks.  Thanks to the factors including those, train services such as my own local one in Melksham have been moved from fear of complete closure to one of the safest pieces of public transport in the town (which does NOT mean we can relax - another topic). Truly, we have come a long way. Yet we still have "way to go" to provide a better - and that probably means bigger - railway. Today closures are the exception - Angel Road lost for a better replacement, Newhaven Marine hard to defend (but care needs to be taken to avoid any precedents of procedure being set).  But then you have Breich brought back from being close to extinction, and investment announced in Teeside Airport - even more of a miracle with just one train a week at present.
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2020, 03:38:40 pm »

today's Network Rail update on Twitter

https://twitter.com/networkrailwssx/status/1229442498432466944?s=21
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bradshaw
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2020, 02:03:02 pm »

Today’s update from Network Rail
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bradshaw
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2020, 08:11:55 am »

Nearing the end


Edit 16.25
NR have issued a video of the work

https://twitter.com/networkrailwssx/status/1230888039880282112?s=21
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 04:25:40 pm by bradshaw » Logged
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