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February 24, 2018, 07:58:39 AM *
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Author Topic: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)  (Read 57949 times)
Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #165 on: June 12, 2017, 09:58:24 PM »

In the event, the shuttles were cancelled and a rail replacement bus with GWR representative on-board was substituted, for "operational reasons", I gather.

[Edit to correct spelling - on-board, not on-beard  Grin]

You hipster, you...
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Now, please!
sikejsudjek3
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« Reply #166 on: September 12, 2017, 12:39:04 AM »

As someone who has worked on a large heritage line's track gang for many years and been a member of the Permanent way institute, I can confirm that the limitation to 25mph running is often nothing to do with the track quality but simply a limitation of the light railway order. ie - to run faster requires a mountain of extra paper work ! It doesn't always require a track upgrade. Some heritage lines have superior track to parts of the national network.
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grahame
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« Reply #167 on: September 12, 2017, 01:20:39 AM »

As someone who has worked on a large heritage line's track gang for many years and been a member of the Permanent way institute, I can confirm that the limitation to 25mph running is often nothing to do with the track quality but simply a limitation of the light railway order. ie - to run faster requires a mountain of extra paper work ! It doesn't always require a track upgrade. Some heritage lines have superior track to parts of the national network.

Welcome to the forum, sikejsudjek3

There are indeed some heritage lines which have superb permanent way ... and I have seen others that struggle to keep their track and rolling stock in working order.  They operate under "light railway order"s - which I understand were brought in under the light railways act of 1896,  facilitated by the transport and works act of 1992 which allows new construction by order of the minister of transport rather than requiring a private act of parliament.   

The approach is very much "let's be sensible and not price a little local service that can do a great deal of good out of the market by imposing mammoth requirements on it", but it's very much a "one size fits all" approach, hence limits like the 25 m.p.h.    This form of low-threshold limitation isn't unique to railways - the Bed and Breakfast rules / laws allow for some relaxations in accommodation provision to owner-run, owner-lives-there hostelries below a certain size, and businesses with less than 6 employees are exempt from certain provisions and paperwork.   Such provision is fantastic to help move things along in a pragmatic way, but adds false hurdles to enhancements just beyond the limit. A sort of poverty trap ...
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« Reply #168 on: September 12, 2017, 11:43:07 AM »

As someone who has worked on a large heritage line's track gang for many years and been a member of the Permanent way institute, I can confirm that the limitation to 25mph running is often nothing to do with the track quality but simply a limitation of the light railway order. ie - to run faster requires a mountain of extra paper work ! It doesn't always require a track upgrade. Some heritage lines have superior track to parts of the national network.

Welcome indeed, sikejsudjek3!
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« Reply #169 on: September 12, 2017, 12:56:39 PM »

It's not just the track, is it? A lot of the rolling stock used on heritage lines, while safe enough at 40km/h, soon starts to look a bit dodgy if you start pulling it along any faster. As well as insecure doors and windows, many of these carriages (which would not have met modern safety standards when new) are now weakened by rust and rot.
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sikejsudjek3
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« Reply #170 on: September 13, 2017, 09:10:53 AM »

Thanks for the welcome.

Yes it would help if there was another category of light railway order that allowed for faster running using more modern stock (locking doors, etc) maybe up to 40 mph, with the appropriate standard of P.Way tamping and checking. This would make running commuter services over preserved lines more attractive. My own preserved line has been laying continuous welded rail with stressing and welds completed and checked by network rail contractors, has had the rails ultrasonically checked, and regular tamping. Its also visually checked each week.

By contrast I had a trip on the Isle of Wight Ryde to Shanklin service this summer. You'd be hard pressed to find ride quality that bad on most preserved lines ! I'd be amazed if it isn't getting close to safety limits. Through the platforms (and I assume elsewhere ?) it seems to be old bull head rail with shingle ballast. It feels like there is plenty of track twist causing the stock to continually roll. The line speed is around 50 mph ! It felt so bad in places I decided to sit at the back of the second coach.... There is absolutely no way that we would tolerate ride quality that bad on our heritage line. Ironically most of our track is more modern and built to a far higher standard.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #171 on: September 13, 2017, 06:12:56 PM »

Probably worth splitting this off / separate IOW thread under South Western Railways?

Now done: see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18706.0

CfN.  Smiley

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« Reply #172 on: September 13, 2017, 07:18:15 PM »

Probably worth splitting this off / separate IOW thread under South Western Railways?

Now done: see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18706.0

CfN.  Smiley



Many thanks - don't like to 'moderate' myself.  Kinda Judge and Jury thing
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« Reply #173 on: September 13, 2017, 07:55:56 PM »

...Kinda Judge and Jury thing

I read that as 'Kinda Judge Judy thing'...

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« Reply #174 on: September 13, 2017, 10:09:44 PM »

It's not just the track, is it? A lot of the rolling stock used on heritage lines, while safe enough at 40km/h, soon starts to look a bit dodgy if you start pulling it along any faster. As well as insecure doors and windows, many of these carriages (which would not have met modern safety standards when new) are now weakened by rust and rot.

A bit like that "new" Severn Beach Line Turbo you described recently.
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« Reply #175 on: January 12, 2018, 10:49:14 AM »

BBC news report that the level crossing near Minehead station is to be upgraded later this year.
At present the crossing has half barriers that are lowered across the relevant part of the road, the upgrade will replace these with barriers that close the entire width of the road to traffic.

There have been numerous instances of crossing misuse by driving around the barriers, and also by queueing on the crossing. I recall one case where the accused motorist said in court that "it was only a steam train" !

This link shows a webcam view of the crossing.http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-md2.htm

In this view, the present barriers LOOK long enough to cross the entire width of the road, but this is an illusion caused by the camera angle. The road is much wider than it looks in that view.
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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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« Reply #176 on: January 12, 2018, 03:43:04 PM »

As a daily user of this crossing, I am surprised to hear that there have been "numerous instances" of people driving round the barriers. I have only personally witnessed one example of this; on finding one morning that the barriers were obviously stuck down in front of me, I dutifully turned round and availed myself of an alternative route (no more than a half-mile detour), but not before I had witnessed several cars ahead of me steering round the barriers, which was obviously completely irresponsible - if the culprits ended up in court, serve them right.

As for queueing on the crossing, I certainly have witnessed this; but surely the extended barriers would make no difference to this problem - if cars are occupying the crossing, then safety dictates that it should not be possible to lower the barriers, which in turn will prevent the railway signals from clearing (at the same time as catching the offenders on camera). I do not know if any obstacle detection system is currently in place - perhaps someone can enlighten us?

I think most cases of this queueing are careless, rather than reckless - motorists, who may have been queueing from a mile back on certain days of the year, creep onto the crossing anticipating that the car in front is about to clear the far side of the crossing only to find too late that it has come to a halt less than a car-length the other side. Perhaps it would be a good idea to extend the box-junction markings ten yards either side of the barriers to allow for momentary lapses in concentration?
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #177 on: January 12, 2018, 05:26:21 PM »

...which in turn will prevent the railway signals from clearing

Depends... if this is an AHB, then as I understand it there is no connection between the barriers and the signalling system.
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« Reply #178 on: January 12, 2018, 05:55:48 PM »

...which in turn will prevent the railway signals from clearing

Depends... if this is an AHB, then as I understand it there is no connection between the barriers and the signalling system.

It's listed (Trackmaps 2010) as an ABCL, meaning locally monitored. The barriers are still half-length, since their fall is triggered by the train - at least usually it is. The local monitor is the driver, who has to be going slow enough to stop if the crossing isn't clear when the train gets to it.

If it is to have full gates, presumably it will be operated from the nearby signal box - though it's not that close, so it would need some heritage CCTV (lenses and mirrors?). All of this supposes that the only types available are the same as on Network Rail, though that's likely as it's down to the ORR in both cases.
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« Reply #179 on: January 12, 2018, 06:30:58 PM »

...which in turn will prevent the railway signals from clearing

Depends... if this is an AHB, then as I understand it there is no connection between the barriers and the signalling system.

It's listed (Trackmaps 2010) as an ABCL, meaning locally monitored. The barriers are still half-length, since their fall is triggered by the train - at least usually it is. The local monitor is the driver, who has to be going slow enough to stop if the crossing isn't clear when the train gets to it.

If it is to have full gates, presumably it will be operated from the nearby signal box - though it's not that close, so it would need some heritage CCTV (lenses and mirrors?). All of this supposes that the only types available are the same as on Network Rail, though that's likely as it's down to the ORR in both cases.

There used to be a rule that if the monitoring signalbox was within 200m of the level crossing then CCTV is not required.  Need to check the latest standards to see if thats still allowed.
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