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Author Topic: Wokingham resignalling  (Read 3451 times)
stuving
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2023, 20:42:08 »

But today, there's a striking absence of any work being done, and no road closure over the crossing. And I have found no source of information on this.

There is work on the station platform, and at the junction, though it's not the major level crossing work that was "promised". And the change of plan is in the EAS, which has a change date of 2/2/23. I guess this will now have to happen later:
Quote
WOKINGHAM LC (Level Crossing) WILL BE CLOSED TO ROAD
TRAFFIC FROM 0200 TO 0600 MONDAY AND 2200
FRIDAY TO 0400 SATURDAY

STAR LANE LC WILL BE CLOSED TO ROAD
TRAFFIC FROM 2300 SUNDAY 12TH TO 2200
FRIDAY 17TH

NR» (Network Rail - home page) and WBC have been confusing people by the way they declare road closure times. This was the case for the second of the roadside sign9 above), and for the Star Lane crossing closure (from the WBC travel Facebook listing):
Quote
The closure will be in place on Star Lane level crossing from 12 – 17 February, 11pm – 10pm. This is to allow Network Rail to carry out Transport Authority works at level crossing.

The wording is NR's, I think, where someone seems to think those mean the same thing!
But it leads to the question:
Quote
11pm-10pm?
So it’s open for an hour a day?
Or is that 10am?
If the latter, they’ve got it closed at rush hour during the week the railway isn’t running trains, so car usage will be even higher than normal.


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stuving
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2024, 18:44:05 »

The NR» (Network Rail - home page) page "Feltham and Wokingham re-signalling programme" has had a new bit dropped into it, that says:
Quote
Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 February – Reading to Bracknell and Guildford

In February 2024 engineers will work around the clock during a 9-day closure to turn on signals we previously installed in the Wokingham area. The closure extends from Reading to Ascot on Sunday 11, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February and from Guildford to Aldershot on Sunday 18 February.
Information about rail replacement buses

    Saturday 10 February –  buses running from Reading to Bracknell and Guildford.
    Sunday 11 February –  buses running from Reading to Ascot and Guildford.
    Monday 12 to Friday 16 February – buses running from Reading to Bracknell and Guildford.
    Saturday 17 February (before 19:30) – buses running from Reading to Bracknell and Guildford.
    Saturday 17 February (after 19:30) – buses running from Reading to Ascot and Guildford.
    Sunday 18 February – buses running from Reading to Ascot and Guildford Buses running from Aldershot to Guildford.

So the end is indeed nigh for my local signallers. Elsewhere, level crossings have been switched to CCTV (Closed Circuit Tele Vision) control from the ROC (Rail Operating Centre - a centralised location for railway signalling and train control operations for a specific route or region) before the signals are switched over, but I haven't seen anything about that here. Nor have I seen any OD sensors (radar/IR), which I think are still part of the plan. It may be that this last one is being done at the same time as everything else.
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« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2024, 18:55:29 »

More details of the replacement services from GWR (Great Western Railway) here - https://www.gwr.com/-/media/gwr-sc-website/files/travel-information/travel-updates/planned-engineering/2023/Rail-improvement-work-on-the-North-Downs-line-Saturday-10-to-Sunday-18-February-2024.pdf
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stuving
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2024, 23:05:31 »

As expected, the heavy mob turned up to start work last weekend, at midnight on Friday. Since then they've been ripping out the old crossing stuff, and digging - still more - holes to fill with concrete. There was also some work being done on the track at the junction, though there can't be a lot they could do then since it's still in use until next weekend. Most of the work has been beside the track, but fenced off.

NR» (Network Rail - home page) were lucky enough to find a dormant building site next door, and borrowed it for storing things. Big things, such as at least five big RRVs (Road Rail Vehicle), most of then the caterpillar ones (ORRVs?). And on a couple of nights, with no work going, a low loader has turned up to remove or deliver one of those.

There is a picture put on line by NR of a crossing crossing the crossing, which is a bit of a puzzle. It's not been installed, indeed the junction replacement can't logically be done until the 9-day blockade. So where have they hidden it? Most likely on a bit of spare land at the junction, which I can't currently look at as the footbridge (Tan Hill) has been demolished.

And last night a couple of big trains turned up after midnight, and something noisy ensued. Today you could see that a bit of track has been ripped up, - though it will have to be be replaced by Monday. Closer examination shows this is the entrance to the siding. This is out of use for the duration, so a new switch can be put in with no signalling system to work it.

And the signallers have announced their departure.
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GBM
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2024, 09:22:36 »


And the signallers have announced their departure.
Which control centre now works Wokingham please?
Great pictures, thank you
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stuving
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2024, 10:30:22 »


And the signallers have announced their departure.
Which control centre now works Wokingham please?
Great pictures, thank you

One more week to go, and then after the big switch-over it all goes to Basingstoke.

The last big change was introducing the colour light signals. I'm not sure when Wokingham's were done, but it must have been roughly when the Feltham box was switched on in 1974, replacing 45 mechanical boxes. That took three years to put in, so not so different from the latest resignalling. Wokingham box was already capable of working to Reading, Ascot, and North Camp at night (because there are no junctions that need operating), and had been with with semaphore signals.

When this box was built in 1933, it followed a lot of complaints from local councillors etc. about the length of crossing gate closures. They had been operated by the station's only porter who also collected tickets, and the new "mechanised" gates would have a capstan in the signal box. There was something indicated as "SB (Signal Box)" on the maps before this, but perhaps it was only a cabin hidng a ground frame.
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« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2024, 00:39:17 »

The track was all in place and ready for this morning's first ECS (Empty Coaching Stock) at 5 am, in fact well before that. The points are clipped, so the bits of missing rail are not an issue. The gap in the third rail is rather odd, though. The curves on that siding entrance have been eased a little, by shifting the points towards the station.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2024, 13:29:09 by stuving » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2024, 11:06:14 »

  The gap in the third rail is rather odd, though.
If you mean the gaps by the switches (points) there are 2 reasons I can think of, first they look like HW point machines the drive rods protrude out and there is a risk of contact with the conrail forming a high impedance fault path also no conrail makes it easier to maintain the point ends and heater
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« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2024, 14:40:22 »

With the siding now electrified, does that count as the first step towards infill electrification to Aldershot South Junction? Wink
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« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2024, 23:59:48 »

As expected, Team Orange got really stuck in last night, tearing up the track. First to go was the point rodding, or at least part of it (photo 1). Next we see the junction being taken out and dug up, one piece at a time so as to allow trains and the rail crane to be used. In the background, track panels are being unloaded from the tilting transporter wagons.

To get a better view I had to find another vantage point to replace the demolished footbridge: on top of the car park, through a fine steel mesh. From there you can see Colas's Kirow crane, and a whole IKEA kit of track panels (I hope someone's got the instruction leaflet!). Tilting transporters can manage panels 3.7 m wide, but those in the foreground are a lot wider than that; how did they get here? Finally (photo 4), a little later, it's time to put in the new ballast and fit the first panel.

There's a lot of bits of rail to be joined there. If it's all done by thermit welding, those living on the houses by the line will enjoy a big firework display (though its timing may be a bit antisocial).
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stuving
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2024, 23:54:19 »

By late afternoon, a section of new track has been put in, with two new motorised switches. But perhaps that should be called plain line, since the left-hand rail is continuous through places there should be a rail crossing. Less than twenty minutes later (photo 2), a slab of that new track has been hoicked out and now plain line is being laid round to the left, towards Bracknell, via a new track crossing on the other track.

Looking at how much track is still stacked up waiting to be used, it does seem that much of the track so far laid is temporary. So it seems the current method is to bring in an engineering train on one track, and rip out the rest, and replace the ballast with fresh. The final track panels are laid where possible, i.e. where remaining the old track is not in the way. In the gaps, temporary track panels are put down. to allow the remaining old track to be removed with a train alongside. Once all the new ballast is in place, even full-width track panels can be swapped in or out by crane from either end.

Close examination of the two big track panels in the foreground shows that the wider one, on top, fits just after the farther incomplete switch, and the one underneath comes after that. So there is a lot of temporary plain line where those panels will eventually be. The view from the footbridge at the station is of course highly foreshortened, disguising how long those panels are.
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« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2024, 07:00:19 »

By late afternoon, a section of new track has been put in, with two new motorised switches. But perhaps that should be called plain line, since the left-hand rail is continuous through places there should be a rail crossing. Less than twenty minutes later (photo 2), a slab of that new track has been hoicked out and now plain line is being laid round to the left, towards Bracknell, via a new track crossing on the other track.

Looking at how much track is still stacked up waiting to be used, it does seem that much of the track so far laid is temporary. So it seems the current method is to bring in an engineering train on one track, and rip out the rest, and replace the ballast with fresh. The final track panels are laid where possible, i.e. where remaining the old track is not in the way. In the gaps, temporary track panels are put down. to allow the remaining old track to be removed with a train alongside. Once all the new ballast is in place, even full-width track panels can be swapped in or out by crane from either end.

Close examination of the two big track panels in the foreground shows that the wider one, on top, fits just after the farther incomplete switch, and the one underneath comes after that. So there is a lot of temporary plain line where those panels will eventually be. The view from the footbridge at the station is of course highly foreshortened, disguising how long those panels are.

Normal practice on twin track is to use an adjacent one for engineering train(s) for scrap / waste and new ballast etc 

When those large panels go in place it be done with Kirow rail cranes
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« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2024, 23:52:37 »

Over Sunday/Monday night that remaining track (the Up Main) has been torn up and replaced by new ballast (and the last rodding has gone too). By yesterday morning, that Kirow crane was back and already a lot of the temporary track has been taken out (p1). By the time I got back it was well after dark, but in the fuzzy pictures I got did suggest all the new track was in place. So I missed all the fun! Though this gang of RRVS having a rest may have found it more like hard work (p2).

By midday today most of the debris had been cleared up (p3), and by late afternoon it was all remarkably clean (p4). The junction is in obvious need of a visit from the tamper, and not just because the view exaggerates the wiggliness. The wiggles in the vertical direction are exactly what tampers are meant for, but is there enough spring force in the rails to straighten them in the horizontal plane as well, when lifted and shaken?

« Last Edit: February 14, 2024, 10:48:20 by stuving » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2024, 07:25:05 »

The junction is in obvious need of a visit from the tamper, and not just because the view exaggerates the wiggliness. The wiggles in the vertical direction are exactly what tampers are meant for, but is there enough spring force in the rails to straighten them in the horizontal plane as well, when lifted and shaken?



There may be some work left to be done with RRV (Road Rail Vehicle)'s to dress and line up the rails.   The new track will not have been stressed and finally welded yet this will allow the Tamper to iron out wiggles; once stressed and welded there will be at least one  Tamper run booked in a few weeks after the line is reopened
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« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2024, 20:20:28 »

It's hard to see how true the track is now, there are so many people working on it, but it certainly looks better. A tamper did turn up late last night - or something bigger; I could only see a part of it sitting on the level crossing. My guess is it was an on-track finishing machine; that can straighten rails laterally (lining) too.

Exactly what all these small machines are doing I can't work out, but I'd expect cutting ends to leave the right gap, drilling holes for various reasons, and eventually stressing for when the final welds go in. After that comes grinding and other finishing, but no doubt there's more to it than I can think of. Track clips were being undone within the station this afternoon, which presumably relates to re-stressing. However, I'd expect that unclipping to be done after stress is applied.

On the other hand, the old junction was protected from rail stress by adjustment switches on all six tracks. I can't make out if the same is true now - partly because of all the bodies in the way. I did wonder if the insulated joints close to the level crossing would be replaced or removed now, as the down-side one at least is worn (i.e. loud ker-thump noises as a train runs in). With axle counters being used, IRJs are not needed, unless perhaps a few track circuits are retained for static detection.
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