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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 816316 times)
John R
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« Reply #2595 on: September 15, 2017, 12:26:48 pm »

A textbook example of why electrification costs so much.
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ellendune
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« Reply #2596 on: September 15, 2017, 02:03:19 pm »

I assume the delay must be for budgeting or resource reasons.

I doubt it is budget or even resources. After all the temporary solution will cost extra money.

The planning committee will not make a decision before October.  With this dispute it could be refused and go to an appeal.  In that case I doubt if they will get approval before the end of 2018. 

Even if it is approved in October it would be difficult to do the job before then deadline for testing etc to introduce the service for the December timetable. 

So I think it is down to the local opposition. 

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paul7755
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« Reply #2597 on: September 15, 2017, 04:56:18 pm »

AIUI the 'temporary solution' is to rig the OHLE with an excessive rate of change of its height above the rails, (i.e. out of the normal specified limits), on the section between the bridge (low height required) and the nearby level crossing (max height required). 

The OHLE hardware will presumably be no different to the usual, but will require to be re-adjusted to optimum height once the bridge has been fixed, at which point the speed restriction will be lifted.

Explained that way it doesn't sound as though it should incur a vast cost.

Paul
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ChrisB
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« Reply #2598 on: September 15, 2017, 05:20:00 pm »

Vast *extra* cost?....demolition & rebuild will still be necessary which won't, these days, be cheap at all.

Surely, the council realise this work needs doing, so is presumably asking NR for how they will alleviate concerns as best as possible. Seems locals concern is 10 weeks of closed roads & access during that time. So maybe line closure, 24 hour working etc to complete as quickly as possible. Best time would be Xmas 2018?
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paul7755
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« Reply #2599 on: September 15, 2017, 05:37:14 pm »

Yes, I meant that the extra cost of the 'temporary solution' wouldn't be high, given the bridge alterations/rebuild must already be budgeted for.  It is convincing the council to agree that it is a just an ordinary bridge of no historic significance that appears to be the main problem.

Paul
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ellendune
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« Reply #2600 on: September 15, 2017, 06:56:06 pm »

Vast *extra* cost?....demolition & rebuild will still be necessary which won't, these days, be cheap at all.

Surely, the council realise this work needs doing, so is presumably asking NR for how they will alleviate concerns as best as possible. Seems locals concern is 10 weeks of closed roads & access during that time. So maybe line closure, 24 hour working etc to complete as quickly as possible. Best time would be Xmas 2018?

You would have thought so, but this has been going on for years now. The locals have got councillors or all types involved and their MP to create maximum of delay. Their original argument IIRC was that the closure would cause too much disruption. NR went into the alternatives in great depth and they didn't like the alternatives either.  Now after years of arguing they are back to the first solution.  Read the reports on the bridge and you will find it is not the fine example of an original GWR bridge - it has been messed about with in the past. 

So how much have NR had to expend on consultants fees for that run-around? How much more will it cost to do the bridge with wires already under it? 

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didcotdean
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« Reply #2601 on: September 15, 2017, 07:42:22 pm »

The estimate given for the closure time at Steventon was eight months. Credibility was somewhat knocked locally by the Fulscot Road bridge replacement in South Moreton which took round about a year, about three times as long as first stated.

The citation info for the Steventon Bridge grade II listing in 1988 is very vague: 'Road bridge. Probably c.1839. Probably by I.K. Brunel. Brick. Eliptical (sic) central arch over railway lines. Lower round arches to left and right. Plain brick parapet.'
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ellendune
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« Reply #2602 on: September 15, 2017, 10:04:31 pm »

The citation info for the Steventon Bridge grade II listing in 1988 is very vague: 'Road bridge. Probably c.1839. Probably by I.K. Brunel. Brick. Eliptical (sic) central arch over railway lines. Lower round arches to left and right. Plain brick parapet.'

If you read the heritage report in the planning application it is highlights that parts of it have been rebuilt.  Can't check at the moment as I cannot reach the VoWH planning site. 
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ChrisB
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« Reply #2603 on: September 16, 2017, 12:40:37 pm »

I couldn't get there yesterday either
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onthecushions
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« Reply #2604 on: September 16, 2017, 01:34:31 pm »


IMHO, when this bridge problem began, NR should have applied for a specific Transport and Works Order. The decision then shifts from the LPA to the Secretary of State.

NR should now apply for an emergency order. I have no doubt that this would be granted as a strategic national scheme is involved. Grayling and Maynard are aware of the cost of delay. The heritage value of the bridge does not outweigh the disadvantage to the electrification scheme.

As far as local inconvenience is concerned, a bridge can be demolished over a weekend and replaced quite quickly - vide the GCR bridge at Loughborough and the abutment washout at Moses Gate, Lancs. Indeed, if a wider, 4-track span was adopted the supports could be be built safely away from the tracks, without possessions.

Welly, please.

OTC
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stuving
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« Reply #2605 on: September 16, 2017, 02:28:59 pm »

The latest (8 Sept) comment from Historic England says this:

Quote
Recommendation
Historic England has no objection to the application on heritage grounds. As set out in our letter of 11th August we consider that an adequate justification for demolition has been given by Network Rail in order to meet the requirements of paragraph 132 of the NPPF. The proviso to this is that the consultant engaged by Steventon Parish Council does not produce a scheme that allows the bridge to be retained and that Network Rail are willing to accept as feasible. It is for your Council to weigh whether the public benefits which this application would help deliver are substantial and outweigh the loss of this grade II listed structure in accordance with paragraph 133 of the NPPF.

In determining this application you should bear in mind the statutory duty of section 16(2) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to have special regard to the desirability of preserving listed buildings or their setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which they possess.

Your authority should take these representations into account in determining the application. If there are any material changes to the proposals, or you would like further advice, please contact us. Please advise us of the decision in due course.

Which does seem to put all the responsibility for delaying, or not, on the District Council. (The letter is actually addressed to South Oxfordshire, for some reason.)
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didcotdean
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« Reply #2606 on: September 16, 2017, 03:20:21 pm »

(The letter is actually addressed to South Oxfordshire, for some reason.)
South Oxfordshire and Vale of the White Horse District councils are co-located in the same building on Milton Park sharing all services so easy for outside bodies to get mixed up.
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TonyK
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« Reply #2607 on: September 16, 2017, 07:40:46 pm »

This does indeed show the crazy world of politics and bureaucracy around infrastructure projects at its daftest. We have a Grade II listed structure that has had a lot of modification already, and which Historic England says it is happy to see rebuilt, in the way of a major national investment project. Instead of rebuilding the bridge, we are likely to see a temporary workaround that will impose a speed restriction for a certain distance both sides of the bridge, which is likely to end up as temporary as the post-war prefabs in Bristol. It might speed up the decision making process if a need was found to have trains sound their horns on entering and leaving the speed restriction.
Meanwhile, around Bristol and Bath, millions have been spent on preparing bridges for electric cables that aren't now coming in the timescale described, and millions more spent on the very diesel engines that were a big part of the problem that electrification was supposed to solve, and which may now mean that the next cancellation of electrification in the area has been kicked down the road for another 40 years. I say 40 years because of the designed 25-year useful life of the new trains.
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Now, please!
ChrisB
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« Reply #2608 on: September 17, 2017, 05:31:32 pm »

At least the dinosaurs of Steventon will be long gone by then
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #2609 on: September 18, 2017, 10:14:08 am »

...millions more spent on the very diesel engines that were a big part of the problem that electrification was supposed to solve, and which may now mean that the next cancellation of electrification in the area has been kicked down the road for another 40 years...

Don't count on them lasting that long!

For fear of having my Momentum membership cancelled, I suspect you may underestimate how wasteful a state-controlled organisation such as Britain's railway can be. Just think of those lovely state-of-the art steam locomotives that were rolled out in 1960 and then scrapped in 1965...
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