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Captain Kernow

Bathampton & Box blockade - July/August 2015

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The question must be asked, why didn't they put it back as they found it?

 

Brian.

Il go out on a limb here but I would hazard a guess its from years of maintenance tamping. Every time the track gets a maintenance tamp (to restore good top and line), its lifted by a small amount.

I'm not a tamper technical officer (TO) but from watching them working It can be around 20 mm give or take.

Those 20 mills will add up over the years if it has a maintenance tamp once a year!

Edited by Gary H
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Some more photo's here from the Bath Chron(icle)

 

(once described as a newspaper - probably by someone that had never attempted to read it)  :)

 

Thanks Tim.

 

I'll give you three guesses as to who took some of the photos in the Chronicle's galleries.

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CK.

 

Will the possesion end on time?

As of the latest telephone conference, yes.

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Will the media celebrate a job well done. Suspect not which is a shame. 

I've yet to see the output from the filming that The One Show is supposed to have done last Wednesday.

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I've yet to see the output from the filming that The One Show is supposed to have done last Wednesday.

Did it include footage of a rail mounted crane doing a waltz or you doing a tango with a colleague. If not you don't have a chance of it getting shown.  :jester: 

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Blockade handed back at 1940 hrs last night, several hours early. All is well.

 

All well down in the valley. Test locomotive seen running in both directions, passing at a decent speed. Everything that needed doing last night was done last night.

 

Simon

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Bet the news don't pick up on that positive.

 

Well done all, nice to see another project hit all the marks and do it early.

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it hasn't been much of a summer, so we can remember it for this epic possession. Many thanks to the gallant captain for bringing us insider shots, showing the huge efforts needed, nicely posed trains, all set in the fairest stretch of the GWR main line, and high quality photos to boot. Well done, guys and gals, another big piece in a massive jigsaw. The sad fact is it should all have happened long, long ago, thank goodness it is being done now.

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An interesting page from Network Rail's site about the project - http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/in-numbers-record-breaking-track-project-successfully-completed-at-bath

 

 

Key facts and figures:

  • Biggest track renewals possession ever. Over twice the size of the 37-day blockade at Nottingham in 2013 which had 107 engineering trains (the previous record holder)
  • £50m budget
  • 45-day temporary period of disruption
  • 160,000 hours worked
  • 10.25 km of track lowered and renewed
  • 11 sets of switches and crossings lowered and renewed
  • 2,539 people inducted to enter the possession
  • No reportable injuries
  • 500 welds completed
  • 23,000 new concrete sleepers installed
  • 98,000 tonnes of new ballast laid
  • 217 logistics trains used (not including tamper shifts)
  • 350 structural monitoring devices used to monitor the tunnels, bridges and walls during the works
  • Two miles of high output ballast cleaning completed
  • Typical dig depth was 650mm, with 300mm of new ballast below sleeper bottom to give a typical track lower of 350mm
  • Track quality was such that the whole possession was reopened at 60mph rather than the planned 50mph
  • Possession handed back 10 hours early (19:40 on 31 August)
  • Just 26 calls received to Network Rail’s public helpline during the six weeks (roughly half were complaints about locomotive noise, either from the engines or the horns which have to be sounded before each train or Road Rail Vehicle (RRV) moves for track worker safety)

 

Sounds like a job well done.

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Thanks Andy, useful to highlight those facts and figures. It really was quite a job.

 

I never mentioned the key role that the two burger vans played during this job.

 

Well, they did, and that's a fact and no mistake.

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Burgers, not sausages? Or even pasties?!  :O  What is the world coming to?!  :nono:

All such foods were on sale, but the vehicles are generally referred to in the vernacular as burger vans, although I sometimes use the expression chowder wagon.

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Andy,

 

That list puts into perspective what a major possession that was and the work involved. It goes to prove that network rail can get it right and that they and the contractors working together can get the job done early. It must be a big confidence boost.

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Yes it can be got right, but it involves meticulous planning for many months, if not years in advance. It also needs detailed scenarios of 'what if' situations and working out what to do when 'if' happens. Everyone involved needs to be fully briefed as to their tasks, be it those on the ground or those in control positions. All equipment needs to be double checked and with very up-to-date maintenance done and checked. Standby equipment needs to be immediately available and close by. A sensible time contingency has to be allowed and so on and so on.

I am sure that I am only touching on the things that need to be done and allowed for.

Given the weather conditions that I experienced in Bath that week while the Sydney Gardens work was under way I can only admire the staff on the ground for just ploughing on and getting the work done.

 

A job well done!

 

John

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Good job! £52m sounds like a lot for 11km of track but to give a little context Oxford County & City Councils managed to spend £5.1m repaving 240m of city centre road in 2004 (thats £8m at todays prices) ...

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Good job! £52m sounds like a lot for 11km of track but to give a little context Oxford County & City Councils managed to spend £5.1m repaving 240m of city centre road in 2004 (thats £8m at todays prices) ...

Track is probably around £1million per km at least nowadays (I can remember when it was £1million per mile and that's a good while back), 11 point ends at probably £500,000 each (if not more  - the last price I'm aware of was £250,000 per point end, again a good while back) so that's a third of what it cost before anything else is taken into account; railway infrastructure is not cheap and the overall cost doesn't surprise me in the least.

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Sorry I should have been clearer - given that I don't know the first thing about costing infrastructure projects, £52m sounds like good value to me :) 

 

(the 240m of road I mentioned was 240 meters, not 240 miles ...)

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