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The Architecture The Railways Built - Series 2 starts 19 January on Yesterday


Paul.Uni
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On 21/01/2021 at 13:20, melmerby said:

 

However Forton would definitely feature, the tower is listed.

 

It's now named "Lancaster", IIRC. Simple rebranding to account for its location, or a cynical move to get away from its notoriety? Let's face it, motorway <cuisine> back in the 60s & 70s was pretty grim (and in some ways is still bad, but you now have parking scalpers to worry about too...), and many were the jokes about the likes of Forton - well known, of course, for the tower. Watford Gap was another place that was the butt of many comedians' acts...

 

Mark

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23 hours ago, ardbealach said:

Found these undated slides - I guess 1965ish heading north up the M 6.  Forton under construction.  Wasn't it thought at the time of its construction that it would make a good day out with the car for a meal in the tower - complete with waitress service.  

 

And no central reservation barriers and no HGV's!  And a lovely red finished hard shoulder.  And to think that this was all before the introduction of the 70mph speed limit.  Happy Days!  (Alisdair) 

M6 forton services (2).jpg

M6 northbound (2).jpg

 

Its amazing how spacious the motorway used to look, as you say, no HGVs, but the cars were smaller too.  Despite the lack of a 70MPH speed limit, I should imagine that most of the cars in shot would have a "cruising speed" of about 60 and a maximum speed of a little over 80, trying to keep them over 70 for long periods of time would have them on that lovely red asphalt hard shoulder with at least a boiling radiator.  And that is what motorways should have nowadays, a real visual contrast with the three lanes AND a solid broad white dividing line to indicate the difference between them and the hard shoulder. 

 

Just looking at the photos again, I get the impression that the hard shoulder was much wider back then. Judging by the red car in the LH lane (a Beetle?)  the shoulder was at least half as wide again which would give a better safety factor for anyone in trouble.  Modern hard shoulders seem to be little more than a cars width, perhaps sacrifices to widen the other lanes?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Hroth
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19 minutes ago, Hroth said:

 

Just looking at the photos again, I get the impression that the hard shoulder was much wider back then. Judging by the red car in the LH lane (a Beetle?)  the shoulder was at least half as wide again which would give a better safety factor for anyone in trouble.  Modern hard shoulders seem to be little more than a cars width, perhaps sacrifices to widen the other lanes?

 

Increased central reservation since installing the Armco?

The road surface was pretty grim in the 60's.

It was cast concrete and exremely noisy and wearying when driving.

 

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30 minutes ago, MarkC said:

It's now named "Lancaster", IIRC. Simple rebranding to account for its location, or a cynical move to get away from its notoriety? Let's face it, motorway <cuisine> back in the 60s & 70s was pretty grim

 

Mark

About 6.5 miles by road. I think for a period it was "Lancaster (Forton)"

But the draw of "Forton" was the upmarket restaurant in the tower now closed 30 years or more.

These days the services are OK if you don't expect gourmet quisine.

I never buy food in any of the services, just use them for a break and coffee.

 

 

 

image.png

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4 hours ago, melmerby said:

Increased central reservation since installing the Armco?

 

I thought widening the central reservation came later, after the barriers were installed?

 

Anyhow, lets beat a strategic retreat away from Marples deplorable lovechild...

 

Railways!  That's the ticket!

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On 24/01/2021 at 18:39, Butler Henderson said:

Doesn't take long for (almost a) motorway to virtually vanish

The old A1 between Wetherby and Walshford superseded by the A1(M) in 2005

Probably should point out the greenery to the left of the photo will have be assisted by earthworks to provide a buffer between the retained southbound carriageway which is now the A168 and the bridleway on the northbound carriageway.

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  • RMweb Gold

Another excellent episode - particularly enjoying the intelligent questions / observations about the Royal Albert Bridge.

 

(Makers of other railway themed programmes please take note.)

 

Shame the original bridge at Chepstow didn't survive into the current era - could have made for interesting comparisons.

 

 

Huw.

 

 

Edited by Huw Griffiths
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I found the 2nd episode better than the first but given that the Royal Albert Bridge is of far greater interest to me than most other places that is not a surprise. 

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It was indeed an excellent episode. The icing on the cake, for me, would have been a cab ride over the Royal Albert Bridge, but perhaps not possible in the Time of Covid ? 

 

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Nice to see Wolves station (nearly) finished, the last time I was there (pre-covid) they had just started the re-build and had knocked down some and were erecting steelwork:

1786412735_stationa.jpg.e371e63cac30b5e619275cd4462f98c2.jpg

 

1965541390_stationb.jpg.6092043d0b46e97344f0f049b1695377.jpg

 

1153707427_stationc.jpg.f71fa25135926bbbc3efb53fbb7fdd85.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, caradoc said:

It was indeed an excellent episode. The icing on the cake, for me, would have been a cab ride over the Royal Albert Bridge, but perhaps not possible in the Time of Covid ? 

 

Avaliable here. Not my video, but one that I found on YouTube a few months ago. There are lots made by the same person. I have put links to these on the Devon and Cornwall special interest pages.  

 

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Watched the first two episodes of the current series last evening. This programme continues to be a delight in every way.The subjects are treated in an intelligent and knowledgeable manner ( and as I think many of us will agree this is not always the case with railway subjects) ,drawn together by Tim’s infectious enthusiasm and passion.

  I particularly like the inclusion of European subjects,Porto in this series and Strasbourg in the first.There is an almost inexhaustible supply of subjects wherever you turn and I got to wondering if at some time post COVID,the great stations of New York City and others across the USA could be a project for Tim and his talented team.Both Grand Central and the now replaced Penn Station would make for terrific viewing. A year last November on Thanksgiving Day,we walked from the steps of the old Penn station along the length of the El. Great railway walk .

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Didn't watch it but if what I hear about the account of building the Royal Albert Bridge is true then it falls woefully short on accurate historical research. The spans were not 'winched' into position. I doubt there were winches in existence capable of lifting them. The actual means by which they were positioned is far more interesting and very easy to find out by reading any Brunel biography. More invented TV history. (CJL)

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On 27/01/2021 at 18:22, Phatbob said:

DId anybody else think that the new Wolverhampton station looked like a branch of the well known chain of DIY megastores that begins in B and ends in Q? :laugh:

 

It would be even more appropriate is the building was in Southampton, clad in wood with certain railway maps pasted onto the outside... 

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20 minutes ago, dibber25 said:

Didn't watch it but if what I hear about the account of building the Royal Albert Bridge is true then it falls woefully short on accurate historical research. The spans were not 'winched' into position. I doubt there were winches in existence capable of lifting them. The actual means by which they were positioned is far more interesting and very easy to find out by reading any Brunel biography. More invented TV history. (CJL)

I understood that they were jacked up inch by inch.

Is that nearer the mark?

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2 hours ago, melmerby said:

I understood that they were jacked up inch by inch.

Is that nearer the mark?

Yes, from memory of reading L.T.C. Rolt's biography of Brunel MANY years ago, they were floated out into position and then successively jacked up a little at a time as the piers were built up underneath them. The pier in the middle, of course, had to be built onto the river bed and required a structure (was it called a caisson?) to be sunk onto the rock footing and pumped out so that the stonework could be built on the one and only bit of suitable rock that they had been able to find. Was any of that mentioned on this programme? I once helped to write the questions for a Mastermind specialist subject "The Life & works of IK Brunel" so maybe I studied more thoroughly than most, so I tend to think this is stuff that everyone who writes/broadcasts about Brunel should know, but maybe not? (CJL)

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19 minutes ago, dibber25 said:

The pier in the middle, of course, had to be built onto the river bed and required a structure (was it called a caisson?) to be sunk onto the rock footing and pumped out so that the stonework could be built on the one and only bit of suitable rock that they had been able to find. Was any of that mentioned on this programme? 

The caisson was mentioned, as was the method for it working.

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  • RMweb Gold

In case anyone missed this programme on Tuesday, the "Yesterday" channel website says it's being repeated at midnight tonight.

 

No prizes for guessing what I'll be watching ... .

 

 

Changing the subject slightly, I hope several more series get commissioned in due course. I don't think there would be any shortage of suitable filming locations.

 

For obvious reasons, I'm not expecting any comments about whether it's due to feature - but I'd personally like to see Cardiff Central feature at some point. I'd particularly like to see this station appear (or at least be filmed) in the short / medium term - as there's talk that this Art Deco masterpiece might get rebuilt, with destruction of some of its finest features (like the interior of the concourse).

 

 

Huw.

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The problem with some of the designs is that it's very much subjective.

e.g. Birmingham Moor St has won prizes for it's Edwardian architecture & re-purposing for the modern era but doesn't even feature in a book I was looking at about "Britain's Best Stations" which seemed to me to have many more mundane effices.

 

I like the surviving early tiled London Underground station entrances & booking halls but also in contrast some of the Charles Holden Deco designs from the 30's are stunning.

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1 hour ago, Huw Griffiths said:

In case anyone missed this programme on Tuesday, the "Yesterday" channel website says it's being repeated at midnight tonight.

 

No prizes for guessing what I'll be watching ... .

 

 

Changing the subject slightly, I hope several more series get commissioned in due course. I don't think there would be any shortage of suitable filming locations.

 

For obvious reasons, I'm not expecting any comments about whether it's due to feature - but I'd personally like to see Cardiff Central feature at some point. I'd particularly like to see this station appear (or at least be filmed) in the short / medium term - as there's talk that this Art Deco masterpiece might get rebuilt, with destruction of some of its finest features (like the interior of the concourse).

 

 

Huw.

Isn't it part of Cardiff Central's parcels office that was rebuilt at Sir William McAlpine's place in Henley? One of several massive pieces of railway architecture that he saved. (CJL)

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4 hours ago, dibber25 said:

Isn't it part of Cardiff Central's parcels office that was rebuilt at Sir William McAlpine's place in Henley? One of several massive pieces of railway architecture that he saved. (CJL)

 

It wouldn't surprise me.

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7 hours ago, melmerby said:

The problem with some of the designs is that it's very much subjective.

e.g. Birmingham Moor St has won prizes for it's Edwardian architecture & re-purposing for the modern era but doesn't even feature in a book I was looking at about "Britain's Best Stations" which seemed to me to have many more mundane effices.

 

I like the surviving early tiled London Underground station entrances & booking halls but also in contrast some of the Charles Holden Deco designs from the 30's are stunning.

 

It's very easy to fall into the trap of saying a design is automatically good because it is old and anything after (pick a date) is rubbish. The series has been really good at avoiding this, although mostly with foreign examples.

 

Wolverhampton is interesting and eye-catching. Will it date well? Don't know yet. Will it WORK well as a station? Again, we have to wait and see.

 

For me, a station is a working building that needs to do more than look subjectively nice. One of the alpine stations from the first series notably failed in this respect. Being controversial, the current Euston wins over the much lamented old version, could the vintage and impressive hall have handled modern numbers? And would the famous doric arch have just got in the way of traffic?

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2 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

Being controversial, the current Euston wins over the much lamented old version, could the vintage and impressive hall have handled modern numbers? And would the famous doric arch have just got in the way of traffic?

Yes there are several locations where forcing gate lines into historic booking halls creates a right snarl up. Salisbury they all bunch at the top of the Subway as they can’t get out fast enough through two gates as passengers from two directions merge. Even with low numbers at present anyone’s ticket not reading instantly compromises distancing! 

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