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Buxton. New sidings question


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I have been reading for some time about the new extended sidings being created at Buxton. I understand they are for use by trains from Peak Dale. I know that before this trains would have to enter the existing sidings and then reverse back towards the station to get access to the line out to Dove Holes. Trains from Dowlow could access the Dove Holes line directly without this reversal. 

My first question, and I am clearly missing something obvious, is with all that work, why the line from Peak Dale is not rebuilt to have a direct junction to join the Dove Holes line? Perhaps I am wrong? Is it a track levels issue, although it can't be that different surely as it makes the junction when reversing back towards the station?

The new sidings are quite extensive in length to accommodate longer trains I am told and allow a run round so the locos can reverse the trains but that puzzles me as the existing arrangement has worked for a long time and surely longer trains makes the problem of reversal worse? With a junction there would be no need for reversal anyway.

 

I am not familiar with the detailed Buxton geography and I realise I am missing information/ local operation details here. It just puzzles me and i would appreciate it if someone throw some knowledge and light please. Thanks.

 

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The sidings are used by the stone trains from Dowlow and Hindlow which normally go out via Chinley. When I was last involved there was just one path booked over the LNW route in the evening and that was only occasionally used to maintain route knowledge as it as an absolute bu&&er to run them via Stockport. 2000+ Tonnes of stone across the main line at Edgeley and back to the Reddish line at Heaton Mersey would not be practical in the daytime.

The sidings at Buxton have been extended to cater for the longer trains now running. The sidings up at the quarries have been altered to take up to 26 wagons where the previous limit was 18. The extended sidings at Buxton were necessary to run round the longer trains. 

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Do the gradients also have anything to do with it?

1 in 66 gradient up from Buxton to Dove Holes, and around 1 in 60 down to Whaley Bridge could make some interesting working.

It's 'only' 1 in 90-odd ruling gradient on the Peak Forest route!

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12 hours ago, TheSignalEngineer said:

The sidings are used by the stone trains from Dowlow and Hindlow which normally go out via Chinley. When I was last involved there was just one path booked over the LNW route in the evening and that was only occasionally used to maintain route knowledge as it as an absolute bu&&er to run them via Stockport. 2000+ Tonnes of stone across the main line at Edgeley and back to the Reddish line at Heaton Mersey would not be practical in the daytime.

The sidings at Buxton have been extended to cater for the longer trains now running. The sidings up at the quarries have been altered to take up to 26 wagons where the previous limit was 18. The extended sidings at Buxton were necessary to run round the longer trains. 

 

Thanks for the explanation.

 

OK, so, mostly, the Dowlow trains go out via Chinley? I guess that explains the reversal at Buxton. I had assumed that they went straight out over the junction and off through Dove Holes and had thought it was the Hindlow trains that reversed to get access to the Dove Holes route. I do understand that can be a difficult route for freight with steep gradients plus, as you say at Stockport. I was also aware that most trains from Hindlow went out via Chinley but have seen trains from Hindlow going into Buxton and they presumably, under the original track layout, had to enter the sidings before they reversed back and then left to Dove Holes or would they just be making use of sidings for storage?

 

Even with this explanation would it not be possible to create a junction at Buxton so that Hindlow trains go out to Dove Holes without entering the sidings and reversing? Even if not used that much it would seem a logical "back up" solution to any problems on the Chinley route which I think have occurred in the past? Presumably too expensive to justify the cost - cheaper to shunt? Perhaps I have missed something in the new siding design.

 

Pic: Class 60 at Topley Pike (2016). Hindlow to Buxton.

P5150058.JPG

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The sidings at Buxton were upgraded and extended to permit longer heavier loaded trains to come from Dowlow and be able to run round at Buxton before heading towards Chinley where they either head west towards Manchester or east towards Sheffield depending on the destination and operator. GBRf has just commenced a new flow of stone to the Birmingham area for HS2 work and the sidings extension was done with this in mind.

 

Likewise empty trains can be longer too. What isn't possible is to send loaded trains out over the passenger line due to the gradients as mentioned and the need to double shunt to gain the Down line towards Hazel Grove as you cannot run direct from the Hindlow branch to the Down line due to the position of the trailing crossover. And the trainload length and weight would have to reduced too. Add in a weak bridge at Whaley Bridge too and that further makes that line less of an option. As noted there is one return empty working booked over the passenger line, which is the evening Ashburys to Dowlow DB loco and red box wagons.

 

The passenger line is a diversionary route for the Tunstead to Northwich hoppers if the Tunstead to Chinley lines are blocked and in the past this has been generally worked as top 'n tail class 60s with a reduced load of JEA hoppers in between.

 

Other traffic from Peak Forest is not diverted this way, the only exception being when Dove Holes tunnel had to be closed for heavy drainage works and some were sent this way. For this a temporary new trailing crossover was installed so that trains could leave Buxton direct from the Hindlow lines. Why they didn't take the opportunity to redo the track layouts at Buxton I don't know it would have made things a lot easier.

 

A recent development is that Hindlow no longer receives limestone from Tunstead by rail and will resume quarrying so that is can start to dispatch stone for HS2 too in the near future.

 

HTH Paul

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1 hour ago, pharrc20 said:

The sidings at Buxton were upgraded and extended to permit longer heavier loaded trains to come from Dowlow and be able to run round at Buxton before heading towards Chinley where they either head west towards Manchester or east towards Sheffield depending on the destination and operator. GBRf has just commenced a new flow of stone to the Birmingham area for HS2 work and the sidings extension was done with this in mind.

 

Likewise empty trains can be longer too. What isn't possible is to send loaded trains out over the passenger line due to the gradients as mentioned and the need to double shunt to gain the Down line towards Hazel Grove as you cannot run direct from the Hindlow branch to the Down line due to the position of the trailing crossover. And the trainload length and weight would have to reduced too. Add in a weak bridge at Whaley Bridge too and that further makes that line less of an option. As noted there is one return empty working booked over the passenger line, which is the evening Ashburys to Dowlow DB loco and red box wagons.

 

The passenger line is a diversionary route for the Tunstead to Northwich hoppers if the Tunstead to Chinley lines are blocked and in the past this has been generally worked as top 'n tail class 60s with a reduced load of JEA hoppers in between.

 

Other traffic from Peak Forest is not diverted this way, the only exception being when Dove Holes tunnel had to be closed for heavy drainage works and some were sent this way. For this a temporary new trailing crossover was installed so that trains could leave Buxton direct from the Hindlow lines. Why they didn't take the opportunity to redo the track layouts at Buxton I don't know it would have made things a lot easier.

 

A recent development is that Hindlow no longer receives limestone from Tunstead by rail and will resume quarrying so that is can start to dispatch stone for HS2 too in the near future.

 

HTH Paul

 

Thank you for that. I have just realised that I may have caused some confusion as when I mentioned Hindlow I should have said Tunstead. Sorry, attention had wandered.

 

However you have provided a clear explanation for everything I wanted to know.  Although, especially if a temporary crossover was laid, it still leaves me with my original puzzle of why it wasn't made a permanent connection.

 

Thanks for your help and information.

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Just now, highpeakman said:

 

Thank you for that. I have just realised that I may have caused some confusion as when I mentioned Hindlow I should have said Tunstead. Sorry, attention had wandered.

 

However you have provided a clear explanation for everything I wanted to know.  Although, especially if a temporary crossover was laid, it still leaves me with my original puzzle of why it wasn't made a permanent connection.

 

Thanks for your help and information.

No problem. Yes I have often wondered why they never left a connection from the ex-Midland lines coming from Peak Forest onto the ex-LNW now passenger line. It would have made sense to have kept it somehow. Both the Hindlow and PF lines used to have double-track junctions with the passenger either side of the signal box. I guess when the track layout was rationalised at end of steam into the 1970s BR decided there wasn't the need for it.

 

Likewise they could have kept that new crossover intact after the diversion work was completed and took the opportunity to redesign the track and adapt the signalling.

 

I haven't been up to see the new sidings as yet but I am planning to soon as need some photos of the wagons whilst the train is being run-round by the 60 or 66 locos.

 

Cheers Paul

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2 hours ago, pharrc20 said:

No problem. Yes I have often wondered why they never left a connection from the ex-Midland lines coming from Peak Forest onto the ex-LNW now passenger line. It would have made sense to have kept it somehow. Both the Hindlow and PF lines used to have double-track junctions with the passenger either side of the signal box. I guess when the track layout was rationalised at end of steam into the 1970s BR decided there wasn't the need for it.

 

Likewise they could have kept that new crossover intact after the diversion work was completed and took the opportunity to redesign the track and adapt the signalling.

 

I haven't been up to see the new sidings as yet but I am planning to soon as need some photos of the wagons whilst the train is being run-round by the 60 or 66 locos.

 

Cheers Paul


live only done the hindlow line a couple of times during the beast from the east with a pair of beilhack Ploughs, back then the old XYZ sidings we’re still in place and the track work was shocking, I’ve yet to see the new set up, I keep telling my boss I’d like to learn to Buxton as I already go as far as peak forest tunnel at chiller and I regularly work the new HS2 flow to washwood heath

 

i seem to remember that when I did the snowploughs the subsidiary signal to take you round the front of the box onto the passenger line was still in place, the small issue of no track Beyond the points being the sticky point, agreed it’s a missed opportunity when putting the new sidings in not to reconnect the 2 lines direct, for us to plough the both Freight and passenger lines it meant when coming from peak forest direction And doing a turn back move in the sidings to head back into the station then Change ends again to head towards dove holes 

 

Regards the hazel grove to Buxton line there is a bridge just north of Whaley bridge that you are not allowed to have loco hauled trains pass other trains on, when I’ve worked IM trains to Buxton we have been held at Furness vale While the passenger service unit cleared the section in the opposite direction Before he would let us proceed, I wouldn’t fancy getting a train from a stand there with any weight behind it, granted they would normally be empty going toward Buxton but once they start to get the spoil from HS2 heading the other way to fill one of the quarries up there it would be a struggle! 

 

 

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1 hour ago, big jim said:

Regards the hazel grove to Buxton line there is a bridge just north of Whaley bridge that you are not allowed to have loco hauled trains pass other trains on

There was a Network Rail presentation booked for this afternoon at Whaley Bridge on the renewal proposals. I understand that there is a possession on 7/8 November in connection with this work. The bridges involved are Reservoir Road at the south end of the station which is being replaced and Bridgemont just south of the big bridge over the A6 where waterproofing is taking place. 

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13 hours ago, rob D2 said:

A lot of media , YouTube videos and NR press releases about it and photos here ( not mine )

 

I had looked but it was a while back. I had been looking more for details of whether there were junction changes to the Chinley/Tunstead - Peak Forest line which has now been explained in more detail above. Thanks for the info and pictures.

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25 minutes ago, bigherb said:

Are these new sidings where the steam shed used to be?

 

Next to it.

 

In the pictures above, you can see the passenger line climbing towards Dove Holes and on to Stockport, then the "new" sidings - actually an extension of what was already there, then a large space - this was the site of the steam shed. There were always half a dozen sidings between the shed and the Stockport line - colloquially known as Donaghue or Doneroo

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3 minutes ago, seahorse said:

 

Next to it.

 

In the pictures above, you can see the passenger line climbing towards Dove Holes and on to Stockport, then the "new" sidings - actually an extension of what was already there, then a large space - this was the site of the steam shed. There were always half a dozen sidings between the shed and the Stockport line - colloquially known as Donaghue or Doneroo

Thanks, I get jist of it now.

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