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Whilst delivering supplies to my parents I passed by the work site at Gypsy Patch Lane. The old bridge has gone and a large gap is evident, the new bridge was visible some 20 or 30 metres away on the Rolls Royce side.

 

When I told my mother where I had been she advised me that the impending replacment of the bridge had been notified to them by their solicitor when they bought their house 61 years ago! 

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3 hours ago, Northmoor said:

Quite an expensive way of avoiding the time penalty of going via Gloucester.  For the route to be useful, the East-North side of the triangle at Yate would have to have been retained, plus the South-facing junction from Berkeley.  I suspect most diesels would have exceeded the weight limits of the bridge.  To be honest, the bridge was virtually demolished by the tankers, BR just got rid of the remainder to remove the liability and hazard to shipping (ironic considering it was the shipping that was the hazard to the bridge!).  

 

And there would be very little shipping, hardly anything went up the river above Sharpness.

 

The barges that hit the bridge missed the entrance to Sharpness docks (due to thick fog), they should have gone under the swing bridge over the canal.

 

Adrian

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4 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

When I saw the title of this thread I thought it was going to be about the statue of an old Bristolian ending up in the harbour.

We got footage of that in Australia. I thought it was most unBristolian myself. In my day, proper Bristolians would have weighed it in at one of the dodgier yards round the back of Feeder Road. I dunno. The youth of today. Tut tut etc. :jester:

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15 hours ago, Northmoor said:

Quite an expensive way of avoiding the time penalty of going via Gloucester.  For the route to be useful, the East-North side of the triangle at Yate would have to have been retained, plus the South-facing junction from Berkeley.  I suspect most diesels would have exceeded the weight limits of the bridge.  To be honest, the bridge was virtually demolished by the tankers, BR just got rid of the remainder to remove the liability and hazard to shipping (ironic considering it was the shipping that was the hazard to the bridge!).  

 

The east side of the triangle at Yate was taken out well before the bridge was closed, and had never been that heavily used. The history is rather interesting.

 

Here is the 1914 RCH diagram for anyone not familiar with the area:

 

image.png.f473abfe7c3ba6dfb7b7eec5f7590bf8.png

 

There was a great legal tussle between the Midland and the Great Western before it (and the other side of the triangle) opened after the Badminton Line was built, fought all way to the House of Lords. The GW prevailed against the Midland's argument that the running powers granted to the GW were confined to traffic to and from the Berkeley Road Junction Railway and to traffic in connection with the Severn and Wye and Severn Bridge Railway. The Midland's desire was to force the GW traffic to go via Mangotsfield.

 

For anyone with access to the law reports, the references are:

  •  Warrington J: [1908] 2 Ch 445
  •  Court of Appeal: [1908] 2 Ch 644
  •  House of Lords: [1909] AC 445

Even once the junctions opened , the east side of the triangle did not see much use. There was a temporary closure during the Great War and again in 1927. It was reopened during the Second War (and a new "ARP" style box built at Westerleigh East Junction) but closed again in 1950. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Andy Kirkham said:

Even if the disaster hadn't occurred, I can't imagine the bridge would have lasted much longer. Being a useful diversionary route would not have cut much ice with Dr. Beeching.

In Scotland there was a bridge over the Forth at Allloa that might be thought of as equivalent to the Severn Bridge, and that was closed in 1968.

http://fyca.org.uk/_ArchiveOfFYCA/Cruising/CruisingGuide/cruisingp6.htm

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41 minutes ago, Andy Kirkham said:

In Scotland there was a bridge over the Forth at Allloa that might be thought of as equivalent to the Severn Bridge, and that was closed in 1968.

http://fyca.org.uk/_ArchiveOfFYCA/Cruising/CruisingGuide/cruisingp6.htm

 

Interesting that the piers haven't been removed. Perhaps the difficulty & cost of demolishing the R Severn piers were remembered (& there were a couple of deaths I think too - but I can't find the reference for that so perhaps my memory is not what is I'd like it to be!)

 

Martin

Edited by martinT
caveat re deaths added
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I notice that extract shows the flying junction at Yate South, remains of which were visible until fairly recently but I can't now see them on aerial mapping so they may have been obliterated by development.  I've often wondered why that one was made grade-separated when other busier junctions nearby such as Westerleigh weren't.  

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1 hour ago, Edwin_m said:

I notice that extract shows the flying junction at Yate South, remains of which were visible until fairly recently but I can't now see them on aerial mapping so they may have been obliterated by development.  I've often wondered why that one was made grade-separated when other busier junctions nearby such as Westerleigh weren't.  

I think you can just about make out the abutment of the bridge on the west side of the GWML-Midland chord.

It's interesting to speculate how railways in the area would have developed, had the GW been successful in acquiring the Bristol & Gloucester, and maybe the Birmingham & Gloucester railways.

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2 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

I notice that extract shows the flying junction at Yate South, remains of which were visible until fairly recently but I can't now see them on aerial mapping so they may have been obliterated by development.  I've often wondered why that one was made grade-separated when other busier junctions nearby such as Westerleigh weren't.  

 

The original proposal when the Badminton Line was a branch from the GW line to the Severn & Wye Joint more or less parallel with the Midland route. The Midland objected, and the accommodation reached was for the format show above. The relevant legislation is the Great Western Railway (South Wales and Bristol Direct Railway) Act 1896.

 

Without trawling through all the primary material, it is difficult to identify why the flying junction was built (and I am in general inclined to be very doubtful about un-footnoted assertions in railway history books), but I would suggest two possibilities:

 

1. The Midland was not paying for it, and so had no reason not to insist on a flying junction, given that it would be to their operational advantage not to have a flat junction.

2. The busier junction at the time it was all built was the junction at Yate. It is hard to appreciate it now the north to/ from Bristol traffic goes via Filton, but back then the Midland route was definitely the primary one.  

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14 minutes ago, 2251 said:

The busier junction at the time it was all built was the junction at Yate. It is hard to appreciate it now the north to/ from Bristol traffic goes via Filton, but back then the Midland route was definitely the primary one.  

The conflict at a flat junction depends on the number of trains using both routes.  Assuming the Westerleigh east curve was negligible as it appears to be, the number of trains diverging at Yate and Westerleigh (west) would be the same.  So the "straight through" traffic was the only variable - was the Midland between Mangotsfield and Yate busier than the GWR Badminton line?  

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21 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

The conflict at a flat junction depends on the number of trains using both routes.  Assuming the Westerleigh east curve was negligible as it appears to be, the number of trains diverging at Yate and Westerleigh (west) would be the same.  So the "straight through" traffic was the only variable - was the Midland between Mangotsfield and Yate busier than the GWR Badminton line?  

 

I would think it would have been on a Summer Saturday... :)

 

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On 18/09/2020 at 19:44, Northmoor said:

In that case it's not so much the consultants as the vanity of the project's sponsors, but I agree with you.  There can be few rail projects in the UK that could make such an immediate congestion/environmental benefit.

The 'last straw' for the Bere Alston to Tavistock project was the fact that Network Rail significantly increased the project contingency amounts. This is normally an amount calculated to cover all reasonably anticipated 'things that could go wrong', and thus increases project costs.

 

As I understand it, from sources in Network Rail still loyal to the Captain, NR got it's fingers burnt so badly with the GWML electrification, that projects of this nature were subjected to vast increases in contingency amounts, which put the cost of the project beyond the reach of those paying for it (in this case, mostly Devon County Council - notwithstanding so-called developer contributions).

 

A similar fate has (so far) met the projected station at Marsh Barton.

 

On 18/09/2020 at 19:44, Northmoor said:

Bristol is supposed to be a centre of the green movement, but they have been pretty ineffectual at pushing to get this project built.

Nothing about the long-standing inability of local government in Bristol to develop transport projects surprises me.

 

When I started my railway career with BR in 1981 in Bristol, the first project my fellow trainees and I were given was a kind of feasibility study into what was then called the 'Avon Metro'.

 

It was very interesting doing the project, but (inevitably) a complete waste of time, in that nothing ever became of the work that we did.

 

Edited by Captain Kernow
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2 hours ago, Captain Kernow said:

When I started my railway career with BR in 1981 in Bristol, the first project my fellow trainees and I were given was a kind of feasibility study into what was then called the 'Avon Metro'.

 

Out of curiosity, what did Avon Metro include in  those days?

Best wishes 

Eric  

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10 minutes ago, burgundy said:

Out of curiosity, what did Avon Metro include in  those days?

Best wishes 

Eric  

From what I can remember, Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol, then up the bank to Parkway, possibly further.

 

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44 minutes ago, Captain Kernow said:

From what I can remember, Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol, then up the bank to Parkway, possibly further.

 

 

I think I have some of the original launch information somewhere in my attic archive but the I found the following:

 

The idea was championed by Richard Cottrell MEP as far back as the 1970s but Advanced Transport for Avon as it became known only launched their Avon Metro plans in November 1987.

 

The first route was scheduled to run from Wapping Wharf to Portishead / Portbury and was due to open by 1991. There would also be routes from the city centre to Yate via Temple Meads and Emersons Green (with a potential interchange with the M4), from the city centre to Filton via Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway and Bradley Stoke and a line to South Bristol splitting to serve Hartcliffe and Weston-super-Mare.

 

 

2125055167_AvonMetro.jpg.10930aba78f3195c6d6616eb71aab3a1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, SP Steve said:

 

I think I have some of the original launch information somewhere in my attic archive but the I found the following:

 

The idea was championed by Richard Cottrell MEP as far back as the 1970s but Advanced Transport for Avon as it became known only launched their Avon Metro plans in November 1987.

 

The first route was scheduled to run from Wapping Wharf to Portishead / Portbury and was due to open by 1991. There would also be routes from the city centre to Yate via Temple Meads and Emersons Green (with a potential interchange with the M4), from the city centre to Filton via Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway and Bradley Stoke and a line to South Bristol splitting to serve Hartcliffe and Weston-super-Mare.

 

 

2125055167_AvonMetro.jpg.10930aba78f3195c6d6616eb71aab3a1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead, we got Metrobus, a bus lane on the M32, and a bus only entrance/exit off the M32

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1 hour ago, 96701 said:

This makes me absolutley and totally convinced the TfW's plans for a Valley Metro are also a pipe dream.

 

Especially as it was supposed to be funded by the EU

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On 10/11/2020 at 18:22, 2251 said:

 

The original proposal when the Badminton Line was a branch from the GW line to the Severn & Wye Joint more or less parallel with the Midland route. The Midland objected, and the accommodation reached was for the format show above. The relevant legislation is the Great Western Railway (South Wales and Bristol Direct Railway) Act 1896.

 

Without trawling through all the primary material, it is difficult to identify why the flying junction was built (and I am in general inclined to be very doubtful about un-footnoted assertions in railway history books), but I would suggest two possibilities:

 

1. The Midland was not paying for it, and so had no reason not to insist on a flying junction, given that it would be to their operational advantage not to have a flat junction.

2. The busier junction at the time it was all built was the junction at Yate. It is hard to appreciate it now the north to/ from Bristol traffic goes via Filton, but back then the Midland route was definitely the primary one.  

So.... If the GW had been successful in purchasing the Bristol & Gloucester, would the Severn Tunnel have been built? Would the Badminton line have turned north at Westerleigh, and run up to Sharpness, then across the Severn bridge? Would/could the bridge have been doubled?

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