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Tram-Trains for Sheffield to Rotherham

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Thanks to a tip-off on another forum, news that authorisation has been given given for building the Tinsley Chord:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/notice/2433753

 

 

The Secretary of State for Transport gives notice under section 14(1)(b) and (2A) of the Transport and Works Act 1992 (“the Act”) that he has determined under section 13(1) of the Act to make with modifications the Network Rail (Tinsley Chord) Order.
 

which I take to mean that "the Order is made, with modifications"

Edited by eastwestdivide

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More from your roving reporter, this time from Parkgate today (Sun 22/11).

 

There's definitely been some vegetation cleared, comparing these shots from September (with an unusual XC diversion) and today:

post-6971-0-15548500-1448206347.jpg

post-6971-0-75156200-1448206343.jpg

(is that the same carrier back stuck on the fence in the foreground?)

 

and today there were a couple of diggers parked up at the access point, one with a drum-shaped atachment - anyone know what it is?

post-6971-0-18296000-1448206345.jpg post-6971-0-85477100-1448206347.jpg

post-6971-0-23119500-1448206346.jpg

 

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.

Edited by 4630

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Is the drum shaped thing actually a fuel bowser?

 

Andy G

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Is the drum shaped thing actually a fuel bowser?

 

Andy G

Could well be, on a kind of fork-lift attachment. But for fuel, you might expect to see hazard labels attached, which I couldn't see from the 3 visible sides.

From my other photos, the JCB seems to be a model 525 which is a telehandler (i.e. has fork lift forks).

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Went to Rotherham by train on Friday, noticed the GC line south of the Holmes Curve was completely closed

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Went to Rotherham by train on Friday, noticed the GC line south of the Holmes Curve was completely closed

They've had possessions on it most weekday mornings for a good few weeks now. Opens again by the afternoon, as realtimetrains shows the odd freight working actually running that way, including empty aggregates to the Peak District around 1500 and the Aldwarke-Stocksbridge steel train around 1800

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Maybe the drum is a water bowser, are they doing any drilling or cutting?

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Oh, BTW that red attatchment of the road-railer is a pile manipulator. It clamps round the pile, and allows the operator to rotate the pile and I think it can feed the pile as well.

 

Andy G

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Oh, BTW that red attatchment of the road-railer is a pile manipulator. It clamps round the pile, and allows the operator to rotate the pile and I think it can feed the pile as well.

 

Andy G

 

Sounds painful !!!

 

Interesting development this tram train thing. I understand Manchester's trams have high floors and "station" platforms so Manchester was not on the list for initial trials as the Government wanted to try a low floor / no platform system, hence Sheffield. Not to say a high floor tram train can't be ruled out in future, say for the Wigan line via Atherton,. and perhaps on to Southport / Kirkby etc.

 

I wish it well. Better a tram-train or Tram than a Guided Bus way that Leigh is unfortunately having built at the moment.

 

Brit15

Edited by APOLLO

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The first tram-train is now on its way from the Vossloh plant at Albuixech near Valencia to the UK, via the ports of Santander and Southampton. Due in Southampton on 28th November and Sheffield on 1st December.

 

http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/light-rail/vossloh-despatches-first-sheffield-tram-train.html?channel=526

I saw the photos on our intranet and was surprised that the tram is being shipped in one peice

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I saw the photos on our intranet and was surprised that the tram is being shipped in one peice

The Strasbourg trams built at York were delivered as a complete unit!

 

Mark Saunders

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The Strasbourg trams built at York were delivered as a complete unit!

Mark Saunders

As are the M5000s to Manchester and the Flexities were to Blackpool.

 

Delivery in one piece is a lower risk option. Fully assemble and wire in the factory and in some cases, test running and mileage accumulation before delivery in close proximity to the factory allowing rapid entry to service - Metrolink are currently averaging around 12 days from touchdown to carrying passengers...

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A couple of shots from the lower deck of Tinsley viaduct today, looking towards Rotherham, roughly at the site of the former Tinsley East Junction

Some marker boards, presumably showing the alignment of the "Tinsley Chord" linking the two systems.

There were no indications of any marking out on the tram side of the chord, or on the fenced-off piece of land under the Tinsley viaduct, across which it will run. 

post-6971-0-91461900-1448710960.jpg

post-6971-0-09997500-1448710962.jpg

Those are replacement rails lying in the centre of the track, possibly held in place on the curve by something that looks like sandbags. And more piles lying further away, ready to be sunk

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Quick update: 

the Supertram website said there were no trams between Meadowhall South and Meadowhall Interchange today, for works to do with the tram-train. Well I took a wander down there, and the only activity was some orange army peering at a bridge near the Interchange, nowhere near the tram-train connection. No heavy plant out at all. 

Maybe it's to do with inspections for clearance for the new vehicles on the existing network?

 

There was also an engineering block on the freight line between Rotherham Central junction and the Tinsley junctions, but no activity visible there either. In fact I didn't notice any signs of progress on the ground since early December, from any of the publicly-accessible viewpoints, which cover most of the line.

 

 

There's an article from late Dec in Rail Engineer:


including "Testing and validation of the wheel-rail interface began before Christmas and the first vehicle will begin testing on the tram network by the end of January"

 

Meanwhile the Rotherham Advertiser of Fri 8 Jan has a front page headline:

Trams 'to bring 4,000 jobs'

with a picture of the first tram inside the shed (looks like the same day as the photo in the previous post, with the red temporary ramp in the foreground)

The story isn't in their online edition yet, but brief highlights:

- "could create more than 4,000 jobs and ease road congestion"

- "Network Rail has applied for permission to build a new stop at Parkgate Shopping"

- "It is estimated that the new line will reduce the number of car journeys between Parkgate and Rotherham by 259 a day"

- "Cllr Lelliot attended the launch of the new vehicles, now running between Meadowhall and Sheffield"

- "The tram-train service... could support the realisation of 2,657 jobs in the Rotherham area"

- "...future expansion ... could lead to a further 1,400 jobs in Templeborough"

 

Some thoughts:

The last point presumably is hinting at a future stop near Magna.

I think the over-precise 2657 jobs in fact makes me less likely to believe the number than if they had said "about 2700".

The 259 car journeys a day doesn't sound like much.

And it's the first I'd heard that the trams were actually in service. I suspect that's wrong.

Edited by eastwestdivide

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Bit more digging and I've found the planning application (RB2015/1524) for the Parkgate tram stop

http://rotherham.planportal.co.uk/?id=RB2015/1524

 

 

26/11/2015
Case_Officer Anthony Lowe
Applicant Network Rail(Infrastructure)Ltd
Proposal New Tram Stop for Tram/Train trial including single platform, shelter, lighting, CCTV, public address, customer information screen and safety fencing
Property land at
Street Stonerow Way
District Parkgate
Consultation_Period_START 01/12/2015
Consultation_Period_END 22/12/2015
Provisional_Decision_Date 21/01/2016

 

 

 

Among those documents it says

(at Rotherham Central station)

"At this site, Bridge 21 (College Road) will be reinstated to accommodate overhead lines. Additional platforms and access ramps will also be constructed at this site."

 

(to the N of Rotherham Central)

"To accommodate overhead power lines the tracks are going to be lowered going under Greasborough Road bridge"

 

And the attached PDF from the planning application shows the site (outlined in red) of the new Parkgate stop, just to the NE of the footbridge over the line, opposite the public footpath that runs between two of the shops at Parkgate.

So not in fact at the point I'd photographed further along on the bend in the track (post 52 above), but much closer to the footbridge.

 

201526111324084650916Pakgatehaltredline.PDF

Edited by eastwestdivide

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the Supertram website said there were no trams between Meadowhall South and Meadowhall Interchange today, for works to do with the tram-train. Well I took a wander down there, and the only activity was some orange army peering at a bridge near the Interchange, nowhere near the tram-train connection. No heavy plant out at all. 
Maybe it's to do with inspections for clearance for the new vehicles on the existing network?

 

My understanding is that this and other weekend blockades in Jan/Feb are for work on existing infrastructure to allow the tram-trains to operate throughout the network; the intention being that they will run on existing services ahead of the Rotherham line opening. I can't remember the full list of locations, but the Park Square bridge was the big one on the list with two full weekends allocated.

 

Unconfirmed rumour is that there a few 'swept path' issues with line-side items that aren't quite where they should be...

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On the Sheffield-bound platform at Rotherham Central, they're moving the signal towards Sheffield (the new one is covered over). The existing head on S747 can't be that old, as it's an LED.

Presumably this is to make room for the low platform extension for the tram-trains.

Gloomy shot from yesterday morning (16 Jan):

post-6971-0-08418600-1453023027.jpg

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I believe the low platforms at Rotherham Central will be added to the Sheffield end of the high platforms, and moving the signal would be consistent with this.  There will also need to be a ramp down for wheelchair access to the low platform, but I don't know if they are building this up on the low part or hollowing out part of the high part.  Either way that brick wall with the car stop sign will have to go too. 

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Just to add, there was engineering work today, no trains through Rotherham Central, so I went and had a look for anything interesting.

The only visible change was that the "old" signal S747 (in the picture I took yesterday, 2 posts above here) had gone, and some orange army were peering into a hole.

The new signal had had its covers removed as well. Don't know if there was an unveiling ceremony. Probably not.

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More work on the ground: noticed lots of newly-placed TPWS grids in the Rotherham area on yesterday's walk around. Here's the Sheffield end of Rotherham Central. They all seemed to have purple-ish Pandrol-type clips.

post-6971-0-49126100-1453723044.jpg

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Looks like two pairs of overspeed sensors (TPWS+) for the Down Up signal which is presumably at the far end of the platform.  This will be part of the extra measures to reduce risk of collisions between tram-trains and trains.  Plus the train stop sensors for the relocated Up Down signal which will have moved with it. 

 

I think the purple Pandrol is a special variant for use where the TPWS grid attachment brackets meet the sleepers.  I've never seen them used anywhere else. 

Edited by Edwin_m

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That would make sense Edwin_m - the signal in question is out of sight in the photo, at the far end of the Doncaster-bound platform on the left.

Although I've got an idea that Down and Up were once the other way round on this section of line, but I'm not sure if that's still the case.

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