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Tram-Trains for Sheffield to Rotherham

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As I understand it, the prime candidate for Manchester is the Marple line. I'm not quite sure what is planned. At one time they were talking about rerouting all heavy rail via Hyde, and running as single lines between Romiley and Marple but if that is the case it could surely be tram rather than tram/train. There was talk of a new tram line from near Ashburys to the existing Ashton tramway.

 

We shall have to wait and see. Another suggestion was to 'do' the CLC Chester line, some of the way. Maybe even as far as Northwich. That would certainly have to be tram/train as there is significant goods traffic. It would also mean the Cheshire people chipping in, which I would imagine is unlikely. 

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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.

Yes you're right - according to the Quail map the directions are opposite on the parallel ex-GC and ex-Midland lines.  I'll edit my post. 

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The first new tram-train was parked outside the Sheffield tram depot today, nicely visible from passing trains, panto up and lights on.

Sorry no photo, as my train was crowded and the windows were streaked with rainy anyway.

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Sunday closures continue on the Rotherham Central loop, and there were some orange army around today.

 

At the site for the Parkgate tram stop, three piles have appeared, very close to the existing footbridge:

post-6971-0-04691500-1454857106.jpg

 

And a little closer to Sheffield, signalling-related work at the site of the former Rotherham Road station.

Looking towards Parkgate, more TPWS grids and associated lineside posts (does TRIG D/B mean anything?):

post-6971-0-59078200-1454857107.jpg

post-6971-0-39343400-1454857108.jpg

 

And looking towards Rotherham Central, more grids, new cable trunking by the old bridge supports, and what looks like the base for an additional signal to control entry into the Parkgate tram stop dead end:

post-6971-0-78739400-1454857109.jpg

post-6971-0-03738400-1454857111.jpg

I wonder if those stencil speed signs will survive the tram-train project.

 

 

Incidentally, if anyone fancies a nice romantic Valentine's Day destination in the area, the Canal & River Trust is having an open day at the Tinsley locks on the 14th. Your chance to stand hand in hand with your loved one in the mud at the bottom of a drained lock.

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/events/2016-02-14-tinsley-open-day

And trip over to Meadowhall for the Tin Bath steam special around lunchtime the same day.

Edited by eastwestdivide
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Looking towards Parkgate, more TPWS grids and associated lineside posts (does TRIG D/B mean anything?):

OSS is Overspeed Sensor and TRIG is trigger loop, so this is simply the junction box for the first loop of the TPWS overspeed sensor for signal [obscured]45.  I can't remember what D/B are, possibly codes for the frequencies of the AC current in the loops.  This will be the first loop of a separated pair on the approach to the signal, which looks very much like the one alongside it on the far track. 

 

I think you're right about the new signal, as it has two TPWS loops butting up to each other alongside it, which is the Train Stop Sensor and only fitted adjacent to a signal. 

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S745 I think would be the signal number, they're in the 700s round there - see S747 being replaced on page 3 of this thread. Thanks.

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The piles shown in the first photo of post 80 above , at the Parkgate tram stop site, have sprouted some superstructure. Here with the Dewsbury-Hope cement empties passing this morning:

 

post-6971-0-40263900-1455970176.jpg

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Two Hours before the Mast!

 

While everyone else and their dog was out to see Flying Scotsman, all I could manage to skive off work was a couple of hours to walk along the canal.

Masts are now being erected, a line of maybe 5-8 or so (hard to see in the trees) on the single line from around Halfpenny Bridge (bottom end of Tinsley locks area) across the GC bridge over the Don, then a group of 4 near Bessemer Way/Magna, plus a singleton hard by the Bessemer Way bridge, then a couple nearer to Rotherham Central Junction/Booths scrapyard area. They're evidently not putting them in sequentially from one end, but I've no idea why.

 

Work under way on the Tinsley Chord site, to link the two systems. The GC line runs along the back of the fence in the background, Sheffield to the right, Rotherham to the left.

Pile of (I think) rebar arrowed in red, approx course of new line in blue crayon:

post-6971-0-74370500-1456404874.jpg

 

Masts visible near Halfpenny Bridge, taken from Tinsley viaduct, new link road and road bridge visible too:

post-6971-0-23010700-1456404873.jpg

 

and from Halfpenny Bridge:

post-6971-0-79826600-1456404875.jpg

 

The GC bridge over the Don (new road bridge above it):

post-6971-0-48371100-1456404877.jpg

 

By Magna, one mast lying down in the foreground:

post-6971-0-23361600-1456404879.jpg

 

Near to Booths looking towards Sheffield, the MR "Old Road" crossing in the background. The new construction on the left is to be the "Templeborough Biomass Power Plant". The line is under possession:

post-6971-0-43588200-1456404880.jpg

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Slightly hazy sunshine today...

More masts have been erected, quite a run now from Rotherham Central Junction past Magna towards Tinsley Locks. The run isn't complete, some masts are lying on the ground, and some presumed locations don't even have a pile yet.

 

Magna from Bessemer Way (compare with the post above:

post-6971-0-46252700-1457881303.jpg

 

And plenty of evidence of work on the new chord, underneath the M1 Tinsley viaduct (photos from lower deck).

The trams are replaced by buses over Easter here, for installation of the junction, according to the Supertram website.

Approx course of new chord shown in red crayon on these. 

 

Looking roughly NW, shopping centre on the left:

post-6971-0-32143600-1457881305.jpg

 

Don't know what the pit is, with fencing round and steps down into it. There were metal sheets all over it:

post-6971-0-91838800-1457882023.jpg

 

Looking roughly SW, Meadowhall South/Tinsley tram stop on the left:

post-6971-0-11001400-1457881308.jpg

 

From Meadowhall South/Tinsley tram stop, looking roughly N across the Don bridge to the site of the junction from the tram network onto the chord.

post-6971-0-71966500-1457881310.jpg

 

 

Anyone know what the conical boarding might be for, on the two masts that have been added either side of the line by the original tramway masts?

Edited by eastwestdivide

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Looks very much as if the centre pole will have to be taken out where the junction is, or isn't strong enough to support the extra wires, so the side poles provide alternative support.  Shame they couldn't be round poles like all the others. 

 

No idea on the conical boarding. 

Edited by Edwin_m

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From my company intranet
 


Tram Train service start date is rescheduled
Network Rail has notified SYPTE that they can no longer complete their Tram Train infrastructure works to timetable. It means Tram Train services will not run to Rotherham from early 2017 as planned.

Tram Train is a first for the UK and we appreciate the design, planning and construction to allow running on heavy rail network is complex. However, we are very disappointed about this further delay.

SYPTE and the Combined Authority’s leaders have directly expressed our concerns to the Chief Executive of Network Rail. We have asked for his personal intervention to make sure performance is improved and resource is put in place to mitigate delays. The DfT, as Network Rail’s funder, will also apply whatever pressure they can.

While this news is a set-back, all parties remain committed to the delivery of the Tram Train project and to starting passenger services at the earliest possible time.

Work to the tram network, depot modifications and the vehicle delivery programme is on schedule, and Tram Train vehicles will be in service on the existing Supertram network from Summer 2016 once testing is complete.

We will keep you informed as soon as Network Rail is in a position to provide a new start date and a rescheduled programme for their works, including the construction of Tinsley Chord (linking the tram network to the rail line), and new platforms at Rotherham Central and Parkgate.

 

 

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From my company intranet

Tram Train service start date is rescheduled

 

Same story in the Rotherham Advertiser newspaper today. Some snippets:

 

No new start date has been set...

 

Steve Edwards, executive director at SYPTE said: "Network Rail has seriously underestimated the resources required and have clearly struggled to overcome these complexities."

 

A Network Rail spokesman said... "We can confirm that the sign-off process for parts of the design including the OLE, which looks at the safety and suitability of the system, has added time to the programme."

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Also, the Easter engineering work stopping the Supertram service (mentioned in post 85 above) has now been called off. The Supertram website is now advertising "There are no planned engineering works taking place over the Easter holiday".

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Not much new to report after Easter. Today's bike ride found some blue temporary fencing by the site of the Parkgate stop, some horizontals added to some of the cantilever structures and some rails delivered to the site for the Tinsley Chord.

 

There seems to be a right old mixture of cantilevers (with a single vertical mast one side) and other locations with vertical masts both sides. None of the "both sides" types have any horizontal components at all yet - don't know if it's going to be portals or headspans (is that the right terminology?). 

Here at Magna, but also to be found just the Sheffield side of Booths scrapyard:

post-6971-0-89230800-1459176089.jpg

 

Short rails under the M1, Tinsley viaduct. Do they pre-curve them for a small radius installation?:

post-6971-0-77721000-1459176091.jpg

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I expect those uprights will just get simple cantilevers, with no connection between the supports for the two tracks.  This is the standard arrangement for double track unless there's a good reason to do otherwise, and the uprights look too thin for anything else.  Portals would be unusual on double track (possibly in areas with poor ground conditions?) and headspans virtually unheard of.  Twin track cantilevers, as seen in the distance on the second photo, tend to be used where uprights on the other side would obscure the view of a signal. 

Edited by Edwin_m

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I've noticed that tramways tend to use grooved track on small radius corners, even when its reserved track. My guess is that this is pre-curved grooved track. 

 

It will be interesting to see where they mark the boundary between railway and tramway. It is my understanding that this differentiation is to do with the infrastructure (signalling, fencing etc) rather than what runs on the rails.

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I've noticed that tramways tend to use grooved track on small radius corners, even when its reserved track. My guess is that this is pre-curved grooved track.

That would make sense. When the Welsh Highland Railway was relaid over Britannia Bridge in Porthmadog they used Tramway style girder rail and it was all delivered pre curved to the specific location.

 

Jamie

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Deleted, was thinking of the wrong curve

Edited by Talltim

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Anyone know what the conical boarding might be for, on the two masts that have been added either side of the line by the original tramway masts?

Possibly to stop accidental contact with the posts by trackside staff, because they are close enough to the existing OLE to conduct a flashover to earth via anyone nonchalantly leaning on it. The masts in your later pic away from the OLE don't have it.

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Pretty certain that curve is standard rail. I've always thought it was weirdly aligned, there's a a straight level bit and then a sharp curve on a steep gradient. Why not start the climb on the straight?

Don't know about the gradient but the curve is very sharp. tramway style so it probably makes sense for the rails to be pre curved, probably when hot. It does look like normal rail. I think that Supertram uses normal rail on it's sleeper track sections.

 

Jamie

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Orange army (well perhaps a platoon) at work today on the Parkgate tram stop site. Laser dozer in operation. Shots looking towards Aldwarke.

post-6971-0-65618300-1460540164.jpg

post-6971-0-03953500-1460540167.jpg

Edited by eastwestdivide
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 Twin track cantilevers, as seen in the distance on the second photo, tend to be used where uprights on the other side would obscure the view of a signal. 

Thanks for that, they seem to be increasingly common and I hadn't spotted any pattern to where. I'd guessed strengthening between existing masts and because of lack of room on one side for a mast but that makes more sense.

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When it comes to the new stops on the heavy-rail section I assume they will have to have some form of grade-seperated pedestrian crossing between platforms?  One of the benefits of drive-on-sight light rail is you can have pedestrians crossing at track level, saving quite a lot of money but I can't see Network Rail agreeing to new "barrow crossings" on their network.

 

Mind you when I used to use Uttoxeter station back in the 90s that had a barrow crossing as the only means of getting between the two platforms which was always fun when people started crossing from a Stoke bound train whilst it was still in the platform.

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