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East West rail, Bletchley to oxford line


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2 hours ago, TylerTrainFan2001 said:

I went past here today by car and I saw that they were dismantling the crane. I wonder when the new big crane will come? 
 

Recently on Water Eaton Road they removed a give way section which I noticed today as well. 

I understand that it will be here by August when they have the next possession.

 

Road works in Water Eaton Road are not related. They are to remove the chicanes to increase traffic flow. Presumably it will revert to how it used to be? As it is a bus route, the chicanes used to cause some congestion during peak hours particularly at school time.

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On 20/03/2015 at 17:54, mike morley said:

That rare event - a nice day that coincided with a day off - prompted me to get my push-bike out for a cycle ride today. 

This is what I found.

 

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The view from Salden Woods bridge, looking towards Bletchley, showing much evidence of recent clearing.  So recent that dimly visible through the lingering mist was . . .

 

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The bridge is the one on the lane that runs from Newton Longville village to the Bottledump roundabout.

 

 

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This is the view towards Winslow.  If Bungus the Fogeyman happens to see this picture I'm sure he'll be as pleased as I was to see that there is a prototype for our standards of tracklaying!

 

 

post-730-0-66261500-1426872073.jpg

This is from the bridge near Swanbourne Station, looking towards Bletchley again.  There is about half a mile of track missing here, but it is not due to the work that's going on at the moment because my 2007 OS Explorer shows the gap in the track already existed then.  Cycleroute 51 runs along the other side of the hedgerow on the right.  I tried cycling along it in 1990-ish, before Sustrans up-graded the surface, and the mud along this stretch was quite literally knee-deep, with an abandoned Range Rover sunk up to its sump half way along it.  The only way I could get through was by taking to the not-long-abandoned railway line, which was almost as soggy, if not as boggy, and I reckon severe sleeper rot prompted the removal of this stretch of track.

 

There was a lot of work going on actually at Swanbourne Station, but the low sun meant I was unable to photograph any of it.  There was a low-loader carrying some heavy plant parked on what must once have been the goods yard entrance but which I'm sure the current residents of the station house have long regarded as their drive.  Behind the low-loader was a huge mound of bark and timber chippings from where large quantities of vegetation cleared from the line had been put through the shredder.  The mound was almost up to gutter height!  Beyond the mound were assorted site huts and a couple of hundred yards further down the line was a tantalising glimpse of something that at first I thought was a Mk1 carriage, but I later realised was nothing like long enough - perhaps the length of a six-wheeler?

 

Anyway, I carried on and eventually got to Verney Junction.

 

post-730-0-66264200-1426873634.jpg

Rather sad to realise that this is all that's left.

 

Unfortunately, within a minute of taking this picture there was a loud Pop! as my rear inner-tube literally exploded with such force it blew out the side of the tyre!  No puncture repair kit in the world would fix something on that scale, at which point I suddenly realised I was nearly 12 miles from home.

 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've pushed my push-bike a long way today and I think I deserve a pint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shame you didn't have one of these

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-trmaG64WY

 

Highly illegal and hard to find disused lines in situ but it looks like so much fun.

Edited by The Evil Bus Driver
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One of these would be better:

 

On one of these "speeder" trips (not this one) they are going along a disused line when they reach a road crossing and the barriers still worked!

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On 22/05/2020 at 21:21, melmerby said:

Surely although "East West Rail" (a consortium of interested parties) are the promoters of the project, it will be part of Network Rail when it's completed?

(Rather like HS2 which will become part of the national network once complete, unlike HS1)

 

East West Rail is in Network Rail's project plans:

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/railway-upgrade-plan/key-projects/east-west-rail/

 

Nope!

 

As certain sections of HM Government believe NR is inefficient and everything it does costs far too much, the new bits of EWR will be owned and maintained by a new special purpose vertically integrated transport company. This will apparently allow benchmarking to take place and enable HM Treasury to identify exactly why UK rail maintenance / renewal costs are far higher than the rest of Europe.

 

NRs involvement is limited to the interfaces where EWR comes into contact with the existing railway network (plus of course the bits currently in operation). Hence the reason NR is in charge of the Bletchley works.

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1 hour ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Nope!

 

As certain sections of HM Government believe NR is inefficient and everything it does costs far too much, the new bits of EWR will be owned and maintained by a new special purpose vertically integrated transport company. This will apparently allow benchmarking to take place and enable HM Treasury to identify exactly why UK rail maintenance / renewal costs are far higher than the rest of Europe.

 

NRs involvement is limited to the interfaces where EWR comes into contact with the existing railway network (plus of course the bits currently in operation). Hence the reason NR is in charge of the Bletchley works.

But but but......I thought highly inefficient vertically integrated BR was privatised so that thrusting dynamic private enterprise could take over and sweep away the inefficiencies with a sparkling new broom?

 

I must have misunderstood.

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3 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

As certain sections of HM Government believe NR is inefficient and everything it does costs far too much, the new bits of EWR will be owned and maintained by a new special purpose vertically integrated transport company. This will apparently allow benchmarking to take place and enable HM Treasury to identify exactly why UK rail maintenance / renewal costs are far higher than the rest of Europe.

 

But that's comparing eggs with onions surely. A nearly rebuilt railway is always going to cost less to maintain (in the short to medium term) than a railway struggling with the 100 plus years of under funding. Equally, a railway rebuilt without the restrictions of having to do all the work in time limited possessions and without the worry of having to leave almost everything as it was so that trains can run once the possession ends is going to be much cheaper. 

 

But then this probably isn't the place to make those observations - apologies for deviating from the purpose of this thread.

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9 minutes ago, Ray H said:

 

But that's comparing eggs with onions surely. A nearly rebuilt railway is always going to cost less to maintain (in the short to medium term) than a railway struggling with the 100 plus years of under funding. Equally, a railway rebuilt without the restrictions of having to do all the work in time limited possessions and without the worry of having to leave almost everything as it was so that trains can run once the possession ends is going to be much cheaper. 

 

 

Of course it is - but since when does that matter to the inhabitants of Whitehall?

 

NR (officially a branch of HM Government) is 'seen' to be bloated and inefficient by some. Its a fact (backed up by Roger Fords analysis) that renewals work on NR comes out as more expensive that other EU infrastructure operators and the Treasury are very keen to reduce it (all in the interests of the taxpayer of course)

 

The separation of the EWR project in the wake of NRs electrification project screw ups gave thus creates perfect opportunity for the politicans to setup an new organisation to 'compare' with NR (however flawed the comparison)

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On 10/08/2015 at 21:31, St. Simon said:

 

You'll be amazed at the all the processes that these projects have to go through, since I started in design, my eyes have been opened as to how much effort goes into designing a scheme. Plus its not just whats possible and whats not, there's hundreds of things that have to be considered (far too many to mention on here), and it takes many months to fully explore the options (simply because of all the stuff that has to be done!).

 

It may seem like dithering, but don't assume that no news means that nothing is happening, I can assure you that stuff is being done (not that I'm personally involved in the project).

 

Simon

Also known as "More paperwork than is good for you". Such an amount is different for everyone but mine is roughly one microdot beyond "Writing My Name" :D

 

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1 hour ago, TylerTrainFan2001 said:

Is there any new updates about the big blue crane getting packed away? 
 

I did see this morning that men were climbing the crane where they attach the weights maybe they are pulling in the wires and taking apart the crane arm. 

Around 1600 today there was another lorry alongside and it was being loaded with some of the parts by the two yellow cranes.

20200529_160300.jpg

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A walk through the bridge carrying the WCML revealed that since my last walk past, that a substantial stone road had been created up towards the former (long disused) sidings by the Flyover. The junction to Duncombe Street is behind the camera. Taken from the entrance road that leads up from Water Eaton Road to the Network Rail compound at Lamb Sidings.

 

The new access road ascends the hill behind the hut and in front of the hill where the digger is standing.

20200529_160714.jpg

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9 hours ago, melmerby said:

One of these would be better:

 

On one of these "speeder" trips (not this one) they are going along a disused line when they reach a road crossing and the barriers still worked!

Now that I do like! Very Heath Robinson/Steampunk. Just need some more brass gauges etc and a top hat.

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12 minutes ago, The Evil Bus Driver said:

Now that I do like! Very Heath Robinson/Steampunk. Just need some more brass gauges etc and a top hat.

A modern take on "Novelty" from the Rainhill trials.  

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4 hours ago, 1E BoY said:

A walk through the bridge carrying the WCML revealed that since my last walk past, that a substantial stone road had been created up towards the former (long disused) sidings by the Flyover. The junction to Duncombe Street is behind the camera. Taken from the entrance road that leads up from Water Eaton Road to the Network Rail compound at Lamb Sidings.

 

The new access road ascends the hill behind the hut and in front of the hill where the digger is standing.

20200529_160714.jpg

I wonder if they know that all the track drainage for Bletchley Station, runs in a culvert under where the machines bucket is, then under the road bridge and into the lake in the old Worcester Curve triangle?

 

The compound is wrongly named, Lambs Siding was about a mile further south and on the Down side of the line. I am afraid that you just can not get the staff any more.

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9 hours ago, Trog said:

I wonder if they know that all the track drainage for Bletchley Station, runs in a culvert under where the machines bucket is, then under the road bridge and into the lake in the old Worcester Curve triangle?

 

The compound is wrongly named, Lambs Siding was about a mile further south and on the Down side of the line. I am afraid that you just can not get the staff any more.

Lambs Siding -wasn't there a brickworks there? IIRC there was a couple of tall chimneys still standing until around 1984.

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43 minutes ago, rodent279 said:

Lambs Siding -wasn't there a brickworks there? IIRC there was a couple of tall chimneys still standing until around 1984.

 

In the early 1980's there were two disused sidings forming a loop with a trailing connection into the Down Fast at the north end. At the south end of the loop a line curved away to the brick kilns which were about where there is now a new pub.

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1 hour ago, melmerby said:

I'm lost:scratchhead:

Where exactly is that picture taken?

Is it with back to the NR Lamb Siding yard?

I assume this is the same lamp post?

https://goo.gl/maps/Nh1jw7AqKsWD7g949

 

I am sure 1EBoY will be along soon to confirm. I believe the photo was taken in Water Eaton Road looking towards Bletchley Station and the former Sidings which ran along the back of the houses in Duncombe Street were known as "The Top Tip" . You can see the TR Buildings in the photograph.

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11 hours ago, melmerby said:

I'm lost:scratchhead:

Where exactly is that picture taken?

Is it with back to the NR Lamb Siding yard?

I assume this is the same lamp post?

https://goo.gl/maps/Nh1jw7AqKsWD7g949

 

I was standing on the edge of the entrance road towards what Network Rail call their  Lambs Siding facility.

 

However, old Bletchley railwaymen, would fail to recognise the current Network Rail facility as Lambs Siding. 

 

Lambs brickworks were on the opposite line of the WCML and were accessed off the old Worcester curve. Opened in 1933 it remained open until circa 1975 and produced some 1.3m bricks a week at its peak, employing 90.

 

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=15&lat=51.98720&lon=-0.73406&layers=10&b=1

 

The linked map shows the Lambs (later Fletton's) brick works facility. The brickworks further south near Skew Bridge which used to be the end of the Lakes Estate before the building of the Newton Leys development was known as Jubilee Works. It was linked to the Down fast line.

 

The road access to Lambs was off Drayton Road and there was a bridge under the WCML. This today is the entrance to a park area known as the Blue Lagoon (which is actually a deep old clay pit!). It can be seen to the north west of the brickworks itself. The current Drayton Road is on a totally different alignment to the old one, which is now under the Lakes Estate itself.

 

Hope this helps to clarify the situation.

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12 hours ago, melmerby said:

I'm lost:scratchhead:

Where exactly is that picture taken?

Is it with back to the NR Lamb Siding yard?

I assume this is the same lamp post?

https://goo.gl/maps/Nh1jw7AqKsWD7g949

 

It is the same lamp post.

 

I have previously described the area behind the fence as a forrest. 

 

If you swing the view around to the road up to the NR compound, then you can see where I was standing.

20200529_160714.jpg

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This link shows the buildings etc. that make up the Network Rail High Output Centre (Lambs Sidings) to the right of the West Coast Main Line.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.9892879,-0.736249,558m/data=!3m1!1e3

 

It also shows the Blue Lagoon and the site of the former Lambs Brickworks.

 

The area of water in the middle of the old triangle is the Newfoundout, which provided Bletchley Motive Power Depot (1E) with its water supply in steam days.

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9 hours ago, 1E BoY said:

The area of water in the middle of the old triangle is the Newfoundout, which provided Bletchley Motive Power Depot (1E) with its water supply in steam days.

 

I have been told in the past that the LNWR used to have a licence of some sort that allowed them to keep a couple of swans with clipped wing feathers on that lake to keep the water weed down.

 

Bletchley1972.jpg

Edited by Trog
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9 hours ago, 1E BoY said:

 

I was standing on the edge of the entrance road towards what Network Rail call their  Lambs Siding facility.

 

However, old Bletchley railwaymen, would fail to recognise the current Network Rail facility as Lambs Siding. 

 

Lambs brickworks were on the opposite line of the WCML and were accessed off the old Worcester curve. Opened in 1933 it remained open until circa 1975 and produced some 1.3m bricks a week at its peak, employing 90.

 

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=15&lat=51.98720&lon=-0.73406&layers=10&b=1

 

The linked map shows the Lambs (later Fletton's) brick works facility. The brickworks further south near Skew Bridge which used to be the end of the Lakes Estate before the building of the Newton Leys development was known as Jubilee Works. It was linked to the Down fast line.

 

The road access to Lambs was off Drayton Road and there was a bridge under the WCML. This today is the entrance to a park area known as the Blue Lagoon (which is actually a deep old clay pit!). It can be seen to the north west of the brickworks itself. The current Drayton Road is on a totally different alignment to the old one, which is now under the Lakes Estate itself.

 

Hope this helps to clarify the situation.

Thanks, that clears it up for me. I always thought that Lambs Siding was the one to the brick works off the DF.

So was Worcester Curve still in use and connected until 1975? Was it connected to the DF, or to the West end of the flyover?

 

Cheers N

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