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Relaying today at Springs Branch No2


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What a dozy bu**er I am sometimes. I live 100 yds from the WCML just north of Wigan. Sat in the sun having a cuppa this morning I thought - something's wrong - took me a while to fathom - no trains whizzing by. Had a walk to the local footbridge, nowt going on - strange. Had a look at the internet - the line has been closed since last Saturday !! Power of observation - NIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Anyway Network Rails site that track junction renewal work was going on at Leyland. Springs Branch, Bamfurlong & Golborne - wife wanted to go to Lidl so I dropped her off and went to Springs Branch to have a look. The new track is in and was being tamped. Here are some photos.

 

Looking south from Cemetary Road Springs Branch depot behind the trees on left

 

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Looking North from same location

 

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Colas Tamper in action

 

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Looking south from Taylors Lane. Dead.

 

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Looking north from Taylors lane Springs Branch depot in jungle to right.

 

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There once were 4 lines here and a signalbox, Cromptons sidings. Whats left of springs branch shed outlet / Manchester line viewed again from Taylors Lane bridge.

 

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Looking south from Westwood Lane bridge, Next bridge is Cemetary Rd where the work is being carried out.

 

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Looking north towards Wigan NW from Westwood Lane - single bi-directional line on left to platform 6 at Wigan NW for local Liverpool trains - keeps em off the fast lines (centre). Slow / relief lines to right, bareley used these days. Why are the rails painted white on the up slow ?

 

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May try to have a look at Bamfurlong / Golborne tomorrow - dozy sod me missed all the action !!

 

Brit15

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Looking north towards Wigan NW from Westwood Lane - single bi-directional line on left to platform 6 at Wigan NW for local Liverpool trains - keeps em off the fast lines (centre). Slow / relief lines to right, bareley used these days. Why are the rails painted white on the up slow ?

 

 

 

 

Expansion issues? In recent times, some pointwork has been painted white to try and reduce expansion problems - there's a thread on here somewhere.

 

 

For once, there's been some joined up thinking to do loads of renewal work on three junctions at one go, minimising the long term disruption. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to go and phot the works.

 

On the passenger front, all London - Glasgow WCML trains have been bustituted between Preston-Warrington, with the odd Brum Voyager going round via Bolton/Manchester. There have been a large number of freights using the same route. 6K05 Carlisle-Crewe has been routed direct Blackburn-Bolton on a couple of occasions.

The odd one out is 6K73/6C73 Sellafield-Crewe, which was apparently still going to pass through the engineering works! Presumably so it didn't have to travel through Manchester.

 

Limited freights are being diesel-hauled through the blockade at night - for example, Freightliners with a 66 towing dead leccies.

 

Cheers,

Mick

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Never been to spring branch!! is there much there now??

I was wondering the same. I know there used to be a big-ish T&RS depot there once back in the day known as Wigan Springs Branch. The last time I saw it, it still had some Class 40's on its books. I think I may be right in saying that its all gone now though??

 

Mick is right about the white paint. Its used where the track is not stressed and could have issues like tight joints which is more thank likely the case with the plain line in the pic.

Its also used at S&C where detection problems can arise in the switches when things start to move in the heat. We have a little machine down this end of the country that you fill with paint and push along, spraying the rails. I hate the whole idea as personally I think its abit of a bodge. As far as I know, no other country does it! Apparently it lowers the rail temp by about 5 to 7 degrees C.

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O/T alert.

 

I was wondering the same. I know there used to be a big-ish T&RS depot there once back in the day known as Wigan Springs Branch. The last time I saw it, it still had some Class 40's on its books. I think I may be right in saying that its all gone now though??

 

 

 

It's allocation through the late 70's/early 80's used to be 08/25/40 only. Pretty much supplying shunting and freight power for anything north and west of Manchester. When I kept records (late 70's/early 80's) of how many times I'd seen locos, it was either a SP or Kingmoor KD 40 that were top of the list - I lived at Clitheroe - freight only at the time with S&C routed trains passing by.

Latterly used as a component recovery centre for EWS. SP has a large capacity crane that was used to good effect to strip the locos down, before the shells were sent for scrap. SP has also done some work on refurbishing Network Rail breakdown trains. It's also used a MPV servicing point and during leaf-fall season, there's often a couple about. There has been one MPV running a weedkiller circuit in the north-west, based off SP in the last few weeks.

 

Hmmm - there's an idea for and MPD layout that isn't stuffed full of locos..............

 

Cheers,

Mick

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 As far as I know, no other country does it! Apparently it lowers the rail temp by about 5 to 7 degrees C.

 

I travelled from Malpensa to Milan Cardona and back early this week, and all the rails apart from the switches and crossings were painted white.  And most of the route is four or six parallel running lines.   Looked bizarre to say the least.

 

I've seen very short sections of white paint on the Sunset Route in Az too.

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Guest bri.s

Wow certainly changed since was last there

Used to go park on the land between the branch and sidings and main line last time I was there must be 15 years or more ago the shed was still just about active and sidings to the other side although rusted and a bit over grown still there can't believe how much it's change think am going on google earth to have a proper look

Brian

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Springs Branch depot is still there. Though not a TMD anymore. Think it's called Wigan LIP (Loco inspection point) for some reason or other. It's used for storing / maintaining (?) track maintainance vehicles & wagons etc. The gates to the road access seem permanently locked so I don't think much goes on. Shame. it once was very busy. All the stored locos have gone. Used to be an 08 there but it's either gone, in the depot, or lost in the "jungle". These dam trees, everywhere, hardly any lineside places for decent shots north or south of Wigan anymore - the bridges are OK though, so long as your tall !!.

 

Didn't make it to Golborne or Bamfurlong today - too dam hot !!

 

I wonder if the 6 lines to the south of Taylors Lane will survive (see above photo). The right hand pair are the slow lines and the centre pair fast (to Golborne). The left hand pair pass under the other two sets at Bamfurlong  (just on the horizon in photo)and join onto the slow lines there, a difficult spot to get to / photo. They seem a bit rusty and little used.

 

Incidentally just south of Bamfurlong the proposed HS2 will join the WCML by a flying junction, with a 1 mile long maintainence depot planned there (Springs Branch 2 !!). Good spot for this, sparse buildings and poor quality land (ex slag heaps etc), so I suppose the 6 lines may be handy, (in 2030 !!!).

 

Brit15

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I travelled from Malpensa to Milan Cardona and back early this week, and all the rails apart from the switches and crossings were painted white.  And most of the route is four or six parallel running lines.   Looked bizarre to say the least.

 

I've seen very short sections of white paint on the Sunset Route in Az too.

Well Il be dammed, I would never have thought it!

I feel slightly at ease by the practise now then! We're not the only ones after all. Perhaps NR got the idea from over sea's.  :biggrin_mini2:

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Actually, I understand the idea came from an engineer called Dennis Rapley. He had charge of a swing bridge, that had expansion issues. (Cant remember the name of the bridge). However, upon his instruction, the rails were painted white, and it helped cure the problem.

 

Seems to have gained a wide acceptance. He will be tickled pink to know there is a posting about it!

 

Ian

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Any chance of a shot from this same view point or even the same sort of direction to give it some perspective / before and after?

Im guessing the cooling towers are also long gone.

 

Cooling towers went long ago. Here is the view now.

 

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Bit different !!

 

The actual view from same exact location on Taylors lane bridge is this

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Sad, ain't it.

 

Brit15

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I think vegetation on the modern railway is depressing, the North mersey branch is like that now, wonder what would win between train and tree.

 

Possibly so, but I wonder how different (clearer) the view would be deep into winter.

 

Cheers,

Mick

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Class 40's had a nasty habit of running away off Springs Branch shed if not scotched. Below is D344's unsuccessful bid for freedom with the shed brakedown train in attendance, on a Sunday morning in August 1971. Springs Branch No 1 box in background with a Class 50 passing slow line.

 

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Tom

 

 

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Class 40's had a nasty habit of running away off Springs Branch shed if not scotched. 

 

As I recall, 40s had a habit of running away on anything except level track unless scotched. The trick was to remember to take out the scotches again before moving off!

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As I recall, 40s had a habit of running away on anything except level track unless scotched. The trick was to remember to take out the scotches again before moving off!

You recall right - in fact there was an Instruction issued way back in the days before they became Class 40s saying that the handbrake could not be relied on and that they were to be scotched on all occasions when stabled etc, and a set of scotches was supposed to be kept on each loco for that purpose.

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