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Platform steps at Settle


Pete 75C

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Whilst watching a YouTube video about the Settle & Carlisle line (circa 1992) I was a little intrigued by the use of several sets of portable steps used for boarding and alighting Sprinters at Settle station. Does anyone know why the platform(s) here seem to be built a little on the low side? Just curious.

 

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That's the height platforms were built in those days, they have never been raised. Although the 'required' platform height is currently 3ft above rail level, there does not appear to be any requirement to raise existing platforms at existing stations. If a station was closed and subsequently reopened, it comes under the 'new-build' requirement. Having said that, Cheddleton on ther Churnet Valley Railway uses portable steps (perhaps 'Light Railways' are different). There are many examples of platform extensions which are higher than the originals resulting in two-level platforms with intermediate ramps.

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Not just at Settle. They were there at Langwathby too and presumably all the other stations (but Langwathby was the one I was occasionally using at the time). About 10 - 15 years ago the platform heights were raised, I don't know if it was on all stations on the line but certainly most, so they've gone now. The join between old and new facing is visible, although fortunately it's stone facing still so that it looks fine.

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Standard S & C Midland stations had low platforms and the steps were in use at Settle until a few years ago when the platforms were raised near to the track I believe at the same time that the footbridge was installed. At Long Preston there are two heights to different ends of the platform and trains only stop on the high part now.

 

I remember when 10 nd 12 coach trains (The Thames Clyde and the Waverley) used to stop at Settle the steps used to be manhandled up and down the platforms by the porter. Also the long trains used to have to 'pull up' so that passengers could get on and off the rear half of the train. The porter often used to have to shout at them to wait rather than trying to jump down to the ballast, though the gaurds would warn you when they did their ticket checks after Leeds.

 

I managed to avoid the use of the steps once when I got my only main line steam cab ride down from Blea Moor on a 9F and the driver pulled up right by the booking office and my mate and I climbed down the cab steps and handed in the ruturn halves ofour day returns to Ribblehead to a rather surprised porter.

 

Jamie

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We had some small wooden steps similar to these when I worked on Huddersfield station back in 1979.

The steps were used on platform 1, which was lower in height than the other platforms.

Around a decade later, platform 1 was raised, by extending it out, over the trackbed of the "up main" which was removed to free up the required space, thus the various station doorways and entrance / exit were able to remain exactly, as originally constructed   

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Settle station was raised in spring 1994 by LM Civils, it was the last job they did before privatisation and they completed it to a superb standard with their redundancy notices literally in their pockets. It's still a little bit low, the height chosen was a compromise because building it exactly to spec would have meant an excessive gradient down to the doorways on the station buildings. As it was I think they settled on about 1 in 20 which is reasonable to walk across.

 

The other platforms were raised later. When Sprinters were introduced some platforms were lengthened to bring them up to the required "4 car set + overrun allowance" using temporary Acme decking. Apart from Appleby and Settle the existing platforms had been closed in 1970 and were technically open only by the good grace of HMRI who agreed a dispensation for the Dales Rail services. BR/RRNE stretched that dispensation to the limit and HMRI insisted that the extensions, being new construction, had to be to spec. That was why for several years Dent and a few others had a brightly lit 'ski jump' at one end while the passengers blundered about in the stygian gloom of the rest of the station. At the time, again apart from Appleby and Settle, the standard S&C lighting installation was a single lighting column on one platform with a spotlight over to the other.

 

The steps were subject to a PPM regime, Appleby Works Dept had a spare set and used to swap them out one at a time for repair and repainting.

 

Do you have a link to the vid please ?

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Thanks to all for the info. I must confess to knowing little about the S&C apart from the battle to save it, but it is truly a fascinating subject.

The short video that captured my attention is part of the following collection:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvYDOqRgTQTBVU0J_X0ITgQ

and is titled "Settle to Carlisle ('92)". Most of the videos that have been uploaded date from the early to late 90s and I'm slowly working my way through them all whilst missus watches Eastenders and other tat.

Pete.

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Priceless, thanks for that ! I have a nasty feeling that the lanky youth walking into the station building at 1:55 is me ! The hairy guy in the HV vest waving the down train off is Aussie Bob who was our railman at the time, an absolute star but with an interpretation of rules and regs all his own sometimes. ("Bob, why is there a motorcycle parked in the waiting room ?"  "Because it's raining outside mate".) I think the other chap with him is a driver we borrowed for the summer to escort people over the crossing after he was taken off driving for a misdemeanour.

 

You can clearly see the difference in height between the original platform and the 'ski jump' as the up train arrives.

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Thanks to all for the info. I must confess to knowing little about the S&C apart from the battle to save it, but it is truly a fascinating subject.

The short video that captured my attention is part of the following collection:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvYDOqRgTQTBVU0J_X0ITgQ

and is titled "Settle to Carlisle ('92)". Most of the videos that have been uploaded date from the early to late 90s and I'm slowly working my way through them all whilst missus watches Eastenders and other tat.

Pete.

Thanks for that link.  It brought back many memories.   At that time my parents still lived in Settle and their house overlooked the line above Settle Parish Church at the North end of Marshfield viaduct.   We had grown up on the ther side of the valley able to see 2 miles of the line from the kitchen window.   The crossing at Settle, still in use in 92 will always be remembered by me as where a lady got her stilletto heel stuck and had to abandon it as an 8F bore down on her with a southbound freight.

 

Jamie

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The other short videos in that link are fascinating as they all date from my time as a driver, although nowhere quite as scenic. I spent most of my time on the Brighton main line. The Ouse Valley Viaduct being the closest I ever got to a decent landscape.

One more question, if I may... There is mention in the Settle video about Dent station being sold off and that passengers boarding or alighting there were technically "trespassing" once passenger services resumed. Seems quite a bizarre situation. I believe Dent station is now a B&B or holiday cottages? Has some arrangement been made with the owner?

Also, in the video, the Sprinters were only a few years old and it's quite hard to believe they've now clocked up over a quarter of a century!

Pete.

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Ah, Dent...

 

When the intermediate stations were closed in 1970 at several of them everything except the platforms was sold off. In every case BR retained a right of access across the former station approach road and this extended to lawful visitors, including passengers. So they were not trespassing in any sense of the word. However, in practice there were a few complications. The right of access for passengers was on foot only; at Horton the same man bought the station building, approach and all (?) the cottages, and after a few strategically placed 'No Parking' signs failed to work he stuck an enormous gate across the entrance and simply locked everyone out. We (Line Manager and Ops Supervisor) had keys as did the P Way and the other cottage tenants, but it was on the strict understanding that if we ever left the gate unlocked the locks would be changed and that would be that.

 

At Dent the station building was bought by a former BR Engineer, who also bought the station yard, approach and (I think) the snow huts. Those are his yellow 2CVs and caravan in the vid. Again, there was a right of access on foot and we were allowed to park in the yard, but the building remained un-restored although secure. After he started work restoring it he had continual problems with the P Way and others wandering in to help themselves to the tap, kettle, plug sockets etc, so some large notices appeared making it clear it was not BR property and that there was no access to staff. The local P Way complied more or less straight away but we continued to have problems with staff from further afield (relayers, telecomms, regional works etc) sledgehammering the door down to get at the tap/toilet etc. Then one day some works people dug a big hole in his yard to put up some new noticeboards behind the down side fence, telecoms major projects broke in to use the loo while they were building the NRN mast and all hell broke loose. We were advised that he'd had enough and if anything else happened there would be no access to anyone at all for anything. Technically he couldn't rescind the right of access but clearly some fevered brows needed mopping. Some sterling negotiation by the Line Manager and S&C Project Manager eventually calmed things down, I think in return for BR taking back maintenance responsibility for the bridge which took the approach road over Monkey Beck. I think we also promised that any further incursions would be dealt with as trespass and people sacked.

 

At Lazonby the whole yard and buildings were bought by Bells Bakery who also objected to the new signs which were put up on their land by more regional numpties. They made their objection known by simply pushing an old delivery van up to the noticeboard and leaving it there so we couldn't get at it. At Armathwaite the building was sold to the British Legion who had no bother at all, but who extended it right up to the operational boundary (6 feet from the platform edge) making it impossible to put so much as a bench on the down side. Ribblehead, Garsdale, and Kirkby Stephen buildings remained in use by the P Way, the only problems I ever had there was persuading the PW that "PW to clear platforms of snow" meant all of it (or at least, enough of it) and not just the bit from their bus to the cabin door.

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