Tuesday, 19 February 2013

CRC Platform 2

Work has started on Platform 2 at Cheltenham with the foundation contractor making his first approach yesterday (Monday 18th) to clearing his way into the work site. The target length of the platform is 200m (including the ramp at the northern end). This will provide sufficient platform length to accommodate 8 coaches plus a loco. The northern end will match the end position and ramp length of Platform 1 and its southern end will be close to the current 'Engine Stop Here' sign. Coincidently this is where the old platform 2 ended - you can still see the position of the ramp end. However we do not propose a ramp at the southern end of the new platform as it would serve no useful purpose and would force us to shorten the available platform length - instead there will be simple steps for the loco crew access.
Alan Bielby

I regret to advise that, while the access clearance work was proceeding well, access to the area where we agreed that the spoil could be dumped is too heavily waterlogged and the ground was being damaged alongside the trackbed. We have therefore had to suspend the works and will review the programme of work after the racecourse Exhibition in March. Of course we will be running trains then so there will constraints on the contractor's work.

After a serious review of the options - very few as we have obvious concerns on using the runround loop while there is an open trench alongside it - we have taken the plunge and modified the foundation contract to require the spoil to be trucked off site. This is an expensive option and was only 'on the table' because of the currently available supporting grant for Platform 2 from Cheltenham Council. We are now back on track to have the foundation finished before the runround loop is required.
Alan Bielby


  1. When is it likely to be complete?

  2. You say that building a ramp at the southern end of Platform 2 will 'serve no useful purpose' - but that's not really true.

    A ramp would restore the platform to its original appearance, as built by the Great Western in 1912. For a heritage railway, surely paying due regard to period style is vital - it's what a heritage line is all about, after all.

    One might equally argue that recreating the decorative Edwardian brickwork on the Broadway station buildings serves no useful purpose - we might as well just put up a steel and glass bus shelter!

    Doing away with the ramp would not necessarily 'shorten the available platform length' - as I understand it, the platform is being built as an entirely new structure, foundations and all. Therefore, the platform can be built to *any* length. Why not build a platform that can accomodate trains of the desired length *and* allow for a ramp - say, 203 metres rather than 200?

    Is there any specific reason why recreating the original appearance of CRC station is not considered important?

    Chipping away at the line's originality and period ambience for the sake of three metres seems downright odd!

    1. The ramp would need to be 9m long to match the other end and would need the removal of two or three 100 year old pine trees that are subject to a TPO. It is not a simple matter of just extending the design length unfortunately - go and have a look. The current planned end of the platform is right by the 'Engine Stop Here' sign and the trees are immediately beyond it hence my comment on a ramp reducing available platform length. Alan Bielby

    2. Apologies for omitting a response to the first question. The foundation work is now back on track with a modifed work method and must be completed before the runround loop is used - this is why we have contracted out this work. The remainder of the work to rebuild the platform is in the hands of volunteers and the more that come along to help the faster it will grow! Alan Bielby

    3. I have an electric mixer and towel. When will the brickwork start?


  3. Thanks for the response. If it's a case of preserving the trees - which are, of course, original GWR items of historical interest in themselves - then that's a valid reason for chopping the platform off short.

    Although I have to say that this does rather point up the fact that the reason originally given for building a step-end to the platform - that a ramp would serve no practical purpose - wasn't quite true. The *real* reason, it seems, is because there are historic trees in the way.

    Fair enough, but why not explain that in the first instance?