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.
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.