Plc Board Meetings
There have been a couple of Plc Board Meetings recently, and I need to provide you with an update.
At a meeting in June, we discussed a proposed memorial garden to be located at Toddington. There have been various suggestions about what sort of memorials could be included, but we decided that the memorial garden should be just that; without specific memorials for individuals.
We spent some time discussing and making preparations for the then forthcoming AGM. It is surprising how long it takes to organise and ensure that all aspects are dealt with. This included plans for the question and answer session held afterwards.
A report from our Civil Engineer, included the disappointing news that bridge 45 (on the section to the south of CRC) was in a poor condition, and would require either very substantial funds to repair it, or propping to stabilize at at a cost of about £30k per year. A difficult but necessary decision to be made.
We agreed to fix the formal opening date for the Broadway extension for mid May 2018; shortly after the Bank Holiday. Although we had not yet finished with the Share Issue, we decided that we should make a definite decision to open on that date - come what may. We can now go ahead and plan the opening in detail.
Initial news about our planning application for the proposed car park at Broadway was less encouraging. Initial responses are that the Council will not allow it to be opened in stages, as we had expected. It has to be fully completed and surfaced before it can be opened to the public. As we won't have sufficient funds to do this prior to the opening, it was decided to withdraw the planning application, and reconsider our options. For those of you who are not aware, the £1.25m we are seeking by way of the B-TLM Share Issue, does not include any funds for the proposed car park.
After several months of consideration of all the alternatives, it was decided to abandon plans to build a toilet block on Platform 2 at Winchcombe. None of the alternative proposed locations was really suitable, and drainage would be very difficult and costly. The potential overall cost of the build was far higher than was first anticipated, and it was felt that money could be much better applied elsewhere. For special events, it would be a much cheaper alternative to hire in Porta Loos.
We agreed to place the contract to start construction of the new Elf Centre at Winchcombe, beginning in January 2017. This date is chosen in an attempt to cause minimal disruption to use of the platform.
The potential operational timetable for Broadway is taking shape, and is likely to include a requirement for eight coach rakes - C&W to note.
At a subsequent meeting recently we reviewed proposed plans for Winchcombe yard, which have been drawn up by a working party led by Andy Smith. We agreed to defer decisions until our annual all-day board meeting at the beginning of August.
We were told that after some consideration, there is no need to make any provision for loco watering facilities at Broadway. The cost of the necessary plant would be prohibitive, and there is no operational necessity for it.
We had previously received a report from our Civil Engineer about potential stability problems with the embankment between Broadway Road and Childswickham Road. Trial boreholes have shown that large areas of the embankment are unstable, and we need to establish what our options are. The first report from independent Consulting Engineers proposed a prohibitively expensive solution, so we asked our Civil Engineer to get some alternative quotes and options for rectification. This is very unwelcome news, as the whole embankment appears to be more unstable than was first anticipated.
Better news is that we were told that 56 lengths of new rail are about to be ordered from British Steel, Sunderland for the extension, with more expected in the coming months. Once P/way complete their work in the loco yard, they will be able to concentrate on the extension until they start on the winter programme of work.
The next meeting will be our annual all-day board meeting at the beginning of August.