Sunday 7 August 2011

Saturday 6th August - A Day of Reflection

The BAG Volunteers continue to work away, and more of this another time.

I spent much of my time closeted in Lamp Hut No.1, drilling and bolting together some wayward panels of rusty corrugated tin. As  I skinned my knuckles for the umpteenth time I wondered why on earth I was sitting on uncomfortable ballast, in semi darkness, trying breath life back into an old tin shed that should have been  scrapped years ago. After all, didn't I have one hundred and one things I should be doing at home? My wife says so.  As the Board have an away day and return having "unanimously" decide to reinvent themselves and the Railway's business operation, how is the dedicated, hard working volunteer going to fair in all this? The Board's preoccupation with the dire financial consequences of the slips has served to isolate them further from the very body of people who "own" the Railway and will see it through to success in the future - the Volunteers.  (with due respect to the Shareholders who are often one of the same!)  So as the afternoon wears on my thoughts seem to get gloomier, and then the ray of light - a volunteer chum comes along and offers to help me tidy up the tools, and roll in the cable that I have strewn around. I then realise why I am here - it's the camaraderie, the common sense of purpose and the certain knowledge that the determination of the volunteer's  "can do" ethic will win through and deliver a successful outcome to our venture.


Andy said...

Why has the first comment been removed?. I agree the current board don't seem to understand what the volunteers do or want, firstly the railway is in dire straits financially so what do they decide to do employ somebody(s), the only direction this railway is heading is unfortunately not broadway bound but down the pan!!!

steamartist said...

I have nothing but admiration for your work at Broadway, but I am both puzzled and concerned by the latest post on your Blog. There has been no news at all on the main GWSR website about the CC Landslip since last May, or about 'the Railway reinventing its business operation, so I am left wondering what is going on? Are you able to advise further please?

PS: I called at Broadway last Tuesday - I just wanted to see the work for myself, and took some photos from behind the fence. As I arrived a young lady was walking her small dog all over the trackbed, despite numerous notices warning of the dangers. When she saw me, she beat a hasty retreat - through the gate by the main road bridge, down the embankment, and off towards Broadway village.
This is the same attitude displayed by dog walkers as we saw at Bishops Cleeve a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

What is going on is a lot of hard physical (and planning) work to get Broadway ready for the arrival of track and train operation. Extension from Laverton is currently not an option because of the costs of bridge repairs. Other options, such as starting small within the Broadway site and building southwards in stages as funds permit, seem not to be on the Board's radar.

steamartist said...

Many thanks for your explanation - I fully understand this now. I think just about everybody is preoccupied with the Winchcombe landslip at the moment, but I am sure that once we know how much this will cost to repair, we can turn our full attention to fund raising for the bridges. I believe one of the main road bridge hits is covered by insurance? Also we only need a single track Broadway - Laverton, so presumably narrower bridges will be cheaper? Whatever happens, you will have my full support, and I suspect the full support of most members.

Toddington Ted said...

One reason why the Broadway project is so important is that is one of the few "growth areas" for the GWSR. During a period when the GWSR has been hit by 2 landslips, 2 hard winters and several thefts, the Broadway Station work has been seen by many (myself included) as a bit of a beacon of hope and proof that the GWSR is still going strong. Much of the GWSR is now involved in consolidation (or it would be if low life didn't keep nicking things and the last 2 winters hadn't been so foul) but the Broadway aspect reflects some of the pioneering spirit of the early days at Toddington (albeit with a bit more experience!) so let us take courage. One more thing, don't be tempted to put single track bridges in over the remaining portion of the line from Laverton to broadway. There is always the possibility of double tracking more of the line in future (especially when Network Rail realises that this could be a good thing!) and, having seen the replacement double track bridge being put in over Honeybourne Junction, it is always more expensive to put things back as they should have been left in the 1st place - witness the Cotswold Line redoubling and the enlargement of Honeybourne Station ongoing at present. Regarding the GWR Board, has there been a coup or something?!

Dave B said...

Nice comments there, steamartist. Good to know that our efforts at Broadway are appreciated. We haven't seen any engineering or cost quotations for bridge repairs, and the insurance settlement for the damage to 'our' bridge seems to be shrouded in mystery. It would be good to have a clearer picture, but meanwhile we have plenty of digging, clearing and building to do!

Anonymous said...


We have the costs and Engineering reports and specifications for the repair of the bridge and whilst I will not elaborate on them on a public website I will bring information with me next time on site.

The ‘bash’ affected only a part of the structure and the repair on its own is not enough to open the bridge to rail traffic (not even the one side only).

We have however as part of the inspection conducted a full structural assessment of the whole structure – both deck sections - which tells us what we need to do to get the whole structure back into rail use.

Its fair to say that even just the bash repair will require a considerable amount of propping and temporary support and therefore it would be much cheaper to do all repairs that will get the bridge back into use at the same time – with significantly less disruption to local traffic and residents.

Have a look on the main website for the Gretton Bridge Bash article. That repair was much smaller in size but gives an indication of what will be done at Broadway when funding is in place.

Progress is reported back to board by me on a regular basis and the work going in is very much respected and admired.

Updates on CC and also your hard work at Broadway are going to be released on the main website shortly.

Regards, Darren Fairley

Anonymous said...

Apologies, I should have said ‘dear all’ or ‘Gents and Ladies!’

Bill said...

The anecdotal nature of my blog entry here was intended to convey some of the frustration that my colleagues and I feel, at the lack of communication that exists between the Board and the Broadway Area Group. We do not seek constant praise or reassurance, but expect some consideration of our views on the right way to bring the Broadway Project to a successful conclusion. It is probably best to terminate this thread and move on. Thanks for all inputs.

Anonymous said...

Be assured your are not alone in rustrations with the lack of communication and contact from the board


richard said...

I'm a volunteer leader of a group in a totally unrailway related activity; sometimes when there is a crises in one area it is easy to forget the people working away actually achieving great things giving blood, sweat and tears but the recognition gets missed that does not mean its not appreciated.

The great thing your team will be able to do is look back when the first train reaches Broadway is say I / we built that.

Has any thought been given to having a "Topping out" of the first section the platform wall with the Board and others of the GWSR present a small thing but great for moral.

Bill said...

Hi Richard,
This is a good idea - we have been waiting for things to settle down a little re Chicken Curve and the Appeals etc. Hopefully then a Topping Out Ceremony might be appropriate and perhaps get some local news coverage aa well.