I went along with a few of my chums to the offical opening ceremony of Platform 2 at Honeybourne. The reverse side of this platform (Platform 3?) has been set aside for the GWR to run trains into.
It was a happy occasion, being the culmination of much hard work by the Cotswold Line Promotion Group. Here Chairman John Ellis(right) pulls the ribbon on a commemorative bench donated by the CLPG.
Alan Bielby from the GWR congratulated Network Rail, CLPG and Amy, the contractors for a job well done. In particular Alan thanked NR and Amy for assistance in recovering the bricks and coping slabs from the old Platform 2 and their transfer to Broadway.
If I can mention a couple of grumbles!
The footbridge is enormous(by necessity) but a real monstrosity!
It's a puzzle as to why a main line signal post was but right in the middle of GWR tracked bed. When questioned NR said that it could be replaced in the future with a cantilever post. Why didn't that happen in this phase!?!
Nevertheless a great occasion and my thanks go to David Northey of Network Rail who has been so supportive of the GWR, and Broadway in particular.
Indeed, this must have been a great day to be at Honeybourne, especially given that there was once a possibility that the whole line would have closed never mind just being singled. Thankfully we are putting back our railway infrastructure at last. Regarding the "monstrous" footbridge - I presume it is so large because, like the new one at Charlbury, it must comply with modern railway use under access for disabled people. Hence the need for ramps rather than steps and the banning of foot crossings. However, at least some sympathetic colour scheme has been chosen. I guess Broadway will have "Grandfather rights" and be exempt although, under legislation, access in some form must be provided for disabled people of course (usually a manned foot crossing on heritage railways). As regards the inappropriately planted colour light signal on the Platform 3 road, Network Rail would have been under immense pressure to get the job done before handing back the line on Monday, so I presume that this need to at least get the signalling system done quickly, rather than short sightedness, is the reason - but someone else may have the definitive reason!
Brilliant times for our railways though and I was very impressed with Broadway when I called in on Sunday 21 August. Well done once again the Broadway Team!
With the best will in the world, it is going to be a good few years before the GWSR gets to Honeybourne, so why you are making a fuss about the signal escapes me. It can be moved when needed, just as the Long Marston branch line east of the station will have to be moved to get a GWSR track into the station. The position of the signal wasn't some last-minute rushed decision to get the job done, it has been on the signal plan in that position - which is in line with Network Rail signalling standards - since the scheme was finalised early last year.
Hold on there Chaps - these were just idle observations - not making a fuss. I realise the bridge had to be what it is, but it doesn't make it any the less a blot on the sky line. As far as the signal is concerned, there will be a cost associated with moving it which when added to its current cost will be greater than the cost of putting a cantilever post in in the first place. Chances are the cost of moving it and the new post will have to be born by the GWR!
Anyway knock it on the head now!
I don't know what I'm looking at in the picture of "platform 3". Is it just a rough area to the rear of platform 2 which can at some point in the future be made into a proper platform? If so, how much work will be required? Did Network Rail build a complete island platform structure for both platforms but only take the platform 2 side all the way?
Apologies if this is not very clear!
(avid blog follower!)
"not making a fuss"
Not apart from the bold, underlined heading and all the exclamation marks. Network Rail isn't allowed to spend money on things on the off-chance that in 10 years' time they might come in handy.
Nigel, what you are looking at is a gravel-covered area behind the footbridge ramp that can be made into a platform if required. The earth core of the old Great Western Railway island platform from the 1900s is still in place. Network Rail basically rebuilt the face alongside the main line to create platform 2.
Anonymous this Blog is a diary of my time on the GWR Broadway Project. Its intended to be factual and light hearted, but I reserve the right to say what I think here and there! You have covered the NR perspective now so time to move on!
Thanks for the input.
Rail services have been disrupted again because of the third theft of signalling cable this week, hitting services to and from London Paddington.
Around 100 yards of cabling was cut and stolen from Honeybourne, near Worcester. Network Rail said engineers were working to replace the stolen cables.
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