Yesterday I had a ride on a DMU along the new GCR Branch Line - the Mountsorrel Railway. Despite being just over a mile long, there are two stations, a large cafe with an adjoining museum section and the beginnings of a quarry museum section with sidings, a large shed and three restored local private owner railway wagons. There is also a good nature trail with outstanding views over the countryside to Bradgate Hill. This was the weekend of first public running and provided a very worthwhile visit, which many families were enjoying. Well done to Steve Cramp (who was/is a huge driving force to the project, the local community,GCR and all other supporters and sponsors. It remains to be seen how the Branch will integrate with the main GCR in terms of direct connection via Rothley?? ......But it is an excellent addition to the railway preservation scene.
In the latest issue of Mainline magazine (168) there are details of more Gap/Bridge progress. The bridge over the MML will be built by the GCR, subject to full NR approval. Then it will become NR property with GCR right of way. But that means NR have full responsibility for future maintenance and replacement. There is a Severn Trent Water Combined Sewer Overflow which needs diversion , but there are several options and STW needs to select the best one. The main Fibre-optic cable, that runs under the link route, is to be diverted away from the work so the canal bridge can be repaired. Work on the North abutment is due to start ......now!....?
Finally (After mega car/stuff move) I got down to the Brake van and put the chimney onto the stove - but the new stove has a much bigger outlet, so, despite welding the extra collar onto my tube, I have had to make it even bigger to fit. I have spent a few(!) minutes with the trusty hacksaw and I will weld in some more steel to get it fitting properly - pics to follow. Other GCR news centres on the new Main Line museum, there was a public display of the six shortlisted designs last week and a decision will be made public shortly. Exciting times for the GCR!
I visited the GCR today and the work on the Gap Bridge over the Midland main Line has started! The guys in Hi Vis are clearing the ground for a roadway which will allow heavy plant in to drive piles then get concrete poured for the bridge abutment foundations.
I also did a bit more work inside the Brakevan - The woodwork outside has now been finished and the outside will be painted when the van gets into the Rothley Shed - Easter??
On my last visit to the Brake van on Wednesday, I went to Loughborough and there is more work being done on the "Gap" bridge with contractors on the North Abutment excavating and moving earth. Nice to see!
I've been working steadily away on the brake van and finally finished stripping the flaking paint off the roof. Well it was only flaking in a few places and the rest had to be chipped off and heat gunned away.....My arms ache!!
The roof hooks are used to hang overcoats and jackets from - then the heat from the stove can dry them in rainy weather. At least that is what I use them for! The brackets on the outside are for the oil lamps used to indicate the end of the train, or type of train.
Love all this stuff. There is a disused railway dead opposite my house, and the our local village has one of the best preserved stations along the section of the old MGNR between Spalding and K.Lynn. Sadly that will never reopen, I only wish there was a established preserved railway a bit closer to home that I could pop along to when I had a bit of free time. Well done on preserving something a little more unusual.