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ranworthbreeze

Somerleyton Bridge Not Operational

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Doesn't look like the tide level is going to improve, it's still going to be high. The low tide was yesterday ( when we should have left Thorpe ) This morning we left Thorpe and almost scraped through under the bridge (less than 10mm). 10 mins later and we would have not made it. Tonight's low doesn't look any better.

Is it just coincidental these bridges have failed this weekend!!!  We only need Reedham now to do the same. Is it not time to lobby the BA and get them to put more pressure on to get these bridges serviceable if not replaced. 

We are lucky that we can fold down to 8ft for bridge clearance but one day I might have something bigger. 

Colin:default_winko:

n.b. http://www.ntslf.org/data/realtime?port=Lowestoft

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Several boats have now made it through from somerleyton , its cooled of a little n the bridge has defiantly opened .

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Sorry for the delay in posting this message, only just come onto the computer at home, it came in at 16.10

 

"Dear all,


Further to my previous email Network Rail has informed us that Somerleyton Swing Bridge is now operational. 

Kind regards

Tom"

My guess is that if it is hot tomorrow then they will not open it until later in the day

Regards

Alan

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Why don't they paint the whole length of the rails with white paint wouldn't take more than a couple of gallons surly the cost cant be that high and if the rail end was shamford instead of a butt joint they wouldn't jam when they expand.John

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2 hours ago, annv said:

Why don't they paint the whole length of the rails with white paint wouldn't take more than a couple of gallons surly the cost cant be that high and if the rail end was shamford instead of a butt joint they wouldn't jam when they expand.John

Painting the rails white is the biggest B/S excuse ive ever heard. A champhered  end would make no difference to expansion and contraction of rails, 60ft or LWR

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Surely isn't this the issue of not installing the summer rails which were laying beside the track? Unless they have been taken away for scrap? 

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5 minutes ago, w-album said:

Surely isn't this the issue of not installing the summer rails which were laying beside the track? Unless they have been taken away for scrap? 

All rails expand and contract at the same bull head a little more than flat bottomed summer/winter the metal is of the same make up

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18 minutes ago, Bound2Please said:

All rails expand and contract at the same bull head a little more than flat bottomed summer/winter the metal is of the same make up

Why can't they do whatever they did when the bridge opened and closed without problems throughout the year?

If it ain't  broke why did someone try to fix it?

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7 hours ago, Philosophical said:

Why can't they do whatever they did when the bridge opened and closed without problems throughout the year?

That would be easy, change all rails from terminus to terminus for 60ft's instead of the LWR bridge problem solved. But

(a)  would the passengers like the clippty clip for the whole journey

(b)  every 60 ft would be needed two track circuit bonds, which need a regular weekly walk through checking.

(c)  just imagine the out cry at the fair increase for all this old Victorian technology being reinstated.

So the most obvious solution to all this

(1)  Leave as is

(2)  Or the most logical, change the law weld the two bridges in the closed position, saves all those wages, as there is no longer commercial working ports on the Waveney or Yare problem solved. All broads friendly boats still able to navigate safely, problem solved and money saved.

(3)  Put a crowd funding up to raise a few million to have built a state of the art 21st century bridge built, no thinking more sensible it should be tens of million's to raise.

So all in all I recon its a case of put up with whats there, make do with it as it is a\ Victorian designed bridge that has worked for in excess of a 100 years, and should still be ok for an other 100 years at least. But make sure no water with the slightest chance of salinity in it gets near these historical works of art.

Charlie (mods hat clearly off)

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The is quite a bit about the two bridges in question in this months Broads Briefing from John Packman.

I am on my phone perhaps someone else could post a link.

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33 minutes ago, ChrisB said:

The is quite a bit about the two bridges in question in this months Broads Briefing from John Packman.

I am on my phone perhaps someone else could post a link.

It was posted by vanessan earlier in the thread :)

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Thanks must have missed that.

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The full text of Dr Packman's ramblings are as follows, make of it as you will!

Reedham and Somerleyton Swing Bridges

On Wednesday we had a meeting with the engineers from Network Rail. A number of interesting points came out from our discussion about the performance of the two bridges. Reedham Swing Bridge is apparently in a much better condition than Somerleyton which has a current problem with its centre bearing which is causing the bridge to rock. Network Rail is planning to commission work to deal with the problem in the near future.

I asked about the potential to install a sprinkler cooling system but the costs, potentially over £100,000, look too high to justify the expenditure. This is because of the need for a desalination system. The engineers would not want saline water spayed on the bridge and there is no fresh water supply available at Somerleyton.

I also asked about ‘summer rails’ which have been mentioned by a number of people. This isn’t a term the engineers recognise. However, the company paints the end of the rails white which apparently reduces the temperature of the rails on a hot day by 2-3 degrees. They also ‘double clip’ the rails to the rail base plate which also reduces the amount of thermal expansion.

They will be instructing the bridge operators to improve the wording put on the electronic signs so that the cause of any delay is displayed, as well as the anticipated time when the bridge is expected to be able to let boats pass.

Regarding communications, I am told that next year when the improvements to the signalling are complete the bridge operators will have more time to take calls from boat owners.

In terms of the Authority’s preferred option of replacement bridges, there is no funding available to Network Rail in their current planning period which runs from 2019 to 2025 and we have committed to work with them to support the case for investment in readiness for the next window of opportunity from 2025.

We will continue to monitor the performance of the bridges and have agreed to a further meeting with Network Rail’s engineers in August.

 

My view is simple, the Authority has two relevant Acts of Parliament of which both apply. One, the Broads Act that requires the BA to protect the interests of navigation and the Railways Act which very clearly requires the railway company to maintain the right of navigation in regards to the Broads Bridges. Both Acts are quite precise in their wording, there is no need for phaffing around.

Packman makes it clear that he is working with Railtrack, consider that the problems associated with the bridges has been around for a long time now and Railtrack just continues to drag its heels. Working with is no longer an option, insist that Railtrack upholds the relevant terms of the Railways Act. 2025 is seven years away, Packman is hopefully not going to be around then, problem is quite simply being brushed under the carpet for the next person rather than getting on with it now. The lack of insistance rather highlights the good Doctor's woeful attitude towards the boating community.

We can be quite certain that if the bridge had broken down in the open position then there would be no waiting around until 2025.

Re those summer rails, the darn things lay on the ground, near the bridge, waiting to be used, if Railtrack can be bothered! 

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Whilst I agree (!) wholeheartedly with PW on his comments, there is, in reality, very little that JP can do if Network Rail really dig their heels in. 

Everyone is well aware that there are many pieces of old and outdated legislation laying around the statute book which are not going to be repealed, and given the circumstances, there is little doubt that Network Rail are ever going to rebuild those bridges to accommodate the luxuries of a few individuals - could anyone ever imagine what the cost would be to replace just Somerleyton? Are they ever realistically even going to consider it in any future expenditure plan? Methinks not whatever the legislation says!

I don't wish to start an argument but I guess it is pretty low priority - I am sure that the "dualling" of Trowse Bridge is much higher up the order than Somerleyton. At least that bridge carries a decent number of passengers.

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4 hours ago, Bound2Please said:

That would be easy, change all rails from terminus to terminus for 60ft's instead of the LWR bridge problem solved. But

(a)  would the passengers like the clippty clip for the whole journey

(b)  every 60 ft would be needed two track circuit bonds, which need a regular weekly walk through checking.

(c)  just imagine the out cry at the fair increase for all this old Victorian technology being reinstated.

So the most obvious solution to all this

(1)  Leave as is

(2)  Or the most logical, change the law weld the two bridges in the closed position, saves all those wages, as there is no longer commercial working ports on the Waveney or Yare problem solved. All broads friendly boats still able to navigate safely, problem solved and money saved.

(3)  Put a crowd funding up to raise a few million to have built a state of the art 21st century bridge built, no thinking more sensible it should be tens of million's to raise.

So all in all I recon its a case of put up with whats there, make do with it as it is a\ Victorian designed bridge that has worked for in excess of a 100 years, and should still be ok for an other 100 years at least. But make sure no water with the slightest chance of salinity in it gets near these historical works of art.

Charlie (mods hat clearly off)

I was on that line a few weeks ago and I can assure you that for quite a few miles each side of the bridge/s the track is still 60 ft sections as evidenced by fishplates, a "clackity clack" and a reduction in locomotive speed. So I do believe the "summer rail" solution to be workable as it has been for almost the last 100 years.

Of course the other obvious option (equably unworkable) would be to leave the bridges in the open position so all river traffic can pass freely, Look at the benefits of this; LWR can be used for the entire section of track, an immediate saving in the labour expense of manning the bridges plus of course the elimination of ongoing maintenance expenses for the bridges. If the bridge/s are of such a historical/art interest then put them in a museum where they can be viewed for posterity without getting on anyone's way, maybe also remove the cental bridge pivot pillar to further open navigation for the larger boats . (Just voicing the other side of the discussion.) 

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I have mentioned before, on this subject, that the time may come when the line between Reedham and Lowestoft will be closed, as no longer economically viable, with the cost of operating the two bridges.

In which case they can be left permanantly open.

Meantime JM is quite right : there is a right of navigation, by two separate acts of parliament and we look to the BA to enforce it.

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5 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

I have mentioned before, on this subject, that the time may come when the line between Reedham and Lowestoft will be closed, as no longer economically viable, with the cost of operating the two bridges.

In which case they can be left permanantly open.

Meantime JM is quite right : there is a right of navigation, by two separate acts of parliament and we look to the BA to enforce it.

On the legal issue, I would imagine that the costs to enforce the "right of navigation" would be prohibitive. 

We need "grandson of Richard Beeching" to close the line.

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Interestingly, all other railways in Broadland which used swing bridges, were closed as un-economical several years before Beeching.

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I don’t consider myself particularly militant, but when pressure needs applying there are ways and means. How many people are registered currently on this forum? Thirty emails a day (Copied and pasted) from each member to network rail will not go unnoticed by themselves that like to drag their feet.


Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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24 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

Interestingly, all other railways in Broadland which used swing bridges, were closed as un-economical several years before Beeching.

If  they didn't need any "alterations to timetables" or "creative accountancy" as used to justify many line closures they must truly have been uneconomic.

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1 hour ago, Vaughan said:

I have mentioned before, on this subject, that the time may come when the line between Reedham and Lowestoft will be closed, as no longer economically viable, with the cost of operating the two bridges.

In which case they can be left permanantly open.

Meantime JM is quite right : there is a right of navigation, by two separate acts of parliament and we look to the BA to enforce it.

Couldnt happen soon enough for me.

If the Somerleyton line was closed (permenantly) not only could road traffic move through Oulton Broad unobstructed but Im also fairly sure the need for a third crossing in Lowestoft would dissipate. (Saving the Government Millions)

The fact that Network Rail had to be lobied to make improvements to signalling to “try” and alleviate the traffic problems they cause in Oulton Broad (I cant tell the difference) it  indicates to me they dont pay much thought to the effect of their infrastructure on others.  

For me its just a pity Beechings axe didnt reach a bit further.  

In my opinion the railway and the traffic disruption it causes in this area is stunting the economy and instead of handing out CBE’s its about time some radical new thinking took place 

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3 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

The full text of Dr Packman's ramblings are as follows, make of it as you will!

Reedham and Somerleyton Swing Bridges

On Wednesday we had a meeting with the engineers from Network Rail. A number of interesting points came out from our discussion about the performance of the two bridges. Reedham Swing Bridge is apparently in a much better condition than Somerleyton which has a current problem with its centre bearing which is causing the bridge to rock. Network Rail is planning to commission work to deal with the problem in the near future.

I asked about the potential to install a sprinkler cooling system but the costs, potentially over £100,000, look too high to justify the expenditure. This is because of the need for a desalination system. The engineers would not want saline water spayed on the bridge and there is no fresh water supply available at Somerleyton.

I also asked about ‘summer rails’ which have been mentioned by a number of people. This isn’t a term the engineers recognise. However, the company paints the end of the rails white which apparently reduces the temperature of the rails on a hot day by 2-3 degrees. They also ‘double clip’ the rails to the rail base plate which also reduces the amount of thermal expansion.

They will be instructing the bridge operators to improve the wording put on the electronic signs so that the cause of any delay is displayed, as well as the anticipated time when the bridge is expected to be able to let boats pass.

Regarding communications, I am told that next year when the improvements to the signalling are complete the bridge operators will have more time to take calls from boat owners.

In terms of the Authority’s preferred option of replacement bridges, there is no funding available to Network Rail in their current planning period which runs from 2019 to 2025 and we have committed to work with them to support the case for investment in readiness for the next window of opportunity from 2025.

We will continue to monitor the performance of the bridges and have agreed to a further meeting with Network Rail’s engineers in August.

 

My view is simple, the Authority has two relevant Acts of Parliament of which both apply. One, the Broads Act that requires the BA to protect the interests of navigation and the Railways Act which very clearly requires the railway company to maintain the right of navigation in regards to the Broads Bridges. Both Acts are quite precise in their wording, there is no need for phaffing around.

Packman makes it clear that he is working with Railtrack, consider that the problems associated with the bridges has been around for a long time now and Railtrack just continues to drag its heels. Working with is no longer an option, insist that Railtrack upholds the relevant terms of the Railways Act. 2025 is seven years away, Packman is hopefully not going to be around then, problem is quite simply being brushed under the carpet for the next person rather than getting on with it now. The lack of insistance rather highlights the good Doctor's woeful attitude towards the boating community.

We can be quite certain that if the bridge had broken down in the open position then there would be no waiting around until 2025.

Re those summer rails, the darn things lay on the ground, near the bridge, waiting to be used, if Railtrack can be bothered! 

I really like "political writing" if I translate this into "normal writing" It says:

There is a lot of things that we can't do.

We will continue to monitor how fast we are not fixing the problem.

We won't fix the bridge, instead we can spend money on a nice new sign telling boaters how long it will be out of action for.

We will discuss this again in August.

I think we all agree that nothing will be done till 2025 

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What about the local population who have need for this service.    It isnt all about leisure boating.    Hardly a common occurrence  , weather being too hot.   Gosh I wish.

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49 minutes ago, Hylander said:

What about the local population who have need for this service.    It isnt all about leisure boating.    Hardly a common occurrence  , weather being too hot.   Gosh I wish.

What all 4 of them? :default_biggrin:

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3 minutes ago, dnks34 said:

What all 4 of them? :default_biggrin:

450000 passengers used Lowestoft train station in 2017

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