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Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Great Western, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    Apologies in advance, I've searched for the previous thread but I wasn't able to find it.

    So here goes, I've had a look on the official Pontypool and Bleanavon Railway website, but again there isn't any information on the ongoing developments.

    Does anyone have any news on the extension towards Pontypool or indeed north to Brynmauwr?
    last I heard the Bleanavon High Level station was more or less complete Was Furness Sidings.

    Is there any progress on the works?

    Regards
    Great Western.
     
  2. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    They have recently overhauled their website so the old, excellent pages on the planned developments with tables showing whether projects were planned, funded, underway or completed are missing, along with 'stages' marked on the map. To my knowledge, Furnace Sidings building is now in use as are both platforms and footbridge, Blaenavon High Level station building continues apace, the Big Pit branch is up and running with Halt completed and I believe plans are afoot to improve the situation of Whistle Inn Halt too. Undercover storage at Furnace Sidings has been expanded so one of the most exposed railways in the UK now has somewhere indoors to conduct restorations.

    One to watch!
     
  3. Matt78

    Matt78 Active Member

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    Looks like there is some clearance going on south of the High Level too

    PBR Santa 2012 First Saturday - aligrieve's Photos

    Rosyth No. 1 has also relocated to the P and B, and i'm sure will be a fine sight on the line in the not too distant future. I noticed a picture of the rolling chassis of Austerity No.8 (I think) attached to Met No.1 at the Flour Mill in this month's Steam Railway so a few motive power choices in the pipeline as well.

    Regards
    Matt
     
  4. tomparryharry

    tomparryharry Member

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    Hello Great Western,

    Very much, 'Heads down, Ar*e up at the moment!

    There is a lot of development at Blaenavon High Level just now. The team are assembling new pointwork from stock, to start on the run-round loop at High Level. After that, its onto the remaining rump of southwards track, over the bridge, and the last, existing 400 yards (about).

    Not to be outdone, the station building at High level has been re-started. The railway has a small, dedicated team at work on station buildings only.

    Once Santa goes home, its back to business.

    Our late lamented web page editor, who passed away in recent years, had all the original info on his personal computer (so I understand) Our new editor, Matt Callaghan, has had a busy time of it, trying to get the web pages into some sort of order.

    Our new Furnace Sidings building is now more or less complete, just depends on whom you talk to. The last time I looked in there, it was packed to the gunwhales with happy Santa traffic. Like all good things, when you finally have it, you wonder how you ever did without it......

    The extended 'top shed' has proved its worth, straight off. I understand that we have a refurbished RMB in the near future, and a coach programme. I know it's there, just don't know the details!

    Looks like another record year for P&BR, but you will have to ask elsewhere about that....

    Regards,
    Ian
     
  5. natdawson

    natdawson New Member

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    Good to know things are still happening there.
    Are there any plans for moving towards more conventional operation using run round loops at high level and at the other end? Or are any further extensions looking likely in the near future?

    If possible some pictures of the work being done at high level would be good to see.

    Many thanks,
    Nathanael
     
  6. tomparryharry

    tomparryharry Member

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    Hello Nathanael,

    May I refer you to post #2, specifically Ali Greive (of this parish), who contributes both prolifically & professionally, especially when the job is going on.

    Regards,
    Ian
     
  7. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    I planning on a visit to the railway in September for then Super D and Coal Tank, I was wondering how the run round loop at High level was coming on?

    I've been looking on Google Earth, the track bed towards Pontypool from High level looks pretty much a job or clearance and track laying with of course a big wedge of cash! Are there any plans to extend further anytime soon?

    Do you plan to instal any signalling systems?

    Regards
     
  8. frazoulaswak

    frazoulaswak Member

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    Check out the Development page on the P&BR website, here: - Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway

    It hasn't been updated for a while (hint, hint...), but does give a good overview of all the work planned for this year.

    Cheers,
     
  9. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay Part of the furniture

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  10. dampflok

    dampflok Member

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    Should be a pleasant ride to Talywain especially with that impressive viaduct north of the town . Looking at the Google satellite pictures the stationmasters house and the goods shed at Talywain are still there .
     
  11. tomparryharry

    tomparryharry Member

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    I shall ask our web page person, next time I see him, to put some new pictures up.

    I understand that the run-round at Blaenavon High Level will be finished this year, and before (hopefully) the steam gala in September/October. A new facing point has been put in within the last few weeks, and the FPL was going in last Sunday. The down side loop exit point is going together in kit form, and will be installed in the next 5-6 weeks. As things stand, any loco running round will have to cross the new overbridge, which will be the first time for any loco traffic in the last 25 years, has gone south of Varteg Road. That in itself will present some new photo opportunities.

    Tamping at Blaenavon HL, and some surrounding track, is due this week (15th April). Track in the new 'up' loop, is at about 45% down, with sleepers in place for the rest of the loop formation.

    As an aside, we have recently uncovered the last remains of Blaenavon High Level up platform. (We use the down platform). Not much to see at present, just some stone course work, but we now fully know where the up platform was, including the up water crane.

    A further bonus has happened, with the opening of our Furnace Sidings station. Before, our tearoom facilities were catered for, by having a tearoom portacabin, properly fitted out for the public. With the new opening, we have now gained a 'spare' tearoom, fully fitted, and still up to current H&S standards. We've also gained our own dedicated tea lady, as well! Volunteering has never been so popular!

    Work going on with Rosyth No1, but AlexG (of this parish) will let you know more than I can think of.

    Regards,
    Ian
     
  12. Alex G

    Alex G New Member

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    The loop at Blaenavon High Level was competed yesterday, plan is to start using it this weekend (May 25-27).

    Saturday 25 May 71515 will operate trains from Blaenavon High Level to Whistle Inn.
    Sunday 26 & Monday 27 we will have a two train operation with 71515 operating from Blaenavon High Level to Whistle Inn section and with 37216 & GE saloon operating Big Pit to Furnace Sidings with some shuttles also going to the Whistle Inn.

    Tomorrow Andrew Barclay Rosyth No. 1 boiler will be going away for overhaul, with work on the frames progressing at Blaenavon. We hope to have this loco back running for the start of our 2014 season which will also be the locos 100th birthday.

    Alex G.
     
  13. Alex G

    Alex G New Member

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    Our Summer visitor arrived with us on Wednesday, in the form of Vulcan Foundry Austerity NCB 72.

    The loco had its loaded test run yesterday and will be hauling trains this weekend (subject to availability), this will be the locos first runs in preservation (other than some assisted test runs at Llangollen).
    NCB 72.JPG
     
  14. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    I read somewhere that another extension has started, with tracklaying continuing on towards Pontypool from BHL ?

    On a side note, I will be dragging the family up to the railway next weekend for the model railway show. Could you confirm there will will steam locos in traffic ?

    I'm really looking forward to the LNWR reunion and anniversary event in September.

    I'd like to get involved at the railway, as I'm local who would I have to speak too? (I'm a TOC guard, so have PTS etc and rules and regs trained, although I'm looking at a role on the PW).

    Regards
     
  15. Alex G

    Alex G New Member

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    Hi Great Western,

    No extension started at the moment, but we are laying track over the Varteg Road bridge towards Abersychan to allow larger locomotives to run round at Blaenavon. The current thinking is we would next like to extend North to Waenavon. This would then allow us to run round at both ends properly, but we have no lease for this part of the trackbed at the moment.

    NCB 72 should be in use for the Model Railway weekend.

    If you are interested in getting involved in the railway i would suggest you email volunteer@pontypool-and-blaenavon.co.uk, they can then find out what things you would like to do and put you in touch with the appropriate person.

    Alex.
     
  16. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    Thanks for the reply mate. I've emailed the link, so hopefully they can find something for me to do!

    Wouldn't Ny extension north past whistle Inn, require the water course under the bridge to be rerouted ?

    GW
     
  17. Alex G

    Alex G New Member

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    Yes an extension North past the Whistle will require the water course moving, some exploratory work has been done and we believe the bridge foundations are more than deep enough to allow the water coure to be moved up against the bridge ubattmant and leave us with enough room for the track to pass through.

    Alex.
     
  18. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    How far up the valley are they talking to the next station or proposed station ? Isn't it more or less up high at quite a rate from Furness to Whislte Inn and beyond ?

    Hopefully they will get ack to my email.

    GW
     
  19. Alex G

    Alex G New Member

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    The next station going North is Waenavon which is about a mile from Whistle Inn. Waenavon is the highest station in England & Wales and the line does clime steeply up to there, the station itself is on the level and there is space for a run round loop.

    Alex.
     
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  20. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    Sounds like a busy few years ahead, hopefully I'll be able to lend a helping hand.
    I've had a look on google maps, north of Whistle Inn the formation seems pretty well intact up to the B4248 Road, would this need a level crossing ? Then I lose the formation, I noticed how close Ebbw Vale is to the next extension, did the lines ever met ?

    There doesn't appear to be anything in the way of civilisation north of Whistle Inn that would lend itself to a station ?

    Great Western
     

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