Thursday, 17 August 2017

Electrifiation of the GWR at Cholsey Pt 2

Carrying on form the last blog and the work which took place in 2015 . My next visit to the station was at the end of January in 2016

Most of the pylons had gantries on them now

Though the station was relatively untouched unless you looked at the fast line where a pylon could be seen in place

a couple of weeks later I went to the Westfield Road by the station and took some shots towards the cutting

and one towards the station

The cutting looked crowded with pylons

Near platform one a pylon was being erected

and the view to silly bridge showed all gantry's by the end of the month

March and gantries could be seen in the station

Towards the Lees Bridge work could be seen going  on along the railway

Even silly Bridge was being worked on

Platform Four above and another Pylon in place and platform two I felt times have changed
How long before I would see cables running through the station

Weeks later in March some workmen could be seen on the railway

Bringing equipment down from Cholsey Station

On the station one of the pylons had been bolted down

Work loading the wagons

In April a gantry was laying between the slow and fast lines

It was well engineered

Silly Bridge was hard to see now

all that could be seen were gantry's

By the end of April even the view from the station had changed with the gantry I had seen previously on the ground now in place

Things had changed 

the view of the station would never be the same again

even from the Westfield Road the skyline looked different

stark masts poking in the air

In May at Moulsford Bridge it was just gantry's

Any sight of the Moulsford Viaduct was gone

Even the view to Silly Bridge was gone

Cables were being hung

and at last you could see how they were held

and it looked like they were welded on the hangar
Waling along the Reading Road I took a few photos towards the storage area

where beyond you cold see a row of masts awaiting cables

 June and the cables were being hung in the station at Cholsey

The lines were going through the station

A couple of days later they were in place on the  insulators

Looking down to the Lees Bridge

Closer shot sowing the jumble of insulators

This is on of the cables used to take the power and the clamp that holds it in place
The mirror is used by the train driver to look back along the platform

Above the reach lifts reminded be of caged monsters waiting to be let out.
Left one of the service trains parked up along the line

Still waiting to see an Electric train

August and an update of Silly Bridge which now is finished. to give an idea to the height when I take photos over the top I have to reach, the parapet top is over six foot. Right looking through the railings to the cutting

This looks to Moulsford Bridge

the opposite side to the station at Cholsey

Closer look to Mouslford Bridge

From the side of Moulsford Bridge looking to Silly Bridge as a train passes

From a once unobstructed view of Silly Bridge now you see gantries.

Have to wonder what Brunel would have thought of all this

Looking towards Moulsford Viaduct

Closer shot of the gantries

Going down by the transformers you could see these tall pillars taking cables across the line


An amazing amount of work has gone into powering the lines

Some are still on temporary supports

But everything looked in place

The last few were taken lately in 2017

Above looking along Platform 3 and left platform two

Platform two again the opposite way

One reference point was the canopy on Platform four. The Cables are all now in place and test runs have been done though as yet I have not seen any electric trains running  through the village

The next thing to happen will be an extension to the platform for longer trains

the two photos here show where I think they will be doing this. I will bring updates when it happens

That is the story of the Electrification of the railway at Cholsey, I have still yet to see a train run through powered by the cables but that will come. I'm not impressed with how Network Rail organised the work as there was no set pater as to how it was done. Why they could not start one end and work to the other is past me though the section from Reading to Didcot was supposed to finished first so they could test the trains. The whole project is running late and costing millions due to the way it has been organised.
South Stoke along the line near the Moulsford Viaduct started a campaign called the Railway Action Group after Network Rail appeared to have breached the law of Section 85 Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000. I must admit that I was sceptical at first because I could not see network rail taking any notice but as it was they got Network Rail to admit they had got it wrong. Network Rail said they would change the design of the Gantries to one of a more sympathetic design in keeping with the area. I await to see this happen but will record it when it does