Presenter: John Sreeves
John Sreeves from Halcrow presented the second part of his “Railway Heritage Infrastructure” talk.
John’s area of expertise is bridges, so these were what he concentrated on. The first half of the evening concentrated on the bridge works required for last year’s Broadway extension to the Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway, explaining all the problems and cures required, right the way up to almost a full rebuild in some cases. No wonder the extension took 6 years and over half a million pounds to complete!
After the break, he talked about other heritage railways he was involved with, including the Swindon and Cricklade and the Somerset and Dorset at Midsomer Norton.
He finished his talk with the Rother Valley Railway and its ambition of linking the main line from Robertsbridge to the Kent & East Sussex Railway at Bodiam. He described the work done to restore the bridges on the extension to Robertsbridge. The railway’s ambitions have come to a standstill at the moment, because of the problem of crossing the A21. The preferred option of a level crossing has been ruled out by the Highways Agency, who prefer a bridge of some sort. This option is not feasible because of the gradients required, so the negotiation is ongoing.
After John’s talk, there followed a question-and-answer session.
John is to be thanked for his insight into the hard and expensive work required to produce the railway press headline “XXXX Railway announces an extension to their line”.