Saturday, 9 August 2014

Bicester Update August 2014

Not a huge amount to report.  Track work appears to be finished and the level crossing upgraded to double track.  The new footbridge has been commissioned.  However the work on the chord doesn't seemed to have advanced very much since my last visit.  I wonder whether this was because there was no rail access for bringing in material.  I believe that both junctions are now in place although I can't be certain about Bicester South on the Chiltern line.
Upgraded level crossing fully operational again.  Work compound is on the left behind blue hoardings.
 Trackwork finished and stretching away towards Oxford.  There is a sleeper and stop sign on the new down line. No sign of work starting on the new station.

However zooming in reveals that the new track doesn't quite reach the bypass bridge.
 Looking across the level crossing there is a similar arrangement of sleeper and stop sign.
 Moving on to Tubbs Crossing, the new footbridge is now sporting yellow hand rails and lighting.  I counted 86 steps to cross to the other side.  The ramp crossing involves six ramps on this side and four on the other side.  Somebody was pushing a buggy up whilst I was on the bridge and it seemed to take an age.  This is a very busy crossing for schoolchildren and it is absolutely right that they are not put in danger.  However if I had to cross here several times a day, I don't I would be that happy with the effort involved!
It is very well lit which will be reassuring during the winter months.  A slight worry is the lights are fitted to plywood which is cable tied to the balustrade.  I hope they stand the test of time!
Looking east from the new bridge.  Trackwork finished for now.  Just waiting for the chord to be completed.
 Zooming in the edge of the work compound can be seen.  Double track extends under the Chiltern line bridge.   All the new points and crossovers have a small grey box connected to them.  Looks a bit like a generator but I don't think it is.
There is another one here.  Maybe a power pack to test the points?
 Now looking west from the bridge towards the London Road crossing.  Still pumping water away it seems .
Same view but through the fencing on top of the bridge
These pictures show the reason why the pump was still needed. Work to construct a culvert under the line is still ongoing.
I then moved to Gavray Drive where the main work compound is situated .  The end of the new track can be seen at the end of the road along with a stack of cable ducting.
 Moving left to right, view across the compound with the Oxford Cambridge line running along the tree line.
 Continuing right, the bridge carrying the Chiltern line can be seen in the background.
 Here you can see the new embankment work. I wouldn't have expected it to be so high considering how near to the junction with the east west line it is at this point.. It may just be building up the existing embankment and grading it later.
 Further to the right and work is being carried out alongside the Chiltern line.
 Last picture looks over to the other new junction where it looks like a supporting wall is being constructed.