Friday, 17 July 2015

Bicester Town Station

Since my last visit, work on the new Bicester Town station has moved on quite a bit.  All traces of the old station have gone as have some adjacent industrial units.  Through access to Bicester Village has been closed off and the bus replacement service no longer leaves from Station Approach.  It apparently leaves from Pingle Drive outside the Village shopping mall.  This would appear to defeat the object of a rail replacement bus service if it does not leave from the same location as the train. The fact that you cannot walk easily to Pingle Drive from Station Approach any longer must be very annoying to those used to catching the bus from the station site.
However the new station is taking shape and new hoardings on London Road proclaim that you will be able to catch a new fast train service to Central London from this summer.  This would appear to be a tad optimistic or we can look forward to a longer summer this year!

 Here is the hoarding along the work site on the south side of the line.
A closer look.
Looking east from the level crossing you can see more evidence of the cabling work and a recently cast concrete base which I am guessing will soon see the installation of a control cabinet.
Looking the other way from the level crossing, the new station is taking shape.  The north side is the site of recently demolished station
 This shows the new westbound platform.  The new platforms appear to be slightly staggered with the westbound nearer the level crossing.
 The next three photos show the extensive station work site.  Left to right from the London Road end.

 Here are a couple of closer shots of the station building and car park.
I then moved round to the business park of the south side of the line and took a few shots of the work.
 This was taken from London Road.  The new platform is quite a bit higher than the adjacent car park.
 Here is the station building from the other side.
 Here the lift towers awaiting the connecting footbridge look quite imposing.
 One of the lift towers with some of the footbridge support.
Finally on my last visit I took a shot of the bridge over the A41 just north of Aylesbury Parkway station and commented on its neglected state.  Shortly after it was replaced with a new bridge seen here.  However the replacement appears to be only single track which could be shortsighted once services commence to Milton Keynes and Bedford.  Passive provision for double track would have allowed capacity to be expanded if the service became more popular than expected.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Bicester Round Up 6th July 2015

After a few months when I wasn't able to visit the area, I finally had an opportunity to check on the latest developments in Bicester.  When I was last there, lorries were still dropping material on the new embankment. Now it looks as if  the construction and track laying phase has been completed and cabling and ducting work is underway.

 The first picture looks towards the new junction with the Chiltern mainline
 Moving to the left, two construction workers are returning to the work compound.  The dark line is ducting for cabling.  New fencing and tidying up of the site is evident.
 Moving further down the chord, more signalling cabinets can be seen.  Fencing work still ongoing at this point.
 This is more of an overall shot of the chord from the closed public footpath.  Gives a better idea of the gradient.
 Almost down to the level of the Varsity line, a pair of road rail machines are stationary on the chord.
The new footbridge can be partly seen on the left.
Here is a better look at it.  Not DDA compliant like the Tubbs Lane crossing which is much more complex.  Sadly not re-opened yet which would allow some better photo opportunities of the chord.
 Here a Chiltern service heads north past the road rail machines and the footbridge.
 At the end of Gavray Drive, I took a few shots of the junction.  Security fencing didn't help unfortunately.  Looking east.  Nearest line is one of the chord pair.  The other starts just to the left of the green cabinet.
 The green cabinet plus a grey one are recent additions.

 Looking west, more evidence of the cabling and ducting works.  House that were previously hidden behind trees now have new fencing.
 Looking down from Tubbs Lane footbridge, evidence of recent cable work at yet more cabinets.
 Looking towards the new junction and the Chiltern line bridge. Double track now extends under the bridge.  Will try to have a look at the other side from the  public footpath at some stage..
 Moving to the far side of the footbridge brings into shot the green cabinet and part of the other footbridge.
 Sadly as so often happens, graffiti has appeared in several places since my last visit.
 What was obviously temporary lighting has been replaced by permanent lighting with steel conduit.
 Looking towards London Road, the track looks pretty much the same as last time, but ducting and drainage work has been carried out on the left.
The temporary pump and pipework has gone and evidence of a new culvert can be seen adjacent to the bridge.  Next post will be on the progress of the new Bicester Town station.