Sunday, 18 October 2015

Bicester Pre-Opening Update Part One Gavray Drive

I managed to get out to Bicester to have a look before the station re-opens and the new chord go into service.  With just over two weeks to go I imagined it would just be a case of tidying up the site.  I couldn't have been more wrong!  I found a hive of activity in all areas from the chord to the station.  I had thought to check out the line from Bicester to Oxford but I didn't know about the Oxford half marathon and the road closures that this involved.  That will have to wait until another day.  I went first to Gavray Drive to the new chord site.  I was pleased to find that the footbridge was now open which allowed a much better look at the new line.  On Charbridge Lane I was able to see that the speed limit coming off the Chiltern line onto the chord was 40mph.
Here the chord can be seen rising towards the Chiltern line.  Now that the new embankment has grassed over it is easier to make out.  Permanent fencing has been installed.  Two construction workers were walking the line and can be seen centre of picture.
  View from the footbridge.  It appears that both lines will be bi-directional from the signals.
Zooming in on the set for Gavray junction.  Note the stop boards on both lines
 And further on the set protecting Bicester South Junction. It appears that the Chiltern main line is steeply graded here but it is an optical illusion.
This is from the centre of the bridge.
And this from the far side staircase.
Looking the other way not so tidy here.
 In the work site some chippies were hard at work.  I wondered what for.  This became apparent later on.
 Moving under the Chiltern line, here are the recently installed signals with associated control cabinets on the re-doubled Varsity line.
 Looking east from the same spot.
 A bit further on the red buffers mark the end of the new double track section.
 At some stage the wing walls have been unsympathetically reinforced
 The underpass has been lengthened by the reinforcing
And more on the opposite wing wall

This is a fairly substantial culvert adjacent to the footbridge

Still some construction materials waiting to be used.  Two culvert or drain outfalls and some stancions inside the strip of land between the temporary and permanent fencing.

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