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Bonkers Blog January 2016

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24 January (Part 2) - The no transport users’ weekend

StationThe North Kent line is closed for the third consecutive weekend from Slade Green to Plumstead. The uncompromising message from Network Rail is ‘You had better get used to it’. Certainly there will be little respite between now and the end of February and you’d be well advised to be careful with any plans for Easter.

The big day is, confirmed by Network Rail’s Civil Engineer this morning, 22nd February when the first Abbey Wood commuter will leave on the 05:13 from the new platform.

If that is to happen an awful lot of work still needs to be done. The platform extension has to be completed, its top surface is far from finished, a bit more track has to be laid and the new line connected with the old.

It’s probably not critical to that operation but the concrete pour for the first station wall is deferred to the first week of February.

There is no sign that the existing track behind Fendyke Road will be nudged southwards any time soon and the old signals which are in the way will make it a big job. Pure speculation here but my guess if that trains are to use the new platform by 22nd February there will be a sharp bend on to the new line and a speed restriction before it can be realigned during the long Easter closure when the best part of a mile of track is due to be repositioned. The alternative will require a superhuman effort. (†)
New track
That’s all based on Network Rail statements but they have a habit of going out of date. I must ask the appropriate questions when I next see one of the bosses peering over the flyover parapet. That is the place to meet people. My last three outings to that spot have brought forth people who either asked if I was “that Bexley is Bonkers guy” or knew already.

One asked where he could see the most recent photos. I explained that instead of putting them on line at the end of every fortnight the procedure has been reversed. So the next lot due on 31st January has been there for a week already and is augmented daily until being more formally announced next Sunday.

There are 65 at present with the usual excuses of into the sun, in the pouring rain (camera is weatherproof), through mesh fences and dirty windows, sometimes through double dirty windows (the station lift). One isn’t mine and I haven’t yet got around to seeking permission to use it. Must do soon.

If you’d like to take mine, just get on with it. I don’t care.

Index to all Crossrail related blogs and photos.

† Crossrail were not slow to tell me that they will be taking the “superhuman path”. They plan to realign the track in three weeks time.


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