The Anonymous Widower

A Trip To Kingham Station

I visited Kingham station on a trip to have lunch with friends nearby.

The station is not step-free, by any means.

Commuters or shoppers going to London, Reading or Oxford must use the bridge without lifts on the Outward journey, but at least when returning, it’s a level walk to the car park.

All services are run by Class 800/801/802 trains, which as the first picture shows don’t have step-free access between train and platform.

But there are many stations that are worse and more difficult to make step-free.

This Google Map shows Kingham station, with London to the South and Worcester to the North.

If you look at my pictures taken in 2019 and the Google Map, you’ll notice that the stairs on the bridge point the other way and that the bridge is the other side of the station building, which is indicated by the red logo.

This sentence in the Wikipedia entry for the station, indicates what is happening.

In 2015, a car park extension has been added with 100 car spaces, and a new footbridge is being added, with provision for passenger lifts.

This probably means the Google Map was created before 2015 and that lifts can be added on the Worcester side of the new footbridge.

It also gives Network Rail an unusual dilemma.

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

A factory-built bridge would be ideal for Kingham station and it could have easily been fitted in the space taken by the new bridge.

But in 2015, when the current bridge was installed, the new style of step-free bridge hadn’t even been designed.

Network Rail have two choices.

  • Add traditional lifts to the current bridge.
  • Swap the current bridge for one of the new design with lifts.

There may even be a third choice.

Could two lift towers designed for the winning design be erected and linked to the 2015 bridge?

  • The lift towers appear to have been designed to be free-standing and be able support the weight of the bridge deck, perhaps with the stairs acting as a structural support.
  • The 2015 bridge been designed to accept traditional lifts in brick or steel towers, so why can’t it accept modern steel and glass lifts?

I think it would be possible and at Kingham station, I suspect the lifts could be installed without disrupting the trains or passengers, during a short closure of the line or the station.

I suspect the cost would salso be more affordable.

Other Stations

There are probably several stations with a very serviceable footbridge, that are suitable for lifts to be added.

This picture shows the footbridge at Marks Tey station.

This could be an ideal candidate.

  • The bridge appears sound.
  • The bridge appears to meet all the regulations concerning electrification.
  • The handrails on the stairs could be updated to a modern standard.
  • It looks like there is sufficient space for the towers.

I doubt installation of lifts would be a difficult and expensive project.

There are probably several other stations with a similar design of bridge.

Conclusion

Could Network Rail’s new design of step-free bridge be applied to existing bridges in other stations?

 

 

 

August 18, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,

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