Bridgnorth Development works - archive to September 29th 2017

September 29th 2017

Further progress this week with around 80% of the brick arches above the windows completed. Some additional internal blockwork has also been carried out. As the latest pictures show, the rooms are now becoming more distinct with the individual cubicles in the toilets clearly visible. A second scaffold lift is due to be deployed soon to give access for the corbelling courses that will shortly be started.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

 

September 22nd 2017

This week there has been good progress on the south and east elevations especially with the brick arches over the windows. These have been superbly executed by the bricklayers who are taking a real pride in their work. Elsewhere on the building, around the flat roofed area of the building, a “string” course of Forest of Dean blue pennant stone has been laid and temporarily protected with self-adhesive tape. The trenching to the former disabled toilet in the listed building is substantially complete. This will be the terminating point for the new electric, gas & telecom services for both the new and original buildings.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

September 15th 2017

This week has seen the delivery of a number of special formers. These are temporary wooden frames that replicate the finished doors and windows and allow the formation of the brick arches above the windows. This is a very visible detail to get right so great care will be taken with the formation of these arches with a “dry run” before mortaring in. Brick and block laying has continued with the brick saws continuing to turn out the cut headers.

Elsewhere, a Bridgnorth team meeting took place this week to discuss many of the details that make up the building. Plans were pored over with the mechanical and electrical sub-contractors to make sure they have a complete picture of what the SVR wants when it comes to the building fit out. The buildings designer, Bob Marrows is keen to extend as much as possible the heritage ethos into how the interior will look. This will include as much as possible (within current regulations), period electrical switching and lighting fittings.

Images added.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

September 8th 2017

Since the last update, we are now seeing good progress with most of the block walls now up to eaves height. These blocks are much quicker to lay than the outer more complicated brickwork and it is now possible to see the shape of the internal walls/partitions emerge. Once the brickwork reaches the correct height, the corbelling (a stepped overhang) will be laid along with the gable ends. One can now stand in what will be the teas room area an imagine how it will look with the fireplace providing a focal point as you walk in. Off-site, the roof trusses are now being manufactured in preparation for the roof construction. This will bear best quality Welsh slates as the building would have done if it had been constructed by the GWR at the turn of the last century. This detail adds further authenticity to the design. Elsewhere, volunteers are preparing the former disabled toilet/ shower room at the north end of the original station building, to accept the electric/gas/telecoms services that have been bought up the Donkey Gallop. Their efforts have helped save both time and money on the project.​

New images added from Bridgnorth Station added September 7th.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

August 31st 2017

New images added from Bridgnorth Station. 

August 7th 2017 (further images added August 15th 2017)

The start has been made of blockwork along the platform side wall, with particular attention to detail in getting the damp proof course and damp trays correctly positioned prior to the internal block walls going up. The bricklayers are expecting ribaldry regarding the 'blocked up doorway'. This detail is not of course visible from the platform - photos taken by approved person.

August 4th 2017

As planned, there are no bricklayers on site this week. 
Work is concentrated on getting water, drainage, gas, electricity and comms up the donkey gallop (pipes or ducts as apopropriate) with the intention of digging the (big) trench once, putting everything in (once) and reinstating the ground surface (once). 
The new insulation batts are delivered, allowing rapid progress on the walls to re-start next Monday.

New images added.

Bridgnorth Station team

July 31st 2017

The work has been slowly progressing with the brick laying since the last update. The sheer number of bricks that have had to be cut in order to create the English Bond pattern has to be seen to be believed. It must be remembered that prior to modern building regulations that require an insulated cavity, the GWR would invariably have built a 9-inch solid wall.  For the lay people amongst us, this means that you lay alternate rows of stretchers (the long side facing out) and headers (the end side facing out).  That is still possible with a cavity wall with regard to the stretchers, but when it comes to the row of headers, they have to be bricks cut in half so that they do not fill the cavity when placed end-to-view.  Hence there is a vast number of bricks to be cut – about 13,000 – in order to make the external face of the wall look authentic. The project team are determined to make sure that this is done to the highest standards and this has meant a technical challenge to ensuring that the finished product is as close to GWR practice as possible hence the time and care being devoted to getting this aspect right. A further sign of progress is the erection of scaffolding on the platform elevation in readiness to work upwards once the blockwork behind has been tied in.

Within the last week, a start has been made in preparing the way for all the services to be bought up onto the area outside the station. A quantity of spoil has been excavated in readiness for the trench that will bring the underground ducts up alongside the Donkey Gallop. At the same time, underground ducts have been extended up to the bottom of the Donkey Gallop from the road and arrangements made with the relevant utility companies to set dates for the provision of their services up to their terminating points.

Six further images have been added.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

July 27th 2017

July 26th 2017

A new image added from Bridgnorth Station of work on the trench up the Donkey Gallop that will bring all the utilities to the new building

Please click on the links to support this project - over £1 million is still needed under the share issue or tax-efficient giving is available through the Charitable Trust.

July 19th 2017

New images added from Bridgnorth Station. 

July 14th 2017

The walls are now almost as high as they can be before the inside block walls need to be started to give stability. These will be tied in to the facing walls using the pre-inserted steel ties. Once this is done, the next lift of scaffolding will be erected to allow the walls to continue to rise to gutter height. The Blue Pennant Forest of Dean stone window cills have started to be fixed in and look very smart. The next tranche of 8000 facing bricks have arrived to keep the job rolling forward. Preparations for the excavation of the trench up the Donkey Gallop that will bring all the utilities to the new building are being made. Part of these preparations has been a survey carried out using ground penetrating radar to establish what obstacles  and other services exist down on the roadway so that no damage is done. The resulting plans will prove useful during this operation.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

July 7th 2017

New images added from Bridgnorth Station.

The Charitable Trust appeal (see above left) raised to date, including Gift Aid, amounts to £38,037.

June 30th 2017

Since the last update the outer walls of the building have started to rise off the slab at some pace. The lower plinth walls have nearly been completed and the upper walls are taking shape. Temporary wooden frames are being inserted where the door and window apertures are required as the walls increase in height. The bricklayers have encountered some problems with the recent hot weather which has substantially reduced the working time of the mortar but now the temperatures have dropped somewhat, progress is back to where it should be. Once the walls reach a certain height, scaffolding will be required so that the bricklayers can complete the walls to their finished level and will obscure the view of the building somewhat. The internal block walls will follow along with the required insulation being inserted as these walls are erected. All in all, progress remains good and we hope that the temperature remains at its current level to allow the rate of bricklaying to be maintained.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

June 15th 2017

Further images added.

June 12th 2017

Items added to the help list - donations-in-kind and sponsorship of needed items

June 9th 2017

Please click on the links to support this project - around £1.3 million is still needed under the share issue or tax-efficient giving is available through the Charitable Trust.

In the last week, the contractors have been cutting a large number of very hard engineering bricks to the correct size to build the plinth walls. A design change has had to be made to the lower three feet or so of the buildings plinth walls due to difficulties in obtaining the 50mm wide blocks originally specified in the plans. This is in part due to the scarcity of fly ash from coal fired power stations used to make these. It was reported recently that on one particular day, the UK did not use coal to generate power and this has had a perhaps unforeseen impact on our project. A solution was quickly arrived at but this has meant cutting twice the number of bricks that were originally required. In order to compensate, an addition brick cutting machine is on hire and operatives are busy slicing up the bricks and stacking in readiness for the brick layers to draw on. The benefit of this change will be a slightly stronger wall. Elsewhere on the project, meetings to add detail to the M&E (Mechanical & Electrical) side of the project have taken place. It is important that the building functions to modern standards but with minimum visual impact so a lot of work is going into ensuring this. All the chimneys on the new building will be in use either as ventilation exhausts or in the case of the restaurant area, a working fireplace.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

June 1st 2017

Since the last update bricklaying on the retaining wall has progressed well despite some very warm weather which can hinder the operation. The curved part of the retaining wall on the south east corner has been superbly executed and will look stunning topped off with bullnose coping bricks and spear top fencing. This area has provided quite a challenge for the bricklaying team due to the complex angles and rake of the wall but their deliberations have paid off.

Work has now commenced on the building with the first course of bricks laid that fully encompasses the footprint of the building. This is part of ensuring the setting out all works in practice. Once this is declared satisfactory, the bricklayers will rapidly put down the walls and our supporters will see far more visible progress taking place. Further deliveries of bricks has also taken place this week.

Volunteers are assisting Iris by cleaning off cement mortar from recovered coping bricks donated to the SVR by Kier Construction who removed them from bridges affected by the London – Bristol electrification work. This means they have true GWR origins making them perfect for our project.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

May 25th 2017

Bricklaying is progressing around the donkey gallop retaining wall, three images from Sue Thomas added.

May 18th 2017

Progress has been made this week on the retaining wall bricklaying with a little time lost due to bad weather and assembly of the sub-contract brick laying gang. This are the skilled men who will be constructing the building assembled and they include one of the bricklayers who was involved on the Kidderminster station project some years ago. They are very keen to be involved with this project as it is something a little different from the normal run of the mill work and technically interesting. It is very important that the same gang are retained throughout in order to maintain consistent quality and style.

The important job of setting out of the building on top of the slab has taken place too which is the precursor to the gang starting the superstructure within the next week. In the meantime further procurement of items for the project has secured a pair of “rococo” style cast iron fireplaces which will reside in the listed building. They are both very similar to the existing one in the Railwayman’s Arms and indeed one is dated 1862 which is perfect for our precious 1860s original building.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

May 15th 2017

Brickwork continues, an image from Bridgnorth Station is added to the galley.

May 5th 2017

With the completion of the base we have now moved onto the next, perhaps more exciting phase of the project, namely the erection of the long awaited building. It was felt that the first bricks of the new building should be ceremonially laid in order to maintain the great railway tradition of marking such occasions. It was decided that Wednesday May 3rd would fall at the right time to carry out this auspicious event so plans were made to invite a selection of special guests to carry out the honours. A small assembly travelled from Kidderminster by train to Bridgnorth to meet other invited guests. The honour laying of the very first brick fell to a Mr Barry Cook an ex-BR railwayman from Kidderminster so a nice tie in with the lines’ past. Other early SVR founder members, current Holdings Chairman and General Manager all had a brick to lay with the last two laid by a pair of our young apprentices nicely linking up with the future. All then retired to the Railwayman’s Arms for refreshments. It was a low key event with huge significance and was a perfect start to the next step of the project. Special thanks must go to Iris Construction who went out of their way to create an excellent ceremonial area and a crash course in the art of bricklaying!

Since Wednesday, progress on the retaining wall facing the “Donkey Gallop” has been made with bricks laid using a mortar mix of cement, Lime, and Ty Mawr Blaenavon Light crushed aggregate. This gives the finished brickwork an authentic period look. Watch out for further updates as the building starts to rise up from its base.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

April 25th, 26th 2017

We need your help! We need to raise £1.5 million in order to realise our dream of transforming Bridgnorth Station and protecting its precious heritage...

Our Share Offethcampaign has reached £1 million, but there is a long way to go if we are to reach our £2.5 million target before the end of October.

Money raised so far has enabled us to complete the foundations of a brand new Refreshment Room, but we need your help to raise enough money to make the whole project a reality.

If you can join our journey by buying shares in our Railway, we would love your support.

Severn Valley Railway Families Facebook page, two images added.

Further image added April 26th.

April 21st 2017

The last push on the base is almost complete. The base for what will be the rear service yard has now been cast, with the final pour early next week involving a large volume of concrete to complete the building slab. The first tranche of 8000 facing bricks have now arrived ready for the bricklaying to commence on the retaining walls with the first bricks of the building being laid in a ceremony due to take place on May 3rd. There is excitement now as we are on the cusp of seeing the Bridgnorth development team's vision start to rise from the ground along with a surge (we hope!) of share purchases - visit the SVR's Share Offer webpage.

Three images added.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

April 20th 2017

A lot of concrete has been poured... images on the Bridgnorth station webpage at https://svrbridgnorth.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/a-lot-of-concrete-2/. Four test walls have been built and the chosen brick has been decided. 
The Bridgnorth Journal today reports that 
"A milestone has now been reached as foundations are nearing completion and construction above ground can now begin. The SVR is now looking to bring together veteran railway workers to help lay the very first bricks of the new station refreshment room, a key element of the project, on 3 May. A search has been launched to find those who worked on the former Severn Valley line, which was completed in 1862 and ran between Hartlebury and Shrewsbury for more than 100 years before it was closed in a national rail rationalisation programme. 
'We would love to invite those who worked on the Severn Valley line before its closure in the mid-1960s to join us in our journey to build on its future for generations to come."

Sue Thomas, Bridgnorth station webpage

April 11th 2017

Final push on the groundworks phase; great weather for pumping concrete. Two images from Iris Construction Project Limited. Their Facebook album has many more.

April 10th 2017

In the last week, the contractors have forged ahead with the setting out of the remaining ground beams and the building footprint is starting to reveal itself. The grid of reinforcing that will support the external terrace has been laid and the whole site seems to gearing up for the arrival of a large quantity of concrete. We are now on the home straight of the completion of the base. We are now looking forward to moving onto the next phase which should start to transform the look of the station as it rises from the base.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

March 31st 2017

Iris Construction Projects have added images of the ground beam construction

March 29th 2017

This week further progress with the ground beams is taking place with those adjacent to the platform now being constructed. The reinforcement steel cages have now been made up but before these can be lowered into place and shuttered up ready for concreting, a great deal of preparation work is required.

The top of the concrete piles are intentionally left longer than needed so that they can be cropped down to an accurate level in order to tie them into the ground beams. These photos show how the steel pile casing is cut to the required height then the concrete chiselled off to match. This may seem a backwards way of doing things, but it is much better to have spare height on the piles than for them to be too short.

Elsewhere on site preparations are being made to construct a series of four brick test panels. A pallet of the bricks to be used on the building have been acquired and the test panels will allow selection of the preferred combination of aggregate and mortar colour to be chosen. In addition, a beautiful Edwardian fireplace very similar to the one that adorns Highley waiting room has been obtained. This will form a centrepiece within the refreshment rooms and very nice it will look too!

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

March 22nd 2017

SVR Bridgnorth station website has added a portfolio of current images, much concrete has been poured into that steelwork lace, creating the ground beams that will support our new refreshment room. 

March 16th 2017

Those who have been studying development of the site at Bridgnorth during the last few weeks will have seen a lot of noticeable progress before Christmas and a slowing down since. It was hoped that the slab would be ready to take the bricks by the beginning of February, but unfortunately there were some delays which meant that was not possible. Some of the delays were put down to the weather, as it is inadvisable to pour concrete in temperatures, or with the prospect of temperatures, of 5 degrees Centigrade or less. There were some early morning frosts in January and the decision was taken not to put the foundation work at risk just because of a few days. There was also some delay in the provision of reinforcement rods and their installation. By overrunning because of the weather, there was a knock-on effect in that the subcontractors also had other jobs to do which had been programmed into their schedules, so there were odd times when it was not possible to adhere strictly to the Bridgnorth programme. There was also some additional drainage work that had to be done which had to be carefully managed to ensure that it did not foul (no pun intended) the foundation work, and in particular the reinforcement bars. Some additional ducting has also been added for any future services that might be required.

All in all, the delays have meant that the slab will be ready for brickwork to start in about six week’s time. Although disappointing that there has been a number of weeks' delay, on a positive note, there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes. We have taken the opportunity to work hard to ensure that the next stage of the process will run smoothly and to time, and equally important to an agreed budget. We have finally got all the plans for the new building signed off and they are currently being costed by the contractor. We expect to have achieved cost certainty shortly after the end of March so we can go back to the Holdings Board to approve exchanging a contract for the next phase (the new building and fitting out). We have also been busy acquiring bits and pieces for the project, such as signage, lamp and electrical fittings, fireplaces, cast-iron air bricks, and period furniture. The special bricks, which are historically accurate for completing the decorative areas of brickwork in GWR style, such as the plinths and window reveals, have been made and are in store. In addition, we have also acquired the 25,000 ordinary bricks for the whole building. Next week, the contractors will be building some sample walls with different types of aggregate, from which we will choose the most appropriate for the style of building. The first large delivery of bricks will be in the middle of April, and then we shall all feel that progress is being made. By working hard behind the scenes, we are looking to catch up some of the time lost on the foundation stage during the next phase. The contractor will be providing a detailed timetable within the next few days. The work we have been doing will also mean a reduction in the overall cost to the railway.

Throughout the project so far, we have stressed the need for quality, and the next phase will obviously be critical in this regard. Whereas foundations are critical in a structural sense, it is only when you get above ground that the quality of the work is really appreciated. The contractors are under strict instructions that quality comes first and if that takes a little more time to test our excitement and impatience then so be it as any small delay we might have now will soon be forgotten on completion, whereas any reduction in quality will be there for all to see for generations to come.

The other positive note is the financing of the scheme in that we have passed the first big milestone in the share offer. The current amount available for the project (including setting up costs) is well over £1M. In addition, approximately £30,000 has been collected by the SVR Charitable Trust for the project, of which about half is specifically earmarked for a turntable. We still have a long way to go to achieve the stated aim of £2.5M in shares but there will be strenuous efforts made between now and the end of October to encourage more people to invest in the project.

In summary, the foundation work should be finished in about five weeks, and that will then enable to brickwork to start. We are hopeful that the whole project, including the works on the listed building, should be completed before Christmas, a bit longer than originally anticipated, but certainly worth waiting for.

If anyone wants any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

David Postle Bridgnorth Project Team

March 14th 2017

Work on the ground beams continues with a sizeable amount now cast in. The concreting of the large curved retaining wall at the south east end has now been completed and this ultimately will be faced with bricks to complement the building. The platform elevation piles are now being exposed for the reinforcing cages to be positioned and shuttered ready for casting. The recent relatively mild weather is assisting with the progress of the job especially the pouring and curing of the concrete.

Iris Construction will soon be erecting a number of temporary brick panels using various combinations of cement and aggregate in order to allow the development team to choose the combination that best matches the desired finish. These panels will use some of the same Staffordshire Blue engineering bricks that are being supplied to Iris for the superstructure. These are being purchased directly by the SVR and are actually classed as seconds. The slight variations in colour found in this grade of brick will mimic the same effect found in the handmade types that would have been used in the early 1900’s thus giving the correct appearance to the finished building.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

February 24th 2017

Despite the efforts of storm Doris to disrupt both the UK and our project, work has carried on regardless. Since the last update, the sub-contractors have continued to make good progress although the site has become rather muddy due to the heavy rain experienced this week. Each day another section of the reinforcing is laced together to form more of the ground beams required and indeed some of these have already been cast. More of the timber and plywood needed for building the shuttering has been delivered to site in anticipation of further deliveries of concrete. This work will carry on until all the ground beams are completed and preparation will then be made to create the building slab that will sit on top.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

February 23rd 2017

The Charitable Trust's Bridgnorth appeal page has been updated to show more than £28,000 has been raised through donations. It’s a good way to add a contribution to the project, if for whatever reason you don’t want to buy further shares in the latest Share Offer, or you don’t wish to make the minimum purchase of £100 of shares. Follow the link for more details.

February 22nd 2017

Work is taking shape, with workmen now starting to build the retaining walls. All the pipework and ducts have been installed now and metal frames are being put together for the reinforced concrete. Concrete pouring has started. Images added from Iris Construction Projects Ltd and Bridgnorth station.

February 14th 2017

Over the last week or so the contractors have been excavating the ground around the piles then assembling the complicated array of reinforcing steelwork. This may look like a tangle of steel rods but their layout is carefully calculated by the structural engineer to take the loads that will ultimately be placed upon the foundations. Schedules are drawn up showing the different size rods and the order of assembly. The steel rods are then laid out and wired together to form the shapes you can see in the pictures.

Whilst the work on site has been going on, much work is being done in the background to acquire and manufacture items that will form the finishing details of the building. Pivotal in this role has been Mick Yarker of the Friends of Kidderminster Station who has put his vast engineering experience to good use on this project. Mick has been quietly fabricating items such as the speartop fencing, ornate lamp brackets and signage that will eventually adorn the structure. Additionally, members of the SVR Bridgnorth Development team have been sourcing appropriate fireplaces and other architectural items ready to be issued to the contractors when required.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

February 13th 2017

Three images from Bridgnorth station have been added to the gallery showing the ring beam reinforcing in position, next will come the shuttering.

February 3rd 2017

After a delay in delivery of the reinforcing steelwork to Bridgnorth, the site is once again a hive of activity. The sub-contractor that installed the piles are now back to cast the ground beams and currently on site with an excavator and dumper preparing the ground. As the contract progresses, there are regular monthly meetings on site to discuss the various issues that arise and carry out the valuation for monthly invoices. This involves the Quantity Surveyor walking over the site and confirming that the work being claimed for has been carried out and to the required standard. The Contract Administrator can then be advised what the value of the payment certificate should be which validates the invoice to be paid.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

January 30th 2017

Due to a delay in supply of steelwork for the reinforcing there is not much to report this last week. We will update further shortly.

January 20th 2017

The w/c 16th of January has seen some very damp and foggy days but the project marches on. Most of the progress this week has been on the installation of trenches for the incoming services to the new building and therefore there is not a huge amount of tangible progress to be seen above ground. These are the usual gas, electric, telecoms and water but also include the ducts that will carry the heating pipes. These are necessary as the heating boiler is to be located in what has become known as the “Bovey Tracey” building that will sit in the service yard at the rear. This will be a replica of a goods lock up that once occupied Bovey Tracey station on the GWR Moretonhampstead branch in Devon and will house the boiler plus act as an ambient food store for the buffet. If you google Bovey Tracey, you will see the outline appearance of the original building that our replica will be based on.

In the coming week materials for the ground beam shuttering will be arriving so that a start can be made on this next important stage.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

January 17th 2017

More images added to the gallery.

January 6th 2017

The first working week of 2017 has got off to a great start on the project. The main focus has been on the installation of all of the drainage points required to project up through the building slab. This network of pipes have been laid and left rising at the points where the various toilets, sinks etc will eventually be located. At the same time the datums for the concrete ground beam that will tie the pile network together, have been laid out in preparation.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

More images added to the gallery.

December 23rd 2016

As the site is shut down for Christmas we take stock of what has been achieved so far. All piling work has been completed and rigs are now off site. The new drainage runs have been connected to the existing site outlet and are now carrying “traffic”. Some of the drainage for what will be the new toilets has been started in preparation for the next phase of the foundation work. Once the site reopens in the new year work will start on the erection of shuttering and formwork that will produce the reinforced concrete ring beam that will tie all the pile heads together. Once this has been cast, the complicated array of reinforcing rods that will form the slab will be constructed. It is important at this stage that all of the holes that are required in the slab for incoming services and drainage outlets are accurately set out as once the slab is cast it will be impossible to create any additional penetrations. Hopefully the weather will also play ball and give us the rising 5 degrees needed for problem free concrete pouring. We will just have to wait and see what the weather gods decide!

From all on the Bridgnorth Project, we wish our readers a very Happy Christmas! Watch for the next update in January 2017.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

December 21st 2016

Iris Construction Projects Limited have tweeted: "63 #ODEX piles installed at @svrbridgnorth for @svrofficialsite and drainage is well underway" - see an image at https://twitter.com/Iris_Projects/status/811516199796408320/photo/1. They have also added their own album of images to Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/pg/irisconstructionprojects/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1248792208495241

December 16th 2016

Donations-in-kind and sponsorship will help us reduce the cost of this very special project. A 'help list' has been added, if you know of a particular item on this list we would be very grateful to hear about it. Thank you.

David Postle Bridgnorth Project Team

 

This week (ending on 16th Dec) has produced an amazing spurt of progress as all except 5 of the 63 piles have been completed. We are now rapidly approaching Christmas when the site will shut down for the duration of the holidays but it is fully expected that all the piling will be finished. In parallel with this, the installation of the drainage has proceeded very well with several chambers being constructed, the deepest of which is 2.5m along with interconnecting pipework. Eventually the stage is reached where some of the existing drains need to be swung over onto the new and this requires use of the gents toilet being temporarily suspended (for obvious reasons!)

The local authority building inspectors have visited the site as well as an archaeological expert whose presence is required in the planning conditions when trenches are being dug. Nothing of historical significance has been found as the ground being excavated is mostly fill material dug from cuttings during construction of the line in the 1860’s. In addition to these fine gentlemen, Puddles the station cat has also been carrying out inspection of the works on a daily basis and from the purring seems to be satisfied with progress!

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

December 9th 2016

Work on the piles for the new building has surged ahead with over 32 now sunk out of the total of 63. Out of these, 27 have had the reinforcement inserting and the concrete poured. Each pile is individually numbered as per the structural engineer's plans which is why the pile photographed is number 59.

Meanwhile, the trenches for the drainage have started to be dug which all adds up to a lot of activity on site. The contractors have also taken advantage of a spell of dry weather to complete the painting of their site containers, which now have the appearance of what a 21st century GWR building site might have looked like.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

December 3rd, 7th 2016

More images added to the gallery. The contractors are using a second drilling rig

December 1st 2016

At the end of week 3, Iris Construction is still pressing ahead with the piling operation despite the sub-zero weather. The pile tally has now reached 20 which means the average is around 10 per week with another 43 to go. The Iris site foreman is pleased with progress so far and indeed the interest their efforts are generating [their Twitter site has linked to this page - ed.]. The next step of the job that is being started is the drainage for the new building. This involves the installation of some new drainage runs to tie in with the existing on site plus the setting up of the drains that will service the new building which need to be incorporated into the concrete slab.

One addition on site this week has been the arrival of an additional container for tool and material storage. Due to the cold weather, Iris have been unable to adorn this container in the same paint as their main cabins. On a lighter note, the boots of one of the piling machine operators are on display in the site canteen as a reminder of the rain seen during storm Angus. They bear witness to the mud endured on that day of constant rain and has resulted in several of the contractors investing in Wellingtons normally used in cold stores to protect from temperatures down to -30 deg C.

All this embodies the enthusiasm with which this project is being tackled.

Pictures added to the gallery (taken with permission and site inducted).

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

November 29th 2016

A video on Facebook of the piling rig in action (taken with permission and site inducted)  https://www.facebook.com/sue.thomas.9256028/videos/1287670047961614/

November 25th 2016

One week on and the piling team are making good progress with the task of sinking the 63 piles required. At time of writing 10 piling cases have been sunk to an average depth of between 10 ½ and 12 metres. The piling rig uses a mixture of auguring for the softer clay type material and a diamond tipped drill head to sink the hole for the pile. As the pile hole is sunk, the pile casings are added in sections and pulled down into the ground with the drill head. During the sinking, compressed air is blown down the hole to remove loose material which is ejected at the top of the pile casing. As each section is added it is welded to its predecessor and the process is repeated until the pile reaches the required depth.

Eventually, the piles will have reinforcing steel inserted and then backfilled with concrete to produce a network of solid anchors to the bedrock. Apart for the horrendous rains deposited by storm Angus on Monday (throughout which work carried on), the weather has not created any significant delays.

The latest pictures (taken with permission and site inducted) show the piling operation close up. The completed ones are covered over to prevent water ingress in preparation for reinforcing and concrete.

The next stage of work to commence next week in tandem with this will be a start on the drainage system.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager 

November 22nd, 23rd 2016

Week 2. Piling rig inserting pile liners, images added to gallery. Nine piles drilled by day 3 of week 2 (23rd). 

Piles are needed because the land is all built up (when the railway was built) and bedrock is some 40 feet down. The design will ensure that the new building does not move.
Tubular steel pile liners are being drilled into the ground. They come in one metre lengths, so each metre the drill is unfastened, an extension piece added to the drill, and another one-metre liner slotted onto the lower one. These are then welded together, both for strength and to prevent water ingress. Drilling restarts.
This process continues until the piles are 1.5 metres into the bedrock.
Once sufficient liners have been inserted that a full 6-cubic-metre lorry-load of concrete can be used, reinforcing rods are set in the holes and the concrete is poured in.
There are 63 piles to do. When they are all in, they will be linked by concrete ground beams on which the base slab is poured.
It will then support anything we need - so doubtless the same will happen in due course for the turntable.

Chris Thomas Director and Bridgnorth Stationmaster

[Images taken within the construction compound with permission of main contractor; photographer is site inducted]

November 20th 2016

At long last the first steps towards the transformation of Bridgnorth station have begun! After the long journey turning a vision into a reality, the first blows have been struck on site for phase one of the project.

The area where the new building is to be located (forming refreshment rooms and vastly improved toilet facilities) had been cleared in advance of all the trees, pre-existing buildings plus other paraphernalia by volunteers. This magnificent effort has saved the costs of the contractors (Iris Construction Projects Ltd) having to do this work and allowed them to gain access to the site and make a rapid start.

The start of this week was marked by a site meeting to agree final positions for the contractor's site cabins along with the supply of services to these. Areas for parking and depositing of materials was also agreed. Once the cabins arrived on site they have been quickly made habitable. It was pleasing to see that Iris had gone the extra mile to spray the cabins in an approximation of GWR light stone  to help them blend in a little. This shows their great enthusiasm for the project and we all look forward to seeing the completed result.

The first element of the works and probably the most important is the sinking of 63 concrete piles into the ground. The area where the building will eventually stand was constructed up by the Victorian builders of the SVR by tipping loose material excavated from cuttings etc. This does not make for stable building ground so to ensure that our building will not disappear down the embankment, these piles will be sunk some 12m from where they will carry on for a minimum of 1.5m into the sandstone rock. Once completed, the piles will be held together on the surface with a large concrete “ring beam” creating a solid base. After this a large reinforced concrete slab will be cast on the top and it is this that the new building will rise off. The SVR team are all hoping for a mild winter so that the work is not interrupted by severe weather which does pose a risk in creating delays.

It is intended that there will be regular updates as the project progresses.

Photos added to the gallery show the initial stages of the work on site including the compact piling rig.

Chris Bond Infrastructure Manager

November 18th 2016

Day 5 and piling is happening. Images added to gallery.

November 15th 2016

Contractors on site! Images added to gallery.

November 10th 2016

Gallery added.

Store shed delivered, images added to the gallery.

November 2nd 2016

On October 31st 2016 the Holdings Board unanimously agreed to award the first contract in the station project, for contractors to:

  1. complete works already started on the supply of utilities to the site from Oldbury Road, and

  2. construct foundations, including piling and reinforced slab, for the proposed new building adjacent to Platform 1 in accordance with final plans produced by our consultants and Iris Construction (contractors).

Work on the supply of utilities has started by the digging up of Oldbury Road, and work will continue to bring this supply of gas and electricity up the Donkey Gallop to serve both the new building and the refurbished existing building.

The ground on which the new building is to be erected is of very poor structural quality. We believe that spoil was deposited here by the railway contractors at the same time as the station was built in the late 1850s/early 1860s. What it might contain we do not know, but when core samples were extracted recently they comprised predominantly sand and earth, probably sourced from nearby cuttings.

In order to make the building secure on made up land a complicated system of piling and slab foundations has been designed. There will be a total of 60 piles driven 12 metres down on top of which will be a number of ground beams and floor slabs, and through which there will be channels for the services.

The contractor will move equipment on site after the Season Finale Gala, with a view to commencing clearance and piling on November 11th. Much of the clearance work has already been done by the Bridgnorth staff, and it seems odd to think that the site has never been this empty since the old bus garage was built over 100 years ago. It is planned to have the foundation work completed by the end of January 2017.

Work is continuing on completing the detailed plans for costing the new building and the refurbishment of the existing station. It is planned to present these costs to the Holdings Board at their January 2017 meeting so that, if everything is acceptable and the finance is available, then the contract for the remaining works of the first phase can be signed, thus ensuring that bricks can be laid as soon as the foundation is completed. At this stage we propose to have a ceremonial occasion with a celebrity who is not necessarily known for his brick-laying skills, but we will have the contractor on hand to help!

David Postle Bridgnorth Project Team

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