Friday 18 January 2013

The Lovely Lymington Link [2]

Real snow at fbb towers : 0800 this morning.
A comparative rarity on the Island.
Back to today's blog:-

Blue Door at Brockenhurst ...
... see yesterday's blog (read again).

Many older blog readers will remember Frankie Vaughan's hit song, later reprised by Shakin' Stevens. For those who, like fbb, are wont to forget the details, the lyrics are reproduced here:-

Midnight, one more night without sleepin'
Thinkin', till the morning comes creepin'
Blue door, what's that Brockenhurst's keepin'?

There's something funny and its going on
behind the blue door
Don't know what they're doin' but then you just can't see
behind the blue door
Wish they'd let me in so I could find out what's
behind the blue door

Knocked once, tried to tell 'em I'd been there
Door closed, hospitality's thin there
Wonder just what's goin' on in there

Heard a something creakin'; what a ghostly sound
behind the blue door
When I asked what's doin' someone laughed out loud
behind the blue door
All I want to do is see the myst'ry thing
behind the blue door

Midnight, one more night without sleepin'
Thinkin', till the morning comes creepin'
Blue door, what's that Brockenhurst's keepin'?

But the anguish can now be mitigated. fbb knows what's behind that over-large blue door at Brockenhurst Station. And before he reveals all, we need to look at a plan of the station. An fbb simplified diagram is needed.
To cope with its remote junction status, with three routes in a south and westerly direction, the station was developed with two island platfoms. In addition to a footbridge, the London and South Western Railway [LSWR] created two step-free routes; one via a barrow crossing (in green) to gain access to Platforms 3 and 4 and the other structure ...
... is one of these. It is officially called a "traverse bridge" (shown as a blue blob on the fbb station plan) and, interlocked with the signalling system it can be swung out manually to provide a step-free link to up platfoms 1 and 2. It has been "fettled up" recently and looks like this when swung across the track.
This is what is the behind the blue door; shown here open to the paved area on the north side of the station. There is nothing like it anywhere else on the UK rail network. Unless a blog reader knows better.

The Isle of Wight, however, did achieve the same result with minimalist technology.

At Ventnor, a far less sophisticated system was used to get from the main platform on to the island platform, thus saving all that tedious expense of building a bridge or subway. In this case it was a simple wooden gangway [similar to, the same as (?), those used as gangways for the good old "real" Island passenger ferries] shoved into place by a couple of beefy railway staff. On this photograph ...

... the pedestrian gangway can be spied (ringed) to the left of the rear carriage of the train. Query : is the "lump" in front of the gangway a bigger and wider bridge capable of carrying a luggage trolley? ...

... Fbb only ever used the narrow passenger-only version. There was no other means of "official" passenger access to that island platform. And no signal protection or interlocking. As far as fbb is aware, there are no recorded incidents of either the gangway, or people on it, being smashed to smithereens by an arriving train!

Three jeers for Health and Safety! Three cheers for effective simplicity!

 Lymington Link blogs will continue later 

 Next Bus Blog : Saturday 18th January 

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