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 Post subject: Platform Height
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:39 pm
Posts: 14
In the latest Journal (Vol 6 No. 7) there is a photo on page 6 taken at Whaley Bridge where it can clearly be seen that the platform is at different heignts. Why would this be?

I know that in areas where there was mining subsistence, platforms were reinstated to their correct heights by the addition of temporary wooden structures until the subsistence had settled to allow permanent repairs, but in the photo this is clearly not the case as the wooden structure appears to be an extension to the platforms.

Surely the diference in height would have caused problems for the passengers entering and leaving carriages.


 Post subject: Re: Platform Height
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:52 pm
Posts: 654
Location: Woking, Surrey
Platforms originally were often very low - only 18ins or 2ft 0ins. That was one reason why lower footboards were required on carriages. It was only in the 1880s that platforms began to be raised to 2ft 6in and then to the modern standard of 3ft 0in, and naturally that took many years to complete - quite a few minor stations still had low platforms on closure. The platforms at Colwich and Disley in the same Journal are only 2ft 6in (or lower).

Lower footboards began to be removed in 1901, and the standard height of the upper carriage footboard was raised a couple of inches as well. At Whaley Bridge it can be seen that the station building is of stone, so cannot be raised up. The station dated from the opening of the line in 1857. The extension to the platform has had its height increased, as has the nearer end of the down platform.

Note the painting of Whaley Bridge signal cabin - all buff but with brown foundation beam and window cills. The cabin was opened in November 1877, the brickwork looks quite new, so I am guessing that the photo dates from around 1890-5. A modern (1970s) photo of Whaley Bridge cabin is attached - it is clear that the platform has been raised to just below the level of the locking room windows, 3ft 0in above ground level. The white gate on the left is still there. It looks as though there was once a level crossing here on this side of the signal cabin and station building where Whaley Lane crossed the railway which has already been abolished at the time of the old photo.

Another good photo showing the signal cabin and station building in 1958 is on Page 117 of the book "The Buxton Line - Part 1 - Stockport to Whaley Bridge" (Foxline). I guess that the entrance doors from the platform have been reconstructed to allow the platform to be raised, with a couple of steps down into the station. The map on page 114/5 confirms the likely level crossing as mentioned above. According to Google maps the up platform station buillding still stands. Perhaps someone in the area could inspect/photograph it.

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"A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one at all would find fault with what he has done." - Cardinal Newman

 Post subject: Re: Platform Height
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:38 pm
Posts: 89
Location: St David's, Pembrokeshire
Rugby had it's platforms heightened in about 1911 - I have a drawing for it. I believe it might have been due to new stock?
Likewise, Rugby had just had it's platforms heightened again to accommodate the new Virgin trains. They now slope backwards towards the building and Acco drains have been put in in front of the building to stop them being flooded out.
Now, what I'd like to know is, why didn't they build the new trains lower?

 Post subject: Re: Platform Height
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:39 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:49 am
Posts: 253
Location: Edinburgh
According to the Foxline books ("Scenes from the Past" Nos 37 and 50) which cover Whaley Bridge, until about 1890 there was a level crossing just in front of the signal cabin and the station building, or just beyond the man and the milk-churn on the left, in the Journal photo, which is dated c1892.

Later photos show high platforms throughout, so I guess this photo was taken shortly before the faraway platforms were raised. But, in those pre-'health & safety' days and before the arrival of the 'compensation culture', folk then would have been quite capable of entering or exiting a carriage safely, whatever height the platform might have been.

 Post subject: Re: Platform Height
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:19 pm
Posts: 345
In February 1879 it was decided to have a standard height of 21" for the new platforms being built at Bletchley, Patricroft and Nuneaton
(J. Gough, Harboro' book p74)

Watord Junction, March/May 1901
Complaints received from Watford Traders' Ass re. low platforms. There was a fatal accident here. LNW state platforms are standard height. Measured by Col Yorke as heights of 2'1 3/4" to 1'10 1/2", whereas current regulations are 2'6" to 3'0"
(BoT file MT6/1291/3)

From 1902 to 1912 there are numerous refernces in the minutes of the Passenger Traffic Committtee to raising platforms to standard height. This would seem to be contemporary with the removal of the lower footboards on carriages "from 1901" (above). 2'9" is often referred to, although one or two say 2'6". I have not yet found any reference to Whaley Bridge, though. A selection of some of the earlier minutes follows:
14.5.02 6849 Sudbury & Wembley (Up Slow)
22.4.03 7343e Althorp Park and Long Buckby
14.10.03 7550 Winslow
13.1.04 7692 Haughton (2'6)
19.10.04 8032 Mold (up)
14.12.04 8123 Barton Moss
14.12.04 8126 Astley
21.6.05 8389 Alrewas (2'6)
21.6.05 8390 Morley /Churwell
14.2.06 8725 Bramhall
14.2.05 8726 Stafford and Huyton
16.5.06 8861 Oxford (new platform)
18.7.06 8950 Flimby (Up)
3.8.06 9000 Kensal Rise
17.10.06 9051 Crewe (up - ie plats 5 & 6) £2,700
16.1.07 9217 Hazel Grove (lengthened Buxton end)
13.2.07 9263 Leighton (Down Dunstable bch)
15.5.07 9418 Dudley Port (up)
14.8.07 9552 Coventry (down)
14.8.07 9556 Howe Bridge
16.10.07 9599 Perry Barr
(and so on)

Inspection of Nuneaton to Atherstone widening Sept 1910:
height of new down platform is 2'9"
(BoT file MT6/1923/6)

Inspection at Shilton Aug 1911 - Col Yorke - QV
(BoT file MT6/2016/7)

Inspection of Lichfield Widening Aug 1911 - Col Yorke:
New platform is standard height of 2'9", old platform 1'9". "Recommendations as to desirabililty of raising the old platforms in the report of 10th inst at Shilton apply also to Lichfield and need not be repeated"
(BoT file MT6/2016/5)

In Jan 1912 the P T Comm minuted a reccommendation that £15,000 per annum be set aside to be expended on raising platforms which are below standard height.
(PTCM 11930)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:39 pm
Posts: 48
Philip Millard asks about the station buildings at Whaley Bridge. The main building on the up (to Buxton) platform, and which dates back to the opening of the line, has recently been the subject of a £180,000 restoration and refurbishment scheme, undertaken jointly by Network Rail and the Friends of Whaley Bridge Station. The completed building has been entered in the 2011 National Railway Heritage Awards (the awards are made in December).
Richard Foster

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