GWR Electrification at Cholsey

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Creative Commons License Text by Bill Nicholls, August 2015 ; This work is dedicated to the Public Domain.
Images are under a separate Creative Commons Licence.


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright


The GWR at Cholsey has changed over the years but recently has undergone some major changes with the addition of pylons to take the electrification. This article is aimed to show what has gone on. Cholsey station dates back to when Brunel first built the GWR and was used as place to change for Wallingford. Over the years it changed a small amount but in the next year or so will change again with the electrification that is happening. No more will you see a view with no pylons. I started recording in March 2015 and since the work started I have been going along around once a month to record how the line has changed. You can read some info about Electrification here
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Since I took a photo of Cholsey Station in 2008 it has changed little to when I took another in 2015 for reference to show what will change when the electrification of the GWR comes through. I took various views from each platform to show how it looked free from pylons or electric cables. You can read some info about Electrification here

SU5886 : Welcome To Cholsey by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Cholsey Station by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Platform 3 & 4 by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Platforms four & three by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Platform Four by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Platform Five by Bill Nicholls
SU5886 : Missing from Platform 3 by Bill Nicholls

The awning over platform 4 in 2008 is still in place at the present time I also showed Tornado flying through to Silly Bridge in 2009 along with Platforms 1 & 2 in 2009 looking towards Elms Bridge. I also showed a couple looking back from Elms Bridge in 2009 and showing the line to the station clear. I will return and get a more up-to-date photo.

SU5885 : Under Silly Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Waiting for the train by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Train at the station by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Trains gone by Bill Nicholls


The first we knew anything was happening was the noise at night when we heard the piles being knocked into the ground. Then I noticed marks on the station and the first of the pylons near Silly Bridge, not only that, I spotted some of the piling machines in the storage area.

SU5886 : Marks on the Platform by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Marked out on the Platform by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Bending through Silly Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : One of the Machines by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Three in the Stores by Bill Nicholls

The last photo of Silly Bridge was taken in May 2015 but work had started before that beyond the Lees Bridge as you can see in the photos below. Note the pylons in place near the bunk line (preserved railway). The opposite side you could see where some of the bases had been placed.

SU5886 : Some of the Pylons by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Out of Cholsey Station by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Waiting the Pylons by Bill Nicholls

On the Silly Bridge side you could see piles of concrete ducting and the first pylon, markers had also been placed along side the fence on platforms one and two.

SU5885 : Pylon near Silly Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Marker in the Ground by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Cross marks the Spot by Bill Nicholls

In July the weekend afternoon quiet was broken by a hammering which turned out to be one of the pylons being knocked in near the station. Markings were more evident on platform two and on the bank by platform four a marker had been placed in part of the bank that had been cleared.

SU5886 : The Pile Knocker by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Knocking in the Piles by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Mark on Platform 2 by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Marker up the Bank by Bill Nicholls

In August I noticed a storage area had been made at the end of the car park where they had stored more concrete ducting and some of the steel tubes that were pushed into the railside. On the fast line side you could see bases bolted on the pilings awaiting the pylons. Up on the hill behind another pylon you could see a small excavator. On platforms two and three the fence had been removed and replaced by safety fence. Platform one also had bases in place on the bank over the fence. Concrete had been poured and studs fixed in place. Looking up to Silly Bridge you could see work had been happening there as well. Nearer the station I could see a base between the fast and slow lines which turned out to be two close together.


SU5885 : Couple of Pilings by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Base of a Pylon by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Two in a line by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : One of the Gantries by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Fencing on the Platform by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Fencing on Platform 1 by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Another through the Fence by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Awaiting the Base by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Along the Fast Line by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : One in the Middle by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Side by SIde by Bill Nicholls

On the Lees Bridge side you could see more pylons had been erected, I even spotted a train heading under the bridge.

SU5886 : Amber on the Fast Line by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : From Platform 2 by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Passing Each Other by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Lees Bridge by Bill Nicholls

In September I thought it was time to check what the line looked like from Silly and Moulsford Bridges. The old fence on Silly Bridge had been removed and they were in the process of building it up and had started putting on the coping stones. Down on the line looking towards Moulsford Bridge, pylons were in place and some of the steel bases were still going in. On the Cholsey side there were few pylons in place though near the station you could see a few.

SU5885 : Fence by Silly Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Top of the Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Towards Moulsford Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Pile in the Ground by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Cutting towards the Station by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Pylons near the Station by Bill Nicholls

Going up to Moulsford Bridge I noticed the height has been raised buy using steel plates but reaching up I managed to take a photo towards Silly Bridge as well as towards the Moulsford Viaduct. There was also a substation built nearby for powering the line along with a storage area. Near the bridge I also noticed part of the wall boarded where I suspect a pylon was going.

SU5985 : New sides on Moulsford Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5985 : Towards Silly Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5985 : Gantries on the pylons by Bill Nicholls SU5985 : Pylons near the Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5985 : Railway Sub Station by Bill Nicholls SU5985 : Railway from the Storage area by Bill Nicholls SU5985 : Moulsford Bridge by Bill Nicholls

Into October and I noticed more work had been done with gantries now extending across the line looking towards the Lees Bridge along with a couple of new pylons nearer the station. Looking towards Silly Bridge you could see the gantries in place. Shuttering had been put in place on platform two for a base. Nearer the Silly Bridge end of the platform little looked to have changed. Going onto platform one looking towards Silly Bridge you got a good view of all the pylons which were in place and going to the other end I was lucky to see a train coming under the gantries there.

SU5886 : Train Going Through by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : More Pylons by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Gantries in Place by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Shuttering in Place by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Near the End of the Platform by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : From Platform One by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Coming up the Line by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Looking out of Platform One by Bill Nicholls

Into November the fast line looked a little different on the Silly Bridge side and I could see from the concrete block I stood on to get a photo. I also noticed part of a pylon in the compound. A pile had been concreted in near platform four while in the back by the station another had been set. Going onto the platform and looking to Lees Bridge I could see the gantries in place and connections for hanging the wire were in place. Work had also been going on on platform two. Looking out from the platform you could see the gantries at the other end and a pylon was in place. Looking across to the end of platform four from platform three you could see a couple of piles in place. Looking out towards Silly Bridge a train ran along the fast line while the bridge behind looked to have had the coping stones put in place.

SU5885 : Beams on the Supports by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Concrete Block by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Base in the Compound by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Base near the Platform by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : One in the Bank by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Out from Platform Four by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Base on Platform Two by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Cable Supports by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : The Fast Line by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Pylon at the End by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Under the beams by Bill Nicholls


Mid November I went back for a further update after seeing they cut the trees back on the embankment. First thing I did was take a reference view from platform four to show how it was before any more pylons went in, then over to platform one to see the difference now the trees had gone. Things did not look much different looking towards Silly Bridge but it was easy to see the pylon and its base near the end of the platform.

SU4886 : Working near the gate by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Side of the Embankment by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Nuts on the Base by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Pollarded Trees on the Embankment by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Taking Shape by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Pylon & support by Bill Nicholls

At the end of November I noticed they had fixed a couple of connectors for the electric cables near Silly Bridge, there were also a couple of piles added in the area between the fast and slow lines near the station.

SU5885 : Cable Supports on the Fast Line by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : One in the Centre by Bill Nicholls

By December I finally saw how they were going place the pylons near Cholsey Station. They had also left a lot of material near the fence by the station. Looking out of the station to Silly Bridge you could see pylons in place and the same looking towards The Lees Bridge. Heading to platform one showed a better picture of the Silly Bridge side and The Lees bridge side. I took a reference view along platform one then left

SU5885 : New pylons in the Middle by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Down by the Fence by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Off Platform One by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : View along the Line by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Changed again by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Closer View by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Along the Gantries by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : One to Go by Bill Nicholls SU5886 : Along Platform Four by Bill Nicholls

Come the end of December I visited Silly Bridge and Moulsford Bridge again. All the coping stones had been laid and pointed apart from a couple, and though it was fenced off I snuck in and got a few photos over the parapet which is now well over six foot in height. Looking towards Moulsford Bridge showed most pylons were in, as with looking towards Cholsey Station. On a gantry nearer the bridge I could see the cable supports had been put in place.

SU5885 : One side of Silly Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Towards Moulsford Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5985 : Nearer the Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Near the Station by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : Near to the Station by Bill Nicholls SU5885 : By the Bridge by Bill Nicholls

KML

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