Opening of Rochester Station

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mikegayton
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Opening of Rochester Station

Post by mikegayton » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:46 pm

OPENING OF ROCHESTER STATION
Although the first trains ran on the evening of Sunday 13th December there was an opening gathering of local dignitaries on Monday 14th, and there will be a formal opening in the new year.
However the physical opening has many parts. As is well known the northern platform will be a bay until the signal box is demolished (pending transfer of some equipment functions to Gillingham) and there is a significant number of crossed signals existing. The multi-storey car park is unfinished and the outside ticket machine bears a notice to the effect that that car park tickets issued could not be used in the car park!
On Monday morning there were no refreshment facilities, but the main entrance was open, although the ticket office was occupied by someone apparently trying to get the system working and tickets were being issued by a travelling collector in the foyer.
Today, Wednesday, the main entrance was closed, but the deserted foyer (with no take away timetables of any sort) could be accessed from the side. Tickets were being organised from a queue at the outside ticket machine. No-one was in the unlit ticket office.
There were reasonable refreshment facilities being dispensed in a friendly and efficient manner from the back of a van in the station forecourt.
By Friday 18th the ticket office was working correctly, and the proper platform fencing was in view, giving the whole smart modern appearance.
Apparently as well as the obvious work still needed at the new station, the platforms of the old station need complete demolition as there is no proper support (a Rochester Station was not even thought of when the viaduct was built) and the platforms have required increased propping over many years with the only real solution being to remove the platform weight from the structure. No doubt this was part of the case for a new station.
Hopefully all will move forward quickly and people will find their way around when leaving the station ? many not knowing the station had moved were completely lost when they got outside.
Another item that cannot function until the various signalling difficulties are tidied up is presumably what is destined to be platform 0 at Rainham standing unused and unnumbered.

mikegayton
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Re: Opening of Rochester Station

Post by mikegayton » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:45 pm

The old Rochester station building itself is of course listed, but work has started on demolishing things outside of it such as awnings, lift shafts and the platform shelters.
The new bay at Rainham is now programmed for two train a day service starting in May, after signalling installation at Easter, with a full service from 2018.

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pdeaves
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Re: Opening of Rochester Station

Post by pdeaves » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:30 pm

Do you mean "two train a day service", or two trains per hour?

mikegayton
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Re: Opening of Rochester Station

Post by mikegayton » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:32 pm

Apparently the bay platform at Rainham will be used by just two trains a day at first.

mikegayton
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:43 pm

Re: Opening of Rochester Station

Post by mikegayton » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:11 pm

Update
Although the Station had a second opening, by the Duke of Kent, on 24th February, by which time the caf? had been installed, work was still being done to the roof on 1st March.
The carpark is still under construction, which is causing problems in Rochester as local traders are complaining that visitors are not stopping as all the municipal car parking is occupied by rail commuters before any visitors arrive. At least the station seems to be attracting passengers!
The reinstated Up Layover Siding previously associated with the old station is in use, although this is possibly for the time being in conjunction with the dismantling work taking place at the old station, where all the buildings on the up island block have demolished and cleared except for the lift tower and part of the stairway roof and tidy piles of platform edge slabs from the up main. The situation on the down island is similar.

mikegayton
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Re: Opening of Rochester Station

Post by mikegayton » Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:54 pm

Today Tuesday 29th I went from Rochester to Rainham looking for what had transpired during the Easter blockade.
At Rochester the scaffolding around the signal box is completed, ready for demolition.
The old station lift towers have been demolished leaving the platforms bare apart from large bags ? not sure what is in them.
At Gillingham the dockyard stub is still connected to the main line.
Rainham platform 0 is still anonymous, but the first passenger train is expected this evening (the 16.04 from Victoria, departing as the 17.37 to Victoria - this is included in the South Eastern Easter Changes booklet).
A train had come into the bay earlier this morning ?to clean the rust?, and the crew of that had suggested that a single morning service will start on Thursday.

Peter Hall
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Something you will not see at the new Rochester Station

Post by Peter Hall » Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:42 pm

Something I very much doubt will ever be seen at the new Rochester station is a Class 08/09 shunting either their or in the nearby goods yard. For those nostalgic or just interested in such things don't forget http://www.rcts.org.uk/features/diesels ... ess/medway where we are seeking observations and further information about such activities. We would also very much like to include a picture or to of Class 08/09 activity in Medway.

mikegayton
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:43 pm

Re: Opening of Rochester Station

Post by mikegayton » Fri May 13, 2016 9:44 pm

A short trip on Friday 13th May, revealed that Rochester Signal Box has been completely demolished, but the buffer stops remain in position with work taking place on the mainline connection to the east.
The new multi-story car park is well used as the municipal one has been classed as short-stay, forcing commuters to the multi storey park and, of course, prices are causing discontent.
At the old station the platform edge coping stones have been replaced with a narrower concrete strip just taken to the width of the underlying platform structure, giving more clearance with the trains, so perhaps the platform demolition is well into the future.
At Gillingham there is a short gap in the rails leading to the truncated dockyard branch, not sure whether this new or I have missed it in the past.
Rainham seems embarrassed by platform zero which still shows no such appellation, although the two train visits are running as timetabled.

mikegayton
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:43 pm

Re: Opening of Rochester Station

Post by mikegayton » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:07 pm

Class 375 Namings at Rochester.
Last evening, Friday 9th, I read a mention in the local paper that two trains were going to be named at Rochester Station on Saturday. It was news to me, so I contacted a few friends to see what they knew about it. The outcome was nothing, as there was from a trawl of the web.
Not having seen a naming since Evening Star in 1960 I thought it worth making an effort, and so this morning went to Rochester Station, arriving at 9.15. On enquiring about namings I was told they were planned for 9.30 and was immediately ushered through the gates to go to platform 3. Here were parked 375710 and 37514 with their MSOs adorned with a black plastic adhesive patch below the waistline, the top corners of which were very soon pulled down to facilitate a quick pealing off at the naming. After about half an hour the dignitaries came up to the platform with about 20 followers, indicating that that almost no-one knew about the event.
First 74294 of 375714 was named ROCHESTER CATHEDRAL by the cathedral dean, followed by 74290 of 375710 as ROCHESTER CASTLE by a councillor. David Statham, MD of SouthEastern and Tracey Crouch, the local MP were able supporters who stayed on answering questions until all others had departed.
Platform 3 still has buffer stops, followed by rail gaps at the southeast end. Work was still going on at the bridge over Blue Boar Lane, so this connection is probably not immanent.

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