Platform ramps

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David B
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Platform ramps

Postby David B » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:18 pm

I am making a wayside halt which has ramps down to rail level at each end. Does anyone have any idea of how steep these might be?

The plan I have says 1 in 10 making makes the ramp about 40' long for a 4' platform height (from the ground) which doesn't seem right to me.

Anyone got any information? I am modelling pre-Grouping GWR.

David

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Flymo748
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby Flymo748 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:25 pm

davidb wrote:I am making a wayside halt which has ramps down to rail level at each end. Does anyone have any idea of how steep these might be?

The plan I have says 1 in 10 making makes the ramp about 40' long for a 4' platform height (from the ground) which doesn't seem right to me.

Anyone got any information? I am modelling pre-Grouping GWR.

Browsing Vaughan's "A Pictorial Record of Great Western Architecture" - a truly inspirational book if ever there was one - there is a plan in there of a "G.W.R. Standard Timber Halt".

It's plate 273, and it is the official Works drawing. That shows 1 in 10 :-)

It also describes platforms as being 150 to 250 feet long, and a minimum of 7 feet wide.

HTH,
Flymo
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David B
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby David B » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:05 pm

Thank you, Paul. Vaughan's book is my source, but a ramp of 40' a) doesn't fit with the images and b) surely can't be about 30% of the (minimum) platform length (and there is a ramp at each end!).

This is why I am questioning the 1 in 10.

David

David Bigcheeseplant
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby David Bigcheeseplant » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:15 pm

1 in 8 is what I worked it out to be, looks right too.

David

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Russ Elliott
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby Russ Elliott » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:25 pm

I don't have my Vaughan's GWR Architecture to hand to check, but if Paul says the drawing says 1:10, then that's the official figure. I'm wondering if the visual discrepancy David is reporting relates to the platform height above rail level, which is officially 3' (although I do wonder how many old GWR halts, some of which might predate the official drawing, were actually quite that high).

A later standard minimum slope for platform ramps was 1:8.

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Tim V
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby Tim V » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:24 pm

I measured up Whitchurch Halt, shortly before it was filled in. The halt was built in the 20s, but the platform had been rebuilt by BRWR in the 50s.

Slope was 1:6.8 at one end, 1:8.3 at the other.

So the platform was 150' long, with a slope at one end of 21', and the other of 33'. How do I know? I counted the platform slabs!
Tim V

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David B
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby David B » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:13 pm

Tim V wrote:

So the platform was 150' long, with a slope at one end of 21', and the other of 33'. How do I know? I counted the platform slabs!


That sounds quite conclusive, Tim. Thank you.

It is certainly very different to the 1 in 10 given on the drawing in Vaughan and fits the photographic evidence rather better. I shall go with that!

Russ Elliott wrote:

I'm wondering if the visual discrepancy David is reporting relates to the platform height above rail level, which is officially 3' (although I do wonder how many old GWR halts, some of which might predate the official drawing, were actually quite that high).


You're quite right, Russ. The platform height in the diagram in Vaughan gives the platform height as 3' above rail height, but the ramp goes down to ground level which is a further foot which is where I get the 4' from. The dimensions on the diagram for the timber work also add up to 4' from ground to platform surface.

Thank you to all who have contributed.

David

Philip Hall
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby Philip Hall » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:38 pm

Apologies to David for hijacking his thread (but only in a small way)....

I always thought that platforms 'had' to have a ramp at each end. I know there were exceptions, such as where a platform abutted a bridge parapet (eg Kingston, Surrey), but recently the platforms at Staines have been extended and seem to have no ramps, although otherwise appearing to be finished. It maybe that they've added ramps in the last week or so, but if not, does anyone know whether this requirement has been dispensed with?

Philip

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:52 pm

but if not, does anyone know whether this requirement has been dispensed with?

It has, in effect the new regulations require a risk based approach to everything and the former Board of Trade/HMRI requirements are just available as a guide to things you might consider in your safety case.
Ramps have as many hazards as benefits if not more, so are not often provided in new installations.
Regards
Keith

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Flymo748
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby Flymo748 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 am

grovenor-2685 wrote:
but if not, does anyone know whether this requirement has been dispensed with?

It has, in effect the new regulations require a risk based approach to everything and the former Board of Trade/HMRI requirements are just available as a guide to things you might consider in your safety case.
Ramps have as many hazards as benefits if not more, so are not often provided in new installations.

There has been much frothing on the Great Eastern Railway Society email group about the new platforms installed a couple of months ago at Cambridge.

These apparently (we drove past the station on Saturday after shopping, although I wasn't tempted to stop the car and check) don't have ramps. There are certain aged people in the GERS that are complaining that it is the end of Civilisation As We Know it as the station staff will be unable to take platform trolleys from one platform to the other.

The fact that Cambridge neither has spare staff to do parcels, etc, work, nor any station trolleys doesn't really seem relevant to them if it gives them a chance to moan about the state of the world today.

The same people were complaining about the lack of trains through the station until Allan Sibley pointed out that there were about twice as many passenger trains serving the station as in the sixties. Ah, came the reply. We were complaining about the lack of light engine movements...

<sigh> Most of the time I wonder why I bother subscribing. It's only because a couple of times a year a nugget of information about the "proper" GER comes to light...

Sorry for the minor rant. The GER egroup does make me smile, and the GERS Journal is truly excellent.
Flymo
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martin goodall
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby martin goodall » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:15 pm

I have just taken a quick look at the MoT Construction Requirements (1950).

This publication states that platforms should terminate in a ramp, not steps, but specifies no gradient.

The recommended platform height is 3'0" above rail level, with a minimum of 2'9".

An important point to remember is that these requirements applied only to new works. There were numerous examples of earlier railway structures which did not conform to these standards.

On the GWR, platform height seems usually to have been 2'9", but sometimes 2'6" above rail height. The drawings mentioned previously should be a reasonably good guide to the appropriate dimensions and ramp gradient.

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John McAleely
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby John McAleely » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:11 pm

Flymo748 wrote:These apparently (we drove past the station on Saturday after shopping, although I wasn't tempted to stop the car and check) don't have ramps.


I travel from them whenever we convene as CHEAG, and I can confirm they have no ramps, indeed they have a fence across the end. There is a small gate at the south end (not checked the north) with steps down to the cess path.

I've filed it away as a bit of atmosphere to use on a future layout, as a way of dating the scene without the trains present. Does anyone know when this trend started?

allanferguson
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby allanferguson » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:45 pm

John McAleely wrote: Does anyone know when this trend started?


Inverkeithing J37.jpg


Not a particularly pretty picture (but atmospheric). The location is Inverkeithing, the date (I think) 1962, and note the steps at the end of the up platform. I vaguely recall a water column at the bottom of these steps at an earlier date.

Allan F

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Jim Summers
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby Jim Summers » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:32 pm

Martin is of course right to go to the official "Blue Book" of Requirements, and Keith is right to say that nowadays risk management principles are leading to fences and cattle grids (!) at the ends of platforms.

Platform ramps had a role in the days of barrow crossings, but the modern railway doesn't like them either. The ramp was also supposed to indicate to a passenger that he was wandering where he shouldn't.

However, to settle the slope argument in terms of relatively recent requirments, the Railway Safety Principles and Guidance Part 2 Section B Guidance on Stations, published by the HSE in 1996, stated " . . . All platforms should slope away from the adjacent track, have an anti-slip surface and be terminated with ramps at a gradient not steeper than 1 in 8. Platform ramps should be not less than 2000 mm wide".

I do hope though that we are not all going to study every platform end on the layouts at Scalefour North in a few weeks (none too subtle plug for that most agreable gathering).

Jim

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Captain Kernow
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby Captain Kernow » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:33 pm

Re the modern trend away from ramps, here is a photo of the new Up platform under construction at Honeybourne last August, during the Cotswolds (OWW) Redoubling Project:

IMG_1892.JPG
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Tim M
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Captain Kernow
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby Captain Kernow » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:26 am

And here's a much older platform, showing what seems to be quite a steep ramp - I will try to measure it next time I am there, although I didn't take this particular photo. The location is Crediton, looking at the Exeter-end ramp of the Down platform:

Crediton ramp.JPG
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Captain Kernow
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Re: Platform ramps

Postby Captain Kernow » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:19 pm

A couple more platform ramps - these are both at Totnes:

DSC03584.jpg
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DSC03585.jpg
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