Rafael, our glorious leader, has written a report (15th February 2022), a shortened translation of which is posted here:
RESTAURA, GESTIÓN MUSEÍSTICA Y RESTAURACIÓN SIGLO XXI
1st) Railway project compatible with the Almanzora Green Lane Project
2nd) Report of the project (previously reported) of the resoration of the automotor (self-propelled coach) 596-004 built in 1996 and the restaurant coach R-9518 of the automotor train FIAT (TAF) built in 1952Author:
C/ Mirador de la Sierra, 3
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
SPECIALISTS IN SCIENTIFIC, TECHNOLOGICAL AND INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE SINCE 2006.
The Green Lane Project is intended to be a unifying force based on the old route of the Almanzora railway. The idea of the use of this lane for cyclists and walkers has an undoubtable ecological value and re-use of the land, but we understand that this stretch has a series of values of industrial railway heritage which is not enjoyed in its totality and that these can be put into use without modifying the principal project, amplifying the benefits of the Green Lane and, additionally, improving access to it thus making it accessible to all persons independent of age and physical ability.
In this way, an addition of a stretch of railway line in place, where the track is level throughout, by placing double UPN with a rubber insert between the two profiles, it will be possible for the passage of bicycles and/or walkers without any obstacle, and will also permit the use of small low velocity electric vehicles with flanged wheels, with zero emission charging points in various buildings and stations along the Green Lanes, allowing the use of the lanes by the elderly, disabled, families with young children etc., as well as the occasional historic train in conditions of maximal security and the presence of personnel, at 5km/hr, satisfying the growing use of the same and collaborating with the huge railway heritage which will be conserved.
The fact is that this conservation gives opportunities, additionally, to a new niche of training and employment, actually now non-existent, which will surely constitute an enormous attraction for visitors to the Green Lane and the stations, to the maintenance workshops, restoration of rolling stock, and the museums based on the exhibition of railway rolling stock and related items (signals, uniforms, merchandising etc.) being a source of income complementing the preventative maintenance and repairs that the Green Route will require for adequate and safe use.
There is a third factor of interest which is that this type of track responds to an old desire of the local population, 35 years after the closure of the line, through their memories, require the re-opening of the line to their towns and we firmly believe that this return in the form of an historic train will satisfy these desires, even though it will only be a partial return having been adapted to the circumstances which require a cutural development and the promotion of tourism. This promotion would not be viable on a public rail system due to the lack of technical and geological experts required for a stretch designed in the nineteenth century.
An additional advantage to this Green Lane is the perceptible difference in texture of the track and the material of the Green Lane, and that there are no obstacles, people with reduced vision would be able, with a stick, to navigate these lanes which normally limit access to these people.
In this way, one can say that this type of green lane gives universal access to all types of person, without limitations of age or disability.
Green Lane Model with track in place
As we have commented previously, we have designed a railway based on a normalized profile of UPN 100 steel, with double rails and with metal sleepers of the same width (1.578mm) whereby the rails will be bolted directly to the sleepers and will be separated by a strip of elastomer to prevent electrostatic corrosion. The 12mm bolts will be of galvanized steel and will have asymmetric washers to compensate for the inclination, in all moving parts.
The track will be manufactured in a workshop and will be of 6 metres in length for the straight sections, being machined and fixed for curves of over 5o.
The joints will be steel fishplates which will link the track by use of steel bolts, all of which will be of the same quality as described, and the joint will be above a sleeper of higher quality than the others previously described.
Once the intallation of the track is complete, the levelling of the Green Lane will commence so that the material comes up to the same level as the top of the track. Various materials can be used to level the green lane, from flexible mortar to compacted aggregate according to the quoted availability. The objective is that the material is compacted, resistent to cyclists and walkers and meteorological inclemencies, thus reducing mainenance.
In this way, we obtain a compressed base, much lighter and less expensive than reinforced concrete and which can be laid much more quickly and easily removed should circumstances so require.
The track will be sufficient to bear the weight of railway vehicles of less than 14 metric tonnes per axle.It is foreseen that a strip of rubber measuring 40mm x 100mm will be inserted along most of the track between the double rails to keep the track free of dust, dirt, stones etc. which can prejudice the traffic of historic rolling stock and light electric vehicles specially designed for visitors to the green lane, as well as effecting a levelling of the whole area of the lane for the convenience of cyclists and walkers without occasioning any accident of difficulty in its use.
Being a green route for the use of everybody, the movement of historic rolling stock on the same requires some strict conditions so as to guarantee the safety of the rolling stock, cyclists, walkers and other users.
To this end, referring to the rules for historic railway vehicles, the Agrupación de los Ferrocarriles Históricos Españoles, regulations will be scrupulously followed.
This is an extract of some of the principal regulations for the use of tracks whereby a variety of types of user combine:
- All moving vehicles will carry a maintenance book on the day, with records of programmed maintenance, and signed by the authorized technician.
- When there is mixed use of a track, all movements of rolling stock will be announced and notices will be posted in all points of access of the track.
- An inspection vehicle will be despatched the day before the passage of the train so as to check the condition of the track and on the day of the journey, 2 hours before departure, ensuring that all other users are aware of the journey, and checking that all notices are still in place.
- Every 200 metres of track there will be constructed halts for visitors to alight and take photographs of historic rolling stock when rolling. These halts will be physically separated from the track by means of wooden barriers, as dictated by the regulations of La Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles and by the Junta de Andalucía.
The stretch "Rambla de los Canales - Estación de Zurgena" is 1,308 metres long between the start of the main line at the eastern end of Zurgena station and the end of the stretch where it joins the A-1101.
At this point, it is necessary to install a rail triangle which will have to be installed at ths side of said A-1101 with the purpose of turning the locomotive when it is pulling passenger coaches. This will have the requisite points and a total length in its three sections of 230 metres (see below):
The section will start in Zurgena station, where, according to the project provided to Zurgena town hall, part of the tracks will be exposed maintining the use of the area for pedestrians.
In this way, one can consider the use again of the turntable, the workshop, and the restauration workshop.
The cost of construction of The Green Route should be calculated in different sections.
The cost of the track, mounted on steel sleepers is 110 euro per metre, excluding costs of personnel, hiring of machinery, taxes etc.
The cost of the three points for the rail triangle, manufactured in a workshop and installation is 1,200 euros each, excluding remote controller.
It remains to be calculated the costs of signalling.Thus, the cost of the section is as follows:
|Track||1,308 x 250||327,000|
|Points||1,200 x 3||3,600|
|Total (excl. taxes etc.)||330,600|
Additionally, the construction of a solar power system for the station is being calculated. This should, in summer, allow for the track to be illuminated at night for walkers and cyclists.
This report has been submitted to the Mancomunidad de Municipios del Valle del Almanzora for it to be presented to the technical office of the Ministerio de Agricultura, which is responsible for the Green Lane project, and which has last month (January 2022) emitted a statement favourable to the design and has considered it compatible with a green route and thus delegating the establishment of protocols for the use of the route, and possible agreements required for its use to the mancomunidad.
News about the museum:
Some sad news - the line from Águilas to Lorca is closed indefinitely. In addition, the beautifully built Águilas workshops from 1888 will be demolished.
Mike Woolnough has kindly posted two articles in Almería Living magazine:
This artice is from the Costa News 26th December 2021:
An article from Visit Andalucia:
Check out this website regularly as it will be continuously updated.