Unfortunately we have to report that we have been advised by Network Rail today that it is highly likely that the Swindon Area Signalling Renewal, and associated decommissioning of Swindon Panel, will be deferred for a third time.
It is not yet clear when the work would be deferred until, this is something that Network Rail will no doubt need to work out. We will report further details as soon as we know them and report as soon as we can on how this affects our plans and expectations for the future.
As you’ll be aware the building at DRC (on which the foundations were completed this week and brick-laying is soon due to commence) is only planned for completion by the end of this year, so provided the delay to the closure of the panel is not too great it should not significantly affect our planned development at Didcot. As we have said before, and seem to now be saying with disappointing regularity, delays to the panel arriving in Didcot are a benefit in that they reduce the burden of finding somewhere to securely store it until the building is ready to receive it.
Huge apologies to anyone messed about by this news, we hope you understand the circumstances that until the day we take hold of the panel we will be governed by Network Rail’s much higher level plans.
Sincere apologies to those who had agreed to give up their time for the panel recovery programme which will clearly now not take place. If you have arranged time off work that can’t be undone please let us know, there are always other tasks in progress and we will make sure you’re gainfully employed.
We understand the news is not what anyone wanted to hear, but while we are frustrated by the delay in obtaining the panel for preservation, we ask all members of the Society and the Swindon Panel family to remember that the staff of Swindon Panel and TVSC are affected in a way far more disruptive to their own lives and careers and we should treat this situation with the sensitivity the circumstances require.
We intend to still hold our AGM on 27 June, and intend to include a members’ BBQ as well (location TBC but most likely at DRC). In the more immediate future, to help you get your Swindon Panel fix, we will have our exhibition stand at the Railcar Day at Didcot on 18th April, so do come and get involved in helping us with that as well if you can. We look forward to seeing you at DRC soon!
Danny, Tom, Tim, Brian, James.