Track Watch 2013 – Groby Road / Fosse Road Junction

15 Jul

Thanks to a tip off from a friendly bus driver: this week has revealed a small part of the tramway junction on the A50 Groby Road where it joins with Blackbird Road and Fosse Road North adjacent to the old Tram Shelter.

I’m not sure of the work being carried out but several sections of rail have been removed to allow for the works.

During the heyday of the tram network this junction was a hive of tramway activity with double tracks heading from the Groby Road Terminus on the A50 into Town over Frog Island. The reserved tracks from Blackbird Road joined at this point and also tracks from the Fosse Road/Hinckley Road route merged here too.

With Blackbird Road over your right shoulder and Frog Island/Woodgate over your left this is the view of some recently unearthed rail sections following excavation work in the road. The original tram shelter can be seen in the distance.

This view is taken looking in the direction of Frog Island. If you click on the image to emlarge it you can see that the rail stubs are at angles - meaning this is the closest we have come yet to unearthing a set of points or a junction! The pointwork must be under my feet when I took this shot!

The same hole but this time with my back to Fosse Road North. You can see that to the left there should be a set of points.

Don’t forget that Track Watch 2013 only works well if we all keep our eyes peeled. If you see roadworks on the old tram network and it is safe to do so, have a peek as you pass by and see if you can see any tramway evidence. Or if you suspect that tramway evidence is there but it isn’t safe to have a look don’t worry – Just drop me an email  – the link is on the homepage. I’m always happy to don my high-vis vest and have a chat with the site workers. 99% of the people I have met doing this photo survey have been really helpful and keen for me to record the scene. Quite often I take the pictures in the evening when the work has finished for the day and the traffic has calmed down.

Keep in touch and keep ’em peeled!

2 thoughts on “Track Watch 2013 – Groby Road / Fosse Road Junction

  1. Hi Rob, Thanks for your comments and link to Electric Edwardians.
    We’ve had a few questions about what happens to the old rails that are pulled out. Sadly the quick answer is that 99% of the time they are weighed in as scrap, providing bonus money for the workers. We have an excellent relationship with the the City Council and so if something really exciting like a full set of points or a junction is uncovered then we (and our friends at the Leicester Transport Heritage Trust) are in a good position to ask if the Council could donate it as an object of Leicester transport heritage. The City Council did donate a 12ft length of track and cobbled setts last year from the London Road digs and this is now in storage at the LTHT’s collection store pending further developments at Stoneygate. I always fancied slicing a scrap section into paperweights and selling them as novelties to raise money for Car 31 but the simple reality is that slicing thin lengths as paperweights costs so much to do (the rails are hardened steel that has been compressed under road surfacing for 63 years) that it is just too expensive. Workmen curse having to cut through the rails as its impossible to do quickly and neatly. Quite often work is carried out without disturbing the rails – see August 11th post RE: Aylestone Road. Thanks for your interest. Steve.

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