The bridge continues to be non-operational for leisure traffic due to the failure of Network Rail to replace the ancient motors. A temporary generator is only being used to lift for commercial traffic. Network Rail have told the MSBA that Kingsferry Bridge may not be fully operational until 25 April or potentially the middle of May.
Please advise Peter Norris (firstname.lastname@example.org), of any rallies or events that are scheduled to take place between now and the end of May, which require passage through Kingsferry bridge, as he is working with Network Rail to find a solution so that the bridge can be navigated at weekends and Bank Holidays.
Network Rail have told us that, while work is being carried out to reinstate the power at Kingsferry Bridge, the bridge can only be lifted when there is a fitter on site, which is usually from 6am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Outside these hours, leisure craft will only be allowed through with commercial vessels. Because of the compromised state of the equipment at the bridge, the risk of failure is higher than normal. Failure would result in the closure of the bridge to trains, road vehicles and prevent it being lifted. If a fitter is on site, it can be reinstated quicker than if an on-call fitter must be called in.
Effectively then, Kingsferry Bridge will be out of action for the next three weekends and only available from 06:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday.
Following a recent report of the bridge operator refusing to lift for a yacht returning from Conyer to the Medway, the MSBA has sought clarification from Peel Ports. The bridge still has a problem with the main switch gear requiring a generator to be stationed on the A249 to enable lifts. Railtrack say they are “working hard” to source new parts to fix it, which is proving difficult. They have reduced the number of lifts to a minimum and are only allowing yachts through when there are shipping movements. We are told that commercial shipping takes priority.
UPDATE 6.2.2020: Network Rail expect to have the replacement switch gear in place within six weeks, possibly even sooner, so the emergency generator will no longer be needed. In the meantime boaters should check with the bridge operator on VHF channel 10, or Medway VTS on Channel 74, when the next bridge lift is expected to take place.
Derek Meadows has sent us this photo of what remains of the notorious “pirate ship” Revenge, which mysteriously burnt after coming adrift in Faversham Creek. The steel structure is only held on by the stern. Derek fears that the wreck may topple and block the narrow navigable channel. He has contacted Peel Ports with his concerns but not yet had a reply.
Queenborough Harbour Trust has a vacancy for a Level 2 Marina & Boat Operative Apprenticeship. Applicants need to be 18-21 years old, courteous with good Maths and English GCSEs.
This is an exciting opportunity to acquire the necessary experience and recognised qualifications for a career afloat with an emphasis upon the maritime leisure industry. The job entails water services for harbour operations, on the job learning and off site training courses, variable shift to cover harbour operations from 0900 to 2200 hrs during peak season and 0900 to 1800 hrs out of season, 9 hours per day. At peak times there may be additional periods to cover for leave and sickness as required. For more information download the job description below or email email@example.com
After years of campaigning, the swing bridge at Faversham has been lifted for inspection of the mechanism. If all goes well this should lead to the basin being usable again for barges and water activities.
The MSBA has published a third edition of the Medway and Swale Visitor Charts. This time Gavin had the brainwave of including visitor moorings, slipways and fuel berths in addition to general updating.
What’s more, Peel Ports London Medway (yes really) have just published Official 2020 Tide Tables for Sheerness and Chatham. Print them off and don’t forget to add an hour for BST come next summer.
Network Rail have informed Peel Ports Medway that, due to essential maintenance, the Kingsferry Bridge will be inoperative and unable to be lifted on the following dates and times: 21:00 07/10/19 – 00:30 08/10/19 • 21:00 08/10/19 – 00:30 09/10/19 • 21:00 09/10/19 – 00:30 10/10/19 • 21:00 21/10/19 – 00:30 22/10/19 • 21:00 22/10/19 – 00:30 23/10/19 • 21:00 23/10/19 – 00:30 24/10/19. Admiralty Chart Numbers 2482 & 2572 refer. Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74, call sign “Medway VTS” or telephone 0151 949 6148 or 0151 949 6650
DUNCAN WELLS, author of the highly-regarded “Stress Free” series of instructional books and DVDs on sailing, motor boating and navigation, will be guest speaker at Hollowshore Cruising Club, Faversham, on Saturday October 19 at 7pm. There is no entry charge, and visitors are welcome. He has a wealth of experience as an RYA instructor and skipper, and as Principal of Westview Sailing School, which produces the Westview Sailing RYA shore-based Day Skipper and Yachtmaster video tutorials used by RYA students. His presentation will include “robust” techniques for casting off and coming alongside from the cockpit. Hollowshore CC’s clubhouse is at Youngboats Yard, Oare Road, Faversham ME13 7TX.