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SideTracked - Ashford International Mystery Cache

Hidden : 08/17/2013
4 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Cache information
To locate this cache you will need to solve and answer the questions on the bottom of this description to obtain the final co-ordinates.
NO PEN is provided - Please bring your own pen/pencil.

History of Ashford International Station
Ashford is a key central point for surrounding villages and is at the centre of five railway lines which serve:
1. Ramsgate (via Canterbury West).
2. Swanley (via Maidstone East).
3. The South Eastern Main Line.
4. The Kent Coast Line. and the
5. Marshlink Line.

With the opening of the international passenger station it is now an important European communications centre, with new lines running between London and the Channel Tunnel (via High Speed 1).

The towns connection with the railway began in 1842 with the opening of a section of the South Eastern Railways line from London to Dover, via Ashford, at this time all trains terminated here, and it was in June 1843 the line was extended to Folkestone.
In 1844 SER obtained parliamentary approval to build a line from Ashford to Margate. Soon after in the town, SER constructed a large locomotive works on a 185 acre site, which would be developed further in the years that followed.
In 1851 the Brighton Lewes & Hastings Company built a line from Lewes in Sussex that ran along the coast via Hastings, to Ashford, although it was SER which operated the line.
In 1884 the Maidstone and Ashford Railway opened a line although it was taken over by the London Chatham and Dover Railway, with the station being named Ashford West which had a small locomotive shed. The station and sheds were closed on 1st January 1899 with the merger of the SER and LC&DR.

Ashford Station c1910

In 1961, a third rail was installed, with an overhead electric system being erected above the sidings to the east of the platforms, which was deemed safer for workers when trains were marshalled in yards, compared to the exposed live rail. The full electric timetable came into use on 1962. As electrification was pushed through, the depot became home to a diminishing locomotive allocation until closing completely to steam in 1963. Despite the switch to Diesel locomotives, the depot was demolished in 1968. Ashford works, although busy, was reduced in size in 1967.

Ashford Station c1987

A new lease of life was given to Ashford, when in 1985 the Channel Tunnel Bill was created, with the town playing a key role. Ashford station was replaced with a three-storey glazed building, parallel with the original platform 1. The platforms were linked by enclosed footbridges which stretched to the new platforms 5 and 6. Platforms 3 to 6 had overhead catenary installed, whilst retaining third rail, and formal station completion came in 1995, international trains served it from 1996 onwards.

The original footbridge, ticket office and platform buildings from the early 1960s were destroyed during the rebuild of the early 1990s, although a small section of the 1960s overbridge remains but now purely as an emergency exit between the up island platform (platforms 1 and 2) and the up side car park.

Ashford Station (Recent photo)

Cache Questions
1. At the published co-ordinates you would have found a sign nearby with the following references (See update below), then substitute as follows:
Bronze = AB
Silver = CD
Gold = EF

Passing Ashford Station tonight, the sign has gone - so here is the image for the first part.
The answer to this can be found online:
2. Eve has a connection here:
Gold = G
Silver = H

The cache can be found at the following co-ordinates:
N 51 (B-D)E.(D-E-H)(G+A)(E-H)
E 000 (C+(A/A))(C+(F/D)-A).(F-C)(AxA)(G+A)

The bag in the cache container has been 'modified' to allow easy removal and replacement of the log
There is no need to remove the bag from the container, but please still take care and seal bag after use, please log a maintenance if needed. As usual please use stealth as this is a highly busy muggle area and be careful of traffic where necessary.

Please refrain from posting clues or any form of spoilers (including spoiler pictures) in your logs so others can enjoy solving and locating the cache.

Congratulations to joint team work on FTF at 10:52am on 20/08/2013 by:

BaCas, Tia67uk and TheHurks

Additional Hints (No hints available.)