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60009 - West Somerset Steam Express 19/08/17

Discussion in 'What's Going on' started by IamDaniel, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. IamDaniel

    IamDaniel New Member

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    Timings are out for next weekend's train too. I'm booked on it, so I'm relived that (a) Union of South Africa is due to haul it and (b) it is going back to Paddington instead of stopping at Slough.

    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/U50602/2017/08/19/advanced

    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/U50613/2017/08/19/advanced

    I see there's a path back to Southall shortly after the train departs - anyone know what this is for? Just phoned RTC - as the ticket email said we're stopping at Slough on the way back, which I correctly assumed was a typo - and the person at the end of the line seemed to think there'll be a box on the back. Hopefully RTC's wrong on that front.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  2. fb1969

    fb1969 New Member

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    Also booked on this. Shame there is less time in Minehead, but if the times for this trip were the same as for 12 Aug I probably wouldn't be able to be on it at all.
     
  3. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Active Member Friend

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    That's the normal path for the diesel that brought the stock in to return LE to Southall.
     
  4. IamDaniel

    IamDaniel New Member

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    Forgive my ignorance then, but wouldn't that diesel stay on the back of the train to BL, therefore not needing that path?
     
  5. Will RL

    Will RL New Member

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    There's no need for a diesel on the back. Diesels are usually needed for assistance if needed on heavily graded routes where the loads are exceptional, for train heating or turning/operational reasons at destinations. Along this route the GWR is fairly level or at least including manageable gradients for a class 8 with the expected load. It's summer so hopefully train heating will not be needed. And finally on the WSR there is a triangle at Norton for the A4 and a turntable at Minehead for West Somerset steam.

    There are of course other reasons why diesels may make an appearance but non that should be needed for this run.
     
  6. gwr4090

    gwr4090 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  7. IamDaniel

    IamDaniel New Member

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    Sorry gents - I misread the post that quoted me in the first place. I assumed/hoped there wouldn't be a diesel on the back; these hopes were raised further when I saw the RTT path to Southall. :)
     
  8. IamDaniel

    IamDaniel New Member

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    UKSteam suggests there'll be a box between BL/Minehead both ways due to the air-braked stock.
     
  9. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    I sense a 'Catch 22' situation here.

    If the train is air braked then the need for an accompanying diesel disappears (apart from any turning/shunt requirements). But that means it has to be diesel on the WSR. If the train is vacuum braked then that increases the possibility of needing a diesel but at least the WSR can provide steam to Minehead. If the train has dual braked stock then that is ideal and you get the best of both worlds.

    I sense that stock availability may be a possible problem here but it is an issue for when any steam charter visits a (vacuum braked) heritage railway.
     
  10. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Active Member

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    It's also a problem for the WSR at the moment - steam locos seem to be failing fairly frequently. This coming weekend there are not enough serviceable steam engines to cover all diagrams, including the charter, so it's a case of diesel haulage for at least one of the diagrams. I presume it's a case of playing it safe and allocating the diesel to the incoming charter just in case it's air-braked again. However, next year air-braked trains will be able to be steam-hauled as USATC S160 2-8-0 no 6046 will be spending the whole year on the line, and is, of course, dual-braked!
     
  11. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture

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    A bonus for some tomorrow. I understand that the class 52 Western will haul the charter train from BL to Minehead and return.

    The class 47 will be used to haul a service train. < BJ>
     
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  12. IamDaniel

    IamDaniel New Member

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    Oooh, I'll take that over a 47!
     
  13. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    I believe another issue tomorrow is that the path back on NR is earlier. This causes earlier departure from Minehead and only about 15 minutes for a loco change at BL or NF (wherever they choose to do it). Not really long enough for loco swop, change type of brake on all the coaches, brake test and go.
    Not sure why times are earlier but it does go back to Paddington this week so may be there is a possession later on due to Crossrail works.
     
  14. IamDaniel

    IamDaniel New Member

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    We're going back via Didcot because of gauging issue at Thatcham.
     
  15. Dobbs0054

    Dobbs0054 Active Member

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    A pleasing solution!
     
  16. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    It went back via Melksham last week as well, and we did have a very rare blast through the centre road at Swindon as a benefit, despite the path being shown as through the platform.
    The Class 52 will be a definite improvement over the Class 47 for the WSR portion.
    This is normally a very good day out with normally no diesel assistance on the mainline, and normally a WSR steam loco as well. Of course this years circumstances have impacted on the WSR portion, but No 9 ran very well last week and all the passengers seemed to have a good day, other than perhaps the two who were left at Frome despite the whistling up and steward calls (they were still taking pictures of the loco) and had to get a cab to Minehead. Their wives and mobile phones were still on the train I understand, I expect they had their "thinking readjusted" later in the day by their better half's.
     
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  17. gricerdon

    gricerdon Active Member

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    On 17th June we left Minehead early and it the worked OK
     
  18. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    But on June 17th gricerdon I believe you were scheduled to leave Minehead after the last WSR service train as the WSE normally does scheduled at 1715. I doubt if you left 55 minutes early did you? Tomorrow they are due to leave at 1620 and I assume the WSR must be retiming the last service train from BL, otherwise there is no where to allow them to cross and still reach BL in sufficient time to make an 1800 departure. Whilst the WSR are always very accommodating to railtours they must actually be quite a nuisance. Last week they had to retime the 1430 ex Minehead to 1445 and presumably will have to tomorrow as well. So potentially that is two trains retimed and I suspect they would like the tour out of BL before the 1645 from Minehead arrives at 1805.
     
  19. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Active Member

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    You are quite right about the retimings. All the afternoon services have been retimed to be 10 - 15 minutes later either throughout or at points of their journey. The 1630 MD departs at 1645, the tour loco change takes place at BL and has to be gone by 1800 to allow that service to arrive.
     
  20. Peter29

    Peter29 New Member

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    WSR steam loco availability is not relevant as it happens, as the set is said to be the same as last week with an air only coach in the middle. So it has to be 1010 or 1661. Only this time there is a bit more notice than last week.....(a maybach needs preheating before starting)
     

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