Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Jamessquared, Feb 16, 2013.
Hi Tom would you know if there are any Ashford man still alive from the days of steam?
Doesn't the above fall into the "wouldn't it be nice" category?
While they're about it, would you like them to relay the rest of the line to Lewes for the weekend?
N2 1744 (4744/9523/69523) can for one. Although it was "only" built in 1921.
A photo (not mine...) of the new up starting signal at Sheffield Park.
This (and it's companion on platform 2) are 28 yards further forward than the old ones, slightly increasing flexibility for working longer trains without the train engine having to be in advance of the starter. Since the photo was taken, the new signals have been bought into use and the originals taken out of use.
Potential for 7 coach trains when 60103 visits then? Subject to suitable controls when in the platforms at Sheffield Park.
Indeed, though worth remembering that this work was planned, and commenced, before it was known that FS was visiting. The long-term aim is to extend the platforms at SP - that is not so much that we would routinely operate 7 coach trains, but rather that when running a six coach train, the loco will still be on the platform when waiting for departure, which provides better access to visitors.
As for FS - there is some possibility they might be 8 coach services, which is the longest that can be run-round at East Grinstead. I'm not an expert on the interlocking at SP, but I think that if an arriving train stops with the back of the train just inside the starter (which means that the coupling between tender and train is at the foot crossing at the south of the platform), then the calling-on signal at the north of the station can be cleared to allow the loco to run round. It would then be in advance of the starter when coupled up ready to depart, and I think at that point the home signal cannot then be cleared to allow a second arrival to come into the other platform, so running an intense service would require alternative arrangements at the home signal, for example a flagman.
The other consideration is how we load trains. With the Santa services, the normal operation is for the terminating service to arrive at platform 1; then, after the passengers have disembarked, the train shunts via the single line to platform 2, the loco runs round and the next set of passengers embark. However, that move is limited by the distance between the advance starter and the inner home to no more than 6 coaches plus engine, so wouldn't be possible with 7 or 8. I guess some other means of crowd separation will have to be enforced.
The longest train I've personally worked was in connection with a charter couple of years ago, when we set out from SP with (north to south) the S15; 7 Bluebell coaches; a mainline support coach and Braunton - equivalent length to engine + 9. It was possible, but only because SP was otherwise quiet, since it somewhat snarled up the south end of the station while awaiting departure.
Just seen the extra diesel gala in October. So is Giants of Steam cancelled? Been such a great event last 2 years surely it would be stupid to cancel it?
The Autumn Steam Gala is the weekend after the Deltic Gala.
I thought it was but I assumed that they wouldn't run it alongside the already packed calendar now
I think there might still be a degree of finalisation of events to come - remember that, in addition to the diesel weekend and the Deltic 40th gala, we are also due to pay host to "Flying Scotsman" in April; the LNWR Coal Tank in May and "City of Wells" in July, as well as "Steam through the ages" in September, so there is a lot happening for enthusiasts.
It is mentioned in the latest Bluebell News in " From the Chair " ( although no date stated ) along with the End of Southern Steam event 7th - 9th July.
Tom, any idea what "Steam though the ages" entails? I had thought it would be something along the lines of the Vintage Transport Weekend.
No - though the way this year is going, nothing much would surprise me! Maybe we'll continue the East Coast theme and get Shildon's replica of Locomotion ...
Update and a couple of photos of the track replacement work at Holywell, showing new drainage going into where the line is in a cutting.
From the e-Newsletter:
OP4 Update: Lighting the Way
The recent priority with Operation Undercover 4 (OP4) has been to provide essential facilities for the Carriage & Wagon Department so it can maintain and repair carriages safely and efficiently, particularly during winter. For instance, new LED lights have been fitted over the covered maintenance road, which provide good levels of lighting with reduced power consumption.
More recently, concreting of the maintenance road area has been undertaken. This work has included installation of new jacking pads that will facilitate the use of extra jacks purchased last year, thanks to a very generous donation.
Additionally, the new concrete surface has been installed to the north end of the new building, extending on the west side to the wall of the existing C&W works. This will facilitate the re-installation of the steam heat testing equipment, and provide not only a much safer working environment but also level space for other equipment and storage facilities.
As stated, the priority for future fundraising is for track renewal. However, a key objective for the OP4 project this year is to install the track bed and four tracks in the new storage shed so that carriages can be stored under cover before winter 2017/2018.
We can continue the project while we have funds to do so, but further donations of any size would be much welcomed and appreciated, and can be made by cheque to the Bluebell Railway Trust or online here.
By the Operation Undercover 4 Steering Group
And also from the e-newsletter:
Infrastructute Update: Right on Track
After the successful relaying of Leamland Junction, it was back to much less exciting stuff working on the drains at OP4, but then spirits lifted and Christmas came early when the first wagon load of sleepers and rail started to appear in the Salt Yard, destined for the Holywell job.
In December, most of what is needed for the job was transferred to the worksite, including the much welcome portable mess room which is "home" for the duration of the works. And so on the 4th Jan., 2013, work started in earnest, following the Monday photographic charter.
After an early road railer taxi down the line, the first job was to re-roof the Permanent Way hut, which was rather damp and would have had trouble getting a mortgage. Then we started a roaring fire for the kettle, which, although it can go on the gas ring in the mess room, is much more authentic on a fire in our heritage surroundings, particularly in January!
By the end of the day, 10 panels had been lifted and moved to the side ready to start raking the ballast and grading. The original intention was to lift out each panel in one piece, but the road railer struggled a bit, so the first six sleepers were de-keyed on each panel and then moved later, as we moved northwards.
By the end of Tuesday the following week, 10 new panels had been laid with second-hand concrete sleepers and new flat-bottomed rail. These were connected to the new formation that was laid when the repairs were made at River Slip.
For jobs like this, a general call to arms is put out and on many days as many as 12 volunteers were seen working alongside Infrastructure and L&W staff, enjoying the fresh air, plentiful tea, and bacon rolls cooked up by Barbara each lunchtime.
If you want to join the crew and lose a few of those New Year mince pie pounds, we will be happy to welcome you to the "playgroup". It's cheaper than the gym, with more joking around!
By Mike Hopps, Infrastructure Volunteer
Another update and photos on the track relaying works taking place near Holywell:
Separate names with a comma.