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Bluebell Matters

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Jamessquared, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Latest p/way update and photos on the work at Horsted Keynes, where things have moved on to replacing the track through Platform 2, with the same issues of minimal headroom over the subway as before.

    http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/whats_new.html For 27 March

    Tom
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Also from Facebook (no login needed) - Sunday's chariot for me :) This was a combined Golden Arrow lunchtime and Wealden Rambler Mothering Sunday service, and the general feeling is that it is thus far probably the longest train we have run into East Grinstead platform, though not for long - the Flying Scotsman trains will be half a carriage longer still. Caused a degree of interesting shunting with the S15 at each end of the day to make up and then break up the set.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10211194920416100&set=o.37982240966&type=3&theater

    Tom
     
  3. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Member

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    You're going to have a longer train at EG before Scotsman, the 12 coach train at the Diesel Gala this weekend.
     
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  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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  5. Nimbus

    Nimbus New Member

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    A picture taken yesterday showing the track through platform 3 (nearest) open to traffic and work progressing well on platform 2's track between the diesel trains. The pipe to the water columns is very visible between the new concrete slabs. Looks like it will all be ready when a certain big green locomotive visits in a couple of weeks time. OI000762.jpg
     
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  6. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    I would have thought that a heritage railway would at least use heritage looking timber sleepers in it's station areas.
    Even us at the NYMR try and do that. To the extent of using black ferrules in case there are complaints about the use of yellow ones.
     
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  7. burmister

    burmister New Member

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    Sheffield Park was taken over with almost new clean concrete sleepers and clean ballast in 1960. Over the years it degenerated into a gooey sticky black pad from bearing oil drips, coal dust and toilet effluent residue. I suspect HK is now more prototypical to BR(S) appearance than it has been for several decades under BB ownership in spite of what the paint frothing so called rivet counter moaners complain about. Chichester has similar subway with a metal lid and I dare say their are many others across the south of England.

    Brian
     
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  8. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    If the sleepers were in place back then and no need to renew them, then carry on doing the good job you do.

    At Pickering we needed to renew Br 7 under the platforms and this needed a slab deck with new FB113A rail resin bonded into it.
    But we still retained BH Timber all around it although the rail was brand new at installation date.

    Any frost precautions for the exposed length of pipe?

    There are shallow depth culverts, subways all over the country of a similar nature.
     
  9. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    Not necessary at this stage - the watering facilities (i.e. the tank that supplies the pipe and the platform mounted cranes) was removed way back in the 1930s due to the well supplying it drying up following the sinking of a new borehole by the water board to feed into their supply network.

    At some stage it is the Bluebell's intention to rectify this but with many more pressing calls on finance, the platform cranes will remain decorative ornaments for a while yet.
     
  10. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    while I don't know the specifics it may all come down to cost.

    It's worth remembering that the Bluebell has been struggling of late with the condition of its track - in short most of the track between Horsted and Sheffield park is well and truly life expired causing signifficant issues with tyre wear issues etc on the loco and carriage fleet. While some renewals have taken place, IIRC well over half the distance has yet to be tackled. As such the railway cannot afford to be too picky about what it uses in renewal work given the volume of work that needs to be tackled over the next 5 years.
     
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  11. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    That is as I understood. You can see why I am a bit underwhelmed by extensioin projects and machinery with 21 ton axle loads.

    PH
     
  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Operationally, I think the priority for restoring the water supply at HK is lower than a low thing at the bottom of a very deep well.

    Currently, there is a water supply at all four stations, though at HK it is in the down yard, so requires uncoupling the engine to access - possible in an emergency or for a loco based all day at HK, but not generally used in service. At Kingscote (which never originally had a supply), there is a water supply from an old tanker wagon and electric pump that again can be used in an emergency, though the preference is not to use it if possible, since it has a bit of a tendency to cause engines to prime if over used. The supplies at SP and EG can be easily accessed during run rounds.

    In normal service and when steam heating, locos use about twice as much in the up direction as the down. In the case of the H class with a four coach load, that works out at about 600 gallons up and 300 back, or thereabouts, against a 1200 gallon capacity. For a P tank on a two coach load, it works out at about 250 - 300 gallons up and about 125 - 150 back, against a 550 gallon capacity. Thus in both cases, it is possible to do the round trip without taking water at EG, though most crews on small tank engines prefer to do so in order to reduce any anxiety about running low were there to be an unexpected delay on the return trip. Our timetables are written on the assumption that water will be taken at EG, i.e. there is sufficient time allowed for that during the run round, which is always about 15 minutes or longer. Larger locos have no issue with capacity and rarely if ever take water at EG.

    I can't see that requirement for water at HK changing unless we ever ran to Ardingly Haywards Heath and did it with a "branch" service based for the majority of the day at Horsted, remote from Sheffield Park. Which is equivalent to saying, I can't see that requirement for water at HK changing. The complexity and expense of putting in a water supply would be considerable - not the least requiring considerable structural renovation of the pump house and provision of a new tank, which then just leaves the question of where exactly any water would come from ...

    Tom
     
  13. fisher

    fisher New Member

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    Tom

    Irrespective of the operational requments for water, there is a strong argument that the pump house needs restoration for aesthetic reason. It is a mess at the moment and to the detriment of the listed status of Horsted Keynes. While there are priorities for the railway in advance of this, a clear plan for the pump house, including the recreation of the water tank, really needs to be developed.
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yes, agreed - we don't need it operationally, but for heritage reasons we should restore it.

    Tom
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    From the e-Newsletter:

    Keeping the Show on the Road

    Personally, I find that the level of craftsmanship deployed everyday in the C&W Department is truly inspiring. This craftsmanship is reflected in the range of carriages--from the Victorian age, the 1920's opulence of the Pullmans, and through to the BR steam era--that ply their trade up and down our Railway.

    We put on a unique and historical show, and the fleet now comprises in excess of 30 carriages. What an achievement by all concerned--volunteer and paid staff alike, and restorations have been a significant contributor in getting us to this point. This diverse show of carriages is an essential part of what attracts customers to our Railway, and it is vital to our future that we keep this show on the road.

    So what needs to be done to keep the show on the road? On a continuous basis, each of our carriages will need a 30-year overhaul (upstairs and downstairs), a 15-year overhaul (mostly downstairs), and a seven-and-a-half yearly door and lock attention, plus routine maintenance.

    With the number of vehicles in traffic, this schedule will need us to undertake around one 30-year overhaul, one 15-year overhaul, and two door attentions each year, plus maintenance. This is a mammoth task that we currently are not well placed to achieve.

    So how will we attend to this "steady state" work load? Building on the good work done to date, we need to organise ourselves in a way that approaches some form of conveyer belt system, with material ordered and bogies, dynamos, brake cylinders, and brake gear etc. overhauled, where possible, in advance of a vehicle stopping.

    Of course, this work must be done without losing the individual flair and craftsmanship that is a vital part of the art form we put on show. In terms of facilities, the OP4 Project has given us a second jacking pad, and it will soon deliver a hard standing and tramway on which to progress bogie overhauls.

    In addition we plan to acquire a water medium grit blaster that will save much of the current hard endurance associated with needle gunning and make us significantly more productive. Some more crane capacity to move bogies about will hopefully be the icing on the cake when funds permit.

    In terms of organisation, we are looking to expand the numbers and skill base of our merry work teams. The aspiration is to develop skills and to match planned work to skill sets accordingly. We intend to have defined skills on a matrix linked to people's attributes, thereby helping us plan work to match the teams of people available.

    We are working up procedures that clearly specify all the work needing to be done, breaking it down into work packages that match various skill sets. We hope this "work package" approach will greatly enhance the feeling of a worthwhile job well done in all participants.

    All these plans are not intended to preclude restoration projects, which will of course continue to enhance our show. However, keeping the show on the road via the delivery of such projects would require the completion of around two restorations per year to match those vehicles coming out of service for overhaul, and that would be a big ask indeed, even if it were desirable.

    If you are interested in getting your name on the C&W Department skills matrix and in helping to keep the show on the road, contact me at blackbeard6557@gmail.com. I will be very pleased to hear from you.

    By Bob Pamment, Director, Carriage & Wagon Department
     
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  16. Keelar001

    Keelar001 Member

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    Two hours left on the JustGiving appeal for 3417.

    If there are any of you who support the Bluebell, putting your money towards the restoration of a unique item of rolling stock would be hugely appreciated.
    https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/4VEP3417
     
  17. pete12000

    pete12000 Active Member

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    Is there any information available for the Branch Line Weekend yet?

    I'm planning to visit, but there's not much info on the Bluebell website, I don't seem to be able to buy a ticket either...
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Coal Tank is still due to visit, along with the SE&CR locos. I haven't seen a lot else - there were some draft timetables, but TBH, I think most management effort is directed towards the visit of Flying Scotsman; I imagine news will ramp up after that.

    Tom
     
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  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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  20. JohnElliott

    JohnElliott New Member

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    Not until Platform 2 gets its live rail back...
     

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