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2020 Cumbrian Mountain Expresses

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by mike1522, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. henrywinskill

    henrywinskill Part of the furniture

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    Yes Steve but you should maybe keep out of the pub lol;)
     
  2. henrywinskill

    henrywinskill Part of the furniture

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    Thank you John,unfortunately proving once again that summer is the worst time to phott steam.Especially green engines!
     
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  3. sgthompson

    sgthompson Part of the furniture

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    Don’t bother as it’s dangerous you know.Forgot to add in the 1st comment it looks different mainly because I assume it’s from the crossing and not in the field behind.
     
  4. henrywinskill

    henrywinskill Part of the furniture

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    Agree about pubs,The field shot has gone,tree growth. Take care pal
     
  5. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Well-Known Member

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  6. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Well we took the chance and as Dave said, 'Those who dared won'. A truly splendid day out on the Summer Cumbrian Express. I just wish more of the 'usual suspects' had been able to risk venturing forth. I understand why it wasn't possible and hope the dreaded virus wanes and restrictions can be lifted before the October CME.

    Best run we've ever had behind 46115 so a bit longer report as there really weren't any boring bits. Bit of an edit as Joanne provided the information that Martyn Soames had in fact fired Carnforth-Carlisle-Hellifield; with Chris Holmes taking over there for the final leg to Preston. Apologies for that. Information wasn't very forthcoming on the day.

    Summer Cumbrian Mountain Express 8th August 2020 - A Timer's Tale in the Covid-19 era...

    Our last tour was the Winter CME on 29th February and we were musing how much life has changed since then thanks to the pandemic caused by a nasty little virus penned as Covid-19 that is still ripping its way through the world's population. We were seriously wondering whether there would be any more steam hauled railtours this year at all as social distancing and Mk1s, Mk2s etc. don't go together. We all have views about Saphos Trains and their no mask 'solution' but we pretty much knew that the there would be no 'mitigating' measures on the WCR set, other than limiting the number of passengers in each carriage to sort of meet the 2m separation.

    TfW is so hostile to passengers that I drove us to Crewe. We met our friend Dave who had come on the TfW Service. He told us there were only a handful of passengers on the train until Shrewsbury. We weren't surprised to find the buffet closed; but in fairness the coffee from WH Smith's machine was more than drinkable - and only £1.50. Les Ross brought the train in right time. The station staff were keen to get rid of the train as soon as possible, so I didn't have time to check the load. From the formation that came with the ticket it was going to be the usual 10+POB behind the Scot.

    We'd met David Hughes, our coach steward on the platform and had a long chat about the current situation. Doesn't look good for loadings and there seems to be a probability of more cancellations or long postponements. I hope a fair number can run and that RTC can weather the situation. There weren't that many waiting at Crewe, nor on the carriages that went past us. We were in Coach G, wrong end for Shap. Such is life. As only one of our friends could join the long suffering Mrs S and me, we had 2 tables for 4 between 3 of us so I had a table to myself to spread my timing sheets on. Nice to have the space. I'd pressed the wire top of the dreaded face mask as tightly against my nose as I could and it did minimise the number of times my specs steamed up. Slow shallow breathing helped too, but it was a very unpleasant feeling all day.

    Good running down the WCML saw us early into Preston. Not too many joiners there. Not great wearing a face mask in such heat, and with a really dry throat I decided to quaff a bottle of Lancaster Bomber. We left on time and ran to time all the way into Carnforth D&UGL. The electric came off and we felt the Scot back on in good time for our intended 1125 departure. Service trains were running pretty much on time and we heard the familiar Stanier Hooter announce our departure close to time. Les Ross, the man himself, waved us off as he stood behind his superb blue electric.

    The weather was glorious, not the norm for Lancashire, with a bright blue sky as far as the eye could see into Cumbria. Not a breath of wind in Carnforth either so a fair chance of hearing plenty of noise 9 back. A few onlookers saw us run alongside Carnforth Station and pass mp6 1/4 at a sprightly 19. As soon as we'd cleared the station area the Scot was really opened up and the Scot attacked the lower reaches of Yealand Bank at 33.5. Impressive as was the sound coming back to Coach 9. It was the first time we've travelled behind the Scot since it's overhaul and the difference in sound is very noticeable; more even suggesting a change to the valve settings. The Scot literally and noisily roared along and by half way up the 2 1/2 miles of 134r we were already up to 35.2. Better was to come and over the second half of the climb speed rose to 38.9/38.6 as the train crested the summit.

    An excellent start to the day, more like the climbs Class 8's have to offer. We'd been told the excellent Mick Kelly was our driver. Fireman was as yet unknown. Whoever he was there was no respite for him. He must have had the fire in excellent shape from the climb and it was going to be interesting to see how the run down the 3 and a bit miles of 293f and the 2 miles on the level to the base of Grayrigg Bank. Target speed is 60-65 for a good climb. Question answered almost immediately as speed rose to 56.5 at the end of the 293f; and to the accompaniment of a deafening roar, to 65.7 as we shot past mp11 3/4, a mile into the level section. Even more was to come as the Scot hit 70 at mp12 3/4 where the level track ends and the first part of Grayrigg, 3 miles and a bit of 173r starts. Normally we pass mp13 on the 173r at 60-65 but we bested that. It had been a while since I recorded 70 there but that's what we did. Some approach - but could the Scot hold it on the long climb and perhaps achieve a 40mph+ summit speed?

    Past Milnethorpe, mp13 1/2 at 70; mp14 at 67 and mp15 at 65. Excellent stuff and a speed held to the end of the section as we passed mp15 3/4. Here the bank steepens to 3/4 mile of 153r. This had a minimal effect of the charging Scot and we hit the easing 3/4 mile of 392r at 64.6. Now onto the more serious mile of 111r. This time the bank did bite back and despite some serious firing speed fell to 61.5. again a bit of a respite with a mole and a half of 176r with Oxenholme in the middle. Speed fell slowly to 59.9 but rose again to 61 through the station and 61.5 as we left the 117r. Onto a wicked 3/4 mile of 104r only pegged us back to 58.5. Over 7 miles of climbing behind us still close to 60 mph. The next mile of 1/4m 213r; 3/4m 124r saw a fall to 56.7. Still up there with the best.

    On such a hot day our fireman, who we later found out on the return was the excellent Martyn Soames, must have been sweating the proverbial conkers and still had close to 5 miles of climbing to the summit. A slight easing to 131r for the next 2 miles + showed how powerful the Scot was as our speed only fell to 54.4; a superb effort. Rather galling for Martyn as we were now on the steepest part of the climb, 2 miles+ of 106r. Just over 1/2m in speed was 52.4 at Lambrigg Crossing and for the first time the bank bit back and over the next mile speed fell to just under 48. Right old racket drifting past Coach 9 as the Scot gave little to the final 1/2 mile of 106r, then 1/4m 396r to top the summit at a seriously impressive 44.9.

    A short respite through the Lune Gorge, a mile of 204f, 57.1; then a mile of gentle 777r through Low Gill where the noise level rose as our speed rose to 60. Traditionally the charge to the foot of Shap starts here and today was no exception. With a seriously loud roar from up front, speed rose to 62.6 on the 1/2m level; then the big loco charged down the mile and a half + of 425f. Half way point speed had risen to 65.9; then rose to 70.5 as we hit the change of gradient to level at mp30 1/4. The sound level rose again on the level and a mile further on we blasted through Tebay South, mp31 1/4 at 74.2; excellent and a bit more to come as we passed mp31 1/2 at 75.2.

    Now it was serious shovelling time as we hit the mile and a half of 146r, the lower reaches of Shap. We left the section at 70.3 with the roar from the front making the hairs on the back of the neck stand on end. Onto the serious 75r now, all 4 1/4 miles of it. No idea what the attrition will be from run to run, but a 40 mph speed at the summit was possible. A mile in we passed mp34 at 61.4; then despite the racket from the front, speed fell to 51.9 as we passed mp35, close to Scout Green. The bank bites hard and over the next mile the quarter speeds were 50; 48.1; 46.8; and 45.3 as we passed mp36. Very creditable. Then onto the final mile and a quarter. For the first time the note from the front waned a little as speed fell quarter by quarter: 36 1/4 43.5; 1/2 42.4; 3/4 40.9; 37 40. Then in the rock cutting, speed dropped to 39/38.6 as we passed the climbing summit, mp37 1/4. A sterling effort by the crew with a Class 7 with 11 up. We'd taken 35 mins 46.5s from Carnforth D&UGL; from mp13, 24 mins 55.07s.

    My interest turned to the possibility of a seriously fast time to Carlisle. Past the Summit Board at 39 and some rapid acceleration down the 130f/106f to pass mp39 1/4 at 58.7. Down the mile of 142r, 66.5 at mp41. Now down the 6 miles of 125d. We passed mp43 at 74.5; mp45 at 76.7; mp47 78.2; end section mp48 1/2 77. Bit of a climb then, 191r, to mp 50 1/4 74.4; then on to Penrith, 616f, 75.3. Time elapsed 48m 22s. All was fine on the rest of the 616f, 74 at mp52, then we passed mp53 on the 539r at 72.2. Speed rose on the 186f, 74.6 at mp54; then the brakes came on hard and we came to a stop. Saw a green signal so it wasn't a signal. Shortly after Les announced they had a problem with the AWS but hoped to repair it shortly. Pity as the elapsed time to mp54 was 50m 37.37s with falling gradients all the way to Carlisle. Thankfully the unit was repaired and we were only stationary for 10 minutes or so. It took 15m 40s to run down the 14 miles to Carlisle Station with some fast running in the high 70s - and a bit - as we bowled down the 125f.

    Shame about that as it had been such an excellent morning. Well pleased we were as we left the train and decided to try to get lunch at the Woodrow Wilson. We took the shortcut but then had to go back around and down the main street. It was really quiet; tables well spread around the pub, more than 2m apart. Customers kept their distance. We were served immediately and food came in less than 10 minutes. The Jaipur was gorgeous so I had to have another.

    We wandered back to the station just before 1400. I looked at the train and had a feeling there were 11 carriages there in Platform 3. No locomotive on the front. Just in case it was a Jaipur influenced count, or the POB had been left on, I wandered down to the back and walked forward recording the numbers: 99128; 99125; 1961; 3143; 99122; 3093; 1861; 5035; 99328; 4973; 99304. There were 11. As I got to the front, the loco and POB were backing down. Well, we'd thought it a cracking run with a Class 7 with 11. But with 12, truly superb, though the low loading due to the 2m social distancing restriction cancelled out over half of the 12th carriage's weight.

    The weather was still glorious with a bright blue cloudless sky. No concerns about fire risk over the S&C as there had been some rain in the week. I Settled in the bay opposite, milepost side, and set the GPS for the return wondering what it would bring for us after having a 'that was superb' conversation about the northbound run with Les and the stewards.

    We left right time and as we dropped down to Petteril Bridge Jn a drain cock blow - that disappeared later - could be clearly heard. Sometimes we get good runs to Low House and the rapid rise in sound from the front was encouraging as Mick and Martyn, who fired back as far as Hellifield - some feat on such a hot day - attacked the 7 mile long 132r. Hmmm, the dreaded blowing drain cock met the acceleration off the junction. Really noisy in Coach 5. The note from the Scot has really changed. Much more 'even' and perhaps not as outright noisy.

    Not startling acceleration, mp305 31.7; Cumwhinton, 35.5, then a serious change of note and a pickup more akin to a Class 8 as we passed Howe and Co SB, close to mp303, at 46.6. with a real cacophony of sound the Scot charged the 132r; mp30302 45.7; 301 44.3; Eden Brows 43.6 then a burst of speed to pass mp299 3/4 at 50.2. Over Low House, lev/132f at 52.7 and with a lovely roar from the front, we hit 62.4 at mp299 on the short 132f. Excellent stuff. From taking 62.8 onto the 132r, speed only fell to 60.5 through Armathwaite and at the end of the 1/2m+ of 220d, we hit a max of 64.7. Speed fell to 62.2 on the short 176r/220r down into Armathwaite Tunnel.

    Climbing now on almost 2 miles of 220r. Into Baron's Wood No.1 at 58.9; No.2 at 57.6, to a minimum of 56.9 at mp295. A good run over the 165d took speed to 66ish before an easing through Lazonby, 62.6. Really bowling along in the glorious afternoon sunshine. We passed mp291 at 61.2, the start of the 3/4m+ of 264r, left at 60.1; then through Little Salkeld on the 2m of 132r at 56.5. 46115 was eased a bit on the 110r; Langwathby, 195f, 51.5 then back to 59 at mp287 after some lev/264/264d. Onto a mile and a half of 330r, into Waste Bank Tunnel at 59; then on the level over Culgaith Crossing at 62.2. this was entertaining and 3/4m of 132r saw speed only fall back to 58.5 at mp58.5. the Scot was still roaring along past New Biggin at 58 on the 220r; Kirby Thore, 490r, at 60.5; Long Marton, 300f, 62.8. No let up and more roaring from the front as Mick attacked the mile and a half of 120r, where we passed mp278 3/4 at 51.8 before he eased off as we were only a mile or so from Appleby. We arrived 6 early, after an elapsed time of 40m 45.27s. Impressive.

    In a stroke of luck, coach G's front door was right alongside an ice cream trolley so Mrs S and Dave were able to head the queue. The luxury vanilla tub was splendid and much needed. So good to take the face mask off for a short time.

    Long blast on the Stanier Hooter and a 2 minute late departure. Could the high performance continue on the long climb to Ais Gill? Good odds with dry rails and a locomotive in fine fettle and Mick seemingly a man on a mission.

    A good start on the 440r and 20.3 as we passed mp277. Mick took advantage of the mile of 176f to pass mp276 at 46.3, then 51.2 with noise levels rising at 51.2. on the 1/4m level, we hit 54.4 to take onto the 100r over Ormside Viaduct, just after mp275 1/2. To another cacophony of sound we passed mp275 on the 100r at Ormside, Mike Notley's start of the 'Blue Riband' section to Ais Gill Summit, at an excellent 56.6. For most record runs, mp275 was passed close to 60 so we weren't that far off. Despite what Ralph, West Brom Tom, was told, Martyn Soames was still on the shovel from Carlisle. The information that Chris Holmes, another excellent fireman who was firing as a 'volunteer' on the day had taken over at Carlisle was premature as he wasn't doing so until Hellifield.

    Out on the 100r and speed wasn't falling that quickly; mp274 was passed at 51.7; and we dived into Helm Tunnel at close to 53. We passed mp273 at 46.7a fall in speed to 48.4 by mp274. Into Helm Tunnel at 44; then past mp273 at 42.4; mp271 3/4 at 41.8 and looked to be heading below 40. Didn't happen as Mick attacked the mile and 1/4 of 166r and got back to 43.2 at mp270 3/4; then on the 3/4m of 200r, back up to 46.1. Cracking sound and more speed pickup to 49.2 after 1/2m of mostly 220r. Martyn must have had the Scot right on the mark for small easing of gradients to have led to a decent speed increase.

    Surprisingly speed fell back to 47.7 on the level through Crosby Garret but once off the viaduct, the Scot picked up to just under 52 as we hit the 100r again. We mp267 3/4 at 48.4; didn't lose too much speed as we raised the echoes through Waitby Cutting, 45.5; then roared around the curve to blast through Kirby Stephen at 44.1. Good to see a pass at 40+. We passed mp266 1/2 at the Signal Box at 44.5 and then passed mp266 at 45.5. Cracking run so far. Martyn was providing all the steam Mick needed and we had a solid climb on the 100r to enter Birkett Tunnel at 43.9. the bank was biting but mp264 was passed at 41.7, very creditable and there was a 3/4m of 330r to follow. Lots of noise and we picked up to 47.4 at Mallerstang.

    Then in a style of old the Scot really attacked the 100r hard and we passed mp263 at 48.8; then mp262 3/4 at our max of 49.1. Finally the bank was taking its toll and we passed mp262 at 46.1; then mp261 at 43.6. We crossed Ais Gill viaduct at 42.4 and a sub 40 at the summit was becoming less likely. The Scot rallied a bit and we passed mp260 1/4 at 41.1; then the climbing summit at mp260 at 40.3. Time elapsed from Appleby was 24m 10.17s; mp275 to mp260 19m 29.06. Apologies for forgetting that the Blue Riband end point was the plateau summit at the Summit board alongside mp259 3/4. This we passed at 42.2; 24m 32.41s from Appleby; 19m 51.3s from mp275. An excellent run with 12 coaches, albeit very lightly loaded.

    We had a good run across the top. Shotlock Hill Tunnel, 53.3; Moorcock Tunnel, 61.3; Dandry Mire, 62.4; Garsdale 59. Nice noisy run kept speed in the high 50s on the average 350r to Rise Hill Tunnel, 53.5. on the escarpment then. Dent 34; Arten Gill Viaduct 51; Dent Head Viaduct 49.4; and into Blea Moor Tunnel at 47.6. we left the tunnel at 42.7 and drifted down past Blea Moor SB, mp248 1/2, 29.7 onto Batty Moss viaduct, crossed at 21.5. once off the viaduct speed picked up to 30 through Ribblehead Station. We bowled along down the 100f to pass Horton at 58; Helwith Bridge at 55.3; dropped into Taitland's Tunnel at 56.1; and Settle Station at 53.1. a sharp bit of noisy acceleration saw speed rise to 65.8 past Settle Junction SB, close to mp244 1/2 and Mick treated us to a bit of an attack on Bell Busk, the mile+ of 181r, 52.6; then after 1/4m of 233r, mp233 at 49.2. the Scot was eased through Long Preston, 42.1, then we coasted the 114r, passing mp232 at 21 as Hellifield Siding was close. We rolled in 3 minutes early.

    The Carlisle-Leeds service was close to time and with a refreshed tender and after a bit of a break for the crew, Chris Holmes had relieved Martyn here, we set off for Preston 3 down. That shouldn't cause us any issues with the path from Horrocksford Jn. We had a nice climb away from Hellifield on short sections of 200r/103r to mp34, 32; then a mile of 135r/90r/127r/277r to pass mp33 at 42. The line speed is only 45 and the gradients insignificant to Gisburn Tunnel, 42.5. we had a max of 45.7 at the end of 2m of 101d at mp24 3/4. The service train was waiting to cross into the platform at Clitheroe as we passed Horrocksford Jn, 35.8 on the 170d. We ran through Clitheroe on the 104f at 40.4 and bowled along over 3 miles of falling gradients/level to mp18, passed at 51.2. We blasted through Whalley at 48.6 out onto the Arches and the 3 miles of 81 1/2r at 48.6.

    The roar of the Scot reverberated around the hills and the dale as we suffered the expected fall of speed. We passed mp17 at 44.1; mp16 at 37.6 - seriously good climbing; then roared through a sparsely populated Langho station at 36.4. the bank was only biting slowly and as Martyn had done earlier, Chris provided all the steam Mick needed to pass mp15 at 35 and mp14 1/2 at 33.3. here the gradient eases a little to 88r and we surged into Wilpshire tunnel, mp14 just inside, at 31.9. we felt a short slip, maybe 2 but the GPS speed still showed 31.7 as we emerged into the sunlight on the short 68r. The gradient changes to 86r for the final 3/4m+ to the summit. We passed the Old Wilpshire Station at 30; Ramsgreave and Wilpshire Station with mp13 1/4 high above the shelter at 29.7 and passed the change of gradient summit marker, just visible above the long grass, at 29.4. an excellent climb with the load. Time elapsed from Whalley, mp17 1/2 to Wilpshire Summit 7mins 18.51 secs.

    We were held short of Daisyfield but once away ran through Blackburn Station at 35.2 and accelerated away on falling gradients to pass Mill Hill at 47.9. over undulating gradients, 286r/397f, we blasted through Pleasington at 58.4; hit a max of 64 at mp6 3/4 on the 210f. We crossed Houghton LC on the 101f at 62. The Scot was eased on the 101f/99f to run through Bamber Bridge at 42.5. nice run on the 224f to Lostock Hall, 40, before we were slowly brought to a halt as we had to wait to join the WCML. We trundled into Preston right time after a wonderful day out with the Scot.

    Mick was his usual self. 'There aren't any hills up here'!! as we thanked him and Chris for their efforts. Unfortunately Martyn, who had fired most of the day, wasn't there to thank. We didn't leave the station so the dreaded face masks remained in place in the hot evening air. Rather unpleasant. We watched the loco and POB leave the train for Carnforth.

    Back in Coach G we did a review of the climbs, speeds and times and realised what a superb performance the Scot had given us all day. It was a shame we didn't get 40 over Shap and 30 over Wilpshire. So close... it was a shame there were so few passengers on board. Walking the train and looking at the occupied tables it looked like there were close to 100 in Dining/First and 50 or so in the TSOs. There were a couple of screens in the FOs with a 4+2 empty in the longer section. No panels of any sort in TSOs, severely limiting occupancy. That was a shame as I'm sure many more would have travelled.

    Les Ross was on the train well in advance of departure time and but for a bit of messing about by signallers around Weaver Jn we'd have been RT into Crewe not a6 down. Still Dave had plenty of time before the Carmarthen Train and we got through J15 on the M6 before the night closure, though we did have to divert around the M50 night closure. We were still in the cottage at 2215.

    We were all so glad Kelly took the decision to run the train, RTC's first since lockdown. To have such high performance from the Scot all day was a huge bonus for all of us who took the risk of travelling. On train everyone wore face masks and gave fellow passengers as wide a berth as possible. There were hand sanitisers in the vestibules at both ends of every carriage with signs encouraging their use. The stewards did a few sanitising cleans of the tables on the move; and at Carlisle. The glorious day meant everyone was happy to have the top lights wide open ensuring a good air flow.

    We enjoyed the day and will do the Duchy and probably the Weymouth if it runs.

    Huge thanks to Kelly and RTC for running the train. Huge thanks to the train manager, Les and stewards for taking the risk and being there. Hopefully WCR did a good deal to make sure it wasn't run at a loss. Many thanks to WCR for providing the stock; the train management; and the magnificent 46115 - the Scot looked as good as it ran; and for the excellent crews, Mick our driver all day, and Martyn and Chris our firemen, who combined to get the superb performance from the Scot all day. And of course thanks to Network Rail for allowing us to run on the big railway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  7. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Surprised that WCRC are not yet using their own 86401 for these purposes.
     
  8. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    For the folk who like to browse the full details, have appended the Outward Timings. Hope there's no typos.
    Now added the return and slightly reformatted the Outward. Hard day's timing both being masked up and contending with the long grass and tall ferns. Missed a few more than usual and as always didn't record all falling gradient times.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  9. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Chris Holmes left WCR a while back so maybe he has returned as an guest fireman. Thanks for a great report Graham. I should have been on this but have concerns about social distancing and wearing a face mask for so long. Also if we can’t move seats how could I guarantee a milepost side seat all day.?Presumably I couldn’t join your group as we aren’t family. Thanks. Don
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2020
  10. Joanne Crompton

    Joanne Crompton New Member

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    The Fireman on both the outward and return legs of this was Martyn Soames, Chris Holmes fired Hellifield to Preston only on the return leg.
     
  11. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    I wonder if Chris is being tempted back. He was an ace fireman particularly on the Jubilees
     
  12. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Apologies and thanks for that. Will correct the report. Info was hard to get hold of and only saw Chris at Preston.
     
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  13. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    Just a short journey home for Martyn, a shower and then a couple of very well deserved pints for keeping up with Mr Kelly (aka "Mick the Merciless"); a day when the big man shovelled tons of coal through the fire hole door on a hot and humid day and all to excellent effect - well done that man!
     
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  14. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    Thanks Graham for a splendid report of what was a succession of excellent performances by the "Fragile Scot" (and thanks to all who posted photos and videos of the days events). The report gave a well balanced view of events as the day unfolded and even included details of the ice cream at Appleby - much appreciated. This brings me to the first of 2 confessions; I have attempted to restrict(eliminate) my consumption of ice cream but succumbed for the first and only time this year on my birthday (June) when I had jelly and ice cream for tea - my party, my choice!

    My second confession relates to Saturday's trip. My name is Oswald and I'm a steamaholic, I had not sampled mainline steam (or steam of any sort) since my trip on the Cotton Mill Express on 29th February. Although, thanks to the local surge in Coronavirus cases I am still being advised to shield, on Saturday the craving proved too much. Accompanied by Mrs W, I made my way to a field near Langho and watched. And boy was it worth it, SG could be heard for a full 2 minutes before arriving (about 9E). There was one other person in the field about 50 metres away and 6 horses also about 50 metres away (before SG arrived) and about 250 metres away after she had passed. This was only the 4th time the car had been driven since mid-March and by far the longest journey; about 30 mins each way. I won't be telling Matt Hancock and I am sure that I can rely on your discretion.
     
  15. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Thanks David from another steamaholic. Things have been so bad you may have noticed we went out to photograph a Saphos Train with a Class 47 on the back. The bear and his minder still haven't forgiven us though we did tell them that we felt safe as none of the horses in the field showed any sign of Covid-19. So glad you braved the great outdoors and watched Mick the Merciless extract every last ounce of effort from the Scot - and poor Chris to keep up with his demands. I'm well known as the soul of discretion... Hope to see you in the not too distant future.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  16. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Have decided to return to main line steam for the CME on 10th October before the dark evenings. I have to say that the prospect of travelling back in the winter, in the dark, in a steamy coach with condensation dripping off the closed windows and wearing a mask is not my idea of how to spend a few hours anyway and definitely not in the current situation.

    So I am hoping for a reasonable autumn day with some 7/8P motive power up front to lift us over the hills and the electric heating doing its job on the return.

    The RTC needs the income and our support if we feel they will look after us. What a responsibility though for unpaid stewards.
     
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  17. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Just hope we aren’t all locked down again by then!
     
  18. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    I hope you have a good day Al. I would love to be one of those unpaid stewards but with a wife who has had cancer twice, is diabetic and since lock down has been diagnosed with Graves' Disease, even if I wanted to I think suggesting that two nights in a London hotel, a couple of tube journeys and all day on the train may be worth doing for a trip up Shap, I admit it creates far too large a risk for someone in the clinically vulnerable category. Not sure when I will see the inside of a Mk1 again, even the ones I can see from the house here in Swanage, let alone on the mainline.
    You are very right of course tour companies need support. We have to hope Don is not right (although I suspect he may be) if the numbers keep going the wrong way.
     
  19. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    I have been very optimistic through the last few months and we have been to the MHR and Swanage and as a family to two weekends at hotels for short breaks. But now I think it’s time for more caution but without lockdown as I don’t think that is the answer . I don’t think Boris and company know either but then who does? Keep calm be careful and carry on.
     
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  20. Julian Jones

    Julian Jones New Member

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    Looking forward to the CME on Saturday 10th October. The ticket letter has just arrived and I'm in coach F (presumably the middle of the train) with a day out behind 46115 Scots Guardsman.
     

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