Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by mike1522, Dec 31, 2019.
Salterwath was a touch breezy this morning...
A storm is brewing
46115 in the Jaws of Storm Ciara at Shap Wells and Kirkby Stephen .
Weather wasn't very helpful at Docker either :
46115 on the return south of Langwathby. The northbound leg was a write off in the Lune Gorge.
With the expected gale beginning to wind itself up, 'Scots Guardsman' puts on a fine display as it speeds through Greenholme with the 'Cumbrian Mountain
Express', Mick Rawling driving, Martyn Soames on the shovel and Roly Parker guard
On the return speeding through Kirkby Stephen
In a very lucky break in the sky that lasted a mere 40 seconds , she passes the 5 gathered photographers as she nears Shap summit.
Southbound wasn't so good..... a shot I wouldn't normally do, on the exit from Birkett tunnel in the shelter of the lineside vegetation!
08/02/2020 - Very dull and nearly dark as 46115 "Scots Guardsman" rushes across Whalley Arches and over the River Calder with a returning Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express
Richard the Shap shot is a beauty, you left the pretenders in your wake
46115 seen at Shap Wells and Kirkby Stephen Station.
Brass in pocket surely rather than .
Dont get me wrong; Steve Ill stand by you Cant beat a bit of Chrissie
It was an excellent trip yesterday, Scots Guardsman put in a very good performance in some challenging conditions as Storm Ciara threatened to blow in.
The best climb was probably Grayrigg, which was hampered by a 20 mph Tsr a couple of miles from the summit, however, 46115 rallied and powered over the top at 31.1mph.
Recovery was swift up the Lune Gorge, with 75mph reached by Tebay. Having left Carnforth in clear blue skies, by Shap a ferocious squall had blown in and the rain lashed down. Commiserations to the very soggy looking photographers out there, who looked drowned! 46115 dug in though and near the top, with the sun reappearing, a little extra effort could be heard, with the summit dismissed at 30.6mph.
The usual rapid descent ensued, with much braking to keep speed in the high 70's and resulted in a 5 min early arrival. Scots Guardsman is clearly a very free running locomotive.
After more clear blue skies but an increasingly cold and blustery wind, SG returned in plenty of time for a prompt departure at 14:13. On cue the heavens opened again and there were a few slips as 46115 found her feet on the climb to Howe and Company sidings. This didn't bode well for the rest of the run, but remarkably this was the last rain we saw. Now right at the front of the train (interestingly in a compartment), the three cylinder roar could very clearly be heard. A slightly early arrival at Appleby, was followed by another on time departure and so we set off on an increasingly wild and bleak climb to Ais Gill. Now the wind really whipped up and we only caught brief snippets of sound despite the battling effort against the elements. Ais Gill was dismissed at 29.5mph, slightly below par, but I wonder what effect the considerable head wind made. The S&C looked bleak, wild and inhospitable, but visibility was excellent with fine views across the top.
Ribblehead was wild, with the wind buffeting the train and a severe Tsr for stabilisation works near Rise Hill tunnel meant a slightly late arrival for our final water stop at Hellifield.
Departure was also late due to signal issues, but we were soon on our way for the final climb of the day, Wilpshire. Whalley arches was rushed, with 46115 opened up with a noisy, snarling roar echoing around the valley. The first couple of miles gave little away with speed held in the 40's, but this effort couldn't be maintained and speed fell sway near Ramsgreave with a minimum of 21.2mph at the top.
Despite these earlier delays, arrival back at Preston was a few minutes early, after an interesting day which gave a real battle of steam versus nature. Handover to the dependable Les Ross gave a rapid trip back to Crewe with plenty of time for our connection back to Mid- Wales. It was the perfect opener to the railtouring year. Thanks to everyone who made it happen.
46115 powering up the 1-in-132 at Cumwhinton, with sanders on due to the rain blowing in from the west. Was expecting much worse weather in anticipation of Storm Ciara but the railway held it’s own (until today at least!)
This was a very enjoyable trip. 46115 was turned out in excellent condition and delivered a smooth and seemingly effortless performance. Pure steam like it should be. Thanks to WCRC and RTC for a memorable day.
The Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express 08 February 2020 – 46115 Scots Guardsman hauling 10+POB
Well last week’s WCME was cancelled, and the one on the 25th “doesn’t count” (diesel tail gunner) so this is the first “proper” one of the year. On 2nd Feb last year we got an epic run; sun, snow and with 63106 and 35018 in record breaking mood. This year, if we are lucky, we may arrive home before the full fury of storm Ciara is upon us.
I drove over to Preston in cold but sunny weather. Whilst waiting on the platform an old travelling companion, Andy came across me and, as we were in different coaches, we agreed to meet in the Woodrow for lunch. I was in coach G and at a table with 2 of Graham’s (@1020 Shireman) friends; Graham was across the aisle on the milepost side. Sitting next to me was Peter who had also been alongside me on the 25th – small world.
[In my report of the WCME (25 Jan), I mentioned the connection I have with the route and the area – some of my ancestors came from Dent. Well there’s more; running up the WCML on the rhs approaching Galgate is Smith Green where, in the 1820s, my 4 greats-grandfather, Leonard Wistle (ex miller of Gawthorp in Dent) was farming; the farm was decimated when the M6 was constructed. A few years later, my great-great-grandfather, William Wistle (Leonard’s grandson) was living in the centre of Galgate; he had married a local girl and was working as a labourer building this very railway. His father in law lived a little closer to Condor Viaduct in what is now a chip shop].
The bright sunshine was giving way to cloud as Les Ross stopped in Carnforth Loop. Les was detached and 46115 and support were attached to the front; I was in the 9th coach, still plenty of residual warmth from the sun and the ETH and the steam heating was now kicking in, so toplights open in readiness. With Mick Rawling driving and Martyn Soames firing we drew forward and waited for the traffic to clear.
2¾L we were off and in no mood to take prisoners. We topped Yealand Bank at 37 and were up to 41 as I reached the summit. On favourable grades acceleration was brisk and we reached a creditable max of 67.9 crossing Beela Viaduct (MP13). The climb to Grayrigg starts with some 1/173r, half a mile in and we passed Milnthorpe at 66.6 and another 2 miles brought us down to 62.1 at Hincaster Jn. Still going (noisily) well, we blasted through Oxenholme at 55 (3½L) and as we climbed further, despite light rain, speed settled in the mid 40s until, just under a mile before Lambrigg, SG was eased. Down to 27.7 at Lambrigg (3½L); there was a 20mph TSR (thanks Graham – benefits of MP side). As we neared Grayrigg Summit the TSR finished and SG accelerated hard; Grayrigg was topped at 29.9 (5¼L). From this slow speed it was essential that we made the most of our run through the Lune Gorge if we were going to give a good account on Shap.
In the 2 miles it takes to reach Lowgill we were up to 58 but 7L, we were almost at the top of the 1/777r where next comes just over 4 miles of level-1/425f-level to the foot of Shap. SG snarled, speed increased and bit by bit we reached 74.8; that will do nicely. Shap starts with around 1¾ miles of 1/146r and we shot past Tebay (73 & 4½L), across the Lune (71.8) under the M6 (70.8) but now onto the 1/75r; across Birbeck Viaduct at 66.6 and under the Greenholme Road at 60.4. Out in the open the wind was sweeping the exhaust away to the east. Inevitably speed began to fall; we passed Scout Green at 47 but progress was becoming slower, squally showers became increasingly frequent, over the road at Shap Wells and down to 34.2, into the cutting and some respite from the wind; could we stay above 30? Just, with a minimum of 30.4 slightly north of MP37¼; we passed Shap Summit (S end of UGL) at 31.7 & 5L and the Summit Board at 34.8.
Down the hill and speed increased (what a wonderful thing gravity is – unless you are going uphill); we were soon travelling along in the low to mid 70s and the weather had improved markedly. We swept through Penrith at 72.7 (1½L) and on the following section speed was held around 77 for mile after mile; we were flying. All too soon it was landing lights on, flaps and brakes on; we ran into platform 3 at Carlisle stopping 4E. We had averaged 64.9 mph from passing through Penrith to stopping at Carlisle (17.86 miles). I gathered up my stuff and headed for the front. Mick Rawling confirmed that any opportunity the TSR might have presented for the boiler to recover was not needed as it was already in good shape, so “it was sanders on and accelerate away.”
The weather was dry and breezy as I made my way to the Woodrow, it was packed and the table situation did not look good until I spotted Andy at the bar – he had managed to grab a couple of seats. Whilst eating our lunch (I had pepperoni pizza and Andy a mixed grill) we put the world to rights. We arrived back at the station 20 minutes before departure, just time for a look at the loco and Martyn (Soames) confirmed that he was also firing the return leg and Mick Rawling was driving. Back to my seat where I was joined by Graham (who had changed sides for the mileposts). So there we were, sharing a table, Graham a classical stopwatch timer and me a Train narrator – “sent back from the future to kill John Connor”, oh wait, no that’s a Terminator.
RT we were away and, with perfect timing a cloud obscured the sun and light rain began to fall (well blow sideways). Two miles out (1/132r) and we passed under the M6 at 27 (30 or over for the better starts). As we continued the climb repeated slips kept the speed in check, nearing the top we passed Cumwhinton at 27.8. After a short level we reached Howe & Co SB (37.8 & 1E), already onto another 3 miles of 1/132r. More slipping but steady progress at around 33 before yet more slipping brought us back to 30 as we crossed Cotehill Viaduct. We reached the summit and dropped down past Low House Xng SB (41.9 & ¾L) to reach a max of 52.5 just beyond Drybeck Viaduct then up the 1/132r to Armathwaite (48 & ¾L), down again and across Armathwaite Viaduct at 54.5. Plenty of roar and action as we blasted up through the three tunnels (1/220r) then down the 1/165f towards Lazonby with 62.3 in the dip and through Lazonby & Ko (59.9 & 1L).
Down again and 63 across Long Meg Viaduct and a lovely snarl as we climbed through Little Salkeld at 59.9, down to 51.6 at Langwathby where despite all the effort we were 1½L. Speed built again; Culgaith SB (58 & ½L), Kirkby Thore (54.3 & ¼L) and Long Marton (59.5 & 1¼E). Soon we were slowing for Appleby where we stopped 2E, we were in platform and about 30 yds north of MP277¼. Carlisle to Appleby had taken 45m 01s, better than the 47m allowed and good considering the rail conditions from Carlisle to Low House. Once again I did not have an ice cream even though West Brom Tom had confirmed that my ban by the Ice Cream Growers Federation had been rescinded, but only on a technicality. SG took water.
It was ½L when we left, how much speed could we muster before beginning this fearsome climb? We left the south end of Ormside Viaduct at 51.7 and touched 52 before the gradient (1/100r) bit back. Past Ormside (50.1 & ½E), into Helm Tunnel at 42.3 and out at 39 then a minimum of 34.7 just before we crossed Griseburn Viaduct (35.3) and onto some easier grades. Up to 42 at Crosby Garrett (1L) and speed built to a max of 50.4 after we left Crosby Garrett Tunnel. Around 2½ miles of 1/100r to Kirkby Stephen, plenty of noise as we battled away, the decibels went up a notch as we entered the shelter the rock cutting just south of the station, through the station at 36.4 with a min of 36.1 at the SB (1½L). On the brief easing we reached 38.1 but this fell back to 33.7 into Birkett Tunnel and 32.4 out. The wind was blowing; anyone out on the hillsides today would need a ground anchor (or plenty of pies). The gradient eases to 1/330r and speed recovered to 38.1 at Mallerstang (2L) with a max of 41.7 (at Sycamore Tree Farm). Now only(?) 3 miles of 1/100r to the summit, we were in sight of the finish line, albeit in the far distance. Under the bridge at Angerholme (33.5) down to 31.6 across Ais Gill Viaduct, under the road bridge at 30.8; would she, could she stay above 30? Sorry, but no, we had a minimum of 29.5 around MP260 and we passed the Summit Board at 33 (2L).
From the start at Appleby to the Summit Board had taken 28m 55s (3 seconds quicker than Leander on 18 May 2019 but a full 90 seconds slower than Leander’s epic run on 13 July 2019). The loads may have been the same but the weather was most certainly not. A brief discussion suggested that a strong cross wind might account for up to 4 mph speed loss. We soon gained some speed and flashed through Garsdale (60.2 & 3¼L), the usual slowing at Dent and for the TSR at Dent Head, where repairs to the earth bank are continuing. The whole stretch bears the marks of many such repairs over an extended period. By Blea Moor SB we were 5¾L, with some fast running we reduced this to 3½L at Long Preston but the usual slow run in saw us stop in Hellifield UGL 5½L.
SG took water and I had a piece of Christmas cake – when the cake runs out, the ice cream returns! Martyn Soames, carrying a hefty pinch bar, headed towards the rear of the train. The following Carlisle-Leeds train, that should have passed us on the platform line, was being held at Settle Jn. Les later made an announcement about a signalling issue. Our departure was delayed and we left 7½L. To keep our path we had just under 21 mins to cover the 13.1 miles to Horrocksford Jn and with a line speed of 45mph. The next round of musical chairs had been completed and Graham had retreated to the other (now the mile post) side.
We arrived at Horrocksford Jn 1L; the service train that was waiting to cross over was stopped on the down line by the SB. We were in our path and the road should be clear. Through Clitheroe (½L) and on towards Whalley, as we approached Whalley 46115 was given the gun, the roar was tremendous and required the toplight to be opened further to capture every glorious moment. BIL may be more powerful and sophisticated but her semi-silent exhaust fails to excite, on the other hand SG is a hooligan of a loco who shouts and roars – we love it. We thundered across Whalley Arches and hammered along behind Billington, over the A666 and through Langho at 35.2; the 2E at Whalley was now 5E. After this the speed began to drain away more quickly with a minimum of 20.3 through Ramsgreave & Wilpshire (6¾E). The summit was passed, in near darkness, at 21. The 4½ miles from Whalley to Ramsgreave & Wilpshire had taken 8m 15s. Running early we were held for 4 mins before Daisyfield Jn, once away we ran slowly through Blackburn Tunnel and out into the station, clear signals sighted and SG was opened up – lovely. We were up to 48 at Cherry Tree (½L).
[In 1861 my great-great-grandfather, William Wistle was residing in Cherry Tree having made his way from Galgate, living first for a few years in Preston and then Bamber Bridge but still working as a platelayer/ganger on the railway. In the mid-1860s a new line was being built from Cherry Tree to Chorley. William continued to work as a platelayer until his death in 1889 (aged 74). Two of his sons worked on the railway at Cherry Tree doing various jobs: labourer, platelayer, signalman, pointsman and foreman. In 1872, my grandfather, Frank Wistle was born in Cherry Tree, next street to the station. tbc].
We continued through the darkness with speeds rising on the falling gradients to a max of 63. We slowed and through Bamber Bridge (44.2 & 1½E) and on to Lostock Hall (32.2 & 1¾E). Dropping down to Farington Curve Jn we sighted an adverse signal and slowed, but it cleared before we came to a stop. Wait for this, we crossed over to platform 6 at Preston without being checked or held. Although we were booked to stop in platform 5, we stopped in 6 (2E).
I gathered up my belongings and bid farewell to my travelling companions 3 of whom were continuing back to Wales – they were all good fun throughout. I made my way to the front to thank Mick and Martyn for their efforts on what was for them nearing the end of a long day. Mick confirmed that the light rain leaving Carlisle had caused adhesion difficulties.
My thanks to all those involved in planning and operating this very enjoyable trip, where the weather was not at its best; but it could have been far worse – this morning, the grassed area across the road had become a pond. Thanks to all who braved the elements to post photos and vids for our delectation – much appreciated.
As I drove home rain began falling, by Darwen it was becoming heavy and the wind was increasing. I arrived home at 18.57 (12L), Mrs W was watching TV and doing a puzzle, her team had lost 1 nil – tread carefully, Oswald.
A different take on 46115 from yesterday.
Thanks - Right place, right time today Henry - - Can't be unlucky all the time.
Speaking of pretenders.... pretending.... well here's Shap de-electrified anyway! Just for fun of course!
A couple of photos from Saturday, outward slowing for a speed restriction at Docker then the return on at a windy Waitby Common.
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