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34067. 'Capital Christmas Express'. 17-11-2012

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by free2grice, Nov 11, 2012.

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  1. gwr4090

    gwr4090 Member

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    Tangmere arrived back at Dorchester more or less on time, but rail head conditions have been very poor for most of the day, and there has been a lot of slipping - at times nearly continuously. Running during the day was mostly rather subdued and not up to usual standards. It was probably just as well that the Class 47 was on the rear, as I suspect time would have been lost otherwise. Sadly it seems that running Tangmere on its own without a diesel during the peak leaf-fall season may be a bit too risky. Fortunately these difficult conditions normally only last for a few weeks or so.
     
  2. spicer21

    spicer21 Member

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    It does seem to have become a new sport just recently, that's true, but given past events, it would be hard to dismiss it as mear mischief making.

    Have to say though, I can't recall 34092 developing a similar kind of reputation, (deserved or otherwise), back in the 80s. If anything, quite the opposite, and presumably, the two designs would have very similar strengths / weaknesses when negotiating gradients, and poor rail head conditions ? I realise steam didn't venture onto the diversity of routes back then, that it does now, but some must have been comparable to Parkstone, and diesels attached to the rear of steam specials on a regular basis, was pretty rare in those days, if memory serves me right ?

    Possibly this is a further indictment of poor lineside maintenance in recent years, on which comment was made earlier ?
     
  3. Desiro450

    Desiro450 Guest

    I don't 'hate' any TOC. As for the username it was chosen as I was travelling on one at the time and seemed as good as any.
     
  4. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS New Member

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    During the 1980s Br banned steam excursions during the leaf fall season
     
  5. royce6229

    royce6229 New Member

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    If nat pres had been around in 1985 when the runs over the Devon banks turned into a disaster, I wonder how many pages the thread would have run to? Three figures probably :)
     
  6. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Member

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    Incorrect...it was a member of staff doing their job....they just quoted the facts...
    Doing their job...simples...

    Some people should stop talking out of their backsides...and deal with the facts and not their opinions
     
  7. buseng

    buseng Member

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    Jobworths!
     
  8. spicer21

    spicer21 Member

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    That was before Open Access, which has had good and bad consequences I think most would agree ?

    Some common sense regulation is important, and helps maintain a clean image overall. Under the current regime, where increasingly, anything goes, it seems we have to go through a series of high profile hiccups, before people realise what should have been common sense to begin with, and appropriate regulation is applied.
     
  9. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    This is a whole new level of pointless futility on here.

    Should the debate not be what can be done to stop such things happening again rather than pointless nit picking. A steam tour stalled, caused delays and disruption and such matters don't help the incorporation of such things on the modern network. Yes other trains may have stalled there in the past, but there weren't lots of examples of modern traction stalling in same spot yesterday so that would suggest rightly or wrongly that something went wrong.

    SWT had every right to suggest that there services were being delayed by a failed steam train - it had stopped in section and couldn't move itself without assistance. They are a business which were no doubt getting hassle from customers and no doubt will be liable for claims - this is not a game these are businesses.
     
  10. johnnew

    johnnew New Member

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    Bincombe, Parkestone, Evershot, Honiton, Rattery, Copy Pit, the 'long drag' etc are wonderful challenges in the dry but not perhaps the wisest routes to plan to assault with one engine in potentially wintry or leaf fall conditions. Add in flange oilers, as I note from posters observations were present on two of the inclines traversed yesterday, and that arguably suicidal planning gets another tick in the perhaps best to avoid box.

    Logic says autumn tours would be best restricted to flatish routes with a clear need for a decent place as destination for the punters due to commercial viability. Pathing may prove problematic for this suggestion (I don't use the lines regularly myself) but the York - Doncaster - Gainsborough - Lincoln - Ely - Norwich route must be about the flatest route corridor on the UK and has four cathedral cities along it. A combination of modern traction to/from the steam start-end points and that route corridor surely would give a viable routeing for a significant portion of the autumn/winter tours with minimised risk from adverse track conditions.

    I suggest the above as even diesels aren't exempt from weather issues - I was on one of the end of Deltic specials when we were diverted off the S&C onto Shap due to snow and that was a trip run in May IIRC.
     
  11. spicer21

    spicer21 Member

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    Restricting Autumn tours to "flatish" routes sounds good in theory, but how many would book on them ? We've already seen a number of tours cancelled recently due to lack of bookings, and on paper they had a lot of appeal.

    It seems to me if we're saying running Autumn tours on routes with gradients is a performance risk too far for unassisted steam it's a simple case of a diesel must be included for insurance. During the 80s I remember there was a similar blanket rule about tours which ran during the months of GMT. All had to be heated on the steam section, and as steam heating was banned at that time, that meant an ETHEL. Back then, you either had to take it or leave it, as most felt grateful to have steam on the main line at all. Since then we've been spoiled in my view, and seem to think everything should be done as it would in an ideal world.

    Certain people need to think back to those early days of mainline steam, and remember how restricted operations were then before getting indignant about our hosts on the railway protecting their business, and the possibility of a very reasonable restriction, (compulsory diesel insurance), during a very small percentage of the overall operating season.
     
  12. johnnew

    johnnew New Member

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    I'm probably not best placed to post re bookings take up as I'm priced out of tours anyway. For our budget prices like the £79 minimum for this tour (which of course becomes £158 with SWMBO added too) even though it started only 5 miles from home just aren't affordable. That said though IF I was booking I'd want one that ran where it said on the day it said etc., and with the loco doing the biz' up front and not assisted by a diesel and that's the nub of the problem.

    On Saturday the fact the exhaust was drifting and lack of sound from Tangmere suggested to me that the 47 was doing pretty much all the work on Bincombe bank. If I'd paid I'd have been disappointed at the lack of steam powered effort being expended even though as a former NYMR loco dept volunteer I know exactly why Tangers was not being stretched and thus was not risking a motion wrecking slip. However on Parkestone Bank later in the same trip the converse applied and the bank (+ flange oiler contamination?) proved too great a challenge chopping an hour off the London time at the end of the trip. Commercial reasons, especially pax p/ups, would have dictated the via Poole route but if you were running a Weymouth - Paddington steam service then going over the former GWR Wilts Somerset & Weymouth route via Yeovil - Westbury - Thingley Junction then Chippenham - Swindon - Paddington gives a long stretch of level road thanks to Brunel. You would need diesel assistance to/from at least Yeovil but it would have been unnecessary between Thingley and London.

    Saturday's very gentle looking ascent of Bincombe bank:-

    [​IMG]

    Let's all hope the 60009 tour southbound this weekend over Stoke Bank goes Ok.

    Tangmere is a fine engine and I'm old enough to remember genuine SReg steam in action, and more recently City of Wells on the Scarborough Spas and 657 Squadron (?) blasting up the NYMR banks too. This summer on one of the DCE turns Tangers blasted out of Weymouth sounding as if it wasn't just banking Britannia as assisting engine but shoving the whole train and a cold/ailing Brit on the front up through Spa Rd bridge so yes I know what a flat out BofB sounds like and Saturday wasn't one of those performances but that type of effort is what a Dorset local would probably have expected if they paid to ride.
     
  13. Southofthethames

    Southofthethames New Member

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    Here is my effort from the day, at Hanwell & Drayton Green 34067 Tangmere, at Hanwell & Drayton Green. 17/11/2012 - YouTube
    Without blaming anyone or re-igniting the whose fault arguments, but 6 or 7 years ago, this very same loco was pulling the heavy VSOE pullmans with and without assistance, and stalling was unheard of on these (although a couple of mechanical blips did crop up).
     
  14. Desiro450

    Desiro450 Guest

    Couldn't agree more, hence why I was commenting on what someone was quite bizarrely claiming was the case, but quite obviously wasn't.....
     
  15. spicer21

    spicer21 Member

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    Well said !
     
  16. johnnew

    johnnew New Member

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    Interesting observation. Probably far too obvious a factor for it to be the weight settings that are off as the cause of this change but I wonder when it was last put over an axle weighing machine for the springs to be adjusted to get the weight properly balanced?
     
  17. Southofthethames

    Southofthethames New Member

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    When she was Allocated to Eastleigh probably!! ;-)
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    What makes you think that? We effectively re-weigh our locos any time we change a spring, and certainly at every major (boiler lift) overhaul. What makes you think it would be any less frequent for a mainline loco?

    Tom
     
  19. johnnew

    johnnew New Member

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    Agree with Jamessquared, I was thinking how recently in terms of a fairly short time frame, and perhaps a need for some minor weight balancing tweaks, not way back to BR days. Apart from anything else they will have had the wheel sets out during restoration and would have had to weigh on reassembly.
     
  20. spicer21

    spicer21 Member

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    Just to demonstrate how poor rail conditions can affect any type of train, here is an extract from First Great Western's online travel updates this evening. Knowing that route, it sounds like leaves again, but evidence in my view that TOCs are only interested in getting information to customers in these circumstances, no hidden agendas or any of the anti steam nonsence attributed to SWT earlier in this thread !

    Line problem: between Reading and Redhill. Owing to poor rail conditions between Reading and Redhill trains have to run at reduced speed on all lines.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 25 mins or terminated at and started back from Redhill at short notice. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.
     
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