If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

44871 & 45407 - The Cheshireman - 16/11/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by LMarsh1987, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    1,705
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Relaxingly retired
    Location:
    Deep in the country
    Yes it is.
     
  2. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    30,585
    Likes Received:
    5,321
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired-ish, Part time rail tour steward.
    Location:
    Northwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    But wouldn't there still be the need for a pilot who does sign the route?
     
  3. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    1,705
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Relaxingly retired
    Location:
    Deep in the country
    Bill Monteith was up front and knew the road.
     
  4. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    1,705
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Relaxingly retired
    Location:
    Deep in the country
    Always worthy of a performance based write-up when the 2 Black 5s are let loose on lots of banks. So here's one..

    Christmas Cheshireman 16th November 2019

    We made a very late booking on this one as there was no need to have the intended tail gunner with the change of motive power from No.9 to double headed Black 5s. The weather has been shocking over the Marches for a almost 3 weeks. Network Rail did an excellent job repairing the flood damaged track around Pontrilas but more heavy rain since was threatening the line.

    On the morning it was raining in South Wales, heavily early but trains were running between Newport and Shrewsbury. A bit late, the Class 47 brought the train into Platform 7 with the 5s attached. Only 1 support coach so load 10, sensible for the likely track conditions. We were in middle of coach G, third coach back for the whole day. Unfortunately we were back to the locomotives and not on the milepost side so a GPS timing day. Not too much of a problem as I know where various mileposts are so can check the synchronisation of the GPS. We left 2 down at 0706.

    'Go anywhere' Bill Monteith was our driver on leading loco 44871, with Ian on 45407. Good start with no slipping and the lovely sight of the end of the 10th coach unadorned by the Class 47. We passed Barton Hill, 158r, at 24, and Dr Days, 214r, at 28. It wasn't going to be a full bodied of Horfield Bank as there was a Filton Abbey Wood pickup. We roared through Lawrence Hill, lev, at a creditable 36 then after a mile of 200r, Stapleton Road at 40. Its contentious whether there's a dip just after the station, but we did take 43 onto the 75r. Very noisy for the next 2 miles on wet rails. No slips but despite only 10 up, speed fell steadily to a minimum of 30.5 at the summit just above the old Horfield Station. Down the 300f and the brakes came in for our pickup at Filton Abbey Wood. The 5s charged away from the stop and we crossed onto the mainline, a mile out, at 48.

    Through Patchway Station, lev, 48; past the Hitachi Depot at Stoke Gifford, 48, then down the 80f into Patchway Old Tunnel at 58. 90f through the tunnel, then out onto the 68f at 60, braking quite hard. We were checked above Pilning, lev, 24, and drifted down the 100f into the big hole at 32.4. Off the level at the tunnel bottom there's 2 mile+ of 90r. Plenty of noise and out at 30 onto a further mile+ of 90r into Wales. We were now running 6 early and the 5s were eased, as the New Street-Cardiff Service was close in front having just left Severn Tunnel Jn. Nice bit of running to a max of 62 before crossing onto the slow relief to water at Magor, some 8 mins early.

    Nice bit of noise on the restart but out on the low speed relief as always. Max of 41 before we crossed the 3 running lines to access Maindee East Jn and the Marches line. We ran through Maindee North Loop and for once had a signal out onto the mainline. We crossed St Julian's Bridge over the swollen River Usk at 30 and attacked the mile of 122r climb to Caerleon. Nice echoing exhausts with speed rising to 42 just before the station site on the 132f, 44.6. Off the 132f onto a short bit of 428r with a noisy max of 50 on the level at Ponthir.

    There the gradient rose to a mile and a half of 120r. The 5s were opened up and again the twin exhaust echoed nicely around the cuttings. Speed was held at close to 49 onto the steepening 106r past Cwmbran's old industrial area; then fell to 47.2 as we passed mp36. Just after, the brakes came in for our pickup at Cwmbran, the station still on the 106r. The restart would have been very difficult for the A4 but the 5s drew away slip free in the capable hands of Bill and Ian. After almost 1/2 mile of 106r, left at 19, the 5s attacked the 2 1/4 miles of 95r in fine style. Smoke and steam and noise galore as speed rose to 36 at mp34 under a road bridge and very noisily to 38 before it just fell back to 37.4 as we came off the 95r onto the 358r into Pontypool Road, 49.7. Splendid stuff!

    Down the 104f to Little Mill Jn, 62.3; then up the mile of 141r , left at 56. Down the 80d to Penpergwm, max of 63, eased to 57. There's 3 miles of 154r/181r/153r then. Our speed held in the mid 50s as we crossed The Bryn where the Usk had wandered outside its banks. The brakes were put in just as we crossed over the A40 for our final pickup at Abergavenny. From Abergavenny there's 4 miles of climbing to Llanvihangel Summit. With the stop at the station there's no run up to the start of the climb as the first 1/2 mile of 85r literally begins at the up semaphore signal.

    Two different hooters, one the deep toned South African hooter once sported by the Pocket Rocket, and we were away. An excellent slip free start on the sharp right hand curve and a steady noisy pickup of speed to 25 on the 1/2m of 85r. Onto the steepening 2m of 82r and speed increased to pass mp21 at 36.4; mp20 1/4, where the grade eased to 95r, 39.3. Excellent stuff. Now there's just over a mile and a quarter of 95r to the summit. The 5s' speed rose steadily over the first mile to 41.5 and only dropped marginally to a minimum of 41.4. A very good climb from a standing start.

    Down the 100f to a still very wet Pontrilas where fields were still well under water and the brooks high. We hit a max of 62 just before Pontrilas, passed at 56. There were no speed restrictions surprisingly in the area as a fortnight before rails were left hanging and 6 repairs to the embankments had been necessary. and then ran to Tram Inn at close to 60. No gradients of interest before Hereford where we rolled in on the middle road 3 down.

    From Hereford we look forward to the dash to Dinmore Tunnel some 7 miles away, 60 being the target speed into the up tunnel. Not to be today. Nice restart up the short 145r/460r/142r, left at 38; and across Shelwick Jn at 49.5 on the level. We dropped down onto the almost 4 miles of 1100r towards Dinmore but from a max of 60.3 there was a sharp brake application down to 10 . the railway did resemble a causeway so we assumed there was a speed restriction. We rolled over Moreton-on-Lugg Crossing at 15.7 and the regulator wasn't opened for another mile. A cacophony of noise as the 5s attacked the remaining mile of 110r, left at 48. We lost a bit of speed on the 1/4m of 200r, 47.7; then 1/2 mile into the 100r, 47 then the 5s were eased and we climbed into the tunnel at 34. The 100r continues through the tunnel, left at 25. Bit odd that.

    Down the 264r/300r speed was held around 30. There was a 30/80 TSR on the section and we followed the lower limit. Off the slack and speed rose on the mile of 1309r to 57; then through Leominster on the 400r at 56. Bit undulating past Berrington, 61 and up the almost mile of 154r, 56. We passed Woofferton at 60 and approached the short climb to Ludlow at mp29 3/4 at 57. 2 miles averaging 160r ish to Ludlow, only dropping to 57 through the station. Down the dip and across the level to hit the 5 miles of climbing to Craven Arms. Started with a mile of 160r, 59; crossed Bromfield on the 425r, 57. Held 57 on the 870r; then on 420r, to cross Onibury at 53.2. then on a mile of 286r picked up to take 56 onto the mile and a half of 112r, left at 50.7.

    We dropped down the 254f/207f to pass Craven Arms at 58 and begin the 6 1/2 mile climb to Stretton Summit. The first 3 miles average 145r ish. In the 130r section speed fell to 41; held on the mile of 105r. As the grade eased 268r/lev the 5s picked up speed to 45 then on easing gradients we crossed Marshbrook at 54.5. the final 2 miles of 112r was very noisy and the 5s only fell to a minimum of 50.2. an excellent climb on wet rails. Through Church Stretton at 58 then down all the way to Shrewsbury. We passed Dorrington at 57, braking. We passed Sutton Bridge Jn at 28 and remarkably ran non-stop through Shrewsbury Middle Road at 14.4. A rarity that.

    Past the Signal Box at 17 and 40 at the foot of the mile+ 100r Coton Hill, topped at 44.5. Speed rose on the 240r to 49 then to 52.4 on 2 1/2 miles of 175r average. Undulating then for 3 miles where speed rose to 57. Bit of a climb to and through Whittington. First mile at 132r, pulled back to 51; then three miles ave. 165r, to 52 before braking down to Gobowen, 46. Mile of 240r speed held around 46 before we dropped down into Chirk, now some 14 minutes down, for our water stop. We left 11 down and slipped a few times on the 143f! Bit too enthusiastic on the regulator. Down to cross Dee Viaduct at 50 and onto the short 117r, 49; then the mile and a bit of 83r where the minimum speed was 43.1. Nice noisy climb. No significant climbing after that. We rolled through Ruabon at 55; Wrexham at 40 on the 200r, Down Gresford Bank, 60ish; across Rosset at 60 and a run in the high 40s/50s to arrive in Chester only 5 down.

    Our friend Dave had a nasty fall in the week so we opted for the Town Crier just outside the station. Been there before and the food and beer had always been excellent. Horror of horrors! It had become a Stonegate Pub with lots of lager pumps. I did find 2 real ales tucked alongside one of the tills. Doom Bar; tedious; and Town Crier. Dave had Doom Bar and I had Town Crier, very well kept. The beef and ale pies were excellent, with large pieces of beef. The Double Gloucester topping added to the taste. Not impressed with the Profiteroles but the ice cream was excellent. The time just flew by but we had time for a short stroll before returning to the station.

    Took a couple of photos in the failing light before the slightly late ECS move from the Reception Sidings. The train was propelled back into the station and was ready to leave only 5 down. Nothing exciting on the run to Crewe. Got to 59 by Beeston Castle and a max of 65 with Ray Poole and Mick Kelly in charge of the 5s. Again, as at Shrewsbury, much to our surprise we ran through P12 at Crewe non-stop. We were only 2 down now. Nice pick up away from Gresty and 53 before Nantwich. Noisy up the mile of 97r, topped at 45.2. Up to 48 on the short 285f; then into a mile of 158r. Noisy up front as speed rose to 49 and 47/8 on the mile of 184r. Down to Wrenbury, 53; then a 3 mile climb starting at 230r, 53.7; mile of 110r, 51; 3/4 mile of 107r, 48.8; then 3/4m 115r, min. 48.3. nice noisy climb.

    Nothing of note then. We passed Whitchurch, 1353f, 60; Prees, lev, 63; Wem 362f, 55; Yorton, 167f, 59; Harlescott LC, lev, 46; Crewe Jn, lev, 13. Again we ran through P7 at Shrewsbury non-stop at 16. A slow run down to Sutton Bridge Jn, 132r/127r, 9.6, then greens and the attack on Stretton Bank, the summit some 13 miles away. Pitch dark and few landmarks and quite a few gradient changes. It From Sutton Bridge its 127r for a mile and a half, left at 36.5; then a mile and a half of mixed lev/208r/154r/lev, left at 47.6. then a mile of 134r through Condover, left at 46.5. Recovery 3/4m of 279r, left at 54 onto 1/4m 130r, 49.4. then onto just over a mile of easing 562r, past Dorrington SB, 55.2; left at 55.8. gets a bit serious then and the noise levels rose on the 1/2m+ 105r, left at 53.3. the steepest part next, just over a mile of 90r, left at 47. An easing to 1/4m+ of 117r, left at 47.2 took us onto 1 3/4m 100r, left at 45.5.

    Ever changing grades on Stretton. Next was 1/4m 168r, left at 48.3; then onto another mile+ of 100r, left at 46.1, close to All Stretton. Then it's a mile of 252r, left at 51.8 through Church Stretton Station. There's an easing 1/2m of level, 52.2 before a short kick up of 150r, that is always dismissed, as it was this time at 56. Then it was all downgrade to our water stop in the loop just north of Craven Arms LC, just 3 mins down. While we watered a couple of services passed us. The points at the south end of the loop were working and we left right time. Nothing significant in the way of gradients down to Hereford. A good run down from Craven Arms to cross Onibury at 61 and Bromfield at 62. We passed Ludlow at 57; Woofferton at 58; Leominster at 62.2. We hit the 1 1/2 mile+ of 300r/264r at 60 and entered Dinmore Tunnel at 56. Down the 100f to cross Moreton-on-Lugg at 60; no restriction on the return. We crossed Shelwick Jn at 45 and ran through P2 at Hereford at 26.2. We managed to slip a couple of times on the 330f. Ray knew about Red Hill and wanted to get away quickly. It's a serious little bank that starts a mile or so out of Hereford Station at Rotherwas Jn. We passed the start at 39 into the 3/4m 220r/287r, left noisily at 47. The 1/4m+ of 143r was dismissed at 48.3. then it was a mile of 92r where speed fell to 44.9, followed by a mile+ of easier 104r to the summit, where, despite a right old racket echoing around us, the 5s lost a little more speed and entered the short tunnel at 43.8. Nice climb.

    Down grade/level for the 8 mile run down to Pontrilas then. We crossed Tram Inn, lev, at 59; and ran down the 289f to roar through Pontrilas at 63.5. Ray and Mick took advantage of the falling grades through the short tunnel, 141f, mid 60s; and hit the bottom of the bank down the 148d rapidly. The bank starts with a mile of 216r, left at 62.8. That took us onto 1 1/2m+ of 170r, left at 60.5. A short respite of 300f, 61.3 took us onto a mile of 204r, left at 61.2. Next was a mile of 100r, left at 57.1 before 1/2m of 99r, left at 55.1. The final stretch of 1 1/4m of 100r, despite the noisier twin exhaust, saw speed fall back to a minimum of 49.3 before the summit under the road bridge on the 512r, passed at 50.7. Decent climb on a damp night.

    Then it was heavy braking down the steep bank to Abergavenny Station where we arrived 4 early. The deep hooter sounded and we were away, again with a few slips on the level. Down the couple of miles at ave. 160f to Penpergwm, 64, then down into the dip/level before the 1 1/2m 80r. We hit the bottom at 63.3 and topped it very noisily at 49.4. Through Nantyderry at 53.5, then a mile of 119r left at 50.8. Down the mile+ of 141f, left at 58, and then the brakes came on before the 2 miles of 104r. We passed Little Mill Jn at 39 and slipped 1/2 mile before the summit, 13, just before Pontypool Road, our final water stop.

    Atmospheric out on the platform on a slightly misty evening with steam rising around the footplates. Typically didn't have my phone but I hope someone posts the pictures they took. We left 2 down and ran down the 95f/106f to our set down at Cwmbran, just 2 down, but with a service not too far behind us. We left 3 down and got to a max of 61 at Ponthir. We crossed St Julian's River Bridge at 28 and then came to a stand approaching Maindee East Jn as our hawkeyed driver realised we were signalled into Newport!! Someone in the Signalling Centre wasn't reading their notices properly.

    We dawdled down the relief and over Bishton Flyover in the low 40s and drifted to the booked stop at signal Nt1228 close to Severn Tunnel Jn. Bizarrely a check on RTT showed that there was only one service train to pass, and that was close behind us; then 2 Class 3 ECS moves. Shows where Class 1 Charters sit in the hierarchy - at the bottom. Phone calls from the front did get us away 5 early. We dived into the big hole at 49 and left it on the 100r at 46.7. after a short level section through Pilning, 46, its 3 miles of 100r to Stoke Gifford. Solid climb but lost speed through Patchway Tunnel, in at 40 out at 35; then a minimum of 33.5. Through Patchway Station on the level at 35, then on the 300r over Filton Jn,21, then down to our set down at Filton Abbey Wood, 20 early.

    Then, as luck would have it, a Severn Beach to Temple Meads service had come across Narroways in front of us so we crawled down Horfield bank and to arrive at Temple Meads at 2217, 13 early.

    It's a shame there are so few steam hauled trains over the Welsh Marches route. It's very scenic and there's lots to keep enthusiasts and timers happy. Huge thanks to Ian Riley and his team for providing the magnificent pair of Black 5s to rescue the train after No.9's unfortunate failure. It was a bonus to have a proper steam run not the diesel assisted run that it would have been if the A4 had been available. Surprisingly we've only done 3 trains behind 44871 & 45407; and they've all been Christmas Cheshiremen from BTM over the Marches to either Chester or Crewe via Chester.

    Thanks to RTC for running the train; to Les and the stewards for looking after us all day and keeping us up to date with what was going on; to WCR for the excellent crews; the stock; and getting paths in the big railway for us; and to Network Rail for giving us decent paths well away from service trains all day. Shame about the Sig Nt1228 thing but it's only a 60mph max path.

    Our 14th and probably last RTC train of the year us as we've done a late booking on the Marches and Severn with 60163 on the 23rd to avoid No.9 with a dreaded diesel on the rear. Might change our minds if the Bath and Cardiff Christmas Market is a diesel free train.

    Thanks to Kelly and all her hard working folk at the office. It's been a good year. Looking forward to 2020.
     
  5. 3ABescot

    3ABescot New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Herefordshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    A couple of shots from Saturday south of Leominster. Crossing the flooded meadows in the morning and passing through at 62.2mph (thanks 1020Shireman for the details!) at night on the return.
     

    Attached Files:

    CLN_WVR, 1020 Shireman and ragl like this.

Share This Page