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60009 The Talisman: 15/9/18

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by alastair, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Part of the furniture Friend

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    Rather than talk to the three fellow female music students I accompanied down to London to see a Mike Oldfield concert back in 1980 as part of my abortive Music 'O' level, I timed the Deltic hauling our train. I made it 112 through New Southgate (?) - then a frequent choice for a mad dash.

    Always said I was wired up wrong :D
     
  2. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    It was!
     
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  3. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Not my video, but an interesting angle on things from Doncaster.....

     
  4. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Well-Known Member

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  5. Enterprise

    Enterprise Well-Known Member

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    It's always good to see an A4, an A1 or a Deltic hammering through Doncaster but one thing made obvious by the last two posts is that Doncaster is nothing like the way it was.
     
  6. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    Time to complement the excellent pictorial coverage presented in this thread and put some flesh on the bones of the comments about this superb excursion, which, taken in the round, effectively showcased the best of ECML motive power and performance in the post-war era. Yes, the issues concerning the integration of charters such as this into the busy ECML daytime pathing of LNER, Hull Trains, Grand Central, Cross Country, Trans-Pennine Express, Thameslink and Northern services were clearly evident as the day progressed. But despite adverse circumstances at the “usual suspect” pinch-points – Digswell, Stoke, Colton and Longlands Junctions – elsewhere our progress did not feel too badly hampered by conflicts and priorities and there was plenty to savour with some energetic intermediate runs between scheduled stops.

    The start from the Cross, however, was very gentle – we were routed onto the Down Goods/ Down Slow 2 from Holloway (something of a novelty for me), with nothing faster than 14 mph through the tunnels to Holloway Junction. Finsbury Park was passed in 10m 57s at 17 mph and we subsequently lost some seven minutes overall on the initial timing to Potters Bar (12.6 miles/ 29m 17s). Inevitably, the short hop on to Stevenage was further frustrated by a walking pace approach to Digswell Junction to allow the passage of Thameslink 08.16 KGX-PBO. With maxima of 69 mph before and 55 mph after this check, the 14.8 miles consumed a further 21m 55s, and our lateness was just under 5 minutes on departure from SVG.

    But almost immediately No.9 got into its stride, with Hitchin (5.5 miles) passed at 76mph in 6m 39s, and then, with more urgency to our progress, speeds down the 1 in 200/ 264/ 400/ 330 were maintained consistently in a bandwidth from 73-77mph. The next 14.4 miles to Everton Level Crossing were consumed in 11m 29s at a flying average of 75.2 mph. From that point we were eased and then checked through St Neots (33mph) as we caught up with the 08.16 KGX-PBO, last seen at Digswell Junction, making its all-stations wayside calls north of Stevenage.

    The local’s headway had shrunk to 3 minutes at this point, but we were able to recover to 59/ 61mph past Offord LC, and we passed Huntingdon at 58mph in 30m 13s from Stevenage, one minute inside even time despite the intermediate check at St Neots. The climb up to MP 62 summit saw speed fall slightly to a minimum of 56 mph but from there speed rose progressively to a maximum of 74mph at Woodwalton Junction before a slow approach to the water stop at Holme. Overall time for this leg was 44m 33s, a start-to stop average of 55.5 mph for the 41.2 miles, and an R/T arrival.

    We were away promptly at 10.00 am for the continuation on to our final passenger pick up at Peterborough - an unremarkable 7.6 miles taking 11m 30s, with a maximum speed of 53 mph recorded just prior to Fletton Junction, of the outskirts of Peterborough.

    Away one minute late, we raced up to 59mph before slowing to 18mph to negotiate the Down Slow crossover at Helpston Junction. We then set of on a purposeful climb of Stoke, with speeds maintained at 62 falling very gradually to 58 mph all the way to Corby Glen. We were heavily checked down to walking pace approaching the entry to the two track section at 99m 60c/ Stoke Junction while a Hull Trains 180 swept past on 1H02 09.48 KGX-HUL; at this point the 23.4 miles from Peterborough had taken 33m 37s.

    We didn’t really get into our stride again until after Peascliff Tunnel, presumably while the Hull Trains service made its Grantham station call, but then over the 11.8 miles from the north portal of the tunnel to Newark, speed rose progressively from 68 to 74 mph, and averaged 70.7 mph pass-to-pass over this section. We continued at these speeds to Bathley Lane LC, at which point we slowed for our water stop on the Carlton Loop. 49.6 miles in 61m 47s/ average 48.2 mph.

    By any yardstick, the next section onwards to York would qualify as the star attraction on the down journey - 62.5 miles scheduled in 60 minutes. Steady acceleration from the Carlton Loop (dep 3L) up the rising 1 in 300/ 200 gradients to the former Dukeries Junction and on to Askham Tunnel, entered at 62 mph, preceded a good spell of running at or just over 75mph, initially on the 1 in 200/ 178 down through Retford and then on through Bawtry (72/70mph). From here, speed up the broken 1 in 198 drifted down to 60 mph at Pipers Wood summit before rising rapidly back up to a maximum of 77mph on the southern approach to Doncaster, passed at 70 mph in 31m 25s for the exactly 30 miles from the Carlton Loop.

    Another decent spell of higher speed running ensued north of Doncaster, with speeds in the range 76-78mph, and then at a slightly lower rate (73/ 74mph) from Templehirst Junction, past the Hambleton junctions, until a checked approach to Colton Junction (minimum 41 mph), probably due to a late running TPE Newcastle-Manchester Victoria service (7L), impeded our progress towards an on-schedule performance over this leg. Instead, we concluded with a manoeuvre across the Colton North “ladder” and a steady unchecked run over the last 5.5 miles from the junction into York, with speeds of up to 57 mph (at Copmanthorpe).

    Flying averages over this section give a clearer impression of the sustained higher speed running we enjoyed – 21.48 miles from Askham Tunnel to Doncaster in 18m 03 (71.4 mph average, encompassing the Pipers Wood minimum), 13.22 miles onward to Templehirst Junction in 10m 23s (76.4 mph average), and from there over the 11.15 miles to the north end of the Ryther viaduct over the River Wharfe, at which point braking ahead of the Colton Junction check had commenced, in 9m 07s, at an average of 73.4 mph. The net result of all this effort was an arrival in York in 62m 05s, just 25 seconds inside even time for the 62.5 miles. Still two minutes outside schedule, but largely accounted for by the checks approaching Colton Junction. So York arrival 5L.

    Northwards from York, the Talisman had inevitably been allocated a slow line path over the 28.7 miles as far as the end of the quadruple track section at Longlands Junction (Northallerton). Our departure from York was delayed by some 10 minutes (not sure exactly why), but when we did get under way, speed rose very gently to 65 mph at Tollerton Junction (9.5 miles/ 14m 57s) and peaked at 71mph south of Pilmoor. Thereafter speed drifted back down again, passing Thirsk (22.2 miles) in 26m 35s at 53mph, All of which perfectly anticipated the passage of the late running TPE 1P23/ 11.39 MAN-NCL (running 5L at Thirsk as against our 10L at that point) We coasted down to 21/ 20 mph just before MP28 before being given the road through Longlands Junction, passed in 37m 59s at 47 mph – actually an improvement on the 41 minutes allowed, thus reducing our arrears to 4L at the junction.

    Back on the Down Main No.9 immediately picked up the pace with a steady increase to 74 mph north of East Cowton Junction before an equally steady decline to 67 mph crossing the Tees Bridge and 68 mph on the approach to Darlington, with Darlington South Junction passed in 50m 48s for the 43.9 miles (51.9 mph start-to-pass), and lateness reduced to 5 minutes. There then followed another quick burst of fast running at speeds up to 75 mph (attained around MP47.5), with an average 69.4 mph over the 5.5 miles to Aycliffe Junction, before our progress was once again arrested with a signal stop (the first on our journey!) approaching Ferryhill South Junction.

    The stop lasted 3m 54s, and on restart we regained our pace at Hett Mill LC (67 mph), maintained for almost four miles until we began our slowing for the Durham stop south of Langley Moor Viaduct. We arrived at Durham 11L, 66.2 miles in 79m 23s from York (exactly 50 mph start-to-stop), within a whisker of the 78 minute schedule despite the prolonged stop at Ferryhill South and the slow approach to Longlands Junction.

    A final burst of speed from No.9 on the short 13.9 mile leg to Newcastle ensued, and with it a pleasant surprise. A pathing stop on the Up/ Down Slow between Birtley and Low Fell Junctions had originally been provided to allow the passage of TPE Manchester Victoria –Newcastle and Cross Country Southampton-Edinburgh services. In the event the former was running 14L and the latter 9L at Chester-le-Street, and we were able to omit hthis stop and proceed unchecked into Newcastle.

    We passed Chester-le-Street in 8m 35s for the 5.7 miles from Durham at 71 mph, and thereafter speed rose to a maximum of 77mph opposite the north end of Tyne Yard/ just prior to Low fell Junction. An unchecked approach to Newcastle through King Edward Bridge South and North Junctions saw our arrival in 18m 44s (44.6 mph start-to-stop). More importantly, missing the pathing stop had allowed the quite unexpected benefit of a 2 minute-early arrival at our destination – something we could not possibly have foreseen when 11L at Durham.

    So our aggregate running times for the 268.7 miles from Kings Cross to Newcastle totaled 5 hours 29 minutes 14 seconds, exclusive of dwell times at station stops, water stops and the signal stop at Ferryhill South. This represents an average speed in motion of 48.9 mph. By way of contrast, The Morning Talisman in steam days consumed 4 hours 34 minutes in running times from Kings Cross to Newcastle – just outside even time but roughly 55 minutes less No.9’s performance on Saturday. But this is hardly an “apples-with-apples” comparison. That was in the days when the Talisman was one of the truly premier trains on Britain’s premier high-speed main line, and with a priority over all other traffic on the main line, commensurate with this status - rather than a steam charter that necessarily needed to yield to virtually all other (faster) passenger traffic on the ECML. But the important thing, and the great joy of experiencing the Talisman in this 2018 incarnation, is that we still glimpse the past glories of the A4’s in front line service with days out such as these, and the magic is still there.

    The distinctive pitch of Alycidon’s throbbing twin Napier engines heralded its the arrival after a few minutes at the rear of the train to haul the formation back over the King Edward Bridge to a turning manoeuvre at the North/ East/ South Junction triangle, and then on to its layover at Tyne Yard. We were treated to the marvelous soundtrack of the Deltic’s power units as it drew the stock clear of platform 2, the pitch of its power units rising to something more akin to an aeronautical howl as it advanced towards the platform end – almost worth the admission price all on its own – but then immediately matched by No. 9’s dominating chime whistle filling the Newcastle Central train-shed with sound to provide an abiding memory of its departure. Sheer acoustic delight, and a reminder that the day was only half done, with the curtain due to rise on the second half of this magnificent double bill some three hours later. A real tour de force of Deltic performance awaited, but that’s for a separate post.

    I would like to add my own words of appreciation to the chorus of thanks to John Cameron for making this day possible, and to DBC for the behind the scenes planning/ organization and to the A1 SLT for the very visible efforts of its busy volunteers on the day. And of course to the footplate crews for a series of outstanding performances, and the on-board staff who helped to make the passenger experience so enjoyable. All in all, a truly memorable and worthy alternative to the appearance Tornado should have made.

    Incidentally, this report is pieced together from a rather fragmented and as yet unchecked set of notes and recordings, and if anyone is able to corroborate the performance claims – or indeed contradict or correct them, then I would be very grateful. This is how I learn. And also, and in particular, if anyone can help to identify the footplate crews for the benefit of the credits, and the tare and gross weights of the Load 11 formation, then that would be excellent too!!
     
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  7. alts1985

    alts1985 New Member

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  8. Kylchap

    Kylchap Member

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    Wayne was on the footplate for the departure from King's Cross.
     
  9. rule55

    rule55 Member

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    Footplate crews: Kings Cross-Peterborough; Paul Major (Driver), Wayne Thompson (Fireman), Bob Hart (TI). North of Peterborough; Steve Hanczar (Driver), Paul fired to York, Tony Jones from York To Newcastle, Jim Smith (TI). Leaving Newcastle going south with D9009, Joe Wray to York, and then Paul Lindley to Kings Cross.

    Just for the record, there was no coal left in the tender on arrival at Newcastle and not much more than dust had been shovelled for some miles before.
     
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  10. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    Thank you so much for that. I thought I recognised a couple of the team amongst the blackened faces on the footplate at the York water stop, but I just felt that it was important that everyone involved in delivering some great performances on the day should get the mention and the recognition that they truly deserve, and this is what you have helped to achieve with this post.

    So many thanks once again.
     
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  11. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Well-Known Member

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    Some prat in a hi-viz jacket tried that with me, said something about a bye law stating no photographs to be taken from the roof!

    Told him he was making it up and where to go and took the shot of "Tornado"........... bloody jobsworths! :mad:
     
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  12. alts1985

    alts1985 New Member

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    Yep that's what I was told! Will try your approach next time!
     
  13. hatherton hall

    hatherton hall Member

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    125mph down Stoke Bank. Didn't Mallard do 126? [​IMG]
     
  14. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Allegedly. ;)
     
  15. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    :Banhappy:
     
  16. Sean Emmett

    Sean Emmett Member

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    Thx for report Mazeppa. Sounds like a good run. Was booked on this but couldn't make the rearranged date.

    Was hoping Auld Reekie would be some steam + deltic compensation, but now that's kiboshed until 2019.
     
  17. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Well-Known Member

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    :Finger:
     
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  18. henrywinskill

    henrywinskill Well-Known Member

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    I will start the likes off:D
     
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  19. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Well-Known Member

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    back at ya' ;)
     
  20. Victor

    Victor Part of the furniture Friend

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    I seem to recall reading somewhere that in their heyday one of them had a pretty fair crack at it down Stoke bank. ;)
    Whoops, I think Stuart beat me to it.
     

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