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Atlantic Coast Express UKRT/MNLPS 23/09/17

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Where's Mazeppa?, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Member

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    I have to stay awake from Reading as far as the junction at Virginia Water as it's new track for me... As a matter of fact, I welcome the opportunity to do Twickenham eastbound.
     
  2. derby2

    derby2 Member

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    And whilst I understand the sentiments, the schedule is about as good as you'll get from Reading to Victoria, even mid-evening and irrespective of the motive power. If you look at the NR timings you will note that there's relatively little 'pathing time' built in. And as soon as MNLPS/UKR were advised that the train had to come out of Victoria (which frankly came as no surprise) we asked for Clapham Jn stops to be inserted in both directions to enable better connections for those passengers coming off SWR and Southern services.
     
  3. derby2

    derby2 Member

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    Far more to the point, the MNLPS know what they're doing with regard to water arrangements. It is a requirement that steam specifications to the TOC require the promoter & loco owner to specify what water stops they require, and for how long. This has to be robust, otherwise the TOC or NR will reject as unworkable. "Clan Line" has run from London to Salisbury via Staines without a water stop many times before, so we know it's perfectly within range, though close(ish) to the limit.
    But the itinerary for the 'ACE' does present its own problems. It certainly isn't correct to simply say "oh, there's enough water in the tender to get to the next water stop". the logistical plan has to take into account the capacity of the road tankers that usually have to be used at remote locations. Also bear in mind that no longer can reputable haulage companies simply stop their tankers at the nearest fire hydrant and fill up; present day H&S and extraction regulations simply don't allow this. Given that Exeter Yard has no water supply, for the 'ACE' it has had to be a carefully-crafted calculation of how much water needs to be 'on board' leaving each water stop - Salisbury, Yeovil Jn (splash & dash just in case), Honiton, Exeter Yard, Frome and Milton Jn - to ensure that we get round the circuit from London to Devon and back safely, including ensuring there is never less than about 1,000 gallons in the tender, which is the agreed minimum contingency level.
    Therefore, for this trip we have arranged that on arrival at Salisbury "Clan Line" will be detached and shunt over to the Depot Reception Line (the former platform 1) and take water from two road tankers parked in the DMU depot car park. DBC, NR and the local SWR people are 'on board' with this plan, which will ensure that the train departs with the full tender that we calculate will be necessary. This move does allow passengers to view the loco from platform 2, which is preferable to the usual scrum that develops at the end of platform 4.
    Water for the whole itinerary is being supplied by 3 road tankers, and 'replenishment' has been arranged through contacts at Salisbury and Exeter. When you factor in that these road tankers travel only about 8 miles per gallon of diesel fuel, and you then add in the cost of decent quality coal these days, it's easy to understand why main line steam is not a cheap operation. (and no comments about 'environmental impact' at this juncture please)!
     
  4. derby2

    derby2 Member

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    Sorry - too many "requires" in that second sentence!!!!
     
  5. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    The timings are why South Walians rarely do trains on the Southern anymore. It's not worth an overnighter for the crawl out of Victoria; almost 2 hours to Basingstoke??? As it is we have to catch the 0600 from BRI to make sure we get there. With a 2150 return, the earliest train we can get back from PAD doesn't get back to BRI until 0025. Then we'd have a 50 minute drive home after that.

    Bit ironic that just to do BSK-EXD-VIC we'd actually be out as long as we were on the epic Border Raider last week.

    In all probability we'll bail at Reading after a decent run from the Milton Water Stop. No.9 got up to 78/9 on that section on the Cotswold Venturer last month.
     
  6. IamDaniel

    IamDaniel New Member

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    I'm someone somewhere will give several reasons why it couldn't work out, but would it have not been more sensible to terminate the train at Paddington to avoid the crawl back to Victoria?
     
  7. Grashopper

    Grashopper New Member

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    (Probably in part because the loco lives at Stewarts Lane so has to get back that way anyway...)
     
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  8. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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  9. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    Perhaps what is on offer with the UKRT/ MNLPS "Wessex Express" in November, and/ or subsequent reincarnations of the same formula in 2018 (hinted at in the latest UKRT brochure), might present some sort of solution to the accessibility problems that clearly exist for those living west of the Thames Valley to Southern Railtours?? With a departure time after 10 o'clock, and and an arrival back around tea-time, it should be more do-able.

    The "via Staines" itinerary still says that there's going to be an element of trundle, but at least the overall offer for the Circular of something not far short of 200 miles behind a diesel-free Merchant 28, almost all of it in daylight, and at the very reasonable price of £79 for those travelling in steerage, must surely be worth considering? I suppose in the end it will still all come down to the answers to two basic questions - "How appealing is Southern Steam for the effort involved", and perhaps more mischievously "Is Tornado running that day"?;)
     
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  10. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    I'm sure many would agree that some of the very best and most-liked posts on this forum are those which offer, particularly to a layman like myself, the sort of insider's insights into the thinking, the planning, and the making-things-happen that is invested in main line steam tours. For me, this post is a perfect illustration of these insightful contributions. So thank-you for this - the understanding of the issues involved will make a day that I have been looking forward to for some time all the more enjoyable! Magnificent locomotive, magnificent presentation, and (hopefully) magnificent performance.

    Most enjoyable of all, though, is the news that during the day we get the benefit of a decent look at the locomotive at Salisbury. Tornado's Devon Belle outing (April 2016) didn't really offer this until we arrived back at Victoria late in the evening - certainly as far as photographic opportunities were concerned. So this is a big plus!!

    Edit: first paragraph - three "magnificents" in one sentence!! Not sorry - its deliberate :);)
     
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  11. IamDaniel

    IamDaniel New Member

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    FTR has been passed.
     
  12. D1002

    D1002 Well-Known Member

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    Passed FTR, headboard fitted ready for tomorrow:
    D89D3F16-062D-4934-AA58-A3800D88C266.jpeg
     
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  13. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    We did have enough time to wander down the platform to have a chat with the crew and get a close look at the big green engine last April.
    Still looking forward to the Southern bit, BSK-EXC, but pretty sure the best performances will be on the Great Western on the climbs of Whiteball; Somerton; Brewham; and then on the sprints between SWI-Milton and Milton to TLH. Bit sad for a train still running as the ACE.
     
  14. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    The wreath presumably for David Shepherd
     
  15. D1002

    D1002 Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
     
  16. 70000

    70000 New Member

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    I see the ECS was 34 down leaving Wembley.
     
  17. BR 73082

    BR 73082 New Member

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    Away from Victoria 13L. Standard at the rear unfortunately (I'm in coach G).
     
  18. BR 73082

    BR 73082 New Member

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    Now back on time at Virginia Water after a brisk run through Richmond and Twickenham.
     
  19. D432

    D432 New Member

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    If it went to Paddington it wouldn't get back Acton Main Line and Acton Wells Jun is block from 1600 today until 0010 Monday.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    IMG_3970.JPG

    A couple of minutes early at Salisbury. The presentation of the engine is a credit to those concerned.

    Tom
     
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