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Battlefield Line Winter Warmer Gala, 3-4 February 2024

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by ruddingtonrsh56, Dec 11, 2023.

  1. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Well-Known Member

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    A free bus (but donations to its upkeep welcome) linking Nuneaton and Hinckley with Market Bosworth over the gala weekend has been confirmed (https://facebook.com/shackerstoneshentonmarketbosworth/posts/689558116674298).
    The railway is still working to secure a third loco to replace 6880 for the event
     
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  2. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Well-Known Member

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    78018 is the third visitor

    Sent from my SM-A137F using Tapatalk
     
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  3. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed she is! A nice return as she was stored at the railway (as an unrestored loco) for a time in the 1970s before being sold to new owners
     
  4. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Well-Known Member

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    It's been available for a few days, but the timetable complete with loco allocations is now available at https://www.battlefieldline.co.uk/winter-gala. An additional bus service has been put on to Market Bosworth in the morning, and a Saturday only return from Shackerstone after the last train of the day, which is a non-stop run featuring all three locos. Tickets are only available to buy on the day due to ongoing updates with the railway's online ticketing system, so you may wish to arrive early to beat the queues! I'll be firing 5199 on the Saturday so do come and say hi! Hope to see you there :)
     
  5. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain Member

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    A very busy day up at the Battlefield Line today.

    Normally, as a non-driver, it's quite difficult for me to reach despite being not all that far from home, so the bus shuttle from Nuneaton proved very welcome, and seemed well patronised despite the train strike disruption.

    The turnout seemed very high, many trains during the day were full and standing, and the catering staff onboard and at the cafes were having to work very hard to keep up with demand.
    Shout out to the young lad at Shackerstone who spent all afternoon pouring teas and serving cake with a queue constantly out the door, and the lady doing table service from the buffet car who had to try and repeatedly navigate packed moving trains with trays of beers!

    The double-header with the prairies was a great spectacle and 78018 also seemed a perfect fit for this size of line. Sadly I couldn't stay for the triple-headed finale as I couldn't guarantee CrossCountry would be able to get me home after!

    Amusing to see 08701 shunting the shuttle stock at Market Bosworth without its connecting rods... I didn't even know they could do that!

    DSC_0592bresized.jpg DSC_0670bresized.jpg DSC_0692resized.jpg
     
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  6. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    Echo above, our first visit to the railway and it really is in the middle of nowhere - but quite the hidden treasure! However, it was exceptionally busy, even the volunteers we spoke to were suprised at how full the car park was so early in the day.
    The event though was well organised, plenty of action and the trains are worked quite hard for a fairly short line. Everyone seemed very friendly and eager to chat about the railway.
    Our only observation was that the railway seems to have accumulated a lot of 'stuff' over the years, some of which looks highly unlikely to ever turn a wheel or see use again - perhaps a review could help raise some funds towards a passing loop at Market Bosworth? The Peak diesel is quite possibly the worst example of a 'preserved' locomotive I've ever seen, looks like it could collapse in situ at anytime!
    We are glad we made the effort and will likely return to another event in the future, well done to all involved for putting on a great event and yes the catering staff worked exceptionally hard!
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2024
  7. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    "Don't mention 45015 - I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it..." (I'm surprised it's still there, given it was 'imminently being cut up' back in 2021.)

    I had planned to go yesterday but the train strikes made it non-viable by rail from London, and with no car available that settled matters further. It's always a delight to hear of events like this at lines that are perhaps overlooked in favour of 'the big ones' doing as well as this appears to have done. If as busy as is being made out, I hope that's transpired to a healthy profit.
     
  8. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for letting me know the number, guess it still counts as a cop (just about!).

    I would hope a very healthy return, but there must be some significant costs and risk in hiring and steaming 3 locos for a small railway - so these events deserve to be well rewarded.
     
  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    45015 does seem to defy the odds somewhat doesn't it? Someone really needs to put it out of its misery.
     
  10. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    We were having a chat on one of the trains yesterday regarding the Bluebell's new approach of 'if there is no hope of something being restored, get rid'. This loco seems to sum that up perfectly - it may have been restorable 20 years ago, certainly it isn't now.
    The consensus was that storing stuff in sidings for ever more really isn't cost effective as things just deteriorate further year on year and become even bigger projects. Pass things onto someone who may have a use (or the will and budget), or if it is too far gone at least get the scrap value.
     
  11. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    Especially with the generator sold to 45132, the bogies one of the main line locos and other bits allegedly to other groups, which makes its continued survival even more astonishing!
     
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  12. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    From what I understand, 45015 was bought as a a bit of a sentimental project, on account of its longevity.
    I do believe that it was a bit of a basket case when it was moved due to certain other similar loco groups based in the East Mids being having already been allowed to remove certain components and I think it’s most recent donation has been its main genny towards the 45 at Epping (45132?)
    There has also been ownership difficulties and the dreaded A word regarding it.
     
  13. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it was overly restorable 20 years ago. It was withdrawn for seized traction motors and cannibalised before being sold and after.
     
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  14. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Well-Known Member

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    Glad you enjoyed yourself :)
    So a couple of replies to your reflections re stock and the loop at MB - First of all, installing a loop at MB is on the agenda. It would effectively be putting in a point on the south end of the siding that the local was stored in to allow the main set to pass - as the other platform and old statio building is now owned by a second hand car dealership we would not be able to make use of this. However, points are costly bits of kit and in the last few years the p-way budget has had to go on relaying life-expired bits of track on the running line - no use putting a nice loop in to allow two trains to pass at Market Bosworth if the track just outside Shackerstone isn't fit to take them! (This is also the reason for the speed restriction half way between Shackerstone and Market Bosworth this weekend - track relaying where the finishing touches are still required to enable trains to run over it at 25mph rather than just ten). Then you have the issue of both time and money - the line's workforce is really very small, so there is only so much the team can do in one closed season (especially if we interrupt it for a winter gala and half term running like we are this year). And it all costs money, even with voluneer labour.
    This brings us neatly on to the point you raised about stock - I am perhaps not the best person to advise about that as I do not know whether all the tired stock is owned by the railway or whether there are other private groups owning them that the railway would need to liaise with about stock movement. Then there is the question of - if the railway gets rid of it, what happens to it? Is there are buyer willing to take it elsewhere, and if so, can they find somewhere that would take it? If not, you have the complicated decision of 'do we scrap it or not'? Regarding the infamous peak - I think its departure is certainly desired, but I think there are hiccups and complications with that, not least among which is the presence of Asbestos in it. I know there is some stock where there is a long term strategic view for their use - the Mk3s at Bosworth for instance are earmarked to eventually become a cafe in a to be constructed bay platform at Market Bosworth. There are lots of plans like this, but the challenge is that once you factor in the cost, time and manpower required just to keep the railway running during the open season and then maintain it in the closed season, there isn't always a huge amount spare for upgrades / improvements like this to take place. Hopefully, events like the gala this weekend will swell the bank balance nicely to enable more of these long term goals to become a reality in the nearer future
     
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  15. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    Many thanks for your detailed reply and great to hear about the strategic plans. Hope my comments regards stock weren't seen as a criticism, but purely reflective of first time visitors. The points raised could be raised at many a railway and your reply similarly - but it is an issue that the whole movement will need to tackle especially as resources are less and costs rise - the site of the Peak provoked the talking point!
    We did very much enjoy our visit, it's a cracking railway.
     
  16. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS Member

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    Throughly enjoyed my first visit to the Railway the station building at Shackerstone is lovely and the selection of Ales in the Griddle car was excellent
     
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  17. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I'm with you in that they are valid criticisms and they are questions I have raised myself at times! But ultimately I'm glad you enjoyed your visit and I hope we see you again at some point!
     
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  18. black5

    black5 Well-Known Member

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    An enjoyable visit over the weekend. Trains particularly round the middle of the day were very busy and standing.
     
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  19. ax1709cjm

    ax1709cjm New Member

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    Went to the Battlefield gala yesterday. Really loved the double headed prairies. Looked like it was pretty busy when I was there, hope the railway did well out of it!
    img_7464.jpg img_7469.jpg img_7499.jpg img_7500.jpg img_7503.jpg img_7517.jpg img_7521.jpg img_7524.jpg img_7533.jpg img_7562.jpg
     
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  20. William Fletcher

    William Fletcher Member

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    So is 4144 or 5199 the right GWR green? Interesting tosee them togerht
     

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