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Bluebell Branch Line Weekend 21-23 April

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by Paul.Uni, Nov 11, 2022.

  1. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks
     
  2. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    I've put lots more info about the gala, which starts today, on the Blog over the last couple of days:
    https://www.bluebell-railway.com/brps/whats_new/
    including a photo of the visiting locos lined up with 'Fenchurch' on shed yesterday afternoon.
     
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  3. OldSchoolTrains2

    OldSchoolTrains2 New Member

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    The absolute state of things on our local line today means dad and I called off our Bluebell plans as it looked at the point we had to make a decision like we'd have arrived there from the west country too late to make it really worthwhile, so I'm just keeping an eye on the webcams to see how our day would've panned out and I'm certainly jealous of everyone there. Imagine it's pretty snug in those short sets. The three tank engines triple-header out of Sheffield Park first thing looked like a lot of fun, and I've been impressed considering the complexity of the timetable that everything seems to be running perfectly to time so far. Well done to everyone who's made this happen, hope it's as successful as you deserve.
     
  4. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain Member

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    Think you must have jinxed it.
    Last train to East Grinstead ground to a halt at the Kingscote distant with injector problems on the pug.
    Has now made it to Kingscote 10min late and awaiting info as to what's happening next!

    EDIT, just been told that the O1, still in the other platform, is going to ditch its stock and take the East Grinstead train forward.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2023
  5. Dan Hamblin

    Dan Hamblin Part of the furniture

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    Hastings and the Pug have just been detached from their train on the webcam, looks like they are topping the tank up on Hastings having done the Pug earlier.

    Hopefully nothing too serious.

    Regards,

    Dan
     
  6. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Well-Known Member

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    Currently at Kingscote on the last train to East Grinstead. The Pug and Hastings have come off. 65 is going to take us to East Grinstead.

    Sent from my SM-A137F using Tapatalk
     
  7. OldSchoolTrains2

    OldSchoolTrains2 New Member

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    Yeah I absolutely jinxed it didn't I! Just watching all the shunting at Kingscote on the webcam with my kids.
     
  8. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    There doesn't seem to be very much coal on 65's tender...

    Steve B
     
  9. Dan Hamblin

    Dan Hamblin Part of the furniture

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    Yes, does seem pretty empty. Hastings and Pug just brought the Mk1 set back into the platform, presumably heading back to Sheffield Park.

    Regards,

    Dan
     
  10. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain Member

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    Got into East Grinstead about 40min late. Not bad given the complexity of shunting required!
     
  11. David likes trains

    David likes trains Member

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    A few quick uploads from today. I travelled on the trains a little bit and had no problem finding a seat, though the event looked fairly well attended considering the weather and it being Friday. Which it must be said was a little better than expected in the end, stopped raining about midday and the sun came out in the afternoon. Always something to see at Horsted Keynes with the brakevan rides and locos switching stock, the first photo shows some of this with Hastings setting off at the same time as 80151 departed southwards.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Taken prior to the evening charter
    0A8A1229LR.jpg
     
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  13. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain Member

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    Have recovered after the long slog home yesterday (not helped by the Chiltern line being a mess).

    Have to say that, notwithstanding the issues with the Pug, the event was absolutely top-notch!

    A great selection of visiting locos, which were very well presented!

    A timetable that worked very well (until the problem at the end of the day), with a level of variety and frequency that meant it was possible to sample all the locos and stock over the course of the day.
    Full marks to the signalmen and operating staff at Horsted Keynes who managed to handle all the loco swapping and shunting quickly and efficiently, despite being down one through platform!

    Lots going on at HK and SP, and importantly, clear and helpful PA announcements telling passengers what was going on where and when.

    And finally, weather that despite starting out a bit grim, really improved over the course of the day.

    The railway was busy, but not heaving, and I was always able to find a seat even on the shorter trains.
    It would've been helpful to have clarified whether or not First Class seating was actually open to all, as a few people were hesitant to sit in the First compartments, and they ended up empty even whether the train was pretty full!

    I did hear a couple of people complain that the timetable was a bit hard to follow, maybe something to look at for future events.

    Overall, have to congratulate the Bluebell staff and volunteers on an excellent event, I hope the rest of the weekend goes well and it brings in a decent income for the railway.
    DSC_0789.JPG DSC_0031.JPG DSC_0760.JPG
     
  14. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    An excellent day today with only slight timetable slippage late morning but 11253 and 72 made up the time as they didn’t need the extra time between HK and SP. We even made the connection at EG between 65 arriving at 1555 and SR to EC at 1606. Well thought out and slick operating. 72 sounded lovely climbing from HK to the tunnel. Warm and sunny for most of the day. Perfect. Thanks to all at Bluebell
     
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  15. William Shelford

    William Shelford Member

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    I don't think there was. The crew of the O1 raided the East Grinstead emergency coal supply before returning south, slightly delaying departure.
    Despite the problems with the last train, it was a great day (once it stopped raining), I was very impressed with the timetable and both the planned and unplanned shunting moves.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2023
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  16. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Some phone photos from today:-
    DSC_2350-01.jpg DSC_2367-01.jpg DSC_2351-01.jpg DSC_2356-01.jpg DSC_2360-01.jpg

    Sent from my XQ-AS52 using Tapatalk
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    68034083-17D3-44C2-9D9A-CA0F7C6D8C10.jpeg

    One from me - waiting for the platform at Kingscote. (Taken while on duty).

    Tom
     
  18. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Part of the furniture

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    Had a good day today. There was a few technical difficulties with 52322, on the run up to East Grinstead the loco lost pressure, resulting in a stop near Kingscote and had to have a faulty gauge glass replaced later in the afternoon, but otherwise time was easily made up (presumably due to the timetable compensation).

    Visitor numbers seemed very good, although with the shorter rakes, it seems capacity was a bit of an issue, primarily on the 100 seater set. I joined it after Hastings brought it in and Fenchurch and the Pug taking it back out and it was over crowded (the compartment I was in had all seats occupied and 2 people ended up standing), there was also a large crowd waiting for 52322 to take the set back up to Horsted Keynes on the late afternoon service.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2023
  19. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Well-Known Member

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  20. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    Yes full and standing on a couple of services but it is a Gala with a number of short rakes so inevitable on a fine Saturday. Our only downside wasn’t anything to do with the Bluebell but the drag of a journey by train from Southampton, Swanwick twice what it takes to fly from Southampton to Edinburgh or Glasgow. At least SR behaved today but you do wonder why the Brighton line and west Coastway has been allowed to develop the way it has.
     
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