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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Jamessquared, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Moving away from diesels for a moment, here are 2 of Alex Morley's excellent progress photographs for Maunsell brake 3rd 3687, showing the lining and lettering is now complete on both sides, and quite scrumptious it looks, too:
    3687 compt. side.png
    3687 corridor side 29-10.png

    This carriage is now awaiting it's turn on the E-road jacks, but unfortunately delays to Car 54 are causing a backlog; the Pullman should have been through the paintshop, and returned to service for the Christmas season by now, however the new bogie springs were delivered with insufficient strength for the weight of the carriage, and so the ride height could not be set. A replacement set is on order, but this has resulted in not only a queue building up for E-road, but also lost Golden Arrow revenue at peak time. However in compensation, this makes a fine sight.
     
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  2. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Further to the last post, here are 2 current views of Car 54, both taken by David Jones, and included in what is unfortunately the final edition of "Coupé News", Terry Bye's excellent bi-monthly newsletter on all things Pullman.
    Firstly, the overhauled bogies, their axleboxes packed with wood blocks in place of the defective leaf springs. This was done in order to temporarily reunite the carriage and running gear, so that the jacks could be freed up for 3687:
    Screenshot_20221114-203811_1.png

    The second view is of Car 54 temporarily reunited with its bogies, and in undercoat, looking very different now, with the old matchboarding clad in aluminum sheet:
    Screenshot_20221114-203748_1.png
    For anyone interested, here is a link to all the back numbers of Coupé News, which are downloadable as PDFs.
    They really were fascinating, and apart from being a window into a past world, also detailed some of the painstaking private restorations going on around the country, including our own "Aquila", whilst still at the Colne Valley railway, and the exquisite 1921 car "Formosa" at Portsmouth Arms, both real labours of love:
    https://sremg.org.uk/coach/coupe/index.shtml
     
  3. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    Actually the new springs are too stiff, and these springs are being re-worked rather than replaced, by the supplier.
     
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  4. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    The original 1923 matchboarding was covered in aluminium sheet in the 1950s. None of that matchboarding survived, and Car 54 is now clad in plywood covered by aluminium sheet (matching Car 64 and 'Fingall').
     
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  5. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    This was done not to allow 3687 onto the jacks, but for another vehicle. There are several vehicles in the queue for the jacks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2022
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  6. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    It's not so much the doors and door locks (although they are a factor), the real crunch point are the door frames. The old compartment stock, (the Mets, the Hundred Seaters, the Birdcage) have solid teak door pillars which needed relatively light repair work when overhauled. Overhauling the metal door frames (cut out and replace, and replace the timber closing pillar too) is a tedious job on a Mk.1 (half the age of the teak-built vintage stock). It's what did for our ex-KX Mk.1 Suburbans 30 years ago. So I'm pleased to see that this structural bodywork (which the DEMU is said to require) will be handled outside of C&W.
    I'm a little concerned where the workshop space for this new gang to occupy for several years is to be found. The wagon gang sometimes are able to get a wagon into the works (because wagons are small), but otherwise have been working outside.
     
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  7. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for those clarifications, Richard.
     
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  8. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    WhatsApp Image 2022-11-13 at 8.20.40 AM.jpeg
    The full list of carriages still awaiting the jacks is: 4-wheelers: 3360, 3188, 661, LNWR Observation Car (so that they can all return to service either after Christmas, or in the spring), LBSCR Stroudley Brake 949 (ready for it to enter service late Spring), 3687 (hopefully squeezed into a suitable gap between the others), and the ex-Bicester Mk.1 TSO (once a pair of overhauled Commonwealths is ready for it), along with any routine maintenance requirements.
    I've just remembered why Car 54 had to be returned to its bogies - the operational Mk.1 BCK had to be lifted so that wheel flats could be dealt with.

    So far as the queue for the paint shop is concerned, Car 54 is the priority once its finally on its bogies. Stroudley 949 only needs to go in relatively quickly just for lining and varnishing. 3687 has entirely been painted where it sits in the main workshop, and varnishing will be done by the same volunteer team in that location.

    Our painter, Dave Clarke, sent me this photo a couple of days ago, showing that 34556 is entering the final phase of its heavy repaint - the west side, except for the sections which is to receive transfers, has received its first coat of varnish. So it shouldn’t be too much longer!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2022
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  9. PILLBOX MAN

    PILLBOX MAN New Member

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    The SVR invented a valve fixed to the brake column to prevent a train moving off with handbrake on years ago. Why the BB puts up with thousands of pounds worth of damage plus fitters time to remove bogies and not fit the valve is beyond me.
     
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  10. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    The dimbo valve. Self explanatory. It prevents vacuum being created above roughly 15 inches. It also gives off an audible sound, the same if the passcom has been pulled.
     
  11. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Is it like a loud fart?- sorry- raspberry?:)
     
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  12. Hurricane

    Hurricane Member

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    The MHR has these as well as a giant red paddle sign saying "hand brake applied"
     
  13. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    There are several versions of this valve around. The NNR utilises a particular component salvaged off Class 47's I believe (though I'm told there are some other classes that have/had them). These really do knock out the vacuum (down to about 2 or 3 inches) if operated and also give an audible rush below the guards van.

    Very useful for cutting down the wheel turning budget!

    Sent from my moto g(8) power using Tapatalk
     
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  14. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Resident of Nat Pres

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    Now that was a nice - if short-lived - colour scheme.
     
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  15. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Screenshot_20221125-184320.png
     
  16. PILLBOX MAN

    PILLBOX MAN New Member

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  17. PILLBOX MAN

    PILLBOX MAN New Member

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    If the tramr road was connected we could increase the through put by doubling Jack's.
     
  18. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    An interesting debate on here recently about rolling stock and also diesels. For what it's worth I think that with the Bluebell, and arguably other lines as well, it's all about the art of the possible, especially in these difficult times.

    The Bluebell started its collection back in 1960 and ahead of other railways. This has led to a remarkable range of rolling stock in particular - much more than some other lines, for example the Watercress - and it was impressive to see what was turned out for the autumn gala. One could argue it's almost a unique collection and no doubt that is recognised by the extent of period film work that it can attract. But this comes at a price and that can be found in what lies around waiting to be restored.

    The railway also has a remarkable steam fleet to match its rolling stock but a walk around the shed reminds you of what is there but hasn't been in steam for a while. And then there is the emerging Beachy Head that will obviously add value.

    My point is the obvious one. Decisions have to be made and establishing priorities will result in some people who will have different views. My personal view is that "less is more" if you know what I mean. But that is a tricky one to call. So I don't think that the Bluebell needs diesels or diesel units unless they support operation of the existing fleet, rather than add to it.
     
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  19. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    I agree with pretty much everything Big Al said, but not necessarily the conclusions drawn. 2 personal views
    1) diesels - droughts will be more common, as will steam bans. Diesels allow something to be salvaged. Also, (AIUI), you don't need a secondman. So that's one less critical dependency. Also, for the same reason they replaced steam, they are cheaper to run for non-profit-marking work.

    2) the linear scrapyard. I know I'm a voice in the wilderness, but I find the "to-do" pile at least as interesting as the working railway. A picture perfect stage set does nothing for me.
     
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  20. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    I think that a distinction also needs to be made between a "linear scrapyard" and locos that are restored, but out of service. Yes, I agree that the "to do" pile is interesting, but railways do need to be careful about the image presented to the public who may think otherwise. Easier said than done on some railways because of space constraints. The big one to avoid is the "restored, but out of service" ones becoming a linear scrapyard. In this respect I was so glad to see the USA tank at last being given a chance, and well done to the Bluebell for the approach that they have taken with regard to it.

    Steve B
     
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