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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    But there is already a class 33 on Bluebell under the supervision of the 09 group.
     
  2. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    It's not just about the committed group, which I believe already exists, but also about the railway as a whole embracing the diesels as part of the wider whole, not treating them like something nasty in the woodshed.
     
  3. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about a thumper.
     
  4. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    Why should the railway expand beyond the limited diesel numbers they have already? Why should a railway which never had much in the way of diesels embrace them?
     
  5. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    I don't disagree , in the current climate acclass 33 is probably useful as a back up and for extremely dry spells but the ethos of a loco pulled steam train I suspect is what most punters look to on the Bluebell. Even better when the older stock is running. Have certainly seen people heading for the oldest coaches first, possibly nmore could be made if this by the travel on the 19xxs was like this theme etc. Also have certainly seen people's eyes open when someone points out the engine is over 100 years old, the wow factor comes when you positively promote the age of something.
     
  6. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Don't know quite what that might be, sorry to say
     
  7. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    Where else can you see such a variety of preserved southen region and pre grouping stock still in daily use and on display, to me that used to be the unique selling point to me.
     
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  8. A1X

    A1X Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I agree with others above on the Thumper. I am absolutely not averse to diesel traction (and indeed have been at every Bluebell diesel gala and not once have I felt the need to do either a Hail Mary or splash myself with holy water as a result. I completely understand and indeed support the logic for the class 33 and believe the 09 has already proved it's worth and then some in it's time on the line. I wouldn't even be against a further loco (maybe a 73) to bolster that fleet and provide flexibility within that for maintenance etc.

    But the Thumper...hmm. It's an awful lot bigger, will take an awful lot more maintenance and I just don't see the benefit in the same way.

    If, for example, Camelot fails in the platform at Sheffield Park with a 5 coach train, the 33 (or at a push the 73 or 09 in this scenario) could work that train after shunting the stricken Five out of the way without having to even ask the punters to leave their seats. But if the same happens with a Thumper, you're then having to cram 5 coaches worth of people into 2, and you're still left with a platform blocked by a failed locomotive and it's stock until you've got the 09 out, with all the requisite shunting still to be done. Assuming the Thumper is even at SP, when realistically it's probably going to be based in HK.
     
  9. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    But what if the Thumper breaks down? It can only be rescued by an air braked loco (particularly if passengers are still aboard). Part of me would be delighted to see a broken down Thumper being rescued by ... Fenchurch:)!

    Steve B
     
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  10. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    I can understand having a 33, or any other diesel on the line because, all you do is to substitute one form of traction for another, a steam engine fails, you just, start up the diesel and run the service with that, until the steam engine is fixed, its a non brainer, the problem with the thumper, is that its a fixed formation, so very hard to split for maintaince, etc, A 73 on diesel power, I'm not sure if it would have enough power to haul a 5,or 6 coach rake up from East Grinstead,
     
  11. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    IMHO the real USP of the Bluebell is Horsted Keynes station.. Other lines have passenger stock of pre-grouping design. One has nothing else.
     
  12. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but they'll have the third rail up soon, then it's all fine...
     
  13. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Oh do come on now Sir .... One of the hallmark of Thumpers in service was near obscene levels of reliability ..... and in any event, the Bluebell cannot be blamed for Waterloo's opting for regressive sub-Brighton standards (P-P control system aside!). :Pompus:
     
  14. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it (and open to correction) I believe that Thumpers are buckeye coupled throughout, so not difficult to split, but it's what you do with the split bits that's the problem. I don't know if we're talking about a 2 or 3 coach set, but it can't work on it's own without both of it's driving coaches. You can lose the centre coach and still have a useful unit though.

    A bit like the Mets - if one of the 2 end coaches is unservicable, then all 4 of them are.

    Steve B
     
  15. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    I notice that you emphasise the "was" in your post. I agree that their reliability was good (and I used to enjoy travelling on the "Tadpole" units across the north downs in their day), but I'm not sure that in their old age in preservation that they have always excelled themselves. See https://www.eorailway.co.uk/the-railway/rolling-stock/demu-205205/ for EOR's experience.

    Having mentioned the one on the EOR, I found it interesting to travel on it there when it was in service. Firstly I was impressed by the NSE paint job, which seemed to suit it very well (I can't believe that I'm writing this). But secondly I was interested in the comments of a young mum (this was during a half term "kids for a quid" type offer). As she marshalled 2 junior school age children aboard, and struggled with a baby in a push chair the kids were saying how cool it was, and that they'd never been on a train like it before with proper doors etc. She said that it took her back to her childhood when she went to school on trains like this.

    I mention this because it does show that the general public can find interest in non-steam stuff as well, so we need to avoid too much generalisation.

    Steve B
     
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  16. Nimbus

    Nimbus New Member

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    Who needs air brakes?
    44823503315_eb93d33893_o.jpg
     
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  17. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    That looks fun - where is it?

    Steve B
     
  18. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thinking about, given the discussion of electric trains a Thumper is basically the same coaches as a Suburban EMU, just sounds a bit different
     
  19. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Why stone me. that could almost be a certain little green Pecket that now has a new home and job as depot pet at Ropley anyone thinking what i'm thinking, Hampshire unit on notch one, to provide air for braking, and through pipe the pecket with an handle, Alresford to Alton shuttles anyone.
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Dunno, but judging by the number of people standing around and looking at the loco/coach coupling and obviously in deep discussion, realisation that there is a slight technical hitch appears to have dawned.:):)
     
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