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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

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

  1. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    Is my memory serving me correctly that Bulleid 34059 is likely to return for this year's Giants of Steam Gala?
     
  2. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    It is likely to return sometime this year, but no GOS this year, Summer Gala instead.
     
  3. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    If you date it from its frames, then 2/3 of the loco is not GWR, but Bluebell Railway (from 2002) in origin!
     
  4. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    2356 is Restriction 1, so a bit like 3687, doesn't fit properly into the Restriction 4 Maunsell set. It came to the Bluebell by accident rather than design, never being intended for preservation. It came to replace 1309 as the C&W mess coach, releasing 1309 for restoration, over 40 years ago now.
    The Rolling Stock Sub-committee did a lot of soul searching before agreeing to 2356 being offered for sale. We considered that the LSWR Corridor 3rd 494 was a far better bet for restoration to represent the vehicle type. (and yes, we had no idea the purchaser was going to scrap it; we'd have recovered many more spare parts from it had we known).
    Someone suggested the underframes would be useful for restoring grounded bodies - they really are the wrong type of underframe for a pre-grouping bogie coach, because they are too wide. The IoWS did buy a Maunsell underframe off us, but they're using it as a temporary underframe for coach bodies rather than one to rebuild to use under a coach. They have several grounded bogie coach bodies, and have just started their project to build up a rake of LCDR-pattern bogie coaches, and are making great progress with the first one. It's an exciting project to see!
     
  5. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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  6. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Screenshot_20230126-180343.png
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Day out yesterday on Fenchurch, on a weekend of crew familiarisation. We had three non-corridor bogie carriages (the pre-grouping SR livery set, 88 tons, with steam heating) and it romped away up to Horsted Keynes, easily maintaining pressure at 140 - 150psi on Welsh coal. You still need three hands to operate the injector; it still helps to have had several vertabrae removed to fire it; and we could do with a slightly shorter shovel, but apart from that it is excellent. Obviously it is all in tip-top condition at the moment, but it felt like it had some in hand with that load. (The earlier test trains involved taking the four Mets - 80 tons, but with more drag - to East Grinstead, including restarting own the 1 in 55 gradient)

    I believe (usual caveats) that the half term service will be Fenchurch and those three carriages, SP - HK only while the infrastructure team are working on the line at Vaux End.

    IMG_0243.jpeg

    Tom
     
  8. Charles Parry

    Charles Parry Member

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    Lovely seeing Fenchurch back at Horsted Keynes. It was the first steam loco I drove, on a driver for a tenner at a gala. The infamous Clive Groom was my tutor, backing her down the Ardingly spur and back into the station. Perhaps the best £10 I've ever spent.
     
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  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The Bluebell Railway Goods Division, having prepared a 5-year plan, have published their agreed Wagon Works Plan for 2023. To support this planned programme of work, please consider donating via the Trust – details here, buying something from the Goods Division Shop, or joining the gang as a volunteer – contact by messaging on Facebook or Instagram. SR Engineers’ Wagon ED 62002, seen here, is almost ready to be outshopped, after a heavy-intermediate overhaul.

    There's also a major track relay happening Vaux End at the moment - I'll try and précis it, but essentially it is a complete relaying of 520 yards (20 panels) south of the tunnel, with excavation right down to the original 1880s formation level.

    Tom
     
  10. echap

    echap New Member

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    Just bought some wagons from the Goods Division Shop to help out.

    Ed Chap
     
  11. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    Either I missed its reporting here or it was never mentioned but the Thumper landed and went out on a test run. Looks like theres the odd niggle but nothing the group can't handle. Certainly in far better nick than I thought it was (mostly because I mixed it up with the sets that went to Brechin).

    And 84030 has had a side tank delivered. It's nice to see this project gaining pace.
     
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  12. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    Always good to see some of the smaller items of rolling stock getting some tlc, but I was a little surprised to only see 10 wagons listed. I would have assumed a railway the size of Bluebell to have more. Is it just a matter of ownership (and others in private hands are not part of the plan)?
     
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The ten wagons is just what they plan on doing this year! Great to see not only so much work going into wagons, but also a strategy behind it and a grand plan.
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    As @flying scotsman123 says, that image is just the work plan for the year, not a stock list! The actual stock list is here:

    https://www.bluebell-railway.com/brps/wagon-stock-list/

    From reports on Facebook and elsewhere, the Bulleid open wagon and SR engineers wagon are very near completion.

    Tom
     
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  15. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    My confusion then! Certainly more than 10 on the website list. :)
     
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  16. A1X

    A1X Well-Known Member

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    Would be nice to see a decent length goods train out at a gala weekend sooner or later
     
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  17. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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  18. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    I think there's potentially 14 heritage wagons operational at present with 2 more nearly finished, and a few more that should be made operational later this year. And some operational wagons in our engineering fleet on top of that.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think we did about 14 or 15 vehicles + brake van at Giants of Steam four or five years ago with the S15.

    The constraints are:
    1. Available vehicles - which the Wagon Group are making great progress on
    2. Braking capacity for unfitted stock (which is set out in our sectional appendix). In practical terms, that provides a constraint on smaller locos but not the larger ones - the unbraked load limit on, say, the S15 is big enough that constraints 1 and 3 come into play. For, say, the O1 or a Terrier, this is the main constraint. With a fitted head, higher limits are allowed, but that then starts morphing into constraint 3 if you have to swap ends with the fitted wagons at each end
    3. Marshalling at each end, particularly Sheffield Park.
    On point 3: Our normal practice is brake van at one end only, which therefore has to be shunted. At Sheffield Park, last time I did it, I think we drew the whole train into the pump house siding; set the brake van back into the carriage shed yard; then propelled the wagons back into platform 2; picked up the brake van and put it on the back; then finally ran round ready for the next departure. Essentially that means that the entire train (loco + wagons + brake van) has to fit in the pump house siding; and needs to fit between the dummy signal at the south end of the station and the starter at the north end. On the basis that three goods wagons are about the same length as one carriage, that probably sets an upper limit at around 17 or 18 wagons including the brake van. (You'd need to measure precisely, but it is that order of magnitude). Hence the 15 wagon train we ran a while ago would fit, but not much longer.

    We could perhaps run bigger if you did things like used a pilot engine and swapped the rake from one platform to another between arrival and departure); and you can also exceed the length between signals with appropriate operational controls in place, but both of those would end up with the station (and potentially the section) occupied for longer than would be desirable in a gala. My hunch would be that, if the wagon gang could provide the wagons, about 15 is the limit at a gala; longer could be provided for a photo charter (but subject to the unbraked load limit constraint or using a fitted head).

    Derek Hayward has various photos on his website; this appears to be the biggest he has photos of, which is 14 + brake van.

    https://www.derekhayward.co.uk/BluebellRailway-1/Goods-Trains-and-Wagons/Goods-Trains/i-d7wKmpJ/A

    That does show the operational constraint at SP; if you wanted to swap platforms with that lot between platforms in order to move the brake van, you can see that the entire consist only just fits between the advance starter and home signal. With a longer train, if you go past the advance starter to shunt clear of the home, you need the token, which then prevents any down train entering the section - not ideal at a gala. If you swap ends at the other end of the station, the pumphouse siding is similar length to that between the signals.

    This one I'm pretty certain that I am driving (but not visible):

    https://www.derekhayward.co.uk/BluebellRailway-1/Goods-Trains-and-Wagons/Goods-Trains/i-HR5mMc9/A

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2023 at 3:26 PM
  20. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Reminds me Tom of how much I miss Birch Grove running on the railway. Looked very smart in the southern livery and the BR lined out black.
     

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