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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Dan Hamblin

    Dan Hamblin Part of the furniture

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    D'oh! I should have known that...

    Does beg the question though of how the work on platforms 3 and 4 will be tackled, unless the worksite is split in two so platform 3 can be isolated and 4 remains open.

    Regards,

    Dan
     
  2. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Well-Known Member

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    Blimey, that could be controversial...
     
  3. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    And rare amongst modern trains in being quite comfortable, working aircon and on the 444's decent legroom.
    I am sure the DfT will not allow that to happen again.
     
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  4. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    Oh dear - the heritage geek in me cringes at the sight of a Sussex branchline being controlled by tokens and not the "proper" LBSCR Webb & Thompson electric train staffs appropriate to the area. There is a lovely photograph heading the Chairmans article in the current Trackside magazine of the Ardingly signalman receiving such a staff from the motorman of an arriving 2 BIL. Thats how God intended things to be in Sussex back in the day;).

    Yes, I know in the grand scheme of things it is of no importance what safety system is used but some people go on about liveries and others about Mark 1 coaches so I thought that I'd add token v. staff to the heritage opinion mix:)

    Peter
     
  5. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Part of the furniture

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    It's an interesting read. As someone who until recently was living in Haywards Heath, the Chairman brings up some of the problems I've highlighted here before and some others.
     
  6. chrishallam

    chrishallam Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tom.

    Makes sense. Is the next phase of operation undercover for the Horstead goods yard still on the cards? Presumably all the stuff in platform 1 has had to find a new home somewhere
     
  7. Grashopper

    Grashopper Member

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    Not a popular site to place a building of any sort as apparently it will "spoil the view...."
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I'm not sure of the future plan, or how much is settled - for example, the next phase of Operation Undercover at Horsted has been talked about, but I haven't seen a finished design (and would be somewhat uneasy about putting it there, personally).

    The stock in that platform is somewhat dispersed. For example, the NL Tank is currently in the down yard at Horsted, but it is planned that that loco (and Sharpthorne) will move to Sheffield Park / Steam Works when Normandy and the Adams Radial move to Atlantic House. The Mark 1 used for the Carriage Shop is due to be (or has been) scrapped; the carriage shop will be re-opening in the GBL adjacent to the elephant carriage by the C&W works. The GWR brake van is where it was by the signal box, but now on a scrap of disconnected rail. The Thumper has I believe moved across to the HK down yard.

    Tom
     
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  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think that ship sailed about twenty years ago; I suspect on the grounds of availability of equipment.

    If you look on the side of Brighton tank engines (for example on the E4) there is a ring on the cab side sheet which I believe is for carrying the staff.

    Here's one on the side of a loco you are familiar with, though looking at current photos, it looks like it has subsequently been removed.

    [​IMG]

    Tom
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Platform 4 was worked on while 3 was still in use, just by strategic barriers being erected. I guess that to work on platform 3, platforms 4 and 2 would still be accessible etc - though you would want to time more disruptive works either for shut down periods; or at least mid week when you could have a one train service going through platform 4 and take a possession on 2 / 3 so you could work unhindered if you needed equipment that might foul the adjacent line.

    Tom
     
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  11. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Whilst I understand the logic behind it (third party booking engine) I thought a £1.95 booking fee on a £999 driving experience "amusing" for the want of a better word.
     
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  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed! I suspect it is beyond the ability of the software to remove it. Still - at least no supplementary parking charge!

    Tom
     
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  13. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Well-Known Member

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    I'm always amazed that they carried something so critical as the staff outside the cab - surely there must have been room inside?!
     
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  14. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Those electric train staffs were large lumps of metal some two foot long. There must have been some accidents in attempting to exchange staffs at any sort of speed.
     
  15. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl Member

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    Re the Ardingly branch. That will be an interesting decision. A short branch (circa 3 km long?) with an island platform and a run round loop, presumably terminating just the Horsted Keynes side of the College Road Bridge (unless the asphalt company operations have ceased), would I am sure be an attractive addition to the Bluebell Railway. But I wonder what a cost - benefit study would/has already shown. And Tom, presumably any mention of a turntable or triangle has long since been left behind?
     
  16. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    I think the issue with the site at Ardingly becomes access; the road has no street pavement from the village and there's nowhere near to park either, so you end up with a station with limited access. As a passenger, the journey from HK would mix up the day (if you're the sort of person who, like me, enjoys getting off and exploring rather than doing a one round trip) but the return on it becomes minimal in starting/finishing footfall. I think there was a suggestion in Bluebell Times or elsewhere that the branch could be dedicated primarily to film and driver experience usage so as not to interfere with the service trains, which would be one workaround perhaps?

    It will be interesting to see the final decision and reasons for it whatever way that goes.
     
  17. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It may well seem attractive to many of us on here, in more financially beneficial (past?) times, but I am unclear what it would offer most of the public who want a day to day basis to come and have a train ride, and thus contribute most of the farebox income, normally behind steam that already takes over an hour to complete.
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    It's a head versus heart decision I think.

    The unavoidable parts are that (1) it will be expensive to build in capital (viaduct to cross Station Approach at Horsted Keynes; and work to bypass the Heidelberg site at Ardingly, plus the legal costs) (2) the station at Ardingly will have very limited access and (3) there is no real possibility of a regular service running through to Haywards Heath - the paths don't exist south from Copyhold Junction.

    So you add about 15% to the length of track we have to maintain, along with another tunnel and another viaduct, to run to a station that won't generate any new traffic; and which is too far away to service the big attractions in the area (the show ground, Wakehurst place etc).

    That's a pretty tough ask in the current climate. There are possibilities to use it as a "high days and holidays" extension but be available for "value added" services (filming, footplate courses etc) that don't then conflict with the mainline, but the question is whether that alone makes it viable. Since we already do those things on the existing line, that line of thought is then predicated on being able to expand those markets to the point that they conflict with the current scale of our "main line" operations.

    The "heart" bit: wouldn't a fully working junction station be awesome ...

    Tom
     
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  19. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    It will always be a heart project for the reasons already mentioned. However I’m sure that much good use could be made of it throughout the year. For example, there are many organisations that provide training schemes for people hoping to find work on railways and they are always wanting track to work on and willing to pay for that privilege. Testing of equipments another area where an income could be available. The NYMR has just been involved with three weeks of testing using a dedicated train set. Yes that could be done on the ‘main line’ but much easier if there are no timetabling constraints. There are lots of possibilities. Another point to consider is that heart projects can often bring in the donations and even grant funding if training is involved. . I doubt that any new build project could be regarded as a head project.
     
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  20. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Part of the furniture

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    And even if there were paths, the railway would still have to overhaul locomotives and coaching stock to mainline standards, as well as fitting the various necessary safety equipment, given the lack of space for an independent running line and station.

    I'd also say that a Haywards Heath extension would impact East Grinstead. The Chairman talks in Trackside about trying to get more visitors to start at EG, but Southern only runs half hourly at weekends when the visitor numbers are higher. With HH you would have a quicker connection than EG, served by 3 TOC's (Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink) from multiple London Termini, plus other connections further South, so the need for visitors to start at EG would be even further reduced.

    As I've said, as someone who's lived in HH all my life until recently, I've always wanted to see the Railway arrive in the town and like Tom says, HK being an operational junction again would be a great sight, but I just can't see how it would work, either to HH or Ardingly.
     

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