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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Part of the furniture

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    There's an interesting feature in the latest Steam Railway that I received today, with the Chairman, primarily talking about the rolling stock disposals.

    I believe there is a second part of a further interview with him in the next issue of Trackside.
     
  2. southyorkshireman

    southyorkshireman Resident of Nat Pres

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    Take it the timetable has been written for the convenience of the C&W dept. tomorrow rather than any potential wheelchair visitors? Wheelchair set terminates at HK on last run not SP... Not really acceptable in this day and age!

    Especially as wheelchair set is already only out to do 1 1/2 trips vs 3 with the other main set
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Both set A and set B have wheelchair accessible carriages - Set B gets back to Sheffield park on its last trip at 5:30pm

    (The wheelchair accessible carriage in set B is 3360: https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/pic2/lcdr/51.html)

    Tom
     
  4. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl Member

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    The current forecast looks to be giving the Bluebell Railway steam event tomorrow at least a nicely bright morning. Maybe too bright for a sort of repeat of my photo of 31065 taken in late December 2007.
    Not from platfrom 2 on a passenger train tomorrow, but from platform 4/5 on a goods train if the current timetable operates as planned and if I've read it correctly.

    C-09-174-103-31065-departing-Horsted-Keynes-22Dec-2007.jpg
     
  5. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    6989 is seemingly on the train made up of 3x4 wheelers and 3 non corridors. An interesting one off rare photograph for those who like a rare consist.
     
  6. southyorkshireman

    southyorkshireman Resident of Nat Pres

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    Might help if you advertise that as the case then! It's very clearly advertised as wheelchair only on set A

    https://www.bluebell-railway.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Bluebell-Railway-New-Years-Steam-TT-.pdf
    Also does the creator of that timetable have shares in ink and toner?
     
  7. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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  8. Robert F

    Robert F New Member

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    The railway was heaving, at least this morning when the weather was OK. (I forced myself to get up in time to reach SP [by car] for the first train, but went home around 1430 when the threatened rain looked like arriving.)
     
  9. andykeithharris

    andykeithharris New Member

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    We went to the New Year Steam event today. It was good to see the railway very busy - and the 1130 to East Grinstead was absolutely rammed. Standing room only on the return leg. All the locos looked good and it was interesting to see the Goods train out. I'm not sure about the timetabling though. The 1130 was held at HK for 40 minutes to allow two trains to pass. Presumably this was due to the inclusion of the goods train in the plan. I must admit I handn't spotted the long delay at HK, which was my fault but it did spoil the day outit was far too long - certainly for my wife who is tolerant of my hobby, but not as enthused by railways as I am. I understand the reason to include the goods train, but perhaps it might have been better to have it timetabled so the Goods had the long delay, not a passenger service.
     
  10. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    I've just read Paul Churchman's most recent report, and he mentions the EG set seems to have a recurring problem of losing time throughout the day. I don't know whether the cause has been identified, or if it was a contributory factor in this case, but just thought I'd mention it.
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think that was specifically in relation to the East Grinstead Santa, not generically all EG trains.

    The Santa timetables are awkward in that the two ends have to dovetail at Horsted but do so in a way that one train has departed before the other arrives. (So you don’t get passengers getting back on the wrong train). There is also an absolute requirement that regardless of when a train arrives, the passengers get the full allowance of time at the station and aren’t hurried to see Santa, visit the Victorian attractions etc. The impact of those two things (and also keeping the service within daylight hours and getting the line south of HK clear to prepare for Steamlights etc) is that what seems like a very easy timetable actually doesn’t have much recovery time in it.

    Tom
     
  12. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works Member

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  13. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Part of the furniture

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    Having seen a few videos today, it sounds to me like Fenchurch has had it's more authentic whistle fitted, replacing the Traction Engine (I think) one fitted since returning to steam last year.
     
  14. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl Member

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    An excellent event at the Bluebell today, I am grateful for the very considerable effort that all at the Bluebell must have put into planning and executing the event immediately after a busy year that ended with so much Christmas related activity. I suspect there are a number of very tired staff and volunteers after all they have done and achieved.

    I based myself at Horsted Keynes as I usually do, fitting in a wonderful return to East Grinstead behind 34059 on the 11.30 ex Sheffield Park. Superbly noisy climbs from Horsted Keynes to the tunnel, and then from Kingscote to the summit on a train of six coaches and a two axle parcels van. That was full and standing, and the 13.05 back was either the same or very close to that.

    Tom, I hope it's ok to make just one comment. Today was a superb event for us enthusiasts - zero doubt on that. From watching the trains at HK, and from my return to East Grinstead, I got the feeling that the majority of visitors were possibly families having a New Years Day out, so I really hope they coped ok with the long waits behind 34059 northbound at HK (already mentioned), and with some rather full trains behind that loco.

    But I took advantage of the long waits of 34059 heading North! I photographed the Bulleid arriving at HK on the 14.2o Sheffield Park to East Grinstead, then drove to West Hoathly/Sharpthorne and photographed it bursting out of the tunnel as the rain commenced with night falling.

    006-34059-14.20-Sheffield-Park-at-West-Hoathly-1Jan-2024.jpg
     
  15. southyorkshireman

    southyorkshireman Resident of Nat Pres

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    I don't normally bite, so I'll try to be less flippant but the 'hardworking folk' need to deliver a product that meets their customers expectations, or in the case of a wheelchair user at least gives enough confidence to try. I don't like critiquing volunteers, but as a paying visitor I would expect the same standards as from paid employees, if not better given they are doing it as a hobby.

    1) I have been travelling on heritage railways with a wheelchair using parent for over 30 years. Travelling with a wheelchair still to this day needs you to have the correct information published, about what they are able to travel on assuming all goes to plan, not turning up on a hope for the best basis. The advertised wheelchair carrying service was below par compared to normal, even arguably discriminatory. It doesn't matter if the second set actually had an accessible coach if you are clearly advertising that wheelchair users can only travel on 1 1/2 round trips and even then by only having a long enough break to use the toilet before the second run and no information on how you might get back from HK to SP if you did take the second trip. The impression it gives is one of an organisation that doesn't care.

    From previous experience it is unlikely an email would have been answered between Christmas and new year and phoning the railway for info is even harder in my experience.

    2) My comment about the timetable pdf was flippant but as nice as a background jpeg is, it uses far more ink than a basic timetable file should, we only want the info it doesn't have to be pretty.

    3)I put my money where my mouth is, I still attended with my wife and daughter today. My wife's thoughts were that the timetable didn't work. The 1030 being a single carriage put too many people on the 11.30 service. The wait at HK was too long and because of the number of people on the train, you couldn't do anything productive with the layover without losing your seat, so many people sat put. The afternoon timetable didn't offer many options if you had to start on the 11.30. The extras on offer were good, but could have been arranged better.

    4) The less said about the experience of walking back to and getting around the overflow car park after dark the better..

    The money I spent today was a significant bite of my disposable income for this month, so a lot of thought has gone into where that money is going before spending it. The money would have gone a lot further on other options we could have done today.

    I hope some of the bluebell members who 'liked' your hollow back slap actually feel my comments have value.
     
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  16. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    So far as I can see the main problem is that the Bluebell didn't have a crystal ball to tell it how popular today was going to be... sounds like there were far more people there than on any previous New Years Day I can remember!

    In retrospect, the ideal set for 'Fenchurch' would have been the three Maunsell coaches, but they're currently out for maintenance. The other sets had to be based on what was running over the last few days because, with an after-dark Steamlights service yesterday evening, there was no chance to re-form anything other than taking the Obo off the second set for Fenchurch. The other constraint is that stock had to end up in sensible places to be ready for the line to be severed for two maintenance projects for 2-3 months, work that is starting in the next few days.
     
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  17. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line Member

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    Dont think Bluebell were the only railway to be more popular than expected today, and from what I saw elsewhere lots of children apparently fascinated by Steam trains. Hope this is a good sign for 2024.
     
  18. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl Member

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    A couple more photos from yesterday. I do like getting the steam loco action I photograph these days to include local infrastructure when I can. Too many of my fairly small number of questionable quality 1960s SR photos are just from the lineside in the countryside.

    The first one below is a wide shot of 34059 arriving at Horsted Keynes on the 11.30 from Sheffield Park. Is that the North London tank on the left hand side? With a very small amont of 34059's exhaust floating just over it and very near to it, it's almost like the tank is in steam too! And, for me at least, interesting wagons to the right.

    The second photo is 30165 leaving on the 14.25 goods train, which I wanted as the main focus, just using the unusual passenger train formation as the left hand part of the scene. Zooming back to include the GWR loco would have lost the 0-6-0 as the main focus.

    Very low res photos as normal from me, to avoid the problems caused by very large, higher res images mentioned here a few weeks ago here.


    005-34059-arriving-Horsted-Keynes-11.30-Sheffield-Park-1Jan-2024.jpg


    010-31065-depart-Horsted-Keynes-14.25-goods-train-to-Kingscote-1Jan-2024.jpg
     
  19. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Yes it is the North London tank.
     
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  20. alexl102

    alexl102 Member

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    What I saw was a timetable very clearly set out and easy to read for someone like me who struggles to track information in pure black and white. If we’re discussing accessibility, that timetable is absolutely excellent for those with dyslexia, dyspraxia and other similar issues that affect either sight or visual tracking.
     
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