If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Bluebell Railway Giants of Steam 8-10 October 2021

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by Ben Jenden, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. Paul42

    Paul42 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,896
    Likes Received:
    1,474
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    East Grinstead
    The trains where near enough back on time when I left, after having a lovely run behind Camelot on the 12:45 from Sheffield Park.
    75027 which was been cleaned yesterday looked very smart.Taken with my phone.
    DSC_0340~3.JPG
    Like yesterday the railway was busy, trains well loaded but not uncomfortable so.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
  2. alts1985

    alts1985 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    281
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Store Manager for the Co-operative Group
    Location:
    Stevenage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
  3. theonlyadsrulz

    theonlyadsrulz Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    348
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Bristol
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    My video and a couple photos from my two days at the gala. Nice to see what could well be considered a normal amount of people at an event once again! Having to stand on the majority of services certainly made it feel like normality had returned!



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    275
    Occupation:
    Brick Machine Operator
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    It didn't seem to take too long to get back to normal. After the first round trip with 35028, I took the loco on the next trip up to Horsted Keynes. Between both 35028 and 30925 leaving HK at that time and the time they both returned, the timetable seemed to be back to normal.

    Was quite nice watching 263 run around with the demonstration goods and seeing 847 heading south and 73082 heading north (still getting used to seeing Camelot with the late crest on the tender). Did consider ending my day by taking 30925 up to EG and back to HK, then getting the final train back to SP with 35028 and 30925, but just decided to take 30925 to HK and got 35028 back and watched her getting ready to shunt the stock from Platform 2 to Platform 1 ready to take up to HK.
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,780
    Likes Received:
    41,396
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    There's a fair degree of resilience in that 4 train / 45 minute gap timetable. You get the normal 40 minute up journey, with two minutes stop at HK and Kingscote; but 12 and 15 minute waits on the down journey, plus ten minutes between a down train arriving at Sheffield Park and the up service leaving. You can do that SP signal box work in five, so there is five minutes or recovery straight away, plus what you get for a down service at Kingscote and HK. You can also get five minutes back quite easily at East Grinstead with a quick run-round.

    Probably the two places that put a bit of pressure on at a gala are the two minutes allowed at HK on an up train (you tend to get lots of people changing train there) and the four minute allowance between an "up" train arriving and a down departing at Kingscote (because the signal box is the wrong end for the down train, so the fireman has to walk back to the signal box for the token - four minutes for the up train to arrive, surrender the token, signalman to walk back to the box, do his stuff, hand it to the down train fireman and the fireman then to walk the length of the platform back to his engine).

    As an example, something happened yesterday afternoon that meant Camelot got very late on its 3:15 departure from East Grinstead; I think I heard 15 or 20 late departing Kingscote. It was 10 late arriving at Sheffield Park; we were then 5 late leaving on the 4:30 (five minutes picked up) but were easily back to time by 6:20 when we got back.

    Tom
     
    green five and Dan Hill like this.
  6. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    275
    Occupation:
    Brick Machine Operator
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    Thanks for that Tom, quite interesting learning how the timetable is planned, certainly explains a few bits in it. I did wonder if there was some time saving during the run rounds at SP and EG too.
     
  7. malc

    malc Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    203
    Yes, I was surprised how well the time was made up. I was a bit worried that the initial late running would mean that some trains would be dispatched without allowing time for passengers to cross from one train to another (something that has happened in the past at Sheffield Park and Kingscote, and still happens at some other railways).
     
  8. A1X

    A1X Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    646
    Occupation:
    Generic IT bod
    Location:
    Chuck Norris' beard
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,780
    Likes Received:
    41,396
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think the quickest you can realistically despatch an up train at SP after a down train arrives is about 5 minutes, to allow for the token work. The signalman has to get the token from the down train, wait for the porter to give "train arrived complete" (i.e. check the tail lamp, since the signalman won't see it if he is at his box), do all the box work, take the token to the up train and then allow the platform staff to dispatch it. The timetable allowed ten minutes at this gala for all that. We don't normally do it in five minutes between passenger trains, but might do so, for example, between a passenger service arriving and a dining service departing (or vice versa) since generally there won't be anyone in a hurry to swap trains in that situation.

    At Horsted Keynes, swaps between trains are normally easy, since they are cross platform (down train in platform 4 and up train in platform 3, the other side of the same island). For this gala we used platform 3 for up trains and platform 2 for down trains, with platform 4 being where the goods train berthed. Probably related to some operational reason with the brake van rides, but made swaps slightly harder, though there was generally 5 minutes allowance between an up train arriving and the down train departing for anyone who wanted to do that swap - not that it is a very common one.

    At Kingscote, the constraint is that generally down trains arrive first and wait, with up trains being "last in, first out". They get a speedy token exchange, being at the signal box end, whereas the down train has to wait while the fireman goes off to collect the token. In addition, I think that generally the platform staff would dispatch the up train, then cross over and dispatch the down train. So generally there is time to swap trains there from up to down if you are so minded. The GoS timetable had four minutes from up arrival to down departure, I don't think you could do it in less.

    Incidentally, an interesting aside from my observation. All through the summer, Kingscote has been really busy with families getting off and not doing the last bit up to East Grinstead. They get off from the up train, and wait for the train to reappear as a down service 40 minutes later. Whereas at GoS, Kingscote seemed fairly quiet (given the numbers of people about), presumably most enthusiasts wanting to hear the locos working up the last bit of the climb.

    Sheffield Park is never a problem for run rounds. We had 55 minutes on this timetable, which included a break. At East Grinstead you can normally do it in 10 minutes provided you aren't a small tank engine needing water. So there is scope at both ends to pick up time if needed.

    Branch Line gala normally has a more exciting timetable, and you have to be on your toes operationally. GoS was fairly relaxed from our point of view, but I think resilience is good. I haven't tried plotting all the diagrams, but I suspect you could get it down to a four train / 40 minute interval but would start losing reliability if you tried to get it tighter than that. It might also interrupt the ability to do brake van rides at HK, where on the GoS timetable, there was less than thirty minutes "free" between trains during which time you could circle the station with the goods train.

    Tom
     
  10. A1X

    A1X Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    646
    Occupation:
    Generic IT bod
    Location:
    Chuck Norris' beard
    Why is this? From a purely logical point of view it feels like it makes more sense to let the up train in, signalman gets the token then exchanges with the down train as the up train can be done essentially at the signalman's leisure (not having to liaise with a box up the line). Similar to how at Horsted with the box at the south end it makes more sense for the token exchanges to happen down there and avoid the up train waiting (of course it can happen but not as a matter of course).
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,780
    Likes Received:
    41,396
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    All else being equal you are right - the best disposition of arrivals, departures and signal boxes is that the train that arrives first and departs last comes from the opposite end to the signal box. That would mean at Kingscote you'd want the up train to arrive first, the down train to then arrive and depart, and the up train to then depart; whereas in practice we do it the other way round.

    However, there are a couple of advantages to doing it the opposite way round there.

    The first is that generally an up train emerges from the tunnel with, say, half a glass of water, pressure just a bit below the red line and an absolutely white hot fire. In that situation, it makes steam like mad; you can control it with the injector and refill the boiler in the five minutes or so it takes to run down to Kingscote, but at which point you really want to crack on and get going up the hill. If you have to wait at Kingscote for say 10 minutes, you potentially have an engine blowing off at Kingscote but with a rapidly cooling fire just when you need it to be hot for the climb up to Imberhorne! A long pause in the up journey at either HK or Kingscote can be a real pain in that regard.

    The other reason is a bit serendipitous. On a normal (non gala) timetable, with two service trains and a dining train, the service train crosses a dining service at Kingscote. (The service trains cross each other at Horsted Keynes). If there is ever a need for leisurely platform work at Kingscote, it is for service trains in the down direction, since families get out there going up (which can be quite rapid) and re-embark on the down service (which tends to be more leisurely). So having the down service train sitting for ten minutes or so at Kingscote isn't a bad thing: essentially anyone enjoying the swings or a cup of tea or looking round the goods yard at Kingscote only needs to start to think about getting on when they see it arrive.

    So given you are going to have a long pause for one or the other train, having it for the down one is preferable. The risk of a cold fire heading south is less important, since the climb up to West Hoathly is only 1 in 122, so pretty easy, unlike the 1 in 100/65/55 going north.

    Tom
     
    Mick45305, 35B, Paul42 and 5 others like this.
  12. David likes trains

    David likes trains Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    2,196
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Colchester
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Excellent day at the railway yesterday, I was impressed with how the timings recovered after the early setback. Some pictures taken in between riding the trains:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Mick45305, Johnme101, 26D_M and 7 others like this.
  13. Paul42

    Paul42 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,896
    Likes Received:
    1,474
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    East Grinstead
    Johnb, ykin01, A1X and 10 others like this.
  14. 45669

    45669 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,498
    Likes Received:
    741
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Farnborough
    Many thanks to all the staff and volunteers that made it possible. I was there on the Saturday but, so far, I've only had time to edit the first instalment of my video footage and upload it to YouTube. It's here if anyone would like to see it:



    Further instalments will follow as time allows.

    TTFN,

    Ron.
     
    Johnme101 likes this.
  15. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    310
    A1X, Johnme101, green five and 3 others like this.
  16. Paul42

    Paul42 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,896
    Likes Received:
    1,474
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    East Grinstead
    green five, ykin01, Mick45305 and 5 others like this.
  17. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2021
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    49
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I must admit, this looked really interesting.
    Never thought the Chesham set would run at one of these.
    Nice touch with the shunting demos with brakevan riders though.
     

Share This Page