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Border Raider 13/04/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by bleeder4, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. acorb

    acorb Member

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    I will second that. It was my first proper mainline excursion behind Tornado (Having previously only done the S+C plandampf and preserved line running). I have long wanted to see what all the fuss was about, today was an education! What struck me was it's acceleration, e.g Long Preston water stop to Settle Jnc passed at 59.7mph. The frequent checks and loops in the West Coast section saw this ability come into its own and meant we were never more than 4 mins adrift for schedule. It is truly a modern excursion locomotive and a credit to the design and vision of the A1 Trust to build a steam loco perfect for the 21St century.
    The climb southbound to Shap will live long in the memory, the crisp exhaust transfixed all of us in coach H, if anyone has footage of Penrith (passed at 75.7mph) please share!
    Warrington Bank Quay would also have been a hair raiser, passed at 70mph accelerating hard, after a 40mph signal check only a mile before.
    And before anybody comments, at no point did the loco appear thrashed, or slipped or sound anything other than a very competent loco being expertly handled. Indeed on that climb of Shap you felt she had more in reserve and she actually started blowing off at one point.
    Tornado is definitely back, indeed last year was a hiccup and I feel will be quickly forgotten .
     
  2. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    I'm assuming Oswald T will 'do the report' - great to meet up again yesterday David; but... the attack of Shap was some climb and as I was asked to provide the timings to a man who wanted to know as he sorted the path, here are the timings from Carlisle to Shap Summit by 'The Snarling Beast of Shap'. Apologise for any typos but haven't done a 100% check. Timed from the front seats of Coach H, milepost side, right behind the Support Coach. A seriously noisy place to be!!
     

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  3. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Not a great climb from Settle Junction with load 11. I was expecting the big green engine to hold 40 and a bit most of the way to mp246 1/2, Ribblehead Station Approach, where engines are eased for the restriction over Batty Moss Viaduct. Have attached Long Preston to Ais Gill Summit for those who want to read it.
     

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  4. JohnRobinson

    JohnRobinson Member

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    13/04/2019 - LNER 4-6-2 Peppercorn Class A1 60163 "Tornado" leaving Whalley behind at the foot crossing at the back of the Eagle at Barrow on a running of the "Border Raider" to Carlisle via the S & C. DSC_15873.jpg
     
  5. JohnRobinson

    JohnRobinson Member

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    3/04/2019 - LNER 4-6-2 Peppercorn Class A1 60163 "Tornado" at Langcliffe on a running of the "Border Raider" to Carlisle. DSC_15885.jpg
     
  6. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    None too shabby covering the 75.57 miles from Long Preston to Carlisle non-stop with the long drag in the way in 91.2 mins, an average speed of just under 50.
     
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  7. Macko

    Macko Well-Known Member

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  8. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Well-Known Member

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    I don't recall many day's like this in the Northern Hills or on the mainline in general. The Black Fives romping towards Horton were the standout performers for me and great to finish off the day with Britannia ! So, five steam locos, four steam tours and zero diesels, Incredible stuff ! I hope you enjoy :)
     
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  9. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    The Border Raider 13 April 2019 – 60163 Tornado hauling POB+Gen+9

    This trip was a “carry over” from last year’s long period of main line inactivity. The itinerary was good, with steam on at Crewe, along the WCML, then via Blackburn and Hellifield and north along the S&C. The return journey promised much, south via the WCML, with a hopefully uninterrupted run from Carlisle over Shap to a short pathing stop at Oxhenholme UGL – fingers well and truly crossed!

    Departure from Crewe was scheduled for 10.04; LSL’s steam hauled trip to Stratford upon Avon was due off from the adjacent platform at 09.42; so best get there early. We were due into Carlisle at 14.56 with the ECS for Ian Riley’s Citadel trip (2 Black fives) due to arrive at 15.01 with the train due out at 15.17. The weather gods were smiling; it was a bright and sunny day as I drove down the M6 (but a bitingly cold easterly wind persisted throughout the day).

    LSL were in platform 12, we were in 11. Britannia and carriages looked splendid as they departed south amid much black smoke, blowing off and frequent use of the chime whistle. Our train had been hauled by 67028, this was detached and replaced by 60163, Tornado (lovely, Jubbly!). Time to board, I was at the very back of the last coach, window seat, travelling backwards but with an empty seat alongside. We were off (1½E) and Tornado was soon showing her powers of acceleration; our first leg was beset by several checks and stops. Despite our early start, some good running and an undemanding schedule we left another unplanned stop at Warrington BQ over 4L. We headed north through Wigan NW at 55, increased to 58 then held 56 on the 2 miles of 1/104r of Boar’s Head Bank this increased to 64 as the gradient eases to the summit at Coppull. On the FL at Balshaw Lane and up to 75, 72 through Euxton Balshaw Lane, 61 at Euxton Jn then slowing as we eased off the WCML at Farington Jn.

    Another check before Lostock Hall Jn (10 mins for a very late running service train), once away we accelerated hard to 35 at Bamber Bridge (13½L), on the 3½ miles of Hoghton bank (av. 1/100r) that follows we accelerated to 45 with 44 at the summit just beyond Chapel Lane. We were too fast through Cherry Tree at 51& 5½L, where my 4 year old grandson was waving for all he was worth but failed to spot me. Our scheduled 7 min stop in Blackburn was reduced to ½ min, but then we were held for 3½ min beyond Daisyfield waiting for the service train to clear the section. Once underway, Tornado flattened the climb (2 miles av. 1/150r) to Wilpshire with 37 at the summit. We were held again at Langho (2 mins) waiting for the service train to clear Clitheroe; plenty of primroses on the side of the cutting. Through Clitheroe 1E (43) then a steady climb through Rimington (1/101r) with 37 at the summit, we were held for 8 mins approaching Hellfield, then through the platform line before stopping for water at Long Preston (RT). The first leg, beset by checks, was relatively unchallenging but had some good climbs: Boar’s Head, Hoghton and Wilpshire.

    Tornado took water from a tanker parked on the overbridge at the end of the station, Oswald had a sandwich taken from his bag on the luggage rack. Now on a line with few other trains, we set off 3½L; most trains water at Hellfield and have an additional 1¼ miles to gain some momentum, so how would Tornado fair? Almost identically was the answer with 59 at Settle Jn, slightly more beyond, but then, disappointingly, speed fell back to 46 at Settle. Into Stainforth Tunnel at 38 before falling to a minimum of 36 beyond Sheriff Brow then improving to 37 at Helwith Bridge, but now 5¼L. On the level we improved to 43 and held 41 through Horton in R (5¾L), the upper part of the climb was better around 39/40 before easing for Ribblehead. We passed Blea Moor SB at 31 (4½L) and accelerated to 35 as we entered the tunnel. Settle Jn SB to Blea Moor SB took 21m 17s and Settle Jn SB to Blea Moor Tunnel S portal 22m 45s – ok, but not what we had hoped for.

    We were soon up to 60 as we sought to regain lost time, usual slowing through Dent (31) then we shot through Garsdale at 62 (4L) across Dandry Mire at 63 and raced past Ais Gill summit at 62, but still 4L. There followed a fast downhill run with many brake applications keeping us generally between 58 and 62. We were only 1½L as we shot through Appleby at 61 (I didn’t want an ice cream anyway – he lied!). Beyond Appleby the sun returned, there was still a trace of snow on some of the Pennine peaks. The fast pace continued and by Langwathby we were 3E, now running “in front of the clock” speed dropped slightly to 46 on the short climb through Armathwaite and 53 on the climb past Low House Crossing SB. With the usual generous allowance we eased over Petteril Bridge Jn almost 9E, our 3 min pathing stop at London Rd Jn was not required and we crossed over to stop in pl1 at Carlisle 17E. A walk to the front confirmed that the crew had been; driver Pete Sheridan, fireman Tim Stedman and TI Bob Hart. 66194 was attached to the rear and dragged the train over to London Rd for servicing.

    In platform 3 the ECS for the Citadel was waiting and soon the locos arrived and reversed onto the stock. 44871, driven by David Blair, was leading and 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier, driven by Ian Riley, was train engine. The locos looked superb, as always, and ready for another full season “over the border”. I knew one of the passengers from the train and he confirmed that they had a good run to Carlisle. Soon the fives were away, 45407 gave the briefest of slips then the exhaust beats rang out as they blasted away south on the WCML.

    It was 15.20 and I was now so hungry that I could “eat a scabby donkey” – so off to Weatherspoons it was. The Woodrow Wilson was packed, so back to the William Rufus where I grabbed the last available table. The scabby donkey was off (isn’t it always) so I had fish, chips and mushy peas – I hope that Victor approves! Just time for a brief errand in the centre and then back to the station for our 17.15 departure. 66194 drew the stock into pl3 with the POB already attached to the southern end, a few minutes later 60163 backed on. I took my seat now at the front of the second coach (and facing forward), only the POB between me and Tornado. The crew was; driver Tony Jones, fireman Andy Denton and TI Jim Smith. I had earlier spoken with Tony who confirmed that it was his and Andy’s first trip over Shap, I wished them luck. Tony also confirmed that the path had changed, we would not be going in at Oxenholme as this was a goods loop but would be using Grayrigg instead.

    Most windows in the coach were open and 1¼L we set off, this was not a gentle ease away but Tornado was making some noise and we were gaining speed rather quickly. 4 miles out at the top of the 1/131r Tornado had us up to 45, next around 2 miles of 1/184r, speed built to 53, next around 3 miles of 1/228r and past Southwaite at 56 we almost reached 60 at the top of this section with Tornado making some very enjoyable sounds. We forged on towards Calthwaite where the gradient tightens to first to 1/172r then 1/164r; 11½ miles from Carlisle and topped at 57 mph. Next a welcome level stretch past Plumpton where speed increased to 68. The next couple of miles of 1/186r failed to put much of a dent in the speed, topped at 65 and back up to 67 at Long Ashes. The most enormous snarling sound was coming from the front and, with several whistles, we shot through Penrith at 74, 74 across Lowther Viaduct and 74 as we hit the foot of the 1/125r climb that is Shap (what a tremendous advantage a clear run has over those trains stopping in the Eden Valley loop). We passed the south end of the loop at 68, Clifton and Lowther 67, gradually the bank fought back, 60 at Thrimby Grange but Tornado was having none of it, with a couple of decimal points either way, speed continued at 60. There may have been a brief easing as we neared the summit with a min of 58 on the 1/106r but 59.8 at the summit and 61 at the summit board. Carlisle to the summit board I made in 34m 30s – impressive! I have searched for words to try to describe the nature and ferocity of the sound from Tornado’s chimney; my nearest is like a sandblaster playing a tune – truly awesome, I have never heard the like before.

    The downhill run was quick; Scout Green 72, Tebay 75/6 then we were slowing and stopped in Grayrigg loop for just under 6 mins. Off again but just as speed was building we were slowed approaching Oxenholme, once away we blasted through the station at 51 with plenty of whistle. Next stop Carnforth UGL for 3½ mins and we were away ½L, dropped a minute to Hest Bank (53), then we got slowed to 37 as we approached the new Heysham link road, once away we accelerated hard through Lancaster (57), plenty of noise and even more whistle (hope someone posts a video). We headed for Preston, a couple of minutes down, and were slowed approaching Fylde Jn, finally we stopped (5½L) in pl7/GL to take water from a tanker parked in the NR yard at the south end of the station.

    Time for a final snack, hot cross bun (6 for a £1 at Sainsburys – I remember when they were one or two a penny . . . ) Whilst waiting in Preston, Leander and support headed north through one of the far platforms – full set for the day! Watering complete we set off on the final leg 2L, inevitably we dropped some time but were working hard to regain it; Leyland (57 & 2¾L), Euxton Balshaw Lane (69 & 2L), we shot through Wigan at 71 whistle sounding, up to 76 approaching Bamfurlong Jn. Through Warrington BQ at 69 with whistle hard on and still we pressed on, despite a couple of slowings we passed through Acton Bridge (65 & ½E), Hartford (69 & 1E), and Winsford (73 & 2E) all with noise and whistle; the lads on the footplate were having a good time – and so were we. Unchecked we crossed over into platform 12 and stopped (½L); the station lighting taking full effect in the increasing darkness. PHEW!!

    Time to gather up my stuff, have one last look at the loco and make my way back up the M6, to arrive home on the stroke of 10. Thanks to everyone who organised and operated the train, especially to Tony and Andy who crewed for the first time over Shap – if they can do this on the first trip what will they do with a bit of practice?! It was good to see Graham (@1020 Shireman) who was more than pleased as Tony Jones is a Welshman; Graham’s party were sitting in the next seats behind me; Graham wasn’t – he was across the aisle on the milepost side. It was nice to have a chat with a former poster on NP (@IamDaniel), he was trying to entice me to experience some “real” banks in the South West – “too far for an old fellow to go!”, I explained.

    This was a memorable day; 4 trips, 5 locos and copped the lot, our train entered Carlisle and Crewe without having to stop, a memorable climb of Shap, an unbelievable, sumptuous and spine-tingling, ear roasting from Tornado’s chimney, NO roadworks on the M6 and Mrs W’s team won away from home! Days do not get any better than this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  10. ribble

    ribble Member

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    Tornado at Nappa on the Blackburn-Hellifield line

    David Price.Cop Lane on Flickr 15A_0617copy.jpg
     
  11. henrywinskill

    henrywinskill Well-Known Member

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    Like that David
     
  12. ribble

    ribble Member

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    Thanks Henry,it's a good location with the wind from the east
    David
     
  13. bleeder4

    bleeder4 New Member

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    As well as the top notch performance of Tornado, it was clear to see from other areas of yesterday's tour that the A1SLT has not been idle this past year during Tornado's prolonged absence. Yesterday was the first A1SLT trip I have been on where there were no UKRT stewards or representatives at all. The train manager and all of the stewards were all A1SLT volunteers, so there has clearly been a dramatic upturn in recruitment for volunteers; UKRT's involvement now seems purely just as the booking agent.
     
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  14. acorb

    acorb Member

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    Although the steward in our carriage was more interested in selling raffle tickets than handing out (the superb BTW) tour brochure. When he told a passenger he would 'have it by Carlisle' I am not sure they saw the funny side!!
    There was also a big push on merchandise, a little pricey in my opinion, but it all looked nice and seemed popular. I was going to put in a bid for the headboard until I saw the reserve was £500!!
     
  15. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    Interesting to look back in the Railway Performance Society archives to check/ verify this accolade. And it turns out that there is just one other southbound run that may have exactly equalled (or at least to within a split second) the start-to-pass timings reported by 1020 Shireman.

    This was achieved by A2 Blue Peter in July 1999. Load 10/ 352/ 375 - so slightly lighter than the Border Raider formation (Load 11). RPS members on the forum can check this via Milepost 21 (April 2000) and form their own judgement (probably better than I could) on whether the different positions of the train timers within their respective formations would have enabled Blue Peter to claim a "dead heat" with Tornado's marvellous "Shap Attack" on Saturday - or vice versa.

    So LNER Pacifics seem to rule the record books in respect of the southbound climb of Shap - at least in the Preservation era. But in the interests of even-handedness, or longer-term perspective, or just to spare the blushes of LMS/ BR-LMR aficionados, it is worth recording for comparison what was being achieved in the heady days of 1957/ 8, when the Royal Scot, Mid-Day Scot, and Caledonian were accelerated to best-ever post war timings based on eight coach loads. The allowance of 39 minutes from Carlisle for these services that was provided to breast Shap Summit (31.4 miles from Carlisle) appears to have been regularly cut to to around 34 minutes or slightly better by the crews of the Duchesses that were the mainstay of these services. But perhaps that is also a measure of just how good Tornado's Load 11 performance - and that of its crew - was on Saturday in matching the best limited-load performances from the hey-days of yesteryear.

    Sincere thanks to all who fed back details of the Border Raider's running on Saturday. Clearly a great day out; just staring at its progress via the diagrammatic maps on Open Train Times is obviously no substitute for the embellishment of the detail that you have provided. Couldn't be helped, but I'm very sorry I missed it.
     
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  16. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    It was mentioned in passing upthread but it bears repeating that the charter was booked around 35 minutes from Carlisle to Shap that it bettered by a minute and actually the overall booked running time of 49 minutes to Grayrigg was not particularly slow either. So this high quality running was 'only' keeping the charter to its booked path. A definite leap of faith here in persuading Network Rail to accommodate the suggested timings in the first place. And thinking back to the 90 mph Bittern trips a while back, there is another example of managing to secure a tight timing.

    So in the case of DBC it seems that there is a willingness to consider challenging/realistic times when necessary but it has to accompany a faith in the locomotive to deliver plus of course a willingness of the crew to rise to the challenge.

    There are many reasons why leisurely paths might be requested for steam charters with frequent visits to loops. What we know is that not only is this an inefficient way of using coal and water but sometimes it results in charters taking for ever to get anywhere. In the case of DBC and not just with Tornado, there does seem to be a willingness to look for paths that, shall we say, make decent headway on the main line. If that's an unwritten raison d'etre of their steam crews and train planners then so much the better and we all benefit.
     
  17. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    It is such a pity there aren't many videos up on southbound runs over Shap. Nowhere near as open terrain as the northbound landscape. The engine was close to lifting it's safety valves most of the way up the bank and it made it difficult at times to pick out the mileposts as the smoke and steam was falling milepost side. From the time we were on the 1in131 Tornado really was a snarling beast. No other words for it. Not heard the likes of that for almost 30 miles and over 32 minutes before. Mind you, one is still fairly new to the game as the 'Raider' was only my 890th UK Mainline Tour since we started out on that fateful day of 30th August 1987. Daren't work out how much we've spent on just tickets for them; and then there's getting to them, a drive to Crewe and back, 260 mile round trip on Saturday. And the timing thing; well that's another story. Perhaps I'll drop in a 'Timer's Tale' for a bit of fun. For instance on the run from Carlisle to Shap Summit Board, I had to stop/reset the stopwatch 120 times (a few quarter mileposts are missing and a freight passed us) while also looking across to read the GPS mph 120 times, then making 240 entries of accumulating times, 4-6 digits each time, and speeds, another 3-4 digits including the decimal point, onto my pre-prepared spreadsheet printout!! I also try to keep fellow passengers up to date with where we are and how fast we are going. Fun or what????
     
  18. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    I would like to use a summary of the times in my next column if that's ok. Sorry cant seem to find a link to write a PM. Don
     
  19. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Did get a PM Don and I think I replied properly. In case not, of course you can Don.
     
  20. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Yes all good thanks
     

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