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Brecon Mountain Railway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by lynbarn, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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    Looking at the South Tynedale as an operation would it not be better to work out what it needs before going off to buy something which may not be suitable.

    I do not know what the gradient profile is or what the final length of the line will be of the STR. But both should be factored into what steam locos they go after, what as an enthusiast might float your boat may be total in appropriate as far as the railway is concerned.

    I have just seen that the STR will be 13.25miles in length so it is going to need big locos, I don't think Garratts would be an option but something else for a change so they becomes its unique selling point.
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    No clue as to gradients here either, but marketed as 'England's highest NG railway', it's reasonably safe to assume they'll be a defining issue, come extension to Haltwhistle. I can't find any reference to altitude of any STR station, let alone gradients.

    The two larger locos on the STR (0-6-0 'Naklo' & 0-6-2st 'Barber') put down a TE of 6000lbs or more (similar ballpark figure to the Ffesterbahn's Alco "Mountaineer"). Unable to find any dimensions for the Jung 0-6-2 design, I can't really comment on the likely practicality of such locos, but it certainly looks larger than the rest of the STR fleet and my own gut feeling is it 'looks the part'.

    Do we count any STR members among our number?
     
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  3. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    A lot depends on the local management of the mills in Java, not all of whom appreciate "interference" from "head office" which is where any genuine enquiry would need to be directed.
    When I was there in 2014, at Tasik Madu mill, we witnessed the mortal remains of a Couilett locomotive being scrapped, which although not in working order had apparently been the subject of serious enquiries from preservation groups in France and Japan. The mill manager, rather than accommodate such requests apparently ordered that the loco be cut up immediately!

    The Jung locos which operated at Pangka mill, are more substantial machines than Graf Schwerin-Lowitz, and remain one of my favourite Java mill locos.
    3 were definitely still operational in 2014 and at least 1 was still available for charter in 2015 and possibly 2016. I've not seen any reports since then.
    The other 600mm mill nearby was Sragi, which of course did sell of some locos to Statfold. Some of the remaining ones such as the former state railway Hartman's and big BMAG's also cried out to be rescued. The mill was closed for rebuilding after the 2014 season and supposedly reopened (but with no rail activity?) this year, but again, I've seen no recent reports as to what may still survive, or not.

    Chris
     
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  4. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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    Hi Chris

    I think the big problem is that very few tours take place and it is harder to get the information out of Java now, if I won the lottery I would certain go and have a look at what is still out there, But I guess it will be the same where ever you go, if you have the money to go and buy them, then good luck to any one who does that, I have to admit there are about ten locos I would look at given the money and the opportunity to buy them if they ever came up for sale. But I think most of them would be considered local history, so I doubt you would be able to buy them anyway.
     
  5. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    I was actually out there on a tour this summer, visiting the few mills with active steam and several mills with diesel operations but we didn't get to the West end of the island. Many of the East and Central Java mills still have a large amount of dumped steam varying in state from stripped hulks to Locos with every gauge still intact and looking as if you could put a fire in them despite many having been driven into the shed maybe 10+ years ago. There were however a number of mills where dumped steam fleets that had slumbered there for many years had suddenly had a purge and scrapped them.
    So that lottery win needs to come sooner than later!
    Chris
     
  6. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Has there been any update on Santa Teresa at Brecon, their next Baldwin? Last I heard it as largely complete and just waiting for a boiler
     
  7. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Me too. Just checked FB page and emphasis has shifted to Santa trains ..... Bob Help Us! (No Father's Day stuff immediately obvious).
     
  8. Goldie

    Goldie New Member

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    5736CFAC-54C4-405B-9C5A-1C63406CAFD5.png 73AD1D3C-D614-40EA-8BC7-100D631321A6.png You’ve got to go all the way back to October last year on the BMR’s Facebook page to find a photo (or two) of No. 1, but she looks substantially complete. The boiler and cab have been fitted, and the olive green paint should help distinguish her from No. 2:
     
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  9. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Ding dong!

    I'm right in thinking you can't volunteer at Brecon, it's employees only?
     
  10. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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    I think you are correct, I have not heard of anyone volunteering there.
     
  11. Goldie

    Goldie New Member

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    By way of a bit of public service broadcasting, here's Santa Teresa doing it's thing; looking and sounding awesome.

     
  12. Goldie

    Goldie New Member

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    Finally visited. Epic scenery, epic locomotive, both well worth the journey.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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  13. Goldie

    Goldie New Member

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    Baldwin No. 2 was already in pieces in the workshop with its boiler in a cradle. Plenty of other new chunks of steam engine in there too, including cylinders and driving wheels for the SR&RL replica Forney and / or No. 23 at a guess.

    A few more pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Braving the cold and riding on the balcony.

    [​IMG]

    Now that I know the journey from Yorkshire's doable, I hope I'll be back down to the Brecon Beacons before long. The scenery is on an epic scale, and the US built locomotives look right at home barking uphill through pine forests. Love to see them working through Torpantau tunnel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  14. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Has Brecon re-opened yet? Their website doesn't say but appear to be taking bookings
     
  15. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    I believe they are currently still closed. Rang up the other day, and got no answer. No other rumours to offer, but I can't wait for them to open up again! Couple of pints of Brains, a Baldwin and decent fish and chips-is that too much to ask for?
     
  16. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I assume that as they are all professional staff it is more economical to remain furloughed, I believe the VOR is in the same boat.

    I think the PDR is the only paid staff only line that is running?
     
  17. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Even the "only paid staff" lines as you put it have some volunteers, and some of the volunteer lines have lots of paid staff. So it is probably more complicated than that.

    Some of the issues are to do with rolling stock. Brecon has a very limited amount of coaches that are largely open inside. I suspect they would struggle to run a viable service.

    Tim
     
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  18. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    This has recently appeared on their home page

    COVID-19 STATEMENT
    We regret that due to the current Covid 19 situation we have reluctantly decided to close the railway for the rest of 2020
    We look forward to welcoming you back in 2021

    Disappointing, but I am sure they know what they are doing. I guess with all paid staff, they have to be sure of running with enough fares to cover costs. It is a different business model to the volunteer run lines.
     
  19. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    I've not visited for a few years, but does the layout of Pant Station lend itself to 'Social Distancing'? (Horrible phrase - Newspeak at its worst.)
    Pat
     
  20. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    I can't really say about Pant- how wide is the tunnel up to the platforms? The rolling stock, I imagine, will be the issue, being corridor open about 7' wide with a single access door at each end. You could end up with one group at each end of each carriage, and maybe one group in the caboose.
    If an average group is 4, thats 36 passengers per train, whereas capacity is I think 144.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2020

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