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Cath-Ex The Bluebell Railway to Bath Spa 5/10/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Paul42, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Paul42

    Paul42 Member

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    Letter received today by email : -

    We now have pleasure in enclosing your tickets and confirmed final timings for our trip to Bath Spa due to be hauled by B1 61306 Mayflower stepping in for 6233 Duchess of Sutherland. We are very disappointed by the withdrawal of Duchess of Sutherland, despite the owning group agreeing in September last year to do this trip and to also participate in the 2019 Bluebell Railway Gala, prior to committing to any other work. We were recently informed that the locomotive could not be used for this trip as the support crew need a holiday after busy summer season. We are very grateful for the small group of volunteer support crew that look after Mayflower for cancelling their holidays for this trip and the Bluebell Railway Gala, despite being busy every week since May. Please note that all steam locomotives are subject to passing a Fitness to Run (FTR) exam within 24 hours of running on the main line.

    Outbound Plat Time Return Plat Time Sheffield Park 1 07.00 Sheffield Park 23.30 Arrive Kingscote 07.30 Depart Kingscote 23.00 Depart Kingscote 07.45 Arrive Kingscote 22.40 East Grinstead (Network Rail) 1 08.20 East Grinstead (Network Rail) 1 22.12 Woldingham 1 08.50 Woldingham 2 21.40 Clapham Junction 16 09.42 Clapham Junction 17 20.45 Bath Spa 1 13.42 Bath Spa 2 16.58

    The Bluebell Railway Please note that whilst on The Bluebell Railway we depart Sheffield Park in Bluebell Railway carriages steam hauled by 61306 Mayflower up to Kingscote where both passengers and the locomotive will change trains to our carriages. On the return to Kingscote we do the same in reverse changing from our train to The Bluebell Railway carriages, along with 61306 Mayflower, and we continue steam hauled by 61306 Mayflower back to Sheffield Park.
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The Bluebell portion of the journey (on Bluebell carriages) will be top-and-tailed with 80151 and 61306 in each direction, primarily because a Bluebell loco is needed for the corresponding ECS moves between Kingscote and Sheffield Park. 80151 will also be banking the outbound charter between Kingscote and East Grinstead.

    Tom
     
  3. Jerr Grey

    Jerr Grey New Member Account Suspended

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    So presumably Mayflower will be facing towards Sheffield Park for Giant's of Steam.
     
  4. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Member

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    Now that raises an interesting point - if 80151 is providing assistance up the hill to East Grinstead is there no WCRC diesel on the rear? I can't see any particular reason why one should be needed for this trip but one gets so used to 61306 having a tail gunner.....
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I assume so. Certainly it will be facing south on return from the charter.

    Tom
     
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  6. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill New Member

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    I'd assume it won't for the tour itself as it would bank the train to East Grinstead rather than 80151 as you say, but a diesel will probably still be needed to bring the ECS to and from Kingscote so I'd guess it'd hang around somewhere on the Bluebell during the day?

    Me and my Grandad are booked on this trip and were booked on the original tour last year before it was cancelled. Still disappointed its not 6233 but only seen 61306 once and not had a run behind a B1 yet (my Grandad did know a founder member of the Trust that owns 1264 however, although not sure which one).
     
  7. Paul42

    Paul42 Member

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    It depends what the load is, if more than 10 yes. I have two runs behind Mayflower, both unassited, one was load 9 to Bath , the other was load 10 to Stratford Upon Avon.
    The trip was based on the Duchess hauling it since last Sept/October when that trip was postponed due to no available loco. When I booked ( for last years trip) standard were sold out so I am in first. My ticket states coach G . If A-F are all in the formation ( they might not all be ) plus a couple for standard , support coach and kitchen car that would be 11. The other reason diesels have been included in the formation is lack of time to shunt stock, turn and service loco. Since there are no times for Bristol it could go straight into Bristol East Yard and save on the shunting time so should be possible but tight.
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The diesel loco that brings the charter stock ECS in and returns it after the charter spends Saturday unused at Kingscote.

    Tom
     
  9. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member

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  10. jonathonag

    jonathonag Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps Steam Dreams should reconsider their future communication releases and how they word it, because the above sounds like quite an attack on the PRCLT and can do no good in future relationships.

    Surely there was a more tactful way to word it than "They've cancelled because they've been busy and need a break, but our group has been far busier and so deserve a break more"....
     
  11. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Given the lead-in time to this I suspect that they are rather annoyed by this change of plan for no other reason than support crew fatigue. After all, when you accept work presumably you also plan who will support the job and whether this represents a sensible pattern. So I'm with SD on this one although I do agree that it isn't particularly subtle to make the irritation public. My guess is that subbing the B1 has not been without its own difficulties given the intensive work load that this loco and its support crew also seem to be under.
     
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  12. Victor

    Victor Part of the furniture Friend

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    That's as I read it Jon, they've definitely 'got the hump' with PRCLT. I can't see there will be any going back after that.
     
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  13. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    This sort of thing happens in any volunteer run organisation. Perhaps they should be reminded that support crews are volunteers who give up a long day, or more, of their own time to do the job. Its not like it was 20 years ago when they can phone round among the membership for a couple of stand ins, now there is all the bureaucracy of medical exams and PTS training ( all at the volunteers expense) to go through.
     
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  14. Wingsandwheels

    Wingsandwheels New Member Account Suspended

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    I think it's a fair comment by Steam Dreams. Totally in agreement with them on this one.
     
  15. Jerr Grey

    Jerr Grey New Member Account Suspended

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    These dates were known a year ago. Not good to let people down at the last minute and something that will, I am sure, rebound on the 6233 group.
     
  16. MikeParkin65

    MikeParkin65 Member Friend

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    Didnt the PRCLT move 6233 'down south' specifically because there wasn't enough work available for it 'up north'? Seems to be a strange tactic to be then turning down worked booked a year ago for it and isn't going to instill confidence in potential hirers.
     
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  17. jonathonag

    jonathonag Well-Known Member

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    Do we know for sure that it was last minute?

    It seems odd that there was an announcement regarding Bluebell Giants of Steam weekend, a week after this tour runs, issued circa 11th September with the information that No. 6233 was to be replaced by No. 61306 due to availability. It's not hard to imagine that the PRCLT would have given Steam Dreams similar information at the same time they did to Bluebell?

    Yes, 3 1/2 weeks notice isn't exactly a long time, but there have been a lot tighter unavailability notices given in the past. We also have to remember that these again are all volunteers, but also humans. Just because one support crew can appear to manage a weekly railtour programme, doesn't mean another can but this may not be realised until into a programme itself. If that were the case, we'd be expecting the near 24/7 availability from all support crews that the Riley & Sons team appear to achieve.
     
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  18. Wingsandwheels

    Wingsandwheels New Member Account Suspended

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    Whatever they have failed to honour commitments.

    They have also upset a tour operator which is bound to have a negative impact on future hires.

    Sorry but I cannot accept your apologist comments.

    If you don't think you can resource a commitment don't take it on in the first place.
     
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  19. Jerr Grey

    Jerr Grey New Member Account Suspended

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    I still think this is totally unacceptable behavior by the 6233 group. I don't accept your comments.
     
  20. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Don't accept the comment, what a silly thing to say, you obviously have no idea do you exactly how difficult it is for some loco owning groups to be able to reliably turn out a crew week after week.
    Say for example 5 are down to cover a certain week end. Others plan therefore to spend the time with families or friends or just having a break. Then a couple of the rostered crew suddenly find they can't make it, illness or personal matters, those not rostered are contacted but are not sitting waiting to be asked to help. What do you do?
     
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