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CathEx Southend East - Bluebell Railway, 23/03/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Bulleid Pacific, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Ticket arrived Friday and timings on SD's website. I decided to book this as a result of the postponement of RTC's Edinburgh Flyer, as I have yet to traverse the connection with the Bluebell Railway. Whilst the nature of the trip (shunting about at South Croydon on the outward) means a diesel on the back is inevitable, there are still plenty of plus-points, mostly as a result of engineering work taking place at key points on what was probably the preferred route:

    1. Engineering work between Upminster and Pitsea means the trip has a pick-up point at Rainham - when did steam last travel this way?

    2. Engineering work at Stratford means that the usual routing across London via Hackney and Camden Road is closed off, with those booked to board at Stratford notified to proceed to Barking. The result is a run over the Tottenham & Forest Gate line to Gospel Oak, which I believe last saw steam in 2012 (with 60163), the lack thereafter being due to pathing difficulties.

    3. The return is a pretty straightforward run from the Bluebell to Hanwell Bridge Sidings, from where the diesel takes the train back to Essex... or is it? Rather than taking the direct route via Wandsworth Common, going under the system of junctions at Latchmere and emerging at Imperial Wharf, the train goes via Streatham and Brixton before avoiding Victoria via the chord between Factory Jn and Longhedge Jn. It then proceeds to Hanwell via Kenny-O. When was the last time a steam tour avoided Victoria in this way?

    Overall, this seems a routing that couldn't be planned this way from scratch in 2019, but circumstances have conspired to make the unusual happen and make an already interesting journey rather more so. Here's hoping there are no issues identified during the steam locomotive's (61306) FTR exam.
     
  2. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Where did you find those details of the routes? All I can find on RTT is the last leg from Hanwell back to Southend.
     
  3. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    SD website, timings section.
     
  4. Panniertank

    Panniertank New Member

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    The late Past Time Rail, comprehensively covered the LT&SR, with their 'Cockney Coaster' series, on 6-5-2001, using 76079 and 45407 (see six bells junction https://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk/00s/010506p2.htm)
     
  5. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Thank you. I had forgotten that part of their website.
    It is indeed an interesting route.
     
  6. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Nearly 18 years... Rather pleased to be doing this one. Wouldn't say no to a repeat of this itinerary between Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyness, though!
     
  7. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Much more recently a couple of Black 5s went via Tilbury and Rainham in December 2014.
     
  8. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    The most evocative runs on the LTSR were those of the Standard Tanks in the 1990s (although Black 5s were sometimes seen on excursion trains along with 4Fs and Crabs in the 50s and 60s.)

     
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  9. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Might be a figment of my imagination but I think I recall seeing Crabs on the Tilbury boat trains at St Pancras.
     
  10. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Thanks. It still underlines the fact that Rainham isn't an everyday occurrence, as most tours on the LTSR in recent years have taken the main.
     
  11. bonniville

    bonniville New Member

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    was amazed to find while checking the times for this excursion that its routing takes the surrey hills circular to redhill then to south croydon rather than go west in london to reverse, only going as far as kingscote on the bluebell, is mayflower likely to come off and run light engine to sheffield park for attention
     
  12. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Don't quite understand the issue, but going round via the Surrey Hills spins out the steam leg a bit, and keeps it away from central London. I understand that the WCRC stock will be staying at Kingscote for servicing, with passengers boarding a Bluebell train hauled by 30541 and 65 to get to Sheffield Park. 61306 will later haul the return to Kingscote assisted by 847 before passengers transfer to WCRC stock.
     
  13. green five

    green five Resident of Nat Pres

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    That is similar to what happened when I travelled on the SD trip from the MHR with 34046 in 2014. We had to change trains at Kingscote as the Railtour stock was serviced at Kingscote. 847 hauled the SD passengers in Bluebell stock to Sheffield Park and back to Kingscote. That was the best part of the day out for me. The crew of the S15 really put on a superb show. The ML part of the trip was very disappointing with 34046 merely trundling around the suburbs. Haven't been on a SD trip since.

    Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    The whole point of this from my perspective is the trundle around the rarer bits of the suburban railway network; I think there is about 40+ miles of track I've yet to do with steam on the front (yes, I'm a line basher!). A bonus would have been a further trundle on the return via Crystal Palace then Tulse Hill rather than via Streatham, but am happy enough with what's already on offer.
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That was me, that was :). I recall that 34046 wanted to save water as it had no booked watering stop on the mainline leg from East Croydon, so we hauled 7 Bluebell carriages, the support coach and 34046 with their regulator shut. About 415 tons tare as I recall up the 1 in 60/75. Happy days ...

    The Bluebell logistics on this trip are somewhat similar, though 61306 will arrive on the north end of the stock, whereas that day 34046 was at the south end. The timings are also a bit more restricted. 541 and 65 will haul the train to meet the charter passengers (with 61306 on the tail end). The return will see 61306 haul it, with 847 banking and pulling the return ECS.

    Tom
     
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  16. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Further to my own point 3 above, a trawl through UK Steam suggests that 70013 took the Victoria avoider in 2014. So to grossly misquote Eric Morecambe, it's a series of bits that have been done before, but are not necessarily in the same order. 2014 seems to have been a pretty good year for trips, with places such as Seaford and Newhaven done, as well as the MML between Chesterfield and Dore, which is a gap on my steam map.

    Update: Victoria avoider and Tottenham South were done in 2015. Oh well!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  17. green five

    green five Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thanks for an excellent experience behind 847. She really was master of the job on that day. Can't wait for the return of 506 on the MHR.

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  18. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a lot of hard work - why not just run the charter right through to Sheffield Park? I am guessing that it is because of the length of the train which may take up too much space at SP on a day when the Bluebell are already presumably running 2 service trains. Is that correct?

    The advantage is that the passengers get almost a complete round trip on the Bluebell with steam haulage.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think the main reason for not running through to SP is insufficient space to handle a train of that length. The loops at Kingscote are the only place that can readily handle a train that will probably consist of two locos and about ten carriages. There is then the additional issue that since it is s normal service day, leaving it berthed at Sheffield Park for two hours would prevent any other service running. At Kingscote it keeps out of the way of the service trains.

    Tom
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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