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Churnet Valley Steam Gala - 23/24 February 2013

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by lil Bear, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Jamie C. Steel

    Jamie C. Steel Member

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    I'll be visiting with a few friends over the weekend, but I'm a bit surprised at the supposedly "intensive timetable" which amounts to one train almost every 90 minutes, surely a DMU or a local set can be put together to actually provide a service to paying passengers, rather than those who will be on roadbridges photographing the freight services that will convey no passengers, it doesn't really seem like a gala from the timetable to me, just a two train service with a photo charter thrown into the mix.
     
  2. irwellsteam

    irwellsteam Member

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    You have a point re: intensiveness, but there's not a lot of locos to work with. And DMU at a steam gala? Maybe if it was an SMU :happy:
     
  3. Jamie C. Steel

    Jamie C. Steel Member

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    Well what is wrong with a DMU running when they can't provide the advertised "intensive" service?
     
  4. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    We did have a few "extra" coaches that were on loan to us a year or so ago, but alas they have returned to their homes, so there isn't really the stock to create the local set you suggest sadly. I think all of the operational stock (DMU included) is to be used on the two "main" Cauldon rakes.

    Apologies if you'd have preferred three passenger rakes. With the modest number of locos and the available stock, I think adding the freight in was considered the best option for adding interest to the event.
     
  5. lil Bear

    lil Bear Part of the furniture

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    Having helped Martin complete the shunting yesterday, 31806 has 5x Maroon coaches to play with all weekend whilst 6046 has 2x Mk1 and the 3-car DMU all weekend.

    As said some coaches have returned to their owning groups/rlys and so we don't have as many coaches as we did last year. There also the TSO(?) that Brian is working on in C&W, which we've been forced to withdraw for repairs.

    The timetable on offer is the most intensive that we can provide at CVR. Sadly though we are not as fortunate to have signalling installations like the SVR, GCR etc. One day maybe, but at present are limited with what we can offer. Hopefully though it will still be a good event, and that those who attend will enjoy it.

    6046 was having its final sandboxes fitted today, 31806 was being cleaned and a group was also working on 1827. Boiler is in and lagging was being taken out of boxes as I left the railway. There is still hope!

    If anyone is about at the weekend, I'm on 6046 Saturday and Apesford Crossing Sunday. Feel free to come and say hi if you want :)
     
  6. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Even with all the Loco's & stock in the world, there's only a limited amount you can do with 2 passing loops (Consall & Leekbrook Jcn) and a massive unbroken section with no stations at one end of the line, ideally you'd want 10 extra coaches (2 x 5) and a passing loop around Bradnop/Winkhill, but that's not realistic for a few years yet.

    Having traveled to Cauldon when it opened, it makes the "valley section" seem tame in comparison, Class 4's and 5's have to work to get the job done than have an easy run down a valley on load 5.
     
  7. chris meadowcroft

    chris meadowcroft Member

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    Unfortunately due to the 8.25 mile section from Leekbrook Junction to Cauldon this is the only option that we have.

    We do have something good to offer with a gradient steeper and longer than virtually all preserved lines.

    As of 21:00 last night the Beyer Peacock was all lagged and clad, the back fittings were all on and the smokebox has been piped up. The tank and cab are due to be fitted first thing in the morning.

    Regards

    Chris
     
  8. Jark91

    Jark91 Member

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    Perhaps (and this may be an unpopular suggestion) the next gala could keep operations limited to the Leekbrook-Froghall section, maybe with one early morning and evening train to Cauldon each day. A freight train could still do the Cauldon section during the middle of the day. That way photographers are kept sweet and passengers get an intensive service.
     
  9. chris meadowcroft

    chris meadowcroft Member

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    Whilst we welcome suggestions for future events we would find it hard not use the Cauldon Lowe section as much as possible as we have seen a sharp rise in attendance to our steam galas since this section of line was opened.
     
  10. macca49

    macca49 New Member

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    Hi Chris - as the CVR has a limited amount of runnable coaching stock, how about running a small train of goods brake vans for enthusiasts (with a supplement payable of course) in some of the freight train paths instead? Used over part of the Valley route, it could maybe also take in the little used Froghall - Oakamoor section which I know enthusiasts are always asking about. I appreciate there is more time & effort involved in this and obviously not for this gala, but maybe for one in the future?
     
  11. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Not a good idea to cut out the highlight of the trip (the return blast up miles of steep gradients), while there's nothing particularly bad about Froghall - Leekbrook, it's not particularly memorable either, just a flattish trundle down a valley.
     
  12. jamesd

    jamesd Member

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    I quite agree. If the gala only featured the Leekbrook Froghall section then I probably wouldn't bother going, however as it features running over the section to Cauldon I will be driving up from South Wales. The timetable isn't as intensive as other galas but the thrash on the Cauldon section is as good as anything in preservation and if you haven't experienced it you definitely need to.

    My only suggestion would be to combine the two rakes for the final train with the S160 up front and the U on the back, bit like the beerex trains at the opening gala.
     
  13. 49010

    49010 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that Chris. Normally I prefer a mixed freight but you're right, parcels trains are something you don't often see on a preserved line so it will be a bit different. Besides, now you've restored the GUV you might as well get it out there and show it off.

    Looking forward to riding the line down to Stoke some day. I imagine if / when it happens you'd need to put in a connection to the Up line in the main station or would you have a separate platform or run round loop? (Or is that simply too far off to say!)
     
  14. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    A good suggestion, but we only have one working brakevan so opportunities for this would be limited. I am currently working as hard as I can to get a second one restored though!
     
  15. TonyMay

    TonyMay Member

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    The issue the CVR has is that instead of growing an extension bit by bit that is uses in normal service, it's acquired a rather long extension in a slightly odd way. This in turn is placing strain on the rolling stock resources of the line when it needs to use it. And it's getting more difficult to source and restore coaches. Their priority is clearly to fare paying customers. They did a good charter at the weekend for photters as far as I can see the photos (not sure who organised that though, with these things it's often who you know...)
     
  16. 49010

    49010 Well-Known Member

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    The Old Man and I rode the 9.25 out of Froghall his morning, sitting right at the back of the DMU set. Looks like there were some brake problems with the unit so that caused some delays but once past Chedd we had a cracking ride and view up to Cauldon Lowe. Lots of black clouds and thunder over the moorlands - or was it just Lil' Bear doing his thing on the S160?

    Coming back down of course we had a ringside seat for the S160 - it was fascinating watching the Westinghouse Brake Gear (I think?) on the loco clicking and whirling away as the brakes came on and off. Changing at Chedd we had a good nosey around the shed and yard ( I always think this is a real plus), the Old Man picked up some books he didn't already have and I sneaked a cheeky pint at the Boat. Marvellous.

    Enjoyed the parcels set, the GUV looked splendid, well done.

    So CVR done today, 6046 copped, now for the ELR tomorrow....
     
  17. p/wayman

    p/wayman Member

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    For all those that cannot make it to any galas today the Churnet Valley has got 7 (SEVEN) webcams working today.!!!!!!!
     
  18. jamesd

    jamesd Member

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    I had a great day yesterday, the runs with 31806 being particularly entertaining as it only seemed to have two regulator settings - wide open or shut! The S160 was good too but wasn't really troubled with load 5, needed another couple of coaches to at least make it interesting. My only gripe would be with the heating in the Mk1 coaches of the S160's rake which didn't seem to be working when I rode in them but I only really noticed it on the last run I did.
     
  19. FJR8642

    FJR8642 Member

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  20. Respite

    Respite Member

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    I went for the weekend. 31806 was great, very nosiy and fair romped up the 1 in 40. 6046 also great but as jamesd says it needs another couple of coaches to make it 'interesting' 6046 has a strange ability to sound like a black 5 when it gets going, looks like its rough to ride on given the way it waddles.

    From a passengers point of view the railway really does need more coaches and the lack of heat on Saturday wasn't funny. Sundays trip with 31806 not so good as it primed badly at the foot of the bank and didnt really recover until the curve below Bradnop. It was a really great idea to get 31806, I hear 73129 was the other hoped for visitor, now the noise that would make is something I hope we don't have to wait too long for!
     

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