Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by alastair, Jan 11, 2019.
Stood outside the car with the tailgate up Ian
Boot with a lid. Very handy.
My efforts - -
Near Newbiggin: https://www.flickr.com/photos/65931014@N05/46537070024/in/dateposted-public/
Great idea Shep that worked well
That's where I was heading on a tight schedule this morning after 48151 at Lunds, but a combination of the 8F being 14 minutes down, a slow-moving hay wagon just as I reached the junction with the A685 which dragged a traffic jam all the way to the Orton turn-off and 35018 being one minute early meant that I was arriving at Salterwath from under the M6 just in time to see it dragging itself up to Shap. I didn't even have time to stop the car and grab a shot with my camera that I'd put on the passenger seat ready for a quick start.
Mine of Les Ross and B.I.L. Good day out
Anything that can go up Shap with 11 on and the valves lifting has got to be a good un. Carnforth can be proud of what they have done with that loco.
True, but full marks to the fireman as well.
Boiler designer did ok too.....
That Newbiggin shot's a cracker!
Lots of nice line side stuff but any reports from those who paid to be on the train?
As David(OTW) wasn't on I've done a full report on the train. (Really it's just for you Don!!)
Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express 2nd March 2019
Well, after almost a 9 month break we had 35018 on another solo WCME. Definitely something to look forward to. Mrs S had recovered enough to test her repaired ankle on a long day out and we joined our friends on the 0623 Manchester train at Abergavenny. The Whistle Stop Cafe on the station opens at around 0545 even on a Saturday and is well worth a visit as Alan makes superb bacon rolls with thick slices of local bacon. Bacon Roll and coffee for £4.50. They were delicious.
At Crewe Les Ross brought the usual 10 coach train in RT. We were in the middle of Coach G, three back, four from Carnforth. After the pickup at Preston we rolled into Carnforth U&DGL very close to RT. We knew 35018 had backed on from the distinctive sound of the safety valves lifting not long before our booked departure time. Looked good for the attacks on Yealand, Grayrigg and Shap. The clouds were rolling in from the west and the breeze strength but it was dry as we left a few down as the TP to Edinburgh was its customary few minutes down. Good start and Steve Chipperfield expertly aided by Chris Holmes on the shovel set off at a brisk pace to the foot of Yealand Bank.
It looked good as we passed mp7, the start of the 2 1/5 miles up the 1in134 at 35.6. an excellent climb followed with the characteristic chatter up front rising in decibels as 35018 charged up the bank with our speed increasing to top the summit at mp9 1/4 at just over 40 mph. No mean feat, actually 2 mph faster than May 12th last year. A good speed to start the charge to mp13, through Milnthorpe, onto the 13 mile climb to Grayrigg Summit at mp26. Down the mile and a half at 1in239 speed rose to 57.6 and kept steadily increasing over the next 2 miles on the level to hit the 3 miles of 1in173 at 67.3 Close to the 70 sometimes achieved here. 2 1/2 miles into the bank we passed Hincaster noisily at 61.3 and came to the end of the section at mp16 1/2 holding 61 onto 3/4 mile of 1in153 where speed rose slightly to 62. We soon lost that on the mile of 1in111 and took just under 58 onto Oxenholme Approach at mp18 1/2 where the grade eases to a mile + of 1in176.
We charged through the station at 55.7 (58.8 12th May), and left the 1in176 at 56. The next 3/4 mile at 1in104 took a bit of a toll and speed fell to 53.4. a 1/4 mile easing to 1in213 saw us pick that back up. Nice sound and whitish smoke drifting past us as 35018 lost little to the 3/4 mile of 1in124 to take 50.8 onto the 2 miles+ of 1in131 starting at mp21 1/2. Excellent performance from up front to not lose any speed on this section and we hit the 2 miles + at 1in106 at mp23 3/4 holding just over 50. Although a good climb we were actually almost 6 mph down on May 12th. We crossed Lambrigg, mp24 1/2, at 48.1 (54.3) and passed the summit on the easing 1in396 at 45. The summit speed on May 12th was 51. Always a good climb to pass the summit at 40+.
So to get close to May 12th we were going to need a good pickup through the Lune Gorge to take onto the foot of Shap. We were a little quicker past Low Gill, but behind as we passed mp30, 70.5 cf 72. Then Steve and Chris really got into 35018 and we passed mp31 1/2, the start of the mile and a half of 1in146 at 75.9, almost 3 mph quicker than May last. So passed Tebay North, mp32 at 74.2 (70) looking good for a 40+ summit speed. Onto the 4 1/4 miles of 1in75 at mp33 at 70 (66.4) with every chance of something special. Speed fell more than we expected by mp34, passed at 60.9, still ahead of May's 59.4, but by Scout Green, mp35,for the first time we were behind May's effort, 50.6 (51.8). The railhead looked good so no external reason but speed fell markedly over the final part of the climb at the same time as the safety valves lifted. Quarters, May in brackets' were:
mp36.1/4 41.1(45.7); mp36 1/2 39.3(45.2); mp36 3/4 38.2(43.8); mile37 36.7(42.3) and the climbing summit, mp37 1/4 35(40.7 possibly after a slip). So no 40mph+ which was a bit disappointing for a Class 8 with 11 but far from a poor climb. We passed the Summit board at mp37 1/2 at 34.9(39.4). For a change, a proper enthusiast, a friend of ours, won the onboard Shap Challenge. The bears were disappointed as they thought their 41.4 and 42 predictions stood good chances of taking the pool.
Time wise, Carnforth to Yealand Summit 7m 44.5s(7m 30.5s); Carnforth to Grayrigg Summit, 24m 57.4s(24m 42.8s); Carnforth to Shap Climbing Summit, 37m 39s(36m 07s). Mp31 1/2-mp37 1/2: 6m 26s, May 12th 6m 16s, all rounded a bit.
Nowhere near an even time today. We eased through Penrith North Lakes at 65 and reached Citadel after 67m 37.51s, start to stop. As the distance to Carlisle has been debated a bit I left the GPS running and we came to a stop under the bridge - the usual timing point, after 63.20 miles; 63m 16ch in old money.
The Woodrow was rather full but JC somehow managed to secure us a 'booth' with room for the five of us. Fell into the trap of drinking a couple of Jaipur and an excellent Hawkshead Porter with lunch. we had a selection of fish and chips, bangers and mash, they were so rushed JOCD's bangers and mash started off as banger and mash - soon rectified, and mine being the usual large mixed grill without an egg - again soon rectified!!
It was raining before we left and with it went any chance of a good southbound climb to Ais Gill. Pacific's always struggle on wet rails and this afternoon had turned into a typical Cumbrian one - wet and windy. No engine when we got back to Citadel. Overheard remarks about a points failure at Upperby and the loco being turned via Bog Jn under the WCML onto the Workington Road and then being serviced and watered alongside the Signal Box south of the station. We strolled up the platform and sure enough there was a tanker alongside the box watering 35018. We were told that 48151 had the same issue and would be watered after 35018. Only one tanker; so presumably they took half each. 35018 backed onto the train some 15 late and we left 20 down. Not really a problem as we were then well behind the 1411 Leeds.
Bulleid Pacific and wet rails. Always an interesting combination. We set off onto the 4 miles of 1in132 to Low House with some trepidation. Mick Kelly was now on the regulator and eased the big Pacific out of the station down to Petterill Bridge Jn. As the loading was good there were no empty seats on the milepost side so it was standing in the middle vestibule 9 back for the run to Appleby and beyond to Ais Gill. A well known fellow timer shared the vestibule with me and we did a more than decent job of mileposting despite the heavy rain and subsequent poor light.
As we crossed the Jn the rain got heavier and Mick took it easy to make sure the engine didn't slip. Speed rose slowly to 38 as we passed Howe and Co. Box but then fell back and stayed around 33(54) all the way to Low House Crossing. We guess the railhead must have been in poor condition. Once we'd topped the 1in132 speed rose to 55.6 at mp299(58). There's a gentle climb up to Armathwaite where speed fell back to 51(60). Once around the curve Mick opened the big engine up and speed rose to 56 on the approach to the tunnel. It fell back to 52 on the 1in220 up to Baron's Wood Tunnels after which there was a nice acceleration to 64 down the grade to mp293(64) and onwards through Lazonby to reach 66 at mp291.
On the 1in132 climb to Little Salkeld speed fell back to 58 and to 53 on the 1/2 mile+ of 1in110/131 around the reverse curves to Langwathby. The railhead must have been decent as we stayed around 60 up the mile of 1in330 to Waste Bank Tunnel and hit 61(58) as we passed Culgaith Box. Over the couple of miles of 1in132/220 speed only fell back to 57.4 through Newbiggin. On gentler grades we passed Kirby Thore at 60; then Long Marton at 60. We were going well up the first mile of the mile and a half of 1in120 to Appleby, speed only falling to 56 but then Mick eased the big engine and we drifted into the platform to take on water. Time from Carlisle 43m 58s (39m 50s non-stop).
After a 12 minute stop when a number of passengers managed to get ice cream while the engine took water, we set off on the southbound long drag. It was still raining and windy so we didn't really expect any fireworks - they would have gone out!!! In May, we charged through Appleby at 53.2. today it was a standing start, but I have included May speeds in brackets for fun. Mick made a swift departure down the bank and we crossed Ormside Viaduct, mp275, 2 miles and a 1/4 out at 54, creditably close to the 59.2 of May. This is the start of the first 3 miles of 1in100. Couldn't hear much 9 1/2 back, but 35018 was being worked hard and initially speed only fell slowly to 48(53.6) at mp274. It fell to 43(52.7) as we entered Helm Tunnel. From there it was a bit of a struggle against the westerly wind and rain. Mile by mile went mp273, 42.3(51.2); mp272, 35.7(49.5); then the grade eased to a mile+ of 1in166 but speed held around 35/6(53/4). Then came a mile+ of 1in200 towards Crosby Garrett where we picked up to 43(62).
Then the gradient increased to an almost unbroken 1in100 again for 5 miles. Still very much in wet and windy conditions we passed mp268 at 38 and mp267 at 32(54). The short easing to 1in264 had no effect and we ran through Kirkby Stephen at 32(53). Back on the 1in100, speed picked up and we passed mp266 at 34.6(54), but soon fell back to 31.4(53) as we passed mp265. We entered Birkett Tunnel at 29.7(51.7) and then passed mp264 at 29.5(52.3). next comes the only break in the 1in100, 3/4 of a mile of 1in330 to Mallerstang. It's a bit sheltered from the westerly wind there too, and speed rose to almost 40 as we passed mp263(57.7), the start of the final charge to Ais Gill Summit.
On a good day we sometimes pick up anything up to 5/6 mph around the curve to Ais Gill. Not today. Though speed held close to 40 for a mile to mp262(55.4), we turned back into the wind and speed fell back to 36.2 by mp261(53.9); and to 35 over Ais Gill Viaduct(53.4). The final mile to the climbing summit as mp260 saw a steady fall in speed to 32.5(53). it had taken 29m 25.14s from Appleby (18m 57s). 35018 rallied on the short bit of level to the Summit Board, passed at 35.9(53). Not fair comparisons but shows the effect the 'usual' Cumbrian weather has on the southbound long drag. Interestingly, after the summit was crossed, we picked up to almost the same speed as May, 51.1(51.5) and were quicker, 46.5(44) into Rise Hill Tunnel.
Took a break from serious timing then for a while and didn't pick it back up until we left Hellifield. The rain had more or less stopped by the time we left the water stop 24 late. We couldn't hang around as there were 3 Rochdale trains due off Clitheroe in the timeframe we should be there; the 1725, 1736 and 1753. What a popular place!! Fortunately it's a slackly times section from Hellifield and Horrocksford which was just as well as we were due there between the first two trains that meant getting to Horrocksford Jn close to 1720. As soon as we had passed Hellifield South Box, Mick charged the couple of miles upgrade partly 1in114/103/90 to top 44 as we passed mp33 3/4. It's a 50 mph line I think so no high speed running. Speed oddly dropped back to 43 for the next few miles but rose to 52 at Gisburn and stayed close to 50 to Horrocksford Approach. We slowed to a stop at 1723. A check on RTT showed the 1736 in the vicinity but after a 2 minute stop we were allowed through.
We accelerated through Clitheroe at 37but speed fell back to 20 on the approach to Whalley. We assumed we had a red as we were held for 4 minutes between mp18 3/4 and mp19. It is in the middle of nowhere alongside the golf course and we didn't actually notice a signal as we passed the point where the engine would have been when we stopped. Still, hopefully it should have meant we were so far behind the Northern Service to have green signals all the way to the summit of Wilpshire Bank and beyond.
Mick charged away and by mp18, just before Whalley, speed was 48.2(46) on the 1in203d. So onto the arches and the 4 miles+ of 1in81 1/2 at 48(44.3). interesting...but then we suffered our first slip and speed dropped to 44.6 as we passed mp17(36.7). up the next mile we slipped 3 times and passed mp16 at 32.3(35.7). A quarter of a mile further on we passed Langho at 30.6(36.5) and lost speed steadily to pass mo15 at 25.9(36.8). Bit worried at the rapid loss as we were just entering the normally wet cutting on the 1in88 leading to Wilpshire Tunnel. The big pacific lost its feet as we entered the tunnel at 22.4(35.4) and slipped 3 times on the 1in68/86. We passed the old Wilpshire station at 20.6(28.5) and passed mp13 1/4 on Ramsgreave and Wilpshire Station at 20.1(26). The summit is a quarter of a mile away near mp13 which has long disappeared and it appeared Mick just let 35018 run up to it. Our lowest speed was 15.4. An excellent climb really in the conditions.
So that was all of real interest though we did get to 68 on the 1in101d at Hoghton on the run from Blackburn to Lostock Hall. We were held at the junction for a minute or so and crossed over all running lines to arrive in Preston at 1835, 29 down.
35018 was detached and Les Ross coupled up inside 15 minutes. We were told the electric was running on vacuum as they were unable to pull the cords as there was a unit alongside us. Unlike last week we were allowed out in between trains at 1857 and arrived in Crewe 12 down at 1946, well in time for our train back to South Wales. Typically the 1930 off Manchester was a 2-Car 158. It was close to full with a number of noisy Hereford United fans returning from a game in Manchester. Mrs S passed her Test Train, ending with tackling the 46 steps up and 48 down on the temporary bridge at Abergavenny.
So a very different day out with 35018. Bit disappointed with the morning. We slightly beat the May time and speed up Yealand but lost out on Grayrigg and moreso on Shap. As for the return, big Pacifics and wet and windy weather don't mix well. Would have been interesting to not have had the Appleby water stop but it was probably the railhead condition that dictated the climb to Ais Gill as we seemed to have plenty of steam available as always with a Bulleid.
Thanks to RTC for the winter series, the loading looked better on this, the final one; to WCR for letting 35018 out to play, and for the excellent Steve, Chris and Mick and the train manager and the stewards; to Network Rail, particularly for better train regulation than last week in Preston.
Next CME on 18th May and hopefully an anniversary train with 35018 in good weather to challenge the run of last year.
That's great thanks. Looking forward to 18th may and seeing what BIL can do when extended.
When following a Northern service from Clitheroe it is normal to be stopped at the IBS (intermediate block signal) as the end of Whalley platform while the train ahead clears the section.This is at the very start of the bank up to Whilpshire. Therefore wise drivers, knowing this, will pull up in sight of the distant signal and wait there for it to clear. This gives a bit of a run at the bank and given the dubious railhead condition prevailing it gave a better chance of not slipping to a stand.
Excellent report, as always. It shows how much performance is dependent on rail conditions. Glad Mrs S came through her test run, with Mrs W lubriction is key - Pinot Grigio or Cabernet Sauvignon seem to work best. The bacon butties sound like a perfect start to the day but just a bit too far for me to go . . . probably!
Even diesel charters sometimes do that, since going straight after the Northern service would mean a stand at Daisyfield.
Just to finish off the 2 CMEs with 35018, I've put the timings together in the attached pdfs for information.
And anyone who thinks that's bad. There used to be a lengthy sit at Clitheroe of sometimes 20+ minutes to allow the local service to reach Daisyfield. Sometimes this was also after being held north of Clitheroe to let the unit shuffle into the platform and await an on time departure. Late running charters rocking up 20 minutes or more late south of Hellifield frequently landed up an hour late to allow the service train schedule not to be affected. There's also been similar issues northbound too along there before the extra signals were added in. That said can recall being allowed a run a few times at Blackburn by control to allow less disruption further north on the S&C and beyond with the local getting hammered with a hefty delay. In fact a few of those times the sprinter was held at the end of the Darwen line to let 1Zxx fly through Blackburn and East first! Before the signalling was improved there were a few hours of the day no charters would fit due to half hourly locals Mon to Sat to/from Clitheroe. Rarely a problem now unless you fancied adding in Stops at Whalley etc at said times of day!
Apologies if there is already a thread for this. E-ticket arrived for 18 May, Leander + 11, steam to Preston on return.
Two steam trips in Carlisle at the same time that day.
I'm on the Saphos one so if the steam gods behave, I'll arrive in time to witness Leander's arrival and be able to see the departure before ours heads south
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