Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by alastair, Jan 11, 2019.
Our footage of 45690 on the CME
Return journey near Newsholme.
"The Cumbrian Mountain Express", 18/05/19.
Superb account as ever. Good to see 45690 did 30 ish at the summit of Shap with 11 on especially as some reports mentioned the Brit crested at a around 37 with one extra coach .
Thanks, there were a few places on the S&C when Leander was working hard at 50-60 mph where I did give an involuntary shiver (and it wasn't the draught from the open window but the roar from the front).
Thanks Steve, I wouldn't have minded a ride behind the Brit but when you have to choose . . . Shap with Brit+12 or Jub+11 - Answer, ? Cumbrian Coast or S&C - Answer, S&C Coffins or opening windows? - Answer, opening windows. That said, I wouldn't mind a run over Shap with any of LSL's steam locos.
I can't answer that qn exactly but Brian Basterfield has a range of examples. On the Midland, it seems to be load 9 /300 tons max. Out of Euston up to B'ham it seems to be load 11. Shap--- don't know but probably 8 or 9 or stop for a banker. Compare his experiences with the Clans. How many did those Bank Hall locos take on the Glasgow--Morecambe/Blackpool trains? There must be records of those.
BB also has an example of a Jubilee on a heavier summer train up to Church Stretton unassisted with 13 on.
Wonderful performance from 45690 on Saturday. The highlight for me was up Wilpshire; driver put the volume to max before the viaduct and away we went......
I'd dearly like to see this weekend repeated, but with a twist. How about 34046 on the Saphos and 35018 on the RTC?
45690 at Shap Wells with the correct audio .
Lol Dub dub dub lol
Just a bit Henry as I got the sound on Saturday out of sync somehow
Good man shows you have pride in your work!
Leanders performance seemed sharper this time around.
Footage from a friend.
That is one fit "Jubilee".
Talking of fit locos I have heard that 46115 aka “The Fragile Scot” is not too far way from a return to the main line.
Cumbrian Mountain Express 18th May 2019 - A Timer's Tale
Leander + 11 for the day. Jubilees are always interesting on the WCML, Settle and Carlisle, and the secondary route that includes Wilpshire Bank. Based on performance, Carnforth's own, 45699 Galatea latterly proved to be the stronger of the pair of 10A based Jubilees; so every time we get Leander we wonder if this might be overturned. Historically we rarely get good runs over Grayrigg , Shap, S&C South and Wilpshire on the same day.
From David's excellent report you know we did. It really did justice to the day so I'm not going to do a version 2. Not quite sure what he meant about not quoting times; other than perhaps individual quarters. What I thought I'd write up is the 'Timer's View' as I was on a proper timer's table with good friends Mike and Alistair on the outward journey. As I had the facing seat I was the 'spotter' of the yellow quarters. They are all over the place; close to the track; away up on the embankments; close to/between lineside 'furniture'; leaning away from the tracks; leaning toward the tracks; at the bottom of their uprights; no heads at all just uprights, you name it we find it. They differ in shape and in where or if the actual mile number is on them. Add to that they are often filthy dirty and difficult to read. No pressure then!
Before we left the loop we discussed our expectations for the outward journey. I think 'not expecting anything special' just about covered it. Based on previous experience we came up with:
High 20s over Yealand
Low 60s at mp13;
mid 40s at Oxenholme;
low 30s at Grayrigg Summit
70 ish through Tebay
22-24 mph at Shap Summit.
Despite Alistair only doing the Carnforth-Carlisle leg, we also came up with return predictions:
Just over 30 at Low House;
Carlisle to Appleby in 50 minutes or thereabouts;
Hopefully but probably not under 30 minutes from Appleby to Ais Gill Summit;
High 20s at the climbing summit at Ais Gill
Low 20s at Wilpshire Summit.
With Mick Rawling in the driver's seat and Chris Holmes on the shovel we had an excellent crew. We enjoyed hearing the 'Jubilee Roar' 10 back as we got going after Carnforth North Jn so we knew the little loco was in decent nick, but decent and fit for Grayrigg and Shap are different things.
Back to our day and we didn't miss a 1/4 to Yealand Summit, topped at 32.7. One for 45690.
Decent and very noisy run with speed rising to the foot of Grayrigg at mp13, passed at 65. Leander just. From the sound drifting back we were thinking our pessimism might be unfounded. We got a better than expected 50 through Oxenholme, and the attrition rate above Oxenholme had us seriously interested in the possibility of 40 mph at the summit. Despite best efforts up front, we just missed it at 38.6. Definitely another for Leander. We weren't doing very well.
Through the Lune Gorge and not rapid acceleration as Chris was no doubt getting the fire in the best shape he could for the mighty bank that is Shap. The mileposts through the cutting in the gorge are little torags to spot, low, tucked into the rock face etc, so full concentration needed to get them all. None missed and onto Tebay approach and the truly enormous new mileposts from mp30-31. Down the grade and across the level and a max of 71.8 at mp31 1/2. Honours even on that bit.
We took 65 onto the 1in75 and that was more than decent. Spotting was getting easier as speed was falling, but annoyingly I missed mp33 1/2. Mike didn't pick it up looking back either, so we concluded it wasn't there. Annoying as it was the point speed where dropped below 60, and we always like to record that. Passed mp35 at 42.7 - dropping 2.5/3mph each quarter with 9 quarters to the climbing summit. Our 22-24 was looking likely, if not high! But, the Jubilee roar got louder, and we passed mp36 at 34; then mp36 1/4 at 32.4, attrition rate falling. Impressive and a mid/high 20s was looking possible. We're beginning to think the final 3/4 mile isn't really 1in75, as again a little engine, admittedly being worked hard, only dropped a further 4.5 mph in the cutting to pass both mps 37 and 37 1/4, the climbing summit at 28.6 on my GPS.
It wasn't a windy day so the cutting had no effect so I questioned the accuracy and did the manual calculation and came up with 28 dead. Still mighty impressive and within a mile an hour or so of Galatea's best. Another to Leander and we were more than happy about it. Pleasantly surprised and congrats to Mick and Chris for getting that kind of performance out of the 'lesser' Jubilee. We arrived in Carlisle 4 down due to a signal against us at Upperby Jn.
Off to the Woodrow to meet our friend Dave who had 'blagged' a ride behind Britannia. Mrs S and I just had scampi and chips as they were reasonably busy and we wanted to get fed. This time they had Jaipur on a hand pump so I enjoyed a splendid brace before we returned to the station. We had enough time to wander down front as we were now only 3 back. Mick still in the driver's seat, but with a change of fireman to Clive Gault. Said hello to David and a few other friends.
Back on the train, Mike had a milepost side seat as far as Hellifield for the return. I had booked four seats across the aisle to make sure I had a window seat for the return. We had a brief 'what to expect' conversation and concluded we'd be very lucky to have a good return after the excellent outward. It hardly ever happens, less so with the smaller locomotives. Our mornings predictions were based on not expecting anything much to Low House as we couldn't remember the last time we had an uninterrupted run from Carlisle, mainly due to the Leeds Service so close in front of us. This usually led to the slow time to Appleby.
Then there's a high possibility that a Jubilee with 11 on will get winded on the long section of 1in100 on the southbound long drag and that the climb will peter out on Mallerstang and struggle over Ais Gill. Wilpshire Bank isn't as fearsome in the dry, but past experience tells us anything can happen.
We rolled out of Carlisle right time, 10 minutes behind the Leeds. We approached Petterill Bridge Junction with the usual trepidation. We were third coach now and had a surprise when the roar of the Jubilee echoed around the buildings. I'm guessing Mick knew something we didn't and Clive was kept busy supplying the necessary pressure on the boiler to meet the locomotive's demands. It's over 6 1/2 miles of 1in132 from mp306 3/4 to the 'summit' just before Low House Crossing, and Mick attacked the bank with some relish. Prefer Tartare Sauce myself.
For the first time in quite a while we did get an uninterrupted run. With the roar from the front being maintained, we crossed Eden Brows Concrete Viaduct at 40, before just dipping to 39.5 as we passed the summit. We crossed Low House at 50. Again, one to Leander. It was a green signal day with running in the high 50s/low 60s most of the way and our start to stop time was an excellent 41m 9s with a moving average of 45. Obvious by now that Leander won hands down. What do timer's know anyhow?
Plenty of time for a delicious tub of Chocolate ice cream before resetting the GPS. We were a few yards behind mp277 1/4. Not that important really, but we do like timing Appleby - 277 1/4 to Ais Gill Climbing Summit - 260 1/4, as well as the 'Blue Riband' from Ormside, mp275 to the plateau summit at mp259 3/4. So would the little loco get winded on the southern long drag?
A good start and plenty of noise as we passed mp277 alongside the old dairy site at 20.3; mp276 at 43.7; and mp275 54.6. decent enough. David's report tells it all. It was a better run than many we've had with Jubilees, but there was a steady fall of speed from 41 around Mallerstang, to 32.4 at the climbing summit. Elapsed time was 28 minutes dead from Appleby. The Summit Board was passed at 33.5 in 28m 56s. Well under 30 and well satisfied.
From Hellifield Mike joined me again and we found a lot of the mileposts between Hellifield and Horrocksford Jn. We slowed on the approach but weren't stopped. The service train was waiting to cross into Clitheroe Station but wasn't due to do so for some 14 minutes. Through Clitheroe with clear run. As David said, we roared through Whalley Station onto the arches at 50.5. 45690 roared through Langho, near enough half way up the bank, at 33. We came off the 1in82 1/2 at 27.7 into the damp cutting. The gradient eased to 1in88 and Mick made a confident climb through Wilpshire Tunnel, left at 26.6 after the bit of 1in68. It's tree lined to Ramsgreave and Wilpshire station and things sounded fine up front as we roared up the 1in86 past mp13 1/4 on the platform itself at 25.6. Then, for the first time, I picked out the old summit gradient change post. It was some distance below mp13. We passed it at 25.5, an excellent effort by the crew and the little Jubilee.
Interest in performance ends for me there, though Mike and I did try to spot every milepost to Preston. More useful on the northern climb through Hoghton.
A bit of info about the timing thing...
Unlike most of the fraternity, most times I use a template off an excel spreadsheet to record on. It has locations, milepost numbers and gradients on at the start. All I have to do is spot the mileposts and read the times off my stopwatch and speeds off the GPS. If I cannot sit or stand on the milepost side, which does happen these days, I try to find a early reference milepost and take the GPS' odometer reading and work out the quarters thereafter. My Garmin GPSMAP 78's odometer has 2 places of decimals up to 99.99 so is fine for this, though it is wise to check mileposts now and again. Sods law means that when I've had to do this the 'quarters' have been anything other than .25, .5 and .75. Then there are milepost sequence change at junctions to complicate matters.
Around the 'timers' table' on the outward journey, as well as recording times, we talked about the faith we have in the speeds shown on our GPS' screens. There's an acceptance that they aren't 100% accurate. We've all experienced occasions when the beasts' gubbins' decide to hunt for different satellites to get the strongest signals. Snag is that when they do this speeds 'jump', sometimes fluctuating alarmingly up or down or both for a number of seconds. Generally this happens in cuttings, moreso the steeper they are. Anyone who has travelled on CMEs will know there are steep cuttings approaching both Shap Summit and Wilpshire Summit. On all 3 banks the GPS readings can go haywire and is undoubtedly the reason 1-2 mph differences are commonly reported by timers.
Sometimes heavy cloud cover can also have an effect and differences have also been found to be dependent on the position of the GPS in the carriage, near or off side. I always attach mine to the window using a RAM mount to get it as close to the sky outside as possible. One positive is that we have found the overhead wires have no effect.
On the timings attached this time I've 'gone retro' as well for the timings I took and have calculated the speeds the old way, effectively an average speed over the 1/4 mile between posts. This is the way timings and speeds would have been reported prior to the advent of the GPS. For high speeds quarters were often not recorded at all, full miles being used.
The methodology is simple. Calculations are based on 60 miles travelled in 60 minutes or 3600 seconds; the proverbial mile a minute. We time every 1/4 mile or multiples of 1/4s. To make the calculations all that's needed is to divide 900, 1/4 of the 3600 seconds, by the number of seconds taken to cover the quarter mile. Easy peasy!! 1/4 in a 1/4. So using the easiest of examples, if the time between posts is 15 seconds, the speed is 900/15, 60mph. The time between posts is only 12 seconds for the current maximum speed for steam on the mainline of 75 mph. That's not a lot of time to read a stopwatch; record the time; read the GPS and record the speed; and possibly add a note if one is needed.
Pre-GPS I brought a matrix out to be able to jot speeds down 'as they happen' to let fellow passengers know how fast we were travelling.
A fundamental of timing relies on the accurate positioning of the mileposts themselves. The assumption is they are in the right places and exactly 1/4 mile apart. Experience has shown that this is not always the case. Every time there's engineering work to relay rail and ballast, repair embankments after slips etc., there's a chance the posts will be lifted to do the work. Sometimes they aren't replaced; sometimes new ones are put in, hopefully in the same place. Just one out of place affects 2 quarters, one short, one long. Some of the times between quarters suggest there are a few rogues on the CME route. In the not too distant past there was a disaster for timers when milepost mp37 1/4, the climbing summit of Shap itself, was knocked over and left in the cess. It was replaced but obviously from the quarter time, in the wrong position, too close to mp37. Fortunately the legendary steam train performance recorder, Mike Notley, had enough influence to get the post repositioned in its correct position.
So timing and speed reporting is not an exact science even in the age of technology. After what some might think was a boring exchange between myself and David (OTW) on the Dalesman Thread about getting data off the GPS, I used free online software to get the data downloaded. I'd set my GPS to record every .25 (1/4) of a mile. Interestingly over the 138 miles+ of the Welsh Marches from Crewe to Cardiff, only a few quarters were exactly 1320 feet apart. Distances on the data ranged from 1218 to 1410 feet, almost 3 coach lengths. Nothing is what it seems...
So back to our excellent day both outward and return on the CME. Thanks to: RTC for running the train - much better loading too; to WCR for the 'operation' of the train and their excellent crews, driver Mick Rawling, and his very able firemen, Chris Holmes and Clive Gault; plus their support crew; and to Network Rail for decent train regulation all day. Even when we had the inevitable brake changeover issue at Preston they found a good enough path for us to catch the 2009 Cardiff at Crewe. Only downside was TfW provided a 2-Car 150 yet again.
@Oswald T Wistle 's gps data is now available in graph form here:
Yet another excellent report, sounds like a cracking day - wish I'd been on it. "What's that matron", I was . . . A terrific sustained spell of concentration in getting all the extant quarter miles. I restrict myself to the odd one where I think that I know where it is (and sometimes miss it). In addition to all the times in the attachments you included some of those that I had alluded to e.g. Appleby to the climbing summit and then the summit board. I do "tease" some elapsed times from the data and they do stand comparison with yours (thankfully) within 1-2 secs. You mention that some of the mileposts are little torags, surely a VW SUV should be easy to see, and they are quite big.
Reading various articles and from using the things I currently think the following. GPS recorders work best when in the middle of an open field with a BIG sky where they can take signals from several satellites (minimum 4) that are ideally separated by large angles. GPS is the US based system the Russians have GLONASS, using both systems gives best chance of accurate results. Put a recorder on a train and they are immediately screened from any satellites directly above, relying on those visible through the window(s), put the train in a deep cutting, or where there is high terrain to one side or dense overhanging foliage and they will have fewer available satellites (or none as in tunnels) and these may be grouped over a much smaller portion of sky; the GPS becomes less accurate (because of the geometry it is often the elevation that first goes awry). The GPS system works by receiving time signals transmitted from very accurate synchronised clocks located in satellites in a known orbit (i.e. known positions/ distance from the centre of the earth), although the signals travel at the speed of light the subtle time differences allow the recorder to pinpoint its location in 3 dimensions. Knowing these locations and corresponding times allows speeds to be calculated. Where the signal is weak, when looking at the data overlaid on a map the GPS track will often show signs of deviating from the path of the railway and speeds may show step changes from the speed calculated prior to or following the areas of poor signal aka rogue points. Looking at consecutive data segments, especially elevation and speed, these rogue points stand out (a "spot reading" of speed may include an unidentified rogue point). Where the signal is strong the GPS track will usually/often overlay the actual running line, this gives confidence (misguided?) about the validity of the data.
As the GPS recorder is "time" based it comes up with a compromise if you set it to record distance. It records a point, then as each second passes it works out the distance from the original point, "are we nearly there yet?". In your example using 1320 feet, in normal circumstances as the seconds tick by the cumulative distance will get ever nearer but as it hasn't reached the critical 1320 it continues, "oh sh*t, too far 1378 feet - it'll have to do!" and so it records and starts again from the new point. It also seems that if it thinks that it has been waiting too long (whatever too long is) it will do a recording anyway so then you get the "short" intervals. Setting the GPS to record in time intervals avoids this but it is more fiddly to match GPS track with MPs. The GPS data is excellent for times and speeds at identifiable (on a map or satellite image) pieces of railway infrastructure e.g. an overbridge but needs to be "calibrated" using such a point to find info for a less obvious point e.g. a MP.
Nicely nurdled David! For the reasons you quoted I hate not being able to use mileposts to time. Taking how close to a Faraday Cage a carriage is the GPS does a remarkable job in getting stable spot speeds.
Thanks Graham for another good read. It was particularly good to discover that you spotted the gradient change marker at Wilpshire summit and that it was before MP13; some sources give it as MP13 but visually and the GPS seem to indicate that it is 80-100yds before MP13. Whilst waiting on the overbridge at the Blackburn side of the summit I've scanned the side of the cutting on many occasions (in vain) looking for it - binoculars next time!
I can't help with a time for the missing MP33 1/2 but have some speeds around where it should have been. From the GPS, starting one segment before the missing MP33 1/2 (in 4 second segments); distance covered 362ft/av. speed 61.7mph, next 359ft/61.2mph [MP33 1/2 would have been around 3 seconds into this segment], then 354ft/60.3mph and finally below 60 - 349ft/59.4mph. So speed at MP33 1/2 would have been 61. It is interesting to see how gradual the speed loss is when chopped into 4 second intervals.
Approaching Whalley you get a terrific view of Whalley Cricket Ground on the RHS just before the station. There was a match underway, a blast on the hooter did not disrupt proceedings as the bowler was walking back to his mark; so no train stopped play. A quick check in the local paper revealed that Whalley's opponents were batting and went on to win the match; the opponents - Oswaldtwistle (Immanuel) - it made me smile.
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