Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by 1020 Shireman, May 17, 2021.
Near maybe but not that near.
Plus she will need light and loaded test runs first and I can't see them being done completely under the radar!
Been told 11 behind Les Ross at Euston this morning, so more sensible 12 behind BIL.
It looks as though the CME was looped on the way down from Shap. A tricky day at the office it seems.
...and has been slipped out just ahead of the Leeds stopper. That's a helpful decision. Hopefully the charter will hurry on a bit.
35018 at Oxenholme and Waitby Rock Cutting .
SRMN class No. 35018 'British India Line' roaring away from Oxenholme with 'The Cumbrian Mountain Express' to Carlisle with Mick Rawling driving and
Martyn Soames on the shovel north and south
Working away from Waitby Cutting, an enjoyable day in the company of Steve Thompson and Nige Ingham, cheers lads.
35018 seen north of Oxenholme and at Waitby Rock Cutting.
35018 in various places in Carlisle today
Birkett and Hoghton
The end of the line as 35018 exits the S&C
Curving away from Ribblehead viaduct.
BIL Returning south yesterday at Settle Junction. and departing Helifield:
As nothing whatsoever has been reported on the train thought I'd drop this shorter than usual report in.
Cumbrian Mountain Express 26th June 2021
Unlike the 22nd May, a friend who was joining the train in London texted us to confirm the ECS had survived the perilous journey from Southall WCR to London Euston and was against the buffer stops with 86259 on the front well in time for a right time departure. Nice bit of tech in modern cars that reads back texts sent to mobiles by the press of a button on the steering wheel as we were again driving to Crewe. The load was 11 so would be a distinctly more comfortable load 12 for 35018 to haul. Looked forward to a good and decent performance day.
The Class 86 did a good job getting to Crewe and was held out on the junction for almost 10 minutes. There were many more passengers in Coach J, one of the TSOs, than there were in May where strict Covid Social Distancing meant there were only 4 passengers in 4+4. As only 4 of us were out I'd already paid for a further 2 seats to make sure we had the 4+4 to ourselves as we didn't want strangers across the aisle as there really isn't 2m distancing. Didn't mind the extra cost at all.
At Preston we saw the splendidly turned out 6201 on the front of the Northern Belle facing south to run to Carlisle via Blackburn and the S&C. Must admit I'd have loved to have known that 6201 was waiting for us at Carnforth to haul the CME.
We lost a bit of time between Preston and Carnforth U&DGL but were ready to leave at our booked time. Bit congested in the loop as the Class 57 that came off the Northern Belle at Preston was alongside us, mainline side. The driver of the 86 had caused a few problems by running in too close to the signal so that when BIL and POB backed on the locomotive was past the signal. Consequently Mick Rawling had to wait for permission to set back to clear the block. The Class 57 was allowed across in front of us to enter the yard. Mainline services were all on time but after the moves in the loop we didn't leave until 1134, 8 mins down. Never good with a Pendolino Service now only just over 20 minutes behind us.
Good incentive for Mick, ably assisted by Martyn Soames, to put in the sort of performance we know the big Merchant to be capable of on the Northern Fells. Plenty of steam and a howl from the safety valves as we passed mp6 1/2 on the short run to the foot of Yealand Bank. But the expected charge over the bank didn't materialise. The summit speed of 28.3 was more akin to a 5XP with 12 on than a Class 8. The safety valves lifted just after the summit so we weren't short of steam. Still, there was a four mile dash to Milnethorpe that should allow the big Merchant to hit the bottom of Grayrigg in the high 60s. Again a disappointment. There was the usual noisy chatter from the front drifting past us in the middle of the 3rd Coach; but not the loud almost snarl we expected. The safety valves lifted on the level close to mp12 so again steam didn't appear to be an issue.
The speed fell in line with that and we only passed Milnthorpe, the start of the 173r at 61. Noisier now and only a steady fall in speed over the 173r/153r to take 53.4 onto the easing 3/4mile of 392r. Back up to 55 to attack the mile of 11r where as often happens, BIL's safety valves lifted on the steeper section. Lost 6 mph though but recovered a bit on the 176r through Oxenholme, 48, bit below par. Again safety vale lift so plenty of steam and a serious hope of a 40+ topping of Grayrigg. Once off the 173r at mp19 1/2, the 3/4mile of 104r lost a further 4 mph but the mile of 124r only saw a fall to 43.3. the 2 1/4 miles+ of 131r saw a steady fall to 40.4 and then disappointingly the speed over the 2 miles of 106r saw the summit at mp26 only passed at 34.2.
Bit more of a challenge for Martyn and Mick to pick up speed before the attack on the mighty Shap. Down the mile+ of 204f to 46 and we charged at the mile+ of 777r through Low Gill, end of section 56.6. Expected 60 ish. Then down the mile and a half of 425f and a respectable 66. For the first time some serious sound as Mick roared along the mile+ level to pass Tebay South to attack the close to 2 miles of 146r at a smidgeon under 70 mph. That was decent but we lost 6 mph on the section to take 63.7 onto the 75r at mp33. A mile in at mp34 speed had fallen to 53 and we'd settled into a loss of just over 3mph per quarter mile. This happens on Shap until the driver finds the sweet spot that normally results in a much lower attrition rate.
We weren't there yet by any means and lost 9.5 mph between mp34 and 34 3/4. Then there was a distinct loss of sound and we seemed to almost coast up to mp35 at 40 before crossing Scout Green at 38.2 with a distinct loss of forward momentum. There went our group's predictions of the Shap Summit Challenge in coach J, all between 36 and 39 mph as we passed mp36 at a touch under 30 mph. The rest of the climb was a disappointment as we only passed the Climbing Summit at mp37 1/4 at 23.5 with a lowest speed of 23.1. Definitely a 5XP not a Class 8 performance. We were told that the reason for the speed loss before mp35 was a closing of the regulator as the locomotive approached a Rail Greaser, something done on every train, though I can't find such a large speed loss in recent years.
The 45 minutes the we'd taken from Carnforth U&DGL meant the Euston-Glasgow Pendolino, 1M11, was closing in rapidly, just over 6+ mins behind us. We had 13 miles+ to Penrith where 1M11 would be stopping so we needed the very rapid descent of former years to stay ahead of it.
We didn't really get one and had only picked up to 65 by mp40. BIL was blowing off as we did get to 75.6 on the 125f at mp42 1/4. A couple of brake applications on the 125f and double amber signals close to mp47 1/4 could only mean we were going to be looped at Penrith. 1M11 pulled into the platform before we'd actually come to a stand. There really was no leeway to let us run ahead of it to Carlisle. There was even a chance we'd be held for 9S54, the Euston-Edinburgh, a non-stopper, but we were allowed out as soon as 1M11 passed the next signal. Bit of a muted run as we were some 22 mins down and we arrived at Citadel 24 down at 1305.
The intention was to leave as close to booked time of 1422 as possible. We didn't have enough time to go to the Woodrow again and decided we'd eat the backup packed lunch on the train that was expected to remain in Platform 3. A change of plan as the guard came through telling us they had to shunt the stock into the sidings alongside Platform 1 that was still out of use for Pendolinos. By the time the shunting was done and the loco and POB had run back through the station, there wasn't a lot of time to service BIL in Upperby Yard so we doubted we'd leave with a full tender of water.
The stock was propelled into the station at 1440 and we left at 1446, 24 down, looking forward to a fast run possibly non-stop to Hellifield. We passed Lizzie waiting at London Road and after Petterill Bridge took on the 8 miles of 132r to Low House. Despite our late running, there was no rapid rise in speed as we often get from the big Class 8s. 2 miles in we were only running at 27.6 as we passed mp305; and hadn't even reached 30 by mp304. Things improved then and we passed Howe and Co, mp303 at 39.7 and just about got to 40 before easing for Eden Brows, 35.2. A final bit of acceleration saw us cross Low House at close to 47. BIL was bowling along at 56 before having to brake for the tsr through Armathwaite. Pick up after wasn't rapid, Baron's Wood 1 entered at 40 but on the 165f speed rose to 59 at Lazonby and Kirkoswald.
On falling grades and on the level we ran close to 60 for a few miles before losing 10 mph over the 2 1/2 miles of 264r/132r/110r through Little Salkeld onto Langwathby. We only lost a few miles an hour on the 330r towards Waste Bank Tunnel, 55.6, and blasted across the level through Culgaith Tunnel at 55, then past the Crossing Box at 55. It was turning into a very ordinary run with speed falling to 53 over the mile and a half of 132r/200r to New Biggin and despite running at 60 ish for the rest of the undulating run to mp280 1/2, we were still losing time. Les hoped we could avoid the stop at Appleby but the brakes came on and we drifted in to Appleby Station to take on water. The Carlisle to Appleby time was a poor 48m 26s. Didn't BIL only take 41 and a bit minutes on the Dalesman with the same load recently? 2 days are never the same. At least it meant we had time to get some delicious Vanilla Ice Cream.
Tender replenished we expected fireworks on the climb to Ais Gill as we were now 29 down and likely to have problems down the line at Horrocksford Jn. With 12 on a tilt at the Blue Riband seemed on but faded rapidly as we only passed Ormside, mp275 at 52. 11 back we'd hardly heard a sound from the big loco and didn't hear much on the rest of the climb. Speed fell steadily to 43.7 by Helm Tunnel, close to mp273, and we were down to 37.7 by mp272. The respite of a mile+ of 166r led to a rise to 40.6; then on the close to a mile of 200r to 46. We roared across the level on Crosby Garret Viaduct, at 48, and things looked good as speed rose to 51 as we burst out of Crosby Garrett Tunnel, mp269. But that was all BIL had as speed then fell rather quickly to 40 through Waitby Rock Cutting and 38.3 through Kirkby Stephen. A slight recovery on the 264r and we passed the Signal Box, mp266 1/2 at 40. Then speed fell back to 35.8 as we entered Birkett Tunnel, mp264 1/2; then to a low of 33.6 at mp264.
Here we hit the second respite on the long drag's 100r, the 3/4 mile of 330r at Mallerstang. BIL accelerated to 43 by mp263 and an old fashioned charge to the summit looked on. Again we were a bit disappointed as speed fell to 40 by mp262. We crossed Ais Gill Viaduct at 37.9 and passed the Climbing Summit at mp260 at 36; not too bad but considerably lower than we expected. Then speed rose to pass the Summit Board at 40.1.
Time wise, the climb to mp260 had taken 27m 5.3s from Appleby; 21m 57.2 secs over the Blue Riband Distance.
No chance to make up time until we came off the long tsr over Dandry Mire to Garsdale. Nothing spectacular after as we only got to a max of 45.9 on the undulating run to Rise Hill Tunnel. Down to 30 ish through Dent and then in the low 50s across the escarpment over Ais Gill and Dent Head Viaducts. Due to the speed restriction over Batty Moss viaduct, there was no chance to make up time until we'd cleared Ribblehead Station, mp247 1/4, at 32.3. There's a new looking milepost with a white background and black numbers on the door frame on the station. Hadn't noticed that before.
Mick charged BIL down the bank and we'd reached just over 60 by mp245 and held speed around 60 all the way down to Settle Station and then off the S&C passed Settle Jn Signal box at 62.2. Speed fell to 48.6 on the 181r through Bell Busk before BIL was eased through Long Preston and the run into Hellifield Goods Loop. We came to a stand at 1652, now 31 down. Water was taken and then we had to wait for 2H93, the Carlisle-Leeds Service we'd delayed since Control let us out before it at Carlisle. It started off 6 down and by Hellifield was 36 down. We left for Preston at 1715, also 36 mins down.
That wasn't going to cause us any issues at Horrocksford Junction unless we had a seriously problem. It's only a 45mph line and we got to Horrocksford Jn in just over 22 minutes, some 9 minutes inside the more than generous 31 minute allowance. On a mile and a half of falling grades we got to 44 by Primrose Viaduct, mp20 1/4, but that was our maximum speed as there was a known speed restriction just over 2 miles down the line over Whalley Arches. Bit of a drag this as the Arches are in the 81 1/2r grade. We almost came to a halt approaching Whalley Station and crossed the arches accelerating slowly to 16. Thankfully is was sunny and dry and Mick worked BIL expertly to pass Langho, mp15ish, at 23.4. We hit our maximum speed of 25.2 at mp14 1/2, then lost a bit of speed in the cutting to enter Wilpshire Tunnel at 21.2. Once out of the tunnel speed held at 22 through the old Wilpshire station before rising to 23.9 through Ramsgreave and Wilpshire Station on the 3/4 mile 86r. We passed the old Summit Marker at 28.8 after what had been a very good climb after the restriction over the Arches. We hoped we'd have a fast run from Blackburn to Preston to make up a bit of time but that was thwarted by Control letting the Colne-Preston stopper out just over 3 mins in front of us. We arrived in Preston at 1834, 40 minutes down.
It took a long time for the Class 86 to get across the running lines and attach to the train where they had a problem with an air valve that might have delayed us though there was no guarantee we'd have been allowed out. In the end we followed 9M60, the Edinburgh-Euston Service, leaving 44 down and made up no time to Crewe where we left the train.
Thanks to RTC for running the train; for WCR for providing the carriages, 35018, Mick and Martyn and their Support Crews; to Les and the stewards; and to Network Rail for letting the train out on the Big Railway.
It wasn't a great day performance wise we did get the full CME steam itinerary and who wouldn't enjoy a day out in the Cumbrian Fells. Shame there's not another CME until September. Our next run will hopefully be the Royal Duchy on 11th July. Sadly a truncated train but we still have the South Devon Banks to play on.
If anyone wants a browse, have attached pdfs of both outward and return runs. Lots of lineside growth making milepost spotting more awkward but didn't miss many. As usual, only selected posts on the falling grades.
Any ideas what this weekends traction will be? Hoping to see it at Carlisle again
Recent rumours that BIL was going to be passed for 80mph running are just that, rumours with no foundation, according to my Carnforth informant.
Scots Guardsman on the tickets from RTC.
If it's anything like my last CME trip with SG in Feb last year, passengers will be in for a treat.
Full bore bright yellow bulb is forecast, high temperatures may be no exhaust, wait and see?
Separate names with a comma.