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End of Southern Steam: 9/07/24

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Big Al, Jul 4, 2024.

  1. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    Very hard to tell as the sound was so patchy, but it's also very hard to tell the difference between pure idling and enough power to move itself only. Neither way bothers me because the steam is still taking at least the full coaches' load. I don't think that 20mph was the speed at the top, judging by that video's sound at the end (more like 15), but '28 sounded fine and 'clean'.
     
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  2. 007

    007 Member

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    17mph out the tunnel at the Dorchester end. Diesel was off.
     
  3. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    You are talking to a sceptic as you may well know so I understand completely your concerns over what you see on the screens but as far as I can tell, apart from getting out to Clapham the diesel was well behaved and just provided power for the kit in the train. The sad thing is that this isn't the norm despite what many others claim in defence of whichever TOC applies. For me the key is whether what is up front can handle the full weight of the stock plus the diesel in idle. Clan Line can handle up to 500 tons as it hauls the Pullmans so it wasn't really an issue in my view and three different West Coast drivers were happy to run with that. The results were quite something although to fully enjoy it you had to be lineside as the only people on board who could really get a sense of the skills being demonstrated up front were in the support coach. Elsewhere all was quiet as the grave and given what we had to travel in that is probably an appropriate form of words.

    As for the power output on Upwey, on the 1 in 74 section we settled down to 28/29. When we hit the 1 in 50 section this fell away to around 20 and at some point I think the loco settings were tweaked. As far as I can tell the settings remained unchanged as the driver was actually looking out of the cab as we crossed Wishing Well Halt bridge.

    17 mph on the exit as stated by @007 ? I think not as my measured average through the tunnel was 20 to the nearest whole number (that I'd always give to the loco - any loco!)

    As always, the trick was to set up the loco and let it find its own way up, which it did. Remarkable.

    This day was one that could have easily been a 'shovathon, but it wasn't. All credit to the crews for having faith in the loco and possibly - I don't know - listening to what the loco owners were saying to them about this trip in particular.

    I was not on the Anniversary trip but this one was the next best thing.
     
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  4. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    When I noticed the name Benn as a no show in the coach I was stewarding did not connect with your goodself.
     
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  5. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Not as bizarre as NR's pathing stop in Platform 1 at St. Denys for 15 minutes. We all wondered how those trains would get past didn't we?:);):(
     
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  6. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl Member

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    A real shame I missed the trip, as I would like to have met up with you. I guess I've been working much too hard on my SR steam loco memoirs and that triggered a succession of sleepless nights - as such things do with me.

    I'll have to make a plan for the ACE in September.

    Bryan B
     
  7. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    1630 edbh is easily within Clan Lines ability but this section is a tricky one to calculate due to changing gradient and the short times involved.
     
  8. twr12

    twr12 Well-Known Member

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    007 is well placed to know what speed the train was doing between Weymouth and Basingstoke. He was driving it!
     
  9. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Has to be one of the best posts for a long time.:)
     
  10. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I had a conversation at Basingstoke with the driver but was unaware of the connection with the 'Bond' pseudonym so will respect that on here.

    That at least gives us the full story of the climb as I've now had the chance to look at all the data associated with Upwey, including through the tunnel and I'm more than happy to say that my generalised speed at the top was optimistic.

    The first issue is the fact that the GPS takes a while to give accuracy in a cutting especially straight out of a tunnel so I did not have an accurate speed past the site of the old box. That's why I took a measurement through the tunnel.

    So my notes give:
    21 at Wishing Well Halt (the underbridge), 20 into the tunnel and an average through the 820 yard (just less than half a mile) tunnel of 19.2. That means the speed was dropping by about 1 mph every quarter of a mile, meaning that the exit speed (I couldn't record) was around 18 mph. If the speedo said 17 then my revised estimate is close enough and I'll take 17 as the minimum.

    It's good to see two sets of data corroborating each other. Either way, whatever the summit speed, that was a superlative climb and piece of driving. So all credit to those involved.
     
  11. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl Member

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    Al, IMHO possibly the best way to time that part of the climb is from the front coach and taking stop watch times at the entances and exits of both the short and long tunnels at the top. Plus a short series of GPS speeds that give some consistency (steady or slowly dropping), as the tunnels are approached. Then as you have done in your above post, work out the averages (RPS gives the exact yardage of each tunnel, and should also allow the distance between the tunnels to tbe calculated) and determine if speed was constant as the summit was approached, or dropping, and then make an estimate of what the minimum was. Further back in the train will make that harder as I think the 1/52 climb goes to a short level stretch just after you come out of the long tunnel, and soon goes onto 1/91 downhill. So that will impact to some extent on average speeds through the long tunnel (more so if you are in the rear of the train) as an acceleration usually starts as soon as the loco is on the level stretch. And, as far as getting GPS to pick up a signal after coming out of the long tunnel, that will most likely pick up not only the level stretch, but maybe also part of the 1/91 downhill - especally if you are nearer the rear of the train.

    Other views on timing that climb are available. I

    Oh the joys of trying to get accurate timing logs.

    Bryan
     
  12. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Member

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    I was responding to your previous post i.e. “20mph seems a bit high with 480 tons.”

    I note that 35028 attained 27/28 on the 1/74. Suggests at least 1600EDHP . She may have been
    still accelerating.

    I am unsure concerning the max EDHP for a MN: ( I don’t think a MN has been flogged up to Stoke
    for which I am grateful ) but probably 2400-2500 at 60-70 mph. I think ( mentally constructing the
    curve ) theoretically 2000-2100 at 20mph.

    Michael Rowe
     
  13. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    All of the above Bryan!

    Basically that's what I did but was only able to do the proper analysis with all the info to hand. My mistake was to believe that the speed had settled down to 20 ish. It hadn't. It was falling slightly and whether by skill or luck - I suspect the former - the driver was happy for that to happen as he did seem to be letting the loco find its own way up and provided that the summit was reached before we stopped! all was good.

    An interesting comparison of tunnel times is Clan Line 1.27 with Tangmere (2009) of 1.40 (I believe). Average of 19.2 v 16.8. So, hopefully as you would expect there was more to spare with a Class 8 than a Class 7.

    But enough of this. It was a great day....... apart from the rolling stock and the non functioning toilets in Standard.
     
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  14. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    Michael

    You arent far out. From my records and as set out in my 'Twilight' book: 35012 on the up Belle April 4th 1965 with 455 tons. Winchester Jct to Roundwood 2,175 EDBH and 2,905 IHP for. 7 minutes. At the summit at 76 mph and speed still rising, 2,325 EDBH and IHP 3,085. This I believe is the best ever with a MN. One of the highest recorded by any British steam loco in normal service. Done on full regulator and 27% cut off .We then streaked away to 83 at Steventon. It wasn't isolated either as 35011 turned in 2,085 EDBH and 2,905 IHP on the up Belle on May 2nd 1965

    Don
     
  15. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    A Stewards Tale.

    My last trip as a steward, before my wife “gifted me Covid” swiftly followed by pneumonia, was the End of Southern Steam in 2022 from Basingstoke with Clan Line. I have not felt fit enough to resume until recently. The cancellation of the recent Swanage to Bristol trip meant a case of déjà vu for my first trip and I was rostered as the Basingstoke steward for Tuesday.

    Up at 05:30 and a swift look at the station and shed area at Swanage before heading off saw Eddystone on shed being prepared for the day’s service trains and Sir Keith Park in the station, due to be moved to Norden for its trip to the Spa Valley.

    My total lack of confidence of the Weymouth line, both with SWR and NR meant I planned to park at Bournemouth where the last Basingstoke train did not arrive until 01:30. I needed to get home as my wife had a pre op visit to an eye hospital in Poole the day after the tour and the eye drops she would receive would ban her from driving herself.

    I had checked fares on both the Southern (my usual choice) and SWR websites which showed an anytime fare of £24.45 with a railcard or about £10 more if the 08:40 XC service was used. So I purchase a ticket and the ticket office staff member says you going on the XC. I tell him I thought I could not at this fare, to which he responded it is an anytime fare. However after more digging into his computer he seemed less sure suggesting it may be due to arrival time at London (XC do not go there) or the use of a Railcard(which was fine on the 08:18 SWR service). It is almost like it is set up to catch people out and prosecute them. So off I go, ticket refuses to open the gates, why do I bother with rail travel?

    SWR service runs on time, I choose a seat in the 444 and its excellent legroom rather than the 450 tacked on the back. All fine until Southampton where folks board with mammoth suitcases that either get left in the aisle or in one case jammed between the seat squab and the back of the seat in front in the seat next to mine, emergency evacuation? Forget it. And the ORR worry about charters, perhaps they ought to travel of some regular trains. All of this means I am at Basingstoke about 75 minutes before Clan Line is due. Watch a few freights pass including a Freightliner 70 producing more black smoke than I saw from Clan Line all day.

    Quite a good contingent join at Basingstoke, tour is 8 late in and 10 late departing. Station Manager (I assume) was out of his office making sure he did not miss Clan Line. My first experience of the “new norm” that is the enforced use of the Mk2 coaches. Whatever your view of which side is right (WCRC or the other lot) my aviation background fails to understand a compliance date for a so called safety issue that differs by operator. I am used to everyone having until X date to comply and if you do not then you do not operate that piece of kit. Anyway better than I expected, (my wife says I have low standards) but I am stewarding Coach G where the a/c is perhaps between poor and u/s. Luckily a miserable summers day, so not too hot for most. Of course when I joined there were already two u/s toilets and this seemed to be the theme of the day.

    Rain started just before Laverstock Junction, but seemed not to put many off admiring the loco during the water stop.
    IMG_3070.JPG

    Yeovil Junction call, which was only 30 minutes shortened by Clan Line removal and various shunt moves before passengers are let off. I suggest to a couple of mine heading off to the turntable not the greatest idea due to limited time, inevitable happens. Rains nearly all the time the tour is there, but loco is still a popular view.

    IMG_3077.JPG

    Still raining during the run round at Pen Mill and amazingly the Heart Of Wessex Line appears not to have its usual delays.

    Train arrives at Weymouth on time and the rain has stopped. Passengers head off for the delights of Weymouth, along with all the stewards apart from me and one other. Of course living in Swanage I can get a bus to Weymouth any day, so not high on my list of must sees these days. Time during the layover in Jersey Sidings to clean the train, have a sit down (bliss) and some sandwiches and my railway staple of a hot cross bun. Oh and of course watch Clan Line arrive with its support coach.

    After what compared to previous EOSS trips seemed a lengthy and at times to me confusing set of shunt moves, we set off back into the station sans Clan Line. A nice touch these days to see it back down on to the train as it must have done so many times in the 60’s.

    Highlights of the trip back, well the climb to Bincombe Tunnels of course (putting my stewards jacket back on how did @Big Al know the diesel driver was looking out of the cab?;)), the blast through Moreton Station, some nice whistling on the approach to Wareham. I missed the first part of Parkstone Bank talking to a passenger, but the part after Parkstone Station seemed good, and getting through Bournemouth non-stop is indeed a rare event. Good that we were able to let the passengers off at Brockenhurst for about 5 minutes, whilst a XC service stopped.

    A non railway highlight (which I am sure @The Gricing Owl would appreciate) was as Clan Line travelled alongside the Wareham Channel it disturbed one of the Poole Harbour resident White Tailed Sea Eagles, which despite some effort I had previously failed to see. Being a bit of a nerd I have bird lists for various Heritage Lines, NR, GB and the world. I did not expect to be able to add to my NR, GB and world lists this week.

    Arrival on time a Basingstoke would allow me to catch the 21:12 XC back to Bournemouth (on which my anytime ticket is valid) and perhaps grab a shot of the loco. Train indicator says Platform 3, excellent means I can get shots from P2 whilst waiting. Take some images and decide to go to wash my hands, walk out of the gents of find the XC sitting in P1, frantic rush down the stairs and back up to just make the train. Just what you need at the end of a long day, still I was back home by 11:20.


    IMG_4403ac.jpg


    So everything ended up pretty much to time. Although the following day a fatality west of Wareham trashed the whole SWR service until around midday, and even longer westbound. Pretty knackered at the end of it all, and my second shingles jab yesterday afternoon has now made me feel pretty rough (at least I hope that is the reason) but good to be back stewarding.

    I hope most enjoyed their day, other than toilets personally I heard little adverse comment, but I do not think I never made it forward of Coach E all day, so no idea what was happening at the other end of the train.
     
  16. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Ah, I was talking about the driver of Clan Line looking out of the cab in the video I saw, not the diesel driver. This told me that all was well under control on the footplate.
     
  17. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Member

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    Thanks, Gordon Hooper’s splendid effort with 35012 appears to be the best ever up to Roundwood.
    I remember discussing it with the ‘cognoscenti’ on the following Wednesday evening at the end of
    Basingstoke platform. I then spent the return journey to Waterloo playing about with my multi log
    slide rule trying to assess how good it was and what it meant in terms of steaming rates. ! It seemed
    almost unbelievable at the time.

    ( I am, I am afraid reaching that age when such days appear clearer than yesterday :)


    Some of the driving up to Stoke in the early 2000s was more aggressive than Driver Hooper’s. eg the
    late Mike Nottley recounted how cut off was advanced from 45 % to 53% at 71mph and RFO, with
    60163. Under similar hard treatment, bearing in mind the steaming characteristics of the MN boiler,
    2500 or even 2600EDHP might be possible. As you may have gathered from my previous posting I am
    not in favour of such treatment.

    IMHO Driver Hooper’s inate understanding of optimum steaming rates was key.
    He also gave me my fastest ever start from Soton: Winchester passed in 15 minutes,
    with a light Pacific and ten on. He was IMHO a consummate engine-man.

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2024
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  18. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    Very entertaining. Just to comment that any train including XC can be used over the Bournemouth to Basingstoke section with any valid ticket except group tickets and other special tickets which are normally mentioned in the station announcements.
     
  19. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    Yes Michael he was one of the best I don’t think that using more than 27 percent cut off would have got much more. As it was the boiler pressure was on the line all the way up and Brian Smith told me that he kept one injector on all the time to stop the engine from blowing off steam! That MN boiler!!! If I had been the only one timing the run I might have thought it was all a dream. After a severe check at Worting the run to Waterloo was also fantastic; my fastest time in from Basingstoke.
     
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  20. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Not it seems the 07:31 or 08:40 from Bournemouth where they ding you £37.10 rather than £24.45. Of course not sure if the train managers know that but from what I have read about XC and TIL their agents, certainly not worth the risk. TIL have a reputation for ignoring the NRCoT.
    Sorry a bit off topic really.
     

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