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Great Central Railway General Matters

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Reading General, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Quite! The three hurdles to anything getting done at preserved railways are money, volunteers, and difficult neighbours!

    Well I think black smoke can be provided if requested, but location is key. For example, I can hardly imagine getting complaints if I was firing a loco with exhaust as black as the coal when we were in the middle of Gotham moor with no houses within about a mile's radius, unless of course the wind wasn't being kind. You can also have difficulties with inexperienced firemen (yes, they do exist, and to a certain extent they have to make mistakes to learn from them), and loco situation (The 8F we were running until it failed earlier this year was a bit of a pickle at times, it had a very thin firebox, which meant it warmed up very quickly. Couple that with a type of coal that ignited and produced intense heat very quickly and you had a very fine balance to strike with ensuring your fire wasn't too fierce that you were blowing off in Rudd station while you waited there for 25 minutes, but at the same time built the fire up gradually enough to avoid black smoke. Sometimes you had to make the decision as to whether you were going to make black smoke, or blow off. Given that blowing off is perceived more as a wastage of fuel, and there aren't any houses in the vicinity of Rudd, if I had to choose I'd generally take the former)

    I would be interested to see said drone shots, and to take a ride with that fireman to see his preparation. Not that I'm expecting you to arrange the latter, of course!
     
  2. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Hope the above works! It is not the shot with the fireman drinking his tea alas!

    I appreciated your post very much although I wouldn't be favouring dark smoke over blowing off steam myself.

    Paul H
     
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  3. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    Oh heck! I must go to the IOWSR next year! Lovely line.
     
  4. daddsie

    daddsie Guest

    OK, deep breath.
    Found the line sterile.
    Too perfect.
    But it is a tourist line telling a story.
    I appreciate everything that has been done, the wife was not amused.
    However she also just about tolerates SVR, WSR, BR, SR, DFR, B&W, SDR, MH, GC, KESR, GWR.
    She loved the Battlefield line as the griddle car sold a decent white and the company (strangers) were excellent.
     
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  5. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Black smoke is generally down to the fireman, whatever the coal. the only excuse is when you've made up a good fire for departure and the Bobby or guard comes and tells you you aint going anywhere. Then, it can be a choice of blowing off or black smoke and I know which one I'd choose. You'll probably blow off in any case so you may as well get on with it. I bet that there's no heritage railway make up bigger fires than the NYMR at Grosmont and any fireman making thick smoke will have his card marked unless he has a good excuse.
    People moan about today's coal supplies but they aren't generally much different from that which BR used back in the fifties and sixties in terms of CV and volatile content.
     
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  6. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Well, I'll happily admit I'm still learning! It seems the next area of my firing 'game' I need to fine tune is my pre-departure preparations!
     
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  7. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Rule no. 1 is never cover the box unless you're in a rush to make steam. I never put anything to the front of the box until departure and keep the dampers closed and the door open. That keeps things cold and stops the volatiles from being given off. With hard coat you can open the dampers,, fill the gaps and get almost instant heat if you do it right.
     
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  8. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    the only solution is to leave herself at home or send her shopping. That's what I do when I indulge my guilty pleasures, I can't quite relax when herself is with me as I know she's bored to tears. Fortunately she won't even consider joining me in my camper....
     
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  9. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Thanks, that's a very useful, practical tip. I shall have to ensure I remember that for next time I'm on the footplate in exactly a month's time!
     
  10. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    At Alton, i used to close the dampers build up the back, under the door gradually trickle water in, so that 5 mins before departure time, open the damper, welly in a few round the box i would have the water bubbling just below the top nut , pressure just beginning to rise to just below the line, and water space then fire on the move i never fired anything up the front until we were just pass the loop and the driver was begining to notch up by the time we were at hampshire hunt, ideally your firing the last few under the door both injectors on and the engine on the line so you went over the top with over half a glass, pressure below the red line and plenty of water space to control it down the other side.
     
  11. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    Just been having a look at the GCR(N) leaflet for next year......
    http://www.gcrn.co.uk/media/123625/gcrn2018web.pdf
    Interestingly, East Leake staion is shown on it as being proposed for reopening for pedestrians at some stage in the future.
    There is also an interesting dotted line heading north from 50 Steps Bridge at Ruddington which takes avoiding action around the "Nature Reserve cutting"and then terminates by the NET Clifton tram route !
    Has somebody got carried away, or is that still a long term proposal?
     
  12. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    I think that's similar to what has been proposed for several years. Certainly East Leake has been a goal for a long time, and some work has been done to work towards it (the station has been cleared of vegetation, and a plan for access to the station has been drawn up. But of course, as with everything done on preserved railways, it all depends on money, time and good will of neighbours!

    As for the route to NET, I think that's still a long term goal, but at present less is being done practically to work towards it. Not because it's not desired, but the time and money at present need to be invested in other projects. I think the railway owns the trackbed up to Ruddington station, not sure about how much further
     
  13. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    One for the WIBN category could be to do another "Mountsorrel" on the former branch to Gotham City.........:D
     
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  14. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    I think that, too, is another long term goal. It would also be a little bit of history as the Gotham branch was a freight only branch for the Gypsum quarries, so we would be running the first ever passenger train into Gotham. Personally I think that may well be more likely than extending to NET Clifton, even though it's not on the map. Fewer people living by the route who might object to a steam loco suddenly appearing just beyond their back garden, and it would offer a nice usage for the DMU, or some of the smaller locos on site (such as Hudswell Clarke Julia, to the same design of the NNR's Wissington) which may struggle with a full size, full line train. Plus the GCRN at Ruddington Fields is already served on operating days by a good bus link to Nottingham City so the link to a tram wouldn't actually offer something that isn't already offered (a public transport link to Nottingham). But, that's something that likely will not be dealt with till there are trains running from Ruddington into Loughborough Central
     
  15. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    Well, there is a bus service right to the GCRN on Sundays but on Saturdays you have to walk from Ruddington Green.
    Also the tram would be a faster, more convenient and a bit cheaper option for people who live on the tram route who currently get a tram and then change onto a bus in the city centre.

    It would be something if the GCRN could at least persuade NCT to extend their Saturday no. 10 services to Ruddington fields during the summer.
     
  16. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    True. But it's not like it's miles away, it's no greater a walk than getting from Loughborough Midland to Loughborough Central, which people still do. Plus it wouldn't surprise me if talks were beginning to extend the GCRN bus service to Saturdays, it's only this year that Saturday runnings have been a regular, season-long feature of the timetable. And I don't think the attraction of ease of access for people on the tram line is sufficient the justify the expense of an extension. As for cost, it may be slightly more, but Nottingham has a transport network card (not dissimilar to Oyster in London, and which is being extended to Contactless cards) which makes it cheaper and easier to move across transport networks. While it would be nice, it is still very much a prospective idea, rather than genuine plans being acted upon
     
  17. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    I didn't realise the regular Saturday running only started this year.

    I agree that any Northern Extension can't be a priority in the near future, I would think that GCRN would want to prioritise making more of the current base, e.g. stuff like a platform canopy, and also getting East Leake open if that's possible. And they could really do with getting the south-facing curve in place before the linkup (discussions elsewhere resulted in someone showing fairly convincingly that it was just about possible to squeeze a south curve in without demolishing anything if the existing tracks were shunted North a little).
     
  18. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    As somebody who is involved with the railway, I can confirm that a South Chord is top priority. Asides from funds, the other barrier is that it would require a land swap with a neighbour who has not proved the friendliest at times in the past, so there is some sweet talking and politics to be involved. With regards to platform development, the current focus is finishing platform 2 and the run round loops for that. There is a temporary booking office in place which will, once two platforms are up and running and sufficient fund are available, be replaced with a more permanent, larger structure. I'm not sure that there are plans to add a canopy, maybe over the end of the platform once the new booking office is in place, but not down the whole length of it. The other focus is that there is a shed built to be a steam running shed, but due to a shortage of undercover storage space, it's currently operated by various items of rolling stock undergoing overhauls. So another project is to construct more undercover storage and re-arrange some of the siding space to free up space in the running shed for operational steam locos. Not sure about East Leake, I think that will also require some sort of sweet-talking with locals before any serious progress is made. Of course, everybody has a different preference as to which will happen first, so it will be interesting to see what ends up being prioritised, although I would expect there would be a south chord in place before services start running into Loughborough Central.
     
  19. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    Good to get some info from someone who's actually involved. Maybe the temporary booking office could be repurposed as a temporary waiting room when the new booking office opens?
    Anyhow, good luck with progressing the south curve, I hope the obstacles are overcome.

    I expect I'll pop in for the post-santa running on 27-29th December.
     
  20. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    I admire your optimism; but the south chord was being talked about 25 years ago and given the relative rates of progress I rather suspect that the gap at Loughborough will be filled first. I'm sure it will happen one day, but I don't think it is a pre-requisite. A spare loco (which could be a diesel) could be used to top & tail trains to and from 50 steps junction, which would minimise the faffing time there for trains to and from Loughborough Central. It's not ideal, but at least it can happen on our own terms & timescales.
     
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