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Heaviest consist in preservation

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Forest Rail, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Forest Rail

    Forest Rail New Member

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    It's a slow day at work and I've been wondering what the heaviest load you've seen on a preserved line is? Bonus points for being a sod of a gradient too.

    Starter being an 11 dogfish ballast drop with a 14 on the front at the DFR a good few years ago. An interesting evening run that was!
     
  2. jamesd

    jamesd New Member

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    On a preserved railway, the heaviest trains were possibly the stone trains on the West Somerset when they were rebuilding the sea defences, although I'm not sure of the weight? Also, wasn't the old weedkilling train that used to visit preserved lines quite heavy and had to travel quite slowly too?
    Away from preserved lines, the heaviest steam hauled trains would have been the stone trains at the Merehead quarry open day in 2008.
    As for passenger trains, didn't the East Lancs run a 23 coach (or something like that) train with 3822?
     
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  3. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    50031 did an ECS with load 15 at the SVR once, certainly coughed a bit going up Foley Park.
     
  4. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Back in 1985/6 (I think) we had a ballast train onto the MHR. Leaving Alton the consist was:
    WD 2-10-0 @ 134T;
    22 × Dogfish @ 36½T = 803T;
    Cl.25 @ 74T.
    Which I make 1011T, from Alton to Medstead, where we split the train (half towards Alresford with the Dubdee, half back to Alton with the 25).
    Surprisingly short train, for the weight: 690 feet = 33slu. (1962 SA length limit at Alresford was 17 + E&V).
    Pat
     
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  5. Robin

    Robin Well-Known Member

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    A couple of unassisted steam workings on the Severn Valley, in 1972 8F 8233 worked the heaviest load recorded on the branch to date, a 600 ton ballast train from Bewdley to Eardington. Apparently the crew of the Peak which delivered the ballast were amused to find a steam locomotive was to be used, which resulted in a particularly business-like exit from Bewdley by the 8F. In 1982 Gordon worked an incoming train of 19 OCA wagons delivering 1,800 concrete sleepers (total weight not recorded).

    The heaviest train to arrive through the main line connection at Kidderminster and travel a short way up the line was probably the 21-wagon train which delivered the track panels for Falling Sands in 2019, including 18 loaded Osprey track carriers and 3 sand hoppers with a total estimated weight of 1,684 tons. After setting back into the station it was split into more manageable sections before going over Falling Sands Viaduct to be stored at Bewdley.
     
  6. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    I'll bet!

    Noel
     
  7. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    Wasn't a Peak a bit of overkill for a lightweight train like that? (Thinking of the Cromptons [mere type 3] on the Grain branch dragging 900 or 1,000 tonnes on a regular basis)
     
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  8. Martin Fuller

    Martin Fuller New Member

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    I've heard they did yes, some 800 tons on the draw hook and the 38 managed it. Nobody apparently told Llangollen that this was going to happen which caused a bit of a stir at the time. I believe the quote was "They should have asked, we'd have probably said yes, but would have wanted to be there"
     
  9. CJF

    CJF New Member

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    When Peak Rail track finally connected with the network, at what is now Matlock Riverside, I drove the 08 that went to collect five Mk1 coaches, two dead class 45’s and a 75 ton steam crane. Took it very slowly over the Derwent bridge!
     
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  10. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Not too shabby, at all.
    WD @ 134T;
    19 × OCA @ 46T = 874T. The rule (when TOPS is unavailable) is to rate each wagon as fully loaded in the absence of firm data.
    Comes to 1008T (and 789'-6", or 38slu).
    Pat
     
  11. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    How about the East Somerset Railway/Foster Yeoman Merehead Quarry 75th event in 1998:

    2 x 9f's 92203 & 92212 (280 tons)
    16 loaded 110 ton Yeoman ballast hoppers (1,760 tons)
    Yeomans American EMD SW1001 Switcher (not sure of the weight but its big so must be circa 100 tons).
    So about 2,150 tons-ish

     
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  12. 60044

    60044 Member

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    Why would Llangollen have been informed? 3822 was (is) a GWS engine from Didcot!
     
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  13. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Awesome, wasn't it?
    My abiding memory is that just before one of those runs a lady found herself on the wrong side of the railway after buying ice-creams for her family. David Shepherd was nearby and took the cones across to her family. Nice man.
    Pat
     
  14. 32110

    32110 Member

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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
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  15. Robin

    Robin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I was hoping someone would do the maths. :)
     
  16. howard

    howard Member

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    Lovely clean combustion until that first slip stirred the fire up!
     
  17. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    How do these numbers compare with the traditional 80x16t coal trains?
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    What 80 x 16 ton coal trains? I’ve never heard of any. At 7 ton/ wagon that would have been over 1800 tons and be rather a long train.
     
  19. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    Tare weight of a 16 ton mineral varies. I seem to recall an average gross laden weight of about 23 tons.

    80 x 23 = 1840
    + 20 for the van so

    A potential 1860 tons on the hook, if all fully loaded.
    The longest loaded mineral train I saw passing Hoo Jn was 43 minerals. The longest train which could be accommodated on the Down was 65 SLU but that would have had to include quite a few empties.

    Of course the pre BR coal trucks were more likely to be 10 to 12 ton capacity (from photos of prewar coal trains the capacity may have been as low as 8 tons, but I believe many were updated for wartime efficiency), with a tare of 5 to 7 tons, so more like an average wagon weight of 17 tons, gives more like 1360 tons including a 20 ton van.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
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  20. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    16T wagon would have had a tare of about 8T, so 80 × 24 is about right. Equals 1920T, to which you should add a loco and a van for the guard. (The diagrams I'm looking at are all for unfitted - 19'-6" LOB - not the 21' for fitted wagons. hence 1 slu * = 21 feet.)
    (* Standard Length Unit)
    Pat
     
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