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Long Term Steam Routes

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by KentYeti, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    46443, 7819 and 75069 in 1987 I think it started from Mach then in 1990/91 7819 and 75069 did a series of trains, I think they started from Salop. I have photos of my young self with 7819 and 6443 outside Twywn. 80079 made it to Twywn in late 90s with a PTR tour as well.
     
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  2. I. Cooper

    I. Cooper Member

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    'twas a mixture, some were to Aber, some went up the coast the other way on consecutive weekends. The locos were stabled at Mach during the week and would work ECS back to Shrewsbury for the start of the tour and then ECS back to Mach at the end. For a time they couldn't reach Barmouth due to limits on loco hauled trains over the bridge, but there are certainly photos and timings for the trips going over it as well. Somewhere at home I've got the pack from "Flying Scotsman Services" for one of the trips, can't remember the destination on that one.
     
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  3. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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    Good trip that. I had my head out of the front window on the way out, dodging the lumps out brickwork being dislodged from the bridges by the exhaust!
     
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  4. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

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    I was thinking more of Shrewsbury - Aberystwyth/Pwllheli...
     
  5. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    I was on one with a 2-6-4 tank that only got as far as Mach, it was intended to go further but on the day Mach was the limit, but to make up for it we went back up to Talerdigg, then back down to Mach, then back up a second time before continuing homeward. As I never bothered with records I have no idea of the dates and can't even remember where it started from, but I know it was a cracking day out.
     
  6. 46203

    46203 Well-Known Member

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    148-55 80080 Machynlleth May 1992031-Edit.jpg

    May 1992, haven't got the exact date but you are correct regarding the two climbs.
     
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  7. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    I presume you mean Dovey Junction?
     
  8. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I did mean Machynlleth as the loco would have to run round and possibly take water. I didn't think that Dovey Jc. had those facilities but happy to be proved wrong.
    Cheers,
    Ray.
     
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  9. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Just "Google Earthed" Dovey Jc. Still as was last I was there i.e. just a pair of points well ahead of a simple 2 faced platform. Recall reading somewhere that the extention to the loco shed at Mach has been demolished, leaving the surviving (original) portion 'as first built'.
     
  10. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Member

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    There's a loop on the Aber side at Dovey Junction. Not much help if you are coming along the coast though.
     
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  11. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Don't you just wish you could turn the clock back? MCH 1962.
    Ray.
    7810 3200 75020 Machynlleth Aug 1962 a.jpg
     
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  12. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    Aha, got you.
     
  13. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Machynlleth would be really good base because you have three interesting trips from it - to Aberystwyth, to Pwllheli and over Talerddig. Although I suspect that with the improved service on the line the last would possible only on Sundays.

    I guess the biggest issue would be suitable locos as there are no mainline Manors, 43xx etc. Although who wouldn't want to go over Barmouth bridge behind the Dukedog (one for the dreams, model railways and computer games I think).

    Who knows maybe if the 82xxx goes mainline.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  14. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Long term steam rotes, well, down here in the south, Steam is rare, because of restrictions and available platform space, both at destination , and London termini,
    To attract the market, most have to either be from London, so have to mix it with commutor traffic, or be from tourist hot spots, York, Bournemouth etc,
    So, what might work? Well Bournemouth to Yeovil via Salisbury, dropping off, picking up at Salisbury, starting and returning to Swanage , so a loco can be serviced etc, and possible local pick up from Swanage, Wareham, Salisbury is an attraction, as is Yeovil, for navy air arm museum etc,
    Nearer home, Eastbourne has sidings to stable stock and seem to be underused, Its off the Brighton main line, so paths might be available If a spur can be put in at Hamden park, that would create a triangle so the engine could turn, with its train, then go into the sidings, Return could either be via lewes, or along the Marsh to Ashford, to Victoria.
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Haven't service patterns over the past few years effectively meant only one platform at Machynlleth is normally used?

    .... and on a point of order. Whilst I'd love to see the Dukedog on Barmouth Bridge too (who wouldn't?), add the Bluebell's survivor to your list of classes with no mainline certified example. :(
     
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  16. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Checking RTT for today, they seem to be using both platforms through the day, p1 for eastbound and p2 for coast bound turns.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  17. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    That's a change from recent years. AIUI, there were 'accessibility issues'. If both are now in use, it sounds as if those have now been addressed, which can only be seen as a good thing. There certainly used to be extensive sidings, some associated with the MPD, east of the station. It was enough to cope with substantial DMU formations in the early 70s (when there was a through train ex-Euston SO - 25kV to Wolverhampton, thence diesel hauled to Shrewsbury and a reverse, now with a pair of 'rats' - which continued to Aberystwyth. Once that had departed Machynlleth, the Pwllheli service (3x2car class 101 and/or 103, with the trademark Mach red bufferbeams) pulled into the same platform from the sidings. How much of that lot remains in place, I've no clue, but assume at least some sidings must've still been in situ when the 'Pocket Rocket' was doing it's thing.

    I watched a CCL cab ride vid a while back, but that started with the view at the western end of Machynlleth platforms. The most noticeable feature was the absence of passengers anywhere (from the vegetation, it certainly wasn't peak season). The train stopped at none of the numerous 'halts'. Aberdovey's loop is long gone, ditto those at Llwyngwril and Dyffryn Ardudwy (all very much still used in 1973). Tywyn and Barmouth are reduced to simple loops (crossing loops remain at Harlech and Porthmadog) and the old Dolgellau platform, south of the LC at Barmouth, is lost beneath developments, as are the the former sidings and bay platfrom which existed at the north end, seaward side. The only thing which seemed to have improved since I visited nearly 50 tears ago is Barmouth Bridge itself (Hallelujah!) and I hope the turf war between the railway and the local authorities, concerning who pays for the adjacent footpath on the landward side, has been resolved. It's loss would be a serious blow to tourism.

    If ever there was a route screaming for steam, it's the massively picturesque but underused CCL.
     
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  18. Romsey

    Romsey Member

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    Stage 1 ask what the promotors think will make money.
    London to Windsor may run again this year, but it will take some years to be come a fixture in public and travel industry consciousness.
    The key is probably to get multiple passengers journeys out of a set of stock in a day. Steam Dreams are already exploring that concept.

    There was a triangle between Polegate and Stone Cross Jn. Removed many years ago to save signalling costs. The route is still owned by NWR for a cable route.
    Ask when the next East Sussex resignalling falls due - probably about 2050.

    Marshlink has long suffered from bridge restrictions. The last time I looked much of it was RA4, so not suitable for most steam locos...

    Cheers, Neil
     
  19. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I've just checked my copy of Quail (latest edition) and RTT, and all the loops you mention are getting trains running through the "right" platforms - even if they don't actually cross at the loop (the service pattern looks as though the default crossing points are Tywyn and Harlech).
     
  20. acorb

    acorb Well-Known Member

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    The Cambrian line seriously needs it's steam service back, West Coast had high hopes before ERTMS scuppered it and ran several 'mini seasons', with the market building. 76079 was a very capable machine, its 'pocket rocket' credentials proving very useful accelerating away from the short sections and speed restrictions. A quiet saunter this trip was not, with some pretty tight timings required to fit in with service trains! I enjoyed several trips with West Coast and they were all well patronised.
    A Riley Black 5 then provided the traction for a couple of years, calculations proving it was just within weight tolerance for Barmouth bridge once a certain amount of water had been used. This also proved a good machine, Black 5s seem to perform well wherever they go.
    When ERTMS went live, it was thought a Black 5 could be fitted quite easily, but the equipment back then was bulky, power hungry and expensive. The 158s intially had issues providing sufficient power for the system. A solution was discussed about it being fitted to the support coach with generator, but rules meant it needed fitting to the leading vehicle. Thus, 10 years have passed since this wonderful line had a steam service.
    Steam Railway ran an article though that offered some hope last year. Network Rail are fitting ERTMS to a select group of heritage vehicles, including steam. The equipment has now shrunk and NR will meet the high cost under rights of access. Tornado will be first (at its forthcoming overhaul), but an unidentified black 5 is on the list. This would reopen the door.
    I do wonder though if Rail charter services would be interested in regular diesel trips on this route (similar to the Staycation Express). The yellow NR Class 97s that work engineers trains on the Cambrian are essentially 37s with ERTMS fitted: so a 37 or even a Deltic could potentially be fitted from the LSL stable, or perhaps an HST? This could open the door for steam at a later date with 45231 an obvious candidate. 76084 is also mainline registered, but has plenty of work to Cromer.
    This line is up there with the best in the world for scenery, with good gradients and brisk running guaranteed - the potential remains untapped. Barmouth Bridge is having massive investment and several other structures have been renewed. Let's hope there is something in the pipeline.
     

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