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Mayflower to Worcester - 30/03/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by bleeder4, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. E D Mann

    E D Mann New Member

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    No, you didn’t dream it! I was watching the mapped data too.

    A contact has just checked the TRUST delay info: apparently 1Z62 was deemed out of gauge between Willesden West London Jn and Euston.

    I wonder if the closure of the Slows at the time (for a T3) was not unconnected.
     
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  2. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    SNAFU!
     
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  3. 16Ventnor

    16Ventnor New Member

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    With only 1(?) water stop would that be enough to require the 33 to push all the way as indicated by the DL driver.
     
  4. Paul42

    Paul42 Member

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    The diesel on the back would make the load 13, and the max for a B1 is 10, so the diesel would need to assist as required for the train to keep to its path and with only 1 water stop, it would need to assist more to conserve water.
     
  5. Penmere

    Penmere Guest

    Wasn't hauling the train was it though. It was on the rear so can't have been.
    Pushing yes hauling no.
     
  6. 16Ventnor

    16Ventnor New Member

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    Exactly as I said, push(ing). I don't believe I mentioned hauling so I’m not clear of your point.
     
  7. Davo

    Davo New Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2019
  8. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Any more info on what happened on the last bit of the journey and why the gauging issue (if that's what it was) wasn't identified earlier? Were passengers tipped out at Watford. Onward transport?
     
  9. E D Mann

    E D Mann New Member

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    Seems to have been exactly the sort of T3-related planning faux-pas predicted upthread...




    (With thanks to GB)

    A friend who was a passenger on this train received this explanation from Steam Dreams:

    We would like to write to apologise again for the delays at the end of the return journey of our Severn Valley Railway & Worcester trip on Saturday. We also wanted to provide a bit more of an explanation as what happened and some more detail on why we were late. We would also like to thank you all for being so supportive and understanding of the problems encountered and for the kind words we have received from many of you since. If you incurred any additional unexpected travel expenses for your journey home as a result of the delay please post or email us any receipts, if you have not already done so, along with your booking details and a refund will be arranged.

    As you are aware around 5 miles from London Euston, in the Willesden area our train was stopped as it was realised we were prohibited from using the Line back into London Euston known as the “Up Fast” on which we had been signalled. The other line, the “Up Slow”, which Mayflower was cleared to use had been closed for engineering works. In this instance the issue on the Up Fast was due to the risk of our steam engine hitting a lineside structure in this case a lineside telephone. Our driver attempted to get agreement from the signalman to be walked past the object however after a long discussion and the request being passed up to Network Rail Control the request was denied. Network Rail decided instead that they required the train to be taken back to Harrow & Wealdstone where it would have to terminate as it could not proceed any further. We are very grateful to London Midland who held one of their own services for 25 minutes to provide a connecting train back to London Euston.

    Network Rail have since apologised for the issue that was a result of a planning error on their part. (If you wish to have a more detailed explanation one is available at the end of this letter.)

    We would once again like to apologise for our late return into London Euston on Saturday and to thank you for your patience in this unusual situation. All our team of on-board staff were sincerely grateful for passengers’ understanding and we hope all customers got home safely. We hope that the delay did not detract too much from your overall enjoyment of what we felt was a lovely day and that we will see you on-board again soon.

    Yours sincerely,

    The Steam Dreams Rail Co.



    What went wrong with Network Rail’s planning?

    During the advanced stages of planning this trip it was identified that the Slow lines were planned to be closed in both directions after 2010hrs from just north of Milton Keynes all the way through to Camden Junction which is 1 & ½ miles from London Euston. This is a regular occurrence and on most Saturdays either the Fasts or the Slows on this route will be closed for engineering works after 2000hrs. Subsequently our train operating company planned accordingly for our trip, producing draft times to run on the Fast Lines only on this section of the railway. At this stage of planning steam locomotive restrictions are not know. In fact the gauging checks are only started by Network Rail after the draft plan is submitted.

    Network Rail’s planning team subsequently produced timings for the trip to run on the Slow lines, but as engineering works can be changed at late notice, it was perfectly possible the Fasts were now blocked not the Slows so this change was not queried. When Network Rail then received the gauging of our locomotive and checked it against their timings to make sure it would not hit any structures on the route, the only issue flagged up was the prohibit on the Up Fasts. As this did not conflict with the timetable Network Rail had produced it was not questioned. In reality the Slows were still blocked and Network Rail had produced a path through track that was not open.

    On the day, at the last junction where it is possible to change from the Fasts to the Slows when we were signalled to remain on the Fast line our driver stopped the train and contacted the signaller with the issue then coming to light. Had the problem been flagged up at an earlier stage, while not ideal, arrangements would have been made for you to alight at Watford Junction or Milton Keynes for a transfer to Euston with an arrival much closer to 2320hrs.
     
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  10. Enterprise

    Enterprise Well-Known Member

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    I have no great knowledge of rules on the mainline these days. Is somebody who does able to tell me why the proposal to walk the loco past the lineside telephone was considered unacceptable?
     
  11. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    I can only assume that the gauging information told NR that the loco would strike the telephone rather than just miss it otherwise as has happened in the past elsewhere a very slow 'stop and proceed' would have been approved.

    However, two other things come to mind. It was good that an alert crew was aware of the problem and stopped to raise the matter. (Something similar happened on the SWML when NR tried to path a steam charter through a platform where there was a loco 'prohibit'). Also, and as luck would have it, there was a diesel on the rear that could pull the train back. Otherwise there would have been an additional problem of reversing a train with passengers on board.

    By the sound of it West Coast got Network Rail 'out of jail' on this one. I hope that NR remember that for the future.
     
  12. Enterprise

    Enterprise Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Al but why was it not possible to try it. A dead slow advance and the Mk1 eyeball would have made the reality clear. If it was necessary would it have been possible to retreat from the telephone location without breaking some absolute signalling rule?
     
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  13. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    If the signaller would not agree to the simple expedient of a careful physical check, then I think NR control would be unlikely to over rule that decision as the computer said no.....Covering a certain part of one anatomy springs to mind.
     
  14. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Part of the furniture

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    Risk management I suspect, plus liability issues.

    In a real world example for instance what if the cylinders passed but then something behind fouled but then moving back (as I assume the kinetic envelope is possibly different depending in what direction locomotive is moving) the cylinders foul - she is stuck?

    As stated above the main failure and opportunity for it to be rectified easily was the failure to notice till very late, thankfully the WCR driver seems to have been on the ball.
     
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  15. E D Mann

    E D Mann New Member

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    Regardless of their personal feelings, no signaller with an ounce of self-preservation would allow such a “simple expedient” without involving (if applicable) their S.S.M. (Shift Manager) and Control.

    I’m a NR signaller and I would have done exactly the same. Unilaterally flouting a published gauging restriction is a surefire method of earning an appointment with tea and no biscuits.
     
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  16. agalpin

    agalpin New Member

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    Also guessing but the move back to Harrow was easily achievable because of the box on the back! Wonder how long the delay might have been without it
     
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