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Pathfinder (Eastleigh)-Gloucester-Shrewsbury with Tornado 23/11/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by alastair, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    Another great day out with the A1, the usual flawless performance. Here's a shot I took at Gloucester, as she simmered in the bay platform waiting for the train to arrive.

    IMG_0070.JPG
     
  2. eggbert

    eggbert New Member

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    My video from Gloucester and Abergavenny
     
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  3. Hemerdon

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  4. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Well, we didn't intend doing this train; but we did for reasons well known. Here's a performance report on the day. Not a heavy train, probably 380 tons tare from Gloucester to Shrewsbury. Bit of fun with a Class 67 added from Shrewsbury to Hereford that increased the load to 455 tons tare or thereabouts.

    Marches and Severn Express 23rd November 2019

    Wet and breezy morning as we drove down to Newport to get the 0721 Cheltenham Flyer. A noisy and square wheeled 143623 turned up and rattled it's way to Gloucester. A plus point was the seats on this train were way more comfortable than those of the IET we would have caught to get to Reading had plans turned out as intended.

    After a bacon roll and coffee in the station buffet we stood under the bridge in the pouring rain to watch and photograph Tornado and POB run through the station. It actually slipped on the crossover. The train was a few minutes late and there were only 9 carriages behind the Class 67. So a sensible 10 for a shocking day. Leaves were still falling in South Wales and I doubt the railhead was looking that good. Had a chat with Sean Emmett, a fellow timer who was at the other end of Coach A and we concluded it wasn't going to be a high performance day but the A1 rarely fails to impress.

    60163 came out of the bay and backed on to the train. We left a few minutes late on fairly tight timings. Bit of luck with our seats considering we didn't book until Tuesday - facing and on the milepost side in the four right behind the POB on the outward. The other seats were empty so we had a four to ourselves. Sean Levell from LSL was our driver to Hereford. It should have been Pete Sheridan but he was poorly. Get well soon Peter. The redoubtable Bob Hart was TI. Don't know who fired.

    Decent start but no serious acceleration. We hit 40 just past Over Jn and then got to 60 before mp118, 5 miles out on mostly gently falling gradients. Tornado seems to be a noisier beastie these days and made its presence heard from mp118 as Sean attacked 3 miles of gentle climbing, 367r, 62; then after a bit of 547f, 63, onto 1 1/2m of 817r, left at 60. Boring road to Newport. A bit further on we hit the 1 1/2m of 264r at 62 and roared into Newnham Tunnel at 54, seemingly taking it a bit easy. Down the 316f to 69.7 and across Awre Jn on the level at 64.Miles of level and gently falling grades to Lydney Approach, 60/61. After Lydney speeds always rise and 60163 accelerated from 65 to 67 up a mile of 317r to Woolaston.

    Couple of miles of 528f/level/345f/level saw speed rise to 74. The steepest gradient on this road is the 2 miles+ of 186r to Chepstow. We roared up the first mile and a half, ended at 66, before the brakes kicked in for the run through the tunnel, over the Wye River Bridge, and around the tight curve into Chepstow Station, 34. Miles of level to Portskewett, 65, then to 70 up the mile+ of 500r through Caldicot, 71. Out onto the real railway at Severn Tunnel Jn, 72, and then a rare dash on the main towards Newport. Pretty much level on average for 6 miles to Llanwern. Lovely noise from up front as we ran at 73/4 to Bishton Crossing and beyond to mp155 1/2 before the brakes came on 3 miles from Maindee. A good path and only one crossover onto the up main and we passed Maindee East Jn at 19 and cleared Maindee North to set wheels on the Marches route proper.

    Starts with a gentle close to 2 miles of 500r to St Julian's River Bridge, 31. Bit of level/990r, 41, and out onto the mile of 122r to Caerleon, passed noisily at 46 in half a cutting. Bit of respite for 1/2m, 132f, left at 52. 1/2m of 428 saw speed rise to 58 before we hit the mile and a half of 120r. Sean was using the power of the big loco well on the wet rails and speed only fell to 55.6. After a very short bit of level, the 106r to Cwmbran was met at 55.9. Trees close to the rails with rain still falling. A mile in speed had fallen to 51.5 and 3/4 further in we passed Cwmbran Station at 49.5. Was passed mp35, just before a road bridge, the end of the 106r at 48.9.

    We were on the 2 1/4mile 95r climb to Pontypool Road now, much of it in a nasty damp cutting. Tornado sounded superb as we roared up the bank. A mile in speed was 43.1 and we left the section 1 1/4m further up at a creditable 37.7. The gradient eased to 1/2m of 358r and we passed through the station at 40. Rapid acceleration to 48 down 1/4m of 119f/104f, then down the 2 miles of 104f. Speed rose rapidly as Sean worked 60163 down the bank. We passed Little mill Jn 1/4m from the end at 73.4 and maxed at 74.9. the mile of 141r only saw speed fall to 69.1 before we dropped down through Nantyderry on the mile of 119f, 74. 60163 bowled down the 80f and around the right hander over The Bryn to hold the mid 70s onto the 3/4m of 153r to Abergavenny Approach.

    A good old fashioned charge through the station, passing mp22 3/4 on the platform at 69.7. Just after, Llanvihangel Bank started with 1/2m of 85r, left at 67.3. Tornado sounded superb as the exhaust echoed around the cutting as the bank steepened to 82r for a mile and a half. Speed fell to 50 through the cutting onto the final almost 2 miles of 95r. Still raining and no risks being taken, Tornado was worked well with no slips to top the summit under the road bridge at 41.1. A good climb considering the conditions though I was expecting more like 45 with 10 up.

    It's all downgrade to Pontrilas where we hit a max of 73 just after Pandy on the 100f. A first - we were booked to water in Pontrilas Loop and as we drifted into the loop we saw the tanker on the road below the embankment. So far so good and the steepest climb of the day done and dusted with no mishaps. Away from Pontrilas up 3/4m of 289r, 12, then out on the mostly level main line for 3 miles to St Devereux, passed at 59.4. Then a noisy 2 miles ave. 325r then, left at 66 onto the level 1 3/4m level. Half way we crossed Tram Inn LC at 70 and came off the section at 71.6. bit of a climb to Red Hill Summit, 1/2m 456r, 72.1; 1 1/4m 301r, 63.1. We dived down through the short tunnel and drifted down to Rotherwas. There is a bit of a climb, 350r/184r to Hereford but we coasted up it to our pathing stop in the middle road.

    A crew change saw Keith Murfin relive Sean as driver; and the redoubtable Tommy Rees of Newport took over the TI duties from Bob. Had a cracking run with Keith behind Braunton on a Saphos Welsh Marches train earlier this year. One false start then we were away up the mile of 462r/142r to 26.5 onto the level at Shelwick Jn, 35. Unlike last week we did get the charge to Dinmore. Slowish pick up to avoid slips on the 1/2m of 394r to mp49, 38; then picked up to 42 on the 1/2m of 162f. Then we were onto the 4 3/4m of 1100r. Almost half way in we roared over Moreton-on-Lugg Crossing 55.3 and speed continued to rise. A mile further and up to 59.4; then to 63.4 at the end of the section. Now just over a mile of very noisy running to Dinmore Tunnel. 60 is always the target and with only 10 probable even in the wet. Didn't happen as speed fell to 57.2 as we roared into the narrow bore tunnel. Out into daylight at 57 then to 60 down 1/2m 264f. None too shabby in the driving rain and wind.

    Down a mile of 300f speed rose more rapidly to 69 and then we hit the 2 miles of gentle 1309r. Half way in we were bowling along at 68 and left it a mile further on at 69. Then up a mile of 400r, half way Leominster at 68 with lots of whistling. Another 1/2m of 400r, 67.6; then 3 miles of undulating lev/460r/lev/227r/462f with 71 max. Onto a mile of 100r/283r/154r left at 68 before a dash to Woofferton, 2m of mixed 115f, 70; 100r, 72; 100f, 72, then to 76 past Woofferton SB on the 372f. A max of 77 on the mile of level then a slight dip to 76.4 off 1/2m 388f. 1/2m of level, 75.3; then a 3/4m 112r, 70; 3/4m 134r, 63 before the brakes came in for our set down at Ludlow. Shame to have to stop there as we were going so well.

    A lot of passengers left us to spend a partly wet and windy day at the Medieval Fayre in the Castle. We did it once and that was enough for us. So now for Stretton Bank. Long blast on the whistle and out of the station past the Ludlow Brewery, note to self, must go there on a service train sometime. On the short 132f, 20; then, despite the wet rails, a noisy acceleration on the 3/4m of level, 43.8. Next comes the start of the climb, 3/4m of 160r, 49. On the easing 425r, we roared across Bromfield LC at 51.3 and came off the section at 52.3. the mile of 870r to mp24 saw speed rise again to 56.6 and seriously noisy work on the mile of 286r saw us charge across Onibury LC, 1/2m in, hooter wailing, at 61. Off the 286r at 62 at mp22 1/2; then the first steep bit, 1 1/2m of 112r. Really working hard Tornado only lost just over 6 mph to leave the section at 55.7.

    There was a recovery to 63.2 over a mixed 3/4 mile of 245f/207f/207f . the mile of 406r/403r/150r only took 1.5mph off our speed but the big green loco was eased on the 1/4m of level, 46.7. Don't know if there was a tsr but it took our momentum away. Onto the 1/2m of 130r, 42 to 40; then we really dug in on the mile of 105r to leave it at 42.1. 1/2m of 268r/lev saw a further pick up to 47 then Tornado stormed up a mile of 164r/180r to 51.3. Entertaining noisy and smokey stuff. Not that easy for mileposting as the smoke and steam was falling our side. A respite of 1/2m of 125f, 55; 1/4m 110r, 55.1; then onto the 278r and charging over Marsh Brook Crossing whistle howling in the wind. We took 53.4 onto the steepest section of the northbound climb; 1 3/4m of 112r. A mile in and being worked hard speed was still 52 and a 50+ summit speed looked probable. We passed mp14 at 50.8 and then our minimum of 50.5 before the gradient eased a bit to 1/4m+ of 150r to the summit, passed noisily at 50.8. Always a good climb to hit the summit at 50 or better, especially in wet and windy conditions.

    Tornado was still being worked hard and we roared through Church Stretton Station, with long whistle blasts, at 61. It's all downgrade, as steep as 90f, with a max of 71.7. We passed Dorrington SB at 68, then 'freewheeled' to mp3 1/2 before braking for Shrewsbury approach. We passed Sutton Bridge Jn SB at 16.2 and, with whistle blaring, ran into Platform 4 at Shrewsbury a minute down. A very enjoyable outward run with plenty of smoke, steam and performance is difficult conditions.

    We were met on the platform by our friend Dave who'd waited for us after choosing to pay on the day on the diesel assisted RTC train, not the proper steam hauled Marches and Severn. Well he is from Newport. It was chucking it down so we got a taxi to the Shrewsbury Hotel, the 'spoons. There were tables free, mainly due to the Shrewsbury Town fans having left to be bussed to their now out of town stadium. The food was good and the Winter Pale very tasty. We were joined later by Sean. After eating we sampled a very good Brewhouse Chestnut Red Ale. Dave is a diehard Abbot fan.

    The rain had stopped and we walked back to the station. We could see smoke and steam from Coton Hill sidings and a bit late Tornado hauled the train into Platform 4. We'd been told just before Shrewsbury that the Generator Car had packed up and wouldn't be available to heat the train so we were purloining a Class 67, 67008 to provide heat as far as Hereford. Nice; 94 tons of ballast as it was in ETH mode whistling away of the back; right behind us!! We left 4 down for the attack on Stretton Bank Southbound. Proper load of 455 tons+.

    Keith had Tornado up to 21 as we crossed the Severn Viaduct. 3/4m out from the station we hit the first 1/4 of 132r, 20; then onto the close to 2 miles of 127r that starts just before Sutton Bridge Jn SB, passed at 20. Despite the poor light Mrs S and I found most of the mileposts, easier to see across the other rail. We passed mp1, 1/2m in at 21.2; mp2 at 29.7. The next mile and a half sets the loco's up for the real climb. Its level/208f, then lev/1/4m of 154r/lev. We left section at mp4 working hard at noisy 42.7. the 3/4m of 134r saw a gentle rise to 43.4; then a more rapid one to 50 on the 1/2m of 279f. Up the mile of 130r/562r to Dorrington SB, 53; then a further 1/2m of 562r, 53.2. it's a continuous 6 miles climb to Stretton Summit from there.

    We could hear Tornado 10 back as Keith charged the bank. 1/2m of 105r/150r slowed us a little to 47.2, then 3/4m+ of 90r took us back to 40. The 1/2m+ of 117r was noisy but again speed fell to 39.4. now a solid 1 1/2m of 100r where it got a lot noisier and Tornado refused give best to it. We left the section at 37.5 but picked back up to 40..2 over the next 1/2m of easing 168r. Then back onto 1 1/4m of 100r through All Stretton where Tornado started to give a bit to the grade. Half way through we were down to 37.3 and then to 35.3 at the end of section. Nice noisy clime this. Hoped for 40+ at the summit and that was on as the gradient eased to 1 1/4m of 252. Sure enough our speed rose to 42.3 as we blasted through Church Stretton with a long blast of the whistle, the summit a few chains further on, impossible to see, but it was unlikely speed had fallen below 42.3. Up to 45 on the short level bit.

    We had a max of 70 down the 110f before the brakes came in for Craven Arms LC, 56; Craven Arms Station, 55.3, then up to 71 as we roared across Onibury LC. Our max was 73 over Bromfield LC before the brakes came in as we drifted up the 132r into Ludlow Station for our pick up. It took 4 minutes to get everyone on before a long blast on the whistle signalled our departure. Up the 132r to 22; then down the 220f and level to 46.2 as we passed mp29. The mileposts from Shrewsbury are such that they equated to the trip on the GPS making it easy to tell where we were. On the downgrades we got to 66 by mp31 where the gradient rose to 372r for 3/4m past Woofferton SB, 67.3. A 1/2m of 100r was dismissed, 65.7; and unfortunately the brakes came in to spoil the run up the 115r. A tsr perhaps? No services around to hamper us.

    Approaching Leominster our speed rose again and we blasted through the station with a long blast of the whistle at 66.4. On a good day 70 is the target for Dinmore South and we were going that way as speed rose to 68 as we came off the 1309f. Bit of 122r, 66.7, then a 1/4m 153f, 67. Then a mile of 300r, 62.4, and a min of 61.7 on the level. Down the 100f and we hit 71 just before we dived into the tunnel. Good stuff with the load. Keith ran along in at 72/3 past Moreton-on-Lugg and the brakes didn't come on until a mile or so outside Shelwick Jn, 37. We drifted down into Hereford's Middle Road 3 down. The booked stop hadn't accounted for the need to detach a Class 67, just for the crew change back to the morning's driver and TI. Never got to find out who fired.

    Time for coffee and caramel shortbread to while away the time. We finally left some 15 down. Surprisingly Tornado slipped a few times getting away with our now back to 10 coach train. On the 184f! Down the 350f and 39 onto the start of the 3 mile climb to Red Hill Summit. Fun climb, especially on a wet night. Over the first 1/2m of 220r speed held just over 40; then on the 287r increased to 43. Next is a 1/2m of 143r, 42.8 and very noisy. No loss on the 3/4m 92r, then on the mile of 104r to the summit, 45.6 max and a min of 44.9. very decent climb. Down into the short tunnel, 301f, 52 and 65 as we roared across Tram Inn.

    The next 4 1/2 miles are where crews prepare for the southbound climb of Llanvihangel Bank. Nowhere near as steep as the northbound climb but almost 2 1/2m of 100r/99r/100r near the summit. The aim? To get to 75 below Pontrilas to take onto the lower part of the 6 mile climb. No early fireworks, 1/2m 284r to St Devereux, 64; then steady along the level, 65 off before down the 289f to pass Pontrilas SB at 68, then take advantage of the 141f, 71; then 148f, 71. Bit lower than hoped for, but 50 at the summit still possible; though the 100r cutting is a potential issue on a wet night. Climbing on the 3/4m 216r, 68.3; 1 1/4m at 170r, 62.4 and loud from Coach 10. A short 300f and close to 63. Then a mile of 204r with a high decibel count and no speed loss onto the first 3/4m 100r, where speed fell to 56.3 as the bank started to take its toll.

    Lots of noise and smoke as we hit the 1/2m 99r, 54.2. Now onto the 1 1/4m 100r into the cutting, where speed fell slowly to 51.9. Going to be a close run thing but at the top of the cutting the final 1/2m eased to 512r and we blasted under the summit bridge at 51.1/51.8. That's the speed I'd expect for a Class 7 with 11 or possibly a Class 8 with as many as 12 to achieve on a good dry day; so nothing to complain about on a wet night.

    Down the 95f/82f/82r and a max of 74.2 before slight slowing to 72.3 through the station. Rapid acceleration on the level and down the bit of 153f to a generous 75 across the river bridge at The Bryn. The reason? The mile and a half of 80r to Nantyderry, ending in a tree lined cutting. Despite a heck of a racket from the front, speed fell to 66.4 a mile in and to 62.1 as we came off the section. Then on 1/4m level/1/2m 416f, speed rose to 66 as we hit the 119r through and beyond Nantyderry, passed at 65. Tornado only gave 1 mph to this and was worked down the mile of 141f to 72. Entertaining indeed as the next 2 miles+ is 104r. Just over 1/4m in we roared past Little Mill Jn SB at 67. Speed fell slowly to 60.7 a mile in before the brakes came on for the tight curve around Pontypool Road's island platform, passed at 39.

    All down grade to Cwmbran, 106f, 72.6. checked to 67 on the 120f before back to 68+ at Ponthir. Up the 1/2m 120r to Caerleon, 55.8 braking in readiness for St Julian's River Bridge, crossed at 19, suggesting adverse signals at Maindee North. We weren't held, 16, and we joined the GWML at 14. No fast line running tonight and 45 or less to Magor, our water stop. A few services went past during the 21mins stop but when we left we had an uninterrupted run over the mainline to Caldicot, 45.3. undulating to Portskewett, 56, and on to run under the Wye Road Bridge, 48 on the start of a climb to Chepstow. A mile of 195r saw speed fall to 45; then the brakes came on for the restriction through the station, 29, and over the Wye River Bridge, 30. Down through the tunnel, 30, then the 3/4m of 186f saw speed rise to 62. Up 3/4m of 345r, 59, then blasting through Lydney whistle blaring at 58.

    Undulating few miles to Awre Jn, 61; then 2 miles + of 316r that late in the day Tornado accelerated up, leaving it at 64.5. we dived down into Newnham Tunnel at 69 and after a few miles of gently falling gradients, 70 close to mp119. A mile+ of 335r, 70.7 to 69.2, before being eased to 35at Over Jn. Then we almost drifted up the 130r/95r onto the viaduct before dropping down into Gloucester Station's Platform 4, at 2001, 4 mins down.

    An atmospheric scene with mist hanging around as Tornado was detached from the train. Our Nottingham-Cardiff Service was showing "On Time" for 2025. Wandered down to get a few shots on the mobile after an announcement that the train would be delayed due to lineside trespassing from a member of the public making "suicidal threats". No problem we thought. Send it via Bristol Parkway as the only booked stop was Newport before terminating at Cardiff. We watched Tornado set off for the Severn Valley and the 2 Car 170 came into Platform 1. Fortunately the driver knew the route so only 5 down we left to run down through Yate to Parkway and onto South Wales. We ran into pathing problems at Severn Tunnel Jn but only got to Newport 12 down.

    A really enjoyable day out behind Tornado as they always are. Load 10 was safe for the weather conditions but that was more due to the loadings. One Standard Class Carriage only; not full. Not all the First and Dining Seats were occupied either. The draw of 60009 on the Ludlow Medieval Fayre was no doubt the reason; it was for us, as was the over 400 steam miles as opposed to 276. I was told early in the week that the notice showed a "diesel on the rear" on the Ludlow Medieval Fayre train so that ruined the train for us. We all know, sadly, what happened to No.9 and hope the repairs can be made in good time so we get to ride behind the big A4 a few times before the end of its mainline ticket.

    Thanks to Pathfinder for running the train and providing the usual friendly stewards; to the A1LST for the use of the magnificent 60163 and their support staff; to DB for their driver and TIs; to LSL for lending us Sean; both Sean and Keith did a fine job in the conditions; thanks to the firemen, who provided them with plenty of steam all day; to Riviera Trains for the stock and even for their failed Generator Car that led to the 94 ton ballast on the rear for ETH over Stretton in the evening. Network Rail had given us good paths all day so thanks to them, and also for sorting the Cross Country Service so rapidly at Gloucester.

    That's it for us for 2019 as the Pennine Moors Christmas Explorer in a Mk2 Air Con Coffin with hissing doors is not for us. We struggled to do 26 proper steam hauled trains this year; 6,154 miles behind only 13 different locomotives. Lots of repetition on CMEs, WCML and Pars; some cracking runs; others not so much. For one reason or other we 'lost' 11 trains we'd originally booked. Funny old year. Total miles with steam on UK Mainlines now 163,834 from 910 trains. Never expected that when we first set bums on seats on a steam hauled tour on 30th August 1984.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
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  5. Steamage

    Steamage Member

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    Usk? Shurly shome mishtake? Wye? ;-)
     
  6. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Whoops!!! Ta.
     
  7. Sean Emmett

    Sean Emmett Member

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    Great write up as usual Mr Shireman!

    Ludlow Brewery. Yes recommended. A few years ago I did a couple of their 1/3 pint tasting sticks after baling out of a 67 vice 5029 Nunney Castle trip, before a pay on the day transfer to a pair of fives on the following Steam Dreams run, down to Shrewsbury and back to Bristol Parkway.

    Gather there is a 40 mph loco restriction over Greens underbridge (A489) at 18m 62c (mile or so North of Craven Arms) which applies to the WAG trains too.

    It used to be the nearby overbridge at Wistanstow 18m 32c that had a clearance slack.

    IIRC was on a Duchess (Hamilton) trip with load 12 southbound from Hereford where stated aim was to go over Llanvihangel at 60. A slip in the final half mile made it 59. But in much kinder conditions than last Saturday.

    Will try to do some power output calcs over the weekend.
     
  8. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Pity we haven't got a real Duchess around these days. (Ducks for cover). What year was that Sean?
     
  9. 3ABescot

    3ABescot New Member

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  10. 3ABescot

    3ABescot New Member

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    Tornado storming through Leominster on the way up and pulling into a wet Ludlow on the way back. Unfortunately, she pulled into the tunnel at Ludlow so I had to vrab her on the move.
     
  11. Sean Emmett

    Sean Emmett Member

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    Have done some number crunching.
    Outward
    Cwmbran - 5 miles averaging 107 from Ponthir crossing to just before Pontypool saw speed fall from 57 to 37, averaging 1,422 edhp from more raw calc. Peak output was on the lower part of the bank, 1,691 edhp between Ponthir and Llantarnam, falling to 1,272 over the last couple of miles at 1:95.

    Llanvihangel - 4 miles or so from Abergavenny to Llanvihangel averaging 1:95 saw speed fall from 70 to 41, and then recover to
    42 under the bridge worth 1,216 edhp. This time peak output was in the final mile of 1:94 at 1,412 edhp.

    On the restart from Ludlow the 4.35 miles from Bromfield to Stokesay averaging 1:263 produced 1,301 edhp.

    Little Stretton. The climb starts from Craven Arms but the annoying bridge slack at 18m 62c means I have done calcs from Wistanstow from where the line climbs for an average of 1:149 over which Tornado accelerated its train from 41 to 51 mph, worth 1,683 edhp with a peak of 1,807 at Marsh Brook crossing.
     
  12. Sean Emmett

    Sean Emmett Member

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    Return
    The addition of 67008 for train heat added 88 tons to the load and say the equivalent of 3 coaches to the rolling resistance. The long climb from Shrewsbury to Church Stretton kicks in at Sutton Bridge Jn but I have done my horsepower calcs from Bayton Hill a mile further on by which time the loco was opened out. For Bayston Hill to Church Stretton the 10.93 miles averaging 1:155 were worth 1,445 edhp, with a peak of 1,546 between Leebotwood and All Stretton.

    22 minutes to Church Stretton is a good time for the equivalent of load 13 although a number of promising runs have suffered clearance slacks over the years.

    Recovering from the Ludlow pick up the climb past Woofferton was ruined by a temporary speed restriction (TSR) and nothing exceptional was attempted on the climb past Ford Bridge.

    The 67 was detached at Hereford so we were back to load 10. After an easy first mile the climb to a summit beyond Red Hill Tunnel soon kicks in. For the 2.73 miles from the New Road underbridge to Red Hill Tunnel north portal averaging 1:128 Tornado accelerated the train from 39 to 45 mph worth an impressive 1,564 edhp.

    After easy grades to Pontrilas come the climb to Llanvihangel, not as severe as the northbound climb but steepening to 1:99 for the final 2 miles. The 6.2 miles from Price Church Farm crossing to Llanvihangel averaging 1:152 saw speed fall from 70 to 51, then recover to 52 under the summit bridge timed from the last coach. This would suggest 1,297 edhp. Peak output on the final 2 miles of :199 gave 1,704 edhp but adjusting the summit speed to 51 gives a more realistic 1,650 edhp.

    The sharp but broken climb past Nantyderry was worth 1,529 edhp.
     
  13. Sean Emmett

    Sean Emmett Member

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    "That Duchess trip". In reply to Mr Shireman have dug out my old notebooks.

    Sat 26 October 1996. Past Time Rail "Bristolian Duchess" tour starting from Watford Jn with load 10 behind diesel 47 722 picking up via Northampton until 46229 came on at Shrewsbury with its support coach, so load 11 not 12, 415 tons tare. Driver Hatton, Fireman Willaimson and Inspector Treeby with Colin Parry and Brian Dudley-Ward taking over at Hereford.

    Held at Salop by a late running sprinter and brought to a stand at Dorrington by a signal failure. Super recovery to 46 by Leebotwood but checked again before Church Stretton. Time to Craven Arms (water stop?) 36m 58s. Craven Arms to Hereford took 36m 18s. Further delays at Hereford. During layover there was some discussion at attempting to breast Llanvihangel at 60 mph.

    Away 43 mins late speed reached 40 at Red Hill tunnel and we were through Pontrilas in 16m 00s at 71 mph with a max of 76 in the dip after. We were still doing 69 at Pandy where the Duchess was fully opened out. The quarter to post 18 took 14.01s (64 mph), the next took 14.38s (62.6) and to post 18 1/2 14.45s (still 62.2) but a slip brought the time for final quarter to the summit down to 15.18s (59).

    There was a very good climb up to Little Mill Jn and out of the Severn Tunnel, emerging at 54, falling to 52 but rallying to 60 after Pilning.

    On the return we topped Filton bank at 31. Unfortunately we were too close behind a service train after Maindee but still managed 46 mph at Mp 33 before Pontypool. We crawled through Abergavenny at 20 and were checked further to 14 until the signal cleared and could only reach 30 at Llanvihangel.

    My notes show a 40 loco hauled limit at post 18 3/4 after Craven Arms even then, from which we recovered to 46 by Little Stretton. Driver Les Jackson on the last leg of the return. Diesel got us back to Watford just after midnight.
     
  14. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Thanks for that Sean. Top flight crewing that day. Talk about sad, just checked and we were on it!! Before my timing days.
     
  15. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    I am not a competitive person and have never done “end of year totals” but I was interested to compare my busiest ever year with Graham’s poor(?) year. Steam hauled trains: 21 (Shireman 26). I have not included my 5 trips with a diesel on the back. Total miles: 4125 (6154). I reluctantly excluded a further 979 of my miles as a consequence of the “Shireman Criteria” (diesel tail gunner). Different locos: 12 (13) – I have not included “Alberta” (I was tempted to add a half). Trips lost: 1 (11), my loss was me “throwing a sickie”. So what did it all cost? If I told you that Mrs W would have to kill me!

    I journeyed to the “Four Corners of the Empire”: England, Scotland, Wales and Yorkshire and enjoyed every minute – well maybe not the time spent sitting in Brightside Loop watching Pacers go by with frightening regularity.
     
  16. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Mrs S killed me 20 years ago but it didn't take!! How our generation loved and took advantage of the Credit Card Age - except the bit when one had to settle the balances!!! We planned our working lives well and have pensions that allow us to spend lots of on our all embracing hobby. Due to circumstances of birth I completely missed the real steam age and had no interest in steam locomotives whatsoever until 1984 when we ventured to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. For us this is our steam age; though there's no way when we turned up for our first 'mainliner' on 30th August 1984 with a strange sounding Southern locomotive, 850 from Carnforth to Hellifield; then one of Diana's favourite locomotives, the A4 4498 resplendent in blue with raised letters and numbers over the S&C to Howe and Co. Sidings, that we'd still be travelling behind steam on the mainline in 2019. In 910 runs I've (the long suffering Mrs S doesn't come out every time), clocked up close to 164,000 miles. We still love it and have already booked 12 for 2020.

    I do pinch myself when I look at the list of of locomotives we've travelled behind, now up to 71; most in Classes of locomotive I'd never heard of before 1984. We didn't 'do' the 4 Corners of the Empire this year. Didn't get to Scotland in 2019 something we intend rectifying in 2020; so will reluctantly have to spend some nights away in hotels. Mind you, in the '90s we used to drive overnight to Fort William to do a Jacobite; then drive back as soon as we'd left the train in Fort William! Probably a bit old to do that now.
     
  17. 46203

    46203 Well-Known Member

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    70-04. 4498 Howe & Co Siding box 30.08.jpg

    Driver David Tibbets acknowledges the signalman with a long blast of the chime whistle as he passes Howe & Co box whilst on its way to Carlisle. I have recorded this date as the 30th August 1984 when it appears the CME ran through to Carlisle. I also photographed the southbound CME the following week with 4498 at Armathwaite.
     
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  18. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    Only joking about Mrs W, like you we were from a fortunate generation, saved and planned and now have pensions allowing us to enjoy life. I always had an interest in trains but was limited to the local line; visits to Grandma's, who lived in the next but one street to Accrington shed, were always an opportunity to peer over the wall. Sunday excursions to Southport, Blackpool, Fleetwood or Morecambe were regular summer treats with a very rare trip to somewhere further afield. In the mid 60s I worked in 2 different offices (same firm); one overlooking the south end of Blackburn station and the other overlooking the line at Whitebirk on the outskirts of Blackburn. Steam locos were commonplace and attracted only limited attention, then suddenly it was all gone.

    I re-joined the main line on the afternoon of the 10th of May 1980 when 46229 hauled The Limited Edition around the York-Harrogate circle. Several trips and plenty of watching in the next few years, then with a family who were too young to travel we were restricted to watching. As the kids grew older they wanted to go to the seaside and football matches - so only the very odd bit of steam (mainly heritage lines). Several years back I decided that I would rather ride behind main line steam than go to football (the two tend to be mutually exclusive at least during the football season). Mrs W comes on a few trips, but not to Carlisle! My plans for 2020 (16 booked) are concentrated here in the north west, but with a couple "out of area" - I never tire of riding over the S&C; every trip is different.
     
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