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Peak Rail General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by kestreleyes, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. dggar

    dggar New Member

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    I hope someone will find out if it will fit.
    It would be very embarrassing if rolls up at Rowsley and it won't go on the turn table.

    I believe that Stanier pacifics that arrived at Man Picc had to be sent to Stockport to be turned as the turn table at Man Picc was only 60 ft.
     
  2. Woodster21

    Woodster21 Member

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    No, - I've emailed 6201; I couldn't find anything on the Internet

    Didn't Barrow Hill add an extra couple of foot of rail to allow larger loco's to be turned on their turntable or am I dreaming?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  3. philw2

    philw2 Member

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    The wheelbase is 63' 10"
     
  4. dggar

    dggar New Member

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  5. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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    Whilst I would love to finally see a LMS loco bring in a charter to PR, 6201 would seem a bit problematical, I believe if you split the engine and tender you have to then do a FTR.

    Contrast today was a wine tasting going on in the LMS Third Open while a children's party was in full flight at the other end of the train :D.

    Dave
     
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  6. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The 'table needs to be a bit longer than the wheelbase as the flanges have to clear the running on rails. Without actually working it out, I would think that 6201 would require at least 66ft without balancing.
     
  7. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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  8. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth; Kidderminster turntable is a 70 - foot one from Fort William. I turned Princess Elizabeth on it a few years ago. It only just fitted and my fireman and I had to move stuff from around the 'table, because the buffers overhung at both ends.

    Oh yes, and because we accidentally ran the 'table over the vacuum bag, we had to turn the whole thing by hand, all 166 tons of it!

    See attached.


    “What are you doing Wednesday?”

    Cherries in the cake (ii)

    John Hancock


    My second experience of steam’s finest began with the above innocuous question from Colin Astbury, Bewdley Carriage and Wagon foreman, mate and fireman, when I answered the phone at work one day. “Working, I suppose. Why?” “Well, the Lizzie’s coming in from BR and Tranter is looking for a crew to take it to Bridgnorth.” “Col, put the phone down.” Click. Rapid keypad pressing. Brrr…Brrr. “Ray Tranter.” ”Ray, it’s John Hancock. I hear you’re looking for a crew for a big red engine next Wednesday. Look no further.” “Blimey, that was quick, who’s your fireman?”

    A few days, and a ferment of anticipation later, found me standing underneath the metal footbridge by the BR connecting line just outside Kidderminster station, awaiting the arrival of “Princess Royal” Pacific, no. 6201, “Princess Elizabeth” from the main line for the forthcoming autumn steam gala. To say I was excited would be understating the case by some degree. One of my earliest train - spotting memories is of walking along the arrival platforms at Euston in, I think, 1955, on the way to visit my cousins in Leatherhead for Christmas and seeing 46210, “Lady Patricia”, slumbering quietly at the buffer stops at the head of the train she had just brought in from the North. My recollection is that she was black, but my overwhelming impression is of her size and length.(I was only six) I subsequently saw all the others many times, except, of course, 46202, destroyed in the awful Harrow collision in 1952, but none left such an indelible impression on me as 46210, which remained my favourite. Now I was going to drive one!

    Ray Tranter’s final throwaway comment had been, “Oh, by the way, can you turn it, it’s supposed to face south this year.” Oh, terrific. I was no stranger to the Kidderminster turntable, having played some part in it’s construction with the six – ton steam crane. Indeed, I was the first person to drive a steam engine on to the turntable, (the crane), many months before Alun Rees officially “christened” it. I had also spent many hours helping to install the track and pointwork in the yard, but I can honestly say, I never envisaged anything as big as a Stanier Pacific traversing it. Ho Hum. The appointed hour approached, then passed, with nothing more exciting that the ubiquitous Central Trains Class 150 DMUs. Suddenly, without fanfare, 6201 came into view, ghosting soundlessly through Kidderminster station. As it came to a stand, before shunting back to cross over on to Severn Valley tracks, my thoughts were, “Omigod, it’s big. It is seriously big.” The sheer presence of the machine entrances you. Dear reader, I happen to believe that the next greatest transport engineering advance from Stanier’s “Duchess” was Concorde, although I will allow a growing admiration for 71000. The “Duchesses” undoubtedly win in the majesty stakes, but the “Lizzies” possess a feline grace lacking in their younger sisters and there is nothing between them in the power stakes. Crewe drivers did not draw any distinction between them, referring to them collectively as “Big Lizzies”, or just “Big ‘Uns”, with equal affection.

    The engine and support coach shunted across the main line and on to Severn Valley metals with commendable alacrity and, as I climbed into the cab, it was apparent that the main line crew were preparing to depart with equal speed. As I was having a quick chat with the driver and Traction Inspector Gareth Jones, I noticed that the engine was working with air brakes. Not being conversant with the systems, I asked them to change over to vacuum brake working, which one of the travelling fitters obligingly did, opening various valves and draining tanks. Then they were gone, hurrying to catch a train and travel back “on the cushions” to from wherever they had come. I created vacuum, then destroyed to put the brakes hard on in the support coach, eased up to allow Colin to hook off and sat back to take stock of my charge. A familiar LMS cab looked back at me, the boiler backhead much larger than that to which I was accustomed, the only odd note being the air brake pedestal, from a Class 47 or something, switched out of use, and its associated gauges. Having performed an automatic steam and water check, I checked the view out of the driver’s window…sweet dreams are made of this.(Apologies to the Eurythmics) The word “awesome” is frequently abused these days, but it was the first word that entered my head and it was fully justified. The huge, gleaming red slab of the firebox side, merged into the equally vast boiler barrel which stretched away with little apparent taper to the glossy black of the smokebox, which seemed a very long way away indeed. After allowing myself a major, “If they could see me now”, moment, I sat back to chat to Colin and the chap from the Lizzie support crew, who had travelled with the engine and who was no doubt wondering about the pair of muppets who were going to be playing with his P & J, whilst we awaited our chance to shunt over to the yard and turntable. A short while later, a blast from a Stanier hooter announced the approach of the Up train, for which we were waiting. As it passed, with 45110 at its head, John Price, the driver, shouted, “We’ll run to the blocks. Come on the front of us!” Hmm. Change of plan. Well, on the upside, it would save us waiting for the spare path, but it also meant that, instead of a toddle with an engine and support coach, we would now be pulling nine coaches and the Black Five, a total load pushing 400 tons. Now that sounded like fun. “Game for a bit of shovelling,mate?” I asked Colin. “Oh yes,” said he, “That’s more like a challenge.”

    At that, the dummy came off, I gave a quick toot on the hooter, carefully opened and closed the regulator and 6201 glided out of the release road on to the Main. We drew to a stand just past the signal gantry, then, when the gantry dummy cleared, we chuffed steadily back along the Platform 1 engine release road to the water column and topped up the tender tank. Once completed, with a clear dummy ahead, I opened the regulator again and we moved gently and, in my case, with some trepidation, towards the crossover and the yard. The crossover, on the Loop, is a Double Slip, allowing movement from Main to Loop, Main to Yard and Loop to Yard, however the Lizzie is too big to use the curved bits, ie. Main to Loop or Loop to Yard, but would be OK to go straight into the yard. I spent many hours with crane, shovel, spanner and crowbar, assisting with putting the track in the yard and I knew it was in good condition. However, I was pretty sure that Gerry Carter and Tommy Smyth were thinking in terms of carriage shunting, 08s and odd steam engines, maybe up to Black Five size when they laid it out. I was damned sure they were not expecting 105 – ton (and that's just the engine), Pacifics, so I entered the yard with the caution of a Ninja warrior, apart, of course, from being aboard the said 105 – ton chariot. Arriving safely over the points which led to the turntable, I screwed the handbrake on and got off to change the points and lock them with hand – screwed point locks. Colin had gone off to check out the turntable, so I commenced the ticklish job of backing up the approach road to it. The road from here is buried in hard core and it had been some time since a rail vehicle had been over it, so I couldn't even see the rails! Trusting that the 60 - ish ton weight of the tender would find its way, I reversed gingerly onwards; it was a bit like driving a block of flats along a dirt road, however, "Lizzie", despite her size, was proving an absolute sweetheart to control.

    Pulling to a stand, as per regulations, I then obeyed Colin's hand signals, calling me on to the turntable. Centring the engine without difficulty, we did a quick recce. and discovered that it overhung the 'table by about four feet at either end! We then had to do a manual circuit of the 'table and move various bits of stuff, oxy - acetylene bottles, etc, that would otherwise have been mown down as we turned. Nobody said this was going to be easy. With everything clear, Colin connected the vacuum bag and stood ready by the motor. At his signal, I created vacuum and we started to turn. Unfortunately, we only travelled a few inches, then lost vacuum and stopped. Confused, I tried again, with the same result, then realised I was losing vacuum. I asked Colin to check the bag, then gazed with dismay as he showed me the chewed up flexible bag. Apparently the turntable had run over it and severed it. There was nothing we could do with it and there was only one alternative. We would have to wind the engine round by hand. Mindful of the time, we got on with it, and, after a great deal of puffing and panting, at least, on my part, our 160 – ton Princess was facing Kidderminster. I backed off the turntable, Colin secured it and we reversed our course to the set of points, which Colin unlocked, re – set and locked again. With the Yard exit signal off, I drove carefully out, over the crossover and back behind the release line dummy. We then had to shunt back to the gantry and forwards again into the exchange siding to collect our support coach.

    Whilst Colin was hooking on and releasing the support coach's handbrake, a young cleaner climbed up to the cab and said, "Inspector Price sends his compliments and would you kindly get your finger out as the train is already five minutes late." I thanked him for his courtesy and gave him a short, but succinct reply, concerning my relative inexperience with the engine, Mr. Price's role in placing me in the position and precise instructions as to what he could do with his compliments, all to be repeated verbatim and said with a smile! He retreated somewhat apprehensively but, knowing Mr. P. was just winding me up and would expect no less, I proceeded serenely to shunt out beyond the gantry again, then propel the support coach towards Platform 1, there to be called by Colin, who seemed to be a very long distance away, on to the train.

    All this took somewhat longer than it has taken you to read it, so by the time we were ready to go, we were something over 15 minutes late. John Price had popped up as we hooked on to say, "Do your best, John, see if we can get the time back." I gave him a thumbs – up and he hurried back to the Black Five. Behind me, Colin was busy with the shovel, putting a round on "Lizzie's" huge fire. We had about 230lbs. of steam and over 2/3rds of a glass of water, so we were in good shape. Platform whistles shrilled, the Guard's flag waved, the rightaway was relayed by the platform staff and I opened the regulator briefly and closed it again. There was a pause, as the steam rushed through all the superheater elements before reaching the cylinders. From the chimney came a distant "choo" and a perfect white puff of steam. I felt no sensation, looked down and realised we had moved about twenty feet! I eased open the regulator again and rapidly reduced the cut - off to about 40 per cent. "Princess Elizabeth" glided onwards with little apparent effort and no regards at all for the 400 or so tons attached to her coupling hook. We drifted onto, and across, Falling Sands viaduct and the 20 mph restriction and I opened the engine up again. With little noise and less fuss, 6201 loped up the gradient to the summit in Foley Park Cutting and over the top to coast down towards Bewdley. Travelling tender – first, the view was less than ideal, but the ride was absolutely superb. I put a bit of brake in to get the feel of the train and discovered that, like everything else on the engine, the braking was first – class.

    We were signalled into Platform 3 and I was again aware of how beautifully the engine rode as we snaked over the pointwork and curves to a stand behind the platform starter. It was amusing to study the faces of the passengers, who were expecting a Black Five, as they feasted their eyes on sleek maroon L.M.S. Royalty. There were also a couple of raised eyebrows on the crew of the Up train as it ran into Platform 2. Colin’s ministrations at Kidderminster had brought the pressure round to the red line, so he put the injector on, although it did not appear that we had actually used any water; an indication of the size of the boiler and the massive reserve of power within. The rest of the journey passed pleasantly, but uneventfully. The engine never really gave the impression that there was a train behind it. The start and ascent of Highley bank were effortless, any fears I had about slipping proved groundless. The engine was clearly used to much longer banks and much heavier loads, although it would not have been travelling tender – first of course. I handed over to Colin at Sterns so that he could have a go, as we only had the engine for the one trip. I took a look in the firebox, preparing to bale a load in for Eardington bank and decided to leave it alone; we had 240lbs and a nearly – full glass. I was pretty sure that 2 miles of 1 in 100 wouldn’t make much impression on this lady, even with 400 tons hanging off the hook, and I was right. 6201 flew up the bank, knocking off 30lbs of pressure and flattening the fire nicely. I had the injector on and was busily dosing the cab with the slacking pipe as we coasted down into Bridgnorth, Colin braking us carefully to a stand, mindful of the need not to drop the vacuum too low, so as not to activate the Black Five’s steam brake and snatch the train. John Price came up to say well done for making most of the time up and to check whether we were travelling back on his train, (we were), then Colin hooked off. I drove down to Hollybush, then ran back through Platform 2 to the bracket and backed carefully into the shed. There we left the engine, about 180 on the clock, cab spick and span, to the tender mercies of the Bridgnorth staff and said our goodbyes to the support man, whose name I have shamefully forgotten. Collecting our bags, we made our way to the train, pausing briefly on the footbridge to take a last look at that beautiful machine, before finding ourselves a compartment and a couple of cold cans.(We were off duty and it was a hot day!) It should be said, loud and clear, that the engine is a dream to work on and is an absolute credit to those who restored and maintain her. I feel very privileged to have driven her.

    So, which did I prefer, A4, or Princess Royal? Being a Stoke man, who spent a significant part of his teenage Saturdays at Crewe from 1960 to the end of steam, there is only one answer to that; however, if anyone offers me a chance to drive either again, I’ll bite their hand off!


    P.S. Colin fixed the turntable vacuum bag the following day.
     
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  9. FearOfManchester

    FearOfManchester Member

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    Out of curiosity what was the largest turntable on the UK network? Guessing at least 1 brainbox on here will know ;)
     
  10. Woodster21

    Woodster21 Member

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    The axle loading over the driving wheels is 22t 10cwt
     
  11. dggar

    dggar New Member

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    As far as I recall 70ft. was the LMS standard for depots that had regular dealings with the Stanier pacifics.

    another question, were there any restrictions on route availability of the Stanier pacifics over the peak rail route?
     
  12. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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    I recall even the Britannias suffered frame problems due to the curvature of the Peak Forest route. As related above 6201 has a long overhang at the front, I can see it having a fight with the platform copings at Matlock, OK for more dainty pacifics of course :) .

    Dave
     
  13. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Well-Known Member

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  14. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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  15. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic write up JTX, must qualify as THE longest message on the forums too I think, Before I forget it's the annual bus Gala this weekend on the 19th, looking at past events well worth attending,plenty of lovely old buses and rides around the area...

    June 19th – Peak Park Preserved Bus Gathering

    In 2016 the two bus societies in Chesterfield are celebrating their 40th and 20th birthdays at this annual gathering of heritage buses. Enjoy the colourful display on both sides of the track and find that historic memento on the ‘transport memorabilia’ market. Then round off a wonderful day reliving the ‘Good Old Days’ by taking a ride on vintage buses which link with Peak Rail trains at all three stations. For further information please visit www.chesterfield123.org.uk or email webmaster@chesterfield123.org.uk.

    Normal timetable and special fares.


    And while on the Friends of Buxton Station group have now on display a model of the ex MR Buxton station (now long gone under the bypass except for a small bit of the end wall) which is on display in the booking hall at Buxton LNW station, picture attached.

    image.jpg
     
  16. Mick Bond

    Mick Bond New Member

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    Next meeting of Peak Rail Derwent Valley branch



    The next meeting of the branch will be on Tuesday 28th June where John Morten will talk about the Midland route through the Peak from Derby to Buxton. . John’s talk will start at 7.30pm and will take place at the



    Duke William

    91 Church Street

    Matlock

    DE4 3BY

    Peak Rail members and guests welcome; hope to see you then!

    Mick Bond
     
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  17. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Well-Known Member

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    A few of the bus event at rowsley today WP_20160619_12_58_11_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_56_44_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_58_11_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_56_44_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_59_29_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_54_57_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_52_34_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_51_28_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_52_01_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_54_45_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_56_03_Pro.jpg WP_20160619_12_46_56_Pro.jpg
     
  18. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Well-Known Member

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  19. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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    A very good day, and I never thought years ago when I had a run on a 159 from Oxford Circus to Streatham because it was one of the last Routemaster routes that I would one day have a spirited run on a 159 Routemaster from Rowsley South to Chatsworth, skillfully avoiding the hundreds of cyclists on the Eroica Britannia run - including a penny farthing - you don't see them on the A6 very often!

    Dave
     
  20. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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    Class 46 Ixion and 58022 the chassis donor for the Ivatt Diesel Re-creation Project arrived yesterday.

    Dave

    Ixion.jpg

    58.jpg
     
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