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Royal Windsor Steam & Sunset Express. Tuesdays, May - August 2022

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Paul.Uni, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Well I imagine that as this was a West Coast issue and nothing to do with Steam Dreams the TOC will have covered costs to allow SD to do what it has.

    As you say, a good response by all parties.
     
  2. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    It went from 14 late at Chilworth to 1 early at Reigate - a staggering time recoup given the PSRs en route!! I can only imagine the 47 was full on all the way! I only just got to my local station, Betchworth, in time to see it pass.
     
  3. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Far from it!! Stormed past Blackheath Ln at an incredible pace with the diesel barely making a noise!

    The timings of this run have always seemed to be slack, last year it always ran stupidly early, or if it was really late it always 'made up' time, I've always given 20 minutes leeway from the actual scheduled times just incase it gets greens all the way and the crew give it everything. What's funny is tonights (and for the next couple of weeks) timings are 20 minutes earlier than last weeks. I get that normally the surrey hills is a 'gentle slog' rather than a mad dash, but this evening it was the mad dash, and said mad dash made it look like a lot of time was made up. If it had been on time tonight, who's to say it wouldn't have been 16 minutes early by the time it was supposedly back on time at Dorking?

    Screengrab from my footage, excuse the grain but it was a grim evening, and hopefully the motion blur gives the impression of how quick it really was.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
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  4. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Last edited: May 27, 2022
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  5. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    I estimate that the 47 was taking its own weight and a little more. Good speed there - you're right about the amazingly slack timings on the NDL section - hard to see why this is, given that on other sections pathing allowances are made. I can understand a steam loco being worked hard to make up time, but not so as to run so early as it has in the past - I'm sure no owner wants their loco thrashed unnecessarily. It's odd about the difference in schedules - the service timetables changed on 15 May, so I wonder if that has precipitated the change here?
     
  6. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    there is a difference between being worked hard and thrashed and I'm sure that these days no crew are going to do the latter. Loco owners would soon have that driver off their approved list.
     
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  7. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Just so. B1s can be noisy beasts and it made a good sound as it blasted passed my camera on the Hampshire Circular but you could tell that the loco was notched back and working well within its comfort zone.

    Loco crews generally are enthusiasts as well. The skills needed on both sides of the footplate are loco specific and it's hard to imagine anyone doing something that wasn't ok for that particular engine.
     
  8. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain New Member

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    Tip for anyone who fancies Pullman dining on these trips and has an employee voucher/benefits scheme through work (or has a friend/relative who does):

    The 'Steam Express' trips are available to purchase through Virgin Experience Days at the same price as the SD website.
    However, some work benefit schemes give you the option to purchase vouchers for Virgin Experience Days at a discount, in my case 20%.
    See https://www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk/steam-trains (also includes other railways, plus some 'normal' SD railtours, but worth comparing the prices with booking direct!)

    As a result, I just managed to save £54 on next week's trip thanks to the above. I'm pretty sure that Virgin or my work scheme covers the discount, rather than it coming out of SD's pocket.

    The process is a bit of a pain (you first have to buy the discounted Virgin Experience gift card from the employee portal, you then use this to pay for the experience day voucher with Virgin, and finally you have to phone SD and give them the code/PIN off that voucher!)
    Also, it's crucial to make sure there's actually availability on your desired trip first, as you can't get a refund if it turns out to be sold out!

    There's also an offer site out there supposedly offering half price on Premium Standard Steam Express fares, but I've not tried it so can't vouch for it, or confirm who has to cover the cost of the discount. Use at your own risk:
    https://planetoffers.co.uk/all-offers/steam-dreams-half-price-pass

    Hope this proves of use to some on here!
     
  9. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    You're almost certainly right (but bad things do happen - 'Blue Peter' - albeit possibly in a different era), but my point was about the slack schedule on the NDL - I can well imagine an engine justifiably being worked very hard to regain time, but not to gain almost 20 minutes against the schedule.
     
  10. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Well-Known Member

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    But how much of it is the engine being worked hard and how much is down to assistance from the rear?
     
  11. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    Exactly - we're almost back where we started, as the claim had been that 61306 was not being assisted when it regained 15 minutes between Chilworth and Reigate. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what happens this evening.
     
  12. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain New Member

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    At the moment, the ECS is late and doesn't appear to have left Willesden!
     
  13. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    I may well have read it incorrectly but I think that the ECS for the SSE tonight has accepted the wrong road at Latchmere Jct and reversed at Clapham Jct., according to the Open Train Times map. If so, I assume this means it'll be diesel-hauled as 61306 will be at the buffers at Victoria, unless the 26 minutes late progress is added to by turning again at Battersea. As I said, though, I may have mis-interpreted the movement on the map (I hope).
     
  14. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain New Member

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    Just leaving Victoria, Mayflower on the country end!
     
  15. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    Great - my error I'm glad to say, then.
     
  16. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain New Member

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    At Chertsey 38 late. Passengers told to stay on board so they can do a splash and dash!
     
  17. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    Yes - lost path from the outset and lost time accordingly. Not a good season so far! Not much of a "dash" as it's now even later (41L) leaving Chertsey!
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
  18. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Just going back to the timings of this run which seemingly seem to make it as if Mayflower has always made up time. I compared the timings of this evenings run with 35028's last Belmond Surrey hills run. Both are non stop from Chertsey to Redhill with a clear path all the way through.

    As shown below, with the SSE timings on the left and the Belmond on the right, the red numbers show how many minutes there are inbetween each passing point on RTT. The SSE gets a whopping 10 minutes from Chilworth to Gomshall and a further 11 to Dorking West, while the Belmond only gets 6 inbetween. In total the SSE is pathed to do Guildford to Reigate in 43 minutes while the Belmond has it pathed in 32 minutes, so the SSE has 11 minutes extra, and given that 35028 always seems to follow the schedule of the Belmond runs without making up an insane amount of minutes, thus showing its a pretty precise path, the SSE path is extremley laid back, thus, a 20 minute late Mayflower last week was able to make up all the time with a spare 11 minutes (And given that it always seems to be running late from Chertsey, it needs it!). Last year it was always a gamble as to how early the engine would actually pass a location on the line, I always made sure, late or not, to be in a spot before the time it was due past Shalford as, as proven by last week, it can be back on time or even early come Dorking!

    I don't think that'll be happening with tonights run however, the train has run so late its stuck behind a Surrey hills stopper.

    upload_2022-5-24_20-19-8.png
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
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  19. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    It's now just behind the all-stations to Redhill at Guildford so I don't imagine much more time can be gained tonight.
     
  20. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    Passing Brockham just after sunset with the cool air giving a good clean exhaust trail. 31 late at this point.
    115A0033e(2)a.jpeg
     
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