Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by 61994, Jul 21, 2020.
Which loco was involved?
34046 on last September’s Cotswold run
Could understand heavy police presence for 60103 but surprised they targeted 34046.
Wrong road set for Clan Line at Wolvercote so it went straight ahead to Banbury. Thankfully control allowed for a reversal back to Wolvercote.
If I remember rightly, there were reports of trespass near Stroud around the time Braunton was due up.
That would be Wolvercote surely?
Yes lol ! Thanks for letting me know.
Near Combe this morning.
Here's my footage of Clan Line echoing through The Golden Valley demolishing Sapperton Bank with the return leg of the Cotswold Venturer. I hope you enjoy it.
Here’s my video of Clan Line stomping over Sapperton in gorgeous golden light this evening.
After last years events, I decided to do a wonder of the place to kill time, and this is what I've seen:
Frampton Mansell crossing has reopened (its closure was half the reason the cops turned up last year), however it has been redone to be more safe, and unless you're taking photos its pretty useless as a filming spot, as it now has an alarm playing whenever a train is due, drowning out (well, almost) the sound of the locomotive powering. The foot crossing right by the tunnel mouth has been closed with notices all over saying it is has been closed as its been considered 'unsafe'. Admittedly, if you're standing on said crossing, you do look like you're trespassing despite being on what was a public footpath.
I chose Frampton today despite the alarm being quite annoying, just to tick it off as a location, and quite a few joined us when Clan Line was only 10 minutes away, including a few people who had been removed from the tunnel top; its quite clear that that location, whatever the good views it gives, its no longer a place to go, unless you get lucky without the BTP in the area.
We had a BTP officer come to us, just giving us general saftey advice, and that if anyone was placing tripods / themselves on the wrong side of the gates, to warn them that they had been to see us, or to ring BTP. Thankfully everyone was sensible and followed the rules.
It seems that all the locations between Frampton Mansell and the tunnel are now a no go. With the tunnel top once again been cleared of photographers, the crossing further down closed, and Frampton having an alarm whenever a train is near, its shows how times have changed. A pity as they were the best views and near the summit, but it seems the road bridges further down will have to do us for the future.
Thanks for the comprehensive reply.
My footage from Lyneham and Jackdaw Bridge, on Sapperton Bank. The latter's visuals may be very brief, but the soundtrack is well worth sticking around for!
Clan Line seen on yesterday's Cotswold trip at Culham and Fawler on the outward, followed by Frampton Mansell on the climb to Sapperton, and Cholsey.
My effort at Chalford on the return with my partner too, also a friend at Shipton and Kemble
I see next weeks DCE is no longer on the website. I am guessing this may also have fallen to the no loco available situation as did the one last week.
Timings for Saturdays CME. Timings suggest steam on at Carnforth and off at Preston. Any ideas what's on the front?
As it was an excellent day out with some fine running I thought I'd put it into some kind of context.
Cotswold Venturer 21st August 2021 - A Timer's Tale
What a rare treat, Clan Line on a Cotswold Venturer for RTC. Our day started stupidly early - up at 0300 and off to pick up Dave on the outskirts of Newport before dropping down to Newport Station to buy returns to Reading, as far as we could definitely get with such an early start off Paddington. We like to have a train behind in case of cancellations etc - and there were a lot on the day - so we opted for the 0526, hopefully arriving in Reading at 0650. Thought it was going to be our first run through the Severn Tunnel under electric power, but disappointingly the 10 car 800 came in on diesel power. Depressingly the guard told us the train would be on diesel all day so we had the usual uncomfortable ride with the vibration from the motors as well as every crossover and junction being transmitted through to the seat. They are getting worse.
Only the Starbucks was open on the station. Fortunately they had very decent bacon and sausage rolls and coffee that whiled away the time until we strolled down to Platform 8 to watch the immaculately turned out 35028 drift in with 11 on. Coach G was 4 from the front so would be 3 from the back for Sapperton in the evening. Shame that. We met up with our friends John C and Judith who'd stayed overnight in Reading to avoid the early start. I didn't recognise the driver but John had asked and it was Andy Hawkins, an unfamiliar name to me. We didn't get the fireman's name unfortunately.
We joined the train and settled into our covid friendly and milepost guaranteeing 4+4. John D was meeting us in Worcester for lunch and then to do the return.
We were booked to take on the flyover to Reading High Level Junction and then run on the main to Didcot East. At dead on 0830, after the unusual 25 minutes stopover, Andy whistled up and we charged away from the platform to attack the 1in82 up the flyover. An excellent start saw us pass the summit at 20.7 and power down the other side to join the mainline close to mp37 at 30.7. Even when allowed out on the main in the past we've not always had a speedy run. Today was a bit of an exception, just what we'd expect from the big Bulleid. On the long 1320r, speed picked up slowly at first and we passed Tilehurst East Jn, mp38 1/2ish at 49.8. Speed rose to 52 as we passed mp39; 55.8 at mp40 and 59.4 at mp41. 35028 was chattering away nicely and the long whistle caused heads to turn as we passed Pangbourne at 61; mp42 1/4, the end of the 1320r at 62.3, and then accelerated to 68.7 as we passed through Goring and Streatley, mp44 3/4. A mile further on we reached 70 and held just over 70 on the level, the short 1760r and then back onto the 1320r at mp46 3/4.
What a good run as Andy lifted the speed to 71 for the mile or so to Cholsey, mp48 1/2 on the 1508r, passed with another long blast on the Bulleid whistle. Surely the best after the chime whistle of the A4. Then the brakes came in slowly as we were only a couple of miles from Didcot East Jn. Very enjoyable start to the day.
We had a 14 minute stop at Didcot Parkway to pick up quite a number of fellow passengers at the Parkway. I went for a wander and had a chat with Graham Ward, one of DB's drivers. Hadn't seen Graham for a few years and it was good to catch up. Bill Monteith took over the regulator for the journey to Worcester and return so we knew we were in for an entertaining time - except on the first part of the run to Oxford where good old Network Rail had chosen to path us right behind a stopper.
Nice bit of sound drifting back but our maximum speed on the 9 miles to our water stop in Hinksey North loop was only 49 at Culham. After taking on water we stopped in Oxford Station and then set off for Worcester - or did we? With a lovely chatter up front we were up to 32 at mp66 on the approach to Wolvercot Jn; but we didn't swing off to the left to take the line to Honeybourne. The brakes came in and we came to a stand. The previous train had been the Didcot-Banbury Stopper and the signaller hadn't set the road for us, so we too were on the Banbury road. Fortunately Control didn't make a big issue of it and allowed Bill to set the train back behind the junction signal. This time Control got it right amd we crossed Wolvercot Jn now some 13 minutes down.
It's undulating down the 9 miles+ single track to Charlbury and we'd got to 55 as we flashed through Hanborough, 4 miles in. Nice sound from the front as we ran through Finstock on the 303r at 66; then 68 through Charlbury, near mp76 3/4 as we joined the redoubled track. No speed drop on the mile of 315r to mp78, but after getting to 68 on the 995r at mp78 1/2, the brakes came on hard and speed fell to 13 with an adverse signal in sight. Got the impression Control hadn't set the road all the way to Evesham as would have been expected. Back underway with a bit of noise up front we passed Ascott-under-Wychwood at 25; then up a mile+ of 388r, 39 past mp81 1/2.
There's a steady climb from mp83, 472r, left at 54.5; then a mile of 750r, left at 58 at mp84 1/2; then through Kingham on the 402r at 59/60. Speed picked up on the 2 miles on the level to 66.4 before the brakes kicked in on the 396/303r. We slowed to a stand and were stationary for 3 mins or so outside Moreton-in-Marsh. Les, our train manager told me in Worcester that the driver of a previous train had reported lineside trespassing. By the time we got underway we were 20 down passing mp91 3/4, an interesting milepost on the up platform face.
Down almost 3 miles of 1561f to Blockley, in a bit of a hurry, 66; then we lost 5 mph to the mile+ of 165r/154r, and left a mile on the level at 59 before charging down the 100f at 63 into Campden Tunnel, left at close to 70. There's another close to 4 miles of 100f and we hit 75 before Honeybourne. On the 126f we were bowling along at 76 when the brakes kicked in and we were held at a red signal at Evesham. Bit baffling as there was nothing else around. Nothing spectacular after Evesham; through Pershore, mp112 50c at 58 with a max of 62. We slowed before Worcester Parkway, 34.4, and passed Norton Jn at 30ish. We arrived at Shrub Hill at 1209, 22 minutes down.
We expected John D to have been in Worcester and in the Old Rectifying House where we were lunching - but much to our surprise he phoned us from the train we were catching to Foregate Street. We'd held it up somewhat, and the following Paddington-Hereford Service too. Not our fault; all down to Didcot Control.
The Old Rectifying House was an excellent choice, only let down by no real ale as the cellar hadn't dried out after a flood a few weeks ago. Had to make do with a bottled Pale Ale. Nice beer but we decided to have a bottle of wine with our food, Fault Line, a very tasty New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The food was truly excellent; mainly seafood based. Moorish desserts too. It was pouring with rain so we got a taxi back to Shrub Hill and rather hoped it wouldn't be wet on Sapperton.
The rain had stopped and we left on time on damp rails. Bill took us expertly and a bit rapidly to 38 as we passed mp119, a mile and a half out before gentle braking for Norton Jn. We were lucky and had a clear run across Abbotswood Jn at 32 at mp69 3/4 onto the mainline to Bristol. Bit of a racetrack as it's falling gradients/level track over the close to 9 miles to Ashchurch. John C did a brilliant job of milepost spotting for John D and me. Saved us seat swapping and annoying everyone!!
We heard the chattering Bullied 9 back as speed rose to 48 at mp70 on the 301f; then 58 at mp71 on a level bit. We charged down the tracks in some style on the 385f, mp72 at 65; mp73 at 70; crossed the River Avon Viaduct at 72; and held 72 on the 2 1/2 miles of ;level to mp76. The mile of 319r produced more noise up front with speed falling to just under 70 before a dash to 76 on the 2 miles of 301f/311f to Ashchurch.
At mp80, passed at 76, we started a gentle and noisy 5 mile climb on an average gradient of 300r to Swindon Road. Speeds were 69 at mp81; 67 at mp82; 65 at mp83; 62 at mp84; Swindon Road, 57 before easing down on Cheltenham Spa approach, min of 3 mph. We rounded the curve through the station at 25, passed mp87 just south of the station on the start of the 7 miles of 368f/304f at 32. We had a noisy run down the bank with mp88 passed at 46; mp89 at 55; mp90 at 59 before gentle braking on the approach to our pathing stop at Gloucester Yard Jn. We saw the 800 going in to Gloucester and only had to wait for it to come out and pass the yard on its way to the Golden Valley and Sapperton.
We left on time, hoping Control would do a decent bit of train regulating to prevent us having to slow or stop on the way to Stonehouse and Stroud. Started well and noisily and we passed Tuffley, near mp95 at 39 before accelerating to 51 on the mile+ of 452f/642f/lev. There's a gentle climb for a few miles to Standish where the chatter of the big Bulleid drifted back to Coach 9. Speed was held at 52/3 before the inevitable braking as we approached Standish Jn. Bill tried to crawl along and not stop but as we half expected we were brought to a stand at the first signal past the junction. As on previous Venturers we were away exactly 8 minutes behind the London that should ensure we wouldn't be slowed at Stroud. The stop made us 8 down.
Back in Coach 9 35028 sounded impressive as Bill set about the mile of 347r, leaving it at 39 onto the 1/2 mile of 300r to Stonehouse, 42. Downgrade/level to mp104 saw speed rise to 51.2 and things get noisier up front. 35028 charged the 1/2 mile of 276r at 51 and passed mp103 1/2 at 49.8. Speed hardly fell on the 1/2 mile 620r to mp103, 49.4, and Bill used the bit of downgrade/level to pass through Stroud Station at 53 onto the 2 1/2 miles of 250r at mp102. We crossed Capels Viaduct at 54, slipping as we left it. Looking forward the sanders appeared to be on, confirmed by the online footage.
Despite the slip we passed mp101 at 51.6; mp100 1/2 at 52.3; and came off the section at mp100 at an impressive 54.9, the distinctive noisy chatter echoing around the valley. We passed mp99 1/2 after a short bit of 185r/lev nr Brinscombe Path at 54.5. The gradient steepens from 310r to 103r at mp99, passed at 53.3 and we passed St Mary's Crossing just before mp98 3/4 at a rapid 51.4. Then despite both of us looking for them we ran into trouble mileposting and missed them on the 1/2 mile of 75r, but saw mp98 where the gradient steepened to 70r, passed at 44.5. Just after that we felt 3 or4 slips and we passed mp97 1/4 on the 74r at 42.2. mp97, 74r/lev was passed at 42.9 and we crossed Frampton Viaduct at 43. Still seriously impressive climbing. Doesn't actually roar but 35028 did the Bullied equivalent.
Between the quarters the gradient changes from 75r to 60r with an increase in noise from the front as we passed mp96 1/2 at 41.6. Now on the 60r, our speed fell slowly; mp96 1/4, 39.5; mp96, 38.3, then just over 37 into Long Tunnel. 35028 slipped several times on the 60r in the tunnel and burst out from the 90r/94f exit at 31.7 according to the GPS.
The summit is pretty much the exit of Long Tunnel and the average speed through the tunnel is close to a summit speed. It took 1m 55.52s to cover the 1m 4ch of the tunnel which gave an average speed of 32.7, consistent when taking the amount of slipping into account.
Entering Sapperton Long Tunnel at 37 with 11 on was something very special and as Alan (Big Al) said, probably the fastest climb by a train with such a load in preservation. 35028's Class 8 power output through 6' 2" driving wheels has proved to be the ideal combination for bank climbing all over the country. We've only had runs at that sort of speed twice before, 38.2 with No.9 with 10 on in 2018; and 37.3 with 5043 with 10 on in 2016. Normally the low 30s is a taken to be a good speed into the tunnel with 11 on.
So, back to the rest of the journey. On the 94f through Short Tunnel speed rose to 42 and to a max of 54.9 at mp93 1/2 on the 100f before slowing as we were taking on water at Kemble. Due to the superb climb we'd pulled back 2 mins and were 6 down but an overlong water stop saw us leave 13 down.
We met Bill on the platform and asked him if we'd also be taking on water at Milton. He told us he'd asked the same question as there was more than enough water in the tender to have skipped the Kemble Stop. The reason was they needed a full tender from Milton as after the train was dragged from Paddington to Hanwell Bridge Loop, 35028 was being detached to work back to Stewart's Lane via Acton Main Line, Mitre Bridge Jn, North Pole Jn, Kensington Olympia, Latchmere and Longhenge Jns... where delays were always possible. (RTT said 35028 left Hanwell at 2203 and arrived back on shed at 2310).
We usually get a decent run over the 3 miles of 330f below Kemble and today was a bit more than that. From a standing start at Kemble, mp91, it was nice to hear the noise from up front as we passed mp89 3/4 (missed 90) at 44.3; mp89 at 53.9; and mp88 at 62.4. Bill worked the big loco quite hard over the next mile of level track to mp87, 65.8, just before Minety LC. No let up on the short 528r and another 3/4 mile of level to pass mp86 at 67.7. Then on 3/4m of 400f/level we passed mp85 at 69.4. The 3/4m 406r was dismissed and we passed mp84 on the 330f at 70 and came off the almost 2 miles of 330f at 75.3. Over Purton Crossing after 3/4 mile of 404r at 73.7 and then Bill held speed in the low 70s on the level to mp79 3/4. Very entertaining. Shame the brakes came on as we hit the 308r/260r. We were held at a signal short of the station for some 3 minutes. After running through the station it was all downgrade/level for the 21 miles to Milton Jn.
Noisy chatter from the front drifted back and we were up to 54.8 in just over 2 miles out at mp75 on the long 834f. No real rush and it took a further 3 miles to get to 70. We passed Shrivenham, the end of the 834f at 71.6. Speed rose to 72.7 on the mile of level track, then to 75 on the 754f at mp69. Bill let 35028 have its head and we were bowling along at a 'good' 75 down the 880f through Uffington, Challow and Wantage Road. Despite the good running we were 18 down at Challow. The brakes came in 3 miles from Milton where we came to a stand some 19 mins down. We left only 10 down and trundled down to Didcot Parkway for our first set down. Don't know if Bill left the train there but he was expecting to. John D left us there to get back to Bristol Parkway.
We were booked on the relief from Didcot to Reading but the track was clear in front of us so there was an opportunity for a speedy run to make up some time. As is often the case, the running was disappointing on the long 1508f, 1320f and level. We only ran through Cholsey at 54.8; Goring and Streatley at 59.5 and Pangbourne at 60. Didn't improve through Tilehurst, 61.4 and speed was allowed to fall as we drifted down to Reading's Platform 15 a minute or 2 early. The timings were odd as had we been on time at Didcot we may well have been held at a signal for 12 minutes.
We left the train and went over to Platform 8 to wait for the 2013 Swansea - except it had been cancelled!! We decided to get as far west as we could but we'd just missed the 1956 Cheltenham Spa and the Bristol Temple Meads Service. Then the board changed and the latter train came in 7 minutes late. We boarded and sat in the awful first class section. And they expect passengers to pay extra to sit in them? The seats were worse than Standard Class. Again the train was running on diesel power which added to the discomfort. On board we had a call from John D who had only got as far as Swindon and was waiting for the train we were on. Lucky us as he offered to take us to Newport on his way home. One of those nights. Torrential rain in Bristol and the road out of the Parkway was closed so we went on bit of a Magical Mystery Tour to find the M4. We did get to Newport well ahead of the time we'd have gotten there on the 2113 from Reading.
All in all a really enjoyable day out on the Venturer. Thanks to: RTC for running the train. We'd have preferred the Golden Valley both ways but can understand the choice of the Cotswold line on the outward as it is a very scenic route that appeals to most travellers. Special thanks to the MNLPS for the use of their magnificent locomotive. 35028 was immaculately turned out and performed superbly in the hands of the WCR crews; to Les and the stewards without whom trains wouldn't run; to WCR for the train set and for the excellent train crews. Apologies for not getting the name of the driver who took the train back to Paddington - we were more concerned with trying to get back to South Wales; and for not getting the firemen's names as they did an excellent job feeding the beast all day.
With the Merchant of Norfolk cancelled we decided to do the Jubilee over the banks on Sunday. That should be entertaining.
Great Report. Thanks for posting.
Andy Hawkins is comparatively new to WCRC work I believe. He is/was a driver on SWT/SWR and rose through the Swanage Railway footplate ranks to gain his 'steam spurs' and is well used to handling Bulleid locos (although not at main line speeds and not with 11 on of course!).
Separate names with a comma.