Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by 61994, Jul 21, 2020.
Thank you, much appreciated
Things were different back then and whilst I think there’s still a market for “no thrills” rail tours, all the while the tour companies can fill carriages with Premier Dining and other premium offers, they have no need to offer a basic gricer orientated tour.
Bit surprised to see 10 passenger carrying carriages listed. Add Dining Car and POB and we've got a Big Pacific that's a a bit prone to slipping with 12 on in the leaf fall season. Wilpshire should be interesting if the light rain that's forecast makes an appearance.
Are you viewing Mr Shuttleworth? If so, are we going to get a diesel free day tomorrow?
Went on a fair few of those with my dad, including several of the Santa Special ones (always joining at Rugby (or service train Rugby to BNS) and then electric to Carnforth and steam on there), from recollection most of the passengers tended to bail at Seascale and go to the pub by the station (long since demolished), I recall on the Santa's there was often a band and singing, the loco and stock then went to Sellafield for turning. Its a pity the Sellfield turn is no longer possible as it would be a nice day out for a tour now.
On the plus side the leaves around home (200ft higher than Wilpshire) are only just beginning to fall, even the wet and windy conditions of Tuesday failed to dislodge many. BIL had a tailgunner at the end of September before the Kingmoor RHTT started running (from 1st Oct). However, last treatment up through Wilpshire will be on Friday evening. In recent years lots of the trees around the old Wilpshire station have been removed. Although there may be possible light rain around 5pm tomorrow, today is warm and dry and winds remain light throughout today and tomorrow. Let's hope that the diesels stay in 10A.
Happy days. Been told that WCR putting a box on. Why on earth did they allocate 35018 for the train? Any comment Mr Shuttleworth? Jubilee not fit to run?
Sad end to the CME Series for 2021 unless there's a change of heart if it's a sunny day.
We need to get away for a day so will travel; but £800 (Covid 4+4) for 2 of us to be pushed around by a grotty maroon box? Mugs or what?? Answers on a postcard...
How bloody ignorant can you be? It’s October in the UK, it’s been wet and the leaves are falling from the trees. West Coast, rather than incur the wrath of NR for a stalled train on the main line, have done something sensible and should be commended.
YOU are taking the risk by booking on a CME in October. You know the terms and conditions and the fact that West Coast can choose to run a diesel in the consist if they feel the need to, so either go, try and put a smile on your face that you’re out the house in challenging times and pack it in if you’re actually going to travel. If you don’t travel, then enjoy your day doing whatever it is that you do.
And more to the point, I can’t believe someone* could feel the need to call out someone from an organisation because they are that upset about a diesel being in the consist. Mr Shuttleworth has better things to do with his time, I am sure, than answer your pathetic comment. It doesn’t matter why the Bulleid is running instead of the Jubilee, the fact of the matter is that it is, and not only that, it will be supported because this is the main line in the year 2021.
One way or another, enjoy your day.
* edited to remove an insult.
I'm surprised at you moaning about the fact that you have paid for 4 seats, the question is why, the rest of us are quite happy to sit closer together, and I have been moving through train regularly recently and noted only a few using masks. I will be enjoying quite a few rail miles next week Crewe to FW and Mallaig and return over 3 days, am I worried if I have to sit next to an unknown member of the general public, no.
We're in the 21st century! Honestly who in 1968 would have thought that steam would still be alive in the 21s century? Answer almost nobody. I remember having a tour to Inverness in 2012 that was originally meant to be worked by N0 9 but it wasn't quite ready after overhaul so instead was worked by Scots Guardsman. Also there was a diesel on the back as far as Dundee with the diesel leading from Dundee to Perth. During the Glenrothes to Dundee leg the diesel was definitely assisting and I didn't have a problem with it. I'm also on one of the Tornado/Flying Scotsman later this month and I expect due to it being leaf fall season for their to be a diesel on the back. The honest truth is I'm happy as long as a steam locomotive is on the front and the moaning about diesel assistance is extremely disappointing to see. Also if the weather forecast is really bad I would expect a diesel on the back and there was one on the back during the Viking Venturer tour in July (in good weather may I add) and I didn't notice it.
What are you trying to say that we should still be afraid of our own shadows and not go within 2 yards of anyone anywhere?
The Jolly Fisherman – 25 September 2021
If someone had told me just after stepping off my last Railtour it would be almost two years until l will be onboard another one l would have questioned their sanity; but this is what has transpired. Tours have been postponed and / or cancelled mostly due to the pandemic. The closest l came to a tour running was last year’s ‘Easterling’ which was axed with under a week to go.
After some consideration l booked this one in early December last year as a sort of Birthday-come-Christmas present to myself – roping in my usual travelling companion. I thought if would be different to get us a ride behind Flying Scotsman and my criteria for doing so was that it would need to start in the South (nothing different there), not be in one direction only and be a full tour. This meant that the Steam Dreams ones were off the menu’ and left a choice of either the ‘Cotswold Venturer’ or this one. As l have been on a previous version of the former – plus many of my tours have headed West from near home / London – this left me with the ‘Jolly Fisherman’. Initially this trip was due to run in May, but covid restrictions meant it was rescheduled.
With the recent news that this year’s attempt to run ‘The Easterling’ – due to run a week later - had sadly come to nothing this tour was the only one that was still running and having a booking. If l had to choose which one of these tours that wanted to run it would have picked this one. The e-mail with the ticket(s) duly found its way into my inbox in good time.
It was whilst reading the ticket letter that there was the first mention of the trip being diesel hauled between Sleaford and Skegness (i.e. not having the locomotive ‘running around’ at Sleaford). I did / will not enquire as to the reason(s) for this as it was somewhat disheartening (hope + expectation >> reality). If the blurb mentioned a diesel-hauled section l would have more awareness of what l was booking – the prospect of having 60103 in AND out of Kings Cross would still be attractive. The ticket letter gave 8 passenger coaches, so likely to be 10 overall when adding the support and kitchen carriages.
Now, to the morning of the trip: after my alarms – just in case – went off at 4am l was up shortly afterwards. I had told my fellow traveller that we needed to leave by 4:45 (allowing enough time for the walk to the station) and he was round before that and we left Right Time. To my surprise it was mizzling but what was more remarkable was the humidity and warm for the time of day / year - I had to remove a layer before half way as a result. That – and it was harder to walk along unlit streets – meant we had to hurry the final part. The train had been at the platform a while having be extricated from the sidings and we boarded with less than two minutes spare (departed 5:07). The earlier than envisaged departure from Kings Cross meant getting this train was very important. The most notable thing about the train was that it was the first one l had been on since March last year.
Although the train would have got us there (well, St. Pancreas) in plenty of time l decided to check a faster train was running (from Brighton) when we got to Three Bridges. So, with my companion ‘minding’ a set of doors l checked the departure screen to see that that train was on time so it was okay for him to get off. What l had not noticed - and this was the first of three good fortunes – that pulling into the adjacent platform was a delayed train (from the depot!) also calling at St. Pancreas, so we boarded this one. After a couple of minutes we were underway with the added bonus being that as this train was late it would not be stopping at Redhill and run up the Quarry Line instead. I knew the trains were being diverted as the direct line between East Croydon and London Bridge was closed, but the diversionary route was a new one on me: across all the lines to take the slow through Selhurst to pass through Streatham Common and then turn off to pass Streatham, Tulse Hill, Herne Hill, and Elephant and Castle to get to Blackfriars. We had an operational stop at City Thameslink where the pantograph was raised with a ‘bang’! A few minutes afterwards we were traversing the platform at St. Pancreas (Low Level) heading for the exit.
Not long afterwards we were on the concourse at Kings Cross where my companion got himself a coffee. We then made our way to the lower numbered platforms. I was expecting the incoming stock to use Platform but, as there was an Azuma (rudely) occupying this, it came into Platform 1 headed by 47802. Seeing the stock brought the second piece of good fortune: dining was at the rear of the train so we will be close to the engine all day in Standard. I wanted the fact that 60103 was due to haul this trip to be a surprise for my companion - to be fair he had not asked – so walking down the platform towards the loco l dropped a little hint in the form of a question: “Have a think; what would be an appropriate loco to take us out of Kings Cross?”. He did include “flying” in his answer but l did not need to reply as we had now reached the point were he could see for himself. After time for photographs – l thought that there would be more people around than there was – we boarded coach ‘G’ and found our seats. This was the third piece of good forture: where we sat did was not as affected by the additional screens on to of the seats. At some point recently the carriage had been used on ‘The Jacobite ‘ as it had the appropriate stickers by the seats.
I was glad that the heating had not been turned on, as it was not required. Whilst waiting for the ‘off’ my ol’ faithful mobile managed to get a GPS location fix. We left on time. To be honest, the first few minutes went by in a bit of a blur for a couple of reasons: firstly, l was settling into the journey and secondly the window had condensation on the outside from passing through the tunnels. Something l was very aware of was the crisp ‘chattering’ from 60103 two plus carriages ahead. Relevant announcements were that we were encouraged to wear a face covering when moving about the train, but not seated. The announcement that if someone in you ‘bay’ was wearing a mask and asked you to wear one you should do so. I am not sure how this would be enforced, but l did not hear of any issues regarding masks all day, which was good. Having the windows open was encouraged, not that l needed any!
Two miles out we had reached the 30s, passing Finsbury Park at 31 and Haringay (35) and passing Hornsey at 40+. Even with slowing to almost walking pace before accelerating through Alexandra Palace (24) we were 12 minutes early (in five miles). After recovering to the mid thirties (New Southgate at 36) we continued at a similar speed (up the 1/200) to be checked approaching Potters Bar (pick-up) to arriving there four early. By now our table had a good covering of smuts.
Leaving on time we reached a maximum of 54 at Hatfield before slowing for a pathing stop at Welwyn Garden City. Leaving 2 late we accelerated to pass Welwyn North (47) - without having a pathing stop at Digswell Junction – and passing Knebworth (54). From there it was not long until we stopped at Stevenage (second pick-up) on time. Also leaving on time 60103 got into her stride for the longest leg on the journey so far: next stop Huntingdon (~ 31 miles). Four miles out we were nearing 70 (passing Hitchin) to reach about 74 before slowing slightly for Arlesey (70) and similar through Biggleswade. Not long after a remarked to my companion if he remembered this piece of scenery as we had a while to look at it when Tornado had its mishap back in April 2018. Sandy was passed at 70 and after a shore brake application (to 60) we passed St. Neots at 69. Less than 10 minutes later we had arrived at Huntingdon a couple of minutes early. We were allowed off the train (dining passengers were discouraged from doing so) as this was our first water stop and the tanker was waiting for us. The best view of the loco was found by crossing the bridge.
Departing on time (09:09) to reach the mid-sixties 5 miles out before slowing before Holme Junction to recover to the high fifties before slowing again before Fletton Junction to arrive at out final (busy) pick-up at Peterborough two late (09:33). Whilst we waited the Class 67 hauled railtour (Kings Cross to Shrewsbury) stopped at the other side of the station; this had left London about an hour after us. Whilst that was restarting we were cleared to leave so we had an almost simultaneous departure. We had to stop to access the correct track to take us to Werrington Junction were we left the Main Line.
From Werrington Junction - leaving the overhead wiring behind - we cruised generally in the region of 50 to 55, slowing for Spalding (47) before coming to a halt less than a mile shy of Sleaford East Junction. Not too long afterwards a steward came through the carriage saying that we have activated a ‘hot box’ detector (Cheal Road): not something you really want to hear. A couple of minutes later there was an announcement that the driver was currently speaking to the signaller and after a few moments we resumed our journey. Fortunately this had no apparent consequences for the rest of the trip. This stop - and the fact that we were behind anyway - meant we were 24 minutes late stopping at a very busy Sleaford. So much for not wanting the timings to be made public! We could get off the train here as it was our second water stop but l chose not to. There was a delay in starting replenishing the tender: it would be helpful if the hoses where laid out the correct way around to start with! Anyway, with the watering done we got back underway (with the diesel leading) at 11:28 (37 minutes late). As we pulled out of the station our carriage passed through the smelly fug left by the Class 47.
This leg was reasonably uneventful. There were countless people trackside to watch us go past – l wonder how many were expecting a diesel loco to be leading? Unexpectedly there were long sections of jointed track, which is something quite rare to hear. We did notice that a road (A1121) runs alongside between Swineshead and Boston – would someone try to chase the train later? There was an announcement warning those who intended to get off at Wainfleet that due to not many regular trains running (staff shortage?) they was have difficulty in getting to Skegness if they planned to visit both. We arrived in Skegness at 12: 32, an unimportant 13 minutes late. Skegness station area used to be much bigger, including a triangle for turning steam locomotives.
We spent our time wandering around the town, going along the beach and had fish and chips outside. We did another loop, noticing things that had been there, but no longer. To while away some of the time before we had to return to the station we thought we watch the cricket that was going on. After seeing an over they stopped playing and headed off the field; oh well! During our time in Skegness 60103 had moved into the sidings to water (and be coaled?) with the carriages had remained in the station (the diesel had been turned off) all the time.
Time came to board the train and we set off at 16:32 (5 late) to pass Havenhouse at 38 to stop for the pick-up at Wainfleet. With the reassuring sound from the front we accelerated to pass Thorpe Culvert (44) to slow for Firsby curve then to cruise at about 50 before slowing (and stopping for pathing) at Boston. Leaving on time we returned to being beside the A1121, and sure enough there was a car with the passenger with a camera tracking us. We passed Hubberts Bridge (49) and Swineshead (46) to then slow to pass Heckington (26). The number of people that were around to see the train is a lot more than any previous trip l had been on. After picking up speed we the slowed for Sleaford (25, 6 early) giving us a final change to have a look at the imposing Maltings. From there we passed Rauceby and Ancaster (36). By now the scenery was becaming more topographically interesting with some hills.
Passing under the Main Line we slowed (and more-or-less stopped) at Allington North Junction. After we had cleared the junction it was not long (10 minutes) until we had stopped in the Goods Loop at Grantham to take on water. With that done we left almost on time and l noticed that the chap and the tender was the same as Sleaford (wearing a WCRC tabard) so l am guessing that this would usually serve the Scarborough Expresses? With a slip as we returned to the main line this was the best (and loudest) noise from 60103 of the day as we climbed to Stoke Tunnel (entry speed of 48) to then reach the seventies on the descent (74 max) at some point the safety valve lifted. The works at Werrington Junction - to take track(s) under the main to join the branch at a new junction (Glinton) - were quite well advanced. From there it was not long until we had stopped at Peterborough. The on-train brochure did not show there being a water stop, but l knew it was. With the tanker (same as Huntingdon earlier) ready and waiting we were soon topped up and departed on time.
It was now dark there is not much to comment on outside the train. Generally we cruised at about 60, slowing to pass Huntingdon in the 30s then speeding up to pass St. Neots (59). Having missed Sandy, we passing Bigglewade (57) and Aresey (62) to slow before Hitchin (49) and again for our stop at Stevenage. After unloading was complete we left at 20:38 (8 minutes early). The next leg was pretty uneventful. We passed Knebworth (37) and were a slowing 44 through Welwyn North. Earlier on we were told that the trin would not be stopping at Welwyn Garden City even though l looked as if we were, but her brakes were released to regain speed to pass Hatfield (48) - this was the last station speed l noted down - and soon we were stationary at Potters Bar.
Departure from Potters Bar was early (6 minutes) and subsequent analysis of the GPS data showed we got up about 60 to pass Hadley wood and New Barnet after that we slowed to variable speeds onwards. At Alexandra Palace to through Finsbury Park we used the (new?) line shown as ‘U2’. Someone said to me that this is the first time steam has used this track - l am not sure of this and had a search, but l still haven’t found what I’m looking for. About ten minutes later we slowly rolled into Kings Cross to stop just before the clock clicked on to 21:35 (very on time). After a little time for further photographs – l hope the young lad’s day was made when he was lifted onto the footplate of the quietly simmering 60103 – we began our journey back home.
We caught the first train bound for Three Bridges (to Brighton) and retraced our journey from (much) earlier in the day. With the train making a hum and gentle swaying it became harder to keep awake (which we did). South of Redhill we overtook another southbound train showing our required destination so after passing through Gatwick Airport (weirdly, platform 1) we disembarked at Three Bridges and soon boarded the train we overtook, getting home at about a quarter to midnight.
My thanks to everybody involved in running the train; the only delay was around Sleaford, but of absolutely no consequence. Here is a picture of the loco at Huntingdon in the morning.
You can look at the trip in more detail by looking at the attached file (‘Jolly Fisherman Maps and Graphs.pdf’). The YouTube video shot from the adjacent road is within here: ‘’.
Unfortunately, my fellow traveller’s dog (of 16+ years) passed away last Friday. This is sad for us here because we had looked after her on countless occasions, even staying here when he was overseas. Her health had deteriorated over the last six months, even so it was sad to be told. In some ways it may have fortuitous that ‘The Easterling’ had been cancelled, as it probably would not have been particularly enjoyable for either of us. I did step ‘away’ from this report for a few days, but decided to complete it. Sorry it is verbose, but one memory led to another.
Are you all for real? especially whoever you are "steamvideonet". You should keep your offensive remarks to yourself. I'm hardly bloody ignorant and any decent Administrator would have removed your post.
FYI we've been doing the CME in October for years. Last year it was Galatea on the 10th; no diesel; 2019 on the 12th; Lizzie; no diesel; 2018 13th; Galatea; no diesel; 2017 14th Leander; no diesel. This year isn't even a bad leaf fall season yet. Every reason to expect the same this year. Only difference I can see is the Merchant on the front; hence the question about the allocation of locomotive. What a heinous thing to do.
Please, not verbose in any way, shape or form, just a thoroughly engaging and absorbing account of the day's events. I'm so glad you persisted with this, and particularly that you incorporated the full track of your speed graphs, because it has helped me to corroborate my own timings and recordings for the day (also from Coach G, as it happens) and I'm relieved that all of my passing speeds (except Welwyn North on the return, where Scotsman was decelerating rapidly for the turnout onto the up slow at Digswell Junction) line up pretty much exactly with the record presented in your graphs.
The thing that I'm still trying to work out is whether/ where and/ or by how much 47802 might have been assisting, especially on the restarts and hill climbing sections e.g. Sleaford-Rauceby-Ancaster-Barkston-Allington Junction. And also from Grantham South Junction entry onto the up fast (13 mph) to Stoke Tunnel entrance (which I recorded at 49 mph) - 7m 02s for 4.07 miles of climbing at a consistent 1 in 200, with a trailing load of around 375 tons tare/ 400 tons gross plus 47802 (c.112 tons +?). This isn't going to be the start of yet another "box-on-the-back" debate, but I'm reticent to applaud what may well have been some outstanding footplate work on Scotsman without being able to understand this.
In any event, clearly the downhill performances felt good and its worth just pointing out that the brisk running highlighted on the Stevenage -Huntingdon leg did produce a mile-a minute start to stop average over this largely downhill section - 31.26 miles in 31m 04s.
My word, how the crowds turned out for this!! Anything up to 20-30-40 people even at the more minor crossings once we got into the Lincolnshire section of the itinerary. The crowd at Sleaford, for example, almost created a carnival atmosphere surrounding the the proceedings. It is just worth pointing out that on this same day last year, the organisers of ELR 50, commemorating the closure half a century ago, of swathes of the East Lincolnshire rail network, (including the direct Peterborough-Grimsby main line) had hoped to see a special excursion from KGX to mark the occasion which if I recall correctly was to have been organised by UK Railtours and was to have featured 46100. It didn't happen due to the pandemic, but instead, this tour "celebrated" (not the right word, I know) the end of the 50th year and provided a reminder that there is still much to fascinate about this relative backwater of the East Midlands rail network.
I’ll retract my pig headed remark, that was harsh. The rest I stand by.
I’m not interested in the tours you’ve been on. The fact that you’ve been on them means nothing and past form doesn’t mean anything in the modern day. It’s all the times that we’ve had to endure this constant bashing of diesels when there have normally been legitimate reasons for putting a diesel on the back.
The constant slagging off of Vintage Trains (in just about every comment posted in the VT thread) for one of the recent runs because there was some pushing from the back just illustrates the ignorance. There obviously was a reason for it. The driver of the 47 doesn’t just think “I’m bored” and throw it into full power. There is always a reason why. You’d have thought it was the end of the world judging by that thread.
What is apparently constantly forgotten is that we aren’t running steam tours on steam era infrastructure. If something goes wrong, there isn’t a spare locomotive 5 miles away. It’s a painstaking task of rescuing a tour, impacting hundreds of commuters who simply don’t get the appeal of steam like we, the enthusiasts. do. The fact that the steam+diesel combination is allowed on the main line is a privilege enough. If we get unassisted steam, it should be treated as an honour and not a given right because a handful of people are interested specifically in loco performance. Trains are running at up to 125mph and it’s surely not difficult to understand that there is a need to move a slow moving steam charter in a hurry. If that means assistance, then so be it.
The reason I challenged the comment to Mr Shuttleworth so vigorously (/harshly) was simple. Calling him out like you did does absolutely NOTHING other than get peoples backs up. He doesn’t come on here to get a grilling from a diesel hater, I’m sure. The fact that you called him out, like he is the person to beat this stick with, practically demanding an answer just seems wrong.
WCR have their reasons for putting BIL out on Saturday. It doesn’t matter why. The fact is, they are, and with a diesel supporting. It isn’t a bad thing to have insurance, no matter how bad the leaf fall is. WCR are obviously playing it safe and on some challenging lines in October, they are entitled to do that. It is their operation. Not yours. Not mine. Not anyone else’s.
You’ve booked on a tour with no fixed guarantee that a diesel will be left behind. I just don’t get how you can complain that there’s going to be support from a diesel when you know the terms and conditions? Bad stuff happens and a diesel can be added. That’s the reality.
Perhaps worth looking in a little more depth at those October CMEs. Here are the last 4, all had similar speed at Whalley (47-50mph) all ran in dry conditions albeit the 2017 was dry following rain earlier in the day.
Oct 2020 (45699+12) - slipped around site of Wilpshire old station down to 9mph
Oct 2019 (6201+11) - slipped around site of Wilpshire old station but 21mph approaching summit
Oct 2018 (45699+11) - no problems 15mph approaching summit
Oct 2017 (45690+12) - slipped to a stand around site of Wilpshire old station, exceptional skill by Mick Kelly to restart.
As for the choice of loco; adhesive weight of a Jubilee is 134,400lbs cw 145,376lbs for the MN, so the MN should "stick to the rails" a little better. The MN is around 17tons heavier so needs to exert more pull when climbing a bank. It is climbing and starting/restarting that 4-6-2s may suffer a disadvantage cw 4-6-0s when there is a shift in the centre of gravity backwards, transferring weight from the driving wheels and onto the carrying wheels and losing some of the "sticking force". Both locos have 3 cylinders; this delivers "smoother" pull than 2 and 4 cylinder locos. Overall, probably not much to choose between them unless trying to restart.
Based on past experience 12 coaches up Wilpshire bank in autumn with possible rain forecast is to WCRC, irrespective of the loco, an unacceptable risk. It is often said that the profit is in the last coach, but it appears that is also where the problem lies. Perhaps your ire should be directed at Kelly (RTC) for booking the extra coach, but after the last couple of years that they have experienced - perhaps not.
Has it helped that a half decent administrator has edited the quote to remove the contentious remark?
Maybe since steamvideonet edited his post and has apologised you could do the decent thing and gtaciously accept his apology.
As an aside I would reiterate that the mods team do not peruse every line of every post since we have lives to lead outside Nat Pres, you could of course use the report button then our attention is drawn to the post in question.
47245 will remain on back to Preston owing to adverse track conditions, however, its driver is under strict instruction only to apply assistance when requested by Driver Rawlings.
5 minutes Tebay to Shap summit.
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