Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by 1020 Shireman, Nov 12, 2021.
Those nice people at Buckfastleigh?
Possibly, they do a good line in thermic syphons. I very much doubt it was a fire door, more likely to be the deflector plate
I only book railtours where the plan is for pure steam haulage for the greater part of the day. The Royal Duchy fits the bill and this was to be my second trip, having previously travelled once pre-covid.
It was good of RTC to inform passengers in advance that the original plan for of steam all the way back from Par to Bristol had to be changed to steam from Plymouth to Bristol only. Shame, but not a deal breaker.
So anyway, to the day of the tour. 6233 made a fine sight arriving at Temple Meads with the empty stock with the low sun glinting off the loco. The coach we were in (F) still had covid partitions between seating bays which I feel should have been removed by now – I really dislike them. On the plus side, the toilets had been upgraded with push-button electrically actuated flushing, and presumably retention tanks.
The outward journey to Par was uneventful, and there was no difficulty meeting the schedule, and no sign of slipping on Dainton or Rattery. On arrival at Par, we elected to go to Charlestown where we had booked a table at the Rashleigh Arms. Just as well, as they were full. It being a Sunday, there was a roast available as well as pub classics. Despite the pub being so busy, service was efficient, and the food was good. The St Austell beers were excellent. Charlestown has a photogenic harbour with a number of sailing vessels moored up. After a quick walk around, we had time for a swift half in the Harbourside Inn where the St Austell Proper Job was in good form. Unfortunately, our plans to acquire some Cornish pasties for dinner were thwarted as one pasty shop was closed, and the other had sold out. In general, there was an out-of-season feel to the place. I think on any future Royal Duchy trips, I will be inclined to take the option to visit Fowey.
As expected, the return journey was diesel hauled from Par to Plymouth, where the diesel was swapped for 6233, the diesel then departing ahead of us. The restart from Plymouth was a struggle for adhesion, but once into Mutley tunnel, there was rapid acceleration on the downgrade towards Plympton and a good speed was carried on to Hemerdon which was topped without any fuss, and again, no signs of slipping. Then, as related up-thread, things went a bit pear-shaped before Totnes and we received over the public address the unwelcome news that at Exeter the diesel was to be attached to assist 6233 back to Bristol. As by now we were running some 50 minutes late, rather more of the journey was then in darkness than was anticipated.
Overall then, a bit of a mixed bag. An enjoyable outward leg, but on the return, much less unassisted steam mileage than we had hoped for, and a late arrival in Bristol. Nevertheless, I do hope that RTC will repeat this tour in future as it is an excellent format. Our thanks to RTC, WCRC, Network Rail, and the owners of 6233 for making it happen.
Great video as usual Alex. Could I ask if you parked at Marlands where you filmed as Ive heard the locals are stopping people parking there?
It is worth adding some figures to the description of the Royal Duchy on 11th September. The load was 9 for around 332 tons tare and 350 gross. The weather was fine to start with, but gradually deteriorated to cloud in Devon and drizzle in Cornwall, which had cleared up by the time of the return trip. Departure was punctual after a late change from the advertised platform 15 to 12 and a steady acceleration managed 48½ mph at milepost 123¼ at the top of the climb out of Bristol. Maximum speed down Flax Bourton bank 64 mph and Yatton was reached in 17 min 59 sec, schedule 20½. Restarting on time, Worle was passed in 6 min 48 sec at 62½ mph, Highbridge in 15 m 57 s at 71½, Bridgwater in 21 m 15 s at 73½ and after a maximum of 74½ descending from the hump over the river Parrott, arrival at the middle platform in Taunton in 33 m 15 s, about half a minute outside even time but.two minutes early.
After being overtaken by a cross country, departure was again on time with speed rising to 59 mph after Bradford crossing then falling to 57 with 58½ at Wellington and 40½ into Whiteball tunnel, 13 m 38 s from Taunton with post 174 in 14 m 51 s and the water stop in Tiverton loop in 21 m 52 s, schedule 22½. Watering went well and restart was 1 early. However there was clearly some trouble at Stoke Canon level crossing with a signal stop beforehand and a ballast train in the other direction also stopped, and after another signal stop approaching the station, Exeter arrival was ten late.
Departure was 15 late after being overtaken and waiting for an up local to arrive, and after a maximum of 71 at Powderham things were taken fairly easily, possibly in the knowledge that the train that had overtaken at Exeter was not far ahead.. Starcross was passed in 10 m 22 s at 60 mph, Dawlish in 14 m 8 s at 55, Teignmouth in 17 m 3 s at 58 and after a maximum of 66½, Newton Abbot in 22 m 18 s. Maximum at the bottom of Dainton was 60 mph with a minimum of 26, recorded approaching the tunnel from my position near the back of the train. Time from post 215 to tunnel entry 3 m 37½ s. The subsequent descent was taken very cautiously, doubtless to allow time for the train ahead to clear the long block after Totnes, and maximum at the bottom of Rattery was only 54½ mph with a minimum of 27½ at Tigley and recovery to 39½ at post 227½. Time from 223 to 227½ 7 m 32½ s, and from Exeter to passing Totnes 35 min, Ivybridge 50 m 30 s, and to Plymouth 65 m 6 s, a minute early. 47813 then took us on to Par, arriving 5 early.
There was some disruption to the regular services at Par and this delayed passengers using the crossing and departure thus was 9 late, but still ahead of the train we should have followed that was over 20 late and seemed to be losing more time. 50 min 1 sec to Plymouth with a signal check before Saltash, though the 55 minute schedule showed a brief pathing stop here, again with 47813..
Changing the diesel to 6233 had to wait for service trains to get out of the way, and departure was 5 late. As has been mentioned, the start was slow, but speed was then worked up to 63 mph after Plympton and the minimum on Hemerdon bank was 24½; time from post 242½ to 238½ 6 m 1 s. There was a sudden stop after Marley tunnel, and it was announced that part of the firehole door had fallen into the fire, but they had a spare and were fitting it (I believe it was actually the deflector). An awkward place to stop, in the middle of the long section down from Aish, and after continuing to the through line at Totnes there were three trains to overtake before we could carry on to Exeter. Speed rose to 48 mph before the steepest part of Dainton bank with a minimum of 20 at the summit and the time from post 221½ to entering the tunnel 5 m 42 s. Time from Totnes to Newton Abbot 13 m 48 s and to Teignmouth 19 m 8 s but there was a signal check at Dawlish before we overtook a local in the loop at Dawlish Warren, and arrival at Exeter 40 m 28 s. As has been mentioned, the 47 was added to the train there, and although the Duchess took water I don't think it did very much for the remainder of the trip which I did not bother to time in the dark, though I noted that Taunton to Yatton was completed in exactly even time despite a signal check 32.8 miles in 32 m 49 s.
Thanks to RTC for promoting the tour and West Coast for operating it.
Surprising that no-one has yet mentioned an email from RTC on Tuesday that The Peaks Express on 25th September is cancelled.
It's not strictly outside their control as they could have done a mailshot to their regular customers or decided to run it at a loss, but the decision is understandable.
They are offering transfer to another trip, credit against a future booking, or refund, which is fair enough.
I'm out of pocket the advance train fares between home and Preston where I would have been joining, but my accommodation in Preston was cancellable.
The Sherborne (and Yeovil) trip in December is still shown in the list. With the issues on the line west of Salisbury, special reduced timetable and 40 mph speed limit etc is this likely to happen? I have not heard if/when NR may be proposing to fix the trackbed. Anybody heard anything?
Well UKRT isn't going there this Christmas and that is usually an annual visit.
Which is interesting now that a trip (diesel hauled) to Beverley is becoming a regular event.
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It depends on when there has been enough rain to improve the moisture content of the affected embankments.
The NR guy interviewed on the local news was talking about "significant rain" then a period of stabilisation before they would think about relaying. No idea how long all that is.
The National Rail website says "The revised timetable is expected to be in place until the end of the day on Monday 31 October." Such a precise date, coinciding exactly with the end of the month, has somewhat the appearance of "wet finger in the air".
That's probably the earliest that they'll review it. The quote is perhaps missing "..., at the earliest."?
15 October trip to York with "Bahamas" now cancelled.
it looks like the CME dated 8th October has been moved to the 15th.
I've booked up for the Bath and Bristol Christmas Market on December 10th and my Mum's agreed to come along as she wants to go to Bath, she came with me on a trip to Lincoln a few years back also during the Festive Period.
For myself, I'm hoping it's 3rd time lucky having my first trip behind 6233, a loco I've only seen once and yet to ride behind (or any Duchess for that matter).
Pity, the 15th October would have been 50 years and a day since Bahamas first run in BLS ownership, a Support Crew who were on the trip 50 years ago were rostered.... again!
Would've thought cancelling one tour and moving another to a week later would effect more people than just cancelling one tour. The CME is a 'regular' trip for RTC, so was it not possible to give passengers on the 8th Oct's CME a choice to transfer to another one rather than move it to a week later and cancel the Bahamas York one?
I suspect the load on the CME may be higher than the York trip.
Bit concerned that's going to put the CME into the Leaf fall Window with the spectre of a box on the back.
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