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RTC Sussex Belle - 24/11/22

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Crawley Ben, Nov 14, 2022.

  1. Southern Gricer

    Southern Gricer New Member

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    I'm wondering whether it took the Quarry line avoiding Redhill.
     
  2. Southern Gricer

    Southern Gricer New Member

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    I decided to go onto the footbridge at Salfords. Just as well as being on the fast line it caught a couple of people out.

    Fortunately it was working so plenty of steam but no real noise.
     
  3. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    According to RTT it did just that ( I nearly went to Redhill so that, at least, was a blessing), but it was already 13 early by Coulsdon! Either there was a shocking amount of padding or the diesel was shoving a lot, or both!
     
  4. Southern Gricer

    Southern Gricer New Member

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    Diesel was silent at Salfords
     
  5. alts1985

    alts1985 Well-Known Member

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    Victoria to Three Bridges was booked 71 minutes, the stopping trains get 40, so a fair amount of slack in the schedule!
     
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  6. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    A train it was due to follow was delayed, so, rather than wait for basically nothing at Clapham Junction, it was let out early and had a clear run.
     
  7. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    As well as being diverted via Quarry.
     
  8. Crawley Ben

    Crawley Ben New Member

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    I was onboard said train today & the fast/early running was a nice surprise I must admit. Diesel not doing any shoving whilst on the fast line, that I was aware of/noticed. It did however give a helping hand on departure from Hastings this afternoon as the train left late for one reason or another. Even then it didn’t seem to be in use for too long.

    A most enjoyable day, but maybe RTC might consider doing/offering this same trip during the spring/summer months when the weather is likely to be better/more daylight etc.

    Thanks to all concerned for making it happen, look forward to travelling with RTC again soon.

    Ben
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2022
  9. Southern Gricer

    Southern Gricer New Member

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    My shot at Salfords yesterday.
    DSC03512editW.jpg
     
  10. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    My take on yesterdays trip, seen at Hampden Park, Eastbourne, and St Leonards Warrior Square:
     
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  11. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Is there any operational reasons why we don't get more main line steam charters down in Sussex, so far apart from one run with Braunton, and the black five with, the Sussex belle, thats the only time we seem to get any steam, i can't think why a charter could not run from Victoria, to Tonbridge, then anti clockwise, through Tunbridge wells, Robertsbridge, to Hastings, then along the marsh line to Ashford, then returning to Victoria via Tonbridge.
     
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  12. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Well-Known Member

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    I have done that trip in the opposite direction a couple of times - Victoria to Ashford via Maidstone, then the marsh line to Hastings and up to Tonbridge. However, those trips were stopped a few years ago. I believe it was something to do with a guaging issue around Ore Tunnel
     
  13. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    LSL ran a trip recently and it must have fitted through Ore Tunnel without issue, because it ran from Hastings to Ashford and nothing was knocked off, I did hear say, a few years ago, it was more to do with a weak bridge, I'm assuming that was put right.
     
  14. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    RTC ran about 3-4 of these trains in 2010, I think. The gauging issue between Hastings and Ore seems to have been resolved - Braunton went that way in September 2020.
    One factor affecting the relative lack of steam charters in the Sussex and the south east in general is loco availability. Bahamas has been handling a lot of the Southern RTC work these last two years, but both its engineering base and the homes of many of its support crew are in the North of England. Their level of commitment to their loco has to be admired, given it has meant spending nights in the support coach at Southall, next to the busy GW main line. Clan Line, of course, is London-based and is now on RTC's books, but its bread and better work is still with the Pullmans. Maybe we'll see a bit more main line steam in Sussex when 34007 returns to the main line.

    Of course, we don't know what will be the impact of the LSL facility being built at Robertsbridge.
    I quite agree. Personally, I think that the "Sussex Belle" circuit, either in its current format or the previous variant which ran down the Ashford-Hastings line , would make a for more interesting short day out than Steam Dreams' planned Medway Valley circuit which they are using in 2023. On that route, after Maidstone West, there's not a lot of great scenery.
    Thanks for posting. I'm one of the dots standing on the bridge by Willingdon Junction. Shame the train couldn't have run a day later. It has been virtually cloudless all day here in Sussex.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2022
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  15. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Part of the furniture

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    It seems to have been since the completion of the Thameslink programme that steam has become less of a sight in Sussex, so maybe a capacity issue too?
     
  16. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    Wow that was close
     
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  17. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    Sounds great and maybe I should have been on it but as with the Swanage Belle you can never be sure how it will turn out
     
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  18. Shoddy127

    Shoddy127 Well-Known Member

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    Dealing with 3 5's, each one has their own "nick-number" as you say.
     
  19. Romsey

    Romsey Part of the furniture

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    The gradient from Tonbridge towards High Brooms is steep and 34046 needed the assisting DL to push very hard to ascend the bank on the trip a couple of years ago.
    From memory, there are gauge restrictions with a number of larger locos prohibited across the Marsh.
    Furthermore the route is only RA4 between Appledore and Ore with occasional easement to RA6, normally for engineering trains working on that route.

    Then there is the problem of finding a path with an hourly passenger service and unevenly spaced loops across the single line.

    Cheers, Neil
     
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  20. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    The question is are these tours financially viable? I had heard there were quite a few empty seats on the trip this week, maybe @Crawley Ben can confirm as he said he was on it.
     

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