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Santa Special's Time tables?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by penny steam, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. penny steam

    penny steam New Member

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    Always an issue at this time of year as most railways don't post the time tables for their Santa Specials, while most have sold out, from a photographic point of view we are left searching for scraps of information.
     
  2. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Do most railways not post departure times from the main station for the purposes of booking tickets? Speaking from experience at the GCRN, trains leave at the same times on every running day, apart from Christmas Eve when the last departure doesn't run. You could always work out times at various points by using a general timetable to work out how far on from the main station they are? (Assuming they will travel at similar speeds). You could always contact the railway and ask them for a WTT for the purposes of photography
     
  3. D1039

    D1039 Member

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    The SVR publishes timetables, wtts and loco allocations.

    (It is more difficult for photographers to contribute to the SVR as platform admittance may be in operation at Kidderminster, parking will be busy there and Arley is the grotto. If you do photograph at the SVR and can find a way of putting some money in the pot - thank you!)

    Patrick
     
  4. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    As Patrick mentions, the SVR publish all the info you need. Look on SVRLive and click on "Traffic Notices and Working TT" and all is revealed. ( no login required).
    The SVR has an intensive 30 minute interval service, starting from Kidderminster at 0945 to Arley. (The Santas dont stop at Bewdley outbound).
    The steam locos this weekend are: 43106, 80072, 34027, 34053, 7802, and 7714.
    As far as I am aware, the service operates with a " turnover" engine, ie at Kidderminster the loco from the previous train takes the next one out, not enough time for running-round as such.
    Looks like no weather issues for this first weekend.

    PS: Don't forget that once the Santas are finished, there is a "Festive Season Service" running from 26th December to 2nd January, open to all, normal fares, just turn up! Includes last runs on the SVR for Sir Keith Park (away to Swanage) and also Erlestoke Manor (ten-year overhaul to commence, loco to be roaded to Tyseley early january).

    46118
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  5. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    You could run round in half an hour, but it's the need to take water as well that is the issue. At Arley an incoming train has about 15 minutes to run round and propel the stock clear of the loop (arrival) platform, without delaying the next incoming service.

    But yes, there are four sets of stock in use, five train engine diagrams, and one loco in steam for carriage heating (that will be 7714 this weekend). At any given time there will usually be one train moving in each direction and one train at each of Kidderminster and Arley doing loading, unloading and shunting.
     
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  6. Clive Hanley

    Clive Hanley New Member

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    Not sure whether this is the correct place to put this but as its a discussion on the SVR Santas I shall post it here.....

    I spent an enjoyable day on the SVR yesterday for the 1st full day of Santa Specials. There's so much going on it's amazing that they manage to maintain the schedule with departures every half hour from Kidderminster.
    The day was pretty dull and overcast for the most part but that never stops me. I did get one pass in sunshine though....

    I hope you enjoy taking a look.... It starts with many shots taken from the footbridge to the south of Kidderminster station of the preparations. All locos point south except 80072. (Good to know)
    http://evergreen.zenfolio.com/p417604738#h9e477801
     
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  7. 46236

    46236 Member

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    good set of pictures
     
  8. Greenway

    Greenway Well-Known Member

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  9. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    Based on last year, and what I observed over this weekend this an approx. timetable for the Swanage Railway Santa operation. (Crossing points highlighted in yellow). The Swanage departure times for the Santa's and the first Dorsetman run are published, the rest I have constructed to form a timetable. Hope it helps anyone planning a visit.
    Three locos used, two turn and turn about on the Santa Specials plus one for the Dorsetman lunch train. Locos on first weekend were 80104 (running as 80146), 31806 with 41312 on the Dorsetman. Both tanks face Swanage whilst the U faces Corfe. Of course both tanks fit the turntable so that could change at any time.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    That looks very intensive! From the pictures, are they 8 or 9 coach sets and how many departures per day? How many Santa passengers do the SVR get a year now?

    Many thanks

    Steven
     
  11. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    Generally they're 8 coach sets apart from the LMS set which is 9 as the coaches are slightly smaller. There are 13 loaded departures plus a final "sweeper" which runs ECS to Arley to pick up the last few return passengers.

    I'm not au fait with the exact number of passengers carried, but understand it to be in the "several tens of thousands" range each year.
     
  12. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    It's around 35000 a year.
     
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  13. Clive Hanley

    Clive Hanley New Member

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    Ventured over to Kidderminster again yesterday (Saturday) to see and photograph the 2nd weekend's Santa Specials on the SVR. I enjoyed the day. In view of the snow and ice I went by train. To get there it cost me £6 return from Henley-in-Arden to Kidderminster 33 miles each way (change at Birmingham Moor Street) but then £8 by taxi for the 3miles to Bewdley. It would have been by train but of course they are direct to Arley only!!! My thanks to Mark for the lift back to Kiddie.

    My photos are here..http://evergreen.zenfolio.com/p117380172#h9f05dcbc

    I hope you enjoy taking a look.
    I will make no comment about the headboard on 80072 except to say I managed to get a shot of the final departure from Kidderminster without it!

    I believe it was a kids drawing competition with the winning entry having their drawing stuck on the front of a loco. It's supposed to be a plum pudding.
     
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  14. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    A lot of Santas are being cancelled today to to the weather....SVR, GWSR.......check web sites for details
     
  15. jsm8b

    jsm8b Well-Known Member

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    Having decided to run on Friday after a considerable snowfall, Telford's Polar Express can be added to the cancellations ! --

    POLAR EXPRESS – CANCELLED ON SUNDAY 10TH DEC
    Hi Folks, as many of you have spotted we have had quite a bit of snow over night! We have sadly taken the decision to cancel the event for today (Sunday 10th December), to ensure the safety of our volunteers and guests. We are going to try and run an extra day to allow anyone […]

    https://telfordsteamrailway.co.uk
     
  16. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

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    Leighton Buzzard, Foxfield and Chasewater all cancelled today too.
     
  17. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Llangollen cancelled.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  18. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    I had planned to go to Llangollen today to see 2807 in action. Good job I decided not to on Friday night! However, I do have sympathy for all those booked for the specials today and also on the GWSR where Santa Specials are cancelled today.

    Given that my general view of this season is akin to the description of a "Great Winter Unpleasantness" where we seem to be ordered to empty our wallets and enjoy ourselves compulsorily, I do find it somewhat ironic that the favourite traditional view of a "Santa Special" should show a snowy landscape but this very weather phenomenon has also meant that such journeys cannot take place, due to snow!

    Leaving my personal, somewhat Dickensian views aside, I do recognise how important these Santa Specials are for Heritage Railways' income stream and I do hope that additional services can run if time and weather permit. (Sorry, but I still find the irony slightly amusing though!)
     
  19. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Did I miss something? Are snowploughs now banned?
     
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  20. Ken_R

    Ken_R New Member

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    I believe that it is the logistics of getting essential staff, who may have to travel some distance, to be present at the appointed need, alongside a necessary requirement for having the platforms suitably cleared for the safety of 'customers'.

    My sympathies are with a crew member that I was talking to yesterday [Saturday]. He had traveled up from Plymouth on Friday and, because of a situation with a [vulnerable] person on a bridge, it had taken him 7 hours.

    He was then rostered for an 04.30 start today [Sunday] readying the Loco. For it all to be then cancelled.

    I feel sorry for the kids, and their parents. These events are so popular that there is little/no chance of re-booking.
     

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