Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by JBTEvans, Oct 30, 2020.
Well BIL is due to run on the HML in April with the Great Britain tour so part of the route will be gauged for a Bulleid pacific. As the Aberdeen line is more friendly than the Inverness line in terms of gauging then getting Braunton to run on the Aberdeen line shouldn’t be a problem but it depends on the intentions of Saphos particularly if Braunton is likely to be 3rd choice loco. Does anyone know when Britannia is due to go out of service for overhaul?
It's not about whether a loco is gauged for a route. It is about whether a loco has been gauged recently. I think that any gauging only lasts 12 months so even an A4 - meaning a specific A4 - has to be gauged again irrespective of whether it ran the line previously.
That said if a loco has run in the past there is a reasonable chance it should still be able to run on the line but there is no guarantee of that. Clearances change or move due to track movement or engineering work.
I knew it was complicated but not that complicated! I would hope that if BIL runs over part of the route in April it should be ok to get Braunton gauged. The thing is though even myself as an avid rail enthusiast struggles to understand the gauging rules so what chance does that give a member of the general public who isn't a rail enthusiast.
Also worth noting is that just because one member of a class has been gauged for a certain route, others will not automatically be deemed ok. I think there was a case of jubilees on the Cumbrian coast, a case of the steps at the front slightly different?
Already under overhaul and hoped to be back in service in 2021 going on the report in the latest Heritage Railway issue.
Will it have a new boiler certificate or is it just an extension to its existing certificate?
New certificate as I understand it.
Thats good. Was booked on the Forth Circle in 2010 with sister engine Oliver Cromwell but unfortunately I was stranded abroad thanks to the effects of eyjafjallajokull! Desperate to see either Britannia or Oliver Cromwell in Scotland in the future and give me the chance of travelling behind a Brit.
Have seen IR loco's measured for envelope using equipment, that creates a set of readings, along the loco's length.
This was done by NR from memory, and helped to make sure the loco was within gauge compared to the last time it was measured, and that helped in RA for the loco, within a NR route database.
Would be surprised if this is not used by others, alternatively it may have been ditched, seemed to make sense though.
Some, but not all, mainline registered steam locos have been measured by laser equipment by Balfour-Beatty.
Any steam loco newly registered in the past 5 years or so has been done. Many other have also been measured.
This work was at the expense for the owners.
Network Rail, following representations from loco owners and steam TOC(s), is currently undertaking a project to check steam locos with BB laser models over the UK rail network.
The intention is to create an effective map for each loco with permitted routes, so that operators, promoters and owners know with certainty that a loco will fit.
This should replace the current ad nauseam process of gauging each and every loco for each and every tour, with risk of late notice of foul gauge.
It should also make 11th hour substitutions less fraught.
I seem to recall a few years ago that Network Rail had a problem gauging Class 50’s for certain routes until it was pointed out they were smaller than Class 47’s.
Rather interesting now that when 50007 and 49 work for GBrF they don’t seem to have those problems now, even for moves with less than 24 hours notice.
That was because class 50s were removed from Sectional Appendices upon withdrawal by BR in 1994.
Although 50031 et al were back on the mainline within 3 years, 50s were initially re-registered as heritage vehicles.
Then there was a bit of a mix up with a new definition of “locomotive gauge”. Someone decided to try to include anything that may be moved on the mainline, including the prototype Deltic!
Which doesn’t really fit anywhere.
For a while 50s were gauged as “loco gauge (prototype Deltic size).
Which caused all sorts of problems.
Eventually, locomotive gauge was shrunk to basically class 47 size and overthrows.
Does the 15,000 mile rule for ‘Heritage Loco’s’ still apply?
Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but if anyone has been watching the "Worlds Most Scenic Railway Journeys" series - narrated by A list actor Bill Nighy no less - I discovered there is one about LSL's Cornish Riviera Express from earlier this year, which was a 2 day diesel-hauled trip to Penzance and Kingswear that ran under their Statesman brand.
I watched it last night and thought it was quite decent, despite all the usual errors such as footage being played backwards or recorded on different days that you always get with programmes like this. Hearing one of my favourite actors talking about "Class D47s" and "BR Mk 2s" was quite amusing.
Here is the link to watch it online: https://www.my5.tv/world-s-most-scenic-railway-journeys/season-3/episode1
Sad you missed that trip; have a belated Christmas present / memory on me !
Has anyone looked at booking a Saphos trip recently?
My brother and I have credits of £95 each from a cancelled trip to Bristol and Bath last year but I'm puzzled by this year's offerings.
The Bristol Forty looked tempting but when I checked it out second class was sold out so we looked at first, only to find our £95 credit wouldn't even half cover the cost of the cheapest seats available on the trip, as the first class fare was £200 per person.
Looking further ahead, there is a trip to Salisbury in September which looks interesting. Again, if we fancy first class they levy a £35 per person supplement, as we must have a guaranteed table for two, presumably on the grounds of Covid separation. But if I look at second class, there is no supplement, and we can book two seats around a shared table of four. Have they found a way to banish Covid risk from second class whilst still being unable to do so in their first class stock, or am I missing something obvious? Even after 2 jabs, I'm not sure I'll be comfortable sitting opposite a stranger, breathing on each other from two or three feet distance for many hours.
Edited to add: Just downloaded their current brochure from the website. Second class for the trips I've looked at is only £99 in the brochure, not £120 as per the website. I could understand a £21 hike if it were to do with reduced seating, but this does not appear to be happening in second class. Even more puzzled now...
Having booked in first class on the Aberdonian on 25th July I understand your issues as I would also be uncomfortable being near someone out with my household bubble. I’m also concerned that come June/July restrictions (which will still be 100% necessary in my opinion) might have been lifted in England but not Scotland. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon not expecting to fully lift restrictions until well into 2022. With West Coast Railways the protocols around masks and social distancing are clear whereas with Saphos they aren’t.
As a single traveller I can't book Saphos but I don't think they are selling £99 tickets at the moment. They show as Sold Out for every single trip all year. I believe all their trains are running as First Class only.
There seems to be several issues at play here.
First, I think the downloadable brochure must simply be out of date, which isn't very professional. All the trips showing as £99 in this brochure show on the website as £120. I suspect it's simply a price increase, but where Saphos have not updated all their available media.
Second, yes, I see there is a minimum booking of two passengers, but this in itself seems at odds to what they are offering later this year. Why do Saphos feel it's safe for two unrelated groups to share a table of four, but unsafe to allow four unrelated passengers to share the same table?
And finally, I agree it seems many are first class only; certainly the earlier ones. But look further ahead, and as I mentioned in my previous post, second is definitely showing as available. Looking, for example, at the 4th September Magna Carta trip to Salisbury, I can select second class, and two passengers, and the fare comes up as £240, with a note that it is "2 seat(s) at a shared table of four".
My initial reaction was that I didn't fancy the risk, but the more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards thinking it's probably reasonable. I guess if a rogue variant of Covid rears it's head between now and then, Saphos and others will have to review their MO, but that apart, I guess I'll have to test how good my jabs are some time, or I'll never do anything...
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