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Spa Valley Railway - Latest News

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by matt41312, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Who has drawn the short straw to get it connected up and the warning fire in tonight?
     
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  2. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl New Member

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    Just part of a post I made a few days ag0. And, as if by magic, 34066 will be returning to 75F nearly 60 years after working a leg of the Surrey Downsman Railour on 24 March 1964!! 34072 in disguise of course.

    A fabulous change to the coming weekend, so very many thanks to the Spa Valley Railway for doing that.

    I had a number of runs behind that loco in the mid 1960s - all on the Waterloo to Bournemouth line. A good day behind it on 10 April 1966; down on the 09.30 ex Waterloo, 82 max at Winchester Junction, and then after shuttling up and down the main line during the day behind other Bulleids, a nice run back on the 18.58 ex Southampton, the up excursion. But I think my best run behind Spitfire was on 17 August 1966 when it was on the 18.15 Weymouth to Waterloo, a mixed passenger/mail/parcels train. A reasonable load of 11 vehicles for circa 315 tons tare. Driver Jackson of Nine Elms (I don't seem to have noted the firmans's name), made a steady start from the Winchester stop, then the Bulleid was opened up very nicely to go over Roundwood summit at 66 mph. After which we had a nice even time run (60 mph or more start to so stop average) from Basingstoke to Woking with running in the high 70s and low 80s.
     
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  3. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    A heads up, this week things really have been against us but we are trying our best. The 2MT was delayed due to haulage issues, Reid Freight stepped in at the last minute to get the locomotive to us.

    Timetable - Friday 9th February 2024
    • The 08:50 Brake Van Ride from Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge will be hauled by Caledonian Railway No. 828 with Class 73/1 73140 inside to Eridge.
    • The 09:30 Brake Van Ride from Eridge to Tunbridge Wells West will be hauled by Caledonian Railway No. 828.
    • The 09:30 Set A from Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge will be hauled by Bulleid Pacific 34072.
    • The 10:10 Set B from Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge will be hauled by Caledonian Railway No. 828 and then work to the timetable so long as nothing else changes which is the 11:50 from Eridge so 828 lays over as planned.
    • The 10:10 Set A from Eridge to Tunbridge Wells West will be hauled by Bulleid Pacific 34072 and then work to the timetable so long as nothing else changes which is the 11:00 from Tunbridge Wells West.
    • The 11:00 Set B from Eridge to Tunbridge Wells West will be hauled by Class 73/1 73140.
    • After this we plan to work to the planned timetable.
    Bulleid Pacific 34072 '257 Squadron' appearing as 34066 'Spitfire'
    Bulleid Pacific 34072 '257 Squadron' has been renamed and numbered as long since scrapped classmate 34066 'Spitfire' which hauled the RCTS/LCGB "Sussex Downsman" railtour on 22nd March 1964 which went through Tunbridge Wells West.
    [​IMG]

    BR Standards 78019 and 80078

    80078 has been worked on solidly all day and is now about to be warmed through, the loco needs steam testing in the morning and if successful the locomotive will operate from the 12:40 from Tunbridge Wells West onwards. The loco required a replacement main steam pipe and various other elements reassembling but the engineering team have done it.

    78019 arrived and was finally in the shed after shunting etc around 18:00, it has been examined cold and now needs a steam test to finish its fitness to run exam which will be done in the morning, if all is successful the locomotive will operate from the 11:50 from Tunbridge Wells West onwards.
     
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  4. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Can we assume that if everything goes to plan on Friday then Saturday will run as advertised? Currently working out how to manage my day.
     
  5. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    Yes, that is the plan. Sorry it has been rather last minute, we weren't anticipating these things to crop up.
     
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  6. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl New Member

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    With all the extra work that must have been going on at 75F today, it's incredibly thoughtful and helpful @Jonnie to take the time to update us so well, very many thanks for doing that.

    Fingers crossed all goes to plan for you now - from my point of view that is said purely in the hope that all at 75F will avoid any more bursts of heavy, unplanned work being thrust on you at very short noice.
     
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  7. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It's always frustrating when things don't work out as planned, but it makes a massive difference to people's attitudes when the reasons for the changes are explained.
     
  8. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Agreed
     
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  9. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Seconded. If people at the Railway can spare the time to keep the community updated it does so much for the shared understanding of all and that makes for a more positive response if there is a hiccup.

    I know that on the big Railway there are other factors at play but a few main line operators could learn a lot from the 'Spa' about how to keep people on side. But there again, maybe it's just that those at 75F care rather more than elsewhere.
     
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  10. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    I'm pleased to see that 34066 Spitfire is "flying again" at 75F. It reminds me of the last time I saw it while spending a very pleasant afternoon at the end of the platform at Basingstoke. It was a warm sunny Saturday in July 1966 and it seemed that at the same time a rather important football match was taking place up the road at Wembley. The youth with a transistor radio was very popular with passing engine crews who all wanted to know how the match was going. There must be millions who think back fondly to that afternoon at Wembley but for me my memory will be of the time spent here. 66-7-30 34066 copy.jpg

    Peter
     
  11. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    Both Standards currently on shed still at 11:15.

    Edit: 78019 now moved off shed. 5 mins later ^
    11:50 edit - 80078 out of the shed too
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2024
  12. A1X

    A1X Well-Known Member

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    Just stick a pretend number plate on the front of 73140 and claim it's a Standard Five
     
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  13. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain Member

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    Timetable has slipped a bit but both Standards are out and on the correct trains. Well done to all those who worked hard to get them up and running!

    IMG_20240209_124913.jpg
     
  14. Charles Parry

    Charles Parry Member

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    Fab day. Caught Lady Ingrid's first run which was great fun, the smell of smoke will take a while to come out of my hoodie. Spent the rest of the day riding at the TWW end of the A set, meaning a ride behind every loco. The Caley and 2MT double header was a particular highlight with some very spirited running. Trains weren't very busy but the morning rain was probably to blame. The timetable did end up about 40 down, apparently due to the brake van rides taking too long in the loop. Wish I could have stayed lated for a brake van ride in the dark.

    I hadn't visited the line since before the extension to Eridge and it is good to see things nicely solidified. Indeed my prevailing memory was a judery run up the line in which the industrial tank in charge having to stop for a blow up, so things have certainly come on since then.
     
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  15. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl New Member

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    A really great day, spent in the Goombridge area as I do like to get railway infrastructure into my photos from time to time.

    The usual nice welcome on the platfrom by the Spa Valley Railway volunteers and the usual lovely coffee from the kiosk there.

    Nice to see a lot of appreciation amongst the fellow gricers I spoke to (I do rather chat as much as I type in my posts here!), for all that had been done to get back onto the full timetable so quickly.

    A few photos, very low res as usual, but they seem to show ok here. The highlight for me was certainly 80078 doubleheading 34066. But everything else came close to that.

    001-34066-Groombridge-Jctn-10.10-Eridge-9Feb-2024.jpg


    004-Groombridge-80078-12.40-TWW-34066-12.40-Eridge.jpg

    005-57566+78019-Groombridge-Jct-13.30-Eridge-9Feb-2024.jpg


    006-80078+34066-Groombridge-Jctn-14.20-Eridge-9Feb-2024.jpg

    007-80078+34066-14.20-Eridge-9Feb-2024.jpg
     
  16. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    A rather wet day at times today but trains appeared well loaded - especially the brake van trips! Word of warning to anyone planning to use the footpaths over the weekend: take waders/dive suits as everything is understandably VERY wet and muddy.
    Ingrid did well on her first public trips since 2008 (I believe?), but my highlight perhaps was the double header of the Caley and 2MT- echoes of Aviemore and possible sights were she back up at the Strathspey. Intentional or not, it was a nice combination I felt.

    Echoes of Aviemore.jpg
    Maiden Voyage.jpg
     
  17. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    Sorry the timetable slipped today, it was a combination of brake van rides and shunts to get the double headers formed up as planned. We did have to cancel the 18:30 Brake Van, if it'd gone the reality is I'd have been over hours and with such limited resources (every driver and fireman we have is rostered this weekend, there is no spare people) the Standard 2 would have been sat in the shed until 10:00 tomorrow.

    Anyone booked on the 18:30, I'm sorry it was cancelled, refunds for the supplement paid online have already been issued and should appear straight away in your bank account. We'll try and make things work better tomorrow.

    Driving 34066 today was good fun, although a Bulleid on 4-coaches is a little bit restrained compared to driving it on 7-coaches, the Queen Mary and a diesel in tow as we do at Polar!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2024
  18. nickb

    nickb New Member

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    Great day at the Gala today - thanks all who made it happen.

    Looking forward to tomorrow!

    Full collection of photos from today at https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjBdAh1
     
  19. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Well-Known Member

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    Great photos there - especially the night shots. Very atmospheric.
     
  20. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl New Member

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    Another wonderful day put together by all those at the Spa Valley Railway - very much appreciated - as again was the excellent de-caff coffee and Bakewell tart from the kiosk on Groombridge platform! Albeit I did leave after watching, with big brother Don and my nephew, 34066 nicely taking the 14.20 from Eridge up the climb between High Rocks and TWW - I've done a lot of walking around Groombridge recently and I rather needed to get some rest back at home. But I've been watching events since I got home on the Groombridge webcam!

    I started the day at Groombridge Junction, trying to get photos to match those I took there in April 1962 - and the match between the photo I posted in #1005 and the first one below is the nearest I've got so far - both BR Standards, albeit 78019 or any others in the class didn't work on the SR - as far as I know.

    Highlight for me today had to be 78019 and 80078 doubleheading the 12.40 Eridge.

    001-80078+78019-Groombridge-Jctn-08.50-TWW-10Feb-2024.jpg


    004-80078-Groombridge-Jctn-10.10-Eridge-10Feb-2024.jpg


    006-78019-80078-Groombridge-Jctn-12.40-Eridge-10Feb-2024.jpg


    007-Groombridge-loop-34072-12.40-TWW-crosses-78018-80078-12.40-Eridge-10Feb-2024.jpg

    008-78018-80078-12.40-Eridge-restart-Groombridge-loop-10Feb-2024.jpg

    010-34072-Climbing-from High-Rocks-14.20-Eridge-10 Feb-2024.jpg
     

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