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Spa Valley Railway - Latest News

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

  1. Brockenman

    Brockenman New Member

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    They are 2 superb photos and you were lucky as the timetable said that final run was to be none stop but it stopped.On the photo of 828 that's me at the first window behind the loco I was at the window for the whole amazing run back to T T West,the sounds and sights of 828 were superb.Hard to believe it's almost 125 years old.Many thanks for posting them.
     
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  2. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    It was me that apologied upon arrival, I'm glad you enjoyed the run with 828. I've rather a large soft spot for that engine and have learned in the last couple of years just what she'll tolerate and what she won't.

    She was set at 4th notch off midgear last night the regulator probably around 60% open and she was left to get on with it. She was on the cusp of priming, the loco doesn't have a blow down valve so we do routine water changes and she was on day 5 since the last one yesterday and you could see the water starting to get a bit soupy in the boiler. Nonetheless, you can coax that engine and with gentle nudges on the regulator she'll sure put on a show, you know she's happy because the bark from a Caley is certainly a distinctive one!

    My fireman was on the ball too, as was the fireman I had on 828 the previous evening. It is an engine that even on our line if you're not on the ball it'll let you know about it.
     
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  3. Brockenman

    Brockenman New Member

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    Hello again and many thanks for explaining about the loco and from reading it, I and everyone else who was there will agree she certainly put on a show.Cheers again
     
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  4. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl New Member

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    I'm very used to pushing my Nikons to the limit in low light/owl safe night photography of Short-eared Owls - but it's been a long time since I did any night photography of steam locos. Time to start again!

    Attached is a sequence of night photos of the late, and therefore night running 16.50 Eridge on the Sunday evening of the recent outstanding Winter Steam Gala. 34066 into Groombridge loop, and then 34066 piloted by 2315.

    The sequence (with a very liberal use of my imagination!) takes me back to the many days I, and other gricers, would alight from the 21.20 Waterloo - Bournemouth train at Brockenhurst; watch and listen to the Bulleid as it restarted and climbed the 1/176, 1/200, 1/241 and finally the 1/103 up to and beyond Lymington Junction on inky black nights as midnight approached. Then a wait on the up platform for the first sighting of the lights of the mail train drifting down the grade, sometimes in the rain as on Sunday, before it came to a halt and we boarded it. Looking forward to some sleep on another overnight steam bash, or a night of more train timing if it was known a good crew were taking over at Southampton.

    The first of the photos below was at ISO 102,400, all the others at ISO 204,800 on my Nikon D780 using my Nikon 28-300mm lens. Very low res images as usual, most with only a small amount of noise reduction applied so far. As mentioned in an earlier post, the rain certainly helped.

    Bryan

    074-34066-16.50-Eridge-into-Groombridge-loop-at-night-11Feb-2024.jpg


    076-2315-34066-16.50-Eridge-arriving-Groombridge-night-11Feb-2024.jpg


    077-2315-34066-16.50-Eridge-arriving-Groombridge-night-11Feb-2024.jpg


    078-34066-16.50-Eridge-at-Groombridge-night-11Feb-2024.jpg


    080-34066-cab-16.50-Eridge-at-Groombridge-night-11Feb-2024.jpg


    081-34066-cab-16.50-Eridge-at-Groombridge-night-11Feb-2024.jpg

    083-34066-driver-16.50-Eridge-Groombridge-night-11Feb-2024.jpg
     
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  5. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    There’s something lovely about trains at night isn’t there? :)
     
  6. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    This weekend the BR Standard 2MT and 4MT are operating again, a timetable is available on our website here

    There are additional evening services on Saturday night with the two locos top and tailing, this is probably the only chance you'll get to see the 2MT and 4MT operating alongside each other, the 2MT is due to return to the Great Central at the end of the month.
     
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  7. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl New Member

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    Totally agree. I'm not alone in having some wonderful memories of night action from steam locos. So much easier to photograph them these days too.

    Memories of listening to single and double headed German 43 class 2-10-os on heavy freight trains thundering past Gasthof Bruns at Lathen on the Rheine - Emden line, tape recording South African 25 NC 4-8-4s climbing to the summit from Oranje River to Poupan out in the semi-desert Karoo a good few kms away from the Kraankuil 'hotel', and many others too. And now 34066 (with 2315 on the front) waiting outside and then drifting into and waiting departure at Groombridge last Sunday as the rain fell.

    Bryan
     
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  8. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Agreed. Watching and recording double headed nighttime freights over the Jing Peng Pass in the depths of winter was a challenge but a fantastic experience nonetheless.
     
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  9. alts1985

    alts1985 Well-Known Member

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  10. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl New Member

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  11. alts1985

    alts1985 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! Yes I saw yours you posted earlier and reckoned we were on the bridge at the same time, I was up there for half hour or so with my Mum & Dad, moving across side to side depending where the action was, while my wife & son stayed down on the platform.
     
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  12. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Maybe one for another thread? But Last October on a slightly drizzly Bewdley platform I delayed my walk over to the brewery to listen to 7076 head up the bank to Kidderminster (I’ve also done the same with pannier tanks, Ivatt tanks and moguls, Halls, Class 50’s etc, etc :))
     
  13. David likes trains

    David likes trains Member

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    Had a great day at the railway yesterday doing a photo charter with 80078, we were blessed with some lovely weather up until lunch.

    For any one visiting tomorrow I noticed that the Tunbridge Wells half marathon is taking place and some roads will be closed in the morning. The route includes the A26 through Southborough as well as the A264 out towards Groombridge.

    In Groombridge cutting by the loop.
    [​IMG]

    Lealands
    [​IMG]

    Pokehill crossing
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just before High Rocks station.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    My eldests video compilation from a fabulous photo charter with 80078
     
  15. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl New Member

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    Another wonderful day on the Spa Valley Railway as they run a BR Standards weekend with 78019 and 80078.

    The obvious route laid out around the shed/station area was great for photography and viewing the locos close up (first photo not only shows 34066 - not in operation today - and 80078, but also 78019 in the background) - and for chatting to the very helpful Spa Valley guys there. I didn't get the name of the guy who was especially helpful as we chatted about fast runnings Bulleids, and then briefly led me into the mess room to see a photo of 34079 at 75F in normal steam days - a clue to my search for a Bulleid that was possibly briefly lent to 75F for a morning service to London Bridge in 1965; the headcode on 34079 is encouraging! So, thank you very much for your time today - much appreciated.

    My de-caff coffee was taken at both Eridge and Groombridge, same great standard at both as usual, and I did enjoy a return run TWW to Eridge behind 78019 - a new class of loco for me!

    34066 became 34072 during the day - and I was in position at Groombridge as evening approached to try out some more low light photos. Didn't stay for the full night trains (too tired), but did get a couple as darkness started to fall and the signal box and station light started to go on. The second photo below is 80078 arriving on the 16.50 from Groombridge, meeting 78019 on the 16.50 Eridge. Then finally there is 80078 returning on the 17.30 Eridge.

    Very many thanks to all at the Spa Valley for putting on this event just a week after that amazing three day Winter Steam Gala. Hoping to call in again tomorrow!

    Bryan B

    001-34066-80078-78019-75F-17Feb-2024.jpg


    003-80078-arr-Groombridge-16.50-TWW-as-78019-waits-on 16.50-Eridge-17Feb-2024.jpg


    180-80078-arr-Groombridge-17.30-Eridge-17Feb-2024.jpg
     
  16. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    Due to a shortage of volunteers through no fault of their own the timetable on Sunday 18th February has changed from the one we had previously advertised, both 78019 and 80078 will still be in use but only one train will operate.
    • Trains now depart Tunbridge Wells West at 09:30, 10:50, 12:05, 13:20, 14:35 and 15:50.
    • Trains now depart Eridge at 10:10, 11:25, 12:40, 13:55, 15:10 and 16:25.
    • 78019 will haul the 09:30 (double headed with 80078), 10:10, 10:50, 12:40, 13:20, 15:10 and 15:50 departures.
    • 80078 will haul the 0930 (doubled headed with 78019), 11:25, 12:05, 13:55, 14:35 and 16:25 departures.
     
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  17. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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  18. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    if you are at a loose end today and local to Spa Valley cannot recommend the line enough for a visit . All involved at the railway care passionately about it and put so much effort in the make your visit enjoyable . As a line it has come on so much
     
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  19. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    I can endorse that having had my first visit to the line in Saturday’s photo charter ( see photography thread ). Nice scenery and friendly people running it.
     
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  20. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Some of us want to visit, but just can’t seem to find the time at the moment! :)
     
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