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St Pancras

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by speckledjim, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. speckledjim

    speckledjim New Member

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    Have recently been thinking about what trips to do next year, and noticed that there never seems to be anything out of or too St Pancras. (Please let me know if I am missing something!)
    There always seem to be several from KGX, Liv St and Waterloo etc, but nothing from St Pancras. (Quick web search negative too).
    Just wondered why this is the case? Is it to do with the international terminal or lack of space or a ban on steam there?

    Thank you



    Relative novice, so be kind!
     
  2. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    Relative lack of paths out of the East Midlands platforms, I think they now regret building it with so few.
     
  3. John Webb

    John Webb New Member

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    Even steam-hauled trains originating elsewhere in London have been deterred from using the Midland Main line (MML) in the last few years due to the engineering works to upgrade the line for 125mph running. I don't know how much that will change with the work almost complete, but we then are faced with the electrification north of Bedford. As Simon says, the space for trains to terminate from the MML at St Pancras is limited, which makes it difficult for steam trains to start from or return there.
     
  4. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    The main complication is between Bedford and Leicester where running lines vary between 2 / 3 / 4 lines following the "economy measure" of reducing tracks. In my day [the 1950 - 1970s] it was 4 lines to Glendon Junction then 2 peeled off to become the main line to Nottingham and a connecting pair of lines ran forward to join the 2 lines continuing through Rushton. Even in the 1970s when I was involved on the periphery of the classic D&EG Peak Railtours there was enough capacity to run the trains BUT it was pathed on the slow lines to allow pick-ups at intermediate stations.

    The main problem with the MML is that the powers that be (including the DfT today) underestimate both its value and its popularity and deny the line the funding it really deserves. Had the same level of investment been directed to the MML that has been lavished on the ECML and WCML then I suspect that HS2 might have been found unnecessary.

    But then - as members of the travelling public - we know nowt and certainly less than our political "masters" !
     
  5. speckledjim

    speckledjim New Member

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    Interesting - thank you.
    I am surprised a TOC hasn't (they may well have) tried to get something out of or in to St P. From an enthusiasts view I would say as destinations or start points go then it certainly has that wow factor and would, I imagine, be hugely popular for various punters (glitzy/glamour/steam/nostalgic etc
    Couple more q's:
    With regards to the MML - how does that compare with the ECML for capacity?
    With regards to other destinations out of St P, would anything off the MML be feasible? (Lille anyone - joke!!)
    Thank you
     
  6. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    I think at the time, most sane people would have said 4 would never meet increasing demand, even Marylebone's been expanded to cope.
     
  7. RalphW

    RalphW Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Ah but the 'experts' knew best......
     
  8. leander

    leander New Member

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    We can't get smoke in the canopy of the nice clean station,but being serious if the 4 tracks are put back between Sharnbrook and Kettering and on to Manton there may be a chance to see more steam,UK rail tours seem to have a good relationship with EMT so Mr Farrow may have a chance in the future.
     
  9. houghtonga

    houghtonga New Member

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    I recall a talk at the I.Mech.E. ten years ago when somebody questioned whether four platforms at St. Pancras would be enough, the speaker (a National Express Group executive) explained that Southern Region terminals were significantly more efficient on their platform utilisation that other regions and he could not see why Midland Mainline could not do the same.
     
  10. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    This would be the Southern region with 20 at Victoria and 17 odd at Waterloo, plus Charing Cross, Cannon St and London Bridge ?, the Southern region is also mostly a EMU railway where 2 or 3 units to mutiple destinations joining and splitting en route can occupy one platform, can't do that with a HST or decent length Meridian.

    Even if 4 was sufficient for the time, with passengers numbers going up and up all the time (and they were when St Panc was being altered so that's no excuse), not leaving the door open for future additional capacity without major £££ appears to be a major faux pas.
     
  11. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Member

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    A few years back 34067 did a private chater out of St Pancras which I think went to Kent. So it's possible but unlikely to get steam out of St Pancras.
     
  12. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    I wonder whether the small number of platforms resulted partly from a continuation of the mindset of a decade or two earlier, when the plan was to close St Pancras altogether and share the MML traffic between the Widened Lines and Kings Cross. The MML remains a poor relation in another respect as well: the route march to reach the platforms.

    Still, I reckon an occasional steam special could be fitted in if there was sufficient will to do it. In terms of start and finish times and potential destinations it would clearly be better to run from there than as scheduled on 23rd March, for instance (Kings Cross to Peak Rail and back).
     
  13. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    One point, the EMT section of the station ends outside the train shed.
    Therefore to be "under the roof" would require use of the Eurostar platforms (and immigration etc etc)
    However if that means a tour starting in France with a 231k up HS1 to London, I wouldn't be too upset :)
     
  14. A1X

    A1X Member

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    To be fair we don't know whether they have tried as we won't know they've tried until they've succeeded (by definition).
     
  15. speckledjim

    speckledjim New Member

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    Agreed.
     
  16. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    The EMT section is outside the original train shed but inside the extension. The latter has a lower roof, but I don't think it's as low as Euston, which hosts steam occasionally.
     
  17. AlanW

    AlanW New Member

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    The KX to Peak Rail goes via Manton Junction, so misses Harringworth Viaduct, but RTC do have a trip the week before out of Euston that comes through Kettering & Corby, via the Bletchley - Bedford line, so paths are available north of Bedford. I know they do a few trips each year using that path - I've seen them, hanging out of my back door (well almost).
     
  18. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    In fairness it seems the main problem is line occupancy south of Bedford where paths are few and far between at convenient times.
     
  19. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    Are we sure it's not just actual platform capacity at St Pancras ?, I'm doing a tour in a couple of weeks that goes down the MML to London before going elsewhere, behind 75MPH rated class 20's, so suggests there are 75MPH paths there, even if no huge in number.
     
  20. Paul42

    Paul42 Well-Known Member

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