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STEEL, STEAM & STARS II - Llangollen Rly - 18 to 26 April 09

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by lil Bear, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. basher

    basher Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    Forgive me for interjecting, but surely thats a very short-sighted opinion?

    Whats better? Leaving customers standed at stations, whilst the line is effectively closed to faff around with light engine movements? Or continuing to run a minimal service, to cater for your customers who've paid for a ticket, to get them to/from the event?

    Practically all the steam enthusiasts I know (regardless of how "diehard" they are) appreciate the merits of diesels on preserved railways, if only as a way of getting round, on the first/last train of the day etc. Even those that don't, would quite happily tolerate a DMU, if only as a mode of public transport to a location on the line, to witness/phot the cavalcade.

    We're not asking for a full blown steam service, to and from Carrog - just a practical, easy, convenient way to get to Carrog (for example), and back, without waiting hours at the station. Not all of us have the luxury of cars!

    Hypothetical situation for the organisers: it buckets it down, and Carrog is turned into a muddy quagmire. Sure, there's the miniature railways (worth a look), the beer tent (I don't drink), the station waiting room (packed with people in slowly steaming anoraks, keeping out of the torrential rain), the fields of trade stands etc (all packing up to go home, as its the last day) - whats there to do in a downpour, on a wet cold platform in North Wales, in September? Getting there on the last available service at 15.30, and having to wait with countless other cranks in the cold (how much covered accomodation?) until 17.30ish will not go down well. I'd just pack up and leave.

    So how about the option of arriving on a DMU, or a rake of l/h stock, in the block section or two before the cavalcade? Sure, theres the problems of line-occupancy, with all the various light engine manouvures etc - but if you really plan to cater for your customers, it'd be a wise addition to the timetable. After all, we want to get home at a reasonable time!

    Anyway, if you're attempting to recreate the 1950s (as seems to be the case from the trailer), then a BR Green DMU will fit in perfectly, as will the BR Green class 47 on maroon stock. Although (*puts devils advocate hat on*) if you're being so purist about it being "Steam Only - its a 1950s event", then why are you running a cavalcade in the first place? Not very prototypical...

    -----------

    Put it in perspective chaps; one single line trip, worked by a DMU, over 9 full days of uninterrupted, solid steam working. Isn't much of a sacrifice, is it?
     
  2. 37255

    37255 Guest

    Re: And it begins...

    Have to agree there, I wouldn't envy person in the ticket office who has to explain to Joe public why they cannot get a train for the next 2 hours on a gala day, for which they have paid extra to attend...

    "Well yes, we could run an extra train, but we didn't want to use a diesel"
     
  3. NDTSDN

    NDTSDN Part of the furniture

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    Re: And it begins...

    Thank you Basher for your input.

    My previous post re Diesels was actually referring to the first SSS event and not SSS2.

    As SSS2 is still being planned, suggestions are always welcome.
     
  4. basher

    basher Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    Fair enough - apologies for taking your quote out of context.

    In that case, would it be permissible for me to make a suggestion, for the perusal of the Gala organisers/timetable planners please, in return for some feedback? Whether on group or off I'd like to know your opinion - on that of providing customers with an alternative, for returning to Llangollen post-cavalcade; either a conveniently timed, non-stop diesel service, or a wait for a following steam service.

    Looking at it practically, it has lots of advantages - namely, that you don't leave passengers stranded. A by-product of this is that there are lots of train movements - always useful at galas, particularly at Carrog, which can seem very remote when a train is out of the station. It also gets people home at a reasonable time: remember, people will have travelled a fair distance to witness this spectacle, and with cars parked at Llan, you'll keep the families happy. Its a Sunday afternoon/evening, so for the large majority of punters, "work" will beckon at 0830 the next day - and suddenly, after the cavalcade has gone, the punters will require a way of getting back to Llan, post-action, as efficiently as possible.

    It also includes the DMU boys, who I'm sure would be glad of a trip out!

    I realise that the WTT hasn't been released yet (and probably won't do for some time) - but lets look at a hypothetical situation, on the Sunday afternoon of SSS2. Lets assume that the cavalcade is booked to arrive at Carrog at 1700, perform runpasts in the station, and then depart again at 1735. Thats all well and good - but what if they were to pass a DMU, en route back? Lets assume that a DMU left Llan ecs at 1715 (pass 1725 at Berwyn, 1740 at Glyn) and sits there - the cavalcade will be passing, in the opposite direction, at 1743. Following a swift token exchange, this allows the DMU to depart Glyn at 1745, arriving at Carrog at 1758.

    Assuming a quick turnaround by platform staff, this can be away by 1810 - and bingo, bobs your uncle....punters back in Llan by 1845, allowing time for fish and chips before the long ride home. Manjor advantage? It leaves Carrog without a train for only 20 minutes (the section time plus token exchanges, for Carrog - Glyn - Carrog) - which on a Gala late afternoon, with a platform packed with tired enthusiasts and families, is a damn good thing.

    But what of those who wish to travel back steam-hauled? Lets assume that when the cavalcade arrives at Goods Junction (approx 1800), the loco on the front can easily cut off, and couple onto one of the rakes of stock, presumably stabled in the loop. Assuming a swift coupling up/braketest is completed (and that water doesn't have to be taken), it could be away by 1815 - easily able to pass the DMU at Deeside loop, on its return to Llan. This puts the steam ECS into Carrog at 1845 - where following a runround, it can return at 1905, arriving back into Llan (as the last train of the gala) at 1945.

    Obviously, thats all academic! Bear in mind I'm merely an observer with a bit of an experience of timetable writing, so any errors or timing inaccuracies are purely mine, and mine only. The main aim of putting such a situation to you however, is to try to prove just how viable and customer-friendly the situation is, to the railway - ie, leaving Carrog without a train for only 20 minutes.

    What if the DMU didn't run though, and an "all-steam" service was required?

    Assuming that the above situation occurred, but the DMU didn't run....that leaves Carrog without a train, from 1735 (departure of the cavalcade) to 1845 (arrival of the empty stock). Thats eighty minutes. Even if my timings are incorrect, or a loco is left behind at Carrog to haul the return service, or one is dropped off the cavalcade at Deeside loop, to run back light and pick it up - you're still looking at a deficit of much the same amount of time, whilst runrounds/braketests/shunting occur, and Goods Junction faff around with light engine manouvures. A cold, hard, lifeless station at the end of the day, waiting for a train to take you home, and back to the "real world". Perhaps a little too accurate a recreation of the 1950s?

    Please dont take what I say too literally - I'm merely trying to get across a point, that it makes perfect commercial (and PR-friendly) sense to run the DMU, to leave the punters at Carrog without a train for the minimum time possible.

    Sensible comment from Llangollen chaps and others welcome.

    Discuss!
     
  5. MrPerfection

    MrPerfection New Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    We can certainly look further at the timetable for Cavalcade Sunday afternoon. However, there seems to be two issues here.

    1. You are concerned about getting back from watching the cavalcade. At SSS last year the Bullied 34081 did not return on the cavalcade. It was detached from the rear of the locos and went on to the stock which it had left in the platform at Carrog. This way the punters returned to Llangollen before the remainder of the cavalcade returned. The idea was that the cavalcade returning from Carrog was of less interest once the run pasts had been done. The Punters were happy to get back and away home at this time of day.

    2. You are concerned about the lack of services to and from Carrog whilst the cavalcade assembles. I take your point that the weather could be adverse. I will pass this problem to Lil Bear when he returns!! Possibly a DMU or maybe an Auto train would suffice.

    We are going to make it clear in the publicity that due to the cavalcade the services will be reduced on that Sunday afternoon. It will be in the Leaflet and advertising and on notices on the day. The money you pay on this day is for the inclusion of a Cavalcade (which costs money of course). I have already pointed out in my earlier post, that there are 8 days prior to this for riding trains. Why not come the day before as well to get the best of both.
     
  6. 6880rules

    6880rules Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    I myself missed the last train back hauled by 34081 and i was one of the organisers !

    So out of chioce of ten engines to footplate i chose Foxcote manor to get me back to Llangollen

    This is quite a relevant point and not easy to please eveyone with an answer

    The cavalcade does stuff up the timetable

    I think making a clear, well in advance, statment of what will happen is only way.

    Pushing the point that being at Carrog when the cavlacade happens is the place to be

    Running the longest train backf rom is definatley the way to bring everyone back

    But i think Mr Perfecions idea of running a sort of mopping up train makes sense

    We will see what can be done
     
  7. basher

    basher Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    Cheers for the sensible responses chaps - much appreciated.

    Fair point guv'nor - if I'm honest, I'm afraid I'd forgotten all about 34081s trip, 'umble apologies. If the same can be done in SSS2, that'd be a major plus-point - travelling back to Llan and the parked car in time for a trip back to Cardiff (arriving home at a sensible time!) would be much appreciated. You'll get a lot of respect from gala-goers (aka gricers!) for it.

    Thanks - that would be much appreciated. As 6880rules said, cavalcades screw up the timetable! We're not asking for a continuation of the intensive train service (as you've rightly said, theres the rest of the event to enjoy that - which I most certainly will be!), but merely some sort of 'feeder' service, running half an hour or so beforehand, to allow folks to get up to Carrog to witness the cavalcade, without a ridiculous length wait.

    Without wishing to overstep the mark (or seem overly cheeky, or vocal), can I be permitted to make one more tentative suggestion? That the train immediately before the cavalcade shouldn't be an Auto working - it'll be a wedge, guaranteed. With the demand to witness the cavalcade (a show of its popularity!), it might be an idea to make it a "loco-hauled" service, or perhaps a four-car DMU working. The demand to get up to Carrog will justify more than an auto working, in my eyes, and will prevent over-crowding.

    Thanks for all the positive posts, chaps =D>
     
  8. 6880rules

    6880rules Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    I must draw to your attention not to get to hung up on the last day with the cavalcade.

    This Gala will run for a NINE days thats four days intensive running three of which will be into the late hours

    There will be four themed days during the week

    So hang in there and wait and see.......not long to go now
     
  9. lil Bear

    lil Bear Part of the furniture

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    Re: And it begins...

    OK thanks for the response Basher.

    The main problem with the cavalcade is that we have to shunt the stock all away before the locos can leave to join the cavalcade. To put in in perspective, it took over an hr last week to shunt 3 sets of stock around a couple of weeks ago from River to Llangollen stn, when I was on.

    We have 6 sets to shunt for the gala though.
    - Choc/Cream
    - Blood/Custard
    - Maroon
    - Subs
    - Freight
    - Autotrain

    Even though 1 set will be left at Carrog so people come back after, there will still be 5 sets to shunt. To make it harder if the autotrain is used in sandwhich mode that is slightly harder to shunt as we need to release the loco which adds to time.

    Plus as most shunting is centred around Goods there is the time getting there, as Goods is a section away from Llangollen, which keeps the signalman very busy! To run a pasenger service in the middle of all this is something that I feel should be avoided as it would complicate the shunting manouveres further and delay the time to get the locos to Deeside even further.

    Another issue is set lengths, last time the sets were only just long enough to all fit in River Siding, with the freight stored along the Pentrefellin siding and autotrain in the shed. This time we are hoping to increase the set lengths, and with more tender engines than last time proposed room will be tighter in there still. We may end up having to send some stock into C&W itself which will add further time to the shunting.


    Thanks for your response though, it is the sort of stuff we want to se where we went wrong/right last time and what improvements we need to look at doing. If you have anything further to ask feel free.
     
  10. Broomhalla

    Broomhalla Well-Known Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    Breaking news:
    5199 confirmed for SS&S2 after it's long stay on the Bluebell Railway.
     
  11. midwalesstokie

    midwalesstokie New Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    Interesting thread this. Could I suggest runnuing the freights in the week only, leaving the weekemds free for passengers? Riding the freight last year was good fun, but getting off at Berwyn or Glyn and waiting for a passenger train whilst the freight sailed through meaning you missed a train in LLan wasn't fun. Also could we have less non stop runs? I like to be able to jump on and off trains throughout the sday, something I found very difficult at SSS1.
     
  12. NDTSDN

    NDTSDN Part of the furniture

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    Re: And it begins...

    Thank you for your comments.

    For SSSI it was only the 8 coach set and freight that did not stop to pick up passengers en route. The auto-train, 4 coach and 5 coach sets were used for the intermediate stations.

    However early indications with the SSSII timetable show there will be will be more trains stopping to pick up/set down passengers at the intermediate stations.

    Riding the goods is an experience we wish many visitors as possible to experience. Running the freight midweek will limit this opportunity.

    A little advance planning may prevent being stranded - Timetables were freely available to download from this forum last year. Timetables were also available each day and within the souvenir guide.
     
  13. lil Bear

    lil Bear Part of the furniture

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    Re: And it begins...

    The freight will only be working at weekends as we do not have the same capacity midweek and will not be able to fit such a run into the t/t sadly, plus as NDTSDN has said more people will there at the weekends who will want such a ride.

    Already done, there will be 1 morning non-stop run and 1 evening non-stop run, that is all IIRC. Many people have said exactly the same as you have there, that the express runs got in the way. This should not be a problem this time around.
     
  14. midwalesstokie

    midwalesstokie New Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    Thanks for both your replies. In an earlier thread you mentioned all night running. Is this likely to happen?
     
  15. lil Bear

    lil Bear Part of the furniture

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    Re: And it begins...

    Sadly no, due to certain restrictions it is not presently possible. Can't say too much as I don't honestly know the full situation. All I know is that there we can not have trains running through the night :(
     
  16. malc

    malc Part of the furniture

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    Re: And it begins...

    ..but not necessarily...

    At a recent Llangollen Gala (not SSS), I had everything sorted - change at Glyndyfrdwy for a train back to Llangollen, bus to Ruabon then a train home. Trains were running a bit late, but I'd allowed plenty of time. However, in an effort by the railway to try to regain some time, the train I was on to Glyndyfrdwy was held at Deeside Loop until the train I intended to catch from Glyndyfrdwy passed. With only one platform at Deeside it was not possible to change there, so I had to continue to Glyndyfrdwy and catch the next train - which was a freight. Luckily, I managed to get on (but had to pay the supplement), but I missed my bus at Llangollen, which then meant I missed my train at Ruabon and due to the infrequency of trains through Ruabon, got home about two hours late. Not as bad as it sounds - I enjoyed the trip on the goods and I got home OK, albeit somewhat late, but I could very easily have been stranded.
     
  17. NDTSDN

    NDTSDN Part of the furniture

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    Re: And it begins...

    I forgot about the ongoing connections.
     
  18. Johnny_Cash

    Johnny_Cash New Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    Sounds like a poor regulating decision by the Signalman.

    Does the Llangollen have a regulating statement?
     
  19. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Part of the furniture

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    Re: And it begins...

    At this early planning stage can we have a ban on visitors wearing hi-vis orange jackets or vis - vests. You ain't going trackside so why why spoil countless photos !
    There are also many staff wearing these or vis-vests unnecessarily. I'm not a photographer ,but it annoys me to see these people swanning around at every gala.
    Has any other railway ever considered this ?

    Bob.
     
  20. Flying Fiver

    Flying Fiver Member

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    Re: And it begins...

    Yes can oranges be banned full stop unless needed for going on the track
     

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