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Sunset Steam Express. Selected Tuesdays, July/August 2022 (Windsor trips cancelled)

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Paul.Uni, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    If that's the exam qn, my 2022 answer is--- the 25 or so WCR trains to Carlisle from various places are very likely to be diesel free, fire risk and leaf fall aside. So too the Shakespeares and of course the Jacobite.

    The GB spring tour is priced to include separate diesel paths wherever practicable.

    There is Belmond for the deep pocketed.

    There are other examples like Worcester and hopefully Somerset and Dorset.

    Everything else--don't bet the farm!

    So, not quite over and enjoy it while you can. It will be interesting to see the Tornado programme when it is back in one piece. Also the Scarboroughs ; that could be a good run but no RTT yet, we will see what they do on Thursday.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2022
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  2. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    The Windsors are completely gone from the website, with the home page saying they will resume in 2023. Obviously yesterday's events of them not running have met the whole season. Sunsets are still on the website but as you say, state to be sold out.
     
  3. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    That's just as I see it. And the other thing that's gone is the one-off itinerary on an obscure but interesting route. I expect that the RTC has now given up trying to turn right after leaving Newcastle northbound, coming back again at Morpeth.
     
  4. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    A fair number of tours do still run with pure steam. The trouble is that very often you don't know for sure in advance whether you will get pure steam or not or, even worse, you're expecting pure steam and a diesel is added at the last minute. For some people those are total deal breakers, for some they are annoying but tolerable, for some they don't really matter much.

    We should perhaps be asking ourselves what exactly we wish to get out of a steam-hauled railtour. If it is the sight and sound of the loco, a diesel on the back makes no difference if it is there only for shunting at the destination and/or electric heating, and not much difference if it only provides a shove occasionally. On the other hand aircon coaches make a big difference.

    If we're interested in locomotive performance, what exactly the diesel does matters a lot, but with or without a diesel there are many other factors at play, notably the state of the rail, the skill of the crew (both driver and fireman) and the quality of the coal.
     
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  5. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think there is small caveat with the Carlisle trains as it seems to depend how busy it is on the day with other excursion traffic. WCR/NR seem pretty cool with doing a no diesel turn around as long as the station is not clogged up with other tours doing the same.
     
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  6. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Or on some days ECML diversions as well. The day of the ascent of Shap by Galatea with Britannia following both tours never accessed Citadel as it was a diversion day. A very long day on the CCE from and to Euston without being able to get off anywhere, although diesel free of course.
     
  7. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    I hope you're right, and I freely admit to having done no analysis. In the case of the 'Sunset Steam Express' the diesel could be left at Battersea but is taken for the whole journey - does that come under the heading of operational reasons or insurance? At least last night's was in 1960s green, but that was in stark contrast to the IC mk3s! Not complaining, just noting. My video link is here:
     
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  8. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    I was talking to someone yesterday evening who thinks that the Windsor runs are suffering owing to there being no/not enough LSL drivers who sign the route. Presumably driver route learning this year is supposed to allow 2023 resumption, but who knows?
     
  9. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    you would have thought all of that would have been taken into consideration before the deal was struck . Nothing hits business harder than having to let down booked customers . For the sake of three months (and I appreciate subject to no other factors) why would you not have stuck with your existing TOC

    Irrespective of the ins and outs of the sale the customers , the fare paying passengers lose out . I also don't buy the argument that the public are less concerned on stock . I think many now , even if not enthusiasts are buying the experience and know what feels old and what they can travel on the chilterns on a daily basis
     
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  10. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    In this instance there is a very simple operational reason for the presence of the diesel. Last I heard Black 5s are not fitted with ETS (electrical train supply) which is quite handy to have if you have a train consisting of air-con coaches.

    Peter
     
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  11. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    Great point which I had completely overlooked! Pesky air-con! Railway Herald tells me that the 47 and ECS are back at Crewe with nothing showing coming down again next week. On the off-chance that RH is correct, does this mean a different rake next week?
     
  12. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    See upthread thy are cancelled for the rest of the year.
     
  13. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Is that the Sunsets as well? They're still on the website but showing fully booked, while the Windsors are completely gone and the homepage says it resumes in 2023.
     
  14. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    I thought that was just the Windsor runs. Are the SSEs also now gone?
     
  15. D1002

    D1002 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The SSEs are still there, but are all showing fully booked.
     
  16. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    Quite, therefore my point/question was, is it expected that a different rake will appear next week, as the mk3s are back at Crewe (or are they still down south) and there is no move shown to bring them back again?
     
  17. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    It's all getting rather confusing what's going on. The Windsors are indeed all gone, homepage says they will resume in 2023. The Sunsets are still there, but showing as fully booked, and the home page says this years season resumes on Tuesday 12 July. Not this coming Tuesday on the 5th

    Not much has been said from Steam Dreams about all this, though their first point of contact should be their passengers, and I'm guessing they've at least contacted passengers who were on any of the remaining Windsors (anyone on an upcoming Sunset run had an update?), and with no timings on RTT, which would be indentical to the previous run, alongside the 'going over to LSL' scenario, the big question is have they bitten off more than they can chew?

    What I say next is pure speculation and nothing more than rumours, but apparently LSL didn't approve of the Windsors (not taking enough passengers), and there's also the message @Deepgreen said futher up that LSL don't have enough drivers who sign the route (guessing the option to hire DB Crews wasn't on the table either). On top of that apparently the 'complaints' from the general passengers (not just enthusiasts who want something authentic to travel in behind steam) about the Mark 3's have made them reconsider running the Sunset runs
     
  18. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    From a different forum this was the email issued yesterday apparently.

    “ We do apologise for the disappointment this decision will cause. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to secure our nostalgic heritage carriages for the date of your trip and instead we would only be able to offer you a more modern 1970’s Intercity set which we feel very strongly would not provide you with the experience you were expecting and the on board atmosphere we pride our ourselves on delivering.

    We appreciate this decision will be of huge disappointment to you but would like to reassure you this is only for the short term and we will be returning to our vintage carriages next season.“

    MC

    Who has "nostalgic heritage carriages" kicking around as Saphos still not to seem to have a full Mk1 set.
     
  19. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Rivera who it was stated somewhere might be selling them later this year, currently at Eastleigh. From those listed on the
    Railway Heritage database owned by LSL at Crewe and Eastleigh ( have they got any elsewhere ?)they are lacking TSO's
     
  20. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm not certain that any Riviera stock is at Eastleigh. Burton maybe.
     

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