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Swanage Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Rumpole, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Returned from Corfe today owing to the weather but got some nice shots of 80104
     
  2. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Is 419 still operating on the weekend of 16th/17th March?
     
  3. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    Latest Swanning Around can be found here https://www.srstaff.co.uk/swanningaround/swanningfeb2219.pdf
    Good to see Corfe Signal box repaint coming along nicely.

    Lots of coming and going featured. Some internal shots of Maunsel open 3rd S1346 as returned from Ramparts ready for fitting out. The 108 DMU being loaded to leave for Llangollen and Car14 passing through a snow covered and Corfe Castle on its way back to Ramparts for phase 2 of its overhaul.
     
  4. buzby2

    buzby2 Active Member

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    Fully refurbished Observation Car 14 arrived back from Ramparts on Saturday 9th March looking quite shiny - in readiness for a certain loco's visit in less than two weeks time!
     
  5. steam_mad

    steam_mad Member

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    We're providing an owners rep for it so I presume so! Led to believe it will arrive Wednesday night / Thursday morning.
     
  6. buzby2

    buzby2 Active Member

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    A 33 is scheduled to take 31806 to Arne Road siding for road movement to Herston Works (to undertake axlebox work?). It will bring 419 to Swanage as a return 'load'.
    Looks like 419 went well at ELR. Hope it enjoys being beside the seaside!
     
  7. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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    Are the FS ticket sales selling as hoped for. A riffle through the SR website reveals quite a lot of empty seats(not SaSu} and am i correct in saying that the static dining luncheons have been reduced?
     
  8. Ian Milne

    Ian Milne New Member

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    Static lunches have been reduced. I can’t believe anyone would find £55 for a ploughman’s to be a tempting proposition- even £35 is pushing it imho.
     
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  9. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    Great to see the progress made by the heritage coach team, coming on fast the maunsells are. How many more are due to visit ramparts?
     
  10. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    I believe the commercial people are pleased with the sales so far and we are on track to sell a good % of available seats. We never expected the event to be a sell out (this would imply we under priced the fares). The costs of putting on an event like this have been referred to before and are not insignificant. Costs are already covered tho and we look on track to make a useful profit. This will not be a game changing figure however and has already been earmarked for essential but mundane projects such as P-Way work and locomotive maintenance. I don't have any knowledge of the price reduction you refer to but it sounds like the commercial guys may have made a sensible move here.

    There are also the static display days which are 'turn up and pay on the day'. These should be a useful additional income boost.

    From a Heritage Coach' perspective; non in the short term.

    It will take the team perhaps 2 years or so to fit out and complete Maunsel S1346 during which time they will continue fundraising for the next vehicle in the plan which will be the second Bullied Brake (4366) to complete the Bullied three car set. This will be the only set surviving in preservation in its original consist and was built for the Bournemouth line so the desire to complete this is obvious. 4366 is in dry storage at the moment but is in quite poor condition will need a complete body rebuild by a contractor (Ramparts?) and a substantial amount of cash.

    The way the Heritage coach group work is to have the shell restored of site by contractor and then returned to the railway as a watertight rolling vehicle for the group to create the interior. The aim would be to have a rebuilt body available for the group to move on to after the completion of Maunsel S1346. Allowing for some finishing off of S1381 taking another month or so they will be looking for something to do around the middle of 2021. This would mean 4366 going away around the middle of next year but we are a still a very significant sum away from being able to cover the expected costs. This might force a change of plan.

    Beyond the Bullied three car set there is Bullied TTO 1457 and the two car Maunsell Push Pull set (all in dry storage). Looking through rose tinted specs even further in to the future there is my personal vision of putting together a set of Ironclads for the T3.

    From a MkI perspective; we tend to send one away for a body overhaul every couple of years. I'm not aware of one in the plan for this year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  11. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    Thanks for the run down, its good to see a rolling programme for them all and those that are going to take longer due to condition are at least under cover being kept dry till there time comes.
    The brake 4366 is that in very poor condition? Is it likely that 1457 or a coach of push pull set may jump the queue if there better condition
     
  12. Standard by 4

    Standard by 4 New Member

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    Bullied coaches BSK 4365 and 4366 were built for the Waterloo to Bournemouth Dining services, consisting of 6 Car sets, the set number being 298. The CK 5761 at Swanage was not part of these sets, but largely identical, the CK in 298 which was 5748, the Bullied third open at Swanage 1457 was also a Bournemouth Dining set coach, being part of set 296, The third open in set 298 being 1459. Two further coaches survive from the Bournemouth sets, both now on the Mid Hants, BSK 4367, set 299 and TO 1456, set 295.

    Back to the CK at Swanage 5761 formed part of a three-car set with two Semi open Brakes 4321 and 4322, again largely identical to the two at Swanage 4365 & 4366. Which when restored would recreate set 780, a Waterloo Weymouth, West of England set.
     
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  13. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    It should do ! Not only based beside the sea at Bo'ness but when based at Dalry Road in the 1950s it often worked on the local service to Leith where land reclamation was taking place. Looking forward to renewing acquaintance during the weekend of 22-24 March - any chance of it working a service ?
     
  14. Standard by 4

    Standard by 4 New Member

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    From what I can remember many years ago 4366 still had it’s two compartments, the two push pull coaches are completely stripped out, with the third open being particularly poor. There lots of talk about the Push Pull set but probably not the most practical of sets on a railway which run trains of five coaches.
     
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  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The other issue is that there is only one loco with which they could run in push-pull mode, and inevitably there will be more time when that is not running - not least when it is out of traffic - than when it is. So the coaches would spend most of their time running "conventionally" - not technically a problem, but there are maybe more worthwhile targets for limited overhaul funds.

    Out of curiosity, is there any desire to restore the three (?) Victorian LSWR carriage bodies on the railway, particularly now the T3 is at the railway? Of the southern companies, the LSWR seems the poor relation in carriage restoration, particularly with the Bluebell and Isle of Wight concentrating primarily on former LBSCR and/or LCDR/SER Victorian carriages.

    Tom
     
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  16. Standard by 4

    Standard by 4 New Member

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    The push pull third open would probably be better used, as it would need a total rebuild, being converted back to conventional stock, with both corridor connections With a seating capacity comparable with a BR TSO it would see far more use.
     
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  17. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    Lots of questions to answer and although I'm aware of the overall plans I'm not a Heritage coach specialist. I thank @Standard by 4 for correcting above my over simplified recollection of the Bullied coach histories. I'll give the answers my best go and hope that others will correct if I go wrong.
    True and here we delve deep into the dual and sometimes conflicting aims of most Heritage railways. From a strictly commercial point of view a two car set with corridor only connecting the two is not the best idea and the Swanage Railway Company with its purely commercial hat on wont be jumping up and down at the prospect. However. The Swanage Railway Trust with its objectives to 'preserve and educate' with a focus on; The Branch, The LSWR, The southern has a charitable duty to take a counter view. The M7 push pull was iconic to Swanage and an important part of branchline history throughout the region. With the only 'operational' M7 resident on the railway and the only surviving Maunsel Push Pull set in dry storage it does rather seem to be our duty and destiny to recreate this and I'm personally hopeful that grant giving bodies and donors will feel the same and enable this despite the lack of a cold hard comercial business case.

    The driving trailer and brake both have only one corridor connection each. This disadvantage could be mitigated by marshaling them at the ends of the rake when running them as part of a longer set. With the other 2 Maunsells we have then a good Maunsel 4 car set that could be strengthened to 5 using a Bullied or Car 14. I'm sure the pragmatic will suggest that the non driving coach be fitted with a non prototypical corridor connection to increase its flexibility whilst the purist will resist.

    Lets be honest here. Push pull will never operate in preservation the way it did in the day. It's likely that it will only be used on special occasions and then by having a driver both on the footplate and in the driving cab with some robust modern communications between the two. Our rules and safety requirements prevent a loco being single maned. In low season I can see it being used as a typical 3 coach set (2 coach push-pull + strengthening coach) but running around at each end in the normal way. When the M7 is the rosterd loco this is sure to bring in the photographers and enthusiasts regardless.

    With all this in mind combined with the cool half million guestimate for the restoration of the two coaches no one expects to see movement on this set any time soon and my fear is the M7 gets permanently retired before this can happen. It does however cost the trust a 4 figure sum every year to keep these coaches in dry storage so all donations are gratefully received.
    Until 4366 is stripped down its difficult to give a full assessment. The compartments are still inside but in a very poor condition. If I recall correctly the concern is that the bottom of the sides are rotted out and the floor is shot so it needs to be almost completely disassembled and rebuilt.
    For the reasons in the first part of the post, its unlikely that it will be jumped by the maunsell push pulls but not impossible. 1383, the open third that forms the trailer is in even worse condition than 4366. It has a gaping hole in the roof where vandals chucked concrete blocks and shopping trolleys through when it was stored in the open. There is a corresponding hole in the floor from the consequential water damage. If restored prototypically will only have one corridor connection. 6699, the Maunsel driving trailer is the least useful coach if not part of the push pull set.

    My personal guess is that Bulleid Open Third no.1457 will be suggested as a cheaper and more useful option to jump the que. Problem is it's currently being used as the Heritage Coaches group workshop for the fitting out of the interiors. From a commercial & operational perspective its a much more useful coach and bodywise (probably) in better condition that 4366 abet with no interior whatsoever. This would create the problem of finding another suitable workshop for the group and the upheaval of the move. And before anyone says it, yes the funding priorities for the SRT are to provide under accomodation for the coaches and improved workshop facilities so that we don't need to use one coach for a workshop to repair another whilst the already restored ones stand in the rain. This is the difficult dilemma. Unless there is a big windfall we can't do everything at once. I sincerely hope that we are not entering an era where we have to give up on the unrestored collection because of a lack of capital and focus on what we already have in order to survive.

    The group that actually carry out the work obviously have an enormous say and they want to complete the typical Bullied set. Money also talks however and very persuasively!

    These suffer from an even worse case of the problem with the push pull set discussed above. Being in an even worse condition with no underframe at all and having sat on the ground for many years, being of small capacity with no corridor connection, my honest assessment is that the best hope these coaches have of survival is for them to be converted in to holiday accommodation or a platform waiting shelter for the halts (Herston or, if it ever happens, Bluepool). I know it wouldn't be the prefered solution for many here but pragmatically it would enable a business case to be made for investing in them and maintaining them. Done well it could produce a nice return and there are certainly some good examples around. At least then the coaches might survive long enough for another chance at being ultimately converted to operational use.

    A more practical set for the T3 would be based on Ironclads. We have one in dry storage and there are a number of others around the country all with underframes. Most are watertight. None have interiors and there are rather to many brakes but this could be overcome. A pragmatic approach would see these fitted with corridor connections.

    The only thing I know for sure is that there will be some interesting debate and difficult decisions ahead. Sorry for the long post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  18. Standard by 4

    Standard by 4 New Member

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    With regards to the condition of 4366 and 1457 both will probably be much like that of 1456 on arriving on the Mid Hants, the rebuild of 1456 has been a lot of the frame, the roof and the floor! Plus, all the glass, side sheeting and the new designed seating. In fact, part of the frame of 1456 is in front of me as I write this in the form of a Pen! I wonder if the Mid Hants would share the costs on rebuilding 1456? Remembering of course most of the labour provided has been volunteer.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Thanks for that interesting answer.

    Just picking up on the Victorian carriages, and capacity: the three listed are all 5 compartment (a 2nd, a 3rd and a composite, though as the Swanage is a single-class railway, presumably you wouldn't charge for the distinction). Nominally that means 150 seats if fitted out as 3rds (ten per compartment), though for modern use perhaps 120 seats (8 per compartment) would be more realistic: about the same as two modern Mark 1 TSOs, but for half the weight.

    However - something I hadn't appreciated, until looking closer, is an almost complete lack of preserved - even nominally preserved - Victorian era LSWR brake coaches. The VCT website seems to list only one: the 6w Family Saloon now on the Bluebell. So a complete Victorian train at Swanage would seem to be problematic, even if you got over the issue of practical resources, underframes and the few hundred thousand it might cost! I can see why you might think their only realistic chance is some change of use: sad, but at some point you have to be realistic.

    Tom
     
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  20. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    I've visited the Mid Hants workshops on a couple of occasions and seen first hand the extent of work and progress on the coaches. I'm humbled by both the facilities and the skills and dedication of the team that has come together to make this possible. In fact I would say that it was an inspiration and restored my faith that our own program might be achievable. Without this sort of example some might say that we are throwing good money after bad in continuing to store the coaches in our que.

    They are to be congratulated!

    We have a good relationship with the Mid Hants and I'm sure that we would be able to access that sort of information however as you point out the model is different. Without the facilities and volunteers with joinery skills we have to subcontract the body rebuilds at a much higher cost. Would be interesting to understand how much we could save and feed that in to the facilities business case.

    Interior fit out costs should be comparable and we already have a handle on that having done the other Bullieds and Maunsels.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019

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