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Swanage Railway General Discussion

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

  1. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR New Member

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    That's interesting. As the Connection at Worgret is to the down line, what is the purpose of that method for the return journey? I note there is a crossing from the up to the down, west of Wareham station, but what's wrong with staying on the down line I wonder? Any info or links welcomed. Regards, Howard
     
  2. Orion

    Orion New Member

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    Is there room at Norden for a carriage shed?

    Regards
     
  3. lil Bear

    lil Bear Well-Known Member

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    There isn't. It was a typo on my behalf, you are correct. The UP platform will be utilised for arrivals from 71B. The DN will be used for departures to 71B. Apologies. That will teach me for trying to do 2 things at once!
     
  4. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the additional information, it was the idea that generally the top speed of 73's with 4 coaches was below 25 (rather than the overall performance such as slow acceleration on a 1-in-80 gradient) that I was questioning. Perhaps the same engine, as fitted to a 2 or 3 car DEMU, would be a more successful/appropriate diesel addition to the Swanage fleet, although I am aware they have invested considerably in a First Generation DMU fleet for economical off-peak operations.
     
  5. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Member

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    Point taken Chris. What I should have clarified is that if a railway has any decent gradients then a 73 is not ideal.
     
  6. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    But Mk 1's are now 50/60 years old, and for most people they are heritage - particularly compartment stock.
     
  7. stephenvane

    stephenvane Member

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    The problem is some people at the railway use this an an excuse not to invest in the hertitage coaches. I once read on their website a comment from the management, saying they didn't want to put any money into their heritage coaches, as they had already invested a lot of money in their core fleet of Mk1s.

    This has nothing to do with the number of days the railway runs. The Swanage railway is a great railway and one of my favorites. I was just saying it could be made even better by having heritage coaches in general use.

    The mentality of seeing Mk1s as their core fleet is what''s wrong with it. Rather than seeing the Mk1s, Bulleids and Maunsells as inegrated and equally important parts of their fleet.

    Fact. I've spoken to members of the group who are working hard to restore the Bulleids and Maunsells, and they say they has been some hostility from others at the railway who just don't see the importance of what they are doing. I've also seen comments on this website from people saying they should get rid of the 'fire wood' from Eldons sidings.

    I agree the railway needs maintainance facilities. However the Bulleids and Maunsells have been rotting away for years, and something needs to be done now rather than letting them all rot for another 10 years. Thankfully there is now a group of people working hard on this, and results are starting to be shown.
     
  8. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Member

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    There is more to herritage to railways than herritage coaches.

    Just because Swanage uses Mk1,s is that really a problem when there are greater pulls for monies than herritage coaches.

    If people want to see herritage coaches get from behind your keyboards and volunteer to help. I expect that Swanage will be more than grateful
     
  9. ady

    ady New Member

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    Someone once suggested ''going banger racing'' with the 'Car No. 14', which shows how much that’s appreciated.

    I can understand the need for maintenance factices but the Maunsell coaches are going fall apart soon.

    I can't understand why we can't use heritage coaches in regular use, the Bulleids have a lot of seats for their length.

    Someone elsewhere I talked too (Bluebell?) said in certain ways older coaches are easiler to look after then the steel Mark 1s.
     
  10. Standard by 4

    Standard by 4 New Member

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    One option with Heritage coaches, especially the Manusell opens and the bulleid open is to restore them on the cheap, or cheaper!, basically as 1381 was done in the eighties. Basically the outside would look "right" pleasing the photo takers, the inside would recreated using salvaged seats, no toilets etc. Basic but comfortable. Most of the passenges on the Swanage railway bring with them sand, mud and ice cream! not good for expensive heritage seats!
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    As I understand it, not really so much "easier" as "different" - for example, predominantly woodworking skills vs predominantly steelwork skills. Though as Mk 1s get more and more expensive to recondition, and harder to find replacements meaning a policy of "run into the ground, scrap and buy another surplus one from the big railway" is no longer viable, certainly the costs of restoration are comparable. On the Bluebell, finger-in-the-air costs for renovation seem to be about £50k for a four wheeler (including making an underframe - that was the price quoted for the LCDR wheelchair-accessible saloon) up to about £100k or so being suggested for the next-but-one Maunsell. But that includes all new interiors (including a kitchen in the Maunsell), which is often where a lot of the cost is.

    The other significant cost is running maintenance. On the Bluebell, a Mk1 with roller bearings and self-adjusting brakes will run about twice as long between servicing as a pre-group bogie coach with plain bearings and brakes that have to be manually adjusted. Which is obviously a cost that has to be factored in. On the other hand, older carriages generally give you a higher number of seats per ton, reducing loco costs, though on a relatively short line with a preponderance of engines that are big relative to the work they have to do, there probably isn't enough difference between 32 ton Maunsell / Bulleids and 37 ton Mk 1s to make that especially significant.

    Given all that, I still think a set of Maunsells would make me visit the railway more often. Paint them crimson and cream (to fit the 1950s feel) and you'd have something unique for the photographers...

    Tom
     
  12. lil Bear

    lil Bear Well-Known Member

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    Someone with their heads out the clouds.

    The MK1s are the core of the C&W fleet, seeing service 7 days a week for 5/6 months of the year and most weekends for the rest of the year. Heritage stock, whilst nice to have, it is not an absolute necessaty for the operation of the rly. The majority of Swanage passengers utilise the train in order to go to the beach for the day. Do they care if they are in a Mk1 or Bulleid/Maunsell heritage coach? No, so long as they can sit down in clean coaches and enjoy a ride behind a steam loco they are happy.

    Heritage stock will only be of real interest to enthusiasts, but by investing in such coaches is the passenger numbers going to increase and double to match that of the holidaymakers? Highly unlikely. So whilst as a rly SR shouldn't ignore enthusiasts, they also shouldn't forget what their core business is and that is moving people from Norden to Swanage and back again.

    As mentioned previously the maintenance facilities SR have available are basic to say the least. The only undercover workspace for the shed staff is the single road shed and a container at the side with a workbench placed within. Hence the majority of the work is done outdoors.

    Money has just been spent on Corfe Castle Signal Box. Harmans P2 has received a new station building. There has been necessary track renewals and infrastructure maintenance over the last couple of years. There is only a limited budget and surely keeping what we have available working is of more importance than adding to the collection and over stretching the maintenance team?

    As I said in a previous post, yes it would be nice to see a Bulleid set in operation through the Purbeck countryside, but I'd rather see the railway maintain what its got and introduce a heritage set as/when it can over making it an immediate priority.

    Personally though I'd say the Maunsell Push-Pull is of more importance as this would be a totally unique selling point, and would attract more visitors than a Bulleid set IMO. Whilst no full Bulleid set is in everyday use there are Bulleid coaches in service elsewhere. Nowhere else though will be able to offer a Southern Push-Pull experience with an M7.
     
  13. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    Heritage coaches are worth investing in, lay people do notice the difference, particularly as the heavier users of Mk1s (NYMR, WSR Swanage, GWSR) seem to prefer opens People like compartments, but alos the older open coaches tend to be more comfortable than Mk 1s. Most pre-nationalisation is also lighter per seat than Mk 1s q=with a positive effect on coal water and maintenance bills
     
  14. tobes3803

    tobes3803 New Member

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    Being only 23 I find the mk1s do seem heritage to me! I cant be alone in this!
     
  15. stephenvane

    stephenvane Member

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    They certainly do. I remember hearing stories from the KESR a while back, where large numbers of the general public were waiting 2 hours to ride on the vintage train, rather than go on the other service train formed of Mk1s.

    Another example (from the NYMR I think) where a newly restored Gresley coach was added into a set of Mk1s. The general public made a beeline for the Gresley coach because they could tell it was something speical. The Gresley coach was packed full of passengers, whilst the adjoining Mk1 was virtually empty.

    Also the Mid Hants got rid of it's Mk2 fleet, because they were unpopular with the general public who found them too modern.

    So Joe Public is actually quite discerning when it comes to vintage coaches.
     
  16. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    Good point. The general public are now used to modern trains with airline style seating. <BJ>
     
  17. Luke Bridges

    Luke Bridges New Member

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    Same for me as well, open Mk1's are some of my favourite carriages to ride in, bettered by not many. But definitely bettered by the bluebells mets. Such beautiful carriages that those awesome small engines that bark can pull easily.

    Saying that though, relying solely on Mk1's or other BR stock, gets a bit samey. Having pre-BR stock about, or better yet pre-grouping stock about can really set a scene at a railway, rather than say having a pre-grouping engine struggling to pull three mk1's.
     
  18. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR New Member

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    That is very interesting. Of course one day the Mk2 will be 'heritage' (is of course already) and the only question is whether there will be a suitable 'heritage' site where they can run. I confidently predict that such a site will be found, or modified, together with BRUTEs, no staff, closed up toilets,smashed windows and one platform cut away so that no one will alight there..........

    As this is the Swanage thread, perhaps a new such station at Furzebrook would show people what railways were like in the 70s.:smile:

    Perhaps this is a subject for a new thread but I read a 'strategic aims' document of another railway recently where nowhere did it mention that the purpose was preservation and conservation. Lots of stuff about 'strengthen tourist economy' and the like though. I'm not joking, there really was not one word about why the whole thing was started in the first place.
     
  19. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay New Member

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    Heritage stock is important I believe. For the average Joe public traveller, the interior of the carriage is central to their experience. It is after all what they ride in for their journey, so it is the 360-degree environment surrounding them. The view and sound of the steam loco come into the environment through the window. Don't forget, it might be for us, but for most travellers, the first drop-light window behind the loco isn't their choice of location for the duration of their journey!
     
  20. Rumpole

    Rumpole Member

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    Continuing with the general news at Swanage, today is the first day that we have not operated a public train service since 23 March. Don’t think that this means its all quiet; far from it!

    33 111 went up to Norden this morning to collect the Stothert and Pitt 15ton diesel crane (know as FBC1 – ‘king big crane!) to bring to Swanage to continue with preparatory work for the construction of a new engineering workshop opposite Swanage loco shed. Anyone who has been down to Swanage over the last week or so will notice that the forest of SR concrete huts on that site has started to thin; this will continue until the huts are all cleared and groundwork can start for the building. This will greatly improve the facilities available to our hard-pressed Locomotive Carriage and Wagon staff and enable them to move out of the leaky shipping container that currently serves as their only workshop on the Swanage site.

    Down in the Goods Shed road, maintenance work is continuing on our fleet of DMU vehicles. The fleet of DMU’s (currently a 2-car class 108 unit and a class 121) probably get the most intense use out of any heritage line, see use on 132 days since 31 March this year. Naturally this intensive use brings about the need for some serious maintenance, and over the last couple of weeks work has been undertaken to try to rectify a persistent vacuum issue with the class 108, while today’s task is to repair a sticking throttle motor on the 121. The pit that was installed a few years ago in the Goods Shed road is hugely useful for the maintenance of these units, and really is repaying the investment made.

    Later on today, the 33 will take the Santa Special stock up to Corfe Castle for a deep clean over the course of this week by a group of volunteers. This vital, unseen work may be pretty unglamorous, but without it, the state the stock got into would soon be noticed. This week is also the first time some of the carriages have not been used since 23 March, so keeping up to date with this sort of thing is a never ending task. In addition to the cleaning, Carriage and Wagon staff are attending to some of the other Mark 1’s (such as replacing a broken droplight in 4981, that sort of thing), while a group of other staff have tarpaulined Car 14, the Pullman observation saloon, for the winter.

    Around the shed, 34028 Eddystone is currently being washed out, ready for service this weekend. With it being remembrance weekend, it is planned that 34070 Manston will be on the service trains, with ’28 on a private charter on Sunday. A bit of a Bulleid-fest again down at Swanage!
     

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