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Swanage Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    You can single man a Cl.33 but the manpower saving is marginal with that. The length of turn is also reduced as minimal prep and disposal so it might just eliminate a second crew (as often happens on the NYMR). Fuel savings are significant as is the time and cost of doing boiler washouts and periodic overhauls which are now reaching the half million mark. All these start to outweigh the cost of lost custom.
    I’m still a steam man through and through, though. :)
     
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  2. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    I meant steam hauled of course
     
  3. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    I'm afraid that as being a member of the Swanage Railway and supporter of numerous projects on the railway, I have not visited the line since the start of top 'n tail diesel/steam workings.
    In fact if the practice continues I have no intention of doing so in the future. <BJ>
     
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  4. WishIHadAName

    WishIHadAName New Member

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    Why? I think it’s better, the steam loco gets a heavier load.
     
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  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Clearly there must be a very sound operational need to top and tail, no railway would use more loco's than it needs to, it all costs money, money that is now in short supply, i suppose it comes down to choice either run 5 coaches, and risk over crowding, possibly creating more disgruntled customers, or run with 6, to ensure there are enough seats, so passengers have enough room, but it means having to operate an additional engine in top and tail mode because otherwise you have to do a shunt release, and that takes time, i'm rather pleased that passenger numbers are such that the Swanage railway finds the requirement to have to run with 6, when normally it would run with 5, the design of shunting and round round at Swanage clearly is designed to operate with no more than 5 bogies, which 99 percent of the time, would have been enough, and whats the option, have an signalling re-work to move the points back to enable 6 coaches to fit with in the points, how much would that cost, and how often would it be needed, The main issue seems to be that its using one of its diesel fleet, rather than say another steam loco, the other option would be to is that as the train comes to a stop, at the buffers, the 33 pulls the coaches clear engine detached, engine runs round, sits in loop, whilst the shunt back and detach is carried out, then if the engine needs to take water, make up its fire etc, is there time to do it before departure time, i'm not sure if there is, or even if the signalling would allow it, can an engine be in the run round, clear of platform points, and a propelling movement, be made?
     
  6. Rumpole

    Rumpole Part of the furniture

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    I believe (although I've not been on the railway for a week or two) the current set strengthened to 6 coaches is 1x brake and 5x Mark 1 TSO's. The only buffet vehicle we have available is the BSO(T), so there's no significant reduction in capacity with that on the train.
     
  7. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yes the BSO (T), Maunsell's are now in the other set along with the Obo.
    I assume the use of the diesel today may be more to due with the forecast thunderstorms and extreme rain making it more pleasant for the crews. I am guessing 6 coaches would not be needed today if people looked at the weather forecast (although two coaches arrived earlier, poor people).
    As an aside what are the rules these days about storms, if any? I see now in professional cricket play cannot start until there has been no visible lightening for 30 minutes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2023
  8. 80104

    80104 Member

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    The timetable's now operated are reduced compared to pre-pandemic. It would be very interesting to be able to compare capacity and passenger numbers pre-pandemic and post pandemic and try to ascertain whether the reduction in costs (by operating fewer services) are greater / lesser than any changes in revenue.
     
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    My query really was about avoiding the need for a second loco altogether, rather than specifically the issue of diesel vs steam.

    I do wonder about overhaul costs in the longterm. With steam, the regulations around boilers impart a degree of timetabling to your repair schedules: you know you have to do an annual exam and a big overhaul every ten years, so you start budgeting round that (and how many target miles between big overhauls). I wonder how the equivalent works with diesels: I can see diesel traction being seen as the cheap alternative right up until someone needs a new generator winding or has significant damage to the cylinder block ...

    Tom
     
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  10. Brockenman

    Brockenman New Member

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    Six coaches today i believe because of Fish and Chips bookings and the Waverley is due into Swanage today with a trip on the Swanage Railway included for those that chose that option.
     
  11. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Not fully sure how the rosters work at Swanage Tom but it seems that the steam crews normally change over at lunchtime, and if I have ever had cause to go past the shed at around 07:00 a lot of activity for a 10:00 first service. I assume (oversimplifying it) a diesel crew could pitch up around 09:30 and go home after the last service arrives at 17:30 or 18:00 and still only work 8 hours. A two steam loco operation is going to need more volunteers in total than a one steam one diesel service it seems to me as an observer.
    Today is, as I had forgotten until I just watched the 13:30 go through Corfe on the webcam, a fish and chip day, so on a half decent weather day 6 coaches may well have been required as one seems to be reserved for that.
    Whereas in reality unless we went out via the back we could not even get out of the house at the front due to the bow wave covering the footpath and half the garden every time a vehicle passed until about an hour ago. So numbers will be seriously down on predictions today I suspect.
     
  12. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    You posted as I was typing, yes I had forgotten about both of those extra events.
     
  13. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    So since January 7 (1st and 2nd being a planned DMU service) I make it the railway has run a steam service 187 days and of those 19 days has had a diesel on one end for some or all of the services). So that equates to just over 10% in the peak period, hardly seems to me "the end of pure steam" that many seem to be making out.
     
  14. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    I really hope that there is a railway to run any service next year
     
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  15. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    And that has to be the main priority for all railways, people are struggling with the cost of living, with everything being more expensive year on year, most of us do not have the spare money we might have had, so have to cut back, those that are lucky to have spare income, are going to be more picky on how they spend it, wanting a better more value for money offering, such as high class dining, to hopefully offset the normal tourist operation costs,
     
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  16. 80104

    80104 Member

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    Can the Wessex Belle deliver "high class dining" or is there an alternative SRC has to consider?

    Whilst the Fish and Chip special is a great idea it has only run a few times - nowhere near the 70 or so times the Wessex Belle has run in previous years.
     
  17. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Let me ask this, how far in advance does the Wessex belle book up, are you now having to book up for next year, its a sign of a good product if you are fully booked for most of the season except for special things such as Christmas and new year, as long as you don't try to add on more places than you can cater for, if demand is such, I've not heard how the Watercress belle is doing, but that always used to book up early, by mid season you were if you wanted to book hoping for cancelations, because the only vacant spots were for the next year.
     
  18. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It does not book up in advance at all as it does not run. The dining set needs work and is just another capital project that will be fighting for funds. I do not know what the railways plans are for dining services going forward.
     
  19. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    Sorry, but if there is a chance of a steam service running in top 'n tail mode with a diesel we will go elsewhere.

    The thought of driving 70+ miles and then paying to be hauled by a diesel doesn't interest me in the slightest. <BJ>
     
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  20. lancahsirelad

    lancahsirelad New Member

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    The Swanage Railway and many other heritage railways are fighting to survive due to increasing costs and static or reducing income. If to survive the railways have to use some diesel traction then so be it. If that means on the Swanage Railway that a small number of 6 coach trains have a 33 on one end I cannot see how that detracts from the overall experience. So for you purists if the whiff of diesel fumes is too much for you and you stay away you will be contributing to the demise of some of the heritage railways.
     

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