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Swanage Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody Member

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    I am no expert, so please do not jump down my throat.
    To start with, On the basis that the T3 was withdrawn in 1945, Therefore, there is nobody alive that can give advice how to fire it, I guess it would not have been documented at that time. So on that basis, I am hazarding an educated guess that it has to be a case of "Trial and error"
    As an outside observer at Corfe Castle last Sunday and Harmans cross Yesterday (Friday) I have noted that 563 seems to have problems on the first
    two trips but after that it seems to settle down and certainly from my observations No black smoke just steam coming out of the chimney on the later runs!
    There are two footplate crews involved, each doing three round trips so I guess the afternoon crew have as much T3 experience as the morning crew!
    Of course it should be remembered that 563 is still very much "running in"
     
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  2. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Early on the engine would still be " cold" so the first, and possibly 2nd trips would have needed to run with a thicker fire, as the boiler warms up, and heat becomes retained in the boiler, so it might be possible to run with a thinner fire, a lot depends on so many variables, type of coal, how much secondary air is being drawn through, how the engine is being driven, does it have dampers, and if so how much bottom air, how thick is the bed,
     
  3. 007

    007 Member

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    The engine is currently settling down and we have had to chase various air leaks that has affected its drafting. The blast pipe cap has also been identified as a possible problem area and we are going to be adjusting it.
    I appreciate everyone is entitled to their opinion on here, but just give our crews a bit of a break please. They are trying multiple different firing and driving methods, daily and feedback is coming thick and fast. Somethings work, some don't. But the engine will get there in the end. They are trying to establish the best way forward for a loco that no one has been on before. So sure, its blowing off a lot at the moment, but once we have got to the bottom of the issues we expect the loco to be very controllable going forward.
     
  4. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    If I may say so, it's not just about the best way of driving and firing the T3. The Swanage Railway, for no seemingly obvious reason - at least to me as an armchair member - seems to come in for an inordinate amount of criticism on this forum. I haven't detected on any of my visits the widespread dissatisfaction among staff or volunteers of which one reads all too much on some threads about some other railways. It hasn't been an easy year with passenger numbers about 25% down on pre-covid levels, but at the end of the say, the railway has delivered the second year of the Wareham trial services, which it was (as far as I am aware) under an obligation to do and has also completed the restoration of a really striking loco. I'm not suggesting that everything the railway does is beyond criticism but my own personal observations suggest that it is doing a much better job in a challenging time than some of its more vociferous critics on here would have one believe.
     
  5. 007

    007 Member

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    I agree, for some reason the Swanage Railway appears to be the national preservation punch bag.
     
  6. brennan

    brennan Member

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    When the volunteers started there was no track and the authorities were in opposition. Now there is a fine heritage railway , a loco running again that seemed destined to spend for ever in a museum, yet the armchair critics find fault because it emits smoke! It's a good job that working volunteers ignore most of the whinging on this forum. If they took it to heart Swanage would be regressing to a car park.
     
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  7. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Wait until the West Somerset shoots itself in the foot again…
     
  8. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line Member

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    I think you are overreacting a bit. The comment I dont think was a criticism, more of interest in why it was different to other locos. I think the drivers response was an adequate and informative reply to the comment. On other threads there is much more pointed barbs than on the Swanage one.

    I would suggest some of the previous comments on various issues from an impartial observer seem more of frustration from lack of communication on why things are happening or delayed etc.
     
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  9. Chris86

    Chris86 Well-Known Member

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    On the whole how are the crews finding it?

    Must be an amazing experience knowing that they are highly likely to be the only people alive with operational knowledge of the loco!

    Again- kudos to Swanage for making this happen.

    Chris
     
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  10. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Well-Known Member

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    Some of the footage of 563 shows absolutely no smoke at all with but a small feather of steam from the safety valves. Other footage shows thick black smoke and roaring safeties. This suggests mutual improvement sessions conducted by those who have got the measure of her would help greatly.
     
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  11. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    Paul, I cannot imagine for one moment that this is not happening. Interested enginemen have always had a long history of experimenting ways of getting the best out of their steeds and sharing their experience with like minded colleagues. It is early days yet and there will be a certain ammount of trial and error going on. There are after all a thousand and one ways of handling any engine so give the guys a chance to find out how to get the best of this particular beast. It is all part of the learning curve and what makes operating steam locos so interesting .......and such fun:D.

    Peter
     
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  12. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Well-Known Member

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    I trust you are right but the sort of pollution shown in some videos will bring about trouble if not sorted fairly quickly.
     
  13. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody Member

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    563 performed well today (Sunday) all trains were more or less running on time, also the same on Saturday. so looks like 563 is starting to bed in.
    At Corfe Castle I did not see any evidence of thick black smoke today.
    This was also the end of the 2023 season, apart for the Polar Expresses in November/December. I am told the next event is the Winter warm up weekend in mid January.
    (Edit 6th 7th January 2024)
     
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  14. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    There is also a diesel service that I see from the website has appeared for December 31.
     
  15. lil Bear

    lil Bear Part of the furniture

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    You mean like has been happening, co-ordinated by the 563 Trustees? As @007 states above, give the crews a chance. I had my first ever go on the loco Thursday, and was relieved by a man who was onto his 5/6th purely due to his availability / rostering. There is no-one alive who had operated her until the start of this month, and she is a much different loco to operate compared to the diet of Bulleids/Standards/Moguls we've had since COVID. Some of us remember the M7, but even her last train was 2017 so that's 6 years since we had a "small" loco available for regular service. We'll get there, amazingly we do actually communicate amongst ourselves and offer each other advice & guidance where we can.
     
  16. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    I recall seeing the T3 on her first day while hauling the supporters train. I was very impressed of how the crew were dressed in Victorian clothing. That was a very nice touch. <BJ>
     
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  17. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    You must remember the IOWSR can do no wrong, and every other HR line can do no right.:Morewaitingisrequired:
     
  18. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Well-Known Member

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    Not my sentiments. However it is vital for the survival of steam railways to keep emission of smoke to a minimum in a pollution conscious age.

    If this doesn't suit grot worshipping gricers then it is too bad:Resistanceisfutile:
     
  19. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS Member

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    i am sure the Swanage crews are not creating excess smoke on purpose as a victorian loco its probaly not used to burning foreign coal if thats what they are using as said earlier once crews build up more experience the smoke issues will diminish the loco is a credit too allinvolved with the Swanage railway and i am looking forward to many more trips behind the loco
     
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  20. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Which had already been addressed, multiple times. An acknowledgement of fallibility given that 563 is to all intents and purposes brand new to all of its crews.
     

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