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Swanage Railway Spring Steam Gala: 24th - 26th March 2023

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by WesternRegionHampshireman, Dec 29, 2022.

  1. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    So maybe you could share with all of us how these "extra" trains you would have liked could have been achieved.
    You had 5 locos, all of a type that had worked on the BR Southern Region, 4 of which were appropriate for the branch itself in BR days.
    Yes maybe some of the trains were not as full as the railway would have liked, but from the reaction to accommodation costs being objected to by those attending the diesel gala, it may mean that the "going rate" in Purbeck, Poole and Bournemouth does not meet with everybody's expectations.
    Who are galas aimed at? basically enthusiasts. There are a lot of galas at the moment, I suspect few but the very hard core have the time or money to attend all of them.
    You mention a two train timetable, perhaps with the advent of Wareham services next week you can point out which days a 2 train steam service is planned anyway, let alone one that covers the extension?
    I have no idea of the costs of holding the event, I suspect the Brit did not come cheap, or if the railway covered their costs. However I felt it was a fine representation of the late 50's and 60's era. Although I am sure that @Paulthehitch will tell me it was not a Heritage event as a Brit never worked the branch and Herston Halt, Harmans Cross, and Norden are not real stations, but built during preservation days, although other such examples of this practice exist elsewhere of course.;)
     
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  2. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Well-Known Member

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    Actually, my doubts do not concern ''authenticity'' at all. If you want an example of putting on a gala with half a chance of covering expenses then Cranmore provides one. In 4110 if had an outstanding and.''home grown'' attraction. If SR can stay solvent despite Wareham then 563 promises to be similar.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2023
  3. Rumpole

    Rumpole Part of the furniture

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    I suspect inadvertently, but you've hit pretty accurately the Catch 22 we face with galas at Swanage.

    To create that gala 'feel', frequency of service is important. However, by running to the River Frome, you immediately nearly double the length of line which has the effect of reducing the frequency of train service (particularly as your only places for passing trains are at Corfe, Harmans Cross and Swanage).

    On the other hand, as an enthusiast event, many passengers like running 'over the road', particularly as without anywhere to run round trains have to be top and tailed giving extra weight to the load (as an example, 6 coaches plus a Bulleid on the back was equivalent to load 10 uphill from a standing start), so running on the extension is a desirable part of the event.

    It's not an easy circle to square.
     
  4. David likes trains

    David likes trains Member

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    On my part, it was the mainly the 'over the road' running that attracted me to make the journey down from Essex and stay for a couple of days.
     
  5. alts1985

    alts1985 Well-Known Member

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    For us it was just fine, two morning and two afternoon freights gave plenty to see with the run round at Corfe plus the shunt moves at Swanage - Manston ran round the second freight and departed P2 with it in order to then shunt it back into P1 - basically giving an extra departure to watch. A little a gap of not much happening for about an hour at lunch was well timed to grab some food and no doubt allow a bit of catch up time, the runs up the river were a brilliant addition with the locos working hard. The timetable clearly worked as Sunday ran to time - but was obviously tight when there were a few issues as Friday/Saturday showed so I think the most was definitely done with the available paths!
     
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  6. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Well-Known Member

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    Right! You ask, you get!
    1. Scrap over-the-roads.
    2. Scrap engineers train.
    3. Coach sets:
    5x Mark 1's.
    4x Mark 1's/Pullman Obo.
    2x Maunsells/Bulleid Brake.

    You run the Maun/Bull set Swan to Corfe, the other two run Swan to Nord.

    Simple.
     
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  7. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS Member

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    i thought it was a great gala the trips up to the River Frome are great especially on the return prices were good as well looking forward to seeing 563 soon that will be something special.
     
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  8. WishIHadAName

    WishIHadAName New Member

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    It think it would be a mistake to scrap going over the road as it’s a big draw compared to the normal running. Plus the added bonus of the weight of a dead engine on the back .
     
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  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Simple question, did you go to this event?
     
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  10. Rumpole

    Rumpole Part of the furniture

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    Simple on paper. A lot less simple in practice as we only currently have 2x brake coaches available, hence the format of the timetable. Two trains plus the freight was considered better than just a two train service!

    The usual format of events is for 2 sets going over the road, plus a third doing a Swanage to Corfe shuttle. Incidentally, this is usually the set that calls at Harmans Cross and Herston, meaning the main sets have more recovery time.
     
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  11. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain Member

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    I'd have to agree with those that praised the format of the gala.
    Swanage is quite a long slog for me by public transport, and in this case, required an overnight in Bournemouth (very reasonable price at the Premier Inn).
    Certainly the prospect of getting beyond Norden and the brake van ride were major draws that made the journey worthwhile, as they were both things I'd never done in the past despite visiting Swanage since I was very small.

    I do wonder if there might have been the possibility to use a bit of on-the-day flexibility to catch up on late running.
    There was at least one instance where the freight was past departure time in Swanage but the inbound service it was waiting for hadn't yet left Corfe Castle. Perhaps taking the decision to run it to Harmans Cross and pass there might have allowed a bit of catching up.

    Either way, it's a small railway with limited infrastructure to shuffle trains around on and I think the team should be praised for the show they put on.
    It was definitely worth the visit and I look forward to future events.
     
  12. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody Member

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    And here is an example: The 1130 Frome River Bridge to Swanage departing right time with 76084 hauling 6 coaches with 34028 on Sunday 26th March 2023. 23 03 26 005 76084 2R05 1130 FRB@Holme Lane 3.JPG
     
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  13. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    And as someone who was on that train, I can tell you it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
     
  14. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
     
  15. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Well-Known Member

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    Oh right, I missed that part.
     
  16. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    I'm another person who strongly supports the running beyond Norden at the galas. A typical day at Swanage for me involves a mixture of travelling and photographing. As a passenger, I enjoy the very different scenery of the section between Norden and the River Frome Bridge and especially given the extra weight of the engine on the back of the train, it's pretty enjoyable listening to the lead engine working hard on the 1 in 80 gradients. As far as photography is concerned, there are some lovely vantage points on this section too. If you turn to page 7 of this thread, look at the pictures by @DavidLikesTrains, several of which were taken on this section. The backlit picture of 76084 is particularly impressive.

    Actually, I wasn't able to visit the gala as only three days previously I had taken part in a most enjoyable SLL "Drive and Fire" day with Eddystone and much as I love the Swanage Railway, two 260-mle round trips in the space of less than a week just really wasn't feasible, but I must say, I hope that now these events have returned after a gap of four (?) years that I'll be able to get down to the next one.
     
  17. OldSchoolTrains2

    OldSchoolTrains2 New Member

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    Totally agree with this, it's the same for me from both a noisy haulage and different photography perspective. I find myself barely going south of Norden during galas when the extra section is in use, not that the normal part of the branch lacks hills or good photo opportunities, but the rarity of the Furzebrook end and how different it is plus the dead weight engine on the back are a real selling point for me at the big events.

    That said, though the way it was expressed wasn't really fair on the gala organisers, I do see where WesternRegionHampshireman was coming from about the timetable as I had the same initial surprise that it was two passenger sets not three, purely from memory of the 2017 Bulleid gala where I was sure there were three sets plus freight and diesel galas usually being three passenger sets. I just put that down to trying to keep things simpler for operational smoothness or cost in this era and the loco line-up for this one possibly being smaller, but the information about the number of serviceable brake vehicles makes absolute sense.

    It made it slightly less appealing for me than a slightly more intense timetable might've done but I was still happy to buy a ticket that I'd have enjoyed making use of if I'd been able to get down there as planned last week. Been enjoying everyone else's pictures and videos of what I missed.
     
  18. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody Member

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    The last train to Frome River bridge on the Gala weekend, 70000 with 76084 on the rear getting away from a 15 MPH Temporary speed restriction at Furzbrook. 23 03 26 034 70000 2R16 1633 ex SW@Furzbrook2.JPG
     
  19. HerstonHalt

    HerstonHalt Member

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    76084 heading away from the railway on Thursday. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  20. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Not sure I have seen it mentioned but I think a special thank you should be given to the young guys at Norden who were doing the coupling and uncoupling and running around with the token. I think they may have also been doing some watering as I saw one at the oil tanker that is used for water at events. They helped keep any delays to a minimum.
     
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