If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

The Bluebell Explorer 02/11/2013

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by acorb, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Steamage

    Steamage Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    4,667
    Likes Received:
    1,034
    Location:
    Oxford
    That stretch is lined with trees, and if that was the first train up the hill today, there may have been a rather a lot of leaves around, so they may have decided DL assistance was needed? I saw the train at Milton Malsor, just south of Northampton. Ollie was making a great noise, accelerating up a 1-in-200 gradient, and I didn't hear the 47. If it was under power, then it wasn't doing much.
     
  2. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    310
    I will echo david1984's comment. After watching more videos of the trip. The 47 seems to only have worked in the West midlands. Id have expected the 47 to be working out of Northampton but not on the level fairly wide open stretch in and around Blakedown.
     
  3. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,068
    Likes Received:
    3,711
    The 47 was certainly working on the departure from Bushey, but the Brit was working hard as well. And that makes sense, because there had been a water stop on a busy line, so the train needed to get moving to avoid delaying the next service train.
     
  4. A1X

    A1X Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    646
    Occupation:
    Generic IT bod
    Location:
    Chuck Norris' beard

    The 47 was also giving a shove as she left Kensington Olympia, although there was a South Croydon service following about 2 minutes behind so perhaps they didn't want to take any chances with that one.
     
  5. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    17,732
    Likes Received:
    16,754
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Load 11 plus Cl 47 = 15 equivalent. That would be a big 'ask' for a Brit if you needed to get away from anywhere fairly smartish.
     
  6. RalphW

    RalphW Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Friend

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    33,120
    Likes Received:
    7,283
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired-ish, Part time rail tour steward.
    Location:
    Northwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Agreed, it's what happens when you run a tour along busy lines, you have got to keep out of the way or suffer the consequences.
     
  7. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    4,843
    Likes Received:
    2,647

    Perhaps but

     
  8. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    17,732
    Likes Received:
    16,754
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Not certain of the point you are making. A Brit plus load 11 is no problem. The extra load of a Class 47 means, as Ralph says, that it'll get the train away ok but take a while to do it. The Cl47 had to be on the train for the return leg so you save the cost of the path by keeping it attached for the journey. Good business sense from West Coast's point of view but with the inevitable consequences.
     
  9. jamesd

    jamesd New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    137
    Location:
    Llanharan, S Wales
    I was on the train yesterday and I overheard a radio conversation between the drivers explaining that they were having problems with the firebox (dropped baffle plate?) and would the diesel assist. Certainly there was a lot of banging and activity at Stourbridge Junction whilst something was remedied. Once we'd left the West Midlands the Brit certainly held it's own and its completely understandable that the 47 had to help to get the train moving in places given the frequency of trains on some of the lines we travelled on.

    Overall it was a most enjoyable tour with some long sections of 75mph running and an interesting route through London. Seeing peoples faces as we rolled through srations like Brixton was interesting! Once at the Bluebell we decided to get off at Horsted Keynes and jump on a Bluebell service with the Black 5 to East Grinstead and back and then rejoined the tour for the trip home. A long but enjoyable day and almost certainly the first time the station announcer at Bewdley has announced the next departure as being for Sheffield Park!
     
  10. acorb

    acorb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    1,374
    Location:
    Powys
    Enjoyable trip yesterday with an immense load for Ollie, so some assistance from the 47 was inevitable, certainly noticeable up Old Hill bank and out of New Street, but not so at other times. Not sure why there was assistance away from Kidderminster - she seemed fine working over the SVR and the timings certainly did not dictate a rush and hence a grumble. The timings from Network Rail did not help RTC's cause with this trip and the 30 minutes in Sheffield Park was not enough, just enough time to grab a drink and check out the engine shed. The stewards had a few complaints from passengers about this and managed to negotiate stops at East Grinstead and Horsted Keynes for those who wanted longer for some lunch, but this meant they did not get to do the whole line. For many, including myself, this was our first visit to the Bluebell and stopping halfway down the line defeated the object of doing the trip! The timings were incredibly slack in both directions and while we did have some 70mph + running this inevitably led to us gaining time and being checked as we were routed behind a stopper. While this was understandable with steam outward, on the return it was a farce. From Wembley to Milton Keynes we repeatedly were checked to walking pace as the stopping service ahead of us called at all stations, this must of cost us quite a lot of time which would have been better spent at the Bluebell. We had a 95mph capable diesel and weren't able to get above 60mph until will got onto the Northampton loop. Are class 47's suddenly considered not express motive power?! What was more telling was that we didn't loose any time on this section. It took us nearly 2 hours to get from Wembley to Rugby, this could quite easily have been achieved by Ollie, we should have kept her on! Once clear of Rugby the 47 was released from it's shackles and was quickly up into the 80's, as this time we were put ahead of a London Midland unit - why couldn't this have been done at Wembley?
    There seems to be a certain trend to be overly cautious with timings now by Network Rail and is probably a response to the performance culture of the railway. Naturally (and rightly) the emphasis is on the TOC's who will always get priority, but this seems to be getting in the way of common sense. At the end of the day on the return we were a class one passenger train with 95 mph capability which should easily have kept ahead of a 100 mph stopping unit. Charters shouldn't be holding up service trains, but likewise paths should reflect the true capability of the motive power so they themselves aren't unnecessarily held up.
    Grumble over, as I said, this was an enjoyable trip with plenty of plus points. Firstly, standard was indeed at the front meaning lots of lovely sound effects. The trip around the suburbs of London was fascinating and unique experience. Rear assistance or not, the departure from Bushey was a sensational, full regulator affair, which meant we tore through Harrow at 70mph - the look on the faces of the waiting underground passengers was a picture! RTC deserve credit for promoting an innovative tour, at a sensible price, which was rewarded with a full train.
    Everyone we spoke to thought the idea of running railtours from the SVR was a brilliant one, the new cross over meaning access for northbound (or returning) charters to the SVR are now simple! Hopefully this sell out tour (with additional carriage) will encourage RTC to do more.
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,845
    Likes Received:
    41,536
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Out of curiosity, how does rostering for loco crew work on a trip like that?

    For example, the train departed Bridgnorth at 6.20 in the morning. Even allowing for the fact that the support crew may have prepped the loco, I suspect the driver and fireman of 70013 can't have booked on much after about 5.30; and they didn't arrive at SP until 15.05, nearly ten hours later. If the same crew stayed on for the return, they didn't detach until 18.20 at Acton, twelve hours after departing Bridgnorth, and they would still have had the run to Southall plus disposal time. That makes a day of at least 14 or 15 hours.

    The diesel had an even longer day, not getting back to Bridgnorth until about 17 hours after it had left.

    So presumably, both locos needed two crews. In which case - what happened to the first crew of each loco? Did they ride back on the cushions? And what about the second crew - did they ride down on the cushions, or did they sign on somewhere local to the south of England and make their way to SP before taking over?

    Just curious - the logistics are quite involved!

    Tom
     
  12. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Messages:
    12,916
    Likes Received:
    1,386
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Woulden't it have been a SVR crew as far as the stop outside Kidderminster before gaining NR ?.
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,845
    Likes Received:
    41,536
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    Would it? It certainly wasn't a Bluebell crew at the Bluebell end, judging by the video I saw. There was a Bluebell pilot man, but the mainline loco crew stayed on.

    Tom
     
  14. acorb

    acorb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    1,374
    Location:
    Powys
    There was a crew change at Kensington Olympia outward. I'm pretty sure there was on SVR crew driving as far as Kidderminster.
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,845
    Likes Received:
    41,536
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    Thanks - still gives a long day for the crew (Kidderminster - Sheffield Park - Acton - Southall). Even longer presuming they had to travel initially from some signing on point to Kidderminster in the first place.

    Tom
     
  16. Paul42

    Paul42 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,901
    Likes Received:
    1,474
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    East Grinstead
    The problem is trying to path a Diesel around the Electrics which have faster acceleration. Andy Taylor of West Coast stated on this forum the diference in acceleration between an Electric and Diesel, An electric from Euston will reach 100mph by Wembley ( 8- 9 miles) while a Diesel will reach 100mph by Tring ( 31 - 32 mile). Steam and Diesel usually get sent the slow lines via Nothampton.The Class 86 on the Winter Cumbrian are pathed on the fast most of the way.
     
  17. Learner

    Learner New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Stafford
    It's worth remembering that with a 95mph capability the 47 is slower than every single multiple unit operating on the southern end of the WCML, all of which are electrics as well. They are also so regular that finding a path to operate in is hard enough, let alone getting any decent speed.
     
  18. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Messages:
    12,916
    Likes Received:
    1,386
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Yes, but them slowing then accelerating from frequent stations stops more than makes up for the 5MPH deficit, 390's with tilt and few calls south of Rugby I can understand, but London Midland units shoulden't be getting away from a 47.
     
  19. Learner

    Learner New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Stafford
    Depends which ones you are pathed around. If it's a limited stop service it could certainly put a few miles on a 47. Given acceleration of a 47 with 11 on you would be a reluctant planner to put it ahead of anything but the most regular stoppers, and even then it would probably have caught the charter by Watford Junction. The CMEs have it right - put a 110mph electric on the front and you'll be ok.
     
  20. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Messages:
    12,916
    Likes Received:
    1,386
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham
    You don't have to sell me on 86259's usefulness in this respect, just a shame virtually all of it's siblings are now either razor blades or in foreign lands.
     

Share This Page