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The Impact of the Heatwave on Heritage Railways

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by johnofwessex, Jul 12, 2022.

  1. twr12

    twr12 Well-Known Member

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    And I’m horrified that certain preserved railways have suspended steam loco operation because it’s a bit hot.
    We’ve had 3 years of preserved railways moaning about how they have had to “fight for survival, blah blah blah, Covid/ coal prices/ blah blah blah”.

    Now some are giving up steam haulage, their main source of revenue!
     
  2. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    What a silly post. You do realise that in the event of a lineside fire spreading on to neighbouring property, the railway in all probability will be held liable? That will have knock on effects regarding insurance etc. Railways have to exist alongside their neighbours and avoiding alienating them is a good idea IMO.
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Do what? The same happened in similar conditions in the mid 70s. Fire is one reason some lines switched to oil firing back then (until it became uneconomic).

    Our lines don't .... can't ..... exist in isolation from the real world, which doesn't itself exist for the benefit of a few hundred obsolete (if charming) machines and those obsessively interested in them
     
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  4. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Are you for real?
    Pat
     
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  5. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    You mean like connecting to the main line and running eco friendly trains, Big Trials coming up next year in Dorset!(and elsewhere if HR want to survive!) btw who pays for lineside fires caused by HR. If your home alarm goes off and its false a charge is imposed because its an unecessary burden on public services.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
  6. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    You can't go round setting fire to the local area. HRs need goodwill as much as they need anything else.

    Offering community rail services is not completely compatible with being an HR. It is not the only way to demonstrate a benefit to the community, and it may be that such services would in time push out all heritage activity. They are not a panacea, nor even likely to be a game changing financial benefit. Adopt with caution
     
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  7. acorb

    acorb Well-Known Member

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    I am also suprised, however, 2857 was being driven very carefully yesterday. Easy to do with a powerful freight engine - I did wonder how 7714 was managing on the other steam service. I can only imagine the loco department and drivers know their steeds well.
    Lots of evidence of lineside fires and the vegetation was an ominous yellow / brown colour - quite different from the green we currently have in mid Wales.
     
  8. acorb

    acorb Well-Known Member

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    I do wonder if some contributors live on the same planet as me occasionally! Mind you I have had the same feeling recently listening to the Conservative party leadership contest...

    It must be nice to be separated from all of the world's problems, but unless confronted they catch up with us all eventually.
     
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  9. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    No .... I mean behaving responsibly in conditions rather too conducive to the easy spread of something rather larger than a bonfire. Moderately glaringly obvious in current conditions, I'd have thought.

    Some among our number really need to look up and realise however completely they manage to convince themselves the illusion of heritage railways is real .... it isn't. This isn't the 1950s. People won't just put up the consequences of reckless behaviour. Our lines are a luxury, an entertainment. They're not a necessity and don't kid yourselves otherwise. They can only operate with not just the support of paying customers, but the goodwill of those communities wherein they exist.

    This might come as a shock to some, but setting light to those communities on the whole tends not to be seen as a positive. So .... would you rather just blunder onwards, rose-tinted spectacles nailed to head in the hope nothing goes belly up, or simply sit on your complacent backsides, awaiting the inevitable message from you line's public liability insurance to the effect that their actuaries have decided they don't want to provide cover for a bunch of irresponsible amateurs who represent unacceptable exposure to avoidable claims?

    Remember this too. Our generation's responsibility extends to ensuring we pass a useful legacy onwards, not destroy every damned facet of a fine inheritance we're too pig-headed or plain stupid to treat with the respect it deserves.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
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  10. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    GWSR the latest line to go diesel only until next week at the earliest. 37215 and DMU covering services for the next few days.

    Bluebell only running between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes from Thursday to Sunday this week due to the forecast hot weather. Having seen the video of the fire on Freshfield bank at the Fenchurch gala, my only surprise is that they're running any steam at all.
     
  11. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    I recall back in May 1976, Blackmoor Vale celebrated it's return to steam by setting fire to a large swathe of Coneyhurst Wood, the effects of which were apparent for years afterwards. Later on that same year, I was volunteering in C&W, and the linesides were under constant threat, 30064 being the worst offender for fire-starting, and quite regularly a train would arrive to a fusillade of whistling, the crew pointing back down the line to where grey smoke was rising. Then anyone to hand in the carriage shed would be seen legging it down towards Great Oddynes or further, beaters in hand. In fact I'm sure I remember a group of us getting taken down the line on the crowded footplate of 592, to deal with a particularly nasty outbreak. It wasn't too dissimilar to a Will Hay film at times, and that summer gave rise to the ubiquitous blue barrels which many will remember, standing for years alongside the track.
    However, the que sera sera ethos which seemed to prevail then, no longer applies, and that recent outbreak at Freshfield looked particularly unpleasant. All credit to the beaters for their valiant efforts to control it until the fire brigade arrived. That could have been so much worse.
     
  12. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep New Member

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    I remember the Bluebell having a fire fighting train. I guess that is long gone.
     
  13. ykin01

    ykin01 Member

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    There is a post on Facebook where the K&ESR are looking to hire a "medium sized" diesel loco to assist/run during the hire fire risk.

    Given the prospect for hotter and drier summers I wonder whether some lines may reassess priorities and look to boost there diesel fleets/re-start any stalled overhauls or help towards them to get locos back in service quicker.
     
  14. D1002

    D1002 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Foxfield Railway had a fire fighting train when I visited in 2018.
    Can be seen in my video (5:15).

     
  15. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Resident of Nat Pres

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    Ah, enthusiast blinkers...

    I was listening to the radio whilst driving home at lunchtime and a fire officer made a sobering point; a wildfire can spread faster than you can run.

    Similarly, I remember sitting on a service train one Saturday evening, held just outside Huntingdon and the CSM making it very clear that the reason we were being delayed was because "a vintage steam engine has set fire to the embankment".
     
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  16. Josh Voce

    Josh Voce New Member

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    An absolutely ridiculous post considering the damage that fires have caused next to heritage railways over the past few days.

    Unbelievable.
     
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  17. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    There are not exactly very many people in the UK who have afire alarm connected to the fire service. I suspect there are actually many that do not even have a smoke alarm.
     
  18. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Much work has already been done on that on the WSR and home fleet locos now have ashpans which are modified so that they are emptied (by swilling out the contents) from a lower over door which is secure whilst running. The ashpan slopes towards the oven door & is in part therefore deeper than those originally fitted by the GWR. Screens can easily be fitted across damper openings as these are no longer required for cleaning out. Apart from the oven door there are literally no moving parts or awkward to maintain joins as with hopper ashpans. Ashpans are also wetted from a shore line through a built in spray bar at each end of the line when running round. Allied to this is the use of a single drop grate section around 14" wide which allows easy disposal of dead fire into the ashpan. Again very few moving parts or awkward to replace rocking grate components. This approach has also applied to some SVR based locos.
     
  19. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Have you given any thought to the desirability of actually travelling on a heritage train service in extreme UK hot weather? It cannot be high on Joe public's list of attractive things to do just now.
     
  20. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Although cinders escaping from an ashpan can start fires, won't they mostly land on the track or not far away? Are lineside fires not more likely to be started by sparks from chimneys?
     

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