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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. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    A chap from Swanage did say it was a tad warm in the MK1s. A friend of mine with a constant weight problem wore two green garbage bags under his red protective gear in this type of weather. The pounds rolled off. I doubt if that is approved by MDs though!
     
  2. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    It's not just about the hot but it is abnormally dry, you only need to look at the amount of grass/crop fires this year, I,ve seen some fire services quote around 3 times that of a normal year.
     
  3. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    We went on the Bluebell the Saturday before the really hot week and it was starting to get a bit uncomfortable by the return journey, the last section HK to SP we were thinking hurry up and get back! Nothing against Bluebell they were as good as usual and overall still an enjoyable experience.
     
  4. Buckeye

    Buckeye New Member

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    Perhaps they could look in thier sidings at 25244, or ask themselves why 33052 left . . . .
     
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  5. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    You'd think so, but no. Lineside fires in my experience at least come from the ashpan mostly. It doesn't take much for a hot lump of coal or ash to roll to the edge of the ballast assuming there is nothing flammable in the cess (which there usually is). Those from the chimney tend to be because the spark arrestor is deficient or there isn't one.

    Problem at present is everything is so dry one spark and a massive area will be on fire. If you haven't tried beating out a lineside fire in this kind of weather it will be a surprise how fast they spread. How they jump several feet in one hit if there is even a gentle breeze, and how suddenly you can find an entire hedge alight in front of you. A quick swirl of wind and you're breathing choking smoke or beating a hasty retreat rather beating the fire.
     
  6. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    That’s the trouble, I remember about 30 years ago on a NYMR trip, we stopped for a small fire, it soon wasn’t small though and iirc required further assistance from the fire brigade. I’ll always remember how it was basically nothing when we stopped to deal with it but certainly wasn’t in a very short space of time.
     
  7. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    You guys need to get out more. There is a whole big world out there. And as it turns out are you, at this moment in time,going to argue against alternative traction?. The tide is turning Have you read some of the comments on the heat wave thread? Some of you are being aptly described on there! so avoid getting swept out into into the sea of change and embrace it. Contributors are beginning to acknowledge that dinosaurs do not,in the end,survive The salad days are over!!
     
  8. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    its in the hangar(under cover. ring a bell??) needs an engine replacement.
     
  9. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    There will not be any fires when Mr Shooters Battery Electrics start roaming the Heritage Rails. I don't know if the VivaRail units shipped to the States have A/c or not but just imagine,instead of a dusty 70yr old MK1 at about 90f one could ride in comfort at about 75F. and still take in the great scenery and restored stations.
    Of course if the Tories continue in power Passenger Rail could be finished in the UK and the present rolling stock,if not sold,will filter onto a reduced HR network. It could happen!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022
  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Perhaps you’d like to look at the reaction to steam hauled Mk3s and then consider whether such units represent the future for heritage rail, or a nail in its coffin.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Thank you, but that prompts a further query. If sparks from chimneys can be largely avoided by spark arresters, and cinders can be prevented from escaping from ashpans as described in post #76, why are those measures not applied universally?
     
  12. acorb

    acorb Well-Known Member

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    Just had this debate regards a proposed visit to the Gloucs Warks this weekend for my dad's birthday. His verdict was no way was he going to sit in a Mk1 in 34 degree heat. He now wants a picnic in a forest near a stream!
    Unfortunately the GWR will have to wait a few weeks.
     
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  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Long gone (though the carriage in use - the LSWR brake 3rd - is now restored and in passenger traffic).

    I'm not sure how effective it could have been, given the need that any train coming across a fire would have needed to clear the section, then go and get the fire train from a siding, run back up the line etc. It can't have been a quick response. These days, Bluebell tender engines carry small portable fire pumps on the tenders in the summer.

    Others have mentioned the effect of sitting in an un-air conditioned carriage in hot weather. I wonder if that might prove just as much a threat as line side fires to a line's viability if long hot periods become the norm. Various lines have been cutting back on services, but one wonders how busy those services might have been. If it is 30+ degrees outside, I'm not sure a drive + ride on a heritage railway would be high on my list of spontaneous days out. I wonder if railways might start adapting by getting creative with timetables, particularly if we increasingly see warnings to minimise being outside between 11am and 3pm - peak running time? It's going to be a difficult conundrum.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022
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  14. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    As you say, most lineside fires start from ashes escaping from the ash pan. Particles emitted from the chimney may glow in the dark but they are no longer burning and are relatively cold. Small lumps of coal that escape from the ash pan are, however, still burning and the simple fact that you need air to get into the ash pan to enable the fire to burn means you can’t totally seal it and even the best ash pan screen has to have lots of holes in it.
    The other main contributor to lineside fires is dried leaves. These are quite common in the four foot and cess and these combust very easily.
     
  15. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It wasn't very pleasant at the Fenchurch gala a couple of weeks ago, sitting in compartment stock with no breeze blowing through the windows when stationary. And that was only high 20s, not 30+ like it's meant to be later this week.

    I did wonder why 65 had a fairly conspicuous pump on the tender, thanks for clearing that up. Though that's obviously only of any use if the crew come across a small fire, not the massive one that occurred on Freshfield bank in the afternoon.
     
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  16. MattA

    MattA Member

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    What you didn't know was that the WSR and Swanage both had substantial lineside fires on Saturday which needed the fire brigade to deal with, and in doing so halted all trains. So I'm unsurprised that railways are looking to diesel-only haulage again, not because "it's a bit hot" but because it's already dry enough for substantial fires to occur.
     
  17. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    Didnt the Bluebell once have its own fire service, and hasnt the SVR got a working fire engine?
     
  18. ykin01

    ykin01 Member

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    I believe Lakeside & Haverthwaite have there own fire engine.
     
  19. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    You were all for your favourite railway to purchase another 4-6-2 Steam Loco not so long ago.
     
  20. mgp

    mgp New Member

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    Travelling on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway is great in this very hot weather. Simply lower the glass in the doors each side of your compartment and reap the benefit of full (natural) air conditioning!
     
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