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The Royal Duchy.. 21/07/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Western Venturer, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. AlexGWR1994

    AlexGWR1994 Member

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    My pics of the Duchess on the outward leg. Starting at Whiteball
    S1430001.JPG

    Tigley on Rattery Bank
    S1430006.JPG

    My footage of her roaring up Whiteball and Rattery Banks as well as footage from Bahamas and Britannia yesterday is here -
     
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  2. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Well-Known Member

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    I’d buy a print of this, fantastic
     
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  3. Macko

    Macko Member

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    Thanks, feel free to get in touch :) It was all the more special for being so unexpected, we thought she would crawl past behind the local.
     
  4. GC Met

    GC Met New Member

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    Two clips of the climb towards Whiteball tonight , worth the wait !
     
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  5. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    I was fortunate enough to see the train arriving back at Bristol Temple Meads last night. A crimson Duchess with all maroon stock. What a sight!!

    Spoke to the driver Bill Monteith who brought the train back from Par. He was well impressed with the loco. <BJ>
     
  6. Chris_Sav

    Chris_Sav New Member

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    Well done, flies in the first would have driven me mad!

    Consist seems to have gained a coach in the second clip?

    Duchess is one on my bucket list!
     
  7. Hemerdon

    Hemerdon Member Friend

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    I wasn’t by the camera, I left it running whilst I took up another position. There was an issue with the sound on that clip and I used a transition to try and make it seamless. I didn’t notice I reduced the length of the train! But well spotted. Since I haven’t got away with it I’ll add a comment to the video.
     
  8. Leviathan

    Leviathan New Member

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    Thanks for posting the timing info. Do you have any subsequent timings that you can share with us? I was on the train, but sorry to say not recording any detailed times or speeds. My impression was that the hill climbing was absolutely top-drawer, particularly Rattery (westbound), Hemerdon, and Whiteball (eastbound). Maybe no records were broken, but there was a sense of immense power which I found quite exhilarating. The wonderful condition of the engine (a great credit to PRCLT) was complemented by some very fine enginemanship.
    Nick
     
  9. 854tiger

    854tiger New Member

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    Agree with every word... an excellent tour. A loco and crew on top of their game. Most enjoyable.....
     
  10. Jeremy English

    Jeremy English Member

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  11. pwsw5054

    pwsw5054 Member

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    6 minutes 5 seconds for Hemerdon (MP242.5 to MP238.5) with a minimum of 23.5mph around MP239.5, speed onto the climb was 62 and fell rapidly between MP 241.75 and MP240.25 before maintaining high/mid 2os to the slackening of the grade. The run to Dainton was hampered by a yellow signal on the approach to Totnes and MP221.5 to Tunnel in was achieved 4 minutes 24 seconds with 33.5 taken over the top with a slip just before. The time for Exeter to MP174 was 21 mins 38 secs and to Whiteball tunnel was 21 mins 50 secs. Speed at Hele & Brandninch was 68.5 and this rose to a max of 72 at MP182 dropping off to 66.5 on the rise to Tiverton Loops, speed climbed back to 72 at MP178.5 before gradually dropping off to a min of 63.5 (67.5 into the tunnel).
     
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  12. Leviathan

    Leviathan New Member

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    Many thanks for posting this.
    After the disappointment of the unexpected diesel involvement on VT’s Oxford 175 Circular tour, this proved to be the perfect antidote. It’s a great itinerary with lots of steam mileage, challenging gradients, and a reasonable amount of time at a nice destination - Fowey in my case. I also appreciated having plenty of opportunities to photograph the engine at various points during the day.
    This was my first tour with RTC for several years and I was impressed. I liked the ease of on-line booking and the ability to print my own boarding pass. The tour booklet was excellent, including gradient profiles and a detailed route description. On the journey back to Bristol passengers were given a voucher code giving a discount off a future booking, and the following day I received a nice thank you email. I can feel a repeat booking coming on.
    I also really appreciate the lengths (and expense) that WCRC went to in working the diesel light engine to Plymouth and back home from Par, rather than taking the easy option of leaving it attached to the train – well done!
    Oh, and I think I have a new favourite loco!
     
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  13. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    First Royal Duchy of the 2019 Season. a good run with 6233 and worth a report.

    Royal Duchy 21st July 2019

    Well after getting home at midnight after our excellent run behind 70000 on Saturday, it was up before 0600 for breakfast and then a drive to Bristol Temple Meads for this, the first Royal Duchy of the 2019 program. Nice morning though we did pass through a couple of light showers. Good to have the Duchess back down for the run. It would be the first time we'd travelled behind her in Cornwall as we only did the truncated BRI-PLY and return tour in 2016.

    Interestingly we have the 23rd June's Summer Cornishman run to do a bit of comparison between 2 big wheeled Class 8 Pacifics 'over the banks'. The loading looked good at Bristol with more pickups to come. We were 3 back on the outward. The Duchess backed on and I liked the weathered look. Good to see a 'proper' headboard on the front. Andy Taylor confirmed that the stock was being parked up for the layover in Par in the sidings on the branch side so the whole train wasn't being turned as happened on the Summer Cornishman. Made me wonder why DB didn't do the same. Also he confirmed the outward water stops would take place in Taunton Station and in Exeter Station P6 during the hour long stopover there. Forgot to ask who other driver, firemen and TIs were.

    An early problem at BTM - the 0844 Cross Country was declared a failure in P4 and we thought we'd have to wait until a replacement was brought down from Barton Hill. We didn't but we left 9 late and were checked at Bedminster for the replacement XC to pass. We got away up finally and passed Parson Street at only 22.9. Below mp121, passed at 38.2, there's a little bank to Flax Bourton Summit, just after mp123; 3/4 mile at 1in428, start 40.5; end 46.4; then 3/4 mile of 1in234, left at 46.4; 1/2 mile of 1in180 left at 47.3; then 1/4 of 1in343 to the summit, topped at 47.6. No comparison with 60163 as we had an uninterrupted run and passed the summit at 59.

    The Duchess got warmed up down the 3 miles through Nailsea and Backwell with a max of 66 through the station. Andy ran down to mp128 3/4 in the mid 60s before braking for our pick up at Yatton. As is usual on the Duchy quite a number of passengers joined there. We'd lost a further 5 minutes due to the Bedminster slow and left 14 down. Over the level we passed Huish LC, almost 2 miles out, at 50.8; crossed Puxton and Worle LC, 5 1/2 miles out at 65.3. It's level track for the next 17 miles except for an inconsequential 1/2 mile of 1in945 at mp139 1/2. Andy always find this boring!! We passed Uphill Jn, mp138, at 71.6 and ran at 71/2 for the for a couple of miles before reaching 74ish at mp142. We passed Brent Knoll at 74.9 and held 74 ish to mp144. The Duchess ran at 72/3 down to Highbridge, 71.5; crossed Huntspill at mp147 at 72 and ran at 72/3 to Bridgwater, mp151 1/2ish. The 3/4 1in256 saw speed dip to 71, but we picked back up to 74 at mp153 1/4 after 1/2 mile down the 1in340.

    We held 73/4 down to mp155 3/4 and the Duchess made a bit more noise up the mile 3/4 of 1in327/501/330, left at 69 but picked up to 72 down the mile of 1in572 to Cogload Jc. Andy just let the big locomotive run down into Taunton for a pickup and water stop if the latter was needed.

    We'd just beaten 'even' time with the 32mins 27.81s from Yatton.

    Our journalist friend Dan joined at Taunton and came to sit in our spare seat for the run to Plymouth. We were still 12 down and fortunately Andy and the fireman, Simon Scott of the PRCLT decided 6233 didn't need water so we were able to leave RT for the hoped for assault on Whiteball. 60163's speeds for the climb are in brackets. Not a rapid start on the level, mp163 3/4 passed at 28.8 (33.8), the end of the level section. Up the mile of 1in322 over Silk Mill with not too much sound from the front at 40(46.7). Then over 3/4 mile lev/724 up to 52.5(51.1). Over the next mile of 1in369 both sound and speed rose and we crossed Victory LC at 55.8 (56.7). We left the next mile and a half of 1in203/338 at mp167 1/2 at59.8 (60). We crossed Bradford and Tone LC after 1/2 mile of 1in222 at 60.2 (60) and left next mile and a quarter of 1in174 at mp169 1/4 at the same speed, as had 60163. The 3/4 mile of 1in667/170 was left at 60.8(60.2). This took us onto the section where speed usually picked up, the level through Wellington, 62 (61) then the 1/2 mile of 1in288/133, left at 61.9 (62.5). Odd that as in the old days it was common to pick up 4-5 mph here.

    Then it was onto Whiteball proper, 61.9 (61.2) onto the mile of 1in90. The four cylinder sound was superb as 6233 fought the gradient but speed fell by mp171 3/4, the end of section, to 57.1 (54.8). Onto the steeper 3/4 mile of 1in86 to mp172 1/2 where speed only fell slowly to take 54.3 (48.2) onto the final 3/4 mile of 1in80. 6233 was showing she was in fine fettle passing mp173 at 53 (47) and climbing into Whiteball Tunnel at 53 (46.8). We burst out of the tunnel and passed the summit at mp174 on the easing 1in203 at 51.9 (almost 50).

    The run had taken 12m 36 and a bit seconds (60163 12m 59.17s). Julian Wilson, the keeper of the timings in the South West, confirmed 6233's was the 12th fastest run. Definitely one for the Duchess, but Tornado had wet rails to contend with.

    Our dash down the 2 miles of 1in115 ended at 75 (65); and we blasted through Tiverton Parkway at 75. 60163 was eased due to 60163's water stop being made in Tiverton Loop. We passed mp179 in the loop at 70 on the 1in207/324 but rapidly got back to 76 (58) at mp181 after a 1 3/4 m down a 1in155. We ran down the bank to cross Hele and Bradnich LC at 74.5 (75); Stoke Canon LC at 76.5 (68.7) on the 1in217d. We ran into P6 at Exeter St Davids 7 early. The tanker was waiting for us on the reinstated roadway in the yard.

    We left 2 down less than 6 mins behind the PAD-PNZ. It was only stopping at Newton Abbot but we had a very slow run to St Thomas', 30.3 (39), and it got worse and over the mile and a half of level track we only got to mp198 3/4, Exminster, at 60.2 (74.3), and to 60.8 (75) at mp199. Didn't seem to be a reason for it. It's virtually level running for the next 6 miles but our speed fell to 53.5 (60) by Starcross, not the usual 70ish. Again, no idea why unless there were restrictions on the driver's notice. We drifted through Dawlish Warren at only 43.5 (68) and Dawlish, 43.4 (???). Still no real acceleration through Teignmouth, 43.4 (60), and only 48.6 (67) by mp211. The level section ended at mp212, 49.4, (72). We slowed a bit around the curve at Newton Abbot and passed through the station at 47.9 (50.5). We expected some serious acceleration over the 1/2 mile of level track to Aller, mp215 1/4, and over the short 247d onto the foot of Dainton Bank. Just as on the Summer Cornishman it didn't happen and the max we managed was 52.8 (60) at mp215 3/4.

    The Duchess did nothing remarkable in 2016 so we were hoping for a good climb today. Onto the first part of the bank, a mere 1/4+ mile of 1in98 at 52.6 (60.1); then off the 1/2 mile+ of 1in57 at 43 (53.5). The curves get tighter and the Duchess was really hurting her tyres from the sound of it as the gradient increased to 1in46/56 for half a mile, left at 37 (45). On the reverse curves and ever steepening gradients, the Duchess looked and sounded good, but she slipped just before we left the 1in41/49/36 quarter past mp217 1/2 and our speed fell to 27.5 (37.9). What's left? On the approach to the tunnel approach, a tight curve at 1in36 easing to 1in44 past mp217 3/4. We passed the mp at only 18 (35.4) before we entered the tunnel on the short bit of 1in84 at 17.5 (35). Time from Newton Abbot 4m 41.35s (60163 4m 33.5s). One to 60163.

    Rattery Bank is the one least liked by the crews of big wheeled locomotives. It is 4 miles long with curves as tight as Dainton. The approach through Totnes is restricted to 60 and the 1in66 starts at mp223 just past the first bridge after Totnes Station. On the original notice we were due through the platform with a 20 mph restriction!! As it was we ran middle road through the station at 60.7 (56.4) and hit the 1in66 at 60 (55.8). 3/4 of a mile later we took 54.1 (52) onto the 1/4 of 1in71. We left it at 52.8 (50.8) onto 1/2 mile+ of 1in47. Speed was not falling off a cliff and we left onto the slightly easing 1in50/56at 43.9 (40.1). Still climbing steeply we passed mp225 at 36.6 (38) after the 1/4 of 1in46/57. It's Devon so typically the bank then steepens to 1in52 at mp225 1/4 34.4 (????) as Tigley Spire comes into view. At the site of Tigley box, mp225 1/2, speed was 31.7 (35.1). Then we passed the gradient change post from 1in52 to 74 close to mp 225 3/4 at 29.9, (36.2). Then onto the 3/4 mile of 1in90 to the relief of the crew. Speed rose to 34.1, (42.3) at mp226 3/4; then there's a quarter that starts at 1in 95 but has a wicked sting in the tail with an ending of 1in65 that took us back to 32.6 (42.5) as we passed the 'climbing' summit at mp227.

    Time from mp233 at Totnes to mp227, 6m 11.81s (60163 5m 37.59s). Another to Tornado, in wet weather too. So 2-0 to the new build A1 on the westbound climbs of Dainton and Rattery Banks.

    We drifted over Rattery Viaduct and on the 1/4 mile of level track speed actually dropped to 30.8 (47.7). After a 1/4 mile 1in200 we came out of the 1/2 mile long at 1in131 through Marley Tunnel at 40.5 (48) and crossed the level 'summit' at 40.4 (47.5). There's 3 more miles of gentler climbing to Wrangaton Summit. Up the mixed 1in380/909/166/775/388 6233 ran much better to pass Brent at 54.8 (54.3). We came off the next the next mile+ at an average of 1in260ish saw at 55.8 (52.8) purring along. After the final 1/2 mile of 1in129/199/117 we entered Wrangaton Tunnel at 53.9 (51) and crossed the summit after a short 1in470 at 54.8 (53). Good in places but we'd taken 54m 56.45s (43m 21s) to get to mp232, 14 miles from Plymouth. No chance whatsoever of getting even close to a 60 minute EXD-PLY.

    We passed Hemerdon GF at 55 (51.7). Firm braking down the 1in42d, left at 68 (???) and 72 (71) off the 1in41d. We crossed the River Bridge at 59.4 (60); passed Tavistock Yard at 55 (61) and rattled over Laira Jc at 55 (59.7). We slowed up the 1/2 mile of 1in77, 45.9 ( 54.8) onto the 3/4 mile of 1in83 to Mutley Tunnel. Our speed fell to 21.4 (18.6) as we climbed into the tunnel. Out and down the other side we came to a stand in Plymouth North Road 3 early in 71m 19.28s. 60163 became the first locomotive to break the 60 minute barrier on the Summer Cornishman taking only 59m 33.91s for the run from Exeter St Davids.

    Here 6233 came off the train and I put the timing kit away as the journey to Par was behind 47802.

    We'd booked a table in the Rashleigh Arms in Charlestown for 1500. We got there in plenty of time and there were a few tables free. You never know there. As last time, Mrs S, Dave and Dan who came with went for the Carvery. Dan had all 3 meats - well he's young! Mrs S had the beef - I tried some and it was superb. This time I had the Cornish Mussels followed by smoked mackerel fillets as the main. Love fresh fish dishes in Cornwall. The Proper Job IPA was excellent. Too full for desserts.

    Bill Monteith was our driver for the return. We were 8 back for the return and despite being milepost side, the sun going down made it difficult to see mileposts so I synchronised the GPS periodically to use when I couldn't pick out the mileposts. Not an easy run out of Par up to Treverrin Tunnel, 2 miles+ of climbing. It begins with a 1/4 mile+ of level track, left at 20 (24.9) before almost 3/4 mile of 1in84,, a reference milepost 281 1/4. We passed it at 23.1 (29.4). Not a great deal of noise from 6233 8 back as she tackled the 3/4 mile of 1in109, left at 27.8 (31.7) onto the much steeper close to a mile of 1in62 into and through Treverrin Tunnel, minimum 26.2 (26.3); 29.1 (30.5) out. Down grade to Lostwithiel, 44 (42.9) and 44 (44) onto the foot of the close to 11 mile climb to Sperritt Tunnel. Unlike 60163 we didn't have to stop for a pick up at Bodmin Parkway.

    Up the almost 1/2 mile of 160, left at 45.1 (44.3); and 47.2 (49) at the end of 1/4 mile 2708d. The Duchess attacked the almost 1 1/2 miles of 1in389 at 47.2 (49.2) and roared into Brownqueen after a bit of 1in71 at 53.9 (46.5). The gradient steepened to 1in71 for 1/4 mile+ to mp275, left at 51.4 (51.9).

    Time to mp275: 6233 12m 47.31s; 60163 11m 58.58.24s.

    Up a short 1in 65 to pass milepost 274 (checked GPS) on Bodmin Parkway Station at 43.9. Up the mixed 3/4 mile of level/1in65/85/148 then, and we passed mp273 1/4 at 46.6 (36.5 after a restart from BP). Up the 1/4 of 1in80, 46.4 (36.5) and then down the 1/4 mile of 1in81, 51.2 (44.6). There are a number of gradient changes and viaducts over the next 3 1/2 miles.

    Between mps 272 3/4 and 270 3/4, the speeds are those we left the gradients at: first 1/4 of 1in94, 50.7 (44.7); 1/2 mile of 1in69, 44.1 (38.5); 1/4 1in58 to mp272, 44 (38.1); 1/2 mile of 1in68 across Clinnick Viaduct, 43 (36.7); 1/4mile of 1in426, 41.9 (38.1); 1/4 past mp271 on Derrycombe Viaduct, 39.5 (34.5); 3/4 mile of 1in70 across Draw Wood and West Largin Viaducts, 36.4, (29.3); refuge on the single track, 1/4 of 159d, 39.6 (33.3); over East Largin Viaduct, 1in159, 40.1 (32.9). then there's a mile and a half slog of 1in90 over St Pinnock Viaduct to Doublebois Summit; over Westwood Viaduct back on the double track, 39.4 (31.6), and a minimum of 39.5 (31.3). Good climb. Then down the 1in53d into Sperritt Tunnel at 51.1 (50.5), and down grade to Liskeard, 45 (60163 had to stop to pick up passengers).

    There's a half mile of 1in79 3/4 mile out from Liskeard, started at 45.5 (35.2 from a standing start), left at 44.3 (33.4), followed by 1/4 mile of 1in258, 46.1 (37.2), before it's all down grade. We drifted through St Germans at 50.6 (51) and hit a max of 66.2 (63.3) at mp255. There's a mile of 1in200 up into and through Wivelscombe Tunnel, left at 65.2 (61.3), then it's down to Saltash, 16.3 (14). We climbed up the 1in81 onto the Royal Albert Bridge, mp251 passed at 17.3 (17) and ran down to Keyham, 39, (37.9). We climbed the 1/2 mile of 1in68 to Dockyard, 37.6, (34.5); and up 1/4 mile of 1in76, 32.4 (32.7) towards Devonport. We passed through the station on the level at 34.5, (36.4). All downhill to North Road P7 for a water stop and to pick up passengers.

    Things went badly. The water from the hydrant was muddy and took a few minutes to clear. The pressure wasn't very high and it took way longer than the booked time of 30 minutes. At 1915 it was decided to let the 1934 Penzance-Paddington out before us and to keep taking water to het the tender as full as possible before we left. The PNZ-PAD left on time and we followed at 1940. As is normal a big Pacific slipped a couple of times before the overbridge directly in front of Mutley Tunnel. Milepost is under this bridge and an easy spot to synchronise the GPS.

    The line speed is 60 so no rapid acceleration down the 1in83 to Lipson Jc, 57 (57). We crossed Laira Jc at 60 (60) and passed mp242 3/4 at the end of Tavistock Yard at 61.5 (60.4). Over the Plympton River Bridge, 62 (60) and around the left hand curve onto the foot of the bank, actually the steepest part. We took 62.2 (58) onto the 1/2 mile of 1in41 to mp241 1/2. We left the 1in41 at 56 (48.7) and tackled the next 1/2 mile of 1in47, left at a decent 45.3 (25.8). That took us onto the mile+ of 1in42. Half way through this section at mp240 1/2, 6233 began to feel the bank and speed dropped to 40.3 (18.5); we passed mp240 1/4 at 34.2 (12.2) and mp240 at 27.9 (11.8). The gradient eased just before mp239 3/4 to 1in75, but still our speed fell to 25.1 (12.7).

    Between mps239 3/4 and 239 1/2, there are two gradient posts that show changes to 1in51, then 1in89. Our minimum speed of 24.2 (12.3) was early in this 1/4 and we passed mp239 1/2 at 27.7 (14.8). After the bridge the gradient eased to 1in630 and our speed rose to 33.4 (21.2).

    Time from Plymouth 12m 28.02s; 60163 13m 55.76s. We then passed mp239 on the 197d at 40 (28.9). Decent but not a spectacular climb. Definitely one to the Duchess.

    Already there was talk about Dainton but first we had to run 'across the top' and then down Rattery to Totnes. 6233 gained speed up the gentle gradients to Ivybridge Viaduct, 56 (51), where it steepened to 1in150 for 1/2 mile+, left at 55.7 (48) through the station. The mile of 1in218 followed by a mile of mixed 1in295/169/100/122 saw us pass mp233 at 53.2 (42.3). Not a great deal of sound drifted back to us, 8 back. The next 1/4 mile of level running saw no change to our 53.2 (44) but a brake application on the 1/2 mile of 1in307 and short bit of 1in120 to Wrangaton Summit at mp232 saw speed fall to 38.6 (47.4). All downhill then to Totnes. We passed Tigley at 57.4 (57) and with the brakes hard on we came off the bank and ran through Totnes at a relatively slow 48.8 (59.1).

    Then it got noisy as Bill opened 6233 up for the charge to the foot of Dainton Bank and then the really severe reverse curves over the steepest gradients of the climb to the tunnel. We picked up speed steadily on the level to pass mp221 at 53.9 (52.5). Over the next mile of mixed gradients with short sections as steep as 1in86/78 and 1in76, we hit the serious part of the climb from mp220 1/4 at 51.6 (53.4). It was very noisy even 8 back as 6233 attacked the 1/4 mile of 1in86/206/76, to blast past mp219 1/2 at 54.3 (49.5). Then it's onto the final mile and a half over tight reverse curves to the tunnel. After 3/4 mile of 1in76/105/55, speed fell to 47.5 (45.8); then over the next quarter of 1in65/38 to 42.6 (40). Decent so far.

    Onto the last 1/2 mile where the sound of wheels screaming against the severe reverse curves and gradients of 1in38, then 1in43/37, almost drowned out the sound from the front. Speed fell steadily and we passed mp218 1/4 on the 1in 38 at 36.9 (34); then mp218 on the 1in43/37 at 32.8 where we slipped before we climbed into the tunnel at just over 31. Tornado slipped several times on damp rails between mps218 1/2 and 218 and climbed into the tunnel at 26.

    Time for Totnes to Dainton Tunnel 5m 47.55s; 60163 5m 58.23s. Definitely one to the Duchess and 2-0 on the Eastbound South Devon Banks. The dry day helped 6233 but they were both very good climbs by the big Midlander.

    6233, as 60163 had, slipped inside the tunnel before the gradient changed. Out of the tunnel at 31 (31) and down to Aller, 57.6 (49). We slowed a little through Newton Abbot, 56.3 ( 52) and ran in the high 50s (60) towards and through Teignmouth, 55.8 (56). The brakes came on quite hard as we left Teignmouth. We'd caught the Paignton-Exmouth Stopper!! We crawled through the 5 tunnels at close to 20 and picked up a bit to 25.7 (57.5) through Dawlish. We hoped rather than expected to be allowed past it at the Warren and as speed rose to 43.6 past mp205 the hopes were realised. We past mp204 1/2 on the station at 49.5 (65.3) and passed mp205 1/2 on Starcross station at 64.1 (67). Onto the long level section and 72.5 (75) through Exminster. The brakes came on at mp196 1/2 when we were still doing 70 (65). We drifted through St Thomas at 25 (27) and arrived for our water stop at Exeter in Platform 6 some 35 down. The Summer Cornishman set down only at Exeter and had to take water in Tiverton Loop so we can only compare the climbs up to a point.

    Whiteball Eastbound is a long, demanding, 20 mile bank without any gradients greater than 1in115, ideal for a big wheeled Pacific. We left some 29 minutes down but the Taunton stop would be a set down only so we should be RT leaving if we had a good climb to Whiteball. A steady getaway from Exeter. We passed mp193 3/4 at 14.4 and then mp193 in Riverside Yard on a short 1in300 at 35.5 (40.4). The Duchess was well into her stride by Cowley Bridge Jn, 39 (43.9) on the 2 miles of 1in620. We passed mp191, end of section, at 52 (54.7). Next there's 1/2 mile of level track and 1/4m at 310 to mp190 1/2, Stoke Canon, 55 (58) before a mile of 1in217. Stoke Canon LC is midway and we roared across it at 55.6 (59). We left the section at 56.2 (59), then the grade eased over 3/4 mile of 1in625d/274d/500d and speed rose to 59.8 (62).

    The unique sound of the Duchess drifted back as speed slowly increased as we left the 3/4 mile of 1in343 at 63.7 (64.2), held over the next 1/2 mile of 1in 435. 1 1/4 miles of 1in243/219 and then there's 3/4 of a mile of 1in313d/534d/level to Hele and Bradnich LC, crossed at much better 69 (69). Up mixed gradients the fireman was working hard. No change on 1/2 m 1in292 ; next mile of 1in523, 1/4 of 1in306 speed held at 69.1 (69). It eased to 1/2 mile of 1in824 but there was still a solid 69 on the GPS for both locos. There must have been a bit of a lag in readings because 6233 passed mp183 after 1/2 mile of 1in333 at 71 (70), a speed held over the 1/2 mile of 1in279d/level and the 1/2 mile of 1in316 to mp182. 60163 also got to 71. Just above at mp181 1/2, 71.8 (70.8) 60163 as it was eased and then the brakes came on for the visit to Tiverton Loop.

    Times to mp181 1/2 were: 6233 15m 06.33s; 60163 13m 41.06s.

    Out of interest, I've included 60163's speeds from the standing start in Tiverton Loop to Whiteball Tunnel.

    6233 charged across 1/4m level and up the 1/2 mile of 1in284 through the old Cullompton Station, 71.2 onto 1 1/2m of 1in155, left at 67. The bank was starting to take its toll with 6 miles of climbing to go. We roared past the old Tiverton Junction Station, mp179 after a chance to pick up speed down a mile of 1in324(3/4)/207(1/4) at 72. After a short 1/4 of 1in746, we hit the mile of 1in216. 6233 was flying along at 71 (38.4). We blasted through Tiverton Parkway at 70.3 (43.4) at the end of 1/2m 405 and were back on steeper 1in242 for 3/4m. 6233 gave nothing away to that, nor to the 1/4m of 1in162. Now we were onto 2 miles of 1in115 where even the big locos normally lose 5 mph. 1/4 in at mp176 speed was 68.7 (45.9); a mile in at mp175 1/2, 66.9 (44.7) ; 1 1/2m in at mp175, 66.3 (44.2); at mp174 3/4, 65.6 (44.2); at mp174 1/2, 64.6 (44.2), the end of the 1in115; on the easing 1in212 at mp174 1/4, 63 (44.6), then at mp174 65 (47.7). We dived into the tunnel down the 1in203 at 66.7 (50.8) and left it at 71.

    Time from Exeter was 21m 50.53s. Under 22mins is good. Hard taskmasters those of us who've done this climb many times with many locomotives and loads. We were expecting 70 into the tunnel and a time nearer 20 minutes. Perhaps next time.

    Down the bank to Taunton. Past Wellington at 74.5 ; across Bradford-on-Tone LC at 73.4 (72.2); Victory LC at 73 (69.3) and then a drift into Taunton, Silk Mill 40.8. (60163 speeds back in brackets to mp139 as they had a Weston-Super-Mare set down).

    No water to be taken so off down 2 miles at an average 1in261 to the old Creech Jn, mp161 passed at 57 (56.4). Now a level mile, left at 63.8 (61.4); down 1/2m of 1in483, 67 (62.4); 1/4m level, 67 (63.2); mp159, down 1/4m of 1in288, 68.5 (64.4); then after 1/4m level and 1/2m of 1in572, Cogload Jn at 69.7 (65.5). Decent enough. Up the remaining mile of 1in572, 70 (67); down 1 3/4m of ave. 1in387, 73 (74.3), then 1/2m level, mp154, 69.8 (73.4) then 3/4m of 1in340, 70 (73.1). then it was down 3/4m of 1in256 to Bridgwater, 70 (74). Now we were on Brunel's Billiard Table, mp151-mp140 1/4 of pan flat railway, 75mph heaven for class 7s and 8s with any load.

    6233 ran effortlessly with little in the way of noise drifting 8 back. At mp149, Dunball, 71.5 (73.3); Huntspill 72.2 (72.9; Highbridge, 72.6 (72.3; Brent Knoll, 72.2 (73.1); mp140 3/4, 72 (71.4) where 60163 braked early for Uphill Jn. 6233 ran on at 71/2 to Uphill Jn, 71.8, before being eased and brought to a stand below Worle Jn. Bristol Control had kindly held us for an all stations from Weston-super-Mare to BTM.

    After a couple of minutes we restarted and passed Worle Station at 28.6; Puxton and Worle LC, 33.6; then Huish LC, 3 miles out, at 42.6. Bill then eased the Duchess into out set down at Yatton. Tornado did the same so comparisons for the Flax Bourton challenge can be made. We left still on level track with 6233's four cylinder sound reverberating around. We passed mp130 at 27.5 (21.3); mp129, 46.5 (47.9); end of the level track, 128 3/4, 47.2 (51.7). not serious gradients but: 1/2m 1in545, 50.5 (55.3; 1/2m /in471, 52.5 (55.3); 1 1/2m of 1in334, Nailsea and Backwell, 56 (64.6); 1 1/4m at 1in334, 59.1 (65.8); 3/4m of 1in387, 60.8 (69)mp124 1/4, Flax Bourton, 1in146, 60.9 (68.7; Flax Bourton Tunnel East, 1in200, 61.3 (68); next 1/2m of 1in 200, 56 (68); Flax Bourton Summit, after 1/4m 1in234, 56 (67.5). surprised how much faster 60163 was on this late climb. It's all downgrade then to Bristol Temple Meads where we arrived at Platform 5 at 2248, 4 late.

    An excellent day out with the Duchess; many thanks to the PRCLT for letting it come down to the South West, and for their support crew who had a hard day. Many thanks to RTC for running the Royal Duchy, to my mind, one of the highlights of the year; to WCR for their train management on the day; for the provision of the usual excellent footplate crews; and for their stock which is a very tidy set. Thanks as always to Network Rail for finding paths to run mainline steam in 2019, and for their train regulation on the day when not everything quite went to plan.
     
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  14. CLN_WVR

    CLN_WVR Member

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    Couple of shots at Cogload Junction

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