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Vintage Trains - 2021

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Will RL, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    A moot point indeed Sean. A couple of drivers I know say 12 coaches are more difficult to haul up the steeper banks than 9+a box, particularly Sapperton with such tight reverse curves. Don't think there'll ever be a definitive answer.

    We'll have to have 2 categories for performance by train weight; with and without boxes. Can't really compare just on weight.

    All I know about Warwick is the 10 mph restriction was on the NR Notice for the train. Haven't done Leamington Spa to Hatton behind steam in recent times so got nothing to go on.
     
  2. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
  3. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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  4. 16Ventnor

    16Ventnor New Member

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    In coach I for Ice Cold. Just got out at Shrub Hill for a warm up. Diesel has cut in twice to assist thus far. Whole consist will be turned at Park Junction so we’ll be at rear all day. Some people in dining wearing coats. Just announced they will try and repair heating at Canton.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
  5. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    We're due to be in Coach I. Last weeks load was comfortable for a Castle and we assumed this week would be the same. Bad enough to have a box in the consist when the train is to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 2nd October 1971's Return To Steam on the mainline. Steam being the operative word.

    With the weather being as it is, the 500 ton load if it is 11+4773, and the need to 'keep to time', odds are it will be a Notch 1 assisted train out of the Big Hole to Patchway Station if not all the way to Chipping Sodbury Tunnel and the summit of the 300r. Might get away with the shorter 300r to Wootton Bassett, then it's all downgrade to Didcot West. No really steep climbs after but can't see the train not being assisted out of Banbury and then up Hatton after the 10 mph restriction through Warwick.

    Not sure it's worth joining at Cardiff.
     
  6. Jamie C. Steel

    Jamie C. Steel New Member

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    Of course it's worth joining at Cardiff. You were proven wrong last week about the 47 in the consist, and VTL are only too aware how much people like you detest having a diesel in the consist let alone powering. If they had a choice it wouldn't be there, so if it is called on to do anything it'll be an exception rather than standard for the run. I think you enjoyed the run last week, you've paid your money for today, no sense letting it go to waste.
     
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  7. AlexS

    AlexS New Member

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    For what it's worth the issue on the Snow Hill lines was a significant number of additional gauging speed restrictions compared to the run last week - why there are more with the same loco on the same route I'm not sure. As a consequence with a heavy train and wet rail some help was needed to avoid loosing too much time.
     
  8. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    We're in CDF and will give it a go. The beer is helping...
     
  9. 16Ventnor

    16Ventnor New Member

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    Now enjoying Sustained (very) high speed running and heating repaired.
     
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  10. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Member

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    7029 was making a good showing departing Cardiff in the very persistent rain.
     
  11. cg

    cg New Member

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  12. 16Ventnor

    16Ventnor New Member

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    Big shove for a minute or so away from a signal check(?) north of Tackley.
     
  13. AlexGWR1994

    AlexGWR1994 Member

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    Here's my footage of 7029 Clun Castle at speed through Bredon and Ram Hill on the outskirts of Bristol Parkway. The video also features 45596 Bahamas and 61306 Mayflower on yesterday's run. The Clun Castle footage starts at 03:20. I hope you enjoy the video.
     
  14. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Part of the furniture

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    Thumbs down for Hatton, I hope Shireman got off. Notch one would of been great lol
     
  15. simon neate

    simon neate New Member

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    Sorry vintage but I can’t be dealing with the diesel. Such a shame it’s shoved up the banks today .
     
  16. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Unfortunately not Liam. It felt 'wrong' from Banbury and box driver confirmed he'd assisted from there. Apparently not enough water was taken at Milton, and 7029 slipped - once! We'd also been shoved from the Severn Tunnel to Patchway. So worst fears realised and for me it wasn't worth travelling on.
     
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  17. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    I did wonder whether something had gone wrong at Milton when I saw the tanker driver offloading gallons of water onto the pavement when we pulled away.
     
  18. LittleRedTrain

    LittleRedTrain New Member

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    My partner and I were on the tour today, but we bailed at Banbury on the way back, as the desire of a 5min drive home and a hot cuppa overcame the prospect of arriving back 4 hours later, including a 2 hour wait in rainy Birmingham because Chiltern can't be bothered to run any southbound services between 1835 and 2026 on a Saturday!

    While I accepted the use of the diesel on the back as a necessary evil, due to the weather conditions and the operational requirements of Cardiff, a much bigger disappointment was the overall 'customer experience' in Club Class compared to the same price equivalents on other TOCs.

    On boarding at Snow Hill, the seating process was shambolic. It was not clear which tables were free for which groups to sit at, which ones were for 2 and 4, whether people who had pre-booked bubbles would actually end up having to share tables, and lots of people milling back and forth in the aisles. Given all the tables had numbers, it would've been so much easier to allocate seating in the same way as every other railtour operator! Could even be done at the last minute with the stewards giving you a table number when boarding.

    The lack of heating on the outward was rather unpleasant, especially given the dank, cold, conditions.
    Given it's the same organisation responsible for the locos, stock and operation, you'd think this was something that could be tested and fixed on depot well before the train was due to depart.
    Die-hard enthusiasts might put up with this kind of thing, but it won't encourage casual punters to book again!

    The biggest disappointment was the promised complimentary service (or lack of).
    In RTC First Class or SD's Premium Standard, the catering staff are out with the free tea and coffee almost as soon as the train has boarded.
    Today, we weren't offered any hot drinks on the outward until after Cheltenham and only one more before Cardiff.
    Given the lack of heating, we really could have done with them much earlier. (It would also have helped with the sleep deprivation caused by seemingly the entire population of Birmingham shouting and screaming outside our hotel until the wee small hours!)

    On the way back, orders for the bar were taken only once, and then not until Wootton Bassett, and the tea didn't appear before Swindon. However, the sugar etc had been removed from the tables after the outbound, the lady serving tea promised to return with some, and never reappeared!
    There were also a number of times when someone came through with coffee, promised they'd return with tea, and never did.

    I don't know if the catering is outsourced by VT but it feels like something they really need to look at improving.
    Hopefully those in full dining had a better experience.

    There were other little things, like not providing a leaflet with timings and info on the loco and route. Plus the whole issue of not providing outline times in advance which has been mentioned here ad nauseum.

    Don't get me wrong, it is great to see VT back out running long distance steam tours and the loco and stock were immaculate, but it feels that it could be so much better with minimal effort.

    I will be sending some polite constructive feedback directly to VT and hope that they'll continue to improve. As my local steam operator I'm keen to support them and book more trips, but after today I think it might be a hard sell to my partner and her elderly parents (who like to do tours with us, but would never have coped with no heat and no tea!)

    Photos from Worcester and Banbury
    DSC_0375b.jpg IMG_20211002_173500b.jpg
     
  19. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Part of the furniture

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    A swing and miss, hopefully their bread and butter Marches trips will deliver the goods like previous years.
     
  20. Leviathan

    Leviathan New Member

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    Apart from additional track access charges, is there any reason VT could not have sent the diesel on its own to and from Cardiff to assist with the shunt there? I am sure 7029 would not have had any difficulty timing the 11 coach train unassisted. If it is purely a financial consideration, what would need to be added to the ticket price to cover the additional diesel paths?

    I do wonder if VT’s use of vacuum brake only Mk II coaches is making them nervous about running trains some way from Tyseley without their diesel being in the consist. After all, the options for rescuing a broken-down vac braked train are pretty limited these days.
     

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