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Vintage Trains 7029 to Llandudno 04/05/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Harbury, May 4, 2019.

  1. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    The WME is a bad train for us in South Wales as we can't even get to Snow Hill - not risking an 0817 arrival when the WME departs at 0822! The climbs from Maindee North, then Caerleon to Pontypool Road followed by Abergavenny to Llanvihangel Summit will tell all. If the Class 47 has made its presence felt we can get across from Hereford to Solihull after lunch in a couple of hours rather than stay on the train and not get back there until 2016.
     
  2. Spike.

    Spike. New Member

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    Clun Castle seen rolling into Crewe and then departing after having a 20 minute stop on the up&down goods loop rather than using the usual platform 12. IMG_7285.JPG IMG_7307.JPG
     
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  3. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    In discussion with Ray he thinks Abergavenny might need DL assistance but nowhere else. For Sapperton on 18th same as last time. I think we will do this one but from Worcester as can’t get to Brum by train in time
     
  4. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Thanks for that Don. Will probably give the 25th a miss. Hoped everyone would have been happy enough with 7029 to dispense with the diesel by now. No ETH needed. Such is life. Looks like no GWR locos for us in 2019.
     
  5. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    I've been on every one of the VT trips with 7029 so far this year and I honestly cannot think of a single occurence of when we had diesel assistance. Other than the run from Llandudno back to Chester last weekend and the turning move on the Worcester evening diners I genuinely believe all the diesel has done on these trips is just provide ETH.
    For me, I'm just glad that I get to experience Great Western mainline steam at all. A box on the back providing the heating is a small price to pay for that.
     
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  6. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    The lineside videos don't show that and people I know who have been on trains - only once - don't agree; but I don't want to argue the point as we haven't been on any of them and won't be with a diesel in the consist. The only diesel on the back scenario that's acceptable is the way DB have run them occasionally when they've needed a diesel to provide ETH or for a shunt. They are unmanned for the former, and not even switched on for the latter. We bought shares in the CBS to support GWR Steam on the Mainline. All we hope is the diesel on the back will run it's course sooner than later. To be honest we'll travel with Saphos before VT at the moment; and I never thought I'd say that.
     
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  7. Davo

    Davo Well-Known Member

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    Well at least V.T. are running independent with 2 steam for now and possibly Kinlet hall fairly soon.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2019
  8. maureen

    maureen Member

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    Ray says that if there is a 20mph slack through Abergavenny station then the diesel may be asked to assist as a last resort but he hopes not.
     
  9. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    Can't get much fairer than that.

    We filmed 7029 at Frampton Mansell on her last visit. I've just played the recording back and have to say that there was no assistance from the diesel. We were all very impressed with her performance. <BJ>
     
  10. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    I have booked on 18th May trip. A diesel is likely all the time Dorridge is used as a starting point. I know Ray well enough to be sure that he did not ask for assistance on the last Cotswold trip and won’t this time either unless absolutely necessary. He is likely to have a trainee driver with him on 18th but Ray will be on the regulator on Sapperton. I am breaking my ‘no diesel’ rule this time as I think there is a very good chance it won’t help and Clun Castle will be a new engine.
     
  11. Kylchap

    Kylchap Member

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    I enjoyed a wonderful Welsh Marches behind the Earl in 2017, one of my best ever steam trips. No diesel was necessary then, so I'm puzzled why 7029 needs it now, unless they think it might break. It only had 7 coaches on the Llandudno trip! Is Clun really likely to need help at Abergavenny with that kind of load? If the diesel isn't doing anything, not even "taking its own weight", its main effect is to put greater strain on the steam loco. I had hoped for better things from the new Vintage Trains, which seemed to be promising express steam-hauled trains.
     
  12. Will RL

    Will RL Member

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    Let’s look at records of diesel assistance, and why it’s there... Lsl operations are a perfect model to refer to on this note.

    Lsl began charter operations in April 2018 and continued to run with a diesel at the rear until December 2018. That’s eight months. VT began charter operations in March 2019 and so far have been operating for just two months. What’s more is that Lsl have been using their own locos that have been running on the mainline for years previous. What Tyseley are dealing with is a loco fresh from overhaul. Yes, the test runs ran without diesel assistance, but we’re talking 20 miles from base, not the Marches...

    With the exception of the Llandudno trip this last weekend, all charters have seen Riviera stock in consist that requires ETH supply. 7029 isn’t capable and a generator car has not been in consist. A class 47 can supply this power. A generator car has been making appearances on Lsl runs which make it possible to operate their stock without a diesel supplying ETH.

    As for the Dorridge starts, I’m given to understand currently a Warwick Road start isn’t permitted(?), hence the Dorridge starts are an alternative. Yes, this means a diesel drag... doesn’t mean to say that it can’t be detached in the future? West Coast operations use diesels to drag stock into Paddington before detaching and making its own way back to Southall. Same can be said for Lsl operations when steam comes on at Crewe after diesels have brought a tour in from Preston for example.

    In making this comment I am in no regards doubting Ray’s (and others in the Tyseley set up) ability to handle Clun Castle or any loco. He’s a phenomenally well regarded driver with a known reputation for handling Great Western Locos. Reliable sources have informed us that the 47 has not been called on for assistance at points where we might have expected it to... surely this is a sign of confidence in 7029? In any case, an idling 47 just adds weight and can make a load 8 become load 11, a reason to make the loco work harder?

    As Ben has mentioned before, VT are a new operator of Mainline Steam and want to have a positive start to operations, so should the worst happen having the 47 is on hand. Perhaps in a year, when 7029 is fully bedded in, and VT are confident in operations, perhaps the diesel will be left behind. In the meantime is it not worth supporting this move?

    Massive thread drift... I do apologise!
     
  13. Leviathan

    Leviathan New Member

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    Very good analysis there Will. Just to add that perhaps there is an additional factor at play here:

    VT’s Mk 2 stock is vacuum-braked only – AFAIK there never were any dual-braked Mk 2s. With this stock in the consist, and in the event of steam loco failure, a vac. fitted diesel rescue loco is required. Currently this realistically limits the choice to VT’s own class 47, so it is understandable why it is being taken along for insurance, to avoid a train being stranded on the main line for any length of time.

    Longer term, perhaps replacing VT’s Mk 2 carriages with dual heated, dual braked Mk 1 stock would widen the rescue loco options and make VT more willing to allow their trains to operate some distance from Tyseley without a diesel in the consist.
     
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  14. KRM47827

    KRM47827 New Member

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    Worth noting that a typical class 47 with full ETH equipment is a good few dozen tonnes heavier than 3 carriages, e.g not all that far off 4 carriages. A type 2/3 diesel would be nearer 3. Frequently when they have been reported working in the past its been the bare minimum small notches of power or power simply in the "on" position to take the weight off itself and not the steam loco being shoved, although granted that does sometimes occur if operational needs mean the crew (and their control) feel it to be required.
     
  15. Dobbs0054

    Dobbs0054 Member

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    How many Generator Cars are there in existence? Do VT have one? Is there not a case to convert some stock to create more if the issue is just heating?
     
  16. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    ETH Class 47/4 is 119 tons.
     
  17. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Creating a new generator car would not be as simple as installing a gen set in full brake; there would be a whole raft of design verification and vehicle acceptance to go through.
     
  18. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Wonder if LSL would be prepared to give a helping hand as they've gone through the process? The usual good points about VT have been discussed on this thread again. What surprises me about the 'responsible TOC' thing is if there has been no assistance from the diesel on the back VT have chosen to run in a new engine with a load far in excess of that run behind 5043, apart from once on the S&C and on the GB; in fact on some trains, probably over the maximum advised for a Class 7 in NR's Guidance. A curious way to run in a 'new' Castle. The old VT train - 8 + Reg would have been ideal. It's always interesting that a vintage diesel is considered suitable for insurance because of course they never fail...
     
  19. Leviathan

    Leviathan New Member

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    The comparison of 7029 with 5043 is interesting. As I see it, the big difference is that in the case of 5043, the TOC was WCRC, so the risk from any adverse incident lay with them, and WCRC is an organisation with considerable resources in terms of staff, locomotives, route knowledge, and finance. Whereas in the case of 7029, Vintage Trains is a fledgling TOC with very limited resources and they are understandably being risk-averse at the moment.

    I share the concern about VT being heavily reliant on their own Class 47 and wonder whether they have any plans to acquire a second vacuum-fitted diesel locomotive.

    On the issue of ETH, I think this is less of an issue than the one of braking systems (see #33).

    Nick
     
  20. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Its worth bearing in mind that VT are essentially a charity with limited resources whereas LSL are a private company with an owner with very deep pockets.
     

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