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Vintage Trains Oxford Circular 15/06/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by gricerdon, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Oli15

    Oli15 New Member

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    Were fortunate to see steam fight its corner on the mainline, I think it has to be expected that for what we all want to see every week has to at times include diesels to enable the tour to run.

    Yesterday it did have the box on the back, but who cares as it looked fantastic passing Kings Sutton just 5 mins after the heavens opened....

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/oli_g_15/48071328406/
     
  2. David likes trains

    David likes trains Well-Known Member

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    A selection of pictures from yesterday, starting with the train sweeping down Hatton Bank.
    [​IMG]

    Then a dash to Leamington Spa beat the train there by a couple of minutes.
    [​IMG]

    Lovely to catch a GWR loco here, just looks right.
    [​IMG]

    The lunch train emerging from Wolvercote tunnel, between Oxford Parkway and Oxford proper.
    [​IMG]

    Racing up the Chiltern mainline near Chearsley, after the stop at Princes Risborough.
    [​IMG]

    Finally the return approaches Cropredy after the stop at Banbury.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. 30567

    30567 Well-Known Member Friend

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    Just to say that if people means passengers, that's not right. I'm not sure about railway workers. Suicides still run in the hundreds.

    But for passengers there are nine accidents in the last sixty years involving ten or more fatalities : Lewisham (90) ; Dagenham E (10) ; Coppenhall Jct (18) ; Hither Green (49) ; Taunton (12) ; Polmont ( 13) ; Clapham Jct (35) ; Ladbroke Grove (31) ; Great Heck (10). I think TPWS would have prevented most of those but not all (Taunton, Great Heck for example).

    Sorry if this is O/T and not at all a comment on the rest of your post Alan.

    Peter
     
  4. David likes trains

    David likes trains Well-Known Member

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    I made a visit to Culham between seeing the morning run down to Oxford and the lunch train, the lack of GWR services stopping there was noticeable. A litttle ironic that the most convenient way to visit was by car as I did!
     
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  5. TheModster

    TheModster New Member

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    7029 at 6:30 in the video, can be heard powering away in the distance but sadly coasting past Saunderton after her climb up Saunderton bank (also with 60163 and 60103 on their respective runs)

     
  6. banburysaint

    banburysaint New Member

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    The train was booked to be looped at Risborough which has approach release as a flashing route is not provided into the up main in the Down direction and nor would it be applicable as the route was (correctly) not set out of the north end.

    Sent from my PRA-LX1 using Tapatalk
     
  7. acorb

    acorb Member

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    Happy to clarify that I meant passengers, the last death being Grayrigg in 2007, which again was a track fault rather than driver error. However, the point stands that a focus on H+S, risk assessment and technology has dramatically cut railway deaths in general. TPWS has also extended the use of heritage stock on the mainline by some margin, long after the demise of slam door stock in 2005, by significantly reducing the risk of collisions. This I believe is one reason why a mark 2 barrier vehicle is no longer required in charter formations.
    However, the requirements for central door locking, retention tanks for toilets and the large amount of Mk3's now becoming available may mean people having to get far more used to air conditioned stock, unless there are more super rich benefactors out there
     
  8. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    Perhaps I could contribute one slightly different perspective on the day’s events that hopefully won’t inflame the tensions that so obviously exist between the contented and appreciative on the one hand, and the frustrated and disappointed on the other.

    The ascent of the Chilterns may have actually been an all-time record for a Castle Class locomotive with the trailing load that has been indicated. I have looked back through the RPS archives, in particular to scrutinise 20 decipherable logs of Castle haulage on down express services recorded in the main between 1954 and 1963. Set against what we know about Saturday’s run – 45 at High Wycombe, 53 at Saunderton, Load 10 for 350 plus 125 tons for the diesel – and a pass-to-pass time of just six minutes for the almost exactly five miles from High Wycombe to Saunderton !! (according to RTT), there’s nothing historically that even remotely matches the quoted Saunderton speed or the High Wycombe–Saunderton pass : pass time for 350, let alone 475 tons.

    Most of the logs feature Load 7 or 8 runs grossing out at between 250 and 300 tons. There is a high degree of uniformity between the performances achieved – times of somewhere between six and six and a half minutes over the five intervening miles, with speeds rising from typically 38-43 mph at High Wycombe to 50-53 mph at Saunderton (which although a recognised timing point is not quite the summit – that occurs about one and a half miles further north). According to the limited information available so far, this is pretty much around about the level of performance that Clun delivered on the Luncheon Circular………

    …..but with a load far, far greater – 50 to 100 tons more if, to use that fabled phrase , 47773/ D1755 was “taking its own weight”, or more like 175 to 225 tons greater if it was indeed , as seems to have been suggested by some posters, just dead weight providing only train heating.

    The handful of runs from my survey recorded at Load 10 or greater (350 tons plus) demonstrated typical passing speeds of 37-42 at High Wycombe, but only 37 to 39 mph at Saunderton. In consequence, the typically greater pass : pass times for these runs spanned a range of seven to eight minutes. (The Circular had been allowed seven minutes in the WTT). And I think this better expresses the apparent magnitude of Clun’s achievement on the climb of the Chilterns. At least a minute faster on a like-for-like-load comparison, and at least 13/ 14 mph faster at the concluding timing point for the ascent. And the magnificent video evidence of Clun storming through Saunderton really seems to confirm all this…..

    Or does it? I would like to think so, but we just don’t know, because we can’t do any better than surmise or speculate about the contribution – or otherwise – of the 47. Dead weight? Taking its own weight? Something in between? Assisting? The point has been made, quite fairly, that this trip wasn’t really about locomotive performance. True enough, and to that extent the advice given in a preceding post about “putting the stop watch away and enjoying a day with steam” might be generally appropriate. But this fragment of the tour – the climb of the Chilterns, was always going to be, even for its limited duration, a real highlight. And the outcome is just a bit inconclusive. A great pity. Because maybe records were being broken – if indeed that mattered. I would have hoped so!

    Despite the recriminations about whinging and what some have chosen to interpret as negative attitudes, I do hope that the involvement of those with a specialist interest in performance recording doesn’t evaporate in the new Vintage Trains regime. VT have in the past done so much to promote excursions - like the Bristolian, the Moor Street-Marylebone outings, the Cheltenham Flyer, and the 1Z48 recreation, where the performance challenge and the quality of the locomotive performance in rising to that challenge was a big feature of the USP for these outings. VT seemed to derive significant benefit from being able to proclaim the performance achievements of the Earl, and to have these achievements authenticated by experienced train timers who most certainly hadn’t “forgotten how to enjoy their hobby”. So much so that, over the past decade, 5043 became synonymous with outstanding/almost unsurpassed 7P performance. And the blaze of publicity that it has enjoyed through the exposure that Mike Notley and others have given to its exploits became all part of the charisma of the locomotive – and a big part of the stature of Vintage Trains as a highly respected brand in the main line steam business. For all the very real constraints, potential risks, and challenges that it faces, hopefully it won’t be too long before VT can recover some of these former – and very recent – glories, and through its main line programmes enable Clun to earn the kind of recognition as the truly worthy successor to the Earl that it surely deserves to enjoy.
     
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  9. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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  10. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Just to pick you up on something, Clun was providing such exploits whilst 5043 was still in Barry condition (I remember one truly remarkable performance along the Welsh Marches in the 80's), so I think its 5043 who is the 'successor' in terms of Tysley Castles.
     
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  11. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes. That climb was impressive. I also calculated the gross load as 475 although I had 52 as the minimum just beyond Saunderton passed at 53 in 6 min 3 seconds. But detail aside, it was definitely the highlight of the day and all happened after VT's resident GW expert locoman had taken a seat on the cushions. About 1800 DBHP I reckon.
     
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  12. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    Yes, your point absolutely conceded and understood. No intention there to overlook Clun's former main line career in the last Millenium, and obviously I had been aware of Clun's exploits in the '80's through both RPS archived logs of runs during that period and also snippets from Brian Basterfield's Locomotive Performance website.

    What I was trying to do, and what some more carefully chosen phraseology would have given better effect to, was merely to express the concept of Clun being given the opportunity to regain the sort of acclamation that 5043 has enjoyed during Clun's lengthy absence for the main line scene, in its centre-stage role as the pre-eminent representative of the Tyseley locomotive stud. Very sorry it didn't out quite come across like that, but thank you for pointing out what obviously came over as an apparent, even if unintended, distortion of time-lines and chronology.
     
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  13. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Don't worry about it, I entirely agreed with the sentiment, just standing up for Clun against that little upstart! ;)
     
  14. Scrat

    Scrat New Member

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    All very true, but given 5043 is of GWR vintage you could probably say Clun was the little upstart!

    Given how little Clun actually did in the 1980's compared to how much 5043 has in the last 10 years and the fact that 5043 has put in performances that are unprecedented for the castle Class let alone anything 7029 had previously achieved, 7029 may just have a bit of catching up to do.....
     
  15. 6136

    6136 New Member

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    And having stood on the bridge at Saunderton I can say than none of the clips do it justice...it was awesome.
     
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  16. Leviathan

    Leviathan New Member

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    In O S Nock’s Sixty Years of Western Express Running, there is a log of a pre-war run with 4088 Dartmouth Castle where with a load of 475 tons (full), High Wycombe was passed at 50 mph but by Saunderton speed had fallen to 42, with a pass-to-pass elapsed time of 6 minutes and 30 seconds. Nock goes on to say that on this route “I have had some considerably finer runs with these famous locomotives during the last four years.” (This was Nock writing in 1954). Sadly, no example of a finer run is included in this book.
    So yes, Saturday’s run over Saunderton does seem to be quite exceptional if the Class 47’s power controller was in the ‘Off’ position. However I recall @Ben Vintage-Trains saying in the ‘...7029 to Llandudno’ thread that “When running a Class 47 in vacuum mode on the rear of a train, it must be in 'notch 1' in the direction of travel.” i.e. supplying some tractive effort. It would be good to know which setting was used on Saturday.
    Nick
     
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  17. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    I do not believe this is correct. The DL does not need to be working. To understand the correct situation see my column in the next Heritage Railway
     
  18. 45669

    45669 Member

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    By lucky chance I happened to be in Ruislip on the 15th (for the Ruislip Lido Railway's 40th Anniversary) and, by even greater chance, I was staying at a hotel next to South Ruislip station! But not by chance, I made sure that I got there while 7029 was enjoying a little rest. My pictures are now on Flickr and this is the first one in the Photostream:

    [​IMG]RD19919. 7029 departing from South Ruislip. by Ron Fisher, on Flickr

    They can also be found in the 'Main Line Steam 2019' Album:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/albums/72157679197451928

    Hope they're of interest.
     
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  19. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Thank you for that, which I have now read. Given the schedule, we were never expecting this trip to be about performance, so brief spells of assistance, accelerating from the numerous slacks on the GWML, seem a small price to have paid for the trip happening at all. However it would have been good to have had that explanation at the time. And what about Saunderton? Is it now known for certain whether or not the diesel assisted on that stretch?
     
  20. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Assume that a DBC driver would not wish for any rear assistance. That is what I believe and I heard nothing from the raer. That said, VTs Class 47 is a quiet and nicely tuned machine.
     

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