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West Somerset Railway Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Kingscross

    Kingscross New Member

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    Had a pleasant afternoon at the gala yesterday. We only managed one part trip (from Williton to Bishop's Lydeard) due to the cost, though. It's expensive with a family - the WSR charges for children aged 3 and above, unlike the national network where children travel free up to the age of 5.
     
  2. Macko

    Macko Well-Known Member

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    I know there were a few who were not happy at having D7018 running at the gala which baffles me. The DEPG have done a superb full restoration over the last two decades and as a loco that almost certainly ran on the line in Western region days, it really looked and sounded the part, and more than deserved a place at the railway's Autumn gala. It should also be noted that this train was packed full, so to say that people turn their noses up at a diesel was complete nonsense in this case.

    Star of the show for me, seen here at Bicknoller on a Minehead- Bristol train circa 1961 ...

    [​IMG]
    Welcome back D7018
    by Phoenix Images, on Flickr
     
  3. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    Bob, I tread warily ( I am not a fully paid up member of the GWR genuflecting society :) ) but you
    could argue that the 94xx are a tank version of the 2251 0-6-0's. The first 10 94xx carried the standard
    No.10 KA boiler as per the 2251 class ( the remainder had no SH ie No.10KB ). The No.10 has a max
    evap c. 15% greater than the No.21 PH carried by the 57xx panniers,

    There are 32 logs on the RPS data base with 2251 0-6-0s ( but eight of these are with 3205 on the
    Llangollen ). The remaining 24 involve 16 different locos, the earliest log (15/10/1938) being
    with 2200 and a three coach train running Oswestry Welshpool in 24mins 5 secs,
    with a maximum of 55 mph reached in the first three miles from the start.

    Although 24 represents a small sample the 'normal'maximum speeds lie in the 52-55 range
    ( ie allowing for the respective coupled wheel diameters comparable with the 57xx )
    The highest in the collection are: 2217 (20/7/60) with 6 carriages running Aberystwyth
    Dovey Junction with 63 mph before the Borth stop and 58 before Glyndyfi, only just
    maintaining schedule. No.2240 on an Ilfracombe Taunton ( 29/7/61) with 4/120/140
    reaching 60 between Venn and Wiveliscombe and 55 before Norton Fitzwarren.
    Maxima on services between Hereford and Gloucester and Newport and Brecon were
    inevitably lower.

    A route that has always interested me is the Barmouth Ruabon (ex Cambrian to
    Dolgellau and GWR to Ruabon). An interesting working was the summer 07.20
    Pwllheli to Paddington which ran via Barmouth and Ruabon. There is a
    log from 1957 when 2296 piloted 'Dukedog' 9004 and dropped time on the
    10 mile climb from Dolgellau to MP35, (a vertical rise of 700 feet with gradients
    up to 1/50) the load was 10 coaches 332 tons tare 360 gross, average EDHP
    being c.750, the Corwen water stop ( schedule 83 minutes from Barmouth )
    was reached eight minutes late.

    By 1960 the train was rostered for a pair of 2251 0-6-0s. Nos. 2286 and 2202
    with 10/334/365 kept time to Corwen despite initial delays, EDHP on the climb
    c. 1000. Four weeks later (22/8) 2222 and 2214 with 9/303/330 reached
    Corwen 11 minutes early ( plenty of time for both locos to leisurely take water)
    with an average EDHP 1100-1150 on the climb and a max of 1160-1180 near
    the top. The highest figure I noted for 3205 when it was on the WSR in the
    1997-2000 period was c. 520EDHP sustained for a nine minutes period.

    The first time I travelled on the WSR was twixt TN and WN en route to scout
    camp at West Quantoxhead in 1949. The Down journey for a kid was boring, a
    small prairie with non corridor stock, but the return behind a 2251 and corridor
    stock quite memorable. The journeys to and from Taunton with Castle haulage
    are a mist !

    Michael Rowe

    ps As an after thought. I think seventy with an 0-6-0 was a rarity, the Fowler
    0-6-0's were timed at 66-67, both on Blackpool excursions and on the LT&S
    St Pancras services, Mr Bulleid rode on the footplate of a Q1 at 75 mph to
    prove to doubting enginemen that the Q1's were equally stable whether smoke
    box or tender first ( in normal service I recorded 63 behind a Q1 but this was
    I think as high as it got ) and there is a record of a brave soul on the footplate
    of an ex L&NW 'Cauliflower' touching 80 descending from Penrith to Carlisle.

    Mr Bulleid is reputed to have whispered after the 75 demonstration words to
    the effect "I shall not be doing that again". Personally years past I found 35
    tender first on a Q1 footplate quite exciting !
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  4. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    News from the West Somerset Railway Association.

    Rail Renewal fundraising project
    ''The West Somerset Railway Association, in partnership with WSR Plc and the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust, have updated the running total which today stands at just over £75,000 - that's 30% of the target of a quarter of a million pounds. A truly excellent effort. Around a tenth of this amount has been raised via the online donation page''.

    Steady progress. <BJ>
     
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  5. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    In contrast the last train to Minehead was very quiet with about 20 people although so was the pannier the other way which seemed to have even less. The 1530 to Norton Fizwaren only had 8 passengers (4 of which was my family) so very quiet towards the end of the day. Some good running in general though, 4612 seemed to be going well and it was nice for some smaller engines to star and my children both loved it and 7752 as they thought it was Duck from Thomas.


    The only thing I found a bit strange for a family attraction was the small cafe at Bishops Lydeard didn’t have a high chair, it made things a bit difficult with my 16 month old son. We would of bought more if one of us didn’t have to have have him on our lap so ultimately lost a sale there!

    Apart from that though a great visit, glad we made the trip.
     
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  6. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Yes, some of the Hymek hauled trains were well filled, but most of the ones that passed me over the four days were only about half full.
    In fact none of the trains I travelled on over the four days were really packed full and I had no trouble getting a window seat, and often an entire table, to myself.
     
  7. Another Yorkshireman

    Another Yorkshireman Member Friend

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    I have been away a few days so may have missed someone else posting this link already. Nice to see the WSR doing some good publicity !

     
  8. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    The highest 64xx speeds I can find from c. 30 logs on the RPS data base are 54 behind 6414 (with the auto 2/63/70 )
    in 1954 between Saltash and St.Germans and 53 with 6420 in 1948 between Somerton and Charlton Mackerell
    with the TN to Castle Cary auto (2/57/60). However I do not doubt the 60mph running, by the very nature
    of auto duties inter station stop distances were short, the above two instances representing comparatively
    lengthy stages.

    At times in the past when 6412 was resident on the WSR acceleration with an auto coach was quite exciting.

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    About 20 years ago I've had a rather how do I put this, a rather exhilarating journey trying to make a connection on the big railway with a Pannier tank, these things can shift, especially when the crew are trying to make it back in time for last orders!
     
  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Ditto when making sure that Balmoral passengers got back to Minehead on time
     
  11. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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  12. thequantocks

    thequantocks New Member

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  13. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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  14. Jim O'Brien

    Jim O'Brien New Member

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    Surely we all saw the view from the south-facing camera when it was first connected? I believe it showed a view from the footbridge, looking towards and under the road bridge over the line, across the old level crossing.

    The pic mentioned was from a drone camera, or maybe Robin was working on low flying along the line. I expect all the web cams here are tethered firmly to the ground.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  15. Jim O'Brien

    Jim O'Brien New Member

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    No mention of a familiar phrase from past days, when I was young enough to be searching the job ads - 'Previous candidates need not re-apply'.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  16. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    "while railway experience is preferable, this is not a requirement."
    It surely is a requirement to be able to manage a large number of people, most of whom are volunteers who need to be managed without being demotivated. Apart from other preserved railways there can't be many organisations like that.
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Not necessarily: I suspect the general model of “small core of paid staff, addition of paid seasonal temps plus large number of volunteers” is widespread in the heritage / museum sector, not just on railways. Just visit your average National Trust property.

    Tom
     
  18. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Agreed, whilst it might seem odd to say railway experience not necessary, I think it's far more preferable to have someone with experience of managing a large volunteer workforce than someone who knows about railways but has only ever dealt with employed people.
     
  19. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    Agreed Tom. It was certainly the case at a heritage museum operation that I used to volunteer at.
     
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  20. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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