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WSR S&D Spring Steam Gala, 5-6 and 10-13 March 2016

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by gwr4090, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. 34098

    34098 Member Account Suspended

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    Don't know what planet you were on then, I heard a few.You would have been bothered if you had to shell out for a bus From Wiliton to taunton so people didnt miss mainline connections, you may not have been inconvenienced but a few people were, but as long as you enjoyed yourself that is all that matters isnt it ??
     
  2. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

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    A final amazing Gala day in prospect . Wall to wall sunshine which is burning the morning mist off here at Stogumber, wonderful locomotives, how could it be bettered...

    Robin

    image.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
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  3. Black Jim

    Black Jim Member

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    Afraid I must agree, that's the first consideration of a driver taking over an engine, but then again I dont know all the details.
    The unused base of the water crane can be seen in 'theonlyadsrulz' photo of the 8f &7f at Williton on the last page
     
  4. Journalist

    Journalist New Member

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    In response to the couple of people who said delays didn't matter, I really think they do anywhere where you've got a published timetable. Most people have rest-of-lives that railway days have to fit into, many have onward travel connections etc. Every now and again I've got a day where I can be at a preserved line hours before the first train and leave hours after the last one if I have to. But that's not the case for probably 90% of my trips out.

    Delays are inevitable at times so to me the important thing is whether the railway makes an effort to get things back on schedule. To my eyes the WSR certainly did this week on the day I was there, so no complaints from me at all on this occasion.

    I'll always leave a decent margin on a preserved line though, and as was the case with this week's WSR visit, have the option to start trimming journeys off the end of my day if everything isn't absolutely running to time (and ended up doing so on Thursday, but had a great day nevertheless).

    It's also tricky on a preserved line when passengers (and I include myself in this) want to leap from one train to another, get pictures before hopping on etc. It's always welcome when station staff do their utmost to make this possible, but conversely it's not great for recouping delays. Hard one to balance.
     
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  5. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I don't need to be on a different planet just to not hear any complaints! Wasn't saying there weren't any, only that I didn't hear any. @Journalist summed up my thoughts perfectly - that fact that efforts were made to recoup time I'm sure made everyone feel more sympathetic. I must admit I was very surprised having got off the second train from BL to Washford about half an hour late on Saturday to see the next one coming the other way virtually bang on time - so surprised I ballsed up my picture! The folk in the signal boxes were excellent at dealing with the delays, and by the end of my day trains were only 10-15 mins late.
     
  6. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    Hello,
    Re the QB menu.......nothing on that menu for anyone who does not eat meat save an egg.

    Can't us non meat eaters enjoy something?


    Nick
     
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  7. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    You're on the wrong thread, Nick!
    Free donuts on the other one!

    QB usually has alternates available.
     
  8. Jonno854

    Jonno854 New Member

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    Just wanted to say what a cracking day yesterday was. An excellent loco line up, good 'thrash' and good company. The timetable was one that allowed me to have all locos for haulage (baring the two industrials and that wasn't for want of trying) whilst having full (or almost full) line runs on all locos. The last train into BL was approx 30 late but the bus was held for people and I for one would rather go to an ambitious gala that runs late than an unambitious one that runs to time but lacks interest. Having found one or two of the recent WSR galas less than interesting (no disrespect to the planners, the timetables just didn't do it for me), this was a refreshing change and on a par with some of the classics such as the 2006 S&D and 1997 GWR events. Again on a personal level, freight trains get in the way of those I have paid to travel on so I was glad that they weren't running. The beauty of a five day event is that you can have one or more days with ambitious timetables, some with 'safer' timetables, some which make full use of the passenger rakes, and some with other (non-passenger) attractions.

    The other notable thing yesterday was that whilst some trains were 'full', none were uncomfortably so, perhaps due to the only members of home fleet running being those that had just returned to service, therefore spreading the crowds from one or more high profile visitors.

    Well done WSR, top marks.

    JP
     
  9. Bifur01

    Bifur01 Member

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    Had an awesome day at the Gala yesterday, loved it, despite the late running.

    Here's my video:
     
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  10. Respite

    Respite Member

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    What?!
     
  11. black5

    black5 Well-Known Member

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    Attached Files:

  12. 34098

    34098 Member Account Suspended

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  13. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture

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    After the money that punters spend travelling to the railway, overnight accommodation, WSR travel and food, I'm sure that spending a small amount on a bus ticket would not in any way spoil their day.

    I have spent another wonderful day at the railway today enjoying good weather, fantastic trains and very nice people to pass the day with ......in fact there was nothing else that I could have asked for.

    The gala has been simply fantastic in many ways. Many thanks to you all at the WSR for all your efforts.

    Diesel thunderbirds? .....keep 'em in the sidings. ;) <BJ>
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  14. Rob P

    Rob P New Member

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    Having spent the last five days on the railway, I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in putting on a good show.
    The loco selection was excellent and there was some spirited running. All the staff I came into contact with were friendly and helpful.
    I would agree with some about the late running, though. The last train into Minehead on Thursday was 65 mins late. Tonight's was nearly 45, despite an on time departure from Lydeard. I am lucky in that I have understanding wife who is used to me appearing back at the hotel quite some time after I said I would, but for others, especially those relying on public transport connections, it could easily become a problem.
    To the observer, there were some strange operational decisions, which I cannot go into on here.
    Hopefully a review of events will help in future planning.
    Just to be clear, I have thoroughly enjoyed the gala and it is worth a 450 mile round trip and the hotel costs. I do think, however, that even the excellent, can be open to improvement.
     
  15. 34098

    34098 Member Account Suspended

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    So I wasn't the only one to notice them,a review is needed on why things went tits up so much, its taken a few marks away
    from what should have been a 10/10 gala and dropped the overall mark to a 7.5/10 purely for the the strange operation moves ,the frankly poor timetable,south of Wiliton last weekend and the lack of a thunderbird crew for the diesels like there used to be.
    I mean today a 10 min slip in the timetable was never regained even with all the slack in the timetable and only got worse as the day went on.

    Much as you like to think your perfect wsr youve made some errors that never used to be made,
     
  16. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Well-Known Member

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    Just got back from the WSR, while the weather was clear and enjoyable, the trains really were not.

    The 0930 left BL according to my watch 30secs early but that's where the on time running would end. Not sure why 53809 was late on the ex1050 from MD into Williton but she was by about 15mins. 80043 on the ex1045 from BL arrived at BA about 10 late and I assumed as we approached that number 48624 would be waiting ready, but no... despite a 50min gap of trains leaving and entering the MD-BA section, no sign of the ex1155 limited stop at BA. 80043 could have arrived at MD on time if this had been the case. What was the reason for the 8F being late? Please don't say because it was an express train.

    Trains were then about 15mins late until 53808 arrived into Minehead. The roster allocator had put the engine to arrive, be turned, water and sent back out on the 1345 service. I'm sorry but this doesn't work if the train is already 10-15 late arriving. There seemed to be some confusion as to whether or not 80043 was going to take the train out instead then as the engine moved from one of the shed roads over the crossing and proceeded to reverse down into the bay lines. I over heard on a radio somebody (I presume guard of set C) asking control if the 4MT should be put on the train instead. The controller said he was not aware of any loco allocation changes. I don't think that was the idea, I think the staff were asking for the 4MT to replace the 7F but he clearly did not have the guts to take the bull by its horns and make the change. This would have made no difference to the overall loco milage nor where they ended as the 4MT was making one last working of the day (due on the 1445 MD-BL) and 88 was due back on the last train from BL. Had 80043 taken the 1345 and 53808 the 1445, the 7F could have ran around at BL and hauled the return 1645 working as planned, albeit it the run would have been tender first. Due to the WSR operators not being confident enough another 25mins was lost and the 1345 left at 1420.

    Like her sister before her, 53809 was also on a tight turn around on the 1445 BL-MD working and due out double headed with the 8F on the 1645 MD-BL. No surprise that even more time was lost trying to turn and no doubt water the engine again. The train left Blue Anchor at 1751 rather than 1705. Why couldn't have the 8F ran solo & the 7F doubled up with the 9F later... or simply just run the 7F backwards inside the 8F? Yes some people would moan yet probably them not travelling (and maybe not spending) but ultimately the passengers would be happy. I video'd that double header myself but if it had ran earlier due to a few operational changes I would have understood. 92214 left BA around 50mins late on the final working of the day.

    Please please please whoever writes the timetables, we all know you have a thing for 88 on two round trips every gala day, but please try your best not to have so many engines due in and out of Minehead, turned and watered, in the 25min gap! The last train at a push I can understand taking that approach but during the day is asking for trouble if trains are late.

    I know it could be viewed as me giving an armchair view or whatever, but solutions to the things I observed today seem very logical and easily achievable. Please view these points as constructive criticism.

    Not sure what the first two trains not passing at BA/CH achieved really especially as the BL-MD working only saved a planned 6mins.

    Rant over! Nice to see the trains full (but that could have been due to people catching trains late) and the engines performed well and were spotless. Enjoyed watching the Dunster shunt too.

    Many thanks to all the volunteers for making this event possible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
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  17. Steamchest

    Steamchest New Member

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    I managed to invite myself into the BL signalbox yesterday and spent a very happy hour watching Lawrence and Peter at work. They were happy to chat about their work which, to me as a bus driver, looked very complicated but was carried out with the utmost care and competence. Somebody earlier mentioned about the sterling efforts of WSR staff doing all they could to reduce the effects of late running. I saw at first hand the rapid change of plan as 92214's timetabled run to Norton Fitzwarren was curtailed to allow an almost on-time (albeit tender-first) departure back to Minehead.

    Also, a pat on the back for Pat in Minehead and Matt on the BL platform who went out of their way to help when my bus developed a fault yesterday evening. Together we managed the situation to ensure that nobody wishing to return to Taunton was left stranded.

    Bishops Lydeard signalbox interior.jpg
     
  18. 34098

    34098 Member Account Suspended

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    Lets hope someone in charge picks up on your points and hopefully makes changes for the next few galas,
    also hoping we get a full explanation of why things got so bad time wise maybe an insight in the review if ones bothered with about what went wrong and how they will try to fix it.

    It needs to be understood that if you take our constructive criticism on board it may help you eradicate the issues of the past two weekends in future gala, the balls firmly in your court.
     
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  19. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

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    All constructive comments are valued. I was the afternoon line controller on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I can't really comment about the first half of each day. I do have some views about both the operational plan and events of the three days, but you will forgive me if I make them known internally.

    As it happens, I am a 'she' not a 'he' (!) and am known for being quite prepared to take the difficult decisions. (I presume those who came on Friday and saw how we dealt with the difficulty we had with 34098 (the loco, not the Nat Pres contributor!:)) will attest to that!) The 1645 from Minehead today (Sunday) was only 40 late at destination (30 of which was down to earlier late running, so changing locos would have saved only 10 mins) and we ran the loco combinations folks were expecting to see. Absolute timekeeping is not the only priority at such a Gala. I considered but rejected the loco swap you suggest.

    But thanks for the comments.

    Keep 'em coming!:)

    Robin Moira White
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
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  20. 34098

    34098 Member Account Suspended

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    So instead of saving ten mins and possibly more you decided against it, Really ? ? ? seems like a new hand on the controls are needed if logical desisions cant be made by the right people, doesnt seem time keeping mattered at all,
    The finger of blame needs to be pointed at someone or some people, otherwise he,she whoever wont learn from the mistakes of the two previous weekends,
    But we know that wont happen this will all be swept under the carpet and at the diesel gala and other galas this year held on the line people will be allianted by the same mistakes getting made over and over again by the same people,just because egos etc get in the way of giving the public a good day out,

    The total lack of communication on any form of social media was noted how is for example someone waiting at Doniford for a train to minehead going to recive such infomation on late running ? 99.8% of people have access to a mobile phone and the internet now some updates during the day on how things are running/loco failures will earn a few brownie points,for the railway , all the companies on the big railway operate such a system on facebook and twitter why cant a 20 mile preserved line follow suit doesnt take 30seconds to update someone on why they are waiting 30mins extra for a train,
     

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