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Atlantic Coast Express UKRT/MNLPS 23/09/17

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Where's Mazeppa?, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. derby2

    derby2 New Member

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    Ummmm yes, I have encountered the 'shouty lady' at Exeter in the past too - you are in good company! It's always 'interesting' to see how different stations react to the visit of a steam charter - I'll leave it at that.
    The consist was as it was simply to keep it in line with the Premier dining/First/Standard split of ticket sales.
     
  2. KristianGWR

    KristianGWR Member

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    My footage of yesterday's run. Another stellar performance from the mighty Merchant! Filmed at Monxton, Barford St Martin, Honiton Tunnel and Sampford Peverell. I hope you enjoy! :)
     
  3. My footage of Clanline yesterday. I hope you enjoy.

     
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  4. gricerdon

    gricerdon Guest

    All TOCs should be treated the same. The Weymouth train was already late but only by a few minutes and would only have delayed a few with no connections. The HST was already late and would not have been delayed further. The most delayed were passengers from the ACE. As I said three trains late and not two.
     
  5. TH Railway Videos

    TH Railway Videos New Member

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    35028 'Clan Line' seen at St Margarets (London) and London Victoria on the return leg of yesterdays ACE, does anyone know the gradient profile for the incline north of the station heading towards Richmond? Looks like a 1 in 80-100 looking in other daylight vids
     
  6. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    A fair point about the actions of Western controllers who were, after all, just doing their job as they saw it. I guess my point is the, at times, unsympathetic way that they manage steam charters without any concern for the impact of their actions on loco crews and the progress of the charter. I know that there is no reason why they should think about what happens when they pull up a charter but you do wonder whether they make it worse by expecting the train to then regain its speed as quickly as the other services. So I'm with @derby2 and his sentiment and so when we spot 'thinking' train regulation as at Salisbury on the ACE perhaps we should celebrate it more.

    I recall being told by a DBC driver that after the Pullmans had been delayed by NR on the return from Bath and the train was progressively clawing back time on the Berks and Hants, Control came on the radio. The conversation started with an apology before explaining that the train was to be looped before Theale to let a late running HST pass. No help to the crew but at least an acknowledgement that someone had noticed what was happening on the footplate.
     
  7. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    TOC in prioritising its own services shocker....

    I would image that GWR are not liable for delay repayment charges if the charter is delayed, yet will be if its their own services....
     
  8. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    In one of his posts Don Benn described this 'ACE' as probably the best run he's experienced since 1967. As someone who has read his 'The Twilight of Southern Steam: The Untold Story 1965-1967', he's a man who knows. If you haven't bought the book, go buy it. It's an excellent read with accompanying logs of some extraordinary runs. No doubt in his article in HR Don will provide great detail and comparisons with 'real steam days'.

    I hope Don doesn’t mind my 'layman's' write up of a spectacular day out where, in the second steam age, the only one I've experienced, we had a flavour of the ACE in 2017. Hope I've got the gradients et al more or less right.

    I joined at Basingstoke, unfortunately in Coach 12 of 12 and not milepost side. I relied on the mileage on my GPS, using reference mileposts from time to time. So no logs. Our driver was the master of 35028, Wayne Thompson with Steve Rodenhurst, an excellent man to feed the beast.

    We did get an early taste of the old days with blistering acceleration away from the station. Despite the 12 coach train, speed had risen up the 1 in 249 to 49 by Worting Junction and 51 at the top of the climb. We didn't pick up as quickly as I expected on the level/560d but speed but we were up to 70 before Overton where the real fireworks began, so much so that we clearly heard the loud chatter from 35028 in the last coach. We hit our maximum allowed speed 4 miles later as we roared through Whitchurch. The 1 1/12 mile climb of 1 in 275 over Hurstbourne Viaduct and beyond was dismissed as if it wasn't there and Wayne held 35028 at 76/7 down the 1 in 178 towards Andover.

    We came off the 1 in 178d at our maximum allowed speed and took this into the 2 miles of 1 in 220 through Andover. We hit the start of the 4 1/2 mile to Grateley at 74 and had picked up to 76 at the grade change from 1 in 264 to 1 in 165. The summit was topped at 68 which I'm told was seriously good. It was well noisy even 12 back. Wayne raced the big engine the 8 miles down the bank at 76/7 before easing for Salisbury approach. Despite being 7 mins early we were allowed in to P4 having achieved a better than even time from Basingstoke, 36 1/4 miles in 35m 22s.

    After detaching and watering, 35028 was at the head of the train for a right time departure. There's a short climb, 1/4m of 1 in 183, then almost a mile of 1 in 115 gently topped at 27. There was no chance to pick up speed as we were checked at Wilton but again we heard plenty of noise at the back as 35028 accelerated up the 1m of 1 in 144(39); 3/4m of 1 in 550(47); and over the 3/4m of 1 in 240(51). Wayne used the down/level to get to the mid sixties and we didn't lose much speed on short climbs, dropping to 63 on a short bit of 1 in 120. The 3/4m of 1 in 300 and 3/4m of 1 in 396 around Tisbury were just dismissed at 67/9 and we hit the bottom of the 4 mile climb to Semley Summit at 68. Over the first 1 1/2 miles of 1 in 279 speed hardly dropped(67), with a summit speed after 2 1/2m of 1 in 145 of 57.

    After a pathing stop at Gillingham, 35028 accelerated up the mile of 1 in 300 to 38; and to 42 into Buckhorn Western Tunnel after just over a mile of 1 in 100. Speed picked up rapidly downgrade and we approached Ashford at 71; but an easing took us onto the climb through Templecombe towards Milborne Port at 54. Speed fell to 47 up the 1/2m of 1 in 160, and to a min of 28 on the mile of 1 in 80. Templecombe, on a short 1 in 150, was passed at 29. The noise level increased significantly as Clan Line picked up to 38 ovedr the mile+ of 1 in 100. We then had a rapid descent of the 2 miles of 1 in 80, hitting 80, and coasted in the mid 70s until we braked for Yeovil Jn.

    Pulling away from the station speed rose steadily up the 3 miles+ of roughly 1 in 145 to 46. It was then a matter of picking up as much speed as possible before the 3 mile 1 in 80 climb through Crewkerne. There's an irritating mile of 1 in 170 that we came off at 55 before picking up on the 120d to hit the bank at 61. It was a really noisy climb with speed falling steadily to a creditable minimum of 39. The pathing stop at Chard Junction meant there was no long run up to the mighty Honiton Bank that ends with a mere 4 1/2m of 1 in 80, with an even steeper short bit of 1 in 70 midway. On the downgrade we passed Axminster at 67 and carried 71 onto the 1 1/2m of 1 in 100 through Seaton Junction, topped at 57.

    We lost 2 mph over this short 1 in 100 before the noise level went up a more than a few notches as Clan Line attacked the 1 in 80. 2 miles in we passed over Black Sand Bridge at 36, and dropped to a minimum of 28 approx. 3/4m from the tunnel. From there Clan Line actually picked up speed and entered the tunnel at a very decent 31. The grade lessens to 1 in 132 for the mile+ of the tunnel and we burst out at 30 and eased for the water stop at Honiton Station.

    After our stop, speed picked up rapidly to 71 down the 100d but we were checked at Feniton. Still Wayne got us up to our maximum allowed speed over the downgrades to the climb to and through Pinhoe. It's a decent bank which we took 72 onto. Speed fell over the first 3/4m of 1 in 200 and we took 63 onto the almost 2 miles of 1 in 100. A mile in, when speed was 52, it went pear shaped as we ran into a red for Exmouth Jn. After a set down at Central, we drifted down the bank for a right time arrival at St Davids. An excellent run over the Southern in the tradition of the ACE.

    Then it was off up the hill to the Imperial for a mixed grill and some beer.

    The return over the Great Western

    Those of us who had travelled on the Torbay Express on 20th August knew what the big engine was capable of but this time it was from a standing start from St Davids, not the 48mph pass we had then. Same crew, Steve Mathews and Matt Hunt, though I didn't get the chance to find out who drove where. Cowley Bridge was passed at 37 and some very noisy work up front saw a very creditable 58 by Stoke Canon; 65 over Hele and Bradnich Crossing after which Clan Line did pretty much a repeat of 20th August by hitting 69 by Cullompton and 71 just after Tiverton Junction. We sped through Tiverton Parkway at 70 and held it to the foot of the 2m+ of 1 in 115. Despite the racket from the front we slowly lost speed to come off the section at 61 and fall back to pretty much 60 over the short 1 in 212 to the summit. I think we were actually a little disappointed at that!!

    We dashed down Wellington Bank in a bit of style, and passed Wellington itself at 76. Speed was allowed to fall to 71 over Bradford-on-tone LX and 69 over Victory LX. As speed was still around 70 under Silk Mill OB we realised we were not going to stop at Taunton. We blasted through the Island Platform 3 at 72 and crossed Cogload Jn at 74. We passed Athelney LX at 75/6 and took 75 onto the 4m+ of mostly 1 in 264 to Somerton Tunnel. A 70+ speed was on but we dipped to just under 70 as we blasted into the tunnel. After crossing Somerton viaduct we hit the 2m of 1 in 264 at 76 and came off it at mp123 at 72.

    We climbed towards Castle Cary up 1 1/4m 1 in 264(74); 1m of 1 in 330(72) and flashed through the station on the level at 72. The highlight on this section is the climb to Brewham Summit. It starts at the sight of the old S&D OB, mp127 1/2 passed at 71. There was a real racket up front as we attacked the 3/4mile of 1 in 98 at 69; held that on the 1m level through Bruton; came off the 3/4m of 1 in 93 at 69; off the short 1 in 140 at 67; held 67 over the 1/4m level; came off the 3/4m of 1 in 98 at a mighty 68; and passed the summit after 1/2 mile of 1 in 81 at a truly astonishing 62. No need to say we heard the racket from the front way back at the end of the train. We picked up on the downgrade and passed East Somerset Jn at 76 and kept at that speed until things went pear shaped at Blatchbridge Jn and around Westbury as has been written about earlier in the thread.

    Just after Trowbridge, we took the Bradford Jn to Thingley Jn link to Chippenham. There is one climb that started before Melksham. The first 1 3/4 miles is basically at 1 in 532, started at 36 and left at 47. The climb continued up 1 1/4 miles of 1 in 104 and was quite noisy. The minimum speed recorded was 43.1. We had a slow crawl over Thingley Jn and over Chippenham Viaduct and only passed Chippenham at 18 so we didn't have a charge down the 1 in 600 before the 11 mile climb through Dauntsey and Wooton Basset to Swindon. We hit the I in 660 at mp91 3/4 at 57 and we heard the distinctive chatter of the big engine back in Coach 12 as we attacked the bank. We passed Dauntsey just over 5 miles in at 68 and crossed Wooton Basset Jn almost 9 miles in at 74 and left the end of the climb at 75. The expected dash through Swindon didn't happen and we were brought to a stop as has been mentioned earlier in the thread. So as there was over 20 miles of gently falling grades to our water stop in Milton loop and there was much anticipation in the air of a fast run.

    We passed through Swindon at 17 and the noise level rose markedly as we crossed Marston Crossing, 3 miles out, at 66. Speed rose rapidly to 75 by Shrivenham and we ran at the maximum allowed speed through Uffington, Challow and Wantage Road. At this point the brakes came on gently as we were only 3 miles from Milton Jn. An exhilarating run, probably the fastest in preservation. From a standing start to where we braked we'd covered 21 miles in 16m 49.7s, an average of 74.6mph.

    During the water stop RTT showed only one train, the Oxford-Paddington service due through Didcot East Jn. This was fast service, first stop Reading. We were duly slowed to 5mph at Foxhall Jn for this service, that was 4 mins down, to clear Didcot East Jn. Then we were allowed out on the relief, probably as we had to use P14 at Reading. Still it is a 100mph relief!!

    Could we equal the Swindon-Challow run? We got off to a noisy flyer and passed Didcot Parkway at 35. The next 6 miles+ is a gentle I in 1508d and we were richly entertained again. We passed Moreton Cutting Jn 2 miles in at 57; shot through Cholsey, 5miles+ in at 74 and the fun didn't stop there. Down the mile and a half of 1 in 1320 we hit our maximum allowed speed and held it over the 3 1/2 miles of level track through Goring and Streetley and on down the 5 1/2 miles of 1 in 1320d through Tilehurst. Unsurprisingly the brakes were kicked in at approx. Mp38, just over 2 miles from Reading.

    So, not as good from start to braking; 15 miles in 14.28m, an average of just over 63 but it was an exhilarating run our final stretch of the Great Western, well up on the same section with No.9 with 11 up on the Cotswold Venturer.

    Again an interloper provided a superlative performance on the 'billiard table' of the Great Western with a 12 coach train. Can't remember it being bettered in preservation. Clan Line again showed a startling acceleration from rest and the ability to get to 75 and hold that speed for mile after mile.

    Many thanks to John for sticking with the train; to the MNLPS for the use of their magnificent engine; and to DB for their excellence crews. Definitely a contender for Railtour of the Year. 2 in 2 weeks with the Raider last weekend!! Hope we get to do the intended route in 2018.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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  9. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Agree with all the above. And on the pace at which we took on the GWML after being delayed, I have to say that I believe there was a sense of the crew trying as hard as possible to regain time but broadly within the speed constraints imposed on steam charters. I don't think we could necessarily have expected such urgency as we enjoyed heading back to Reading if we had been on time.

    So all quite appropriate in context, I suggest.
     
  10. steamvideosnet

    steamvideosnet Well-Known Member

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    My footage from Saturday's spectacular run with Clan Line, captured storming up past Grateley, Baverstock, climbing to Honiton Tunnel and racing past Sampford Peverell...

    James
     
  11. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    It looks as though our commentator might have got a little overexcited about the ACE or had his GPS set to accelerated GWR time ;) on the way home as we all know that a start to brake average speed of a tad under 75 mph that he has mentioned would require the train to have been travelling much faster than that for quite a while.

    So in the interests of accuracy and to avoid any misunderstanding by those who might be interested in such things I think I should mention that the 17 or so miles from Swindon to Wantage Road before we slowed for the water stop was covered in about 16 minutes and that's an average of 64 mph which is totally consistent with getting quickly up to our maximum permitted speed of 75 and remaining there.

    Don't let's set any hares running over this splendid trip as we would like both locomotive and crew to feel comfortable and able to do it again. :)

    By the way, in the commentary on the down run in #108, I don't think we went anywhere near Litchfield tunnel, not, that is unless I missed the diversion via Southampton to get to Salisbury. :D
     
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  12. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    Wise words. We don't want @Wayne to get any speeding points do we!

    Stef.
     
  13. gricerdon

    gricerdon Guest

    Wayne's fireman was Steve Rodenhurst
     
  14. hatherton hall

    hatherton hall Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that running between 75mph and 78mph is not going to get anyone in trouble. I suspect there are hundreds of postings on the website in which reference is made to training running at such speeds, often to make up lost time. It is not reckless, it is surely sensible driving. Wayne. What do you think, Sir?
    Nick
     
  15. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    It was sod's law that I forgot my speed recorder, but luckily a mate had a backup- once the GPS finally sorted itself out, that is (it pretty much took until Chard before it decided to play ball when switched on). Regardless, it was a seriously outstanding day out, with a decent climb of Honiton which lays to rest the ghost of the last time I did it in 2013, which was with a 57 shoving 34067 up the rear. However, the run up Brewham bank was something else entirely, and when 35028 was given the road on the GWML, it put in some fantastic running, as the above accounts testify. And according to some bright sparks I know, there's apparently no noise to be had from a Bulleid whatsoever, so hell knows what was at the front on Saturday, as it was far too loud; ditto whatever was on the front for the Border Raider last Saturday- apparently 60163 is silent, too! ;) So thanks again to the MNLPS, the DB crews and UKRT for putting on a decent show.
     
  16. derby2

    derby2 New Member

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    Once again, many thanks for all the kind comments about this trip, and the other 'Southern steam commemorative' tours that 35028 has done since returning to action in mid-summer. For sure the 'ACE' produced some seriously exuberant running, and equally pleasing the logistical arrangements - some of which I commented on in an earlier post - worked nigh-on perfectly. All at the 'sharp end' are delighted, albeit somewhat tired! Fortunately, the loco - and the support crew - has a rather more restful period now coming up, though there will still be 'working parties' at Stewarts Lane every week. At no time is there ever "nothing to do"!
     
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  17. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    I have discovered what looks like a very detailed source of information that fully answers your question in a Network Rail response to a Freedom of Information request. If my interpretation of the data given is correct, then the answer to your question is as follows....

    St Margarets Station is situated at 10m 64c from Waterloo and at this point the gradient is rising at 1 in 704 towards Richmond.
    100 yards further in the Up (Richmond) direction, at 10m 59c, the gradient steepens to 1 in 136, maintained for a distance of 704 yards (32c) to 10m 27c.
    At this point, the gradient becomes level for a distance of 547 yards to 10m 02c.

    The link to an html file which has the full data profile of gradients for the Waterloo-Wokingham Junction-Reading route is available at
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/requ...tml/6/GradientsWaterlooToReading.csv.txt.html

    Might be worth someone else checking this just to confirm that my interpretation of a mass of data presented in a text format, and describing a route with which I am not familiar, is actually correct.

    Incidentally, I know that the Reading - Victoria leg of the ACE will have been unlikely to have attracted much attention from the timing fraternity after all the excitement of the day that preceded it. But to the extent that performance over Reading to Staines section of this leg delivered a start-to-stop time of 39m 49s (36.84 mph start-to-stop average including a Vmax of 68 mph at Ascot, rising briefly to 70 mph according to my best efforts at timing) and enabled me to make a tight connection at Staines, I wondered how this might stack up in a "Fastest Times" league given the preponderance of "Trains that Trundle" over this section?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  18. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    This was the first time I dared to organise a steam trip with friends for whom this was a day out. Two of them were going on the PS Waverley on Sunday. They were all very pleased with the trip and of course the weather was so kind to us and the Quays and the Cathedral Quarter were splendid in the sunshine. They thought the sheer number of people out to see Clan Line was amazing.

    I was going to mention that to get from 36L at Reading to 25L at Victoria was not bad at all given that at least some of the main line trains were being diverted via Staines. We were bound to get stuck behind something which we duly did from Twickenham to Barnes. But we were allowed to precede a Weymouth to Waterloo train at Virginia Water so were treated pretty well on that stretch (as opposed to Frome--Chippenham).

    Good to meet Mr Yeti and hear about progress with his owls opus. Even 11 coaches back, the sound of the loco was magic at times. A memorable day.
     
  19. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Told you I didn't know the Southern!| I'd been reading about the routes from Basingstoke as have done them so rarely in recent years and for some reason Litchfield Tunnel stuck, probably as it's so similar to Lichfield on the WCML. The speed thing is GPS based and who knows how accurate that is in the dark? My eyes aren't that good in the coach lights and the stopwatch isn't backlit either, so who knows? Have removed contentious spot speeds from the write up. But isn't there a factor for a bit of 75mph+ running with late running trains where an average of 75 is aimed for and needed to get a decent path? - with a rider that no excessive speeds are done? Used to be called the 10% rule, unofficially or otherwise. I was never sure.
    .
     
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  20. Shaggy

    Shaggy Well-Known Member

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    I shall pass your comments onto the signallers at Salisbury. We always try to accommodate where ever possible and on this occasion, I had a very useful, constructive conversation with the MNLPS on the Thursday to formulate the best possible plan to maximise the servicing time at Salisbury. Unfortunately I couldn't make it out to see Clan Line but I was keeping a track of it all morning and was pleased it went so well.
     

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