Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by davycrocket, Dec 16, 2008.
Except the very first post says:
not much room for confusion there.
It appears that part of the Bluebell problem lies in the question of how the Bluebell Railway is perceived - both by its management and its customers.
As a northern resident who has only visited the Bluebell Railway once ( to see 2c123 ) my perception is that the Bluebell Railway seeks to preserve the ambience of the Southern Railway - and all things Southern.
As a rail ( NOT loco ) enthusiast I am aware that the SR were desperate to design an electric locomotive fitted with a diesel engine to work "off juice" but it was only in the late 1950s that permission was granted for Eastleigh to ahead. Eastleigh took the best of the Southern artefacts then available by designing a locomotive to the Hastings Gauge ( as were the famous Schools Class ), fitting the latest electrics as fitted to the latest Kent Coast Class 411 EMU sets, adding the diesel engine as fitted to the SR Thumper DEMU fleet and fitting controls to make it compatible with all SR dmu / emu trainsets. In other words the Class 73 is a pure SR locomotive which perpetuates the best of Southern Railway tradition and engineering.
Therefore it seems to me that the use of a Class 73 on the Bluebell complements the Bluebell's SR-based raison d'etre and it is short sighted of the blinkered management to say otherwise. Perhaps for the general public - conditioned by the Bluebell to accept no substitute for steam - a Class 73 is a traction unit too far but the management ought to realise that SR electrification ( beginning in 1915 during the 1st World War ) is actually older than some of the steam locomotives which they proudly operate as part of the "traditional" Southern Railway.
Indeed there may well be demand for ( income generating ) photographic charters with the Class 73 on the Bluebell when an even more accurate representation of the 1960s SR could be created. That will doubtless depend on which era of the Southern Railway / Southern Region the management appears to have locked itself into.
Rubbish! I and others can and have quoted many non Bluebell examples of the general public being miffed and getting diesel haulage on heritage railways. There is a widespread perception and expectation that a visit to a heritage railway involves a steam hauled ride. No matter how old the "modern traction" is, Joe Public sees diesels as "new fangled" machines and steam locos as "old fashioned" ones. You only have to see the reaction of the general public when a main line steamer goes by. They almost all stop and look but hardly any take the slightest bit of notice when a diesel or electric loco goes by.
I think it is good that the Bluebell has managed to run an entirely steam service if they are able for so many years, but maybe things ned to change or at least for a while to sort out the loco shortage.
On the subject of people hating diesels no peole don't hate them and in fact a few peole are coming around to the idea that a few of the preserved ones are in fact worthy of being so i.e the 37's, 20's, 50's you get the point.
Also there are at least two lines I can think of and especially one which run 2 very successful Galas every year and wouldn't dream of not having one. I have even attended one myself and whilst if I'm honest I didn't enjoy myself as much as a Steam Gala it was still an enjoyable day out.
They also have a diesel engine on nearly every one of their end of day service trains as its easier and more convenient.
Thay also had a very successful few early season trips with a "bubblecar" which were FULL I would now like you to say nobody likes diesels???
I know that the Bluebell have some observation coaches for the well-heeled but I like riding on DMUs or Bubblecars on other lines, incluiding the MHR, as I can look forward and see the infrastructure, signalling, track circuits, etc. I get to appreciate the work done by the PW gangs. I am not into flailing or leaning out of windows so this is the only way.
I have sometimes thought that if the Ardingly extension is ever built it should be fitted with 3rd-rail for vintage EMUs. I would not advocate installing power supply but use a couple of 73s standing discretely in sidings feeding 750v into the 3rd rail through their collector shoes. This might help with the H&S case.
Taking that a stage further Brider, I wonder if it is technically possible to simply attach a 73 to one end of a vintage EMU set, and power the EMU by wiring in the 73? If so, you get rid of the live third rail, and have a means for vintage EMU's to work in a heritage situation.
...Only a layman suggestion, dont all throw your handbags....
Wasn't there some Class 33 + emu services which ran on the Southern, using the combined power of the 33/emu on the electrified section, and just the diesel elsewhere?
But back to the subject, the Bluebell do a very good job of hiding their new technology from visitors. But they still have it - websites, mobile phones etc. I really can't see why members (and particularly visitors) would get upset if they can't actually see the Class 73.
If the diesel has to come back to shed for maintenance, maybe someone could create a full-size cardboard cut-out of a "West Country" which they could put over the top.
Surpised no-one has questioned which 73 is "Pegasus", been racking my brains to work out which one that is and there are no references to any 73 called that anywhere! Turns out the loco coming to the railway will be 73136 "Perseverance". \/
33's pulled/shoved Bournemouth - Weymouth before the juice was extended.
33's/73's working in multiple with EMU's on preserved lines isn't a new idea but all the EMU's have been of a Mk1 design (VEP etc), could they work with a Southern EMU ?, pass.
class 73 and 33/1 can work with any combuination of VEP TC REP and each other and I believe also cig/cep etc and maybe more. A fantasticlly flexible system sadly no longer with us
"I was quite excited when I saw the word modernisation come up thinking that the whole of the railway was coming into the 21st centuty especially some people I believe a director who walks around looking scruffy can onlylook at the ground and completly ignore you when a question is asked."
Engineer you seem to have a lot of issues.
What is the problem?
I'm sure the Director you are talking about ( who is it I wonder?) knows more about what's going on than you do. He's probably even got a day job as well.
If as you say the management are useless, it's 'cos anybody with any sense wouldn't put themselves in the firing line for the sort of drivel I read on this and other forums.
The childishness of these attacks is astonishing. No wonder most people think train spotters are saddos.
I reckon you'd need very thick skin to volunteer for abuse from all and sundry with an axe to grind.
Why don't you give us all the benefit of you engineering wisdom?
There are always two sides to every story , please try to see that?.
Good news; there is a possibility of TWO 73's on Bluebell metals at the same time! \/
That will keep part of the membership going with plenty of cheer with Christmas \/
It will also create plenty of letters to the Bluebell news, which will be a nice change from the extension ones.
Thanks Tom this should be quite an event, the Bluebell,s first Deisal Gala, looking forward to it.
Do you think Wardy might attend?.
On the Southern Region any rolling stock with EPB brakes 27 line west-code jumpers and knuckle couplers could be worked in multiple. The only limiting factor was the conductor rail index which was a measure of how much power could be drawn from the 3rd rail. The maximum was 14 on the CRI and a REP drew 12, so could only multiple with a 2 HAP, 2EPB or a MLV on third rail. It could multiple with a class 33/1, 73/1 or 74 on diesel power.
From memory the conductor rail index ratings were
CRI2 2EPB, HAP, MLV, Deicer
CRI6 Class 73
CRI7 or 8 class 74
The SR DEMUs used a similar 20 line control system.
There used to be the 17.00 and 18.10 ex-Waterloo consisting of 33/1, TC unit and one or two EMU's (421's or 423's) which split as Basingstoke. Both the 33 and the EMU(s) were under power up to this point. At Basingstoke, the 33 and TC headed off to Salisbury (or possibly Yeovil Junction in the case of the 18.10) and the EMU's then continued to Eastleigh.
This combination ran for a while in the 1980's. I have a picture of it dating from 1986 in the Wimbledon area. It was quite a rare sight to see a 33 with no less than 12 coaches behind it, even if the rear eight were providing thei own power.
"There are always two sides to every story , please try to see that?."
Indeed there are but all we read is how some director ignored someone (bless) or looked at them in a funny way Constable Savage.
Looks like a bunch of schoolgirls to me.
Often people who are doing something worthy, volunteering say, end up so full of their own importance and bitterness they end up doing more harm than good.
For example groups that endlessly needle gun rusty steelwork when they'd be better off learning the skills to make new components. Maybe a bit of welding is beyond them.
Is Engineer Chartered or Certified?
I bet neither.
Not an Engineer then.
The Director being referred to is Lewis Nodes.
However people volunteer for different reasons, for example one of the Bluebell C&W volunteers is a Solicitor by profession and comes to the Bluebell to weld. Myself I volunteer to get away from the stress of work, so I guess we all do it for different reasons.
If I may ask what of yourself , are you a volunteer, are you learning new skills? These questions are not meant to be offensive in any way to you, merely asking so no offence meant.
I know one or two people that need to scratch off the Bluebell line with a class 33. With or without a BE head code.
Separate names with a comma.