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Bluebell Motive Power

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Orion, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Hard to disagree with anything you've written here.
     
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  2. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    I note you have ignored Duty Druid's request in effect to "put a sock in it". Despite traduction from the expected quarters I will still go along with this, albeit reluctantly.

    PH
     
  3. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Ah yes, fair point! What I had in mind was that (if I remember correctly) when the possibility of running steam through the tunnels again was mooted some years ago, there were suggestions that LU's rake of MkIs were too wide and that a possibility might be to use ex-Hastings coaches.
     
  4. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    Well, I'd like to thank Tom for his thorough explanation as to the reason why the Mk 1s get so much use over and against the older stock. I guess personally I've got no reason to complain. I enjoyed the ride and was able to travel in a Bulleid coach in both directions rather than a Mk 1. Tom also made the point that the C&W Department is keen to get more Maunsell and Bulleid coaches into service, although this won't happen immediately. Again, an important point - just as with the loco department until this year, the C&W people have been stretched and some less-than ideal compromises have been necessary. That's life. At the end of the day, enthusiaists only make up a small percentage of the Bluebell's passengers and if it's older stock we want to travel in, the answer is to come down when the B timetable is in operation. The use of pre-nationalisation stock is, to me, one of the Bluebell's USPs. The picture of No. 263 approaching Kinsgcote with the vintage stock behind it on the previous page of this thread shows what's on offer most weekends. It would be good if it was available every operating day, but one must accept that practicalities dictate otherwise at the moment
     
  5. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    A fuss about nothing here, imo. The Bluebell Railway has the range of locomotives and stock to run trains from quite a wide historical period. I thought that, on the whole, this is what they do but I certainly wouldn't criticise them when they choose what trains they make up and when they do it. For most of the general public (whose money keeps things ticking over), a steam train is a steam train.
     
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  6. tom92240

    tom92240 Part of the furniture

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    Dear Jamessquared,

    A quick reminder that you need to ask/credit the photographer when using his photos. I have just had rather an unnecessary e-mail from the photographer asking me not to use his images etc, mistakenly thinking I am you.

    Thanks

    Tom Waghorn.
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Ah, my apologies - I'll edit...

    Tom
     
  8. Lplus

    Lplus Well-Known Member

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    I too travelled on the Bluebell on Monday, taking the 11:00 from SP to EG and back - in a well maintained carmine and cream corridor composite. There was a coach tour on board, filling one tourist open, plus a load of families of various compositions, a few retired couples, and even what looked like a few gricers wandering up and down. Everyone seemed quite content with the consist and the whole ensemble seemed to be perfectly adequate for purpose.
     
  9. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    Are Mk1s any larger than Gatwick Express Mk2s? Remarkably, back in 1988 a rake was taken around the Circle for the 'Battery Rover' tour.
     
  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Mk1 and Mk2 (Gatwick Express and all others) are built to basically the same length and body profile, known by BR as "C1". There may have been slight variations in restrictions, but as I understand it they would have been to do with local issues rather than of general importance.
     
  11. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    Width below platform surface level is similar for vintage and current or indeed Mk I stock, so the foot boards on Met stock may well be wider than BR standards allow. However above platform level the Bulleids or Mk Is are much wider than vintage stock. The Hasting line " restriction 0 " stock is so slab sided that it must be roughly the same width as vintage stock.
     
  12. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    What Paul seems singularly unable to grasp is that most lines use Mk 1 coaches from necessity and pre-BR stock as luxuries, because that's all that was available to them (the Bluebell, being a little older, was more fortunate but still limited by what it could afford at the time). It's the same with locos - the vast majority of locos in use up and down the country either survived until the end of steam or came from Barry scrapyard. Coach restoration as a field has lagged behind that of locos but as time goes by more of the pre-BR stuff is being are coming back into service, and I'd like to think that their numbers will continue to grow, improving the variety of what's out there. It will take time, but things are gradually improving.
     
  13. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    A very fair point. I'd be interested to know what percentage of the rolling stock in standard gauge in heritage terms is BR Mk1 to pre-grouping and grouping stock. It must be more than half the number of coaches in preservation, surely?
     
  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Even more interesting I suspect if the list is restricted to vehicles which have run in passenger service on preserved lines.
     
  15. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    And of course there was no Barry scrapyard for coaches, although there wasn't a single mass scrapping effort either, so presumably they tended to work a normal life and last a bit longer.
     
  16. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    I've been through this before in other threads. The percentage of pre-BR stock versus Mk 1 remains low, I doubt if there are more than a couple of hundred pre-BR compared with perhaps 5-600 Mk 1s. Most pre-BR stock has entered preservation via the departmental route, meaning that they are usually low on the priority list for restoration, because they have lost most of their interior. 4/6W stock is relatively popular because underframes could be had and there is a lot less work in restoring older, shorter vehicles. The GWR and LMS are relatively well represented in terms of original, as withdrawn, coaches because of the relatively late survival of the Swindon and Derby Test Trains. LNER Gresley stock, on the other hand, fared reasonably well because of the late survival of the regional control trains and because heritage railways like Mk1-compatible open thirds, which formed a high proportion of these trains, some even retaining their interiors.
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    From the Bluebell e-Newsletter:

    "The summer daily running season has arrived, with a daily need for motive power. We started the season in good shape with the Q class as our large motive power--running well after some teething during the running-in period--plus S15 and the U class. Meanwhile, the C class returned to traffic after boiler work, so with the E4 and H class we've been able to cover medium-sized trains.

    However, just as we thought things were going smoothly, items needing attention were identified at the U class's annual boiler exam in June, such as stay work, replacement of four boiler tubes, and a new brick arch.

    They would have needed to be fixed before the boiler inspector could certify the final six months of the certificate, and they would have necessitated a hydraulic boiler test. Figuring out the timescale to complete these jobs, resources required, and other priorities, we decided not to undertake the work and focus our attention on returning No. 73082 to traffic. So with sadness I report that U class No. 1638 is withdrawn from traffic for a 10-year overhaul. The loco has covered 52,000 miles over the last 9.5 years and borne the brunt of our front line services.

    Our attentions turn to "Camelot": work is proceeding well on completing her overhaul. The tender returned from tyre-turning at Ashford and is now in the paintshop at Horsted Keynes and final assembly is proceeding, with the superheater header and main steam pipes installed, the endless runs of lubrication and brake system pipework nearly complete, cab fittings on-going, and painting underway. With a fair wind behind us, the loco should return to traffic for testing and running-in towards the end of the summer.

    Other work includes the completion of boiler work to No. 323 "Bluebell", which, along with "Baxter", passed stage 1 of its boiler exam. Both are being prepared for stage 2, which hopefully they will have passed by the time you read this. The usual round of maintenance tasks continues, with boiler washouts, fixes to firehole doors, renewing trimmings in oil pots, etc.

    Off-site, the new throat plate for Schools class No. 928 "Stowe" is complete. It just needs final fettling, and the new inner and outer firebox platework is in the process of being rolled to the correct profile. Removal of the boiler's crown stays is complete, so when it returns to the Works, reassembly will begin. In the Running Shed, work continues to get BR Standard 4 tank No. 80151 ready for entering the Works, while at LNWR Crewe, No. 34059's boiler is now at the new premises and work has re-started on completing her new inner firebox.

    A couple of other items include the complete replacement of the Works' cladding. Work started on the 29 June, 2015 and over an eight-week period, the old cladding will be removed and new metal angles, modern cladding, and new roof lights (to improve natural light and add warmth in winter) will be installed. I'm grateful to the benefactors and the Trust for funding this essential work.

    Our two apprentices recently passed their college exams, and they now have the summer off to use their new skills to good effect. While on the operating side of the department, Tim Gray and Andrew Kelly were successful in their applications for the Shed Foreman position. Let's hope the summer weather continues; I look forward to seeing you at the Railway!

    By Christopher Hunford, Loco Director"
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    FaceBook photo update showing the final stages of putting Camelot together:

    https://www.facebook.com/381518251989806/photos/pcb.615321791942783/615320541942908/?type=1&theater

    (You don't need to be a FB member to view). Will be good to have her in traffic as it will relieve a bit of pressure on the two big Maunsell engines.

    Visible in one of the photos is Stowe's boiler, undergoing what is probably the most complicated boiler overhaul ever undertaken in-house at the railway. A number of components for this have been formed at the South Devon Railway and are now waiting to be welded into place.

    Tom
     
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  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    From the Bluebell e-Newsletter:

    "LOCO NEWS: A GOOD SUMMER FOR THE FLEET

    Autumn weather arrived quickly, with a wet start to the season. Fortunately the re-cladding of the loco works was completed on schedule, and what an improvement. You instantly notice the warmer atmosphere as you walk in; larger skylights greatly increase the natural light entering the Works. With only some minor snagging items remaining to be completed, the next stage is to upgrade the lighting systems with energy efficient LED units.

    The running fleet has worked well over the summer season, with the S15, C, and H working the majority of the trains. This fleet was supplemented by the E4 when required for a Wealden Rambler and to cover the C and H when on washout. Pilot duties have been covered by "Baxter" or "Bluebell," which can be seen nearly every weekend now moving coaches and posing at Sheffield Park. The Q class has undergone an extended maintenance period while we completed a few jobs that cropped up now the loco has run more than 4,000 miles. Currently, this loco is available for traffic.

    Inside the Works, progress on No. 73082 "Camelot" is good, with the final pipework and other items such as the driver's seat now being fitted. The whole loco (except smokebox) has received a first coat of paint, and the final row of superheater elements are being made. The first three rows have been fitted inside the boiler. The next few weeks will see the final snagging work take place, and, of course, the final painting and lining to BR specifications.

    No. 928 "Stowe's" boiler has had a minor set back with the discovery of star cracking in the radius of the boiler backhead. This is unfortunate, but we've taken the decision to order and fit a whole new backhead. Although this work delays progress slightly, overall we'll have a more thorough and comprehensive repair and will be able to rivet the firebox together rather than use patch screws. Riveting is 10 times quicker than patch screwing. The new firebox sections and throat plate have arrived from South Devon Railway.

    Outside, preparations for the BR Standard Class 4 Tank No. 80151 boiler continues, with the removal of the main steam pipes, chimney, smokebox fittings, etc. The loco will enter the Works with SE&CR O1 No. 65 once "Camelot" is complete. Keep an eye out in the news for our "Giants of Steam" event when we'll be hosting a special guest!

    By Chris Hunford, Locomotive Director"
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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