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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Jamessquared, Feb 16, 2013.

    Put a diesel between the O2 and carriages as a brake translator and witness the outpouring of outraged froth from the freeloading linesiders ;)
     
  1. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Thanks as always for a comprehensive reply, Tom.
     
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  2. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill New Member

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    Thanks Tom. Still not been down since Steamworks opened but looking forward to having a look round the next time I visit.
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’ve put a new thread up for the Branch Line Gala here: https://www.national-preservation.c...ay-branch-line-gala-15-17-march-2019.1306109/

    Meanwhile - on the “What’s new” page, it was reported that as of last Friday, there was just a single 30ft rail length remaining to join up the 1/2 mile track replacement with the end of what was done last year at Monteswood Lane Bridge. Apart from that single length, it was reported that the track had been relaid in about 80 hours with an average of 8-9 people on site each day. I’m not 100% sure, but from the photo it looked like final ballasting still needed to be done.

    Tom
     
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  4. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    That's good going by any standard.
     
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  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Goes without saying that there was a lot of preparation beforehand!

    Tom
     
  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    There's another update on the "What's new" page for 1 February covering the winter track relaying.

    https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/whats_new.html

    A tiny bit of tamping remains on the 1/2 mile section between Monteswood Land and Sloop Bridge, but that section is essentially complete. The tamping was carried out by Balfour Beatty as an operator training exercise. Because the main relaying seems to have happened quicker than planned, the infrastructure team have moved on and are starting on another section of 13 panels north of Caseford bridge, on the run towards Three Arch bridge. (Just over 1/8 mile - see earlier discussion about how much of the track has been relaid and how much remains between SP and HK. Including that section, I make it 4,300 yards of the plain line that has been relaid between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes over the last decade).

    Map: https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/map_grad.html

    Tom
     
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  7. Dan Hamblin

    Dan Hamblin New Member

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    An additional bit of good news is that the steelwork for the new two road maintenance shed has been erected as well.

    Regards,

    Dan
     
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  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Another update with photos of the 13 panel re-lay at Caseford Bridge is on the What's new page for 7 February: https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/whats_new.html

    Quoting from there:

    "So in all, over just three days, the old track had been removed, plastic and Terram laid in the cutting section, ballast dozed even and wacked down smooth, all 13 panels of new flat bottom rail laid and a closing half panel of bullhead cut in. Despite the last joint being only fly-plated, and there still being some clipping up to do, the diesel, the ballast train, and the tamper can now run over the job, and ballasting will start on Thursday morning (i.e. today). This renewed section extends northwards from the Waterworks section which was laid in the snow last winter."
    That's in addition to the earlier 44 chain section done in January. That section came in ahead of time and under budget which was what allowed this Caseford bridge section to be done.

    Tom
     
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    From the eNewsletter

    Provisional Numbers Show Healthy Visitor Increase in 2018

    The provisional visitor numbers indicate a very strong performance in 2018, with total visitors (travel plus admissions) at 159,095, compared with 145,788 in 2017 (a year that included the “Flying Scotsman” event).

    The Railway saw 145,989 customers travelling in 2018, up 12%. Although the Railway did not benefit from the visit of “Tornado”, strong showings at events such as Branch Line Weekend and the Autumn Gala (with the visit of “Union of South Africa”) all helped growth. Travel numbers showed growth across all months from May to October. For instance, August showed total visitors (travel plus admissions) at 25,398, compared with 19,205 the previous year.

    There can be no doubt that the introduction of Third Party Travel Vouchers was a key contributor to the increase in visitor numbers, and the use of these in a more targeted and selective manner is under consideration for 2019.

    Station admissions—at 13,106—were down on the 2017 number of 15,651. The 2017 number, however, benefited from the impact of “Flying Scotsman”. This year, it will be interesting to see if the ASH/SteamWorks! project will positively impact non-travelling visitors at Sheffield Park, which represented 75% of total admissions sold in 2018.

    The highly successful 2018 Santa Season also helped with the boost in visitor numbers, and first class remains a feature, accounting for 8% of Santa bookings and 24% of the 612 booking the Festive Feast.

    The boost in numbers is both welcome and reassuring, but there is plenty to be done not only to build the numbers still further but also to ensure efficient and economic delivery of our products. Santa Season 2018 is a good example of efficiency in action: we carried nearly 1,000 more passengers this year but on the same number of trains (53) as we ran in 2017.

    By Roger Garman, Communications Director
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    And also from the eNewsletter:

    No. 12058: Revitalised Wagon Group Gets to Work

    A small group of volunteers, led by Laurie Anderson, have restarted work on the 1946 built Bullied open wagon No. 12058. (This one: https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/pic2/wagons/sr12058.html)

    The wagon was acquired by the Railway in 2005 from Eastleigh Works, where it had been in use as an adapter wagon for moving electric multiple units around the works. The body work had been removed and redundant wagon wheels welded to the frame to act as ballast, but the underframe remained in good condition.

    In view of this situation, it was decided to remake and fit the bodywork, restoring the wagon to its original Bulleid-era condition. Work got underway with the Eastleigh Works modifications being removed and a start made on assembling/fabricating some of the metalwork for the body. Unfortunately, for various reasons, no further work had been undertaken since 2013 until January this year.

    The Bulleid Society has kindly agreed to sponsor the cost of materials for the project. Various fittings including the buffers, brake gear, and other components have been removed for cleaning up with a view to grit blasting the underframe, hopefully in March.

    There is also some work to be done to maintain our running fleet, and it is hoped that once the relaying in the down yard is complete, it will be possible to bring over some of the running fleet for some TLC.

    Due to work commitments of the group, work days are irregular at present. However, as the wagon group gets re-established, it is hoped to organise a regular working day at least once a month as we are hoping to expand the group of volunteers interested in working on our wagon fleet.

    If you are interested in volunteering on this project, please contact me at david@rhydderch.co.uk
     
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  11. evilswans

    evilswans New Member

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    Ah yes I forgot I got my pts down at the bluebell for free
     
  12. Nick C

    Nick C Member

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    Why is there so much froth and anger about painting the Adams Radial in BR Black? - I'm looking forward to seeing her as that's, to me, the livery she's most associated with from the Lyme Regis branch. Plus the Drummond chimney looks so much nicer than the stovepipe...
     
  13. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    I can vividly remember in about 1983, standing on the short wooden platform at Freshfield, watching 30583 rounding the curve with 3 Bulleids in tow.
    It was like stepping through a time portal into 1960s Dorset. Wonderful, even though I'm not remotely old enough to have such memories of the original.
    A livery, at the end of the day, is just a coat of paint thick. I've never really understood why people get so aeriated about it as it can so easily be changed.
     
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  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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  15. Nick C

    Nick C Member

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    Is there any chance of a map showing which sections have been done and which still need it?
     
  16. PILLBOX MAN

    PILLBOX MAN New Member

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    The cost of the professional repaint must be circa £5K plus the paid staff had to take off the stovepipe and replace with a normal chimney. (£5oo in wages plus pension costs etc). We are hiring in 2 engines at vast expense, so you wonder how much profit the railway will make at the end of the day???. £6k will make a dent in any profit. I don't suppose a charge will be made if a line up is done for photographers during each day at some point. (if there is one???) A lot of effort for little return?
     
  17. steam_mad

    steam_mad Member

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    No idea about photo line ups during the gala, but there are two specific staged night time photo charters featuring the Adams tank. One costs £50 and the other £60, and from experience, there will be between 30-40 people in attendance. Both are sold out / nearly sold out. The loco also features as an attraction during another couple of day and night photo charters. Might not (but might, I don't know!) cover the costs but will put a fair dent into the £6k figure you quote.

    I also remember reading that Heritage Painting and Steam Railway had sponsored the paint job.. so might not have cost as much to paint as we think?
     
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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    If you read it in conjunction with this map:

    https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/map_grad.html

    My understanding is as follows, south to north:
    • The platform lines at Sheffield Park were relaid a few years back, out as far as the north end point. (Can't remember when, but I think probably round about 2010)
    • A short length on and either side of Poleay Bridge was done in 2017, along with rebuilding the bridge
    • From there to the distant signal on Freshfield Bank is old (pre-Bluebell). The distant signal is about midway between Palmers Cattle Creep and Oakham Bridge on the map
    • From there to milepost 9 has all been relaid over the last 8 years (i.e. since 2011, and mostly since 2014). Milepost 9 is about adjacent to the label "Lindfield Wood" on the map.
    • From milepost 9 to 9 1/4 is old.
    • From milepost 9 1/4 to a point approximately mid way between Caseford Bridge and Three Arch bridge has all been relaid in the last few years.
    • From that point to the most southern point at Horsted Keynes is old
    • The southern point and the track through platforms 2 and 3 was relaid in 2017, as far as the intermediate crossover north of the platforms.
    • The road through platform 4/5 out to Leamland Bridge; and the track from the intermediate crossover to Leamland bridge was I believe relaid in the 1990s.
    • The section from about Leamland Bridge on both running lines through Leamland Junction (the most northerly point at HK) and for a few panels north was relaid in 2016.
    • From there to the south end of the Tunnel was laid in the 1990 - 1992.
    • The track through the tunnel was relaid in 2010
    • From the north end of the Tunnel through New Combe Bridge (dating from about 1992) to Kingscote, including the platform roads, dates from 1992 - 1994.
    • The furthest north point at Kingscote was relaid in 2012 (as part of bringing that section up to passenger carrying standard - previously it was a hand point as only used for run rounds)
    • From there to the south end of the tip was in the 2000s
    • Through the tip between the bridges was 2012-2013
    • From the north end of the tip through to East Grinstead station was about 2008.
    I think that's right - it's largely from memory!

    Obviously, everything is resource-dependent, but it is feasible to think that by the early 2020s the entire line between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes could have been relaid. By which point, the Horsted - Kingscote section will be over thirty years old ...

    Tom
     
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  19. Paul42

    Paul42 Member

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    I believe some monies came from a restricted fund the Bluebell Trust has for the Radial tank.
     

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