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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I’ll concur with your last sentence.
     
  2. Penrhynfan

    Penrhynfan New Member

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    Ignore that one as the OH wire was only ever for telegraph signalling (bell codes) and now not used but still there for historical reasons as PMR has replaced it. Haulage is by a cable (wire rope) below the road surface (lover section) or between the rails and visible (upper section).
     
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  3. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Dangerous to rely on memories but as a school kid but coming down Warnham bank with my parents having a tea from those lovely Art Deco Buffets at rather over the 75mph limit was exciting as a child. Mind you the phase 1 BIGs were also lively, one always made sure you finished your current Gin to hand before Holmwood and did not get another till after the masses had left at Horsham. It was not the same when we were diverted away from the traditional route of Sutton and Dorking to serve upstarts of Three Bridges Crawley etc although the 1818 ex Vic was first stop Horsham via the Quarry.
     
  4. burnham-t

    burnham-t New Member

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    The Isle of Man is technically independent when it comes to standards for railways, although they've often asked for advice from the Railway Inspectorate (and presumably more recently the ORR) over the years.
    I'm surprised someone hasn't suggested reconstructing a section of the Brighton overhead electrification on the Bluebell! As I recall 6600 volts 25Hz. It would be an interesting exercise to build a Winter Eichberg motor, too...
     
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  5. BrightonBaltic

    BrightonBaltic Member

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    Regarding 3rd rail interference with S&T, could you not, for example, just run the third rail as far as the western end of Sherriff Mill bridge and leave the unit to coast in to HK under its own momentum? If it needed more separation, a modest battery pack or set of capacitors should surely do the job to cover the gap... restarting out of HK back to Ardingly might require a bit more power, but I suppose there's likely to be a small tank engine around to give it a shove...
     
  6. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    (a) quite well (it's run by B&H City Council, with support from VERA). Frequent suggestions to extend back to Palace Pier are being taken seriously. At t'other end, getting a bit closer to the Marina would help. The old eastern terminus, a few dozen yards on at Black Rock, is the subject of endless redevelopment proposals, but remains the nearest car park to the popular nudist beach, with VER cars (theoretically) shielded from 'the view' by a shingle bank.
    (b) I was wondering about a REP too. Perhaps a conversation for after the 5BEL makes it back to the mainline?
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Erm ... if you coast in, how do you leave from a standing start?

    As for interference - up to 2km from the nearest third rail is I believe a problem for DC track circuits.

    Tom
     
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  8. BrightonBaltic

    BrightonBaltic Member

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    Batteries/capacitors/locomotive assistance as suggested above... how far is it from Ardingly to 3rd rail at Copyhold? That could make things interesting in terms of track circuitry there... how does NR cope? AC circuits?

    Re train heating, could the EMU's motors not act as generators when propelled by a locomotive, thus providing juice for ETH?
     
  9. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    I realise you cannot know this, but I live up the road and have driven through the village of Ardingly twice today on the school run :D. You are right, it is quite a way to the village itself, and even further to the showground, plus station to edge of village is 50mph road with no pavements. And, of course, the station site belongs to Hanson who might not want to give you a route through their quarry site to the road!

    Volks in Brighton is a totally different kettle of fish but I'd be surprised if you could open another one of those in 2021.
     
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  10. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    If you were going to the lengths of fitting batteries you could probably put enough in to power the trains for a couple of runs (if not a whole day) of Ardingly shuttles at 25mph. Then you wouldn't need any juice rail, making life a lot simpler!
     
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  11. 73129

    73129 Member

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    The only other line that runs on a 3rd rail system i can think of is Hythe pier. Running on 250 volt DC but it’s a only a short distance from pier head to land station.
     
  12. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Strictly 'back of a beer mat' this:

    Just had a shuftie at the spec for the Tesla Model Y (launched 2019), which tips the scales at just over 2T (metric) and claims a range of 314 miles. Obviously, can't do a straight 'weight for weight' calculation, as the work that's gone into not just control systems, but losses (from motor windings) means it's be like comparing a Caley Cardean with a Riddles Standard 5. Milk float technology this ain't! Then there's an allowance to be made for the lower rolling resistance of steel on steel.

    Providing you're not expecting the 3.5sec 0-60 time (or 150mph top speed) of the Model Y, my guess would be, weight wise, battery packs within acceptable limits would be quite do-able. Compared with the Lead-Acid cells fitted to the BR BEMU (1958), the energy density of Li ion has increased by a factor of 6 by weight (and 9 by volume). To give an idea, those originally fitted to the 2-car BEMU weighed in at 17T, so a (very crude estimate of) equivalent output suggests battery weights for a 4 car EMU of 2×2.7T (probably 4 Tesla's worth!) or rather less, given you'd be looking at a 25mph max rather than the 60mph required by BR! The working lives of Li batteries is substantially greater than that of Lead-Acid, with it becoming apparent that the latest batteries are highly likely to outlast the cars they're fitted to. Quite what contribution regenerative braking might make to offset the consumption of EP brakes, or heating, I'd not care to speculate, but the numbers suggest something quite a way north of 4hrs running per charge.

    I rather suspect re-energising the BEMU, currently reduced to hauled stock, would be a better place to start and investigations into fitting up an MLV, before diving into a 4 car EMU.

    Then there's the 'solid state' battery tech, just beginning to appear and heavy duty skeleton capacitors (to get it all charged up pdq).
     
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  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Or we could just invest in steam engines :rolleyes:

    Tom
     
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  14. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    Plus 1 for this ;)
     
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  15. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    There is another option.

    Bring on the Shire Horses.:):)
     
  16. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I am surprised given the Southern's history of innovation and looking forward that you'd be so reactionary :)

    As the Southern and its precursors were among the pioneers of electrification, it'd make sense to find away to bring that aspect of the lines' history to life. Standing on the shoulders of giants.

    Considering where we are in the Covid world, increased environmental scrutiny and how lines have to be innovative and think on their feet, why not look at ways to use battery instead of diesel power? No different to the Southern embracing electrification or considering oil firing.

    I don't think it makes sense now, but considering improvements in batteries and declining costs, there will become a point where they may well become an economically viable option, and who knows, maybe the savings might allow money to be invested back into steam engines :)

    Interesting but I do notice one thing is missing - how much do the batteries cost?

    BTW as a benchmark you have this for performance

    https://collection.sciencemuseumgro...rth-staffordshire-railway-electric-locomotive
     
  17. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Member

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    As someone who lives in Haywards Heath, I would love to see the Bluebell take a presence in the town, but I can't think of a practical way the railway can do it. As well as the problem with Hanson's site being in the way at Ardingly, there's also the problem of the bit that already exists at the other end of the extension.

    Space has supposedly been left for a platform to be built at HH between the NR station and the Waitrose supermarket, however that space is quite cramped with very little space for a platform either side of a non electrified loop used for running round the stone trains. According to an article I saw from prior to the completion of the station redevelopment in 2016, the Bluebell plan to get to Ardingly first, then negotiate running rights with NR into HH, however this would presumably mean having to do similar to what Swanage have done with Wareham , as the non electrified spur from Ardingly merges with the 3rd rail on the approach to Platform 1 with points diverting the loop around it. Assuming the platform is built on the loop, it creates a problem with running round as with no space for additional lines, it would require the use of Platform 1 to run round (effectively the reverse of what happens with the stone trains).
     
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  18. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Has any attempt been made to re-energised the BEMU, I might have thought that there may well be companies (Tesla?) who might sponsor it.
     
  19. Ruston906

    Ruston906 New Member

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    This would help you run a carbon neutral service if you only buy your electric from a 100 renewable supplier
     
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  20. BrightonBaltic

    BrightonBaltic Member

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    Honestly, it was bad enough when diesels started to arrive on the Bluebell, worse still when diesel galas started to be held. Personally, I'd rather see the diesels evicted, a return to 100% steam operation, including for shunting and P-way purposes, and the rules/constitution amended to ban diesels from setting foot on Bluebell metals ever again.

    As for HH, there is no way the Bluebell will ever be allowed to run into HH short of using 75mph main line certificated locos and rolling stock (well, it's something to do with those bloody Bulleids!). Copyhold is a fair distance north of HH, and there's no slow line on which to stay out of the way of speeding 377s... and when you do get to HH, there's nowhere to put a run-round loop or anything else, so you'd probably have to run all the way to Brighton and take the loco to Lovers' Walk depot (which itself would have to be adapted) for turnaround servicing, watering etc... and suddenly the costs are looking very scary. So, I would not expect to see regular running over the spur from Ardingly to Copyhold, if ever this extension does come off.
     

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