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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

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

  1. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    If you read my posts here, you’ll note that I’d rather the Bluebell were still 100% steam. I’ve previously been told, clearly and firmly, that this is impractical and unaffordable.

    The railway has instead taken the 09 and now a 33. There’s credible talk of more.

    It has a choice. It can accept them under sufferance, sweat the assets and generally treat them as interlopers. Or it can accept them graciously, recognise them as full parts of the fleet and collection, and nurture them as they do other parts of the collection.

    One will wear out machinery and goodwill, and be no better than a sticking plaster. It’s an approach seen on many railways, and leads to large bills in the long term as residual asset life evaporates. The other will help support the long term future of the railway.

    That’s why I say embrace.


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  2. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    Yes, both the 33 and the potential Thumper are being taken on by groups prepared to put in the hours and the money to put them into service (neither being instant runners), so yes, they are being embraced by groups of Bluebell members and treated as part of a coherent collection. A 37 and a Pacer would be instant runners, but might well not be embraced in the same way.
     
  3. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Well-Known Member

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    An outside framed 4-4-0….
     
  4. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    Plus 7 ? SECR, 2 LSWR, 2 LBSCR, ? Pre BR southern region locos.
     
  5. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    That's not quite what I mean, but a really good start. What matters more is that the Bluebell, as an institution and as represented by its personnel, treats those items as of equal standing as part of the collection and operating fleet as everything else.
     
  6. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Great but such things are not a USP for the Bluebell.
     
  7. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    From reading these posts here about USP, you would think that the Bluebell have said they are doing away with their steam and vintage stock altogether. I don't see the USP of veteran steam locomotives running with the line's extensive and varied collection of stock changing. The diesels aren't 'taking over' as seems to be the suggestion of many people. As I understand it they are there as reserve; the core service that people visit for will still be there.

    The presence of a second larger diesel locomotive is a wise idea - say a loco failed while the 33 was undergoing maintenance? As has been seen, the 09 is hardly ideal (Skippy even less so, but that would be a sight to behold...)

    The concerns about the Thumper are perhaps a little more understandable, but if there is a/are group/s who are dedicated to taking that on, it's certainly worth considering. It may well come in to its own if the Ardingly extension takes off. Yes, the Bluebell has predominantly been steam to date, but diesel/electric is still part of its history - electric traction was still in Horsted Keynes when the Bluebell started out!
     
  8. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    It is part of it together with Hoersted Keynes, Sheffield park and how you portray that history to the punter. As I said earlier there is a WOW factor for the public when they ride on r behind something that is around 100 years old, works reliably and efficiently also. What certainly has seemed popular when I,ve visited is when both a vintage train and a more 40s,50s train are operating. Bluebell certainly have the stock to tell a story of steam days. If you can weave thumper and diesel into that story it could work,
     
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  9. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    None of them individually is. The USP is the whole collection together, which is very different from that of any other railway.
     
  10. Hirn

    Hirn Member

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    Where could one find some more detailed explanations of these devices to avoid setting off with a handbrake hard on - diagrams, drawings?

    I'm beginning to wonder if some of them of them might use electrics or electronics and be the equivalent of electro pneumatic brakes "EPB" with vacum rather than Westinghouse style compressed air brakes. (There are a surprising number of different solutions independent of train leasing companies to keeping slam doors shut on the main line: really strong magnets which lessen door hanging & lock fitting precision, pneumatic circuits, and of course fitting a remote lock to the bolt on every carriage door.) Ingenuity in preservation!
     
  11. Hirn

    Hirn Member

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    Would like to thoroughly agree and emphasise "space constraints".

    Carriages are not small and voluntary work is not quick, any work must be done inside and to avoid repeating it - certainly with wooden coaches - they need to be kept in a sound carriage shed.

    Putting unrestored carriages undercover is not foolish - short of restricting restorations to teak built only.

    Where to find anywhere to put covered sidings without crowding some where out is difficult. But long term there might be an opportunity at Ardingley if the stone traffic ceases.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
  12. PILLBOX MAN

    PILLBOX MAN New Member

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    All EP stock and those fitted with magnetic locks are run from a generated supply on board. I think using carriage batteries would be anon starter as they are liable to run out of charge and you loose the power. I an sure that details of a hand brake valve are to hand at Bb. Use if the valve would need consultation and approval by the safety management system to take not of valve and approve plus consulting Ops who use it.
     
  13. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Screenshot_20221202-105725.png
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That was the loaded test run earlier this week, checking water consumption and that the loco could restart the Mets (80 tons tare) on the 1 in 55 gradient.

    Tom
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Can we assume it passed? But for the curved door tops, that (wonderful) Met stock isn't a million miles away from native Brighton stuff from that era. Still getting used to seeing the loco in gamboge!

    Query: Do I recall correctly that Fenchurch's wheels were in sore need of attention or replacement an overhaul or two ago?
     
  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes, looks to have been successful.

    She had one set of driving wheels and axle replaced at the previous overhaul (in the late 1990s); the other two sets are still I believe the originals.

    There have been a few modifications on this overhaul. One is that she now has a blow down valve, so should go longer between washouts and be less susceptible to priming. The other is the fireman's side injector has been replaced by one with a slower feed rate that is more in balance with the boiler size. Both should make her a bit more user friendly than she was.

    Tom
     
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  17. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I’m pleased to see that the Bluebell is reintroducing lineside photographers passes, good to see a railway that treats us like adults, but I think that £150 for a half day safety course is a bit steep for a one year pass. I assume that at the end of the year another safety course is required which is a cost I can’t justify for the couple of times a year I would use it, even a Network Rail PTS lasts three years.
     
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  18. Nimbus

    Nimbus New Member

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    That is Ajax in Chatham Dockyard, on the occasion of the visit by the 'Dungeness Dynamo' railtour on 20th April 1985. Ajax did bank the DEMU tour, composed of 3D 1310 and 6S 1006, for a short distance out of the dockyard. It was not coupled to the 3D!
    44823502935_7888c2d3fa_o.jpg
     
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  19. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately we don't have drawings for our arrangements, the best we could probably offer is (controlled) access to one so the visitor could see the assembly for themselves.

    There is a wedge shaped metal block added to the side of the brake rod that links the handbrake to the rest of the rigging. As the handbrake is wound on it moves the wedge along which slides a plunger mounted 90 degrees to the wedge. The plunger then pushes open a flap on the Class 47 valve which opens the train pipe to atmosphere. Being 2 inch bore, as I said in a previous post, the vacuum is quickly brought down to about 1 or 2 inches, all before the handbrake has even brought the first brake block into contact with the wheels. It's a good way of doing it as the handbrake has to be wound completely off before the vacuum restores. Most of our handbrakes take at least 5 or 6 turns before they start to apply the brake, but they dump the vacuum after only around 2 or 3 turns.

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  20. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    Yes, I'm quite sure they'll be treated as an integral part of the historic collection. In terms of operating fleet, however, you need to accept however that 95% (yes, we did a survey) of our visitors are families who come to the Bluebell for steam. Diesels therefore fulfill a very different (but equally valid) purpose from an operating point of view.
     
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