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Cathex Victoria / Faversham 24th July

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by mrKnowwun, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. hatherton hall

    hatherton hall Member

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    There is no doubt that Steam Dreams miss the influence of Graeme Bunker. I have witnessed at first hand how he achieved the almost impossible and rejected the unacceptable. He carried knowledge, authority and passion. That is not to say that Steam Dreams do not have all of that in abundance. Marcus and the team will be as distraught as anyone when a tour goes wrong and I have great sympathy for their plight.

    Odd to think that these columns often reflect the unbridaled joy of a tour running without diesel in sight. Ten years ago it was the norm. Progress? I don't think so.
     
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  2. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Not progress, just a sign of the times and sadly a scenario - i.e. the constraints on steam operations - that Bob Meanley predicted long enough ago now for us to have perhaps forgotten. I remember after the memorable Plymouth to Bristol 1Z48 dash in 2014 he did observe that we should enjoy it while we can.
     
  3. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday while 34046 was being shoved all over the place, 4965, with which Bob is involved, ran the Shakespeare Express from Birmingham to Stratford unaided and on Saturday 60163 took the pullmans round the Surrey Hills circuit without assistance.

    As this proves, there are still openings for unassisted steam even on quite busy lines. One big problem at the moment is lack of clarity from some operators as to whether or not diesel shovage will be used. Things are getting a bit clearer (we now know the rule is no unassisted summer steam through the New Forest due to the fire risk, for instance) but there is room for improvement. Another is whether there is the will by tour operators to research the market for unassisted steam in the cooler months. Several of us here clearly would sign up for such a train if we were confident that there would be nothing on the back but are there enough of us to make it profitable?

    This is the bottom line. Main Line steam has branched out from being essentially an enthusiast-orientated product and if the likes of RTC and SD can make a profit selling shoved steam to a largely non-enthusiast clientele, then all the best to them. However, it doesn't have to be either/or. It was us, the enthusiasts, who largely filled those trains in the 1970 and 1980s - indeed, even patronising the trains in SD's early days of running to Canterbury and Salisbury, so it would be good if there could be a few trains advertised which state unequivocally "no diesel".

    The best hopes for reliable unassisted steam south of Birmingham and Stratford-on-Avon (and east of Bristol), may lie with either the Hosking set-up and the main line set which is currently being assembled at Crewe or else with Clan Line when it returns from overhaul, as the cutbacks on the number of regular steam-hauled pullman runs mean that other work will have to be sought for this fine engine.
     
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  4. chessie1

    chessie1 New Member

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    Is it possible that the Hosking set up might be setting its sights on a different target group than 'enthusiasts'? It could be that the thinking is to cart the more, let's call it, 'well heeled' around the country whilst feeding them fine food and drink at fine prices.

    Just a thought...
     
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  5. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Hopefully they'll tag a couple of TSOs on the back as UKRT do. They must make a few bob profit with 64 seats filled.
     
  6. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    Yes Faversham and Sittingbourne both have run round facilities of sorts, but running round takes time and its much simpler and quicker if it can be avoided (hence the use of top and tail on DMU substitute services for Anglia, Northern or Scotrail).
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  7. 34098

    34098 New Member Account Suspended

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    Liking the English electric improvement....
     
  8. green five

    green five Well-Known Member

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    Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill..................:Facepalm:
    I just found this video on YT of the complex shunting movements involved yesterday with the dead Class 37. What actually happened to the Class 37? Couldn't they have left it somewhere instead of faffing about as shown in the video?
     
  9. Spitfire

    Spitfire New Member

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    There aren't many DMU substitute services for Anglia, Northern or Scotrail that make it to Faversham ;)
     
  10. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    Its confusing granted but I think I understand it. Basically once the train had been removed by the 47 we had a N-S formation of thesupport coach, the 37 and then 34052. However this formation could not proceed back up to Minster to turn as it arrived because of the support coach at the north end, so some shunting had to take place to put the coach behind 34052. It then leaves Deal with the N-S formation of the 37, 34052 and support coach the up to the triangle at Minster to turn 34052.

    When the formation returns to Deal the N-S formation is now the support coach, 34052, then the 37. This needs shuffling about again to change the N-S formation so it ends up as 34052, the 37 and then the support coach.

    Thing is even if the 37 wasn't there you would still have had shunting to do because clearly NR were unwilling to let WCR propell the support coach all the way to and from the Minster triangle, requiring a loco to be at the front for both legs to and from Deal.

    All rather complicated - had the Kearnsey triangle still been in existence (the East - North leg has been removed) then the obvious way to go would have been to return to Faversham via Canterbury thus removing all the shunting around ad Deal. Of course without the sea wall issues at Diver a return via Ashford would have been possible - though that of course misses out Faversham, etc on the return so might not have been that perfect an option for the tour promoter.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  11. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Member

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    Yes - I think you've got it right. My preferred option would have involved leaving the 37 in the siding to be cut up on-site :)
     
  12. 34098

    34098 New Member Account Suspended

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    What a ludicrous thing to say.
    So just because it pushed all day you want it cut up.
    So next time a Steam loco fails we will just cut that up on site will we,
    I think not,
     
  13. hatherton hall

    hatherton hall Member

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    Now that really does sound good to me. I have a cutters torch should it ever be needed.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. hatherton hall

    hatherton hall Member

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    Oh no. We won't be cutting up what is widely acknowledged as one of the most amazing inventions ever created. Coal, water, fire, driver and fireman generating enough power to pull an express train at 100mph (and even 126mph on one occasion).

    That's why spotters of today really don't know what they missed. The modern era simply does not compare to the fantastic days of steam.
     
  15. 34098

    34098 New Member Account Suspended

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    Thats a given they were great inventions, but the diesel electrics and the hydraulics have surpassed that and the locos of today have surpassed that,
    I'm not worried about missing the steam era its the era of the Hydraulics I'm gutted about,
    you can shout me down how ever much you like but I will always defend Diesels, especially cause of the derogatory terms they are called on here .
     
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