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Cumbrian Mountain Express 2022

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by 61994, Jan 8, 2022.

  1. Shep Woolley

    Shep Woolley Well-Known Member Friend

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    CME BIL 2 NP.jpg

    No. 35018 'British India Line' works today's 'Cumbrian Mountain Express' towards Shap and on to Carlisle with Mick Rawling driving. Martyn Soames on the shovel and Roly Parker Guard both north and south

    CME BIL 3 NP.jpg

    'British India Line' working the return 'Cumbrian Mountain Express' over an interesting culvert approaching Birkett Tunnel (My thanks to Nige Ingham for suggesting this location)
     
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  2. sgthompson

    sgthompson Part of the furniture

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    The culvert shot was a cracker Shep especially as I’ve not seen it done beforehand either :)
     
  3. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    Today was the first day in over a week when it hasn't rained. The morning had been cloudy but by late afternoon the sun was shining. Mrs W kindly volunteered to come along and help with the videoing. Off to the road bridge at the Blackburn end of Ramsgreave and Wilpshire station (where we can stand together but on opposite sides of the road). At this point I must say that Mrs W was getting a bit excited; no, not the train, but her team were leading two-nil.

    I had the camera and tripod for the approach shot whilst Mrs W had an iphone clamped to the top of the bridge railings for a going away shot. The CME had been booked to follow the Chirk log train but this had been cancelled. Taking advantage of this cancellation our train left Clitheroe 5E. Quite often steam hauled trains gain a few more minutes against the schedule and so could be with us between 17:10 and 17:15. On the day BIL dropped a couple of minutes.

    Quiet and sneaky as ever, BIL suddenly appeared on the distant curve and made her way slowly towards us, working hard, paintwork shining in the patches of sunlight that crossed the tracks through gaps in the trees. Progress was "measured" - more time to look, two narrow fingers of sunlight traced lines across the roofs of the carriages as they slipped beneath. BIL whistled as she reached the platforms, then once more for luck. A 12 coach rake of coaches all maroon (if only BIL were painted crimson lake, "Duchess of Westmorland" or "City of Preston" - maybe Oswald goes too far!) The exhaust was almost invisible but the beat was crisp without being harsh. BIL was early, no point hammering up the bank only to be held at Daisyfield Jn. I spotted Martyn Soames at the fireman's cab window just before the loco slipped under the bridge, the coaches followed steadily behind. Mrs W had the "sunny side" and she made an excellent job of capturing BIL working up and over the summit. Almost 20mph, 2E and a pleasant enough 17C. (Mrs W's team won, 3-0.)

     
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  4. Bodorganboy

    Bodorganboy Member

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    35018 at Yealand and Forton
     
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  5. nige757

    nige757 Member

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    35018 seen from Scout Green and crossing Waitby Common.

     
  6. nige757

    nige757 Member

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    :):)
    Cracking shot Shep, reminds me of two drooping eyes a a wide open mouth :)
     
  7. walkerp1

    walkerp1 New Member

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  8. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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  9. walkerp1

    walkerp1 New Member

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    No, didn't see a soul although I did have an encounter with a chicken which was determined to peck through my boot.
     
  10. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    You were lucky, she is probably the most unpleasant person I have encountered on the S&C
     
  11. springers

    springers Member

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    What went wrong on the way back into London the train lost an hour at Bourne End,see 1A87,I was going to catch it on the Watford railcam but got fed up waiting.Electric haulage ??
     
  12. Groks212

    Groks212 Member

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    I remember seeing on Ceefax last night that there were delays between Watford junction and Euston due to safety checks.
    Possibly why it lost the time.

    Dave B
     
  13. springers

    springers Member

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    Thanks, not much fun for anyone with onward connections in London.2300 is not a good time on a Saturday night.
     
  14. ribble

    ribble Member

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    Taken from alongside the foot crossing at Barrow,35018 British India Line nears Whalley with the southbound CME on 6/8/2022

    David Price
    Cop Lane on Flickr 15D_1916 copy.jpg
     
  15. Steamage

    Steamage Part of the furniture

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    Excellent pan. Really captures the feeling of speed
     
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  16. 46203

    46203 Member

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    Thank you for your kind remark.

    It was an experiment lowering the shutter speed down to 1/25 from the usual 1/30 or 1/40. Had it set initially at 1/20 but I bottled out at the last minute. Will try 1/20 next time though.
     
  17. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Good morning. Had to drop a report in on one of the now rare to this summer, a 'proper steam' hauled train

    UK Steam Hauled Tour 931; 2022 tour 5.

    Summer Cumbrian Mountain Express 6th August 2022

    Hmmm, only our 5th Steam Hauled Railtour of 2022 and we were really looking forward to it after we declined to take up our seats on the farcical West Somerset non-Steam Express and the desperate Show Pony Royal Duchy with a diesel doing all the work on the rear with a big maroon cardboard cut steam locomotive on the front to placate the passengers. None of our travelling group could join us on the CME so it was a table for 4 for each of us in Coach H.

    Nice morning for a 2 hour+ drive up the A40, M50, M5 and M6. We got into Crewe Station Weston Road Car Park at 0800, well in time to wander down to the Brocklebank and devour a seriously big Full English Breakfast. Splendid start to the day.

    86259 hauling 11 maroon carriages rolled into P12 on time. As on the previous CME the Standards were on the front so middle of 4rd carriage for the outward journey, same carriage, same seats, as we occupied on the Cotswold Venturer for the climbs of Yealand, Grayrigg and Shap. Quite a number of cancellations on the WCML so for once we actually got to Carnforth right time. No problems with the switch over from air to vacuum this time and we heard the distinctive Bullied 'Whistle' tone as 35018 and POB backed on to the train. RTT was showing a cancelled Preston-Edinburgh, due through Carnforth North at 1121 1/2, the train we usually follow, had been cancelled so we hoped Control would let us out early. They did and we left at 1116, some 10 minutes early. I was going to keep an eye on the speeds/times today to compare with the performance of 35018 with 12 on the much lighter loaded Steam Dreams CME of the 9th April.

    What a lovely sound; the chatter of the Bullied at the head of a proper steam hauled train in the summer of 2022. You never know what you're going to get with BIL and the start wasn't anything to write home about. Slow approach to the foot of Yealand, MP7 passed at only at 32.9. Mick didn't seem to want to use the Class 8 power and we drifted over the summit, albeit a bit noisier, at 31. Not really more than a Jubilee would be expected to do with 12. 9th April was similar, 32 mph at the summit.

    Things have to change otherwise we'd not get to Grayrigg Summit!!! Nothing much on the 293f, Mp11 passed at only 54. Hmmm, was the big Bullied in good health one wondered? Couple of miles on the level and a bit more noise but we only passed mp13 at 63. The line side was nice and green and there was this shiny viscous stuff in even the small brooks. Think it might have been water. Then typically there was the loud howl from the safety valves that at least showed the big Bulleid was steaming well. Lost a couple of miles an hour before they dropped but by mp15 speed was down to 57. Hardly Class 8 stuff. Over the mile of 173r left speed fell to 55. We lost nothing to the 153r and over the short 392r picked up all of a mile an hour. The mile of 111r dropped our speed to 51 and it got no better on the mile of 176r, down to 49 at mp19 1/2. 35018 suffered a short slip on the 3/4m of 104r with a consequent fall to 44.5.

    35018 performed a bit more like a Class 8 on the 2 miles + of 131r to leave it at 42 as we passed mp23 1/2. We crossed Docker Garth's Viaduct, mp24, at 42 on the start of the 2 miles of 106r to the summit. No chance of the expected 40+ at the summit and sure enough we only passed mp26 at 33.2, just after the safety valves lifted noisily. Big speed drop for the distance and gradient. Not much better than we've had from either of the Jubilees in recent times with the same load. Time from mp13 to mp26 was 16mins 40.7 secs, almost a minute slower than 9th April. Hopefully the attack on Shap would be better.

    It seemed like Martyn was sorting the fire as we rolled down the 204f/777f to Low Gill, mp28 passed at 56. Not much of a pickup either by mp29, almost succumbing to the fresh green grass growth. No worries about fire risk 'up north'. Then things did improve decidedly. Lots of noise and a real charge down the mile+ of 425f to hit 68 by mp30. Better was to come on the level with an accompanying cacophony of sound as we blasted past Tebay South, mp31 1/4 at 73.4 onto the foothills of the mighty Shap on the 146r with a maximum speed of 74.1 at mp31 1/2. This is what we'd come for. Some serious hard running over the next mile and a quarter of 146r enabled us to take 69.3 onto Shap proper.

    I think someone has nicked mp33 or its overgrown by the green stuff as I missed it again. 1/2 mile in we roared past mp33 1/4 at 67. Shap bites and in the half mile to mp33 3/4 we'd dropped over 5mph. Still looking good though and we passed mp34 at a more than respectable 59. Bulleid boilers are spectacular steamers but are more prone than any other boilers to lifting their safety valves in an instant. You have a superb fire and are on the mark, then the valves howl like a banshee with the risk of priming. Something you don't want to happen on a 75r climb - but did just as we passed mp34 1/4. Mick must have eased the big Bulleid to lessen the risk of priming and it took exactly a mile before the valves dropped. By then we'd lost 10 mph. Who knows we might have anyway but some momentum was definitely lost.

    Onwards and upwards. Both Red Bear's summit prediction speed of 34 ish and his minder's 31.2 were still in the balance with a tax free lump sum possibly awaiting. By mp36 speed had fallen to 40.7 but we still seemed to have plenty of steam and in recent times the speed loss stabilised over the final mile. We passed mp36 1/4 at 38.6 so if we kept losing 2mph per quarter our summit speed would be 30ish. That's didn't quite happen and 35018 sounded splendid charging through the cutting to pass mp37 1/4, the end of the 75r, at 31.9. unusually we dropped to a minimum of 30.4 and with power seemingly off coasted past the Summit Board at 27 1/2 at 30.7. A what might have been climb. Time from mp31 1/2 to mp37 1/4 was a decent 6mins 44.7 secs. We passed the Summit Board 42mins 3secs from our Carnforth start. Mp13 to mp37 1/4 had taken 29 mins 17secs, close to the 9th April's time, though we were 10 mph faster at mp37 1/4.

    The descent from Shap was Ok. 54 at the site of the old Shap station; Thrimby Grange, mp43, 125f, 64; Eden Valley UGL, mp48, 125f, 71 - braking after; Penrith, 616f, just after mp51, 69; Plumpton, mp56, level, 65; Calthwaite, mp58 1/4, 172f, 66; Southwaite, mp61 and a bit, 228f, 72; and mp66, 131f, 73 before braking for Carlisle Approach. We rolled into P3 at Citadel 74mins and 5.5secs after our Carnforth Start. Interestingly the time was within 3 secs of the 9th April.

    With so much Covid still circulating, we'd brought packed lunches to eat on the station while watching the shunting and whatever else was going on. We sat at a table in the grassy part of the station before moving to a table outside the 301 miles from London pub. Tried both the beers on, star Bitter, a nice malty one and Marne Island, more traditional. Both were rather good. Mrs S enjoyed a glass of Waddling Duck Sauvignon Blanc. Chatted to a couple of locals and a fellow CME traveller, a resident of Torquay way down in Devon; then spent a while listening to Trevor Mathews sharing memories and tales of the good old days of steam that we sadly missed. An excellent way to spend an hour or so.

    Despite having a Service Train in Platform 1 getting in the way of our train leaving the sidings, Mick had the train back in P3 just after 1415 and we only left 3 down. Of late we've had some good runs on the 132r to Low House and on to Appleby where we were due to stop for water before taking on the Blue Riband Section to Ais Gill.

    What of this day? Not a good one. We passed Petterill Jn at only 18 and over the 3 miles of 132r to Cumwhinton, mp304, only got to 32. I was expecting closer to 40 from the big Bulleid. Things did improve and by mp303, Howe and Co, we were up to 43. But that was it and speed slowly fell on the 132r to 35 at Eden Brows with a noisy recovery to 47 at the summit just before Low House Crossing, passed at 48, a poor 18mins 47secs after leaving Citadel. 9th of April's time was 15mins 39secs. Disappointing. Speed rose to 58 at mp298 3/4 and dropped to 53 through Armathwaite. Don't know what was happening up front but our speed on the short 220r to and through Baron's Wood Tunnels was only 38/9. Things improved decidedly after and we roared through Lazonby at 60, a speed held over the undulating 3 miles to Little Salkeld.

    Over the couple of miles of 132r/110r speed dropped to 54, held through Langwathby on a bit of 195f, then recovered to 60/61 before mp287 after some lev/264/264d. Onto a mile and a half of 330r, into Waste Bank Tunnel at 62; over Culgaith Crossing on the level at 65. More than decent running now and Mick had 35018 purring along. We flew through New Biggin at 62 on the 220r; Kirby Thore, mp282, 490r, at 63; Long Marton, 300f, 66. We started the mile and a half of 120r, mp279 3/4, at 67. The on train announcement told us we were stopping for water at Appleby so Mrs S went off down the train as we were unlikely to be alongside the platform 10 back.

    There was obviously a change of plan on the footplate as though we'd lost 11 mph on the 120r, we were thundering past mp278 1/2, just over a mile from the station, at 55. We ran through Appleby Station past mp277 1/4, 440r, at 54, 42mins 22.3secs after leaving Citadel. Not a brilliant time but very good from Lazonby. 9th April's time was considerably quicker at 40mins 13secs. So no ice cream again, and worse, no attempt at the Blue Riband over the Ormside mp275 to mp260, the climbing summit at Ais Gill.

    Speed rose a little to 55 as we passed mp277 1/4, 440r on the charge to Ormside. Down the mile of 176f to pass mp276 at an excellent 61 and a charge to 64 at the of the 176f, then to 65 on the short level bit. We crossed Ormside Viaduct at 65 and with plenty of noise we passed mp275, 100r, Mike Notley's start of the 'Blue Riband' section to Ais Gill Summit at 64. With every likelihood of a 40+ at mp260. Surprisingly we lost speed rather quicker than expected and over the first mile of 100r we passed mp274 at 53.5 and were down to 52 as we left Helm Tunnel and had dropped to 45 as we passed mp273 at 36. Disappointingly all hope of a serious speed at Ais Gill were all but gone now.

    Down to 41 onto the respite mile and 1/4 of 166r but no increase of speed at all though things did improve on the mile of 200r and we crossed Crosby Garret Viaduct at a much better 49 and hit 50 as we entered the short tunnel on level track, and 50 at mp269. Back on the 100r and little loss to mp268, 49. There BIL seemed to hit a bit of an invisible wall as over the next mile speed fell a lot to 41 at mp267. Through Waitby Cutting just about holding 40, then through Kirby Stephen 'hooter' blaring at 39 on the short 264r. We passed mp266 1/2 alongside the Signal Box, back on the 100r, at just over 39 and the momentum off the 264r and no doubt more shovelling, got us back to 41 by mp266. Unfortunately despite the simmering safety valves, by mp265 we were down to 36 and only entered Birkett Tunnel at 33 then passed mp264 at 34.

    There was still a possibility of mid to high 30s at Ais Gill as we were now on the 3/4 mile of 330r as we rounded Mallerstang. Not much smoke visible but a bit of noise as our speed rose to 42 at mp263. Only 3 miles at 100r to the climbing summit now, and lots of shovelling for Martyn. We rarely get locomotives roaring around the final 3 miles actually picking up a few miles an hour these days and slowly our speed fell to 38 at mp262 and 36 at mp261. We crossed Ais Gill viaduct 35 but couldn't hold that and passed mp260 at 33.8 and then rallied over the level 1/4 mile to pass the Summit Board alongside mp259 3/4 at 37. We'd taken a disappointing 21m 27secs for the Blue Riband Section. Time elapsed to the Summit board was 66mins 6secs; 21mins 52secs from mp275. The Steam Dreams CME of 9th April was much quicker, 61mins 17secs and 18mins 44secs respectively.

    The ontrain announcement apologised for not stopping at Appleby telling us that the Mick reported they had enough water to get to Hellifield and he was concerned at the tight timing to Settle Jn. Odd as we were pretty much right time through Appleby, showing -10 on RTT, the length of the planned water stop.

    Nowt wrong with BIL by the spirited run 'across the top'. Shotlock Hill Tunnel, 52; Moorcock Tunnel, 59; Dandry Mire, 57; Garsdale 52, now only 8 early; up the 350r to Rise Hill Tunnel, 47. Then running across the 'edge' on falling grades, Arten Gill Viaduct 48; Dent Head Viaduct 50. Then up the 264r into Blea Moor Tunnel at 49.6 . There was a TSR 20 between the tunnel end and the signal box and a restriction of 20 across Batty Moss viaduct, duly observed. BIL was opened up then and we ran through Ribblehead Station, mp247 1/4, at 31. Down the 100f through Horton, mp242 1/2, 59; slower than usual past Helwith Bridge, 51; Taitland's Tunnel 54; and Settle Station 52. Mick worked BIL down the 100f to pass Settle Jn, level, at 62 and we sort of attacked Bell Busk to mp233 1/2, 181r, 52 until BIL was eased; Long Preston, mp232 1/2, 38. We came to a stand in Hellifield Siding at 1611, 3 early. Job done.

    We left the Goods Loops after watering 4 early with a very generous time allowance of 31 minutes to cover the 13 miles to Horrocksford Jn. An unremarkable 'freight only' gently undulating section. Bit of a meander on the day with a max of only 44 crossing Swan Viaduct just after mp25, 9 miles from Hellifield. Nice scenery and a really awkward sun for mileposting. We passed Horrocksford Jn Box, just before mp21 3/4, 170f, at 21 with the signal off. We passed the Rochdale Flyer on its way down to the junction and had a clear run through Clitheroe, 104f, 26, now 5 early. Fairly pedestrian run to Whalley. There's a speed restriction for steam locomotives across the Arches so we only ran through the station, mp17 3/4, level, at 19.

    A real pain having such a restriction on the 1/2 mile long arches where the 3 miles of the steep 81 1/2r bank commences. It's a bank you really do need a run up at. We came off the Arches at only 14 mph and Mick gently coaxed 35018 up the bank. We passed mp17 at 15.8; mp16 at 19.6 and passed through Langho Station at 21.3. Lovely Bulleid chatter drifting back as speed slowly increased to 22.5 at mp15 and to 24.2 as we passed mp14 3/4 in the cutting. The GPS was solid and showed 24.3 as we entered Wilpshire Tunnel, and 22.8 as we left it. Out on the 1/2 mile of 86r, I missed mp13 1/2 but it's close to the old Wilpshire station, passed at 20.4, and then 19.4 as we passed mp13 1/4 on Ramsgreave and Wilpshire Station. Missed the Gradient Change Summit Marker that was somewhere in the high swaying long grass. Then we passed mp13, 73f, at 28. All in all a decent climb with such a slow start.

    We were held at Daisyfield Jn and then ran through Blackburn at 19 before a decent enough run down to Lostock Hall Jn. We passed: Mill Hill and Cherry Tree at 43; Pleasington at 47; Hoghton Tower river bridge, 51; Houghton LC, 58; Mintholme LC at 53. We slowed by Bamber Bridge, 35 but continued unchecked through Lostock Hall, 31 and had an uninterrupted run around Farington Curve and into Preston Station where we arrived 3 early. Bit of a rarity that.

    The general consensus on the platform was that BIL had performed below par for a Merchant. We didn't think the weather had any effect at all as the trackside vegetation was greened up and the soft exhaust doesn't throw sparks any distance. Besides, the fields alongside the route all day were very green and not parched like down south. BIL looked superb in the evening sun at Preston. Martyn however was doing a serious impression of a Chimney Sweep from the 1940s; Mick too but to a lesser extent. Obviously very dusty coal but it had produced more than enough steam for us all day and there was plenty left in the tender.

    86259 was on the front ready to leave which we did more or less right time and got us to Crewe right time. We really enjoyed a proper steam hauled day out. Our favourite train the Cumbrian Mountain Express. It's a pity there aren't more of them.

    Thanks to: Kelly and RTC for running the train and to Les our train manager and the stewards; WCR for providing the stock and the interesting 35018; the crew, Mick Rawling our driver and Martyn Soames our fireman, and support crew; Les Ross for providing his immaculate namesake for the non-steam sections; and to Network Rail for allowing us to run on the big railway.

    Not sure what our next run will be. Not that interested in the revised timed Royal Duchy with no steam in Cornwall and less time there so it might be the Pathfinder 'CME' on September 3rd. What a dreadful year this is being. Everyone stay safe out there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
  18. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    Reading that suggests that Carnforth have had a delivery of dodgy coal. There was a supply of Polish coal imported recently that appears to be well below standard that clinkers quite well. I think this may be a major problem in the future
     
  19. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    Thanks for the excellent report and the time. Of the times posted so far this year it is: the 5th fastest overall, the 4th fastest with "pure steam" and the second fastest with a load of 12 coaches.
     
  20. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    It's me again, I would be grateful if anyone travelling on tomorrow's CME can record, then post a time for the climb from Ormside to the Aisgill summit sign. I am keeping a record of all posted times for the year. [Pleases see post #63 on the "WCRC Scarborough Spa/Dalesman/Spirit of the Lakes/normal tours 2022" thread for full details.]

    Thanks in anticipation and enjoy. Remember, "Oswald needs YOUR time!"
     

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