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Flying Scotsman at the Bluebell Railway: 13 - 19 April 2017

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by Jamessquared, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Phil Noyce

    Phil Noyce New Member

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    I don't think it's the loco that people are unhappy with, it's more the utter and complete over the top hysteria about the thing that has been whipped up by the general media and the NRM that rankles - particularly as the NRM completely botched the overhaul and the loco had to be taken on by Rileys, who finished the job properly (I wouldn't trust the NRM to overhaul a toy train, let alone a real one). I find it ironic that FS has now become a liability on the main line due to trespassing problems.
    The cancellation of the SVRs Autumn Gala last September for purely commercial reasons and its replacement by the Pacific Power event has also not helped to raise 60103s popularity. I went and I have to say that it was one of the most un-enthusiast friendly events I've ever been to on any preserved line.
    However, I'm sure that the Bluebell will take advice from other railways that have previously hosted Scotsman (ELR, SVR, NYMR) to make sure that lineside trespassing and other potential problems of this kind are taken care of and sensible precautions and safeguards are put in place.
    I genuinely hope that Scotsman's visit to the Bluebell goes well and is a financial success for the railway - but I won't be attending.
     
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  2. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    There's no doubt that Flying Scotsman has acquired superstar status and that has brought its problems, such as trespass. On the other hand, its popularity is helping the NRM recoup some of the massive costs of the overhaul and at the same time, it has swelled the coffers of those heritage railways who have hired it.

    However, if you step aside from all the hype that has been built up around it since its return to steam, 60103 is the sole surviving example of a very successful and popular class which, with various modifications, put in four decades of sterling work on the ECML and indeed, elsewhere. I am quite sure that if a second A3 had been preserved and it has been, say Spearmint or Papyrus coming to the Bluebell, the people who say they intend to stay away would be very keen to pay a visit.

    What is more, it's not as if anything has been cancelled to make way for Scotsman. Giants of Steam and the first Branch Line Weekend since the EG extension was opened are also happening, along with the diesel gala, the July visit of 34092 and the Deltic event. I just hope the volunteers are up to such a full schedule!

    As I live less than 20 miles away from SP, I'm keen to pop over during Scotsman's visit. Given the way other lines have marketed its visits, I'm not for a moment expecting that the free travel normally accorded to life members for galas will be on offer for this event, but I do hope the Bluebell won't follow in the Worth Valley's footsteps and clamp a surcharge on PTS holders for the duration of the Flying Scotsman event, as I'd quite like to record this visit on camera, although the most intriguing part of the visit for me will be its journey over NR. I'm still amazed that even if the gauging issue at Dormans is to be addressed soon that an A3 has been passed to travel from South Croydon to East Grinstead.

    And naturally, I hope the event goes well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
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  3. Phil Noyce

    Phil Noyce New Member

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    I agree that the NRM has recoup the massive costs involved in 60103s overhaul - but the only reason that the job cost so much is that the NRM completely messed up the overhaul to start with and were castigated in an independent report over the whole business. That's why Rileys had to take the loco on and do the job properly.
    It's to the Bluebell's great credit that they haven't done what the SVR did and jettison a well established event purely for commercial reasons to make way for Scotsman. Very sensible!
    Although the thought of the platforms at Sheffield Park, Horsted Keynes, Kingscote and East Grinstead having to cope with the huge crowds of thousands that will probably descend on the railway does give me concerns over possible safety issues. But like I said before, I'm sure the Bluebell will take sensible precautions and safeguards.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
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  4. A1X

    A1X Member

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    "World stunned into silence as railway enthusiast spits dummy out at not getting their way."

    I mean FFS, I get that maybe Scotsman isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it's the melodrama I don't get. It's like they're all five year olds.
     
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  5. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think real five year olds would be delighted to see Scotsman.
     
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  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    East Grinstead would be the major station issue (only a single platform; quite narrow), which is why there are no platform tickets on sale there. I hope people are respectful of our neighbour's land as well. I'm sure anyone reasonably familiar with the line can think of various publicly-accessible bridges and crossings which are not safe to linger on either. I had a chat to someone involved in the organisation a couple of weeks ago, and a lot of detailed planning is going on about logistics - I don't really know the KWVR or ELR at all, but we are clearly a somewhat smaller railway (in space terms) than the likes of the SVR and NYMR.

    Tom
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Not all, to be fair ;)

    Tom (46¾)
     
  8. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    Tom - we had the same reaction at SVR. The loss was theirs as the audience came in droves. Whilst many were obviously dyed in the wool enthusiasts FS attracted the non enthusiast / family market so the dummy throwers appear not to have been missed.

    Dave 67 1/6
     
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  9. Grashopper

    Grashopper New Member

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  10. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Are we allowed to hold a middle-of-the-road position with Flying Scotsman? As I said in my post above, it's the sole survivor of a successful and well-loved class of engine, but I have no desire to be caught up in Flying Scotsman hysteria on the one hand nor do I to keep away from the Bluebell because "That loco" (see Spamcan's post above) is paying a visit.

    My view, for what it is worth, is that it's one of several guest engines I am looking forward to seeing very much, but I'm equally looking forward to 34092's visit in July and to that of a very different type of engine - Coal Tank 1054 - in May. Meanwhile, if I travel North east rather than North West from my home, the Kent & East Sussex Railway is hosting 7822 Foxcote Manor in May - another visitor which will be welcome down here as far as I am concerned.

    One final thought/request about Scotsman's visit - I do hope that it won't be attired with the Golden Arrow regalia if it hauls the Bluebell's pullmans. It just wouldn't look right on an A3. Let's leave the flags and arrows for 34092 in July. Anyone got a Queen of Scots or Tyne-Tees Pullman headboard going spare for a few days in April?
     
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  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    You're not allow balance on this issue, John! Polarisation is mandatory ...

    I'm looking forward to her visit - big engines aren't normally my thing, but I have a feeling that the visit is going to be one of those "once in a blue moon" type affairs, so I'd like to be involved and experience the buzz first hand - especially as I missed the opening to East Grinstead by unavoidable family commitment in New Zealand! I don't think you can afford to be sniffy - as @threelinkdave noted, it is a custom opportunity to reach out to people who may not normally think about visiting, and therefore our opportunity to show ourselves to best effect.

    That said - I'm with you on 1054. If I could choose one visitor to be rostered on this year, it wouldn't be either of the big green pacifics due to come ...

    Dining Train regalia - well above my pay grade! I'm sure producing a suitable headboard can't be beyond the wit of man though.

    Tom
     
  12. Funnell

    Funnell New Member

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    'Golden Arrow' is the name of not just the train but the whole brand that the railway has created for its dining train. Menus, tickets, bills, chocolates and more are all branded 'Golden Arrow'. I think it's highly appropriate that whatever is pulling the train wear the correct regalia for it. I'm sure our customers would agree!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  13. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    Same type who threw their dummies out of the pram over the first diesel gala, I guess.
     
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  14. A1X

    A1X Member

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    I'd imagine the fact there's effectively two this year will finish some of them off
     
  15. Paul42

    Paul42 Well-Known Member

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    According to the .co.uk site, it sold out in 35 minutes after going on sale this morning.
     
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  16. A1X

    A1X Member

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    Still, that one bloke on the Bluebell Yahoo group is going to be massively missed...
     
  17. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    " --

    'Golden Arrow' is the name of not just the train but the whole brand that the railway has created for its dining train. Menus, tickets, bills, chocolates and more are all branded 'Golden Arrow'. I think it's highly appropriate that whatever is pulling the train wear the correct regalia for it. I'm sure our customers would agree![/QUOTE]
    They put the Golden Arrow Regalia on the red GW 2-6-2T which is even more meaningless but does it matter any real railway enthusiast who wants to savour railway atmosphere, which the Bluebell has in bucket loads, will give this event a wide berth
     
  18. 847

    847 New Member

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    Just the 2 ordinary service trains? Do they realise how busy its going to be???
     
  19. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    The maximum number of trains that can be accommodated on the entire Bluebell railway is 4, be they freight, ordinary passenger, charter, dining or ordinary passenger - and that relies on using all passing opportunities (HK & KC) plus both platforms at SP for arrivals / departures

    If you remove the Scotsmans trains from that number it down to 3 - with a very uneven timetable to boot. Using both platforms at SP also causes complications when long trains are in use due to the restricted space at the south end of the station and the signalling installed to control it.

    As such going for a 2 train service and having Scotsman effectively running in the dining train paths is actually the most practical way of doing things and the best way of ensuring a robust service is maintained on what will no doubt be a series of very busy days.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  20. Matt35027

    Matt35027 New Member

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    There's also carriage availability, Giants of Steam last year had 4 trains running, that used pretty close to every serviceable carriage (only the 4 wheelers and the LSWR brake weren't used) including both dining sets. So three full-length trains is about the maximum that can be reasonably turned out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017

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