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Kent & East Sussex Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by martin1656, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    As there appears to not be a section to descuss the K&ESR, i would start one , The railway is i believe on the cusp of a change that will bring about massive change both internally and externally i am of course talking about the possible mainline link to the national network .
    So far we have had the ethos of being a small engine, vintage coaches line , whilst at the same time running A 5 coach MK 1 set that requires larger engines .
    We have seen some very welcome additions , the new carriage shed, and the C&W extension, bringing much needed covered working conditions , and covered accomodation .
    The limiting factors though are that we are now limited to what engines and stock we have , with no, or very little options to doing what others were able to do and obtaining either larger engines, or more rolling stock ,and at the same time there will be conflicting pressures, for instance commercial may want a second Mk 1/ maunsel set with catering facilities to offer a dining option, but this could be at the cost of what the KESR is known for , its small engine/ vintage rake . please descuss
     
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  2. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    It is not easy to expand operations to cope with present needs without losing the character which drew people in the first place. This is true about virtually all tourist railways but the K.E.S.R. is especially vulnerable. A "Jury is out" situation.

    Paul H
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    On the loco front: I wonder what the comparative costs are of overhauling a very tired Barry loco against a new build, say, Ilfracombe Goods that would be historically appropriate for the line, and a better traffic loco over 13 miles than either a Terrier or a USA tank?

    Particularly if you factor in the costs of big-ticket consumables (cylinders, firebox, tyres etc) that might reasonably be expected to last 30-odd years in traffic without major attention when new, but may need expensive attention next time round on an overhaul of a Barry loco.

    I have every respect for those currently restoring 4253 and others, but it would be interesting to know how the long-term financial costs stack up relative to an appropriately-sized new build.

    Tom
     
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  4. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    It is a shame but if the character were fully preserved, then the railway would probably find itself in the same state as The Shropshire and Montgomeryshire railway (to use a similar Stephens line as an example).
     
  5. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Well one can't (or rather shouldn't) preserve dereliction. However, if the line concerned is a branch line/rural light railway, then the temptation to turn it into a mainline confection ought to be avoided. Basically, if you want to run a main line, go and help with one of the places where "mainlinishness" is not such a confection.

    PH
     
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  6. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Quite but if the modern K&ESR tried running traditional K&ESR trains, it probably would not be in business for too long.
     
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  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Unlike some correspondents on N.P. I have zero problem with the 16xx pannier which is appropriate light railway style motive power. However the forthcoming 2-8-0-T and the visiting 4-6-0 concern me. I hope I am wrong in wondering that these large machines are being brought in not so much on account of a need for them as much as the desire of someone to "play" with big choo-choos.

    As I said once before, the K.E.S.R. is a fragile flower!

    PH
     
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  8. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Same argument could be made for many lines.
     
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  9. Fireline

    Fireline Member

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    Paul, some years ago, the Board looked at the motive power needed for the future. The conclusions were that the Austerity and Yank tanks were less than ideal, as they were shunting engines. I am told that a full day on a Yank is a less than pleasant experience. Efforts were made to try to encourage certain engine owners to move to us, but these came to nothing. When our group bought 4253, we were all told that it was far too big for the line. However, our hire of the 42xx from Bodmin proved that the engine was actually perfectly suited to our line. It doesn't look too big, or out of place. 6619 followed, as has 5668. The Manor is being hired as part of a mutually beneficial arrangement. Somehow, I don't think we'll convince the Llangollen to leave it with us...... The simple fact is, we need proper branch line engines, or engines capable of working a branch line service. There aren't too many of those going spare, so you get what you can.
     
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  10. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I am told that an Austerity is a bit of a brute to fire compared with a 2MT but they are just the sort of thing Stevens would have gone for if he been around.

    As far as the various medium/large G.W.R. are concerned I hear you but cannot concur,

    PH
     
  11. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    i have to agree an ivatt 2 MT would be ideal motive power , except that im not sure what the loading would be on Tenterden bank, most likily not 5 mk 1s, thats the problem, any engine has to be capable of lifting the heaviest train , the A set up our bank , with enough coal and water to do a whole days work whilst water can be got on the up run in the loop , you can't really take on coal without difficulty.
    Perhaps we should start converting the Austerities to 0-6-0 tender engines :eek:
     
  12. Fireline

    Fireline Member

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    I suspect all that would do is have the effect of adding X tons to the load for a tender, while removing the adhesion caused by the water being over the driving wheels....
     
  13. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Good Lord, you will be wanting water troughs next! Actually a 2MT is astonishingly economical (similar to an A1x) and the tank type would carry plenty of (decent) coal for a days work. Actually I had forgotten how heavy Mk 1s are (as well as IMHO, lacking in appeal) which is another reason for seeking to use lighter stock as well as avoiding "mainlineisms" such as buffet cars.

    Paul H
     
  14. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Another factor surely is the quality of the infrastructure. How good is the current track in terms of sleeper and rail life expectancy after running with Austerities compared to the GWR locos. With the line doubling in length the last thing the railway needs are locos pounding day in day out into lightly built formations. You cannot double the fares for doubling the length so the affordability of track renewals gets harder with longer lines.

    Brian
     
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  15. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

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    Let's hope not



    Jon
     
  16. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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  17. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Heritage!
     
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  18. mikehartuk

    mikehartuk New Member

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    The track at K&ESR is nowadays some of the finest to be found on any heritage railway. Concrete sleepers throughout and much of that with heavy FB rail. The bridges have been rebuilt or replaced during the preservation era to a high axle loading capacity with the formation and drainage upgraded to all round pretty good order. On top of that thanks to the generosity of its members the track benefits from a high level of mechanised maintenance with a range of modern plant including a tamper/liner, ballast regulator, Tramm unit, rail cranes, a compliant 360, etc, etc. Terriers and their kin are here to stay but for the heavier trains the GWR locos will likely be rather kinder to the track than such as the short wheel base USA tanks we rely on at the moment. Worry not, years of investment, energy and planning have produced a quality of track that many a heritage railway would die for!

    Mike
     
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  19. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    No Paul, thats called Commercialism , its what pays the bills, and enables railways to restore the historic stock you so admire .
     
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  20. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    The p/w dept have managed to relay most of the running line and the track is currently able to handle heavy use.

    (Edit: I see Mike Hart has given a fuller answer)
     

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