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MHR Restorations and Overhauls

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by LN850, May 21, 2010.

  1. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    We have several, but they don't always make it into the train. The opens tend to be the ones which need work at present. On our line at least working unfitted or semi fitted is not preferred. We did a 350ton demonstration goods a few years ago and that was only partially fitted (half a dozen vans at the front) double headed with the Ivatt and Std5. I was on the Ivatt leading, and all I will say is that the vac gauge spent a lot of the time between the summit and Alresford pointing at either 5" or 0! Never out of control, but a second's lack of concentration led to unwanted acceleration.
     
  2. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Well, hmm, on the GCR we have the opposite problem with the vast majority of box vans out of traffic under or awaiting repair. Plenty of minerals and other opens in the current goods sets, in fact they're easily in the majority.
    It is true that box vans have probably survived in disproportionately high numbers and obviously this is down to their usefulness. But the flip side is that there is twice as much bodywork to look after!
     
  3. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Indeed - Waterloo-Southampton Docks (which could include diversion via Alton) being one of the routes which used this headcode. It's not particularly incongruous for SR headcode discs to be fitted to a Black Five. The most famous Black Five run over the Alton-Winchester line, 45493's in May 1966, saw the engine run with Waterloo-Bournemouth headcode discs and I've also seen pictures of another Black Five working the Poole-York train, again in the mid 1960s, with headcode discs.
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    There's no longer any such requirement. The actual wording is, from memory, that any train must have a "suitable and sufficient" brake. As such it doesn't make any distinction between passenger and non-passenger trains and also - at least my understanding - puts the onus on the operator to define what constitutes "suitable and sufficient" rather than being prescriptive. So in theory, if you consider running an unfitted train to nonetheless have a suitable and sufficient brake for carriage of the guard, then it would also be suitable and sufficient for a passenger.

    In addition, you would still have to have a means of communication between passenger and loco crew, but if the passengers were riding in a brakevan, that requirement could be met with radios.

    All the above is theory; it would be down to the individual railway as to whether they wished to go down that route, and also any changes that might be necessary to their own rule book. IANAL.

    On the Bluebell, our demonstration goods is unfitted, and mostly open wagons. I had the pleasure a couple of months ago of driving "Birch Grove" with about 11 wagons and a 25ton brake. Since it was a training exercise for guards (and me!), we did a trial stop on the 1 in 60 south of the tunnel, using just handbrakes on loco and van. Possible, but it really bought home to me just how skilful crews of old were when handling considerably bigger trains than we had with fairly limited braking capacity. A lot of Victorian brake vans were only 10 tonners. It was also apparent how, having bought the train to about walking pace at West Hoathly before entering the tunnel, which descends at 1 in 75, just how rapidly speed built up.

    Tom
     
  5. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Hmm! Sounds calculated to encourage an outbreak of "wouldn't it be nice if we could" wheezes in gricer ranks. Incidentally, since I became re-acquainted with air braked steam trains it strikes me as to how briskly they can stop compared with their vacuum equipped equivalents.

    Paul H
     
  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Not sure I understand your point there. If you mean "wouldn't it be nice to allow passengers to travel in freight trains under certain controlled conditions", a few railways have shown that it is possible to do (often at a much greater premium than the MHR £5), and doing so would help defray the cost of running such trains at negligible additional cost by collecting some fare revenue: I would have thought you would approve of such an arrangement!


    Ah yes, wouldn't it be nice to convert all our locomotives and carriages to air brakes for a slight enhancement in braking capacity ;)

    Tom
     
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  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Not my wish at all. Merely anticipating the next gricer craze. It might go towards the cost of restoring a couple of mid C19th six coupled tank locomotives to service I suppose.

    As you will be aware, vacuum brakes are easier to arrange for steam locomotives than air (the reverse is true for diesel or electric) even although the latter performs a bit better.

    (Incidentally, can anyone find another word than "gricer? I had heard of the Australian "gunzil" but now have encountered the American "foamer"!)

    PH
     
  8. Duty Druid

    Duty Druid Part of the furniture

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    Are you sure?................... ;)
     
  9. Duty Druid

    Duty Druid Part of the furniture

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    So, how much do you suggest we charge?............... a £5 surcharge on top of a std ticket seems reasonable................
     
  10. 34098

    34098 New Member Account Suspended

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    Its a shame more railways don't run demo freights,outside of charters and gala I'd be happy to pay £10-£15 just to see one do a few trips
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Well, I guess the answer is "as much as you can up to the point where you can no longer fill the spaces available". £5 seems a fairly typical price for a brake van trip around a station, so I would have thought a full line trip must command a premium. (A bit of googling drags up the WSR charging £15, on top of the normal ticket, for a one-way journey, which would be about the same length as your round trip).

    It would be interesting if you really tested the market as to what people would pay, given that there is a scarcity value, i.e. you can only accommodate a small number of people per trip, and in the grand scheme of things, you are only likely to run a small number of trips per year.

    Tom
     
  12. Duty Druid

    Duty Druid Part of the furniture

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    Tom,

    I wholeheartedly agree, we're just dipping our toes in the water so to speak, and numbers are strictly limited.

    Have to admit I was surprised when I heard what we were charging.

    Gives us food for thought though.
     
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  13. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    I merely quote what the guard reported to me on Sunday morning. Didnt feel that heavy, but then not much does behind 92212, and running everywhere non-stop makes a big difference. The train formation was similar to that at the gala and a similar figure was quoted then...234 ton... I assumed the difference was the QMB and whatever vans had changed. That trip was with the Q and that did have to work to get the train up the hill.
     
  14. Duty Druid

    Duty Druid Part of the furniture

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    Don't I know it -made a fine sight & noise through Baigets Copse! :):):)

    Doubt the QMB will make any difference to the load, can't blame the guard for giving the tare weight - they forget some vans carry a load, but behind 92212 nothing matters! :D
     
  15. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    We aim to entertain ... ! I think my favourite goods train was the Alresford - Ropley one a few years back with the Terrier (forget which). I was (unusually for me) rather slow, it taking something like 25 minutes instead of the 8 booked, and unusually for my fireman on the day, we had to have a blow up between the old Up distant and the home at Ropley. I got a phone call from control upon arrival...."what was the cause of the delay driver?" ....."um, the tare weight of this goods is 134tons boss" .... "ah. Best knock a few out for the next trip up then." 134 tons tare, probably 160 Gross. Equal to 5 mk1s, which of course no sane person would attempt to get up a continous 2 mile 1:80 with a Terrier! I have had a great admiration for Terriers ever since....game old thing. The trickiest bit was the hill start after the blow up as it meant buffering the wagons up against the brake van so I could pick them up with the slack. Fortunately the brake was a stong one. Skilled work from the guard too to let me pick up the train, but not stop me with the van.
     
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  16. js5646

    js5646 New Member

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    Pretty sure the GWSR charged £10 for a return trip on the freight during the gala at the end of May. Only returns from Toddington were being sold but £10 did seem very reasonable for the mileage / interest en route. I am an MHR member & it is great that the freights are potentially being made available to punters (other than those on Matt Allen charters!) BUT in many ways the GWSR is the more interesting route, especially with the tunnel!! I look forward to the chance to ride in the QMB.
     
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  17. 73129

    73129 Member

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    Nice to see the freight train running over last weekend. What would be more preferable is to have a shorter rake of wagons or vans then 41312 could be used.
     
  18. Duty Druid

    Duty Druid Part of the furniture

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    Save that for the gala, or charters!

    Its a format that seems to work well having separate van & wagon trains that can then be formed for a full freight & a return trip from ALR to ALT.
     
  19. spanner

    spanner New Member

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    Not everybody wants to do charters, what about the rest of us?
     
  20. 34098

    34098 New Member Account Suspended

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    Exactly, Don't want to part with charter money but want to make a contribution to a goods train running
     

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