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Project Wareham

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by David R, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    Logically I suppose the thing to do would be to run an incoming train to Norden or Corfe where passengers detrain either to enjoy Corfe Castle or change to a Swanage Railway service - which creates its own issues before the stock is then parked above the gates at Norden?
     
  2. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    HSTs used to work to Portsmouth, so third-rail can be done.

    In terms if timetabling, surely if Swannage is in preserved mode it isn't a long siding?

    It's a pipe-dream, as they've been scrapped, but I think they would have been an interesting opportunity. Old enough to be paid for, newly re-fitted enough to be modern-railway compatible.

    Maybe pacers could be used instead...
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    But you then get into all the issues @Steve mentioned about passengers swapping trains, with the added issue that the HST is much longer than the platforms - so about three or four coach loads of passengers have to shuffle down the train to disembark. All that takes a considerable time, and in the meantime - with both platforms at Corfe occupied - the entire line beyond Harmans Cross is blocked to any movements.

    On the Bluebell we have done similar moves with long trains at Kingscote. That has the advantage of a longer platform, and isn’t our primary passing station; but even so it normally requires some rewrite of the timetable and is generally only attempted on quiet days. Whereas presumably “HST to Swanage” would be designed for peak summer traffic, when line capacity is at a premium already.

    Tom
     
  4. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    It would only work if it went right down to Swannage.

    Could you fit a 7-car HST on Swannage main platform? Could you fit a service train in the bay?

    Is actual line capacity a major issue? I would think the operational limitations would revolve around turnaroud times, loco and stock issues.

    444 seats (6*mk3 for a seven car set with buffet) once a day from London would be an interesting proposition.

    It's a pure thought experiment now, but say an 8 am departure from waterloo to Swannage with a return to arrive back in Waterloo at say 8 would make day trips and long weekend breaks very easy.
     
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  5. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I'm no expert on HST's but the ones I've seen have a power car at each end and I'm assuming that a 7 car set is two power cars plus five coaches. However, you then go on to suggest 6 x mk3 for a seven car set with buffet for 444 seats. I'm now even more confused. Is that 5 plus 2 power cars, 6 plus 2 power cars or 7 plus 2 power cars?
    Looking at Google Earth I'd say that you could fit a 7 (total) car set in the platform without becoming a problem as long as you can run to the stops. Beyond that, it needs someone with more knowledge to answer your queries.
     
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  6. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    The Swanage Belle tour waits till after the summer peak
    https://www.railwaytouring.net/the-swanage-belle
    Another possibility is just to run a 4 coach HST from Bristol just to Corfe (so easier to fit in with a 2023 Wareham trial), like the old SWT specials, and use the SR steam trains to Swanage?.
     
  7. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The issue is the swing links on the trailers. The fleet had a mixture of long and short swing links on the bogies, where the long swing links are barred from operating on 3rd rail because they can foul the 3rd rail.

    The fleets were consolidated to focus short link carriages on routes where they were needed, but I'm not sure what's happened since the HST fleet was shrunk. However, the best case would be that GWR would only have some sets passed for 3rd rail territory, and that an already tight fleet situation would be made tighter by having to be ultra specific about which trains could be used - which would also increase the risk of short notice cancellations.
     
  8. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    I've been at Swanage on a day when there was an incoming railtour and it was chaos (Admittedly it was a few years ago, and one of the first such occasions. The regular timetable was in ruins, with the rail tour given priority (IIRC the coaching stock had to be worked to and from Norden ECs to get it out of the way between arrival and departure, there being nowhere else to stable it) IMHO the railway doesn't really have the capacity to deal with these occurrences. It should stick to what it does best.
     
  9. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking 7 + 2 power cars. 6 carrying seats at 74 seats/coach and a buffet.
     
  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Which goes completely against their fixed formation operating model. GWR's fleet are set up as 2+4 sets, and all of the maintenance etc is based on the carriage sets running as sets.
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think you would foul the station throat at Swanage. Whether you could cross a train that long at the other crossing stations I don’t know.

    Tom
     
  12. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    As I have said it's a thought experiment relying on there being surplus units, unless the staycation lot can do it. And yes, noted re short link, but again, we are working to something done on the modern railway.

    I think the railtour is not necessarily a direct comparator. The HST can pull in, decant and go straight back out. It then only needs fuel and the carriages cleaning etc.

    Was the railtour steam? I'd expect am HST to be able to keep to tighter times and thus have a more predictable timeslot in from NR, helping with timetabling
     
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  13. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Two car DMU is ideal....
     
  14. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    I aplogise for mentioning the Weymouth issues (even if relevant) as it seems to have created another "fantasy thread"
    As mentioned by @35B the GWR HST's are 2 +4.
    Who would drive them? No one at SWR will sign for them, no one at GWR will sign for the route.
    Mammoth ECS moves if the one train a day from Waterloo option was considered.
    DfT would never fund something that already has a two train an hour service.
    Platform 2 at Swanage (the one where you can run round) takes 5 plus loco on normal days, but of course you can do longer if you do not need to water and some form of non normal signalling.
    AS @61624 said, from my experience living here and as a steward on inbound tours timetable is difficult/impossible to keep to when a railtour arrives.
    The bay has no run round, yes trains start there often (like today), but you either need to back the stock in (no pax), or remove the loco near the shed and bring an 08 or similar out to pull it in. (Which does account for my only 08 haulage here).
    Any inbound service would be in the peak (when people want to visit in numbers) and the railway runs a two train service. Apart from an extra gap around lunchtime the current timetable provides about 20 minutes free time in the station between a train being present.
    Any mainline service of course is constrained by the time it has to hit the network at Worgret Junction so in house services are apt to be late running to protect that.
    All in all way too difficult.
    ps look at the Weymouth thread on wnxx (now at 10 pages) from some of those who work in the industry for the issues (even if I think they make too much of some)
    pps I am not nor have ever been Canadian:)
     
  15. Rumpole

    Rumpole Part of the furniture

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    We've become much better at dealing with charters since those early ones, and timetabling rules generally went up a notch in professionalism a couple of years after that as a result of some frankly shambolic early attempts. We've now also worked out ways of minimising ECS moves, so now charters that run through to Swanage will invariably stay in Swanage; either in Platform 2 (necessitating SR internal services to have a loco change at the Inner Home signal) or, if 9 coaches or fewer (excluding support coach) then they fit in the Bay Platform.

    It's academic now anyway, but further to the discussion above you could work around a full-length HST in Platform 2 at Swanage with an SR internal service using Platform 1 only. We did this when the EMT HST visited some years ago now.
     
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  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    All reasonable assumptions for a thought experiment, but having been on HST railtours using destinations with short platforms, you don't want to underestimate the time that it takes to get passengers on and off board as they traipse through the carriages that aren't on the platform (and please let the wheelchair access be on the platform too...).

    The swing links ought to be a soluble problem, but don't underestimate the challenge of finding parts on what is now a heritage fleet, and getting them to where they'd need to be - we're no longer in the days of Chris Green's InterCity where there was enough slack to be able to juggle relatively easily. That is doubly the case given the constraints that DfT are imposing on GWR (and other operators).

    My own view is that, if this is to be doable, it would need to be LSL (who ran Staycation Express) who would do so; as they send their Midland Pullman stock to Eastleigh, that may also deal with the swing link issue. I do wonder though whether the lack of appetite for running specials is itself a signal of the actual level of demand.
     
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  17. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to those with local knowledge.

    Yes, demand is the real chicken-and-egg.
     
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  18. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    Are you saying that the Swanage Rly cannot handle an incoming train from the national network? just checking my SRN.2006 Wasn't the SRC all agog with the thoughts of punters coming in on charters from far afield. The connection at Worgret actually happened about 16yrs ago!! More than enough time to get all parties involved and run a THROUGH service to Swanage. Seniors and handicapped persons do not want to get booted off at Corfe! If there is the political will fund a couple of full time planners and expediters to make this happen.Incidentally that stretch of the GW from Castle Cary to Dorchester West is a great run in itself. Get off at Thornford and walk to Yeovil Jct (mind the molehills!!)where there used to be an old fashioned Station Buffet. Hope its still there!
     
  19. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Ah, political will. I suggest referring back to earlier posts about the context in which the British national network currently operates within. To which rumours suggest that the current industrial disputes are sitting within a budget that leaves DfT no headroom for increased costs/reduced income, and therefore that cuts are more likely than investment in new services.
     
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  20. Rumpole

    Rumpole Part of the furniture

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    All this chat about changing trains at Corfe doesn't half make me chuckle. It hasn't even been announced when the next year of the trial may start, yet alone what ruddy timetable will be run!
     

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