Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by 1020 Shireman, Jul 28, 2019.
Duchess at Yatton.
Scheduled water stop.
The Duchess departed from Exeter a few minutes early. The late running 11:30 departure from Exeter, the 1C76 Paddington to Penzance, had to follow the charter.
The Duchess passed Dawlish at speed. At Newton Abbot the Exmouth - Paignton - Exmouth service played ball by breaking down at the station and waited as Duchess of Sutherland powered through. <BJ>
The passengers will have enjoyed a good run today between Exeter and Plymouth.
According to RTT 6233 departed EXD at 10:37 1/4 and arrived at Plymouth at 12:36 1/2.
Good effort from the crews. <BJ>
Exeter St David's to Plymouth 59m 26.17s. Tornado's record didn't last long!!!
All down to Andy Taylor. PAD-PNZ was 15 down. Contacted control who gave us a challenging clear run to Plymouth. Fast to NA. Only 31 into Dainton Tnl; 58 through Totnes; mp225 1/2 27.9; Marley Tnl 38.2; 60ish across the top; mp244 in 56m 2s. Mutley Tnl 57m 43s 26.6; touch and go into North Road...
Ah Thxs. Thought it was stopping at Taunton for water.
Duchess of Sutherland on BBC Somerset's web feed.
Sounds like a good run overall. 31 mph is a reasonable speed into Dainton tunnel, fairly typical of other runs by 6233. Rattery / Tigley speeds again suggest a solid "mid table" climb. Thanks for the update.
A poor decision was made by signallers this evening after allowing the Duchess to depart from Taunton 7 mins early at 21:37. It was held soon after when the 21:40 Taunton to Bristol local stopper was allowed to overtake despite runnng 4 mins late. This turned a 7 min early departure from Taunton into a 9 mins late departure from Yatton. If the charter had been allowed to run ahead of the local stopper the Duchess would have arrived at Bristol TM approx 20 mins earlier than it did. Signallers 1/10. <BJ>
Hope more videos show.
On Foreign Soil by Matt Spencer, on Flickr
The Duchess at Teignmouth yesterday lunchtime
Did you get my PM? Thanks. Don
Royal Duchy 4th August 2019
Back again for another Royal Duchy with the Duchess. Out with a group of friends and had no intention of timing unless we were on the milepost side, and wasn't going to do a report unless some special bank climbing took place. It didn't really but something else special happened. We watched the stock run through P12 at the Meads then set back into P8. Coach F was behind the BCK on the front so we'd be middle of the 3rd Coach outward as on the 21st July. Andy Taylor was our driver; Simon Scott his fireman.
The Departure Board had no 0844 XC to Plymouth. It wasn't running due to Industrial Action so we'd have the line to ourselves to Taunton if not Exeter. Not a rapid start but we passed Parson Street at an OK 34.3. We were expecting 60 mph at Flax Bourton Summit, mp123, but just had a gradual acceleration up the 2 1/4miles of 1in428/234/180/343 to pass the summit at 51.9. Andy was working the loco the old fashioned way as speed rose down the bank to 67 past mp125. Not much point rattling along with a stop at Yatton. Quite a number of passengers joined and the train was probably 85% full or more.
Away from Yatton it's virtually pan flat to Bridgewater, just below mp151 1/2. No great acceleration as we passed Huish LC, almost 2 miles out, at 50. Speed picked up nicely and we crossed Puxton and Worle LC, 5 1/2 miles out at 62; passed Worle Jn, mp135 and a bit at 66; Uphill Jn, mp138, at 74; Brent Knoll at 73; Highbridge, mp145 1/4ish, 74; crossed Huntspill at mp147 at 74; and passed through Bridgwater, mp151 1/2ish, at 74. That's the end of the long level stretch. The 3/4 1in256 saw speed dip to 72, but we picked back up to 74 by at mp154 1/4 down the 1/2 mile of 1in340.
The Duchess got a bit noisier as we passed mp156 where the line climbs for a mile and 3/4 of 1in327/501/330, left at 70, then fell a bit to 69, but picked up to 72 down the mile of 1in572 to Cogload Jc. Andy just let the big locomotive run down into Taunton for a pickup and pathing stop. Just about 'even' time with the 32mins 57.77s from Yatton. All rather effortless. Our diesel for PLY-PAR, 47245, was the only thing that passed us in the station at 0944.
We were let out a minute or so early for the first real challenge of the day, Whiteball Westbound, the steeper shorter side. Expectations were high after the excellent climb on the 21st July, but every day is different with a steam locomotive. A measured start, necessary with big wheeled Pacifics even on the level, and we passed mp163 3/4 at 28.6. Up the mile of 1in322 over Silk Mill, 41.6. Gentle climbing over 3/4 mile lev/724 up to 48.6, bit low. Then comes a mile of 1in369 where sound and speed rose as we crossed Victory LC at 53.8. Still on the gentle past of the climb we left the next mile and a half of 1in203/338 at mp167 1/2 at a disappointing 56. Getting steeper up 1/2 mile of 1in222 to Bradford-on-Tone LC, 56.8; then a mile and a quarter of 1in174 to mp169 1/4, passed at 57. The climb eases up 1/4 mile of 1in667, 58.4, speed held over 1/2 mile of 1in170. Onto the section where speed usually picked up, the level through Wellington, 59.8, then the 1/2 mile of 1in288/133, left at 59.5. Again, no pick up.
The bank proper starts at mp171,58.5, where the gradient increases to 1in90 for a mile. Despite some superb chatter from the big four cylinder Duchess, speed fell to pass mp172, the start of 3/4 mile of 1in86 at 51.3. The bank then steepens to 1in80 from mp172 3/4, passed at 46.9. 6233 slowly lost speed to pass mp173 at 45.4 and climbed into Whiteball Tunnel at 44.7. There were 2 slips in the tunnel so we only left it at 43.7. We passed the mp174 on the easing 1in203 at 44.7. An ordinary run for a Class 8; 13m 26.18s to the tunnel compared to 12m 36s on the 21st July.
Virtually down grade to Exeter then. We rushed through Tiverton Parkway at 75; mp179, Tiverton Loop, 70; crossed Hele and Bradnich LC at 77.5; Stoke Canon LC at 76. We ran into P6 at Exeter St Davids 7 early again. The tanker was waiting for us in the yard.
With over an hour to spend there, this time four of us wandered over to the Great Western Hotel. There were 6 real ales on - one being Orkney Island Brewery's Red MacGregor, a beer I hadn't found on a hand pump since the late 1990s. John joined me and was seriously impressed. The bar lady told us that they have Orkney Beers regularly and one of my all time favourites, Dark Island, had only gone off the line Saturday night!! Dave is a traditionalist and had a Jail Ale; John 2 an Avocet. Red MacGregor goes down well and we had to have a second.
We got back to the station in plenty of time and noticed from the Departure Board that the 1130 PAD-PNZ IET was running 15 down and seemed to be losing more time. Andy rang control and asked if we could run in front of it as we were non-stop with a 75mph Duchess on a light 9 coach train. After a bit of negotiating with a fallback of being held at Dawlish Warren, Andy whistled up and we left 3 early. That interested the few timers on board as the IET is timed for a 60 minute EXD-PLY. Could it happen again??
It's 52 miles to Plymouth. You can't charge out of Exeter as there's a restriction through St. Thomas, passed at 32.1. It had taken 3mins 7s to travel less than a mile from EXD. A sub 60 minute run would need some seriously quick running before the 60 mph restriction along the seawall, 9 3/4 miles away. A mile+ out of St Thomas, after 1in181/278/192d things had improved and the sound increase. We passed mo 195 3/4, level, at 52.5.after more downgrade help we charged past mp197 1/4 at 65.7. now on the level noise rose and we charged towards Exminster, mp198 3/4, passed at 72; serious running. We passed mp200 at 73.3; mp201 1/2 at 72; and roared through Starcross, passing mp202 1/2 at 72. The 8 1/2 miles from EXD had taken us 10m 31.07s. We needed more!
Speed fell slowly; mp203 71; mp203 1/2 69.4; mp204 67.6. We passed mp204 1/2 on Dawlish Warren Station at 66.9, probably as good as we could have expected with the 60 restriction coming a mile or so further on. Andy kept close to the limit; mp206 59.3; Dawlish, 58.8 and through the 4 tunnels close to 60. We'd lost a bit by Parson's Tunnel, 57, but Andy had the train back to 60.5 as we passed mp208. 14 miles from Exeter in 15m 40.5s.
On the level, 6233 was worked through Teignmouth, close to mp209, at 60.9 and speed rose noisily to 66.7 as we passed mp211. 6233 was making some serious noise as we passed mp212 at 69.9. Andy eased the big loco for the run to Newton Abbot where there's a restriction of 60 round the tight curve through the station. We passed mp213 at 57.4 and passed mp214 on the platform face at 59.5. The 20 miles from EXD had taken 21m 23.07s.
Bit of a hill a few miles away! The line speed is 60 all the way to the foot of Hemerdon so it's important to stay as close to 60 as much as possible. We expected some serious acceleration away from the station and we passed mp214 1/4 at 62. On the level we passed mp215 at 60.1, then mp215 1/4, Aller at 60.2. with Stoneycombe Quarry on the left we hit the bottom of Dainton Bank with its tight reverse curves. The IET was 13 minutes behind. Had to be a good climb today.
Onto the first part of the bank, a mere 1/4+ mile of 1in98 after mp215 3/4. Beautiful 4 cylinder sound as the Duchess stormed past it at 59.9. Onto the steeper 1in57 past mp216 at 56.2. Dainton bites and speed was falling steadily up the 1in57. We came off it at mp216 3/4 at 47.3. With tyres squealing against the rails as the curves tightened, the gradient increased to 1in46/56 for half a mile. We passed mp217, midpoint, at 43.9 and left it at 38.6 on the 1in41 mp217 1/4. A quarter on the curve at 1in41/49/36 quarter took us past mp217 1/2 at 35.1. one more tight curve at 1in36 easing to 1in44 past mp217 3/4, passed at 31.5 before we surged into the tunnel at 30.8. Decent enough. Time from Newton Abbot 4m 20.13s, 21s quicker than the 21st; total time from EXD 25m 53.2s for the close to 23 miles.
Onwards and downwards to Totnes. Speed in the mid 50s until the signal before Totnes when Andy opened the big loco up and we roared through Totnes Middle Road at 58.1. You need that sort of speed to tackle the 4 miles long bank with curves as tight as Dainton. We passed mp223 just past the first bridge after Totnes Station where the 1in66 started at 58.3. 3/4 of a mile later we took 51 onto the 1/4 of 1in71. We left it at 48.4 onto 1/2 mile+ of 1in47. Slower than the 21st July. Up the bit easier 1in50/56at 35.9, well down on the 21st's 43.9. We climbed past mp225 at 36.6 (38) after the 1/4 of 1in46/57. South Devon Banks might not be long but they are seriously steep and indeed Rattery steepened to 1in52 at mp225 1/4, 31.7, as Tigley Spire came into view. At the site of Tigley box, mp225 1/2, still on the 1in52, speed was 30. We passed the gradient change post from 1in52 to 74 close to mp 225 3/4 at 28.8. Then the gradient eased to 3/4 mile of 1in90 and speed picked up to 36.1 at mp226 1/2. Near the top now and the gradient falls back to 1in95 for just over a quarter of a mile; then there's a quarter that starts at 1in 95 but has a wicked short section of 1in65 that took us back to 34.3 as we passed the 'climbing' summit at mp227. Time from mp233 at Totnes to mp227, 6m 25.71s, 14secs slower than 21st July. 33 miles from EXD in 38m 9.27s. 19 miles to Plymouth...
Previous experience has shown it's not easy to average 60mph 'across the top' to Hemerdon as its not all flat, so the 60 minute run was far from being a foregone conclusion. With that in mind...we only drifted over Rattery Viaduct on the 1/4 mile of level at 35. After a 1/4 mile 1in200, 37.3, we came off the 1/2 mile long 1in131 through Marley Tunnel at 38.2; and crossed the level 'summit' at 40. Onto 3 more miles of gentler climbing to Wrangaton Summit. Up the mixed 1in380/909/166/775/388, things got noisy and we passed Brent at 56. Up a mile+ at an average of 1in260ish saw us pass mp230 still at 56. After 1/2 mile of 1in129/199/117 we entered Wrangaton Tunnel at 55.9 and crossed the summit, mp232, after a short 1in470 at 56. Elapsed time from EXD: 44m 37.62s with 14 miles to go to Plymouth.
Down the bank to Ivybridge just after mp234, passed at 62.9; over Ivybridge Viaduct, 64, time elapsed 47m 23.8s at mp235 with 11 miles to go. Going to be a close run thing. Gentle downgrades to mp239, just above Hemerdon GF, passed at 56.4; time elapsed 51m 21.58s with 7 miles to go. Brakes hard on down the 1in75 and the first mile of the 1in42 to mp239 3/4, 60.9, then the brakes came off and speed picked down the 1in42 to 72 at mp240 1/2; 73.8 at mp 241. Down the 1in47/41 and 1in111, we passed mp242 at 72.5. Elapsed time 54m 7.56s with 4 miles to go.
6233 was eased then and speed fell back to 63.6 as we passed Tavistock Yard East, mp242 3/4. We crossed Laira Jn at 60 ish and passed mp244 on the level at 60.7. Elapsed time 56m 1.71s with 2 miles to go. Easy isn't it? Nope. There's a 1/2 mile+ of 1in77 to Lipson Jc over which speed fell to take 55.2 onto the 3/4 mile of 1in83 to Mutley Tunnel. Our speed fell to 26.6 as we climbed into the tunnel. Out and down the other side we came passed mp245 3/4 under the road bridge with the platform close at 24.3, elapsed time 58m 6.9s. Only 1/4 mile to go but it's a slow run in over a couple of crossovers. We came to a stand in Plymouth North Road 59m 26.17s after we left Exeter St Davids, beating the first sub 60 minute run by 60163 on 23rd June by just over 7 seconds.
Congrats were conveyed to Andy and Simon on the footplate and to the PRCLT Support Group. Hmmm, now we have a Midlander holding the EXD-PLY Steam Hauled Train record on the Great Western. I wonder how long it's going to be before we even see a Great Western Locomotive over the South Devon banks again, let along going for the 60 minute challenge?
Been looking back at my Steam Hauled Railtour records and the last time we did 6024 over the banks was 1st May 2010; and the only time with 5043 westbound was 28th April 2012.
6233 came off the train and we were taken to Par behind 47245.
We'd played safe and booked a table in the Rashleigh Arms in Charlestown for 1500. Dave had the Carvery as usual; Malcolm would have liked the Hunter's Chicken but they forgot to tell the kitchen so he has the Carvery. John 1 had a whale and chips while John 2 and I had fish based dishes, both of us had starter Cornish Mussels - excellent they were too; and John had fishcakes as his main while I had smoked mackerel fillets again. Excellent food. Traditionalists enjoyed the Tribute and Betty Stoggs while a couple of Proper Job IPA were quaffed as well. Excellent beers.
It was good to see Spike Hodges driving but didn't know the fireman. As on the 21st July we were 8 back for the return. The sun peeked out from time to time and I knew from experience that a lot of the mileposts are very close to the track and others in the undergrowth but John and I did try mileposting. I also synchronised the GPS periodically to use when I couldn't pick out the mileposts. Not an easy run out of Par up to Treverrin Tunnel, 2 miles+ of climbing. It begins with a 1/4 mile+ of level track, passed mp281 3/4, 18.3. We found mp281 1/2 on the start of 3/4 mile of 1in84, 21.5. then 6233 slipped. We passed milepost 281 1/4 at 21.2. Couldn't hear much 8 back as 6233 climbed the 3/4 mile of 1in109, left at 26.5, onto the much steeper mile of 1in62 into and through Treverrin Tunnel, minimum 23.5, 29.5 in. Down grade to Lostwithiel, 40 ish then we took 39.5 onto the almost 11 mile climb to Sperritt Tunnel.
Up the almost 1/2 mile of 160, left at 43.4; then 1/4 mile 270d left at 47. Then up the 1 1/2 miles of 1in389, left at 49.7. speed fell to 47.7 into Brownqueen Tunnel after a bit of 1in71. We picked up to 52.9 down a bit of 1in142 before we hit the 1/4m+ 1in65 to pass milepost 274 (checked GPS) on Bodmin Parkway Station at 42.5. Then up the mixed 3/4 mile of level/1in65/85/148 left at 45.6. Up the 1/4 of 1in80, 46.6, then down the 1/4 mile of 1in81, 50.2. From there it's a steep climb for 5 miles+ with a number of gradient changes between 1in58 and 1in90, with a series of high viaducts.
Again I've quoted the speeds are those we left the gradients at between mps 272 3/4 and 270 3/4. The first 1/4 of 1in94, 47; 1/2 mile of 1in69, 43.8; 1/4 1in58 to mp272, 43.8; 1/2 mile of 1in68 across Clinnick Viaduct, 42.2; 1/4mile of 1in426, 41.6; 1/4 past mp271 on Derrycombe Viaduct, 39; 3/4 mile of 1in70 across Draw Wood and West Largin Viaducts, 35.3; refuge on the single track, 1/4 of 265d, 37.9; over East Largin Viaduct, 1in159, 37.5. Then we hit the mile and a half slog up 1in90 over St Pinnock Viaduct, 37.2, to over Westwood Viaduct back on the double track, 37.2, our minimum speed. 6233 picked up speed to 41.5 over the final 1/2 mile to Doublebois Summit. We accelerated down the 1in53d into Sperritt Tunnel at 54.7, and down grade to Liskeard, 43.2.
There's a half mile of 1in79 3/4 mile out from Liskeard, started at 44.4, left at 44.6, followed by 1/4 mile of 1in258, 47, before it's all down grade. We drifted through Menheniot at 53.8; St Germans at 48 with a max of 60.7 at mp255. There's a mile of 1in200 up into and through Wivelscombe Tunnel, left at 53. Then it's down to Saltash, 15.5. We climbed up the 1in81 past mp215 1/4 at 12 onto the Royal Albert Bridge, mp251 passed at 20.2. We ran down to Keyham, 40.9 then climbed the 1/2 mile of 1in68 to Dockyard, 39.3 then up 1/4 mile of 1in76, 39, then through Devonport on the level, 38.5. All downhill to North Road P8 for a water stop and to pick up passengers.
As on the 21st July, the water from the hydrant was muddy and took a few minutes to clear. The pressure wasn't high but we were ready to leave by 1910, well in front of the 1934 PNZ-PAD IET. We left 11 down at 1911. 6233 slipped a couple of times before the overbridge and it took us 2m 29.12s to negotiate the 1/4 to mp245 3/4, 10.5 under the first overbridge. It took another minute and 7 seconds to climb the next 1/4 mile into Mutley Tunnel, 13.8.
The line speed is 60 so no rapid acceleration down the 1in83 to Lipson Jc, 55. Missed the mileposts then until mp243 1/4 down the 1in740, 56. We passed mp242 3/4 at the east end of Tavistock Yard at 59.8. Over the Plympton River Bridge, just under 60 and around the left hand curve onto the foot of the bank, actually the steepest part. We took 57.9 onto the 1/2 mile of 1in41 to mp241 1/2, left at 51, and tackled the next 1/2 mile of 1in47, left at 42. That took us onto the mile+ of 1in42. Half way through this section at mp240 1/2, the bank was really biting and speed fell to 34.3. We passed mp240 1/4 at 31.4 and mp240 at 31. The gradient eased just before mp239 3/4 to 1in75, but speed still fell to 28.6. This was our minimum speed. We passed mp239 1/2 at 30.5; then passed the 1in89 Gradient Post at 32.1, mp239 1/2 at 30.5. After the bridge the gradient eased to 1in630 and our speed rose to 40 as we passed mp239. An interestingly different climb to the 21st. We'd taken 12m 07.8s compared with 12m 28.02s on the 21st to get to mp239 1/4.
Across the top with a max of 60. Up gentle gradients to Ivybridge Viaduct, speed rose to 54.8, then fell back to 51.7 up the 1/2m+ of 1in150. We flashed through Ivybridge Station at 52 on the mile of 1in218. The mile of 1in295/169/100/122 saw us pass mp233 at 47.7. Some sound drifted back, but not much. Over the next 1/4 mile of level track we got to 50 and we charged up the 1/2 mile of 1in307 at 52.5, then the short bit of 1in120 to Wrangaton Summit at mp232, 52.5. Down Rattery Bank to Totnes we passed Tigley at 61.4 and with the brakes firmly on we came off the bank and ran through Totnes at a 52.1.
Odd bit of running. Speed fell to 50 at mp222 on the level, and Spike seemed happy not to charge the bank. We picked up speed steadily on the level to pass mp221 1/4 at 54 but fell back to 52.7 at mp221. Over the next mile there are mixed gradients and curves with short sections as steep as 1in86/78 and 1in76. We hit the serious part of the climb from mp220 1/4 at 50.7. Now we heard the Duchess as she attacked the 1/4 mile of 1in86/206/76. Not that great as we passed mp219 1/2 at 50.4. Then it's onto the final mile and a half over tight reverse curves to the tunnel. After 3/4 mile of 1in76/105/55, speed had fallen rapidly to 40.7; then further to 34.1 over the next quarter of 1in65/38.
Onto the last 1/2 mile where again the sound of wheels squealing against the severe reverse curves and gradients of 1in38, then 1in43/37, did its best to drown out the sound from 6233 - it didn't; but then we slipped and passed mp218 1/4 on the 1in 38 at 26.9. A further slip brought speed down to 24.3. We climbed into the tunnel at 24.4. Time for Totnes to Dainton Tunnel 6m 21.15s compared with 5m 47.55s on the 21st.
6233 came out of the tunnel at 36.51 and we ran down to Aller, 54.3, braking from 60. We accelerated through Newton Abbot, mp214, at 60.4. Time elapsed from Plymouth was 41m 13.56s. If the Duchess was to challenge the eastbound PLY-EXD record of 58m 6s we'd need to cover the next 20 miles in under 17 minutes.
Spike had 6233 purring along and we passed mp212 at 67.8, 43m 9.88s after we left Plymouth. 18 miles in 15 minutes? Now that would be something. We slowed for Teignmouth, 56.1, and dived into Parson's Tunnel at 57. No slowing and 61 into Clerk's Tunnel and 57.5 through Dawlish. Speed rose to 63.7 past mp205; and 66.3 past mp204 1/2 on Dawlish Warren Station. The Duchess was flying along and roared past mp205 1/2 on Starcross Station at 71.1. Onto the long level section but a fall in speed to 67 through Exminster. Still doing 68 at mp197 and 66.3 at mp196. Elapsed time from Plymouth 57m 58.25s. Spike eased the big loco and we passed mp195 at 46 before we braked for St Thomas, 34.7, just before mp194 3/4, now with no chance of besting 60 minutes as elapsed time was 59m 5.77s. We finally stopped in Platform 6 at Exeter St Davids 63m 33.07s after we left Plymouth. It always amazes us how long the final mile from St Thomas can take.
We left some 15 minutes down but Taunton should be a set down only so we should be RT leaving. A good getaway from Exeter. We passed mp193 3/4 at 15.8 and then mp193 in Riverside Yard on a short 1in300 at 36.2. The Duchess was going well by Cowley Bridge Jn, 39.3 on the 2 miles of 1in620. We passed mp191, end of section, at 53.9. Over 1/2 mile of level track and 1/4m at 310 to mp190 1/2, Stoke Canon was passed at 58.2 before we hit a mile of 1in217. Stoke Canon LC is midway and we roared across it at 58.4 and left the section at 59. The grade eased over 3/4 mile of 1in625d/274d/500d and our speed rose to 63. Going really well.
We could hear 6233 8 back as speed slowly increased as we left the 3/4 mile of 1in343 to pass mp188 at 66.8. Up the next 1/2 mile of 1in 435 and the following 1 1/4 miles of 1in243/219 we held 67 before Spike took advantage of 3/4 of a mile of 1in313d/534d/level to cross Hele and Bradnich LC at 72. Going really well now. No speed loss up the 1/2 m of 1in292, the next mile of 1in523 or the 1/4 of 1in306. Up the 1/2 mile of 1in824 we got to our max of 72.8 past mp183 1/2. 6233 roared passed mp183 after 1/2 mile of 1in333 at 72.6. We held 72.2 over the 1/2 mile of 1in279d/level and the 1/2 mile of 1in316 to mp182 only saw a slight fall to 71.2.
6233 charged across 1/4m level and up the 1/2 mile of 1in284 through the old Cullompton Station, 71. Then we hit the 1 1/2m of 1in155, mp180, left at 63.6, the first time 6233 seemed to be showing the effect of the long climb. 6 miles of climbing still to go. We roared past the old Tiverton Junction Station, then mp179 after a chance to pick up speed down a mile of 1in324(3/4)/207(1/4) at 69.3. After a short 1/4 of 1in746, we hit the mile of 1in216 at 71. We roared through Tiverton Parkway at 71 at the end of 1/2m 405. We were now on a steeper 3/4m of 1in242 but 6233 gave a little to it, and came off the 1/4m of 1in162 at mp176 1/2 at 69.4. Now we were onto the steepest part of the climb, 2 miles of 1in115 where even the big locos normally lose 5 mph. 1/4 in at mp176 speed was 67.1; a mile in at mp175 1/2, 64.5; 1 1/2m in at mp175, 61.8; at mp174 1/2, we dipped below 50, 59.8 at the end of the 1in115. The gradient eased to 1in212 at mp174 1/4, 58.6, then at mp174 60. We dived into the tunnel down the 1in203 at 61.4. Decent enough and well below 22 minutes.
Climbs are always interesting as the quickest speed at the summit doesn't mean it was the quickest climb. Our time from Exeter was 21m 22.46s compared to 21m 50.53s on the 21st despite the 21st's speed being 67 into the tunnel. After the 21st we hoped for a rare 70 into the tunnel; but not to be.
Down the bank to Taunton. Past Wellington at 70; across Bradford-on-Tone LC at 67; Victory LC at 66.4 and then a drift down into Taunton Station where we arrived 7 late.
We knew the 1935 PLY-PAD IET was about 10 minutes behind us and wondered if we'd be allowed out before it. The answer was no. We left at 8 early but only got as far as Taunton East but then we were held for the late running 2136 all stations TAU-BRI that left at 2140 3/4. Poor train regulation has been mentioned but the signaller would have seen our train as 1Z85; timed for 60mph max. The unit was 2M74; timed for 75mph max. We were also not due to leave Taunton until 2145. Not making excuses, but technically it was the right decision as the unit was due into BRI before us, even allowing for its trundle into Weston-super-Mare.
Our carriage hardly had any lighting and it was getting increasingly difficult to see the stopwatch or to write the times and speed down so I gave up for a while as it was a 'nothing to report' night. We watched 2M74 on RTT and weren't at all surprised that after we ran through Bridgwater at 68 the brakes came on as the unit was still in Highbridge. Spike might have thought we'd get past it while it was in the WSM loop as we blasted past Uphill Jc at 69.2...only for the brakes to come in hard. We crawled to Worle Jc, 22 and trundled to Yatton where we arrived 9 down. 2M74 had not lost any time so it must have been down to resetting the track at Worle Jc.
Once we were away Spike tried to make up some time. Couldn't see much in the carriage so didn't time. We passed Nailsea and Backwell at 58, a bit quicker than the 56 on the 20th. 6233 only got to 60 leaving Flax Bourton Tunnel East. We arrived at Platform 5 at the Meads at 2251 1/2, only 7 down. On reflection we'd have had better running if we'd remained at Taunton Platform until our booked departure time.
Nevertheless another excellent day out with the Duchess, the new holder of the Exeter St Davids to Plymouth record for a steam hauled train. Many thanks to the PRCLT for letting it come down to the South West again; and to their support crew who had another hard day out. We all know they'd prefer to be 'up north', but getting work up there seems nigh on impossible with the locos available at 10A. Many thanks to RTC for running the Royal Duchy. The train was nigh on full which was good to see; to WCR for their train management on the day; for the provision of the usual excellent footplate crews; and for their stock, though the seat springs in the TSO we were in are well past their best. Thanks as always to Network Rail for finding paths to run mainline steam in 2019, though they possibly could have been more sympathetic to the train at Taunton.
Another 2 Royal Duchys in September when hopefully we'll get to see how No.9 tackles the South Devon Banks and possibly challenges the 60m EXD-PLY and PLY-EXD.
For those who like record runs (like me) I've attached the EXD-PLY Timings in pdf form. hope there are no typos. Had a busy day or so. Typing fingers numb!!!
Been doing some browsing and on the PRCLT website Railtours Page. As at 22nd July they have 6233 as the rostered locomotive for both the September Royal Duchys. Can't remember a single locomotive hauling 4 Duchys in the same year. Thought No.9 was down for both September runs. Anyone got any insider info???
James Shuttleworth said on page 6 of the thread RTC 2019, to expect the Duchess on all of them.
A word of appreciation for the time and effort invested in compiling and publishing this log. The fascination of all this is not just in the record that you have created for posterity to celebrate a magnificent run, but also the insight it provides into how it was done - how records are created, and how they tumble.
From the log, and with the benefit of a side-by-side comparison with Sean Emmett's log of Tornado's run with the Cornishman back in June, it becomes clear that the key to 6233's - and its crew's - success in wresting the newly established record from Tornado was all down to the run-in over the last 750 yards or so through Mutley Tunnel to the dead stand at Plymouth. After a dead heat to Totnes (31' 32") the Cornishman had pulled ahead of the Duchy by 65 seconds at Ivybridge. Still 38 seconds ahead at Lipson Junction with one-and-a-half miles to go, this had been whittled down to 14 seconds at the entrance to Mutley Tunnel before 6233 snatched the record in the last few hundred yards.
A composite of the best/ fastest elements of both runs suggests that this record might indeed be shaved again (perhaps even by something more native to the route - I can but dream!!) given a combination of ideal circumstances - especially those governing the approach to Plymouth. But for now its just good to know that NatPres can boast a handful of dedicated correspondents who can and do donate such high quality material to our appreciation of contemporary main line steam operations. Every bit as valuable, in the longer term, as the superb images which the line-siders contribute to the Forum. And for me, the most compelling reason to keep coming back day-by-day to renew my daily Fix!! So, thanks once again.
Ahem...... and in no way to detract from everything that has been recorded and said already......
Am I correct in saying that these 'records' were both with Class 8 locomotives and a load of 9? If so then can I just mention in passing the drizzly/misty day of 17/06/18 when Clan Line took 10 over the Devon Banks?
The Duchess took 6.37 from Totnes to MP227. Clan Line took 6.15. That seems to me to be rather better.
Yes the overall time with '28 was only 62.21 but that was due largely to the more measured running across the top through Ivybridge etc.
On this kind of run all the hard work has been done by the time you enter Marley Tunnel and on that comparison Clan Line was only 16 seconds slower....and with an extra coach.
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