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running heritage 3rd rail emus on a preserved line

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by martin butler, May 4, 2010.

  1. martin butler

    martin butler Member

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    i would have to get an experts view on this, but i would say its the cost of fuel vs the upkeep costs of the keeping 3rd rail .
    fuel oil and coal are not cheep and you have to work out the cost benifits and selling point of either, if you were to obtain a emu, then you would have a one off attraction , steam would be a big pull given the nature of the branch , anyone would be attracted by a tank engine blasting up an 1 in 30 bank , buts its very expensive to run steam on a daily basis .
    But thats not to say that you could not mix and match in my view you would have electric days, when you would run a emu, or borrow a cig and ED and on others a steam gala , or deisel service.
    the day to day week day use would be the rail car or dmu to serve a park and ride and the lifts ,the recent plan put forward by FHC does not have any parking , but also envisages turning the railway into a green walk, so with turning the whole harbour and sea front, including the station into a houseing development , with nothing else will have a major impact on the area, they like the tram plan, but not retaining the station, so we will have to look at what we can find as a suitible offer that enables us to use the boat train platform on the pier arm ,as this is not being shown as being part of their plan .
     
  2. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    Running a DMU is going to be cheapest by far, using the 3rd rail is both a practical and financial non-starter i suspect.

    Chris
     
  3. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    DMU will be cheapest, but it is steam that brings the passengers. You've got to give your steam loco enough steaming days, to make it worthwhile to overhaul it. Antwerp isn't going to be a cheap job!

    With the line having been closed, it makes me wonder if any 3rd rail installation on a reopened line, will have to comply with current safety regulations, ie will it be treated as "new"?
     
  4. 73129

    73129 Member

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    I totally agree with you about 3rd rail being a non- starter. I can't see to many non railway enthusiasts wanting to travel on 3rd rail stock. The biggest portion of visitors to almost every preserved rail are non railway enthusiasts these days and they want to ride behind steam locos
     
  5. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    As the line has been closed, and the electrics presumably isloated, if you want to re - open the line & re- energise, does it count as a "new" installation? In other words, would it have to comply with the latest regulations?
     
  6. martin butler

    martin butler Member

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    actually, the line is still operational up as far as the first crossing and is live , because its been retained to allow access to the branch sidings, its only after this crossing that the 3rd rail is isolated but in situ , its very strange though that several months after the mothballing was due to end, that no permission has been sought to get closure of the line from DFT instead Network rail have been very helpfull in arranging round table talks etc, and the feed back that we are getting is that if more traffic had been attracted ,ie more tours, regular VSOE then it would have not closed, just to show the attitude of the harbour company they boasted that they were glad to get rid of the VSOE and that it had taken 4 years to do it, its this type of prestige train that brings the type of person you would think they would welcome with open arms , but obviously not
     
  7. twofnine

    twofnine New Member

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    This thread, has produced a debate this morning with a friend of mine on the telephone. Both of us have driven 400 series stock on the Folkestone Harbour branch Martin. Me having worked Boat Trains from London Victoria - Folkestone Harbour with 411s.

    We honestly believe that constant use of a 400 on that branch, would burn the resistances out eventually, and eventually burn the motors out. The CEPs, CIGs, and the VEPs have a Normal and Series switch in the Driving Cab. And that is the only time the switch was ever used on the Folkestone Branch. It gave us full series, and the speed up from the harbour was not much more than 10 mph, and upon arrival at the east; the resistances were very hot. They had of course cooled down after departure on route to Victoria getting into Weak Field.

    Other units such as 4 Cor, 4 Sub, 2 Bil, and EPBs have not got the Normal/Series switch; so the3refore could not be used.
     
  8. martin butler

    martin butler Member

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    Thanks twoofnine at last someone who has first hand knowlege of the practicalities , if the older heavier 400,s struggled and got hot, i dread to think what it would do to a turbostar or javelin would these lighweight units even get up the bank? how would a thumper do?
    it kind of brings home to me just how complex this short line will be to operate.
    For our own services we would probally use a 108 dmu on the heavy and railbus/ tram on the park and ride section until we get a steamer, from my own prospective,any electic units would be operated by a mainline toc because the only reason to keep the 3rd rail live would be in connection with a ferry service that runs direct to the harbour from a london termius . which would only be in times of need
     
  9. twofnine

    twofnine New Member

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    Martin, let me give you some ideas.

    4 VEP + 33 KB Crompton (Push and Pull)

    or

    4 VEP + 2X 73s [Push and Pull) on Diesel Power.

    And the VEP motors cut out?
     
  10. 73129

    73129 Member

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    One or two things come to mind about using the Folkestone branch.

    1 How long is the branch? I think it’s about a mile long but I maybe wrong.
    2 What’s the gradient of the line? If you are running steam loco’s up and down the line they should send out lot’s of chag and I can’t see the local residences being to happy about that in the summer?
    3 What can you see out of the windows when traveling on the line?
    4 Where can steam locos be prepared and disposed of at the start and end of the day?
    5 How many customers are going to want to travel on a DMU on a regular basis on a short branch line?
    6 Reading the above post about EMU stock on the line. It sounds like a no go?
    7 Why go to the Folkestone branch when there are some well established railways within the same county?
     
  11. twofnine

    twofnine New Member

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    Well, I must admit that I have heard of worst ideas for a heritage railway. West Worthing springs to mind, with just a few yards of track.

    Yes a thumper 205 would be ok.

    Steam, ok; but not in hot weather, because the sparks could cause a fire. Thats why sometimes Network Rail have a Steam Ban. Whilst we are discussing steam, you would use alot of coal, between the harbour and the east. Nothing on the down, because its all downhill?
     
  12. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    Have Network Rail ever actually imposed a full steam ban since they came into existence? I know certain loco's have not been allowed to operate because of known or suspected spark arrestor issues, and perhaps certain routes, but i cant remember a full steam ban - anyway, in this case, there's very little vegetation and with an appropriate spark arrestor i dont think it would be a problem.

    Of more concern would be the pollution, i see the residents becoming very vocal, very quickly about a smokey DMU or steam loco thrashing up the line all day, and to be honest i cant blame them. A residential area is just not suitable, and regardless of the supposed success and benefits of this scheme people in the area are not going to appreciate their peace being reguarly disturbed, having to keep their windows shut, and watching the price of their house fall quite significantly.

    Chris
     
  13. twofnine

    twofnine New Member

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    In answer to your question Chris, regarding a Steam Ban. Yes it was the same year that it was very hot, and Network Rail limited all Main Line trains to 60 mph. Because they were worried that the track would expand. If I rememember correctly it was around 2002/4. Maybe someone has a better memory than I have, and give an exact date?
     
  14. martin butler

    martin butler Member

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    some one asked why visit Folkestone instead of another attraction, firstly, Folkestone is dieing on its feet, it needs something doing for it to attract tourists, pandering to billionaires as our waste of space council do, doesnt bring any benifits to local businesses , relying on artists selling expensive works of art has not worked .
    more businesses in the thing that was suppossed to save this town have moved out, and are very bitter about the experience

    folkestone used to be a bucket and spade resort and needs something to attract people , either that or you give up on a section of society who will be ignored and wait for the resulting trouble that resentment brings .

    At the moment there is no decent transport from the east end to the harbour or the leas lift, and no station in a very large catchment area , there is more housing now in the east end than near Central station so we would think that having several strings to our bow might not be a bad thing, the line is very urban, untill you turn a left hand turn when you see the sea for the first time,and the fish market area , then you go over a brick viaduct over the inner harbour with boats to your right and the sea to your left , the far end of the station is very historic this is where the first world war history is the returning journey is about sheer noise because as you leave the viaduct you are straight into the 1 in 30 bank if running steam, yes we could hit problems with some residents, but these are the same ones who wouldnt want us there anyway regardless what hauled the train and its the same at any railway
     
  15. 34007

    34007 New Member

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    Weren't the EKR considering going to 3rd rail at some stage to run their units?
     
  16. martin butler

    martin butler Member

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    i did hear that a while ago, but as the supporting superstructure isnt there, (unlike our line) its a non starter they decided on using a MLV.
    Our core traffic would have to be in providing a link from the east end ,to the Harbour and then on to the leas lift , where a need for a public service isnt being met, the state of the roads in the are make it difficault to run a bus, the road of rememberance , has an axle wieght on it, and tontine street needs attension because the road is breaking up all the time .
    but that doesnt say that at week ends or later in the summer, you could replace the tram on the heavy rail section with a heritage dmu, steam or what ever you want to put in front and run the tram just between the harbour and the lifts , or use both lines, if we decide not to keep the 3rd rail ,after all a 4tc and 33/1 in push and pull mode might get some interest , as would topping and tailing an visiting emu off the mainline with 73's , (Vep boys take note) on maybe a charring cross folkestone charter running via margate on the way out, and ashford on the return?
     
  17. 68077

    68077 New Member

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    It was the EPB Group who wanted the third rail !! not the EKR, i was involved at the EKR a few years ago when we had a inspection from the railway inspector and i just mentioned it in conversation to him as to what his opinion was regarding 3rd Rail here and he LAUGHED, apologised and then said no chance with current day regulations. So in my eyes that was a good enough answer for me from the 'horses' mouth. It was therefore no longer persued when i was on the committee.
     

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