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Santa Steam Express & Christmas Steam Express - 13, 14, 20 & 22/12/21

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Paul.Uni, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I think there is an arrangement where the diesel is attached all the time and that means on one or two departures the diesel will pull the train out of VIC to where it can reverse and then steam will lead.
     
  2. AMP

    AMP Member

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    The evening run is going from Victoria to Clapham J then runs to Hounslow twice once via Kew Bridge, once via Willesden and the opposite leg via Richmond both times. Not sure which way around the circuit is though.

    Andrew
     
  3. AMP

    AMP Member

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  4. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Took a while to make sense of the timings, but for people that want it in short sentences:

    The first Santa run is steam hauled throughout from Victoria via Kensington, South Acton, Hounslow and Richmond. The 2nd and 3rd Santa runs are diesel hauled from Victoria to Willesden via Barnes and South Acton, before Steam takes it back in reverse of that route (with a water stop at New Kew Jn, near Kew Bridge, there's a roadside verge next to the line where the tanker will probably be, and a bridge just before the end of the loop for anyone wanting to see it stationary)

    The stock then goes back to Willesden for turning and servicing.

    The Christmas Steam Express then does the Hounslow loop from Victoria via Barnes Bridge, then heads to St Margarets. From there it heads back to Clapham Junction and does another trip round the loop by heading to Kensington from Clapham and then following the route of the first Santa run.


    Other notes:

    •Monday's 1st run will terminate / 2nd run will start at Platform 7 at Victoria, as an LSL charter (apparently 45231) will be using Platform 2! 61306 will arrive into 7 with 45231 already in Platform 2, a whistle greeting and rare photo opportunity???
    •Tuesdays run with 35028 has the stock come in from Southall and then 35028 (apparently without its support coach) will back onto the coaches from the Lane.

    A lot of rare spectacles here with Monday's LSL charter adding to the scene, Clan Line recreating the 'olden days' of steam by backing onto the coaches, and the line from Hounslow to Whitton suddenly having 'regular' steam, having not had steam grace it since I don't know how long.

    Admittedly, I have to say that anyone on the 2nd and 3rd Santa trip aren't as lucky, with only half of the trip steam hauled, and on a shorter route. It may have been better if they'd done this in a top and tail formation with steam at each end, and then one engine coming off at Willesden before the evening trip. But that's just my view, and I'm sure that's a lot more difficult than it actually sounds and they weren't expecting this diesel haulage.
     
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  5. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    It does seem the second and third trips are somewhat of a ripoff compared to the first in terms of steam mileage. I have not checked but assume the fares are the same for all three.
    The evening tour looks quite a good use of a route without straying far from London, plus much of the route looks better in the dark anyway. Annoyingly includes a side of two triangles that I require for steam.
     
  6. Beardy

    Beardy New Member

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    Given these tours are probably not really aimed at us enthusiasts steam mileage could well be less of a concern than other practicalities for operating in the middle of London on a weekday. As it is it looks like all the kids on the second and third trips will get to see the loco as it pulls in and while they wait to board so who knows perhaps some thought has gone into it. Don't get me wrong if I was on the second or third trip on either day I would ask if I could change to the first train.
     
  7. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    On most trips once the coaching stock arrives they ask you to just get on so they can depart on time. When I rode one of the Windsor trips this year in the 2nd to last coach (which is right by the ticket barriers on Platform 2 at VIC, where we had to wait until the ECS arrived), we instantly had to get on the train. I had no idea Mayflower was actually on the front until we saw steam in the window or went round a tight bend! Some may have not even known what the engine looked like until they got off at Windsor, only to see it being towed back again. So in that respect, yes, the kids would probably prefer to see the steam locomotive coming into Victoria rather than a diesel - they may not approve of the long walk to the 'front' of the train however!
     
  8. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the summary - useful. With '28 without its support coach, is there already one in the formation or will it be running 'unsupported'?
     
  9. twr12

    twr12 Well-Known Member

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    I would expect 35028s support crew to use the dual braked Mk1 WCR support coach in use with 44871 today.
    Just a guess!
     
  10. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Agreed but this is not a diesel on the day or even the usual debate about a diesel on the back. My point is 3 tours sold as the same and one is very different. Maybe the first one should be sold differently.
    But agree all three have the loco at the stops on arrival back at Victoria.
     
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  11. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Isn't the Steam Dreams train vacuum only so every coach will be operating on vacuum?
     
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  12. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yes, that’s why the air braked MNLPS support coach won’t be in the formation
     
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  13. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    It's a very brief steam jaunt from Chiswick to Victoria - for some it will seem as though it's over all too soon!
     
  14. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Pardon my lack of air brake / vacuum brake knowledge. How come the MNLPS support coach was able to run with RTC's stock on the Cotswold Venturer back in August, which is also operated with WCRC? Is that stock able to be air braked and therefore would have been on that one occasion?
     
  15. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    Different stock that is dual braked. The air pumps on 35028 will probably be operating as I think air air system has to be charged to work the TPWS.
     
  16. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    I've just had a brief post removed from here about the charter tomorrow (relevant here as it shares Victoria with the Santa working for a time and was mentioned earlier in this thread) and it has not been moved to another thread as far as I can see - anyone know what I did wrong?
     
  17. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    It's at: https://www.national-preservation.com/threads/saphos-trains.1418828/page-25
    and the system would have sent an automatic message about it.
     
  18. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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  19. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    The meeting...
    Screenshot 2021-12-13 at 18.16.23 (1).jpeg
     
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  20. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member

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    Interesting to see the two steam workings this morning at Victoria. Neither 34046 nor 33207 received any assistance as they climbed Grosvenor bank, and the 33 had the equivalent of 14 coaches on 1 in 70. 34046 had 8 (heavy) coaches plus the 47, and was down to a crawl at the top. Unusual to see two such workings unassisted. See the video:
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
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