Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by JBTEvans, Oct 30, 2020.
A few good signs that their Torbay trips could run run solo.
Pontrilas, stately progress.
Howling gale - well a nasty squall - over Llanvihangel. Glad I didn't go out onto the field. Decent enough climb in the wet for a Brit + 11; sanders full on. Generator Car on the back. Bit of care being taken not to slip.
A couple more shots from Pontrilas this morning, before the showers.
70000 will be based at the WSR over the summer for ML duties according to this report:
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Wow, the vegetation on the east side of the track at Farm Lane (All Stretton) has certainly 'gone wild'! Nice picture though!!
Because of the heavy rain and wind I just tried to take a Mobile Video of 70000 off Llanvihangel Bridge. Can't remember seeing a picture here on the site before so have attached a snapshot off the phone's video. Not great but shows the weather with the Brit with sanders full on just before the summit.
Back to normal today. Just watched the Brit through Dawlish on the Railcam and the diesel is on.
Britannia on the Marches 8 June 2022
This Saphos excursion was driven by the need to convey motive power from its Crewe HQ to the south west, in readiness for its suite of English Riviera expresses this summer, on which the steam element will commence at Taunton and continue to Kingswear. For this reason, we were promised double headed steam from Crewe to Bristol via the Welsh Marches, and return with a Class 40 diesel. As a result, the tour was named the Welsh Marches Whistler.
However only one steam engine joined the train at Crewe: BR Standard pioneer No 70000 Britannia, immaculate and gleaming in Brunswick Green. Its support coach made us load 11: 5 Mark 1 First Opens, kitchen car, two Mark 2s, buffet and the brake/generator car. And, unusually for Saphos, no diesel on the rear. We gathered the second loco was needed in the London area to support the Steam Dreams operation which Saphos’ parent, Locomotive Services Limited, had just acquired.
We set off briskly across the Cheshire and Shropshire countryside to Shrewsbury, our last pickup point. Then we began to climb confidently, passing Bayston Hill at 40 and Dorrington at 55, but speed dropped as the line steepened: 44 at Leebotwood, then down to 39 before recovering to 44 at the Church Stretton summit. Then down through Marsh Brook at 65 before slowing through Craven Arms, then 70 at Onibury and 73 at Bromfield before the excellent Saphos breakfast commanded attention until the Hereford stop.
We spent an hour sitting in the train on the middle road but we could at least look across to see the engine watering in the up bay. Then more lively running: 65 after Tram Inn rising to 70 and we were still in the 60s approaching Pontrilas, where were heavily slowed at the foot of the climb to Llanvihangel. Despite this we were well into the 50s before Llancillo and still at 49 through Pandy. Speed dropped only slowly through the 40s on the final stretch, with 34 the minimum at the summit. Then we rattled down through Abergavenny at 73, then onwards and upwards until the brakes went on at Penpergwm. Progress was more modest after that with 61 at Panteg and 69 through Cwmbran, but we reached the Maindee junctions on time, and headed east.
We were back up to the 60s past Llanwern, Magor and Undy, but slowed right down before the Severn Tunnel, in which we spent 5 mins 37 seconds. Do the maths: my GPS wouldn’t help with the detail. Nothing more of note until we reached Bristol Temple Meads. Britannia basked in the bright sun for a short while then headed westward with its support coach.
Two hours later, Class 40 No D213 Andania, also in perfect Brunswick green, whistled in with its (now) ten coaches and we boarded for the return. Burdened with champagne, amuse-bouches, four full courses and then petit fours and coffee to finish, I did not pay much attention to the locomotive performance. However the running was lively for much of the way and of course no waterstops. Often well into the 70s but rarely over 80. (The linespeeds are variable between 70 and 90 on this route.)
This was an excellent day out with a lively performance from a spotless Britannia – handsome did as handsome was. And in my view Saphos have demonstrated that on both food and service they are up with British Pullman and well ahead of other providers – expensive, but value for money.
12 photos are at https://pjhtransportpix.zenfolio.com/f731739511
Peter at the end of a bright but windy day in Manchester
Where the comparison ends, of course, is the difference in the rolling stock you are enjoying the experience in though.
Just a quick clip of Britannia on The English Riviera Express, taken at Tiverton Parkway.
This is Braunton heading down to replace Britannia, which has failed with valve gear problems. There are pictures of the failure on Facebook.
And so it was; the sight of a steam loco on the network without a support coach is rare enough these days to justify venturing out into the warming day.
Braunton by The Dart.
A few shots from Dartmouth of Braunton and the excursion to Kingswear.
I've been down in Dawlish on holiday hence the late posting of my shots. Here's 70000 seen at Dawlish Warren and on the return at Stoke Canon on the 11th June "English Riviera" trip.
Steam on the Sea Wall by Mark Walker, on Flickr
Britannia on the charge by Mark Walker, on Flickr
Do we have confirmation on the loco for tomorrows English Riviera trip? Has 70000 been passed following repairs?
It will be 70000 tomorrow.
70000 seems to have made it to Kingswear and back to Taunton.
Not sure how Britannia returns from there. Is it stabled on the WSR, perhaps, to await it's next duties? Can find nothing on RTT so possibly a local arrangement has been arranged.
Incidentally, the train can't continue it's journey and get in to Platform 2 at Taunton at the moment. 2E78 is late leaving for Gloucester (which should have left at 19:09) but the incoming service terminated about 25 mins down.
70000 is based at Bishops Lydeard for the summer to work the Saphos trips in the West Country.
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