Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Gladiator 5076, Oct 28, 2020.
There was indeed a water tanker at St. Neots station.
No Carnforth nonsense with numbers and name plates here as 45596 "Bahamas" passes Fenwick crossing on the way to York.
Some of us quite like "Carnforth nonsense" as you referred to it. Plus ca change!
Short phone video of 45596 passing Hornsey this morning.
Going well in some lucky sunshine near Claypole
Whatever floats your boat!
Bahamas on todays trip to York captured whistling through Hadley Wood, meeting a Class 91 in the process:
Climbing Stoke Bank at Little Bytham, the building on the right was a pub called The Flying Scotsman, long closed, photos in steam days at this spot, published in Trains Illustrated etc ,showed LNER pacifics on the viaduct, and the pub sign of Flying Scotsman. Not sure whether 60103 was captured.
A bit late, but the Mayflower to Devon on 28th September offered 236 miles behind steam and justifies a fairly lengthy report. I made a last minute booking on this tour having realised that it was the final chance for a Summer holiday this year, and glad I did though it has to be said that the weather was anything but summery.. The stock was already in the platform at Victoria when I arrived soon after 8 o'clock, with Bahamas at the front of Mayflower and 11 coaches for 380 tons tare and around 400 gross. We set off on time with a brief shove at the start from the class 47 that had brought in the stock, then taking the usual route past Stewarts Lane with a short stop before joining the Windsor Lines at Clapham Junction. Checks before Putney, Barnes, and Syon Lane suggested something close ahead though we were running to time until a final check approaching the junction at Feltham lost a couple of minutes and despite reaching 60 mph before Staines arrival at Ascot was still two late. The water stop here had been adjudged unnecessary and thus we could continue two minutes early keeping almost exact time on to Reading, 26½ minutes against a schedule of 27.
Departing Reading on time a maximum of 67 mph at Ufton helped a nearly eight minute improvement on the easy 31 minute booking to Newbury Racecourse where water was taken from two tankers in the drizzle. This stop was left 4 minutes early that was immediately lost by a signal stop before Newbury station to allow an IET past, but this was chased to some purpose with 69½ mph at Kintbury, 70 through Hungerford, and 75 at Bedwyn before easing to 70 at Crofton with a minimum of 64½ at Savernake. A brief 77 mph maximum at Wootton Rivers was followed by a well sustained average of 74 from there on to Lavington before slowing for what I think was a tsr at Edington, but despite this and the stop at Newbury arrival at a damp Westbury was still 4 early. This was a pathing stop for nearly 50 minutes, and continuing 3 early was just a bit too closely behind a local train that gave a check to 19 mph at Blatchbridge, but a recovery to 56½ mph at Witham was followed by a minimum of 53½ at Brewham and a maximum of 62 before slowing for the next water stop at Bruton, reached just a minute late.
I had wondered how this was to be arranged, but the locomotives drew past the station to a lineside compound where the tankers were waiting, with the back of the train possibly still in the platform. 32 mainly downhill miles to the next water stop meant only a ten minute splash and dash was needed here and the train was punctually on the move, working up to 70 mph by Castle Cary with a maximum of 76 near the site of Alford halt, followed by 69 after Keinton Mandeville, 75½ in the subsequent dip, 68½ at Somerton and 75½ again at Curry Rivell. Thus the 23 miles from Bruton to passing Athelney only took 20 minutes 47 seconds, but this was a bit too good for the schedule and we ran into a check to 14 mph at Cogload to follow something from the Bristol direction. The next water stop was shown as Norton Fitzwarren in the timetable, but was actually on the loop line just short of the former level crossing at Silk Mill, a location I recall being used many years ago before the middle platform at Taunton was brought back into use.
By this stage the weather had deteriorated to wind and rain, and this continued most of the way to Plymouth. Silk Mill is right at the bottom of the climb to Whiteball, but after crossing to the main line a strong acceleration managed 57½ mph at Wellington with 47 into the tunnel and 47½ at post 174. A steady run down the hill meant we were before time approaching Exeter, and a signal stop outside could not prevent a punctual arrival at Platform 6. The diesels (37 + 33) quickly attached to pull the whole formation back to Riverside Yard for more water and to top up coal. Meanwhile the rain fell...
Density of other traffic meant the stock only returned to the platform just before departure time, and the restart was 5 late in consequence. The crews were clearly out to make this up with a maximum of 76 mph, but despite the late start signal checks were met between Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth, I believe from a late running Paignton train ahead but clearly allowed for in the schedule. A clear run through Newton Abbot led to an exceptional climb of Dainton, speed still as high as 50½ mph at Stoneycombe with 33½ into the tunnel. As far as I am aware the time of 3 min 10.8 sec from post 215 to tunnel entry is the fourth fastest on record, one of the faster runs also being double headed. Rattery bank was also taken really well, minimum 37 mph at Tigley and recovering to enter Marley tunnel at 49, and the time of 6 min 1.1 sec between posts 223 and 227½ is also (I think) the fourth best, two of the others being double headed in this case .Despite the late start and loss of five minutes by the checks through Dawlish, Totnes was passed only 1 late, and Plymouth was approached ahead of time until a brief signal stop outside to let a Cross Country out gave arrival 2 late in an overall time of 66 min 57 sec from Exeter against a schedule of 70. A most satisfactory day.
Report on the return trip to follow (sometime). Many thanks to Steam Dreams and staff for promoting the tour, West Coast and crews for running it successfully, and most of all the locomotive owners and support crews for their efforts. Not to forget the tanker drivers as logistics for water supply must have been a significant challenge.
Simon, glad you just sneaked it with the sun. We were well and truly ripped off at Fernwood with a rogue cloud. I must of just missed you.
Here here! You couldn't change Bahamas identity anyway as it is one of a kind. Otherwise they can change id's as often as they like as far as i am concerned. The more variety the better imo.
Hi Liam, yes most fortunate indeed and I could see it happening looking above and seeing that large cloud edging nearer the sun. My friend Keith was down Broad Fen Lane standing back with video and he phoned afterwards to say he had got done. I really felt for you all seeing the crossing all in darkness. The Jubilee looked superb though and was flying through a wonderful sight. Sorry we missed each other in that I parked my car down Hollowdyke Lane and not Broad Fen Lane as the field looked a little boggy that way over to my position. Keep safe and hope to see you soon and many thanks.
No worries, good to hear from you. Hope to catch up soon.
And now to continue the story of Steam Dreams holiday by reporting the return run from Plymouth on Friday 1st October. Bahamas was again leading Mayflower hauling the same load as outward though my seat was at the back in this direction. The poor weather of the previous day had not completely cleared with a sharp shower at Plymouth during the locomotive change and some drizzle around the coastal section in Devon, but then cleared with sun in the afternoon.
The mini-hst we were scheduled to follow had started late from Penzance and it was with some concern that I saw it depart Plymouth over 5 minutes down. We set off on time, but only 5 minutes behind it, and after the usual cautious start from platform 8 through Muttley tunnel the downhill length afterwards saw 60 mph passing Laira, while a further acceleration.after the Plym bridge restriction gave a maximum of 66 at the bottom of Hemerdon,. Speed fell to 25 at the top of the 1-in-42, and doubtless with the knowledge of the train ahead the locomotives were not pushed too hard on the subsequent broken climb with a maximum of 53½ mph on the drop to Ivybridge viaduct. Nonetheless the hst was caught to give a 20 mph signal check after Wrangaton while it cleared the long block from Aish down to Totnes. No such concern when we got to Dainton, 56 mph at the bottom with a minimum of 27½ at the summit. Despite the check, Newton Abbot was passed on time at 59½ mph with a subsequent maximum of 67 before Teignmouth, but there was another signal check before Dawlish, down to 11 mph, though allowed for in the schedule and overall time to Exeter ended up almost exactly as booked,, 68 minutes 17 sec against a schedule of 68. For completeness, the time between posts 242½ and 238½ on Hemerdon was 5 min 46½ seconds and between post 221½ and entering Dainton tunnel 4 min 36 sec.
Both locomotives took water in platform 6 at Exeter, restarting a minute late. Speed rose to 41½ mph at Cowley Bridge, 58 at Stoke Canon, and 66½ at Hele with a maximum of 68½ before Cullompton, falling to 60 up the subsequent 1-in-155. The former Tiverton Junction was then passed at 62½ with 67 in the dip beyond held to 66½ at Parkway. and falling to a minimum of 62½ at Burlescombe (MP 174¾). The locomotives must have been opened up here to give a slight acceleration to 63 mph on the remainder of the 1-in115 and to 64½ on the slightly easier final part of the bank to post 174 at Whiteball summit, passed three minutes early in 21 min 27.1 sec from Exeter,. Average speed through the tunnel was 69½ mph with 75½ by Wellington and 75 at Bradford crossing, but the train was then slowed to cross to the loop line at Norton Fitzwarren, shown as a water stop in the timetable. In fact the train continued up the loop so stop by Fairwater Yard, and the locomotives were then detached to take water and coal in the sidings alongside Taunton station.
Replenishment took longer than the allocated 50 minutes, and by the time the locomotives were back on the train and the brake tested the restart was 23 minutes late, running slowly through platform 2 at Taunton station but with a signal stop before crossing to the up line for an IET to precede. The start past Cogload was taken gently to give time for the train ahead to clear the long block from Athelney up to Somerton, but not quite gently enough with a 42 mph check before Athelney nevertheless. Once clear, the running was probably the best part of the homeward trip as speed was quickly worked up to 74½ mph on the level, falling gradually on the 1-in-264 to 66 through Somerton tunnel with 76 in the dip beyond. Two more miles at 1-in-264 to Charlton Mackrell were cleared at 72 mph and the following 1-in-264/330 to Castle Cary was carried at 71½. Speed increased to 73 on one of the short level stretches in the subsequent broken climb, and was still as high as 70½ through Bruton with a remarkable minimum of 61½ at Brewham summit., equalling Clan Line's 2017 record . A maximum of 76 past East Somerset Junction was cut short by a 60 mph tsr at Blatchbridge ,and Westbury arrival was in 58 min 50 sec from the water stop.
Leaving Westbury, the train stopped before Heywood Road because of dragging brakes. After some investigation, the trouble was traced to a leaking bag (i.e. vacuum hose) towards the middle of the formation, and after changing this there was a further delay to let a n IET from Penzance past on the avoiding line. Once under way a tsr before Edington hindered progress and after reaching 68 at Lavington there was another tsr part way up the climb to Patney, after which we ran in to Woodborough loop to let another IET get ahead. Pewsey was another water stop, with the tanker (I only noticed one) in the station approach rather than the road underneath, and though this was completed fairly quickly we were 83 late on departure. Savernake summit five miles further on was passed at 55½ mph, and time recovery was helped by omitting the scheduled stop at Newbury. A good run along the Kennet valley enabled us to pass Midgham, 28.6 miles from Pewsey in 26¾ minutes but I think we must have caught up a local here as there was a signal check before Aldermaston, though we would have been starting to slow here in any case to go in to the loop at Theale for more water.
Theale to Reading took 12 min 7 sec, schedule 13, with a maximum of 58½ mph and a severe signal check through the new underpass, but arrival was 73 late. I detrained here so don't have anything more to say except to repeat thanks to Steam Dreams, West Coast, the locomotive owners and support crews. and tanker drivers,
Enjoyed the double headed videos. Didn’t realize that just in terms of size that B1 was larger than Jubilee. Fantastic combination. Maybe it just appeared that way.
I see on Steam Dreams website they have added a London to Kent with Flying Scotsman trip for 17th March 2022. Could be interesting but I'm sure Scotsman is meant to be out of gauge for Kent or at least the White Cliffs route?
Scotsman never went to Canterbury whilst doing the VSOE operations because of exactly that. I don’t know if things have changed or not. One VSOE train I believe was diverted to Salisbury to enable it to run steam hauled.
I have to admit that I was amazed by the announcement from SD as I assumed that Gresley Pacifics would be out of gauge for Kent. As Sam60103 pointed out, when Scotsman and 60009 took over the haulage of the British Pullman following Clan line's withdrawal for overhaul in about 2003-5 (Sorry, haven't got exact dates), Canterbury ceased to be a destination for steam hauled Pullman trips.
However, the latest copy of Steam Railway includes a few words from David Buck of Steam Dreams who said "We never thought it would fit round Kent but we saw that it could and hence we're doing it" (i.e., the trip on March 17th)
Full marks to SD for this initiative.
Clan Line was withdrawn for overhaul in 2001 and Scotsman took over the VSOE until early 2004 when it had problems and was then sold to the NRM. N09 did a few workings especially in 2003/04 with other engines involved in 2005/06 before Clan Line returned in 2007.
Thanks Sam and John, I was fairly sure she was deemed out of gauge for Kent, hence why she hasn't yet ventured into that part of the country so far. My issue of Steam Railway hasn't arrived yet, but if all goes well another handful of people can experience the loco for the first time.
I remember 35028 being withdrawn and Scotsman taking over and the Kent trips stopping, with 4472 doing mostly Bath/Bristol and Surrey Hills trips I think. I think I also remember 34067 doing a VSOE trip during that time as one of the other locos Sam mentioned.
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