Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Sam 60103, Nov 16, 2022.
2023 tours now on the website
Be interesting to see what effect the pricing has.
The Weymouth trip is the same as the RTC End of Southern Steam with Clan Line at £35 more in standard. Or £50 more than a regular DCE.
Could be "a big ask" in a time of austerity, but I guess time will tell. Website also seems silent on the stock being proposed for use.
If you go into booking a tour it mentions 1950s stock so presumably the Saphos set
I'd say they are going to need two rakes of coaches to cover Saphos and SD.
The Kent circulars look quite interesting considering this year's alternative for Paddock Wood to Strood is £399, and there's a fair bit of rare track provided they stick to the advertised route. Never got to the bottom of Friday's change away from Gravesend, so here's hoping its not a long term thing.
It's an interesting route to use as a circular - in some ways the inverse of the"Surrey Hills" circuit. With "Surrey Hills", you begin with a crawl along the Windsor Lines and only after Staines, or even Virginia Water, does the loco have a chance to stretch its legs. The high point of the journey is the section from Guildford to Redhill, almost two hours after leaving Victoria. By contrast, this route will see a climb as steep as 1 in 95 barely half an hour after leaving the terminus (Bromley through to Knockholt) and a good chance to get up to the maximum speed on the downhill sections from Polhill and Sevenoaks Tunnels. Some attractive scenery follows between Paddock Wood and Maidstone West, but after that, it does get rather industrial before entering suburbia. No offence to the good folk of Gravesend and Dartford, but that part of the world isn't one of the most scenic parts of Kent. Not, therefore, the most exciting way to end one's journey.
Another reason for being somewhat surprised by the choice of route (And indeed, that of next Saturday's "Medway Valley Pullman" is that in one of the only two occasions I can recall of steam running to Maidstone West, Bodmin was not permitted to work any further north due to clearance issues. Given that was back in 2000, one must presume that wherever the tight bridge was, it has since been modified.
All the same, it's quite rare mileage for steam and certainly if Braunton or Britannia is to be used, there shouldn't be any need for a tail gunner, although I'm not getting too hopeful quite yet!
Interesting route, but if the stock contains any coffins that will demand a diesel for the power.
And when I looked at the coaches LSL own, nearly all of the mark 1's are 1st class so likely to include the coffins for standard.
Diesels at the rear are to be expected these days, I imagine. It's a bonus if one is not deemed necessary for motive power security, shunting or hotel power.
What is strange about the list of carriages owned by LSL is that it's the Second Opens which are the "coffins". Given that the SD/Saphos business model seems to be focussed primarily on dining customers but still giving a nod to he enthusiast sector, you would have thought that the latter's preference for Mk1 stock with windows that open so that you can hear the engine working (even if you're not allowed to stick your head out) would have registered with the companies' management. I had assumed that the mixed rake used on the Saphos trains was a "work in progress" and that further refurbished Mk 1s would appear in due course. Given that the coaches used this year are essentially the same as those used last year, maybe that assumption is wrong. Perhaps the Wikipedia article listing the rolling stock is out of date and there are more Mk 1s in the pipeline. I hope so as it really seems so unlike the high standards to which the organisation aspires to use such an odd mix of stock for its core steam activities on a long term basis. I would have thought that , even though Mk 1 TSOs are popular with the heritage sector, given the financial resources of LSL's main backer, it could have found a few from somewhere if it was willing to pay enough.
The best place to look is http://www.cs.rhrp.org.uk/se/search.asp you need to search by location and they have some at Eastleigh as well as Crewe, although most of coaches that come up at the former are owned by Rivera. There have been rumours that Rivera will be selling theirs.
Like it or not, LSL simply aren't in the market to transport lots of standard class passengers around, so the availability of a standard class coach is irrelevant. As it was, there weren't any standard Mark 1 TSOs readily available when they formed up the Saphos rake.
I dont see why they would take on any of Riviera's Mark 1 TSOs either.
LSL have at least one non-aircon mark 2 that has been refurbished but I don't think it has been used yet. The interior of it is shown on some of the Saphos booking pages.
Sunset Steam Express trip are available for booking https://www.sunsetsteamexpress.co.uk/tours.php
They are the same dates as the Garden of England lunchtime tours.
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All tours now have an allocated loco for them. Starting with 61306 and 34046, then 70000 comes down during the summer. 61306 and 70000 are doing the Garden of England and Sunset trips (still no idea if the Windsors are happening).
46100 and 60007 are featured on tours in the north that start with diesel haulage, and there's even one trip with 46233.
The tour on 25 March with 46100 shows steam northbound via both the S&C and Shap Summit...
34046 came north to Crewe yesterday but I did notice a Crewe-Southall path on March 3rd.
I thought one of the magazines (RH?) in an article about SD % Saphos quoted them as saying Windsor's not happening.
Considering the Garden of England trips are happening on the same day as the Sunset runs, it seems they've replaced the Windsors. Although recently the Windsor's website was updated to say that in March further details for 2023 would be announced. It wouldn't be a surprise if they're not happening though.
The trip with 6233 is on the same day as the RTC White Rose which it is booked to haul.
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