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Swanage Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Rumpole, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    I was thinking more along the lines of the creature comforts that most support coaches have for an all day tour. eg the facility to readily make hot drinks and a hot breakfast or lunch, especially when the support crew are likely to be "trapped" on or around it all day.
     
  2. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Couldn't they borrow one from another group if that was the case, it could always be shunted onto the tour rake, if say it was one of West coast's,
     
  3. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby New Member

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    I’m sure temporary tea/coffee/ hot food facilities could easily be added as and when required.

    Given the limited mainline work 31806 is likely to get (beyond running to Wareham), a fully dedicated support coach is never likely to be justified.
     
  4. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    given the limited amount of steam in the south, away from the SW main line, the U class would be in demand, I suppose the question is how far from home, would the Swanage railway feel ok about allowing her to run, bearing in mind, that every time she goes out, that's a loco, or two less for SR services, for instance, would Eastleigh to Salisbury shuttles over a week end be too much? theres turning facilities at both ends , the 33 ,or a West Coast diesel could stay on the back, to effect the turning manoeuvre .
     
  5. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    I would agree but this slight thread drift, which I guess I am perpetuating, was due to DCB asking if 31806 could have not replaced the Duchess on today's trip. Personally on many levels I would have loved that as I have never gone mainline behind any U Class and this would have been the first railtour that as a steward I would have only had to walk 250 yards at the start and end of the day, and hence for once it would have not cost me nothing.
    Good on the support crew if they would have done a trip today (below zero I think this morning but certainly overnight) with such temporary arrangements for a day that I guess would have been around 17 or 18 hours as I suspect the loco would have come back with the tour not come off at Southampton.
    So if the U was available issues I see (but there may be others) were.
    Duchess was failed on Sunday or Monday so a decision needs to be made by the tour operator what to do, and if cancelling then do it quickly to let passengers become aware and have chance to actually contact them all anyway.
    Would the U support crew be available at such short notice.
    Would the U be gauged for the route, I suspect it was not one of the three that were probably submitted, but maybe it was. If not would Milton Keynes be prepared to perform their "black magic" that quickly.
    Would extra water stops be needed, if so would it need repathing and would the loco need coaling at Bristol?
    As a Class 4P loco even with diesel assistance at the rear would NR allow a 11 coach train to run, maybe it would have needed to be double headed, (don't know the rules well enough) and that may have required an extra diesel for shunt moves at Bristol.
    Could any coaches be removed from the train to lighten it? Unsure of the loadings but last time I checked there were seats in all classes available, although that of course becomes a nightmare on the day for the stewards if a large number of people are having to be reseated and station dwell times are short (although the SWR situation may have helped with that somewhat today).
    Seems the support coach issue was not an issue but to comment on martins suggestion as far as I know all that is at Southall at the moment is 6233 (if not gone back to Butterley) and Mayflower (which should have been on a tour on Tuesday). I think all the WCRC would be at 10A at the moment. No idea on the practicality on loaning one out as some seem to have a large amount of what I assume are consumable spares in them.

    I think bottom line the options were cancel or run with a diesel, the latter of course would be very unpopular for those expecting a steam tour at steam tour prices I suspect.
     
  6. biggles200

    biggles200 New Member

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    I have alway understood that the U Class Mainline status would only last until the N Class overhaul is finished. Swanage Railway aims have always been to run from Swanage to Wareham. The limited finances must limit the amount of activities beyond branchline operation.
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think you are dreaming again with other people’s money :)

    Does the Swanage Railway have as part of their stated aims any aspiration to run on the mainline apart from to Wareham? If not, all this speculation - whether it is covering a trip to Bath at short notice, or weekend trips to Salisbury - seems just to be hot air.

    I firmly believe that - with the exception of very short extensions to obvious destinations such as Whitby, Cromer or, potentially, Wareham - mainline and heritage line operations don’t readily mix. As a minimum, using heritage-based locos, stock and volunteers is a management distraction from the core business of running the heritage line. At worst, it simply absorbs money that would be better spent investing in the core line. The Mid Hants came to that conclusion it seems twenty or so years ago.

    Tom
     
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  8. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road New Member

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    The last time I looked them up in TOPS (2-3 months back) I found that:
    98406, aka 31806 is no longer on the system;
    98426, aka 31625 is on the system;
    31874 is not known (i.e. has never been registered).
    Worth someone's while to check it out properly, methinks.
    Pat
     
  9. 007

    007 Member

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    31806 is mainline registered and remains so.

    31806 mainline status is not temporary and the N is being fitted up with the same equipment.

    The problem Swanage have at the moment is it simply has to look after its core business. If 31806 were to go out and rescue these Southern Christmas trains the Swanage Railway would be left with no spare steam cover at the absolutely vital time of year. The railway cannot afford for the Santa revenue to be put at risk in any way.

    The short tour options for 31806 are fantastic ideas, however Swanage Railway is not a tour promotor and will never be. It is up to Tour operators to decide on itineritys but it would be fantanstic if something suitable could be worked out. I have always thought the engine would be a great stand in engine for the Windsor Steam jobs.

    It is a difficult situation, the Swanage Railway does want 31806 on the mainline, but home cover must always be adequate or it simply doesn't make sense.
     
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  10. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    The railway got a £76k tourism grant to get it mainline certified, did 2 mainline Dorset steam trips in April 2018, but has not been on the manline since.
    In 2019 there were enough serviceable steam locos and hopefully in 2020 31806 (coupled with a 33?) will be able to run some Wareham services alongside the DMUs, and if there are enough serviceable steam locos be available to earn some money for the trust doing some mainline tours? (like the 33 did with the Imber trip).
     
  11. Dan Bennett

    Dan Bennett New Member

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    The 33 is privately owned and nothing to do with the railway other than being based there. Any railtours it works are arranged between the owners and the railtour organiser
     
  12. 60044

    60044 Member

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    I agree, and for other reasons as well. The Whitby operations are killing heritage stock on the NYMR because wooden bodied stock is barred even on the Esk Valley line and the NYMR management only require a single set of teak coaches. They don't foresee a use for anything other than the one train of open stock and hence most, if not all of the compartment and catering vehicles in the LNERCA fleet will probably end up leaving the line as they are restored.
     
  13. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    I presume any money earnt by the 31806 doing mainline tours (if it gets the chance) will go to the Swanage Mogul loco fund?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  14. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    RTC are advertising the U to work the Weymouth to Southampton leg of the Dorset Coast Express on 23rd July next
     
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  15. 007

    007 Member

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    In 2019 the Swanage Railway has been on a knife edge with regards to locomotive availability. It is only JUST starting to stabilise.

    The grant was indeed made and the engine fulfilled its commitments towards that grant. To assume that is the end of the story is not true. The engine is a class 4 at the end of the day, it isn't going to be out on the mainline as often as a class 5 and up. However, I think you will see it out and about in 2020.
     
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  16. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Whoopeee!
     
  17. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    A few images of Friday afternoon's crew training and the weekend's Santa and dining services. It looked to be an operationally challenging weekend for the railway as on Friday the two Bulleids and the U were in steam. The tank then appeared on the Dorsetman on Saturday and today the Class 33 was being used as a station pilot/shunt release loco to allow SKP (on the Santa's) to be able to water and run round the train. Unaware of the issues (if any) with the U and the tank.
     

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  18. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    Hard to work out as there is no one website that shows loco availability as there are several different owners, but since the gala looks like 5 locos are currently in good working condition, (but as vintage locos they could still have problems). Hope someone can confirm?

    30120 T9 on loan from the National Railway Museum. Ok till end of 2020 (return to NRM?).
    31806 Mogul certified for mainline use, mostly to Wareham, (ok till 2021 then replaced by 31874 and overhaul started).
    34053 Sir Keith Park, Southern Locomotives Limited, ok to 2022, then to get Sidmouth’s boiler to get back in service?.
    34072 257 Squadron, OK till 2029, Southern Locomotives Limited.
    80104 ok till 2022, then overhaul starts by Southern Locomotives Limited.

    There are 5 locos under overhaul (dates dependant on funds), but if goes well could mean 6 to 8 working steam locos in 2021/22?).
    34028 Eddystone, Southern Locomotives Limited, return 2020.
    34070 Manston, Southern Locomotives Limited, return 2020.
    31874 Mogul, to replace 31806 for mainline use in 2021?
    30053 owned by the Drummond society to return 2020/21?
    563 now owned by Swanage trust, to return 2020/21? (One third of needed funds raised).

    And 2 stored?
    34010 Sidmouth owned by Southern Locomotives Limited. Boiler to go to 34053. Awaiting overhaul no date.
    31625 Mogul awaiting overhaul no date.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
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  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think it is naive to assume that a loco is "OK till 2029" or whatever, presumably on the basis of some nominal boiler ticket.

    Locos undergo an annual boiler exam, and when that is over, the loco can't run until it passes another annual examination. There is no guarantee, and the boiler inspector might fail the boiler - if so, the time remaining on the "ten yearly" ticket is irrelevant. The loco stops. (By contrast, it is possible - though rare - for a loco to have an extension on its last annual beyond ten years).

    There is also mechanical condition to consider: a loco may need to be stopped early for mechanical reasons. Sometimes something mechanically might break where the fault is of such cost and time to repair that it isn't worth doing even if the boiler ticket is still valid: it becomes more cost effective to stop the loco early and put it through a full overhaul.

    The other point to note is that if loco availability is generally tight, it puts more strain on those locos that are still in traffic, further reducing the likelihood that they are able to run the full ten years.

    Tom
     
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  20. glen77

    glen77 New Member

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    Sounds ambitious to me ;)
     

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