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The Cornishman Express with Clan Line: 17/06/18

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Big Al, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Standing and watching a simple movement involving a locomotive passing through the station, reversing onto some coaches, pulling them out before pushing back into the platform just goes to show that the big railway simply cannot handle anything that is different from push/push train movements.

    From the first arrival of Clan Line through the station to our final departure was about 45 minutes. Everything that was down to DBC and the loco crews was done quickly. Everything else that was down to NR signalling took ages. And this was at a station where the only significant other train movement was a stopping Weston service that came off depot 45 late and left for Weston 25 late, getting in our way, of course.

    The charitable view would have to be that this is just teething troubles with a new signalling system being managed from about 75 miles away. On the other hand, practising how to operate the system isn't really something that the public should have to put up with.

    No doubt Network Rail will be extremely grateful that DBC with some smart work at stops and by the MNLPS support crew managed to recover most of a 30 minutes late departure by the time that the train reached Par.
     
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  2. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Interesting to read your comments on this thread and the TBE threads Don with your history of the Southern and what MNs are capable of. Not being fortunate to have had anything to do with the real steam age, the first time I came across Clan Line was when it was at Hereford. I was very surprised how much bigger she was than 6000. First time we rode behind her was in 1985 when steam was very restricted on the mainline. Did a few S&Cs, and roamed around the countryside doing Marylebone-Sheffield, Stratfords, Cumbrian Coasts, Holyheads etc before the days of 75 mph running, and then runs over the Southern and once over the banks in 2000, some 20 runs.

    What sticks in my mind is that was that 35028 was always respected as a solid performer but was never spoken about in the same breath as the Duchesses, 46229 and 6233; Lizzie; the A4s, 60007 and 60009; and 71000 for performance on the S&C and the other routes we ran on back in the day. Never remember her showing the level of performance shown in the last two years in particular when we've had more chances to see her away from the VSOE/Belmond trains. Because of the latter we didn't actually travel behind her from October 2000 to March 2008.

    Did I miss something in those days? or has her performance improved immeasurably in the last 2 'reincarnations?' The next few years should give us the opportunity to see some serious head to heads with Tornado; 6233 if she's given her head, and then there's the mighty Duke and Blue Peter, not forgetting 60007 and of course the northern MN, 35018 when it's allowed to roam.

    The DB crews to a man love the engine, referring to her as the Rolls Royce of the mainline. I seriously hope the MNLPS can be persuaded to take her north as I can't see why she wouldn't do something special over Grayrigg, Shap and the S&C. Nothing raises steams better and more than that, uses steam better to translate it to raw power on the rails.
     
  3. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Too many superlatives? Yes. Hyperbole? No.

    I guess the point here is that this was an unusual day when we were going to celebrate a first for a Merchant Navy - the Cornwall bit - and because it is Clan Line, one could hope that the day would run smoothly. No brouhaha and publicity about the occasion; it was just another day on the road for Clan Line. And then the loco and crews produce something remarkable on leg after leg of the journey whilst rewriting the record books.

    At times the best things happen when you least expect it and when the least fuss is made in advance about it. I know that this may not immediately grab the headlines or the important income stream to maintain a locomotive but it is does leave one with a slightly more beneficial feeling towards those involved, that I hope also leads to financial support.

    In heritage preservation we all have to share a fairly crowded market place where financial support is important (main line and heritage railway) and where, hopefully it is spread around. I personally don't have much time for any organisation with 'sharp elbows' and so when 'out of the blue' something special happens like Sunday, I think it is something we should celebrate and support through our pockets, if we can.

    Thought for the day.......
     
  4. AlexGWR1994

    AlexGWR1994 Member

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    My footage of Clan Line flattening the South Devon Banks. Filmed at Whiteball doing 50mph into the tunnel, Tigley in the drizzle with sanders hissing and finally Hemerdon with a volcanic getaway after reaching the summit. Enjoy.
     
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  5. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    It was a phenomenal and truly memorable day, Clan Line and her attendant support crew was excellent throughout; a fact acknowledged by the on-board train manager when he referred to her as the most reliable locomotive there is of any traction - steam, diesel or electric.
     
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  6. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Digesting things with my tablemates this morning before commencing the drive back north, I understand that The Cornish Riviera Express was given around 66 minutes to clear Exeter-Plymouth in the down direction, and that was 'pass to stop'.

    Keeping things strictly within the bracket of carriage loadings, I guess it's not really possible to make a direct comparison with 6024's 2002 run as Where's Mazeppa's post above indicates there was one carriage less. However, I still think it would have been a tall order to even think about beating that time yesterday due to the weather conditions.

    That said, a fantastic day out that cements 35028's status as one to watch.
     
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  7. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Part of the furniture

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    Devon Drama from 35028 ! The run up Hemerdon was as dramatic as it get's and the getaway from the summit was awe inspiring ! Thanks to all who were involved ! Enjoy =)
     
  8. IKB

    IKB Member

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    As one who would normally have been out there watching but was unable to, for health reasons, I would like to thank those who braved the weather to get some brilliant video, and of course to the crew and support crew for what was obviously an amazing run, (and that comes from a GWR follower). To see the safety valve lifting on Hemerdon was something special.
     
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  9. steamvideosnet

    steamvideosnet Well-Known Member

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    My video from yesterday at Whiteball on the outward and Hemerdon summit on the return. Bit gutted my audio from Rattery, St Germans and Rewe didn’t come out for some reason... but the exhaust note from 35028 after it passes Hemerdon summit is something else.

    Next time, can it be in the dry please?!

    James
     
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  10. thickmike

    thickmike Member

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    Well the bit about the signal turns out to be rubbish - spoke to the driver who had her from Plymouth to Exeter this morning and he confirmed that around where that signal is she lost her feet twice in quick succession - both times he caught the slip but in the time it takes to get the power applied again we lost around 10 mph - this is before the bend that begins most of the videos up on this site. He was confident of making the top easily but was trying to balance getting the right amount of power down whilst keeping her feet. His other comment was that she's used to lugging the pullmans and sometimes a diesel around Surrey so ten of those (Mk 1's) were not a problem and he commented on how responsive she was to small changes of regulator and cutoff. The crew going down were 100% western men but coming back was 1/3rd Southern...........

    Highlights for me (almost too many to mention) - minimising Dainton both ways, superb starts out of Par (cold) and even better Bodmin, Tigley, Hemerdon and Whiteball, especially on the return from the start in Tiverton Loop - superb driving on a very difficult day and always steam to spare - congratulations to all involved.
     
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  11. Alberta 45562

    Alberta 45562 Part of the furniture

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    My videos from yesterday are now online:
    Locations: Nynehead (Whiteball),climbing to Tigley,Treboul (climb to Trerulefoot),Doublebois summit,Hemerdon summit,Tiverton Parkway,Bridgwater and Worle.

    The speed at which it had already picked up by the time it reached Tivvy P was simply amazing,I have never heard a MN sound so sharp on the exhaust beat as it went away,almost sounded like an unrebuilt!



    Thanks to everyone that made yesterday happen,an historic day.
     
  12. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Mark

    In the midst of many great video clips, these are crackers, in my view. Going for the distant shot at Hemerdon gives a real sense of the power being put down up to and after the top in the worst possible conditions. We were running at 45 mph at MP 241 and the slip cost us a good 10 mph but who could be surprised given the conditions? The loco was otherwise very sure footed all day so where people get the idea that Bulleids (well MNs in particular) are light on their feet does seem strange.

    And that shot at Tiverton Parkway where we were blasting up hill at over 50 does make you forget that this speed was after starting out of Tiverton Loop.
     
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  13. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Even sure footed 4-6-0s have been known to slip on that section of Hemerdon in the conditions we had on Sunday. Clan Line, like Tornado must have really well balanced wheelsets. Right diameter for climbing too.
    Where we stopped in Tivvy Loop, if the loop is the same gradients as the main, the engine was standing on the 1in324d. 35028 left the 1/4 mile or so remaining at 20.9 at mp179; picked up to 30.6 down the 1/4 mile of 1in207d, (This is the section where speed is always gained on the climb). She then accelerated hard to 35.3 up the 1/4 m of 1in746; to 48 up the mile of 1in216 onto the 1in405 through Tiverton Parkway, 53ish. A bit good indeed. The mad green machine then kept accelerating up the 3/4 m of 1in242(53.9); dipped ever so slightly to 53.3 leaving the 1/4 m 1in162, before only slowly dropping to 48.5 coming off the 1 3/4 m of 1in115 at mp174 1/4 at 49. What can you say other than remarkable.

    Steve Mathews was driving with Steve Rodenhurst firing on the return with Don Clarke as TI.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
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  14. Alberta 45562

    Alberta 45562 Part of the furniture

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    Many thanks @Big Al ,appreciated. There were a small gathering beyond the summit,most of whom are on this thread who went with the shot showing the acceleration after the top of the climb. I wonder how hard she was driven on Hemerdon,considering it was blowing off most of the way up,or is it just that good of a steamer? A climb in the dry would be interesting..

    @Western Venturer reported that the loco slipped around Burlescombe (more than once?) and that could've played a part in some of the speed loss on Whiteball?
     
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  15. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    And thank you not only for those videos in themselves but for adding a caption for each location.
     
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  16. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Quite a lot of coal went into the firebox, I gather. Hemerdon is frightening at many levels for both the fireman and the driver so it's easy to forget that a Bulleid boiler is rather special when it comes to steaming and how much you need.
    Throughout the day, even under the worst possible conditions for adhesion, both crews were determined to show what a SR loco can do on GW territory so we were not far away from adhesion limits in many places. The top of Whiteball was one of several locations. Some of the climbing in Cornwall will never be beaten in my view.

    Although, at one level that's all good fun, it is a 'heart in the mouth' moment for the support crew when the wheels pick up or water goes through the valves but my impression was that the DBC crews were on top of this as much as they could be given the day. I gather that water and coal usage was pretty high during this trip......
     
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  17. thickmike

    thickmike Member

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    Hi - please see my earlier note (#70) - she did indeed slip twice on Hemerdon so the final stretch was not quite all out. She also slipped twice on the eastbound ascent of Whiteball but the crew, all of whom had turns on the shovel and handle, were on top of the job throughout.. Speaking to Don Clarke he was sure they hadn't picked the water up at any point - there was a hint of a blow towards the end but not clear whether that might have been a cylinder cock not completely closed. I am sure the MNLPS will be checking the glands carefully as always but she seemed steam tight to me leaving BTM propelling the ECS out. I didn't realise quite how wet it was at Hemerdon - so huge thanks to all those who went out in the rain to capture some superb videos and stills.
     
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  18. Alberta 45562

    Alberta 45562 Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for the info chaps!
     
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  19. Steamage

    Steamage Part of the furniture

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    Reminds me of Bert Hooker's account of some of the loco exchange trials (c. 70 years ago). They set out to show what performances the Bulleid pacifics were capable of.
     
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  20. KristianGWR

    KristianGWR Member

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    After a few trials and tribulations, I've finally managed to get my footage up. I filmed Clan Line at Flax Bourton, Tigley and in the bottom field at Hemerdon. I hope you enjoy it!
     
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