If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

The Royal Duchy 2023

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Sam 60103, Jul 20, 2023.

  1. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    2,836
    Likes Received:
    2,677
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Relaxingly retired
    Location:
    Deep in the country
    Excellent morning. Galatea+9?. Flax Bourton Summit 51. 47mins to Taunton. Ave 56.5. Into Whiteball Tunnel in the wet 33. Newton Abbot 61. Into Dainton Tunnel 22.3. Tigley 18 after 2 short slips. Mp227 26.
     
  2. green five

    green five Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Messages:
    6,625
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Impressive performance.
    Perhaps running with two identities at the same time gives her the power of two Jubilees!!

    Sent from my XQ-BT52 using Tapatalk
     
  3. TheModster

    TheModster Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    1,292
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Looked good on the Dawlish cam. Flying back through roaring away whistle blaring. The reaction of the public was equally entertaining.
     
    Julian Jones likes this.
  4. Hemerdon

    Hemerdon Member Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    693
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hemerdon Bank, Plymouth
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
  5. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    2,836
    Likes Received:
    2,677
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Relaxingly retired
    Location:
    Deep in the country
    Barebones of the return; mostly wet. Up the 62r into Treverrin Tunnel 16.9; Brownqueen Tunnel 71r 40.7; Bodmin Parkway 65r 34.6; Doublebois Summit after long 68r/70r/90r, 30. Wing and a prayer on Hemerdon. Lowest on the 51r 6.5!!! Totnes 52; Dainton Tunnel In 17.2 after 3 slips between mp218 1/4 and Tunnel, slip just inside tunnel, 37r 17.2. Exeter St Davids to Whiteball Summit, mp174, passed at 52.4, time 22m 55s. Ran short of steam 3 miles from BTM. 6 mins to raise steam to get home.
     
  6. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    5,341
    Likes Received:
    2,801
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired Rolls-Royce engineer
    Location:
    Bath Green Park / Mangotsfield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I was waiting at Temple Meads for it's arrival. I wondered why it stopped in the Parson Street station area, as it had green signals all the way in. <BJ>
     
    Julian Jones likes this.
  7. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    21,291
    Likes Received:
    21,151
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The above and the videos suggest to me that this was a brilliant bit of enginemanship from the West Coast folk with a locomotive that was near the edge of what was possible with that load on that route. No criticism implied at all but we will remember how rail conditions caused a '5' to stall on Parkstone bank in 2013 with 10 on.

    I suspect that it will be a brave TOC that tries it like that again on the next Duchy.
     
    green five and 3ABescot like this.
  8. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    2,906
    Likes Received:
    3,712
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    TBC
    Location:
    Birmingham & Arley
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    A bleak day in Devon but there was no stopping the in form Galatea as it roared over Dainton on the Royal Duchy !
     
    3ABescot, 68923, green five and 7 others like this.
  9. AlexGWR1994

    AlexGWR1994 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    1,379
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Bristol
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer


    Here's my video of Galatea and her first outing in Devon and Cornwall on a dreary day with The Royal Duchy. The highlight was the monstrous and loud climb up Rattery. I also filmed her at Whiteball and Wearde Quay near Saltash. I hope you enjoy the video.
     
  10. pedantic_p

    pedantic_p New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Male
    Perhaps they were down to sweepings up from the back of the tender (briquettes and coal eggs) after that brilliant performance all day. It does get difficult to manage the boiler when you're using rubbish coal.
     
  11. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    21,291
    Likes Received:
    21,151
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Here's an interesting comparison between two Jubilees over the Devon banks. To be fair Galatea had the conditions that were more slippy. The respective speeds are Galatea first and Bahamas second.
    Whiteball Tunnel- 33, 39.
    Newton Abbot - 61, 59
    Dainton Tunnel - 22, 27
    Totnes - ?,40
    Tigley - 18, 17
    Hemerdon - 6.5, 13
    Totnes - 52, 52
    Dainton Tunnel - 17, 25
    Whiteball - 52, 51

    I expect that we may be talking here about the same crews - i.e. with Andy Taylor on the regulator - but I reckon that on balance Bahamas has the edge which may simply be what happens when you pit a single chimney Jubilee against a double.

    Either way, both these runs were far from shabby in my view but I still reckon that Bahamas is a Class 6 that thinks it's a 7!
     
    Julian Jones and banana patch like this.
  12. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    2,836
    Likes Received:
    2,677
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Relaxingly retired
    Location:
    Deep in the country
    Interestingly we had Andy Taylor on the outward and Bill Monteith on the return. Back in the day Ray Churchill used to take the train on the outward and on the return back to Plymouth, but Bill as knows the road from Bristol to Penzance he did the entire return. Totnes outward was 61.
     
    Julian Jones likes this.
  13. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    21,291
    Likes Received:
    21,151
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    That outward speed at Totnes shows that the Bahamas climb of Rattery was pretty good to have only dropped from 40 to 17. It also underlines the challenge of the Devon banks and actually the narrow margins at work that wouldn’t have been considered in steam days.
     
    Julian Jones likes this.
  14. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2018
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    752
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Gricer and Grandad
    Location:
    Wallers Ash
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Yes the crews I have talked to reckon Bahamas is stronger than the single chimney Jubilees though one run I had with 45699 on the northbound CME was as good as anything I had with any other loco over that section
     
    Julian Jones likes this.
  15. NathanP

    NathanP Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2017
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    854
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcester
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I was on a Royal Duchy with Bahamas a few years ago and we got signal checked at Totnes, necessitating an ascent of Rattery from a standing start. It was a sterling performance, one that sticks in the mind, so I would echo the comments about just how capable the loco is.
     
    Julian Jones likes this.
  16. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    21,291
    Likes Received:
    21,151
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Reposting the full list of comparative speeds between Galatea (1st) and Bahamas (2nd). It does underline the point about double chimney v single chimney. And it's not often you can compare in this way - same route, same load, same crew.

    Whiteball Tunnel- 33, 39.
    Newton Abbot - 61, 59
    Dainton Tunnel - 22, 27
    Totnes - 61, 40
    Tigley - 18, 17
    Hemerdon - 6.5, 13
    Totnes - 52, 52
    Dainton Tunnel - 17, 25
    Whiteball - 52, 51
     
    Julian Jones, green five and 3ABescot like this.
  17. 3ABescot

    3ABescot Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2019
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    621
    Location:
    Herefordshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Fabulous set of videos, thanks very much. And to those who made it possible.
    I was surprised a class 6 was let loose unassisted on the Devon banks in those conditions, but what a performance!
     
  18. Bill2

    Bill2 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2020
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    293
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Wilmslow
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
     
    Julian Jones likes this.
  19. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    2,836
    Likes Received:
    2,677
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Relaxingly retired
    Location:
    Deep in the country
    As always interesting points and discussions about the Duchy. As it was the first visit of a Jubilee to Cornwall and it was such a good day out, I put a report together. It's a bit long as it was such an interesting day with Galatea and 9 over the banks. Tried to show the effect changes in gradients etc had on a pretty awful day. Didn't do the Duchy with Bahamas in August 2021 but did the South Devon Explorer with the same 9 coach load on the 27th May in glorious sunshine. Not totally comparable but better than nothing.

    Royal Duchy 30th July 2023

    As soon as we had it confirmed by RTC that this year's Royal Duchys were going to be steam hauled from Bristol Temple Meads to Par again, we booked the first one immediately. At that time the locomotive had not been confirmed and indeed it wasn't until the Monday before. Surprisingly West Coast provided 45699 Galatea running with Sierra Leone nameplates and Smokebox Number, 45627, but having Alberta's BR numbers on the cab sides. Surprising because the Jubilee is only a Class 6 and the load was 9, to us, one too many. Bit of history as whatever its identity it was going to be the first Jubilee Class locomotive to run into Cornwall.

    We couldn't believe the starting time was as late as 1009 but the train was starting in Slough. Fine for us as we didn't have to leave the cottage until just after 8 o'clock. We left early to get to Bristol to watch the manoeuvres around the station. Charged the electric Corsa overnight and it claimed to have a range of 222 miles. Yeah, if you drive below 50 mph in ECO mode downhill most of the way. Fun car to drive but the 44 1/2 mile journey down the A449, M4 and M32 reduced the range on arrival at Temple Meads Station to 139 miles.

    Didcot Control were all over the place. The Portsmouth Harbour standing in Platform 11 was due to depart at 0920. Our train was due into Platform 12 at 0919. Platform 11&12 is one long one with no access from the down through so trains can't run into Platform 12 without running through Platform 11. Simples. Needless to say the train was held outside the station until the Portsmouth had cleared.

    Plenty of time to sort things. No sign of Galatea but then it backed onto the train to attach the Support Coach to the rear for the return. That was OK except that the loco was pointing north!! Fun and games as Andy Taylor, our driver, had to talk Didcot Control through what moves he needed to get the locomotive turned north of the station to run through and attach to the south end of the train. Took a while and we left 13 minutes late but with a clear run to Taunton.

    We were in the middle of Coach F, 7th coach with our friends John and Mary. John and I were on the milepost side table; the ladies on the other side where the nice scenery would be all the way, particularly around Dawlish and in Cornwall.

    From a performance point of view I have the times and speeds achieved by Bahamas with the same load on the South Devon Explorer of 27th May but this was only steam hauled from Bristol to Plymouth outward and back to Fairwater Yard, Taunton on the return. 45596's speeds are in brackets. It was lucky to have run on a sunny day.

    Andy Taylor was our driver with Martyn Soames escaping the north to fire for him. The start was relatively gentle to bed the fire in. We passed Parson Street at 34.3 (38.1) but didn't get the usual dynamic climb of the 2 1/4miles of 428r/234r/180r/343r to Flax Bourton and only passed the summit mp123 1/4 at 41.1 (51.8). Bit of professionalism up front as once over the summit we got to 61 (69.7) by mp125 down the 334f and by mp129 were up to 70 (77.3) as we hit the 27 miles of virtually level track to Cogload Junction's approach. Andy let the Jubilee almost coast along at 69/70 all the way to mp156. Just out of interest we ran through Highbridge at 68 (75.7) and Bridgewater at 70 (75.5). With Bahamas on the SDE we ran at 75 for mile after mile. Bit of lovely 3 Cylinder sound from the front as we climbed the 1 3/4m of 327r/501r/330r, left at 63 (70.8), then rose to 67 (74) down the mile of 572f to Cogload Jc. Nothing exciting on the rising grades after as we were stopping at Taunton. Bristol to Taunton's 44.6 miles took us 47m 26s at an average speed of 56.5. We'd made up 5 minutes on booked time. Decent enough run, though on the South Devon Explorer with 45596 we only took 44m 44s, slightly better than even time.

    Nice to be on Platform 3 on the island as we had a straight run out. Our estimate on wet rails was 32/33 into Whiteball Tunnel. A steady start away and we passed mp164 on the 322r at 33 (37.3) and Silk Mill at 42.7 (43.1). All a bit leisurely. Then it changed and the noise level rose significantly on the mile of 369r, speed not so much. We passed mp165 at 44.9 (48) and crossed Victory LC at a low 49.1 (54.2). Plenty of noise but not a great increase in speed over the next mile and a half of 203r/338r to mp167 1/2, passed at 51.9 (61.3); then the 1/2 mile of 222r to Bradford-on-Tone LC, 51.8 (56); and then the mile and a quarter of 174r to mp169, 51.9 (56). The bank eased for 3/4 mile, then levels at Wellington followed by 1/2 mile of 288r/133r to mp170 1/2, passed at 55 (57.7).

    The challenging part of the bank started then with almost a mile of 90r from mp170 3/4, passed at 53 (56.8 ) accompanied by a serious roar from the Jubilee. Then at mp171 3/4 it steepened for 3/4m at 86r, left at 40.5 (45.4). That took us onto the final 3/4m of 80r and despite the cacophony of sound that echoed around the cutting, speed fell to 32.8 (40.3) as we entered Whiteball Tunnel. This isn't the summit and the grade eased to 127r through the tunnel, left at 34.1 (40.8). We climbed out onto the 171r/203r and passed mp174, the summit, at 36.6 (41.8). Time from Taunton to the tunnel was 14m 43.3s; to the summit 16m 11.5s. On the SDE Bahamas times were: 13m 38.8s to the tunnel; 14' 54.2s to the summit.

    We passed mp176 on the 115f at 66.2 (68), then we slowed through Tiverton Parkway, 48 (59), as like the SDE we were dropping into Tiverton Loop (Junction) to take on water. We were 14 late but had 36 minutes booked in the loop. Tender refreshed and with a blast of the Stanier Hooter we left on time. Virtually down grade to Exeter then. We crossed Hele and Bradnich LC at 70 (74.7); and Stoke Canon LC at 73.3 (77). We were booked to stand in Exeter St Davids for 13 minutes to let the PAD-PNZ through, but RTT showed that was 14 minutes down and Control let us run through P4 at 31 (32). We were now 14 early and just wondered if we'd be held at either Dawlish Warren or Newton Abbot as it would be remarkable if Control would let us over the banks before the IET, despite it being booked to stop at both Newton Abbott and Totnes.

    The start away from St Davids didn't suggest Andy was going to take on the fun Exminster Challenge, to get to 75mph by the site of the old Exminster Signal Box, 5 miles away at mp198 3/4. We passed through St. Thomas at 37.7 (39.6); through the new Marsh Barton Station at 51.1 (52.1) and passed mp197 1/2, the start of the level section at only 57.2 (70). Not too much noise and we surprisingly only passed Exminster, mp198 3/4, at 59.8 (72.1). With the estuary on our left - tide well out, looked more like Weston-super-Mare - we ran through Starcross, mp202 1/2 at 59.1 (66). Thought we'd have been nearer to 70 than 60 but Andy always knew what he was doing.

    Control weren't going to hold us at Dawlish Warren as we approached it at 59 and ran past mp204 1/2, on the platform, at 59.1 (63.6). We passed Langstone Rock at 66 then eased to 60, line speed. We ran through Dawlish, 60.7 (58.7); through the 4 tunnels close to 60; then through the new Avalanche Shelter into Parson's Tunnel, 60 (58); and passed mp208 1/2 at 61.4 (61.8). Around the curve to Teignmouth, close to mp209, at 61.9 (62.3). We passed mp211 At 60 (63.8) and Andy didn't even touch the brakes as we closed on Newton Abbot approach. We passed mp213, a mile from the station under the road bridge at 57.4 (59.7) in the certainty that we were not being held for the late running IET that RTT showed was 8 minutes behind us and due to stop at the station. Control must have taken the view that we could go as we were in our correct path and the line speed is 60 so the IET wouldn't be able to catch us until Totnes if all went well on Dainton. Nice one them. We ran around the curve and passed mp214 on the platform face at 59.5 (58.9). The close to 20 miles from EXD had taken 21m 23.07s (19m 28.3s).

    Just over a mile to the foot of Dainton Bank. Our prediction was 20 into the tunnel would be good. We passed mp214 1/4, 259r, at 62 (58.8); then on the level with a lot of noise from the front we passed mp215 at 60.1 (59.2); the site of the old Aller Jn at 60.2 (60.3), and held 60 onto the gentle 1/4m of 502r/247r with Stoneycombe Quarry on the left. The climb has a number of tight reverse curves that don't help a big wheeled steam locomotive.

    The first part of the bank proper is a 1/4+ mile of a mere 98r from mp215 3/4. Beautiful Jubilee roar as we blasted past it at 59.6 (58.9). The serious gradients of Dainton started with 3/4m of 57r on a tight curve at mp216, 57.1 (57.2). Speed fell rapidly and we came off it at mp216 3/4 at 44.5 (47.9). With tyres squealing against the rails as the curves tightened, the gradient increased to 46r/56r for half a mile. We passed mp217, midpoint, at 41.2 (44.4) and left it at mp217 1/4 at 33.3 (38.3). A quarter on the curve at 1in41r/49r/36r took us past mp217 1/2 at 26.8 (32.9). There was one more tight curve at 36r that eased to 44r at mp217 3/4, passed at 22.4 (27.5) before a short slip just before we climbed into the tunnel at 22.3 (25.3). Considering the wet rail an excellent climb by the Jubilee. Time from Newton Abbot 4m 56.6s (4m 31.8s). Total time from EXD 26m 16.7s (24m 10s) for the close to 24 miles.

    Onwards and downwards to Totnes, again with the "will they/won't they hold us" scenario looming. The IET remained 8 minutes behind us and was due to stop at Totnes. Andy didn't seem to be in a hurry with speed in the mid 40s (50s). Then at mp221 he opened the Jubilee up on falling grades/level track and we literally roared through Totnes Middle Road at 61.1 (40.7 after a check to 9mph). You really need that sort of speed to tackle the 4 mile long bank with curves as tight as Dainton but in damp cuttings. The noise was among the loudest we could remember as we passed mp223 just past the first bridge after Totnes Station where the 1in66 started at 58.9 (41.4). 1/2m later on the start of the 1in71 we passed mp223 1/2 at 51 (37.7). We left it at 48.4 onto a harder 1/2 mile+ of 1in47, mp224 1/4 passed at 38.4 (30.3) after a slip. Up the bit easier 1/2m of 50r/56r left at 29.3 then we passed mp225, 46r/57r at 24.6 (20.3) after a couple of slips, well picked up by Andy.

    The bank steepened again to 52r at mp225 1/4, 20.6 (19.1) as Tigley Spire came into view. We were surprised that there was a couple of hundred yards of dry rail and at the site of Tigley box, mp225 1/2, still on the 52r, speed had dropped to 18. Wet rails again as we passed the gradient change post from 52r/74r close to mp225 3/4, 20 ish (17). Then the gradient eased to 3/4 mile of 90r and speed picked up to 26.1 at mp226 1/2 (28.1). Near the top now and the gradient fell back to 95r for just over a quarter of a mile; then there's a quarter that started at 95r but has a wicked short section of 65r that took us back a little to 25.8 (28) at the 'climbing' summit, mp227 ish. Time from mp223 at Totnes to mp227 ish, 9m 4.4s (9m 19.5s).

    Previous experience has shown it's not easy to average 60mph 'across the top' to Hemerdon as its not at all flat. We drifted over Rattery Viaduct on the 1/4 mile of level at 30 (28.5). After a 1/4 mile of 200r, 34 (33.6) then came off the 1/2 mile long 131r through Marley Tunnel at 34.9 (29.6) and crossed the level 'summit' at 35 (44). Onto 3 more miles of gentler climbing to Wrangaton Summit. Up the mixed 380r/909r/166r/775r/388r, we passed Brent at only 47 (55.4). Suggested fire management going on. Up a mile+ at an average of 260r saw us pass mp230 still at 47.3 (54.8). After 1/2 mile of 129r/199r/117r we entered Wrangaton Tunnel at 47 (51.5) and crossed the summit, mp232, after a short 470r at 50 (54.7).

    Down the bank to Ivybridge just after mp234, passed at 60.6 (64.1); over Ivybridge Viaduct, mp235, 63 (64.7). Gentle downgrades then to mp239, just above Hemerdon GF, passed at 57.4 (55.5) then brakes hard on down the 75f and the first mile of the 42f to mp239 3/4, 64.4 (60.7). The brakes were released and speed picked down the 42r to 70 (71.6) at mp241. Braked down the 47r/41r and 111r and we passed mp242 at 58 (57.8).72.5.Speed fell back to 51 (57) as we passed Tavistock Yard East, mp242 3/4. We crossed Laira Jn at 60 ish and passed mp244 at 50ish (55.2). Nice sting in the tail and more noise over 1/2 mile+ of 77r to Lipson Jc; 45.3 (43.2) before the 3/4 mile of 83r/72r to Mutley Tunnel, 22.5 (checked to 11). We had a green signal and dropped down into Platform 8 at Plymouth North Road 2 minutes early. An excellent outward run by the Jubilee.

    Water was taken from a hydrant on the platform. We left 3 minutes late for the first run of a Jubilee Class Locomotive into Cornwall. Most of the Cornish Railway is undulating with few straights of any consequence. There are short sharp climbs with gradients as steep as 60r so it's a fun and noisy run to Par. Still damp rails. It's a steady climb with a bit of 100r/59r to Devonport, 25.4. we passed Dockyard Station at 39 and Keyham at 50. The line then climbed up almost a mile of average 65r to St Budeaux Ferry Road. Nice and noisy but speed fell to 36.4. The incoming service passed us earlier so we'd have a straight run into Cornwall. We crossed the Royal Albert Bridge slowly. Milepost 251 is on the horizontal tube. We passed it at 9.1. There's also a milepost on the metal viaduct on the other side, mp251 1/4, passed at 14.6.

    Now in Cornwall proper we passed through the nicely refurbished Saltash Station at 14.6. Nothing of significance grade wise as we crossed Coombe by Saltash Viaduct at 43. Then onto Forder Viaduct where the noise level rose up a mile of 144r then a bit of 200r to mp255 1/2, 36.7 after a slip. Up a short 97r to St German's Viaduct, 34 then up a bit of 215r, mp256 1/4, 33.8. Straight after St German's Station, 33.8, we hit the first climb. Up 3/4m of 78r speed fell to 29.6 at mp256 3/4; then down to 27.4 after 1/2m of 68r. After 1/4m of 106r we passed the 'summit' under the road bridge just past mp258 at 24.8. Nice noisy start to our run through Cornwall. All down/level for the 3 1/2m to Menheniot, 51.7. The Jubilee roar was heard again as we tackled a 2 mile climb. The first 1/2m was at 80r, left at 48.2; then 1/4m+ at 95r, down to 46.7; and finally almost a mile of 74r that took its toll and our speed fell back to 35.7 despite the racket up front.

    Some folk claim it's a boring run from Plymouth to Par. It might be behind an HST or IET but it ain't with a stream locomotive on the front. Down to Liskeard where speed was 54.4 and picked up to 62.7 on the level before another short, sharp climb from mp265 1/2. It started with 1/2m of 61r, left at 57; then 1/2m of 74r, left at 50; past mp266 1/2, short 58r, at 45.2; we passed mp267, 68r at 41.3 and passed Doublebois Summit, mp267 1/4 at 40.9. Good noisy climb. All downhill and over a number of viaducts then to Lostwithiel, mp274 1/2ish, 48. Once clear of the station and viaduct the final short sharp bank started with 1/4m+ of 118r/57r to mp278, 41. Bit of 147r then 1/2m of 64r left at 38. Then half a mile of 85r with the Jubilee roar echoing around took us into Treverrin Tunnel at 30.7. All downhill then to Par where we arrived at 1444, 2 down to schedule. Really was a cracking run through Cornwall.

    We brought a packed lunch as there really wasn't going to be long enough in Charlestown or Fowey to eat out. We wandered out of the station and over the bridge down to the 'pond' where we sat on a bench eating and watching the ducks and swans in light drizzle. After a stroll around the pond we wandered into the Royal Hotel. They had Launceston's Firebrand Brewing Company's Bootleg Billy on the hand pump. It was an excellent 40 Amber Ale so I had a couple of pints to be sociable. Had a chat with a father and son who were chasing and then Andy Taylor came in. He'd been relieved by Bill Monteith at Par so was able to have a pint with me. Thanked him for the excellent run down and expressed surprise at the choice of Galatea, a Class 6 at best for the job. Jubilees aren't helped in that sort of terrain by having 6' 9" driving wheels.

    Don't know if the Scot was in the workshop as the Class 7 would have been far more suited to taking 9 over the banks. Previously 45596 Bahamas was the only Class 6 to take 9 over the banks. Andy thought they'd taken 9 with Leander but the load had been reduced to 8 for both her runs. We didn't do them as it was only steam from Taunton to Plymouth and return.

    Andy told us he had the sanders on all the way up Rattery Bank. Like all the drivers we've known over the years it's Rattery not Dainton they are concerned about as the cuttings often have a damp atmosphere with damp rails even when it's sunny. He told us Bill wasn't looking forward to 9 on Hemerdon on wet rails; or of taking 9 up Dainton Bank Eastbound in the wet as virtually everything slips on the final 100 yards before the tunnel, and then inside where water drips down onto the rails from the tunnel roof.

    The loco was a bit late coming down but the train was in the platform with everyone on board before booked time. We were in the middle of the third coach. Going to be noisy. 2 late the Stanier Hooter sounded and we left with Bill in charge for the almost immediate 2 mile+ climb to Treverrin Tunnel. Only 1/4m of level track to build up speed, joke. We passed mp281 1/2 at 16.9 and were on to the 3/4m of 84r. Loud noise and a gradual increase of speed to pass mp208 3/4 at 21.2. The gradient eased to 109r for 3/4m to mp280, 20.8; then we hit the nasty 1/2m+ of 62r and speed fell to 16.9 just before we entered Treverrin Tunnel. Drivers are always glad to get there without a slip.

    Once out its down grade to Lostwithiel, 46.5. down to mp276 3/4, passed at 46.5 and then we hit the almost 11 mile climb to Sperritt Tunnel. It started at mp276 1/2 at a gentle 389r for almost a mile and a half before a bit of 71r took us into Brownqueen Tunnel, close to mp275 1/4, 44.1. Out of the tunnel a further 1/4m of 71r, saw speed fall to 40.7. Despite a short 1/2m of 142f/lev, speed fell a bit to 38.6. Back to 1/4m+ of 65r, left at 34.6 into Bodmin Parkway Station, bit of level and mp274 in station, passed at 35.4. Fluctuating gradients to mp272 3/4, 42.6, followed by 1/4m of 80r, mp273 1/4 passed at 37.6 before we picked up to 42.6 down a 1/4m of 81f. Weird bit of track.

    Back to it for our poor fireman as now we were faced with a steep climb for 5 miles+ with a number of gradient changes between 90r and 58r, with a series of high viaducts. I've quoted the speeds we left the gradients at between mps 272 3/4 and 270 3/4. The first 1/4 of 94r, 42.6; 1/2 mile of 69r, 37.6; 1/4m 58r to mp272, 33.6; 1/2 mile of 68r over Clinnick Viaduct, 31.3; 1/4mile of 426r,31.4; 1/4m past mp271 on Derrycombe Viaduct, 27.1; 3/4 mile of 70r across Draw Wood and West Largin Viaducts, 20.6; refuge on the single track, 1/4 of 265d, 23.4; over East Largin Viaduct, 159r, 25. Then we hit the mile and a half 90r slog over St Pinnock Viaduct, 26.4; over Westwood Viaduct, double track, 26.1; past mp269 at 25.3; then 30 at Doublebois Summit. We accelerated down the 53f into Sperritt Tunnel at 44.1. Speed peaked at 55 but Bill braked for the curve into Liskeard,38.2.

    There's a half mile of 79r 3/4 mile out from Liskeard, started at 34.5, left at 32, followed by 1/4 mile of 258r, 33.7, before it's all down grade. We drifted through Menheniot at 59.9; St Germans at 49.2; mp255 1/4, 59.4. There's a mile of 200r into and through Wivelscombe Tunnel, in at 57.3, left at 56. Bill braked quite hard down the 142f and we crossed Forder Viaduct at 18. We ran through Saltash at 15.5 then climbed up the 81r past mp215 1/4 at 14.4 onto the Royal Albert Bridge. We passed mp251 at 15.3 then ran down to St Budeaux Ferry Road, 46; Keyham, 40.9 then climbed the 1/2 mile+ of 68r to Dockyard, 38.2; then up 1/4m of 76r, to Devonport, 32.5. All downhill to North Road P4 this time for a water stop and to pick up passengers. We were booked to stand for 50 minutes. The locomotive was detached and watered elsewhere, probably from the hydrant on P8.

    Fancied a pasty and couldn't believe there's no longer a Cornish Pasty Shop and the Spar Shop has gone. There was a small cafe and a Smiths but both were closed. No kiosk on the platform either. What a dive of a station it is now.

    Watched Galatea come back and drop back on the front. Had a chat with Bill who was concerned about Hemerdon. We left on time without a slip and passed mp245 3/4 under the first overbridge at 11 (6.6). It's a bit of 77r/347r into Mutley Tunnel and speed dropped to 8.1 (8.5). unusual that. Once out of the tunnel the line speed is 60. No rapid acceleration down the 83f to mp244 1/2, 47.5 (48). down the 77f to Lipson Jc, 51.8 (49). level to Laira Jn, 59.3 (56) with a decent bit of noise.

    The Jubilee roared her way along to Tavistock Yard, mp242 3/4, 204r, at 61.1 (58) on full regulator for the charge at the bottom of the bank. At mp242 1/2 it steepened to 81r, 61.2 (58). 1/4m of 660r/111r, 61.9 (59) took us very noisily to the 41r. We passed mp242 at 60.5 (49); mp241 3/4 at 58.8 (44.3); mp241 1/2, 47r/42r, 52.6 (38.5). Onto Hemerdon proper now with 42r for a mile and a quarter. We passed mp240 3/4 at 34.5 (21.2); mp240 1/4 at 19.1 (13.1); mp240 at 11.7 (missed). Not sure if it was mp239 3/4 we saw. Speed was 7.4 (15.5). Tricky bit left before the overbridge. We passed the Gradient Post 42r/51r at 7.2; dropped to 6.7/6.5 (blip on the GPS) then shortly after the bank eased at the Gradient Post 51/89, passed at 11.6, same speed under the overbridge. Then we passed the Gradient Post 89/630 and the NR Summit, mp239 1/2, at 19.1.

    Line speed across the top is 60. Up gentle gradients to Ivybridge Viaduct, speed rose to 41.1 (46.9), then fell back to 40.4 (47.2) up the 1/2m+ of 150r. Slowish through Ivybridge Station, 37.4 (47.4) on the mile of 218r. The mile of 295r/169r/100r/122r saw us pass mp233 1/4 at 38.5 (41.7). No roar from the front and the next mile of 307r/120r to Wrangaton Summit, mp232, 37.5 (44.3). Then down Rattery Bank to Totnes. We passed Tigley at 58 (59.7) and with the brakes firmly in we came off the bank and Galatea was opened up for a very noisy blast through Totnes, 51.6 (52.3).

    Not great milepost spotting from there. After a mile and a bit of level we roared past mp221 1/2, 254r/118r at 51. Early bit of 153r/78r to mp221, 48.5 (missed). Next 1/2m of ave. 160r lots of noise to pass mp220 1/2 at 46.3 (54.8). Weird gradients around here. Next 1/4m was at 86r, 45.9 (52.1); then a level 1/4 to mp220, 47.4 (48.4). Tight reverse curves now and over the 3/4m of 260r/76r/105r speed dropped to 48.1 (50.3) at mp219 1/4. Onto the steeper slopes now and we passed mp219, 55r, at 45.6 (49.9). The next half mile was 65r then 38r and speed fell rapidly by mp218 1/2 to 33.6 (43.5). That took us onto the final 1/2m+. As well as the loud noise from the loco we could hear the wheels squealing against the severe reverse curves and gradients of 43r/37r, mp218 1/4, where speed dropped to 25.3 (29.8) and the loco slipped twice. Drivers can do nothing other than leave the controls alone and let the loco complete the climb into the tunnel on the 37r/130r past mp218, 17.5 (26.9). Another slip occurred just inside the tunnel, 130r, entered at 17.2 (24.9).

    We made it and the speeds showed well the difference between Galatea's climb with 3 slips on a wet rail night and Bahamas' slip free climb on a dry rails. Galatea's time for Totnes to Dainton Tunnel was 6m 45.4s; Bahamas' 6m 7.2s.

    We ran down the bank around 60 and roared through Newton Abbot at 59.2 (61.1). Time elapsed from Plymouth was 49m 40.5s; Bahamas 46m 56.5s. Regulation 60 around the estuary through Teignmouth, the tunnels, Dawlish and Dawlish Warren. No stopper to worry about. No 60 restriction from there so a chance to have a bit of fun if the fire's good enough. Speed rose to 63.6 (65.5) through Starcross but our maximum speed was only 64.7 at mp200 1/4. Nothing special with Bahamas either. We had an uninterrupted run to St Thomas, 30.3 (28.2) and rolled into Platform 6 at Exeter St Davids 73m 4.8s after leaving Plymouth. We were 3 down to schedule. Really good for the conditions. Bahamas took longer but we were stuck behind an Exmouth stopper.

    Went for a wander down the platform and had a chat with Bill. The rail conditions on Hemerdon weren't good and Dainton was worse. He said what an excellent locomotive Galatea is but felt the load was one too many. Too much climbing on the ragged edge. Bill implied Whiteball would be a good climb to end Galatea's day out on the banks of Devon and North Cornwall.

    The tanker did a good job refilling the tender and we were ready to leave a few minutes early but Control let the Barnstaple train out before us. No hassle as it turns left at Cogload Jn. The light was failing so no doubt it would be a sighting with GPS assistance climb.

    Right away and a steady start up the 515r to Red Cow and mp193 3/4 just past it; 10 (12.5). saw the half mile post, 515r, 18.7 (26.2). By Cowley Bridge Jn, 300r, speed was 34.7 (37.8). Bill really attacked the 1 1/2m of 620r and the noise level went off the scale. Talk about a roar. We passed mp192 at 41.8 (43) and came off it onto a1/2 mile of level at mp191 at 48.9 (48.7). Galatea roared over Stoke Canon Level crossing, close to the end of the 217r, at 55 (52.8) and down the 3/4m+ of 685f/271f/500f our speed increased to 61.2 (52.5) at mp188 3/4. Going really well. Speed increased a bit over the 1 1/4m of 343r/435r to mp187 1/2, 63.3 (60.4) and then on 1/2m of 243r to mp187, 63.7 (60.3). Mileposting got more difficult but we saw mp186 1/4, end of the 219r, 62.9 (62 ish).

    Falling gradients 313f/534f to Hele and Bradnich Level Crossing, 67.6 (65.9) then 292r to mp185, 67.4 (67.5). Onwards and upwards on 523r to mp184, 68.7 (66.5); mile of 824r/333r to mp183, 68.4 (65 ish). A mixed mile of 279f/316r to mp182, 69.3 (60). We roared past the old Cullompton Platform, 68.6 (51.9) that took us onto 2 miles of 155r. We past mp181 at 67.1 (48 ish) and mp180 at 62.7 (41.3). A stunning performance from the Jubilee so far. Bit of respite, 1/2m of 324f/to mp179, Tiverton Junction, mp179, 64.9 (54.4), then down 1/2m of 207f to 67 (55). The bank was bound to bite back but it didn't. After the next mile of 216r, we passed mp178 at 65.7 (55.9) sand then really roared through Tiverton Parkway, 242r, at 71 64.9 (57.4). another 3/4m of 242r made little difference to us and we left it at mp176 1/2 at 63.6 (58.2).

    Then after a 1/4m of 162r we hit the steeper 2 miles of 115r. This is the real test of the state of the fire. The noise from the front was still deafening and the rattle of bits on the roof continuous. First half mile was OK, mp176, 61.4 (56.2), then there was a steady fall off of speed. We passed mp175 at 55.9 (53.4) and came off the section at mp174 1/2 at 53.7 (48.1). under the Trestle Bridge, mp174 1/4, 51.2 (48.1); then past the summit, mp174, 212r/203f, at 52.4 (51.4). Down the short 203f then into Whiteball Tunnel at a very creditable 54.2 (53.3).

    Got to have been the noisiest ever climb of Whiteball. Time from Exeter St Davids to the Summit was 22m 55.1s; Bahamas 24m 5.5s. To the tunnel, Galatea 23m 9s; Bahamas 24m 12.5s.

    No great interest in 'down the bank' but saw mp172, 86f, 70.5 (72); then Wellington, level, 75.7 (77); across Bradford-on-Tone at 77.4 (71.6); Victory at 76 (43)Silk Mill 322f, 61 and then the run into Taunton, almost 30 miles from Exeter, 33m 25.2s after leaving Exeter. An excellent run. Unfortunately no time here just a passenger drop off so no chance to congratulate Bill and his firemen for a magnificent climb of Whiteball.

    Way too dark to time so used the GPS, referenced the odometer reading as we passed mp163 just off the station ramp. A good and noisy start down the mile of 221f/311f to pass mp162 at 43.5. Still falling gradients, 604f/389f to mp161, 53.2. level to mp160, 58.5 with a lovely roar from the front and a rain of coal bits hitting the roof. We saw mp159 1/2, 483f, 59.1 and mp159, 288f, 61.6. bit of level then 572r to Cogload Jn, 62.7. Bit more 572r then 330f to mp157, 67.6. down a mile of 501f/327f to mp156, 70.4; then off the 327f onto the level at mp155, 70. Onto the Somerset levels then. We roared through Bridgwater at 72 going really well, but then the brakes came in fairly hard. A look at RTT showed we were only 5 minutes behind the EXD-BRI stopper. To be fair we were timed to follow it but there was a slight possibility they'd let us pass it while it was in the Weston-super-Mare loop if we were quick enough. We passed Highbridge at 44; Brent Knoll at 51 but we needed to be up in the 70s pretty soon to get to Worle Jn before the stopper.

    Not to be. We passed Uphill Jn at 60.6 and got signal checked. The brakes kicked in at mp137 and we slowed and crossed Worle Jn at 17 behind the 'all stations', 5 of them, stopper. We can't understand the logic of not letting a non-stop train precede an all stations. Bill did open the beastie up once and we got to 42.5 through Yatton but after that things went much quieter at the front. We did wonder if they had enough steam for a bit of an attack after Nailsea and Backwell, 20.9, on the 2 1/2m of 343r/387r/146r/200r to Flax Bourton Summit. Bit of was the right term as we left the Flax Bourton Tunnel at 30 after a max of 34.5. Then, just before the Freightliner Terminal on the 234f grade, we came to a slow stand. Short of steam. It only took a 6+ minute blow up to bring the fire around enough to get us to Temple Meads where we arrived 17 minutes down.

    We'd had a great day of bank climbing behind the Jubilee with 9 on. We're booked on the next Royal Duchy on the 20th of August. Only time will tell what locomotive Carnforth will send down for that one; but if it's Galatea we're not sure they'll let it take 9 again.

    Many thanks to RTC for running the Royal Duchy. The loading seemed good and it was a proper Duchy with steam into and out of Cornwall. Many thanks to WCR for sending Galatea down to make the Duchy happen; providing the excellent footplate crews and support crew; the trainset though the seat springs in our TSO are well past their best; and for train management by the guard.

    Thanks to Les our train manager and the stewards. It was a very well stewarded train all day. The guard had to make one announcement about a video camera being outside the line of the carriage but everyone else took heed of the warnings Les made after every pickup and restart about not hanging any kit or part of one's person out of toplights or droplights. Door opening was well controlled too.

    Thanks as always to Network Rail for finding paths to run mainline steam in 2023. The regulation was excellent in the morning letting us run ahead of the late running IET. All that let it down was the decision not to let us run past the stopper while it was in the WSM loop on the return.

    The drive home was ever interesting in the electric with the lights, wipers and demisters on. After leaving home in the morning with a range of 222 miles we got home with only 66 left after covering 89 road miles. They don't like mile after mile of 70 mph running. Back to the petrol beastie for the drive to and from Crewe on Saturday for the CME.
     
    dublo6231, acorb, gricerdon and 11 others like this.
  20. Sam 60103

    Sam 60103 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2019
    Messages:
    932
    Likes Received:
    346
    Location:
    Kirkcaldy
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Your reports rightly make mine from a couple of years ago look amateur! Great report about the trials and tribulations of the Devon Banks in the rain. My gut would be 45690 for the next one as it is due to haul some tours in the South later in August. If it was 45690 having seen it pass my house twice in the past week I believe it to be in good nick but it would do better with load 8 as opposed to load 9. Conditions like those on Sunday and having seen the YouTube clip of the Hemerdon climb makes me appreciate the skills of both the driver and the fireman in getting locomotives to perform on heavy gradients in poor weather.
     
    acorb and Julian Jones like this.

Share This Page