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The Royal Duchy 2023

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

  1. cg

    cg Well-Known Member

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    Scots Guardsman at Yatton this morning.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/16582147@N07/albums/72177720310628378
     
  2. Hemerdon

    Hemerdon Member Friend

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    My video of Scots Guardsman, taken on the return at Bodmin Parkway, Totnes and Tiverton Parkway.....

     
  3. AlexGWR1994

    AlexGWR1994 Member

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    Here's my footage of Scots Guardsman blitzing the South Devon and Cornish Banks on her first ever visit to Devon and Cornwall in preservation yesterday. I filmed her at Brent Knoll, Whiteball, Rattery, St Germans and Hemerdon. She put in a stonking performance on the Royal Duchy and kudos go to the people that made it possible. Hope you enjoy the video.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2023
  4. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Great videos and generous of WC to send their pride and joy down south for a 'one-off' trip.
     
  5. Bill2

    Bill2 New Member

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    The climb past Bodmin on the return was a solid thrash all the way up and must be a contender for performance of the year. Speeds: 44½ at post 277, 52½ after Brownqueen tunnel, 43 through Parkway, 53½ at post 272¾ (unusual to get the maximum here rather than before Bodmin), minimum 38½ at post 270 , recovering to 41½ afterwards and 40 at the top. And note the video at Bodmin showing a feather at the safety valves. Many congratulations to the crew and thanks to RTC and West Coast for making it all possible.
     
    acorb, green five, Mick45305 and 5 others like this.
  6. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Well, had to put a report together after David Smith kindly allowed 46115 to come south and tackle the Royal Duchy. It's a bit long but it's such a demanding run both outward and return.

    Royal Duchy 20th August 2023


    Tour 942; 10th in 2023. Total proper steam hauled mileage in the UK after this Duchy: 169,466.

    Well, what a surprise, 46115 was allowed down south for this Duchy, probably the hardest day out in the Steam Hauled Calendar in 2023. It was our first run behind 46115 south of Preston as all our previous 17 runs had all been on Cumbrian Mountain Expresses. Not the first Royal Scot on the Duchy. We did both with 46100 in 2017 but neither were comparable runs. Might put something together later. Did a bit of a review of the Gradient Profiles, blowig them up as much as possible so there might be slight differences to the 30th July.

    Bit earlier start than the 30th July, 0851 so we left the cottage at 7 o'clock with the Corsa e showing a range of 215 miles so we knew we'd easily get to Temple Meads and back. We got to the Meads just after 0750 and wandered off to see what was going on. Nothing. No odd manoeuvres this time as the Scot was being attached to the train to the east of the station and duly ran in to P12 about 10 minutes or so before departure. A full train and the 'Boss' was travelling with us. A good omen.

    We were in the middle of Coach F again, 8th coach this time as the POB was behind the tender. We were on our own as John and Mary were in Jersey and John and Judith were isolating at home as Judith had caught Covid sometime before or on the cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. They didn't find Slartibartfast's signature on any of them. Bill didn't have a milepost seat so he came to join me on the 'Timer's Table' which one always was. Diana had the other table to herself although she was joined from time to time by a couple of the stewards.

    A wander down the front and I said hello to Bill Monteith who was taking us from Bristol to Par and back as far as Plymouth as Andy Taylor was on holiday. It was like the old days as Ray Churchill always did the same as there wasn't another driver who knew the road for the full return. Pete Roberts was taking over for the return from Plymouth. As for the first Duchy, Martyn Soames was Bill's Fireman. A different fireman was doing the return from Plymouth, with a trainee also being on the footplate.

    With a Class 7 Bill's start was quite rapid and we passed Parson Street at a very decent 41.6. That was followed by a noisy decent climb of the 2 1/4miles of 428r/234r/180r/343r to crest Flax Bourton summit at 52. It really had the makings of an old fashioned Ray Churchill Duchy as speed rose to 67.3 down the 334f to mp125 and to a max of 72 at Nailsea and Backwell. Couldn't expect more as we had a Yatton pickup this train. A smart departure on the level, actually it was level track for almost 25 miles, got us noisily to 63.4 by Worle Jn, mp135; and to 70 by Uphill Jn, mp138. They are the junctions to the Weston-super-Mare loop that always give us grief on the return. Going nicely but not overdoing it, Bill got the train up to 75 by Highbridge, just after mp145 1/4, and we ran close to 75 for mile after mile through Bridgwater, mp151 1/2 ish and on to mp156, the end of one of not the longest level track section in the UK.

    Plenty of noise filtered back as we climbed the 1 3/4m of 327r/501r/330r, left at 69, before speed rose to 72 down the mile of 572f to Cogload Jc. Bill let the momentum take us over the 2 miles of 604r/211r before braking for our pick up and pathing stop at Taunton. Yatton to Taunton's close to 33 miles had taken 32m 3.33s, a better than even time run. Excellent stuff. Loco seemed in fine fettle for the attacks on the banks to come.

    We were on Platform 2 this time so would have the crossovers to negotiate on departure. The Paddington to Penzance came in a couple of minutes late and left at 10 o'clock. Plenty of signals and we were given the road at 1002 for the first bank, the easy one, Whiteball. Bill and I thought we'd get mid 40s into the tunnel but you never know.

    Bill made a careful start over the crossovers and out on the main we passed mp164 on the 322r at 31.6 and Silk Mill at 42.7. Then the Scot was opened up and it got nice and noisy even 8 back on the mile of 369r. We passed mp165 at 47.6 and roared across Victory LC at 52.5. We love a Scot. 46115 climbed the next mile and a half of 203r/338r to mp167 1/2 well, passed at 56.5; then the 1/2 mile of 222r to Bradford-on-Tone LC, 57.1; and then the mile and a quarter of 174r to mp169, 55.8. 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 59.4.

    Now for the serious bit. It started with close to a mile of 90r from mp170 3/4, passed at 59; left at 54.6 at mp171 3/4. The Scot was noisier than the Jubilee had been at Bill attacked the 3/4m at 86r and we only dropped just over a mile an hour to 53.3. That took us onto the final 3/4m of 80r and the cacophony of sound that echoed around the cutting was superb to hear as the Scot lost little to the gradient and roared into the tunnel, now on an eased 127r gradient, at a seriously good 51.7. We felt a slip just inside the tunnel and that was reflected in the speed we left the tunnel, 44.5. we passed the summit, mp174, at 47.7. We passed mp176 on the 115f at 67.3, then we slowed through Tiverton Parkway, 47.5 as we were booked to take water in Tiverton Loop (Junction). We rolled into the loop and came to a stand at 1023, 2 mins early.

    Time from Taunton to Whiteball Tunnel was 13m 52s; to the summit 14m 53s.

    We should have seen 2 HST short sets pass each other when we were in the loop but unfortunately the eastbound train was 2 early.

    With 46115's tender hopefully full, after a long blast from the Stanier Hooter we left right time. To all intents and purposes it's down grade to Exeter. We crossed Hele and Bradnich LC at 70.6; and Stoke Canon LC at 75.6 and rolled into St Davids, our final pick up point at 1129, 2 late. We left at 1132, still 2 late but behind the Exmouth to Paignton all stations stopper. Bill took it easy away and we passed St. Thomas at 27.9; through the new Marsh Barton Station at 53.1 - the stopper must have been going well - and mp197 1/2, the start of the level section at 63.9. a bit of noise drifted past us but we only passed Exminster, mp198 3/4, at 67.8. we were interested to see if control would let us pass the stopper at the Warren. Looked possible as we passed Powderham Crossing at 70.8 and barely lost any speed as we ran around the estuary, this week complete with water.

    We roared through Starcross, mp202 1/2 at 67.5 and we hoped Control would let us overtake the stopper. Bill braked and had us worried as speed fell to 54.8 as we passed Cockwood Harbour and down to 49.2 as we passed mp204, 1/2 a mile from the Warren. We had green signals and despite our lack of speed we passed the stopper at the platform as we passed mp204 1/2, on the platform, at 51.1. Past Langstone Rock at 57 and through Dawlish at 58.8; through the 4 tunnels at 59; then through the new Avalanche Shelter into Parson's Tunnel, 56.6; and past mp208 1/2 at 60.6. We drifted around the curve through Teignmouth, close to mp209, at 62.4. Around the estuary with mileposts hard to find at 60 ish. We found mp211 1/2, 59, and ran past mp213 3/4 on the east end of the River Teign Bridge with the station in sight at 57.8.

    Green signals and we ran around the curve at 58 and passed mp214 on the platform face at 60. The close to 20 miles from EXD had taken a slowish 23m 37s due to following the stopper. We needed the 60 through the station as the foot of Dainton Bank is only a mile away. Our prediction was high 20s into the tunnel as it was dry. We passed mp214 1/4, 259r, at 61; then on the level with a lot of noise from the front, we passed mp215 at 57; then the site of the old Aller Jn at 59. Curious the lack of acceleration. It got noisier but we only took 57 onto the gentle 1/4m of 502r/247r with Stoneycombe Quarry on the left. The tight reverse curves take their toll on big wheeled locomotives so we needed to hold speed as long as possible.

    We were now on the 1/4+ mile of a mere 98r from mp215 3/4, the start of Dainton proper. Seriously noisy now as the Scot roared past at 57.5. Next was 3/4m of 57r on a tight curve at mp216, 55.6 and then speed fell more rapidly and we came off it at mp216 3/4 at 46.6. The wheels squealed against the rails as the curves tightened and the gradient increased to 46r/56r for half a mile. We passed mp217, midpoint, at 43.4 and left it at mp217 1/4 at 38.3. A quarter on the curve at 1in41r/49r/36r took us past mp217 1/2 at 32.2 where the Scot suffered a short slip. Now onto the final tight curve at 36r that eased to 44r at mp217 3/4, we missed the post as the smoke fell as the locomotive was in the tunnel!! 46115 climbed into the tunnel at 28. A good climb. Elapsed time from Newton Abbot was 4m 40.7s; from mp214 1/2, 4m 9.4s.

    Onwards and downwards to Totnes, nothing in our path though Bill did brake around mp219 3/4 but speed only fell from 54 to 49. As is the norm now that left us wondering if there is some restriction, Bill opened the Scot up half a mile later and we roared past mp221 at 53.5; mp222 at 57.9 and through Totnes Middle Road at 59.2. Drivers want as close to 60 as possible as Rattery Bank is over 4 miles long and has gradients as steep as Dainton and curves as tight but in usually damp cuttings.

    The Scot was every bit as noisy as the Jubilee had been, if not moreso as it roared past mp223 just past the first bridge after Totnes Station where the 1in66 started at 58.5. 1/2m later on the start of the 1in71 we passed mp223 1/2 at 53.3. Then came a harder 1/2 mile+ of 1in47, mp224 1/4 passed at 43.7. Dry rail so far. We left the easier 1/2m of 50r/56r at 37.9 now on damp rails. The Scot roared on and we passed mp225, 46r/57r at 34.6. The bank steepened again to 52r at mp225 1/4, 30.6 as Tigley Spire came into view on our right. Still a bit damp as we passed the site of Tigley box, mp225 1/2, still on the 52r, at 27.9. The gradient change post showed the change 52r/74r close to mp225 3/4, not found this time. Then the gradient eased to 3/4 mile of 90r and speed increased to 31.1 and then to 32.5 at mp226 1/2 where there was a short slip, well recovered. Here 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. Due to undergrowth we didn't find either post but we came to the conclusion in July that the summit is the bridge that we passed under at 31.7. a very good climb. that took us back a little to 25.8 at the 'climbing' summit, mp227 ish. Time from mp223 at Totnes to mp227 ish, 6m 21.4s.

    There's a little kick up to 200r/131r for 3/4 of a mile to Marley Tunnel, 38.9, with just over 40 at the 'summit' just outside the tunnel. Not flat at all across the top with a 'summit' at Wrangaton, mp232. First is a mixed 380r/909r/166r/775r/388r and we passed Brent at a low 39.1. Then a mile+ at an average of ave. 260r saw us pass mp230 at only 37.1. After 1/2 mile of 129r/199r/117r we entered the hardly a tunnel Wrangaton Tunnel at about 40 (didn't record it) and crossed the summit, mp232, after a section of short 470r at 43.2.

    Down the bank to Ivybridge just after mp234 1/4, 59; over Ivybridge Viaduct, mp235, 59.6 then down to mp239, just above Hemerdon GF, passed at 51.7. The brakes came on hard down the 75f and the first mile of the 42f to mp239 3/4, 54.5 and came off down the 42r to hit 74.5 at mp241. The brakes came on hard again down the 47r/41r and 111r and we passed mp242 at 66.4; and Tavistock Yard East, mp242 3/4, 55.4. We crossed Laira Jn at 57.4 and passed mp244 at 55.7. Nice sting in the tail and more noise over a mile+ of 77r/83r to mp245 1/4, 17.2 before we were checked and dropped to 10 mph on the 72r into Mutley Tunnel. We arrived at Platform 8 at Plymouth North Road at 1237, 4 minutes early.

    The locomotive remained attached to the train and took water from the hydrant at the west end of the island platform. We left 5 minutes late for some reason. Locals say there isn't even one straight or flat mile on the railway in Cornwall. There are a number of nasty short sharp climbs with gradients as steep as 60r so the run to Par is noisy and a bit of a challenge for the crew.

    Not far out of the station there was a steady climb with a bit of 100r/59r to Devonport, 26.4. We then passed Dockyard Station at 38.7 and Keyham at 40. The line then climbed up almost a mile of average 65r to St Budeaux Ferry Road. Not much sound and speed down to 26.1. The incoming service passed us earlier so we should have had a straight run into Cornwall. We passed the old Signal Box at 18.5 and then climbed the short 141r onto the Royal Albert Bridge rather slowly. Milepost 251 is on the horizontal tube and we passed it at 12.3. There's also a milepost on the metal viaduct on the other side, mp251 1/4, on the 81f passed at 14.6.

    Now in Cornwall proper we passed through the nicely refurbished Saltash Station at 14.1, then on a falling grade to Coombe by Saltash Viaduct, level, crossed at 43. Bit undulating then up a short 200r/142r onto Forder Viaduct. Nothing flat here. Lovely sound from the front up a mile of 144r then a bit of 200r to mp255 1/2 at 48.7, then across St German's Viaduct, 46 before a short bit of 97r then 215r into St Germans Station, 45. It got steeper for 3 miles then, the first climb in Cornwall. It started with 1/2m of 78r to pass mp256 3/4 at 41.6; then 1/2m+ of steeper 68r, mp257 1/2, eased to 106r, 34.8, then another 1/4m of 106r to pass a mini summit under a road bridge just after mp258, lev, at 31.8. not quite finished with that climb as there was a further mile+ of 159r/105f/112r to mp259 1/2, passed at 42.7. A respite then, down to Menheniot, mp261 3/4, on the station, passed at 41.4. there's a short bank that started just after the station, 80r for 1/4m+. Momentum off the level took us to 43.5 but then a rapid fall over a mile of 95r/74r to mp263, 74r/lev passed at 28.6. even on the level after a further 1/4m speed fell more to 26.6.

    There was a bit of respite for Martyn on the shovel on the close to 2 miles of mostly down grade to mp264 1/2, 49. Then the next climb through Liskeard to Doublebois started. Bit of a mixed gradient to begin with; 89r then a bit of level through the station, 48.6 and a noisy charge to hit 54.8 at mp265 1/4. Then the 74r hit us. It started at mp265 1/2, 50.5; and continued to mp267 where the track levelled off for 1/4 mile. We passed mp267 at 30.3 and picked up to 33.2 on the level. The line then rises on 1/2m of 53r/162r where speed increased very noisily to 40 before we roared into Sperritt Tunnel at 39.3. The summit is hard to define but we passed mp268 at our lowest speed of 36 so I guess that was the summit.

    At last Martyn could take a break for a few minutes as it was a mix of falling/level track passing over a number of viaducts then down through Bodmin Parkway, 49.8. a little blip of 142r into Brownqueen Tunnel saw a drop in speed to 51.7 and then it was more falling grades for another couple of miles to Lostwithiel, mp274 1/2ish, 47.7. Once we'd crossed the viaduct we came to the final sharp bank. It started with 3/4m of 118r/57r/72r to mp278, 42.4; then a respite, 1/2m of 147r/lev, 39.6 before we hit 1/2m of 64r to Treverrin Tunnel, roaring in at 33.2. The summit is in the tunnel where the gradient changes from 85r to 62f and we left it at 35.8 just after mp279 1/2 that was probably in the tunnel. Then it was down the last 2 miles into Par where we arrived at 1400, 4 late after an entertaining run through the first 30 miles of railway in Cornwall.

    Di had packed up early and was off the train to get us seats in the front of the bus to Charlestown. Chaos reigned as there was only one bus not two for the destination. After some dithering the Double Decker departed leaving about 20 odd passengers waiting for a coach being sent down from the depot just up the road in St Blazey. I'd met Julian on the platforms during the morning and he was coming with us to the Rashleigh Arms for lunch. The gearbox on the Double Decker was shot and we wondered if we'd get there! We did at 1440 and after I asked was told we had to be back on the bus by 1620. Time enough to eat and have a couple of drinks.

    The Rashleigh wasn't as busy as it used to be. There was no Carvery anymore, but Sunday Roasts, beef and lamb, plus the Main Menu available. Julian got us pints of Proper Job, excellent as ever, and a soft drink for Di. They prepared a table for us and when we were ready they took our order. Di had a traditional Sunday Roast, beef, Yorkshire Pudding and vegetables, I had the Squid starter with the line caught Mackerel on a salad with chips with the skins - always have fish in Cornwall - while Julian opted for the scampi and chips. The food was excellent. I got us another drink, Anthem Pale Ale, one we were unfamiliar with. It was a decent beer at only 3.8 per cent. Good to have a longer chat with Julian. We must do it again.

    After lunch we wandered down to see the Lady Daphne, the tall ship in the dock. Nice to hear the harmonies from the onboard singers drifting on the still air. The time had gone and the Double Decker rolled in at 1615. There was a queue waiting and we found out they'd asked anyone who wasn't able to use the bridge to be there for this bus. It was chaotic again and we held back for the coach. A few stragglers moaned as they wanted to use the barrow crossing but missed the Double Decker. Much smoother run on the coach.

    The Scot was standing alongside the stock so we watched it crossover, attach and propel the train back into the platform in plenty of time for a right time departure. The POB was on the back so we were in the middle of the second carriage. If the morning was anything to go by it was going to be seriously noisy. Right Time the Stanier Hooter sounded and Bill got us away for the run back to Plymouth where he'd be leaving the train. The low sun was already making mileposting difficult. Bill was facing as he has better sight than me. We wondered how many we'd see. Out of the station on 1/4m of level track before the 2 mile+ climb to Treverrin Tunnel. No time to build up any kind of momentum but Bill had a go and with plenty of steam provided by Martyn he got the train to 21.2 as we hit the 3/4m of 84r at mp281 1/2. What a sound from the Scot, accompanied by bits of unburnt coal bouncing in off the deflectors on the toplights onto the table already! The max was 23.2 and then it fell to 22.9 as we passed mp281 where the gradient eased to 109r for 1/2m+. We felt 2 short slips here though speed had risen to 27.4 as we passed mp280 1/4, 62r. 46115 slipped twice more on the 62r and we only passed mp279 3/4 at 24.3. The 62r continued for a further 1/4m into the Tunnel, 23.9. The summit is in the tunnel and Bill used the 64f well and left it at 39.2.

    Once out it was predominantly down grade to Lostwithiel, lev, 46.5 and to mp276 3/4, 46.5, where the close to 11 mile climb to Sperritt Tunnel began. This can be a seriously entertaining climb if the locomotive is on a good day. It started at mp276 1/2 at a gentle 389r for almost a mile and a half before a sharp bit of 71r took us into Brownqueen Tunnel, close to mp275 1/4, at 41.5. Odd speed that and the GPS might have glitched. Then we had a recovery section, 3/4m of 142f/level where speed rose to 52.5. Next was a 3/4m+ of 65r where the decibels were off the scale. The train squealed around the curve through Bodmin Parkway on the level at 42.9. The gradient eased as we left the station to 1/2m of 142f/lev and Bill used it well as we got back to 47. Weird mile then, 1/4m at 148r, 1/4m at 80r, mp293 1/4, held 47; then almost 1/4m 81f that Bill made great use of and with plenty of steam provided by Martyn got us to 52.9.

    Straight back to serious climbing for the next 5 miles+ as we were faced by a number of gradient changes between 90r and 58r, some over high viaducts. A Spectacular section. As last Duchy 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, 51.1; 1/2 mile of 69r, 47.5; 1/4m 58r to mp272, 47.2; 1/2 mile of 68r over Clinnick Viaduct, 45.5; 1/4mile of 58r, 47.2; eased ave. 426r, 45.9; 3/4m 68r past mp271 on Derrycombe Viaduct, 45.5; close to a mile of 70r across Draw Wood and Largin Viaducts, 38.7 min; refuge on the single track, 1/4 of 159r/90r, 40.9. If that wasn't enough, then we hit the mile and a half 90r slog over St Pinnock Viaduct, 41.4; Westwood Viaduct, double track, to mp269, 40.7; then mp268, 1/4ish, lev, 41.3. this was sometimes called Doublebois Summit 1 as after the level section the gradient rose again over the next half mile of 66r/162rto mp267 1/2, passed at 51.4. After the mile of 53f through Sperritt Tunnel and a level stretch, there was 1/4m+ of 67r from mp266 3/4 to mp266 1/2, dismissed at 53.8.

    Joy for our fireman with a few miles of falling gradients. Down the mile and a half of 74r, Bill allowed the Scot to run to 59 before gentle braking to mp265 1/2, Moorswater Viaduct, 51.9. then a half mile of 59r towards Liskeard Station, on a curve, 45.4. There's half a mile of 79r 3/4 mile out from Liskeard, followed by 1/4 mile of 258r, met at 51.9, left at 46.4. Steep down grade to Menheniot, 59.9 then to mp260 3/4, 55 ish. Even less steep gradients, 3/4m of 918r/250r saw a speed fall to 51. Steeply down to St Germans, 50.9, braking for the curve and viaduct, 59.3. we passed mp255 1/4,144f, 59.4 before a short 1/4m+ of 200r into and through Wivelscombe Tunnel, 64.7 down to 61 ish. The brakes came on quite hard for Saltash approach and the possibility of having to wait for a service train coming into Cornwall. We crossed Forder Viaduct at 42 and were down to 10 over Coombe by Saltash Viaduct. We were held for a short time by a red signal at Saltash. That surprised us as the Short Set left as we approached.

    With green signals we ran through Saltash at 9 then climbed up the 81r past mp215 1/4 at 11.2 onto the Royal Albert Bridge. We passed mp251 at 18 and braked past the old Signal Box,62f, at 15.9. then down to St Budeaux Ferry Road, 59f, 41.3 before the sting in the tail rise through Keyham, 68 1/2r, 44.3, mp249 515r/170r, 37.7; 1/2 mile+ of 68r to Dockyard, 38.2 and to mp249, ended at 37.7. Final less steep bit to Devonport, 30.6 and finally downhill to North Road P5 where we arrived at 1759, 3 late.

    We were booked to stay here for almost an hour to both take water and to pick up some passengers who didn't want to do the Cornish Section. How weird was that?

    The locomotive was detached and watered at the west end of Platform 7 from the same hydrant we used on the outward. Pete Roberts was in the driver's seat with a different fireman whose name I've forgotten. There was also a trainee fireman on the footplate we were told. What a route to learn on!

    We watched the Scot come back and drop onto the front of the train. Usual talk about Hemerdon but as we had a Class 7 on the front, no concerns like last run with the Jubilee. One concern was how many mileposts we'd see in the gathering gloom. We left on time without a slip and passed mp245 3/4,109r, under the first overbridge at 11 (6.6). It's a bit of 77r/347r into Mutley Tunnel and speed dropped to 4.1. Very odd. Out into the air again with line speed of 60 all the way. Down the 72f/83f to mp244 1/2, 53. We roared past mp244,lev, at 60.4; Tavistock Jn, mp243 1/2, lev, 59 and crossed the River Plym at 60.5, bang on the limit.

    Talk about a loud roar. You had to be there. We roared past Tavistock Yard, mp242 3/4, 204r, at 61.4 no doubt on full regulator for the charge at the bottom of the bank. At mp242 1/2 it steepened to 81r. We missed that but got mp242 1/4, 62.1; then 1/4m of 660r/111r, 60.8 at mp242 took us onto Hemerdon proper. Started with 1/2m+ of 41r. We passed mp241 3/4 at 558.9; mp241 1/2, 54.2; change to 47r, 49. Then it was the mile and a half+ of solid 42r.

    Speed fell rapidly as expected. We passed mp240 3/4 at 36.2; mp240 1/4 at 24.3; mp240 at 18.6; think it was mp239 3/4, 14. We picked out the Gradient Post 42r/51r, passed at 14.3; 51r/89r, 16.5, then we were under the overbridge, mp239 1/2, at 17. That was the end of the serious part of the climb. Speed recovered on the eased grade to 32 at mp239 1/4 and 37.1 at mp239.

    Close lineside vegetation was going to make it very difficult to pick out mileposts but there were some open sections. Up gentler 165r to Blatchford Viaduct, 5003; then on average 300r to Ivybridge Viaduct, an excellent and noisy 57.2. we lost nothing to the 1/2m+ of 150r and roared through Ivybridge Station at 55.5. not a usual ruin across the top this one! We were being showered with bits of coal permanently. The mile of 295r/169r/100r/122r saw us pass mp233 1/4 at 55.8 and the next mile of 307r/120r to Wrangaton Summit saw no speed drop and we passed mp232 at 55. Some run that. No let up and 65.4 over Grazebrook Viaduct; 64.6 over Aish Emergency Crossover,243f. We ran in the mid 60s to Brent and roared through Marley Tunnel at 57. Down the 200f we got to 62 before the brakes came in for the run down Rattery. Don't usually include details of 'across the top' but that was exceptional.

    We passed Tigley at 68 ish and with the brakes hard on we came off the bank and roared through Totnes at 60.4. we hit serious problems with the mileposts from there. Bill saw most of them with me in confirmation mode and spotting the odd one you can only see looking back.

    We crossed the River Dart, level, at 61.9; mp222 1/2, lev, 61.8 then missed a miles worth. Next we saw was mp221 1/2, still on the level, at 57.1; mp221, lev, 55.1. the trackside opened out and in flat light the posts were visible again. We came off the level at mp219 3/4, 260r, 56.1. We were on the tight reverse curves as the gradients cranked up. Over the 3/4m of 260r/76r/105r speed dropped to 52.8 at mp219 1/4. Onto the steeper slopes now and we passed mp219, 55r, at 49.8, still seriously good. The next half mile was 65r then 38r and speed fell rapidly. We missed mp218 1/2, 38r/43r but got mp218 1/4, 43r/37r, 30.6, to an accompaniment of the roar and squeals from the wheels. Speed fell to 24.8 at mp218 where the gradient technically eased. A bit winded the Scot climbed into the tunnel at 24.5. the summit is inside the tunnel but impossible to time. No speed change on the GPS. The elapsed time from Totnes to Dainton Tunnel was 5m 46.8s.

    We ran down the bank around 60 and roared through Newton Abbot at 58.4. We were 7 minutes early, very rare for the eastbound journey. Time elapsed from Plymouth was only 42m 36.5s. We were only just over 20 miles from Exeter and a brief thought of a sub 60 minutes run came to mind. RTT didn't have anything close and we were 21 minutes behind the Paignton - Exmouth Stopper with the 60 limit ending at Starcross.

    We hardly saw a milepost between Newton Abbot and Teignmouth. Speed stayed around 60 until we slowed a bit for Teignmouth, 54.6 and we were still 7 early. We saw mp208, lev/229r, 54 and then we ran through the tunnels at close to 50. We passed mp206 1/4, 96r/lev, 51.5; through Dawlish, 52.1 and Dawlish Warren, mp204 1/2, at 1944, still 7 minutes early. And 52m 48s from Plymouth with 10 miles to go and nothing in front of us and potentially some 75 mph running.

    Then it went a bit pear shaped for what reason we didn't find out. Speed fell to 49.3 past Cockwood Harbour and only 54 through Starcross. Really disappointed. Over 5 miles of level track from there but only 62.6 at Exminster and under the M5 just after mp198 at 61.4, now over the hour from Plymouth. The brakes came in around mp197. No idea why as there was nothing on the track between us and Exeter St Davids. We trundled through Marsh Barton at only 17; St Thomas, 15.4 and we finally arrived in Platform 6 at St Davids at 2004, more or less right time. RTT had nothing in Platform 6 since 1944. Such is life. We were on time but had taken 73m 40.5s from Plymouth. The last 2 miles took 10 minutes.

    Pity the Great Western is gone as I fancied a real ale and we had plenty of time. Went for a wander down the platform and had a chat with a few passengers and non-passengers. Pete was happy with the Scot and it was steaming very well so we were looking forward to something a bit special on Whiteball to finish off an excellent day of bank climbing in Devon and Cornwall for Carnforth's Scot.

    The tanker did a good job refilling the tender and we were ready to leave a few minutes early. Didn't happen as there was an Exeter-Cardiff service due out only 2 minutes before us. Bit tight pathing that. It was a 166 set so would be out of the way reasonably quickly.

    The light had virtually gone but we decided to have a go for a few miles. Didn't see any before Cowley Bridge Jn, 300r, 36.3 but that had been a good start. We didn't see any posts so Bill resorted to landmarks while I pondered using the GPS' odometer. We crossed Stoke Canon LX, 217r, close to mp190 1/4 at 55 and I thought I saw mp189 1/2 so took the 'x.37' on the odometer as a reference. On reflection it probably wasn't the post.

    No dramatic acceleration but plenty of steam as the valves lifted around mp188, 435r, 60. A mile further on the 243r/219r, speed was 60.6. better was to come and a mile further on the 534r/lev we'd got to 62.3 and accelerated down to Hele and Bradnich LX at 64.6. More promising and probably the speed around mp185. Things went well for the next 3 miles as the Scot's roar echoed around as we climbed the 292r/523r/306r etc to get to 67 close to mp182 that I thought I saw. Might have been as we roared through Cullompton, past the old platform at 67.2.

    Speed fell then to 61.8 on the approach to Tiverton Loop. We saw mp179, 207f, on the respite, 63.5 and got to a max of 66.3. but the bank took its toll. We roared through Tiverton Parkway at 64 and hit the 2 miles+ of 115r at close to 63. We felt the speed fall and by the overbridge, mp174 3/4 we were down to 51.3. mp174 1/4 is on the upright of the Trestle Bridge and we passed it at 48 and mp174 at 47.5 and were disappointed to only dive into the tunnel at 49.5. Time from Exeter St Davids to the Summit was 23m 15.4s. Disappointed with that as from the filming the Scot seemed to have plenty of steam at Tiverton Parkway. Not a real Class 7 performance with only 9 up.

    Lost interest 'down the bank' and only noted Wellington, level, 61.6 braking?; Bradford-on-Tone LX, 59.1; Victory LX, 76 (43); Silk Mill 322f, 47.5. We arrived in Taunton's P5 at 2112, 5 late. It had taken us 35m 41s from Exeter St Davids, one of the slowest times I can remember.

    It was dark so no chance of mileposting and as it is predominantly level track, no interest in using GPS based timings. We left only 2 down and the Scot slipped as Pete left the station. It took almost a minute to pass mp163. Slow pickup and only 58.3 at Cogload Jn. A check on RTT showed we were only 9 minutes behind the stopper. Things improved by the M5 overbridge, mp152 3/4 before Bridgewater, 67.2 and we roared through the station at 70.2. out on the level and the Scot went well. We crossed Huntspill at 72.5; roared through Highbridge at 72.9 and we wondered if Pete aimed to beat the stopper by getting to Worle Jn before it. Seemed possible as we passed Uphill Jn at 73.6 and got to 74.6 a mile on - then braked hard as Control had no intention of letting us go despite us being non-stop to the Meads.

    Pete must have blown his top as we'd roared past Uphill Jn at 2140 before the stopper had even arrived at Weston Milton. At 75mph we'd have been through Worle Jn before 2141, still before the stopper reached Milton. It left there at 2142 and was 4 late at Worle Jn, 2144. Yatton is only 4 miles away from the Junction. As long as our train didn't crawl into the station, even if we used the full 3 minutes set down, we should have been away before it got there at 2152. The signal blocks are short so it should have been possible but Bristol Panel is very conservative these days. Wishful thinking on our part we know so no adverse comments please.

    As it was it took us over 10 minutes to get to Yatton. Not a total loss as we had a noisy run after we left there. We roared up the 343r and passed Nailsea and Backwell at 52.1; then accelerated over the 2 miles of 387r/146r/200r to Flax Bourton old station passed at 54.4; then left the tunnel at 52.7. We passed Liberty Sidings at 60.9; Parson Street at 58 where Pete braked and we trundled through Bedminster at 33.2; passed under Bristol West Gantry at 19.9 and arrived in P12 at 2220, 6 late. The stopper took 20 minutes from Yatton; we took 16.

    Thought we'd get to 3,000 miles behind 46115 but my spreadsheet says we only got to 2,994 after today's mileage. Next time, no doubt on a CME.

    Many thanks to RTC for running the Royal Duchy. We trust Kelly enjoyed the run. Many thanks to WCR for sending 46115 down for this Duchy; providing the excellent footplate crews and support crew; the trainset and for train management by the guard.

    Thanks to Les our train manager and the stewards. Again the train was very well stewarded all day.

    Thanks as always to Network Rail for letting us run on the big railway. The regulation was OK, and good at the Warren in the morning.

    An uneventful drive home with 56 miles left from the 215 we started with. Still 'used' 126 miles worth of charge to cover 89 miles.

    We'll probably do part of the revised Venturer on Saturday as it will be fun to have the 3rd Jubilee over Sapperton both ways to complete the set. Wonder if Tyseley will ever get 45593 out again to make it 4....
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2023
  7. Julian Jones

    Julian Jones New Member

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    A wonderful account of a fantastic day. I very much enjoyed the food, drink and company for lunch - thank you. I had meant to write something but work took over this week!
     
  8. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    For anyone interested I've attached the full timings for the Outward Run. More posts not found every run now. Network Rail should be ashamed of the state of the lineside. It's not just that it makes mileposting difficult but due to their lack of doing anything in the way of managing the lineside, thin branches on bushes have become much thicker and are more like trees, causing deep scratches on the stock. It really is a disgrace. The stock owners should be able to claim compensation for the damage. Doubt drivers can do much leaning out of the cab these days either for fear of being struck by the branches.

    Added the return timings. Bill spotted more than I would have. we both missed more than usual in the failing light. Had to give up mile posting altogether just north of Cowley Bridge Jn. Used the GPS odometer, stations and infrastructure thereafter.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 25, 2023
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  9. Bill2

    Bill2 New Member

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    I think the speed at Brownqueen tunnel on the return was indeed a glitch, as I got 48.9 there. Also, Galatea has had several identities but I don't think it was taking water at Plymouth on the return.
     
  10. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Thank you Bill. The GPS had been a bit twitchy so I reset it and its been fine since.
     
  11. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Talking to Bill Monteith at Frome on Saturday. Only 8 on the Duchy on the 24th. Ticket Letter confirms. 6 passenger carrying; Kitchen Car + POB. No Buffet Car. Looking at the leaf fall last weekend, not a bad move.
     
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  12. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    45596 'Bahamas' pass the site of the old Flax Bourton station at a steady pace at 09:01. The final Royal Duchy of the season.

    8 coaches today as expected, all maroon. Loco and stock looking very good despite the drab weather. <BJ>

    UPDATE: 3 mins late passing Cowley Bridge, 16 late departing Exeter St Davids.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2023
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  13. meiga

    meiga New Member

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  14. meiga

    meiga New Member

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    45596 at Norton Fitzwarren with the Royal Duchy 750_5946-2-45596.jpg 750_5953-3-45596.jpg
     
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  15. dublo6231

    dublo6231 Member

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    Todays return seems to be going rather well...
     
  16. KristianGWR

    KristianGWR Member

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    Certainly sounded good over Largin Viaduct in the rain! Bit more lively than when I filmed her through Wellington, this morning.
     

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  17. dublo6231

    dublo6231 Member

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    That looks quite a good run from Plymouth that...fingers crossed for some reports from those lucky people onboard.
     
  18. alastair

    alastair Well-Known Member

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    It was indeed, Bahamas treated Hemerdon (in pouring rain) with contempt and we were 10 early at Exeter St Thomas where we were checked, had we not have been, we could have done Plymouth to St Davids in the even hour - as it was we were still 7 early into St Davids. Hopefully someone who knows much more about these things than me will supply more details soon.
     
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  19. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    Does anyone know the speed of the train when it passed Bridgwater last night please? Bahamas was absolutely flying when I filmed it and would be interesting to know the actual speed.

    As the final Royal Duchy has now concluded I'm sure that we would all like to thank the members of the Bahamas Locomotive Society for their part in this years very successful season of tours. The locomotive is a credit to you. Also a thank you to the loco crews, RYTC, West Coast and Network Rail. <BJ>
     
  20. Leviathan

    Leviathan New Member

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    Indeed, and not forgetting Tyseley Loco Works for the overhaul which returned 45596 to superlative main line running condition.
     
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