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The Royal Duchy 2023

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

  1. AlexGWR1994

    AlexGWR1994 Member

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    Here's my footage of 45596 Bahamas hauling the last Royal Duchy of 2023. I filmed her at Whiteball Bank, Rattery Bank, and Devonport Station. I hope you enjoy the video.
     
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  2. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Of course, 75.5.
     
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  3. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    We were doing an excellent 40.1 over the viaduct.
     
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  4. KristianGWR

    KristianGWR Member

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    The footage to go with the photo. Enjoy! :)
     
  5. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Brilliant young man. 5*+
     
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  6. KristianGWR

    KristianGWR Member

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    Thank you, kindly :) Out of the four sequences from the day, there was only one that I was happy with enough to publish. I'm glad it was this one!
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2023
  7. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Decided to put a report together. FYI it's not short as its a long day out with lots of interesting short and longer climbs. Hardly saw any mileposts after leaving Plymouth but there were enough landmarks to keep track of speeds in most of the important places.

    Royal Duchy 24th September 2023

    Tour 945; 13th in 2023. Total proper steam hauled mileage in 2023 after this tour, 3121.

    Mixed expectations for this, the last Royal Duchy of the year. The late date almost guaranteed the run from Plymouth would be in failing light, and by Exeter it would be dark. No fun for a timer. Still there was a second chance to see what 45596 could do on the South Devon Banks, plus the additional undulating gradients of Cornwall thrown in for good measure. So well worth doing.

    Wet in the morning for the drive to Temple Meads so the electric range fell more rapidly with lights, demister and wipers on. A rarity of late as we were a party of 5 with John and Judith, who passed her fitness to run late in the week, and Phil who joins us now and again coming out behind his favourite locomotive. The Jubilee brought the train into Platform 12 with Andy Taylor driving and a fireman I didn't recognise. Only load 8 due to the time of year. Plenty of leaf fall and definitely a good decision with the weather forecast being pretty nasty for the return. We were in the middle of Coach E, 7th carriage on the outward. Had a short chat with Andy on the platform. His fireman was Roger Griffiths, not someone we'd ever had on a train before. He told me that Bill Monteith was our driver for the return from Par.

    We were away right time and despite only 8 on had a gentle run to only cross Flax Bourton summit, mp123 1/4ish, at only 48. Better after on the down grade and level with a max of 75.6 at mp128 1/2 before slowing for our pickup at Yatton, mp131ish. Good restart and we got to 55 before mp133 but then rather drifted down to Worle Jn, 52.6 before the Jubilee was worked a bit harder to pass Uphill Jn, mp138 at 57.4. Bit slower than expected with no trains around. We ran through Highbridge, lev, at 68.7; Bridgwater, lev/256r, 71 and on more level track to a max of 76.5 at mp155 1/4. Too windy to hear much as 45596 climbed the 1 3/4m of 327r/501r/330r, left at 69ish before we dropped down to Cogload Jc, 72. Andy let the Jubilee run over the undulating grades and we arrived at Platform 2 some 2 minutes early. Yatton to Taunton's approx. 33 miles had taken a disappointing 34m 38s.

    If it hadn't been a pickup point we might have been allowed out early as the Pad-PNZ was running 28 minutes late and wasn't due to arrive until 1026. As it was, we left right time just after 1001 for an attack on Whiteball. A steady start over the crossovers and out on the main we passed mp164 on the 322r at 32; then attacked the 369r to cross Victory LX at 47.8. Windy so didn't hear much noise from up front. Onwards and upwards across Bradford-on-Tone LX, 222r, 50.3 - lower than expected. The rails were wet so caution was the name of the game. Up the mile and a quarter of 174r to mp169, 49.1 then when the gradient eased we ran through Wellington at only 48.7. We thought we felt a slip or two but we were a long way back. After the first 1/4m of 90r, speed had fallen to 41.5 and we felt the 'tug' of a slip. Hard to tell so far back; but the rain came and there were definite slips on the 86r/80r and we passed mp273, 80r/127r, at 28 and entered the tunnel at 27.9. In the tunnel speed rose on the 127r and we left it at 32.1 and passed the summit, mp174 at 41.9.

    We got to a max of 69 at mp176 1/2; then ran through Tiverton Parkway at 46 as Andy had already slowed for the run into Tiverton Loop for our water stop. We stopped just over 2 minutes down. Didn't matter as we were there for 44 minutes. The late running PAD-PNZ passed us while we were in the loop as did the 4 services due that were on time. Entertainment on the run down to Cowley Bridge Jn with 74.4 over Hele and Bradnich LC; 74.3 over Stoke Canon LC; but a mile later the brakes came in hard and due to 'congestion' in Exeter St Davids we were held and finally arrived 17 minutes late.

    We left at 1147, 17 minutes late with clear rails to Newton Abbot as the Exmouth-Paignton stopper had left at 1132. Decent start and we passed St. Thomas at 33.4; Marsh Barton at 52.3 but failed the Exminster 'Challenge' and passed mp198 3/4 at 64.6. Never mind. We passed under Powderham Crossing at 67 but Andy braked before Starcross and we only drifted through the station, past mp202 1/2 at 51.5, and slowed through both the Warren and Dawlish at 37. A check on RTT showed we were only 7 minutes behind the stopper. Could have done without that.

    We only ran through the 4 tunnels in the low 40s but things improved it got noisy by Teignmouth, mp209, 5 miles from Newton Abbot, at 53.2, with a max of 60 near mp212 on the level. Downgrade we passed mp213 3/4, River Teign Bridge, at 57.2; close to where we needed to be; and with green signals we roared through the station, mp214, at 57. No real charge as Andy only got the train up to 58 as we passed Aller with the foot of Dainton Bank a mile away. Hoped the fire was OK. The rails were dry and it was bright so we expected mid 20s or higher into the tunnel. That didn't happen. Too windy to hear much noise. We left the short 98r, at 55.8; then the 1/2m of 57r at 50.9. Bigger drop than we expected. The flanges squealed on the reverse curve as the bank steepened to 46r/56r, mp216 3/4, 43. Halfway up the bank we passed mp217, 41r, 38.1 then a big drop of 8 mph on the short 38r. A quarter on the next tight curve, 36r/44r/84r and we passed mp217 1/2 at 24.1. No slip but the 1/4m of 84r saw a further fall to 19.7 at mp217 3/4. This was followed by a small pickup to 19.9 into the tunnel. Not a spectacular but we'd made it 'slip free' we think. Elapsed time from Newton Abbot was a slowish 5m 11.7s; from mp214 1/2, 4m 38.2s.

    Nothing rapid down the grade to mp219, 50.2, and a drop to 31.9 on the level. This was the norm as we approached the final signal before Totnes, and today there was a late running BTM-PNZ only 10 minutes ahead of us. The upgrade of the signalling between Totnes and Plymouth was due to start tonight.

    Once the signal turned to green we heard plenty of noise from the Jubilee as Andy got us up to 60.5 as we roared through Totnes' middle road. The bank started on the curve just after the overbridge at mp223, lev/66r, passed at 57.5. Fortunately the rails were dry. 1/2m later the grade eased to 71r and we passed mp223 1/2 at 51.6, and we left the 71r at mp224, the start of the 47r, at 44.7. At mp224 1/2 it eased(?) to 1/4m of 50r/56r, 35.7. Beautiful sound from the Jubilee as we passed mp225, 57r/52r28.6. Up a 1/4m at 52r to mp225 1/4, 24.8 with Tigley Spire prominent on the right; and then past mp225 1/2, 52r/74r, Tigley Box site, at 22.3. The gradient eased then to 3/4m of 90r, mp226 1/4 passed at 30.5 before a 1/2m of 95r/65r took us past the summit close to mp227 at 30.2. Elapsed time from mp223 at Totnes to mp227 was 8m 9.3s.

    After 1/2m of level track over Rattery Viaduct there was a short 200r/131r for 3/4 of a mile to Marley Tunnel, just past mp227 3/4, 38.9, with just over 40 at the 'summit' just outside the tunnel. Across the top, line speed 60, there's a summit at Wrangaton, mp232. The gradient isn't anything like Dainton or Rattery. The first mile and a half has mixed 380r/909r/166r/775r/388r to mp229 3/4, passed at 47.3 nr Brent. Next was a mile+ at an average of ave. 260r to mp230 3/4, 47.6, before a mile of 129r/199r/117r/175r took us into the very short Wrangaton Tunnel at 43.8. Didn't see mp232 the summit, but there was no drop in speed.

    We went well down the grade to mp233 3/4, 61, then there was a hard brake application and we came to a stand at a red signal after Ivybridge Station. Judith was looking forward and the signal stayed at red as we restarted. We later found out there was a signalling fault in the area. Nothing of note after as we dropped down Hemerdon Bank at 61 and slowed to 47 at Plympton. Speed was down to 30 by Lipson Jn and we crawled up into Mutley Tunnel at 12. We arrived at Platform 8 at Plymouth North Road at 1305, now 24 late.

    Water was taken from the hydrant on the island platform. We were ready to depart but there was a bit of chaos as the signalling problem had affected service trains too. Control let them out in order but did allow us to leave at 1342 before the 1339 Plymouth-Penzance Service. It left 4 minutes after us but was due to stop at every station. They held an incoming IET on Cornwall Loop Viaduct which probably was booked into 8. We were 40 minutes down and thoughts of a leisurely lunch receded.

    There are quite a few sharp climbs on the way to Par. 2 miles out of the station there was a bit of 100r/59r to Devonport, 20.4. Then we dropped down through Dockyard Station at only 21.8 and Keyham at 33.4. Bit slow that. The line climbed up almost a mile of average 65r to St Budeaux Ferry Road, 34 and we slowed for the climb onto and the passage. We passed the old Signal Box at 18 and climbed the short 141r onto the Royal Albert Bridge. We passed mp251 on the horizontal tube at 16.7 then dropped down over the metal viaduct mp251 1/4, 81f, at 17. In Cornwall we drifted around the tight curve of Saltash Station at 17.4 and then down the 64f to Coombe by Saltash Viaduct, level, crossed at 32.7. Bit noisy then on the short 200r/142r onto Forder Viaduct, 49 before down through Wivelscombe Tunnel, 58 with a max of 61 before we crossed Notar Viaduct, 144r, 53.

    1/2m more of 144r then 1/2m of 220r to mp255 1/2 passed at 48.7, then we crossed St German's Viaduct, at 48. Nice noisy climb then. It started with a bit of 97r then 215r through the station, 46.9, before we had to take on the first real climb in Cornwall. It started with 1/2m of 78r and we passed mp256 3/4 at 43; then 1/2m+ of steeper 68r, mp257 1/2, eased to 106r, 36.5, then another 1/4m of 106r to pass a mini summit under a road bridge just after mp258, lev, at 31.8.35.7. after a 1/4m+ on the level there's there was a further mile+ of 159r/105f/112r to mp259 1/2, passed at 47.4. Decent enough but the stopper had lost 8 minutes because of us.

    Down to Menheniot, mp261 3/4, on the station, passed at 57.4. Lots of noise on the 1/4m+ at 80r, mp262 1/4 passed at 53.3; then the bank bit and speed fell on the 3/4m of 95r to mp263, 43.7, then on the final 1/2m of 74r to 37. Nasty short climb.

    Next was close to 2 miles of mostly down grade to mp264 1/2, 49, before the next climb through Liskeard to Doublebois. Mixed gradient to begin with; 89r then a bit of level through the station, 60.5, then a noisy charge down the 59f to hit 64.4 at mp265 1/4. Over Moorswater Viaduct, level, 59, then a mile of 61r/51r/74r to mp266 1/4, 47.1. The climb steepened to 58r for 1/4m+, 38.3; then 1/4m of 857r/68r, 40.4, a speed held on 1/4+ of 68r/67r to mp267 1/4, 40.4. Doublebois Summit is marked at mp267 1/2, 67r/lev, 48.2. The Jubilee roared into Sperritt Tunnel, level, at we held 48 over the 1/2m of lev/53r to mp268, 53r/162f, 48.

    Most of Roger's work was done then as we dropped down a mix of falling/level track over a number of viaducts and a short single track section, then back on double track and over more viaducts before Bodmin Parkway, 50.1. Down the 65f to a max of 62.5 that meant we 'ignored' the short 142r into Brownqueen Tunnel. Andy eased 45596 down the curve into Lostwithiel, mp274 1/2ish, 48.9. Once we'd crossed the viaduct we came to the final sharp bank. It started with 3/4m of 118r/57r/72r to mp278, 41; then a bit of lev/147r/lev before we hit 1/2m of 64r and roared into Treverrin Tunnel at 33.4. We left it at 40.5. Then it was down to Par where we arrived at 1434, 38 late. A later check showed the service train was 13 late and remained so to Penzance.

    To make the shunting easier and as there were no trains on the Newquay Branch this late in September, we'd been signalled into Platform 3, the branch platform. That meant all passengers had to cross the bridge. Di sneaked off well in front of us to get us seats in the front of the bus to Charlestown. Took quite a while to get everyone over the bridge and down to the bus stop. We didn't get to Charlestown until ten past three but we were off the bus rapidly and fortunately got a table for 5 in the Rashleigh Arms.

    The ladies had roast beef Sunday Roasts. John and Phil had the cod and chips while I had a squid starter and a salmon main as there was no mackerel. All the food was excellent, as was the Proper Job and Tribute. We left at quarter past four to go for a stroll but the buses were already there. Our driver took the long way around and we didn't get back onto the station until 1650. The train had left the siding by then but we were on board in time for a right time departure at 1701.

    The Stanier Hooter sounded and Bill got us away for the run back to Bristol now in the middle of the 3rd carriage. Not raining but a few drops on the windows. No helper for milepost spotting today and I wondered how many I'd actually see. I Used the GPS' Odometer as a guide as it was back to working properly. A steady start over the 1/4m of level track, 8.8 then onto the almost mile of 84r from mp282 1/2, 23. Plenty of noise - now middle of third carriage - and we left the 84r at mp281, 22.6. The gradient eased to 109r for 1/2m+ and slip free we came off the 109r at mp260 1/4 at 28.3. got steeper then and I didn't see the 2 posts on the 62r, but it was 62r into Treverrin Tunnel, 25.1. More than decent.

    Undulating grade from 64r to level down to mp278 3/4, 48.7, and level over Milltown Viaduct, 48.7. Down to Lostwithiel, mp277 1/2, 45.8 and then at mp276 3/4, 48.8, we started the close to 11 mile climb to Sperritt Tunnel. It was raining quite heavily now so anything could happen. From mp276 1/2 there was a mile and a half of 389r, left at mp275 1/2 at 50.7. up 1/2m of 71r to Brownqueen Tunnel, 44.3, changed to 142f in the tunnel left at 50.8. Very noisy on the 3/4m of 65r, mp274 1/4, 40.6 and eased to lev/85r as we squealed around the curve through Bodmin Parkway, 40.4. on, 3/4m of 142f/level where speed rose to 52.5. Bill used the bit of level/148r to get to 43.8 at mp273 1/2 and then the serious climb began at 80r, mp273 1/4, 43.8. On the almost 1/4m 81f the Jubilee roared to hit 49.4 with lots of coal bouncing off the roof.

    Then they were into 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. It really is spectacular even in the pouring rain. Speeds are at the change of gradient points between mps 272 3/4 and 270 3/4. The first 1/4 of 94r, 47.1. due to the deteriorating conditions and lashing rain on the window I missed the ends of the 1/2 mile of 69r, and 1/4m 58r to mp272. 1/2 mile of 68r over Clinnick Viaduct, 43; 68r past mp271 on Derrycombe Viaduct, 40.3; close to a mile of 70r across Draw Wood and Largin Viaducts, 37.7 min; refuge on the single track, 1/4 of 159r/90r, 39.3. If that wasn't enough, then we hit the mile and a half slog at 90r over St Pinnock Viaduct, 40.4; Westwood Viaduct, double track, to mp269 1/4, 40.4; then an odd bit of level, mp268 3/4, 43. This was followed by 1/2m of 62r/162r/short 66f, 45.7, sometimes referred to as Doublebois Summit 1, as after a short 53r/lev bit, there's 1/4m+ of 67r through Sperritt Tunnel to mp267 1/2, 67r/68f, the NR Summit.

    Our fireman could relax a bit at last - apologies as I didn't get his name - down a few miles of falling gradients from 58f to level at Moorswater Viaduct, 56. Back to the shovel up the half mile of 59r towards Liskeard Station, 49. Down at 89f then kevel to mp264 1/2, 51.8 before we hit the 1/2m of 79r, 50.6, over Cartuther Viaduct, a short 258r, mp263 3/4, 57.2. 2 miles+ of 74f/95f/80f took us to 62.7 through Menheniot and apart from a blip at 250r it was all downgrade to St Germans, mp256 1/4ish, 51.5. Down over Notar Viaduct, 66 before a short 1/4m+ of 200r into and through Wivelscombe Tunnel, 65.1 in and out. Braked for Forder Viaduct, 33.9, and Coombe by Saltash Viaduct, 5, as the CDF-PNZ IET was coming off the Royal Albert Bridge.

    We rolled through Saltash at 13 and up the 81r over the viaduct, mp215 1/4 at 12, onto the Royal Albert Bridge. We passed mp251 at 15.7; then back in Devon, the old Signal Box,62f, at 18 and ran down the 62f/105f/59f to St Budeaux Ferry Road, 59f, 41.3. There was a bit of a kick up the 3/4m from mp249 1/2, 68 1/4r, 47.3 through Keyham. The gradient eased at mp249 to 515r/170r, 43. Some short bits of evening sunshine now. We passed Dockyard, 170r, at 41.1 and Devonport Tunnel, 76r, in at 39.7; station, lev, 37.1. Then we ran down to North Road P8 where we arrived at 1757, 1 late.

    H&S consideration don't allow a long run of hose from the hydrant so the locomotive was detached and watered at the west end of Platform 7 as last time. 45596 was back on the front of the train well in advance of our departure time. Lots of talk about Hemerdon in the rain and the light was almost gone. Rain in the air as we rejoined the train and we ran into the promised wind and rain. Tried to milepost but that was a bit of a disaster and the GPS Odometer had gone on the blink and didn't register from the start at Plymouth. I saw mp244 3/4, 83f, 43.3 then at Lipson Jn, 83f/77f, 43.2 and Laira Jn, level, 60. Next post I saw was mp242 3/4 in Tavistock Yard, lev/204r, 62.6 on the run to the bottom of the bank. Lost them then until mp241, 42r, 47.9; something passed at 21.7; saw mp240, 42r, 17.2, the minimum speed on my GPS, though the internal GPX file had 16.9 as the minimum. Caught sight of the gradient post just before the bridge that had mp239 3/4, under it, the end of the serious climb, 18.9. An excellent climb in the conditions. Time from Plymouth was 11m 54.4s.

    I checked to make sure the GPS still worked properly and gave up looking for posts and decided to do 'landmarks'. We crossed Ivybridge Viaduct at 52.4 and ran through the station at 50.8, 6 early. We roared into Wrangaton Tunnel at 52.6; crossed Grazebrook Viaduct at 59.5. Marley Tunnel was 49 in; 53.1 out. We crossed Rattery viaduct at 53.4 and raced down the bank close to 60.

    We sped through Totnes at 63, now 7 early with awful visibility but I picked out mp221, level, 49, and used the Odometer that was now working to assist after that. We passed mp220, lev, at 54.3 and started the approach to Dainton on the 260r at 54. On the 55r we passed mp219 1/4 at 50.8 and mp219 - saw it - at 48.8. Back to the Odo. We passed mp218 3/4, 65r/38r at 43.1 and with some serious sound from the front and the squeal of flanges against the rails, passed mp218 1/2, 38r/43r at 38.2; then mp218 1/4, 43r/37r at 33.5 and saw mp218, 130r, at 33.2 just before we entered Dainton Tunnel at the same speed. Some climb. The elapsed time from Totnes to Dainton Tunnel was 5m 41.3s.

    We ran down the bank, around the curve and roared through Newton Abbot at 61.6, now 9 early. Time elapsed from Plymouth was only 41m 57.4s. As NA was only 20 miles from Exeter, a sub 60 minutes run was possible barring signal checks and the fire being good. We were 28 minutes behind the Paignton - Exmouth Stopper and the Paddington IET. The 60mph limit ended at Starcross and we had run at 75 mph for miles in the past.

    No point in putting times in until Teignmouth, lev, 60, 9 minutes early. No fall in speed and into Parson's Tunnel/Avalanche Shelter, 60.4; the 4 tunnels, Clarks in at 60; Kennaway left at 60.9 and a dash through Dawlish, lev, at 62.6. Absolutely no let up and we roared through Dawlish Warren at 67.8 and Starcross at 71.8. The hour was still on and speed rose to 76 at Exminster. Then our luck ran out and the brakes came in firmly. RTT showed we were only 9 minutes behind the stopper and he had 2 more stops, Marsh Barton and St Thomas. Shame that. We passed mp197 at 56; Marsh Barton at 42 and St Thomas at 20.7 before we crawled towards St Davids past the Panel Box at 8 and stopped in Platform 6 at 1954, 9 early but we'd taken 65m 42s from Plymouth. Marsh Barton to St Davids, just over 2 miles had taken us over 7 minutes.

    The tanker did a good job and the tender was refreshed and we were ready to leave early but there was no point as there was the 166 set on the EXD-BTM all stations in Platform 2 due to leave at 2032. Our guard spoke to Control and they agreed to let us leave at 2025. Hmmm, we didn't think it was a good idea as we'd have to keep well out of its way to be allowed to run to Taunton. Been there; done that and Tiverton Loop beckoned. Fingers crossed it wouldn't happen.

    The light had gone so no mileposting. We passed Cowley Bridge Jn, 300r, at 36. The GPS Odometer hadn't quite kicked in again. Next landmark was Stoke Canon LX, 217r, close to mp190 1/4, passed at 54.6 and I saw mp189, 271f, 60 so noted the Odo reading. Not that confident so just decided to record the round miles from it. This led to speeds being 62.1 at mp188, 435r; 62.7 at mp187, 243r/219r. Then we roared over Hele and Bradnich LX, level, before the 292r, at an excellent 67.3. Up the 292r/523r to mp185, 67.8; then on the 306r, mp184, thought I saw that one, 69.2. Next recorded was mp182, 316r, saw that, 70.4 and then - guess what, we got checked and braked as we passed Cullompton and drifted into Tiverton Loop. What a waste of time as we'd have had a superb run if the guard had just been a guard.

    The 166 hardly roared past and had taken 10 mins to get to Hele and Bradnich. We'd taken 11 1/2 and it was debatable whether we were far enough ahead to have been allowed to run to Taunton.

    Once we had a green we passed mp179, 207f, at 24.8 and heard the Jubilee roar as a no doubt annoyed Bill attacked what was left of the bank. We passed mp178, 216r, at 42.8; blasted through the Parkway, hooter blaring, at 48.2. Saw mp177, 242r, 51.8 but had to use the Odo for mp176, the start of the 115r, 55.7. Loud roar and bits of coal flying past the windows as we passed mp175 1/2 at 56.2; mp175 at 56.7; under the bridge, mp174 3/4, at 55.4; then under the trestle bridge, mp174 1/4, at 55 and finally mp174 at 55.9 before we entered Whiteball Tunnel at 59.4. we left it at 65.

    Bill made a rapid descent and by mp171 we hit 77; crossed Bradford-on-Tone LX at 74.7; Victory LX at 73.9 before the Jubilee was eased. We ran into Taunton at 2111 only 3 minutes late.

    We left 3 late and had a decent run to Cogload Jn, 62.2. Fairly featureless nightscape and I didn't record anything until we roared through Bridgwater at 75.5, now 1 late. That was good. The Odo said we passed mp151, lev, at 73.6 but as we approached Huntspill the brakes came in. RTT showed we'd closed to 6 minutes behind the stopper that had only just left Highbridge. We trundled to Uphill Jn, 31.2 and drifted past Worle below 30. We were less than 5 minutes behind the stopper so weren't expecting anything special. We left Yatton after our set down some 5 minutes late. A decent enough run to Nailsea and Backwell, 51.5; then a bit of a charge to Flax Bourton, the GPX file suggested the summit was passed at 48.3. We passed Parson Street at 48 ish then had an uninterrupted run into Temple Meads P12/11 where we stopped at 2216, only 2 minutes late. It's always a could we have stayed in front of the stopper and would there have been a platform for us but the stopper took 20 minutes from Yatton; we took 15.

    First time in many years we've done 3 Royal Duchys, but then again they were the proper Duchys with steam to Par and return. The Jubilees and the Scot did us proud. Sadly I can't see us ever having an ex-GWR locomotive on them. Perhaps we'll get Clan Line and Tornado next year; who knows.

    Many thanks to RTC for running the Royal Duchy. Shame it had to be out back a fortnight.

    Huge thanks to the Bahamas Locomotive Society for making their magnificent locomotive available again. It's becoming an honorary Southerner spending more time south of Gloucester than I bet they ever expected. Huge thanks to their Support Team for being prepared to spend so much time away from home. On the 4 tours we've had the pleasure of doing with the Jubilee on the front, the performance has been excellent. Some of the spectacular bank climbing and high speed running have been the highlights of the year.

    Many thanks to WCR for providing the excellent footplate crews; the train set and for train management on the day, except for the Exeter thing that spoiled Whiteball Eastbound.

    Thanks to Les our train manager and the stewards. Again the train was very well stewarded all day. It's noticeable how many stewards are on every train and we hope that will persuade the ORR that CDL isn't needed to safely run in Mk1 carriages on the mainline.

    Thanks as always to Network Rail for letting us run on the big railway. The regulation was as good as it could have been with the issues on the day, though one of these days they really should let us have a go at running through Uphill and Worle Jns in front of the stopper.

    Wind and rain for most of the drive home. Surprisingly with lights, heater for demisting, and wipers often at max speed, the electric still had a range of 57 miles left. Still meant we'd used 155 miles of range on the 89 mile round trip.

    Only the 7th October's CME left for us as we can't see there being any more proper steam runs after that this year. Shame as we used to love the Christmas Cheshireman from BTM to Chester but with no big Class 8 or the alternative double headed Black 5s we've had in the past available, restarts at Cwmbran and especially Abergavenny make diesel assistance inevitable.

    At least we've got past 3,000 proper steam miles this year.
     
  8. Sam 60103

    Sam 60103 Member

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    Excellent report as always. With regards to future motive power the only GWR loco where something could happen is 6024 depending on the situation with its ownership. With regards to next year provided it is ready and it fits the turntable at St Blazey then I would expect 6233 to handle the Royal Duchy’s although I certainly wouldn’t rule out 45596 once again. I don’t however see either 35028 or 60163 doing it although I could be wrong. In a few years time 70013 and maybe 30777 will be possibilities.
     
  9. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Some nice climbs with Bahamas. Thanks for persevering with the log.

    I know that we should expect heritage main line locos to behave well and not frighten the TOC with any unplanned issues but it is worth saying that Bahamas ended up at Par and this is a long, long way from any rescue loco. Neither did West Coast send a helper, either attached or separately. It's irrelevant that a trip such as the Duchy is arguably a pointless one to do with an accompanying diesel. You could simply choose to forget steam and send the train down into Cornwall with a Class 47. The scenery would be the same.

    Add a steam locomotive doing what it does and the whole trip takes on a different perspective with all the hill climbing and the broader spectacle. I wasn't on this trip but I have done others on this route and I have to say that West Coast deserves far more than the customary thanks. It takes a leap of faith to run a trip like this one as last Sunday and I really appreciate the effort they made. It's not as if the line has four tracks west of Exeter so that other trains can get by if there is a problem. So well done to West Coast.

    By contrast, I will book with Bahamas on the Mancunian. Of course it will need a push out of Euston but that should be enough to get it up Camden Bank just as it always was. The day involves main line and some four track working yet I'm assuming it will take a diesel for the shunt and turn at Manchester. I know that this is probably inevitable. It's just sad that it has to be so and that a 'work around' isn't possible.
     
  10. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Couldn't agree more about West Coast and was going to say more about them in an annual review. We'd have given up on our hobby without them. We wouldn't travel with LSL or VT operated trains at present if they paid us. The Mancunian is a bit tempting but we couldn't do it without staying in London for 2 nights. Did that for the ACE for pure steam but Oct 21st is in leaf fall season that usually leads to a tailgunner regardless of a shunting need on one of the seriously busy mainlines.
     
  11. 16Ventnor

    16Ventnor Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the phots and videos and for Shireman for the detailed report which I have yet to read in full. Myself and Wendy thoroughly enjoyed this trip. I don't want to start the debate all over but it was super to know the loco was doing ALL the work and the sound going up Hemerdon will long live in the memory. I have written to RTC thanking them for the work put into the day which for the enthusiasts was a must do again. I do hope RTC will make some money out of what was, necessarily, a short rake. Having recently read Michael Whitehouse' interview in Steam Railway and the requirements for a diesel for shunting I was interested to see 45596 doing its own, including propelling onto the main line from the Newquay side at Par. I remember on 60163 trips the loco nearly always going solo and doing its own shunting like at Great Yarmouth for instance. Are there places where shunting, propelling without assistance is allowed or is it a decision to be made by the TOC? Just asking, if anyone knows the procedures. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2023
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  12. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    The railhead treatment train has started it's work between Swindon, Gloucester and Newport. The leaf fall season is upon us. It's sensible that Bahamas had a realistic load for it's Devon and Cornwall run on Sunday. [BJ]
     

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