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The South Yorkshireman - 3/11/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Big Al, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thank you!

    As I have said on numerous occasions I think that the RER should seriously look at putting main line gubbins on River Mite, give it 5 years and she will probably be the only steam engine that will fit on the NR network!
     
  2. Fulwood Flyer

    Fulwood Flyer Member

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    44871 and 45407 and crews, certainly did their best to lift the spirits as they made a majestic climb away from Darwen on a cold and misty east Lancashire morning. 44871+45407-Darwen-The South Yorkshireman-03 November 2019-PA.jpg
     
  3. Sam 60103

    Sam 60103 New Member

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    Sounds like the two best performing locos on the network did their best in the circumstances. NR need to make gauging easier to understand and clearer. Flying Scotsman in 2o16 in Scotland comes to mind to describe network rails disorganisation at times.
     
  4. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Well-Known Member

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  5. and60007

    and60007 Member

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    My latest footage, enjoy
     
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  6. acorb

    acorb Member

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    I suspect that had these timings been issued the previous Wednesday (I.e not 4 days before the trip was due to run), then West Coast or RTC would have said 'no, try again'. Saphos were quick to ask Network Rail to have another look after they issued horrifically late timings for Britannia around the Cumbrian Coast in August.

    I must admit we were grateful for an earlier arrival back in Bolton, meant I at least saw my bed before midnight!
     
  7. acorb

    acorb Member

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    Apologies for the dodgy quotation above!
     
  8. acorb

    acorb Member

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    I think that was slightly different and coincided with a severe lack of staff in the timing office, with the result that the trip simply hadn't been picked up by anyone.

    What it did highlight though was how quickly things could be checked when there was a threat of bad publicity..
     
  9. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    What dodgy quotes..:)
     
  10. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    The South Yorkshireman 03 November 2019 – 444871 & 45407 hauling 9+2 POBs

    Mrs W is a “Billy Whizz” at puzzles but try as she might she couldn’t turn South Yorkshireman into Tin Bath (backwards) – but someone could . . .

    I prefer trips that have a destination, a couple of hours break then reverse and return by the same or a different route; this is not such a trip – so why am I am on it? I live in the hills of Darwen, about half a mile west of the northern portal of Sough Tunnel, and I have made numerous bookings on trips that promised to run through Darwen; all failed to deliver. The last time I travelled the line behind steam was the Cotton Mill Express of 17 July 2010 (46115), there have been a couple runs since but no passenger runs after the line was doubled from the site of the former Hoddlesden Jn, through Darwen to just south of the former Spring Vale station (approx 2 miles). Following the “doubling” a 30 minute service to and from Manchester was introduced and the steam paths that had existed disappeared, that is unless you leave Blackburn earlyish on a Sunday morning.

    It was foggy when I arrived in Blackburn; the Preston-Colne service brought a record number of passengers (for a Sunday morning) and they all crossed from platform 2 to platform 4 to await the arrival of the train. Platform 4 is the shortest of the through platforms and common sense prevailed (a little late) and it was announced that our train had been changed to the longer platform 2. The ECS arrived with 44871 leading 45407; I took my seat at the back of coach G, the 10th (despite the attentions of the travelling fitter coach G had no steam heating throughout the day). We left ¼L with Mick Rawling driving 44871 and David Blair on 45407. (The locos were fired throughout by several of Ian Riley’s young men – regrettably I don’t have all their names). The air was damp, leaves were falling, the RHTT hadn’t been over the line since early Friday; would the “girls” keep their feet on the stiff climb through Darwen?

    Leaving Blackburn, it’s downhill for ¾ of a mile then 1/101r; we accelerated past Lower Darwen and reached a max of 38 just after crossing the M65, down to 36.7 at Darwen N Jn and onto the double track but the gradient tightens towards Darwen (av 1/80r). We had to pass a northbound service that was scheduled to stop in Darwen at 09.22, we could dawdle along and hope that it appeared, stop in the station or run up to the stop signal; how would Mick play it? We had gained height and were now above the fog and into autumn sunshine. We climbed through Darwen station at 25.4 then gradually let speed fall away hoping that the service train would appear before we had to stop. We were early and came to a halt at the signal (located about 100yds north of Grimshaw Street Bridge). After a 5 min wait the service train passed (09.22) and only 20 seconds later we were off; restarting on a curve with a gradient of 1/74½r. In just over ½ a mile, aided by a short stretch of 1/97r, we entered Sough Tunnel at 24.1. Sough Tunnel is 1m 255yds long mainly at 1/74r but tightening to 1/69r for the final ½ mile. We exited at 25 with an average of 25.1 through the tunnel; the summit is just beyond the south portal where the line descends at 1/95f for ¾ mile before falling more sharply at 1/73f. Through Entwistle* (RT & 35.4), speed quickly built to a max of 46.7 before we braked for the Xng at Turton; the fog had returned. Back on to the double track and through Bromley Cross (1L & 39.5), Hall I’ Th’ Wood (2¼E & 39.2) finally easing into platform 1 at Bolton (6E). [*Ent Wistle is a cousin of mine who, by a strange coincidence, is a surgeon who performs tonsillectomies at the local hospital – honest!]

    We left Bolton ½L and had 10 miles of falling track (around 1/200f) towards Manchester Victoria; time for the girls to stretch their legs. By Moses Gate we were up to 51.7 (1¼L), Farnworth (1L & 57.7), Kearsley (¾L & 61.7), Clifton (¾E & 60.1) but soon we were slowing and down to 9 as we approached Salford Crescent, through Salford Central (RT & 22.5 and shouts of yes! from @Bullied Pacific?). We rolled into pl 4 at Manchester Victoria and stopped ½E – entering Man Vic from either direction without being held is a rarity. This was our final pick up before heading to Yorkshire.

    A consequence of the revised itinerary is that we would head east through Rochdale, a rare event and I thought, in recent years, prohibited by a clearance issue? It also meant that we would get the full climb of Miles Platting (instead of the usual curve off to the right). We left 1¾L and from the platform end onto the 1/59r, an easing to 1/151r/113r/104r then ¾ mile of 1/63r. The girls took it all in their stride, by Bromley St we were up to 20.2, another half mile and we crossed the A664 at 25.5, another half mile and Miles Platting at 30.9 and by the time the rear of the 10th coach passed Brewery Jn we were up to 34.1 and 40.3 at Thorpes Bridge Jn – what Bank?! The climb continues (around 1/150r); Moston (¾E & 47.8), Vitriol Works (1¼E & 51.3) we reached a max of 54.9 before speed fell at Mills Hills (1½E & 53.8). Now on 2 miles of 1/152r speed dropped to a min of 51 at Slattocks before increasing to 53.6 at Castleton S Jn, and with the easier gradients, to 56 at Castleton before we braked for the psr at Rochdale (1½E). A level stretch and through Smithy Bridge (3¾E & 57.1) and onto the 1/336r to Littleborough (4¾E & 57.2) then only 3 miles of 1/330r to the summit (which is in Summit Tunnel). We began braking and down to 49 as we entered the tunnel, still braking and out of the tunnel (av speed 30.7) and down to 24.7 through Walsden (2¼E) then we were away again. It appears that we were checked to allow 2L73 (Blackburn-Southport) to cross from the Copy Pit Line and head to Manchester.

    There follows approx 15 miles of downhill running to our water stop at Brighouse. The fog had cleared before the Yorkshire border and the day had brightened considerably. We ran in the 40s/50s then slowed to 23 before Hebden Bridge for our planned 15 min operational stop; this was not required and our 1L became 14E. We reached 50 after Luddendenfoot and passed through Sowerby Bridge (14¾E & 20.5) before being held for 1 min before Milner Royd Jn and held again, for a little longer, approaching Greetland Jn. Time for a final burst into the high 40s before stopping for water in Brighouse (9E). There was a scheduled water stop of 45 min (plus our 9E) meant almost an hour. Despite having to walk the length of the train to reach the platform I decided that a leg stretch was in order and it was a pleasure to walk through the other carriages that had working heating (that was ALL of them!). On my trek I saw @andalfi1 and @Big Al who questioned (in a bemused way) my decision to take to the platform at Brighouse (of all places?). Metaphorical tyres kicked, I returned to my seat for a sandwich.

    We left Brighouse ¾L and headed for Wakefield K (downhill all the way); just after Bradley Wood Jn we were up to 49.5 then slowed to 22 approaching Heaton Lodge Jn, presumably to allow 2J62 (Leeds-Huddersfield to cross). Up to 48.9 at Mirfield (2½L) but with a generous allowance and some good running we passed Horbury Jn SB (2¼E & 50.5). We were then held for 13 min waiting to run into Wakefield K. We stopped in WK (3¼L) and just over 1 min later left with Ian Riley having taken over from David Blair as driver of 45407. It is difficult to find a highlight in this next section; the sun was shining, there were a couple of spectacular views of the train on sweeping RH curves and we passed through Fitzwilliam (birthplace of Sir Geoffrey Boycott) at 16 (16 not out is a fine score just before lunch on the first day). We spent 8 min in Hemsworth loop, 12 in Moorthorpe loop (waiting for a late running service that was never going to arrive), stopped for 3 mins at Swinton and a few seconds south of Rotherham Masborough before stopping in Brightside Loop (¼L). 25½ miles had taken just under 81 min. We drew forward to where the tanker was waiting and stopped; we had a booked water stop of 70 min. All there was to pass the time was to watch the trains go past; most of them seemed to be Pacers – thank goodness for Mk1s (with no heating). It was now clouding over.

    Watering complete we drew up to the signal to await our merciful release (from the loop). We left 5½L and slowly made our way to Sheffield. On the way down (probably should be Up), I was looking for the offending piece of infrastructure that had caused the clearance prohibition – sorry, prohibit (another verbal noun has entered the vocabulary) – “a needle in a haystack”. I understand that the problem is where the line crosses the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation. We stopped in pl 6 at Sheffield at 15:39:30 (5½L). We had 48 min until departure; I had a look at the locos, a walk to the station foyer to buy a bar of chocolate and another look at the locos. They are exceptionally well presented; the footplates were immaculate and clean, I complimented Ian Riley saying that they were a credit to him and his staff. At Sheffield Mick Kelly took over driving on 44871.

    We left RT and headed south into the growing darkness. Leaving Sheffield we are very soon onto 5½ miles of 1/100r; after 1.9 miles we had reached 30.1 as we passed Heeley Retail Park but then slowed to 6 mph at Millhouses (3.2 miles) to allow IE48 (Reading-Newcastle) to clear Dore Station Jn so that we could cross to the Hope Valley Line. There was some slipping as we pulled away but the girls soon got a grip and we left the mainline at Dore Station Jn (½L & 24.6), through Dore & Totley at 29 and the same speed past Dore W Jn, another mile and speed increased to 34.7 as we entered Totley Tunnel. Totley Tunnel is 3m 950yds long (starts at 1/100r then 1/176r followed by 1½ miles at 1/150r and finally 1¼ miles of level track); we left at 45.3 with an average speed of 39.6 through the tunnel. On favourable gradients we reached 52 at Hathersage (2¾L) and 61.8 at Bamford (2¾L), shortly afterwards we hit the foot of 7½ miles of 1/100r. Beyond Hope (the story of my life) speed had fallen below 30 as we prepared for our pathing stop at Earles sidings DGL. We stopped half a mile before the SB (for about a minute) before running into the loop and stopping (8L). We were booked to stay for 35 min, but our late arrival might reduce this – hopefully. Eventually (3L) 1B85 (Cleethorpes-Man Pic) passed and shortly afterwards (1¾L) we were off.

    Speed built steadily on the 1/100r and 3¾ miles after leaving the loop we passed through Edale at 37 (5L) and settled at 36/7 for the remainder of the climb with 37 into Cowburn Tunnel (the summit is just before the east portal). Cowburn Tunnel is 2m 182 yds long; the first half mile is level then the gradient becomes 1/150f) – the average speed through the tunnel was 43.8. Out of the tunnel and it is downhill all the way (typically 1/90f – 1/150f), so it’s brakes rather than regulator. Speed was 50.5 at Chinley E Jn, 53.8 at Chinley N Jn and had risen to 60 through Chinley (5L) we continued to run at 60/62 but as we entered Disley Tunnel at 61.6 the brakes came on and we left at 43. We continued to slow; Hazel Grove (32.4 & 3½L), Woodsmoor (27.6 & ¼L), Davenport (21 & ¾E) and we crawled past Edgeley No1 SB where to our right we were treated to a firework display. We accelerated through Stockport pl 3 (19.6 & 1¼L) then branched off at Heaton Norris Jn, up to 37.2 through Reddish S (1E) before stopping at Denton (¾E) for our final watering; another 46 min and again, with no carriages in the platform, we were unable to get off the train.

    We left Denton 2¼E and except for a brief check at Ashton Moss Jn we made our way to Man Vic pl 3 (½E), the first of our set-downs. Away again (2½E) and gently out of the city; Salford Central (27 & 3E), Salford Crescent (25.4 & 3¼E), then against a prevailing gradient of around 1/200r all the way to Bolton we began to accelerate. The girls were firmly in charge; Clifton (52.0 & 3E), Kearsley (56.1 & 4¼E), Farnworth (56.1 & 4½E) and then eased as we passed through Moses Gate (53.0 & 4¾E) in readiness to stop at Bolton pl 4 (4½E). That was fun.

    On the final leg now, we left Bolton 3½E with around 5 miles of gently rising grades to the summit (typically 1/450r). By Lostock we were up to 56.2 & 6¼E, Horwich Parkway (58.1 & 6¼E) with the summit just beyond. We continued to run in front of the clock; Blackrod (59.9), Adlington (60.0), stormed the curve through Chorley (61.2) and by Buckshaw Parkway we were 10¾E and down to 53.6 as we approached Euxton Jn. We were clear to join the WCML and by Leyland were bowling along at 61.2, we continued in the low 60s until we slowed and were stopped for 3½ min approaching Ribble Jn. We finally stopped in pl 5 at Preston 5½E.

    The service train arrived 20 min later, on time, and we were soon in Blackburn. A very short drive and back home for 21.20 to find Mrs W, listening to music, doing a jig saw and sipping sherry – multitasking! It had been a 13 hour day, but seemed longer.

    During the day I had a brief chat with @Mick45305 and a couple of longer and enjoyable chats with Daniel and @torgormaig, who was guard on the return leg. Peter got his wish and the ECS left early and ran directly to 10A – early finish! West Brom Tom was steward and, as always, good for a bit of banter and some good information. The trip did not run as we might have wished and plenty of people have had their say about what was wrong– but life moves on. What was right, 2 magnificent Black 5s produced some enjoyable, surefooted and rare climbs; through Darwen, Summit eastbound and Hope Valley westbound. Would I book the same trip again, probably not, but never say never. Thanks to all involved in operating the train and to those who posted photos and vids.

    My personal highlight was seeing Mrs W waving from Grimshaw St Bridge – Sunday morning 09.20, not her comfort zone and nothing was said beforehand. Also on the trip I glimpsed my personal vision of damnation; to be stuck for all eternity in Brightside Loop watching Pacers go by – forever and ever and ever . . .
     
  11. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Well done for turning a day of purgatory into something that was worth reading. A statistic of the day worth adding is that just on the journey to our 'destination', Sheffield, if you exclude station stops for passengers we spent 2 hours and 40 minutes stationary and most of that time was confined to the train. I now know why I will never travel by motorway coach for fear of imprisonment in a traffic jam.

    But as you say, the Riley team and his Black 5s were a highlight of the day in all respects - condition, performance and sound. Just a detail though. You may find that the slow running approaching Walsden and around Gauxholme was TSR related.
     
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  12. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    Thanks Al, and (as usual) I missed the TSR
     
  13. acorb

    acorb Member

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    Ah ha, magic! Thanks for the edit!
     
  14. Sam 60103

    Sam 60103 New Member

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    The young men who work for Ian Riley who fire on the mainline are:
    Phil Akster
    Matt Durkin
    Matthew Earnshaw
    Jack Johnson
    Michael Keenan
    Lewis Maclean
    Calum Titley
    I would imagine four of them would have been used on Sunday. From video footage Jack Johnson was firing 44871 and Phil Akster 45407 in the morning.
     
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  15. 242A1

    242A1 Member

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    I have long thought along these lines with respect to the Port of Par twins. At least we wouldn't need a third rail.
     
  16. Oswald T Wistle

    Oswald T Wistle Well-Known Member Friend

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    Thank you. I recognise most of the names and some of the faces, but linking names and faces becomes increasingly difficult with age. I had the details for the outward journey but not the return so I chose to omit all the names.
     
  17. Sam 60103

    Sam 60103 New Member

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    Michael Keenan and Lewis Maclean are pretty much Jacobite only so two of the other three I would imagine would have been firing the way back. Unfortunately I can't tell who from the video footage due to the darkness.
     
  18. sgthompson

    sgthompson Part of the furniture

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    I thought Joanne Crompton also fires for Mr Riley from time to time ?
     
  19. jonathonag

    jonathonag Well-Known Member

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    While I can't comment for Michael, Lewis does get out and about outside of the Jacobite. He was one of the main firemen rostered on the B1 when up in May, in particular during the Kyle excursion and the marathon day from Inverness to Fort William.
     
  20. Sam 60103

    Sam 60103 New Member

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    No longer on the mainline as far as I know.
     

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