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West Somerset Railway Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. 60044

    60044 Member

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    Interestingly, the NYMR on the whole does not fit "Hitch's Rule" - in the late 50s/early 60s trains were mostly hauled by Standard 3s, Standard 4 tanks or B1s and banking assistance was supposed to be provided for trains over 5 coaches. the same size engines nowadays haul most of the trains which are normally 7 coaches long with no banking assistance, so the class 4s and 5s are providing relatively less power than in BR days!
     
  2. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    No idea if it is the reason but considerable curve easing and regularisation of the gradients may have had an affect. Such as the 3 length bit of 1 in 18 that used to esit at Darnholme, now matching the average gradient either side, similarly on Br 30 the bridge track level was lifted 600mm to equalise the gradient.
     
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  3. bluetrain

    bluetrain New Member

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    The SDJR 2-8-0s were just as wide over cylinders (a fraction under 9-ft) as the large GW types, and much wider than a Jubilee. If any engine classes were indeed banned from S&D on grounds of width, might the problem have been with proximity of cab roof edges to platform canopies or narrow tunnel walls?

    Anyway, the big cylinders on No 88/53808 are no problem on the WSR. Having relatively light axle loadings and overall weight, this powerful engine must be a real godsend to the WSR under present circumstances.
     
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  4. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    Are you sure about this. GWR locos were notorious for being too wide over the cylinders on many routes and I've always understood that it was this that prevented their use on thr S&D. Maybe its to do with the dynamic characteristics of these locos in relation to platform edges and tunnel walls, but even small GW outside cylinder locos were banned at least over the Mendip section. I'm happy to be proved wrong but I would want to know more factual detail first.

    Sorry for the thread drift

    Peter
     
  5. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Meanwhile, back at the Railway today...

    4FDDEBE8-4C79-4025-AC46-024CF9D748ED.jpeg
     
  6. bluetrain

    bluetrain New Member

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    I certainly agree that the large GWR locos have cylinders that are both low-slung and widely spaced, which barred them from many non-GW routes due to platform clearance limits. Diagrams show a width over cylinders of 8ft 11in to 8ft 11.5in.

    The SDJR 2-8-0s like No. 88 are shown in diagram (from book "Fowler Locomotives" by Brian Haresnape) as being 8ft 11.875in over cylinders, which makes them one of very few British types to equal the GW engines in respect of cylinder width. For comparison, the Robinson GC/ROD 2-8-0s, also with 21in dia cylinders, were 8ft 10.5in wide.

    The Jubilee class is shown in a diagram as only 8ft 7in wide - narrower than the Black 5, which was common on the S&D. However, the Jubilee cab sits higher than a Black 5, while the SDJR 2-8-0 cab is much narrower than on the large GW engines. Hence, I wondered whether there was an issue with cab roof edges, particularly through the narrow single-bore tunnels where the S&D route climbs out of Bath.
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don’t think the dynamic characteristics (in the sense of the modern understanding of “kinematic envelope”) were understood in detail before modern times. Rather, the structure gauge was essentially a static hole that the the vehicle had to pass through with a clearance all round. There was an understanding of the effect of vehicle length on curves, for example that a bogie carriage will swing to the inside at the centre, while a bogie loco will swing to the outside at the front end. But the historic gauges didn’t take into account that, say, a loco at speed would bounce and waggle around such that the volume swept out was larger than the dimensions stated. That was just empirically allowed for by making an allowance between vehicle size and structure gauge.

    With regard GWR two cylinder locos, I’ve always understood the issue is low down, not at the cab eaves - i.e. they are wide over the cylinders at platform level. I seem to recall that the reason for the inclined cylinders on a Horwich Crab was the desire for bigger cylinders (= greater width) which had to be mounted high because of the narrowing of allowed loading gauge at platform level.

    There is a useful set of comparisons here: https://www.devboats.co.uk/gwdrawings/loadinggauges.php I don’t think he actively participates in this thread, but a comment from @Jimc who authored that page might be interesting.

    Tom
     
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  8. Barrie the Beer

    Barrie the Beer Well-Known Member

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    The Timetable & Events Programme 2020 leaflet has now been published. It reveals that QB dining trains will be run as attachments next year, rather than as dedicated trains. They are now advertised as 'Pullman Style' services.

    There are unfortunate errors in the red and blue timetable notes. Code P should include the words 'on selected Sundays'. As it stands the timetable indicates dining services on all red and blue timetable dates. A further error on the red timetable shows dining services on the 10:00MD and 16:30BL on all red TT dates. In fact there are no dining facilities on either of these services on any date.

    It is to be hoped this leaflet print run is a small advance run and that typos will be corrected before the main print run is authorised.
     
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  9. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    I just squared off a Saint drawing against a 19thC Midland loading gauge. The Saint drawing I have isn't as well scanned as I might hope, but I reckon the Midland gauge just clips the bottom radius of the cylinders, but clouts the cab rather considerably. The Midland gauge I have is higher than the GWR in the middle, but lower and narrower at the eaves. I haven't found a record of what gauge the SDJR was built to.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
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  10. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    The latest WSRA board minutes confirm their shop and cafe has now been sold to the Plc and their engineering business will follow by the end of the year. All in line with the Coombes recommendations that the charity should get out of trading and concentrate on fundraising and membership activities.
     
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  11. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    Just took us a while to get the ducks lined up.:)

    The journal, hopefully due before Christmas, will also report that over £300k raised by the WSRA in 2019 (and that does not include the proceeds of the sale.) Before you all tell me that is a "small sum" or "not enough" (which I know as I've been telling you for ages) consider this:-
    A fellow called Wyatt who is a DJ on a radio station my wife likes with over 1.2 million listeners recently did a charity bike ride around the UK. This was plugged constantly on this national radio station for weeks before the event and daily (many times) during his 2000 mile ride. Even with all this publicity he raised £80,000. Now I think that is a great effort but it serves to illustrate how hard raising £100,000 is in this country.
     
  12. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    A very fair point. It is very easy for tourist railways to operate beyond their means. The price of W.I.B.N. can be insolvency.
     
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  13. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    I think this amply illustrates the vital importance of having an appropriate setup to be in a position to apply for (and be reasonably confident of success in applying for) as many grants as possible.
     
  14. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road New Member

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    I chipped in to Wyatt's effort and I think that this total is before Gift Aid. Which reinforces the benefit of fundraising by a charity.
    Pat
     
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  15. daveb

    daveb Member

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    Also, the website lists menus for two dates (5th and 19th April) when the QB is not advertised to run?
     
  16. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    As somebody who has done this I can tell you it is not that easy once you get to the big money grants. While I agree you need a clear and cohesive structure you also need to be able to do the spade work on a big grant application. It's far more than filling in a 2 page form. ... and yes I know the first form you fill in is only 2 or 3 pages, but it's also the first step in a long journey. That journey only ends when you deliver on the object of the grant. Until then there is constant oversight, as is right and proper plus a lot of writing, planning, costing, form filling, amending, resubmitting, discussing.....
    It's why I bang on about getting people with the right skill set to be trustees or directors.
     
  17. Barrie the Beer

    Barrie the Beer Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps those dates are sold out already. I believe the QB Sunday Lunch service is likely to run weekly throughout the season, including on gala Sundays.

    Operating the QB as an attachment will require some slick operating at BL to achieve advertised boarding and departure times. Attaching QB stock once the service train arrives from Minehead will need to be swift.

    The time allowed to split and shunt QB stock plus water and run round following return to Bishops Lydeard is probably unrealistic; only 25 minutes on blue timetable dates and 35 minutes on red TT, assuming right time arrival. Dining passengers tend to be rather slow to disembark, so retiming of the last Sunday down train would likely be prudent.
     
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  18. ikcdab

    ikcdab Member

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    It did. Thanks!
    I understand the journal is in the post but I haven't had mine yet. Anyone got theirs?
    Ian Coleby
     
  19. daveb

    daveb Member

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    Perhaps. If that's the case, I would have expected them to still appear, but be marked as "Sold out" rather than not be there at all.
     
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  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Dining passengers do tend to be slow to embark and disembark as you say; there is also the catering need to provision the train before the passengers embark.

    On the Bluebell, our Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train leaves at 3:22pm. The preceding service train arrives at 2:02pm, as soon as that engine has run round, the WR set is shunted into the platform. So it is probably in the platform by about an hour before departure.

    For the lunchtime Golden Arrow, the carriages normally spend the whole morning in the platform (which introduces its own shunting challenges, and calls for some swapping of locos in the service set). That allows the catering staff time to prepare the train. The WTT departure is 12:55 but generally passengers start to embark about 12:30, which I believe is the time given on tickets. (That allows a late-running passenger to get the train without it being delayed from its working departure).

    At the end of the day, the GA gets back at 4:00pm but it is often about twenty to thirty minutes before it can be shunted away. Some passengers will be finishing up their meal, some will want to have a photo by the engine, plus the catering staff need to unload. It’s all very convivial, but not quick.

    All of that is without the additional need to join / split sets. 25 or 35 minutes seems remarkably quick: an hour would feel more realistic if you want to achieve it without rushing patrons, and allowing for any catering activity (loading / unloading) before the shunt takes place.

    Edit to add: don’t forget the desire of passengers (who have typically paid a large amount of money to travel) to see the loco before or after their trip. A rush to attach to another train and then depart isn’t conducive to that desire. Better to have the train in the platform with loco attached for a reasonable duration before departure and after arrival.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019

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