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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

    Absolutely right! And it's very popular too...

    [​IMG]

    And you can buy a ticket for the 2016 event at www.steamrally.org.uk right now! A ticket purchased online costs £10 and is valid for both days.


    [​IMG]

    Steve
     
  1. jtx

    jtx Member

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    Although I am not involved with the WSR, and, therefore the loco debate, I feel I can comment authorititavely on the classes involved, as I have had extensive experience on them, on the SVR.

    All three classes of engine discussed, 45XX, 41XX and 78XX, are ideal for the WSR operation and are easy to fire and drive for the envisaged operation. None of them comply with current views on ergonomics, or crew comforts, but, that's what we sign up for!

    I have to take a little issue with aldfort; I know the work is physically demanding, but, once you know what you are doing, it becomes much less so. I can fire a double trip on the Valley with any of the above classes on an 8 - coach, steam - heated train, without breaking sweat. I can also do it on a Bulleid Pacific, a Black 5, a Hall, 8F, Castle, A4, A1 and King.

    Ok, I may have sweated a bit on the King, but it was a very warm day in June - and it was 10 coaches! Not that the King noticed.

    I am no gym bunny and I too spent the last 12 years or so driving nothing more stressful than a computer.

    If you want to do this, you have to take a bit of care of yourself and I do use weights from time to time. Otherwise, I walk every day and cycle, a bit.

    I am a driver, but, since I passed out, in 1996, I have, usually fired 50% of the day with my fireman. I think, when I can't do that, I should give up

    I am 66.
     
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  2. Jeff Price

    Jeff Price Well-Known Member

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    I am only 60

    I offer the following on firing on the WSR

    Fireboxes - If they were meant to have a small fire in them to go up hills, they would not be as big as they are.

    Firebox Doors - Have handles on them so that you can close them when you are not putting coal on - Unless you have a Really big fire

    4160 - A real goer once you got the superheater working ( please return the WSRA shares when you are ready folks)

    88 - Big back, close the gap between the top of the fire bed and the back end of the brick arch, taper down to front for best results, small injector, trimmed can be left on ex Williton to Churchlands on a really, really good run

    Jeff Price
    Panniers for the WSR
     
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  3. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    Not disagreeing with you, I'd never argue with a driver, but your line is a little shorter and a little less bumpy than ours. If you notice I never said it could not be done just pointed out how much hard work it was. The bigger by far issue is water when using smaller tank engines. Proper water facilities at Williton might open up a lot of possibilities.
     
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  4. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    RE Loco's There are very good reasons why railways wil use tender engines in preference to tank locos for much of their public service where available, water and coal limitations for one, a tender engine has a safety margin because it can carry sufficient coal, and has a greater water capacity than a tank engine so unless you have a fire happy fireman, you should not have to return to shed to top up and by toppng up at columns during the day, you are not continually watching the water gauge on most tank engines you are on the limit of your water all the time .If your running late, on a tender loco, you can , decide not to take water if you have enough to see you through to the next water stop, on a tank loco, you may very well have no choice but to water.
    To my way of thinking , larger tender engines offer more flexibility, if you need to add a coach, as long as its with in that engines booked maximum loading for your line then is possible, same as a 4-6-0 on a lighter load with in reason, will be worked lighter so will not hopefully be so heavy on maintenance there is a place , out of season for tank engines, on shorter rakes, or when the timetable is slacker to allow the loco to return to shed if necessary to top up with coal during the day but in the peak , if your running 8 coach rakes, then you have to ensure that your rota has the right engines.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
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  5. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    If watering was added as regular event at Williton another delay factor is introduced with the Plc having just spent quite a sum in improving Williton not least to improve timekeeping.
     
  6. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Why is water capacity any more of a concern now than when BR worked the line mostly with tank engines? (This is not rhetorical: I'm not saying it isn't so but wanting to know why it is so.)
     
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  7. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Long ago and far away we had a 'parachute' water tower at the MD end of the Williton layout.

    Up train would sit out there watering as time, and the timetable, ticked by.

    Fortunately we now have locos competent to do the 20 miles without watering along the way (when the crews remember to fill the tender!:)).

    The last thing we need is to add watering into the passing routine at Williton.

    Robin
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Surely in a normal crossing manoeuvre, "first in, last out", the train in one direction is likely to be stationary in the platform for at least 6 or 7 minutes - plenty of time to take water if you had water columns on the platform. (The other train is likely to be stationary for about 2 - 3 minutes: just about enough for a "splash and dash" for a crew on the ball, but a couple of extra minutes would be more resilient).

    I realise the conditional statement is tantamount to a significant infrastructure enhancement / cost.

    Tom
     
  9. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Do we know that they ran with tank locos TN - MHD throughout without water? - if so were they dragging 7+ Mk1s around as there is a world of difference between the water consumption with say 4 on as against 7?
     
  10. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Maybe.

    But we all know crews who cannot pass a water column without taking water.....no matter how late they are.

    Long ago, 'Bluebell News' published an article by me in which I examined Bluebell timekeeping by driver and by loco.

    My copy is tucked away in the attic somewhere. Would you have a copy to hand? Late 90's, I think?

    Robin
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  11. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Part of the point of the Williton improvements is to allow both trains to enter the station at the same time though that will mean walking the length of the MHD bound train with the token once signalbox routines are complete.
     
  12. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    'The order of the purple target'.

    So pick the bones out of the attached.

    Robin
     

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  13. Jeff Price

    Jeff Price Well-Known Member

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    If at the Spring Gala there had been watering facilitiys at Williton that could be used the long delays on Two separate days could have been reduced to only 10 to 20 minutes.

    Another interesting factor to these delays due to water was that they both involved tender locomotives !!!

    Jeff Price
    A least you know where you are with a Pannier
     
  14. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    From my 'layman's perspective' it would appear that loco watering facilities at WN are more of the "nice to have" rather than "operationally essential" nature. But having once observed the s-l-o-w watering of the engine of an Up train at CH using the garden hosepipe, then I can appreciate the benefits!

    AFAIK there is (currently) no plan to fit an auxiliary EKT instrument at the BA end of the Down loop at WN, but maybe - once the full resignalling there has been tested in practice during 2017 - it might become another "nice to have"?
     
  15. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    (1) Because I've looked in 4160's tanks after doing 20 miles and felt a little worried.
    (2) Because if you look hard you can still see where tank engines fires have been baled out lineside due to no water.
    (3) Some people have told me that 4160's tanks were a little on the small side post rebuild. Don't know how true that is.
    (4) There were watering facilities at Williton back in BR days - maybe they were used?
    (5) It may be that back in the day loadings were less?
     
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  16. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Buckfastleigh?:)

    Robin
     
  17. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    FoWSR published this plan some time ago: http://fowsr.org.uk/projects/water-water-everywhere
    Look at phases 3 & 4.
     
  18. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Yes in a confined small space hitting your knuckles at every turn of the shovel and being stifled in a closed cab by the heat on a hot summers day, whereas on a Manor............:):):):)
     
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  19. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    People have paid good money for this sort of experience....:D:D:D
     
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