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Bluebell Railway Branchline Gala 18 - 20 March 2016

Discussion in 'Galas and events' started by Jamessquared, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Starting a thread for this gala, which is running for three days Friday March 18 - Sunday March 20.

    Visiting engine is the LNWR Coal Tank No. 1054, courtesy of the Bahamas Locomotive Society / National Trust. Other details still to be announced, but I assume the smaller engines will be to the fore. See http://www.bluebell-railway.com/event/branch-line-weekend/ which will I assume have details as they are announced.

    New for this year are Gala Season Tickets. These give unlimited 3rd class travel on all three days of the branch Line Gala (March); all three days of the Diesel Gala (April) and all three days of Giants of Steam (October) - potentially up to 9 days of travel for £120 adults / £60 children. See http://www.bluebell-railway.com/event/new-season-tickets/

    Tom
     
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  2. 73129

    73129 Part of the furniture

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    That's a good price for nine gala days.
     
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  3. Adam-Box

    Adam-Box Member

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    Is it the service two timetable or a slightly more interesting one?
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    I'd assume more intensive - Giants of Steam last autumn was a four train service at 40 minute intervals. Other special events such as the War Weekend have been three train (plus a fourth dining train). I'd assume something similarly intensive for the Branch Line Gala.

    Other thing to point out is that all tree galas this year - Branch Line, Diesel Weekend and GoS - have been stretched to three day events.

    Tom
     
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  5. Adam-Box

    Adam-Box Member

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    I thought there where 2 passing loops. How do they run a four train service does one idle at Sheffield Park?
     
  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Trains cross at Sheffield Park (i.e. a down train arrives and an up train departs a few minutes later, once the necessary signal box work is done); Horsted Keynes and Kingscote. The service frequency is governed by the longest section time, which is SP - HK. Twice the section time plus about 6 minutes for signal box work gives a theoretical limit of about 35 minutes; that is stretched to 40 or 45 minutes both for resilience reasons and because it gives more logical departure times on the timetable. Conveniently, you also need about 40 minutes to run KC - EG - KC with one train in section, allowing for a run-round and taking water for a small engine. Again, you could probably do it in about 35, but allowing 40 gives a bit of resilience.

    Tom
     
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  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Sounds good. Just what a branch line should be doing. Others ought to copy.

    PH
     
  8. A1X

    A1X Active Member

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    It's good to see the branch line events back. Tank engines are way, way more fun than tender ones.
     
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  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Well, don't forget the C class as well :) Theoretically it is in ticket until the summer of 2017, but clearly it is nearer the end than the beginning of its ticket, so catch it while you can.

    All being well, the gala should see the launch into service of ex-LCDR 5 Compartment 3rd No 668 (running as SECR No 3188), bringing the four wheeler set up to four vehicles. See http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/pic2/lcdr/668.html and Dave Clarke's Flickr site for the latest overhaul photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/extension3363/sets/72157626960166136/

    Tom
     
  10. glenng

    glenng New Member

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    Mite have to go down on the Saturday by train (from Cambridge) for that Tank engines much more fun than the tender ones :D
     
  11. green five

    green five Part of the furniture

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    Hope to attend this event on the Saturday. Never seen 1054 before. Also rather fond of the tank engines resident on the BB.
     
  12. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Not as good as having become a life member about 30 years ago - I think I paid £100 and get unlimited lifetime first class travel INCLUDING GALAS! I don't think may other lines include galas among the life members' benefits. I wasn't sure whether it still applied, but when I visited the Giants of Steam gala, the kind gentleman on the barrier at SP told me it did.

    Anyway, the branch line weekend looks fun. I've been in the obo countless times, but the thought of being in an LNWR carriage hauled by an LNWR loco - albeit on an LBSCR branch line - is rather appealing.
     
  13. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Just so! The origins of equipment used concern me far less than the sort of equipment involved. IMHO far too many tourist railways forget they are essentially branch lines and not trunk routes .

    PH
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    It is indeed good value (even though my life membership was a bit more than £100...) There was a bit of discussion about exactly which services it applied to recently on the Yahoo group, and my understanding is that Life Members get free 1st class travel on any timetabled, non-reserved service. So that excludes Santas, Dining Trains, Autumn Tints, special charters etc, for which seats are reserved and ticket numbers are limited, but includes any other service, including Galas. (And in your case, free travel between SP and HK has magically changed into free travel to EG over the last thirty years! :) )

    Tom
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    I hope you'll be coming along to sample the new equipment, Paul - the C&W are hoping that the LCDR 5 Compartment 3rd No. 3188 will be launched into service at this gala. This was one of two Victorian carriages that came from a farm in Yarcombe, Devon, about ten years ago and went quite rapidly to near the top of the restoration queue. See Dave Clarke's Flickr site for the latest overhaul photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/extension3363/sets/72157626960166136/ Livery will be SECR Lake, to match 3360, the contemporary LCDR brake 3rd that was converted to be wheelchair accessible saloon a few years back.

    Tom
     
  16. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good, shame it clashes with the SVR's Spring Gala :(
     
  17. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for suggestion. I might just take it up. However I have experienced Chatham four wheelers as where I am now involved with has had four in service for several years now including one wheelchair accessible example. L.C.D.R.'s habit of using teak for carriages, despite ongoing poverty, makes things a tad easier when rescuing them from hen house or holiday chalet status! The L.B.S.C.R. 4w brake third 4115("only" made from mahogany) is coming along nicely but seems unlikely to catch up with 3188 although it won't be far behind.

    Paul H
     
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  18. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I fully admit that I've had very good value from my life membership! I don't always go first class. If it's a choice between 1st class in a Mark 1 or 3rd class in a pre-nationalisation coach, it's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. One particular benefit I enjoy is being able to travel in the GNR directors' saloon when it's in use. It's a lovely vehicle.

    Indeed - it was great fun a few years back when the Bluebell pretended to be a GWR branch line and hired in auto tank 1450 and auto trailer 178 to go with it. Never having travelled on an auto-rain before, I found it quite fascinating watching the driver pulling the levers to control the engine.
     
  19. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Err! I thought this was Sussex rather than North Wales.

    PH (Sorry)
     
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  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    To be fair, a little reminder of North Wales will no doubt be having a starring role in this gala... (And I don't mean the weather!)

    Tom
     
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