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UK Railtours - End of Southern Steam - 2017 Commemoratives

Discussion in 'What's Going on' started by Where's Mazeppa?, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    First glimpse of eagerly awaited details just available via UKRT Newsletter earlier this afternoon. The Atlantic Coast Express is announced for 27th May 2017.

    http://www.ukrailtours.com/product/the-atlantic-coast-express/

    This is only the first of (I believe) four outings with UKRT to celebrate EoSS50. Whatever rival offerings may in due course emerge, I think we all know that this series is truly the Real Deal that everyone's been waiting for.

    At first glance, it looks like the path for this incarnation of the ACE is virtually identical to Tornado's April outing with the Devon Belle. Just hope that this time round they have more luck with the quality of the coal that seemed to dog Tornado's foray on the South West Main Line.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
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  2. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    This looks good in most respects, but I must have a whinge about the name. It won't get anywhere near the Atlantic coast. On the way back it will go through Taunton, but that's a fair way from the sea, and it's the Bristol Channel rather than the Atlantic.
     
  3. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Active Member

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    Will be booked on railtour with pair 50s to Penzance on same day
     
  4. derby2

    derby2 New Member

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    This first post provides an opportune moment to update readers on plans for "Clan Line" going forward into 2017.

    The MNLPS and LNWR Crewe are working towards “Clan Line” being a complete loco around the end of March. We have specifications prepared for light and loaded test runs from Crewe in springtime, plus a simple ‘return south’ charter afterwards. Whilst we have specified dates, there is always the danger of slippage should any problems arise. We are targetting the ‘Surrey Hills’ operation on 28th April as our first Belmond British Pullman job in 2017 - fingers crossed.
    As now advertised, on Saturday 27th May we are running an ‘Atlantic Coast Express’ from Waterloo to Exeter via Wimbledon-Woking-Salisbury-Yeovil Jn. Back via Taunton and Reading, promoted by our good friends UK Railtours (see link in first post). Fastest timings possible have been requested, but obviously the largely single line between Salisbury and Exeter dictates what pathways are available.
    The MNLPS takes great care in sourcing the very best suitable coal, but with the collapse of the demand for coal in this country, choice is becoming ever more restricted (and prices inexorably increase).
    As is now known, we are doing a re-run of the ‘Bournemouth Belle’ on Wed 5th July. This is the actual 50th anniversary of the last time the ‘BB’ was steam hauled, and also 35028’s last day in steam in B.R. service. Route is via the main line outward (train will carry on to Poole). Back diesel-hauled to Southampton, then 35028 via Romsey and Andover. Obviously this train will be with the Pullmans; UK Railtours again the promoter, and booking details will be published next week. Dare I say this will be the most prestigious and historically significant steam charter of 2017.
    We have a date allocated - and the Riviera Mk 1 set is reserved - for Saturday 8th July, but itinerary still to be agreed. Issues of train length, pathways and gauging restrictions are getting ever more problematical with regard to what is feasible. That said, it is the 50th anniversary of the ‘last weekend’ so I hope there will be plenty of demand for something appropriate.
    Finally, 23rd December is a provisional date for an Xmas lunch-type train somewhere, but nothing decided as yet.
    It needs to be said that we in the MNLPS want to make "Clan Line" rather more 'accessible' to everyone than may have been the case in the past. Unfortunately, the costs associated with main-line running mean that the days of the £30 day-trip are long gone, but fares will be kept as competitive as is possible. Remember, 35028 is the ONLY operational main-line registered loco that was active right to the end of S.R. steam, and 2017 is also the 50th anniversary of the purchase of the loco by the then fledgling MNLPS in 1967. However, it is only by people booking on our trains in sufficient numbers as they are advertised by UK Railtours can we justify doing more.
     
  5. derby2

    derby2 New Member

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    Whilst obviously true in a geographical sense, given that we're trying to recreate - as far as is feasible in 2017 - the declining years of S.R. steam from Waterloo, what other name would you bolt on to the front of a Merchant Navy pacific that's running down the southern line to Exeter?
     
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  6. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    If authenticity is the Name of the Game, then lets just remember that the typical 12-coach ACE consist that left Waterloo in, say, the representative Winter timetable of 1959/ 60, comprised 5 coaches out of the 12 vehicle load that didn't get further west than Exeter - these being buffet/ kitchen and open restaurant cars for Exeter, and composite brakes for Exmouth, Sidmouth, and all stations Salisbury-Honiton (detached Salisbury). By-the-by, the second brake and composite brake that formed the Plymouth portion didn't get to the "Atlantic Coast" either. At least, not in the strict geographic sense.

    So over half the traditional consist was never Atlantic-Coast bound in any event. And the Merchant Navy class locomotive could never have worn the proud headboard anywhere west of Exeter either. So, lets please not whinge, not even in the most light-hearted vein, but just give thanks that we have the possibility of reliving this distant echo of an illustrious past for this rather quirky multi-portioned train, that for so long was the standard-bearer for even-time performance with steam in the deep South-Western reaches of the Southern Region.
     
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  7. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for this infomative update. If you read through a number of threads on the "What's going on" section of this forum, you will find quite a few of us who are champing at the bit for some "Real" Southern steam - with no diesel on the back. We know we are far more likely to see this with a DBS operation than WC (although I appreciate that for the Bournemouth Belle re-run, there's no option but to use a diesel in one direction for a few miles on anything running to that area until the Swanage Railway install the turntable at Furzebrook or wherever). If you could offer a few shorter tours around the former SR lines along the lines of what Steam Dreams used to run in its earliest days (Canterbury, Salisbury, etc), I am sure you will find some willing takers, especially among those of us who have already sampled Clan Line's impressive performances in the past. I will therefore be loooking forward to announcements of future dates and wish you well in getting 35028 back on the main line as soon as possible.
     
  8. derby2

    derby2 New Member

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    Thank you for your response JP. Yes, we are looking at 'the bigger picture' as much as is possible, and marathon days that turn into tests of endurance for the passengers - let alone loco and support crew - are not part of that picture! The 'ACE' on 27th May is about at the limit of what we believe is reasonable. And rest assured that being pushed around by a diesel is not part of the MNLPS - or DBC - strategy. Shorter tours are certainly on the agenda, but what is paramount of course is coming up with an itinerary that has sufficient mass appeal to fill the train. An ever more relevant factor in favour of tours that don't attempt to put hundreds of miles on the clock is that there is less coal and water usage. You wouldn't believe (or maybe you would) the cost of coal - and the delivery of it - nowadays, plus the cost of road tankers for water. So any economies there are welcome; and one economy is not to be stopping at every lamp-post and spending a couple of hours going nowhere in particular! Pathing of any additional trains on our ever-more-crowded railway system is something of a nightmare, and due thanks to the charter timing team at Milton Keynes for continuing to pull rabbits out the hat, so within those constraints we believe the best way forward is simply that - forward - and as quickly as possible to get to the interesting bits!
     
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  9. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    I'm still finding that "Reply" gets me to the text entry box but without the post to which I'm replying being quoted, which is a pain.
    This is in response to the responses to my whinge. They are fair comment. ACE as a name is (let's say) not unreasonable.
     
  10. D7076

    D7076 Active Member

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    50011 and 50022 on Flying Pig Railtour using Blue Moons stock and operated by dreamer Toc or the one without a Toc,stock provider of supplier of 50s?
     
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  11. 34098

    34098 Member Account Suspended

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    Be nice to see Clan Line back in my part of the world, looking forward to it.
     
  12. steamvideosnet

    steamvideosnet Well-Known Member

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  13. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    How amazing would it be to be able to afford this trip? I hope those who can do so have a wonderful time - it promises to be an amazing day.
     
  14. NeilL

    NeilL Active Member

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    I hope there are enough people with very deep pockets
     
  15. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    My parents took me on the Bournemouth Belle once, but I was very young at the time and have no memory of it. They told me about it many years later. I think they had found that, for the particular date and time when they wished to travel, the Pullman fare was not much more than the cheapest one for that journey, so they thought they might as well pay the little extra and travel in style.

    That is one reason why I think I might splash out. I keep telling myself that I can't take it with me when I die.
     
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  16. gricerdon

    gricerdon Active Member

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    The £450 price tag is an insult to those of us normal mortals who were there when 34024 worked the last steam hauled Bournemouth Belle on 5th July 1967. I had expected a price in the £250 area so that those of us who were actually there 50 years ago could book. Shame on you UKR and I normally support your trips. Who is this aimed at I wonder? The well off who can spend money on something which has no meaning to them other than I nice lunch? I hope the 8th July charter will be affordable to those who matter. This wont be my last word on the subject.
     
  17. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    I think you will find the price is more to do with what Belmond charge to hire their train. The Hooray Henrys and Merchant Bankers (the real ones not those of rhyming slang) wanting to impress the girlfriend, wife or both are obviously those who will book. I just hope they do and I can get into the block of flats at Vauxhall where I intended to take a picture exactly 50 years previously but we were turned away by the police.
     
  18. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Well-Known Member

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    Any tour which includes the Pullmans is always going to be pricey, though I was expecting it around the 350.00 mark.
     
  19. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    Not much point complaining on here, best drop a line to UKRT. On second thoughts, I doubt they will even bother to reply. As others have said, once you add the pullmans you can virtually double the price.
     
  20. gricerdon

    gricerdon Active Member

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    Double the price would be about £250 which I expected. I won't complain further on here as I have made my point. But watch my column
     

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