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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. steamvideosnet

    steamvideosnet Well-Known Member

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    Good question. WCR confirmed in the latest Steam Beano that no.18 has 'been in steam', while someone in the 35018 thread mentioned seeing her moving up and down the yard at Carnforth so it can't be *that* far away from testing on the main line? There was a mention on Facebook that she might be undergoing some test runs to Hellifield last week but that came to nothing. It seems quite odd that Steam Dreams have changed their minds on this, and have said it'll be 6201 when there was 6 months to go until the tour actually ran, unless WCR have said it'll stay in the north for the foreseeable.

    Or did SD mean to put 6201 is the replacement loco should 35018 not be able to make it? Who knows?! Certainly not me! :p

    To be honest, I don't think it matters if 35018 isn't ready - 6201 is an excellent substitute, and as @Bulleid Pacific mentioned further up thread, two steam locomotives at Waterloo would be quite an occasion...

    James
     
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  2. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I disagree. 6201 is a fine loco but hardly fitting for the 50th anniversary of the end of Southern Steam. A bit like having a Bulleid Pacific haul the 50th anniversary run of 1T57.
     
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  3. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    True, but we are talking about 2017, not 1967. I've got the impression that 35018 will spend a fair bit of time up north during its ticket, and I say a good thing too; show what they've been missing since 35005.
     
  4. Steamage

    Steamage Part of the furniture

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    If Ollie isn't available for any reason, I think a Merchant Navy would be a very acceptable replacement ;-)
     
  5. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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  6. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Tempting indeed. It will get to Dover, just not stopping there, and Canterbury does seem a better destination to spend a few hours in. That said, when a friend and I were on a somewhat similar itinerary on 16-8-2000, I think we just hung about at the station for the whole three hours rather than bother to walk into the city.
     
  7. derby2

    derby2 New Member

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    Canterbury is certainly the best destination for a trip into Kent. The loss of Dover Marine meant that Dover as a destination became very difficult as there was no longer anywhere to stable and service the train. Other Kent destinations are also tricky for the same reason, and involve a lot of faffing about, with maybe diesel involvement for reversals/shunting.
    I am surprised you didn't bother to go into the city centre; it's only 5 minutes or so walk from Canterbury West station!
    Yes, as John Petley says, it's not a cheap day out, but it is the Belmond British Pullman set; and is very competitively priced. The UKR/MNLPS "Golden Arrow" is the same fare as Belmond's own 'Surrey Hills' operations, yet is an all-day trip with much more steam mileage and two meals rather than one. Plus if you go as a group of three or more the fare is even lower. I would certainly say the prices compare very favourably with what other steam railtour promoters are charging for 'Premier dining'.
    Readers may like to know that the other UKR steam tours with "Clan Line" are filling up very nicely, and the "Bournemouth Belle" is already well over half full. The overhaul of 35028 is continuing apace at LNWR Crewe, and provided there are no issues with the boiler hydraulic test (which is imminent) then we're still on schedule for a re-appearance in steam in April.
     
  8. green five

    green five Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for keeping us up to date with 35028's overhaul. It's good to hear she is on the finishing straight.
     
  9. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to hope that this UKRT tour will sell so well that it becomes a regular feature. When the Clan Line/British Pullman tie up began in the 1990s , there were at one stage about 4-5 steam-hauled runs to Canterbury per year. I believe that a firm called Superlative Travel handled the bookings rather than VSOE (As it then was). I do agree that it's good value compared with the "Surrey Hills" steam-hauled excursions and compares well with the non-steam luncheon circular trains which are only £40 less. Furthermore, the Golden Arrow still has resonance even if, as Derby 2 says, Dover isn't practical any more.

    Good that the Bournemouth Belle tickets are selling well. Once again, it's a name with resonance and it would be good if, once the Swanage Railway installs its turntable at Furzebrook, that this would be a regular route for the British Pullman train + steam. Still, John Farrow knows what he is doing given his long experience with HRT/UKRT. He will know far better than me whether there is a market for regular - or at least yearly - steam-hauled Pullman trains to Canterbury and Bournemouth.

    What I find amazing is that 60 years ago, you could have gone by steam in a Pullman on the Golden Arrow or Bournemouth Belle virtually every day of the year. Compare this with First Class on a Javelin or a Class 444. A quicker journey these days, admittedly, but as for style................
     
  10. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    The location of the proposed turntable is just outside Swanage, on the eastern side of the line, just North of the industrial estate.I believe planning permission might have granted and it is just a case of financing of.
     
  11. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Paul. I stand corrected!
     
  12. derby2

    derby2 New Member

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    The itineraries for "Clan Line" trips are devised very much as a 'joint project' between those of us on the MNLPS committee and John Farrow, and centre around what is operationally and logistically practical combined with commercially attractive. And certainly if a trip is successful - as we think all of those currently advertised will be - then we would certainly do it again. Let's face it, there's only so much 'new' that can be done - and most of it already has. MNLPS & UKR know what we're good at, so we stick with it.
     
  13. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    All true and exactly the sensible approach that's needed to secure good use of the loco, an appropriate and manageable route plus a commercially viable trip. However, and you could hear this one coming, it would be interesting to test the market on something that was unashamedly an enthusiast trip where Standard Class was on offer as the norm and, for example, the train was set up with two buffet cars and plenty of 'food on the move' available to purchase that went beyond a drink and a sandwich. In other words, a trip that was family friendly and therefore didn't cost the earth.

    The Yeovil trip on July 9th feels like that and the hope is that Woking to Salisbury is timed to be quick otherwise the day is at risk of becoming a trundle. There is no Southern equivalent of the Torbay Express (run by UKRT/MNLPS) and that is a pity.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
  14. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    Salisbury??
     
  15. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Of course! Will edit. That was just wishful thinking on my part. But there is also May 27th. :)
     
  16. derby2

    derby2 New Member

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    Certainly all non-pullman trips that we do have standard class, and the formation can be shuffled slightly in line with the demand for dining/first/standard. I hear what you say about 'family friendly' and commensurate lower fares, but you know better than most Al what the costs are of staging even a relatively simple all-day trip. Nonetheless, there are 'ideas in the pipeline'.
    Of course the timings are the province of Network Rail and they will have the final say, but we have in our ranks some 'resident experts' in this art with the requisite knowledge and information, and we're looking at the timings for this summer's 'anniversary' trains right now. Believe me, we won't plod along if we don't absolutely have to!
    I agree that a London-based 'Torbay Express'-type operation would be great. But one of the great attractions of the 'TE' is the very scenic ride, and terrific destination. Although we like the historic associations with, say, a trip along the LSW main line, the likes of Surrey suburbia or Basingstoke are not quite in the same league! The issue with steam from London is the time it takes to get to the interesting bits, plus do the 'nice destinations' have suitable turning and servicing facilities? Another plus factor for keeping costs low on the 'TE' is there's no requirement for diesel involvement at all.
     
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  17. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    All fair comment, of course. But at the risk of taking this well off-track, Portsmouth as a destination (with turning facilities north of Hilsea) is not to be sniffed at with the Historic Dockyard, Gunwharf Quay plus the IoW (Ryde). And there are different ways of getting to and from Portsmouth although I suspect that a MN is too heavy for the harbour station and the train would need to be pulled back to Fratton.

    Anyway, looking forward to what is on offer in May and July.
     
  18. 85Merlin

    85Merlin New Member

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    35005 ran to Portsmouth Harbour on a Steam Dreams tour in 2002. However the train ran throughout with a 37 on the back. The outward journey was over the Portsmouth Direct, then through to Fareham, where the train reversed and was diesel hauled to Portsmouth Harbour. 35005 headed the train out of the Harbour Station on the return, which was via Eastleigh and Basingstoke.
    Ian
     
  19. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    I suspect that if DBC/UKRT ran anything to Portsmouth then they would send a diesel across from Eastleigh to do any of the shunting in the Fratton area where it's possible that the stock would sit and the loco is serviced. But we digress......
     
  20. derby2

    derby2 New Member

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    And these posts about Portsmouth illustrate where the costs start to stack up. Personally I like the Portsmouth Harbour area with its maritime history (and retail outlet!!) but.......
    Whilst I suspect we'd be OK to take an MN to the buffer stops, it is unavoidable that you need to bring a diesel over from Eastleigh to do all the shunt moves. That adds considerably to the costs.
    Servicing in the past has been done at Fratton Depot, which is SWT, so more costs.
    Portsmouth Harbour is strictly 10 coaches + 2 locos, so the loss of 3 coaches over what we like to take severely deflates income, even though all operational costs remain virtually the same as for a 13-coach train. Therefore, ticket prices have to be higher.
    It ain't easy........
     
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