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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. andalfi1

    andalfi1 Active Member

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    Clarity and openness, you'll get my £££, anyday...
     
  2. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    What chance a London-Eastbourne-Hastings-Tonbridge-London circular?

    RTC does this once a year at Christmas time, calling it the "Sussex Belle" and it's a diesel on the back job for the Eastbourne-Hastings leg, but I recall when Steam Dreams was working with DBS rather than WCRC they ran to either Swanage or Wareham with the loco in tender-first mode from Southampton onwards on the outward journey. If you can run tender first on the Bournemouth line which features several pretty fast trains every hour, Eastbourne-Hastings ought to be a possibility as only the hourly Brighton-Ashford service runs at any speed. There are longish platforms at both Eastbourne and Hastings. The latter has three through roads and the run-round facility at Eastbourne, which dates back to the 1990s resignalling when it was needed for the summer Saturdays-only 47-hauled trains is still in place as far as I am aware. Eastbourne is a good destination and scenically, the "Sussex Belle" route is pretty good, with not too much slow running through suburbia and some of the best countryside in the SE between St Leonard's and Tonbridge. (I may be a bit biased here, as I only live a few miles away!)

    Of course, I am aware that even with the 1986 tunnel singling, an MN may be too tight on the Hastings Line and there may be other good reasons why this would not be a viable route, but I thought it is at least worth suggesting. I'm pretty sure Clan Line has never visited Eastbourne in preservation - or indeed, before preservation for that matter.
     
  3. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    As I was at Eastbourne on 6 December, I don't recall there being a locomotive release point at the terminus end of the station, so it would require a propelling move to reach the sidings. Whilst it has been done fairly frequently in the past, I've noticed the practice has got a bit rarer of late.
     
  4. buzby2

    buzby2 Active Member

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    Looking at Bing Maps "Birds Eye" view the platform next to the car park appears to have points to a run-round loop enabling a loco to be released.
     
  5. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    We used the town-side platforms, so that explains why I don't recall any points. Watering was done in the platforms.
     
  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    What ever you do, you will need another loco to haul the stock and engine back to Hastings, or run tender first an run round , but you could run a tour from say Victoria to Eastbourne via Haywards heath, , then return via Tunbridge wells, Ashford to Hastings also is very under used route, but your limited by the single line sections but again, its got scenery, and being a bit of a backwater, this part of the Southeast could do with some steam action, so thats 2 possible options, Victotia to Ashford, along the marshline to Hastings, or Eastbourne then return via Wadhurst, or a longer tender first run back to Ashford, and back along the dover road and the white cliffs route .:)
     
  7. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    I think we all know in our heart of hearts that simple is best. Anything that involves a reversal or TF running is not simple. Anything that involves a little used route is not simple. Anything that involves extra motive power or a reduced length train may be manageable but is costly. You only have to look at what UKRT is doing with Clan Line this year to confirm all of the above. The "wouldn't it be nice" ideas are non starters in 2017; 1997 possibly but not now.
     
  8. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    simple would be out via Ashford to Hastings, then return via Tunbridge wells then, assuming there are any spare paths between Ashford and Hastings is that why we dont see much steam down this part of Sussex, its in the too hard to gauge and path box?.
     
  9. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    I do not believe there have be any steam hauled trips on the Ashford to Hastings route, since works were carried on Orr Tunnel. I presume it is either due to gauging or pathing.
     
  10. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    I thought the problem was a weight restriction on bridge between Hastings and Ore?
     
  11. derby2

    derby2 New Member

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    I could almost have written this myself Al!! Now I don't want readers to think that UKR & MNLPS only want to do very simple circular trips such as the Belmond 'Surrey Hills', but everything has to be looked at critically in relation to costs and operational robustness. The 'Surrey Hills' ticks many boxes for Belmond and MNLPS, but we certainly wouldn't want to do it all the time. Personally, I'm no great fan of trips that just go in a circle with no 'destination' - apart from maybe an occasional lunch trip. Therefore, London-Ashford-Hastings-Tonbridge-London non-stop (other than for water) may work operationally, but would only have limited appeal I think. That said, when looking for suitable 'destinations' then the issue of train stabling/shunting/platform lengths/pathing/loco turning & servicing come into play - and ALL those issues have to have a "Yes we can" answer!
     
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  12. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, sir. Thank you for the explanation. You know more about the pitfalls than us humble enthusiasts. It would be lovely to see Clan Line down here in East Sussex, but if it isn't going to be feasible, one has to respect that. Still, I think that Salisbury, Sherborne/Yeovil and Canterbury would tick all your boxes, along with Swanage once the turntable is installed, and all these destinations would certainly appeal to me.
     
  13. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    I would like to see Bath via Salisbury, since most Bath trips which start in London seem to be via the B&H or GW mainline.
     
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  14. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    When Clan Line was withdrawn for overhaul in 2001, she ran Wloo - Salis - Exeter - Weston - Bristol - Westbury - Salis - Wimbledon - Streatham - Victoria. A fourteen hour trip with two a half hours at Exeter.

    It's worth reflecting on that marathon and the fact that the Exeter Loop is still possible in 2017 on the UKRT/MNLPS ACE on 27/5 even with the additional pathing constraints that doubtless exist.
     
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  15. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    i would prefer a route out via bristol to Exeter then back along the west of england line , but saying that i dont see why you couldnt do the same route as above but the other way round
     
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  16. Sean Emmett

    Sean Emmett Member

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    I'll have to dig out my log of that 2001 trip. IIRC it went well and esp 13 mins from Temple Meads to Bath pass to pass.
    Got checked by a Eurostar at Herne Hill. Have booked on the May 2017 trip.
     
  17. Sean Emmett

    Sean Emmett Member

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    Yes absolutely, but so long as the diesel only turns up to assist from St Davids to Central, and promptly disappears again!
     
  18. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Can I refer you to the previous answers of @derby2 and the need for a diesel on an anticlockwise Exeter circuit.
     
  19. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Will Clan Line be in the pool for the Torbay trips? Would a positioning charter from say Victoria to Salisbury, Bath Bristol Exeter then down to Kingswear, then back to Bristol with service train from there be workable, or even a one off tour, to Minehead its not quite the Atlantic coast express , but as near as you're going to get.
     
  20. andalfi1

    andalfi1 Active Member

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    That would make it a BCE then... I like the idea though.
     

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