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Vintage Trains 2017

Discussion in 'What's Going on' started by Paul42, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. KristianGWR

    KristianGWR Active Member

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    My footage of 5043 on yesterday's run. Seen emerging from Newport Tunnels and, later, on the approach to Abergavenny.
     
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  2. AlexGWR1994

    AlexGWR1994 New Member

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    My footage of Earl of Mount Edgcumbe passing through Abergavenny with the return 'Red Dragon'. Enjoy.
     
  3. David likes trains

    David likes trains Member

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    Some photo's from yesterday morning, the familiar but no less pleasing sight of 5043 lighting up a dull day.
    Hagley
    [​IMG]

    Abbotswood Junction after departing Worcester.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    The gradient through Abergavenny station is 1 in 82. The total weight of the train including the loco and tender would be the best part of 500 tons, so a load of about 6 tons against the gradient without considering rolling resistance. From the video, the speed looks about 60 mph, and not dropping noticeably. That implies something around 2000 edbh. Am I wrong?
     
  5. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    Good to meet you too, look forward to seeing your footage if you post it. I didn't bother with Braunton in the end. I had left home at 5.30 that morning and I got a call from mission control saying she had made a nice Chilli for dinner and that followed by a glass of Bishops Finger seemed a more attractive option!
     
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  6. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    It would be really good to get the input of a seasoned locomotive performance expert on this one. I believe, from a post further upthread (Post #49), that 1020 Shireman may have been on this one, so there is a possibility that we will get to learn much more about the Earl's performance on the Abergavenny/ Llanvihangel section - train weights, outputs, speeds - in due course.

    FWIW, cursory examination of the video evidence of the passage of Abergavenny and the climb to the summit at MP 18m 60c suggests a speed at the former of around 54 mph, falling to around 37 mph at the summit. But in truth both are no more than best guesses and certainly no substitute for data recorded on board, so lets wait and see what the experts say.

    The total weight of the train for Load 10 plus GUV would have been some way greater than 500 tons including locomotive and tender (126 tons) - probably more like 540/ 545 tons gross depending on the REG's volume of water remaining.
     
  7. staffordian

    staffordian Member

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    Some superb videos of yesterday's trip, and I don't think I've ever seen a better turned out loco.

    I noticed the Cosford delay on RTT. Was it a pathing stop? I couldn't see anything around it that needed to pass.
     
  8. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Well-Known Member

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    Would of possibly been a water stop, and if correct, maybe low pressure on the tanker ? They were 22 down on leaving the loop. Thanks for the comment.
     
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  9. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Active Member Friend

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    Hi All. I was going to post 'on the train'on Saturday but the site was down so I've put this together.

    The Red Dragon, 11th March 2017

    We intended doing this train when it was Rood Ashton Hall going via Gloucester in both directions but decided not to when the Hall was declared out of gauge. What changed our minds was the return being routed via the Welsh Marches, caused ironically by gauging issues at Cheltenham Spa. As Mrs S wasn't coming I decided to have a day out without driving so I used service trains to get from to Shrub Hill from Abergavenny via Hereford. I must admit I didn't coach count as I assumed the load would be either 8 or 9+Reg. As it approached Shrub Hill I half counted 9+Reg and thought nothing more of it. As an aside it later transpired it was 10+Reg - something I didn't find out until I watched some of the many excellent video clips on YouTube when I got home - tare in the order of 390 tons, gross around 430+ tons by the time we crested Llanvihangel Bank.

    We left Worcester on time and crossed Abbotswood Jn at 35 to join the mainline to Bristol. Even 3 from the back we heard the Earl being accelerated hard down the 1 in 301/845/385 grades. We reached 75 in just over 4 miles, almost identical to last year's Welsh Marches Train. Again the sounds from the front were superb as we covered the 11.5 miles through Eckington and Ashchurch to mp 84 1/4 on the approach of Cheltenham in 8m7s at an average speed of 73.6. There was a serious restriction of 10 mph through Cheltenham Spa but a lively bit of acceleration down the 1 in 304 got us to a creditable maximum of just over 70, 3 miles out, before the brakes kicked in. We drifted through Barnwood Jn at 23 and arrived in Gloucester 6 early.

    There were opportunities taken by many passengers to take photos of the Earl, resplendent with an old style Red Dragon Headboard. Gloucester Station staff even allowed us part way down the ramp a to get the engine in our pictures as we were close to the signal gantry. We left Gloucester 'wrong road' and things didn't get noisy until we'd crossed to the down line. Speed rose gradually over 9 miles of undulating grades to a maximum of 68, falling to 65 at the foot of the 1.5miles of 1 in 264 into Newnham Tunnel. Speed only fell slightly to 63 as we entered the tunnel. The section to Lydney has a line speed of 60, the station being passed at 62. Speed rose to 69, which was held over the short mile of 1 in 317 to Woolaston after which we cruised along in the low seventies, meeting the foot of the 2 miles+ 1 in 186 into Chepstow Tunnel at 75. Speed fell to 45 into the tunnel as we prepared for the 30 mph slack through Chepstow Station.

    Once through the station the Earl was opened up and speed rose gradually to 67 around the misty Severn Estuary. Portskewett was past at 65 and then we braked hard to 20 for Caldicot and around the back at Severn Tunnel Junction. Unlike the 1st we were out on the relief, running in the mid 40s, before slowing to 30 on the middle road through Newport Station. Again, unlike the 1st, we were on the relief all the way to Cardiff, speed not exceeding 52. We were held short of the station and the Earl barked its way up the short 1 in 47 into the station to arrive on time. The stock was stabled in Canton Sidings during the 4 hour layover with 5043 having to turn on Maindee Triangle east of Newport Station.

    We left on time but ran on the relief to Newport. Max speed was 58 on the section as we were due to follow the Milford Haven-Manchester that passed us on the main before the station. The stop was short and we duly left on time, 3 minutes behind it. 5043 was eased around Maindee West and North Jns due to the restriction over the Usk River Bridge, duly crossed at under 20. Then it got noisy at the front and the Earl dug into the 1 in 122 to Caerleon, passed at 40, a speed taken onto the 5.5 mile climb through Cwmbran to Pontypool Road. This starts with 1.25mile of 1 in 120 at Ponthir(40) and we hardly lost any speed as we approached the foot of the 2 miles of 1 in 106. Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse and we began the climb at 36 in persistent drizzle. Speed fell to 34 as the signal on Cwmbran Approach was showing a yellow aspect. Our speed had fallen to 22 before it changed to green. We drifted through the station at 22 and as 5043 was opened up we slipped and seemed to prime at the foot of the 2 miles of 1 in 95 to Pontypool and New Inn.

    The drizzle badly affected the track conditions and despite taking it carefully the Earl slipped twice on the 1 in 95, speed falling back to 18. As the grade eased to 1 in 358 just below the station, speed rose rapidly to 36 downgrade through the station but we were slowed to 18 approaching Little Mill SB. Not sure why and the Earl slipped again when opened up. We met the mile of 1 in 141 at 40 and slipped again just before the grade eased. Speed increased down the 1 in 119 to Nantyderry, passed at 49 and was 75 at the bottom of the 1 in 80 downgrade towards Penpergwm, passed at 67. There's a steady 2 mile climb (end speeds in brackets) of 1 in 154 (59)/181(56)/153(55) before a short level section past Abergavenny Yard. We roared through Abergavenny Station and passed MP22 3/4 at 55, just before the start of the half mile of 1 in 85. Speed was 52 as we met the almost 2 miles of 1 in 82. Our speed fell gradually 40 at the start of the final 1.75 miles of 1 in 95 to the summit. The Castle sounded superb and we crossed the summit in fine style at close to 37.

    We sped down the 1 in 100 through Pandy at 69 and hit a max of 74 at MP15, 4 miles below the summit. We braked for the curve and passed Pontrilas Box at 60. The run to Hereford was a bit muted. St Devereux was passed at 65; Tram Inn at 61. The climb of the mile+ of the 1 in 301 to Red Hill was noisy, 59 at the bottom and 60 into the tunnel. We drifted through Hereford on the middle road at 15, 4 minutes early in steady rain that plagued us for most of the remainder of the journey.

    The normal Welsh Marches with its 80 miles of non-stop running from Hereford to Wolverhampton is arduous enough. Today, apart from a minute's pause at Newport, the crew and locomotive had already covered 55 miles in 61 minutes from Cardiff and still had a further 71 miles to cover before our water stop at Cosford UGL.

    The pickup from Hereford was noisy with Shelwick Jn passed at 44. We shot across Moreton-on-Lugg LX at 63 and left the 4 miles of 1 in 1110 at 65 onto the 2 miles of 1 in 100 to Dinmore tunnel. The 'target' it to dive into the tunnel at 60 and today we roared in at just over 61 and exited at 55, more than creditable. Then on the gentle 1 in 400 climb to Leominster a brake application reduced speed to 34 which we guess was due to a speed restriction through Leominster. We drifted through the platform(32) and over the level crossing(22). Then 5043 was opened up on the 2 miles of level track(50), then on undulating grades we passed Wooferton SB at 66. On the short climb to Ludlow we came off the 3/4 miles of 1 in 112 at 60; 3/4 mile of 1 in 134 at 54 and roared through the station at 56.

    The 12 1/2 mile long climb to Stretton Summit was commenced at 61 in annoyingly light rain. There are a number of gradient changes so I've put the 'top of section' speeds in brackets: 3/4mile 1 in 160(55); 3/4mile of 1 in 425 including Bromfield LC(53); 1mile 1 in 870(56); 3/4mile 1 in 420(57); 1mile 1 in 286 including Onibury LC(57); 1.5 mile 1 in 112(47); 3/4mile 'recovery' 245d/207d(51); 1/2mile 1 in 406 to Craven Arms(54); 1/2 mile 1 in 403/150(50); 1/2mile 1 in 130(39); 3/4 mile 1 in 105(37); 1/2 mile level(37) after a short slip; 1 mile 1 in 164/180 (43); 1/2mile 125d(47); 3/4mile 1 in 110/278(46); Marshbrook LC 46; 1.75miles 1 in 112 topped at 36 despite 2 slips; final 1/2mile of 1 in 150(390. The brakes came on for what seemed to be a speed restriction through Church Stretton platform of 15. Then we romped down the bank to a max of 76 before braking to pass Dorrington at 65. Unfortunately the 'non-stop' run was abruptly ended by a 3 minute stop on English Bridge, just south of Shrewsbury.

    Then we drifted right, passed in front of the imposing Severn Bridge Signal Box, then joined the Wolverhampton Line at Abbey Foregate Jn(19). It was a gentle start on wet rails and we only crossed Belvedere Viaduct at 30. Across the top to Wolverhampton there are a series of gentle climbs for some 10 miles from MP167 1/4. near the River Tern Viaduct. The Castle was opened up and we noisily took on the succession of short climbs. Speed was 60 at the foot of the first 2 miles of 1 in 185(60); half a mile of level track/mile of 1 in 200(58); 2 miles + of 1 in 120 followed with Alscott GF 1 mile in passed over at 55; top of the section(49). We coasted over the half a mile of level track(45) and accelerated to 49 over the next half mile of 1 in 400. Half way into the 1 1/2 miles of 1 in 165, Wellington was passed at 48, taking 45 onto the 1.5 miles of 1 in 132(41); short 1 in 150(40); then onto the 3 miles of 1 in 200. We appeared to have yet another platform slack, this time a 15 through Oakengates which led to a pedestrian 22 through Telford Central. The Castle was opened up on the short 1 in 280 section, topped at 30.

    Surprisingly the engine was worked well down the long 1 in 150 through Shifnal(70) after which the Earl was shut down and coasted towards our Water Stop in the UGL within sight of Cosford Station where we arrived 5 minutes down, most of having been lost at English Bridge. The watering didn't go too well. We were told that they needed more hoses than expected - not confirmed - but we lost a further 11 minutes, leaving the loop at 1946, close to being backed up behind a Holyhead-Birmingham International Service due to pass the loop at 1951 but stopping at Cosford.

    The restart didn't happen first time as the brakes didn't come off. Second time of asking we could hear them dragging as we struggled up the first quarter of a mile of 1 in 137 to Cosford(8); 2 miles further up the 1 in 137 we passed Albrighton(32) still suffering from dragging brakes. There was still a mile and a half of 1 in 137 to climb and speed fell away slowly to just over 30 coming off the climb. Down the 1 in 183 speed did get to 50 and accelerated up the 3/4 mile of I in 220 to Codsall(52). Speed picked down the 1 in 242 through Bilbrook(55) and topped out just under 60 before we slowed for Wolverhampton Station, passed at 15, 19 down, getting rather worrying as our connection to Cardiff was at 2030, 18 minutes after our intended arrival time.

    At least we were on the direct line to New Street, just under 14 miles away. Its undulating between Wolverhampton with no significant climbs. We topped the 1 in 645/245 at 46; Coseley on the 1 in 200 down at 53, after which speed rose rapidly to a max of 67 through Tipton before we braked to pass Dudley Port at 58; Sandwell and Dudley(55); Galton Jn(53) after a nice little climb; Smethwick Rolfe Street(52) before drifting down into New Street where we arrived at Platform 1 at 2027. With a bit of rapid stairs climbing, a mad dash across the bridge and down the steps onto Platform 11b we made the 2030 Cross Country with a minute to spare.

    On the train back to Newport we discussed the performance on the day and concluded it was decent enough for a Castle with 9+Reg on a generally miserable drizzly day. When I got home I watched a Bob Masterman video clip of the train approaching Hardwick just before Abergavenny and blinked twice as I counted 10+Reg! That put a different complexion on the day and made the Llanvihangel Summit Speed a really good one in the conditions. It explained the general 4-5 mph lower speeds on the Marches and made the 126 miles between water stops all the more remarkable.

    To be honest I was astonished to hear that quite a number of passengers due to join at Worcester cancelled when the revised routing was announced. There was a 2059 from New Street to WOS and missing out on a Castle on the North and West is something I can't get my head around.

    Despite the poor weather conditions north of Caerleon that dogged us all the way to New Street it was a magnificent day out with 5043. Huge thanks to Bob and the team at Tyseley Works for the amazing job they did preparing 5043 for this very arduous tour. Running from Cardiff to Cosford virtually non-stop would have been unthinkable a few years ago and is now for many engines. The Earl looked as immaculate as Canton Castles did on the Red Dragon. Mechanically it sounded perfect as always and proved that by the performance on Llanvihangel and by keeping time to Shrewsbury and onward to Cosford and New Street.

    For one reason or another I didn't get the opportunity to find out who crewed where. Pretty sure Andy Taylor brought the Earl into Cardiff for the return and probably drove most of the way back. Ray Poole wandered through the train at the water stop at Cosford so we wondered if he took it back to Tyseley. We assumed Alistair and Dean fired between them. If anyone had the information please post it. The firing was excellent all day with the safety valves lifting at the slightest opportunity which showed how good the coal was. From what we saw through the windows and on video, very much like the best Welsh Stream Coal, producing mostly white smoke even under load.

    We've been waiting for the Castle to take a decent load over the Marches - 11 minimum - for years and 5043 did us proud on Saturday despite the weather. We're booked on the 25th and it would be nice to see the same loading then. Hopefully the weather will be kinder to us.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
    rule55, PaulT, Sean Emmett and 9 others like this.
  10. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    Thank you so much for posting this. Loved all the detail, and equally, the fast-paced narrative that you have compiled to go with it - seems very appropriate to the quality of so much of the running that you describe. All in all, a compelling reminder of just how good it can be to experience a truly authentic steam performance unsullied by the suspicion of diesel assistance. Looking forward even more so now to reading accounts of the next outing on 25th March, before I get to my first encounter with the Earl this year on the Moonraker in early April.
     
  11. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Well-Known Member

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    Looked like Ray Poole on the outbound from the picture I saw at Gloucester. I can't imagine you'll get load 11 on the 25/3, as I think those were the extra seats from the cancelled Didcot trip. Hopefully Ben can confirm.
     
  12. henrywinskill

    henrywinskill Well-Known Member

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    Pleased you mentioned a glass of John lol
     
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  13. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thanks for that Shireman, Always enjoy reading "Notleyeqsue" reviews containing gradients, mileposts, speeds etc, Few have the skill to do such detail.
     
  14. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    I forgot you northerners are probably not familiar with this rather nice brew by Shepherds Neame
     
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  15. bleeder4

    bleeder4 New Member

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    There were 4 of us that I know of on the 20:59 back, unless there was another small group that got on further up the train. I don't know whether anyone else had this problem but the male Virgin employee manning the exit barriers at the top of the escalator from platform 1 wouldn't let me through as he had no idea what my VT ticket was nor any idea that a steam train had just arrived. He held me there for 2 minutes until he got confirmation from a colleague that yes a steam train had just departed and yes it was fine to let me through. I think next time a railtour re-routes like this I'll buy the ticket home in advance!

    Other than that, it was an absolutely superb day out. My next trip with VT is Moonraker next month.
     
  16. Sean Emmett

    Sean Emmett Member

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    Great report Shireman.
    What's the problem at Cheltenham, 5043 has been through there both ways a number of times?
    If the Cheltenham gauging issue can be sorted is there any chance of a future Marches running anti-clockwise?
     
  17. henrywinskill

    henrywinskill Well-Known Member

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    I have sampled several brews but never a Bishops Finger John lol
     
  18. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Active Member Friend

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    Obviously the Earl is a growing boy...
     
  19. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Not impossible, But load considerations on Old Hill bank come into play then, and yesterdays load would have been over limit.
     
  20. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Active Member Friend

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    Looking at load considerations, Saturday's load was over the limit for both Panteg - the 1 in 95 to Pontypool and New Inn and Llanvihangel Banks. I think the document is very conservative and based on a 'worse scenario' model as it should be. It makes TOCs think about the loading and the locomotive in charge of the train. A consideration for both on this road is that Panteg and Llanvihangel effectively have 'refuge sidings' available if trains are in trouble mechanically or need to stop to raise steam. Old Hill is also all about whether or not there is a Stourbridge Junction set down as surprisingly happened last year on the Cotswold Explorer.
     

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