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WSR S&D Spring Steam Gala, 5-6 and 10-13 March 2016

Discussion in 'Galas and events' started by gwr4090, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. gwr4090

    gwr4090 Part of the furniture Friend

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    The WSR Spring Steam Gala in 2016 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the closure of the Somerset and Dorset lines as through routes in March 1966..

    Theloco line up is expected to include (subject to availability):
    S&DJR 7F 2-8-0s - nos 53808 and 53809.
    LMS 4F no 44422 which was based on the S&D for many years in the 1950s and 1960s.
    BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4T no 80072. This class worked S&D services in the final years.

    Additional appropriate engines are being sought.

    Dates: Sat-Sun 5 & 6 March, and Thu-Sun 10-13 March 2016
    Discounted advanced price rover tickets for the event are on sale via www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk or 01643 704996.

    David
     
  2. 7822WelshSteam

    7822WelshSteam Member

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    Great start!
     
  3. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Active Member

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    Would be great to see 92214 at the event, maybe running as 92220 again or just as its current self.
     
  4. YoungRailwayMan

    YoungRailwayMan Member

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    I see now that 34053 Sir Keith Park And 34070 Manston have been drafted in the mix to as saying in the latest heritage railway
     
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  5. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Active Member

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    Did Halls ever run over the S&D when the (some of?) line was part of the Western?
     
  6. torgormaig

    torgormaig Active Member

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    No. The only ex GW locos used on the S&D were pannier tanks, 22XXs and a trial with a 56XX. Larger GW locos were seen on occasions on the Midland into Bath but not south thereof.

    Peter James
     
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  7. Black Jim

    Black Jim Member

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    I was the fireman on the 4F when she came to the 40th gala ,Double headed with 88.Driver was Dave Williams . A great run in a great gala.
     
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  8. rodders154

    rodders154 Member

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    would be nice to see the 9F's if possiable
     
  9. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Active Member

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    The passenger timetables are up for the six days on the WSR SSG page. The 5/6/10 share the same timetable with the 11-13 sharing the same.
     
  10. theonlyadsrulz

    theonlyadsrulz New Member

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    Well apart from a couple of oddities on the 5/6/10 timetable (semi stopper in each direction in the morning + 1 MD-WN and back) it's looking like the same old thing from the WSR. Was rather hoping for something more like the Thursday timetable from this years Spring Gala, of course there's nothing shown in terms of goods trains so maybe that will help improve it a little if there are some added. I have to say though, if it weren't for the theme, I'd be seriously considering whether to attend this event or not.
     
  11. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Member

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    The Thursday timetable this year was not very popular with a lot of passengers as there was a 2 hour 25 minute gap in through trains from MD to BL in the afternoon - if you did not catch the 1445 you had to wait until 1710. The standard hourly timetable, although branded by many as being boring - has proved very robust in getting back to time when something goes wrong, rather than getting later and later as the day progresses if something more ambitious is attempted. I notice you are a 'Freelance Camera Op/Editor' and have a Youtube site. May I ask - are your views those of a passenger or a photographer (or both!)?
     
  12. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Active Member

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    Right so they've replaced that 2hr 25min gap with a ... 2hr 25min gap! Right in the middle of the day too! For example, if you get off the ex1235 from BL at Watchet, there is a 2hr wait before another train calls at the station.
     
  13. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Member

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    Yes, but, there is a 1325MD non-stop to BL. OK, so that's no help to intermediate passengers, but there is a surprisingly high proportion of non-enthusiasts at galas just going to Minehead for the ride, and that is the time when many of them will be thinking of going home having had lunch in Minehead. There are still departures every hour/hour and a quarter from MD. That was my point - general public at Minehead didn't like the gap. Sorry, I didn't put it clear enough!
     
  14. theonlyadsrulz

    theonlyadsrulz New Member

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    I am very much both! Very rarely do I go to a railway without buying a ticket and riding the train, since I can't drive, the train is my way of getting from place to place.

    I understand your point about the 2hr 25min gap, and the robustness of the hourly timetable, but I still think that Thursday timetable was a good base for something, I actually decided to attend on the Thursday in addition to the Saturday because of it! I don't think we're going to get anywhere in improvement of timetable if every time there are complaints about it, it simply gets thrown out and started afresh. I'd prefer the view of "Ok, this was a good base, but there were some issues so there is room for improvement here, what can we do?". I don't envy those who are tasked with writing the timetable, and I'm not going to sit here and say I can write a better one, but again, this one does leave a lot to be desired.
     
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  15. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Member

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    My understanding of the Thursday timetable at the 2015 ASG was that it was based on a 'Red' time table ie two tains, each making two return journeys. Added to this there were various workings replicating early stages of the WSR evolution in the late 1970s eg Minehead to Blue Anchor return, Minehead to Stogumber return etc. (At this this time of the year ie October, the normal service was a Red Timetable.) The difficulties at the ASG I submit (I was working a roster that arrived at BL mid afternoon, where passengers were frustrated at the time they were having to wait for a train to Minehead rather than the shuttle to Crowcombe only.) were one of either lack of prior information or perhaps passengers (and station staff ?) not having carefully read available information ahead of time ie they assumed that as it was a Gala there was an hourly service .

    It seems to me that at the SSG there will be days with a supplemented Red timetable and days with the now familiar hourly timetable, albeit with some modifications eg limited stop services.

    Personally I have always tended towards preferring adventuresome time tables, but like others I remember when we had such, things could go wrong and there was no chance of recovering the situation. Picking up a set at MD ten minutes late mid afternoon and arriving back two and a half hours late remains firmly in the memory. (Attempting to find a cable extension at MD by torchlight, happy days.)

    SEPT, despite my personal bias, are probably correct to retain their caution, although scheduling departures from BL at the same time as from MD leads to the Down train waiting c.ten minutes at Crowcombe. Any 'recovery times' should perhaps be scheduled into the last passing place ie Blue Anchor for Down trains, Crowcombe for Up trains. The current timetable does allow drivers if they so wish to take life very easy. Many of our passengers do like to hear a bit of a 'chuff' with locos accelerating to line speed quickly, station allowances such as the Down train at Crowcombe do not encourage a vigorous climb of the bank for instance.

    I suppose the issue is a classic case of "you can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time but not all the people all of the time".

    But for those of us who observed the decline and close of the S&D (my last personal memory was travelling behind 31639 and 34015 on January 2 1966. A competent run from Evercreech Junction to Bath, 49 minutes start to stop, 19 minutes to pass Binegar with 25mph minimum on the 1/50 albeit with only 'ten on'. Later in the day Highbridge to Templecombe was behind a pair of Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2 tanks) the thought that half a century later we could have a collection of locos, three at least of which were S&D regulars, operating an intensive service over a 22.5 mile long Railway with significant gradients, single line working and a countryside in places very reminiscent of that to be found on the S&D would have seemed an unrealistic dream.

    Another S&D gala to look forward to. Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
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  16. Journalist

    Journalist New Member

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    I liked the oddities tried on the gala Thursdays this year too. It did make planning a bit adventurous (and require a bit of car shuttling from one end of the line to the other to make sure I could get everything I wanted to as there weren't enough through trains to fit it all in without hopping onto the road too) but I do quite enjoy that sort of challenge and I do think variety is a good thing at galas - provided they're on for enough days that the absolute peak times are reserved for the most intensive service possible and the 'oddities' can be accommodated on the quieter days. For an event with as high a profile as the S&D gala, keeping the timetable basic and just focusing on the traction line-up is probably sensible.
     
  17. 7822WelshSteam

    7822WelshSteam Member

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    I was on that on the run from Minehead to BL. Great run!
     
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  18. West Somerset Wizard

    West Somerset Wizard Part of the furniture

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    Press release just received from WSR:

    A Somerset and Dorset themed steam gala would not be the same without the presence of a Stanier “Black 5” 4-6-0 or its development as the Standard 5MT. Therefore the West Somerset Railway is pleased to announce that (subject of course to availability) Mid Hants Railway 45379 is now added to the line-up for the WSR’s Spring event which will take place over the weekend of March 5th & 6th and between March 10th and 13th.

    The first “Black 5” to arrive on the S&D was LMS 5440 (later B.R. 45440) which spent many years on the line and was a particular favourite of driver Johnny Walker. Its arrival in 1938 signalled a step change in terms of capacity from the 2P 4-4-0’s which had previously headed the main passenger trains over the difficult line between Bath Green Park and Bournemouth West. Legend has it that on 5440’s first trip when the LMS hooter sounded in place of the usual Midland locomotive whistle on the approach to Poole the harbour authorities assumed there was a ship in the vicinity and opened a swing bridge. The locomotives stayed at work on the Somerset and Dorset until the early 1960’s and the Standard 5’s were active almost to the end with the final workings coming at the end of 1965 when regular services were replaced by the “emergency timetable” (introduced when a bus operator due to provide replacement services pulled out at the last moment) which kept the line open until March 5th 1966.

    Discounted advanced price rover tickets for the event are on sale via www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk or 01643 704996.


    Steve
     
  19. 7822WelshSteam

    7822WelshSteam Member

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    Donald Beale said that Standard 5s were much better!
     
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  20. West Somerset Wizard

    West Somerset Wizard Part of the furniture

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    The WSR's Publicity Officer, John Simms, writes:

    "Two of the planned 'guest' locomotives for the 2016 Somerset and Dorset commemorative gala (March 5th & 6th and 10th to 13th) are now confirmed. 34053 Sir Keith Park will be coming from the Severn Valley Railway and 34070 Manston* from the Swanage. Thanks go to the locomotive owners and the host railways for making a Bulleid presence at the Gala possible."

    Steve

    * subject to completion of repairs
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
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