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Torbay Expresses 2017

Discussion in 'What's Going on' started by 1020 Shireman, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    It's a difficult issue for the tour promoters and we enthusiasts need to realise that in order to support the level of main line steam which we currently enjoy, tour operators rely largely on "joe public" to fill the trains rather than the likes of us. If you're travelling on the train and want to avoid the last-minute addition (or substitution) of a diesel or if you're linesiding and want a picture with a decent exhaust, then the months to avoid are June-August. Unfortunately, from our point of view, this is the peak period of the UK tourist season and therefore the best time to fill repeat-itinerary trains like the TBEL, Shakespeare Express and the various RTC-operated regular summer workings. VT does very well in keeping the Shakespeares diesel free, but it does seem very hard for other operators.

    For example, the RTC's Dorset Coast Express runs right through the heart of the New Forest and needs a diesel anyway because of the lack of a turning facility at Weymouth. I'd love to make this journey in March or October using RTC's original formula of one steam loco out which banks the second steam loco up to Bincombe Tunnel on the return leg, but RTC must have decided that there aren't enough people like me to make this viable.

    Frustration, therefore, will always remain a potential factor if we want to travel by steam on the main line in the summer months
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  2. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Are these the same long range forecasts we see in red top rags that predict 3 months heat waves then we find we are underwater when the time comes ?.
     
  3. Sean Emmett

    Sean Emmett Member

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    For me it was £400 down the drain as brought mum, sis and bro in law along too :(

    Sods law as we did England v Sri Lanka cricket in Bristol last year...and it rained..

    Was at front of train on way back, diesel kicked in when Tornado slipped in Greenway tunnel and on every hill after that. I took cursory times only, nothing that Tornado couldn't have achieved on its own.

    Booked 10 Sep Torbay but everything else will be pay on the day.

    Btw - used up plat 2 at Bath. Had to stop at green sig to before Bathampton Jn to re-set with feathers. Does this mean that the £million realignment of the down plat has only succeeded in turning a 5mph to a prohibit?!

    Need to find something else to do with my time and money as after Royal Scot FTR failure last year Torbay Express has lost its appeal to me.
     
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  4. 5098

    5098 Well-Known Member

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    Suffering very badly from hay fever at present....
     
  5. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 New Member

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    Trouble is the rainfall has been less in the south so far this month. A quick look at the Reading University met site that tracks loads of data around the country shows the following rainfall percentages so far this month

    Shap 142%
    Bridlington 99%
    Manston 45%
    Bournemouth 42%
    Dunkeswell 48% (near Honiton)
    Culdrose 54%

    Southern Railway may have said summer comes earlier in the South, but so does the dry spell it seems.
     
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  6. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS Member

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    so the dalesman ran without a diesel yet Tornado is not allowed out on its own despite being fitted with the latest technology to reduce fire risk no wonder the railways are in such a mess no common sense it would seem.
     
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  7. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 New Member

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    But on those rainfall figures why would you want a diesel on the Dalesman, as someone else said it has been very wet up in Cumbria.
    Living in Swanage I can tell you it is amazingly dry down south as shown by two big heath fires last week, that are believed to be arson, but took the fire service ages to control.
     
  8. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture

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    Presumably the Swanage Railway has replaced it's steam hauled services with diesel traction. <BJ>
     
  9. Pymothy

    Pymothy New Member

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    Hmmm shouldn't complain I suppose they have to make the call based on information received and perhaps the rest of the west country has been dry for weeks. I know that Exeter area was wet all of last weekend through to mid Monday hence my surprise that this call was made so soon on the back of four days of dry weather. Unlikely to be any steam in the west country on that basis throughout the summer unless we have frequent rain showers every other day which doesn't look likely, certainly not in the next couple of weeks in any case.

    Sent from my HTC 10 using Tapatalk
     
  10. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture Friend

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    After Nunney with Diesel ( at least I knew before and cancelled accommodation and did not travel), Royal Scot last year ( did not travel and went to Swanage), I though my luck must change this time! (I did travel this time but based it around a longer break so if things went wrong loses would not be as great. I have now given up on them.
     
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  11. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 New Member

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    Regarding the comment about diesel replacing steam at Swanage from free2grice the difference in my opinion is that Swanage is a 25mph railway with 5 coach trains and a lineside that is maintained. Slightly different to NR with little vegetation cutback and 75mph with a 10 or 11 coach train. Someone from Swanage Railway may or may not want to comment (or not) on when their insurers would want them to substitute diesels for steam. Of course it may be different if steam was going across the heathland to Wareham.
    Mind you with the 3 resident Class 33's and a WCRC 33 & 37 plus the resident 08 diesels do outrank serviceable steam 2 to 1 at the moment!
     
  12. Groks212

    Groks212 Member

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    deleted
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017 at 12:45 PM
  13. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Do we know for certain why the diesel was added on 18th? Was it demanded by NR, and if so was that because the fire risk is was significantly higher on this route (or part of it) than in other parts of the country? Or was it DBC's decision? Either way, how late was the decision taken? Too late to cancel the trip and have time to notify passengers? If possible, let's at least be sure of the facts of this case before we get too carried away with assigning blame and speculating about the implications for TBEs and other steam trips during the rest of the summer.
     
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  14. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Quite so.
    A few years ago I was on a tour. Weather had been dry but there had been 24 hrs of rain and sufficient for local NR management to decide that it could go unassisted. Sadly someone else in NR decided that a diesel was still needed and after a long discussion between the two NR areas involved, we set off with a diesel on the front. So if even on the day NR can't agree amongst themselves regarding diesel assistance, what chance has a tour operator got of knowing what's happening in advance and informing their passengers?
     
  15. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture

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    I find it rather ironic that the locomotive that caused lineside fires last weekend, resulting in the Torbay Express being diesel hauled, has since hauled a heavy Pullman train around London and the Surrey Hills. To rub salt into the wounds it ran without diesel assistance. As I understand it, London and the home counties is the driest and hottest place in the country. To put it mildly it appears a very unfair situation. <BJ>
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017 at 8:18 AM
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  16. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Part of the furniture

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    You are a lucky chap then, I have to use the Cumbrian Coast a few times a week as a normal passenger and the reliability of the 37 hauled stuff is woeful (and that's setting aside the rather peculiar foul mouthed clientele they attract), the best example being a few weeks back when we crawled as far as Carnforth and were then terminated at next to no notice as they did not dare take the set on the WCML for fear it would sit down and block that up, so dumped at Carnforth waiting for the next train, meeting missed and seriously peeved client for me to deal with (amusingly even after another loco was sent from Kingmoor to bring the failed set home this then also failed on the WCML and blocked it anyway). The trains with sprinters and pacers are often late running but they at least do run.

    Northern are a total shambles and don't seem to give a toss about customer service (on the day of the Carnforth debacle there were two conductors on the train who said they were not selling tickets despite having the kit to do so, then on arriving at Carnforth as we all tried to leave the station to sort Taxi's, Buses or whatever they were checking tickets at the exit leading to a further 20 minute wait while they processed everyone!), I got my money back yesterday for a delay repay claim submitted immediately after a hour long delay at the end of April for example.

    Anyway rant over and off topic I know but just to suggest that all is not rosy with using heritage diesel traction anyway, likewise on that basis I assume many are happy when WCRC use a 47 or 37??
     
  17. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Part of the furniture

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    Who knows probably best to take up with DBC who will no doubt be able to answer, seems perverse but that's the modern railway for you.
     
  18. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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  19. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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  20. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Active Member Friend

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    Disappointingly as a paying passenger who didn't travel, it's Wednesday and I've not had any correspondence from TBEL regarding any form of recompense or explaining formally why the TBE was the only train affected by a so called national steam ban. Could be our post out here in the wilderness, but in the past letters have arrived ASAP, usually by Tuesday. Anyone had anything????
     

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