Discussion in 'What's Going on' started by bleeder4, Jun 5, 2017.
Charlie Barber is the one next to Ray Poole in your 5th picture.
My gf's photo of the Duchess at Hullavington
Two shots at Cogload Junction , someone said it would be too warm to see any smoke tonight , how wrong they were !
The Duchess looking absolutely splendid in the evening sunset as she ventures back to Tyseley filmed at Yatton and Winterbourne. Enjoy.
Delays due to HST power car fire at Swindon
There were delays at Swindon for the Duchess on both the outward and return legs of it's journey. Those pesky Great Western Railway folk at Swindon are still playing havoc with any train engine without a copper cap. <BJ>
Despite the problems at Swindon - the fire on a train outbound and signalling issues on the return - it was a good day yesterday. The folk on the WSR were slick in handling the charter especially on the return. It only took 15 minutes to change engines at Bishops Lydeard and that included having to sort out a brake problem with the rear coach. (Network Rail - please note.) The Duchess made light work of the 11 coach load and the lively 46 minutes from Taunton to Bristol was just outside even time due largely to a slow approach to BTM. Nevertheless it was a long day for everyone, especially the on-board staff and stewards who will have been with the train back to Tyseley. Andy Taylor and the rest of the crew did well to get the train back into the depot more or less on time. So thanks to all who were involved.
The way that VT manages their passengers reared its head during the day, if that's not an inappropriate link! It was hot on-board and some people just wanted to be up and about and standing around along the train. Apparently someone had come 'equipped' with goggles and didn't take kindly to being told that he couldn't hang around in a vestibule at a window, as actually would be frowned upon on any steam charter. There is no doubt that VT applies the rules rigidly and far more stringently than other tour operators, including on WCRC's own trains. They clearly would prefer everyone to be seated except when collecting refreshments or visiting the toilets. It sets a tone, not an unpleasant one, but a different one from other steam charters. Everything changed at Bishops Lydeard, of course, although that was ironic, as in a few places the lineside vegetation could have given someone a nasty smack if people were not careful, despite the obvious vegetation maintenance that was apparent on the line. Nobody thought to politely mention that fact to passengers as we enjoyed the Hall blasting along the WSR with its load of nine, no problem. Handling people is a subtle business but also needs to be a consistent one.
I don't blame VT for applying steam charter rules to their satisfaction. It's their train and people who travel with them have to understand how they will be managed. There is a choice on such matters; the same as those who avoid some charters because of the almost routine involvement of a diesel. At least with VT, steam means steam.
This has certainly got to be one of my longest tours. For those who boarded at Solihull it was nearly 400 miles to the coast and back, and with the delays at Swindon making it over 14 hours onboard. I think we should appreciate the work put in by the staff and volunteers of the day who had the extra distance to Tyseley and still managing to provide an excellent day.
Given the the Torbay Express has set out with a diesel pilot today we should be glad to have had 11 coaches unassisted in such weather. The return run did see some extended periods running in the mid 70's, however I wouldn't take my GPS's max speed as gospel as I think there was a slight glitch between Bristol Parkway and Wooton Basset.
Hopefully some sensible allowances would be made in weather like this, Sometimes you have to get to somewhere where you can feel a draught to cool off, Remember we had a guy collapse during the Horseguard parade or whatever it's called due to the heat, So I imagine particularly those not so young would have been feeling a little uncomfortable, Certainly in such conditions other operators will let you stand in a vestibule to get some air providing your not leaning out.
Blasting out of Tyseley yard yesterday morning: http://daviddepperphotography.zenfolio.com/p484633363#h8daf382c
It certainly was an extremely long day, but an excellent one, marked mainly for me by my son Dylan's ability to cope with the length of the journey so well (at 16 months it was a bit of a worry), though he got a lot of compliments for his train dungarees as he made yet another circuit of the train. Apologies to anyone who got annoyed by a toddler wandering up and down but we figured it was better than him screaming...
I suspect you must have been in coach H with me, as a lot of talk from the female steward (the head steward) revolved around this particular gentleman. Apparently he told her she had 'ruined his day' and he would 'never travel with Vintage Trains again'. There was then some further argy bargy when apparently the steward in another coach told him he could look out of the window if we were stationary, so she then went off to find that steward and have a word with him. It ended with her going off and getting the RAIB report on the Gatwick Express incident last year and reading the specific comments in there about passengers putting heads out of the window. Whilst the handling of the situation could well have been better, both in terms of ensuring consistent messages from the stewards and being a little more understanding because of the heat, for this gentleman to expect to hang out of the window on the mainline all journey wearing his goggles was nothing short of absurd.
These stewards are all volunteers and without them these trips simply couldn't operate. I'm enormously grateful to them for what they do and I think incidents like the one yesterday are few and far between.
There were several comments I heard about how well behaved the lad was, considering the length of the journey. I think he was a credit to the next generation of steam charter passengers.
Phil Cowley was the TI with Ray P on the outward. Me and Dean Morris on return with Pete Collins conducting Westerleigh to Didcot.A
No fireman on the outward journey then??
Think someone upthread said that was Alaistair Meanley.
46233 passing the site of Ashbury Crossing at Shrivenham - the hour delay in Challow loop meant that by the time it got here the sun was impossibly high and harsh and only much jiggery pokery in Photoshop has saved any kind of usable image.
Glad to hear the rest of the day went OK, despite Network Rails best efforts !!
The Whistling Ghost V by Stephen Dance, on Flickr
My video effort in the baking heat
Great show as usual from the Duchess, the highlights for me, from the lineside were the climb out of the works early morning and the midnight romp up Hatton Bank ! Enjoy
A short shot from yesterday morning. Filmed near Rodbourne, just east of Hullavington.
He is a smashing little chap and I was amazed at how well he coped. He fell over and hit his head near our table and I expected tears but no he just carried on. I am used to young grandchildren and he was very well behaved indeed for one so young. Believe me.
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