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Author Topic: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - merged topic, ongoing discussion  (Read 106550 times)
grahame
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« Reply #135 on: November 30, 2016, 09:11:44 pm »


....and I'm sure that Grahame would love one or two of these on his local line.... Wink


Actually not the solution we're going for.  With a top speed of 60 m.p.h. you would get pathing issues between Chippenham and Swindon.   A turn around at Chippenham is none-robust using current platform, and there's a lot of through traffic to there - so, please, no routine Chippenham turn back of all trains (do it late evening by all means).
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broadgage
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« Reply #136 on: June 05, 2017, 01:03:56 pm »

Demands for a regular through service between Minehead and Taunton are growing.

http://www.mineheadraillink.org.uk/ Link to latest news re this. I feel this would be a considerable step forward for the local economy in view of the poor and worsening bus service.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Southernman
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« Reply #137 on: June 05, 2017, 10:41:45 pm »

Demands for a regular through service between Minehead and Taunton are growing.

http://www.mineheadraillink.org.uk/ Link to latest news re this. I feel this would be a considerable step forward for the local economy in view of the poor and worsening bus service.

I think the difficulties are substantial and are trivialised here. Whilst it is possible to increase the line speed from a modest 25mph this creates issues as all the current operating staff would have to be retrained, stock and track maintained to a higher standard. I suspect that some volunteers would be lost as either not willing or able to deal with the added pressures. What about signalling distances? More staff required if longer hours or a year round services proposed. Its a long single track railway and the 'heritage' feel will be greatly diminished.

How many passengers would in reality use it? Not an easy proposition by any means even if it was desirable - and who will pay? Swanage is a much shorter railway so can keep the 25mph limit.
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broadgage
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« Reply #138 on: June 05, 2017, 10:59:50 pm »

Faster running might not be that hard.
Signal spacing and braking distances are largely unaltered from BR days, when much of the line was 45 MPH with a few bits of 60MPH.
Modernish stock such as a 158/159 or an HST should be no less safe at 40MPH than heritage stock at 25.

A great many WSR staff have recent or ongoing experience on the national network and are suitably experienced in higher speed operation.

EDIT TO ADD
A member with first hand experience states that the maximum speed in BR days was 55 and not 60 MPH as I believed to be the case. See post #160 for details.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 07:39:26 pm by broadgage » Logged

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
bignosemac
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« Reply #139 on: June 06, 2017, 12:07:44 am »

A great many WSR staff have recent or ongoing experience on the national network and are suitably experienced in higher speed operation.

And are retired from said network, or are giving up a little spare time to work voluntarily at a gentler pace. That's certainly the impression I got when I spoke to two signallers in Williton Box a couple weeks ago, when I was allowed up for a chat between trains.

Then there was the station master I spoke with the following week when Flying Scotsman paid a visit as far as Bishops Lydeard. This station master seemed a little put upon that he was required to work on into mid evening even though 60103 wasn't actually going through his patch.

Whatever their experience I don't think you could run a regular scheduled service from the mainline to Minehead with a pool of retired or semi-retired volunteers.

I don't doubt that the permanent way and signalling is in excellent condition. That's probably because there is so much down time for maintenance, again largely by volunteers. A more intensive service require more maintenance. That requires more staff and more capital expenditure.
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grahame
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« Reply #140 on: June 06, 2017, 05:11:34 am »

Whatever their experience I don't think you could run a regular scheduled service from the mainline to Minehead with a pool of retired or semi-retired volunteers.

The issue of running scheduled services from a volunteer / active retiree pool isn't limited to the Taunton to Minehead line; just try chatting with community bus groups about finding drivers to work scheduled services.
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John R
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« Reply #141 on: June 06, 2017, 11:48:34 am »

Faster running might not be that hard.
Signal spacing and braking distances are largely unaltered from BR days, when much of the line was 45 MPH with a few bits of 60MPH.
Modernish stock such as a 158/159 or an HST should be no less safe at 40MPH than heritage stock at 25.

A great many WSR staff have recent or ongoing experience on the national network and are suitably experienced in higher speed operation.

The limit of 25mph used to be because preserved railways were covered under a Light Railway Order, which limited them to that speed, but meant a much less onerous (and thus costly) regime to maintain and run the railway.  Although I don't believe LROs exist any more, I suspect that 25mph is still a significant point beyond which there will be much more cost.  The fact that no preserved railway has felt able to justify passenger services beyond 25mph (on its own metals) is a bit of a clue to that.
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TonyK
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« Reply #142 on: June 06, 2017, 12:07:41 pm »

But which passenger on a preserved railway wants to have his experience of a steam-hauled ride through verdant countryside with semaphore signalling curtailed by unseemly haste? I am more than happy to spend more than an hour riding from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead or back, soaking up the nostalgia. If I were to be a commuter heading from Minehead to Taunton for a train to work in Bristol or elsewhere every weekday, I would want to be conveyed much more quickly.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #143 on: June 06, 2017, 12:08:12 pm »

The fact that no preserved railway has felt able to justify passenger services beyond 25mph (on its own metals) is a bit of a clue to that.

Nearly a fact. But the Great Central Railway is not limited to 25mph. On my recent visit there I timed both steam and diesel hauled services at 40+mph.
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John R
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« Reply #144 on: June 06, 2017, 12:32:43 pm »

I was aware that non-passenger services on the GCR could go faster (hence my careful wording), but not that passenger services could.

In response to FTN, yes, I agree that passengers going for the ride are not particularly interested in a faster journey, but the thread was discussing the possibility of a public service type operation, for which speed will be much more important.
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broadgage
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« Reply #145 on: June 06, 2017, 02:14:54 pm »

I would foresee a mixture of heritage services that call at every station and are limited to 25 MPH, and through commuter services running at 40MPH and calling at principle stations only.

The faster services would use older main line stock that is passed for use on the national network. HSTs are the obvious choice as some will soon be surplus to requirements elsewhere and these now old trains should be affordable to purchase or lease.
The "get you home redundancy" of two power cars would be most valuable on the national network to avoid hugely costly delay minutes in case of breakdown.
HSTs ARE borderline heritage now!
On the heritage line an HST should be able to run on one power car to reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
John R
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« Reply #146 on: June 06, 2017, 02:29:36 pm »

The fact that no preserved railway has felt able to justify passenger services beyond 25mph (on its own metals) is a bit of a clue to that.

Nearly a fact. But the Great Central Railway is not limited to 25mph. On my recent visit there I timed both steam and diesel hauled services at 40+mph.

Having done some additional research, the Great Central Rule Book (as at 3/5/15) specifically states that the maximum permitted speed under normal circumstances is 25 mph, and I'm guessing that anything other than normal circumstances would not involve passenger hauled trains.  It also states that checks can be made at any time.

http://www.orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/22745/raib-loughborough-central-2016-05-09.pdf
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #147 on: June 06, 2017, 02:35:00 pm »

passenger hauled trains

 Grin Grin
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John R
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« Reply #148 on: June 06, 2017, 02:41:59 pm »

Oops! One way of saving on coal I guess!
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stuving
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« Reply #149 on: June 06, 2017, 02:57:14 pm »

What John R actually suggested was that any train that exceeded 25 mph would not be passenger hauled. I agree entirely.
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