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Author Topic: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - merged topic, ongoing discussion  (Read 106566 times)
grahame
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« Reply #150 on: June 06, 2017, 03:04:54 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.

I would suggest that an excellent way to finance the new service would be for developers to build Stogumber New Town and Blue Anchor Harbour Retirement Complex served by some of the more minor stations, and finance the build up operation via CIL / 106 funding ... of course, that would turn Stogumber and Blue Anchor into principle stations

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HSTs are the obvious choice ...

Are you sure - can't get to Minehead any more?    / 13th May
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Adelante_CCT
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« Reply #151 on: June 06, 2017, 03:27:47 pm »


I can see it now "The 17:36 Great Western Railway service to Westbury, has been cancelled, this is due to a member of staff being unavailable" Cue passengers grumbling and starting to find alternative routes, when suddenly Graham comes along the track pulling a 153.
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broadgage
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« Reply #152 on: June 06, 2017, 04:24:38 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.

I would suggest that an excellent way to finance the new service would be for developers to build Stogumber New Town and Blue Anchor Harbour Retirement Complex served by some of the more minor stations, and finance the build up operation via CIL / 106 funding ... of course, that would turn Stogumber and Blue Anchor into principle stations

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HSTs are the obvious choice ...

Are you sure - can't get to Minehead any more?    / 13th May

I thought that Blue Anchor was ALREADY a retirement complex  Smiley
As for the prohibition on HSTs to Minehead, they have been there before so presumably whatever the impediment is, it can be removed.

More seriously though at a time of rising housing demand there is something to be said for building more housing in the area and financing rail improvements thus.
There is a large new housing development underway in the general area, but not near a WSR station unfortunately.
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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.
ChrisB
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« Reply #153 on: June 06, 2017, 06:40:37 pm »

The impediment is the state if the track....
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bignosemac
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« Reply #154 on: June 06, 2017, 06:40:56 pm »


As for the prohibition on HSTs to Minehead, they have been there before so presumably whatever the impediment is, it can be removed.

Changes were made, since the last HST went to Minehead, to Watchet's platform face, reducing what was a large gap for boarding and alighting passengers. HST power cars would now foul the platform. That's one reason why the recent GWR railtour from Paddington was cut back to Bishops Lydeard.

Because of the limited clearance HST power cars would have to have the steps up to the cab removed.
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #155 on: June 06, 2017, 07:39:44 pm »

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.
In terms of heritage railways in general, I've thought for a while that any proposals for providing a public-transport service would need to involve a 'National Rail' TOC, who would operate services in the low season (using Sprinter DMUs for example). Then, in the tourist season, the heritage railway would run the services releasing the DMUs for strengthening 'National Rail' services elsewhere. Both would still be limited to 25mph on the heritage railway's infrustructure though.

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!
The class 150 Sprinters are also borderline heritage, although there's a longer wait before any of them are retired. Class 153s and Pacers though look likely to be withdrawn in the next few years. A problem with your suggestion is that the heritage railway's track standards may not be sufficient for the safety regulator to approve speeds in excess of 25mph; in fact I would guess (without having checked the sectional appendix or anything like that) that the North York Moors railway trains to Whitby are permitted to exceed 25mph on the Network Rail metals but not on the heritage line.
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« Reply #156 on: June 06, 2017, 07:58:27 pm »

Indeed, one of the attractions of the NYMR is the ability to have some running at speeds in excess of 25mph once on Network Rail metals.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #157 on: June 06, 2017, 11:26:57 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

I was there. Speedometer app on my phone recorded a top speed on a Class 37 hauled passenger service of 43mph. Touched 41mph on the steam hauled service too. Even allowing for GPS speedometer inaccuracy I'm confident we ran at speeds in excess of 25mph for sustained periods.
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John R
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« Reply #158 on: June 07, 2017, 07:52:10 am »

I'm not doubting you BNM. I'm sure they must have now got authority to run at a higher speed as a matter of course, as given the reason those documents are on the ORR site I can't imagine that anyone would flout the rules.
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #159 on: June 07, 2017, 09:27:25 am »

given the reason those documents are on the ORR site I can't imagine that anyone would flout the rules.

I can. It didn't stop a mainline operator of heritage trains breaking the rules on a number of occasions and ignoring recommendations from RAIB/ORR for a while, putting the safety of many people at risk.

BNM - maybe you should pass your concerns on to the ORR/RAIB and let them look into it - I think they sometimes do random speed checks on mainline railways, so I see no reason why they shouldn't check a heritage railway out.
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Witham Bobby
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« Reply #160 on: June 07, 2017, 11:53:33 am »

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.
The line speed on the branch was 55 mph.  No bits of 60 mph (officially at least, although the Swindon & Gloucester RCW Cross Country sets did roll well  Wink )

When I was involved in laying out the signalling for the re-opening, we had to design for a line speed of 40 mph (for DMUs), as was stated in the Light Railway Order (1975) which gave the legal basis for the WSR to operate the railway.  At the time, this was particularly relevant for the AOCL crossings at Dunster (Sea Lane), Leigh Woods and Roebuck Gate, as well as the pedestrian crossing at Watchet (Goviers Lane).

The use of the 40 mph limit never happened, as the year-round DMU service we intended didn't materialise.  The costs of the Running Powers Agreement (for the Norton Fitzwarren - Taunton portion, using the former Up Relief line) and the maintenance and inspection regime for the vehicles proved prohibitive for the penniless WSR of those days.

The line evolved into the heritage railway that exists today, and I know many of those now involved would absolutely resist the ideals us pioneers had, back in the 1970s

perhaps I should add that after working for BR as a signalman, I was employed by the WSR as its first Operating Superintendent, from 1976 to 1979.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #161 on: June 07, 2017, 07:20:39 pm »

... in which case, may I thank you for your informative (and very well informed) post here, Witham Bobby.  Smiley

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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Witham Bobby
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« Reply #162 on: June 12, 2017, 10:44:39 am »

The WSR held a diesel traction gala last weekend (10 & 11 June 2017) and a GWR operated DMU shuttle was supposed to have operated between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard, with 7 out and back services from Taunton planned for each day.

In the event, the shuttles were cancelled and a rail replacement bus with GWR representative on-board was substituted, for "operational reasons", I gather.

[Edit to correct spelling - on-board, not on-beard  Grin]
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 11:29:50 am by Witham Bobby » Logged
broadgage
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« Reply #163 on: June 12, 2017, 11:30:08 am »

I enjoyed the gala but agree that a lack of the expected shuttle to/from Taunton was a disappointment and also shows GWR in a poor light.
Some shuttles up to the network rail boundary were run with WSR DMU, not much good for getting anywhere but an interesting trip over a very seldom used bit of track.
Some wag suggested (light-heartedly) that perhaps we should carry on to Taunton ! after all the notice at the boundary states "West Somerset Railway locomotives not to pass this point" So no problem with a DMU passing the boundary then !
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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.
phile
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« Reply #164 on: June 12, 2017, 09:10:03 pm »

The replacement of the Shuttle service by a bus was due to a severe shortage of DMUs which had resulted in many short formed trains and even cancellations.   Running the Shuttle and cancellations taking place would have put GWR in a worse light still.
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