Does length matter?

How long do you like to drive for?

  • Under 15 mins

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • About half an hour

    Votes: 14 38.9%
  • About an hour

    Votes: 16 44.4%
  • Up to two hours

    Votes: 3 8.3%
  • More than two hours

    Votes: 3 8.3%

  • Total voters
    36
  • Poll closed .
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eezypeazy

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4 Jul 2005
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When Tyne Valley is completed, I'm intending to offer drives varying from the 1hr 39mins of an all-stops train from Carlisle to Newcastle at one extreme, to a Metro Centre short at 10mins at the other. So my question is - how long do you like a drive to be? Yes, I know we'd all like to see the entire ECML for BVE, but in real life, no drivers ever drive it all in one go! So, don't use this as a "wish list" - tell us the duration of the drive that you find most satisfying!

I'll leave this poll open until 14 May.

Cheers

eezypeazy
 
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Simon_G

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19 Mar 2006
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Although I've answered the poll, in fact my preference changes depending on my mood and the time available, so variety of length is something I look for in a set of routes. Stopping pattern is another thing that can be varied - sometimes 'all stations' is too much like hard work and I just want to cruise, so a semi-fast, or freight is a good thing to include. Your diverted HST covers this type of lazy driving well :)
 

ChrisM

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716
About 30 - 60 minutes for me depending on route and if it's interesting or not.
 

The Snap

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I prefer shorter, runs at about 30 minutes, but for quality, interesting routes such as Maybank, Clarendon and Tyne Valley, I am happy to drive the full line (which is about an hour or so.) I do however dislike the Edinburgh to Aberdeen route because of it's length. I get bored driving for 2 hours or so, and also get distracted by things away from the PC. It is a great route, but far too long for my liking. ;)
 

Nitro

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20 Nov 2005
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London
I voted for about an hour but it really depends on my mood. Sometimes I do the all stops Maybank - Hobbs Cross and sometimes I do The Blackford - Riverside so it really depends if Im concentrated and if I actually have the time!
 

Lesjordans

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8 Jun 2005
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Location
Glasgow
I prefer long runs, but with stations very close together so you're always starting and stopping
 

devon_metro

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London
Depends on the route, if i don't like it much then i won't be on it for long, also depends on the train!

I'd spend far longer on a fast services as i'm not the biggest fan of stoppers.
 

J_Legrand

Member
Joined
26 Nov 2005
Messages
20
I understand so much why there is no many high-speed route arround.. Mainly because it's boring to play more than 2 hours without more than 3-4 stops.. Even if BVE has very accurates possibilities, I wouldn't spend hours on a high-speed route.

Back to the poll, I usually like to drive for ~1hour. I don't have the time to play more usually. Also, it's of course depend of the route. Less than 30 minutes routes are definitely too short for me.

Of course, don't leave the good details just to make a track longer.. (Well, I can speak, lol..)
 

Dennis

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8 Aug 2005
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2,676
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Trowbridge
Never seem to have the time to drive (or code) for much longer than about an hour at a time.
 

Bill EWS

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Messages
651
Location
Didcot
Hello Ikar,
With respect to ALL signalmen/women, remember, you can place a dozen signals at danger but if the driver doesn't apply the brakes the train is not going to stop!!! If it is thick fog outside, for many miles the driver's route knowledge is stretched to the limits. The signaller still just has to lean over and press the signal button or pull the lever. You can go off to (a real) toilet, have a refreshment rest and wash your hands on many ocassions, while the driver is stuck in the loco cab with no fascillities of any sort. On engineering work this can be for up to 11 hours.

Signaller's shifts are mainly 'fixed' and you know when you will start and finish while a driver can book on or off at virtually any minute of the day or night, with only the minimum 12 hour notice to the next time change, and booking on time can change virtually by the day, when at the end of the week you are booking on when you were booking off earlier in the week. I found myself in many situations where I half expected to find myself waving to myself passing in the other direction. Just a joke but a real feeling at the time.

If you have never driven a train in real conditions don't fall for the 'them & us' thinking. Wages are decided by management on the job abilities and conditions. The main thing to remember is that running a railway is 'team' work and if one department doesn't do their job then no-one can really do their job properly. There will always be job and wage descripancies but the main thing is to work together for the better of all.

Regards.

BillEWS.
 

Tomnick

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5,585
The driver's just the man who drives the guard's train on the signalman's railway ;).
 

Bill EWS

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Didcot
OK, Tominik,
Let the Guard/Trainman sit on his/her train and wait along with the signalman/woman for someone to come along and drive it! The answer to the wages jelousy is simple. Get themselves through the driver's training and pass all the rules and regulations, train and route learning, and you will be paid the same.

BillEWS.
 

Tomnick

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5,585
Bill EWS said:
OK, Tominik,
Let the Guard/Trainman sit on his/her train and wait along with the signalman/woman for someone to come along and drive it! The answer to the wages jelousy is simple. Get themselves through the driver's training and pass all the rules and regulations, train and route learning, and you will be paid the same.
I never mentioned wages! As it happens, I don't get paid anything for my hours as a signalman, but then again...neither do the drivers or the guards on our railway! In my case, it's most definitely just a bit of light-hearted leg-pulling between the grades, rather than any sort of serious jealousy.

edited to clear up a possible confusion!
 

Bill EWS

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Messages
651
Location
Didcot
Apologies Tomnick,
I should have realised that you were talking about a preserved railway when you used the term 'Guard' which really no longer exists on the Mainline by that name. But it is a serious matter when grades start to become split over what each may or may not get paid. It used to happen in B.R. days and Shunters would complain about Guards, Guards about Drivers or signalman and vice verse and it really never resolved anything. In B.R. days a signalman, expecially in an M.A.S. box could make a lot more than a train driver at a smaller depot who may not have rest day or Sunday work. When I started in Aberdeen there was just one booked Sunday, a year! Never mind a week or a month.

Most depots on the Western didn't work rest days. On ocassions B.R. would try out some sort of bonus scheme but once it looked lucrative for the driver and guard it was quickly dropped. Even at the end of B.R. the driver's basic wage was just around £148 a week with only one Sunday a month to make that bareable. To gain the £30,000 plus a year they earn today Drivers had to vote away over 100 years of working and social conditions for the money, They are most unlikely to ever get that back again. So please don't grudge them their wages and whatever conditions they have left.

Of course working on a Preserved railway will be based mostly on voluntary working and is quite a different case. However, even here, where there are paid jobs, some form of differential is necessary so that a younger and less experienced member of staff will have something to work towards. Most cleaners in my time appreciated the turns they had to work to progress from Passed-Cleaner, Fireman, Passed-Fireman to Driver. You really felt that you had made progressed and grown with the job. Likewise, our older colleagues equally enjoyed seeing us successfuly move up through the grade and you also learned more and more to work as a team and share in the commaradarie that the job entailed. Today, for the most part all they have is a very 'empty' length of railway to work over.

By the way, the ex G.C.R. is one of my favourite railways and will always be missed. I fired trains up to Woodford Halse near the end, from Didcot via Banbury. I have motorbiked from Woodford H. to Braunston & Willoughby, including through Catesby Tunnel and have visted the line numerous times over the years, including your working line at Loughborough Central, which is an excellent preservation and getting better by the year and am keen to see the line reopened back to Ruddington again. Every other year since the Nottingham to Newstead and then to Worksop reopened I have had a visit to check out the remains from Nottingham and Annesley. I have yet to see what they have done since building the new tramway at Weekday Cross but plan to do so this year. Also to check out the new trams.

I got my driving job at Marylebone in 1974 and worked over the Southern sections of the GCR to Aylesbury and High Wycombe and at Didcot we used to work London Brick trains to Calvert via Oxford and Claydon LNER Jct. At that time the brickworks had it's own small diesel locomotive (converted from steam) to take the wagons, two at an time, too and from the bric train.
Later we worked the Bristol/Bath Rubbish trains (Dusty Bins). We also had a full circle Household coal train to Neasden via Reading and return via Aylesbury, Claydon Jct and Oxford. For a time we worked a Wine train too and from Aylesbury Goods Yard, over the same routes. This train was booked From Neasden Coal Concentration Depot via the Met line to Aylesbury but most times it was directed via Princess Riceborough then via Little Kimble to Aylesbury.

When we worked the Cardiff-Calvert brick trains, the ex GCR track was still down from Calvert to Brackley but Bletchley train crews were working track lifting trains over that section and the junction was quickly reduced to just a memory. When I first worked over the Oxford-Cambridge line in 1965 I can remember seeing trains running over the top of the O&C as we approached Claydon LNER Jct. At that Time, while Calvert Station was closed, the station buildings and footbridge to the road was still very much intact. The station master lived in the Station House and was still looking after the freight trains that worked to Calvert. The signalbox and the Up Goods yard was in operation. Freight and Parcel trains would pass too and from Bletchley making it still look and feel like a real railway, albeit in a rather rundown state. Our brick train mostly had a Western Hydraulic at the head but on ocassions a Hymeck would be used. Most of the diesel trains that passed had Class 37's. I don't recall seeing any other type of loco at that time. The double mainline was also still in good condition between Calvert and Aylesbury.

On the 30th Anniversary of the closure a workmate and I had a day out visting all the old stations and places of interest between Brackley and Leicester Central Stn site. The Ex GCR will always be a favourite and the sadness of it's closure remain. Perhaps part of the mainline will reopen one day and even link with the Channel Tunnel as originally planned, but in whichever way, it will never return as it was, so memories are all that is left.

My apologies once again if I got things wrong and hope that you find some of this story of interest.

Cheers.

BillEWS.
 

Tomnick

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Bill,

Apology accepted, though it really wasn't necessary! I've got to say that I agree pretty much wholeheartedly with the rest of your post. Almost without exception, on the GCR, everyone - on the operating side at least - gets on just fine with everyone else (of course, as with everything, there's one or two who really don't seem to want to have anything to do with anyone!), and that's an atmosphere that I've found on every other preserved railway I've visited. I can understand how things might be different where wages are involved though. The progression through passed cleaner, fireman, passed fireman and driver is still around on our railway (certainly on the North Norfolk anyway, which is another one I'm involved with - not so sure about the GCR), and the same goes for the other grades too.

I've not (yet!) done much exploring of what's left of the GC route, particularly south of Leicester - I think that's something to aim for over the next couple of years. Nottingham's changed almost beyond recognition nowadays - I'm not sure if the viaduct from Midland station towards Weekday Cross Tunnel had been demolished (to make way for the trams) last time you visited...but it's well and truly gone now (for no reason other than that the GC viaduct wouldn't 'fit in' with the modern image of the trams - so I'm told!).

Anyway, let me know when you're next visiting our little bit of railway! I can be found in one of the signalboxes at some point during most weekends...and it goes without saying that the kettle's always on!

Tom
 

Bill EWS

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Hi Tomnick,
Thanks for your understanding, I assure you too, that even in those more days there were the few nasty and indifferent characters to deal with, or ignore. However, overall it really was a more friendly workplace, from management downwards. You never felt threatened by anyone in managerial level and where there was the odd nasty, snobby or stupid individual there was usually someone with a little more wiser and experienced shoulders to keep them in their place.

It sounds as if the weekday Cross area will look quite difefrent when I next get there and it will be sad that the GCR Viaduct is no longer there. I remember when it was all compelete and trains ran over the Midland station and the River Trent on the grand viaduct and Girder bridge, quite impressive and impossible to imagine having been there, today.

I don't know when I shall next be visting Loughborough GCR but plan a few days out over the Summer and may well manage to get around that way. It would be nice to meet you and will let you know if/when I am going to be there.

Regards.

BillEWS.
 

Bill EWS

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Hi,
Sorry but I have something else set up for tomorrow, But I will get in touch when I know I can make it.

Cheers.

BillEWS.
 

Coxster

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The longer the better. People can always use the 'Jump to Station' feature.
 

Gareth Hale

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Coxster said:
The longer the better. People can always use the 'Jump to Station' feature.


That feature unfortunately does not work on my computer, I do it and the whole game freezes.
 

cawky

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1 Mar 2006
Messages
20
Location
Doncaster
i could drive for a whole day, i sometimes do when i'm bored, my concentration never seems to slip, i love it, especially when i drive on the B'ham Xcity thats fantastic

hmm class 158 heavy rain autumn redditch to b'ham- loverly:D
 
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