Steam on rail tours

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by Philip, 23 Dec 2019.

  1. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    A very good point about the very hot capability of anthracite coal.

    Sorry to be boring about this - my (Cockney) grandfather was a fireman in South Wales for a local colliery company which had a steam raising plant , burning the local product , - anthracite - for power generation. They used "Lancashire Boilers" - which I think had low PSI capabilty , and relied on a very thin bed , frequently fired on sparingly. The job must have been a nightmare as he spend the entire shift working his way down the stokehold , no doubt firing little and often - so despite my "good idea" - probably a non starter for main line operation.

    I only know what my father told me , and he was a very young man when he observed his Dad as fireman - there is , no doubt good evidence on why anthracite (best used for slow burning) is a non starter.

    Wonder if the "new" planned coking coal from Cumbria if that mine comes off , (it has planning permission) , might be an option.
     
  2. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    I don't think so, the product from that mine is described as "hard" coking coal, which will put it on a par with anthracite. Low ash, high combustion temperature
     
  3. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

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    Oh OK. I don't know enough on this subject to comment further really :D

    -Peter
     
  4. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Thanks for that ......(good coal then !)
     
  5. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    surely the real issues are going to be:
    • Availability of paths
    • source of good quality coal
    • safety of operation/operator
    • availability of rolling stock
     
  6. EbbwJunction1

    EbbwJunction1 Member

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    I don't disagree with any of these, but could a fifth one be
    • availability of drivers and firemen / women ?
     
  7. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    I think there’s been a fairly decent level of new steam crews being trained over the last couple of decades now. As long as there’s enthusiasm for steam then hopefully people will want to get involved with it.
    I wonder if there are any footplate crew on the mainline still that worked on steam in BR days? I’m assuming not?
     
  8. EbbwJunction1

    EbbwJunction1 Member

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    Ah, that's good, and it answers my question - thanks.
     
  9. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    No problem.
    Digressing even more... Years ago (around 1991/92) Steven Cornish (of Special Trains) organised the training of new footplate crews on the Mid Hants where I used to volunteer in various different departments.
    They hired a five coach train of mk1s for a week and learned the ropes over the steeply graded line. I can’t remember what loco was used (either 34105 Swanage, or Standard 4MT 76017), but I was asked to run the RMB for them while they were doing it.
    It was quite the new way of doing things at the time and I think it marked a gearing up of training new steam crews in the southeast (bearing in mind that steam had only recently restarted in 3rd rail territory). These were guys that hadn’t worked on steam in BR days but were interested in getting involved with it.
    The Mid Hants ‘Green Train’ used some of this group no doubt in the next few years.

    It was a very enjoyable week for me and the guys on the train were fantastic.
     
  10. The Bear

    The Bear Member

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    In early 1993 BR hired std4 tank 80080 for training crews on steam. 80080 with support coach and three West Highland Line cream & green Mk1s did two round trips a day between Carlisle & Kirkby Stephen. From memory it was a flat fare of about £10, stopping at all stations it ran an extra/relief to the service trains.

    Here's a video I found of it:
     
  11. The Bear

    The Bear Member

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    Another problem for charter operation in general which has probably been overlooked which will gradually start to creep in as the years go by, is the numbers of platform staff who are familiar with dispatching slam-door stock weather it be be fitted with CDL or not will start to deminish.


    I think it depends on operator but I don't think there's been as much training going on as you'd think.
     
  12. eldomtom2

    eldomtom2 Member

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    Dug up the work done in the US on torrefied biomass - apparently successful tests have been made with standard gauge locomotives, so it's presumably something worth looking into for the UK industry: https://csrail.org/everett
     
  13. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    That’s a great find @The Bear thanks for that.
     
  14. The Bear

    The Bear Member

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