TfW to operate Class 37s on the Rhymney Line

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by hexagon789, 1 Apr 2019.

  1. Cletus

    Cletus Established Member

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    Made it on at Energlyn (was going to be there anyway), loads of seats.

    Better carriages than GA use too!
     
  2. PaulBWilliams

    PaulBWilliams Member

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    That’s good.
    People seemed to be generally happy with the service. Although there were complaints about them being older trains rather than the promised new ones, they did say they were more comfy than the ones they replaced!
    Also, I presume happy to have the 3-4 carriages rather than sometimes only a 2 carriage railbus.
     
  3. Tom Clarke

    Tom Clarke Member

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    Do we know when the second set will be out? Monday 24th June possibly?
     
  4. PaulBWilliams

    PaulBWilliams Member

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    Please see post #295 ...

    From 24th June we will have additional class 37's running along with the services from this week. The additional times will be 0743 Rhymney to Cardiff Central and 1746 Cardiff Central to Rhymney.^Ned (2/2)
     
  5. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

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    No it doesn't. As I understand it the coaches are not wired through for loco control, and they are not using TDM, so you can't control the second set from the front cab. That is the defining point about a DMU. If you were somehow driving from the cab of the rear loco of the front set and had coupled the multiple-working jumpers to the front loco of the second set, then the 2 locos would be working in multiple, but the train would not be a DMU.

    I don't understand this wish to call trains DMUs. Voyagers are DMUs, HSTs are definitely not. There is a fundamental difference between power units worked in multiple and those being worked in tandem - which is what you could do if the multiple working kit on a pair of locos double-heading a train had failed, by providing a second driver.
     
  6. supervc-10

    supervc-10 Member

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    DMUs imply passengers (or payload of some kind) in a driving/motor car. Unlike an HST, a push-pull 68+Mk.3 set, or a pair of 37s around some Mk.2s. Power/trailer combos like on many of the early DMUs are still DMUs- and things like a 442 is also a multiple unit with all the power in just one out of 5 cars.
     
  7. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

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    I think the definition is that easy joining is possible of multiple sets, be they single parcels vehicles, motor luggage vans, and passenger train units of whatever length, so that all are under power with just the one driver. I would allow push-pull sets in if they were arranged so that a second set could be run from the front cab of the first set!
    BR TDM (which sent the loco control signals through the train lighting connectors and presumably could be connected up into the second set) would probably have worked as a DMU, whether either was a pair of locos or was a loco and a DVT sandwiching a number of coaches.
     
  8. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    HSTs can carry a payload in the power cars. Such as passengers' bikes or large items of luggage.

    Anyway, back to the Syphons - does anyone know if 37025 is still at Cardiff as standby loco?
     
  9. ak425

    ak425 New Member

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    Will the 37s operate to Rhymney on Saturdays and like they did around 2004/2006 , would it be an all day service and not just a morning/ evening service.
     
  10. MatthewRead

    MatthewRead On Moderation

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    Just morning/evening peak I'm afraid:(
     
  11. berneyarms

    berneyarms Established Member

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    No. It’s a Monday-Friday peak only operation. Nothing more.
     
  12. FracaWicro

    FracaWicro New Member

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    Having ridden the evening service 4 times and the morning service twice, it has gotten calmer throughout the week, especially as people have worked out how to spread out. My only issue is the strict security who threaten to throw you off if the window is even slightly ajar, despite it being 26 degrees and boiling in the vest.
     
  13. anamyd

    anamyd Established Member

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    This needs sorting out. If they're making sure people don't "window hang", surely they can make sure that the windows can be opened for legitimate ventilation purposes...
     
  14. PaulHarding150

    PaulHarding150 Member

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    Could you elaborate on this?

    On the face of it this sounds a bit far fetched.
     
  15. PaulBWilliams

    PaulBWilliams Member

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    I haven’t had any problems with being stopped from opening the windows. However, when I have opened them, I have opened them partially, not quite far enough for a head to pass through.
     
  16. Cardiff123

    Cardiff123 Member

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    Maybe security being cautious about droplights being open has something to do with the decapitation there was after window hanging from a 442 a few years back, along with the death of someone who was window hanging from a GWR HST last year.

    Why do you need to be in the vestibule? Unless it's rammed, sit or stand in the saloon.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Why don't they just fit bars to all remaining droplight stock?
     
  18. Cardiff123

    Cardiff123 Member

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    Unless the saloon A/C has failed, why do windows need to be opened?
     
  19. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    Traincrew up and down the country would love to know the answer to that one. Doesn't matter if you've got lots of empty seats in the saloon, you'll inevitably have standees in the vestibules, some of whom may be moaning about how "full" the train is.....
     
  20. Julian Atkins

    Julian Atkins Member

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    As an old hand now partly retired, and having worked the 37s and LHCS up till what was supposed to be last run of the 37s and LHCS on the Rhymney Line on 10th December 2005, with Tom Clift alongside Dai Bevan in the cab of 37419 with wreaths I placed on the loco, I am amazed that the 37s and LHCS are once again on the Rhymney Line.

    The 4 coach Mark 2 could provide much more capacity than a 4 set 150 or Pacer. I've had 660 passengers on the 4 x Mark 2s, and a quiet comfortable run in the coaches. OK the corridors and luggage compartment were also jammed full.

    Well, next Monday morning I will wander over to see (hopefully) a class 37 and 4 mark 2 coaches leave Hengoed station for the first time in over 13 years.

    Cheers,

    Julian Atkins
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'm not sure I have ever been on a Mk2 whose saloon aircon could not be described as "failed". I think like the original Class 158 system (which has been replaced by a number of TOCs) the design relied on the use of CFCs and doesn't work adequately with ozone-safer (but less effective) modern refrigerants.

    Window bars are the obvious answer and the mind boggles as to why they have not been fitted.
     
  22. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Established Member

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    To hear the 'thrash' properly.
     
  23. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Welcome to the forum Julian, and thanks for sharing your memories.
    I missed out on this the last time around, but I fully intend to have a trip on it sometime this year...
     
  24. PaulBWilliams

    PaulBWilliams Member

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    I like to hear the engines. It was 30 years ago that I last followed 37s.
     
  25. PaulBWilliams

    PaulBWilliams Member

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    Enjoy the moment Julian.
     
  26. Julian Atkins

    Julian Atkins Member

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    In the heyday up to that 10th December 2005 'last' day, there were 3 sets and a spare for the commuter service and for Saturdays and Bank Holidays. There were quite a few problems to deal with, and at least 3 notable accidents/incidents, and some of the drivers hated the 37s, and the second to last diagram on Saturdays finished with the last Rhymney and was a difficult long turn for the drivers.

    Canton then had 3 fitters for the Mark 2 coaches - all getting on a bit but very skilled and ex-Caerphilly Works and Swindon apprentices (one of whom, Alwyn, was involved in fitting a replacement safety valve cover to 'City of Truro' at Carphilly Works in the late 1950s). When I started, the EWS depot (laterly Pullmans) was next door and with a load of spares and very skilled fitters who could be called upon. The care and pride shown in overhauling 37422 'Cardiff Canton' exemplified all this.

    The old Rhymney depot layout was what was left of the old steam depot with a rather novel shunting procedure in the weekday evenings to get everything ready for the next morning. The weekday morning 3 train 'trucks' commuter service (the 37 LHCS was always referred to as 'the trucks') usually went ok and to time. The middle early morning diagram used to go through Cardiff Central to Radyr via the City Line.

    The evening commuter diagrams would be less reliable due to faults reported that morning and being rectified, or conjestion and delays in getting out of Canton depot. The middle diagram that left Cardiff Central at 5.11pm was the busiest and regarded by all Rhymney staff as the 'premier' train on the whole of the Valley Lines, and it was vitally important this train got to Rhymney on time if not a bit early, as the crew could then go and get fish and chips from a number of Rhymney 'chippies', as the official PNB break was much later on.

    On Saturdays, we had a lot of fun! Especially with certain drivers. 2 of the chargehands at Rymney were getting on a bit, and this together with delays getting out of Canton on the up, and the life expired trackwork in the depot at Rhymney (with a speed limit), and having to work 1 of the 2 groundframes, and phoning Bargoed Box, doing a break test etc would take up time, and so we would often leave Rhymney late on a Saturday, and we would make up quite a bit of time. In the days before the 37s were fitted with black boxes this could be quite something.

    And on the evening commuter runs it was not unusual to get to Rhymney 10 minutes early (a colleague of mine held the record at 14 minutes off the booked time - all uphill except a small length approaching Llanbradach. All the signallers and Tom Clift were in on this... we ran a crack service using very old stock and locos with packed trains.

    There were downsides. The Stones air conditioning often would't work in the summer, and 2 rakes had to be left out in Canton yard, so the first job on a hot weekday on the 606 prep turn was to open all the windows in the doors. Quite often the lighting wouldn't work so you would go into the affected coach during the long Caerphilly tunnel and shine your handlamp! Corrosion around the toilet compartment often meant a toilet being locked out of use. Shunters at Canton would forget to uncouple the ETH connection. Shunting at Canton on 606 prep turn could be interesting - you could never find the special extension bar used on the buckeyes. In cold weather the 37s would be started up early to warm up the coaches (there is now a row of houses alongside - and this would no doubt cause complaints). One particular guard's compartment had an electric heater that wouldn't work, and you would get frozen. There were flash overs, and poor old 37422 conked out shortly after overhaul (I was told EWS wouldn't allow a crank case overhaul).

    Rugby days were always great fun as were the football trains when Cardiff Stadium was used when Wembley was being rebuilt. We always stopped at Gilfach on the down on Saturdays - can't remember about other services with the 'trucks'.

    You had the wonderful sound of slam door stock, punters loving the trains, the waving of green flags and whistling by the guard, and the driver looking back then using the horn, and then the sound of the 37 accelerating away. A section of the rule book no one else had, and in the days of Tom Clift, generous breaks and being on first name terms with your General Manager.

    We also made a lot of friends with 37 fans who gave us photographs, DVDs etc

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
  27. PaulBWilliams

    PaulBWilliams Member

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    That's a great insight. They sound like great, and tough, times. Thank you Julian
     
  28. Julian Atkins

    Julian Atkins Member

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    I'm the guard in the above youtube clip, waving the flag and blowing the whistle. 4th December 2005 on the special 'gala' day organised by Graham Bunker and Tom Clift.

    I'm also the guard on the following, which we thought was the last ever trip from Rhymney with the 37s and the LHCSs. Dai Bevan was driving, and Tom Clift is on the right hand side of the cab. There was a very brief reprise a few months later, but then it was all over.



    There is a bit of a funny story to the above. I had to swap (give up) a week of restdays to get that turn off a colleague. I managed to acquire 6 detonators to put down as we left Rhymney for the last time. "The last trucks from Rhymney" was chalked on the end of the last coach" and we had 2 tail lamps. Just before the run round at Rhymney, Tom Clift handed me a plastic bag full of detonators, and said " When you do the ground frame, Julian, put these down ahead of the groundframe". I still have that plastic bag full of detonators, in a cupboard! I used my own supply that night. We also had detonators put down by the Bargoed signaller as we approached Bargoed on the viaduct.

    You can see the crowd on the end of the platform on what was supposed to be the last run. Many of them old friends over the years.

    It wasn't easy, but most of us loved those old 37s and the Mark 2s, and before them, the Mark 1s on the Rhymney Line.

    We also had the odd 47 but this created rostering difficulties. Senior Rhymney driver Jeff Jones, after Tom Jackson had retired, told me on my first 47 run, "Don't shut the cab door, Julian, till you have stepped down!" "OK Jeff" I replied as I slammed shut the cab door after giving him the token, and the flush door pushed my feet off the top step, and I ended up on the ballast and with grazed knees as they bumped against the ends of the steps as I fell!

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
  29. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Lovely stuff Julian, thanks for sharing your memories.
    Were you involved a bit earlier on when 33208 was doing the honours?
     
  30. Cardiff123

    Cardiff123 Member

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    Can someone give me some more information about Tom Clift? He's spoken about a lot on these forums but no one has ever explicitly given background on who he was and what he did. I've also noticed he has a dedicated bench at Cardiff Queen St station.

    I'm assuming that he was the manager in overall charge of the Valley Lines under British Rail in the 1990s, and then he was in charge under the Cardiff Railway Company and National Express 'Valley Lines' franchises, but then he was shown the door when ATW took over in 2003?
     

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