Turning locomotives on heritage railways

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JoeGJ1984

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Are there any heritage railways in the UK which actually have turntables (or triangles that could be used to turn locomotives)? It seems that most do not and simply run their steam locomotives tender first on the return journey.

Is there any heritage railway that turns its steam locomotives at the termini? (I know that some have balloon loops that eliminate the need to run the locomotive round, but they would then I presume have to turn the locomotives at the other end).
 
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Mvann

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I think the west Somerset can now turn locos at both ends. Don't know of any other that can. Some have turntables, but more often than not, it's there to even out tyre wear.
 

Firesprite

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Swanage has a 50ft turntable in use, Plus has the 'Old Oak Common' turntable in store,
While a site is located for it to be installed (Furzebrook?). The main use for this, would
be turning visiting locomotives.
 
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Tomnick

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We (GCR) now have the merry-go-round at Quorn, which sees fairly regular use as a display piece (and is obviously particularly useful when there's a specific operating requirement for a loco to be turned - today's Olympic torch test event would have been a good example, but I think the loco was already facing north?).

I don't know whether the WSR routinely turn locos at both ends, but I suspect it'd be difficult for us to achieve without extending turnaround times too far (especially at Leicester, where the OTW single line section is a particular bottleneck!). That'd be particularly true at special events, when routine turning of locos at each terminus would be possibly most relevant - and when loco and stock utilisation is probably at its tightest!
 

theblackwatch

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Two that spring to minf - the KWVR has a turntable at Keighley, the NYMR has one at Pickering.
 

YorkshireBear

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The KWVR is rarely used except to turn engines for photographic or museum purposes.
 

MattRobinson

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The way that KWVR works 99.9% of the time is that locos face uphill (Oxenhope), so the turntable is, as James points out, often unused. (The turntable road seems to be just another place that stock is stabled most of the time TBH).

Even if we decided that we wanted to turn locos every journey, we can't turn them back at the other end, so it would be pretty pointless...

E2A: that 0.1% of the time is when we have visiting locos for steam galas and if a loco needs to be turned so that work can be carried out.
 

D841 Roebuck

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RHDR at Hythe and New Romney in regular use.

ELR has one at Rawtenstall, not sure if it works.

R&ER at Ravenglass & Dalegarth in regular use.

North Bay (?) Railway at Peasholme Park in Scarborough has one at the Scalby end.
 

YorkshireBear

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The way that KWVR works 99.9% of the time is that locos face uphill (Oxenhope), so the turntable is, as James points out, often unused. (The turntable road seems to be just another place that stock is stabled most of the time TBH).

Even if we decided that we wanted to turn locos every journey, we can't turn them back at the other end, so it would be pretty pointless...

E2A: that 0.1% of the time is when we have visiting locos for steam galas and if a loco needs to be turned so that work can be carried out.

Yeah exactly, the only two examples i could think of recently were the coal tank when it did its first photo charter. And the jintys final run when we needed it the other way round for oxenhope museum.
I also think its weight restricted because often when we have had mainline black 5s come to visit for galas we use shipley triangle rather than turntable.

I remember one year we has the ELR standard 5 and it was left the other way round and i remember seeing it the week after trying to get load 6 up keighley bank. It was certainly interesting.
 

Mvann

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Nene valley railways turntable mainly gets used if an incoming loco needs turning for its next run out, especially if it's being stabled there in between main line tours.
 

WSW

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I don't know whether the WSR routinely turn locos at both ends

The turntable at Minehead is used quite a bit, mostly for locos but also coaching stock has been turned.

The triangle at Norton cannot be used at present except for NR certified locos under special arrangements and with NR certified crew (plus WSR driver and fireman both of which are qualified to act as pilotman between Norton and Taunton). This is because the east end of the outer triangle extends onto NR track. So far Britannia is the only steamer that has been turned on the triangle although a FL class 66 was turned when delivering rails.

However, the WSR is negotiating to transfer about ten chains from NR to WSR which will allow the outer triangle to be used by any WSR motive power. Also, the inner triangle is nearing completion and once commissioned will, again, allow WSR stock to be turned whilst releasing the WSR Norton-Bishops Lydeard section for use by other train movements.

See here for map of the triangle area.

Steve
 

Tomnick

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Thanks Steve, very enlightening! Once everything's up and running then, is it the intention that locos will usually be turned before their return journey?
 

WSW

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Thanks Steve, very enlightening! Once everything's up and running then, is it the intention that locos will usually be turned before their return journey?

It's not likely on normal running days due to the time it takes. But I'm sure every steamer will be turned at each end during special events.

Steve
 

PUFFINGBILLY

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The Bluebell is to build a triangle at Horsted Keynes utilising the truncated Ardingly branch currently a storage siding. The third side of the triangle will consist of an embankment using clay obtained from the now almost cleared cutting into East Grinstead.
Apparently years ago a turntable was to be sited at Sheffield Park but stupidly it was decided not to proceed.
 

gordonthemoron

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what I have found odd ın Turkey ıs how they turn the entıre traın (on a trıangle) for the long dıstance sleepers between journeys
 

Schnellzug

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I think most lines have one, but as they're rather expensive and need rather a lot for room, having one at each end would be a bit of a luxury.

Swanage has a 50ft turntable in use, Plus has the 'Old Oak Common' turntable in store,
While a site is located for it to be installed (Furzebrook?). The main use for this, would
be turning visiting locomotives.

That's why they want a bigger one, as it's too small for big engines like Pacifics (which is why engines that come in on Specials have to either go up to Eastleigh, where there's the nearest triangle, or be worked by a diesel one way, or an innovation tried the other day with Bittern, run tender-first in one direction).
 

LE Greys

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The one at Didcot gets used a lot for visiting engines, and occasionally to reverse whatever is going to do the TPO demonstration. It was originally used at Southampton Docks, and the GWS had to buy it because no available GWR tender was long enough to handle large Pacifics.
 

hinko

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we have one at peak rail, i think it is 60ft and 3 methods of use. handle,vac or push.hinko
 

STEVIEBOY1

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The turntable at Minehead is used quite a bit, mostly for locos but also coaching stock has been turned.

The triangle at Norton cannot be used at present except for NR certified locos under special arrangements and with NR certified crew (plus WSR driver and fireman both of which are qualified to act as pilotman between Norton and Taunton). This is because the east end of the outer triangle extends onto NR track. So far Britannia is the only steamer that has been turned on the triangle although a FL class 66 was turned when delivering rails.

However, the WSR is negotiating to transfer about ten chains from NR to WSR which will allow the outer triangle to be used by any WSR motive power. Also, the inner triangle is nearing completion and once commissioned will, again, allow WSR stock to be turned whilst releasing the WSR Norton-Bishops Lydeard section for use by other train movements.

See here for map of the triangle area.

Steve

That's interesting, I wondered what was happening about the triangle on the WSR.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The Bluebell is to build a triangle at Horsted Keynes utilising the truncated Ardingly branch currently a storage siding. The third side of the triangle will consist of an embankment using clay obtained from the now almost cleared cutting into East Grinstead.
Apparently years ago a turntable was to be sited at Sheffield Park but stupidly it was decided not to proceed.

I think their long term plans may include relaying the line to Haywards Heath.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
There is also a turntable at Yeovil Jct, used for mainline steam movements, I saw it in use with Clan Line a year or 2 ago, very impressive as they have a viewing area there too.
 
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LE Greys

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The turntable at Minehead is used quite a bit, mostly for locos but also coaching stock has been turned.

The triangle at Norton cannot be used at present except for NR certified locos under special arrangements and with NR certified crew (plus WSR driver and fireman both of which are qualified to act as pilotman between Norton and Taunton). This is because the east end of the outer triangle extends onto NR track. So far Britannia is the only steamer that has been turned on the triangle although a FL class 66 was turned when delivering rails.

However, the WSR is negotiating to transfer about ten chains from NR to WSR which will allow the outer triangle to be used by any WSR motive power. Also, the inner triangle is nearing completion and once commissioned will, again, allow WSR stock to be turned whilst releasing the WSR Norton-Bishops Lydeard section for use by other train movements.

See here for map of the triangle area.

Steve

It'll be interesting to see if that gets used on regular services. Obviously, there's no need to use it with tank engines, but if every tender engine in service is turned, then it might take a bit longer at Minehead, but it'll certainly look a lot better from the photographic point of view.

The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch regularly turn their engines, and it doesn't take too long either. I also wonder if the Great Central will be able to either move their turntable to Belgrave when/if they connect through to Ruddington, since I believe there is a useable triangle there.
 

WSW

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It'll be interesting to see if that gets used on regular services. Obviously, there's no need to use it with tank engines, but if every tender engine in service is turned, then it might take a bit longer at Minehead, but it'll certainly look a lot better from the photographic point of view.

The Triangle is expected to get more use from main line stock (HSTs, HOBCs) than from WSR stock. Hence the joint WSR/NR investment in the new Barnstaple Junction allowing main line stock to run directly onto the Triangle, up the Allerford Spur (long enough for a HST or a 22 wagon HOBC), reverse, then along the West Chord to Allerford Junction onto the WSR main line, reverse, then away to Norton Fitzwarren Junction. It's not heritage but it's revenue...

Steve
 

PFX

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The DCDR in Downpatrick, Co Down, has a triangle which also incorporates a loop platform. The platform is used for special services. The triangle is exceedingly handy for facilitating complicated shunting movements though it isn't used specifically for turning locos as the tank engine used doesn't require it.
 

Mattmatt

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ELR has one at Rawtenstall, not sure if it works.

No, the ELR doesnt have a turntable at Rawtenstall; there's no room for it. It does have a turntable, although it is in pieces in Baron St yard. It came from Poland (correct me if im wrong) and is sat rusting away.

It is planned to have this built in Baron Street yard, as part of an overall plan to showcase the steam & Diesel works.

Mainline kettles & loco's can turn around at Castleton through the Y junction there, but thats it for the ELR.
 

Tiny Tim

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The Yeovil Steam Centre (next to Yeovil Junction Station) has a turntable. Here's a pic I took of King Edward I there back in February. Not using the turntable, unfortunately.
 

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341o2

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I think most lines have one, but as they're rather expensive and need rather a lot for room, having one at each end would be a bit of a luxury.



That's why they want a bigger one, as it's too small for big engines like Pacifics (which is why engines that come in on Specials have to either go up to Eastleigh, where there's the nearest triangle, or be worked by a diesel one way, or an innovation tried the other day with Bittern, run tender-first in one direction).

The normal procedure with steam specials to Swanage where the engine cannot be turned is to use a diesel with the steam loco at the rear as far as Southampton on the return journey where the train reverses and travels via Romsey and Andover as per the recent working of 35028. Bittern turned on Southampton UGL to run tender first Southampton - Swanage
 

LE Greys

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The normal procedure with steam specials to Swanage where the engine cannot be turned is to use a diesel with the steam loco at the rear as far as Southampton on the return journey where the train reverses and travels via Romsey and Andover as per the recent working of 35028. Bittern turned on Southampton UGL to run tender first Southampton - Swanage

Turning at Swanage has always been a problem. The current turntable is an original feature, but being only 50ft long, is no good for turning anything longer than a Schools-class. When West Countries worked the summer Saturday holiday specials, they usually arrived tender-first, so that they would be the right way round when going uphill. They were usually Bournemouth-based engines, and the nearest convenient turning spot was Poole. So, it was off the train at Poole, turn round, then tender-first all the way to Wareham and down to Swanage, shunt-release there (the station pilot was 'borrowed' from Poole once a week), off to the water column, collect the coaches and away to Waterloo (or light engine home - the stock spent the week in the sidings). It was not unknown to see the Pacific piloting the local train from Wareham rather than coming in light, which saved on a path.
 

jrail1992

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As allready mentioned we at Ravenglass have turntables at Ravenglass and Dalegarth stations which see daily use during the running season. Other 15" lines also have turntables Bure Valley have a table at either end (Alysham & Wroxham). Kirklees Light is the same (Clayton West & Shelley). Lappa Valley have a turntable at Benny Halt and a baloon loop at East Wheal Rose. Romney has allready been mentioned
 

Cyberbeagle

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The DCDR in Downpatrick, Co Down, has a triangle which also incorporates a loop platform. The platform is used for special services. The triangle is exceedingly handy for facilitating complicated shunting movements though it isn't used specifically for turning locos as the tank engine used doesn't require it.

I remember WSR claiming in the railway press that their triangle would be the "first" for a UK heritage line.

I had fun pointing out to them we'd pipped them to the post!

A first in Great Britain perhaps, LOL... ;)
 
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