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Turning steam locos at Kings Cross

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feldom76

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Hi,

If a steam loco arrives at Kings Cross, how do they turn it for the return journey?

Thanks

Mke
 
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popeter45

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back when steam was common traction Kings cross had a dedicated engine shed/turntable nearby
in modern times turning is done elsewhere and they are pulled backwards by a diesel loco that top and tails carriages
 

superjohn

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Modern day steam tours often have circular routes which avoids the need to turn for the bulk of the journey. This usually involves a diesel loco on the other end of the train that can pull it into a terminus at the start of the tour and back out at the end.

There was a turntable at Ferme Park sidings until relatively recently. It was used to turn HST power cars. Nowadays a convoluted trip to Stratford and around the loop there would probably be called for.
 

zwk500

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Depending on where the train has come from, in London the loco will usually be turned either in the Wembley Yard/Willesden areas (there's a number of ways to do it there) or the Greenford or Stewart's Lane triangles. This can be done as a simple reversal on the way to/from King's Cross or as a standalone light engine move. Trains will usually stable in one of Southall Yard, Wembley Yard or Stewart's Lane depot.

For a departure, the loco will be facing east/north on the North London line and use either the North London Incline or Harringay Curve onto the ECML, with a diesel dragging the train into the station over Harringay Flyover. On arrival, the train will be dragged by the diesel back up to the Harringay flyover, where the Steam Engine will lead it back southwards towards the North London Incline (or very occasionally the harringay curve, but it's much rarer Southbound).
Nowadays a convoluted trip to Stratford and around the loop there would probably be called for.
That tends to be avoided due to problems getting paths down that way.
 

Dave W

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I suspect the traffic on the NLL would disallow this but if one was being creative you could always reverse the loco out then send it across the North London Incline, reverse at Camden Road then reverse again at Canonbury, with the loco ending up at Ferme Park, thence a reversal over the flyover and into the Cross.

Well... The track is there. Not sure about the signalling, especially at Canonbury?
 

yorkie

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I suspect the traffic on the NLL would disallow this but if one was being creative you could always reverse the loco out then send it across the North London Incline, reverse at Camden Road then reverse again at Canonbury, with the loco ending up at Ferme Park, thence a reversal over the flyover and into the Cross.

Well... The track is there. Not sure about the signalling, especially at Canonbury?
Sorry but this is fantasy; the answer is in the posts above.
 

GB

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Sorry but this is fantasy; the answer is in the posts above.

Bit uncalled for. They said it was creative and I see no technical reason you can't turn a loco a described unless there is restrictions on the loco or how far it can travel in "reverse".
 

zwk500

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Bit uncalled for. They said it was creative and I see no technical reason you can't turn a loco a described unless there is restrictions on the loco or how far it can travel in "reverse".
You can't propel the support coach past more than one main aspect signal, so you'd have to turn the loco light engine. This means dragging the support coach out with the rest of the train. You'd also almost never find a path to reverse at Camden or Canonbury. Finally, because you've only got an engine on 1 end, you'd need to either run round at Ferme Park (not going to happen, it's chocca), attach a second diesel at ferme park or keep heading north, which would mean the loco will end up very far away from the coach carrying it's servicing crew.

The original question asked how are locos turned, not how they might possibly be turned.
 

Dave W

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You can't propel the support coach past more than one main aspect signal, so you'd have to turn the loco light engine. This means dragging the support coach out with the rest of the train. You'd also almost never find a path to reverse at Camden or Canonbury. Finally, because you've only got an engine on 1 end, you'd need to either run round at Ferme Park (not going to happen, it's chocca), attach a second diesel at ferme park or keep heading north, which would mean the loco will end up very far away from the coach carrying it's servicing crew.

The original question asked how are locos turned, not how they might possibly be turned.
Fair cop on your second point, but thanks for outlining why it wouldn't be possible anyway. Maybe I should have phrased it as a question...
 

yorkie

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Sorry if it came across as rude; it's just sometimes a question receives a good answer alongside highly speculative ideas and on occasion it can make it harder for people to pick out the useful answers.

I have absolutely no issue with such questions and/or suggestions being posted and indeed if posted in the right place we can get some really good discussions going.

I also think of it from the angle of someone doing a web search for a question; they want to come across a thread that gives the answers. (If that thread also contains links to spin-off questions and/or ideas etc. that's great as people can then choose whether to follow up on that or not). Indeed most of our members came across this forum by searching for a question and the answer coming up here ;)
 

Class 170101

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I seem to recall there are also speed limitations running bunker first these days (20mph?)
 

MarkyT

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45mph running bunker first, in general. Varies between locos but anything running into King's Cross will be 45mph.
Large express locos have full height full width tenders that are practically impossible to see round when going backward at any speed. Many smaller locos, especially BR standards, have some form of cab tender arrangement specially designed for working tender first and often with as good forward visability as when running chimney first.
 

zwk500

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Large express locos have full height full width tenders that are practically impossible to see round when going backward at any speed. Many smaller locos, especially BR standards, have some form of cab tender arrangement specially designed for working tender first and often with as good forward visability as when running chimney first.
Yep indeed, which is why tender-first is avoided wherever possible and tour programmes are planned very carefully to minimise it. There's also an issue with the tender wheels being fixed to the chassis and therefore unable to round corners or take S&C as effectively as locos with a leading pony truck. And a third point - running backwards is much less fuel efficient.
 
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