why is meant by gauging issues with regards to steam trains?

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infobleep

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Hi there

Can anyone tell me what is meant by gauging issues when it comes to mainline steam tours?

Their is a steam tour from Lewes to Oxford today and it was originally due to be steam hauled from Lewes but it's now Willesden Junction due to gauging issues. I read that in the past as well but not sure what it means.

I passed the diesel train on it's route to Lewes via Eastbourne. It has to go through Lewes get to Lewes! Long gone are the turntables. Not that trains didn't run engine light back then to change direction as well.

Thanks
 
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D841 Roebuck

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Most likely to be issues with height of chimney or other boiler fittings. It may be that the line from Lewes to Willesden (or part thereof) has recently been relaid or reballasted and track levels may have risen under bridges.
 

Phil6219

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There are a few reasons i think, one that I know of is that there can be a problem with the cylinders at the front can sometimes come into contact with platforms.

The loco itself could sit too high too, I think one loco (4472 I think) had it's chimney adjusted to lower it so it would be ok under the wires.

I'm sure someone else has more knowledge on the subject and will chime in shortly.

Phil 8-)
 

infobleep

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Interesting. Thanks for the replies.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'm surprised this stuff isn't common knowledge in that they know this before they plan the services. It may be a change in locomotive caused it in this case though. In which case they couldn't possibly know.
 

ushawk

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Completely forgot about this today, was meant to ask its ECS workings to see a rare charter in Eastbourne, least it wasnt a kettle i was missing out on !

Last years tour (Lewes - Ely) went via Hampden Park and was the first train to use the crossover there, original plan was to stable it at Newhaven Marine, but it was too long so stabled overnight at Three Bridges Sidings, which of course are now under building work for Thameslink, hence why it ran direct from Southall.

Think it couldnt reverse at Lewes due to timetabling issues somewhere, perhaps it couldnt of ran later on its run down the mainline.
 

fgwrich

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There are a few reasons i think, one that I know of is that there can be a problem with the cylinders at the front can sometimes come into contact with platforms.
That is one of the reasons*, as well as the chimney, Steam Dome and Safety Valves i think can also cause gauging issues on certain routes. On others, it can also be a case of where the track has been raised under a bridge, reducing sufficient clearance - The West Of England line i think suffers some of this.

*Reading West & Mortimer stations were two stations where until recently, several types of Steam locos including Kings were banned due to insufficient clearance. This has now been solved thanks to Knights Rail & Balfour Beatty who have paid Network Rail to modify the station platform edges (They've been carefully cut back) to provide sufficient clearance for the A Stock (And likely others) to be dragged to Eastleigh instead of going by road.
 

Crawley Ben

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Hi all I was on the tour yesterday (joining & departing Haywards Heath) and the initial reason for the cancellation was down to the fact that Tornado failed it's fitness to run exam (minor boiler problem) and had to be replaced last minute by A4 steam loco Bittern. As has already been pointed out this loco was out of gauge (something to do with a bridge or 2 along the booked route where clearance was an issue so outward train was top n tailed by a DBS 66/67 combo. Bittern put in a fanastic performance on both the legs to/from Willesden and got many admiring looks from passenger's at stations along the route & from the passing HST's (even freight staff at Didcot waved!) 2x DBS 67's took over at Willesden (my first time behind said class, and boy they are quick!) I hope my 1st trip behind Tornado will come sooner rather than later. Just glad that the damage to the loco isn't serious.

Ben
 

Teaboy1

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I also believe that some GWR locos tend to be a bit wide over the cylinder covers and if used on non-GWR routes, can foul the edges of platforms and other structures. Hence why we never see GWR locos up north with only the rare visitor coming up through Midlands to York via LMS routes (Sheffield)

Unfortunately, steamers are a tad bigger than the network allows for today what with wires, platforms and bridges.
 

LE Greys

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I also believe that some GWR locos tend to be a bit wide over the cylinder covers and if used on non-GWR routes, can foul the edges of platforms and other structures. Hence why we never see GWR locos up north with only the rare visitor coming up through Midlands to York via LMS routes (Sheffield)

Unfortunately, steamers are a tad bigger than the network allows for today what with wires, platforms and bridges.
The GWR liked to take advantage of having a generous loading gauge, an inheritance from their broad gauge days. However, BR tended to ignore this, so some modern structures started to protrude into the loading gauge - early BR did not care for steam excursions much and tended to go for the 'lowest common denominator' option when rebuilding or electrifying routes. Metrication of dimensions had a similar effect. As a result, many locos, GWR and non-GWR, have had their boiler fittings 'clipped' to fit through a standard C1 gauge, but GWR ones can't really have their cylinders narrowed. Still, even some of the former broad gauge routes now have structures protruding into awkward places (relay boxes and so on) and some lines have been slewed to bring them closer to platforms (to reduce gaps).
 
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