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Author Topic: Flying scotsman engine runs again  (Read 3106 times)

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Offline prissi

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Flying scotsman engine runs again
« on: February 25, 2016, 01:58:46 PM »
BIg news in britain, as the flying scotsman did run again
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-35653416

Most impressive (for me) is that the whole train run without the usual diesel in the consist. They had been very sure about the engine to do this on its first long haul run.

Offline Ters

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Re: Flying scotsman engine runs again
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 04:14:48 PM »
Maybe there are enough locomotives available to come to the rescue, not that modern economists like having vehicles standing around doing nothing. Or maybe breakdowns would most likely immobilize the locomotive to such a degree that it would need to be lifted away with a crane.

Kind of related was something I read about from Sweden a while back. When they phased out steam shortly after WWII, they parked their best steam locomotives in sheds around the country. The idea was that in the event of WWIII, steam locomotives could run on wood, which Sweden has lots of, while the diesels would could suffer from possible oil shortages and the electrical power grid could be knocked out. A few years back, a pair of these locomotives was collected for a museum or something like that. They simply fired up one of the locomotives according to the instructions (took a day or two), and used that one to pull the other one, plus everything else they had brought along, back home. They even visited a steep industrial siding nearby, and was allowed to pull an almost complete load back to the station. That was a bit too much, especially since a valve triggered too early, so they needed a push from the diesel normally doing the job, but nothing really broke and the locomotive wasn't made for that kind of work. The locomotives were apparently stored in huge plastic bags. I think the locomotive actually was from before WWI. There should be videos on YouTube, but I don't remember what to search for.

Offline prissi

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Re: Flying scotsman engine runs again
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2016, 11:12:01 PM »
They did run some steam excusion service to the north via Cambridge ocasionally in summer (maybe when the East Coast Main Line has their daily congestion/delay pile up gone too bad), and every time they had a diesel sitting in the back.

Moreover, there are no locos sitting along this track, as almost any train on this is a closed consist (either real EMU/DMU or the also old IC125 ones) and the services are run by various companies. (Ok, there is one diesel 10 miles out of Kings Cross, but not much more.)

Also the engines in the old times had equipment to get the water from trough in (or next) the track. That would not apply to modern ones, and when there is a big holdup or so, there is some danger of the water level going too low. (And especially with an unknown engine, going a track for the first time.) Anyway, it seems there were no troubles at all.

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Flying scotsman engine runs again
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2016, 12:12:19 AM »
Quote
Most impressive (for me) is that the whole train run without the usual diesel in the consist. They had been very sure about the engine to do this on its first long haul run.
It was made at the peek of steam technology. What hope would humanity have if such an engine failed straight after being maintained?

Quote
Maybe there are enough locomotives available to come to the rescue, not that modern economists like having vehicles standing around doing nothing. Or maybe breakdowns would most likely immobilize the locomotive to such a degree that it would need to be lifted away with a crane.
Not sure it is that simple to rescue a breakdown. Someone I know was stranded in a train for 2 hours right outside his home because of "health and safety" not allowing the passengers onto the line and the train being stuck away from a platform.

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Moreover, there are no locos sitting along this track, as almost any train on this is a closed consist (either real EMU/DMU or the also old IC125 ones) and the services are run by various companies. (Ok, there is one diesel 10 miles out of Kings Cross, but not much more.)
There is still a fairly good chance the lines are owned by Network Rail, which owns practically all rail in the UK. Exceptions being the London Underground which track is owned by a separate company (causing many problems over maintenance responsibility where the lines meet Network Rail owned lines) and some private lines such as historic recreation railways and such.

Depending how they purchase line time would depend on how many engines they can send, it might be that under modern pricing structures they need to purchase 2 slots to send 2 engines. Additionally one must remember that only Network Rail technicians could couple up the engines in the case of a break down as engine staff, including the driver, are not "qualified" to be on the tracks at any point in time. Sure having a diesel running as part of the train unit would work but it would also spoil the historic journey having it wedged between the steam unit and the coaches or in front of the steam unit.

Quote
Also the engines in the old times had equipment to get the water from trough in (or next) the track. That would not apply to modern ones, and when there is a big holdup or so, there is some danger of the water level going too low. (And especially with an unknown engine, going a track for the first time.) Anyway, it seems there were no troubles at all.
The engine was designed for long hauls so already has a pretty impressive water capacity and coal capacity. As long as they did not push its range then delays would be no issue as they could refill at the next stop. I am not entirely sure how such things are done seeing how all the old water towers have been removed long ago but as a rough guess they have some water trucks ordered to strategic stops?

Offline Vladki cz

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Re: Flying scotsman engine runs again
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2016, 12:39:47 AM »
I have heard that some steam trains are followed by a "firefighter" train with modern vehicles. Such a train could refill water and push the broken train in case of neccessity.

I remember being stuck in a steam train in middle of nowhere, because the fireman was too lazy and the engine ran out of steam. There was plenty of water and coal, just we had to wait to build up some pressure...

Offline Ters

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Re: Flying scotsman engine runs again
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2016, 06:34:42 AM »
The steam trains I've seen running in Norway have always done so on their own, but they had show their reliability long before I saw them. Not that none of them never broke down, but so do regular trains as well. Water has been provided by the fire service. I have never seen them take on fuel.

Ironically, the only veteran train I've seen that was accompanied by another locomotive, was diesel powered itself, and likely newer than the attached locomotive. The reason it needed the other locomotive was that ATC equipment (or something like that) is mandatory on public lines in Norway, even for heritage trains. Since the train was retired before this requirement, and had since been "living out" its retirement years in Denmark, it could not return home. (It ran alone through Sweden and Denmark, which apparently are less strict about this.) The diesel actually did the pulling, likely since the train in question,a DMU, was too weak to pull the diesel. Maybe a similar requirement is the reason behind putting more modern locomotives in other heritage trains, rather than redundancy. (There is a picture here.)