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Preserved railway speed limits

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Preserved railway speed limits

Old 3rd Jul 2020, 13:56
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Preserved railway speed limits

In one of Michael Portillo's series of programmes on Great British Railway Journeys on TV last week he did a visit to the Great Central Railway in Loughborough. During the programme one of therailway's staff said that they are allowed to run at up to 60mph on their line. My understanding was that heritage lines, run by amateurs/enthusiasts/charities were all limited to 25mph.

What am I missing?

Rans6..........
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 13:58
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About 35mph, seemingly

CG
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 13:59
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35mph perhaps?
(Beat me, C.G.)
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 14:41
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I think it depends on them being licenced as Light Railways which possibly Great Central is not. However it may simply be that GCR go faster when passengers are not carried (e.g. light engine with no train).
Where's ShaggySheepDriver when you need him?
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 14:45
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Originally Posted by Allan Lupton View Post
I think it depends on them being licenced as Light Railways which possibly Great Central is not. However it may simply be that GCR go faster when passengers are not carried (e.g. light engine with no train).
Where's ShaggySheepDriver when you need him?
I would imagine that pressure vessel age and certification would be a factor as well. You can't just have bits and pieces of steam train and passengers blowing up all over the countryside :-).
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 14:51
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They are actually certified for test running at up to 75mph.

https://www.gcrailway.co.uk/special-services/testing/

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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 15:55
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AFAIK the GCR is the only main line that was built for express passenger traffic that in in preservation. The other heritage railways are on former branch lines or light railways where weight and speed limits were imposed from the start. Besides, at 25mph we can enjoy the scenery.
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 17:09
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From K n C, copied to here, thanks.

Heritage rail speedsI can't post on JB, hence this reply to your query.

The GCR, due to it's track standard, can be used for testing please note, by diesels up to 75mph and steam up to 60mph.

Otherwise, heritage railways must operate at 25mph max. although this can, and does, nudge towards 30 at times. That said, some lines feel the rules are not applicable to them. Until, that is, the ORR arrive. Thereafter, such visits invariably reveal multiple deficiencies in the operation.

I have personal experience of such a line and the reaction to the visits. You may think no less than five visits, two formal and two threats of a prohibition notice would focus the minds, but, no. A token gesture, or two, ensued and that was all. I was on the "safety committee " ( token gesture ) and asked questions / raised issues which "were not well received ". I raised one safety issue, three times and when "management " denied it had ever happened, suddenly found myself "dismissed " for "gross misconduct " having "brought the railway into disrepute ".....the whole process being conducted by one individual without any opportunity to justify my statement. Which was a very silly thing to do really. The ORR are now taking a much deeper interest in heritage lines.

There again, I was also, until Covid arrived, planning a full scale emergency day with the local FRS, but that didn't go down well either "because it's never happened " being the irrational reason, oh, and just about everybody's first aid and defrib certs had long expired when the St Johns trainer left, but again, they weren't really necessary......according to the "management ". .

Feel free to share as much or as little as you wish.

Rgds

K n C
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 17:27
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I doubt that the track standard of the GCR, after all of these years of private operation, is any better than many of the other heritage lines. I have seen the track surveying equipment being used by the NYMR in operation and it seems to be the pukka stuff. To the layman's eye (mine!) it doesn't look any different to that I have seen along the main line through Reading. It may be that the operating staff at GCR are better certified or something. I don't have an issue with this I just want to understand what GCR are doing differently to the others, that's all. 25mph seems to be overly restrictive.

For the spectator and the video enthusiast it would be nice to see and hear steam engines on the NYMR going a bit faster. Once when we were at the NYMR they added a run along the national rail network to Battersby to their steam service from Whitby. It was apparent that the speed limit on the Whitby to Battersby route was a lot higher than their own Grosmont to Pickering line, nice.

Rans6.....................................
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 22:59
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There's a lot to preserved railways which mean that operating speed limits - and other parts of the Rule Book for that matter - must be different from 'the Big Railway'. Not least because of track condition as on the line I volunteer on, (when I'm allowed to), which in our case has meant a couple of short stretches of 5 mph running until very recently. Drainage greatly improved, rotten sleepers replaced, and now we're back to line speed.
Doesn't matter much to us; we only offer a 7 mile run.
But agreed that the NYMR, with their speed limit, does seem a little long when you want to get to Whitby...

Last edited by jimtherev; 3rd Jul 2020 at 23:01. Reason: incoherence!
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 05:54
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I can't wait for the first preserved line to start selling t-shirts that say "Black Fives Matter".

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Old 4th Jul 2020, 07:56
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It's my understanding that the 25 mph max under a 'light railway order' refers to the average speed over the whole journey not the maximum speed at any point.
See the film 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' (c1955) for further.
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 10:09
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No, it's 25mph max otherwise a line with a few restrictions such as dodgy bridges would see speeds of 40mph in other places. The stock is good old fashioned slam door so that gives the ORR some concerns. The thinking was if that 25mph was allowed then a little bit of naughtiness would not be too serious. All I will say is that on a steam loco at night, it's hard to judge your speed. It was bloody great fun though.
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 10:37
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Well I've travelled on a preserved line behind 'pacifics' and they certainly don't stick to 25 on the straight bits and up hills.
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 11:51
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Originally Posted by B Fraser View Post
All I will say is that on a steam loco at night, it's hard to judge your speed. It was bloody great fun though.
No Hasler fitted? All mine were.
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 13:06
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When running at high speed the 'Heritage Railway' is essentially closed. No heritage trains running or access trackside for normal maintenance. The high speed running is not done for fun, it's used to get test & engineering data for companies who choose not to negotiate main line rates and availability.
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 14:55
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Black 5s? - aren't they 'the poor man's King or Castle?
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 15:13
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
Black 5s? - aren't they 'the poor man's King or Castle?
are we allowed to call 'em that these days?
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 15:36
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
Black 5s? - aren't they 'the poor man's King or Castle?
More like an improved Hall, and designed by the same man who moved from Swindon to Crewe

Last edited by eko4me; 4th Jul 2020 at 16:07.
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 12:27
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"improved Hall"
One cannot improve the exquisite motive power units from 'God's Wonderful Railway' days!!! ... and as for the paint schemes and the copper ... bliss, sheer bliss!
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