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 Post subject: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:06 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
The first indication I got of this was a cryptic group e-mail from a loco owner in the UK, informing me (and a bunch of others):
Quote:
See there's been an incident today, basically charter linked, thank god everyone involved are all ok as I'm sure I would know the crew pretty well. 47 500 in a bad way and I'd imagine another big black mark against 'trains that get in the way of what they'd like to see'. Make the most of what you get these days on the mainline, it ain't going to continue for ever....... Just think, this situation could easily be [my loco] and I wouldn't want to be responsible for paying train delay fees!!!!


What he said was apparently a royal understatement.

http://www.itv.com/news/granada/story/2 ... nes_150864

This was an empty coach stock movement ("light" movement) of rolling stock, including the locos, in preparation for a rail charter in the same sense as a weekend excursion, an American Orient Express movement, or the new Pullman services out of Chicago. The Class 47 locos involved are the moral equivalent of the F7 or E8 in North America--mass produced, all over the place, and some folk are sick of them no matter how you paint or engine them. The loco that derailed was on the tail end of a "topped and tailed" movement (loco at each end) through the junction.

The place where this loco derailed was the moral equivalent of a spot outside Chicago Union Station, Washington Union, or on one of the New Jersey bottlenecks of the Northeast Corridor. It thoroughly buggered up rail traffic.

Online forum discussion of the derailment (Warning: Thick UK rail jargon ahead!): http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=78273

Also: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/ ... ge-1237448

West Coast Railways runs a number of heritage train services across the country, the most famous of which is the Jacobite steam train that travels through the Scottish Highlands from Fort William to Mallaig.


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:10 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:12 am
Posts: 654
Location: cheyenne
Not 'a royal understatement' by any means... the locos are not privately owned (which could have been awkward), it may be track to blame or signalling, or a loco fault, either way just one of those things with no injuries thank goodness.

Mike Pannell


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:36 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2075
There was a train derailment not too long ago near Union Station over some track junctions and yes traffic was snarled about it and it was all over the Chicago news, for the time all trains were halted. I recall a news anchor just jabbering how nothing could move...then a live picture showed a train moving on another track, so some phone calls made and some rail official said theres some redundancy designed into the trackage and system they could work around the accident, making sure there were no catostrophic circumstances, they could resume limited trains.

It was more much ado about nuthin to me really, I'm going...you news people are nuts...

it coulda happenned to any engine there, oh well, more attention getting for the news team and the heritage unit...

so now you know..more than you needed to know...


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:24 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
car57 wrote:
Not 'a royal understatement' by any means... the locos are not privately owned (which could have been awkward)


Not sure what you mean by "not privately owned," but first, British Rail as many of us knew it hasn't existed for over a decade now, and second, West Coast Railways is not a "train operating company" in the sense of, say, a public utility or a passenger operating contractor like Virgin Rail, Arriva, Connex, Helm Leasing, etc. Rather, West Coast Railways looks and acts almost precisely like Ed Ellis' Pullman operations out of Chicago, or the 261/Northstar group, or Mid-America's railcar sets, or the like. The Class 47 Brush-Sulzer diesels on the train are/were "preserved" locos in commercial use much like the E8s in the possession of Saratoga & North Creek/Arizona Eastern/San Luis & Rio Grande/whatever, or Bennett Levin's PRR E8s, or various F-units on dinner trains.

So, yes, they are "privately owned" in that sense. And this may possibly "bite" private loco owners (individuals and groups) viciously, if not fatally, if someone with power decides it was the "fault" of the locos or "private" operations. Charter and special-movement operators are already assessed massive penalties for delaying other trains in case of "incidents" deemed their fault, and this is what the original e-mail from my associate referenced. (I have since seen a few photos of the track the train was on, and the track quality appears dubious--this was not a high-speed main track the train was on.)

47500 may or may not be a total loss, but if it's a loss it will be missed, just as if an accident befell a former PRR E8 on one of the Pullman charters, there would be as many folks bemoaning the loss as there would be saying "eh, it's just another E8, go get another one out of the junk lines somewhere (and one or two jerks saying "yay, another 'diseasel' gone!")

My worry is that the insurance underwriters in the U.K. will converse heartily with those in the States......

Related: Found on another board, along with a link to an opposition petition:
Quote:
The regulation of insurance payout for charter trains in the UK is set to change. Currently the rail operators pay a max fine of £5000 [$7900] if a train is delayed to the point that it badly delays other services, and if the fine amount is more than £5k, Network Rail [the public rail-infrastructure holding company] pick up the excess. The ORR [Office of Rail Regulation, analogous to our FRA] is looking to lift that cap, meaning charter trains would be a potential money grave for operators, and the heritage image of our railways would be left severely damaged.


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:07 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:12 am
Posts: 654
Location: cheyenne
Okay let me clarify what i meant by 'privately owned'.. in a heritage sense i mean a restored locomotive like a Western or 50 or Deltic owned by a group coming to grief due to a major mechanical malfunction.....This loco however is owned by a major train operator and therefore is no huge concern for the small individual preserved and restored mainline loco or multiple unit operator. I know as i am a preserved muliple unit restorer/operator who chose as part of a group to go the 'mainline' route as the only viable way of the train earning its keep (of course with all the ridiculous modern day requirements that word 'viable' is pointless) had this been my train or a 50 or Deltic or steam locomotive then yes this could have been disastrous, depending on what caused the issue in the first place.

Mike Pannell


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:29 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
Quote:
therefore is no huge concern for the small individual preserved and restored mainline loco or multiple unit operator


If only because they won't DARE let their equipment operate on the main line any more. In effect, we're all finished, and might as well go back to our basements and model trains.

I should point out that, in addition to owning a considerable fleet of diesels and carriages, West Coast is also a major contract operator of many of the major preserved mainline steam locos running in Britain today. This is not simply an "oh, it's just a big for-profit company, no big deal" scenario for rail preservation in Britain. Indeed, one of WCRC's bases of operation is Carnforth--the loco shed and railway "museum" formerly known as "Steamtown", and originally as significant to British mainline operation as a combination of Southern's Birmingham shops and Steamtown Bellows Falls.

Go back and read the original post, and the e-mailed words of one of those "small individual preserved and restored mainline loco operators", who owns two such locos:
Quote:
Make the most of what you get these days on the mainline, it ain't going to continue for ever....... Just think, this situation could easily be [my loco] and I wouldn't want to be responsible for paying train delay fees!!!!


If--IF--someday, in the not-too-distant future, the only way to run ANY excursion on ANY main line is to charter Amtrak's or a commuter operator's equipment over routes they already run.... and the debate is over why no one wants to pay $500 to ride a bunch of Amfleet behind a pair of P40s at 40 mph, and folks ask "why can't someone run with a steam loco/old streamlined diesel and/or vintage cars?"......... something like this will be what we point to.


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:03 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
If--IF--someday, in the not-too-distant future, the only way to run ANY excursion on ANY main line is to charter Amtrak's or a commuter operator's equipment over routes they already run.... and the debate is over why no one wants to pay $500 to ride a bunch of Amfleet behind a pair of P40s at 40 mph, and folks ask "why can't someone run with a steam loco/old streamlined diesel and/or vintage cars?"......... something like this will be what we point to.


So, exactly what do you propose they/we do about it?

BTW - The same type of question was asked (with very good reason) after the Great Dismal Swamp Derailment, and the Gettysburg Incident just to name two.


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:24 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:12 am
Posts: 654
Location: cheyenne
Exactly Bob, there is no answer because it wont happen over here anyway and it wont affect heritage traction over there either.
But i wont argue the toss over something that is making a mountain out of a mole hill

Mike Pannell


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:29 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
Quote:
because it wont happen over here anyway


Because we have derailment-proof track and all our equipment is failure-proof??

May I remind you that it took one "oops" switching accident and one "what if that had been an occupied train?" remark to kill off NS steam in 1994.

Could we, as an "industry," effectively rebut such a remark if made by an Amtrak/Metra/MTA/etc. official today in the wake of an "oops"?


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:55 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:12 am
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Location: cheyenne
once again you misunderstand the point i am making......The chances of heritage running on the mainlines here by private parties is practically nil, so no need to make something out of nothing.

Mike Pannell


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:58 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5251
Location: southeastern USA
Why don't we wait for the inquiry to present it's findings before commenting on their outcome? I sure feel much more comfortable when I know what I'm talking about.....

dave

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"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Diesel Charter (empty) Derails in Manchester, U
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:05 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
car57 wrote:
The chances of heritage running on the mainlines here by private parties is practically nil


Someone had better alert, among other folks, the overseers of 4449, 3751, and 765; the Northstar/261 group, Pullman Rail Journeys, AAPRRCO, Mid-America Railcar, Bennett Levin/Juniata Terminal, and a bunch of other folks. They seem to not have heard your odds.

The context I was putting this in was that we are slowly crawling our way of the "bad old days" of the 1990s and 2000s, when it could basically be assumed that it was all impossible, and are currently at a stage when we can wear down and possibly refute automatic rejection of anything "not invented here." (I'm currently arguing with an Amtrak clearances director who had earlier insisted that we could never, NEVER see a GG1 on the Northeast Corridor again, under ANY circumstances, not even a one-time move. Period. Then his superiors wanted PRR 4935 at Washington Union's centennial celebration......)


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