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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:06 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9980
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
BM765 wrote:
I believe the insurance is readily available, but as stated earlier they are annual policies. You simply can't spread the cost over enough passengers to make it work.


That’s not my understanding. I may be wrong though.


It's what I was told about the situation when I wrote it up for L&RP Magazine ages ago (1980s or 1990s); I can't imagine there have been any changes of substance over the years except the prices.

I was even told one specific group's sole reason for existence--all of five or eight formal members, spun off from the bigger groups--was to "partner" with any operators of mainline trips on NS, Chessie System, PC, etc. solely as the bearer of insurance, which was effectively signed on as part of their year-long policy.

Remember in "days of old" that there were NRHS/R&LHS Chapters and other groups operating trips and charters FREQUENTLY--to the point of hobby shops saying "So where are they going THIS month?" when they got the next trip flyers. This was, of course, back when railroads and transit agencies would do just about anything within reason to make a buck with equipment sitting around for the weekend. These groups had thousands of dollars in the treasury from profitable excursions, and a ready pool of enthusiastic volunteers as well.

You might have places like Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta, etc. that might do two weekends' worth of out-and-back excursions on SR or Chessie back-to-back, and/or maybe a ferry move to boot. Enough income to buy a parlor car and keep it maintained.

No more..............


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:50 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 971
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
BM765 wrote:
I believe the insurance is readily available, but as stated earlier they are annual policies. You simply can't spread the cost over enough passengers to make it work.


That’s not my understanding. I may be wrong though.


It's what I was told about the situation when I wrote it up for L&RP Magazine ages ago (1980s or 1990s); I can't imagine there have been any changes of substance over the years except the prices.


You think the only thing that has changed with insurance is the prices? In the past 30-40 years?


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:51 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9980
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
You think the only thing that has changed with insurance is the prices? In the past 30-40 years?


I would suggest that there have been no major innovations in the methodology of the rail excursion insurance business in that time period.

If there were, wouldn't some entrepreneur have taken advantage of it by now?


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:41 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:04 pm
Posts: 267
I am fairly certain Santa Fe,#2926 will be finally operational and running some excursions this year. The long dormant Santa Fe Southern is back and is currently rehabilitating the locomotives, and track in Santa Fe, New Mexico. So there is a possibility the #2926 could make a trip to Santa Fe which would be really cool.

The SP&S,#700 will be operational this year. No plans so far but likely some trips to Salem, or Beaverton.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:30 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 2017
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
To repeat........unless a mainline trip can be run under the Amtrak banner ( not feasible under current Amtrak policy) or on a transit agency railroad there will be no mainline steam excursions period.

Is it possible that somewhere down the line a new Wick Moorman will come along and take the CEO's seat at CSX,NS or BNSF ?? Yes, in theory it's possible, but the odds are lousy and the likely hood is near zero.

Again, if "real" mainline steam ( no diesel(s), track speed, period appropriate cars ) is what you crave and you have the finances to allow it, get to the UK for 2 weeks and ride multiple " real" mainline steam excursions to your hearts content. CONSUMER warning...it will forever change your opinion of what constitutes a " real" mainline steam excursion.

Safe travels, Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1456
Location: Back in NE Ohio
I agree with Mr. Rowland about UK steam, at least from what I see on YouTube, never personally having had the pleasure of getting there. They put us to shame, but they also police their own fans about staying off the RoW far more strictly than happens here. I think it has to do with the culture and the fact that railroads are still very much a part of the consciousness of the British people, unlike here, where for most people their only interaction with trains is being delayed at a grade crossing. I really don't know how else to account for the idiocy of most of the "victims" in collision videos I see, especially when a semi-rig turns in-front of an oncoming train after it has started blowing for the crossing with the gates and lights functioning properly.

Once one gets over the "funny looking", "furin" equipment, I can tell you that being in the cab of a Polish 2-6-2 at night at 55 mph sounds pretty much like being in the cab of 765 at speed, and I've done both.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 2017
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
It's important to understand that the dynamics for mainline steam in the UK are TOTALLY different than here.

Firstly, the railway preservation industry is far more robust and professionally run than in the USA, especially the mainline steam operators. These operators interface on the highest levels with British Rail and have full time professional staff that keep everything running on schedule.

Secondly, steam preservation itself is widely supported by the British public and the mainline operations are viewed as important pieces of celebrating British heritage and history.

Thirdly, all of their equipment ( locos & cars) are maintained to the highest mainline standards, are inspected regularly and must meet these strict standards to be qualified to run on the mainline.

IIRC as we speak there are 3 steamers authorized to operate at speeds up to 90 mph ( Tornado, Mallard, Flying Scotsman) and a total of 24 others authorized to operate at speeds up to 75 mph.

It's an entirely different universe and if you love steam at speed a must do.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2482
Ross is right on the money about the variables that make the UK so unique. The overall appreciation of transportation history helps a lot. A few years back Isambard Kingdom Brunel was voted greatest Britian of all time. That’s pretty good insight into the difference of culture.

One of the things I appreciate is the ability to ride behind a variety of locomotives on the mainline, especially wheel arrangements that rarely see mainline service in the US. I became a die hard fan of the Stanier Black 5 4-6-0 after a high speed performance that I had previously only experienced behind 4-8-4’s and 2-8-4’s at home. And for this US anthracite railroad fan, the chance to experience wide firebox Pacifics at speed is hard to resist.

The mainline operations I am most curious about are in western Russia. When last there 6 years ago or so, I was told preserved steam being used on freight and passenger service was rather common. Since then, I have learned some tantalizing details. If even half of them are still true, one of the greatest steam shows out there may be happening north/northwest of Moscow.

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1456
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Well, an A-4 is probably authorized to operate at 90 mph (maybe Bittern?), but Mallard is currenly a static display at the National Museum in York. Common max authorized speed for most mainline steam in the UK is 75 mph.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:10 pm
Posts: 20
I believe I am right in saying 4464 Bittern's 90-mph runs in 2013 were a one-off event, as part of the Mallard 75 celebrations. Whatever the case may be, Bittern was withdrawn from traffic in 2016 and is displayed at the former Hornby model trains factory in Margate whilst waiting for its turn to be overhauled and have its boiler and mainline certificates renewed. Locomotive Services Limited, the company operating Bittern, has its hands full with a different LNER Pacific, 60532 Blue Peter, the overhaul of which has been an uphill battle since 2015 or 16.

I believe the only UK steam locomotive currently Network Rail certified for regular 90-mph service is 60163 Tornado.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:37 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9980
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
co614 wrote:
These operators interface on the highest levels with British Rail and have full time professional staff that keep everything running on schedule.


"British Rail" has not existed for 20+ years. You mean "Network Rail."

"BritRail" is still a trademark for National Rail for the marketing of system passes to foreigners.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:54 pm
Posts: 22
Some in this thread who said roads like RBMN are the future of mainline steam seem to be onto something. CNJ 113 will be operating from Minersville to Port Clinton in June.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:03 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Southeast PA
The 611 crew posted an updated via the Virginia Museum of Transportation today hinting at an "out of state" trip for the 611 hinting to the location in the picture with the article. Many are speculating that a return to Strasburg is what they are getting at as the picture looks like Leaman Place.

Given this, it seems like they are not planning on any mainline trips in the near future.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:53 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 971
PRR8063 wrote:
The 611 crew posted an updated via the Virginia Museum of Transportation today hinting at an "out of state" trip for the 611 hinting to the location in the picture with the article. Many are speculating that a return to Strasburg is what they are getting at as the picture looks like Leaman Place.

Given this, it seems like they are not planning on any mainline trips in the near future.


Interesting! I loved seeing 611 in Strasburg last time - wasn’t sure i would ever see it again - I guess I will! :)


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