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Railways around Coventry

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Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1141 of 1157  Wed 24th Jun 2020 11:55am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:806

I was referring to the present day station, Cheltenham Spa (CNM). It's down a dip, a cutting. It's on the Cross-Country main line to the south west. I've used it to go to Bristol, Exeter and earlier this year, Plymouth, which is near Devon. Smile
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
PeterB
1142 of 1157  Wed 24th Jun 2020 8:05pm  
Off-topic / chat  

PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
1143 of 1157  Wed 15th Jul 2020 11:53am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4236

Proposal to improve Coventry rail links.
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
PeterB
Mount Nod
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1144 of 1157  Wed 15th Jul 2020 1:38pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:346

Hi Philip, You can read the detailled proposals here. They are proposing redoubling the Coventry-Leamington line to increase capacity. This will allow the existing Newcastle-Reading Cross Country service to go via the Airport and Coventry instead of non-stop via Solihull. The spare path through Solihull will be used for a Birmingham (Moor Street) to Oxford service. There will also be more freight capacity. This has been on the "nice to have" list for a while. Peter.
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1145 of 1157  Wed 15th Jul 2020 6:48pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:806

A bit of good news. Long overdue. Beeching: a "Doctor" brought in for a short term political "solution" by the “government”. Narrow-mindedness the order of the day. Paid £19k back then, a fortune in today's money. Degree in physics, so he’d know that doubling the speed of a train means a fourfold increase in energy needed, hence a fourfold increase in pollution. Basic stuff. But Beeching is dead and we are still here, having to pick up the pieces and deal with what is. The COV-LMS line bed is double width most (maybe all, I dunno) of its way, so the line should be doubled. In similar vein, the Kenilworth to Berkswell line should never have been closed, ripped up, now at the mercy of the HS2 White Elephant. We'll slowly get there, in spite of the bigwigs. Edited by member, 16th Jul 2020 7:59 am
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1146 of 1157  Sun 26th Jul 2020 11:35pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:806

It might not be around Coventry, and may be further afield, but at the back of my mind, trains horns have always rung a bell (no pun). I must start by stating that I am not a train driver; in fact, I have never worked on the railways. But everyone has heard the blast of a train horn, so is familiar with its sound. Many years ago, I was in Milton Keynes. I got to MKC early, awaiting my train back to COV. It was about 1700 hours in winter, so pitch dark. This was in the days before the advanced nanny state, so there were no yellow lines on the platform. Not that I was standing close to the edge of the platform, but in the distance I saw headlights. An Intercity train was blasting through on its way to EUS. I guess the speed was in excess of 100mph. From a few hundred yards away, the driver sounded his horn, as if to say “I’m coming through”. I remember it being two-tone: derrr durrrrh… Deafeningly loud. Around that time, according to the papers, there were complaints from residents about trains thundering through and playing tunes on their horns, a favourite being ON ILKLA MOOR BAHT'AT. More recently, I’ve heard bits of that riff from a train, but can’t remember where. It seems to me that train horns have two notes (maybe more), totally under the driver’s control. And ON ILKLA MOOR BAHT'AT, which was based on a hymn tune originally, is very simple, so the ON ILKLA MOOR BAHT'AT bit only needs two notes, the dominant and the tonic. Example, in the key of F: ON ILKLA MOOR BAHT'AT C F F F C F Here’s the proof: Trains playing Ilkey Moor bah't at
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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1147 of 1157  Mon 27th Jul 2020 4:12am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3478

Slim, that gives trains minds of their own. Philip will like that. Wave
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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1148 of 1157  Mon 27th Jul 2020 8:59am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4236

Fiction might have been the start of my interest in railways, model or full size. I read a Rupert story from one of the soft cover magazines, when I was in Paybody hospital, where the little characters stumbled across a railway line. Me, stuck in a hospital cage, it seemed quite an adventure at the time. The intrigue of looking at a railway line, wondering where it goes & so on. Happy days.
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1149 of 1157  Mon 27th Jul 2020 6:28pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:806

I imagine playing a tune on a two-tone horn is about the only outlet for a human being to show their individuality whilst driving a train. The outlets for such are legion for a motorist: go-faster stripes, louder exhaust, Maserati air horns (remember them?), lowered suspension, extra width tyres, driving like a maniac, flashing lights on and off, speeding, giving hand gestures, stamping on the brakes, swerving the steering from side to side, driving up the backside of the car in front... I have chosen the key of F (major) merely as a simple example. I don't have perfect pitch, so the trains heard could be in any one of the twelve keys. Maybe different trains have horns pitched in different keys? I'll let those with perfect pitch advise. I do wonder where the vicar who thought up Thomas the Tank Engine got his inspiration from, to personalise an inanimate object like a locomotive. In his day (steam), there was only a one tone whistle (I think).
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
PeterB
Mount Nod
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1150 of 1157  Mon 27th Jul 2020 7:21pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:346

Hi Slim, Modern diesels have a two-tone horn. Like most things they are heavily standardised. Steam engines only had one whistle (except LNER express engines with chime whisitle), but being chain operated you could get different effects depending on how hard you pulled. Modern horns are probably digital. They are definitely recorded on the loco’s "black box" so misuse may have to be "explained". There is some infomation on Wikipedia.
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
Midland Red
Cherwell
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1151 of 1157  Fri 21st Aug 2020 9:04pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5608

GWR 1501 in NCB colliery guise, Coventry Colliery 1967 - photo by John Wiltshire
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1152 of 1157  Fri 21st Aug 2020 9:37pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:806

Just been watching the video of trains playing Ilkla' Moor again. One of the best was the Freightliner. Some of the drivers don't have a very good sense of timing the length of the notes, so the tune is not instantly recognisable. Others don't sound very good, and it's beyond the control of the drivers. It's the pitch, or tuning. The interval needs to be a perfect fourth, but some are slightly out (quarter tone), whilst others are way out (in excess of a semitone to my ear). I think the horn manufacturers have lost points in that round, Dickie. Wink
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
PeterB
Mount Nod
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1153 of 1157  Tue 1st Dec 2020 2:44pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:346

The Office of Rail and Road has published the 2019-2020 station usage estimates (2018-19 figures in brackets). The entrance & exit figures below are for 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020. These figures include the first two weeks of the Coronavirus lockdown. Bedworth 102,112 (101,386) Bermuda Park 38,078 (36,088) Berkswell 334,268 (355,928) Birmingham International 6,519,612 (6,975,002) Birmingham New Street 46,510,526 (47,927,772) Canley 369,574 (398,880) Coventry 7,876,772 (8,207,914) Coventry Arena 122,400 (111,462) Hampton-in-Arden 182,390 (196,678) Kenilworth 211,896 (170,912) [Opened 30th April 2018] Leamington Spa 2,823,282 (2,773,782) London Euston 44,776,804 (46,146,456) Nuneaton 1,342,706 (1,364,294) Rugby 2,679,580 (2,695,802) Tile Hill 678,866 (724,504) Wolverhampton 5,122,820 (5,305,828) The official figures include a note "Poor performance on Coventry line following May 2019 timetable change". There was also strike action on West Midlands Trains in the run up to Christmas 2019. All stations show an increase in usage. Coventry saw a 4.0% decrease remains the second busiest station in the West Midlands. Birmingham New Street (-3.0%) remains the busiest station outside London. The new stations continued their growth, particularly Kenilworth which was the first full years service and also gained a Sunday service during the year. Official figures show that railway usage started to fall off in mid-March, about a week before the actual start of Lockdown. Based on these figures, Coronavirus would be responsible for a 3% drop in 2019-20 passenger numbers. Peter.
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
PeterB
Mount Nod
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1154 of 1157  Sun 13th Dec 2020 2:45pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:346

The Avanti West Coast franchise will terminate in June 2021 when the current emergency management contract expires. The franchise system has become unworkable with the drop in passenger numbers due to Covid-19. The franchise will be replaced with a management contract where the Department for Transport takes all the revenue risk. This will probably go to Avanti and run until April 2026. The January fares increase has been delayed and will probably occur at the end of the month. This seems to be due to the DfT and train operators failing to agree the new fares in time. It is now too late to enter the fares in the system for the traditional first weekend in January date.
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1155 of 1157  Mon 21st Dec 2020 9:40pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:806

Many of you will have noticed that freight trains that run through Coventry, via the single track Leamington line, seem very long, especially when compared to passenger trains. The latter are normally about 190m long. The longer freight trains, you will have observed, take ages to pass. Not only is their speed limited, but they have to keep stopping on passing loops to give way to passenger trains. Then they have to accelerate again from a standstill – a slow process. Up to 30 freighters use the COV-LMS line in a 24 hour period. They travel from Southampton docks, to Brum, then go further up north. Then back again. Well it turns out that your observations and suspicions are correct – since Lockdown 1.0, they have been experimenting with longer trains. Freight trains are normally 600m or so in length, but for nine months they have been increased to the maximum permissible length of 775m, about 4 times as long as a passenger train. They have been able to do this since Lockdown 1.0 owing to vastly reduced passenger numbers, which are still just over a quarter of the normal pre-Lockdown 1.0 level, and quite likely may never return. So much so that some rail companies are reducing the number of hourly services – well there’s not much point running a virtually empty train, is there? The rail network is being freed up a bit, enabling longer freight trains, which are more efficient – fewer locomotives are needed, so less pollution (diesels spew out nitrogen oxides, and you don’t want to breathe that stuff in, do you?). More freight trains mean fewer HGVs on our roads. And one train driver can move stuff that would typically need 30 lorry drivers. That might be the reason that so many HGVs appeared after WW2: many demobbed soldiers did not have other skilled trades – but they could drive lorries, as they had learned to do in the army.
Public Transport and Travel - Railways around Coventry

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