On 5 Jul 2012 at 6:46am Sussex Jim wrote:
If you are going out to watch the steam train leaving Lewes at 9.00 today, please note the locomotive "Tornado" is temporarily out of service needing a minor repair; and unfortunately the train will now be diesel hauled.
On 5 Jul 2012 at 7:01am Train Spotter wrote:
We are going on it, despite our tickets being e-mailed to us, have the operators (Steam Dreams) e-mailed to let passengers know its no longer a steam train? No, we found out via Network Rail, very poor form.
On 5 Jul 2012 at 9:57am Thomas wrote:
There must have been lots of disappointed rail enthusiasts this morning. Travelled from Lewes about 8.30 and it was packed with expectant chuffers.
On 5 Jul 2012 at 11:00am Train Spotter wrote:
There were, writing this from the train, perhaps more disappointing than for us is all the expectant spotters by the lineside expecting to see a steam engine - only for a boring diesel to turn up. Interestingly the brochure they have given us on the train, obviously printed before Tornado (the rostered loco) failed its safety check shows that it was always going to be a diesel from Lewes to Haywards Heath where the steam engine would have been attached - so right from the start the whole steam train from Lewes, this year at least, was a con.
On 5 Jul 2012 at 8:14pm Ducatipete wrote:
Not chuffed then!!
On 5 Jul 2012 at 9:10pm Smokey joe wrote:
All smoke and mirrors , only without the smoke !
On 6 Jul 2012 at 1:24am Head in Hands wrote:
It does upset me that it seems to be a perfectly acceptable business practice these days to solicit business on the back of, if not outright lying, then by as much deception as is legally possible.
I've recently got home from a long ski holiday which turns out I was only insured on for 10 days. Despite telling the sales girl (on the phone) I would be away 3 months on a ski tour, they buried the 'includes max. 10 days of winter sports cover' clause deep in the small print, which only was sent with the policy after it was paid for anyway. Had anything gone wrong, I'd have no proof the policy wasn't fit for purpose.
Scamming people is obviously the way forward, you're fighting a losing battle if you stay honest.
On 6 Jul 2012 at 6:37am Retired Archbishop wrote:
The Network Rail timings earlier this week had certainly confirmed that Tornado was to come down to Eastbourne to turn around and head the train from Lewes as "gauging" issues had been addressed. We did have a steam loco from Willesden but this was Bittern of the same class that holds the world steam speed record. This was the loco originally planned for last year but was too big for the bit between Haywards Heath and Lewes. My guess is that whilst all the last minute negotiations were going on with Network Rail, they might have thought it could haul the train from Haywards Heath but there was not capacity at Haywards Heath to block a platform for twenty minutes to enable the change to take place.
We do all have the offer of a discount on another trip. There is a further trip planned for next July to go to Salisbury and maybe that could be hauled by a loco originally built at Brighton and able to negotiate our tight curves, platforms and bridges.
On 6 Jul 2012 at 7:53am Sussex Jim wrote:
The actual facts-from a passenger who has no connection with Steam Dreams.
The train should have formed with "Tornado" at the front, and a diesel at the rear. This train would then run backwards, pulled by the diesel, from Southall (west London) to Eastbourne. Then Tornado would pull the train forwards to Oxford,picking up passengers at Lewes and other stops. During our time at Oxford the train would run empty to Didcot where it could be turned round.
On leaving Oxford to go home, Tornado would then pull the train to Lewes.
Unfortunately, Tornado developed a minor fault just prior to the trip; and the decision was made by its operators (not Steam Dreams) to take it out of service for a few days. Steam Dreams have actually made a good effort in providing a replacement steam locomotive at short notice; however, the only one available (Bitterne) is slightly too large to be used on the Southern system and could only pull our train from West London to Oxford.
We have been offered a discount on future trips, by way of compensation.
I hope this post clears up a lot of rumour and speculation.
On 6 Jul 2012 at 9:10am Train Spotter wrote:
The two posts above completely ignore that the brochure describing the trip, given to everyone on the train, shows Tornado from and to Haywards Heath and a Diesel from Lewes to Haywards Heath and back - it even states what type of diesel (a class 47), this would have been printed weeks ago and I still feel that this year there was never the intention to run steam from Lewes. It will be interesting to see what happens next year if the planned Lewes Salisbury trip goes ahead, but I won't book online this time, I will be calling and asking questions.