New Blenheim Train

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Bilco
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New Blenheim Train

Postby Bilco » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:46 pm

The Blenheim Palace web site has announced that the 'miniature train' is being replaced. I'm not sure if this means the loco or the whole of the rolling stock. The web site item is here - http://www.blenheimpalace.com/news/the- ... train.html

I've seen the carriage-shed-come-tunnel being constructed over the last couple of weeks - it seems to be a light timber frame covered in blue plastic sheet, but I can't get close as there is an electric fence and a flock of very vicious-looking sheep between the road and the shed.

It looks like the existing coach stock is parked outside the loco shed - I'll keep an eye on things on my daily walk past and report developments.
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Postby Colin Peake » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:23 pm

I understand that a new Alan Keef steam outline 0-6-0T is due along with four 16 seat semi-open coaches. These are all to new designs, the coaches seem to be scaled down from Keef's 2ft designs as they have a high floor level rather than dropped frames.

I believe the old Keef loco will become the spare and that the Guest loco and German coaches will go to Keefs in part-exchange. It has been indicated elsewhere that the old coaches are pretty well worn....

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Postby Bilco » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:05 pm

On my walk through Blenheim Park this morning I came across the new carriages being off-loaded at the Pleasure Garden Station. As I was watching, the new loco 'Winston' came down from the loco shed, so I took a few photos.


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Postby Bilco » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:08 pm

The new carriages were wrapped in white plastic sheet ...

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The bogies awaiting the first carriage off the lorry. The other bogies can be seen stacked on the lorry.
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Postby Bilco » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:10 pm

The four old carriages were off the rails at the side of the station - presumably waiting to be put onto the lorries for disposal ...

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The old carriages looked a bit rough - paint flaking and rust showing through. This shot of the builder's plate shows that they are 20 years old ...


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Postby david colley jnr » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:21 pm

The coaches are a bit older than that. I can only imagine that was a "modified" date, but well spotted on the delivery!
The new loco looks great, it should be a real asset to them.
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Postby Colin Peake » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:13 pm

There is mention in the Alan Keef book that they built a matching coach for Blenheim so one of the coaches may well be from 1994, the others are definitely German 1930s products. The undertone in the book was that it was a lot of effort and expense and I suspect Keefs would have preferred to build to a new design!

What is interesting is that the new loco has no couplers and that the couplers are missing off the old stock, so I guess that the German designed combined couplers/air pipes may remain.

I look forward to seeing the coaches once they are uncloaked :D

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Postby tebee » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:47 am

If you look at the coach on the right in the end view, it is slightly different in the way it is constructed, so that might very well be the Keef one.

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Postby Bilco » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:38 am

An interesting point, Tom - the plate I photographed is on the right hand coach.
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:26 am

given the age of some of the coaches, and possibly their historical value, are there plans to preserve these older coaches. The coaches on the left certainly look more battered at lower levels. 1930s Germany is a very significant period historically, not necessarily railway related.
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Postby Bilco » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:13 am

Walking through the Park this morning I saw the new loco and carriages at Palace Station. As I came level with the station the train moved off, and I was able to photograph it as it rounded the first curve.

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On my way back home I came across the train at Pleasure Garden Station. The loco had the side panels off and two Keef mechanics were tinkering with the innards.

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Postby Willow Creek Traction » Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:24 am

Handsome locomotive. With those new coaches it makes an attractive train.
Reflection in "steam" dome looks like something from, oh, what was the name, Far Nattering and something.
http://www.blenheimpalace.com/assets/co ... bc7d44.jpg
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Postby Bilco » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:02 pm

The Palace and line opened to the public this weekend. This morning I had a closer look at the tunnel/carriage shed ...


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The new carriages in the shed.


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The tunnel/carriage shed is slowly emerging from the blue plastic sheeting and scaffolding. Nice to see a bit of sunshine and dry weather. Fortunately, the frost had made the very soggy ground between the road and the shed hard enough to walk on!
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Postby steerngo » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:37 am

A very intresting building, Is the tunnel/carriage shed on the running line.

Ken

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Postby Bilco » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:54 am

Hi Ken,

Yes, the new shed thing is over the running line, hence the dual designation - it's a tunnel when the public ride through it, and a carriage shed when the railway stops running for the day and the carriages are stored in it!
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Postby Bilco » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:30 am

I was chatting to one of the loco drivers this morning. Apparently the Trevor Guest loco has left Blenheim and is going to the Windmill Railway - I think it's this one http://www.windmillanimalfarm.co.uk/farmtrain.html

The new train is running well by all accounts.
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Too soon old, too late smart.

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