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2999: Lady of Legend

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Ian White, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. L&YR 2-4-2T 1008

    L&YR 2-4-2T 1008 New Member

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    I agree with this sentiment, to me it goes even a bit further as a northerner it took me a few years to work out which great western 4-6-0 was headed towards me ( bar the king and Castle, which I think have enough to distinguish them from the rest), in GWR livery at least, as in BR colours the smokebox numberplate gives the class away as I knew the numbering systems.

    It certainly is, as you say, nice to have a working pre WW1 express engine but again, when it comes to questioning things I feel there are other pre ww1 express locos we already have that are significant to put resources towards them to return them to working order, dare I say that an engine like Hardwicke, would have had more universal appeal than ANOTHER GWR 4-6-0. But again the NRM seem unwilling to restore these older engines, so the saint still is nice. That said, at the end of the day I'm happy to have another long lost class of steam engine as I was born 31 years after the end of UK steam so I never witnessed most of the classes the older members of this forum likely will have done.
     
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  2. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

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    Many of these details could be shown within the existing collection; the cab and inside steampipes on 5322, the livery on 4079. I agree that as an Atlantic, the engine does highlight the experimental phase of the period, and of course you can argue that whilst the details may appear on other designs in the collection, it's not the same as having them all contained in a single engine. But to my mind, spending £1m to achieve these details is rather excessive. Especially when you don't have, say, an 0-6-0 tender engine.
     
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  3. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Mods this navel gazing regarding the GWS could probabkly do with anew location? As foir the Saint its built so not sure what is achieved by discussing its merits now apart from appeasing the 'Friends of Maindy Hall Society' ;)
     
  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    That would pretty much be my argument. It is the best representation of the development of the period and it is also the point from which most other engines have developed across railway companies. The Saint's importance isn't just restricted to the GWR, you know...

    I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on it.



    Who out there has an 0-6-0 GWR tender locomotive? There's one 2251 and one Dean Goods extant. Isn't that it...? So I would challenge it's rather unfair to criticise the GWS for this lack of a suitable 0-6-0. Especially given the plethora of other GWR locomotives they have preserved.

    RE costs. I cannot find any source for the "£1 million" comment you have made. The going rate for a new build is over £2 million now. To only spend half by converting an existing locomotive, of which there is a material link historically to the original seems rather good value for money quite frankly. If it offers something different and adds value to the day out at Didcot, it'll have been money well spent.
     
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  5. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think you
    I think you miss the point. The Saint was a huge leap forward in steam Locomotive development, a bit like saying we don't need an A3 as we have four A4s to represent the development Gresley Pacifics. The Saint was the birth of the modern front end and elements of Churchwards work can be traced through to the BR Standards. The problem with Didcot could stem from starting too many projects rather than finishing the Saint before embarking on anything else. We must not belittle their achievements, before this we had a GW railmotor and they have done an awful lot to conserve everything GW not just locomotives.
     
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  6. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    If a "Saint" had not survived, we would have to invent one. It is a crucial evolutionary/revolutionary design in the story of UK steam locomotives and it's a highly significant GWR design (much more so than the Hawksworth "County" although I look forward to seeing that too) .

    Oh look, they have invented one! I agree with you on the timescale of the process to some extent, as too soon isn't soon enough for some people (like me). That said, I look forward to seeing 2999 in 2019 and it may well assist in giving the GWS more publicity and possibly more visitors.
     
  7. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    As a long time member of GWS who was fortunate enough to be involved in the late 70's/early 80's and travelled on the mainline in their vintage train; I do find it a great shame that those days will never return (wooden bodied stock on the mainline will never happen again) but we have to accept that things move on. I was also lucky enough to be part of the service crew on some of their mainline railtours.

    I have to state that I have not been an active volunteer at Didcot since the early 90's but I do keep upto date via their newsletters etc and the costs quoted for any kind of mainline activity are pretty horendous. Bear in mind also that even moving stock around by road will still incure significant rail inspection and access charges just to get stock across from the Didcot Railway Centre to the west yard for road access and loading/unloading.

    I am also aware that one of the GWS objectives is and has always been the collection and hence any chance to fill in the gaps in the collection by recreating/converting locos are working towards that objective. You may or may not agree with this but they are being true to their stated objectives.

    If you want to ride for miles behind steam locos, then Didcot will dissappoint you, but if you want to see locomotives from the linceside passing every few minutes (rather than every half hour at longer railways), then you will certainly enjoy Didcot. Each to their own. As for it not being a working shed, what is the difference between locos being steamed on shed for short trips on a demonstration line and longer trips over several miles? There are few places that have the original large loco shed and coaling stage etc.
     
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  8. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

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    What I was trying to infer, is that the GWS has some pretty big gaps in its collection, and if it felt a need to spend large sums of money filling those gaps, then surely creating something which is completely absent, such as an 0-6-0, or 2-4-0, would be at least as 'necessary' as creating a variation of something they already have. (Usual caveat of people spending money on what they want etc. I should also point out that they have a spare boiler for an 0-6-0, so it wouldn't cost £2m.)

    It's a bit like having a museum of RAF Battle of Britain aircraft, where there's a Mk 1b, 2a, and 2b Spitfire, and an appeal is launched to build a Mk 1a Spit, whilst all the time there isn't a Hurricane. Of course the initial production Spit is important, no-one can deny that, but given the context of the whole museum, which gap is more important? We will obviously just have to agree to disagree. I do think you raise the important question of what the purpose of the GWS is, i.e. the significance of the Saint both in and outside the collection, and how that should impact on its decisions.

    My source for the cost is the GWS accounts 1995-2017 (I was a bit cheeky and adjusted each year for inflation!)

    Anyway, it at least provides something appropriate to put in front of 1941! Lets hope that the enthusiast community shows its interest by going through the entrance gate next year.
     
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Simon - I think you have missed @Mr Valentine 's point. However significant the Saint is within 20th century locomotive development, the absence of 19th century locomotives - and in particular, the complete absence of an any 19th century standard gauge GWR locomotive (*) is of much greater significance if the aim of the GWS is to represent the entire history of the GWR. Concentrating on the Saint and other 20th century designs reinforces a popular perception of the GWR that seems to run "Brunel - Broad gauge - chocolate box branch lines junctions with autotrains meeting Castle-hauled expresses of chocolate and cream carriages". That misses a huge part of the GWR history, which is to all intents and purposes unrepresented in preservation.

    Ultimately, what is done is done, but if you could re-run history, a 19th century Armstrong 0-6-0 would have been filling a far more significant gap in history, and probably ultimately more useful at Didcot as well.

    Tom

    (*) Dukedog notwithstanding
     
  10. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Fair points gents.
     
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  11. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Just build a Dean Single Wheeler in standard gauge form and make everyone happy!
     
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  12. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I don't really understand the recent negativity in this thread. The Saint is a really significant GWR design, as a named express engine it has a high public profile, it is different from most other GWR 4-6-0s and, despite comments about how easy it now is to build a completely new loco (?) the availability of standard components made it all the more practicable. And it looks nice.

    Yes a new 19th c loco would be lovely - single, metro tank , standard goods or whatever but it needs the right people to make it happen and see it through (I'm still waiting for Tyseley's bloomer).

    I have reservations about the Grange, County and, to some extent, the 4700 but at least let's celebrate 'Lady of Legend'.
     
  13. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

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    I think it has just had the misfortune of arriving at the 'wrong' time, especially as some of the place's current misfortunes are attributed to its newbuilds. But you never know, ten years from now people may look back, and feel that the engine's entry into service marked the beginning of a resurgence for the place.
     
  14. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    Arriving at the wrong time maybe, but it's taken 40 plus years to arrive. Perhaps the length of time it's taken to arrive gives a clue as to the underlying problems at Didcot.
     
  15. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    Indeed, how long will it be before it enters service? Before or after Pendennis Castle.
     
  16. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    How long is it since Pendennis came back from Australia - and what was the advertised date for it's return to service?
     
  17. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    2008.
     
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  18. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    Pendennis Castle is in the shed, fully overhauled. It requires its boiler taking out of the frames and testing. When will this be done?
     
  19. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    The Saint has taken 40 plus years - hopefully Pendennis will not take another 30 - however, with Didcot who can tell?
     
  20. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    God there’s a few people with an axe to grind in this thread!

    It’s absolutely wearying. We actually see a project completed in railway preservation and the thread turns into a big angsty break down of what the GWS have or haven’t done.

    As for how long its taken - get real! There’s projects in railway preservation which started FIFTY years ago only just now coming to fruition.

    If you want instant results and lots of money being spent, go watch a premier league football club.

    If you want to get projects done quicker and better maybe instead of trying to drown out the positivity when it occurs, you go offer your services in a positive, constructive manner?

    If not - then maybe just give it a rest?
     
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