Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Linesider, Jan 11, 2009.
Those of you advocating 46235 be put on display at the Curzon St. HS2 station are going to be sorely disappointed.
When the plans for the redevelopment of New St. were published and I saw the size of the new concourse I thought it would be great to see CoB displayed there instead of being tucked away in Think Tank.
I wrote a letter to the powers that be asking if this would be possible, the reply I received gave short shrift to my idea. Basically I was told "It's our engine and it isn't going any where". The only real objection they came up with was that the engine would be vandalised if put on display there. Quite how they imagined that it would be vandalised in such a busy well lit public space is beyond me. Maybe I have more faith in my fellow citizens than do the Think Tank curators.
That doesn't surpise me at all. As another Birmingham citizen I find it desperately sad that this locomotive isn't used to the City's advantage more. Putting it in the new HS2 station would make such an impressive "gateway", and to think it would only have to move a couple of hundred yards or so. I console myself with the thought that, even if it were to happen, I probably won't be alive to see it!
The question was asked earlier if the SLS gave 'Gladstone' to the nation. As the SLS PRO I can state that position is stated in the Society's publicity documents.
Re City of Birmingham surely any efforts towards a re-steaming would be better spent by enthusiasts of the class wishing to see a Duchess on the main line in keeping Sutherland running. The idea of better presentation of the loco to represent both the City and rail heritage in general at the HS2 station is a brilliant suggestion and I hope someone can take that forward as a proper campaign.
My comment about Sutherland is based on simple economics of the fact there is only so much charter work to go round and providing too many engines for the available work means no owner/operator will get a big enough slice to do necessary overhauls. We also must surely get to the point where a new build replica of the classic design is more sensible than constantly patching up old stressed material. The 4472 saga viewed with the benefit of 20x20 hindsight comes to mind. The decision at the time seemed correct; hindsight suggests the money might have been better spent building a new one a la Tornado.
How do people even think building a new 4472 was even an option...you look at all of the hurdles the A1 Trust had to go through to build 60163 in 18 years, some bits of paperwork as long as the ECML (exaggeration for emphasis). Building a new A3 would have incurred so many hurdles that overhauling the original wouldn't have to go through.
Then you have the perennial argument of "it's a replica, it doesn't have the history" which 60163 neatly and rightly side stepped as the "next in class".
It frustrates me greatly that so many people harp on about building a replica of 4472. The point about the fundraising for 4472 was that it was that exactly: fundraising for 4472. With the original still in existence and perfectly capable of being overhauled again, who would have put their money towards a replica?
Come on, who here would have actually done it?
It's an absolute fallacy. People donated money to the NRM to save her because she was 4472: they donated again to restore because she was 4472. People donated to the A1 Trust because there was no Peppercorn A1 remaining: a completely different emotive situation which had the same outcome. It would not have been same for a replica of 4472. 4472 - regardless of the originality of her components - remains such an emotive subject because she is, always has been, and always will be, 4472. That time and place in space has always been known as 4472 and as such retains her overall history.
As for City of Birmingham, I don't like how she's exhibited at present personally: but she's been looked over far, far better than the vast majority of locomotives quietly rusting away on sidings around the UK. Who am I to decry Think Tank's decisions given the locomotive's excellent preserved condition?
Maybe with hindsight, the NRM may have bought scotsman, but only for display and had buyers undertaken a thorough survey the price may have reflected that, and Tornado may have been with us sooner.
but hindsight is hindsight.
I would. At least a grand.
The nice thing about how 46235 is displayed is that it is physically quite accessible. Its easy to get up to and touch, look the the cab and genuinely try and learn about the machine.
And yet folks claim that it is "wasted" and "poorly displayed". In railway enthusiasts' eyes maybe, but you are right - the general visitor can get up close to it every day in a way they couldn't if it was in steam somewhere or in a shed being prepped for a run.
It's at just as much risk of vandalism in Thinktank in my opinion if it's so publicly accessible, look at some the condition of some other things out in public these days, only takes some bored secondary school brat on a field trip to scratch his name in the paintwork when no one's looking.
What I'm trying to say is, I understand the desire to let the public see it close up, problem is some members of the public I woulden't trust as far as I could throw them.
Never underestimate the stupidity of Birmingham City Council, when Birmingham won the league cup, they refused to let us have a civic reception, so had to have it at the ground instead, for some reason they invited the Major along to do some presentations, yet he coulden't work out why 20,000 odd people were booing him!.
How original is 4073 though ?, it might be painted in 1920's GWR Livery and paired with a 3,500 Gallon tender the type originally appeared with, but isn't the loco's more 50'/60's condition as withdrawn otherwise rather than 1923 outshopped ?.
I believe the original straighter outside steam pipes have been fitted. But if I am correct, I think the cab roof guttering was different (slanted at an angle?) & originally had bogie brakes.
I see that Heritage Railway have just caught up with this discussion, the thread being started January 2009, only 4 years ago....
Plenty of interesting quotes and ideas on the thread in that time too...
All very interesting and now it's the V2's turn as well I see.
(Takes work hat off and now speaks as myself)
So, what is a museum for then? A repository for historic artefacts or Enterprise Loco Rental...? Discuss ;-)
Agreed, I dont see the need for 2 Duchesses on the mainline at the same time (i'd actually prefer to see 46203 in Blue or Green up and running than 46235)
4771 to the traveling public somewhat duplicates 4472... I'd argue going for a reproduction V2 would make sense in the long term as I doubt it's just a cylinder block waiting to be repaired... but then I suspect there's 30+ other rebuilds before someone proposes a new V2.
Got to love HR's well-thought-out and consistent campaigning on FB. For those not on FB, Here's the opener ....
This hard line stance was then rapidly changed the same day to .....
and so on .....
Both, if there is only one example then it becomes a bit more difficult but IMO should be kept untouched as an historic artifact.
If there is more than one, then it would seem that we have the best of both worlds, keep one untouched and if possible let the other be kept in full working order and used on a limited basis.
Obviously if there are others in private hands and the owner wants it/them to be a runners then the onus does not fall on the museum to try to keep it's example running all the time.
The position that we have at present with 46229, 46233 and 46235 seem eminently satisfactory to me.
One private owning group keeping their example out there, the NRM with a different example with the hopefully not to faint hope of it running at sometime in the future, and 46235 remaining as the example more or less as withdrawn from service.
So should the NRM call in the one of a kind locos presently being used on preserved railways - eg Nelson and Cheltenham - for stuffing and mounting? and what about Scotsman? Mr Coulls posed the question originally, so what does he think? Perhaps a new thread would be appropriate....
Once a locomotive has been overhauled and steamed in the preservation era, that changes things, imo. I'd love to see the L&Y 2-4-2T run (yes, we know about its chimney...), but I suspect that its time has now gone. 2500 is being considered for a return to steam, but it has run in preservation, so it's not now 'as withdrawn'.
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