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6023

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Eightpot, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I mean in express terms, I suppose there's Nunney, but she's been quiet for some time too.
     
  2. LISTER B

    LISTER B New Member

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    6023 WILL go mainline by the middle of next year , The future is looking BIG AND BLUE !:cool::eek::)
     
  3. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    I must admit, after watching the developments of 6023 for some time now, I have been a little concerned about the future, and not just for 6023 either.

    Now, I have the up most respect for the Didcot Railway Centre and all they have achieved, but there are times when I fear they are punching too much above their weight. First of all, there is the no small matter of having the ideal amount of man power and resources, which though it could produce years back, can the centre handle the challenges of going on the mainline today?

    Plus, one thing I could never figure out was, if they had planned to go on the mainline with 6023 from early on, and so intent on achieving this not so long after it had returned to steam, then why has it taken so long? The delays involved with 6023 itself I can understand, and it was great shame when they occurred, but surely the issue of the cost of the equipment needed to go mainline were known about in advance? Why is it such a problem now, as its only recently that they've mentioned this particular issue.

    Then of course there is the issue that, in the not too distant future, the centre will have not just 6023 to deal with, but 4079 and 2999 as well, with both 1014 and 4709 not that far behind either. How is the centre going to handle running all these engines, the majority which won't ideally be suited to just trundling up and down their short demonstration line?

    I am not trying to put the railway centre's efforts down, they are a fine organisation, I'm just concerned with how they are going to handle the future, certainly when it comes to their locomotives and their operation. I am aware the centre was once very active on the national network, but that was some years ago and a lot has changed since then. Now that they've decided to go back to it, can they really get back into the groove of things so easily...? I personally do hope so...
     
  4. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    If 2999, 1014 and 4709 are filling gaps in the collection, does it matter whether they are suited to trundling up and down? If main line running is still on offer once they are finished then I'm sure they'll get out and about, but personally I don't think main line running is the be all and end all, and once the GW main line is electrified I don't think it'll be anything other than harder for the GWS to sustain. It's a shame that there wasn't a branch line to go with Didcot depot!
     
  5. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    No, it doesn't really matter all that much whether they are suited to trundling up and down or not, though the logistical and practical implications of doing this for the majority of the time with these engines would have to be considered. Personally, I for one hope they'll successfully achieve this juggle act with all these factors, and do well, though also perhaps be more willing to loan their engines out to heritage railways, places where they can have a good run pulling a proper load.
     
  6. louis.pole

    louis.pole New Member

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    Which raises the oft asked question yet again about the wisdom of the GWS being centralised/land-locked at Didcot. Were it to be adjacent to a heritage line I think things would be far better and rosier (My personal opinion I stress).
    Accepted; for the immediately foreseeable future they are secure where they are but as stated previously the appearance of OHLE just over the fence will not make the importation and exportation of exhibits any easier. (Just how high is 4709 without modification?).
    I'm sure some in high places may be asking questions about the future beyond that immediately foreseeable. Some of the possible outcomes may be quite unpalatable.
     
  7. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The Didcot site has it's pro's and cons, lack of a decent length of running line being the latter, but where else can you get such a complete steam age depot ?, Carnforths a closed site and Tyseley & Barrow Hill have been modified to suit their present day needs.
     
  8. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Chimney, safety valves and cab roofs off if moving something to the "GWR loading gauge" presumably York already had to do this to get 6000 in.

    4079 will have to be 13'1 if there's any ambition for mainline running anyway, but Castles don't need as drastic height reductions as Kings.
     
  9. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    IMHO a move from Didcot would be a tragedy in terms of railway preservation, even if it might be more convenient for model railways at 305mm to the foot scale.
     
  10. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    Sometimes this forum makes me smile..
    1 poster said doom and gloom about 6023, the next 5 posts suggest Didcot should call it a day, can't cope with mainline running should consider shutting up shop, and line up next to a preserved railway...

    Just because Tyseley and Carnforth are more successful serving their original design purpose (a loco shed for a railway company) also doesn't sound like failure to me either ?, the only shed I think did fail was Dinting...and let's face it.. It was past its best.

    Didcot have oodles of mainline experience, further, their future mainline fleet will ostensibly be new locomotives, of extinct classes, backed up by a collection of GW engines that is second to none..., maintained by their own hands.
    How can that possibly be a bad recipe ?
     
  11. louis.pole

    louis.pole New Member

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    The post by David 1984 suggests the future may be OK some but maybe not for the 47XX. Would anyone like to comment on its RA?

    Neither Tyseley nor Carnforth are depots that set out to receive visitors in the open way that Didcot has done. Tyesley's success is more down to the engineering business based there. Unfortunately Carnforth really doesn't set my world on fire.

    An unfortunate comment often made about Didcot is "It's all dressed up with nowhere to go". As suggested by an earlier poster that statement may by truer than some think.

    I'd be very surprised if there wasn't a break clause in the very small print of their agreement with NR for that site.

    I see the biggest problem with the future of any mainline running will become pathing. A steam train flat out at 80 is quickly having its heels bitten by a modern unit. Even more so once the sparks arrive.

    Doom and gloom or a touch of realism once the rose tinted have been removed and the head removed from the silica?
     
  12. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    I'm all in favor of Didcot, I just don't think that main line running adds a lot to it. It's a shame that Carnforth shed can't be re-opened as a tourist attraction with the West Coast business moved elsewhere on the site. As the last surviving mechanical coal/ash plant it should be Grade 1 listed, if it isn't already.
     
  13. THE MELTER

    THE MELTER Member

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    Whats the problem,
    everyone knows that everything after City of Truro could do 100 mph at will,
    they are just shy about showing it,
    they even had Stourbridge Castles that could do a ton,

    The Melter
     
  14. Pannier Man

    Pannier Man Member

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  15. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    I, myself personally, am not suggesting that "Didcot should call it a day..." Far from it! I am in full support of their ambitious plans for the future, and very much hope the up most that they succeed, the Didcot Railway Centre is a fine place, a national treasure, no question.

    No, the concern I have is that they seem to be moving towards operating on the mainline too quickly. As experienced and respectable the Great Western Society is, there is no denying that they've been out of the mainline scene for a long time, and going from operating their locomotives on a quaint short running line at a leisurely pace, to flying at high speeds on the western region mainline working to a tight timetable, is big leap for them to make, putting it lightly. With so many factors to consider when taking a locomotive on the mainline, the expenses and logistics, it's no walk in the park...

    This matter will be a tough challenge for the society to face, but I'm sure they will take it on with much enthusiasm and overcome it, though this is just for one engine (6023), what of the challenges of having a whole fleet large steam engines to care for. As you have said yourself, in the future they will have a fine mainline fleet, many of which will be more or less brand new locomotives. But what of the task itself of operating and maintaining such an impressive fleet of engines? Certainly I'm not suggesting that they can't do it, I have no doubt they can. It's the sheer fast pace of the process that concerns me, a lot of challenges for them to deal with, within not at all that large a time frame. It just feels that things are moving too quickly for the society to really keep up with.

    I want Didcot to succeed, I want to see it flourish, in fact I desire to see it develop into something very much like Tyseley, an engineering center for western mainline steam excellence... Didcot can achieve that, but it will take much time and effort first.
     
  16. Duty Druid

    Duty Druid Resident of Nat Pres

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    Who's posting doom & gloom about Spud II ?

    Not me, all I've done is supply an answer to a question - info that was freely given to me by those directly involved........................ the cash aint there to finish the job, simples, the boiler debacle probably did for that!

    THEIR feeling was that in all likelihood, is that she may never grace to mainline unless a generous benefactor stumps up the cash! How about yourself?.....................................




    I could also quote the same sources (GWS members) on their feeling about the existing fleet and the new builds, but I won't, as its not my place to do so.if they wish to come on here and say something, then that's up to them.
     
  17. A1X

    A1X Well-Known Member

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    I don't know the northern end of the site particularly, but is there any opportunity to perhaps extent the running line to connect to the line to Oxford? Surely this would make Oxford a prime location to start railtours from using Didcot as a base? No OHLE beyond Oxford after all (at the moment).
     
  18. 73129

    73129 Part of the furniture

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    Once the wires go up on the GWML will there be any available space on the GWML to run steam?
     
  19. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Where have I said that then ?, I said Didcot has pro's and cons, turning the point on it's head, a con of most preserved railways is they can't boast a large traditional motive power depot.

    The Mainline running issue is the same for all regardless of what site you own, Didcot has the added complication of having to use NR to take 100% of items rolling stock in and out, many of which don't conform to the usual 13'1 max height as there's no intention of taking them mainline in the normal sense.
     
  20. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Apart from possibly width over the cylinders, it would cause far less headaches for NR than a P2, it's not THAT much of an unworkable behemoth, the 72XX would be interesting on tight curves mind.

    I don't think the wires on the GWML will makes things much more difficult, it already has trains flying about at 125MPH and steam can still be seen throughout the West and East Coast routes under the wires, could need a few strategic tree's and fences in certain places at Didcot though to mask the overheads from marring the backgrounds of everyones view.

    ERTMS on a big rollout won't be in the form you see on the Cambrian currently, the size of the equipment fitted to the class 97/3's and 158's units is about the size of a couple of wardrobes, something smaller will be required first to fit to other types of traction.
     

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