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7027 Thornbury Castle

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by svrhunt, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Colour me constantly amazed their idle broad gauge kit evidently doesn't seem to constitute any 'USP' particulartly interesting to their membership
     
  2. Musket The Dog

    Musket The Dog New Member

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    As a steam fan, but not in any particular way interested in the GWR over any other company one of those options sounds quite novel and exotic (different enough to be worth being interested in), the other I would have never had known about unless someone like yourself had pointed out the exact specifics of the loco in question.

    It's always worth remembering that one specific corner of enthusiasm, on our specific corner of the internet, isn't really indicative of the realities in the wider world, or even the rest of the hobby.

    As far as I can see, nothing has actually been marked to be scrapped yet? A group has just borrowed (at least) one part of another locomotive that despite several owners has still not completed a restoration 60 years after it was withdrawn. The owner put it up for sale, the people who put in the best offer saw it as more useful as a collection of parts, than another running 70xx. It is what it is. I can imagine it would be disappointing for the people who put in work to eventually see it running as a Castle again (have any of those actually commented here?). Wasn't the whole point of standardisation that the parts could be pooled and moved around where they were needed?
     
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  3. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    From memories of visiting Tyseley in late 1970s, I recall 5043 looking the most forlorn of the three 'spare' Castles. Underlying condition is another matter of course and isn't something I can comment upon.
     
  4. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    Given the regular updates on progress at GCR Loughborough over past couple of years from @Flying Phil including sourcing new and refurbished components, I really can't see the logic of discarding this to provide a boiler for something else?
     
  5. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    Well said. I am also appalled at the behaviour of the current owner of 7027. OK, neither Tyseley nor Pete Waterman nor Jonathan Jones-Pratt were ever able to restore 7027 but the current chap at least made a good start. If he now feels that, for whatever reason, he doesn't want to continue, surely somewhere out there is someone else keen to acquire the only Castle likely to go onto the market in the foreseeable future and restore it. I don't know how others feel, but much as I'd be pleased to see one of the most significant gaps in the GWR loco fleet filled (i.e., a 47xx), I would definitely NOT want this to be at the expense of a Castle, especially one that has had such an unfortunate preservation era history and which deserves a better future. I hope that you are correct and that this move produces a backlash at Didcot on such a scale that it will save No.7027 from being butchered and may perhaps lead to the GWS re-assessing its priorities. After all, there are already far too many well-liked locos at Didcot such as 6998, 7808 and 5900 which have spent absolutely ages as static exhibits. Would it not be better use of money and volunteers' time to bring them back into working order?

    In one sense, as a non-GWS member, who am I to criticise? but I suspect from what you are saying that there may be a good number of members with similar feelings.
     
  6. Penricecastle

    Penricecastle Member

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    The Saint, the Grange and the County have all utilized Hall and Modified Hall components (and an 8F boiler). I find this understandable as there are plenty of Halls and Modified Halls in existence. But to destroy a Castle is appalling and an absolute disgrace. Thornbury Castle is the only 5098 class, three-row superheat, single chimney Castle in existence (although 5029 is being upgraded to a similar specification). Regarding using 7027's boiler to speed up 4709's creation, so what if it takes an extra five years, or whatever, to raise funds and build a brand new (correct) no. 7 47XX boiler? "Miracles take a little longer" and so be it, the 47XX would eventually be completed and applauded by many. The 47XX group MUST rethink this one. If they go ahead and destroy Thornbury Castle they will deeply offend a huge number of people and when it is complete 4709 would be thought of by many as the recreation (with the not quite right, too short boiler) that led to the destruction of Thornbury Castle.
     
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  7. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Now I think about this a bit more, I am bemused by the economics. For this to be a practical proposition the price being paid for the Castle must be rather less than that of a new copper firebox. Now I suppose the cost of restoration is so much that a rational price for a part restored locomotive probably is little more than scrap value, but even so.
     
  8. Fireline

    Fireline Member

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    The article quotes a price of c.£800k to build a new boiler. If you know a group that can raise £160k a year for a single project, I'd love to know how they're doing it....
     
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  9. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I see the new Trackside out today is touting as an 'Exclusive' that the plan is to break for the 47xx and a 'new' star, which is possibly the Rail Advent source.

    Indeed, albeit I would be interested to see where the money to buy 7027 has come from, I don't have the most recent accounts to hand but I don't recall the last AGM papers suggesting that the 4709 group was rolling in cash! I can't imagine she will have come cheap, one would imagine the seller would be looking to recoup not only what they paid for her but what they have spent over the last few years on restoration!

    Also not clear where the £800k for a boiler has come from, the A1 group are getting 2 for £1m.
     
  10. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    4942 doesn't exist in original form and can't really be unrebuilt. 7927 is basically the same. It had its boiler removed by the Grange lot, but using the frames to make a County is all down to Didcot.

    I really don't understand Didcot's policy with all this. The Saint sort of makes sense, as it's just as combination of parts to rebuild a loco correctly. The County and 4709 don't have the correct boilers so aren't really accurate. It all seems a bit of a bodge. 1014 will be little more than a Modified Hall anyway. Lower boiler pressure and reduced in height.

    Unique vehicles like No. 93 and Fire Fly aren't being overhauled, but kit bashing of other locos continues apace. It's strange.
     
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  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    If the current owner of 7027 can't follow through on the restoration, for whatever reason, then it is reasonable for him to sell. The question is then who will purchase it, and what they can do with it.

    If - and it is an "if" - the proposed purchase is the only one on the table, then that possibly says more about the position of the preservation movement, and its ability to sustain more locomotives of classes already well represented in preservation. This member of the "all GWR locos look identical" band of philistines is underwhelmed by the significance of 7027 being "the only 5098 class, three-row superheat, single chimney Castle in existence" without any explanation of why that distinction actually matters, or why the historical record will be diminished by the absence of one.

    That question is independent of that of whether creating 4709 using a different boiler to those used on the 47XXs is or is not a reasonable compromise to allow us to experience a 47XX, or of the fashion for creating lookalike replicas of extinct classes.

    My own view is that if 7027 has no realistic prospect of restoration, and there aren't people or groups willing and able to take it on, then this may be the lesser evil.
     
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  12. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    A BR built example back engineered by three CME's worth of improvements? TBH, I'd have though 4073 or 4079 better candidates. :Meh:

    dagenham-east-tube.jpeg.jpg
     
  13. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Looking at the GWS pages on Facebook, its universally gone down like a fart in a lift, bar one message supporting.....
     
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  14. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The boiler thimg, the "Small 40" suggestion or both?
     
  15. GWRman

    GWRman New Member

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    Very odd indeed. My only conclusion must be that they ramp up excitement and funds by announcing and completing a vanity project, realise it doesn't bring in that much money once finished and the dust has settled, so they repeat the process with something new.

    As you say, 1014 and 4709 really will be bodge-ups that sort of look like the locos they're meant to represent.

    Butchering a Castle is reprehensible. Arguably the equivalent would be an LNER A4, I can't see one of those being ripped apart without causing some anger.
     
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  16. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    The whole shooting match.
     
  17. Musket The Dog

    Musket The Dog New Member

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    What would you reasonably expect them to do? They put it up for sale to either raise funds or because they decided there was no prospect of them finishing it. Go on paying storage fees and letting letting the good parts deteriorate until they find a buyer that a small group agree on? The 4709 group might have been the only offer they received.

    There are still 7 other Castles all of which have managed to run (excluding the NRM's museum piece). It's a machine with some emotional attachment, comprised of a kit of standard parts. Nothing so far has been suggesting anything will be destroyed i.e. actually cut up and melted down, those standard parts are being redistributed.

    If it is really so important, where was the group forming to make sure it was purchased and restored 'how the people want it' when it was put up for sale? It seems unfair for one group to be criticised by a collection of people without a supporting hand really in either camp, when on the surface of it, it looks like there was never any opposition to do something different when it actually mattered?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2022
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  18. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Point taken, albeit I suspect there was a degree of naivety involved that people assumed (wrongly as it transpires) that no one would buy a part restored locomotive and just break it for parts, especially not someone like the GWS considering its charitable aims and objectives.

    Possibly a lesson to be learnt for all.
     
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  19. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Oh it's their property in law, no question. They can do what they like with it and as has been said, there are other examples. I'll be losing no sleep either way. That doesn't mean I don't have an opinion.

    Am I the only one who finds it peculiar the expediency of a boiler design never employed on the 47XX is OK? To my mind, it rather gives the lie to the aims of the project. I'm less exercised over the modified 8F boiler on the 10XX, given a far closer relationship. But a 'Star'??? Sorry, but to my mind, this is all going from 'authentic Awdry Thomas' to 'Mattel Thomas' ..... if you get my drift.
     
  20. Fireline

    Fireline Member

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    I think the key to this is how you feel personally. If it matters to you that this is the last remaining Swindon built single chimneyed Castle with a 3 row Superheater, then you are going to be upset. If you feel that one Castle is basically the same as another, and it really doesn't matter to you which one is which, then you're not going to be so bothered. I think we all have to accept that we are never all going to agree on this, but that everyone is entitled to their opinion.
     

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