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7027 Thornbury Castle

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

  1. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Whilst I was very pleased to be able to follow the recent restoration of Thornbury and I wish that it could have continued, I think that I also understand why it is being sold. That the GWS/4709 has another plan is also understandable and it does enable one (or 2) gaps in the GWR story to be filled rather than more duplication of one aspect. I also accept that neither will be totally accurate but the vast majority of visitors would not be aware of the changes.
    The GWS is not only about preservation, it is also trying to show the whole story of the GWR I believe.
     
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  2. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Insofar as boiler pressure matters, higher is better (within limits), hence the steady increase in typical working pressures through most of the steam age. So a 250 psi P2 is a slight improvement on a 220 psi original, in that respect. There are also practical reasons: higher working pressure allowing smaller cylinders and thus much better gauge friendliness, and interchangeability of boilers between the P2 and the A1 helping to reduce overhaul times for both of them. Those reasons together constitute a very good case for the P2 to have a slightly different boiler from the original, while maintaining the same external appearance.

    I find the case for the County far less convincing, both because the working pressure will be further reduced, from the first reduction during BR days, and because (as I understand) very little of the 8F boiler is actually being re-used anyway, so the cost saving over a brand-new boiler is minimal.

    Several of the new-build/re-build projects, including the P2 and 4709, do not purport to be building exact replicas anyway but to be building a new loco of each class, with some modifications to suit present conditions.
     
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  3. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Having locos pulling trains is all to the good, and 4709 should be able to do that on several heritage lines. Too big for a heritage railway? Not as big as the Bulleid Pacifics and 9Fs that operate on several lines. But part of Didcot's role is as a museum, to display railway stuff. So 4709 can serve a purpose even when it is sitting cold in its home shed.
     
  4. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Then make the boiler out of cardboard. If it's anything like most of the stuff there it'll work one ticket and never move out of the shed again anyway.
     
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  5. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Filling those gaps is an important part of Didcot's function. Yes, there are other gaps still waiting to be filled, notably from the Dean era, but the Churchward era was arguably the GWR's finest (at least for loco design) with major improvements over earlier classes, with only comparatively small improvements later. So a class that was (in some eyes) Churchward's biggest and best deserves to be represented, even at the expense of having one less Castle.
     
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  6. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Even if you are right, it will have had one period of actually pulling trains. However I take the point that Didcot ought to be putting a bit more effort into overhauling some of its existing locomotive stock. (They do seem to be quietly getting on with some important refurbishment of coaches.)
     
  7. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    But for what it’s going to be, you may as well do the the same with the bits and bobs from a certain manufacturer in Margate.
    It’s never going to be the real deal is it?
    It’s just kit bashing in 1:1 scale.
     
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  8. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    There is a simple answer to this: The 4709 folk should be encouraged to sell the loco on to those who are prepared to pay for it and its restoration of 7027. After all there is an appeal for 7027 and accordingly should put their money where their mouth is, or is another instance of fine if other people pay for it.
     
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  9. GWRman

    GWRman New Member

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    I'm more than happy to put my money where my mouth is. In fact, I would have done it before now had there been a fund-raising effort. However, seeing as it has been owned privately by wealthy individuals in past this hasn't been possible or necessary. I'm certain that others will feel the same way.
     
  10. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The negotiations over the price could be interesting. If I were in their place I would be asking enough to pay for a brand-new No.7 boiler, plus a reasonable contribution towards a new Star bottom half, minus the cost of refurbishing 7027's boiler and rebuilding the present bottom half; but I can't see any such amount being offered.
     
  11. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    It depends what you mean by "the real deal". It's not intended to be an exact replica, but nor are some of the other new builds and rebuilds. The A1 people have always made crystal clear that Tornado is not a replica but a new loco in the A1 class, and the same applies to 4709.
     
  12. GWRman

    GWRman New Member

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    You're in cloud cuckoo land. And you want to waste money on a new Star. Laughable!!!
     
  13. GWRman

    GWRman New Member

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    So by that train of thought, the 4709 group need to build a boiler as per the 47xx class specification.
     
  14. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I’d describe 60163 as an A1/1, it’s an updated version of something that was built many years ago From Scratch its not been bastardised from other locomotives has it?
    Its owners that have asked for yours and my hard earned cash and not pretended it’s anything else, what the latest version of 4709 will be however is something a little bit different…
    So please explain how 4709 and 60163 will be similar?
     
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  15. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Well-Known Member

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    While lots of us can remember seeing 47xx in operation there must be a limited number of people who have experienced them from a driving/ firing perspective. Once this loco is finished only rivet counters will know the difference. It would have taken (another) multi-millionaire to restore 7027 as yet another 'Castle'. This project could also help to produce a 'Star' - now who's seen one of these working ?
    If the current batch of new-builds and conversions is not done within the next ten years or so when the people that remember the originals get too old then the funding will dry up, or we will be butchering diesels to create replicas.

    Bob.
     
  16. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    I will say at the outset here that I have contributed to the 4709 fund in the past and really want to see a 47xx run in my lifetime... At the same time...

    I hope that I am not alone in seeing both sides of this. The new number 7 boiler and the associated costs was/is always going to be the major stumbling block to the project. Despite this I applauded the decision to drop the plan to use a no1. So anything to accelerate the process should be treated as a positive - in principle!

    I have to say that I feel very little in common with those here that are so horrified by events. Those that proclaim that 'everything must be preserved!' - by somebody else (!) and are not prepared to assist financially or physically, are on very shaky ground. And I don't recall this level of angst when the WSR (for understandable reasons) tore a 51xx apart to create something that never existed other than on paper. I haven't counted but I suspect roughly the same number of 51s came out of Barry as Castles. The work that effectively resulted in the end of the 51 is greeted with a 'ho hum' - but put the parts of a Castle to an alternative use - 'Horrors - pass the smelling salts'!! The logic escapes me...

    At the same time, I find myself in the same uncomfortable position as when the use of the no 1 boiler when it comes to using the no 8 as is. It does not produce a true 47xx any more than the WSR mogul is a true GWR loco (IMHO). However, I would like to advance a way forward. The most costly part of any boiler, both new-build and repair, is the firebox. And the no 8 firebox is identical to that on a no 7. The front tubeplate is already slated to be replaced. In that case the barrel is probably not perfect either. So - replace the barrel with one that is a few inches longer and a few inches wider and lo - you have a real no 7 boiler! Yes I know that the new barrel wont be cheap - but a lot cheaper than many other boiler components - especially a new build firebox.

    Meantime - yes its a shame to see the end of Thornbury. But the likelihood of it ever seeing steam again is vanishingly small (lets be real here). Yes, its not the ideal way to progress the 47 project. If the money existed for a new build boiler then most would rejoice. But short of one of those here hitting it lucky on Euromillions, the odds of that happening in a reasonable timeframe are about the same. Sometimes a dose of pragmatism is required. Even if it doesn't taste all that sweet.
     
  17. GWRman

    GWRman New Member

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    Again, for the umpteenth time, people are outraged mostly because the loco was no longer a scrapyard wreck. It was actively being worked on - although the 4709 group would have you believe it is only "in storage" at Loughborough.

    The Castle is the GWR flagship class, almost without any doubt. Imagine if 15 years ago or so a group came along and bought A4 60019 so they could cut and shut it into a Thompson Pacific or the Hush-Hush? It's outrageous.
     
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  18. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

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    I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the workshop when they try to attach a No.7 barrel to a No.8 throatplate....
     
  19. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    A few points / questions :

    7027 was not like any other stored / scrap-line locomotive waiting it's eventual restoration (or not as the case may be). It was already being restored and some sources say was only two years from completion at the rate the GC have been going. (maybe excluding boiler?)

    Therefore, a change of direction in this case will mean that many of us will not see this locomotive run again in any guise since 4709 is in my estimations at least 10+ years in the build - probably longer if comparisons are made with other builds such as 32424, 6880 & 2999 82045 etc as examples.

    So as @Thompson1706 is rightly pointing out, which of the proposed new builds specifically are going to be completed in the next ten years allowing the more aged enthusiasts out there to rekindle their memories?

    I'm also realistic if a tad disappointed. An owner of a few tons of old steel and copper is at liberty to do what ever he/she likes and it's not really any of my business since I haven't invested in their acquisition - other than with heaps of worthless enthusiasm and optimism that 7027 would run again, just like so many others have.
     
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  20. D1002

    D1002 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Have mixed feelings about this. I’m old enough to have seen the 47xx in action. Plenty of Castle class around so why not recreate a remarkable GWR loco?
    Mainly designed for freight but they were regularly used on passenger duties:
    F3F5BBF6-5EA8-41B6-A964-BD5F7A9012F5.png
     
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