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Bluebell loco crisis deepens

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by secr1084, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. stepney60

    stepney60 Nat Pres stalwart

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    If I may elaborate further, this is how I now understand the situation to be.

    34059 is bein worked on by the Bulleid society, with some help from the general workshop staff. The full time team is doing the E4, while the Maunsell society works on 847 and the rest (loco working group etc) are engaged on 178. There is a strong possibility that three of those four would be out by the end of this year, with us only losing the O1 in 209 I believe (IIRC 672 is next year?). Once those are done, that frees up workshop space to work on the H tank, and presumably 73082 as it is currently sans boiler.

    So, assuming that's correct, by next Summer we could have 672, 178, 847, 592, 9017, 1638, 34059 and 80151 all in traffic, at which point it would seem that the current crisis would be largely over. Especially as, by then, the extension ought to be reaching the final stages.

    However, we do need a larger locomotive works, the problem is where to put it...
     
  2. dhic001

    dhic001 Member

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    Thanks for that Chris. Technically 672 is out next year, but its considered to be a little dubious in the firebox department, so may not last that long. Any talk about 541? The Maunsell guys don't seem to stop, so I'd expect them to be getting ready to start on 541 when 847 is nearer to completion. Will be interesting to see what is planned to replace 80151 in 2011, does anyone know what state it is in, maybe it'll be put straight back into the works like 2473?
    Daniel
     
  3. stepney60

    stepney60 Nat Pres stalwart

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    From what I remember it recieved a pretty thorough working over when it initially returned to traffic after it arrived from wherever it was before (somewhere in Essex ), and I haven't heard that there are any major problems with it, so presumably could be done fairly quickly.
     
  4. Columbine

    Columbine Member

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    May I too add my thanks for this information, but also express my regret that the BRPS is not keeping its members fully informed of the progress.

    Regards
     
  5. cct man

    cct man Part of the furniture

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    I agree with you on this, very sad.

    Regards
    Chris Willis
     
  6. secr1084

    secr1084 New Member

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    178 is really replacing Stepney! The C replaced 2473, and hopefully 2473 will return within a year of the withdrawal of the O1. While only a short while ago things looked to be going backwards they are now looking to be moving forwards, but very slowly.

    I did try to imply that many railways would love to have the number and quality of the locomotives the Bluebell has.
     
  7. boldford

    boldford Member

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    Please can we have the Dukedog back?
     
  8. boldford

    boldford Member

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  9. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    Hear hear Brian - it was so much at home on the SVR with the GWR Stock.

    Perhaps we could swap it for "Taw Valley"?
     
  10. OldChap

    OldChap Member

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    Swap the Dukedog for a rebuilt WC... well perhaps it is the time for the railway to rearange/thin the line's shed out a bit. This could be out right sale, or long term lease (as it the case with the U class currently leased to the MLS).

    If this policy was explored which locomotives would not be missed, don’t really fit with the lines policy or would be better released to someone else to overhaul?…. And I'm not trying to drag up any politics so please dont shoot me.

    Dukedog – it doesn’t fit with the lines Southern and pre-grouping Southern image, it is unique and would be more at home on a former Western Region line, plus she would generate considerable revenue if sold.

    LSWR 488 – knacked boiler, too small for general service, especially after the EG extension is completed.

    9F 92240 – been out of service for 6/7 years with major boiler work required (or so I understand) would this be a better revenue earner if leased to say the North Yorks Railway?

    4MT 80100 – Ex- Barry condition, a resident of over 30 years on the line and still in scrap yard condition, come on really! when is this going to get restored? The Bluebell would have a queue forming to purchase this locomotive if they choose.

    USA 0-6-0 30064 - been out of service since 1993(?), too small for general service, especially after the EG extension is completed. A nice loco but would this be more useful to say line at Bodmin or the S&D chaps at Midsomner Norton?
     
  11. stepney60

    stepney60 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I'd add 27 to that list, bound to appeal to a line which is keen on the smaller engine like the IoW or KESR? Also going by your ideas on 9017, would the same apply to 58850?

    The only issue I have is that 9017 is operational whereas 34027 isn't, and the last thing we need to do at the present time is swap a servicable engine for something else to sit in the queue
     
  12. OldChap

    OldChap Member

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    Well 9017 has a long history of residency on the line but the NLR tank did help the contractors remove it and subsiquently put some of it back... but yes I would say that 58850 wouldn't really be a keeper if I was looking to raise some money for overhauls of the rest of the fleet.

    As for swapping the Dukedog for 34027... well swap it for 75069 when that locomotive is overhauled then.... '69 is a ex SR loco and then you could sell on 75027... more cash in the bank ;-)
     
  13. 34007

    34007 Part of the furniture

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    Okay what brings in the most revenue for the Bluebell?? Okay 34059 will.... Stepney certainly does - Flagship that has been for a longtime - So how about they concentrate on these locos in this time of crisis?
     
  14. Jdwitts

    Jdwitts New Member

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    I know the line has a bit of a fetish for Standard 4 tanks, but I agree with the above about 80100.. Really isn't going to get done at least in the forseeable future. Does the Bluebell actually own 80064 now as well?

    As for some of the other suggestions, personally i'd hate to see the line part with 'Cromford' or 'Adams'. But the USA Tank however, I think will probably be surplus to requirements for a long time. Did it not also have a reputation as being not only uncomfortable due to the very enclosed cab, but also for damaging the track?
     
  15. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    I believe that in the long term, the plan is for the Bluebell to be an inverted y-shaped railway, with Haywards Heath-East Grinstead being the "main line" and Sheffield Park-Horsted Keynes the "branch". Yes, we're talking years into the future, especially bearing in mind that there is still an awful lot to do before East Griinstead is reached, let alone Ardingly or Haywards Heath, but we're also looking a good way ahead before an engine like 488 is going to steam again. It would be ideal at some stage in the future for "branch line" services, and both 27 and 30064 could also be suitable.

    Also, If we end up with shrinking passenger numbers in the heritage railway sector in general, or fuel costs start spiralling again, having several popular small engines like the 'P's and Terriers could be a great asset.

    Agreed that the "Dukedog" doesn't have any historical connections with Sussex and the LBSCR, but it has been Bluebell based for longer than it was owned by the GWR and BR(W) put together - indeed, I suspect that the "Bulldog" bit of it has been Bluebell based longer than it was owned by the GWR. I would be very sad to see it leave the Bluebell personally. When I was a teenager and life wasn't so hectic, I was briefly a volunteer on the line when it was running as 3217 with the "C" class tender. I guess that having spent some time on its footplate as "third man" has left me with a soft spot for the old girl. Keeping it Bluebell-based but allowing it to be a guest engine at e.g. the Severn Valley, Llangollen or Tyseley has been a good policy in my opinion.
     
  16. dhic001

    dhic001 Member

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    I beg to differ on this rearranging of the Bluebell fleet. In my view, the Bluebell is really the NRM of the Southern region, and thus few locomotives should leave. A few exhanges of locomotives could occur, but really only 2 engines don't fit, 3217 and 58850.
    If I was choosing, and keeping the fleet numbers as they are:

    75027 could go to SVR or KWVR in exchange for 75069 or 75078

    58850 sold, money used to buy 30053

    3217 sold, money used to buy 31806, and convert said loco to river class 806

    27 to East Somerset in exchange for 110, both knackered, both in pieces, fair swap.


    Of the above new arrivals, 30053 would complete the LSWR line up, and illustrates the step between 488 and the Maunsell fleet. 806 would show the (temporary) express passenger tanks of the Southern, and is the step between 263 and the modern railway. 110 is a brighton engine, and we don't need three P tanks.

    Obviously the above is just a fantasy, as probably none of the above locos are available. It doesn't solve the loco crisis, but it does make the collection more interesting in my view.

    Daniel
     
  17. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    Some of the these posts are reminiscent of the rumours of vultures circling when the SVR had its problems! The Bluebell's loco, carriage and wagon collection is a national treasure and has the broadest range of any heritage railway, as well having a collection policy underlying it. It would be a crying shame for it to be dismantled due to short term difficulties. There are one or two possible duplicates (80100 for example) and oddities (3217) but the collection as a whole should not be dispersed just because one or two later railways are envious!
     
  18. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    ...you can have that over my dead body!!! 30053 is perfect for the Swanage Railway, especally as the engine was based in that area in her pre-presevation days...

    Although it you did go for it, I would surport any attempt to allow the E1 110 to return to Brighton Metals, although I feel she does have a good home in the Mendips...
     
  19. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    Just seen this on the Bluebell website [not]:

    'The Bluebell Railway is about to launch "Fantasy Bluebell Railway", where members can choose their ideal locos, rolling stock, stations, staff and management. See whose fantasy railway gets to the end of the year with the most operational locos, volunteers and money.'

    Richard
     
  20. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    I hate to bring any reality into where this thread has gone, but many of the locos Bluebell members fancy having from other people are not owned by the Railway's in question - 34027 is, for example, owned by a private individual who I suspect intends for it to continue its mainline career, something 3217/9017 would struggle to do!

    If the Bluebell is short of working locos, why is that the time to start swapping its knackered ones with other people's non-working lcoos (and of course, swaps for working ones would simply not happen!)
     

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