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Current and Proposed New-Builds

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by aron33, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    As is always the case Paul when you raise your B** C********* complaint, you ignore fundamental facts about preserved railways in general. We've gone over this a fair few times over the years.

    I really don't think you help yourself with the continued complaints about other preserved lines - as a movement the large locos bring in a fair few passengers, and ultimately bums on seats and selling out trains will pay the bills over and above the costs of the larger engines - which normally have a good advantage over smaller engines for timekeeping (something you regularly ignore).

    I'd love to know who is justifying a 4-8-4. Regarding the civil engineering restrictions - that's fundamentally less about the locomotives and more about fundamental issues with management, compliance, safety, and responsibility, and probably falls outside of this chat.
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Cheers Tom. The enquiry was the result of a chance read-up on the J class and considering Wainwright's harmonisation (it sounds as if 'standardisation' would be stretching things a bit!) of SE&C loco design.

    In the back of my mind was 20th century GNRI practise, where a 4-4-0 for passenger traffic, the largest possible locos, due to the cramped layout of Dundalk works, tended to spawn a closely related 0-6-0 freight edition. Among late surviving classes P,/PG, S/SG/SG2/SG3, U/UG demonstrate this. Clearly, SE&C practise didn't extend to such a degree of commonality.

    Thanks too for the comments on boilers, as the SREmG article on the J was none too clear. Given something I read yonks ago, about the Midland 2000 class 'Flatirons' not having particularly good adhesion characteristics, I'll admit to wondering how useful such a machine would be to the Bluebell, but that's a long way short of any suggestion to recreate one! Somehow, to my mind, the ungainly proportions of the bunker on the J aren't quite as appealing as other Wainwright locos.
     
  3. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    This, with bells on.
    We aren't in the business of accurate recreations of the past (how many trains a day?)
    I'm looking forward to this 4-8-4? is it coming out of Smallbrook?
     
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  4. std tank

    std tank Member

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    Even the A4s had a regular freight turn. The Kings Cross (Goods) to Niddrie (Edinburgh) vans.
     
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  5. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    You said "On the ECML the half improvised LNER's finance department I suspect were more impressed with O2's shifting several thousand tons of coal, then the money the very impressive A4s earned with their high speed trains for example."

    This is the point I am picking up on
    1) Half-improvised? I don't this is remotely justified
    2) as noted - in terms of profit and return on capital expended (which is what the finance department should be), there was probably a better return on the top-link premium expresses than there was on the coal-haulage. Again, to build 125 of them suggests there were pretty jolly keen on it


    I had ignored the completed ones - agreed on their capcities.
    D16 - is it really progressing?
    B17 - OK, forgot that one.
    Hawksworth County - wiki says "This scheme was not entirely dead in 1945 when he was given the authority to build another batch of mixed traffic 4-6-0s. Rather than build more examples of existing designs, Hawksworth introduced the County Class as a testbed for a number of the ideas he hoped to incorporate into the Pacific at a later date." - not a definitive source, but BR classed them as 6MT
    Churchward County - I think there is a question of interpretation there, so you could call it either way.
    Clan - 6MT
    Excluding the P2 (not least as I'm not sure anyone ever worked out what they were for), and the Patriot, (and the B17 which I forgot) there are no out-and-out top-link new-builds in progress
     
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  6. andalfi1

    andalfi1 Member

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    Gresley V4 - 6P5F
     
  7. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I hope I can count as someone with absolutely no stake in who is "right or wrong" in an argument on the internet (!) but as someone who has seen much of the LNER's extensive archives at Kew, I feel I can offer a few informed views on the LNER's finances and engineering.

    Agree, the LNER were financially savvy in a number of respects, but they were factually the poorest of the big four by way of inheriting several railways that were not as profitable as those found in the other groupings.

    I would be very surprised if this was the case. Coal haulage was huge business on the railways. Top Expresses run by 34/35 A4s and 75 ish A10s/A3s was probably not as profitable on an annual basis as the hundreds of thousands of tons of coal moved.

    You've mentioned the 125 Pacifics I put to this thread - bearing in mind this was the LNER in 1946 - there were 279 O4s, 170 O7s, 120 Q6s and 184 V2s in the same year operating. That's only four classes for a total of 753 locomotives - roughly seven times more locomotives out there doing trains than the Pacifics.

    If you assume an average availability for work (68% in 1946) and mileages per class for 1946 (as I did when writing the T******* book) then you're clearly running more actual trains that are revenue earning with the freight and mixed traffic locos than you are for the express engines. By far.

    Unless you are suggesting that the express trains were of magnitudes less expensive to run and magnitudes higher in profit, it cannot be so that the LNER express locos were bringing in more physical cash than the freight and mixed traffic locos.
     
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  8. Major Midget

    Major Midget New Member

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    A Sondes "rebuild" and an Abedare? You two are playing after my own heart!
     
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  9. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    And that is why I say that the 82xxx scores low on the 'is it historical' but high on the 'is it useful' stakes. Whereas others may score low on the 'useful' stakes but high on the historical case (or at least can make a strong case for themselves).

    I'd suggest that while there are exceptions, funding means it is easier to find design and production solutions because they will cost more.

    In the end it all depends on getting the critical mass to get the money, no money no engine no matter what the arguments are for it.
     
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  10. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    As its well established Hawksworth never had the slightest intention of building a pacific, no matter what his juniors were up to, we can draw conclusions about the reliability of that source!
     
  11. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Well, we know that back in the day the locomotives had a definite cost effective lifespan, and that some of our preserved locomotives have exceeded it. But there are two big differences, firstly the utterly different repair facilities and costs, and secondly that by and large preserved lines won't scrap their old locomotives. So in the long term the 'not cost effective to repair' would take an increasing amount of shed space and volunteer labour for conservation. Its a rare line, I suspect, that would like more non-operational locomotives. So I wonder if for most lines grandfather's axe renewals are more practical than new builds simply for space etc.
     
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  12. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    This is quite interesting
    https://www.lner.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1789
    "I suppose it depends upon what is meant by a profit. The trains themselves were reportedly very profitable. The 'Silver Jubilee' earned gross receipts of some 14/- per mile, with the gross revenue some six times the operating costs and ran with an 86% load factor in its first year. Within two years 1935-37 the train's supplementary travel charges alone had paid for the cost of the rolling stock. Indeed an extra eighth vehicle was later provided for the 'Silver Jubilee' formation. The West Riding was also commercially successful aimed, as it was, at the West Yorkshire woollen business community. The 'Coronation's' loadings were apparently at times slightly disappointing north of Newcastle, but better south of the latter point. So on directly covered costs the trains were a success. Where doubts have been raised they concern the operating problems and dislocation to other services in 'pathing' the streamliners on a vastly different railway to that which exists today, with loose coupled freights, stopping passenger trains etc and lots of them."

    I'd draw the analogy with (pre-covid) air travel, where economy pays for the flight and first represents the profit margin. It's clearly not the majority of the company turnover (and probably not the majority of the profit), but in terms of return on investment and in terms of free cash, I suspect they were very dear to the financial department's heart
     
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  13. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    You might like to think they do. According to someone known to me, who is ''on the inside curve '', the only visiting locomotives which resonate with ''normals'' are Tornado and Flying Scotsman .

    Punctual running is best achieved by punctual departure.
     
  14. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    So you are saying that Tornado (new-build, big chuffer) is one of the two top draw locos.
    So why shouldn't more of them be built then?
     
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  15. std tank

    std tank Member

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    The Tornado publicity machine are responsible for its popularity.
     
  16. ady

    ady New Member

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    @S.A.C. Martin thank you for arguing my point better then I could. I just threw a strop on again...

    it probably didn't help I typed improvised when I meant impoverished
     
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  17. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    My ex, who worked for Virgin, always said freight was the staple (on their transatlantic routes) and all passengers were merely the icing on the cake. Obviously, the more you can cram in, the better. The old Vickers Viscount turbo-props, used on their Dublin and Maastricht routes way back when, mightn't have been best fast (1h45min Gatwick-Maastricht), but had phenomenal legroom.

    Apologies for drifting.
     
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  18. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Both points you've made there are woefully wide of the mark, to be frank. I say this with both my treasurer's hat and my signalling engineering hat on. We've done this dance before Paul - you're obstinate to the point of refusing all other experience, so if I may, I am simply going to leave you to your views.
     
  19. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Nether you nor I are in a position to disagree with my source who has a senior position as well as being a footplate man of great experience. Goodbye.
     
  20. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    I read his "why did they build so many" not as 'it was the most common type' (they clearly weren't, but I think we all knew that), but more 'they were not a very rare type, built in e.g. single-digit quantities'. 125 locos is still quite a few, was I think his point.

    But I think the original point, which seemed to me to be that freight was the life-blood of the steam rail system (the thing that paid a large share of the bills for the creation of the infrastructure), and that to the extent that we're trying to create a 'living museum' of that system, we need more of the humble, everyday freight locos than we currently do, is a good one.

    Noel
     

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