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Didcot "we need small engines to survive"

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Reading General, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Member

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  2. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    There is a big difference between "main line ticketed" (i.e. able to move under its own power, with a cab load of electronic gizmos) and "able to be towed on the mainline by another locomotive" - witness the mainline move that saw the Bluebell's C class go by rail to Kings Cross. It couldn't have gone on its own, but was able to make the journey (in steam, as it happened) under haulage.

    Tom
     
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  4. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that escalated quickly!

    Without knowing the source, accuracy or reasoning behind the original comment, you have a go at the entire railway presentation movement, its management and the current volunteers. Nice one!

    Will Natpres become a negative, over-sensitive and hypercritical forum? Let's hope not!
     
  5. flaman

    flaman Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid it already has, but only on a couple of threads on NGC!:)
     
  6. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    This sort of thing will spread to lots of places when the cost implications of major repairs begins to sink in.

    PH
     
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  7. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    @Johnb

    So Didcot hosting Peppa Pig , Thomas the Tank Engine , Glamour photo shoots hasn't already made it into the railway based theme park you suggest .....

    Any railway has to do what ever it can to survive in a competitive leisure market . That means hosting events outside the core historic reason and I think most enthusiasts accept that this is part and parcel of any heritage railways business model and also a recognition that the enthusiast market just cannot sustain the heritage movement

    what is maybe more of concern is whether the business model generates sufficient to return to overhaul sufficient engines to allow the place to operate as a heritage concern. I'm sure it has been said that for Didcot it is the "new" schemes generate far more support for additional funding than an appeal to overhaul BPC for example and also maybe the enthusiasm of a limited volunteer base. I ran a Didcot event to specifically help the overhaul of 1363 and also an evening with 3650 when in its industrial blue before circumstances changed at Didcot.

    The Branch line especially is small tank territory and others are better placed to comment whether 3650's tyre wear are as a result of the curves into the halt but the 0-4-0's should be perfect with an almost rotation of each in traffic
     
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  8. Chris86

    Chris86 Member

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    Of course!

    Just thought it was rather a novelty an industrial being on the ML- albeit only briefly and being towed!?

    Thanks for the responses re: locos not steamed too!

    Chris

     
  9. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Member Friend

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    The railmotor is quite worth a trip on its own, a wonderful bit of kit!
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Agreed - I'd like to see it out and about a bit more and able to stretch its legs over a decent length, though I can understand that for any prospective gala organiser, the costs of a move must be quite high relative to the number of seats that you could actually sell tickets for, when set against moving a locomotive that may well come with similar or lower moving costs and more haulage ability.

    Tom
     
  11. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    I think you have misunderstood what I meant, nothing wrong in running these events to raise cash, but what has a class 14 and industrial tanks got to do with the Great Western?
     
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  12. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    Some management yes , certainly not the volunteers, it was just a comment on the fact that some in the preservation movement are drifting into areas I think are detrimental to the original intentions. Heritage Railways are and should remain working museums.
     
  13. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    I am sorry but Didcot is in competition for visitors with e..g. Waddesdon Manor or Woburn House to quote two examples in your locality. It is a site awkward of access and can only offer rides of limited length. Not easy to do economically.

    PH
     
  14. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Member

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    How many heritage railways / museum sites exist for the sole benefit of railway enthusiasts / purists? The answer is none - because they would soon go bust.
    If using an industrial loco to keep costs down is what it takes then people should be grateful that it is helping to ensure the survival of the rest of the exhibits.

    Bob.
     
  15. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    but the ethos of the Society will be lost, does that mean nothing?
     
  16. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Not if the site cannot pay its bills otherwise. The normal "fault" of steam centres/tourist railways is operating stuff which is far too large for the job. Inauthentic in a different way.

    PH
     
  17. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Er. how? An "ethos" isn't a black and white rule about which locos you have.
     
  18. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    The GWR absorbed lots of locos built by "industrial" suppliers.
    Guess where the Class 14s were built? Guess where the Class 14's were allocated?
    They've also got a Class 08 shunter. Oh, and a gas turbine loco built by a Swiss manufacturer. Should they scrap them?

    Their website says "Broadly, '[the collection] spans the period from 1833 (the First GWR Share Prospectus) to 1977 (when Diesel Hydraulic locomotives, unique to British Railways Western Region were withdrawn)".
    Notice the first word.
     
  19. huochemi

    huochemi Member Friend

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    I am not clear what Didcot's objectives are. I am currently seeking a drawing of the bracket on which Great Western whistles are mounted. Would Didcot be able to provide that or should I send my £25 to the NRM and hope that the vague catalogue description includes what I looking for?
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I agree that Heritage Railways should operate as working museums. However, they do need to be careful about which bits of history they wish to represent: generally, I'd prefer that not to be the "no trains running and weeds growing up through the tracks with closure notices peeling on locked doors" (*) phase of railway history.

    Being slightly more serious, the working museum analogy is an interesting one to pursue. A few weeks ago, I happened to visit Beamish, which is definitely in the working museum category. Now, at one level, you might think it a bit twee, and a bit too "picture postcard" perfect, at least if you got your camera angle correct. But what struck me was a focus on the whole presentation. As a small example - all heritage attractions have restaurants. But at Beamish, the staff were in period costume just as much as the bus and tram drivers or the others acting as explainers. I sometimes think on railways we can be guilty of assuming that the train journey is so attractive that we don't need to concentrate too much on anything else. Whereas if we took a museum view of the attraction, surely it should be possible - whether in costume, or signage, or other areas - to leave the 21st century behind when going up the station drive and not returning until walking back to the car park.

    (*) Or the "Wilcock's wet dream" era, as I believe it is also called.

    Tom
     

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