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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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    But how much of Beamish is real, and how much is a compromise for the 21st century as a visitor experience...? It's very commercial and practical.

    Not a rhetorical question, I've been there a lot over the last 12 years...
     
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  2. D7076

    D7076 Member

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    Because they currently have lots of operational locos sat around ticking away-,so that's 5322 withdrawn early with boiler issues?,3650 requiring a trip to Kwik Fit and 6023 operational so leaving at Didcot the 14 and the industrial....
     
  3. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Have you read the Beamish blogs?
    http://www.beamish.org.uk/latest-news/blogs/

    Actually, don't! They might spoil your idea of its perfect authenticy.
     
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  4. D7076

    D7076 Member

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    No different from those sat inside at Highley.
     
  5. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Umm, yes different...
     
  6. D1039

    D1039 Member

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    They are using the smallest Bulleid Pacifics they can lol

    Patrick
     
  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I know, they've goe to all that effort, and yet I bet a certain member here is still not happy about it! :D
     
  8. D7076

    D7076 Member

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    What are you suggesting SVR hire?5900,7808,3738,5322,6106 perhaps which are so different from 4930,7819,5764,7325 and 5164 because ...?
     
  9. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    Would help out some lines struggling for motive power, but woulden't hire fee's be totally swallowed up and then some by overhaul costs ?, plenty of useful types at Didcot but few operational and Didcot would would them for it's own use first/
     
  10. Charles Parry

    Charles Parry New Member

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    It's a shame that Didcot can't conjure up the motive power it had when I went as a lad 15 years ago. Possibly the biggest memory of steam from my childhood was watching Earl Bathurst do a TPO drop, going 0-25mph in about 40 yards. I'm sure ragging her like that did her no good, but the racket she made getting up to speed, reverberating off the buildings and hills, is something I can remember so clearly. No way an industrial tank could have had the effect on me.
     
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  11. Bill Drewett

    Bill Drewett Member

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    Then it is rhetorical.

    Sorry - sometimes my inner pedant rears it's ugly head!
     
  12. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    I can't find the original quote again, not that it matters (unless you think I made it up) but the point I think is that at Didcot there was an original GWR shed with a world beating GWR collection up to a few years ago.

    Now a selection of the locos are in BR livery and diesels are included in the collection (as opposed to handy shunters to have on site) and an industrial loco has been hired to run the branch line (it must be because it's cheaper as 93 is still operational to do that ) . Presumably there no small GWR loco for hire.

    It's a shame to see the direction they are going in. (IMO)
     
  13. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS New Member

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    Most of theDiDcot engines need a overhaul so could not be hired out also the cost of removing them puts a lot off i went to didcot last year when the T9 was running and visitor numbers seemed very low so i do not blame them hiring in a small industrial to cover a loco shortage.Enthusiasts are no longer the core market and joe public will not be put off by a small industrial.Didcot is unique in what it offers but is hardly in a major tourist area so struggles to attract the visitors i shall be going for a ride behind the industrial as i quite like them
     
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  14. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    I agree, we took our kids there many years ago, I don't know if they still do it but you could buy £SD coinage to purchase Loose sweets in paper bags , drinks etc in the shops with all the staff in period costume. It really did feel we had walked out of the 20th century and the children loved it. As Jamessquared said, preserved railways could learn something from this
     
  15. Chris86

    Chris86 Member

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    I get the impression that Didcot has been rather unlucky on the motive power front over the last few years.
    5322-withdrawn early
    3650-withdrawn early
    4144-having a boiler lift
    6023- has required a lot more 'fettling' than I get the impression was thought.

    Was 3738 withdrawn early too?

    They do have an amazing collection, I just hope that they manage to get back on their feet with operational locos sooner rather than later- seeing the static collection in the unique surroundings that Didcot can offer is spectacular- but it's just not possible to appreciate locomotives fully when they are all cold and not operating!

    Does anyone know if any of the smaller residents would be good candidates for a quick turnaround? Presumably once the 'thomas' has been finished and 'lady of legend' is done there might be some extra capacity in the works?

    Chris
     
  16. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    No comparison, Didcot is a working museum and as near as you can get to the atmosphere of a steam shed and a shed full of locomotives helps to create that atmosphere. It doesn't matter if some are not in working order. Highley is what I call a stuffed and mounted museum like the NRM. It came out of a desire to keep the out traffic locos under cover rather than rotting away around the railway and to provide another visitor attraction.
     
  17. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    This is the 21st century and nothing can be perfect but there is nothing in that blog that suggests other than they come as close as you can get. Go there and find out and for a real experience have a pint in the Beamish Mary in the village called No Place, one of the more quirky pubs in this great country.
     
  18. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Read post #44. The proposal to extend officially into the BR era has been agreed by the membership of the Society. It's well recognised that Swindon continued to do its own thing well into the BR era. Didcot is also providing a home for the Swindon signalling panel, as part of the story of railway signalling.

    Even though personally I happen to dislike the BR blue livery, as currently applied to a King, I can accept it as a valid representation of what (I presume) ran during one period on the GW main line.

    If they are indeed hiring in a small loco of a kind that never ran on the GWR while their own small locos are out of traffic, I agree that that is a pity, but it's hardly a disaster, provided it is only a stopgap.
     
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  19. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni New Member

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    Looking at the Loco Roster on the Didcot website the Andrew Barclay and the Railmotor are in use most operating days this month. The only other working steam loco at Didcot at the moment is 6023. I'm sure that if 4144 wasn't under repair at the moment (or it hadn't been necessary to withdraw any of the other locos early eg. 3650), the Andrew Barclay would not be hired in.
     
  20. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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    It is a bit depressing when there are people working very hard to bring in the cash to keep collections like Didcot's together - and all some can do is moan about a few minor compromises that happen in order to make that possible.

    Take for example the BR liveries. 5322 and 1466 are in those colours because they were paid for by photo charters - I'm sure if someone wanted to pay for them to be painted back before the static loco crew get to them then Didcot would be happy to hear about it. 6023 will arguably look better on a rake of mark 1's in BR livery than in GWR colours plus the unusual colour has helped gain attention. As for 4144 - again plenty bemoan the lack of young blood in the movement and yet when the young engineers who carried out the overhaul on 4144 chose the transitional GWR livery with BR lettering, their choice is criticised.

    There's plenty of days when the 14 or the industrial won't be in use this year - personally I'd rather go along and put my cash behind those working hard than sit behind a keyboard and slag off their efforts.
     
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