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Flying Scotsman - NRM counts the cost

Discussion in 'Steam Railway' started by Thomas Bright, Oct 17, 2016.

    The latest issue of Steam Railway reported that it had asked the National Railway Museum a series of questions about the current status of 'A3' 4-6-2 No. 60103 Flying Scotsman, and its plans for the locomotive's continued and future wellbeing. The following response was issued on Thursday October 13, and is published here in full:

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    After a £6.8million restoration, 'A3' No. 60103 Flying Scotsman makes a triumphant return to the National Railway Museum, following its inaugural main line run from King's Cross to York on February 25. TOM BRIGHT

    "Recently publishing the final cost of the restoration of Flying Scotsman, it has quite rightly provoked some interest. It cost a lot of money. So we think it is worth putting on the record how proud we are at the National Railway Museum to have finally returned this greatest of locomotives to operation, bringing an icon of British engineering back to the people.

    "Some have said the restoration has been too expensive and questioned how we could ever have spent so much. We have been quite open about the shortcomings of the management of project, for example in the published report by Bob Meanley. We looked to learn our lessons and certainly do not claim everything has gone perfectly.

    "That said, it is impossible to speculate what the minimum cost for the restoration might have been in a perfect world. As those involved with heritage railways will know, all these projects are different and we could trade good and bad examples forever. When it comes to value for money, what is clear is that it cost a lot of money, but the value has been extraordinary. That is why we said it has been eminently worthwhile when we announced the final cost.

    "People have said that we could have better spent the money on other things. But life isn’t that simple. Exciting projects attract money that wouldn’t be there otherwise. The £2.3 million purchase price of the locomotive came from external funds with £1.8 million coming from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, £441k from public donations to the museum and £365k match funding from Virgin Group.

    "Over £1.8 million of the cost of the £4.5million restoration cost came from external funders, public donations and the sale of Flying Scotsman merchandise. This includes a £275k grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. And because we are part of the bigger Science Museum Group, the Trustees of the group made extra resources available to the National Railway Museum for the restoration project: it hasn’t come from the normal annual budgets of the museum.

    "The locomotive is now operating fantastically well with the Riley’s team in charge. That arrangement is in place until the end of next year. At the right time we will consider options for taking this forward and will make an announcement next year. We are committed to creating a robust and effective long term future business model covering all aspects of Flying Scotsman maintenance and operation.

    "At NRM we’re proud to have put Flying Scotsman back on the rails to the clear delight of so many and passionately feel it was a worthy and ultimately positive investment."

    Continue reading...
     
  1. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    A rough translation being we made a complete pigs ear of it.
     
  2. Avonside1563

    Avonside1563 Well-Known Member

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    But they didn't just give up, once they'd identified the short comings they persevered, called in experts to advise and to undertake the work and got the loco finished. Yes perhaps they should have gone down that route in the first place but how many people would have been shouting them down if they didn't finish the job? Probably as many, if not more than have harped on about the cost of the overhaul.
     
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  3. Miff

    Miff Part of the furniture Friend

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    Quite right - there were Jeremiahs on this very forum who criticised the use of consultants, fearing their conclusions would be used as an excuse to cancel the project whereas their Engineering expertise was in fact essential to getting it finished.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  4. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    That may be your translation, but no doubt there will be others who have completely the opposite view.
     
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  5. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I'm sure the deflectors were known as "elephant's ears" in spotting circles. :)
     
  6. 60017

    60017 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    They most certainly were and I think A3's looked the DB's wearing them! I wonder what SR's agenda is with it's questions around FS's overhaul, I was quite wound-up with this 'story.'

    It might have cost a small fortune' but she looks amazing and so far....operationally reliable. I think the true benefits of the money spent will be easily identifiable when she is withdrawn for overhaul at the end of her ticket. Assuming the funds (and the will) are available, I expect a quick turnaround!
     
  7. Tim Light

    Tim Light Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, congratulations to the NRM on completing such an immense and problematic project. Lessons to be learned, for sure, but a superb result. I'm delighted that it now has an authentic appearance, after many years in a totally mongrel condition.

    One day I would love to see it in LNER livery again, but only with single chimney and no smoke deflectors.

    Was it money well spent? Not so sure. I don't think it's the NRM's job to be pandering to the public appetite for celebrity locos and big events, and I would rather the NRM spread its money around more worthwhile activities that on a single glamour project. Having said that, the majority of the money was donated for this specific purpose, so the amount diverted from other worthwhile causes is probably not all that great.
     

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