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FR & WHR & WHHR News

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by AndrewT, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    I agree. I hate to be petty about spelling and grammar (we all slip up occasionally!), but that website reads like it was written by a teenager. After reading a few pages I began to wonder whether this might be a new venture by the team who gave us the J50 project...! Whatever the truth of the matter, it doesn't inspire confidence.

    It's a great shame, because unlike many new-build projects, this one could fill a genuinely significant historical "gap", on two levels. The England design, in its original form, was internationally significant: this was the design which proved that steam haulage on narrow-gauge public railways was viable, and thus paved the way for major narrow-gauge networks all over the world. Moreover, if you consider the FfR as a single entity, an original-condition England is one of the most important gaps in their surviving rolling stock: they have 1860s coaches available, but not an engine to match. Rebuilding Mountaineer would allow them to recreate their very earliest days.

    I very much hope this group can raise its game and fulfill its objective...but as things stand at the moment, I won't be investing.
     
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  2. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    I think it probably is a balance pipe.

    According to Jones & Dennis in Little Giants, that famous photo is apparently the only one to show the smokebox door of a Small England loco in something resembling 1860s condition (the photo itself was taken 1871).
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    OTOH, they name check a couple of reputable companies (including Israel Newton) as having already carried out or agreed to carry out work; and the throat plate and “beach head” (sic) are stated to be completed by September. So it should be pretty obvious pretty soon whether those claims stack up.

    There is also a statement on the website “It is now October 2019...” (present tense). In my days of teaching writing for web skills, that sort of style would have been frowned upon, but leaving that aside, my hunch is that the website may still be a work in progress that has broken cover sooner than was intended. I wonder if the plan had been a big reveal in November at Warley, by which time substantial components would be available to give the project credibility.

    So I still tend to agree with you about caveat emptor but quite possibly if this had broken cover in November rather than August by which time someone would conceivably have been over the website with a fine tooth comb, it might have looked rather more promising.

    There are some confusing aspects to fundraising: in particular they appear to be going both down a shareholder model and a “sponsor a part” model. Some of the future plans for ongoing revenue generation seem a bit confused as well: for example they state the loco will be available for driver training, weddings etc. But in my experience, those are functions offered by a railway, not a loco: a railway can host weddings as part of its business model and a steam train ride would be part of the offer: a loco on its own can’t offer weddings as a service. Similarly “driver training” (i.e. footplate experience) - they might offer the loco as well suited for the task, but fundamentally you can’t do it without a railway, and the attendant operating practices, rule book, SMS etc. of that railway.

    Tom
     
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  4. garth manor

    garth manor New Member

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    At this stage this project does not appear on the Warley listing as a stand alone, maybe its within FR.
     
  5. SirChad

    SirChad New Member

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    Much of the information being sought by the contributors above is in the 2 articles in the current Steam Railway - issue 496. (There's a news item, and another page in a feature on narrow gauge replicas). This includes the name of the project's instigator, his other preservation involvements, details of who is expected to construct the component parts, and where and when the project will be officially launched. This is described as "As exclusively revealed..." So, a rare triumph for the dead tree media.
     
  6. MartinBall

    MartinBall New Member

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    Thanks - any chance of posting at least who they say is behind the project?
     
  7. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    This is all a matter of public record.

    According to the incorporation documents at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/11888664/filing-history the sole director is named David Wood and the other founding shareholder, who is also considered to have "significant control" due to his 50% shareholding is named Brian Smyth.
     
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  8. MartinBall

    MartinBall New Member

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    Maybe associated with York Model Engineers?
    https://www.yorkmodelengineers.co.uk/forms/2019Calendar.pdf
    (Check out Chairman and Treasurer)
    If so, this sounds more hopeful than some of us thought
    Pity they don't prefer a nice Irish 3' gauge loco... ;)
     
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  9. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    Do you believe everything you read in Steam Railway?
     
  10. SirChad

    SirChad New Member

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    No, their story about Cei Mawr being demolished and replaced by a bridge hasn't come to pass. This story seems well-grounded, though.

    (I was tempted to reply "Do you believe everything you read on the internet?", but I appreciate that this kind of thing isn't helpful).
     
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  11. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    Don't believe very much of what I read in The Beano. But then again, I stopped reading it (aside from a brief flick-through at WHSmiths) years ago when I realised the disdain that they show narrow gauge railways.
     
  12. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    In fairness, I think that, like any journal, they are trying to give the market what they think it wants. Hence the overwhelming bias (not just in SR!) towards BR-era standard gauge subjects; they are calculating that that is what most enthusiasts will be interested in.
     
  13. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    A fair point. You pays your money and takes your choice!

    FWIW. The day I stopped subscribing was when an issue dropped through my door that had one page of narrow gauge items in the entire magazine of (IIRC) about 70 pages of editorial content. That is beyond biased in my opinion to the point of seeing anything other than BR standard gauge as little more than a side show bordering on irrelevant, even though narrow gauge is such a vibrant and fundamental part of the preservation movement in this country.
     
  14. clam1952

    clam1952 New Member

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  15. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

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    I get my free subscription through my bank account but I do think that the magazine is largely quite enjoyable under current editorship and does seem to have better balance than at times in the past

    Jon
     
  16. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    I get mine for free with my bank account too, but I'd not buy it every month. I find the content very variable.
     
  17. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    So do you subscribe to "Narrow Gauge World" ?
     
  18. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    I buy the digital edition from time-to-time, yes. However, it's not that I'm not interested in standard gauge preservation, I would just like more balance in publications such as Steam Railway and Heritage Railway that reflect, IMHO, the hugely signifcant contribution that narrow gauge makes to the preservation movement makes. However, I am also a realist and recognise that the majority of their readership are simply not interested in NG, so it will always make better business sense to cover SG and mainline operations to maintain readership levels.
     
  19. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    I'd far rather see the Alco Mountaineer running.
    Also an important locomotive in historical terms (both WWI and preservation history), and actually existing now...
    Plus, for many of us, an important part of our love affair with the FfR.
    As the present policy seems to be to keep most locos running, I do hope it will be next after Welsh Pony.
    Of course, I'd also like to see the Earl restored in the not too distant future...

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
     
  20. MartinBall

    MartinBall New Member

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    The Jonathan Clay website was most interesting. I was about to commission him to do a couple of paintings, but then he had to go and tweet support for Il Duce Bojo and no-deal brekks-it, so he's just lost 600 quid ... :(
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019

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