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FR & WHR & WHHR News

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

  1. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn Member

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    The old boiler from the Alco certainly was in Minffordd yard, probably it's still there.

    I was heavily involved with the boiler "overhaul" of the French example. It only required a new boiler barrel, front tubeplate, backhead, throatplate, and outer firebox sides, and the firebox dismantling, repairing and re-riveting... We costed a new one, it came out cheaper, but the owners wanted that one repaired, so we did.

    I doubt that the one in Minffordd yard will be in any better condition. They were made from very thin plate, as is Yank practice, and the tin worm hadn't been kind.
    They weren't particularly well made when new either - the stay misalignment between the box and backhead is the worst I've ever seen on a boiler still as it left the manufacturer.

    If it was to be rebuilt to original, I'm fairly sure it would end up with most of a new boiler, possibly with some strategic bits salvaged from the old boiler(s).
     
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  2. meeee

    meeee Member

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    The old boiler has now been scrapped but it was buggered anyway.

    I don't really see the point of taking a useful engine and rebuilding it into a useless one. Especially when that shows a total disregard for its history as a vital member of the FR fleet. There is already one preserved in WDLR condition and one in Pithiviers condition anyway.

    Tim
     
  3. 60044

    60044 Member

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    I must have missed the Alco example in WD condition in the UK? Where is it?

    I have some sympathy for the "post-preservation history" argument, but in this case I think it's "pre-preservation " history is rather less trivial.
     
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  4. meeee

    meeee Member

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    It's pre-preservation history would be a very short stay on the western front. Even though it says 1916 on the works plate that only represents when the order was placed with ALCo. Most of these locos didn't arrive until mid 1917. Following that it probably spent a few years on post war reconstruction work and then the rest of the time in the Sugar Beet industry in Northern France. It's spent far longer as an FR loco than anything else.

    Tim
     
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  5. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    I can see why some people remember, with fondness, the Alco in 70's/80's F.R. condition because nostalgia is very much the driving force of the preservation movement.
    However is it 'right' to alter something so far from its original appearance? Would you do it to a Renaissance painting or a vintage Rolls Royce? When the loco was needed in everyday service there might have been a justification for it but times and attitudes have changed. As for "rebuilding it into a useless one", the Alco's were known to be more stable and better performers than the 4-6-0T's so, Tim, are you saying that the WHHR and Graham Fairhurst are wasting their time and money on the two Baldwins?
    FWIW the only other working Alco is at Tacot les Lacs (along with Felin Hen and a Baldwin converted to diesel) having moved from Froissy - Cappy a few years ago.
    I guess we'll have to agree to differ on this one.
    Ray.
     
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  6. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    @marshall5 Lytton Strachey once proposed turning his clapped our 'Roller' into a summer house. Dunno if it happened!

    ..... and we did have this stunning restoration of an ancient fresco in the news a couple of years ago ....
    fresco_AP367373754354.gif
     
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  7. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure I'm not the only one who has very fond memories of the Alco, amd would love to see it back, in its FfR form, as soon as practicable.
    Personally I'd rather have it back and give Lyd or Taliesin a break - much as I like Lyd - but I appreciate that the relative complexity of the overhauls makes this unattractive.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
     
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  8. pgbffest

    pgbffest Member

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    Both Lyd and Taliesin are out on 10 year overhauls next year - so they will be getting a break
     
  9. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but unfortunately Mountaineer isn't ready to replace them...

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
     
  10. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    I am pleased that we are having this conversation because it suggests that the enthusiast community at large are really starting to grapple with some of the complexities and nuances that can underlie apparently simple questions of authenticity and significance. That can only be a good thing in that hopefully it will encourage better decision-making among preservationists in the long run.

    In the case of Mountaineer, I don't think there is any particularly pressing case for restoration to original WWI form, given that we already have a sister engine preserved in original condition. There might be some merit in restoring it to its 1970s or '80s appearance to tell the story of the FfR's "back-to-Blaenau" era. But will the FfR ever be able to put the other elements in place to allow a truly comprehensive re-creation of this era - especially given that the "Tin Cars", perhaps the most representative coaching stock of that era, are being sold off?

    Ultimately the FfR's history is still being written, and if the railway considers that further modifications would produce a more useful loco then personally I don't see any reason to object.

    It sounds to me like the first question that really needs to be answered is, how much life does the existing boiler have in it? Could it be economically repaired to give, say, another twenty years or more of use? If so, then it sounds like it would be worth making modifications to allow the engine to continue with its current boiler. To me, the 2-6-4T scheme sounds like a good way of doing that - surely it would be easier and cheaper than the more elaborate schemes involving conversion to a tender engine?

    On the other hand, if it would be more economic to replace the boiler now, then it sounds as though a new boiler to the original dimensions would resolve most of the issues with weight distribution, cab space, etc., and thus render further modification unnecessary. The engine could retain its current cab etc. but it would remain a relatively simple matter to backdate the engine to WWI condition if required.

    Of course, I am not an engineer nor intimately acquainted with the FfR - just my thoughts based on what has been posted so far!
     
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  11. Nexuas

    Nexuas New Member

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    RUSSELL and the Baldwin 608 have been in the pass today and up to Beddgelert as part of a photo charter. Good to see RUSSELL out for a play again.
     
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  12. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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  13. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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  14. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Member

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  15. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    Never understood what the hype was over the Alco 'Mountaineer' on the FR.

    My old friend Don Young designed the 3.5"g miniature version around 1971, and was most enthusiastic, especially the later modifications, and his writings on the loco are in his quarterly magazine LLAS.

    Always seemed to me to be unsuitable for the FR. How a Chinese loco will turn out to be suitable remains to be seen.

    Good progress apparently on Welsh Pony and James Spooner Mk2.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
  16. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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  17. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    A 71/4" gauge version, based on upscaled Don Young's drawings (which I recall being serialised in ME magazine), was displayed at Brighton Model World about 10 years ago. Very chunky!

    Whatever the shortcomings of the prototype, it was sorely needed during a particularly busy decade, when the line seemed perpetually one breakdown away from a loco crisis.
     
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  18. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    Like this one?

    https://www.stationroadsteam.com/th...x&w=&h=&hash=1cbdd0ecaf1cd8765f53e2f693dd35f5

    Keith
     
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  19. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    As for the 'other' Mountaineer some serious progress is apparent on their Facebook page with photos both firebox flange plates made by Israel Newton delivered to NBR engineering at the end of last month.
     
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  20. 45669

    45669 Member

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    Further to the above discussions on MOUNTAINEER, this picture of her when she was TPT 3-23 at Pithieviers might be of interest:

    [​IMG]1964-10 1. TPT 3-23. by Ron Fisher, on Flickr

    And this is she on a visit to the P'tit Train de la Haute Somme:

    [​IMG]R9290. MOUNTAINEER in France. by Ron Fisher, on Flickr

    Click on the pictures to see the full size versions.
     

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