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GWSR General Discussion and Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by michaelh, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alex.
    Just wondering-idle hands etc, Is there a need, or an intention, or a fund for materials, for the work that needed on these wagons? I mean, if the wagons were made usable, would they actually be of benefit to the railway. Are they actually wanted, or would restoration simply take away from other needs without producing any benefit?
     
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  2. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    You got me on my specialist subject Ross! :)

    First on the money. The majority of wagons owned on the GWSR are privately owned, and many restorations will likely be funded by their owners. The railway's C&W department budget has also covered wagons in the past, so I presume that provision will continue (once we get back to normal budgeting that is) for railway owned wagons. However, some extra-fundraising may be desirable in the future depending on how quickly we can burn through the money! :) Or perhaps for "nice to haves" like some GWR tail and side lamps or specific loads for open wagons etc. But there is certainly no pressing need for outside money to make things move any quicker at this stage.

    Are they wanted? Well, undoubtedly there's plenty on the railway who aren't fussed either way, and doubtless some who think we'd be better off without them in their present state. But there is definitely a desire by a fair chunk of people to have an operational freight train again, and I can't see proposals to make the yards and surrounding station areas look much better by restoring wagons to sit in prominent sidings being unpopular either. And if it can be tied up with some rationalisation of what is currently on the railway and deciding some wagons don't fit in and can be removed, even better.

    Would they be of benefit? Yes. Firstly, they're really useful as mobile storage. We have a lot of spare parts, not just in our department but across the railway. Having them in wagons makes them easier to move around and our space more flexible. They can actually earn us money too. Photo charters like using freight sets and among our steam engine fleet we have several freight engines which look just perfect pulling a rake of wagons. More photo charters means more photos of our line in Heritage and Steam Railway magazines, equals free advertising. They're an additional attraction on gala days as well, providing a greater draw for the event, and we often sell brake van rides on these days. There is also an ambition to run some fire and drives using the freight set (like the NVR successfully do) and perhaps run the odd freight on normal operating days selling brake van rides, like IoW, and possibly Bluebell and MHR (?) do. Worth remembering that we are supposed to be a "living museum" and freight was a big part of the railway scene so from that perspective it's important too.

    Don't they take away resources/space from everything else? No. They don't impact on or slow down carriage restoration. Each of our workshops can accommodate 1 carriage and 1 wagon, so wagons don't take up the space of carriages. Despite our best efforts, there's not always a carriage ready for painting, or a carriage that needs lots of metal work repairing, available to work on, so there's usually some spare labour to do the work. We also like doing them! Depending on our skills and what needs doing, not all of us are always flat out working on carriages, and wagons are a welcome outlet. It's also nice to work on something different from the usual, and there's a huge variety in wagons, compared to the single design of carriage we toil over. Some of our volunteers specifically like working on wagons too. The same applies at the loco sheds at Toddington too, where some wagon restoration has occurred in the past. Some days there's an army of people looking for things to do, and with the best will in the world, not everyone's capable of re-assembling the valve gear on a 42xx for example (I know I'm not!)
     
  3. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    ELR and NNR have already done this?
     
  4. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    And the GCRN
     
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  5. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    And the NYMR had one iirc.
     
  6. Will RL

    Will RL Member

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    MNR? Or the NNR as well?
     
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  7. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Mid Norfolk look at my post #905
     
  8. Chuffington

    Chuffington New Member

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    Please we don’t need to go down that road again, most members have joined contributed made the railway work to see a steam railway the continual forcing Diesels onto us is not appreciated and only ends up with turning the railway into major conflict.
     
  9. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Now I'm not much a fan of diesels myself, apart from some of the first generation variety built under BR, I'm first and foremost a steam man. But that said just because I and a large number of others are, doesn't mean we should always push diesels and their own admirers aside all the time, they have as much a right to exist and be presented as any steam engine does. Arguably more so seeing as they traditionally do not always have secure a future as steam does.

    How many times have we seen diesels get saved for preservation, only to then be abandoned, unloved and end up being scrapped? With steam we'd think the very idea unthinkable, every steam engine should be saved no matter the condition, yet with diesels you don't see the same thought process there.

    And if your referring to the MNR with this comment, then I'm afraid whether you or others like it or not, that railway is most likely always gonna be reliant on diesels and more modern rolling stock.

    It's just how it is, the MNR was later opening up then other railways, and nowadays there are precious few steam locomotives and appropriate rolling stock to run with them to acquire in order to make a newer heritage railway primarily a steam hauled one. Certainly of the rolling stock that is available, it's very costly business to purchase, restore and maintain them. And that's before we consider all the infrastructure required to care for such things.

    The only case I can think of this not being the case is the Epping Ongar Railway, whose had the very fortunate benefit of having someone who has invested a lot, not just giving the whole of the railway a major rework all round, but also purchased a few steam engines as well as a couple BR era diesels.

    Quite incredible how that railway has transformed itself in recent years, and it's potential future prospects are great indeed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2021
  10. Chuffington

    Chuffington New Member

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    I was referring to the GWSR, diesel politics abound and doesn’t need to be exploded more than it already is.
    The MNR has been set up as a diesel railway and is recognised and supported for it.
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Only to those who indulge in partisan posts on NatPres. I am absolutely no diesel fan and have no interest in them, but I do not begrudge them being on the railway one bit, and I as far as I'm aware that's a relatively mainstream view, ie live and let live. I certainly don't see them taking the place of steam turns or anything like that, because they don't.
     
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  12. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    I feel I should have it noted here that, though yes I'm primarily a man of steam, I actually have soft spot for diesels in BR Green, especially those of the first generation. Back then no one really knew what was the best optimal format for how such locomotives should be, so we ended up for a very stark contrasting variety which actually look quite distinct from one another, certainly compared to the Standard classes of steam engines BR built in my own opinion.

    The Class 37s with the front split ends I'd contend are one of the most handsomest diesel ever built, along with the Class 40s, and the Class 28s just for how unique they look. They all look great in BR green, especially those with two tone looks. That said never been a fan of them in BR blue, especially when put alongside steam engines. In BR green they look right alongside a steam engine, BR blue just not so.

    But hey, as said before, it's not my area of particular liking but it is for others so good for them.
     
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Back to the GWSR...

    With Gloucestershire in tier 4 work has all but ceased in C&W so once again we're trying to keep our blog busy with other bits and pieces. We've got a great one today from Dave, one of our regular bloggers, from when he explored the abandoned line in 1981 with a friend just months before the preservation group moved in at Toddington. https://gwsrcarriageandwagon.blogspot.com/2021/01/exploring-honeybourne-line-in-1981.html
     
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  14. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Looking at Dave's blog, its hard to think that the GWR started from nothing, have rebuilt several stations from scratch, laid every bit of track, and compared to the same scenes you would get today, would you even think its the same location?
     
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  15. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    A very enjoyable read, around the corner from the house where I spent the first 5 1/2 years of my life between 1984 and 1989 was the old Great Western Mainline from Birmingham to Wolverhampton, my mum used to go and wave at the red diesels that used to run down there, I think Dad had a footplate ride on whatever was shunting at West Bromwich one night back in the 1960’s. My Brother and I learned to ride our bikes on what was the track bed in the late 1980’s and now it’s of course the Midland Metro! It’s amazing what was still around in the 1980’s
     
  16. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    Following a GWSR volunteer announcement today I can say that we are offering a turntable for disposal. It's the one on the photograph below. It was recovered from Ashford in the 1980s, but never installed, as a location for it could not be agreed. I believe it to be a 70ft one, but this needs to be checked. About 10 years ago one wing was scrapped, leaving the centre part and the other wing. The centre pivot is there, some of the wheels, and the vacuum motor.

    The reason for the disposal is that we can no longer store it where it currently is. Hence we are proposing to offer it free of charge. Any interest, please send me a p.m.

    If there is no interest, we would need to scrap it, as it cannot stay where it is. Unfortunately circumstances will force us to to that.

    Turntable Hitchen.JPG
     
  17. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Does this mean that the plan to install a TT at Winchcombe has been abandoned?
     
  18. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    If there is a need in the future it might be better, easier and, possibly, cheaper to build from new.
    Pat
     
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  19. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

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    And which bright spark decided to cut and scrap part of the deck?
     
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  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Does the wording on the centre pillar reflect the views of those who had to lift it onto a wagon?

    Tom
     

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