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Isle Of Man Steam Railway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by David Bigcheeseplant, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    I truly do hate to go off into WIBN territory but seeing how much work goes into keeping the fleet going, has a new build ever been mooted? None of the locomotives are getting any younger (or cheaper to overhaul) and a second, box-fresh Caledonia certainly doesn't seem like it wouldn't go amiss. Reading through the Wikipedia page made me wonder how many patterns exist for various parts.

    Edit: This big brain pondering seems less necessary in the light of day with only a handful unlikely/ definitely not going to steam again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
  2. marshall5

    marshall5 Part of the furniture

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    This season we have managed with 3 locos (4, 13 & 15/MNR4) but that leaves no spare on Saturdays in peak season. It is desirable to have 5 locos available. Early next year No11 will have returned having had the most comprehensive rebuild in IMR history and is essentially in 'new' condition. It will be followed into service by 10 & 12 whose overhauls are already well advanced including new boilers. One of the advantages of having a standardized fleet is the commonality of spares so a loco can usually be returned to service quickly. Patterns do exist for several parts including the cylinders which are the same on all the 2-4-0's except No16. Caledonia is completely 'non-standard' so I don't believe a business case could ever be made for a new-build Caley as it would be much cheaper and practical to rebuild one of the several stored Beyers. The IMR is not a 'preserved railway' as such but part of the Government owned national transport system so Treasury require a strong business case for any expenditure. Thanks for your interest Paul.
    Cheers,
    Ray.
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Whilst, from a certain perspective, I take your point, but ......

    The old overhaul vs. rebuild question seems to arise too. In this specific case, don't forget that the IMR is in a very different situation to most lines, being nationalised under IoM govt. purview. That comes with ramifications for financial aspects of any decision.

    In point of fact, one 'new' loco has been supplied and has fallen some way short of being a stellar success. Thee and me may draw a distinction between steam and diesel which is likely lost on those responsible for the public purse. That's just life, I fear.

    Right now, the fleet maintenance program looks healthier than at any point I can remember. With more long-stored stock making it's way through the shops, over and above the ongoing thorough overhaul/rebuild of service stock, the surviving fleet is quite possibly in far better condition than at any time since the 1929 crash and most definitely better than at any point since the Peel/Ramsey lines succumbed, half a century ago.

    If I were asked to participate in a vote of confidence in current IMR management (which I won't be!), they'd most certainly have my support. I'd add an honourable mention for the sterling support from the IoMSRSA, who've undertaken so many of those jobs which, while doing little for the operational balance sheet, add immensely to preserving the unique ambience of the line.
     
  4. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    Thanks for you response Ray, I forgot that the IOMSR wasn't a typical "preserved" railway like many on the mainland. And I did consider the BPs over Caledonia, the thought pattern was based more in it being one of the more powerful of the fleet and an almost constant performer for years.
     
  5. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    It hasn't escaped me that a lot of the carriage stock being turned out has been longer term jobs that look fantastic. I also missed Mannin being assessed in my great Wiki trawl last night.
     
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  6. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Something else you'd only pick up on by watching multiple video clips from the last year or two (can't get out much these days!) is how well patronised the dining set obviously is. The fact this has happened in the teeth of the Island's covid enforced isolation can only mean one thing ..... the local population have rediscovered their railway and whichever way you slice it, that's about the best news anyone could hope to hear!
     
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  7. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    Absolutely. A lot of talk here goes into community engagement and getting them on trains. I looked it up and it's a pretty decent price for what you get compared to just going out.
     
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  8. marshall5

    marshall5 Part of the furniture

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    [QUOTE="30854, post: 2705777, member: 27573"..........I'd add an honourable mention for the sterling support from the IoMSRSA, who've undertaken so many of those jobs which, while doing little for the operational balance sheet, add immensely to preserving the unique ambience of the line.[/QUOTE]

    Not wishing to diminish the efforts made by the IoMSRSA in the restoration of G1 and other projects but the Heritage Railway Volunteers https://www.facebook.com/hrviom/
    work directly for IoM Transport on both the IMR and MER. On the steam side we act as guides on photo specials, on the dining trains and, during the festivals, on the workshop tours. Our co-ordinator Mike Buttell works closely with IoM Rlys. to create the programmes for the Heritage railway Festivals and other events. At other times HRV members look after the displays in the Port Erin museum and act as museum guides.
    Ray.
     
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  9. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The volunteer input on dining services wasn't known to me, so cheers for that Ray. All I was attempting to convey was the basic operation of the line is in the hands of the paid staff, with volunteers providing those 'value added' functions which otherwise wouldn't happen and which add so much to the atmosphere of this beautifully presented and historic line. I hope that statement's not too far off the mark.

    One thing I suspect isn't necessarily at the front of minds here on the big island is just how limited the 'home' volunteer pool is, on a geographically fairly isolated island with a total resident population a shade over 83,000 souls (a third that of my own home city!). Taken in that context, what has been and is being achieved is fantastic.

    I noticed that now asbestos-free (Hooray!) Mona and Douglas are benefitting from some cosmetic attention from the Association. Is this work being undertaken on the line, or at some secret location beginning with a "J"?
     
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  10. marshall5

    marshall5 Part of the furniture

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    You are correct Howard, I was just pointing out that there were 2 organisations the IoMSRSA and the Heritage Railway Volunteers. The HRV was formed by members and former members of the IoMSRSA at a time when the latter stopped having a practical input into the IMR. As you say there is only a small volunteer base and many/most of us are involved in more than one railway or other heritage project on the Island.
    As regards Nos 5 & 9 the cosmetic work on the former's boiler is being carried out in Port Erin carriage shed (along with the latter's chassis/tanks). Mona's chassis was taken offsite for gritblasting/priming and will, presumably, be reunited with its boiler at P.E.
    Ray.
     
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  11. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    What is the role of the IoMSRSA?
     
  12. marshall5

    marshall5 Part of the furniture

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  13. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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  14. CALEDONIA

    CALEDONIA New Member

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    I think it's fair to say that both supporting groups on the lsland do a very good and important job helping and promoting the steam railway. Going back in time to the mid 1970's the steam railway would have probably disappeared without the input of the IOMSRSA ( and a great proportion of the MER too without the MERS). The steam railway is fortunate to have these folk who care and put their time and effort in supporting and assisting with the many very posative events and restoration projects.
     
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  15. Chrisw77

    Chrisw77 New Member

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    Any news on Maitlands return yet Ray?
     
  16. marshall5

    marshall5 Part of the furniture

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    It now looks like early in the New Year.
    Ray.
     
  17. Chrisw77

    Chrisw77 New Member

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    thanks for the info Ray, next year’s looking quite the year
     
  18. marshall5

    marshall5 Part of the furniture

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    A photo of No11 nearing completion at Statfold Barn courtesy of IoMSRSA. I'm not sure about the shade of green (unless it's undercoat) as it doesn't look like either pre 1946 dark green or 1967 Ailsa green. Be nice to have her back though. Here on the IoM the Santa Trains and Festive Dining trains have been very busy. As always more photos and news on https://www.facebook.com/hrviom/
    Cheers,
    Ray.
    IMR No11 Statfold Barn 12.21 IoMSRSA.jpg
     
  19. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    I would reserve judgement on the colour until it is out in full daylight.
     
  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I thought the same, but I do remember the shade in Ray's post (as you say, it's under artificial light) being passed off as LNER livery on certain 0 gauge tinplate monstrosities!

    C'mon, this is Statfold, there's no way they'd would cock up the colour!
     

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