If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway Loco updates

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by gwalkeriow, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    23,224
    Likes Received:
    45,799
    Location:
    LBSC 215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Interesting for any modellers out there:

    https://grahammuz.com/2018/06/05/model-rail-magazine-announce-ex-lbsc-e1-0-6-0-in-00/

    Tom
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,690
    Likes Received:
    10,200
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I promise my reason for putting this here will become clear(er).

    The got me thinking about W2 at Haven Street. Only the Island's original quartet were successfully rebalanced, at Ryde IIRC. Their mainland brethren were deemed unsuited to passenger work due to their 'interesting' riding qualities, which I seem to recall defied LBSCR attempts to make them behave.

    Unless deemed a non-issue at heritage speeds, how on earth are the IWSR going to rebalance their E1?
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    23,224
    Likes Received:
    45,799
    Location:
    LBSC 215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It’s certainly going to be interesting when in service. Re-balancing isn’t something you’d undertake lightly: to go from Stroudley pattern to conventional essentially means a whole new driving wheelset since the relationship between crank and crank pin is changed.

    I suspect the answer will be lower speeds reducing the problem - I don’t mean restricting the loco to less than the current 25mph, but lower than the LBSCR ran at when they had problems. Given the generally small size of the loco, my gut feel is that at 25mph it won’t be as bad as a 56xx, and some railways seem to operate those on passenger trains.

    Tom
     
    paullad1984 likes this.
  4. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Quite apart from the expense/practicalities of this, I would argue that there would be an ethical issue in making such a significant change to a locomotive which is, after all, a unique survivor. I don't really have an issue with the loco being painted and numbered as an Isle of Wight loco; paint is easily changed. But mechanically speaking, I think it is better to keep her as close as possible to her original form.

    Also, to be pedantic, some of the E1R rebuilds were also rebalanced for use on passenger duties on the mainland during the 1930s.
     
    Jamessquared likes this.
  5. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,690
    Likes Received:
    10,200
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Obviously, we've no E1/R, but so far as 110 is concerned, I feel the ethical question went out of the window when it received the Bagnall boiler. Recall this was a loco sold in 1927 as B110 (never running as 2110)

    The IWSR will be the ones forking out for a new boiler, to make a working W2 a reality. Whether or not their strategy involves rebalancimg or not, I honestly don't know (any more than I know whether it's something ultimately reversible, were the loco to be 'plinthed' in recreated 'original condition'), but I'd submit a faithful recreation of a working Island E1 is every bit as valid as pickling a much modified industrial survivor at any other point in a locos life.

    I take it your views on authenticity don't extend to refitting wooden brake blocks (or replacing missing condensing gear and removing vacuum ejectors from mainland Terriers)?

    If we were talking about Boxhill, Coppernob or Fire Queen, I'd be arguing the pure preservation case, but where you're dealing with a working machine which hasn't been in 'original' condition in over a century, I find the 'puriist' approach is an indulgent fallacy. Brewer's Rule No.1 applies!
     
    Musket The Dog and Paulthehitch like this.
  6. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    It's true that the E1 is not in 'original' condition. A strict application of current conservation doctrines would probably favour retaining the loco in its industrial condition, thus retaining all the layers of history accumulated over its working life. However, given that the E1 is a unique survivor, I feel that back-dating it to some point in its mainline career would be a valid exercise, since we have no other representative of an LBSCR/SR E1. And indeed, I think one could make a case that 110 would be made more historically representative by doing that, since she was unusual in being sold off into industry.

    However...it's one thing to restore an engine to something which it was at an earlier stage in its life. It's another thing to change it into something which it wasn't. That's the crucial point I'm trying to make. 110 was never an island E1. Recreating an island E1 would be a nice thing to do, but I don't feel comfortable about sacrificing the last mainland E1 in order to achieve that. As I say...I don't mind cosmetic changes like paintwork, which are easily reversible; but major mechanical alterations are another matter.

    Indulgent fantasy? I would say: serious consideraton. Of course, I accept that any kind of operational preservation involves a degree of pragmatism and compromise. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't stop to consider the implications of any changes we make; ask how damaging any changes are likely to be, and whether there is any viable alternative. There is no one-size-fits-all set of rules that can be applied to this process; the individual significance and historical imporance of each loco (or indeed coach, building, etc.) has to be assessed on its own merits. I'd have no qualms about modifying an "Austerity", for example, since there are dozens preserved; but the E1 is a unique survivor and deserves to be treated with a little more respect.

    I'm not saying that unique surviving locomotives should never be modified in any way; but, if you're talking about major mechanical changes such as this, then I think it's something you'd have to make a very compelling case for.
     
    ghost, Avonside1972 and Jamessquared like this.
  7. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,690
    Likes Received:
    10,200
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I think we can agree that had today's definitions of 'past saving' been applied way back when, there's a reasonable chance we'd still have the last Island E1 .... it came so tantalisingly close.

    As to your argument, your own preferred 'back restoration' surely negates the loco's equally historic industrial history, no? And the purpose of any 'back restoration' is, in this instance, to represent an Island, not a mainland E1, no?

    Whilst accepting that a rebalanced loco is a major undertaking, I remain to be convinced it's something incapable of being reversed. In any event, if the IWSR is it's 'forever' home, surely insistence on a form unknown across the Solent jars no less than preservation in mainland form, overlooking it's years in industry.

    In the final analysis, I don't think either of us is on the firmest ground (as there actually isn't any in this case) and ours are merely personally held and ultimately subjective views. I certainly have no say in what happens to the loco. If you do, you're one up on me, but if you'll forgive me, consistency-wise your arguments need a bit of work! :)
     
  8. 32110

    32110 Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    598
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired from full time paid work
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Currently the E1 is RH drive whereas the original was LH. Also when we remade the tanks at Cranmore they were visually similar in outline to the originals (which we considered beyond economic repair) but their constructional details were significantly different.
     
    30854 likes this.
  9. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,690
    Likes Received:
    10,200
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Many thanks for that. Any idea when and under what circumstances the drive side was changed?
     
  10. cav1975

    cav1975 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    606
    The Bagnall boiler is completely beyond repair. Conceivably a new Bagnall design boiler reusing (possibly) the dome but not much more could be constructed, but would anyone be willing to fund such an approach? Locos of this age have always evolved to suit circumstances both in railway service and in industrial service. It is notable that the Bagnall boiler was built with a working pressure of 175psi, a useful enhancement on the 14opsi available when the colliery bought the loco. Later "Brighton" E1 boilers, including those used on the Isle of Wight had a working pressure at 170psi.

    We have a loco that is intended to return to service on the heritage railway on the Isle of Wight. Little of the loco above running plate level is original, or even of original design. The best option for this venerable locomotive lies in restoring it as a working locomotive as adapted to its current environment. The only practical alternative choice would be to have it as a static exhibit in colliery format, although even that would retain some preservation era alterations. Restoration to LBSCR condition would involve just as much new material.
     
  11. 32110

    32110 Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    598
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired from full time paid work
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Can only assume it was done while at Cannock and Rugeley but when and why not known.
     
  12. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,690
    Likes Received:
    10,200
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    One of several 'Brighton' classes whose disposal began early, yet still contrived to have members carrying BR numbers.

    My own assumption was always that the loco would be restored in IW condition, or frankly, why bother even casting new nameplates? I could see restoration to 'selectively original' condition ..... on the mainland, but it isn't on the mainland. The odd visit aside, it's not going to be on the mainland.

    I know @MuzTrem will probably view things from the other side of the discussion (how horrible would it be if we all agreed about everything all the time), but the restoring the old loco to IW condition, for use on the IWSR gets my vote and support.

    Roll on the first 'Tourist' since ..... 1953, wasn't it? :)
     
    cav1975 likes this.
  13. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    I think you've misunderstood me here. You are quite right - any back restoration would negate the locomotive's industrial history; and, as I pointed out in my original post, current conservation principles would generally favour retaining that history. But - as, again, I pointed out in my original post - I think one can make a case, in this particular instance, that having a representative of the mainland E1s as a class is more valuable, from a historical and educational point of view, than preserving an example of an E1 as modified for industrial service, given that (AIUI) only four members of the class ever served in industry.

    To my mind, the case for restoring 110 to LBSCR, or mainland SR, condition would be strengthened by two things. Firstly - as cav1975 pointed out - the loco has already steamed in preservation; so, really, the moment for conserving her as a static exhibit in as-withdrawn condition has now passed. Secondly, there is the fact that 110 began life as a main-line, mainland E1; again, as I said in my original post, one would be therefore be returning the loco to an authentic state (not neccessarily original - later LBSCR or SR form would also be legitimate choices) from an earlier period of its history. Conversion to island form would be inauthentic, at least for this particular loco. In this case, it would not be a restoration, it would be a conversion - turning the loco into something new - by which I mean, new to this engine, not new to the E1 class. You would be converting No. 110 into something which she never was before. That, to my mind, is not restoration. It is innovation.

    Now, I accept that one could make a case - as you are doing, if I understand you correctly - that such a change would justified in order to preserve the IoWSR as a more authentic entity. You seem to believe that the authenticity of the railway as a whole matters more than the authenticity of the individual loco. To that, my response would be: would a mainland E1 on the IoWSR really be any more "jarring" than the Austerities, the Ivatts, and the industrial locos which are also based on the island? Would it be any more "jarring" than the enormous workshop and carriage sheds at Havenstreet, or the cafe and gift shop? It may be true, as you pointed out in your previous post, that it is not always possible to maintain perfect authenticity when restoring locos as working exhibits; but that argument applies to the railway as a whole, too. To my mind, the E1 is important enough as an individual artefact that its individual authenticity should be prioritised. Moreover, to my mind, an E1 in mainland condition would still look quite at home on the IoWSR; in terms of its its infrastructure, is the railway is really not so different from mainland SR branches (except, I will concede, at Wootton, now that that has been restored to Edwardian condtion).

    What you see as inconsistency, I see as judging each case on its own merits. I concede that, yes, such judgments will always be, to some extent, subjective. However, I would argue that trying to evolve a one-size-fits-all philosophy for restoration and conservation is a mistaken approach; when rules are applied without any judgement, it can produce absurd results. If you want to see what I mean, I recommend the book Uppark Restored, which explains the decision to restore Uppark, a historic house in West Sussex, after a devastating fire in 1989. That was a controversial decision at the time - the conventional wisdom among the architectural profession was that restoration shouldn't even be attempted in such circumstances - but the National Trust went ahead with a very sensitive, intelligent restoration and, in the end, they won over most of the critics. So, there has to be some room for judgement, and of course, judgment will always involve debate, as we are engaged in now. All I will say is that, in this case, I stand by my own judgements![/QUOTE]
     
  14. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,654
    Likes Received:
    4,080
    We're getting some well reasoned arguments here about restoration to (somewhere near) the condition that the loco was in at a previous time in its own history versus "modification" to resemble one of the locos of the same class that actually ran on the Island. I take particularly MuzTrem's point about the IoWSR already operating some other locos that are quite different from anything that ran there before. But can someone please remind us: exactly what would be the differences between the two possible states of this E1? Would they be noticeable by the people whom you're supposed to be educating? What (if anything) would either you propose to tell those people about what had been done; the differences from anything that actually ran on the Island in the old days or the differences from how this particular loco had ever been before?
     
  15. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2020
    Messages:
    880
    Likes Received:
    948
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hayling Island
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Actually, this thread is veering in characteristic gricer fashion between ''straining at gnats and swallowing camels''.
     
    gwalkeriow likes this.
  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    19,839
    Likes Received:
    15,943
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Possibly. But in terms of why decisions are made when there are no easy choices, this lay observer is interested to see how the different philosophies work through the decision making of this project.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    23,224
    Likes Received:
    45,799
    Location:
    LBSC 215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think essentially the discussion was about rebalancing the loco - something that would be correct for some E1s, but not No. 110. But it would be a major project unless the condition of the existing wheelsets actually required it; and would go further away from the existing loco’s history: in that regard, I agree with @MuzTrem

    Most visitors I suspect wouldn’t notice such a change visually: in operation remains to be see , but my hunch is that at heritage line speeds it would be small enough to be worth living with. Certainly many railways have operated much larger 56xx locos on passenger trains with the same balancing issue.

    The other change is the historic move from LH to RH drive. It would be interesting to know what documentary and / or archaeological evidence there is as to why and when that change occurred.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022 at 12:55 PM
    MuzTrem likes this.
  18. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,690
    Likes Received:
    10,200
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I'd concede it's any one of a number of mods unlikely to ne noticed by, let alone mean much to the wider public. One need look no further than 60103 for evidence of that.

    My initial question did ask whether the difference in ride quality at heritage speeds (as opposed to the break-neck 40mph allowed on some parts of the IoW network) warranted the work. I later asked whether a rebalance entailed anything irreversible. As of now, I'm still none the wiser concerning either!

    I can completely respect that last sentence! For the rest though, aren't you dancing on the head of a pin here? TBH, there's a fair bit of convoluted logic chopping in there, plus I don't see the presence of other artefacts on the IWSR (or anywhere else) as relevant. The discussion concerns a particular loco, with a unique history, on a line relevant it's class, if not the particular loco I do feel that in casually invalidating the loco's industrial service thus, you pull a value judgement to support your case out of thin air, which I feel rather weakens the rest of your argument (a point which, to be fair, you do acknowledge). Basically, it comes down to creating the confirmation bias for a viewpoint as subjective as my own. We all do it!

    My case, essentially, is that the loco is in custodianship (custodianship/ownership .... like country houses it'll still outlast the current human component of it's care) of a railway who have a desire to represent a lost island class. It's they who'll formulate a detailed restoration strategy, they'll who'll initiate the fundraising drive to do it and they who'll have to decide whether the loco is capable of shaking fillings loose at 25mph.

    The arguments this raises are similar to several we've had over many moons. How should preserved locos be treated? Ensconced in "Think Tank", City of Birmingham ticks all the purists' boxes, but seems vanishingly unlikely ever to have a fire warming water again.

    On the FfR, the 'Active 40' prevented Livingston Thompson (last running as EoM) from being rebuilt as was Merddin Emrys. Yes, it's preserved and it does look like a Spooner Fairlie .... albeit with some interestingly jerry-rigged metalwork appearing to be it's motion.

    I've even heard criticism of the 1950s decisions to rebuild both Talyllyn and Dolgoch, on much the same grounds as are being employed in the case of the E1.

    In all those cases, I've a view, but it's just that ... my own view. @MuzTrem cites the case of Uppark and that raises some very valid points, when viewing some of the wider questions. Not least of those is what is being presented as what? I'll confess to asking such questions when Blodge put Welsh Pony back into service. There, the fact that the old loco was on the line it was built for, and had previously been extensively rebuilt to make it fit for the compny's requirements decided me in favour of the rebuild. Tourism mightn't be slate, but like stuff the line was built to convey, it IS the life-blood of the company - the same company it's always been owned by.

    The E1 is different, in that it's original owners are long gone. Unless the Cannock company is still trading, so has every organisation which owned of operated the loco during it's commercial life. Let's please not kid ourselves that beyond any given appearance, what's now presented is more than a representation containing some significant original parts.

    The dictionary definition of 'preservation' seems nicely cut and dried .... until there's a desire or imperative to show an artifact doing what it was made to do. Then the justifications start for why we do this or that thing, this or that way. I've quoted Tom Rolt a few times and right now, his words about 'kicking against the pricks of time' and 'embalming a corpse from which the spirit has flown' are ringing around my head. Our movement does the best it can, at any given time. On the whole, looking back over seven decades of endeavour, yes there have been a few 'moments' we'd rather gloss over, but on the whole, I honestly believe the achievements outweigh them
     
  19. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    I'm afraid I just don't see it that way. As I see it, there are certain arguments in favour of conserving the loco "as-is" (i.e., as a static exhibit); other arguments in favour of restoration to an earlier mainland condition (whether undoing the preservation-era mods to return her to authentic industrial form, or else to LBSCR/SR condition); and still other arguments in favour of conversion to island condition. I fully acknowledge that there are different philosophies of conservation/restoration, and personally - and I'll admit I haven't made this particularly clear - I don't see any of them as being inherently right or wrong. Rather, I believe that it's better to consider the strengths of the different arguments as applied to any individual item, and then make a decision as to which route you are going to go down.

    I've tried to set out, as best I can, why I think that restoration to mainland condition would be a better option than conversion to island condition. I certainly didn't mean, though, to "casually disregard" the loco's industrial history, and I'm sorry if I gave that impression. I was merely trying to make the case that restoration to an earlier mainland condition was a course which could be justified in this case; whereas conversion to island form would, in my eyes, be harder to justify. Restoration of the loco to an authentic colliery condition would, in my mind, also be a legitimate course of action; but, given that she has already been modified in preservation, a return to colliery condition would still require some degree of restoration. If restoration is now unavoidable in order to achieve authenticity, then you might as well restore her to main line form - particularly since, as has been pointed out, the current boiler is now beyond restoration to working order anyway.

    What I am really trying to get at is that, as a unique survivor, I feel that 110 ought to be preserved and appreciated for what she is, rather than as something else we might wish she were. I'm more relaxed about exactly which phase of her life she is restored to; but I feel strongly that she ought to be restored to an authentic condition from her own life, not the life of some other engine. I've tried my best to set out my reasoning for that point of view but, if you still can't see it, then we'll have to agree to differ.

    However...we have all become so bogged down in conservation ethics that we have all (myself included!) forgotten a rather obvious point: which is that the E1 has previously worked passenger trains in preservation, at the East Somserset Railway. Admittedly, I'm not familiar with the ESR, but I can't imagine operating conditions would be very different from the IoWSR? To me, that would suggest that rebalancing is probably unnecessary...
     
    Major Midget and MellishR like this.
  20. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,654
    Likes Received:
    4,080
    I hope we can all agree with that bit.

    One might alternatively argue that, as the sole surviving member of a class that ran on the IoW, if she is now to run there she should be as good a representation of that class in that location as possible. But you are correct that none of the arguments is inherently right or wrong.

    What work did this class of locos do on the main line? Why did they need rebalancing on the IoW but not on the mainland? Was it just a matter of how fast they were expected to go? What happened if they went faster (as they surely must have done on occasion)?
     

Share This Page