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LMS Patriot Project Updates

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Gav106, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’ve often mused in railway projects, notably new builds, that some are “engineering led” and some are “marketing led”. By which I mean that in the engineering-led projects, the core team have a concentration of the necessary design and construction skills, and a significant proportion of the work is done in-house. Whereas in a marketing-led project, the core project team have the vision of what they wish to create, but the actual creation is largely done externally, typically by contract engineering companies.

    I wouldn’t wish to portray one approach as superior to another; and the reality is in any case more shades if grey than those black and white extremes. But inasmuch as that characterisation does have a basis in reality, it does highlight two issues for projects at the marleting-led end of the spectrum.

    One is that contracting out work does not free you of engineering challenges: you just swap “how do I make ...?” for “how do I specify, monitor and quality assure ... ?”

    The second point is that marketing-led projects may work out more expensive. So that ups the ante on trust and donor relations: to donate, you have to believe that the project remains well-run. You also have to maintain donor confidence that they get something of value for the extra cost, which might for example be quicker completion. A £3m project in ten years might be a price worth paying relative to a £1.5m project in twenty years, but a £3m project in twenty years is less good value.

    Tom
     
  2. W.Williams

    W.Williams Well-Known Member

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    The best engineering is led by former or current Engineers. Ideally, in house on a project such as this. Not always possible, I accept.

    Then again even the managers have to know how to do-the-do, and if they don’t the whole thing is at risk of turning to the proverbial. This appears more true of Steam loco engineering than many other sectors due to the unique nature.

    Then again,again, there are contractors out there whose reputation is very, very high. Riley’s are one obvious one, but others are available.

    From where I sit, the more setbacks are found, the closer this gets to steaming. It’s highly positive that these difficult steps are being taken and further communicated out. Applause all round for that, and for keeping going!
     
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  3. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    I don't disagree with what you are saying. I think that Tornado was, without doubt, a marketing led project and this led to a significant number of engineering mistakes along the way, most of which were probably unspoken and are now largely forgotten about. For all their problems, the Patriot group have been very honest in washing their dirty linen and I respect them for it. It does show, however, that you need to have someone keeping an eye on everything that is being done mechanically. Even the most respected of contractors will get things wrong occasionally and they are not above covering them up if they think that they can get away with it. Not for nothing did the likes of the LMS employ full time inspectors on site when locos were being built by even the most reputable of outside contractors. If the Patriot group aren't having work inspected at least weekly they’re on dangerous ground.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
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  4. RA & FC

    RA & FC Member

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    Must be at least 8 to 10 years that thing has sat outside in the yard waiting for the owners to make a decision on it! Bottom end, tank and cab were complete then they ran out of money to do anything with the boiler.
     
  5. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I may have rather misrepresented my earlier posts but the fact remains that there seem to be multiple groups suggesting something has been going wrong, and there seems to be no official line refuting these issues being raised in the public domain.

    However to turn my earlier post on its head somewhat, the alternative is that as groups seem to be having to fund these rectification works themselves it would suggest that the liability is not lying with the contractor, which rather contradicts what is being said?
     
  6. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Having quality inspectors on site was absolutely the way of doing things back in those days, not least for things being manufactured for the military. But several decades ago the system began to evolve, through Quality Control to Quality Assurance, where the customer only(!) needed to have confidence in the manufacturer's quality system, which would be assessed and signed off by a certification body which in turn would be assessed and signed off by an accreditation body. This has sometimes led to an over-emphasis on paperwork (or the digital equivalent) with focus exclusively on the system and losing sight of the particular product(s) being manufactured. However the nowadays specialised field of manufacture and overhaul of steam locomotives has been described as something of a cottage industry, with a (necessary) focus on the skills of the personnel rather than either QA or inspection, although the "paper trail" is still needed to satisfy the vehicle inspection body. Where all that went wrong on the Patriot project (and some others) is unclear, but evidently it did and the current management now has much remedial action to organise.
     
  7. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    Or is it a case of the various Groups having to carry on funding rectification work themselves as a means of progressing the work, whilst the legal issues are sorted behind the scenes? If work were to cease until the legal proceedings were sorted out, it would increase the build timescale dramatically, I suspect.

    Richard.
     
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  8. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    There are other possible explanations (as we have seen with the SDRT situation, where they seem to have decided that departing is the best option, even though there are arguments that their lease has not been honoured, in a way that gave them good options for legal action); for example, they might have decided that trying to make a claim would impose major delays, with uncertain chances of any monetary recovery. But all this is speculation.

    All we know for certain is that several serious groups have independently reported serious issues that required non-trivial re-work.

    Noel
     
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  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    But one group did have someone to QI the work on its boiler there, 60007 anyone?
     
  10. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    The $10000 question is with a potential queue of those seeking redress , you only have to look at other well reported factors and they may have concluded that even if success the cupboard is bare
     
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  11. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Quality Assurance really means nothing, for instance, it does not prevent a cast item being produced by a foundry, that when its machined, is found to be porous, and has to be replaced, even if the material is of spec, It does not stop sub standard parts being supplied, where the manufacturer has chosen a third party to supply the material, for them,
    Any system is only as good as the people who monitor that system, and of course there is cost, whats the saying, you get what you pay for, accept the lowest quote, and you might be unlucky and get a poor job, or on the other hand, you might find someone who does do a first class job, it depends, So much is out of your control, and in the lap of the gods, that is why many of the bigger players now try to do as much as they can in house, because that way, you control the standard of workmanship, its no mistake that the Likes of the Seven Valley, South Devon and MHR, invested in their own boiler shops.
     
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  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Hmm, I'm not sure that proper quality assurance shouldn't prevent some of those things happening, and quality control prevent others! That's kind of the whole point of them...
     
  13. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn Member

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    Casting quality is one of those things where there is a degree of risk and luck. Undoubtedly there are good and bad foundries, but there is also still a degree of luck when it comes to having expensive castings poured - and it's even worse with polystyrene patterns, where a casting failure means another set of patterns is needed! The commercial question is who takes the risk - the foundry will usually limit themselves to another pour, without giving anything towards any subsequent machining costs etc. As a supplier, you have to decide how much to load the cost price of an item to cover some of the losses if you get halfway through machining your casting and discover it's scrap. I've been involved in several jobs where we've had major disasters on cast components (I signed off an invoice this morning which boiled down to paying a man £2.5k to provide some precision machined scrap due to casting issues discovered during machining), and deciding how likely one is to get a failure is one of the skills of estimating and quoting this sort of work.

    That said, castings are an unusual case. Most of the work which has supposedly been done unsatisfactorily by Llan could have been spotted fairly easily by anyone who knew what they were looking at, had they been present at the right moment during assembly. The concern is that at least some projects possibly either didn't bother checking up, or didn't have a strong enough engineering team to understand what they were looking at, and insist on a suitable quality of workmanship at the time.

    It does seem somewhat frustrating that there are a number of projects which are effectively marketing led, and which seem to really struggle with engineering issues, whilst there are also a number of projects which are doing far better on a design and engineering front, but which struggle to raise sufficient cash to actually build the intended object - somehow achieving the magic balance between a cash raising team and a top engineering team seems very difficult!
     
  14. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    If getting the balance of teams right was easy, they’d all be successful!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Matt.

    My apologies if i have taken your post in the wrong way.

    You are right that it's hard to hear things that attack something you are close to, however if the points raised are valid and make sense, then the best action is to listen and try to improve on this. I feel that we as a project have done this, and I would love for people to judge us on our next few years of progress rather than issues that have happened in the past. But that's very difficult at times as many people don't know when there are changes in people in projects. Here's hoping that within 2-3 years 5551 is steaming on the mainline and working reliably and pulling in crowds all across the country.

    Cheers Gavin
     
  16. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    Absolutely right Gavin, we can't alter what's happened in the past, but we can now move forward, and are doing so. We really want to see The Unknown Warrior, not "The Unfinished Warrior". This is a very worthwhile build, and we will get there.

    Richard.
     
  17. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    I have been following this build with interest and I saw, on page 14, that the wrongly keywayed wheels had been repaired and passed by the VAB so I wondered why they had to be pressed off recently?
     
  18. Davo

    Davo Member

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    From what i can gather phil in the members engineering update 4 of the 6 driving, wheels the middle and trailing driving wheels have been pressed and one pair has been rewelded at riley and son engineering the middle set the trailing ones still need welding back on their axle but riley and son are providing a new axle cos 1 driving wheel proved difficult to press off the rear axle and the axle had to be cut up, and also the wheelsets have to be approved certified by ricardo rail for mainline running.
    Davo 56F
     
  19. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    Whatever the ins and outs of this saga, wheels are not welded on to axles. They are ‘heat-shrunk’ if that’s the right term. Edit - no they’re not, they’re cold-pressed of course. Thanks @marshall5
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
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  20. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Actually the wheels are pressed on to the axles and the tyres are heat shrunk on to the wheel centres. If I understand correctly the suspect welding repair was to a keyway which, additional to the press fit of the wheel to axle, prevents the former turning on the latter.
    Ray.
     
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