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Loco Mileages - 2021

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by ykin01, Jan 6, 2022.

  1. ykin01

    ykin01 Member

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    I saw a comment on a Bluebell Thread which was querying how many miles 847 covered during it's recent boiler ticket and it got me thinking as to which locos were running last year (whether it be on preserved lines or on the mainline) and thought an interesting discussion could be as to what covered the most mileage.

    I'd imagine the locos from NYMR or FfR/WHR to be near the top along with Mr Rileys Black 5 44871 but wondered what may also come as a surprise and have covered a fair bit of mileage during 2021?
     
  2. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    From various checks on loco rosters this year I would say the following probably be within the top spot for heritage lines
    GCR - 92214
    SVR - 7714 or 1501
    MHR - 30925 or 76017
    Bluebell - 80151
    Swanage - toss up between Eddystone or the U-class
    NYMR - 825

    This is all pure guesses but pretty sure most is right.
     
  3. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Re Swanage,
    My spreadsheet shows 31806 worked 75 days plus 32 lights trains
    34028 worked 94 days plus 12 lights trains.
    I do not have the inclination to work out which timetable applied which day so I guess the WC probably just takes it (until you add in the mileage for the U's mainline jaunt), then I am not so sure which wins.
     
  4. guycarr360

    guycarr360 Part of the furniture

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    Those on the West Highland Line will be at the top of any list.
     
  5. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    Not based purely on Jacobite mileage, I think. I can't find any data for the Riley engines but I think 62005 normally does about 7500 miles in a season. In most recent years, at least one NYMR engine does over 12,000 miles to take just one example, in 2016 76079 did 14681 miles!
     
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  6. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I think on the NYMR 80135 holds the record with 17,414 miles in a year. Several others have clocked up 14-15,000 miles in a year and 3672 holds another record with 107103 miles in one 10 year stint.
     
  7. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    The trouble with those sort of annual mileages is that the locos wear out very quickly, as is evidenced by 80135 and 3672 among others. A mythical 10 year boiler ticket is not much use if the loco needs a heavy general repair after six years ( ie 90,000 to 100,ooo miles). In terms of a locos conservation, I feel that about 7,500 miles per annum is about ideal. After all even the most "modern" locos are getting very tired now and none will last for ever.

    Peter
     
  8. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Most engines on the larger lines now seem to get an mechanical overhaul at about the 5 year mark, so the bottom end is still in fair condition, when the 10 year ticket comes round, so its mostly boiler work, that is needed, This tends to reduce the time the engine is OOT for, Some lines, even just do a boiler swop if they have a spare boiler, that can be overhauled previously this reduces the time out even further , Many railways have also invested in RO water plants, this also means that at the ten year point when the boiler is stripped for examination, often the internal condition is still As new as the corrosive element has been removed from each cycle
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I think, as far as the NYMR is concerned, 10 year periods are a thing of the past and 7 years is becoming the norm. At least as far as the core fleet is concerned, that is.
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    On the Bluebell, we seem to be middling in mileages. We don't do the huge annual mileages seen on the NYMR (I think only once has a Bluebell loco gone over 10,000 miles in a year; and no Bluebell loco has yet gone past 100,000 in our entire history, let alone on one ticket). OTOH, on another railway I'm a member of, the locos - especially the older ones - are doing half or less of what the Bluebell ones do.

    We are seeing a trend on the Bluebell - but I think it will be repeated across the sector - of fewer locos available for traffic each doing bigger annual mileages. For example, in 2000, there were 12 home fleet locos that cumulatively did 39,800 miles, about 3,300 each. If you exclude No. 323 and No 3 which both ran very small mileages, you get a basic operational core of ten locos doing 3,950 each. The peak that year was 73082, at 6,728 miles for the year. Scroll forward to 2018 and we had 8 home fleet locos that averaged about 4,140 each - but again, if you exclude Nos. 178 and 3 (which both ran very small mileages), you get a core of six locos average 5,430 each. The peak was the Q class that year, which ran 8,258 miles.

    In other words, each loco in the fleet is running about a third more annual mileage than it was 20 years ago. The difference is even more marked if you go back further: in 1982, 14 locos ran a cumulative 15,000 miles, or less than 1,100 miles each on average. (The Q1 peaked at 1986 miles).

    So the trend is smaller fleets running bigger average mileages. Given the cost of overhauls, I think that is inevitable because of the need to spread the overhaul cost over as many remunerative miles as possible.

    Tom
     
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  11. D1039

    D1039 Part of the furniture

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    Interesting one. Take 2857 on the SVR. It came to traffic in 2011 and some boiler work in 2012(?) reset the clock. Its boiler ticket runs to ~July 2022 and an extension to year end is hoped for. It reached its mileage limit for valve and piston exam during 2021 and has spent the autumn being worked upon. The SVR has RO. It's done 70-75,000 this ticket (no 2021 figures yet published) and its pre-COVID-19 median annual mileage was 8,605.

    I'm a numpty on such things and happy to be contradicted, but reading between the lines they seem to have decided it's most economic over the cycle to do mechanical work as it falls due, even late in the ticket, and to get most life out of the boiler between overhauls.

    I suspect an element of other loco availability comes into the equation. Reduced mileages due to COVID-19 (the highest of any in the SVR fleet in 2020 was under 4.000, in 2019 that was 9,253) may do too.
     
  12. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    Is that in part a greater confidence/resource for maintenance. I get the feeling that in the early days engines were run until stopped by a fault that seemed big, and was then left until resource/confidence could be mustered to fix. Now, there is more in-house ability to fix most things, (and there are less engines ready to pull out of the not-that used line), so a more planned approach pays off.
     
  13. acorb

    acorb Well-Known Member

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    Top of the list used to be the Welsh Highland Garratts, 20k plus pa, but with service patterns changing with Covid suspect mileage will be lower.
     
  14. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    Can't be sure about 76079 in 2016, but when 80135 and 3672 reached their milestones on the NYMR there prolonged periods of loco shortages and they ran most days for most of the season because there wasn't any other choice. Nowadays, I think Grosmont is trying to keep maximum annual mileages around the 7-8000 mark.
     
  15. meeee

    meeee Member

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    I don't think they quite did 20k. 14 or 15 was quite regular though. Usually only two in service and they would pretty much run every day of the season. The Double Engines would usually top 10K as well. Not bad for an 1880s design. Obviously nothing like that at the moment.

    Tim
     
  16. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Not necessarily - consider that a Fort William - Mallaig return is about 80 miles? That's not too different from 2 whole line round trips on the SVR, WSR or NYMR (if a loco does 2 Pickering to Whitby returns, which I don't know if the timetable incorporates, that's more daily miles than a round trip on the Jacobite). Then consider that, for most of this year at least, there were 4 locos based in FW for the Jacobite (K1 and 3 Black 5s), so assuming a one week on, one week off pattern spread evenly across the fleet, a FW loco will average out 80 miles every other day from April to late October - for ease of maths, let's say that's 7 months total of 30 days each, so 80 miles a day for 105/210 days is 8400 miles, ignoring any positioning moves or heritage railway running. 8400 miles is 105 days at the WSR (40 mile round trip x2), 117 days at the NYMR (36 mile round trip not inc Whitby x2) or 131 days at the SVR (32 mile round trip x2). Considering festive period running I think it's realistic that some locos on those railways might have reached or exceeded that mileage
     
  17. Bill2

    Bill2 New Member

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    The greatest annual mileage reported for a Fairlie on the Ffestiniog during the preservation era is 13590 for Merddin Emrys in 2013, with the same locomotive also holding second place with 13562 in 1993. However I think Tim is a bit generous in saying the double engines frequently exceed 10000 miles; there are probably not much more than a dozen or so instances in the whole preservation era and around 9000 is more typical. Nonetheless it says a lot for the standard of work at Boston Lodge that we are talking of such figures for what is basically a Victorian design.
     
  18. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, and also that whilst doing similar sots of mileages to their standard gauge counterparts they are doing it on much smaller wheels - more rotations, more piston strokes, etc. And there are 4 cylinders, 2 fireboxes, bogie pivots, flexible joints, etc. They are not simple engines! The trains they haul, too, are not lightweights. And we shouldn't forget the smaller locos there that also work hard. Boston Lodge certainly deserves an accolade for what they accomplish.

    Steve B
     
  19. meeee

    meeee Member

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    A double engine is basically doing what it was always designed to, and it still does it very well. Perhaps even more impressive is Linda and Blanche doing 6000 miles at twice the design speed and load.

    Tim
     
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  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Back in the 60s, at one stage the Ladies' performance was reported as "disgustingly reliable". When you recall what else was serviceable (after a fashion!), perhaps not too surprising.

    I know Tim will be well aware of course, but Blodge has done a lot more than just keeping relics in harness and I'd imagine Percy Spooner would be very impressed by practical improvements to the Fairlie concept. Would the Merddin Emrys of the 60s bear any sort of comparison with the reliable workhorse it it today?
     

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