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Manning Wardles "YEO" and "EXE" new-build

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Old Kent Biker, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but I don't think that is necessarily true. The Isle of Man Railway still uses locos dating back as far as 1874 in 7 days/week commercial operations. There is absolutely no reason why vintage locos, with a proper maintenance/rebuild programme should be any less reliable than a 'new build' as some of ours have nearly 2 million miles 'on the clock'.
    Ray.
     
  2. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    If it was true every heritage railway in the country would be frantically churning out new build engines!
     
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  3. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Clearly you can keep very old locos in good condition for pulling trains, though they may need more and more new parts until little of the originals is left. But the commercial railway companies mostly did that only in special circumstances, as for instance with the Adams and Beattie tanks that were the only available locos suitable for particular lines. For the most part locos were scrapped and replaced by new after a few decades, but usually because new designs were more suitable in one way or another; more powerful, faster, more efficient, better availabilty, etc.
     
  4. Brunswick Green 2

    Brunswick Green 2 Member

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    Triggers' broom comes to mind!
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The commercial railway companies also had a completely different accounting structure, and a completely different cost structure. (Things we find expensive they could do cheaply, and - to a lesser degree - vice versa). They also had no remit for sentimentality. So I don’t think you can really draw any lessons on how a heritage business should run itself from how the old railway companies did so.

    (And in the L&B case, you need to be especially careful, since the lesson you would draw from the Southern Railway would be “close the railway, instigate a bus replacement and recover whatever value you can from the scrap man”).
     
  6. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I've yet to visit Man, but my understanding is that the "commercial operations" are more akin to preservation than mainline operation. Train running is as I understand seasonal, and timetables are largely set for a leisure market rather than for true public usage.

    What is achieved is remarkable and impressive, but I'd hesitate to draw conclusions for anywhere else based on the specific circumstances of the IoMR.
     
  7. meeee

    meeee Member

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    There is a balance to be struck. If you're building a loco that you need to rely on every day, there's no point in perpetuating terminal design flaws for the sake of originality. At the same time if you are trying to recreate the past. Then how loco looks, sounds and feels is just as important. If you don't have those restrictions then you end with what they have on the Brienz Rothorn Bahn. Something very efficient and labour friendly, but so unbelievably dull it might as well be a diesel.

    So sure you could build an L&B tank with piston valves, Walschaerts valve gear, lots of superheat, roller bearings lempor exhaust, oil firing, single man operation, feed water heating and loads of insulation. Is that what you really want though? It wouldn't be a warts and all L&B Manning Wardle. You didn't do that with the coaches. You didn't just demolish the stations and put up a bus shelter with a ticket machine in. After all that is much more economic to maintain. So why do that to the engines?

    Tim
     
  8. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Providing a service when and where customers will pay for it, and not operating non-remunerative services when people do dot want to pay is absolutely a commercial business decision. To do otherwise is either perverse, or you receive some kind of subsidy based on non-economic social requirements.
    I suspect that on the Isle of Man, as on the mainland, the speed and frequency of service that IMR could provide is inadequate for local requirements, and most residents run motor cars to go wherever and whenever they please.
     
  9. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    We return to the thorny issue of how 'preservation' is defined. I'm unconvinced any definition is predicated on the market of the IMR being 'largely set for a leisure market', given that applies equally to restaurants, cruise ships, or travelling circuses.

    From a legal standpoint, the IMR is owned and operated by a company, albeit it's shareholder is the Manx Government. It's operating staff, as required for core operations, are paid.

    In that respect, surely the railway has more in common with other public provision, such as libraries or museums?
     
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  10. lynbarn

    lynbarn Member

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    A basic point about restoration and new builds is very simple, if you have the skills to keep and rebuild an old steam loco, that is fine, but when the railway is run by more businesslike people who don't appear to have the engineering skills to hand, then of course you get some one else to build the locos for you.

    Woody Bay is not big enough to have a workshop where steam locomotives can be built, but they can restore them. To be fair if the rebuilding plan for the L&BR had gone to plan, then the locos would more than likely have been build at the new Blackmoor Workshops anyway.
     
  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    All agreed. But those are significant constraints on operation that have to be understood in order to interpret the claim for what is being done with these locos.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  12. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    And what of the proposed Blackmoor Gate facility, as and when the operational railway wends it's way that far south-west?
     
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  13. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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  14. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    Sorry, but I find that an indefensible statement. New build locos on the whole tend to be assemblies of parts made by third party contractors, so what is the difference between carrying out the assembly of such parts and reassembling the parts of a loco dismantled for overhaul. What there may not be, I suppose, is sufficient space to do one of each type simultaneously, but even that is debatable - the L & B is not in the position of being over-run with locos at the present time!
     
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  15. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    But, then, it's not in the position of being overrun with track either... The extension through Parracombe does currently seem blighted by 'won't sell' people.
     
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  16. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    It's worth pointing out that it is part of the integrated ticket and timetable provision of the island, and that the island has very seasonal traffic demands. Yes it's antique, yes it doesn't run all year round, but that is the needs of the island. It is state-owned, but then so is DB...
     
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  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Completely acknowledged - all of which reinforces my question about the relevance of the excellent work that the workshops do with the fleet when comparing to elsewhere.
     
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  18. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I've seen Maespoeth (old Corris) described as "self-contained almost to a fault", with only heavy boiler work beyond in-house capabilities. All options needed exhausting before any component left the line.

    The IMR was (of necessity) even more self-sufficient, to the extent that even leaf springs were manufactured ar Douglas.
     
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  19. lynbarn

    lynbarn Member

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    The Blackmoor workshop has been planed to be the same size as the old Pilton Works, the L&BR has not been set up to have its own workshop as it currently works on shipping a lot of the work out, the other thing where the hell do you find suitable Engineers in the middle of Exmoor? :)
     
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  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    A decent pub with quaffable ales tends to attract 'em in my experience .... and if the folks on the Isle of Man don't cite such issues as problematic, you really haven't got a leg to stand on there, sport! ;)

    More seriously, I have noticed several railways' workshops of sub-Blodge scope and ambition (i.e. most of 'em!) have developed a reputation for excellence in very niche areas. Where this has happened, it seems to work to the benefit of the wider heritage movement. Just a passing thought.
     

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