Discussion in 'National Railway Museum' started by Dan Hamblin, Jan 9, 2018.
Yes and well done to them!
I don’t think that’s quite true, the NRM expended almost as much money as it would have cost to build a new loco before giving up and handing the job over to Riley’s. The few examples of incorrect liveries on heritage railways are usually down to the engine owner rather than the railway and stuffed and mounted can never convey the atmosphere of a working railway as well as a working heritage line. Perhaps you can give some examples of what you mean.
Err? I dispute the vast majority of this post! Speaking personally whenever I'm doing any sort of signwriting work for anything to do with railways, I do as much research as possible.
Yes, look at all the differences in liveries of coaching stock, all the different shades of maroon, Carmine, lettering and lining etc. that you see on different railways. This also applies to a lesser extent on locomotives of different types. You will note I have not mentioned any particular railway because I do not want to have a go at them but the NRM has always been more particular. As for the high cost of Flying Scotsman how could they know how much the repairs were going to cost until they had stripped it down and found the faults? The decision to give up and hand it over to Ian Riley would have been made presumably by the new non expert management of the NRM who also thought it a good idea to get rid of the workshops and all the in house skills and experience and dumb down the museum.
I don’t know anything about your work or what you have done or where you have done it but as you mention sign writing, I have no doubt you have some skill at doing it but the majority of corporate logos and lettering used on Britain’s railways would have been transfers. I have seen a worrying trend on some railways to use modern vinyls and computer cutout stickers rather than the real thing or even waterslide transfers that are not even in the correct typeface or colour. Just look at how many MK1 coaches are lined out in yellow!
I suggest you read and digest the report quoted by @Enterprise before opining on the NRM’s decision making. The problems with Flying Scotsman were a lot deeper than finding unexpected faults once she was stripped down. A lot deeper.
There may be good reasons for using contractors to do work, and insufficient in house experience or capability are two of them.
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I will grant you Mk1s can have a lot of variation depending on what railway. But I refuse to accept that the NRM is the only place that ever consistently gets such things right. SVR, Didcot, Bluebell, IoW, VCT, off the top of my head all do work that at least parallels any perceived accuracy of the NRM. There's also a number of exhibits in the NRM with questionable livery, I think both the items of LSWR rolling stock wear a somewhat disputed shade of green or pink respectively.
Regarding transfers, vinyls, painted lettering etc. AFAIK wagons were still signwritten into BR days, and plenty of other things in grouping days were, and certainly pre-grouping. Especially on wood, vinyls have a habit of starting to peel or degrade quicker than any surrounding paintwork, whereas painted lettering tends to go at the same rate as the rest of the vehicle.
As for Flying Scotsman, really, do read that report. The NRM made some poor decisions and wasted a lot of money. The best decision they made was to contract the job out to Riley's, one or the most respected contractors out there for steam locos, and as a result the loco is now probably in as good a condition as it was when it was built.
I agree with everything you say about those railways you mentioned, as i said i wasn't going to mention names. True also about the wagon lettering and numbering. I never said NRM was the only place that gets things right. Locos and passenger rolling stock had varnish fix transfer lettering applied but obviously where they had no more of a transfer in stock sign writing would have been used but when it was they always used the correct art work and didn't just paint it free hand, I think that is a mistake that some railways make today. The NRM itself does seems to prefer sign writing and i once pulled them up on a paint job they did on Green Arrow many years ago but then they did correct it. Whatever mistakes may have been made with FS it does not justify getting rid of the workshops and many of the museums exhibits.
You did imply that they were a cut above everyone else on these matters. As I said in some cases they have got it wrong, and you yourself have just admitted a further case of them doing so! And as we agree, plenty of other places are equally capable of getting things right. You are right in what you say about varnish-fixed transfer letters. However, when the equivalent today is painted by hand, I really struggle to believe that anyone capable of doing so, by definition people interested in detail, would care so little as to not do any research! I certainly do. I shan't be so self indulgent as to post pictures of my work again, but merely direct you to this post on boards and this HBR post for some pictures. Other than Mk1s which we've discussed, do you have particular cases in mind? If something is genuinely wrong then surely correcting the record should be considered.
Keeping workshops open and sending Flying Scotsman to contractors need not be mutually exclusive. The NRM have, in effect, been contracting out loco overhauls for years in the form of loan arrangements very successfully. Conflating the two isn't helpful, you can criticise closing of the workshops without complaining about Flying Scotsman being contracted out to Rileys.
Is the First Class Partnerships report available?
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