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Question re SWT's 3417

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by Woof, May 12, 2008.

  1. Woof

    Woof New Member

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    About a year ago it was rumoured/talked about/defintley happening (you get the picture) that SWT's blue Vep, 3417, was going to go to the Bluebell as a static exhibit at East Grinstead.

    Is this still happening? Is 3417 going to E.G.?
    Or has the whole idea been put on back burner as its all gone very quiet.

    My understanding is that the Bluebell have brought, have first shout or whatever on the unit.

    Ta much
     
  2. 34007

    34007 New Member

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    Yep it's still happening! If you PM RSF he might beable to help you out a bit more about it! Bit of a waste if you ask me using her as a standing/non-usable exhibit! But hey-ho there you go!
     
  3. Dan Hamblin

    Dan Hamblin New Member

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    So long as 3417 is kept in good condition by a dedicated team of people, there is no reason why it cannot be resurrected for special trips in the future.

    It might even be a good idea to send it to gala's such as the Diesel gala at Swanage as a way of raising the profile of the Bluebell and maintaining goodwill and links with other railways.

    Regards,

    Dan
     
  4. stepney60

    stepney60 New Member

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    As far as I am aware it won't be going to East Grinstead until work actually starts on the station site and once the line has properly extended to EG full time it will not remain with the railway, so it could concievably be up for sale again in a few years time (at least that was the situation the last time I was told anything...)

    Unfortunately the Bluebell is not exactly flush with stock at the moment (for various reasons) and thus the staff at Horsted are somewhat occupied with providing carriages for a train service rather than doing some up for display at Grinstead. As it was, the unit was about the only quickly attainable stock which had a Southern connection to stick in there to promote the railways impending arrival, and SWT had no use for it due to some new rule about shunters or something, so it suited them to let us take it off their hands.

    Perhaps putting something like a couple of SR Van C type vehicles there and having a shop or something may have been an idea but this would have required some considerable work for which the C&W could be better employed working on the lines day to day stock. Also a VEP, which many "normals" probably haven't realised have gone from the network if we're honest, is less likely to become a target for the scrotes of East Grinstead than something altogether more precious like the Adams Tank or H class.
     
  5. 34007

    34007 New Member

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    As I said ask the people who will know more about the unit!
    Most preserved Railways are not flushed with stock - Maybe start a thread about who is? Trouble is this VEP unit is going to remain there vacant and "Not to be used" for sometime to come! Maybe take a leaf out of some other operating sites such as the SERG?
     
  6. Keelar001

    Keelar001 New Member

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    3417 as a running ambassador for the Bluebell instead of being stuffed and mounted?

    I think we saw enough interest over the weekend at Swanage for it to be given serious thought....

    If she comes off the juice for any length of time she will soon be beyond an economical return to service. At the moment she is in ticket, ready to go. Using her for something other than scrote target practice is a viable option right now. There is enough knowledge to put her to use for the benefit of all concerned.
     
  7. desperado

    desperado New Member

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    This topic has been discussed, re-discussed, re-re-discussed and so on in more places than I care to count.

    What I've never seen is any hint of a plan to address;

    - how to stop it getting vandalised, e.g. air rifles

    - how to stop the upholstery from getting covered in fungus

    - how to avoid a huge bill to refurbish the bogies, bearings and motors if they don't move an inch for 3 years

    - how to stop copper thieves (as hit WCRC recently)

    Somehow I don't see them building a secure shed with a shore supply and enough track to turn the axles around.

    This is a long winded way of saying I agree with Keelar!

    JP
     
  8. stepney60

    stepney60 New Member

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    Fine, problem is that the purpose for which we bought it is also "now" (or at least in the not too distant future). Running it into the ground then putting it on display is not an option because by the time that happens they'll proably have built the East Grinstead station. And she may be in ticket ready to go, but surely she can't actually be used on the mainline, certainly not as a passenger carrying unit IIRC?

    The unit is not being purchased as stock or because of what it is, its being purchased simply as a method of showcasing the railway's arrival at East Grinstead and to provide some sort of public face before everyone has to put up with large building works. Its all about PR, talking to the residents before you pound heft lorries past their door for 6 months or however long it takes them. As it is there isn't anything else which was available at the time which was appropriate or complete, or at least so I believe, which rather limited our choice.

    Indeed it has, the subject of modern traction at the Bluebell seems to stir peoples emotions whether they are connected to the line or not.

    There will, I believe, be some kind of securiy fence around it. Next to where the unit will be is a Sainsbury's supermarket which has cameras, lights etc so it's not beyond the realms of fantasy that something can be done along these lines. Plenty of other lines store vehicles in urban areas which I'm sure are far worse for these things than East Grinstead. Remember as the public face of the line, it's not in the railways interest to let it become defaced or damaged.

    People, I believe, will be assigned to look after it and presumably this will include tasks such as cleaning the unit and whatnot. It's not going to just be left to sit there and rot without anyone looking after it.

    Bogies shouldn't be a problem, remember Bluebell has its own C&W and a well renowned one at that. But bearing in mind that it is extremely unlikely to run on the third rail afterwards then the chances are SWT may salvage some bits of it anyway before sale to keep the Lymington Units running? Spare parts for these units aren't exactly flush. And I for one can't see a scenario of the unit being sold to anyone who won't use it simply as hauled coaching stock in the way the Swanage used it for their diesel gala weekend this year (and last year for that matter).

    How much copper is there on a 4VEP to start with? And presumably any security measures as encompassed under your first point would also help prevent it.

    No, there simply isn't room and theres no point for what is only a temporary display of maybe a year or two as I doubt there would be any use for it afterwards. At least with the one purpose built shed built on the line in recent years, the Atlantic shed at Sheffield Park, that will become useful for something else after the work it was built for is finished. As it is I don't believe there are any plans for any form of storage at East Grinstead.
     
  9. cct man

    cct man New Member

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    Your second paragraph Chris, complete poppycock., the only carriages that have gone through the C&W in the last two years ,(apart from maunsell 1309) have been catering vehicles. See for yourself just how poor the service stock is looking.

    Regards
    Chris
     
  10. stepney60

    stepney60 New Member

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    Which is precisely why we shouldn't be lumbering them with doing up some carriages to stick at EG and telling them to get on with something altogether more useful
     
  11. cct man

    cct man New Member

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    Nobody tells the PLC anything, they have their own agenda with catering vehicles.

    Chris
     
  12. Keelar001

    Keelar001 New Member

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    What about a stock-swap then?

    There are vehicles other than the VEP which could be usefully employed to showcase the Bluebell without sacrificing 3417, the last working mainline certified example of its type on the UK network. The Bluebell has friends, and aquiring stock for a tocken sum through a leasing agent can be achieved. There is also stock lying idle in sidings owned by current TOCs that could be put to good use at the Bluebell. This can all be done without risking 3417. She has a future - the question is, are those in a position to do something about it willing to re-examine the issues and ensure that she is safeguarded?

    (By the way, mainline certified in this context means "able to be moved on the mainline" as opposed to run in passenger traffic - but that doesn't lessen the achievements of the staff at SWT who have maintained her for the last two and a half years as a runner.)
     
  13. twr12

    twr12 Member

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    If there is a more 'secure' offer, surely the oldest preservation railway in the country would have it only in their hearts to agree to 3417 going somewhere safer than East Grim(sic)stead?
     
  14. Keelar001

    Keelar001 New Member

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    And if there were such a place, what would replace the VEP?
     
  15. tom92240

    tom92240 New Member

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    Rowan and the guys have way too much on their plate to bother with the bogies of a static vehicle, let only the 3 other vehicles it comes with.

    In an ideal world, a group to keep it on the mainline, perhaps paired with a 73 or other suitable motive power on non-electrified lines would be great.
     
  16. cct man

    cct man New Member

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    Well said young Tom, could not agree more.

    Regards
    Chris
     
  17. Maunsell man

    Maunsell man Member

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    Double post - doh. to excited after my bid for the naughty adulterous wife on e-bay was excepted...
     
  18. Maunsell man

    Maunsell man Member

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    I know - how about lay some conductor rail next to the running line when 'they' rebuild the Ardingly spur? It shoudn't cost much more should it? Then it could have a little run sometimes... :-#
     
  19. tom92240

    tom92240 New Member

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    You should work for the BBC with repeats like that :D \:D/
     
  20. Keelar001

    Keelar001 New Member

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    Umm.... she wasn't just hauled though, was she?
     

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