If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Question re SWT's 3417

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

  1. A Grumpy Old Man

    A Grumpy Old Man New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Retired Railwayman
    Location:
    Porlock, Exmoor.
    If that's the case, why are some electric train preservationists so vindictive towards the steam railways, the Bluebell in particular?

    So if 3417 is surplus to requirements, why all the fuss about the unit not going to a good home?

    Jack
     
  2. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    555
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    I take issue with that Keelar - you seem to have a rather naive view of railway preservation. The 'playing with toys' criticism from nimby's and the like that railways have been fighting off for decades, is now being used by someone who wishes they'd play with his own toy. Railways like the Swanage are about generating income by satisfying the demands or enthusiasts, visitors and the lines volunteers, and this isnt met by filling up much-needed sidings with carriage stock that would only see use a couple of days a year.

    And there is demand for certain rolling stock, mainline steam engines are in demand; Mk1's are in demand, to a certain extent industrial steam engines are in demand too. This is because they are vital to most preserved lines, and suit their operations and time period (Big 4 - British Railways). A VEP, like class 37's for instance, are not in demand because they dont fit into the period most lines portray, and if a railway needed one they could get one easily already. The problem with the VEP is that it is 4 coaches long - thats a lot of siding space, more than most lines can afford to give up for something they wont use on any kind of regular basis (and the units that are on established lines dont exactly see much use do they?).

    I know you think it is preservation, but legions of industrial steam locos were bought 20-30 years ago for 'preservation' - the majority are sitting at lines forgotten, having never had any work done on them and are rusting away because the owner was naive enough to think that being on a preserved line means they are saved - the same goes now for a number of 37's and 47's; saving something is giving it a new lease of life, either as a static or working exhibit. If you think preservation is buying something, letting it fall apart on a siding apart from a couple of runs a year, till people drift away and it gets scrapped, then perhaps the bluebells plans should be criticised, but i dont think they should.

    By the way, i am simply trying to realistic, playing devils advocate if you wish. Of course it would be great if the VEP could be given a secure long term home as working museum piece, but its also clear that everyone with any interest in it has known its been for sale and yet the bluebell seems to have been the only offer. Thats railway preservation for you.

    Chris
     
  3. Keelar001

    Keelar001 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Railway work of a needful and demanding nature.
    Location:
    Wimbledon and Elsewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Chris, I've no desire to move the discussion off topic, but if you're honestly trying to tell me that people get involved with railway preservation for some Higher Purpose than I'm afraid you and I are going to have to agree to disagree. You quite rightly say that lines have to cater to the demands of their patrons - and their volunteers. But frankly if there wasn't an element of satisfaction ("fun" is such a dirty word - it give Normals the idea that preservationists might actually be enjoying themselves) on the part of the volunteers then nothing would happen in the first place. I have nothing but admiration for the railway preservation industry and am under no illusions as to how tight the margins are that it functions under; what is achieved with goodwill and careful use of money is astonishing...

    You are right when you say that there are masses of stock lying idle, probably never to be used again, across the country's preserved lines. But we aren't discussing the future of, say, "Shaw Saville" (plenty of Bullieds - why do we need another one?*) or yet another Austerity 0-6-0 - we are discussing the future of four vehicles that are almost unique in their survival and certainly unique in their condition and operability. 3417 is the last mainline worthy 4VEP in the country and as such is worthy of conservation in that condition.

    And, if I may quote you directly:
    What exactly do you think will happen to the unit when left outside, off the power, for the amount of time taken to construct the line into East Grinstead? The time scale mentioned is certainly in terms of years and in that time the unit will rust, it will go moudly, the wiring will degrade and it will be fit for nothing but scrap.

    * - I'm a Southern man, and I admire Bullied Pacifics very much, but why do we need so many of them....? (devils advocate, folks, and a discussion for another time and place)
     
  4. Dan Hamblin

    Dan Hamblin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    122
    Occupation:
    Rolling Stock Engineer
    Location:
    Kent
    I really think it is time for you to speak to the railway's management Keelar, and try to get some concrete proposals together for how you would look after the unit and where the funds would come from to pay for its upkeep. I think that you will have to accept that it will end up at East Grinstead eventually as part of the arrangements to have a main line connection installed for the Bluebell's future use.

    However its fate once there is probably still open to negotiation.

    Regards,

    Dan
     
  5. cct man

    cct man Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    49
    Occupation:
    CONSTRUCTION
    Location:
    LONDON
     
  6. Woof

    Woof Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    A T.O.C.
    Location:
    Somewhere in the South
    You obviously havent seen or sidings at Eldon's.
    Full of complete crap including a few Bullied coaches that are only fit to be torched....

    U.3417 WOULD have gone to Swanage if there had been room.
    We WOULD have used it.
    It would have been ideal for our evening diesel services.
    It would have taken some of the work load off our vac sets.

    And also one reason "slammers" arent used that much on Pres Rlys is because there are air braked.
    If there were dual braked you would see more of them in use...
     
  7. cct man

    cct man Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    49
    Occupation:
    CONSTRUCTION
    Location:
    LONDON

    Bullied coaches for scrap? surely not for Andy Vincent would have a heart attack if he saw that.

    Regards
    Chris
     
  8. Dan Hamblin

    Dan Hamblin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    122
    Occupation:
    Rolling Stock Engineer
    Location:
    Kent
    I'm not very au fait with air braking systems yet, is it possible to convert them to dual use?

    Chris - I have yet to encounter the railways management but surely they can't be that bad?

    Regards,

    Dan
     
  9. Woof

    Woof Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    A T.O.C.
    Location:
    Somewhere in the South
     
  10. cct man

    cct man Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    49
    Occupation:
    CONSTRUCTION
    Location:
    LONDON
    You are correct when you say they cannot all be bad and it is wrong on my part to tar everyone with the same brush.

    However it is Bluebell policy to only publish the good news, that the directors treat everything like a closed shop, and they wiill not reply if one writes to them fearing that they might make a mistake. Good policy for them and a lousy one for the "Proles" such as us.

    I personnally think that Bluebell Society rules should be changed so that Directors have a maximum of say 8 to 10 years in office , then they must stand down for sat 4 to 5 years to allow new blood with fresh ideas to get on the board. Some of those fossils have been there too long , have run out of ideas, and are set in their ways .

    This is just my opinion.
    Chris
     
  11. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    555
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    The problem with the Bluebell is that it has to get to East Grinstead, and it has to soon. Changing the people at the top, despite their faults, would be rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic - you need people with expierience. When Imberhorne tip has been carted off and trains are running into EG, then is the time for a change at the top, for the railway will be very different. Doing so now however would be a distraction rather than a cure, at a time when the railway least needs internal strife to put people off sending money the bluebells way.

    Anyway, back to 3417 - the Swanage is committed to the 4TC; in my eyes a much more practical and useful addition to the fleet than the VEP, with a better internal layout and fewer doors!

    To me, a wiser move would be to let 3417 go to the bluebell, raise funds, and wait for the 3CIGS to be replaced - they wont last for ever, and when SWT sell them you can have a 6 carriage rake with CDL as well - perfect for either sandwiching in the middle of the Hastings unit (if thats possible) or top n' tailed with 73's; plus a 6 car rake makes it more useful on a preserved railway. I doubt they will see an offer like the bluebells when their time comes.

    Chris
     
  12. James

    James Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,213
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    7036
    Yes and it's getting incredibly tedious to hear it repeated over and over and over...
     
  13. cct man

    cct man Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    49
    Occupation:
    CONSTRUCTION
    Location:
    LONDON
    It,s a free country James , donmt read it then.

    Chris
     
  14. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    555
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Forums dont work like that fortunately - if you want to crticise the railways management, feel free to start your own thread for the purpose.
     
  15. Woof

    Woof Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    A T.O.C.
    Location:
    Somewhere in the South
    Swanage maybe committed to the 4TC ( =D>) but who said anything about 3417 going to Swanage.
    It was offered but we had no room.
    If we could have had it it would have been a good option and no disrspect to the 4TC, 3417 is in far far better condition...

    Chris, you,re saying let a 4 coach rake, in as A1 nick as you,re going to get, go to the Bluebell and rot away. Is it my understanding that they are not going to use the whole unit?

    Have you seen the state of the Lymi slammers? They need some TLC.
     
  16. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    555
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    I was just comparing the 4TC and the VEP, i wasnt implying the swanage was getting it. And yes, the 3CIGS are in need of some TLC, which requires money - but then so will the VEP in time. At least it would prove that there are people willing to put their hands in their pockets 'up front' to restore some mainline capable units with CDL; given the state of 'preserved' 3rd rail units elsewhere im not really convinced that there is to be honest.

    And yes, the Bluebell will let it sit on a siding - but if Keelar and his mates reguarly turned up to keep it fresh then it wouldnt need a vast amount of work to be a runner again. Not that sitting on a siding at the Swanage or the EKR or pretty much anywhere else is any different - the main one being the bluebell will pay to keep the VEP looking presentable and secure, while elsewhere it would be entirely up to them and if its only used a few times a year i really dont see it being in brilliant condition after a few years (perhaps worse than a few years at East Grinstead...). If another railway wanted 3417 they would have bid for it long before the Bluebell i suspect, and so should Keelar if they themselves wanted it preserved. However i suspect that the reason they now want to buy her is because their toy (hehe) is not getting bought by the people they wanted to buy it (ie people who would run it and let them drive) - given how long she was up for offer and all they did was play with it at SWT's expense (its true!), it doesn suggest a huge (financial or otherwise) following given they didnt make an approach for it themselves.

    I'd like to be proved wrong, of course, but im yet to be truly convinced this isnt folly. Of course they can spend their money how they want, but i think its an interesting discussion to have nonetheless. I highly doubt the bluebell will sell anyway so its pretty arbitrary.

    (i think i should state for the record again, im not against the preservation of 3417, i just dont believe that there is any better option than the bluebell at present - sitting on a siding is inevitable, but its in the bluebells interest to keep it presentable and they have the money and resources to do so - it is at much greater risk owned by private individuals sitting on a railway with little or no interest beyond the income from its storage)

    Chris
     
  17. Woof

    Woof Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    A T.O.C.
    Location:
    Somewhere in the South
    Chris, I think that you are being a bit unfair to Keeler and his collegues who have kept 3417 in good shape.
    Maybe they didnt realise that she would be kept by SWT for as long as she has been.
    Maybe because they have spent time(their own) keeping her as good as she is, that they realise "Hey we,ve spent all this time why cant we look after her for longer". Maybe even "Why should the Bluebell let all the hard work that we have done to her waste away"
    Maybe you dont know the full story...

    And if there was a better option......???
     
  18. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    555
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    And you do...? i cant comment based on things i dont know, so im commenting based on what i do - im happy to be incorrect, but you cant say my opinion is wrong because i dont know the full circumstances. It would be a boring world and indeed a boring forum if we could only have a valid opinion on something we know absolutely everything about!

    And if there was a better option? then im sure SWT would have pursued it, if they wanted it scrapped (which is what you'd think was happening the way people talk about the bluebell's plans on here) they could have done just that and made more than £1 as well.

    Anyway, this is all quite academic as the compound at EG is being cleared right now. Good luck to Steve and the lads, but i suspect it may be too late to save it from the wrath of the east grinstead grannies and their graffiti and stone throwing ways ;)

    Chris
     
  19. Woof

    Woof Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    A T.O.C.
    Location:
    Somewhere in the South
    Maybe I do, maybe I dont..... :-#
     
  20. twr12

    twr12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,426
    Likes Received:
    556
    I wonder if the Bluebell Railway mafia, who seem to inhabit this forum, are so keen to keep hold of 3417 as an important artefact of the SOUTHERN.
    Or if they are so vehemently defending the proposal to dump it in a dead end siding at East Grin(m)stead, just to tell the world that its theirs, nah nah nah nah nah.


    ????????????????????????????
     

Share This Page