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'Sensible' New Builds

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by alexl102, Sep 12, 2022.

  1. alexl102

    alexl102 Member

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    So I think you've kind of hit on part of what I (OP) was asking. Maybe I should have framed the question of: If we are looking to fill gaps which exist in the heritage railway story (as arguably the LMS Patriot would, as 82045 does for example as one of the missing standard classes, and the Bluebell's 84xxx), which missing classes would represent a sensible investment for the current heritage scene? Either because they'd suit a particular line's theme or story (Bluebell, Southern) or because they offer something that would work for various railways (the LNER G5 which could theoretically be at home on many heritage railways).

    So I'd argue that whilst the LNER W1, or Big Bertha, are significant and unique in British railway heritage, but I'd also argue that building a new replica of those would not be a sensible investment - even the A1 Trust seems to have recognised that it needs to supplement its two high-powered express engines with a more versatile V4.

    The assumption was made that a viable funding plan and engineering team could be implemented!
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    My gut feeling is that - restricting myself to standard gauge - the era of new builds might be drawing to a close. Those in progress will continue, but it is hard to start what might be a fifteen year journey with an uncertain future (will we even be able to burn coal then?) Moreover, heritage railways are struggling already with shortage of motive power, and in the circumstances, it is hard to justify, say, a £1.5m / 15 year new build against three overhauls of similarly-sized locos, even if they cost £500k each and take 5 years each. Either way the costs are big, and there is only so much money and so many skilled people, and the need is now for more operational locos.

    There may be exceptions, but I think they would be rare. The obvious ones are to fill a niche, but that niche has to be historically really significant, not just quite significant. Even there, you still have to have a defined operational role. I happen to think the Tyseley Bloomer is one of the most important of current new builds in terms of how it would enhance our overall understanding of 200+ years of railway history, but it has been stalled for decades. Clearly that isn't for want of technical capability; my assumption is that it is simply because once you build it - what then? Where do you run it, and with what carriages? So it feels like a project that is historically really worthwhile, but which provides no justifiable operational role, at least not for a company primarily focused on delivering mainline charters.

    Of projects that have been mooted, but not started (in any significant way), a replica S&D "Royal George" 0-6-0 seems important to me: an absolutely seminal loco in UK railway history (the majority of locos built in this country were 0-6-0 tender engines for hauling goods; and Royal George was the very first of that long line). Imagine gathering "Royal George", "Derwent", the NER long boiler 0-6-0, the Stirling O1, Wainwright C, Maunsell Q and Bulleid Q1 together - what a historical timeline that would be! Realistically though I think there is only one site in the country where it could have an operational use (Beamish) so it is likely that if it happens at all, it would have to happen there. Given that they have access to operational replicas of Locomotion, Steam Elephant and Puffing Billy, and really only need one of those operational at any one time, it is hard to imagine that adding a fourth loco into that pool has much of a pressing need, beyond the time-sensitive question of "it would be nice to do something for 2025" - and even there, ensuring the replica Locomotion runs is probably higher priority.

    Tom
     
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  3. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I see no big chufferites anywhere here. I do see lots of common sense, practical approaches to railway preservation and one man preferring to be rude about other groups and societies that don't exactly match his very narrow vision of what "railway preservation" is.

    It's not a good look Paul and we've all been here before.
     
  4. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I also come back to my initial post on this thread, by questioning whether any missing class represents a sensible investment in comparison with maintaining, overhauling and repairing existing stock. And, if they do, then what does that say about the discussions over (say) 7027 and 4907?
     
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  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    Indeed...........

    As a 'For Example' while we dont have a County 4-4-0 we do have Morayshire and three School's to represent modern 4-4-0's, ditto while we dont have a Midland 0-4-4T we do have an O2, M7 , H & the Caley tank
     
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  6. weltrol

    weltrol Part of the furniture Friend

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    Hmm...

    https://www.churchwardcounty.org.uk/...
     
  7. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    Arguably, if we are able to continue to run coal-fired locos, the new build era is already firmly upon us and will have to grow - it will just be disguised by being in the form of ever-more extensive overhauls. Few locos have come close to having new sets of driving wheels (the repairs to needed to those of 61264 a few years ago must have pushed the limits) or entirely new boilers or frames, but it is probably going to happen eventually.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2022
  8. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    That's altogether better expressed than some postings, hence the ''like''.

    Still not convinced that an Atlantic is at all suited to tourist railway use or a Pacific for that matter. A lot of use was made of the H class boiler for various rebuilds and this might be a way of standardising new builds to a degree.

    Recent sad events remind me that the late Queen opened the Havenstreet carriage works in 2004. R.I..P.
     
  9. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    Given that we have around 150 heritage railways of greatly varying length, loadings and indeed gauges. . .
    . . . You tell me how long your railway is and expected loadings for each train, and I might be able to give you a 'sensible' answer*; otherwise this whole thread is WIBN. There is never going to be a one size fits all answer.

    * but where's the fun in that? ;):D
     
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  10. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    With which metric in mind? Operationally? Something the size of an Ilfracombe Goods will likely shift most loads on many lines .. as well as being an extremely pretty design in both it's original and rebuilt forms. If something bigger is called for, according to what's been posted elsewhere on our forum, the 9F is a lot more economical than it's size suggests. Between those extremes lies a pretty significant range of choices, across many decades.

    Something in a pleasing livery? One of the highlights of this summer for folks south of the border has been the distinctly successful visits by Caley Nos. 419 and 828 .... or famous? Even in later BR condition as 60103, Flying Scotsman still pulls the punters in.

    Something to fill a gap? Here's where it gets tricky. Just how useful would a Furness "Baltic", or a Highland "River" be? With the LNW, you need to go back into the mid 19th century for anything not in prototypical black ....and nearly as far back since the most recent work on the one LNW 'newbuild' which fits that description!

    For all the Churchward inspired standardised "Meccano", the GW class I'd love to see back would be the "Abadare". Let's see Didcot make one of those from bits nicked from other designs! From any operational PoV, as inside cylindered locos go, it'd have the grunt to shift just about anything and wouldn't complain about doing so at 25mph. Downsides? Likely a swine to oil around and motion inaccessible. Not a famous class, not even a name bearing class and whilst there's nothing wrong with GW livery per se ..... there's rather a lot of it out there! I'd submit that this one rather highlights quite a few of the competing objectives.
     
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  11. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    Ok now this is the best question asked I would have thought.

    For me, and this is only my point of view, i would like preservation to concentrate on undercover accommodation for the vehicles and for railways to start talking to each other on possible swapping of stock so that things could become unique selling points for xx railway. For instance, isnt there about 4 or 5 ICI bogie hoppers lying around in preservation. If these were gifted to the Midland railway centre, they would look great on demonstration freight, or for photo charters etc.

    But seeing as this thread is a complete WIBN and unlikely to lead to anything this is what i would love to see if i won the euro millions for instance.

    A NSR locomotive to go with the excellently restored coaches.

    The GCR 567 project with the 4 & 6 wheeled coaches would be stunning in my opinion, for all i might put it in the list of i dont think it will happen, its far more appealing than another gwr mish mash.

    I think my mind works in a way that says if we are going to do a new build maybe link it with something rather than just look through the hornby catalogue and fill gaps.

    If we had a LNWR rake (wasnt the Pontypool railway trying to create a rake) of 4 & 6 wheelers it would be great to have say the bloomer working. Or is there enough lnwr bogie coaches out there to make a rake? The list can go on and on but the real thing for me is to get the costs down for what we have. Dont spend excessively on things that just add more and more financial burdons, try to reduce our overhead costs and be a more sustainable business.
     
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  12. JohnElliott

    JohnElliott New Member

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    I remember reading a similar article in one of the magazines opining that the ideal bulk buy for heritage lines was a batch of 0-6-0 tender freight locos (I'm imagining something like a BR Standard version of the Q1).
     
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  13. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Saturated, with slide valves or superheated with piston valves? Belpaire or round topped firebox, inner wrap from copper or steel? Beyond the 'immediately visible' come the sort of questions raised by workshops everywhere. TBH, with some of the old fossils sorry hardline sorry traditionists among our number, count me amazed we've no-one routinely grumbling about continuous brakes!

    Just as a 'thought experiment', it might be fun to see what, if any consensus we could come to concerning a standard design. I somehow doubt we'd get agreement on so much as whether it ought to be a tender or a tank design.
     
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  14. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Plenty of commonality with the other larger Dean locomotives, and of course a Standard 4 boiler.
     
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  15. gwralatea

    gwralatea Member

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    Well Thompson came up with the consensus that the standard 0-6-0 design should be the J11, so we'll just build a load of them. Works for me!
     
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  16. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    I think the Atlantic is sensible for several reasons.

    1, Fills a gap in preservation

    2, Appropriate to the line

    3, Existing large part (boiler)

    4, Not over powered, class 4

    5, Spans eras from pre grouping to BR, can work with LBSC, Southern and Mark 1 coaches

    6, Its just a nice machine!

    well done to the group who have built this, I love it
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2022
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  17. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    Well before recent changes I did hope maybe a LSWR 700 class could be recreated. That might be considered sensible in someways. I seen a small number people wish there was still one around. If based at Swanage as an example it could do everything that was required of it. Also none of the LSWR 0-6-0's survive with the closest engines around being the SECR 0-6-0's do it could fill a historical niche. The 700 shared parts with the M7's so new build 700 could benefit 30053 continued operation. And it isn't a multi-cylindered, tapered boilered 200 ton engine so it be cheaper then the P2.

    But again we in a different world now.
     
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  18. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    We are getting a County 4-4-0, it's a project which seems to be making decent progress.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Provided it’s the Drummond saturated version without cross water tubes and no superheater, to keep build cost down and operating reliability up … :)

    Tom
     
  20. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Resident of Nat Pres

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    I rather like the idea of a load of Robinson "Pom-Poms" on our heritage lines :)
     
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