Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by acw71000, Jun 15, 2017.
A video filmed on the lower slopes of Snowdon on 14th. June 2017
A question for those with SMR knowledge - perhaps @nigelday:
Does anyone think there's a chance that either of the two out of service 1923 locos will ever steam again?
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I have had no direct communication with the railway in years now. There is a contact who dose know what’s going on. 7 and 8 are chassis only in a store. ( No4 is there also with much missing now on No5). No7 espeshaly has been raided to keep No6 running. Even in the time I was there the diesel lobby was ruling.
I don’t think. 7 and 8 will ever run again. More to the point I worry about there fate in the short term.
No4 is another question to which I don’t know what will happen. It could go many ways.
No2 has issues which would cost much and I have heard various stories and I don’t know what’s accurate.
I left because I could do good for steam elsewhere. At Snowdon I was making negative progress for steam. I was fully aware of the coarse history is now taking. I saw and see it on Mount Washington also. Something I find all very sad and sole destroying after all my work to make a future for steam.
The Hunslet diesels may start getting to the point of obsolete so even the fate of them is questionable.
That sounds like a very sad situation.
I guess the commercial bottomline is what management are always looking at.
It's a shame they didn't go down same route as the Brienz Rothorn Bahn in Switzerland. Modern, light oil fired steam locos that are ready to go within 30 minutes in the morning and are capable of shoving two carriages up the mountain.
Last time I was there No.6 was on duty but there were remains of others all over the place. Had no idea that things were as poor as @Nigel Day is describing. It's not as though the railway is short of custom. Sounds like they are just not interested in running a decent steam fleet.
TBF the railway has invested recently in the steam coaching stock and for the first time since the diesels arrived you can book a steam hauled train with certainty.
7 and 8 were withdrawn many years ago after the arrival of the diesels led to less need for steam. The remaining locos are now c.125 years old and still slogging to the summit. I think they're doing rather well when many visitors want to get to the summit and perhaps aren't too fussed by the traction.
If the SMR looked over the hills at the FfR, they would be able to see how a 'heritage' steam fleet can attract the punters.
Were the SMR willing to put a bit more effort into rebuilding and looking after their heritage fleet, rather than going down the modern diesel route, they may find that the public will want more.
The diesel railcars suffered from several design flaws and didn't last long, and the next batch are now being touted as life expired!
No doubt there were many £s spent on design, consultacy and type approval fees, along with actual building costs.
Money which could have overhauled and maintained several steam locos.
After all, the steam locos were designed for the railway all those years ago...
The simple matter, whether you like it or not, is that the SMR is a money making company (nothing wrong with that), they are not a preserved railway!
They fill up their trains regardless of traction and they don't really need to advertise. They would make even more money if they didn't use steam at all, due to lower costs, especially now the hybrid locos are being used, with an option to buy two more. Don't get me wrong, I would love for it to be steam only, but I understand their business model.
As for using 2 coaches, that is fraught with difficulties, the passing loops are too short. It is not as easy as just extending the loops, as both lines have to have be a length that is exactly divisible by the pitch of the rack!
However, to increase capacity the hybrid locos have a removable passenger pod, gricers might even pay more to travel on the loco. Other times a maintenance pod can be added instead. Look on the Clayton website for more info on these fascinating locos.
I believe the SMR did research a few years ago which showed their customers liked to see a steam loco on the mountain but weren’t too fussed if it wasn’t pulling their own train.
Let's be honest ..... that's really just rather politic way of saying "sure, we love steam, as long as someone else is shelling out for the extra cost"
Shame the only use I can conjur for any currently stored loco (and/or carriage) would be to take a leaf out of the FfR's book and use, cosmetically restored, as the "roving amnassador' for the SMR. Nice lump of 1:5 track to display it on and a bit of extra shed space into the bargain.
How do I put it for my hate of diesels and the people who murder steam engines.
I beat the railcar up Snowdon with No4 by so much that it turned back in clogwyn when I reached the summit. The directors of that time where on the railcar.
If you followed a diesel into the platform for a doubler the people would have been heading for the diesel. As soon as they saw the steamer coming then no one would get on the diesel.
I have only two real ambitions left in the railway world.
The first is to build the ultimate 15” gauge steam engine.
The second is to scrap a devil machine (diesel) in the same way people have destroyed my super improved steamers.
Well, I certainly hope you manage the first, at least!
And I suspect the ancient steam locos of the SMR and similar will long outlast their dreary "replacements".
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If 7 and 8 are not going to run then one of them ought to be part of a museum such as the nrm, or a similar museum. They represent something very unique, interesting and which as far as i know there are no other examples of in the National Collection.
From an engineering point of view they are interesting and would be quite eye catching, they also tell an interesting story of railways for tourism, they have an international dimension as well.
The NRM seems rather ambivalent about NG I think.
But the NRM for NG seems to be Statfold Barn Railway now.
An addition of a SMR Rack steam loco would be a good idea, albeit obviously on static display
What happened to the coaches withdrawn in recent years?
I think you are overlooking this one: http://www.narrowgaugerailwaymuseum.org.uk/
Under-frames where reused for the Victorian heritage style coaches.
I remember the H.P.E. built railcars , it a shame they never got all three to work well together, as from a passenger view, they where fairly comfortable.
In fairness, I think the NRM could legitimately argue that the SMR is not really representative of British railway development. In a country like Switzerland a rack loco would probably be more relevant to a "national" railway collection. Besides, the cold, hard reality is that the NRM has more than enough on its plate at the moment.
Nevertheless, I agree that it would be nice to find a venue where the OOU SMR engines could be cosmetically restored and displayed, and somewhere like Statfold would seem an obvious choice. However, somebody would have to negotiate with both Statfold and the SMR to get them on board, and then there is the delicate question of where the money would come from. Does anybody have the time and energy to take on that challenge?
The Hunslet diesels are at least quite characterful, and designed by someone who wanted to make them look interesting. It's a shame the new locos were designed by someone who likes portable generators. They will go very well with the new theme park plastic coaches.
It just seems like one of those attractions that's lost its magic now. Especially without steam. It's interesting to compare on TripAdvisor with the other side of the hill. The WHR is equally expensive but the complaints about value for money seem far fewer.
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