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Steam locos: Do you like to see them running Shiny or Dirty ?

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by toplight, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. AndyY

    AndyY Member

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    I suppose for those who like their locomotives to look filthy and bedraggled, a spectacular end to a gala would be for a team to come in with gas-axes and reduce the locos to a pile of scrap to recreate some of the scrapyard scenes....................
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Well we've got the remains of at least an S15 and "that Crab" to make a start with .... :(
     
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  3. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    This thread is almost as much fun as a livery thread!

    The OP asked what we like to see. That's a different question from "What should owners do?":

    " What do you think, both if you are a loco crew or if you are just a visitor/passenger ?"

    I herby declare myself to be a visitor/enthusiast who doesn't make a great financial contribution to locomotive restoration, other than fares and the occasional tenner in a collection tin. If you believe that disqualifies me from an opinion the please don't read any further.

    In line with most other response, I like to see steam engines running, whatever their condition.

    I prefer to see engines restored to a realistic ex-works finish, and not to exhibition standard with non-authentic embellishments.

    I like to see light weathering, resulting from hard work.

    I would enjoy seeing a heavily weathered loco that recreates the later days of BR steam. I acknowledge that this would have to be a cosmetic operation for the benefit of enthusiasts.

    What should loco owners do? It depends on the context, but in essence they can do what they like, so long as they are preserving their asset for future generations.

    If the loco is operating on a preserved railway then it depends what atmosphere the railway is attempting to create. Many railways try to recreate a specific era, and most go for an idealise vision of spotless locos, stations and rolling stock. This makes good business sense, as it aligns with the general public's romantic view of the past.
     
  4. -MPR-

    -MPR- New Member

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    I find this conversation interesting. I'm 53 years old so am too young to have seen steam in the UK outside of preservation. Whilst I'd hate to see an engine in the typical state of the 1960's where no cleaning was done at all. I long to see what an engine would look like with a typical 'worked for a living' look - say from the 1930's (or early 1950's). I have never seen an engine in that kind of external condition in preservation and I feel I have missed out somehow.
    Daft I know but there you are.....
     
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  5. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    You will struggle to find any heritage railway in the UK that lets working engines get work-stained. My limited experience of lines in the USA is different. Some, not all, allow their engines to get a little grimy. Probably due to a shortage of volunteers. Here are a couple of examples:

    97x2.JPG CuyahogaValley4070 Cleveland OH 8 83.jpg
     
  6. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    A picture I took of a loco in service on a UK heritage railway, a couple of weeks ago:

    DSC_4292.JPG
     
  7. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn Member

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    This could prove a fun game - guess the railway from a close up of their dirtiest loco...
     
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  8. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    MHR - Lord Nelson

    What do I win? :)


    Keith
     
  9. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    Not the top prize.

    I deliberately didn't say "I took this at X" because I didn't want to be thought to be saying "look at X, they don't look after their locos." My point was more that not every British railway does keep every loco completely spotless at all times; but finger-pointing was not part of that.
     
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  10. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    It was a bit of fun to identify the loco (hence the smiley). I wasn't making any kind of point about the MHR.

    I'll go back to my corner now.


    Keith
     
  11. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    It's one of 3 and 2 of those are out of ticket! That dosn't look too bad to be honest nothing a bit of emery and an oily rag would take long to sort out, it's not like it's caked on.
     
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  12. Hurricane

    Hurricane Member

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    I think you will find steel will look like this within a couple of days sat outside... as this was likely taken on Boxing day or following days; any volunteers to come in and assist with loco cleaning next year rather than being sat at home in the warm eating mince pies will be great fully received
     
  13. -MPR-

    -MPR- New Member

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    This sort of shows my point - In non-preservation service you would not see the superficial rust on there because it would have a layer of oily grime covering it.
     
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  14. 2392

    2392 Member

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    I like a mix with some freshly overhauled squeaky clean highly polished locos. Others whilst clean not perhaps that clean, just clean. Yet more somewhat careworn and grubby, shall we say, just before being withdrawn for overhaul. Unless it's some sort of special end of steam event or for a film/t.v. contract ultra scruffy doesn't really do much for me. Though scruffy is ok for awhile.......
     
  15. 240P15

    240P15 Well-Known Member

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    Picking up this thread again. Personally I prefer to see a shine steam locomotive vs. a dirty one:) (but in respect to the cleaners I should probably keep quiet!;))

    Knut
     
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  16. Ian Milne

    Ian Milne New Member

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    I prefer a bit grubby because it reduces the reflections from w**kers on platforms wearing hi-vis jackets
     
  17. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Member

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    For me the answer depends very much on the context.
    If I were at The Bluebell Railway seeing say the H tank in it's SECR livery with pre-grouping coaches maybe in tow, I'd want to see it clean and shiny. If it were turned out in 60's BR Black per final years prior to withdrawal, then an occasion to see same loco looking as it did at that time would also please my eye if only from nostalgia.
    I have a few photos taken from 20 or so years back showing deliberately weathered locos running at GCR as an example, and they definitely looked the part for me. Examples to hand would be 9F, Grubby Five and even grubbier Eight.

    If the context is Main Line running, I would expect the loco and coaches to be clean if only from a marketing & image perspective of Heritage railways on the travelling & viewing public. I wouldn't expect any non-enthusiast to marvel as seeing a heavily weathered black five running on a charter.
     
  18. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Hows about a compromise solution. Clean the left hand side and front ... to impress passengers on the platforms, and keep the right hand side and rear end filthy for photographic types. o_O

    No? :D
     
  19. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    That would only work if the platform was on the same side of the train at every station. :D
     
  20. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    In most instances, lightly weathered, but obviously when it's on show, working the likes of Belmond, then I suppose it's got to be polished to death.
     

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