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Swanage Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Rumpole, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    Whilst demonstration freight trains are quite common at galas, although not rare working engineers trains are less common. This was some spoil from work ongoing at Herston, maybe to do with the shed but not sure. It really of course needed 31806 at the head to look the real deal, but I still enjoyed it. IMG_5806.JPG IMG_5815.JPG
     
  2. Standard by 4

    Standard by 4 New Member

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    Is the van on the right, without the roof, off to a new home?
     
  3. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    Possibly the Insulated Meat Van, which has sold to private buyer.
     
  4. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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    and not too soon by the look of it!! Lets be honest Heritage Railways are notorious for having "projects" such as this sitting around for years. One of the things that I noticed as a tourist on the WSR were the lines of junk near Dunster and Minehead.
    I am gladly subscribing to the Herston Carriage shed and probably the next one as well. A survey by Management should sort out the wheat from the chaff .
     
  5. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody New Member

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    Are these comments absolutely necessary or called for?
     
  6. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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    Yes they are because the SR is a railway designed to attract Tourists. Storage in preservation parlance is often just a euphemism for neglect. When the SRT gets its Wareham service under way do you think the average punter wants to view linear scrapyards?Heritage railways generally bemoan their lack of space. Covid is giving them the opportunity to clear the decks because paid and unpaid labour is going to be at a premium. Unless a group can give a date certain when work will commence it should come under scrutiny.
     
  7. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    Bit harsh. Usually because the funding is not there. You can either spend £5k to get 'That Wagon' up and running but then you lose out on necessary repairs to a carriage that carries people, the bums from which will fund 'That Loco' overhaul in the years to come. But the business plan is 'That Wagon' is of historic/regional/other importance and forms part of a longer plan.

    For example, a MK1 coach could be sat seemingly rotting for 20 years whilst waiting in a queue. It has been pushed back time and time again because the operational ones needed additional repairs and no date to work on it can now be confirmed. Does that then have to go in line with your views? The Swanage may have had ambition years ago to run regular demonstration freight and welcomed in a lot of stock, but circumstances have changed. If you are relying on volunteer workforce, as all are, do you ask everyone to drop sticks on the P-way, Carriages, Locos etc and go do up a few wagons?

    Equally, as discussed elsewhere, a lot of stock is privately owned (As that van in particular was, along with multiple others there,) and the owners are either In Absentia or have a specific agreement. You could scrap/sell such vehicles where ownership isn't clear / disputed / owner no longer contactable, but the repercussion then is if you are wrong, you face a lot of issues/compensation claims then.

    Anyway, a lot of these 'linear scrapyards' are usually in small clusters, and don't spread across the full line. There are no doubt countless worse views on national rail than a few carriage-lengths of decaying stock.
     
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  8. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Well to my mind what does little for the visual appeal of any heritage railway is the linear scrapyard full of stuff that never moves from one visit to the next and one year to the next. And having it sitting in a siding alongside the running line is not at all smart.
     
  9. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    But the vintage carriage that emerges from that scrapline and is restored is rightly acclaimed - but it most probably wouldn't have emerged at all if the scrapline had been cleared. On the whole, most railways have it wrong - they build carriage sheds to protect their Mk 1 running stock, which tend not to suffer from being outside, and leave their vintage, long term projects out in the open to deteriorate further. If heritage railways are to be about anything more than the BR/Mk 1 era much more priority needs to be given to conserving what wooden bodied stock is left whether it can currently carry passengers or not - but how many railways have that vision? Very few as far as I can see!
     
  10. steam_mad

    steam_mad Member

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    8E02E521-B7D6-499D-A4D6-52EBAF860938.jpeg A308256A-8A6C-4549-A417-36550B938466.jpeg
    Agree with much of what you say. We (SRPS) have thankfully been able to have most of our operational and unrestored wooden bodied stock displayed either in our reserve collection or in the Museum of Scottish Railways.

    Having the wooden bodied stock undercover has helped to preserve the condition of restored stock and provide us with a ready supply of feasible restoration projects (such as Gresley TK No. 10021) which may otherwise not have been feasible. Additionally, the external appearance of the restored stock compared to that of our Mark ones is stark: our Caledonian coaches were last painted in 1998 and looks considerably better than some of our Mark ones which were painted 4/5 years ago!

    However, we are now faced with a large 6 figure upgrade programme to continue to go through and inspect/repair our 20-odd mk1s. Had we had these vehicles undercover, how many Vintage bodies could we have restored with the cost savings on the mk1 upgrade programme arising from permanent undercover storage? Difficult to tell.

    The idea solution is to have both day-to-day and vintage coaches undercover which is what we (and presumably many others) are now looking to do!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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  11. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    As someone who's donated to Operation Undercover, I'd been under the impression that even Mk1 and 2 stock is prone to tinworm, and that keeping operational stock under cover releases significant running resources that allow more time and effort to go into restoration rather than overhaul.
     
  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed, having now spent 8 years restoring Mk1s on a railway that has no carriage shed (yet!), I'm not convinced that Mk1s really survive much better outdoors than any older design carriages. What may be true depending on your workshop skillset, is that repairing Mk1s is easier than repairing wooden bodied stock.
     
  13. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Indeed. Whilst the Swanage Railway’s focus initially seems to be providing under cover accommodation for it’s vintage stock, I believe the aim is to build further carriage sheds in future for MK1s.

    Any sign of those Pullmans at Carnforth travelling south? They were once intended for Swanage but the owner didn’t want to move them there until undercover accommodation was available.
     
  14. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I am not impressed by set-ups that have far more stock in the scrap line than they can handle and that is often the norm. The Swanage is no better or worse in that respect. So much better to have your operating stock in good condition and maintained up to a good standard with a manageable restoration programme running parallel and turning stock around quickly. I know that money talks in that respect but so does the odd hard decision such as telling the small group who have been on their pet project for many years to turn their hand into supporting something else until a much larger team can focus on their vehicle.
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    On the Bluebell, we have invested something like £3.5m in carriage storage over the last couple of decades (and some of that at 15 year old prices, so rather more at today's prices).

    At Sheffield Park, there is space for 17 full length carriages, generally used for the operational vintage sets. That cost about £3m, though included in that was some land purchase; the building itself, museum enhancements and a new loco washout pit.

    At Horsted Keynes, there is space for 20 full length carriages, plus up to another 5 in an under cover maintenance road. That cost about £0.5m so far, on land that was already owned; also included in the scope are a number of office and shop buildings (e.g. a trim shop etc). The track work is all recovered from elsewhere on the line as we renew the main running lines (so is in essence free to the project; otherwise at HK that would be hundreds of thousands of pounds).

    Those capacities are based on full length carriages, i.e. a Mark 1. In practical terms, the buildings are used for wooden carriages (the Mark 1s live outside except when under maintenance) so the actual number of vehicles under cover is somewhat more. Sheffield Park is used for operational vehicles and was predicated on reduced deterioration. I think a figure was given at the time of something like £100 / vehicle / month; that means in principle about £20,000 per annum maintenance saving for a 17 vehicle shed at the early 2000s prices - somewhat more now I guess - provided you keep it full.

    The storage part of the HK shed is used for the restoration queue, i.e. non-operational vehicles. Which is where the economics get interesting. In principle, storage under cover might in many cases mean the difference between having a vehicle to restore in 30 years time and not (there are some for which it is already too late). But in economic terms, there is no cashable saving to the company finances, since in many cases those vehicles have purely nominal asset values, and therefore have no depreciation in financial terms. Whereas a £3.5m investment in buildings deprecated over, say, 50 years is causing a £70,000 per annum cost in the company accounts, i.e. a direct loss against the ~ £20,000 maintenance saving on the operational fleet.

    I absolutely believe that getting the vehicles under cover was the right thing to do, to ensure that they get saved for a future restoration, even if in some cases that might be decades away. I would also support (subject to sensitivity of location) future projects to get more of our rolling stock under cover. But in financial terms, all that construction is contributing to a paper loss of the company, against at best a very uncertain future restoration saving: it might make the difference between a restoration in twenty years time costing £200k rather than £300k, but it is more likely the difference between it costing £200k or not being possible. Ultimately, it is an act of faith, not a business decision - or at least, the business case has to be made on more than financial grounds.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  16. twr12

    twr12 Member

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    The Bluebell Railway has a long standing advantage over most other preserved railways: it is slap bang in what used to be known as the Stockbroker Belt; ie rich people.
    Dear Old Auntie Bluebell has for many years been able to rattle the collecting tin, and the rich friends produce.
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    (Deleted)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  18. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    That's painfully over-simplistic. Frankly, it just reeks of sour grapes and there's far more to it than that. The Bluebell, which let's not forget, is a pioneer of our movement. It has a well deserved and hard won reputation, built up across many fields of expertise over more than 60 years, for getting things done.

    If there's one outstanding achievement which could conceivably be put down to having the right neighbours, it's the survival of Fenchurch, where no less than Richard Beeching stayed the scrap man's hand to allow time for fundraising to save what was then BR's oldest working loco.
     
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  19. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    Really? I've never heard that story about Fenchurch's survival before. I do not think he had that sort of influence in locomotive matters on the Southern Region. He was after all only a civil servant commissioned to write a report and not a railwayman. There were plenty of other people of influence in the upper echelons of the Southern Region who could have ensured its survival if funding a problem at the time.

    Peter
     
  20. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Legally, he was a railwayman - chairman of BR - and not a civil servant.


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