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Under restoration/Never steamed in preservation

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by JFlambo, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Hmm, I'm not convinced. The GWSR falls into that category, 8 bogies, 15 mile line, and we do actually have and use an MN. It is still too powerful, a class 4 will happily do the same tasks. Ok we do't have many gradients, but the SVR does and has similar loadings and also gets by with class 4 (manors). The best you can say about a MN on those lines is it's less overpowered than it would be on somewhere smaller. The only place where a MN is an advantage is on the mainline. That doesn't mean we shouldn't use them elsewhere, but lets not kid ourselves that it's anything other than "because we can"!
     
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  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I'm not sure Martin. The Bluebell had a MN back in the 1990s (when it only ran to West Hoathly) and the reason it was not kept was it was considered too big. Since then the line has got steeper, but even so, the Std 4 tank will cope with six coaches on 1 in 55 gradient. We aren't going to get steeper, and we can't easily add to the length of trains on account of platform length. So realistically for us, a class 4 / 5 is about as big as we need. A Merchant Navy would be much bigger than we really need. Bear in mind as well that there is a huge difference in gradient, and therefore demand, between, say, Dartmouth and the GCR (to take two on your list). As an example, our H class (nominally a class 1 loco) will ghost along at 25mph with four carriages up the 1 in 122 from Kingscote to West Hoathly with the regulator only in the first valve. It definitely gets extended on the uphill gradients, but I suspect a loco of that size would quite easily cope with six coach trains on a flat line without problem. At which point a MN would definitely be overkill.

    There is definitely an argument, which I have advanced myself, that something a bit too big is better than something a bit too small, since it needs to worked less hard and therefore wears less quickly. There is also the point that, for a loco working at relatively low firing rate (so not throwing the fire), the work needed to haul a train up the line is broadly similar regardless of size - so a class 8 working easily shouldn't burn much more coal than a class 5 also working easily, and might be more efficient than a class 3 being thrashed, since they are all doing the same work. That doesn't account for the non-working time though, when the class 8 will use more coal to light up (and have more coal left on the grate at the end of the day). It does also require good firing to make that true (i.e. avoiding excessive blowing off) and, more importantly, intelligent rostering. A class 8 worked one day per week will be expensive in coal in a way that working it 7 days per week will give greater efficiency.

    The elephant in the room though is overhaul cost, and the effect that has on per mile running cost. Overhauls cost considerably more per mile than coal. In general, more modern locos tend to go further between overhauls, which keeps down the per mile cost. However, there are so few locos to form reliable data analysis with that those costs get skewed every overhaul: a loco may have a small overhaul and look cheap to run; then have 3/4 of a new boiler and look very expensive for the next ten years; then end up (hopefully!) being fairly cheap on maintenance for another ten or twenty years. It is that that would make me wary of a MN on a heritage line rather than the coal cost: it is a lot of loco to overhaul and whenever you end up having to do the boiler repair, it will be big. The new steel fireboxes for a WC/BB are costing about £200k each, and that is before they are fitted. Anyone looking to replace the firebox of a MN - and bear in mind fireboxes are consumable items - will be looking at a bigger price than that.

    I think one of the reasons why Standard 4 tanks are so liked on heritage lines is that at the heavy / hilly end, there are very few lines that have trains beyond what they can manage, yet they will also pull light trains with very minimal firing; and they can run a big mileage between overhauls; then when you do overhaul them, there is only the loco, and not a tender as well. Economically, they are pretty close to optimum for most of the larger lines.

    All of the above gets affected if the loco has a well-resourced support group behind it, since from a railway's point of view, a support group that puts substantial money into an overhaul acts as a hidden subsidy to the operating railway on the per mile cost.

    Tom
     
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  3. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Part of the furniture

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    The SVR needs nothing bigger than Class 4s and occasionally it drops ten BR Standard coaches on the drawbar. At Class 5, 2968 is actually a bit on the big side but not excessively so. The 8F and 2857 are much stronger than needed but aren't actually all that much bigger than a 4MT.

    The SVR doesn't have a MN but does have a West Country. It isn't necessarily all that popular: it can be difficult to keep in check and makes serious inroads into the coal supply while being so.
     
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  4. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Swanage crews seem to have been able to drive and fire their Bulleids in a way that they don't regard as excessive on coal, but then it's a different line from the SVR, one that has operated Bulleids pretty regularly for over 30 years and is the only line I know that has made such a claim! The problem with an MN from the heritage line point of view is that it looks very much like a rebuilt WC except for the shape of the nameplate but requires quite a bit more coal to do the same job (which as WC/BB is perfectly capable of managing) because of the bigger grate area. I'm paraphrasing a comment made to me by a Mid Hants footplateman and they have 35005 as well as two WCs. I guess a number of us, while pleased that the prospects for 35025 are set to improve, in spite of SLL's caution about making a firm commitment to restoring it, must have wondered to ourselves "yes, but who will want it if/when it is restored?" Still, given the timescale we are talking about, it's perhaps a rather premature question to be asking at the moment. For now, it's a case of simply being pleased that it has come off the "at risk" list.
     
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  5. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    If they were doing a new engine I don’t think it should be a merchant navy there are loads of those already they should chose something that has not been built yet like a leader which was a project they were talking about on another Fred
     
  6. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I presume when Martin wrote "new engine" he meant one that hadn't been overhauled before. They should not choose a leader as it was a terrible design, as discussed (with "Fred" :) )
     
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  7. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    No everyone on there said it was bad. My example was something that looks a lot different but maybe not that. Even if it was a smaller engine to get it done quicker then if it isn’t built from new. They could build a small engine from new too that wouldn’t cost much
     
  8. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Absolutely!
    It will look great steaming North from Loughborough.... over the former "Gap" but...:Morewaitingisrequired:
     
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Building a new steam engine always costs a lot, at least a million pounds even for a small tank engine. SLL have quite enough locomotives to look after, overhaul and spend money on. It would be a terrible mistake for them to get distracted and start trying to build new locomotives, and I'm sure they know this all too well, they know what they're doing.
     
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  10. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    How much would a new industrail be? As in an o 4-o
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Dunno, half, three quarters of a million pounds? That really would be pointless though, given how many survive. Why go to all the bother when you could just restore an existing one for a fraction of the cost?
     
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  12. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    It was just useful for an idea I might of been having
     
  13. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    A Peckett 0-4-0 was for sale a while ago. Needed a bit of work on the boiler and similar, but a figure of £25,000 was being talked about. That £25,000 wouldn't pay for an axle and set of wheels as a new build.
     
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  14. nickt

    nickt New Member

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    I hope you enjoyed yesterday's fun. Today we have a proper news update on the SLL website. http://www.southern-locomotives.co.uk/News/news.html

    I understand that forums such as this are made for blue-sky discussions but given the current challenges facing all of the railway heritage movement we should dial-back our expectations for 35025. The key word for the moment is "custody".
     
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  15. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    At least Brian Seddon seems to have finally come to the realisation that 35025 won't ever get restored under his stewardship , and has passed custody to SLL, Its just a pity he didn't come to that conclusion earlier, as several attempts were made to purchase this locomotive.
     
  16. Hirn

    Hirn New Member

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    Bullied pacific boilers, maintenance costs, two points:

    I am surprised no one has removed the thermic syphons on the Bullied Pacific boilers.
    A Merchant Navy was fitted and ran with a firebox without them. At Rugby on the test plant it appeared to make no difference to performance - though the superheat temperature rose. In main line traffic afterwards it was reckoned a weaker engine.

    The Light Pacific Boiler has a weakness: the outer firebox cracks in the rear corners above the foundation ring and this is not comparable in the Merchant Navies.
    The foundation rings are different: the Merchant Navies have a traditional solid on - effectively rectangular in section with rivets through it clamping the plates of the
    inner and outer fire box to the outside - the Light Pacifics foundation rings are a trough of boiler plate with stays across the top of it under where it is welded
    right round to both the inner and the outer fireboxes. This is a lot of coded welding to pressure vessel standards, reguardeless of that for the corner patches to replace
    the cracked plate in the corners. You can replace an inner fire box on a Merchant Navy without any welding - save to make and fit the thermic siphons to the new
    box which is typically done by the supplier & you might need to build up a wasted foundation ring. This is of course assuming the new box has thermic syphons.
    Has anyone produced a convincing comparison of lifetime costs?

    I could not agree more about how successful and suitable the BR 2-6-4 tank is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  17. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    It's also a pity that the owner of Crab 42859 didn't come to a similar arrangement with another loco owning group.
     
  18. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    Well the frames eventually ended up at the ELR, but I don't think anyone really knows who owns them now! I'm not sure what else came with the frames, I know there were legal issues around the driving wheels, no idea about the pony truck and I don't know if the tender chassis still exists (I believe the tank was cut up while at Binbrook).

    As you say, a great pity that a deal wasn't struck many years ago and we could've had another of these fine locos working.

    Keith
     
  19. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I believe the plan is for use on the new Hayling Island restoration. The intention is to use the MN and a fleet of MK1s to run between Hayling Island and Havant and then to Portsmouth Harbour, where it will provide easy access for those who want to travel between say Hayling and the IOW. (If making the journey you will have to reset your clock from 1950 to 1925).

    Connections and services to Brighton and Waterloo are being considered but that will require Ellerman Lines and Blue Star to be restored, so not for another 6 months.
     
  20. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Meanwhile, a computer on Hayling Island:

    [​IMG]
     

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