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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Could? Yes. Should? No, not in my view.

    It’s my long term belief that loco owners financially subsidise railways, i.e. the money made providing a loco is never sufficient to fully pay its future overhaul costs. Of course, it is not all one way traffic, because what the loco owner gets back is operational capacity to see their loco in use. A loco without a railway is just as useless as a railway without a loco.

    So in any loco agreement, there is a mutual exchange of value, but it tends to be cash from loco owner to railway, and something more intangible from railway to loco owner.

    For an independent loco owner or group, that doesn’t matter and they can go where they feel they get the best value in return, which will have many intangible inputs. But for a loco owned by a specific railway’s support charity, it is more problematic if you decide to get your returning value from another railway, since in essence you are supporting them in cash terms.

    So my view is that now the loco is explicitly owned by the WSRA, it should be restored for operation on the WSR: restoring it as a jobbing “loco for hire” while perfectly legal and probably congruent with the WSRA’s charitable objectives would not, I suggest, represent a good exchange of value for the members.

    Tom
     
  2. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Mid-Hants are a bit short of motive power at present...
     
  3. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Well-Known Member

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    By the time 80064 is complete they won’t be.
     
  4. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Yes Tom, that was also my view too.
    I just wonder when it comes time to put pen to paper, will the WSR offer a good enough deal with enough guarantees (see 53808...) to assure the WSRA that they will get a decent return on the hire.
     
  5. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line Member

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    Surely if you're a supporting organisation your overhaul plans would fit in with the locomotive availability needs/plans of your railway ,.
     
  6. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

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    You must be new to the WSR thread…

    ;)

    Simon
     
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  7. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line Member

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    No just hopeful !!!
     
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  8. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Wider experience suggests otherwise.....there are a number of locos currently or until recently running which achieved 10.5+ years of fairly intensive use. The one thing the WSR could do to improve boiler life - the determinent in most cases - would be to install Reverse Osmosis Water at Bishops Lydeard (where most water is taken) follwed by the same at Minehead. Elsewhere this has paid dividends.
     
  9. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Covid, and the scarcity & price of coal are just two factors which have demonstrated that any such plans are at best provisional.
     
  10. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Do they not have an RO plant then? I’m not sure why but thought they did, as you say great for extending boiler life so hopefully in the future plan’s especially with a relatively small fleet it would certainly pay for itself.
     
  11. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

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    We have RO at Rolvenden on the K&ESR and it is a bit of a miracle worker.
     
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  12. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    I guess the water in that part of the world if untreated would be something of a nightmare due to the geology. The gain from RO in Somerset would not be so great for that reason - but still worth doing.
     
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  13. rodders154

    rodders154 Member

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    Keith, the WSRA Administrator, will leave the WSRA for a well-earned retirement on the 31st of December. He will be known to many members of this forum as the public face of WSRA. I wish him a long and happy retirement.
     
  14. Chuffington

    Chuffington New Member

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    I don’t quite understand why overhauling a Barry Locomotive is cheaper than doing an overhaul on a complete Locomotive, I know the boiler is tired, is it in need of replacement?
     
  15. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Because in some cases the ex Barry engine that hasn’t steamed is in surprisingly good condition, it’s not had any use and subsequent wear in preservation so can actually be in a better condition under the surface than something which has seen use in preservation. It’s why some ex Barry boilers are now sought as replacements for those that have been in use.

    I am intrigued though as to which Barry engine you have in mind as if you were thinking of 80064 that has seen service in preservation although admittedly not for a long time.
     
  16. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Member

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    West Somerset is fortunate to have comparatively ‘thin’ waters I.e low hardness and total
    dissolved solids (TDS). Consequently locos can operate for 28 days between wash outs
    without the boiler TDS reaching a level whereby priming and carry over occur. ( without
    any recourse to blow down ) The WSR has invested considerable time over the last decade
    honing its internal chemical treatment regime. The combination of reserve alkalinity,
    thereby keeping the pH relatively high plus oxygen removal has led to clean tubes with
    friable deposits.

    The proof is in the metaphorical eating; the WSR, IMHO, has an unrivalled reputation
    for obtaining a full ten years operation from its locos between statutory major
    overhauls.

    If the WSR were to refine its systems more, the likely approach would be by controlled
    feed water dosing, (but that would involve capital expenditure and maintenance of
    pumps and instrumentation. ) with possibly phosphate treatment,

    Undoubtedly the removal of TDS( particularly if it leads to a uniform water supply
    across the length of a Railway ) by reverse osmosis simplifies internal treatment,
    although on occasion at the expense of loss of natural alkalinity. RO involves
    expense ( capital, power consumption and membrane replacement ) and if
    ( as is the case throughout the Heritage Railway sector ) money is short should
    only IMHO be considered if an adequate chemical treatment regime cannot be
    pursued,

    IMHO the WSR ( and the KESR ) have been ahead of the game,

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2023
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  17. Chuffington

    Chuffington New Member

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    I miss understood, I was under the impression that the standard tank was a Barry engine.
     
  18. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Thank you for the reply, although I’m well versed with Reverse osmosis and owned several systems over the years when I had a business that required it.

    I’m not sure what you mean by thin water, but guess you mean the water round Minehead is soft and therefore low in minerals & salts which of course means low TDS, I had to deal with the exact opposite with a TDS of around 650ppm which was a nightmare!!!

    Out of interest what is considered an acceptable TDS level at the railway?
     
  19. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    No it was restored at the South Devon Railway then ran over at Paignton for a bit followed by a stint at the Bluebell, but that was a long time ago now.
     
  20. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    The SVR has 2 RO plants in operation at Bridgnorth and Kidderminster. Tubes taken out of 2857 in recent weeks look about 3 years old, not 12-13 years old. Most SVR locos dont just achieve 10 years but regularly gain extensions as well.
     
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