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2999: Lady of Legend

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Ian White, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The Saint project had two distinct periods I think, I believe the original purchase was to facilitate thus (and I vividly recall going to Didcot in the 80's an it being clear that the intention for Maindy was to provide the basis for the conversion), but I think it stalled and was then relaunched into the 90's.

    This suggests I am not going mad! https://didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/article.php/63/2999-lady-of-legend
     
  2. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

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    The engine was acquired for this purpose in 1973, and moved to Didcot the following year. The project was originally launched in 1981 0r 82, with completion rather unrealistically projected for 1985! Back then the idea was to recreate a later example of the class, with the existing cylinder block being reused and modified to lower the boiler centerline. I think the basic concept behind the project was always founded on rather too much naivety, which is one of the reasons why it took so long to be completed, but at least it's finally done now.
     
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  3. clinker

    clinker New Member

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    I think that Mr. Valentine has 'Hit The Nail on The Head' by saying that the project was always founded on too much naivety, Had the 'Originators' taken time to study the 'Prototype' that was nominally built from St Martin they would have discovered a loco very much unlike a Hall. However in fairness I should point out that Lady of Legend (a name that I find singularly uninspiring) is not the only conversion of an existing/surviving locomotive into something that it never was to be delayed by difficulties and compromise as just about every other 'New Build' (as opposed to New Build) thread on here seems to testify. With regards to starting with an existing boiler, Lady of Legend has still taken equivelently far longer than Beachy Head.
     
  4. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Too much looking at the size of the parts rather than the cost of the parts I fear. The saving by using Hall motion components rather than manufacturing new, for instance, would be decidedly non trivial.
     
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  5. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Having watched this heated discussion go on for some time now, I can't but wonder what exactly is the point your trying to make by going on and on about this at this point?

    You don't agree or like how Didcot has gone about recreating a Saint for us all to enjoy, fair enough that's your own opinion, but what's the point still complaining about it now?

    Just seems to me you got some insistent ongoing grudge against this whole project, and so just keep on wanting to trash the great years of work and effort that they have put into it,which I find rather disrespectful at this point.

    And one other thing, you are aware we're not exactly suffering from a national shortage of GWR Halls right? Still a healthy number of them out there, and no worse for wear in losing a classmate.

    I'd respectfully suggest it be best to let go of this whole matter, find something that doesn't gripe you so, just my honest opinion.
     
  6. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    I have challenged clinker to explain where he believes that "compromise" happened, which I understand to mean something being done short of ideal. The only remotely arguable instance that I can think of is the superheated boiler, and if any Saint had survived long enough to be preserved that is what it would have had, so if that was a compromise at all it was a perfectly acceptable one.
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    At the risk of using the word "didactic" twice in two days ... I think this will have to be one of those "let's agree to disagree" moments. One person's perfectly acceptable compromise is another's fundamental flaw. In part it depends just why you are interested in a new build. If your primary desire is to see the outward form of a loco recreated, perhaps for photographic or other purposes, the number of superheater elements hidden in the smokebox is neither here nor there. On the other hand, if you come at such matters from a more experimental archaeology viewpoint, such matters (or the 225psi boiler on the County) might be considered rather more profound than what shade of green it is painted.

    In short: everyone will a different view of what doesn't matter and what is fundamental, and therefore whether any particular compromise is "perfectly acceptable" or not.

    Tom
     
  8. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

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    Nicely said. Personally I would place myself in the experimental archeology band, but I think it's important to set these sorts of parameters beforehand, or else you run the risk of committing the biggest compromise, which is to spend a lot of money on creating something inherently wrong, when for the same amount you could've got it right, or alternatively achieved a similar result for significantly less. Without a coherent vision you could risk spaffing a load of money on new wheels to replace a set which are 'only' 96% right, and then do a cheap one on the boiler and conversely end up with something which is 90%, or even 80% of the original. A purely arbitrary example, mind...

    The Saint is a pretty fair recreation, yes there are some compromises, largely visual, most of which could be sorted if need be, but apart from the valve gear having longer travel, I'm not aware of anything from 4942 which particularly 'corrupts' its authenticity as a Saint. The idea was to recreate a Saint circa 1912; as such the bogie isn't wrong, other than the lack of brakes, and neither is having a superheated boiler. I don't think anyone runs with Churchward length elements these days, although I'd be interested to hear otherwise.
     
  9. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    My take is that should the unlikely decision have been taken by the GWS to restore 4942 Maindy Hall to represent it's authentic identity, lots of wasted metal will have needed to have been replaced with new, not unlike with other restorations of locomotives that haven't turned a wheel in more than 50 years. Similarly, the reusable metal from 4942 that wasn't used to create 2999, still exists at Didcot I believe so from an archaeological perspective, what has been lost? On the other hand, look what we've gained, an opportunity to see a class that many won't have had an opportunity to see before, including future generations should their grandparents teach them how to tell them apart ;-)

    If purity of GWR Hall classes is your thing though, there are still projects out there waiting for your money to help retain authentic identity for Cogan, Bickmarsh, Wootton and Owsdon Halls. In all honesty, should Maindy Hall have not been repurposed as GWS have done, where would the team come from to fund a restoration as 4942 given that we still have multiple Hall class yet to be restored to working order from scrapyard condition? Similarly there are those Halls that have been restored yet remain out of ticket for decades. Personally, I can't see any obvious reasons not to applaud what the GWS have achieved with 4942/2999 but I guess that's just my opinion on the subject.
     
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  10. Bill Drewett

    Bill Drewett Member

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    I think those in the 'should have been restored as a Hall' camp are ignoring the real economic circumstances. Why would The GWS ever have restored 4942 as a Hall, given they have 5900 sitting in the shed awaiting overhaul? However much that overhaul cost, restoring 4942 from Barry condition would be far more expensive and surely impossible to justify.

    It was a choice of building a replica Saint or leaving 4942 to rot away.
     
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  11. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Speaking further on the subject of 2999 herself, while I'll fully concede I'm not the GWR's biggest of fan by a long shot (a Southern Railway man first, LNER second, I have found myself rather taken with this Lady. The Saint's elegant lines, unobstructed by outside steam pipes that most other GWR engines generally have, along with her larger driving wheels and superb livery make her undoubtedly stand out from most I feel.

    I hold much anticipation in seeing it out and about on other heritage railways, especially on the SVR paired with their full rake of GWR carriages.

    Though truth be told I am far more intrigued and excited to see her when she eventually takes on her Atlantic form, which I reckon will undoubtedly make her even more attractive and a star attraction no doubt! Definitely won't be any excuse of mistaking her for another Great Western loco either!

    Though might be very mind blowing for GWR aficionados to see a great western tender engine with REAR TRAILING WHEELS!! :eek: The very idea...
     
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  12. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    ................................. So when do we get a "Great Bear" new build????
     
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  13. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Ask Mr Reeder.
     
  14. Railcar22

    Railcar22 New Member

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    Not just 5900 Hinderton Hall. We also have modified a hall, 6998 Burton Agnes Hall
     
  15. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    Aaaargh, no! Don't rattle his cage for God's sake!

    Richard.
     
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  16. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    I'm sending you to the back of the room just for that suggestion sir! :Yuck: The very idea... building what was just a great big vanity project for the GWR, all because they like to do things first/best all the time... the sheer cheek! :rolleyes:
     
  17. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

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    I've always thought that Pendennis Castle would provide a good basis for a Great Bear newbuild. Oh well, maybe next time round...
     
  18. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    My query to clinker was not about the acceptability or otherwise of particular design decisions that might perhaps be considered as compromises, such as the retention of the Hall's superheated boiler, but exactly what he considers to have been compromises at all.
     
  19. clinker

    clinker New Member

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    I'm sorry if You are unable to share My opinion, or see My point of view, It is probably an advantage of living in a democracy that We are permitted to have different views. My view is, that generally speaking converting an existing locomotive into a representation of a locomotive that Historically it never was, is in itself a compromise, I'm not saying right or wrong, good or bad, simply that it is a compromise. If We look at (I'm putting My neck on the block here) the most succesful so far True New Build, viz 'Tornado' We get 'What It says on the Box' after all, the A1 people 'Could' have dismantled 'Blue Peter' and 'Bittern' in order to acheive a locomotive that looks like an A1, but they didn't and in consequence created a NEW locomotive from the ground up in less than half the time that it has taken to make Maindy into Lady, and they have a loco which can be used, exprimented on, developed and similar along 'Continuous History' lines to whatever conclusion there may be. A lot of the reason for such success (and ongoing progress, particularly P2) is that They have truly managed to 'Inspire' people to help, contribute etc. by the very nature of the projects, creating real new mainline express locomotives, rather than converting one member of an almost generic class of locomotive into what is essentially a look a like of a member of a similar but older generic class of locomotive.
     
  20. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    You certainly have the right to indeed have YOUR own opinion, of course you are. But one could argue there's a difference between expression your opinion, and (in your case) expressing the same opinion OVER AND OVER again like some preacher on the street with such stubbornness because you want everyone to see it YOUR way and no other way else! Because no other view I suppose could possibly be right surely...

    And while it's all well and good trying to use the A1 as a prime example of how it should have been done, once again you seem determined to make it clear your right by stating something or using something else as example, without actually considering the bigger picture involved here. It's not all as clear cut as that.

    For one thing the idea of building a new Saint started as far back as the 1970s, a couple decades before the A1 project came on to the scene, and even when they did appear many at the time we're not convinced a new A1 would appear for the reason being that no one had thought it possible to build a WHOLE new locomotive from scratch! As the common saying goes, hindsight is a great thing but not much use. So if a new Saint was to be built, the only way such a project could be conceived was by using existing part of other locomotives to hand, and even by using that method not many were convinced it could be done. For building anything substantial brand new from scratch just seemed impossible back then, and it's only really in the past decade of two now that such concerns were put aside.

    Point is when they started the project that was the only conceivable way to build a new Saint, and by the time the idea of building a whole new engine from scratch was considered perhaps not so outrageous an idea, they were already substantially a way through. You can't honestly tell me you would have had them stop, drop everything they were doing and just start from scratch surely, are you?!

    Simple fact is as well I fail to see where exactly a compromise has been made, apart from using part from a pre-existing engine that most likely would still be a rusting hulk today if not used for part as it was, and even then Swindon works certainly wouldn't have held any objections over the prospect. And you know why? Because of STANDARDISATION. Because for better or worse the designs of the many parts used from the hall to make a Saint were identical, and no doubt back in the day swapped round parts of all kinds between classes of locomotives with no though on.

    The boiler especially was pretty much the same apart from super-heating but even that isn't noticeable visually. The wheels are correct for a saint as built from scratch, as are the cylinders for they wanted the engine to have inside steam pipes, and the frames have been modified so extensively they all for all intents and purposes no longer that of a Hall but a SAINT through and through. Essentially all is correct and accounted for here, so can't see the compromise at all, apart from using a pre-existing locomotive as a source of spares, but even then it's not a compromise if they used the parts from it that ARE a match for parts used for a Saint.

    Your argument of using the A1 as an example if it used Blue Peter as a source for parts to rebuild seems just plain daft to me as well, seeing as there is only ONE A2 (and the A4 would have been a non starter as they don't really share part with the A1s), whereas we have still have TEN Halls with five more counting the modified Halls. Quite a difference there I would say. And once again you also overlook the fundamental fact that the GWR was all about STANDARDISATION. Where a vast majority of parts that could and WERE swapped and moved between different class and engines because they were designed with that practice in mind.

    As for the matter of how long it took, well I'd say that was down to (A it being a pioneering project at the time so each part and process took much time and thought going into it, and B) as I will concede to what you point out, it's hard to persuade people to get 'inspired' for an engine that looks so similar to many others. But even then your suggestion that it seemed unnecessary to build the loco for it looks 'generic' is rather ill-informed and weak an argument to me.

    You call it a generic looking loco that looks like various other generic locos, but do you know where all those generic locos actually originate from, where their design and general 'generic' look first came to be? It all stems back to the Saint. For the society it was all about wanting to tell people the WHOLE story of the GWR's great family tree of locomotive designs throughout the years, and that story would forever remain incomplete, if they didn't have an example of the very design that started the story in the first place. Their is great historical value to having the Saint with us, and the fact it uses part that weren't all originally Saint technically matters little, for such was the great success of them, they did little to change many of the parts (boiler included) from what they were originally designed for.

    To me that actually makes the project rather poetic, for the legacy of the Saints has essentially come full circle, right back where it started.

    Of course I realize all this may well be null and void or indeed just plain wrong in your opinion, and as you say your entitled not to agree with me and keep to your own opinion. But please if your going to keep on incessantly drumming away with your point of view of this engine being a mongrel of a compromise and pointless or whatever view you actually truly have about this loco, do try to actually get some serious thought into what points or examples you are using. Otherwise it just looks like your scrambling about, looking to use anything as ammunition to shout to the high heavens in this forum of how YOUR opinion is right and there can be NO possibility you could possibly be wrong at all!! Not one bit! No concessions!

    It just gets very tiresome and makes you seem a tad petty if not appearing to holding a grudge over the loss of an engine I don't recall your name coming up in actually being someone that objected at any time or indeed tried to save the locomotive from this 'terrible compromising fate'...

    Certainly I'm tired of these arguments now, and will conclude my involvement in this (what seems like an endless) endeavor to debate with you in a sensible and well enough informed manner.

    Leave this debate to the rest of you now chaps, I'm outta here...
     

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