Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by BillyReopening, Apr 17, 2016.
Ahem....No85 'Merlin' ?
A wonderful machine but sadly there are many who are of the opinion that anything the other side of the Irish Sea is "foreign" and therefore not worthy of their interest.
Bit hard to run that in Britain and the budget won't stretch to an Irish jaunt
You get my point about sole survivors though despite the compound terminology.
Actually I remember the NRM have hinted in the past that 1000 was an engine they might be prepared to consider steaming again - although I suspect not for the main line. As with all these things though, somebody has to find the money!
Yes, I will certainly miss 60009 and 61994, and I take the point about the latter being a unique engine. But at least we will still have 4464 and 60007 to enjoy, and who knows, maybe the NRM will let 4468 out to play again one fine day? And perhaps the A1SLT's new V4 might help to mitigate the loss of the "Marquess"?
The costs of overhauling these old engines are not going to get any lower (witness 60103); new builds may prove more economical to maintain in the long run. Also, the longer you run an engine the more of it you have to replace (again, witness 60103); so there is a danger that eventually you destroy the thing you set out to preserve.
So in many ways, it makes a lot of sense for old engines to step aside and make way for new players, but I think the big challenge will be what to do with all those big old engines that will never steam again. Building museums to house them in is a lot less glamorous than, say, building a new P2 - I suspect it would be harder to raise funds for.
So if Mr. Cameron is willing to create a permanent home for these engines, to keep them warm and dry and safe for the foreseeable future, isn't that really the best legacy he could leave for them?
That said, though, I will certainly try to ride behind 60009 while I still can - and I will always treasure my memories of seeing three A4s in steam at Shildon in 2014.
Take a look - RPSI trains are extremely good value, much cheaper than any mainline tickets this side of the water. Everyone who goes is impressed, gets a great welcome, and has a fantastic time. Plus getting there is much cheaper than getting to most of Great Britain by rail...
Just a small point, you can't destroy what doesn't exist, very little remains of the original 1472 on the loco we see today and much of 60009 will have also been renewed over the years, I think the boiler now on Mallard is its ninth. It is always possible in theory to keep any machinery running by renewing worn out parts
Yes, but I think it is still worth making a distinction between surviving steam-era components, and preservation-era replacements. Materials and methods have changed since 1968 - for example we now have parts made in metric rather than Imperial measurements, new parts cast from polystyrene patterns, etc. So if we were to keep everything running, eventually we might find that we no longer had any truly authentic examples of steam-era workmanship.
These machines were made to do a job, their original builders would be baffled that we are still using them but absolutely staggered to see that people might like to keep them to *not* use.
I can see the merit in preserving artifacts displaying workmanship from a particular era *if* the artifact is in largely 'original' condition with only minimal deterioration due to the passage of time. This works for things like paintings whose intended use is essentially static, but there are precious few machines for which this can ever be possible - a few 'last built' cars which went straight to museums, perhaps, and even on those certain parts will perish in time. When we get to things like locomotives, if we're talking about a quick paint job slapped over an asbestos-ridden worn-out machine at the end of steam after many years of use, what exactly are we trying to preserve?
Consider at this point the N2 (1744) - a unique survivor now in its 96th year - it's genuine steam-era inner firebox was deemed beyond repair at the last overhaul and replaced with a steel one and IIRC it has welded stays too. Personally, as something of a 'design purist', I'd have preferred them to put a new copper firebox in, but I believe the correct grade of copper wasn't available at the time and/or the cost was prohibitive - and it can always be changed back again when next the steel 'box needs replacing anyway. In the meantime the locomotive can be seen working as its builders originally intended. The alternative would have been to stuff-and-mount the loco, and very nice it would have looked in a museum no doubt - but what 'heritage' or 'educational' value is there in a worn-out inner firebox?
And now explain please why, for example, a worn-out V2 cylinder block is any more or less 'historically significant' than a worn-out N2 firebox. Because I can't.
So if Mr. Cameron is willing to create a permanent home for these engines, to keep them warm and dry and safe for the foreseeable future, isn't that really the best legacy he could leave for them like 46235 but people complain of that
So what about pot sherds from three or four thousand years ago? Chucked out by the original owners when the pots broke but now considered worth displaying in museums all over the world.
The worn-out N2 firebox was presumably much the same as dozens of other fireboxes. If I understand aright, the V2 cylinder block is a rare (or unique in Britain?) example of three cylinders in a single casting. I would hope that it can be inspected by special arrangement if someone has a sufficiently convincing reason to see it, but better would be to take it off the loco so it can be seen by anyone.
It depends on the way they are displayed, I think John Cameron will be more sympathetic to a railwaylike display than the corner where 46235 has been put, I think it's stretching the meaning of the word to call it a display.
I am rather saddedned if this is indeed the fate for 60009 and even more so 61994, both lovely machines.
However as has been said, its the owners choice and if they do get placed in a museum long term its certainly an awful lot better than being sat in a siding somewhere, the preservation movement has had a lot of years of being able to appreciate these locos working, which they would not have done otherwise!
The V2 cylinder block is a bit of an interesting one to me, I can see that for the true 'museum piece' that keeping the historical integrity is important- but having not been to York for a couple of years I have no idea how Green Arrow is displayed- for example is any reference made to the Monobloc casting or the damage that will prevent her running again in the future?
If the answer is no, then is this unique design feature able to be understood an appreciated?
I have wondered previously whether IF a new replacement block was built whether in fact the original damaged block would be able to be displayed better (off the loco- but probably with it if she was not at work) and would allow visitors to gain a better understanding of the unique nature of the design/part and probably a better understanding (if displayed with decent interpretation resources) of the design/casting/machining process and the mechanics behind the operation of a 3 cylinder loco (would probably be a good feature near Ellerman Lines?)
60800 is at Shildon
Excellent points Chris.
Like you I am more disappointed about the possible future of the K4. I can fully understand why Mr Cameron would wish to retain full control of the A4, having owned it for over 50 years and there being the likelihood of two working classmates in the immediate future.
The K4 however is unique and has "only" been in the present hands for 15 or so years? Whilst being sincerely grateful for the enormous investment that has enabled us to see it working this last decade, I hope Mr C remains open minded.
In that case, what you are preserving is a record not only of how the engine was built, but also how it was used. Close examination into the ways that certain components have worn can reveal information about the working life of an engine. For example the extensive survey of Rocket at the NRM a few years ago revealed that it had had two (IIRC) accidents during its working life. That was something that we had no documentary evidence of, so if the components of the loco had been replaced in order to return it to steam, that information would have been lost.
As for the monobloc cylinder casting, AFAIK 4771's is the only one now surviving in the UK, whereas there are other preserved steam-era fireboxes still in existence (albeit not N2 fireboxes). The NRM have said in the past that if someone coughed up for a new monobloc they'd be prepared to consider steaming 4771 again (and presumably they would keep the old one). In a way, that would give everyone the best of all worlds - after all, the original bloc could always be reinstated later on for display purposes. However, I remember someone from the NRM saying at the time that for the price of a new monobloc, you could probably restore both 1000 and 6229 to steam - so take your choice!
Don't get me wrong, I certainly wouldn't want us to stuff and mount everything. I am just saying that, if someone is willing to step forward and pay for an engine to be conserved in this way, then it can be a valuable exercise. I just get very frustrated with the "let's steam absolutely everything" brigade. Even we disregarded all the reasons I have just discussed, and even if you could find the money to restore absolutely everything, would that really be a worthwhile exercise? For example, I remember reading letters to Steam Railway in the past saying that Ellerman Lines should have a new boiler built so that she can return to steam. Seriously, why bother? What will we gain from steaming her that we couldn't gain from steaming one of the ten other MNs in preservation? Can't we all just appreciate the fact that she is actually quite an interesting exhibit in her current form? Can't we just be grateful that at least she still exists and has a secure future, when most of her classmates were either scrapped, or else are still rusting in sidings?
And besides, now that the new-build movement is taking off, you could choose any engine from history and build a replica of it if you really wanted to!
I think that you're forgetting that this entire scheme would need planning permission and that the building would need to conform to the Building Regulations. Also, there will be additional costs relative to insurance in any building where the public are to be admitted. My concern is that the terms of the trust would prevent the trustees from doing anything other than to keep the locomotives stuffed at that location.
Probably not the right place for it but has anyone accurately assessed the cost of a new monobloc and to what extent may price have dropped due to recent advances in polystyrene or 3d printed patterns.
So, what is it about the "stuff and mount" process which precludes a return to operation in the distant future if circumstances change? The wailing and gnashing of teeth here makes it sound almost as if folk think that boilers are filled with concrete and wheels welded to frames... I can think of locomotives that spent decades as museum exhibits and then were run again.
Depends how they are displayed, try extracting some of the loco's at Swindon without some serious dough.
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