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7027 Thornbury Castle

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by svrhunt, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. svrhunt

    svrhunt New Member

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    I have recently been to Crewe heritage and was alarmed by the state of this loco. Has anyone any news of plans for her ?
     
  2. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    My guess is that nothing will happen unless someone or a group that wants a Castle of their own and has deep pockets steps forward and makes an offer. I think we'll see all the Waterman Trust locos gradually disposed of, with the first likely to be 6634 to the SVR (provided they can get the "new" boiler as part of the settlement).
     
  3. Bramblewick

    Bramblewick Active Member

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    Doubtless somebody at Didcot is thinking "Great Bear" as we speak. ;)

    Which wouldn't be the worst idea in the world, let's face it.
     
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  4. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    If she were to be split for parts I'd rather see a spare Castle boiler and a Star chassis come out of it. A mainline Castle with a two row superheat boiler probably wouldn't mind a three row one.

    Whilst it might be an interesting exercise to try and fix the Bear's steaming problems, fundamentally we know the solution - shorter tubes and a combustion chamber - because Stanier's team worked them out twenty years later.

    Reproducing the great steam locomotives of the past seems like a interesting idea. Reproducing the, shall we say "not-so-good" ones seems at best pointless to me, although there are a couple of prominent teams who seem to disagree.
     
  5. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    I don't think there was fundamentally anything wrong with TGB, just it was too big , as proved by the success of the Stars. I'd suspect it would be easier to build new Star or TGB frames than use 7027s.
     
  6. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Yes, too big and added little to the GWR fleet although it was a pacific that came long before other loco company designs. At a practical level though I recall that its front end 'throw envelope' was quite wide so it would not be welcome in too many places were it to be recreated now!
     
  7. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    I thought that the ratio of tube length to grate area was not good on the Bear, which made it an indifferent performer.
     
  8. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    There seem to be too many reports of steaming problems, not only with the Great Bear, but also with the early Stanier Pacifics, to discount them, not to mention the three significant revisions of the boiler in a short lifetime, to really conclude that the locomotive was right.

    The GWR obviously didn't think new frames would be easier since they converted Star and Bear frames to Castle ones by welding bits on the back. Cutting a bit off the back ought to be even easier. OK, it would mean you'd have dished rather than joggled frames for the bogie clearance, but surely one could live with that.
     
  9. Stuart666

    Stuart666 New Member

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    Rather than conversion, why not rebuild it as a castle and rename it 'Swindon'. The nameplates for the original are even in Steam museum. Im sure they would be up to loaning them. Even better in my view would be to restore it as Thornbury, but I daresay the former would be more likely to get contributions to its restoration.

    Ive no problem with a great bear replica. Im just not convinced hacking up a perfectly restorable Castle is the way to go. Why not build 112 'The Plough', complete with a longer Star style footplate, 4000 gallon tender and and fit it with a Lempor ejector. You wouldnt get something as good as Duke of Gloucester, but it would look close enough like its classmate No111 and do useful work.

    You of course hit the sticky point of cost, but im not sure when you have gas axed poor Thornbury into shape there would be much of a saving. And you still hit the problem you have with a worn out castle that needs sufficient rework than starting with new steel and new construction techniques.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  10. Stuart666

    Stuart666 New Member

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    The real problem with Great Bear is that she was a one off, and as no more were going to be built they were left with whether to rebuild as a castle, or rework it into a machine that power wise was reputedly not as good as a Castle. So they rebuilt it., its not like there was a spare boiler they could use. There is also the sticking point you could use a castle anywhere, but with Great Bear you could only really use it between London and Bristol. It was only when the permanent way department and the locomotive designers started talking to each other, they realized that Bridges had been rebuilt which gave a bit more scope to the King, but when you look at it, not much. And far too late for the Great Bear anyway.

    I dont think its fair to call Great Bear a failure, just a failure to develop. You can say much the same thing about the Turbomotive when you get down to it.
     
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  11. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    It is perhaps a point that you do wonder what will happen to all the engines in the collection. 5224 was said to being overhauled and I'm not sure if anything is happening . 5553 is sat stored at Crewe . 7027 has languished there for some time , isn't there also a class 46 . Reading the notes on the SVR and 6634 all work has stopped given lack of progress on the boiler. I think the original had a visit from the copper fairies and wasn't that from 4115 acquired to replace it.

    Whilst not in the collection what is happening with 49395 now ?

    Given as well that LNWR has now been sold then the avenue of an in house facility to do the overhaul has gone

    Out of curiosity who is involved with Waterman Heritage trust (is it still that )

    Given the many things the Trust achieved in the Mid 1990's and early 2000's it would be something of a shame for its legacy to be a mouldering fleet of engines
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  12. Bramblewick

    Bramblewick Active Member

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    Isn't there also an NGG16?
     
  13. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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  14. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Now that all John Bunch's locos have gone to new homes, I guess the likely fate of the Waterman collection will take over as the next major subject of speculation by Nat Pres members.
     
  15. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    Yes, 109, which is a kit of parts at Dinas, WHR. Still owned by the WT not the FR/WHR.
     
  16. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Interesting figures there. Over the 5 years shown the Trust's income exceeded its expenditure by £412k. That cash should pay for some work on one of the locos.
     
  17. svrhunt

    svrhunt New Member

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    I was thinking that but I guess it's gone elsewhere
     
  18. GWR

    GWR Member

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    Pete Watweman was on the Steve Wright show on Radio 2 this afternoon.
    First question asked was how is his trains !
    He made a comment that he was selling some of his model railway collection
    to fund putting 3 Steam Locos back into steam.
    I was wondering if Thornbury Castle might be one of them.
    Did anybody else hear him on there & hear the comment ?
     
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  19. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Would need to sell a hell of a lot of models to fund rebuilding 7027!, presume 5224 and 5553 are the others ?.
     
  20. daveb

    daveb Active Member

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    Didn't hear it, but there was a fairly large piece in last week's Heritage Railway magazine on the subject. It didn't mention what he would do with the money, but it did suggest that a couple of them could be worth £100K each....

    DaveB
     

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