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7027 Thornbury Castle

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

  1. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Two separate questions. On the first one, I very much doubt that this will affect the numbers wanting to visit Didcot - I doubt that enthusiast visitors are a large enough proportion to make a material difference.

    On the second, the answers about the 4709 group (or others) being autonomous are nonsense. They are part of the GWS, their funds are restricted funds within the GWS, and the GWS trustees duties encompass the autonomous groups as much as the stuff they claim to be responsible for.
     
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  2. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    Let's keep a sense of proportion here. Just consider the numbers. Approx 13 million visitors to heritage railways, 25,000 staff and volunteers, 6,780 registered accounts on NP (most of which are inactive/never posted).
    The majority of railway enthusiasts therefore either won't know or won't care about anything discussed on here. The small number of railway enthusiasts who inhabit NP are not going to make up a significant number of visitors to DRC.
    And as for the general public, who will be the vast majority of visitors to DRC, they are not going to care how the show is created as long as it goes chuff.
     
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  3. RAB3L

    RAB3L New Member

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    Is that a decision based on wisdom or wishful thinking? Their record suggests the latter.
     
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  4. RAB3L

    RAB3L New Member

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    Absolutely correct. They seem to be resorting to the favourite tactic of one Mr Putin.
     
  5. Great Western

    Great Western Member

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    What hasn't been discussed is how much of a real prospect is the chap from the West actually leading any bid for Thornbury to success?
    Their history on one of the countries longest lines hasn't been successful, there's 2000+ pages on here about the troubles that line is having and a degree of suspicion as to peoples motives and grand plan, what makes people think the loco would be in safe hands anyway?
     
  6. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Ah you have fallen into the trap others have done on here.

    There is the "virtual" WSR as discussed ad nauseum on here.......

    And then there is the real WSR as found in Somerset itself. The two are rather different. Currently to describe the WSR as ..."hasn't been successful" suggests that you have not visited in recent times.

    Yes there have been issues but frankly none more than pretty well every heritage railway in the land has had from time to time.

    As a volunteer on the WSR and another prominent line somewhat nearer the centre of the country I can tell you that morale on the fully operating, predominantly steam worked WSR is far, far higher than at the other place right now.
     
  7. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    I do recall the late Don Ashton making some disparaging comments to me about Mr Croucher. I was always bemused why Don Ashton got involved in this project and spent an enormous amount of time dealing with drawings and much else besides for the 47XX Night Owl project.

    I think that Don Ashton treated it as a 'brain challenge' at about the time he was undergoing cancer treatment that proved ultimately to be successful (but might have come back, had a fall and covid not intervened).

    I did often think that the considerable details he told me of the 47XX project were mad. But Don was very happy to be involved. This was all when work was being done at Llangollen, and just before perhaps the time that Paul Carpenter moved down South.

    I can recall Don discussing with me the smoke box radii on the cylinder drawings, and the spherical bearings on was it the last bearing of the coupling rods, and the cylinder being above the centre line of the motion and whether the donor wheelsets would need stepped keys as a result.

    As stated, I believe this was Don involved in an intellectual challenge as he saw it.

    From my perspective, and not wanting to hurt the feelings of an old friend who I knew was ill, I couldn't see the point of any of it.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
  8. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Well-Known Member

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    That could all mean nothing when weighed against unhappy GWS members and volunteers. 4709 group may have taken the first step on a slippery slope.
     
  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Very much so If you can get a product and market it well, people will buy into it and support it, I believe Mark Allatt said that to build 60163 he’d have to sell a pencil to every man, woman and child in the United Kingdom.
    That’s someone with a bit of a marketing brain on them.
    How many pencils are those in charge of 4709 going to need to sell?
    How many are they selling at the mo?
     
  10. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Before this affair of buying Thornbury Castle blew up, the 4700 project was neither the fastest nor the slowest progressing new build project. As with the others, some were supporting it actively, some were sympathetic but not actually contributing, and some thought it a waste of time. This affair has clearly upset a lot of people, and the adverse effect on popular support for the project may or may not outweigh the supposed benefit of having a not-quite-correct boiler.

    As I said several pages back, I am sure the 4700 people (whoever they are) would be happy to re-sell the Castle if offered enough cash, but it seems unlikely that a sufficient offer will be forthcoming. With some Castles currently in running order, another (the Earl) due to be back on the main line soon, and one or two more complete but awaiting overhaul, what is the prospect of any group finding enough cash to buy Thornbury and complete its restoration?
     
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  11. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I was not commenting on the rights or wrongs (where in fact I agree that taking 7027 apart is looking like a bad idea) but just on whether using bits of a loco to build a different one counts as "destruction" of the original. With the Royal Scots, the new locos were regarded as retaining the identities of the originals, despite being substantially different. However I suppose you could reasonably say that GWR Moguls were "destroyed" in the building of Manors and Granges, and more than enough has been written over the years about Great Northern.
     
  12. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Yourself and several others here who seem ambivalent about losing an under restoration loco, seem to think that any potential rescue plan needs to come up with the purchase money and the money to pay for the restoration otherwise the rescue is doomed to failure.
    How many loco restoration projects start out like that?
    I'll bet that 99.9% of groups didn't have the money to restore their loco when they first bought it. Why does 7027 need to be any different? If the loco is available for resale, raise the funds for purchase and then start the restoration fund.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
  13. 240P15

    240P15 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I send the money to change.org.
     
  14. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    None of which is the same as dismantling a locomotive under active restoration by volunteers and paid staff on a heritage railway. How many more times? Every single example you have given there are locomotives in revenue earning service, which are not historical artifacts at the time of their rebuilding, but are active assets of a railway company employing them to do a job.

    It doesn't matter how many times you keep providing those examples: they are not the same situation as that of Thornbury Castle and are in effect, irrelevant.

    The biggest question hanging over all of this sorry saga is Is this actually railway preservation anymore if we are taking a largely complete locomotive and breaking it up to make things that never actually existed and this is a big question that has wide reaching repercussions for the rest of the heritage industry. Such a precedent has been done a few times before but not to the degree that this has been done (only LNER built Stanier 8F broken up for spares for locomotives that were not Stanier in design) and this is why it sits so unhappily with so many people (myself included: and I am not even a GWR man!)

    There is a lot of spurious, if I may be so bold as to go further, deliberately baiting clap-trap being written by some people who seem to actively want to break up Thornbury Castle regardless of the implications or the ethics involved.

    It's pretty simple for me: when the decision was made to take the boiler off the castle and break it up to make a 47xx and a Star, that wasn't railway preservation. It was the wanton destruction of something we are all custodians of in our own way: railway history. Thornbury Castle, in whatever small way she played, is part of our railway history and her fate is a matter of conscience and ethics.

    For myself, I look on with dismay at this whole sorry saga. Maybe I should have been more vocal when the LNER-built 8F was being broken up. Maybe we all should have been. That has perhaps set the precedent for this act, which is at odds with everything that railway preservation stands for.

    A Night Owl would be an impressive locomotive. But the many other new builds out there have proven beyond all reasonable doubt that you do not have to break up historical artefacts to make dreams come true.
     
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  15. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    There is possibly an argument for taking something “old” and making it into something “new” for the purposes of practically operating a railway over historical accuracy eg WSR created 9351 from 5193, but neither the 47xx or the Star would be of any practical use to 80% of heritage lines. Neither would it appear that they are particularly well suited to the mainline.

    regardless of the ethics of breaking the Castle up, to me there does not seem to be a practical reason to do so either.
     
  16. RAB3L

    RAB3L New Member

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    Just to correct you, a 4700 has the same driving wheel diameter as a Grange! It's not a 2800 with a bigger boiler. Would you call a Grange a small wheeled 4-6-0?
     
  17. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    They all look the same to me.
     
  18. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

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    To be fair, many things don’t have a practical reason to exist. Preserved railways in and of themselves hardly have a practical reason to exist, and most survive on a hybrid of head and heart, practical and impractical.

    If the GWS and its constituent parts see their mission as presenting examples of as many types of GWR loco as possible that might be all the practical justification necessary, where the practical justification for ‘just another Castle’ is rather lower down the list of priorities.

    Not saying I agree necessarily, but one person’s practical justification is often another’s egregious waste of time.

    Simon
     
  19. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    I though 9351 was based on a design the GWR had considered building? 9351 ran circa 90,000 miles on its first ticket. I doubt the 47xx , if it ever gets completed, will run anywhere near that.
     
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  20. RAB3L

    RAB3L New Member

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    9351 is another mongrel; it was built from a 5100 with a no. 2 boiler. 4300's had a no. 4 boiler. 4709 would never run a huge mileage because it would be based primarily at Didcot.
     

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