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73096

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by buseng, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Just suppose you took the locos rusticating in some railway's headshunt away - where would you put them instead? It's not as if there are lots of railways out there with empty sheds and idle workshops just waiting to receive the locos rusticating elsewhere.

    There is an industry-wide lack of storage and overhaul capacity. But simply moving locos from one siding to another does nothing to address that problem. The MHR to its credit does at least seem to be quite effective at maintaining a good throughput of locomotive overhauls.

    Tom
     
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  2. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    I'll happily have a small one, if you're offering...
     
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  3. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    There are always going to be locos awaiting overhaul ("rotting away" is a very emotive term, they are still rotting away when in use, it's just that you don't see it as the effects are in hidden-away areas), its the proportion of the fleet that is serviceable that is what matters. There is a natural tendency to want as many toys as possible but there really should be a plan of how they will be used and maintained.
     
  4. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    As I have said before, congratulations to the Mid-Hants on forming a fleet which they own to secure the ability to provide steam traction for the future - subject, of course, to Ropley managing to keep sufficient of them in traffic and the Railway being able to fund them doing so! What is the maximum number of steam locos required for service on non-Gala days?

    Funding and priorities obviously need to be sorted, and then a workshop and operation plan put together - although I have no doubt these already exist and indeed have probably been already amended to reflect 73096 'returning to the fold'!

    Can a Railway have too many locos? Well, let's say it is probably too expensive for a railway to realistically get into such a position! I think a wise railway ensures that it has an ownership stake in sufficient locos to ensure that it directs what happens and places the question of funding, priority and order of overhaul in its own hands. To fail to do that that risks perpetual shortages of motive power, and hence doing it is a key 'hardware' priority alongside maintaining infrastructure and ensuring sufficient carriages are available for the locos to have something to haul passengers in! (Also priorities are encouraging volunteers and ensuring a safe railway is being operated). A railway also needs to ensure that it has the ability to overhaul and maintain locomotives at the necessary rate and that its business model provides the necessary funding to keep this up - and that it doesn't allow itself to be distracted from this task!

    Steven
     
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  5. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    Outside of the galas we generally operate with two locomotives except for the 4 occasions each year when we run the demonstration goods train and a couple of other days when a there is a special hire or a lunchtime dining train that runs on its own. Thomas used to involve three "mainline" locos, but we now use a diesel for one of the trains which seems to go down very well with the current generation of visitors. Otherwise we use two locomotives even when the RAT and Belle run in the evening and the Countryman runs on the Sunday. It makes for a very efficient use of locomotives, and means that most weekends the locos are basically hot throughout, which I think is much better for them. We reckon we require at least 5 locomotives in service in order to comfortably maintain the 500 loco days we need each year. We may let this number drift upwards a little, but not too much as it gets wasteful. As I mentioned in another post we have 16 locomotives either owned or with a long term association with the railway of some form. It feels to me to be a secure position. I cant see the railway needs more, and the current situation means we are generally in a position to help out other railways even during the high season.
     
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  6. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    For another thread really, but no, I don't believe so. The question is actually "how best we can utilise our assets" I think.

    There is as Tom says a big problem with undercover storage space. No disputing that, it's a nationwide problem and some railways manage this better than others.

    There's something rather magical about the Bluebell's engine shed, Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Didcot, and similar, where you have collections of locomotives available to view quietly.

    I have taken a few guests round the shed showing them the locos after the Pullmans on occasion and actually having a big collection of out of ticket locomotives from differing eras really helps to give the visitors a flavour of what the steam era was like and how it developed.

    I can point to the Adams and say "that's a unique locomotive, look at X and Y for an example of Z" and do the same with the rest.

    If it can create intrigue, develop questions, and further interest after that, all for the better.
     
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  7. Andy B

    Andy B Member

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    Locos our of service is one thing, working locos is another, it’s generally acknowledged there is a shortage of working engines on the country at the moment. It doesn’t make it any easier . Even if a loco has been a long term resident, it being privately owned will mean there should be some kind of contract in place which will state things like minimum number of days, the daily steaming fee and things stating what the rly can and cannot do with the locomotive. Let’s take the mid Hants as the example that 21B says they have approx 500 engine days a year. Now there may be a couple of engines that don’t have minimum days (but you’d be daft not to) but generally you need a fleet whose contracted days more or less cover the 500. If you have too many engines you are looking at an overspend and no finance director will be thanking you.
    Ok, you then look at hiring locos out, but then there’s the issue, not every owning group wants to be sent out on long term hire hire, ok a gala appearance might loose 3-5 days but that’s not going to help much. So for some railways I’d say yes, you can have too many.
     
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  8. 46236

    46236 Well-Known Member

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    6x6b&w021.jpg 73096 at Farnley Junction shed, June 1963
     
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