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Alternative history steam 1980

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Bikermike, Jul 1, 2022.

  1. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Part of the furniture

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    He was good for a hat trick…
     
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  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    From his stovepipe hat to his drainpipe trousers, he was a credit to his iron monger …

    Tom
     
  3. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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  4. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    @Jamessquared you have hit the nail on the head, while the Southern DID manage to electrify, shortage of capital meant that it had to be 'on the cheap' no new coaches, just rebuilt steam stock, no 'Total Route Modernisation' - colour light signals, electricity in stations, modernisation of freight handling etc which of course was in no small part driven by Railway Managements lack of information about costs, the reluctance of British Industry - especially the coal mines to invest etc etc
     
  5. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Or, in other words, theSouthern went for incremental improvement, banking what gains it could, rather than relying on a big bang outcome.

    “Total Route Modernisation” was a concept first introduced by NSE for the Chiltern line; I see the desire for it killing plenty of perfectly decent ideas because there’s an excessive desire for perfection.


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  6. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    But if it had the capital it needed then the improvements would have been far greater
     
  7. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Incremental improvement depend on a long-term plan and once the Government became involved - especially after forcing the creation of the Big Four - long-term planning became more difficult hence the consideration of the Total Route Modernisation concept where all is done at once when funds are mad available. Look at today where incremental improvement should include fill-in electrification but the Total Route Modernisation of the Trans-Pennine electrification as part of the Northern Powerhouse concept is as far away as ever in terms of funding as HS2 becomes the political flag bearer of railway funding.
     
  8. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    There's also a problem - at least with modern management IME - that big projects are valued over small ones. Its a great deal easier to get senior executives to get behind one big project than ten small ones, even if the likely business advance is the same and the risk is lower with small projects.
     
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  9. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed, I well remember one large programme coming about because it could get budget when the small projects that it comprised of couldn’t.


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  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Would they? Would the SR have invested as you suggest, or would they have invested in more electrification on the same basis as the other schemes?

    We know that the Southern and it’s constituents had made significant non-electrification investments - I spent much of my childhood enjoying the view of one such, the Durnsford Road flyover! Reading Fiennes, I’m aware that the LNER (at least) invested significantly in control capabilities. With the available technology of the period, were the railways actually constrained by lack of capital from investing in “total route modernisation”?


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