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Bluebell Motive Power

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Orion, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. David-Haggar

    David-Haggar Active Member

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  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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  3. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Bluebell News arrived yesterday :

    Summary of loco overhauls and planned overhauls from various parts of the magazine( Loco Department Report, Loco and Rolling Stock Plans and other articles) : -

    263 - Ready for full steam test in frames in a couple of months according to LDR

    847 - Completion Summer 2012.

    541 – Overhaul expected to be complete end of 2012. Note : Not full overhaul, and therefore only 5 years use anticipated.

    928 – Overhaul to commence by MLS once 847 completed.

    34059 – Repairs planned to start in the summer. Insufficient funds to complete repairs in 2013 at present.

    73082 - No anticipated completion date given.

    27 - Overhaul commenced by Villa’s team. Target completion 2018 (Centenary of the end of the 1st World War).

    65 - To be overhauled once 541 completed.

    9017 – Being considered for overhaul once 65 completed.

    One of the Standard 4 tanks likely to be overhauled. Start date not stated.

    672 Fenchurch - Overhaul to be complete by 2022 when Loco will be 150 years old.No commencement date given.

    488 “There has been renewed interest in 488 recently. This is a very attractive loco commercially, being extremely economic to operate. The uncertain and intensive nature of the required work would make it a good candidate, but only if the works capacity can be expanded in space, staff and recurrent funding.”
     
  4. kieranhardy

    kieranhardy Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit from a personal opinion an overhaul of 488 would be a good move over lets say 65 or 9017. Whilst each of the three are unique in their own right, a whole generation of enthusiasts have yet to see the Radial steam in their life time. It bowed out when i was barely a year old. Surely there would be huge interest for this engine over one that steamed in the last few years?
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    There are many of us at the railway that would love to see her running. However, as has been mentioned previously in this thread, potentially she is quite an expensive overhaul (possibly requiring both new boiler and new wheels) whereas 65 and 9017 would be cheaper. So in the end it all comes down to money.

    With regard 65, I think there was an agreement with her owner (she is privately owned) to commence an overhaul within a short period (3 years rings a bell) of her going out of service. We'll end up missing that I guess but there is at least a moral pressure to start an overhaul soon. Judged by her last period in service, she'll also be a highly useful and reliable loco.

    As has been mentioned in this thread before, what we as enthusiasts want, what the railway needs, and what can be afforded, are three entirely different things!

    Tom
     
  6. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    I too am too young to have seen 488 in steam, by a long way, and like you I would be very excited to see her back in motion. However, given the extensive work required, I can understand if she has to wait a while yet. Also as far as I know the 0415s were not known for their strength - she's in the same sort of bracket as a P or A1X, rather than 65 or 9017.
     
  7. Steve B

    Steve B Active Member

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    Somewhat more powerful than the P's or Terriers - quite capable of 5 coaches at least on the Bluebell I seem to recall. The first time I visited the Bluebell she was in service and hauling a train that included the Brighton Directors Saloon (serving afternoon teas) and LSWR 320, the LNWR Observation car and at least one non-corridor coach. I would love to see that combination possible again. Maybe one day - the will, if not the money is there.

    Steve B
     
  8. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    Really? That surprises me, considering that they were limited to two on the Lyme branch - was it particularly steep, as well as twisty?
     
  9. Matt35027

    Matt35027 Active Member

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    1 in 30-something I believe.
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    1 in 40 and curves down to 2 chains radius... So yes, you could say steep and twisty!

    I think the limit must have been more than two - I've seen photos of 5 coaches with 2 engines.

    Tom
     
  11. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    Load limits June 1963. 1x Class 2 loco 165 tons. 2x Class 2 locos 300 tons.
     
  12. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    That'd be a 'yes' then...
     
  13. E-G Media

    E-G Media New Member

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    Power shouldn't be a problem with 488. Her TC on paper is over 14,000lbs, so she's in the 1P category. She could haul the Met set, quite happily, as Fenchurch could do the same alone. Management might be more wary of fuel capacity, as her bunker is predicted to hold as much coal as an A1X; but being a bigger machine, there's no telling if she'll burn more or less.

    As for her rebuild, it seems the main works have enough on their plate with easier overhauls on more practical machines. So, it would make more economic sense to overhaul a machine such as the 01 or the Dukedog first, which are both in better nick.

    All the same, it'll be lovely to see her running again. According to one of the mags, Roy Watts once implied that he wanted to see her run again before he retired as Chairman. Seems she's got quite a following... :)
     
  14. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Right, where's my Lotto ticket?
    1. 34072 overhaul
    2. 72010
    3. Buy 34073, get someone to do it up for me and run it on mainline.
    4. 488

    That's me done!
     
  15. Steve B

    Steve B Active Member

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    A quick search on the net revealed a number of photos of 488 on trains of 4 or more coaches. I recall a comment in an Bluebell publication (Bluebell News?) before 488 was sent to Swindon for overhaul in the early 70's saying that she was regarded as a useful loco in being economical on short trains, yet capable of hauling 5 coaches when required. I suppose that would depend on which coaches are in the train!

    Steve B
     
  16. Matt35027

    Matt35027 Active Member

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    Exactly, we've all been talking in the context of BR Mk 1s of about 35 tons each, but 488 could pull a pretty lengthy train of the Bluebell's wooden stock (and with more seating available than the equivalent weight of Mk 1s)!
     
  17. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    I took a couple of pictures of No. 488 in the 1980s. In one, she was hauling the two hundred seaters and two of the three now departed non-corridor Mark I's. In the other, she had three Bulleid coaches in tow. No problems with loads like this.

    I would think that the best approach to getting 488 back into service would be a special appeal, rather than using the nornal loco budget. There's obviously a lot of goodwill towards this engine - and for understandable reasons - but with East Grinstead still about £700,000 away in spite of the excellent response to the "Double Dash" this week, another special appeal probably needs to wait a couple of years, but I for one would happily contribute if this was the preferred option for seeing 488 back insteam.
     
  18. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    As would I. I notice that many locomotives on the Bluebell, 488 included, are owned by the railway itself, and as such don't have a fundraising group behind them, as do those owned by the Bulleid or Maunsell Societies.

    On the SVR, 4930 Hagley Hall, which is owned by the railway now has its own dedicated support group to raise funds for its eventual overhaul. Perhaps a similar concept could work in this (488's) case and others? Perhaps even a dedicated fundraising group for all Bluebell-owned locomotives, with a 'queue' agreed between the Railway and the Support groups members in the form of a poll?
     
  19. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    I agree a special appeal is the best option. The section I quoted from Bluebell Nodes was by Lewis Nodes and ends with " But only if the works capacity can be expanded in space, staff and recurrent funding" . Therefore I suspect there will have to be an appeal for an extension to the workshop before one for 488.

    Photo of 488 in the shed at Sheffield Park Zenfolio | Paul Simpson | Bluebell Railway 2nd January 2012 | Photo 1 There was a gap between Fenchurch and 488 to get a good front end shot.
     
  20. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    Being selfish for a moment - the overhaul of 488 would render somewhere like Kernow more likely to commission Dapol to...you catch my drift?!
     

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