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Current and Proposed New-Builds

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by aron33, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Exactly. Tom has pointed out how running costs are hardly a significant factor on the preserved railway, so we should eliminate them from consideration. I suggest this means its largely irrelevant whether a locomotive can do the required work with 5% to spare or 25% to spare, just so long as it can do the work. And that also means that its quite irrelevant whether the locomotive would be better suited to different work that no longer exists.

    What's important, I suggest, are
    - firstly net build and overhaul costs, net costs being those after excluding what cash and volunteer manpower the locomotive can bring with it, and
    - secondly traffic generation, what visitors the locomotive can attract over and above another type.
    And of those two, I rather suspect the first is king, but it is the net cost that needs to be considered, not gross. No point in having the cheapest and easiest to maintain locomotive in the world if no-one will volunteer to finance or work on it and everything must be done from revenue by salaried staff.
     
  2. JayDee

    JayDee Member

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    Visitors-wise I suspect that actually doesn't matter in as much as we all think from our enthusiasts point of view.

    Most customers come out to see a steam train and ride it through whatever vaguely pretty countryside said line runs through. Your average person on the street doesn't know a King from a Black 5 other than they might be different colours. A GWR engine has just spent most of the last year at the Midland Railway Centre.

    It certainly matters during Galas (even home fleet affairs) but these are special events usually reserved for single weekends.

    If a smaller, cheaper locomotive can be built and financed, it'd make a lot of sense to put it on the more weekday traffic where the profits could be maximised and maintenance costs are less of a worry. So long as it's steam, it's likely to pay its way.

    The 82045 people point this out, we need some kind of practical, new steam engines which can haul the weekday stuff to max out the older locomotives by letting them handle the weekend traffic. Even the newer stuff running today is rapidly approaching Bus-pass age if not already exceeding it!

    Reading around, both the Patriot Trust and the 82045 folks mention batch building tank locomotives but for various reasons they choose not to go ahead with such things, but seem amenable to making things available for people to do so if they so wish.
     
  3. ross

    ross Member

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    I will say this though. In the 70's Mallard was stuffed and mounted, Sir Nigel Gresley was in bits at ICI, Bittern was sitting at Dinting, looking to never turn a wheel again. My dad took me to Fife (500 miles each way) to ride behind Union of South Africa on the Lochty Railway. About 10 miles an hour along a farm track-did I care? It was an A4, and it was the only way I was going to get to ride behind one.
     
  4. 60835

    60835 New Member

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    Mallard did come out to play for a while though, didn't she?
     
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  5. 60835

    60835 New Member

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    No, because we're 'tired of experts' ;) (see various political discussions ad nauseam)
     
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  6. ross

    ross Member

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    Not til the 80's. She was overhauled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her record run, but in 1977 that seemed an impossible fantasy.
    Steam was banned from BR, apparently forever. The last industrials locos been built, locos were chosen at Barry based on tyre wear, and everybody knew that there could never, ever be any possibility of large steam locomotives being built in Britain again
     
  7. 240P15

    240P15 Active Member

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    I`m very glad they got it wrong!:)

    Knut
     
  8. clinker

    clinker New Member

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    I remember those days too, if some-one had told me of a future like the present I'd have written Him off as a nutter.
     
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  9. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    I remember the locos at Barry first being brought to my attention when Didcot bought 5051. Shortly afterward, I had the chance of visiting Barry on a mystery trip from Redhill (Where I lived at the time). I was a young naive teenager at the time and stupidly believed that they would virtually all be saved. Boy was I crazy, but as it turned out I was (more or less) correct!

    Mind you, even with the optimism of youth, I didn't anticipate the new-build phenomenon. If someone had told me that eight days from today I would be travelling up the East Coast Main Line to York behind an A1 Pacific authorised to run at up to 90mph, I would have told them they were living in a complete fantasy world.
     
  10. 60835

    60835 New Member

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    Looking forward to that myself :)
     
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  11. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    As am I :)
     
  12. 60835

    60835 New Member

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    Wonder how many on NP are going to be on that train?
     
  13. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    I will be. Dining. Don't have coach/seat numbers yet.
     
  14. 60835

    60835 New Member

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    Snap. Nor do I, no tickets sent out yet?
     
  15. Kylchap

    Kylchap Member

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    I'll be there, too. Let's hope for a clear path!
     
  16. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I hope we will all be agreeing on one thing - preservation would be a hell of a lot less fun without Tornado and her team.
     
  17. goldfish

    goldfish Resident of Nat Pres

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    I remember seeing SNG and Mallard in steam at York Station and it was like a religious experience. Amazing to think that they’d have been sat alongside 8, 9, 10 and 19 a few years later…

    Simon
     
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  18. Allegheny

    Allegheny Member

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    ditto West Coast/DB/Jeremy Hosking/Tyseley etc., etc.
     
  19. lostlogin

    lostlogin Member

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    Obviously bits wear out but if you replace a boiler or fire box on an old loco probably you end up with a boiler or firebox that is in the same condition as on a new build. I say probably because what I have no real idea of is whether in respect of Standard Gauge loco's much is done to improve them over time or whether each loco is really the same animals they always were. In essence do standard gauge lines and owners look to make the changes like some of the narrow gauge lines have done. The TR loco's are complete different beasts to what they were in the 60's with No.1 having changes that required the back buffer beam being moved so it no longer lies flush. Now the Earl has gone when James Spooner appears the FR will have three fairly similar looking double fairlies and whilst two are two new builds even Merddin Emrys I expect is a much improved machine compared to when it was running in the old regime.

    Now it might not be a fair comparison as narrow gauge loco's are probably working harder now on some lines than they were in pre preservation days whilst for standard gauge it is the opposite. Therefore it is maybe the case that the narrow gauge lines had or have a much greater need to make improvements to make the loco's fit for current use but also due to intensive use and competition between lines and engineers etc standard gauge loco's had been improved and replaced over the years whilst narrow gauge loco's just kept plodding along

    Basically I am really trying to see whether rather than building lots of new loco's there are ways of much more cheaply improving performance, efficiency and reliability of some more common current locos without making too many obvious changes to appearances.
     
  20. ross

    ross Member

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    Possibly ONE of the current new build projects is attempting to fulfil a need. The others are about recapturing "the one that got away". Most people are pretty much convinced that adequate locomotives for current and forecast traffic requirements (on standard gauge) could be provided economically by overhauling out of ticket and unrestored existing locomotives. On the whole, these would give performance and reliability in abundance.
    However the new build thing isn't about need, its about desire
     
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