Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by Victor, Dec 20, 2016.
Proves one thing: owning a locomotive is not cheap
My own opinion is Martin should use GH as a spares supply for 55022. If, and it's a big if, he were to get GH up and running I don't think he'd find the work for it. We saw when WCRC were having their problems Deltics were available for hire but the was almost nil uptake.
I understand and sympathise with his problem with raising finance but, by extension, are you implying that two of the three DPS Deltics should be used as spare parts sources for the third? That shows a whole lot of support for, and gratitude to, the small-but-dedicated team which has spent many, many thousands of hours and pounds rebuilding No.15 from the frame outwards.
If Martin does have to sell 16, I hope that, by some means, a way can be found to give it space in the DPS depot. At least that way it'll be under cover, deteriorate less quickly and be in the best place for experience with Deltic restoration and engineering.
I hope a solution can be found. I take my cap off to all the folk who put time, skill, hard graft etc into keeping these machines alive. I'm the last person who wants to see a pile of bits,I want to see em running, both engines getting a bit of hard work, but the funds are just not coming in. There comes a time when the money has dried up hard decisions have to be made. Nobody can accuse Martin Walker of not trying.
DPS cannot find enough space in the shed for their own three.....
D9016 is a special loco ... the first Deltic I spotted, April 1964 at York. I'm surprised it doesn't have a blue plaque!
The Preserved Diesels Facebook Group has an interesting thread on this and especially around Engine hours and the expertise required to overhaul a Deltic engine
"When BR took over the overhaul work from EE in 1969 they quickly found out just how specialist the work is. At the low point, 1 year after Doncaster took over the work, out of 58 engines for the fleet, only 26 were serviceable, enough for 13 out of the 22 locos. As Ian says, the precision and expertise required is a league above your average medium speed 'lump', get it wrong and you are looking at writing off cylinder blocks with thrown pistons etc. Pistons are the main issue, it is the gudgeon pin housings which determine the 'life' of the engines between overhaul, BR was trying to push them to 7,500 hours towards the end, but few units ever reached that figure - currently one of the units in no.9 has run over 9k hours. The cost is horrendous, and that's if you can find someone to take it on. The Navy were the last organisation routinely overhauling Deltic engines, through a contractor, but the 'Hunt' class MCMV's have had their Deltics replaced with CAT's."
This is quite interesting as well http://www.napier-chronicles.co.uk/mcf_photo_406.htm
I should perhaps confess to being more than slightly involved in the rebuild on unit 406 when 9016 ended up owned by Porterbrook - there's a book in there, albeit one which may need to observe the "30 year rule". It is correct to say pistons were the main problem, and we had to re-use pistons which were "marginal" in terms of condition. Getting a Deltic cylinder liner to actually seal is a miracle; remember, this is a two-stroke, so there are the air inlet/exhaust passage to be sealed as well as the normal top and bottom seals on a more conventional engine. It was tough going with the resources of a high street bank behind the job. It always astounds me how private individuals manage to cope with this type of project.
I wonder if in the future the A1st may think about a Deltic as the ideal vehicle for ECS moves.
It also gives the added bonus of being ECML, and an attraction in its own right.
Just a thought.
Perhaps another thought !
Martin has clearly stated the financial position and - much as the Deltic supporters might not like either the question OR the obvious answer - asked the question that NEEDS to be asked. As one involved in the preservation of D7017 in the early days I have to agree with his analysis and the honest answer that his question identifies; at which point do you decide to stop putting money into the bottomless pit that is preservation ?
An interesting parallel in this discussion is the result of the investigation into the problems with the DTG's Class 52 which suffered engine problems on its last outing. Whilst I do not seek to presume or pre-empt any decision by the DTG the group has indicated that the problem may require an expensive repair but have deferred announcing this until a full examination is completed and identified precisely what is wrong and what is needed to correct it.
Referring back to D7017 I am minded to note that an early internal row within the D&EPG was caused by the question of whether D7017 and the other D&EPG locomotives should be maintained to main line standard or maintained to operate on heritage lines only with the WSR being both base and user of the D&EPG fleet. Whilst the decision to maintain for heritage line use only was reached after acrimonious argument I have to note that the right decision was made; Martin's recent analysis suggesting restriction to heritage line usage both echoes that decision and heralds an era when similar decisions will need to be taken by locomotive owners - especially those looking to run their locomotives on the main line.
Full credit also to Sir Harry - we may have had our disagreements over the years but I have always respected his knowledge of how much it costs to restore and maintain locomotives - and when to know that the costs will exceed any income that might be generated. In a slight corruption of the old Scottish Prayer - O Lord give me the strength to fix the things I can, the grace to accept the things I can't and the wisdom to know the difference !
I believe that in the next few years that prayer might become a greater reality.
Good post Fred. Reminded me of a photo I took of 55016 making a hell of a lot of smoke between Bury and Heywood. The date was 10/4/2011 and it was supposed to be a small engines gala, so the appearance of 55016 double heading with a class 20 was a surprise. However the Deltic didn't play any further part in the day, and I think it was on its way to Network Rail metals to take up freight duties somewhere up North.
P1150495 by Tim Light posted Dec 22, 2016 at 11:01 AM
In the modern traction era the distinction between what is or isn't preserved has become very blurred. Can a loco be preserved at the same time as being retained for commercial use? I guess it can so long as the preservationists accept that the revenue earned might not be sufficient to maintain the loco. It's probably not a big issue with a class 08, which is simple and robust, but complex machines with high speed engines need to be used sparingly if they are to remain operational for the benefit of us enthusiasts.
It would have been 55022, Royal Scots Grey, it is the mainline registered loco, of the 2 martin owns.
Around that time we had the fortune of seeing her around Lynemouth working the Tanks, the crowds watching her were huge every day, happy memories.
Good Post Fred, the telling line to me was that one of 55009's engines now has 9000 hours on it, against a recommended rebuild time of 7500 hours.
The complexity of any rebuild, and the apparent shortage of pistons, makes for a inevitable sad conclusion.
Lets enjoy them while we can, would be why recommendation....
Ah yes. Getting a fuzzy memory in my old age.
I wonder if Jeremy Hosking would like a Deltic for his collection?
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Sounds like the usual problem of a possible shortage of skilled volunteers that all of us involved in preservation suffer from to a greater or lesser extent.
The quote of £17k for a repaint highlights this. A " fully stocked" support group that includes volunteer painters, coupled to an equally supportive undercover location would allow a repaint to be done at far less than £17k. However many (most?) can only dream of such resource so a contract model has to be adopted instead which creates the age old bottomless preservation pit. I have no solution to such a situation and feel for them, as it was admirable indeed to get involved with 55016 after its slightly chequered history.
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