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Didcot "we need small engines to survive"

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Reading General, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    I read this on the net. Just what is going on at Didcot that need to buy a 0-4-ost with no GWR heritage (afaik) to survive?

    It seems to me there is huge change there over the past few years, with many locos now in BR livery, a Class 14 added to the collection (has Swindon heritage but not GWR), visiting diesels and so on.

    If they need small engines to survive, they should have a look at the back of the shed where they'll find several.

    It seems to me the idea of being a Great Western Society is quietly slipping away
     
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  2. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Far be it for me to tell others how to spend their money but I'm of the opinion they should have concentrated on overhauling what they have got, rather than start all these new builds. Their choice though.
     
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  3. andykeithharris

    andykeithharris New Member

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    Whilst that might be true, the issue is now to provide a small engine to work the "Branchline".However I do wonder why we are looking to buy something in when there are at least 2 similar sized locos sitting in the shed. In fairness it might be that overhauling these may take too long or even be impractical - i.e. the engines are too far gone. It would be nice to know.
     
  4. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    just to add, the quote is not necessarily from Didcot Rly Centre. Just to make that clear.
     
  5. Avonside1563

    Avonside1563 Member

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    Seeing as they have just hired in Andrew Barclay 1931 from Rocks by Rail for the summer it seems that they are serious in their need for a smaller loco.
     
  6. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    1338,1340, 1363, BPC, ...that's at least four suitable for the branch line not to mention 1466 and a few other tanks.
     
  7. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    ah hired makes a little more sense... is 92 ailing then?
     
  8. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    Sadly like a lot of railway centres/preserved lines as the original people with the vision who put in all the passion and effort in the early years die off the men in suits take over and treat it as just another business. Will Didcot eventually become a railway based theme park? Let's hope not
     
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  9. Nick Gough

    Nick Gough Member

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    1363 is in the workshop for a thorough rebuild of a very tired 106 year old loco. New 6ft section of rear plate frames welded in, new bunker/tanks required, etc.
    4144 has been temporarily withdrawn for boiler lift to access lower firebox stays.
    3650 was withdrawn last year with excess tyre wear.
    SRM 93 is in regular service.
     
  10. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    I think you mean 93 as 92 is the auto coach and not the SRM.
    Day to day running will be better with a small tank engine than a large tender engine, as someone said one day a small tank engine will use the same amount of coal all day as some big engines need to just get the boiler up to pressure.
     
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  11. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    well I was planning a visit next week as part of Roadtrip III.
    Not going to bother now if all I'll see is another industrial tank in steam
     
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  12. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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    Looks like the hired in industrial is covering for 4144's absence - running alongside the SRM/93 for the next few running days. To be fair whilst industrials might not be everyone's cup of tea, if they run it with some of the older 4 wheel carriages it will look a lot better than say running them behind 4144 because they tend to get dwarfed by more modern locos. I don't suppose there is any long term intention to dilute the GWR theme - the 14 is a sensible money spinner for shoulder days and is in keeping with the region, just as much as the BR built steam locos are. The ongoing challenge is that a small wheelbase is needed for the branch, but getting funding together to put one through the works is always harder than something perceived to be more glamorous. There has been a reasonably long running attempt to raise funds for 1466 but as I understand it, that needs a lot of money spent on it (possible new boiler or firebox) and its appeal to the masses is less than something big and named.

    Bottomline however is that in order to exist, money needs to be generated, and if hiring in a steam loco gives better returns than using the in house class 14 then needs must for now.
     
  13. sycamore

    sycamore New Member

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    Are you able to provide a link please?
     
  14. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    Is it likely it will be running with 4 wheel coaches? If it were, I'd go to see that. Never yet seen them turn a wheel.

    As for diluting the GWR theme, well most of the pictures one sees , the locos are in BR livery.
     
  15. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I assume a 14 is some kind of poison gas machine, if so it is totally out of keeping with what the GWS was supposed to be about. Perhaps the current manangement should be reminded of the original aims of the Society -

    • to preserve, restore and operate as a permanent public exhibition and museum, steam and other railway locomotives, rolling stock and equipment with particular reference to the former Great Western Railway, both for historical and educational purposes
    • to make available for public reference the history, equipment and operation of the former Great Western Railway.
     
  16. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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    Note - "particular reference to the former Great Western Railway" not "exclusive reference to..."

    I'm sure there are those that don't want to go when the 14 is operating, but given its operational benefits in terms of positive cashflow towards other projects, I'm happy to see it there as an option. Of the 3 small diesels on site it is arguably the most in keeping.

    Maybe at some point they'll bring in a HST set - then some people will probably need their safety valves checking!
     
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  17. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Member

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    Go to Swindon instead and see what it's really like, instead of what you think it's like.

    And what's wrong with "another" industrial tank?

    Just enjoy the fact that it all survives to complain about!
     
  18. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    if you kept up you would have seen that was on my plan for next week after Didcot on your recommendation.... :)

    What's wrong with the industrial tank is it isn't what I would go to Didcot to see. From being the world's best single company collection, it is devolving into something different
     
  19. Chris86

    Chris86 Member

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    Does this mean there will be a 'main line' ticketed Barclay for the movement across NR?!

    Out of interest, is there anything at Didcot that has not steamed in preservation- with the exception of the new-builds now?

    Chris
     
  20. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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    The Barclay is there so it will have been towed in - subject to the usual inspections etc.

    I don't doubt for a moment that those running the place would rather have one of the home GWR fleet available but at present it isn't possible. Ideas for legal (i.e. not diverting restricted funds from the new builds) for ways of raising significant sums and interest to enable the smaller locos to be overhauled would no doubt be welcome.
     

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