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Flying Scotsman Update October 2016

Discussion in 'National Railway Museum' started by Dan Clarkson, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. Dan Clarkson

    Dan Clarkson Guest

    by National Railway Museum Director, Paul Kirkman


    Recently publishing the final cost of the restoration of Flying Scotsman, it has quite rightly provoked some interest. It cost a lot of money. So we think it is worth putting on the record how proud we are at the National Railway Museum to have finally returned this greatest of locomotives to operation, bringing an icon of British engineering back to the people.

    [​IMG]
    Flying Scotsman in North Yard at NRM (Image credit: NRM, SSPL)


    Some have said the restoration has been too expensive and questioned how we could ever have spent so much. We have been quite open about the shortcomings of the management of project, for example in the published report by Bob Meanley We looked to learn our lessons and certainly do not claim everything has gone perfectly.

    That said, it is impossible to speculate what the minimum cost for the restoration might have been in a perfect world. As those involved with heritage railways will know, all these projects are different and we could trade good and bad examples forever. When it comes to value for money, what is clear is that it cost a lot of money, but the value has been extraordinary. That is why we said it has been eminently worthwhile when we announced the final cost.

    People have said that we could have better spent the money on other things. But life isn’t that simple. Exciting projects attract money that wouldn’t be there otherwise. The £2.3 million purchase price of the locomotive came from external funds with £1.8 million coming from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, £441k from public donations to the museum and £365k match funding from Virgin Group.

    Over £1.8 million of the cost of the £4.5million restoration cost came from external funders, public donations and the sale of Flying Scotsman merchandise. This includes a £275k grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. And because we are part of the bigger Science Museum Group, the Trustees of the group made extra resources available to the National Railway Museum for the restoration project: it hasn’t come from the normal annual budgets of the museum.

    The locomotive is now operating fantastically well with the Riley’s team in charge. That arrangement is in place until the end of next year. At the right time we will consider options for taking this forward and will make an announcement next year. We are committed to creating a robust and effective long term future business model covering all aspects of Flying Scotsman maintenance and operation.

    At NRM we’re proud to have put Flying Scotsman back on the rails to the clear delight of so many and passionately feel it was a worthy and ultimately positive investment.

    The post Flying Scotsman Update October 2016 appeared first on National Railway Museum blog.
     
  2. pete12000

    pete12000 Member

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    Is Scotsman now on display (or visible) at the nrm ?
     
  3. davidarnold

    davidarnold Member

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    If you asked the millions of people who have marvelled at Flying Scotsman as it whistled past them on the mainline, or steamed on their local preserved line, whether they begrudged the one pound that each had theoretically contributed from their taxes over the last few years, then the answer would be a resounding NO!.
     
  4. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

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    but that doesn't sell magazines

    Jon
     
  5. davidarnold

    davidarnold Member

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    Your'e absolutely right.

    It always amuses me that evey time the stock market corrects a few points, the stock picture of a broker head in hands in front of a screen of red figures is rolled out. Billions wiped of FTSE screams the Daily Express.

    But when it goes back up those same few points, nothing!
     
  6. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    I was at the NRM yesterday. Scotsman is in the workshop, together with 60007's frames and Stanier 3 cylinder 2-6-4 tank 42500. 42500 partially blocks the view of Scotsman, but the viewing gallery was very busy.
     
  7. pete12000

    pete12000 Member

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    Thanks for the info' !
     
  8. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Looking back at the cost, was it money well spent yes, without doubt, we all know mistakes were made, that cost the NRM money, from the outset, i think they did not realized how bad a state she was actually in, and if they did, , did not want to admit it openly, imagine saying to the public, oh we spent your money on a bag of nails, and that may be in part why the overhaul was not put out to tender from day one, At least that was later realised, that the 0verhaul was more then their own workshop and staff could cope with, , the true state of the nations engine would have come out, As it was under Ian Riley, belatedly the true extent did become known, but i dont think there was any other option but to continue with the restoration, A3 frames are known to have problems throughout their life, and its odds on the last full overhaul done properly as regards horn guides and a full set up was most likily its last BR major overhaul. so its from that point that i have to come to the conclusion i have.
     
  9. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    As a citizen I don't think it was prudent public expenditure.
    As an enthusiast, such a sum would have been better spent on restoring 46229, 1000 and 4771 with a heap of change left over to keep 4472 in polished museum retirement alongside 4468.
    Entirely personal view.
     
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  10. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    'Fraid I differ but as an LNER Afficienado I feel that 4472 / 60103 represents the best of its era and is worth restoring. I agree that the the other options have equal value (and I personally would love to see 1000 back in barnes with 45699) but FS has wider public appreciation hence is the best option to provide the NRM with its mobile exhibit.
     
  11. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    The problem with that point of view is that 'the sum' was only ever available for FS. It wasn't as if the NRM suddenly found it had millions to spend and just picked FS to restore, the money was donated by the public, the lottery and other grant giving bodies solely for FS.


    Keith
     
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  12. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    Agreed on the point that an equivalent sum would not have been countenanced for amy other project. In fact less than half the restoration cost came from the sources you mention, according to the latest press release. The rest, including an emegency £300k to meet the Feb deadline, presumably came from Departmental budget and being finite naturally affects other projects perhaps detrimentally. Arguably future restorations will not now be affordable as a consequence.
    There is a very supportable argument that the iconic status of the loco justifies any cost. It just is not one I happen to agree with.
     
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  13. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Having spent many hours on station platforms waiting for a plethora of locomotives to pass on my own in the cold and then standing on Carnforth station with barely standing room in the pouring rain to see Scotsman pass, or being aware of people I have known for 30 years who have no interest taking their kids to heritage lines for a ride or to see her through on the mainline to me it represents money well spent in inspiring those who have little/no interest in the hobby to go and see (and probably more importantly take their kids) a steam locomotive, would any other locomotive have achieved this objective I suspect not. Equally will not the true test of cost efficiency and potential effect upon other projects only be apparent once the boiler ticket is over and the income she has generated can then be compared against costs incurred (outside grant funding)?

    I suspect the comments regarding selling magazines noted above relate to the obsession that SR seems to have regarding putting down the NRM at every conceivable opportunity, I have always assumed there was more to this animosity than meets the eye and thus tend to ignore their coverage, which seems mainly intended to fuel the need in the public to be outraged about something at all times.
     
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  14. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    I fully comprehend the emotive aspect to this and am not in the least outraged that to some extent heart won over head. It remains staggering, however, that such a collosal sum was required. I understand the added complexity of 'welding' new to old but an amount equivalent to perhaps twice a new build?
    As you point out time will tell but I suspect there will be little appetite for a detailed review. The decisons are made and hopefully the public backs them financially and emotionally for the duration of the current running period. Not all the benefits will be tangible I daresay nor, perhaps, the opportunity costs?
     
  15. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    There are areas of uncertainty in the manner in which the overhaul was handled and works specified and completed, I (as probably with many) have areas where I was a little surprised how things escalated, however here is not the place for these discussions.
     
  16. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    I agree that it is wiser not discussed but there is a certain irony in that the single most publicly accountable loco project ever should prove unsuitable for open forum discussion.
     
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  17. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    Unfortunately I cannot think of another Loco. that the public would be prepared to give as generously and open heartedly towards, and the NRM having been bitten may be twice shy about untying the Purse strings for something that enthusiasts would enthuse over but the wider public wouldn't ( like the 2-6-4 mentioned earlier).
    Consider If Flying Scotsman ( or some of it including as many original bits as poss) had been 'Plinthed' and a new one built ;
    Would the Public still have turned out for this 'New' one ( well they did for Tornado? )... and would it still have filled trains ?
    How would the Real/ Replica situation be managed ? ie would you Plinth it as an Lner A1 and have the replica as a BR A3 ?
    Would it be an A3 on the outside but a Haybrid A4 / Peppercorn under the skin to get the maximum train hauling capacity/reliability out of it ?
    Would all the marketing gumph have to have Flying Scotsman* (* replica) on it?
    Would the steam aficionado sneer at the general public muttering 'its a replica - don't see why we couldn't get the real one in steam (as well) ' as they line up(inevitably) for yet another shot...

    Suppose you could name it 'The Flying Scotsman' to differentiate - would journalists then call it The 'The Flying Scotsman' train ?

    Regardless of the answers to some of my facetious swipes I think in hindsight the new build twin makes a lot of sense, most people wouldn't care if it wasn't the real McCoy as it would be an astonishingly good impersonator ( Big, green steamy), with the expense easily justified by a museum protecting a priceless exhibit. After all there must have been several anyway judging by the number of people whose Grandad drove/fired it

    But would we have somehow been cheated if money given to 'Steam our Scotsman' was actually 'Steam a Scotsman'. or grateful that we got two for the price of one.
    May be in another thirty years we will have this dilemma again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  18. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    It should also be noted that the currently quoted 'cost' of Scotsman is not £6.8m but £4.5m.
    The magazines and certain individuals seem keen to forget about the £2.3m cost of actually buying the loco, regardless of what would then be decided about its' future.


    Keith
     
  19. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what the current market value of Scotsman is ?

    There's nothing wrong with a magazine asking pertinent questions- mistakes were made with Scotsman, but it is rather the way this is being sensationalised and in some cases going to print before the NRM has had a chance to put its side of the story that is most disappointing

    Jon
     
  20. Miff

    Miff Part of the furniture Friend

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    Why not, given that the Meanley Report (identifying how the project got into such a mess) and the First Class Partnerships Report (recommending the engineering approach needed to finish the job) are both in the public domain?
     

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