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LMS Patriot Project Updates

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Gav106, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The sanction would not be for being an amateur, or even being amateurish, but how donations were solicited. If I were minded to support this project (I'm not, but that's simply because it isn't to my taste rather than anything else), I'd be more likely to support it now that I can see how the leadership are responding to the problems they've been landed with, but I'd also have sympathy with anyone who said I've given so much, now stop asking me for more. And that goes to it being about the project, not the individuals running the project.
     
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  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That was very much my thought process too.

    Looking at new builds, it seems to me that there are "engineering-led" projects, and "marketing-led" projects - and just occasionally, such as the P2, you get one that is strong in both arenas, which leads to rapid, but relatively trouble-free, progress.

    The Patriot has always struck me as a "marketing-led" project: strong on the vision of what they want to create and why that is a great idea, and able to convince many people to buy into that vision. Which is admirable, but outsourcing the engineering to external contractors just swaps one set of problems for another. You need access to high-quality engineering expertise to manage contracts and the QA process, in the absence of doing the work yourself. The irony is that I suspect 15 years ago when the project was formulated, the idea of outsourcing the build to a paid workshop and concentrating on fundraising to "feed the machine" probably seemed like a means to get the project to progress rapidly (2018 was much talked about as the anniversary of the end of World War 1); but instead the result is that the loco is further from completion than several other locos started at around the same time, while having consumed far more money.

    Tom
     
  3. Phill S

    Phill S New Member

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    The majority of that is on the Llangollen though. It sounds to me like they must have known what they were doing was sub-standard, yet carried on regardless (though an alternative explanation could be that they were told to bodge it up against their judgement. I have no knowledge either way, I'm just some armchair cretin on the internet. Could be mind control aliens for all I know).

    Either way, I find it frustrating that such huge errors can be made with seemingly no one accountable. We're not talking a village fete that was a bit lacklustre, where being amaturish could be forgiven.
     
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  4. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    What do you mean by “accountable”, though? Those who led the organisation at the time have gone; their departure is surely part of the accountability.

    If you mean that they should bear the costs personally, bear in mind what that may mean in terms of people being willing to volunteer to lead projects.


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  5. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    Who was the engineer overseeing the job on behalf of the Patriot Group?
     
  6. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    One thing that is puzzling me is the modification being done to the outside cylinders. Why is this being done? The cylinders were made to drawing D27-10777. These cylinders were used on the original Royal Scots and the un-rebuilt Patriots without any problem for years. Why the need for a design alteration now?
     
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  7. Musket The Dog

    Musket The Dog New Member

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    The PLC overseeing the engineering company went bust in part due to the many contract disputes they had regarding the work done with a number of customers. Poor work led to many large projects abandoning them as a supplier, and in the end I imagine quite a few people lost their jobs. Short of hunting out individuals (and doing what with them?) I don't see how much more they can be made accountable. It's frustrating that there's no company left to direct the complaints at professionally and with the benefit of hindsight it seems even more so that no one qualified from outside the engineering company was inspecting the work at the key stages. Then again, they've paid not an insignificant amount of money to a company with supposed pedigree so in theory they shouldn't of had to. You don't have to be an engineer to buy something from an engineering company.

    It's really disappointing to see the locomotive being disassembled even further, but at least it's now, and not once it had been complete and a problem was evidenced in the running. I am sure that all the problems can be overcome, and I really look forward to more positive progress being made.
     
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  8. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    From the Patriot Update (see the part in bold italics):
    "Cylinders
    The Inside Cylinder was removed from the chassis in January 2022 to allow access to frame repair works.

    Detailed work in preparation for the installation of the Valve Guide Bars into the outer cylinders has been completed and the cylinders have been delivered to the specialist welding company. Whilst the bars are being welded in position some work will also be undertaken on the Exhaust Flange, where the casting was a little short on material. This resulted in the mounting holes being very close to the edge of the flange which is not acceptable."
     
  9. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    Sorry, that does not answer my question.
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The difficulty with saying "it's all on Llangollen" is that the obvious counter is "so where was the QA process?" Contracting out doesn't absolve the project leadership of the need to write well-specified contracts, nor to ensure that the work is then done to an acceptable standard.

    If you were running a fine dining restaurant and ordered a case of good wine from your vintner and accepted it on delivery without even checking the labels, you've only yourself to blame if it turns out to be cheap plonk when you uncork a bottle in front of a high-paying guest.

    Fitting jobs (and erecting a locomotive is a considerable fitting job) are difficult to do time / cost estimates for; and it is at least plausible that Llangollen may have started to cut corners if they realised they had underquoted for the work. But that's why you need to keep on top of the relationship and independently monitor the work right through. Too many things about the Patriot seem to be being discovered not just late, but sometimes years late. If you check the project news on the website, then it seems that by January 2016, they had a rolling chassis 4-6-0 with the cylinders fitted. And now, 6 years later, they have a set of erected frame plates with no wheels and no cylinders.

    Tom
     
  11. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it the drawing used didn't show these lugs and this went unnoticed until later in the project. I assume, that at some time, a corrected drawing had been made, used for making the original patterns, and subsequently lost.
    Ray.
     
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  12. osprey

    osprey Resident of Nat Pres

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    "Engineer"?....you must be kidding...
     
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  13. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    Pre Stanier LMS cylinders did not have lugs in them, as far as I can see. (Patriot, Original Royal Scots and Fowler 2-6-4 tanks). Stanier redesigned the valve liners, making them much shorter. These were fitted to his design of locos. This required supporting lugs in the middle of the valve chests for insertion/removal of the valves and spindles. The lugs would have been used in the new cylinders of the rebuilt Patriots and Royal Scots.
     
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  14. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. So why is the Patriot group concerned about having them welded in if the originals never had or needed them? I'm genuinely interested.
    Ray.
     
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  15. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    So am I.
     
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  16. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Well-Known Member

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    What will be interesting for me, is to see just how good a job certain other projects turn out to be, bearing in mind that one of the original Project Leaders of the Patriot Project was also involved with building a certain missing GWR Hawksworth locomotive... And we all know what happened there regarding boilers, butchered Stanier 8F fireboxes, and reduced boiler pressure. How has the Project Management been there?

    Richard.
     
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  17. Phill S

    Phill S New Member

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    I didn't say "all", I said "majority". Otherwise, I agree with you. Though I perhaps should have said "majority appears to be".

    I disagree-in such a situation, you'd have a clear contract to supply the wine you ordered. If it turned out to be cheap crap, your supplier has either made a cock up they need to fix at their expense, or has committed fraud.

    I've found the whole Llan/Patriot affair deeply depressing. I find the attitude very curious too, everyone seems very keen to forgive and forget, when maybe a deeper dive into the how's, why's etc might, at the very least, be a valuable learning opportunity. It's not the first project I've seen where much money has been wasted on something that had to be completely redone. The moral of the story always seems to be that you can be as negligent as you like, and someone else will carry the consequence. If some formal censure puts people off running projects and organisations like these...maybe they are the people who shouldn't be running them?

    Anyway, I've carped and criticised enough, we can all agree the current management look like they will do a much better job. I'll chuck them a few quid and wish them well, by way of apology for being a know it all armchair critic. Or as a bribe for more photos of that nice lathe, take your pick.
     
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  18. osprey

    osprey Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think you have misunderstood @Jamessquared's comment. The label on the bottle is in effect the certificate of conformity of the contents. An engineered component should also have one. You accept this or double check against the drawing you supplied to the manufacturer. Good engineering practice. don't forget human beings are involved..certification can be bogus. I know of CE marks on goods from China, for instance having such certificates. The buyer should vet the supplier thoroughly, and regularly. Me being "old" it was called Quality Control in my day.
     
  19. segillum

    segillum New Member

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    A very high proportion of modern consumer electronics falls into this category. Although CE-marked they don't remotely meet EU EMC standards. Radio amateurs in particular suffer badly from wideband electronic noise generated by them.
     
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  20. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I work for an outsourcer. The role of the customer in specifying the work we do, and then checking conformity, is absolutely crucial and not something that can be left to the supplier.

    It always surprises me how often people - including customers I deal with - assume that the mere existence of a contract absolves them of their responsibilities.


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