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London Transport Traction Group: Project 483

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by lttractiongroup, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. lttractiongroup

    lttractiongroup New Member

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    Good Afternoon,

    I am the secretary of a new organisation called the London Transport Traction Group. It was founded recently with the aim of securing, for operational preservation, one of the remaining Class 483 units currently in operation on the Isle of Wight under the title of 'Project 483'.

    In answer to a few points already raised elsewhere:
    • We intend to secure a single Class 483 unit for operation under its own power on a heritage railway.
    • Although we have only second-hand information at present, we believe that despite the generally poor condition of the fleet, one unit might be salvageable.
    • We have been in touch with a potential provider of the required equipment to enable self-powered operation, who showed some interest in the scheme.
    • The group has also been in touch with a heritage railway who would be interested in storing and operating a unit on their line. I will not say which one at present as we are still waiting on a few other things.
    • A request to acquire a unit has been submitted to South Western Railway, we are currently awaiting a, hopefully, positive response.
    • We are intending to preserve a unit in its class 483 form as there are numerous differences between the class 483s and their 1938TS origins. The 1938TS is also well-represented in preservation by the London Transport Museum's operational set, whereas the tube trains of the Isle of Wight are not currently represented in preservation (I believe the ex-Island Class 485/486 cars at Acton are being backdated to LT condition).
    • The aforementioned heritage railway is not the Isle of Wight Steam railway, as we are well aware of the lack of available space at Havenstreet. The railway has outlined its plans for representation of the tube stock in its collection, and the LTTG would be very happy to support the IoWSR in achieving positive outcomes for both us and them.

    For more information, please see our website - www.lttractiongroup.co.uk
    There you will also find links to our other social media outlets.
     
  2. LC2

    LC2 Member

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    Thanks for the clarification, it certainly helps stop/inform the speculation :)
    I guess we can all come to our own conclusion as to which heritage railway would seem to be an appropriate home.

    With SWT (and presumably SWR tending towards being heritage EMU traction friendly (e.g. Strawberry Hill), I wonder if a home could maybe be found at Ryde St John's (are they keeping the new units there?) as they would have experience in keeping the 483s running.
    Potentially giving you branch line running for holidays and high days.

    Still, I'm sure you've already thought through all the permutations.

    Good luck - It will be great to see one of these preserved and running.
     
  3. Romsey

    Romsey Member

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    I admire your idea, but have you met one of the Isle of Wight residents, the "rust moth"? Ryde depot is occasionally flooded by Monkton Brook and I would strongly suggest "buyer beware" is a good concept when looking at the 483 stock. ( Don't poke too hard!) The Steam Railway on the island are busy rebuilding underframes of coaches which spent too long on Ryde Pier up to 1966.
    Have you tried getting the local Community Rail Partnership group involved? They may have contacts you would ease your discussions. https://www.facebook.com/CommunityRail/
    The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway near Vancouver operate interurban trams using a diesel generator trolley. They may be able to give you some pointers on the technical difficulties of such operations.

    Cheers, Neil
     
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  4. lttractiongroup

    lttractiongroup New Member

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    That's the idea - from the outset we've tried to be clear as to what our intentions are, or at least what we hope to do.
    Indeed - I'm afraid I really cannot say any more on that just yet.
    We have not pursued that option so far as we believe that a heritage railway would offer a more secure base in the long term, and we are also still awaiting an initial reply from South Western Railway. The committee would, however, be very interested in the possibility of the unit being able to remain at Ryde St John's in the short term following acquisition should SWR deem that to be acceptable.

    Thank you - that is precisely what we hope to achieve!
    We are aware of it, and know that it is likely to be our main challenge as far as restoration of a unit would be concerned.
    I know about the flooding, but not the scope of it and how much it might have actually affected the fleet, with corrosion from the salty air seemingly the main issue we are likely to come across. Before taking on a unit, we would of course seek to inspect those that remain to determine which would require the least amount of major structural repairs.
    We have yet to contact them, but they are likely to be contacted in the near future.
    Thank you for that lead - I shall investigate and present it to the committee later today. We have also been in contact with the Ademas group, in France, who run former Paris Metro Sprague stock off of a diesel generator.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    On the island are also two translator vehicles abandoned on the St Johns head shunt, these were used in Network South-east days to couple up one of the 03's to a tube train to haul it off the juice, often at Sandown, or St Johns, when units were being moved away for scrapping, / being shunted etc, they havn't moved for many years, but would solve the problem of coupling up to normal stock if the chosen unit needs to be moved away for loading
     
  6. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    There's at least 1 IoW car in the LT Museum Collection at Acton. never mind the underframe, you can see through the roof!
    Pat
     
  7. lttractiongroup

    lttractiongroup New Member

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    It's a worthy thought, but unfortunately we feel that taking on an additional pair of railway vehicles, both requiring significant restoration, is not currently feasible. If our fundraising is more successful, and the wagons turn out to be in better condition than we imagine -which seems doubtful- then I will consider proposing the idea to the committee again.
    There is, yes - possibly more than one, I can't say for sure. However, those are being restored to LT specification for use as part of a Standard Stock set so will not be preserved as examples of IoW Electric Stock. The only other non-LT railway vehicle in store at Acton, as I understand it, is the Class 487 Waterloo & City line motor car.
    Another issue that we will need to be paying close attention to when we come to inspect the units.
     
  8. lttractiongroup

    lttractiongroup New Member

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    The LTTG will be releasing an exciting update onto our website later today. If it has not been posted when you first check the website then please come back and look again later in the day.

    www.lttractiongroup.co.uk
     
  9. lttractiongroup

    lttractiongroup New Member

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  10. LC2

    LC2 Member

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    That's really good news.
    I think many of us had thought that the EOR would be a suitable home and had that guess in our heads.
    Now to make it happen :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  11. mdewell

    mdewell Member

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    Great to see EOR interested in supporting something related to LT (Since their line is based on an ex-LT line).
    I am wondering how they will find the space though (I'm still mourning the loss of the Ongar Good Yard :()
     
  12. lttractiongroup

    lttractiongroup New Member

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    So did we, which is why we are thrilled! It offers exciting possibilities for all concerned.
    This has been addressed, but I can't give full details just at the moment.
     
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  13. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    EOR also have a 1959-stock Driving-Motor - one of the ones repainted (in 1990, like the two now on Alderney) in the 1922 red and cream UndergrounD livery.
     
  14. lttractiongroup

    lttractiongroup New Member

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  15. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester New Member

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    It is an interesting concept, and the EOR has run a tube set courtesy of Cravens Heritage Trains before, with aid of LU Schómas. As a member, it was interesting to find out about this (albeit it through a Facebook post rather than from management.)

    A few personal thoughts though that arise from my experiences as a volunteer there, and some comments from others;

    Maintenance - who will be in charge of that? The last few years it has seemed, to me at least, that it has been an uphill struggle to keep the currently existing rolling stock fleet running let alone complete anything new. (This should not be taken as criticism of the volunteers I add - they are all a fantastic bunch but recruiting new blood has proven difficult coupled with some members moving away and 'moving on'.)

    Conversion/Operation - You talk about making the vehicle able to run under its own power, via generator or batteries. Would this conversion end up eating into the seating area of one of the vehicles, which would reduce its holding capacity? Would that then still be a viable set?

    Storage - the biggie, and you say that it has been addressed. There has been talk of installing a new siding for years, or reducing the rolling stock that it unlikely to be restored, but this always stalls / gets waved off / etc. My own experience of taking a vehicle there was not good, and it has since come up in conversation that before anything new comes in, something must go. Not trying to scaremonger, but just want to make sure there is firm interest and you don't get led on with false hope.

    I think all other points have already been highlighted and you've answered, so I wish the project luck. It will be interesting to follow.
     
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  16. lttractiongroup

    lttractiongroup New Member

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    We still need to create an operational agreement with the EOR, but to answer a few of your points;

    Conversion would, we envisage, reduce seating capacity by 14 seats and standing capacity by approximately 11. We believe that despite this the unit would still be viable, with possible future potential to add a centre trailer in the (incredibly unlikely) event that one should become available.

    Storage has indeed been discussed, but I don't think I am able to disclose details of it publicly as although it has largely been addressed there are a few small details remaining.

    Thank you for your kind wishes!
     
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  17. DcB

    DcB New Member

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