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LSWR T3 563

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by nick813, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I read through the Steam Railway editorial and can't quite see why people are getting so het up. There does seem to be a headlong desire to steam everything - on this thread at least - without at least recognising that that may not be a universally held view.

    As I see things, there is a continuum between "the historic fabric is so inherently valuable that no attempt to disturb it should be made" through to "the machine has been rebuilt many times over and its value is essentially in the continuing embodiment of that particular machine". As an example, I - and I suspect many people - would put Stephenson's Rocket in the first category, and "Flying Scotsman" in the second. In other words, trying to "restore" the Rocket to running condition, in the process destroying all tangible connection between actual pieces of metal touched by Stephenson would be sacrilege, while "Flying Scotsman" can best represent its own history by continuing to run, replacing components as required, for as long as humanly possible.

    Once you recognise that such a continuum exists, it is just a question of deciding where any particular loco may be placed. My own personal view is that, say, the T9 is closer to the "Flying Scotsman" end, having run for considerable periods in the modern era with associated replacement material; whereas the T3 is closer to the "Rocket" end, with significant connection back to at the very least pre-nationalisation railways. There are relatively few surviving locos that still have that connection, while there are large numbers that don't.

    Now, I realise that where I put my dividing line is a personal view, and others may choose to put their own dividing line at a different point on the continuum. Ultimately, it is for the owners to decide how they wish to proceed. But it is a bit disingenuous to pretend that there isn't even a debate to be had; nor to assert that returning the loco to running condition is a universally agreed choice. At the very least it should be recognised that locomotives retaining a significant connection back to pre-preservation workshop practice are rare, and while it is always possible to move a loco towards the "Flying Scotsman" end of the continuum, it is a one way street: you can never move back towards the "Rocket" end.

    Tom
     
  2. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    While I cant disagree with James Squared, at the same time a locomotive is a piece of machinery. Stuffed and mounted in a museum, you can get to see it, but its only when a fire has been lit in her, and she's on the move do you get the feel of what she's really all about.
     
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  3. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Arrggh, that phrase again.

    In what sense are they stuffed and mounted?

    The whole point of stuffing and mounting an animal is that its a one way process, it can never be what it was before. Conserving a locomotive as close as possible to last run condition is almost exactly the opposite. As James^2 points out, its steaming the locomotive that's a one way process.
     
  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    James I think you make your argument well and your points are totally valid. I in particular like your thought regarding Rocket.

    Perhaps there is an unconscious bias at work with the feelings towards the Steam Railway article on some of our parts: I don't know, I did ask this of myself.

    I have tried to be objective and balanced where I can, but I keep coming back to these questions: was the article necessary? Could it have been worded better? Is the debate open? Is it not better to have this debate (which absolutely we need to to have on the subject of steaming locomotives and as per your criteria) without personally targeting those for which the debate is actually closed?
     
  5. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Haven't the Swanage Railway said something along the lines of, if the loco requires too much of it replacing, they're not going to return the loco to traffic and will instead cosmetically restore the loco? Isn't that the point of the assessment at the Flour Mill? In which case, doesn't that make the debate that's been going on about how much of the loco should be replaced rather null?
    Alternatively, could you put forward the argument that if the loco is going to be stripped down, and that will sufficiently affect the 'Original Eastleigh Paintjob' or whatever it has to require re-doing, one might as well go the whole hog and overhaul it, seeing as that's the main visual 'connection back to pre-nationalisation', and most people who hadn't been told the boiler was sufficiently modified or completely new wouldn't be able to tell the difference? Or would it not be possible to, were the boiler to need full on replacing, conserve the original as a static exhibit and fit a new one to enable the loco to run again, thus achieving what one could call the best of both worlds?
    I wish to echo Johnofwessex's comment in that if one wants to completely replicate the history of steam locomotive operations, seeing a loco static in a museum, or siding doesn't come anywhere close to seeing the loco in operation. It's a bit like the difference between seeing a Lion stuffed in the Natural History Museum, and going to Africa on safari and seeing one hunting.
    The comment has been made wondering whether a future generation will be perplexed as to why there was a desire to restore as many locos to operation, and we were willing to discard original components in the process. One could also make the comment as to whether future generations would rather keep locos in as original a condition as possible rather than restoring locos 'back to life'...
     
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  6. Kylchap

    Kylchap New Member

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    I think we can trust the Flour Mill people to dismantle and inspect the loco with the care and reverence it deserves. If that process is fully documented and photographed then we may all increase our understanding of how locomotives were built and maintained a century or more ago. Is that not an attractive proposition to all of us, whether we lean more towards preserving the original fabric or towards steaming at all costs?
    When the condition of the loco is known and they can specify what needs to be refurbished, what needs to be repaired, and what would need to be replaced to put her back into operation, surely that's the time to have a vigorous debate about whether the loco should be carefully reassembled for exhibition or returned to steam.
    At present there seems to be a lot of enthusiastic firemen stoking the boiler, blowing off steam and going nowhere!
     
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  7. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    Not a chance. They will be too busy trying to survive in the mess we will leave them.
     
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  8. Spinner

    Spinner New Member

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    Okay...

    563 wears paint applied in late 1962, at Clapham. No railway original surface finish to worry about disturbing.

    563 was spent quite some time in open storage, with a tarpaulin thrown over it. Ask someone who has stored a car under a tarp, if you're not very careful you end up with significant, hidden corrosion damage.

    What's happening with 563 right now? It is being carefully dismantled with a view to assessing its current boiler and mechanical condition. At the conclusion of this assessment, it will be reassembled. Part of this reassembly will include a cleandown of normally hidden surfaces and application of a protective coating of paint. If the Swanage Railway were just going to display 563 as a static exhibit, the work currently underway at Flour Mill will need to be done anyway.

    From my reading of past projects, Flour Mill take conservation very seriously. 563 is in very safe hands and we collectively will be somewhat richer with what they are doing. 563 will be in better condition too. The Swanage Railway and Flour Mill will both learn a lot about 563 and its file, for the want of a better term, will contain useful information, which may or may not be published.
     
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  9. Bill Drewett

    Bill Drewett Member

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    We seem to be having one of those discussions where two different questions become entangled. One of those questions is:
    • 'Should an unrestored, historic machine be made operational, or conserved?'
    It's an important question and I think you've summarised the issues very well. I agree with everything you've said. But the Steam Railway editorial only mentions this issue in passing. (Given their past support for steaming 70013, 3440, the G2 and others, I'd be surprised if they had the cheek to argue against steaming the T3 on principle). Instead, the editorial seems much more concerned with a different question:
    • 'Why dismantle the engine now, when the scope of the project is uncertain and the funding isn't in place?'
    If this is their argument, then it's illogical. The dismantling and investigation are being carried out in order to determine the scope of the project and reduce the uncertainty. How can you create the robust, costed plan they're calling for without knowing the loco's current condition? People will give money to fund the restoration when they see there's a realistic plan. Who supports a vague appeal with an uncertain outcome and no target amount? Not many. Their argument is a perfect example of Catch-22.

    The investigation is fully-funded, there's £45K in the kitty if conservation turns out to be the best option and the Flour Mill can be trusted not to lose the bits. If Steam Railway were making the first argument, I'd be open to it, but consider them hypocritical. They seem to be making the second, and it's nonsense.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  10. JohnElliott

    JohnElliott New Member

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    This posting has a breakdown, but the short summary is:
    Cylinder castings (Dolgoch only), wheel centres, coupling and connecting rods (though not the ends), some of the handrails, spectacle trims and Salter safety valve spring cases.
     
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  11. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Stop mucking about! just get it steamed again!! then steam 4003, 4073 and 46235!!
     
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  12. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    How about Gladstone while we're at it?! ;)
     
  13. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Thanks John, interesting.
     
  14. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Yes please! would look nice at the Bluebell
     
  15. Steve B

    Steve B Active Member

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    And given that I don't think they had cabs from new the spectacle trims would have been a later addition...

    Steve B
     
  16. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Dare it be said they ought to get one or two of their own Brighton oldies going first.

    PH
     
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  17. 240P15

    240P15 Active Member

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    And the streamlined "Duchess of Hamilton"!:)
     
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  18. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Provided the streamlining is taken off
     
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  19. 240P15

    240P15 Active Member

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    Each to to his taste ,you know;) I would definitly keep her streamlined!:)
     
  20. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Active Member

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    I think it's been suggested that Dolgoch's smaller circular side windows could be re-used from an original front spectacle plate.
     
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