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MHR Restorations and Overhauls

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by LN850, May 21, 2010.

  1. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    100% YES! The greatest obstacles are complacency, over assumption and despondancy .... same as they ever were.

    When one considers most setups now enjoy tax breaks undreamt of 40 years ago, plus schemes encouraging apprenticeships and not forgetting levels of cooperation with elements of the 'big railway' (S&T and PW to name but two) which just didn't happen in the 60's and 70's, then consider the many obstacles which have already been successfully overcome, there are definite grounds for hope .... none of which, of course, means there's ever any time for laurel sitting!

    (Thought to self: Why am I in such a cheerful mood today, for Bob's sake? .... this isn't at all like me!)
     
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  2. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    Two points on different areas:
    1. At the moment, for the railway to choose to overhaul 80150 ahead of a complete loco is seen as unlikely due to its incomplete nature - hence, more time consuming and expensive. The 'equation' is actually far more complex - 'complete' locos may well need more expensive boiler or even certain types of mechanical work than 80150, 80150 will undoubtedly be cheaper to operate and better matched to most Mid-Hants services than the Bulleids or 9F, but also there may be commitments to loco owners which mean other locos need to be overhauled first. The 'supporters' of 80150 could increase its attractiveness as the 'next project' by both fund raising specifically for the loco and undertaking work and especially collection of missing parts to reduce its 'disadvantages' so that its 'advantages' will end up increasing the priority of its overhaul. I know of groups elsewhere working on this basis and it sounds as though this is at least in part happening with 80150.
    2. I think older enthusiasts can be too pessimistic about attracting 'the next generation' - and this very sense of underlying 'doom' can be a major deterrent and self-fulfilling prophesy! I do see plenty of youngsters getting involved, both as volunteers and being willing to commit their paid working lives to gaining the skills needed to keep steam going, and often bringing a fresh look that means new methods are tried. Working with locomotives seems to particularly attract youngsters and I see plenty of evidence of younger footplate crews on a number of lines (but also operating staff too). It can depend on the culture and set up of individual lines as to how much the same people work on the engineering side - dare I suggest that in some places with large paid workforces, such involvement can be seen as a threat to paid employment! Nevertheless, I don't think that the supply of youngsters is in itself the biggest issue. Where I do believe the challenge lies is that people can no longer draw a private pension at 50 (it is 55) and people simply won't be retiring as early. So you will need more volunteers working fewer days but actually quite possibly with a considerably lower average age. This presents all sorts of challenges on accumulating experience, but actually probably goes back more to how things were before the 'early retirement' generation became the main source of volunteers - and, dare I say, may well prove to be much healthier for the movement than it being almost entirely older people who may generally be more resistance to change, new ideas and new ways of doing things, or perhaps even prone to believing that only those of similar background and experience as themselves as 'suitable' for leadership positions, thus ruling out the inherently less experienced younger volunteers.
    Steven
     
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  3. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    To reply to Bean-Counter I too am pretty optimistic that with the right culture we can attract sufficient people to work the railway. Where I think we need to focus our attention on fundraising and the changes that the end of the trainspotter generation may present. I suspect that they are largely the source of donations, and we need to harness that to ensure that should future generations be less likely to give that isnt as big an issue as it could be. Evolution I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  4. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Member

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    One of the things I do in my 'real life' is look at organizations that have a flourishing youth movement and a lot of old people but no one in between and the problems that spring from that. One of the things that was noted back in the 1950s is that the problem comes in the transition from youth to adult, that is to say that when we would be expecting young people to make the progression this coincides with a lot of major changes in people's lives - personal and professional lives tend to be critical from say around 25 to 50, the point being that people don't have time for things like volunteering.

    What is critical is getting people back once they have time for social activities - but as Bean Counter alludes to the elephant in the room is the squeezing of those born after 1970s who are highly unlikely to be able to retire at 50-55 with a full pension and to be able to devote themselves to volunteering. If people are retiring at nearer to 70, there is a two-fold problem - new or returning volunteers are likely to be older and will volunteer for less time, secondly, it is likely that because people are going to be working for longer that there will come a period where as older volunteers give up (I won't say die off) there will be fewer replacements deciding to start volunteering. So every new volunteer will really count and need to be held onto and cultivated.

    To echo 21B in this situation having the right culture to attract and keep volunteers is going to be critical. Far too often volunteering not a fun or pleasant experience so careful management of volunteers - from those with critical railway skills but limited personal skills, to those with the potential to become regular or important volunteers but who maybe easily alienated or driven away by the culture on a railway.

    Back to 80150, I hope that the project will capture the imagination paradoxically because it is such a 'basket case' and because it is so appropriate for the MHR. Much as something like 35011 has also caught peoples' imagination.
     
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  5. Widge

    Widge New Member

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    Absolutely spot on - it's all about giving 80150 the best possible chance of a full restoration whenever that might be. Delighted to see that so many people are interested in the project.
     
  6. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Active Member Friend

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    Been away on holiday and find that not only has 80150 been discussed (some of the 700 man-hours' work on this loco were mine!) but my garden has also been mentioned! I wasn't able to contribute much yesterday, but work has recommenced on 80150 ow the weather is better! Luckily I was 12000 mles away when the snow hit Alresford recently.
     
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  7. Widge

    Widge New Member

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    Ooh Steve you missed it, things did kick off on here for a while. Online discussion of loco projects is all well and good and has its place but the real issue is all about the people who turn up and do what needs doing. Thank you for your help this week, it was much appreciated.
     
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  8. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Over time things do change, but for the present 80150 is out of public sight and being worked on by its supporters group, as an ex volunteer, i agree fully about not just attracting but keeping your volunteers active and feeling that they are of value, as has been pointed out an complete engine will always be ahead in the queue than one thats incomplete, unless of course your supporters have the good luck to get all the missing bits made so that it becomes less of a basket case and becomes viable, and may at some stage jump the overhaul queue. depending on workshop capacity .and condition of boiler .
     
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  9. Duty Druid

    Duty Druid Resident of Nat Pres

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    No Steve, you cannot park it in your garden - doubt the Mrs would approve! :Jawdrop:
     
  10. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Active Member

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    Perhaps Mrs Steve is one of those NIMBY types?!!
     
  11. 73129

    73129 Part of the furniture

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  12. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Active Member Friend

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    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  13. jwr4472

    jwr4472 New Member

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    BOLSO looks so much better now. A real appreciation to Martin and his team.
     
  14. Swan Age

    Swan Age Active Member

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    Thought I'd bump this thread up. Does anyone have any recent updates on the various overhaul projects going on at Ropley. Is 30506 on its wheels yet? Just interested how things are going.

    The lack of blogs on the railway website recently from the workshops seems to suggest not a lot is happening worthy of reporting. Although I'm sure it is behind the scenes. Have the guys writing them lost interest? I contrast this to the excellent updates from the wagon group who provide timely regular missives.
     
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  15. domeyhead

    domeyhead Member

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    No updates but I echo the sentiment. I thoroughly enjoyed the updates and even though there sometimes appears outwardly to be little progress on the engines, these blogged updates reveal the huge anount of painstaking work that actually goes on, creating the components with the precision required , and they were much appreciated by friends and fans alike. I don't know whether it was a policy decision or maybe just a perceived lack of appreciation but I suspect there are a lot of people who look forward to the witty and informative logs and hope they make a reappearance soon. Yours faithfully Mrs Trellis, North Wales.
     
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  16. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    Not sure about the blog status, but....

    30506 - is currently a 4-4-0. The motion is away for repair. The boiler is progressing well. There is a myriad of jobs to do including the tender, but it is progressing well.
    35005 - is on its driving wheels. Pony and Bogie set to be finished in the next month for refitting. The boiler progresses with new backhead (outer) aligned. The inner firebox is almost at the point of being laid out for assembly and the thermic syphons are well advanced.
    34105 - waiting for the new centre cylinder to be delivered.
     
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  17. Swan Age

    Swan Age Active Member

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    Thanks for the update. Nice to hear that things are progressing with 30506.
     
  18. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Any progress with 828?
     
  19. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    I believe the tender for 828 is complete. A lot of work is complete on the chassis. The issue I think is funding to begin serious work on the boiler. If the funding were available I think the locomotive could be got running within a couple of years.
     
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  20. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Many thanks :)
     

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