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Preservation or Pastiche

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    There has been much discussion regarding jointed track versus CWR. One corespondent expressed fears that preservation could slide into pastiche , I assume if too much "Modernisation" took place. I agree there is a risk especially if we dont maintain, in as far as is possible, those operational practices which give a heritage railway that correct feel.

    Lets look at the demonstration freight. Some lines only run fitted or partially fitted freights. If you stop the train on the vac brake you may not get that characteristic clanging of buffers you get with unfitteds. Yes I know its partially a H&S issue. There is a solution - use and test the brakes but dont use them - save for emergencies - use the loco handbrake as was often the case.

    This is but one example. Where do others think we are at risk to "pastiche"
     
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  2. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    Signalling is a big example: using signalling practises that are either modernised, unrealistically overcomplicated, or just plain wrong. The ultimate example of the former is at the moment probably the Paignton & Dartmouth with their single panel controlling the line under TCB regs.
     
  3. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    the switch to CWR near to Wareham was really noticable.
     
  4. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Member

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    Nice gentle ride though
     
  5. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    Although the Helston Railway is a small venture at present and doesn't seem to be trying to be too ambitious for its size, it does appear to be aspiring to some aspects of local railway heritage. See: http://www.helstonrailway.co.uk/
    I've always liked Cornish Pastiche anyway.:D
     
  6. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    i was just thrilled to riding in a TC with a Slug (Reading name for 33s back in the day) up the front. (and at the back)
     
  7. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Member

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    Yes its been nice to see a TC and a Crompton back in Wareham....
     
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  8. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    Not sure what you mean by Pastiche, Dave. Imitation of a classic style?

    Perhaps the painting of a Mark One in Pullman livery, with the interior refitted with a bar, is a form of Pastiche. Whereas the creation of a true replica (e.g. the Welshpool replica coaches) is not.

    So perhaps liveries are a major area of Pastiche, especially where relatively modern trains are painted in an over-elaborate style in an attempt to create, say, a Victorian or Edwardian feel.
     
  9. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Though it pains me to say so... With the exceptions of the Hythe Pier (not really "heritage" as we understand it), Snaefell Mountain, Snowdon Mountain and Vale of Rheidol (still performing the principal task for which they were originally conceived), and some long established miniature lines, ALL our heritage operations are, in reality, pastiche. Even the Isle Of Man Rly, with it's magnificent original stock (I/C kit excluded) can't claim more than it's annual "Rush Hour" timetable as close to representative of the railway as it once was.

    Whilst aspects of construction and operations can be, indeed are, replicated in varying degrees of authenticity, let's not kid ourselves it's possible to avoid compromise. Any number of current practicalities preclude 100% accuracy.
     
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  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    1930's bogs and food anyone?

    Let alone personal hygiene...........
     
  11. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    The KWVR has some original urinals that are definitely not Pastiche.
     
  12. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    A definition of pastiche:

    An artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period.

    All (or most) preserved railways attempt to recreate a style of travelling of a previous age. In this sense, they are pastiche. However, many railways go to great lengths do this recreation using original equipment and materials and authentic operational practices. Some compromises have to be made in order to meet safety standards, to meet demand, to meet the expectations of 21st century customers, and to contain costs. However, I think it is wrong to describe a line like the Isle of Man Railway as a pastiche. For me this term should be reserved for the fake trams and road trains that take tourists along the sea front, and for steam-outline miniature locos.
     
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  13. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    The way I tend took at it, certainly as far as the narrow gauge lines go is that they have simply moved from one purpose - providing a 'public transport' and freight service to another - a 'tourist attraction' In the case of the VofR something it had done by the early 1930's

    A similar thing can be said about most of the standard gauge lines as well
     
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  14. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    As have SVR on p2/3 at Bewdley
     
  15. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    So when the original railway companies upgraded their signalling systems, were the new signals just "plain wrong"? You are never going to get anything "authentic", due to modern materials, modern operating practices, or heritage railways having to work within their means. Things move on; maybe so should you.
     
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  16. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I concur entirely. The thing which always strikes me as odd is when some arbitrary date is siezed upon to bandied about as "the" definitive point at which some aspect has to be pickled in aspic.

    Take the very laudable approach of many railways to present their stations as they appeared at different periods in their line's history. Some folk get hot under the collar about CWR, but in the case of a station such as Wooton, beautifully painted in IWCR style with period signage and advertising, chaired bullhead track is just as incorrect from a purely "strict adherence to history" viepoint. Would anyone seriously insist on the lightest possible FB rail, spiked directly to sleepers through the foot of the rail? Or ballasting (with some locally sourced chunks of dubious and variable quality) right over the sleepers? I somehow doubt official inspectors would be too impressed, plus, you'd never get another Crimbo card from anyone in the PW department for as long as you lived!

    I often get the impression some folks charge into battle to present their own particular hobby-horse as "the one and only true faith". Livery being a particular case in point. I've a photo in one of my books of a pannier tank still sporting faded pre-war GWR livery, taken in 1963! Certain carriage liveries were notorious for fading (or getting darker in some cases). The beautifully presented homogeneous rakes beloved of many of us are often a Disneyesque rose tinted delusion, so far as strict accuracy goes. A crack express may have been bulled up to high heaven, but both memory and photographic evidence remind us that the same wasn't always so the case in every backwater of even large companies, let alone impecuneous independent pre-grouping lines.

    It might offend the sensibilities of the purist, but realistically, what's actually needed is something giving the public the best overall impression of any chosen prototypical period of a line, station or train. Strict adherence to historical accuracy is do-able for museum displays, but an operating railway is a different proposition. How many purists carry an old penny or two for the station loo? Reality bites....! So please, cut our hard working volunteer staff a bit of slack, for pete's sake!
     
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  17. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    I would agree with everything said with one caveat. Tourist railways are just that and have to present a sanitised view of the past. Having said that , this should not be used as an excuse to transform your branch railway into some pastiche of a main line. "Have a care" in fact.

    PH
     
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  18. ross

    ross Member

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    In the historical building business, of which I have a little experience, there is a considerable difference between using traditional building materials and techniques and using modern cheap methods and nailing on "gob ons" to make a new thing "look old". That is the difference between re-creation and pastiche that I think the OP is alluding to.

    For myself, I think CWR is a step too far. The trock-trock of wheels on rail joints being an essential part of my memories of rail travel in my younger days.
     
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  19. Devonbelle

    Devonbelle New Member

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    I noted long welded rail when I travelled the NYMR in May and was fine about it. Working on the big railway (and having laid and maintained bullhead track when working in a track gang) I've come to learn the advantages of long welded rail on concrete sleepers. When I did the NYMR trip my wife remarked they'd got it right as to overall ambience, stations, maroon mark 1s and authentic livery on locos.

    To me it's about sensible compromise. The L&B feels right as to how they've portrayed/preserved the past, as far as reasonably possible.
     
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  20. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    At my school we had a model railway. We cut notches every few inches in the Peco Streamline track and glued plastic fishplates to make them look and sound like rail joints. Now THAT'S pastiche.
     
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