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Progress on newbuild LNWR George the Fifth Class 'Prince George'

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by knotty, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. 242A1

    242A1 Well-Known Member

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    The Railway Clauses Consolidation Act (8th May 1845) makes for interesting reading. The section which is of interest to us here can be read below;

    114. Every locomotive steam engine to be used on the railway shall, if it use coal or other similar fuel emitting smoke, be constructed on the principle of consuming and so as to consume its own smoke; and if any engine be not so constructed the company or party using such engine shall forfeit five pounds for every day during which such engine shall be used on the railway.


    Many years later the N & W (yes, I am aware that I refer to this company quite frequently) was very conscious of the need to avoid smoke to the point that if one of its official photographers captured an image of a locomotive making smoke they were evidently required to conduct a retake - smoke was bad publicity. I know that the production of smoke is not completely avoidable but some companies did take the matter very seriously. Some locomotive engineers took the matter very seriously too. Improving efficiency was one way, avoiding disturbance of the firebed was another and the elimination of the carryover of incompletely burned fuel in the combustion gas flow was another. They also looked at the amount of fuel wasted in the ashpan contents.

    You could achieve significant improvements in this area but it would not be without costs, these would be financial and would also involve changes to historical fabric. We could keep our existing locomotives as they are and build a batch of new locomotives which would include the improvements necessary to work to a standard more in keeping with what the current age might demand of us. This would present further problems. You don't need to restore a locomotive to working order if you are not going to use it. And if the general public don't care what engine is at the head of their train so long as it is steam, then running a preserved line with a modest batch of modern machines and reserving a handful of historic specimens for high days, holidays and special occasions might be viewed as the way forward.
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Sorry to burst that bubble, but I've heard anklebiters screaming the sky down when they meet their first smut, and uncomplimantary comments a-plenty about smoke (when the difference with water vapour seems readily apparent to the most casual of visitors). Yes, thankfully still very much a minority and I'd be very happy for it to stay that way, but there's tendency to deny what we don't want to hear .... which isn't about to do us any favours.
     
  3. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    Better to have laid down some frames and lost
    than to have never laid them down at all...
    As Alfred Tennyson might have said.
     
  4. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    One of two of the more peripheral ones have been cancelled, there were half hearted suggestions about a Claughton, an LYR Dreadnought, a J39 a J50 and possibly a few others. As far as I know they were never much more than a Facebook page
     
  5. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    I think there's a tendency to underestimate the public. The ones who can't tell a King Arthur from a Terrier probably don't come to railways anyway, and I cannot imagine many preserved lines having the resources to keep a double sized fleet in service.
     
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  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    ^^ I was going to write just that, but would have taken three times as many words.

    Tom
     
  7. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    No you weren't ..... @Jimc didn't mention Wainwright's locos once! ;)
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Only a matter of a mandatory course of suitable re-education needed ...

    Tom
     
  9. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    !! I'm rarely accused of being too brief. When the twitterati were first a thing on the earth I recall commenting "If you can say it in 140 characters its probably not worth saying at all"
     
  10. 242A1

    242A1 Well-Known Member

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    Who is mentioning a double sized fleet? The size of the fleet in terms of operational numbers would remain much the same but the use of the historic types would be more restricted. Any machine not being used could be set aside in a museum building and overhauls and restorations would be under less pressure in terms of timescale for completion. A line would no longer depend on running examples of its ageing types all through the season on every train and if you want something to remain special you don't want to over expose it.

    There is no escaping the fact that overhauls are getting more expensive but the movement is capable of undertaking far more complicated work than it was in the 60s. Given the objections raised to livery changes it would be difficult to persuade someone to carry out mechanical changes even if they were readily reversible hence the raising of the concept of building some more advanced new types, though we are quite capable of including modifications and improvements should we need to.

    I would not be complacent, since political whim and fancy coupled with organised media pressure can so easily bring about changes which will be impossible to reverse. Events show that people are all too easily persuaded to act against others if they are convinced that it is in there own best interest. You can never be certain of the level of any support.
     
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  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The problem with restricting usage on some engines is that the cost of overhaul doesn't decline in proportion; but if you then use the loco on a very restricted basis, then the per mile or per day cost becomes very expensive because the significant overhaul cost is amortised over a very limited use.

    (The other way to look at the same problem: if you can run your service with five core locos; and then move to five core + one being cosseted, then you have increased your overhaul costs by 20% while getting essentially no additional remunerative days of service).

    As for your earlier point about it not mattering provided there is steam on the front: I think we do our visitors a disservice in assuming they inevitably can't tell what they are riding behind. You might as well say it doesn't matter what paintings are in an art gallery provided they have ornate gilded frames. Maybe many visitors can't immediately distinguish a Manet from a Monet, but they would still feel short-changed if the prevailing attitude from the curators was "what does it matter, it's colourful isn't it?"

    Tom
     
  12. 242A1

    242A1 Well-Known Member

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    If we look at operations on the mainline these are made possible by people who want a day out with a difference, the numbers of what we might call enthusiasts are so low that one suspects that if a trip was proposed that relied purely on the enthusiast community for its viability it would simply not run.

    The fact that some people, and some of them extremely influential at that, are pushing, arguing and persuading for change in the way we live our lives and conduct our interests has been going on for some time now. We have taken little notice of this advancing tide. We are not prepared and have changed little or nothing. If we want to continue to enjoy popular support we have to find means to ensure, so far as we are able, that it continues. To argue that the cost implications involved in taking any action to try to continue this support are too high is not a way to do this. A handful of determined activists can be very destructive. We need to be very careful.
     
  13. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Part of the furniture

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    Another question is: do the actual owners of the 'historic' loco want it to sit in a museum largely out of use? Every loco-owning society to which I belong wants to see their engine in steam, pulling trains and earning its keep. And if that involves fund raising to supplement the income / steaming fees, so be it. They were built to do work, and having them in a museum breaks a fundamental purpose.
    '
     
  14. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Errr ... Branch Line Society trips? Pathfinder's Buffer Puffers? Some of UK Railtours' trips?

    Edit: Hang on! Why is this discussion in this particular thread?
     
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  15. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    There are two new build projects which I put into a category marked daft ideas.

    the second B17, 61662, which I understand has been wound up and the other one was the second P2, with the A4 type front.

    in both cases, why?
     
  16. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    The p2 is the biggest joke in preservation in my opinion. Its been going for years now, and clearly people have shown that they wont put their money into it (last year it raised £4,500) and they pretend they are still going. I have no problem with groups trying, however there becomes a point where its clearly not going to happen and you have to stop taking money of people as it just feels wrong to me.

    By comparison the county 4-4-0 in its second year managed to raise 72k which is very very impressive in my eyes. That is a project that stands a good chance of success if it keeps up its trend. It raised more that 6880 in the same year and thats a well established project.
     
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  17. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Can't disagree there. I could've understood a B17/5 (surely a 'streamliner' would be easier to get folks who could't give a fig for footie excited about?), but a seeming expectation a premiership kickball club would disgorge the equivalent of two days pay for a striker in order to have their name on a couple of lumps of brass always seemed a tad over optimistic. At least 61673 got some useful stuff out of it.

    The Bugatti P2 .... well, what can one say? One Facebook post in 2022 concerning their sales stand back in February, itself a year after the most recent news (the frames being moved) about the loco itself.
     
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  18. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    That County 4-4-0 project impresses me. It's not been going all that long and is making good progress, the fact that it does have some existing major components helps, but it's moving on well.
     
  19. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Well, it's that Swindon Mecanno set for you, isn't it? ;)

    I'll confess to being surprised Churchward's only No.2 hit made the cut for a newbuild. S'pose plodding along at 25mph won't give their known bad habits too much free reign, but surely an Abadare would've been more useful for heritage operations?

    Still, if that's what folks'll fork out to see built, the best of British to 'em! :Pompus:
     
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  20. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Well-Known Member

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    “known”….Hmmm…ahhh, Alleged!

    ….a dark night….an experimental radar absorbing livery….bright coppery bits boot polished over….let the big dog eat!

    Question answered!!! :D
     

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