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Which loco do you think should be built in the future

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by charterplan, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    Its a bit harsh to judge new builds based in time. Most havent been going for that long. And are organised and doing well. If you look at how long it has take to restore certain locos around the country new builds are doing it quite quickly.
     
  2. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    There isn't just a need to restore the so far unrestored locos and rolling stock - the far bigger need is to look after them properly once they have been restored. We are nowhere near a satisfactory state with that. Look at how many so called restored items are now rotting. I will never be convinced that building more new builds will solve that one.

    To those who see new builds as essential to the future operation of steam on heritage railways - you are dreaming - you need to take a long look at just how much effort and cost a new build takes before you can get any return from it whatsoever. Look in particular at the financial state of heritage railways to fully understand how really non of them are currently meeting their proper long term costs without piling on the huge capital cost involved in new items (or even the hire rates needed where funded externally).

    There is a further, as yet unrehearsed argument that new builds could devalue the provenance of a heritage railway. Many visitors visit because we operate "real" old railways using real items. Is the experience devalued if a degree of faking is introduced?
     
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  3. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Not even a Barry job generates a realistic return on investment so a new build isn't so much different in that respect. Add up how much the purchase, restoration, running repair and subsequent overhaul of a Barry loco has cost and I doubt you'll find many that have generated a realistic return. If it wasn't for the volunteer labour and continued fund raising of owning groups then most Barry jobs would still be rotting in sidings. We do this job because we want to, not because we're looking to make a profit or even get our money back. Financially I would have been considerably better off by never getting involved in railway preservation and the same goes for those who support new builds but where would the heritage movement be without such individuals?
    A new build is not a fake IMO. Look at the crowds who turn out to see 60163. I doubt any of them are concerned in the slightest that she is a 21st century product. Do people complain that the Pickering vehicles on the W&LLR are new build? Can't say that I've heard any. Same for many vehicles on the FfR - new build but the railway seems as popular as ever in spite of these "fakes."
     
  4. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yep. Tornado was built from scratch somewhat quicker than many Barry jobs.
     
  5. baldric

    baldric Member

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    But at a cost, most Barry wrecks could have been turned round quicker if it was mainly contracted out, and many are. It is a matter for the owning groups to do what is right for them both restoration and new-build in terms of time and money.
     
  6. flaman

    flaman Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely! As far as I'm concerned, Heritage Railways should be about preserving and, where appropriate, operating historic artifacts. Once you introduce replicas, you destroy that principle and devalue the whole movement. This is why I find "Beachy Head" and the GWR railmotor , for example, entirely acceptable- they are not really replicas, as they utilise major existing components which would otherwise have been wasted. The much-lauded "Tornado", however, is a replica- something that looks like an LNER pacific, but is not. If you had a nameplate from an LNER pacific, it would be worth several thousands of pounds, an identical replica is worth a couple of hundred- little more than its scrap value; I make this point to illustrate that most people put a high value on authenticity, as opposed to mere replication.
     
  7. Bramblewick

    Bramblewick Member

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    I wouldn't mind a couple of Gresley V4s.
     
  8. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Contracting out costs a lot of money. If we'd contracted out 34081's latest overhaul we'd have run out of money ages ago. We will turn her round for c.£200,000. You can at least double that for a contract job. Still cheaper than a new build I'll grant you.
     
  9. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Ha, ha, ha. Trigger's broom comes to mind here. I look in wonder at some of the magnificent restoration jobs on our heritage railways, especially the vintage rolling stock, but at the same time wonder just how much new material has gone into restoring them. Some of them don't even have their original under frames so how "historic" are they really? Don't get me wrong, I love travelling in the four and six wheelers that can be found on the Bluebell, IoWSR etc. but I'm under no illusion that I'm travelling in the original vehicle from the 1860s and 1870s.
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    You are into a whole can of worms about what constitutes "authenticity" though - is it the artefact, or the experience? For example, Tornado is not an authentic LNER artefact, but I'd challenge anyone to say that the experience of the loco in motion, either lineside or in the train behind, is in any way distinguishable from a genuine LNER pacific (save, I suppose, some nit-picking about air brakes and high intensity lamps, which no doubt a genuine Peppercorn A1 would be sporting now if one had survived to run on the mainline).

    There is also an interesting question of filling in gaps in collections and thereby making them more representative, which seems to be the impetus behind many of the Great Western Society projects. For example, the NRM has a wonderful collection of locos - but in no way could it be described as truly representative of our railway history. So would it be wrong to construct replicas to fill significant gaps? (Where is the 2-4-0T suburban tank engine from any company, for example - a significant type in the middle 19th century?) In the aeroplane world they seem rather less picky about such things: there are numerous replicas in many museums which often fill a significant historical gap - the Sopwith Pup in the Fleet Air Arm museum is but one obvious example of a replica that illustrates an extremely important aeroplane in naval history that didn't survive to preservation,

    Tom
     
  11. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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    This debate has been held over and over.

    There certainly are historically important locos I'd _like_ to see as new builds. Some of them would even be practical - and I suspect as the BR steam era passes out of living memory there will be more demand for a Victorian/Edwardian experience that few SG preserved lines can offer, for which replica locos may be appropriate. Just filling in missing classes to complete some sort of spotters list - can't personally see the point in that, but of course them as puts up the money can do what they like.

    But the other side of the coin is the neglect of carriage stock. There is moaning about lines of rusty locos, but even more unsightly are rakes of rotting coaches - not least because even Joe Public can understand that some of them are virtually beyond hope, whereas they have seen Barry wrecks come back to life quite often on the TV.

    If preserved railways are to survive in their current numbers in 25 years time, it is the state of the carriage stock which will be the largest determinant. There are more than enough steam engines around, and said Joe Public does not really distinguish between one and the other , but they are most certainly put off by shabby dusty carriages , and a lick of paint on the outside is not enough - it might look all right from a distance, but it makes it even more obvious that the inside is well past its best. OK, I tend to seek out the smaller lines to visit these days, but those are the very ones that are going to be vulnerable in the future.

    So, maybe some replica Edwardian carriage stock? Just a thought.

    Edit - The 'railway preservation' movement is not about preserving exact authenticity, or we'd never run anything. Or modify stations to provide workshops, carriage sheds, acceptable modern toilets etc. etc..

    The only way to 'preserve' something is to put it in a museum and not touch it - 'Rough Pup' for example. However, you can provide a sanitised experience of the past which hopefully retains some degree of educational value as well as being an enjoyable day out - that has to be the aim of a working 'preserved' railway.

    The value of nameplates (and numberplates) is not an indicator of the value of authenticity when having a day out. An original other part of an engine, even if stamped with the number, once no longer required for making the actual engine (or another similar one) run, is also worth little more than scrap.

    The antique market is no indication of historical worth, as the ludicrously low value attached to Roman and prehistoric articles demonstrates - it is simply an indicator of what is fashionable for collectors. You might well find that in 50 years nameplates other than for a few famous engines are back down to nearly scrap value again, as those that remember the steam era pass away.
     
  12. m0rris

    m0rris New Member

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    Indeed... there is a big difference between preserving artefacts and maintaining them as working locos. The fate of the Coronation class in preservation typifies this best:
    City of Birmingham shows preservation in its truest form as it the closest we'll get to an "as withdrawn" British Rail locomotive.
    Duchess of Hamilton has been "de-built" to act as an example of early streamlining
    Duchess of Sutherland "lives on" as a working steam loco but ultimately will be less and less original for it.

    All have their place, but ultimately show that "preservation" and operating our "railway heritage" as concepts are fickle beasts. If the Ashmolean, Natural History etc etc modified and tampered with their exhibits to the extent that preserved railways do there'd be outrage.

    I would challenge the idea that the paying public will be put off by the idea that the locos are "new". One, I highly doubt with locos such as the G5, that they will ever know... Two, I'd like to point you in the direction of this beauty:

    [​IMG]

    It looks like an old Porsche 911, it sounds like an old Porsche 911 but it isn't: Most of it is carbonfibre and the rest of it is not original either by the time Singer have finished with it. However, people still buy them for the old Porsche 911 experience. New builds will look like, sound like, smell like and work like their older contemporaries... people will still be able to bathe in the sense of heritage that preserved railways provide, even though some of the exhibits are younger than an iPod.
     
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  13. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Must admit I've always thought of the carriage restoration folks as the unsung heroes of preservation. Especially Mk ones and stuff. . I think working on those would drive me crazy... Wood might be easier to cope with. But all that upholstery? Ugggh. Many credits to those who do the hard work.
     
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  14. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Beattie Well Tank? I take your point nonetheless. Spot on about the aircraft world. There are a number of flying "replicas" that have been built using original materials and are virtually indistinguishable from the "real thing." I recall the late Sir Tommy Sopwith being asked about the Shuttleworth Collection's Sopwith Triplane "replica." Sir Tommy replied that it was not a replica but a "late production model." I agree with him 100% and consider myself lucky to be able to see and hear an aircraft type that would otherwise have been lost to history.
     
  15. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    it's my belief that Preservation isn't just about locos, it's about presenting a glimpse of the Glory That Was for future generations. In other words, it's about preserving the whole kit-n-caboodle, and replicas fit fine into that scenario to my mind. The NRM would be a poorer place without it's many fine models and replicas are no different, just 12" to the foot scale.
     
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  16. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Got it in a nutshell.
     
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  17. gios

    gios Member

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    PH I would suggest that you are just a tad too impatient with some of the New Build groups. Rome was not built in a day. These groups are not a modern industrial plant, or even Swindon, where components are from stock, and assembly takes place in a matter of days or hours. If only it were so !

    Our group is presumably the one you consider "sensible but carried out in the open air". We have an organization that would match many small modern industrial companies, a large dedicated workforce that works two days a week, twelve months a year in all weathers and a growing group of financial supporters. In addition we are building to original specification a long extinct Loco for a Heritage Railway that will satisfy the railways future needs. What the sum of that says is more than any cynicism. Of course it is a challenge, sometimes a very demanding challenge. It would be nice to be under cover (we are working in a conservation area so our own shed is not a possibility) and even finished tomorrow or next week, but neither of these wishes will happen. The group understands that full well. But this is the real world of hard work and knocks - working in the snow, rain, ice and this summer wonderful sunshine. Slow in both your, and modern terms certainly - every component has to be funded, material has to be ordered/cast, machined, checked and fitted by the group, as either one offs or small batches - including every individual cold rivet ! All this in a predetermined order takes time. That the project will succeed is in no doubt, that it will take some time is accepted by those who understand the complexities of building something from the past, in a post industrial Britain.

    I wish all the other groups who are some way down the construction line every success - even if it takes a little time ! My advice would be to continue with your ambitions, don't be put off by some rather unfounded cynicism and criticism. Where has the spirit and determination that made us what we all are gone ? Some of it can be found down on a Heritage Railway near you.
     
  18. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    As far as I know they don't. At the risk of moving this discussion away from locomotives there are a couple of things which need to be emphasized about the "Pickerings".

    Firstly they were financed entirely from individual donations/bequests. Quite understandably, a great deal of money was involved. Being built away from the railway they did not involve diverting labour away from day to day maintenance matters.

    Secondly Boston Lodge is not only a peerless builder of such things but is also remarkably quick at doing so. They can't afford not to be. Since "Tornado" emerged it has been nearly five years and , apart from the railmotor bogie, zilch has appeared although I have lost count of the number of projects around. Concentration of effort and finance is desperately needed otherwise it will be more "Waiting for Godot". As we know Godot never came!

    PH
     
  19. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    But, to play devil's advocate, the railmotor 'destroyed' a genuine historical conversion of a railcar to an autotrailer, itself a change of historical significance, and you could make the case that the autotrailer restored as an autotrailer would have been a far more practical proposition running with its partner with a locomotive... So nothing would have been wasted had it been restored as an autotrailer.
     
  20. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Excellent post and good luck with your project.
     

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