Discussion in 'transport' started by oneflewover, Jan 11, 2008.
A momentous day for the A1. First time in steam. Well 2 days ago really.
This is the one they're building from scratch, isn't it?
Well done to them.
That's superb. It'll be really good to see it in action on the main line.
I wonder whether there's any chance of them getting the dispensation for 90mph running they were after.
There is, of course, the argument that 60163 is a big missed opportunity, since it is basically a replica (although the A1 trust describe it as an addition to the class) of engines built in the late 1940s and very little different. That was certainly the opinion of the late L.D. Porta, an engineer who believed that with rising oil prices there was a future for a 'second generation' steam engine. Page about it here. One wonders what David Wardale, another advocate of a modernised steam engine and driving force behind the 5AT project makes of it. Maybe the two projects should have been combined to build some sort of super-A1...
Either way, it'll be great to see it running.
From a momentous day to a sad one http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11641871/Andrew-Dow-railway-historian-obituary.html
Not sure why it's one for this thread, tbh, but sad news all the same. Dow was a good historian.
Dow was one of the driving forces behind the tornado and saves another thread
spotted on a rail mag in Sainsbury's at lunchtime that the Tornado team are possibly going to build another loco (beyond the Gresley P2 already announced) - some sort of banking loco. Can't find anything on the internet yet.
I saw that - the loco concerned is a "Shap banker" according to the magazine, when I can retrieve the issue concerned I'll edit/add some more info.
There's a few diesel schemes underway too, the Class 23 baby deltic project and another to build a class 22 (someone has a power unit as a few were used as static back-up generators after the locos were scrapped)
In some ways it seems a shame to put effort into new builds when other classes that do exist are still not yet up and running, but would be nice to see either of them running again, ideally in dirty blue and yellow.
I don't know about diesels, but there are too many new-build steam projects out there now IMO. Some of them are sensible projects from people who know what they're doing and have - or have access to - relevant engineering skills, fundraising experience and a suitable base. Others are daydreamers who've seen Tornado and thought, 'we can do that' without realising just how big and expensive an undertaking it is. I'm sure the A1 Trust's P2 will eventually get built, whereas the young and starry-eyed group currently promoting a project to build a new LNER L1 almost certainly won't get very far - which is a shame because the LNER is so badly represented in terms of preserved engines, although personally I'd prefer a new V3, which was a much better engine than the L1. Other groups are the result of faction-fights within existing projects, which is why we've now two separate groups trying to build new B17s. I don't completely buy the view that all of these projects are taking money and expertise off each other, but that in case they definitely are, and to the detriment of both. My guess is that either both projects will eventually be abandoned or they'll end up merging again when they've forgotten what they fell out over in the first place.
I've always assumed this was because it was the furthest of the pre-grouping networks from Barry, which provided a safe haven for so many ex-GWR, Midland and Southern machines.
I also wonder if there is a bit of a peak in preservation activity at the moment because most of the generation that grew up with a love of steam have now retired and are able to make use of their spare time volunteering at various lines. I also worry where we will be in 50 years time and whether some of the smaller preservation groups will survive then, without a body of enthusiastic members getting their hands dirty.
I think that's exactly it - well, them and the BR standards, quite a few preserved examples of which came from Woodham Bros. I think the only ex-LNER engine to end up there was 61264, which was snapped up by preservationists and is back on the main line.
There's a fair bit of debate about this on enthusiasts' forums. It's a real concern IMO but perhaps not as critical as some make out, because although the demographic among volunteers on preserved lines is generally older, a lot of people there are too young to have worked with steam on the main line and have come into it through the preservation scene. It seems to be something people get into in middle age, presumably when they've time and money enough to spare, although there are quite a few much younger people out their too. Certainly, at a lot of preserved lines you'll see firemen in their 20s.
The problem people seem more reticent about discussing but which might actually be more serious is cliquishness. After he retired my father did a few volunteer shifts on a line near him but really didn't find it very welcoming and didn't go back, and I've seen the same story aired in other places. There doesn't appear to be too much of a problem with recruitment of volunteers in a lot of places, but retention does seem to be an issue, and in the long run that could spell trouble.
I think another concern is there are a few lines out there that are a bit shit, don't have much track length and once people start building industrial units and housing estates adjacent to the line or start squeezing cycletracks alongside then they lose a lot of character that attracts the regular public. Plus that old favourite of using one track of a double-track alignment for storing scrap metal (usually decaying Mk1 coaching stock and broken industrial shunters). I'm not sure they'll manage to reach out to the non-enthusiast market when the spotting crowd has died off.
The older more established lines are more likely to survive because they finished laying track years ago and have focused on tidying up buildings and polishing the brasswork and offer a good day out.
I'd like to see as many preserved lines as possible reconnecting to the mainline network and providing useful public transport services alongside trains running for enthusiasts.
I agree, but right now I'd be happy to settle for West Coast Railway Company not making dangerous cock-ups, flicking the V at Network Rail and potentially putting the future of (much of) mainline steam in jeopardy.
Exhibit 1 -
Exhibit 2 - this one perhaps not their fault, and perhaps also an illustration of the problems of running 80-year-old steam engines on the national network
Exhibit 3 - the potential consequences if that HST had been running late don't bear thinking about
Exhibit 4 - probably not that serious in itself, but seen in context... Some nail-biting going on on enthusiast forums
davesgcr an unfair question probably, but you'll know more than anyone about the industry view of all this. What do you think the consequences of Saturday night's little contretemps at Reading will be - and what does all that's happened in the last year or so mean for steam on the main line?
On in 5 mins!
Tornado - the 100mph Steam Engine - BBC One
I hear it's eight times bigger than the A4.
Someone has learnt a new word...
That programme was great. anyone else watch it?
Tbf, I used to post the URL, but I think it's broken these days.
For completness Tornado - the 100mph Steam Engine
for the record I have ridden behind her, but not at that speed
And, in case anyone is not aware of this, there is another steam engine under way Welcome to the project to build the new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales - P2 Steam Locomotive Company
There's quite a few projects recreating different locos listed on this site:
I suspect quite a few will never appear.
In the sprite of new build and what ifs a 9F built as the proposed 2-8-2 could be interesting
I haven't read this yet, but looks interesting...sadly I am unable to find a link to article, just the may. Check it out in your local newsagents? This weeks issue...
Autocar magazine 13 December Christmas special – out now | Autocar
Tornado was built over two decades and financed by enthusiasts who want to show steam has a viable future on Britain's railways.
Does it? Doing what?
Running popular, profit-making charter trains?
They seem to already exist in the Sunday supplements, look like a decent day out too. I think Tornado rescued an electric train in the snow but that’s nothing a diesel couldn’t do...
Btb. I saw the Oliver Cromwell this morning, going in to London Victoria in readiness for a return trip to bath. She was stunning. Minimum for a trip like this must be about £89 per head and there are plenty of similar trips all year round
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