Heritage Railways - Storage of rolling stock and locomotives?

Marmaduke

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A question I guess aimed at the many Heritage Rail Boards up and down the UK.

Visiting many as I have over the many years, I cant help but notice the ever increasing stock pile of old locos and rolling stock parked in precious siding space.

Aside from the fact some of this stock may never roll again, I've had it said to me by many members from a few different HR sites, that concern is that stock appears, particularly locos that are brought by people and are done up on a site, using site sheds, power, facilities etc and then when they are done up, vanish for use elsewhere.

The costs, sometimes mess left and time in a shed, which could have been utilised by other rolling stock, all gone without the railways ever recovering.

So the question is; Do the Boards get a Commercial Agreement signed with the incumbent restorer protecting the railway in some way for either getting a termed use or some other return if they fail to stay the term on completion of said loco or rolling stock?

I know the larger HR's do this, but what about the smaller less commercially organised HR's?

Id be interested to know anyone's thoughts
 
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A question I guess aimed at the many Heritage Rail Boards up and down the UK.

Visiting many as I have over the many years, I cant help but notice the ever increasing stock pile of old locos and rolling stock parked in precious siding space.

Aside from the fact some of this stock may never roll again, I've had it said to me by many members from a few different HR sites, that concern is that stock appears, particularly locos that are brought by people and are done up on a site, using site sheds, power, facilities etc and then when they are done up, vanish for use elsewhere.

The costs, sometimes mess left and time in a shed, which could have been utilised by other rolling stock, all gone without the railways ever recovering.

So the question is; Do the Boards get a Commercial Agreement signed with the incumbent restorer protecting the railway in some way for either getting a termed use or some other return if they fail to stay the term on completion of said loco or rolling stock?

I know the larger HR's do this, but what about the smaller less commercially organised HR's?

Id be interested to know anyone's thoughts
Interesting question Marmaduke - Im not a Board member of any Railway, however do frequent a few and have an astute commercial brain.

I would guess the big HR's will have the commercial aspects sewn up, but I think the smaller ones may not?

Perhaps the reason for the latter is because their focus is on survival and growth, whereas the larger is consolidation and growth?

Before the lockdown, I was taking a few photos at Leeming Bar on the wonderful Wensleydale Railway and was there on the a Class 60 appeared. Since then another 60 plus a 37 have arrived in non running order, along with a few Pacers - A friend tells me that locos are to be restored at the railway, so one would hope that those in charge of the WR have a nice commercial agreement in place with the owner(s) of said locos?

It would be so easy to do them up and move on with no gain for the railway - The out turn for any railway must be a profitable return financially in a situation like that.

When I say profit return financially, it doesnt mean money has to change hands, but an agreed service term post refurb of loco - An agreement would protect both parties.

Another critical aspect in any Commercial Agreement is to highlight a completion timescale for refurbishment. If something like this wasnt included, then a loco could sit for years taking up valuable storage space.

There's been well documented cases over the last few years where those HR's with a bit of commercial nous, have enacted the agreement to take ownership of locos \ rolling stock because they have been abandoned by owners or owners have failed to pay bills etc.

What may be a good idea is for a standard Commercial Agreement be drawn up as a template by the HRA for use by members? At least then the basis would be in place to protect both sides, because in my opinion when everything's going well theres never an issue, but when it goes wrong it becomes toxic!!
 

Marmaduke

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Interesting question Marmaduke - Im not a Board member of any Railway, however do frequent a few and have an astute commercial brain.

I would guess the big HR's will have the commercial aspects sewn up, but I think the smaller ones may not?

Perhaps the reason for the latter is because their focus is on survival and growth, whereas the larger is consolidation and growth?

Before the lockdown, I was taking a few photos at Leeming Bar on the wonderful Wensleydale Railway and was there on the a Class 60 appeared. Since then another 60 plus a 37 have arrived in non running order, along with a few Pacers - A friend tells me that locos are to be restored at the railway, so one would hope that those in charge of the WR have a nice commercial agreement in place with the owner(s) of said locos?

It would be so easy to do them up and move on with no gain for the railway - The out turn for any railway must be a profitable return financially in a situation like that.

When I say profit return financially, it doesnt mean money has to change hands, but an agreed service term post refurb of loco - An agreement would protect both parties.

Another critical aspect in any Commercial Agreement is to highlight a completion timescale for refurbishment. If something like this wasnt included, then a loco could sit for years taking up valuable storage space.

There's been well documented cases over the last few years where those HR's with a bit of commercial nous, have enacted the agreement to take ownership of locos \ rolling stock because they have been abandoned by owners or owners have failed to pay bills etc.

What may be a good idea is for a standard Commercial Agreement be drawn up as a template by the HRA for use by members? At least then the basis would be in place to protect both sides, because in my opinion when everything's going well theres never an issue, but when it goes wrong it becomes toxic!!
Thanks for taking time out to reply - Youve made some interesting points, a few I never thought of!

On another note, seen as you mentioned the "wonderful Wensleydale Railway", my friend whos a member there, has been telling me about the many fantastic things that are developing there, particularly Leeming Bar.

The Station House is being completely refurbished in period style, I think back to 1930's / 40's look.

The site is being tidied up I understand as part of this.

With the shed, improvements to the infrastructure and the Station House, I cant wait to see it again.

Its nice to see some green shoots of positivism growing out of this gloom!! Well done WR!!
 

EbbwJunction1

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There are a wide range of papers and documents on the HRA web site covering a lot of subjects.

I can't find anything with that kind of title (i.e. a standard commercial agreement), but it wouldn't surprise me if there's something somewhere.
 

Flying Phil

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I think it is a very difficult thing to generalise as there are so many factors. Having locomotives and stock on site is part of the attraction, having to restore them from scrap and, as part of the normal overhaul process, is also, for many visitors (but not all) part of the attraction. Having a supply of spare parts certainly reduces the time and cost of repair/restoration, often by a huge amount. It would be a lot neater, easier and tidier to have this done and stored under cover. But large buildings need space, planning permission and money.....Lots and Lots of money!
 

43096

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I think it is a very difficult thing to generalise as there are so many factors. Having locomotives and stock on site is part of the attraction, having to restore them from scrap and, as part of the normal overhaul process, is also, for many visitors (but not all) part of the attraction. Having a supply of spare parts certainly reduces the time and cost of repair/restoration, often by a huge amount. It would be a lot neater, easier and tidier to have this done and stored under cover. But large buildings need space, planning permission and money.....Lots and Lots of money!
I agree up to a point. But there is a huge amount of junk sat around on virtually every preserved line that is clearly never going to run again - you know what I mean; the steam loco frame with no boiler, or the rusted boiler that is well on the way to returning to iron ore. Too often, you know you're arriving at the next station because there's a siding with a line of rotting/vandalised wrecks parked in there. Whilst spare parts storage is a problem (and it often makes sense to leave them on the vehicle), vehicles for spares really need to be hidden out of sight from the public: they present a poor image. Of course, part of the problem is that such vehicles may belong to someone on the railway's management team and is their pet project (even though it is going nowhere); such vested interests can get in the way of running an operation that presents a good first impression to visitors.
 
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The "good" old linear scrapyard. I always think they are comparable to the manure heap at a farm park, save that the latter tend not to have the dunghill in full view of the paying public. Also they do clear it up now and again.
 

Flying Phil

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I do agree that the image is more important than ever. I am very pleased to see that the GCR has been pro-active in building a large carriage storage shed and then doubling it's size. They have also invested in new heavy duty covers for 6 carriages in the Rothley siding and elsewhere. However they could also re-organise Swithland siding to hide some of the scruffy stock that is next to the Southbound loop line..... But that can make the actual operation more complex as the better stock is then less accessible. I know that some of our Windcutter wagons are looking "untidy" but with 36, refurbing and painting 3 per year means the oldest can be 12 years standing in the open......
 

Richard Scott

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From experience involved with a project the loco had approval from the host railway to accommodate it and was on a restoration agreement. When it was close to running then a running agreement was put together. The loco ran without running fees for three years as payment towards costs during restoration e.g. electricity used, tools used etc.
 

Marmaduke

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From experience involved with a project the loco had approval from the host railway to accommodate it and was on a restoration agreement. When it was close to running then a running agreement was put together. The loco ran without running fees for three years as payment towards costs during restoration e.g. electricity used, tools used etc.
Thats exactly what I mean, bang on the nail.
Theres too many fantasy projects around, plus a few owning persons / groups with hidden agendas - Im not been critical in anyway of preservationists, as time after time we've seen scrap turned into priceless working examples.
The ones to look at are the Boards or Management I believe because they often agree to allow rolling stock / locos to be deposited without a written signed agreement being in place.
It doesnt have to be complex but should after consideration include at very least?
  1. ID of the said stock / loco
  2. Date of arrival
  3. Agreed date for completion of restoration
  4. Agreement as to free use of site facilities
  5. Agreement in months/years of free use of said stock / loco in lieu of free use of site facilities
  6. Penalty details surrounding not being completed by said date and not having use of loco (Storage charges, back charge for site facilities etc)
Im not saying all owners / groups are unscrupulous and those with a genuine will to turn something around will sign an agreement.
Sometimes what does happen is a group or individual sees something, believes its a great idea to acquire and restore, then finds it expensive and time consuming and interest wains, leaving it almost abandoned rent free on a precious siding.

Hopefully you can see where Im coming from on this thread? The rail magazines always seem to have a story or two lately about groups / persons being asked to leave and take their stock or stock being taken over by the site owners - An agreement in place would streamline all of this surely?
 
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Thats exactly what I mean, bang on the nail.
Theres too many fantasy projects around, plus a few owning persons / groups with hidden agendas - Im not been critical in anyway of preservationists, as time after time we've seen scrap turned into priceless working examples.
The ones to look at are the Boards or Management I believe because they often agree to allow rolling stock / locos to be deposited without a written signed agreement being in place.
It doesnt have to be complex but should after consideration include at very least?
  1. ID of the said stock / loco
  2. Date of arrival
  3. Agreed date for completion of restoration
  4. Agreement as to free use of site facilities
  5. Agreement in months/years of free use of said stock / loco in lieu of free use of site facilities
  6. Penalty details surrounding not being completed by said date and not having use of loco (Storage charges, back charge for site facilities etc)
Im not saying all owners / groups are unscrupulous and those with a genuine will to turn something around will sign an agreement.
Sometimes what does happen is a group or individual sees something, believes its a great idea to acquire and restore, then finds it expensive and time consuming and interest wains, leaving it almost abandoned rent free on a precious siding.

Hopefully you can see where Im coming from on this thread? The rail magazines always seem to have a story or two lately about groups / persons being asked to leave and take their stock or stock being taken over by the site owners - An agreement in place would streamline all of this surely?
I see where you're coming from, but I think that there are a few issues with this. But also I'm an outsider so I'll confess to not knowing all the ins and outs of this.

While in principle I imagine people would like projects to be completed to a set timescale, restoration doesn't seem like a very reliable line of business. Projects turning out to be harder than previously thought or volunteers not having as much time as they'd thought seem like unavoidable issues. Groups and individuals working on restoration projects are already investing a lot of their own time and resources in the project already (which the railway will ultimately benefit from), accepting the risk that their efforts might not work out in the end. If you start penalising groups or individuals for not completing projects on time then you're asking them to shoulder even more risk, since if they fail they're also liable to financial penalties. Comparatively the railway bears little of the risk (they either get access to restored stock at little cost to themselves or extract a penalty charge). The restoration group would be mad to accept such an unequal arrangement.

Volunteers and restoration groups do a valuable job, which preserved railways ultimately benefit from in the long run. Obviously railways should try to filter out the lame ducks, but if railways want to see "scrap" turned into useful assets on their railway then they are going to have to accept that projects can go wrong.

Also, as a sidenote, railways are short of volunteers. Allowing people to keep their "pet projects" on site might be a small price to pay to retain volunteer(s) who are far more valuable and harder to replace than a dozen yards of siding space.
 

Richard Scott

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On the project I was involved with we didn't set a timescale. The number of years of free running for the Railway was negotiated based around the restoration time when the running agreement when it was drawn up.
 

43096

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I see where you're coming from, but I think that there are a few issues with this. But also I'm an outsider so I'll confess to not knowing all the ins and outs of this.

While in principle I imagine people would like projects to be completed to a set timescale, restoration doesn't seem like a very reliable line of business. Projects turning out to be harder than previously thought or volunteers not having as much time as they'd thought seem like unavoidable issues. Groups and individuals working on restoration projects are already investing a lot of their own time and resources in the project already (which the railway will ultimately benefit from), accepting the risk that their efforts might not work out in the end. If you start penalising groups or individuals for not completing projects on time then you're asking them to shoulder even more risk, since if they fail they're also liable to financial penalties. Comparatively the railway bears little of the risk (they either get access to restored stock at little cost to themselves or extract a penalty charge). The restoration group would be mad to accept such an unequal arrangement.

Volunteers and restoration groups do a valuable job, which preserved railways ultimately benefit from in the long run. Obviously railways should try to filter out the lame ducks, but if railways want to see "scrap" turned into useful assets on their railway then they are going to have to accept that projects can go wrong.

Also, as a sidenote, railways are short of volunteers. Allowing people to keep their "pet projects" on site might be a small price to pay to retain volunteer(s) who are far more valuable and harder to replace than a dozen yards of siding space.
A set timescale is very difficult to achieve on restoration projects - there's so many variables and unknowns on them. But there needs to be progress being seen to be made with them. A vehicle sat in a siding for 5 years with nothing done to it is not making progress - these are the sort of things that end up in the "eyesore" category and need weeding out and removing. Vehicles that are being used for spare parts to support restoration are fine - they are providing value to the vehicle being restored, but should be disposed of once their usefulness has expired.

I'd apply a simple test to any vehicles: is there any realistic prospect that they benefit the host railway, either now or in the future? If not, then they shouldn't be there.
 

Enthusiast

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I'd apply a simple test to any vehicles: is there any realistic prospect that they benefit the host railway, either now or in the future? If not, then they shouldn't be there.
I completely agree. There is one HR I visit - I won't name names - which is absolutely overrun with what can only be described as derelict steam locomotives. They have upwards of 20 on "static display" and it is obvious that it is completely beyond the resources of the railway to even have a hope of restoring them all. Some of them have run in the past but their tickets expired long ago; some have never run in my memory. Some are under cover but many are out in the open gently and quietly, but surely, rusting away. Even some of those under cover are not faring too well, The loco that causes me the most distress (and there are a number) is a 9F. This loco ran in the 1990s but was withdrawn "awaiting overhaul" in 2002. For eighteen years it has been seen at various locations on the railway mainly outside and is now in a very poor state (well it was when I last saw it in October 2019). It has even been loaned out (though quite why anybody should want to go to the trouble and expense of transporting it is a mystery). It probably looks nearly as bad now as it did when it was rescued from Barry which is not surprising because it has now spent longer in its latest stint out of service "awaiting overhaul" than it has spent hauling trains on the railway.

I'm hoping that the obvious problems which will follow from the Covid outbreak will see a drastic re-think of the railway's long term strategy.
 

JonathanH

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I completely agree. There is one HR I visit - I won't name names - which is absolutely overrun with what can only be described as derelict steam locomotives. They have upwards of 20 on "static display" and it is obvious that it is completely beyond the resources of the railway to even have a hope of restoring them all. Some of them have run in the past but their tickets expired long ago; some have never run in my memory. Some are under cover but many are out in the open gently and quietly, but surely, rusting away. Even some of those under cover are not faring too well, The loco that causes me the most distress (and there are a number) is a 9F. This loco ran in the 1990s but was withdrawn "awaiting overhaul" in 2002. For eighteen years it has been seen at various locations on the railway mainly outside and is now in a very poor state (well it was when I last saw it in October 2019). It has even been loaned out (though quite why anybody should want to go to the trouble and expense of transporting it is a mystery). It probably looks nearly as bad now as it did when it was rescued from Barry which is not surprising because it has now spent longer in its latest stint out of service "awaiting overhaul" than it has spent hauling trains on the railway.

I'm hoping that the obvious problems which will follow from the Covid outbreak will see a drastic re-think of the railway's long term strategy.
This appears to be a problem of one railway simply having too many steam locomotives based on its railway. The railway you describe appears to have seven working steam engines, a further six under overhaul and eighteen on static display. Even with the ten year boiler ticket and number of years it takes to overhaul the engine, they really don't need that many. The idea that it could raise funds to overhaul all these engines would appear to be fantasy and they would never need more than four or five available at any one time.

Other railways use one steam engine all year, on loan, because they don't have the funds or ability to have loads of engines on their railway which seeems more realistic.

Frankly a 9F is an expensive engine to run and maintain and only practical on the longer or better funded railways. Your railway arguably markets itself as a country railway, not one that pretends to be a main line. It has an inside 'engine' museum but there isn't room for everything. I'm not really sure what you do about overprovision of out of use engines.

Another railway I can think of has a long line of stored steam engines, and doesn't even have the advantage of an 'engine house'. Each one has to take its turn for workshop space - are we getting to the point where each locomotive will only work for ten years in every forty?
 
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I completely agree. There is one HR I visit - I won't name names - which is absolutely overrun with what can only be described as derelict steam locomotives. They have upwards of 20 on "static display" and it is obvious that it is completely beyond the resources of the railway to even have a hope of restoring them all. Some of them have run in the past but their tickets expired long ago; some have never run in my memory. Some are under cover but many are out in the open gently and quietly, but surely, rusting away. Even some of those under cover are not faring too well, The loco that causes me the most distress (and there are a number) is a 9F. This loco ran in the 1990s but was withdrawn "awaiting overhaul" in 2002. For eighteen years it has been seen at various locations on the railway mainly outside and is now in a very poor state (well it was when I last saw it in October 2019). It has even been loaned out (though quite why anybody should want to go to the trouble and expense of transporting it is a mystery). It probably looks nearly as bad now as it did when it was rescued from Barry which is not surprising because it has now spent longer in its latest stint out of service "awaiting overhaul" than it has spent hauling trains on the railway.

I'm hoping that the obvious problems which will follow from the Covid outbreak will see a drastic re-think of the railway's long term strategy.
Basically money and skills tend to be spread too thinly. Given plenty of both, splendid results can be obtained in double quick time. I know a vehicle restored from a sub- henhouse condition to utter splendour in six months for a T.V. programme. The wooden underframe was so beautifully finished I found myself stroking it!

One compromise was that only four coats of varnish had been applied by the end of the six months. There are now twenty.
 

Richard Scott

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This appears to be a problem of one railway simply having too many steam locomotives based on its railway. The railway you describe appears to have seven working steam engines, a further six under overhaul and eighteen on static display. Even with the ten year boiler ticket and number of years it takes to overhaul the engine, they really don't need that many. The idea that it could raise funds to overhaul all these engines would appear to be fantasy and they would never need more than four or five available at any one time.

Other railways use one steam engine all year, on loan, because they don't have the funds or ability to have loads of engines on their railway which seeems more realistic.

Frankly a 9F is an expensive engine to run and maintain and only practical on the longer or better funded railways. Your railway arguably markets itself as a country railway, not one that pretends to be a main line. It has an inside 'engine' museum but there isn't room for everything. I'm not really sure what you do about overprovision of out of use engines.

Another railway I can think of has a long line of stored steam engines, and doesn't even have the advantage of an 'engine house'. Each one has to take its turn for workshop space - are we getting to the point where each locomotive will only work for ten years in every forty?
From my understanding having volunteered at a railway that did have a 9F for a while, they actually aren't too costly to run - one driver said they would virtually blow off if you put a candle in the firebox!! Obviously a bit of poetic licence there.
 

Enthusiast

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From my understanding having volunteered at a railway that did have a 9F for a while, they actually aren't too costly to run - one driver said they would virtually blow off if you put a candle in the firebox!! Obviously a bit of poetic licence there.
Yes the railway concerned makes a point of saying that the 9F is quite economical when used at lower speeds with lighter loads. Of course the loco has to be in service for that advantage to be enjoyed :s
 

Bedpan

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Old locos are just the tip of the iceberg though. The problem with steam locos is that, excluding industrials, there are only 400 or so in existence so I think it would be a travesty to dispose of any unless there was absolutely no hope of restoration or of any of the constituent parts being used on a project. What looks worse to me is the ever increasing amount of other paraphernalia that has accumulated, piles of sleepers rotting away and all sorts of dismantled metal components particularly relating to S&T. The problem is that most preserved railways are country branch lines and on one hand they should (IMHO) provide as authentic experience as possible but on the other they need to provide for the transportation of far more people than was eve intended when the lines were part of BR. Some if not most are very good at providing a flavour of what the railway was like in days gone by, but a degree of imagination is still required by the visitor, as little is actually as it used to be. (Although of course this makes the overall experience of the visit more enjoyable. ).
 

Ashley Hill

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A quote from the recent Bressingham program said that with each new generation the interest in steam preservation dies. Perhaps the impetus of the 60/70/80s steam preservation is running out. Less and less people remember mainline steam and many railways struggle to recruit younger members of sufficient numbers. New build seems the way forward these days but I cannot understand why someone will donate large sums of money to help build a replica when so many out of ticket/unrestored real locos lie in yards deteriorating probably unlikely to steam again. Likewise with diesels,why preserve yet another class 37 when important locos like the 15/28 need money.
 

Flying Phil

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A quote from the recent Bressingham program said that with each new generation the interest in steam preservation dies. Perhaps the impetus of the 60/70/80s steam preservation is running out. Less and less people remember mainline steam and many railways struggle to recruit younger members of sufficient numbers. New build seems the way forward these days but I cannot understand why someone will donate large sums of money to help build a replica when so many out of ticket/unrestored real locos lie in yards deteriorating probably unlikely to steam again. Likewise with diesels,why preserve yet another class 37 when important locos like the 15/28 need money.
I'm not sure that this "lack of interest" is true. The fact is that (pre covid) there are more preservation sites offering a greater length of travel than ever before, several of which are planning to, and have been, extending. There are also more mainline steam excursions. Most of the new build steam locomotives are creating engines that do not exist now.
 

Flying Phil

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A quote from the recent Bressingham program said that with each new generation the interest in steam preservation dies. Perhaps the impetus of the 60/70/80s steam preservation is running out. Less and less people remember mainline steam and many railways struggle to recruit younger members of sufficient numbers. New build seems the way forward these days but I cannot understand why someone will donate large sums of money to help build a replica when so many out of ticket/unrestored real locos lie in yards deteriorating probably unlikely to steam again. Likewise with diesels,why preserve yet another class 37 when important locos like the 15/28 need money.
I'm not sure that this "lack of interest" is true. The fact is that (pre covid) there are more preservation sites offering a greater length of travel than ever before, several of which are planning to, and have been, extending. There are also more mainline steam excursions. Most of the new build steam locomotives are creating engines that do not exist now.
 

Flying Phil

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Hopefully, when this covid situation is factored into operations and we return to a new normality, our heritage railways will be able to capitalise on the many people who will not be travelling abroad and still want to go out and do things. Who knows, some of them may even volunteer and help to tidy up/restore some of the more obvious eyesores!
 
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alexl92

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Old locos are just the tip of the iceberg though. The problem with steam locos is that, excluding industrials, there are only 400 or so in existence so I think it would be a travesty to dispose of any unless there was absolutely no hope of restoration or of any of the constituent parts being used on a project. What looks worse to me is the ever increasing amount of other paraphernalia that has accumulated, piles of sleepers rotting away and all sorts of dismantled metal components particularly relating to S&T. The problem is that most preserved railways are country branch lines and on one hand they should (IMHO) provide as authentic experience as possible but on the other they need to provide for the transportation of far more people than was eve intended when the lines were part of BR. Some if not most are very good at providing a flavour of what the railway was like in days gone by, but a degree of imagination is still required by the visitor, as little is actually as it used to be. (Although of course this makes the overall experience of the visit more enjoyable. ).
This sums up my feelings quite well. Once these locos are gone, they're gone - yes new ones can be built for £5m or so but there's something about knowing that you're travelling behind a loco that was built around the same time my grandma was growing up!
 

Richard Scott

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This sums up my feelings quite well. Once these locos are gone, they're gone - yes new ones can be built for £5m or so but there's something about knowing that you're travelling behind a loco that was built around the same time my grandma was growing up!
I quite like a railway to provide an authentic experience aka Bluebell and IOW spring to mind. Most railways got going in the mark 1 era so probably just providing a taster as many authentic coaches were long gone (and, to be honest, the mark 1 is probably a better bet from maintenance point of view even though body panels rust badly) although, to be fair, most do it very well. I enjoy a day out on a heritage line whether steam, diesel or DMU. If people have put themselves out to restore and run stock and it gives them pleasure then who am I to criticise? Been to some great railways where volunteers really do go the extra mile. Maybe going slightly off topic, though!
 

vlad

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Yes the railway concerned makes a point of saying that the 9F is quite economical when used at lower speeds with lighter loads. Of course the loco has to be in service for that advantage to be enjoyed :s
I've been behind a 9F on the Great Central Railway. Given it seemed to be putting more energy into creating a smoke screen than making itself move, it did seem considerably overengineered for what it was doing. I can't help feeling it would have preferred to travel far more quickly and pulling far more weight....
 

Ashley Hill

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The West Country
What looks worse to me is the ever increasing amount of other paraphernalia that has accumulated, piles of sleepers rotting away and all sorts of dismantled metal components particularly relating to S&T.
Indeed,it doesn't look good but the problem here is get it while you can. If you aquire a number of FPL castings or are donated a signal post etc it would be silly to turn it down. I think the modern term is futureproofing your resources . Yes it would be lovely to store it undercover but that is generally reserved for electrical equipment and items that need secure storage . On the railway I'm involved with we do try and keep our external spares away from the main passenger areas. I think this applies to most groups on preserved lines,for example where do you put your spare class 25 bogie or vaccum cylinders or point switches? Storage space is at a premium but I agree things should be tidy.
 

Titfield

Member
Joined
26 Jun 2013
Messages
245
One of the advantages of the MK1 TSO is the relatively high capacity and the 4 seats around a table layout. Whilst compartment stock has an appeal it tends to be under utilised as people dont seem to "want to "share"
 

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
24,097
Location
Work - Fenny Stratford(MK) Home - Darlington
I agree up to a point. But there is a huge amount of junk sat around on virtually every preserved line that is clearly never going to run again - you know what I mean; the steam loco frame with no boiler, or the rusted boiler that is well on the way to returning to iron ore. Too often, you know you're arriving at the next station because there's a siding with a line of rotting/vandalised wrecks parked in there. Whilst spare parts storage is a problem (and it often makes sense to leave them on the vehicle), vehicles for spares really need to be hidden out of sight from the public: they present a poor image. Of course, part of the problem is that such vehicles may belong to someone on the railway's management team and is their pet project (even though it is going nowhere); such vested interests can get in the way of running an operation that presents a good first impression to visitors.
A set timescale is very difficult to achieve on restoration projects - there's so many variables and unknowns on them. But there needs to be progress being seen to be made with them. A vehicle sat in a siding for 5 years with nothing done to it is not making progress - these are the sort of things that end up in the "eyesore" category and need weeding out and removing. Vehicles that are being used for spare parts to support restoration are fine - they are providing value to the vehicle being restored, but should be disposed of once their usefulness has expired.

I'd apply a simple test to any vehicles: is there any realistic prospect that they benefit the host railway, either now or in the future? If not, then they shouldn't be there.
Agreed to both above comments. I think some of the posters here have little experience of projects and especially heritage restoration projects!

  1. ID of the said stock / loco
  2. Date of arrival
  3. Agreed date for completion of restoration
  4. Agreement as to free use of site facilities
  5. Agreement in months/years of free use of said stock / loco in lieu of free use of site facilities
  6. Penalty details surrounding not being completed by said date and not having use of loco (Storage charges, back charge for site facilities etc)
Agreed date for completion? In the time it took you to read this sentence that just changed? Now what? Penalties you say? Well the reason we are late is that we don't have the funds to get the recently discovered failed item replaced.........................

This sums up my feelings quite well. Once these locos are gone, they're gone - yes new ones can be built for £5m or so but there's something about knowing that you're travelling behind a loco that was built around the same time my grandma was growing up!
Using my GF as the litmus test: Would she care? We had a trip out on Tornado and Flying Scotsman. Do you think it was important when either we built? Not in the slightest. Does it look, sound and smell right? Does it chuff and peep?

( also most of these locomotives are like Cher - none of the parts are more than 10 years old ;) )
 

paul1609

Established Member
Joined
28 Jan 2006
Messages
3,889
Location
Wittersham Kent
One of the advantages of the MK1 TSO is the relatively high capacity and the 4 seats around a table layout. Whilst compartment stock has an appeal it tends to be under utilised as people dont seem to "want to "share"
For us at the K&ESR TSOs are essential because of the high amount of on train catering we do for parties. Compartment stock however sells well for the Santa Specials and we have generally hired in such stock from other heritage railways short term.
 

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