Importing Classic Foreign Diesels for Preservation?

Ashley Hill

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Having become thoroughly bored of the modern railway scene in Britain I’ve been watching a lot of foreign clips on YouTube. Just theoretical thinking but if there were railways here that could operate them,gauge etc,would foreign diesels be an attraction? Imagine an XPT next to an HST or a Portuguese 50 thrashing away somewhere. Or from Thailand an General Electric UM 12C.
 
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Ashley Hill

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The Great Central has a Scandinavian DMU. I think loading gauge would often pose an issue, though.
Indeed gauge would be an issue but there are several foreign steam locomotives in this country too. I’m not suggesting trying to run a 3’6” loco on standard gauge just theoretically asking would they be an attraction if operationally possible?
 

Bletchleyite

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Indeed gauge would be an issue but there are several foreign steam locomotives in this country too. I’m not suggesting trying to run a 3’6” loco on standard gauge just theoretically asking would they be an attraction if operationally possible?

I more meant loading gauge, i.e. body whacks platform. Changing bogies for track gauge is a lot easier!
 

Gloster

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I doubt that they would be an attraction to any but a small group of enthusiasts: few of the general public would be more than mildly curious. They would end up as a white elephant, having cost money to bring in and maintain, but adding hardly anything to gate receipts.
 

birchesgreen

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There is the Alco S-1 at Railworld (though was used as an industrial loco here i think?) I'd love to see that thrashing down a line!
 

Grecian 1998

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I think you mean the Nene Valley, not the Great Central.

That's my understanding. The Nene Valley is usable by Berne Gauge locomotives - it wasn't built that way, but a handful of changes were made when the preservation society took over the line in the 1970s. As well as a Swedish DMU, it has Polish, Swedish and German steam locos (though some are awaiting overhaul) and previously had a French loco.

AIUI the Nene Valley could therefore play host to European diesels - but they'd have to be persuaded the initial costs would be worth it. I suspect that might be quite a lot of persuasion required.
 

XAM2175

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A NOHAB please .

Not sure about the loading gauge mind...
You might be able to squeeze a DSB MX or MY into a few places - using a Class 31 for comparison an MY is 1.6 m longer, 33 cm wider, and 46 cm taller.

Imagine an XPT next to an HST
Can you imagine the wailing from enthusiasts here about being kept from the VP185 goodness by doors that not only open inwards but also don't have droplights? :E

As a diesel buff I like the idea very much but I have to agree that there's almost no hope of ever recouping the costs of getting one here, let alone even attempting to route-clear it.
 

zwk500

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You might be able to squeeze a DSB MX or MY into a few places - using a Class 31 for comparison an MY is 1.6 m longer, 33 cm wider, and 46 cm taller.
Being 1ft wider is going to cause problems at every platform! Also being 1'6" taller will be interesting at every overbridge. That's before we look at the lower sector profile or the roof curve.
 

XAM2175

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Being 1ft wider is going to cause problems at every platform! Also being 1'6" taller will be interesting at every overbridge. That's before we look at the lower sector profile or the roof curve.
I didn't say it would be a very big list of places! :p
 

AinsleyH

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I doubt that they would be an attraction to any but a small group of enthusiasts: few of the general public would be more than mildly curious. They would end up as a white elephant, having cost money to bring in and maintain, but adding hardly anything to gate receipts.
NVR's Helga the Swedish railcar does seem to have it's own fan club. Members of the general public often come up to us at the station asking when she's next running. Some get VERY excited by it.
 

eldomtom2

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That's my understanding. The Nene Valley is usable by Berne Gauge locomotives - it wasn't built that way, but a handful of changes were made when the preservation society took over the line in the 1970s. As well as a Swedish DMU, it has Polish, Swedish and German steam locos (though some are awaiting overhaul) and previously had a French loco.

AIUI the Nene Valley could therefore play host to European diesels - but they'd have to be persuaded the initial costs would be worth it. I suspect that might be quite a lot of persuasion required.
The Nene Valley is not the only preserved standard gauge railway to have used non-British traction - at least seven have or had Polish Fablok TKh49s, for instance.
 

Bevan Price

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Don't forget USATC S160s.
They were built to be useable in UK as well as mainland Europe, and some worked briefly in UK during WW2.

I think that Carnforth had German & French Pacifics (one of each) for a while, but there was nowhere to run them and they returned to preservation sites back in Germany / France.
 

D6975

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They were built to be useable in UK as well as mainland Europe, and some worked briefly in UK during WW2.

I think that Carnforth had German & French Pacifics (one of each) for a while, but there was nowhere to run them and they returned to preservation sites back in Germany / France.
There was a German 0-6-0T as well. I saw all three of them many moons ago.

Chapelon Pacific No. 231k22

DB 4-6-2 012 104-6

DB 0-6-0T 80 014

ps all 3 eventually went to the South German Rly Museum, Heilbronn
 

paul1609

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376 at the K & ESR has to be very carefully gauged every time it comes out of overhaul. It's very tight over the Valve covers to the platform edges.
 

pdeaves

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Epping Ongar line had a Finnish loco, I believe, but being to a wider track gauge couldn't actually run.

I would imagine that structure gauging a diesel loco may be slightly easier than a steam loco, but my opinion is based solely on the diesel being generally a bit smoother (particularly at underframe level) compared to steam (so fewer extraneous bits to check).
 

Ashley Hill

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So foreign diesels,not a popular idea then. I know most of them won’t fit but a German V200 might have caused some interest
 

Strathclyder

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Being a young diesel buff, there's a number of overseas designs I'd love to see running on British metals, but would never be practical/viable for the reasons outlined above. But, more as an excuse to post vids of a few of my fave overseas types than anything else...

DF4 (China)

Class 749/751 (Slovakia/Czech Republic)

NSWGR 44 Class (Australia) & DSB Class MZ (Denmark, but exported far and wide later in life, most notably to Australia)
 

ac6000cw

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There is the Alco S-1 at Railworld (though was used as an industrial loco here i think?) I'd love to see that thrashing down a line!
It was based at Margam/Port Talbot steelworks during its working life (there were five there, delivered 1949/1950, last one withdrawn in 1983). There is another S1 based at the Nene Valley, owned by the International Railway Preservation Society (IRPS) which has been under restoration for some time - http://irps-wl.org.uk/restoration-projects/international-restoration-projects/alco - some years ago I saw its diesel engine running during a diesel gala (with the usual Alco 'clag' in evidence!).

The IRPS also own the (very nice, one of my favourites for a ride if it's operating) Swedish railcar mentioned upthread - http://irps-wl.org.uk/restoration-projects/international-restoration-projects/railbus

Maybe the EMD SW1001 switcher at Merehead quarry will eventually get preserved?
 
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xotGD

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There's a Romanian Type 5 preserved at the East Lancs...



56006!
 

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