I'd like to think so, I really would, but in reality there's no point restoring (to working order) something that's going to drain a groups' resources (unless of course you've a wealthy backer!). Think about it, SLNCR 0-6-4T No.27 "Lough Erne" is quite significant as the last new conventional steam loco to be supplied to an Irish railway. But it is probably too big to steam (economically) at the DCDR, yet to small (coal bunker wise anyway) to be of much use on the RPSI's mainline operations. So, while it would be lovely to see it run, and it's a very important loco, it's unlikely (I suspect) to be restored anytime soon.Historical significance should always come before business case! Although I'm not altogether comfortable with the words 'business case' in relation to a preserved railway.
I know what you mean about being uncomfortable about the term 'business case', but I think the reality is that preservation groups need to keep their heads above the water when it comes to money matters, it's quite the same as making a profit for profit's sake.
MRSI members are currently being balloted on paying for the transport of either 2 or three 80 class cars to Downpatrick. The result of this ballot should be known by the end of next week.
Last night members were told:
There are two suitable hauliers who could move 80s by road, one in England and the other in Dublin. Martran, who move the 4000 cars from Belfast docks to York Road use cranes at each end which would add considerably to the cost while the other operators can deliver vehicles on a roll-on/roll-off basis
The vehicles will be the property of Downpatrick with the MRSI not being part owners. Depending on cost it is hoped two power cars and one driving trailer will go to Downpatrick. If costs are higher than anticipated then it will just be one power car and a DT
While specific vehicles have not yet been targeted it is almost certain that those at Portadown will be in the frame as they were in running order as of last month (69 90 94 752)
Excellent news. If this goes ahead, and I hope it does, I think we should all be very grateful to those MRSI members who have offered to donate money towards this project, after all no organisation is under any obligation to do anything at the end of the day.MRSI members were told last night that NIR needed approval from the (Northern Ireland) Department of Regional Development to transfer a set to Downpatrick and that they had obtained this approval