Steam or Diesel?

What do you prefer, steam or heritage diesel at Preserved Railways?

  • Steam for me

    Votes: 10 24.4%
  • Heritage Diesels + Clag ta

    Votes: 31 75.6%

  • Total voters
    41
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Nick

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Come on then chaps. Whats your prefrence on the preserved scene, Steam or Heritage Diesels, also reasons why?
 
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The Snap

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What do you think Nick!? :p I love Diesels for a few reasons, mainly the smell, the sound, and of course the way they run. I also like having cab rides in them at the ELR! :p :D Sorry, but kettle's bore me!
 
H

HR2

Guest
Steam, steam, steam. English, foreign or any sort. No damn charisma or romance with a stinking noisy oilpot. Can't see any of the works operating and far more polluting than a kettle any day. You could love a steamer but you can't love a diesel. :happy11:
 
H

HR2

Guest
What do you lads find so appealing in a box on wheels that makes a bloody horrible din, kicks out an awful stink, pollutes far more than a kettle, and seems to need shed attention every few days?
 

Nathan

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Im backing up steam here not saying i hate diesel, but i prefer steam then 1st generation diesels. they smell better sound better and i think there's a little more skill involved.
 

Coxster

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Both - I do not have a preference. Diesels have thrash, clag etc where as steam locomotives have character and are fascinating pieces of machinery.
 

AlexS

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DistrictLine said:
What do you lads find so appealing in a box on wheels that makes a bloody horrible din, kicks out an awful stink, pollutes far more than a kettle, and seems to need shed attention every few days?

The sound and the look of the machines! They epitomise Britain in everything they do almost (well, when this nation was something to be proud of still, loud, strong, fast and they just look British. They also are as much a part of our childhoods and growing up as the steamers and old LU stock is to yours Bob, so hold another place in my heart as something special.
 
H

HR2

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AlexS said:
The sound and the look of the machines! They epitomise Britain in everything they do almost (well, when this nation was something to be proud of still, loud, strong, fast and they just look British. They also are as much a part of our childhoods and growing up as the steamers and old LU stock is to yours Bob, so hold another place in my heart as something special.
Well said and accepted. I suppose to you young guys never having seen a station full of steamers or heard/seen one storming up the bank out of Euston [Duchess's] or Kings Cross [A4's] or Liverpool street {Ah the Britannia's] a diesel must seem the very essence of what a railway is. Second to a steamer though give me any electric. Loco or EMU does not matter.
 

Demps

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kettles pufft, same noise and i think same look (although i know people will have a go at me for saying that) and what what District line Posted !, pollute more than steam, have you ever looked at the funnel of a kettle even when the consictency is right you can see holes being made in the ozone instentaneously.
Deisels, Noise, Look (variation), Clag (somnething of which you cant say about a steam engine, a peice of engineering 309 years old! and the noise, all you hear is the bloody moving of steel arms and the puff of effortless steam, a steam train is only 10% efficient !!.

now said all of that i dont mind getting a odd picture of a steamer, the sound is different etc. But come on you cant beat the muscle of a Deisel, in anyway.
 

AlexS

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Hmm - I dispute powerless steam there even if I'm not a kettle head - at 10% or whatever figure is true efficiency, the 9Fs can easily match a 66 for pulling power. The Coronation class from the LMS could, had the track allowed it, for example running them on the (at the time superior ECML) done 150 mph.
 

87015

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Diesels and electrics for me-its what i can identify with.
I dont have a problem with steam and see some of the attraction of them, but they do bring a lot of cretins out for mainline runs. From experience they like tresspassing all over the fields ("i stood there xx years ago..."), wrong side of fence and to top it off some clown decides to stand right in the middle of my phot! Although at the Staines-Windsor gala day gained crompton mileage as the k was caped due to tresspassing fears...

Both are arguably vital to a successful preserved line, but please, if its a diesel gala there is no need for a kettle to be out.....well maybe one trip!
 
H

HR2

Guest
During the war the Germans built a class of loco [class 52] known as 'Kriegsloks' which were more powerful than all the diesels you have today. They were so succesful that 6000+ were built. They could get up to a speed as well and apparently on occasion could tow over a 1000 tonnes.

52Kriegslok
(War / austerity design)Light-weight 2-cylinder 2-10-0There is a certain amount of debate over how many were actually built, but Alfred B. Gottwaldt (a notable German railway historian) reckons 6151 between 1942-45.
Many were later rebuilt by the DR.
 

Tom B

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Steam for me :).

9Fs were due to be withdrawn in 2000 had Beeching not occured.

Of course diesels have their place and a lot of railways now wouldn't be there without them - they are an integral part of the railway.

Remember though that a major purpose of preserved railways is to run steam locos - lots of families will come to ride behind a kettle as well as those of us who weren't around when they were withdrawn.

As for variation - are you saying a J50 and a P2 look the same?
 

Bill EWS

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Well, can I join in the debate. Having fired steam engines when they really were nasty smelly, dirty worn-out machines and you did all the firing and cleaning yourself, no-one getting everything ready so that you just step on and drive as you generally do with the preserved railway, or when they are on the mainline. In my case I sort of went 'backwards' as I started in an All-Diesel Depot and then moved to a mainly Steam Depot, so I had already got to learn and see the modern diesel engines doing their stuff with the minimum of effort and enjoy working on them. It was like going back in time, coal and water, oil lamps, little brighter than a candle, to grope around the dark depots and yards in search of tools for the engine you had to prepare etc, etc. only to have them stolen by another Fireman, when you went off to wash up. Sorry, it wasn't fun. Then gong with a driver who got out of bed the wrong side or hated Firemen, or just the World, in general, and made your days and weeks a misery. Yes there were great moments. When you had got the hang of Fireing and knowing the routes better, you could have a good run and feel pride in a job well done, and a good driver was worth his weight in gold, after some of the misery's you had to put up with.

Steam still had a lot of technical progress remaining when the decision to end them was made and there was talk of a 4,000 h.p. steam engine that would certainly have been impressive, but the trouble with steam is that it takes a long time to reach maximum speed and once you do it is usually close to shutting off for your next speed restriction or stop. There were only certain trains and routes where they maintained high speeds for any length of time. In general it was pottering between local stations and goods sidings

But, when you got onto a bright shiny new diesel and started it up and then set off with a train and get the power you wan't instantly, with speeds a steam engine couldn't match, it was quite magic. While there were fast runs with steam, the diesel would reach the top speed much more quickly and maintain that speed for most of the journey. Virtually every express train was touching 100 mph throughout the U.K. You didn't have to be a 'Top Link' driver to run and handle such trains.

In the early years Diesels were held back by the fact that they simply replaced a steam loco, and the type of goods wagons remained the same, anything between 25mp and 45mph, with a few 50 & 60mph trains. many freight traisn wer estill 'loose-coupled, i.e. with only the locomotive and brakevan brakes to stop the train. Once 'bulk' load trains came about 60mp became the norm, with freightliners doing 75mph and overall weights increawed with 1-2,000 tons being normal.

The average speed of the railway really stepped up, and while a more modern steam loco may well have managed these speeds and weights, the running costs would still have been double or treble that of a diesel or electric train with just two men, or as came later, single manning. I remember reading back in the 60's where it was stated that every mainline steam loco cost £90 per day, just sitting idling on a depot or yard. Switch off a diesel and it costs next to nothing.

When I first moved down to England the train journey from Aberdeen to London was 11 hours, with steam loco changes on the way. The Deltics improved that considerably but the real change was with the HST's that brought the journey to a little more than 7 hours, which remains today, even if you travel via the West Coast. I was working at Marylebone Diesel Depot when the HST's came in and my one and a half hour journey too and from work was reduced to the bare hour. You had to experience those changes to appreciate the difference between steam and diesel.

So, it would seem. that the fondness for one traction over another is mainly nostalgic, or in the case of steam, it's pretty to watch, and you can see the moving parts. Believe me, there are many, many more working parts within a diesel and some just as intricate as a steam loco. For the practical railway it just has to be Diesel or electric, so the best thing is to enjoy both for what they are and each in their place and not put them on a competitive level. Personally, I would not like to see steam back, especially if they were still much the same as in the past, and if they were to spend £Billions just to tart new steam engines up to look and perform like a diesel or an electric loco , then why bother, you already have the patent to do the job, and much more economically.

Cheers.

BillEWS.
 

Techniquest

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Good ol' diesel for me thanks. Nowt exactly wrong with steam, but it's just not my cup of tea.

The sight, sound and yes, even the smell, of a diesel, particularly when nice and claggy...Takes some beating!
 

HSTfan!!!

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Don't mind seeing some steam now (theres nothing better than a GWR engine polished up) and again but I have more of a passion in diesels
 

Techniquest

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DistrictLine said:
You could love a steamer but you can't love a diesel. :happy11:
Just got to reply to this...

I LOVE diesels. Especially when it comes to HSTs and Westerns. How I can enjoy something built in the East (Loughborough), ie the HSTs I'll never know, but they're magical. Westerns, now there is a loco class that I can be truely proud of. Swindon-built, Western Region-operated, pure Great Western thinking and operating!

Steam locos, I've tried several of them, I give up trying to find something I enjoy about them TBH. 7802 though up Talerdigg, that was awesome. Another beast to come out of Swindon!

I'll do steam, I'll do any train, but diesels are my first love in terms of rail.
 

taw valley

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diesel = nothing all that do is ying ying o and watching tem die with thick black smoke (dont understand why you like seeing diesels falling apart?)

steam = well thats a differant kettle of fish the way they truely live and breath making tiny tiny adjustments to get the best out of it knowing life wont be easy with bad coal or a long hard climb

the power of there sounds as they pull away up a stiff bank the true bark of an engine even on shed with out a fire there still romantic machines

they need to be loved or they refusse to move , the motion of it moving along seeing all the differant bits connecting to each other
 
H

HR2

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I think this debate will go on forever. Or at least until steam buffs like me die. A Kettle was/is a warm loving beast that responds with fervour to TLC. Much like a pet dog or cat will give back a 1000 fold the affection you show it.

There is ROMANCE and COSINESS with steam that you don't find with diesels. Fine to those who like them but all that 'clag' and stench is a turn off for me.
 

Demps

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kETTLES= boring same old thing, "what are we going to run our kettle on today hmm mybe a different variation of coal just to set it apart from the rest", how laborious and boring.
I would defernaterly rather be covered in thick black 37 diesel clag than rubbish coal smoke it makes you sick.
 

Guinness

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I'm currently against Steam especially 4141 Prairie Tank the bloody arson!

Chaz - Firefighter (200 Yards South of Loughborough Central) and Signalling Communication extraordinaire!
 

AlexS

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I'll go with Chaz - after yesterdays performance - 6? fires over a 7.5 mile stretch of track - I'll take the diesels all the way. Forcing me into a network rail hi vis great coat in the summer doesn't make me think any more fondly of them!
 
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