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Strathspey Railway Class 26s.

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Alanko

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I've finally sorted out my photos from my trip up North, and I rediscovered my pictures of the two Class 26 locos stored at Boat of Garten. I think I mentioned them on here a little while back.

qWIGSSr.jpg


IsAj4fP.jpg


Curiosity got the better of me and after some light Googling I reckon that the right hand loco with the white appointments is D5302/26002 whereas the more solidly covered up, all-over green machine is D5335/26025.

Their history in preservation seems to be pretty thin. They were withdrawn in 1994, repainted in the green scheme from 'Dutch Grey' livery, and have been rotting away ever since or 'awaiting repairs' as Wikipedia euphemistically puts it. At a guess D5302 received a new cab door, as the window is uncovered whereas they were typically plated over in service.

According to a comment on a Flickr photo both locos share a single owner who simply doesn't have any money to do any work to them. It also looks as though they were out in the open until relatively recently, though D5335 was stored under tarps. The corrosion on D5302 seems to be extensive, affecting both the front and sides, per my top photo. This seems odd as a more effort has initially been put into a cosmetic restoration, versus the odd olive drab of the other loco.

My question is what will happen to them? I have a soft spot for the type, but they are well accounted for in preservation, and these both look to be in fairly rough condition. The Strathspey Railway also has a clean 27 that they make use of, so I'm not sure what use they would have for a second Type 2 loco that would look identical to 99% of visitors; they have a clean-looking 31 they already press into service.

Oddly enough when I went on my fact finding mission I discovered that the Caledonian Railway in Brechin are raising funds for the far worse-off looking D5353/27007 which they received back in January 2018. They appear to have a mini Sulzer graveyard of their own... perhaps it is a Scottish thing? Why not prioritise getting one Type 2 loco running smoothly and looking sharp, rather than stockpile broken specimens?

Without going back to the 'linear scrapyard' debate, do small railways really need this sort of redundancy? Can they simply not say 'no' when offered anything in any condition? At best you restore these locos and they piddle along five to ten miles of weed-strewn track at 25 miles an hour. The other option is that you leave them to rot, and visitors end up trundling past rows of rotting locomotives and coaches. The question 'why have one rotting 26 when you can have two!' seems a slightly perverse one. To the casual observer Boat of Garten is also where old DMUs and diesel shunters go to die, alongside some ancient looking wooden coaches, slowly returning to nature. Some of this stuff is historically significant, but you can't tell this when you trundle past.

Not a dig at the Strathspey Railway as such, but I wager they only need a couple of steam and diesel engines and a string of maroon MK1s to get the job done. The DMU stuff that actually runs is pleasant as well. This is enough 'railway experience' for the casual visitor (it is exactly what the Jacobite railway offers).
 
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trebor79

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But are preserved railways there just to provide a nice day out for families. Whilst a couple of tank engines and a few Mk1s gets that job done, there's more to preservation than that, surely?
I'd argue the historically significant stuff is worth saving more than yet another MK1or Mk2. What's the point if they all offer the same experience in the same stock?
Best preserved rides I've ever had were in the teak stock on the Severn Valley and the steam railmotor at Didcot. I like a ride in a MK1 as much as the next man, but variety is always interesting.
 

randyrippley

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But the point being made is that these locomotives aren't being preserved: they are just rotting and decaying, like so many supposedly preserved sites.
In reality the place is little more than a scrapyard from which the scrap never gets removed
 
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Spagnoletti

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I daresay the owner had a sincere intention to get at least one of them running. Locos are so expensive to move that if a restoration/preservation plan stalls then stuff will just sit there until it rots or someone with deeper pockets decides to take them on. Most preserved railways don't have the cash to evict basket cases like this and the sorry saga of the peak that shall not be named shows the pitfalls in legally ridding yourself of other peoples abandoned possessions.
The locos are probably in need of 5 or 6 figure sums to bring them back into working order, you could probably get one runner plus spares from the two of them. I dread to think what they must be like inside after twenty plus years of scottish winters, even if under cover.
 

Alanko

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But are preserved railways there just to provide a nice day out for families. Whilst a couple of tank engines and a few Mk1s gets that job done, there's more to preservation than that, surely?

I understand your sentiment, but I don't see any preservation work going on here. The owner purchased these two 26s when they were fresh out of service, albeit one of them had some sort of issue (I think even minor faults were used to 'fail' 26s latterly). They then painted an old BR Green scheme over the top of the existing livery and then let them rust where they sit. That doesn't really seem like preservation as much as prolonging the inevitable. They did the cheap, easy part of the task and left it at that.

I snapped these photos from a moving train. In our carriage there was myself, my girlfriend, a Dutch family with two kids who looked to be under ten and their grandfather, and a couple of American families. I wager that I alone recognised these locos for what they were, and their significance in the Highlands of Scotland. These locos aren't being preserved and they aren't serving any educational role either.
 

Tony2

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solidly covered up, all-over green machine is D5335/26025.

At a guess D5302 received a new cab door, as the window is uncovered whereas they were typically plated over in service.

A couple of points on your post, 26025 was D5325 which is the loco at Strathspey. D5335 was 26035 and this one is at Brechin.
All class 26s had windows in the doors from new, this continued up until early BR blue days as seen in this photo (not mine):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/d210b...syc-Ebtq4k-zg7tX5-REiXBd-vK6UUD-grUXAk-9kbZK8

The door windows were only plated up around the late 1970s. So it won't be a new cab door you see on D5302, just the plating removed and the glass reinstated which is of course authentic for green livery.
As you say its a shame that these locos are in this condition but their other locos D5394 and D5862 work the services so are given the attention to keep them running and look superb.
As for authenticity green class 26s never had dual brakes, the equipment is held in a sling under the body next to the battery boxes and can be seen in your photo. It would be nice to see 'fake' boiler tank sides on an example of a preserved green 26 that could cover the dual brake equipment.
 

Edders23

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I remember having a chat with someone at an SVR gala from that railway and there is work going on BUT I believe 26002 is missing a few major components but is considered to be eventually restore able however like all restoration projects it's the lack of manpower and money holding them back
 

Cowley

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It’s an unfortunate reality that the longer a lot of preserved diesels are stored the less likely it is that they’ll ever run again, as even if they’ve been kept under cover components still deteriorate.
Add in the fact that the initial interest and enthusiasm starts fall away then you can see why some of these machines will never be restored.
I love old traction (going to the East Lancs gala tomorrow actually), but there are far too many diesels preserved for the amount of people that have the time to work on them.
 

Alanko

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A couple of points on your post, 26025 was D5325 which is the loco at Strathspey. D5335 was 26035 and this one is at Brechin...

Apologies! I'm juggling too many numbers around. Saying that, I see that 26035 is also gathering dust at the moment. There is maybe a lot of sense in having a parts mule locomotive, used to keep another in working condition. These should maybe be kept far from the public gaze, and maybe even reduced to parts on site?
 

route:oxford

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I look at these
Apologies! I'm juggling too many numbers around. Saying that, I see that 26035 is also gathering dust at the moment. There is maybe a lot of sense in having a parts mule locomotive, used to keep another in working condition. These should maybe be kept far from the public gaze, and maybe even reduced to parts on site?

I'm all for keeping heritage stock protected and under cover, but, my general experience is that when you dismantle something mechanical to component parts it generally takes up considerably more space than leaving it together.
 
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