If the Gresley Society hadn't been gazumped by Alan Page this engine wouldn't have been so famous, as it wouldn't have gone to the USA etc, bankrupted owners etc. Also if the LMS had a fast downhill section most likely a LMS Coronation Class would hold the world record for the fasted steam engine.
Presumably the Gresley Society could have bid for another A3?
I would hardly call those conditions particularly adverse, the rails were only slightly damp. I'm sure Hovering Highlander is far from the first pacific or large express type loco to pull a train that length, up that bank, in those conditions. Also, I'm not aware of many comments in this thread which are blaming the crew for what happened, I know I certainly am not. Most of the negative comments in this thread are about the loco, and that is what I find funny: the failure of the loco in getting up the bank.
And trust me, I would even be having this conversation or paying much attention to a story like this if the loco involved was not put on a pedestal by people, treated like some golden beacon for the nation. Of course it is exactly because of the over hyped nature of 4472 that this story even exists! No one would bother reporting it for any other engine, with the possible exception of Tornado. It's not like I just get some sick enjoyment out of seeing steam engine failing, quite the opposite. I well remember when the Dukdog had to reverse its train back down to a station on the SVR because it could not make it up the hill first time. I felt bad for everyone involved, the crew and passengers. But then 9017 is just another engine to most people, and does not have obscene amounts of money spent keeping a worn out loco on the mainline just because this country idolises it for some reason.
I honestly believe the best thing the NRM could do is restore 4472 to her LNER condition, repaint her in Apple Green and place her happily alongside Mallard with a nice big sign saying "The legacy of Sir Nigel Gresley" hanging proudly over the two. Now that would make me want to go and see her.
She ain't gonna be stuffed and mounted at least until another overhaul becomes due.
Apple Green has never done it for me , it's a hideous funfair colour IMHO! (I don't like SR Malachite, either).
I think the final A3 condition with A4 boiler, Kylchap and deflectors, (yes, and Brunswick green) brought out the best in them. They look classy, purposeful and anything but a loco whose original form emerged before the LNER even existed. There can't have been many other steam loco modernisations that worked so well and looked so good.
As to the incident in question, all Pacifics are prone to slipping, simply because under certain conditions, weight gets transferred from the driving wheels onto the rear truck. Had the loco been climbing the bank at the speed it was capable of, rather than the speed permitted, absolutely nothing would have happened.
As for the money thing, none of it was mine and those who donated much of the cost were entitled to spend theirs as they liked.
Edited by Dunsignalling, 14 September 2017 - 08:41 .