I concur, except that, whilst diesels as a form of propulsion, will continue for some years yet, some key examples of its stages of development will not (unless something changes), and that applies to electric traction even more. That was the dilemma facing those who attempted to preserve relevant examples of steam development, long before it ceased to be a standard form of traction in the UK. Whither the Gresley A1, perhaps one of the most pertinent lost classes? Let alone several other less celebrated types, such as "Hush, Hush".
Your comment on "fake" new-builds has relevance on attitudes to preservation. I am not criticising your comment, which is highly orthodox in Britain. In the UK, it has been anathema to re-create, rather than preserve, the past, whether it be steam locomotives, Norman castles or classic cars. Such re-creations are indeed termed "fakes". But here in France, whose record on preserving the past is comparatively lamentable, especially on the railway, such re-creations, especially in the field of chateaux, neolithic camps or in seafaring, has been a revelation, to me anyway. There are excellent examples of re-built chateaux which give you a much better feel of how things probably were, in their day, than any preserved ruin (pile of rubble) in the UK. Their "fake" old ships are quite mesmerising. But they have no equivalent of Tornado or its subsequent standard or narrow gauge proteges, as yet (AFAIK).
True, the UK has Beamish, the Castle Museum at York, Ironbridge and several others, but all of these are careful to ensure they emphasise that they have re-built examples from authentic original sources, with almost an apology for where they have been obliged to re-create aspects using modern materials.
I would earnestly propose to the committee, that we must seriously reconsider our attitude to preservation. Is it for the sake of it, or is it to recreate history, in whatever form that needs, in order to experience it and enjoy the nostalgia (for OG's) and learn from it (YG's)? Does "authenticity" override everything? If so, why? Discuss. You have 30 days. Turn over your papers now.
I don't really have a big killer answer to that, other than "preservation", in whatever form (rebuild/recreation/authentic original) should also serve to educate, and to extend our knowledge. I agree entirely that preserving a "ruin" has it's place, but I'd love to see one ore two ruins, maybe of an abbey or monastry, or Roman/Viking etc, restored as far as possible to how it would have been. Great if you can use original construction methods, but if not, so what, it'll still be more illuminating than a pile of stones.
Regarding railways, I think maybe the opportunity could/should be taken in recreating some of these lost designs, such as the A1, P2 etc, to improve on them. As 6023 was such a hulk, and there are already 2 complete Kings, one operational, would it really have been a massive loss to "upgrade" it? Fit roller bearings-apparently parts were delivered for some to be so modified in the late 1950's, but it was never done. Maybe even roller big ends & coupling rods-I think some late German Neubauloks had roller bearings throughout.
I don't know, maybe those things aren't practical, but preservation doesn't just have to mean rigidly, slavishly following what has been, recreating the past, it can also mean showing what might have been.
Edit-what I said about 6023 is not meant as a dig at the team who have restored it. They've done an admirable job restoring something that most people thought impossible. Well done.
Edited by rodent279, 15 March 2018 - 11:29 .