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New coaches at preserved lines


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Ok so this is meant to start a discussion not be a "Why don't they...." type thing

 

Has any preserved railway, (given that they are capable of completely replacing the end of a mk1 coach from the frame up when the inevitable rot sets in, particularly round the door pillars) got the capability of producing a completely new coach, like a mk1 for instance? I got to thinking that when I was reading up on the Bulleid 3 sets and how they had loads of underframes built ready when WW2 started and so they were put into open air storage where they started to rust (Where Lancing Works was is a pretty exposed site even today, it's just behind buildings on the coast road so there is a lot of salt in the air)  so my thinking was if the drawings are still available, does any railway have that capability to reproduce something like a 3 set or a Tavern car, or has the skill or the ability been lost? It would be interesing to see people's thoughts on this. I am well aware money and volunteers' time are a massive consideration on this but I also do suppose originality, siding space, appeal and justification is a factor in it as you can;t really go producing Bulleids left right and centre. Its a shame they did rust to the extent they did as a 3-set or something like that would be an ideal set for a preserved line

 

What other factors are involved? Would modern type approval rules apply? I know that the PRM thing would but the ideas in that direction seem to be in hand now.

 

Edited by The Evil Bus Driver
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3 minutes ago, Bulleidnutter said:

Your last sentence hits the nail on the head. A new coach would more than likely have to conform to modern standards.

 

Which in itself raises the question of what would be a "new coach". Would something built on a Mk1 underframe but resembling (say) a Bulleid coach be "new" or just a rebuild? And where is the boundary? Lots of wooden-bodied coaches probably have little original wood left in them as bits have been replaced here and there over their lifetime. 

I can see it being an interesting diversion, but not very productive in terms of drawing in lots more people. Would many non-enthusiasts care if they were in a Bulleid coach instead of a Mk1, and how many would really know the difference? 

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5 minutes ago, Bulleidnutter said:

Your last sentence hits the nail on the head. A new coach would more than likely have to conform to modern standards.

Most likely, although designing the modern standards in, (it is a new build, after all) means it shouldn't be a problem, Indeed in the case of a new-build 3 set there would be two 'brake' vans, one (perhaps the lower numbered coach) having the wheelchair facilities and a widened doorway into the main saloon as well as grab rails for the people who need them. i was chatting about it with someone who works in the carriage works at the Bluebell and he said technically there's no reason they couldn't do it. It is an interesting question though. It'd be interesting to know if the PRM rules relate to every vehicle or provision per train.

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1 hour ago, JDW said:

 

Which in itself raises the question of what would be a "new coach". Would something built on a Mk1 underframe but resembling (say) a Bulleid coach be "new" or just a rebuild? And where is the boundary? Lots of wooden-bodied coaches probably have little original wood left in them as bits have been replaced here and there over their lifetime. 

I can see it being an interesting diversion, but not very productive in terms of drawing in lots more people. Would many non-enthusiasts care if they were in a Bulleid coach instead of a Mk1, and how many would really know the difference? 

 

I was thinking two things there, 1 what underframes are available (I know the Bluebell has at least one, not sure if it's a mk1) and could measurements be taken and drawings produced and 2 How capable are they of producing a new underframe as well given the stresses they have to absorb? Theyd definitely have to be of a certain spec not just a load of steel girders rivetted together

Edited by The Evil Bus Driver
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By far the biggest hurdle is that thing called money. People don't want to know if it's for rolling stock. Most heritage railways struggle to upkeep their present stock. I'm afraid that most enthusiasts are very loco centric when it comes to donating money.

 

However new coaches are being built all the time. Look at the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. They've got loads of new coaches up to modern standards.

 

Personally I would prefer them to restore genuine vehicles while we still have them rather than starting to build new. We can build them anytime. When the original stock has deteriorated, it's gone forever.

 

 

Jason

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6 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

By far the biggest hurdle is that thing called money. People don't want to know if it's for rolling stock. Most heritage railways struggle to upkeep their present stock. I'm afraid that most enthusiasts are very loco centric when it comes to donating money.

 

However new coaches are being built all the time. Look at the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. They've got loads of new coaches up to modern standards.

 

Personally I would prefer them to restore genuine vehicles while we still have them rather than starting to build new. We can build them anytime. When the original stock has deteriorated, it's gone forever.

 

 

Jason

Yes I mentioned money. Usually preserved lines have fundraising in place for these sorts of things

 

Regarding  genuine stock yes, that's the reasoning behind Operation Undercover which I think is a great idea in itself.

 

I definitely agree on the Ffestiniog/Welsh Highland new build stock, what they turn out is amazing. They do a lot of commission work too iirc, that's a good way of fundraising too. Then after that it'd come down to  workshop space. LIke I said this is more of an are they capable rather than a why not thread.

Edited by The Evil Bus Driver
added after a check that I had indeed mentioned it...
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Lots of railways already have the capability, you only have to look at the level of work being done at the Bluebell or Isle of wight railways.

 

The isle of Wight have come close to what you describe, I think they have just had some bulb section steel rolled for a batch of new underframes for some of their bogie service coaches that are coming to the end of their useful life, and they also had a new CNC machined chassis for the Oldbury coach that appeared in Peter Snow's program on coach restoration.

 

Jon

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IIRC the LNERCA looked at building a new underframe for their ECJS no189 - but it would have involved so much red tape and paperwork etc. that it was significantly more cost effective to modify an existing underframe to suit - even that needed a LOT of planning and inspection.

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9 minutes ago, spamcan61 said:

Continue the long standing tradition of "accountancy rebuilds" and build a nice new Bulleid 3-set round one old loo door handle ;-)

Heh yep you might be able to sneak that one. Then you could say the loo door handle needs to be replaced a year later as part of maintenance

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16 minutes ago, Bucoops said:

IIRC the LNERCA looked at building a new underframe for their ECJS no189 - but it would have involved so much red tape and paperwork etc. that it was significantly more cost effective to modify an existing underframe to suit - even that needed a LOT of planning and inspection.

heh like I am prone to saying

 

"Writing my name is too much paperwork"

 

Usually in the presence of some office jockey

 

Still, that shows there must be some kind of type approval at work that preserved railways get shown what's involved and just go "sod that"

Edited by The Evil Bus Driver
Another infernal typo. Maybe I should, you know, learn to type...
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The Festiniog is pretty good at building replicas to modern standards too. The 4 wheel "Bug Boxes" have all been rebuilt with steel frames, the "curly roof" bogie brake van replica has a chassis up to modern standards as has the little 4 wheel "Ashbury".  It is also possible to have wider doors for access on replicas by disguising where the actual door ends, by incorporating the next panel/window to the original into the door, tip up seats in a compartment etc. I only quote the FR as I know it rather better than others. So yes the capability is there, as noted previously on the thread. The biggest problem is finance, but without coaches the passengers  who provide a large part of this have no way to travel.   

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20 minutes ago, jonhall said:

Lots of railways already have the capability, you only have to look at the level of work being done at the Bluebell or Isle of wight railways.

 

The isle of Wight have come close to what you describe, I think they have just had some bulb section steel rolled for a batch of new underframes for some of their bogie service coaches that are coming to the end of their useful life, and they also had a new CNC machined chassis for the Oldbury coach that appeared in Peter Snow's program on coach restoration.

 

Jon

Wow that's good to hear. It'd be interesing to see what approval hoops they had to jump through. The Isle of Wight railway is a good one, it's been quite a while since I went there back in the day.The Island Liner ticket was rather good value

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8 minutes ago, Phil Traxson said:

The Festiniog is pretty good at building replicas to modern standards too. The 4 wheel "Bug Boxes" have all been rebuilt with steel frames, the "curly roof" bogie brake van replica has a chassis up to modern standards as has the little 4 wheel "Ashbury".  It is also possible to have wider doors for access on replicas by disguising where the actual door ends, by incorporating the next panel/window to the original into the door, tip up seats in a compartment etc. I only quote the FR as I know it rather better than others. So yes the capability is there, as noted previously on the thread. The biggest problem is finance, but without coaches the passengers  who provide a large part of this have no way to travel.   

Indeed finance is a big part of it. Like I said the Ffestiniog take outside commissions to build things so that gives a good fundraising stream, even if it's still little by little. And they're well renowned, plus the excellent standard of their work is well known.

Edited by The Evil Bus Driver
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What I was getting at really was where a coach type has completely vanished and all examples scrapped, like the Bulleid catering vehicles. I know the Bluebell has a good few Bulleids and they like to provide buffet facilities so to me them doing it would make sense as a full rake of Bulleids including catering would look amazing. Although funding wise I don't think they have the cash reserves at the moment, especially with this COVID nightmare raging. Plus the red tape (even going down the Accountancy rebuild route. They do own one of the now unique Maunsell restaurant cars too, and restoring that will take a heck of a lot of work.

 

Somehow "The other end of the line" might not be the best answer to give an accounting manager when they ask where a recently appeared coach came from lol

 

Edited by The Evil Bus Driver
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1 hour ago, Bucoops said:

IIRC the LNERCA looked at building a new underframe for their ECJS no189 - but it would have involved so much red tape and paperwork etc. that it was significantly more cost effective to modify an existing underframe to suit - even that needed a LOT of planning and inspection.

 

I think I am still correct that it would have been paperwork wise too much to build a new underframe but having done some reading around the orignal underframe for 189 was timber so using that would have prevented its use in service trains on the NYMR. Additionally the donor underframe allowed the fitting on pullman style corridor connections and buckeyes - making it possible one day to make the trip to Whitby.

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I remember reading somewhere that the A1 Tornado/Prince of Wales group were considering building a rake of "fake teak" modern carriages to run on the main line behind their locos. By which I mean that they were going to be built to comply with modern requirements but done to look like older stock.

 

That was a few years ago and I haven't seen anything recently, so I don't know if the idea progressed.

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5 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

I remember reading somewhere that the A1 Tornado/Prince of Wales group were considering building a rake of "fake teak" modern carriages to run on the main line behind their locos. By which I mean that they were going to be built to comply with modern requirements but done to look like older stock.

 

That was a few years ago and I haven't seen anything recently, so I don't know if the idea progressed.

Maybe they're still sorting through the paperwork...

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Actually didn't Bulleid build a sleeping car without management authority and kept it hidden in some dark corner of the yard in case someone from head office came past on the train? Apparently some paperwork authorised an "inspection saloon" but even that was months after the coach was actually built

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I raised this idea some months ago on another thread, mainly as a reaction to the awful state of much rolling stock (BR Mk1 mostly) on many preservation railways.

 

I believe that it would be perfectly practicable (and affordable) to take what I called the "Triang-Hornby approach", a standard underframe turned out in volume designed to take a range of bodywork.

 

Definitely possible, and probably more affordable than continuing to maintain old rolling stock on preservation lines.

 

Main line running is a whole different picture in terms of producing something to current crash worthiness standards. But I still think it possible. 

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27 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

I raised this idea some months ago on another thread, mainly as a reaction to the awful state of much rolling stock (BR Mk1 mostly) on many preservation railways.

 

I believe that it would be perfectly practicable (and affordable) to take what I called the "Triang-Hornby approach", a standard underframe turned out in volume designed to take a range of bodywork.

 

Definitely possible, and probably more affordable than continuing to maintain old rolling stock on preservation lines.

 

Main line running is a whole different picture in terms of producing something to current crash worthiness standards. But I still think it possible. 

Yes I don't know how many differences there are between Bulleid, Mk1 and Maunsell underframes but if there are drawings available (Indeed I do think there's an underframe the Bluebell uses to store coach bodies on) or produce engineering drawings from an existing frame. After all, they practically rebuilt several Bulleid and mk1 coaches up from their skeletons so it can't be that hard for their restoration teams who, lets face it, produce works of art. If funds are in place, which is as others have said, the biggest obstacle.

 

Update: The underframe the Bluebell have is a Bulleid one. It currently has the two halves of ex SECR Pullman car no. 33 'Constance' sitting on it

 

Edited by The Evil Bus Driver
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1 hour ago, The Evil Bus Driver said:

Maybe they're still sorting through the paperwork...

As the sign above the loo roll said:

The job isn't finished till the paperwork is done!

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