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Flying Scotsman not back on the rails until 2015 If ever!


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It all reads rather like one of those dreadful defence contracts of yore with horrible over-budget expenditure and massive time delays, but without the option of buying the American version that actually works.

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HI

This loco is truning into a bit of a money pit, maybe they should just stop there and call it a day.

As i can see a lot more being spent to get it back to running state,that could be put into somthing eles.

Darren

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It is after all an almost 100 year old loco which has had the b******s thrashed off it on 2 continents, what did they realistically expect would be required to get it into full working order. Stop wasting money on it and just have it stuffed and mounted and spend the money on a more worthwhile cause.

 

Mike.

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Scotsman fans up and down the country cursing us, but I have to agree with Mike (above). Everything has an expiry date. Sometimes you just can't keep fixing something. If you do, it becomes a shadow of its former self and quite often very unreliable (take classic and vintage cars). You could put Scotsman on a plinth, never again to move, and build a replica. That would cost a huge amount of money but how much has Flying Scotsman cost so far? Tornado springs to mind, so it is possible. Pete.

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The money was donated FOR Flying Scotsman, the NRM simply can't re-allocate those funds elsewhere!

 

I'm behind the NRM all the way, as I get the impression that its more the fault of the previous owners than of the NMSI. What gives us the right to deny future generations the chance to enjoy this engine in working order? Yes, there are massive mis-management issues and some questions as to who has dipped into the funds, but christ, we are steam fans aren't we?

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As we march on through time, most preserved locomotives will become like Washington's axe, the actual one he used to cut down the cherry tree, although it has had five new handles and two new heads.

 

This leads us to the debate between conservation, in a museum curator's sense and, maintenance in safe running order, in an engineering sense.  Ultimately these two objectives cannot continue to be reconciled.

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A typical one step forward, two steps back set-up going on here.  Now I've absolutely no experience of maintaining or rebuilding steam locos, but I would have thought that with such a rebuild that FS has been having, the very first step would have been to take it right down to its frames.  Why, six years in and with the loco now being put back together they are talking about taking all three cylinders out for relining, oh, and we don't know the condition of the frames behind the cylinders, is beyond me.  Surely that should have been something done at the outset.  It could be an awful lot of money to have wasted to get this far and then find frames are too far gone for repair in an inaccessible/hidden location. 

 

I'm honestly getting the impression they set out to rebuild FS with an avowed goal in mind- to get her back on the mainline at any cost- and that this closed-mind approach is now coming back to haunt them.  If they knew at the outset how long it would take, the problems they would run into and the true cost, would they have done it?  I suspect probably not. 

 

I'd argue in favour of the point that FS should be restored to running condition, but after six years, the better part of £3 million and still no closer to the mainline, I'm starting to question just how many other unique survivors could have been restored to mainline running with that money in that time. 

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My problem with the 'reallocate the funds' argument is where it will end. If we stop restoring old engines  in favour of 'better spent elsewhere' we care going to have some very full museums and some very empty steam railways. And I think that that would be a shame.

 

4472 is an icon, and its presence out on the mainline will not only act as a gigantic billboard for the NRM, but for steam in general. With the recent loss of CoT and with it being very unlikely that 'Mallard' will ever move under her own steam again there needs to be an engine with mass appeal runnign around,a nd none is more famous that the FS.

 

I think that it is perhaps a little uncharitable to describe her as being 'no closer to the mainline'. A shedload of work has been done on her, and the current state of play shows how bad she was when she was last running, it seems as if she was totally run in to the ground.

 

And as for the engine not being 4472 if subjected to a thorough rebuild, I doubt that there was much left of GNR 1472 when Mr Alan Peglar bought her from BR either. Steam engines are rebuilt, and thats all there is to it

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Guest Natalie Graham

With the budget and time over-runs perhaps when it is finally ready it could do its inaugural run on the Edinburgh Tramway.

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The problem is they seem to be doing the job backwards - the loco has already been stripped down to its frames since it's been at York and put back together now the experts are saying it has to be stripped down again in order to correct faults that weren't found when they first stripped it down.  perhaps the most telling thing about this report and Bob Meanley's earlier report - albeit not in so many words - is that the NRM aren't currently competent to manage the restoration of a loco to proper working order (and to manage its operation once it has been restored to such working order).

 

Admittedly the loco was a bag of nails when 'the nation' bought it (and it had been for years prior to that and many folk (including me) said it was a waste of money because what was (over)paid for it was a fraction of what it could end up costing but as the recent tv programme made so very clear there is an awful lot of mystique and emotion surrounding this engine; it really seems to have been a continuing case of heart ruling head.

 

Perhaps most importantly the report's authors have clearly identified how this loco's operational future should be managed and every single word in that respect is eminently sensible - at last.  The original idea of 'the nation's engine' popping up all over the shop on every preserved line accessible by an artic trailer has been well and truly knocked on the head and it's good to see the proposal for operations on such lines to be directly supervised.  Many of the private railways hardly need such close supervision but some very definitely do and - as we have just seen with 70000 - apparent mismanagement of locos can occur with resultant damage to them.  My only misgiving is that I think the loads stated are probably too high as the push for 'big trains' with preserved mainline steam is undoubtedly resulting in a lot of punishingly hard work for locos in order to keep fare levels down (in all my management involvement of mainline steam operation I very carefully kept within original engine loadings for standard WTT timings although this was not always commercially popular).

 

Will it be 'fully restored' - probably, eventually.  But in the process it will inevitably result in funding diverted from other jobs and it will take a lot f attention; perhaps the NRM would be best advised to franchise out or let a management contract for its mainline steam activities in order that the right sort of expertise and controls can be applied to the entire process instead of the amateurish approach we have seen so far with this engine?

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I shall say at this point that I do believe that the NRM has bungled the rebuild somewhat. perhaps in their eagerness to have the engine on display throughout the entire rebuild process they have done it in what seems to me to be a rather crowded and under-equipped workshop.

 

I'm no engineer, so I cant say any of this for certain, but it does seem that some serious and fundamental issues have been missed, adn that the whole job could have been done a lot faster and cheaper if they had been noticed beofre the whole thing was reassembled again.

 

However, with so much already being spent on her, it is perhaps best that the job is now finished and finished well.

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The money was donated FOR Flying Scotsman, the NRM simply can't re-allocate those funds elsewhere!

This is a good point and I've made my feelings clear on this topic previously! I hope the NRM can learn from this whole episode and move on. I'd like them to be less loco and royal train focused (there's far too much royal stuff in the Station Hall now IMHO).

 

Now I think the NRM has have it mainline certified and milk it for all its worth for a few years before placing it in the museum on full time display.

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For me, the most interesting part of the report was the word "Redacted" on the front cover. Everyone's doing it now.......

 

.....You could put Scotsman on a plinth, never again to move, and build a replica. That would cost a huge amount of money but how much has Flying Scotsman cost so far? Tornado springs to mind, so it is possible....

 

^

This. How cheap / costly would a replica A3 (or indeed a batch of them) have been?

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I think that what we're seeing here with FS is increasingly going to become the norm.  These machines are pushing a century old and lets face it, they weren't designed or built with that sort of life span in mind- probably 40 to 50 years tops before being withdrawn and scrapped.  The point will come, possibly as soon as the next 20 years or so, when it'll be cheaper and quicker to build replicas than to restore originals to working condition.  It's a shame but given the choice between replica steam locos or no working steam at all, I'd go for replicas as being the lesser of two evils. 

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I do agree but I just wouldn't like to have to pay for it. What my wife spends on shoes brings a tear to my eye. And no jokes about "boilers" please...

 

Have you donated to the locomotive? If not, then you're not paying for it. Scotsman has been funded out of donations and sponsorship, and whatever can be allocated in addition to the NRM's budget.

 

If anyone here had actually bothered to read both of the independent reports, they'd note that actually there's a lot of damning evidence that the problems coming to light are almost entirely of the previous overhaul's doing. Fitting a heavier 250lb boiler, with enlarged cylinders, thus increasing the tractive effort by a large amount, with absolutely no additional engineering to the superstructure of the locomotive, which was not designed to be pressed beyond its means in this way.

 

I am glad Paul Kirkman is looking for an external contractor, and would I would point to Bury where most of the locomotive's work has been done in any event to finish it.

 

The failings of the NRM are well known, and explained, and then pushed for the single purposes of scapegoating when there is clearly more going on, and has been, for some time with 4472 in private hands.

 

The last overhaul, dependent on your sources, cost either £2.25 million or £1 million, so the question necessary to ask is what was the money spent on during that overhaul, why did 4472 only run for literally 4 years of its ticket before being withdrawn by the NRM for this increasingly lengthy overhaul, and why, when it is clear certain people knew about such modifications, did they sit back and say nothing for the best part of a decade?

 

The folk of Nat Pres have it about right. There's more to this than meets the eye in terms of historical mismanagement of 4472, not just with the NRM but the immediate owners and overhaulers before.

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Have you donated to the locomotive? If not, then you're not paying for it. Scotsman has been funded out of donations and sponsorship, and whatever can be allocated in addition to the NRM's budget.......

 

Er, isn't the NRM publicly-funded? If so, then we're all paying for it (via our taxes) anyway......

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it would be a brave man or lady who said that a "farewell tour" programme through a "last ever" main line certification would recoup the money it would require to get the loco there.

 

It does seem like the skills required to present a wonderful visitor experience, and to keep locos running, are totally different and perhaps a national collection curator with CME experience should be appointed at arms length from the NRM operational management.

 

Blatant attempt to get likes by reminding you all of happier days follows:

 

post-12721-0-20470600-1363001085_thumb.jpg

 

 

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I'm making a habit of having to put an addendum on my posts. this is an addendum to my addendum :D

 

Frankly I do believe that the NRM has bungled a fair portion of this. However, in order for the bungling to be done, there must have been the faults there in the first place. She must have been in an awful condition for this overhaul to have taken place (and it appears to be the heaviest rebuild she has ever had since BR days), and previous owners have to bear the blame for damaging her so completely.

 

I applaud the NRM for rebuilding her, and for doing a thorough job of it. But if tha damage was there before the over haul, it does rather raise the question of why it wasnt spotted

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Er, isn't the NRM publicly-funded? If so, then we're all paying for it (via our taxes) anyway......

 

The donated funds and sponsorship for 4472 are separate and ring fenced away from the NRM's other activities. This has been made clear by the NRM on several occasions.

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