Jump to content
Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.

'scrap' at preserved railways


Dan Griffin
 Share

Recommended Posts

in the new mags editorial, pip dunn goes on for a page and a half about scrap at preserved railways, like bullied pacific 34073, saying it should be scrapped as it is 'beyond all hope', now i can understand his thoughts on 45015 and 25244, diesels which are well represented in the preservation scene, i know there are a good number of bullied pacifics in preservation but its a steam loco, part of british railways heritage, more so than a peak or class 25. i agree that certain beyond it diesels may be better off being scrapped, but not a pacific. what would the preservation scene be like today if woodhams' attitude had been like that? "its a rusting hulk, cut it up"!! alot poorer i do know. wagon frames and bogies that are really scrap should go aswel ( i seem to recall and old class 40 bogie at ferry medows on the NVR for years, is it still there?), but i really dont think steamers should be subject to the cutters torch in 2010, no matter what their condition. what are your thoughts on this?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say preserved Bulleid Pacifics are very well represented in preservation, with 19 light pacifics and 11 Merchant Navies in various states still in existence, not bad for a loco from one division of one region of British Railways. To be honest, I think there are more preserved locos than the scene in general warrants, but as by and large they are owned by individuals, and don't take money from the public purse, who is anyone to say what should or shouldn't be scrapped?

 

I would also argue that Bulleid Pacifics are less significant a part of railway history than class 25s- these locos were allocated to all regions bar the southern, and were a part of the main line rail scene in general for 26 years (coincidentally exactly the same period as MNs lasted for, and longer than the WC/BBs). I'm not sure why a steam loco should be considered a more important part of history than a diesel, I'd be interested in reading an objective argument for this idea.

  • Like 11
Link to post
Share on other sites

Of necessity a preserved railway has to have a 'rolling' pool of locos - by which I mean that what's in service now will be out of service in a few years time, when something else has to take it's place. It's always good to have something different to roll out rather than recylcling the same old same old. As for beyond redemption - any one who went to the shopping centre on the site of the old Swindon works a few year ago will remember stored out in the open as an 'exhibit' the rusted remains of the frames and boiler of 35009. If anything was beyond redemption it was that - well, that loco is the next in line to go through a well known loco owners works and will be out and about on the main line in a couple of years time.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say preserved Bulleid Pacifics are very well represented in preservation, with 19 light pacifics and 11 Merchant Navies in various states still in existence, not bad for a loco from one division of one region of British Railways. To be honest, I think there are more preserved locos than the scene in general warrants, but as by and large they are owned by individuals, and don't take money from the public purse, who is anyone to say what should or shouldn't be scrapped?

 

I would also argue that Bulleid Pacifics are less significant a part of railway history than class 25s- these locos were allocated to all regions bar the southern, and were a part of the main line rail scene in general for 26 years (coincidentally exactly the same period as MNs lasted for, and longer than the WC/BBs). I'm not sure why a steam loco should be considered a more important part of history than a diesel, I'd be interested in reading an objective argument for this idea.

Well said Rich - if anything needs scrapping it's attitudes like that from the OP. A good hard look at all the part-finished projects in preservation has merits but only on a basis of historical importance and rarity rather than such a steam and loco-centric viewpoint.

 

Kev

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The big question is how does Pip Dunn propose to scrap something that belongs to someone, just like a mk1 escort parked up in somebody’s front garden, rusting away, you cannot just enforce a scrappage, the owner no matter how delusional, probably has dreams of one day restoring his beloved to its former glory. In the early days of preservation there was many a loco left in Barry that is now steaming because the Firebox etc. was thought to be to far gone, Duke of Gloucester was always thought to be beyond restoration.

 

As for diesels, unfortunately I can see a few of these being broken up in the future, there are a lot of them preserved, and repairs/overhauls are only going to get more expensive as spares dry up, a cracked cylinder head or turbo charger in with a major overhaul and new tyres, could easily push costs into five figures, and generally speaking diesels do not have much appeal to non enthusiasts, unlike steam who even the general public can still appreciate.

 

J.P.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd hate to see any steam loco scrapped. If 'they' can build a new engine, then surely, with the right money, engines like 34073 can eventually be restored? If any of the remaining Barry wrecks were to be restored, the amount of work done would have to be extensive, hopefully leaving the engine in good stead for its first ticket, with little further work needed to re-new it's ticket 10 years later.

 

One could argue that without the constant manufacture of new parts etc, steam engines will all eventually become life expired. The more locomotives about, the less intensively they will have to be used, so the longer they will survive as working machines rather than museum exhibits.

 

I hope I am talking sense!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the question is when do you stop restoring and start recreating ?

 

How much of the original loco is retained ? Look at HMS Victory in Portsmouth Dockyard. What you see today is about 80% new materials. Even the canons are replicas !

 

In one sense, it does not matter if a loco is effectively a rebuild from spare or remanufactured parts, but if this is the case, what is the problem with scrapping the bits beyond redemption ?

 

It becomes an emotional decision rather than one based on common sense.

 

Personally, I think some of our railways could do with a good clear out of the rotten rubbish that will never turn a wheel again. If I was running a preserved line and someone wnated to deposit 35 tons of scrap metal on it, I think I would impose some conditions, like an agreed timetable for restoration or at the very least an agreement that if it wasn't touched for any length of time, then it could be disposed of.

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

I would also argue that Bulleid Pacifics are less significant a part of railway history than class 25s- these locos were allocated to all regions bar the southern, and were a part of the main line rail scene in general for 26 years (coincidentally exactly the same period as MNs lasted for, and longer than the WC/BBs). I'm not sure why a steam loco should be considered a more important part of history than a diesel, I'd be interested in reading an objective argument for this idea.

Actually, the 25's elder brother, the 24, helped displace Bulleid Pacifics and other steam from the Kent Coast lines in 1959-61, so their influence does extend south of the Thames. The different TOPS codes, 24 vs 25, are a later invention - they were all from the same manufacturer in much the same number series originally.

 

As for the point made later in the thread about new steam, this is one of life's paradoxes. Tornado is a success, without a doubt, although it doesn't interest me. However, the substantial money needed to build it - which has apparently already been recouped by Tornado's promo appeal - would simply not have been made available for restoring rusting hulks, for which the "market" is limited to those of us who patronise the preserved railways etc. I have sympathy for those whe resent the loss of a future opportunity to get another loco restored, be it diesel or steam, but rusting hulks do nothing for the image of the preserved railway, which to pay its way needs a smart, wider appeal beyond the enthusiast movement, rather than looking like a scrapyard.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I'm not sure why a steam loco should be considered a more important part of history than a diesel, I'd be interested in reading an objective argument for this idea.

 

 

i wasnt saying that steam is more important than diesel,, but from a preservation railways point of view having a steamble bullied pacific, or a working class 25, the bullied would get more punters than the diesel. ive seen it happen, a few years ago i went to the great central, a drs 37 was there, working with thier 25, i went in, paid for a ticket as the 37 was what i, a general enthusiast wanted to ride behind. behind me was a family of mum, dad and two kids, the dad asked if there was any steam working that day. he was told there was, an 8f, which was on its way back from leicester, however when it arrived it had failed and was replaced by a peak, said family went home as they wanted a steam train ride. and had no interest in diesels. thats my piont, from a money making point of view having said steamer in action will bring in money wereas a class 25 not so much, we, as enthusiasts know the history and importance of the class 25 and other diesels, the general 'day out' public do not. so if resources are available to restore a hulk of a steam loco or a 25, in my opinion the steamer would be a safer bet.

 

i also agree with the other scrap that hangs around, frames, bogies ect, which serve no purpose, these should, if possible be kept away from public gaze, as there are always private areas on preserved railways that the public have no access to. and surley this would make the railway look alot neater.

Link to post
Share on other sites

i know there are a good number of bullied pacifics in preservation but its a steam loco, part of british railways heritage, more so than a peak or class 25.

 

The above is what I was referring to. So, to rephrase my question, how is a steam locomotive more a part of our railway heritage than a diesel? I agree they have more mass appeal, but that's a different matter altogether- one of commercial sensibilities rather than historical.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Something that is 'beyond repair' today may very well be feasible to repair in 10 or 15 years time. The idea of scrapping anything if it can be put away and kept is against the concept of railway preservation. Even parts may be useful, if another preservation railway needs to repair a locomotive of the same type, the hulk can be cannabalised for spares.

 

Perhaps throw a tarp over it and get someone to paint a scenic landscape on the tarp so it blends into the back ground. wink.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

The above is what I was referring to. So, to rephrase my question, how is a steam locomotive more a part of our railway heritage than a diesel? I agree they have more mass appeal, but that's a different matter altogether- one of commercial sensibilities rather than historical.

 

ahh i see what you mean, bad wording on my part there. sorry about that. i didnt intend for it to come across that way. i agree with you entirely with the fact that they are both as historically important as each other. sorry for the misunderstanding. i also agree that tarpauling these 'hulks' over,either steam or diesel would improve the 'scrap yard look' alot.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see 34073 kept as it is, purely as a reminder of what a pre-restored Barry wreck looked like. Surely one day every preserved steam loco would have been restored and run, and the sidings and sheds will only be full of out of ticket locos awaiting their turn in the overhaul queue. If it was considered a piece of art then it would command a megabucks price and have critics singing it's praises, along with that Southern S15 tender with paint faded so much you could make out three different insignia.

 

I agree it's probably wrong to comment on someone's "project" (especially as i've heard lots of negative ones about the AC Locomotive Groups Roarers, all of them unique but because there are no preserved lines with OHLE deserve to be scrapped), yet there are some absolute basket cases out there that need putting out of their misery. 45015 should probably have never been preserved in the first place, does the world really need another Peak when there aren't the spares available for it...?

 

Then again, I always remember 26007 was a bit of a wreck at Barrow Hill, but now it's running again the transformation is incredible.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've thought for a long time that these sites should be better "organised", if that is the word. Take locos; Those locos available for traffic (call them category 1) should be the ones that are available to the public gaze, though restrictions of access for safety reasons may apply. Category 2 would be "out of ticket" locos, ie now effectively museum pieces, available for much closer inspection. Category 3 are those actually going through the works process, with category 4 the "reserve" collection which would be all kept together, more out of sight than now because of the scrapyard appearance, but available to view on request if possible. Same applies to coaches and wagons. I'm sure that this would improve the "satisfaction value" at all sites for punters, and probably railway staff as well. A better environment all round.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've thought for a long time that these sites should be better "organised", if that is the word. Take locos; Those locos available for traffic (call them category 1) should be the ones that are available to the public gaze, though restrictions of access for safety reasons may apply. Category 2 would be "out of ticket" locos, ie now effectively museum pieces, available for much closer inspection. Category 3 are those actually going through the works process, with category 4 the "reserve" collection which would be all kept together, more out of sight than now because of the scrapyard appearance, but available to view on request if possible. Same applies to coaches and wagons. I'm sure that this would improve the "satisfaction value" at all sites for punters, and probably railway staff as well. A better environment all round.

 

Wouldn't that be nice....IF we had the space, the money to build areas to screen eyesores from public gaze and the volunteers to organise such goings on. If all the people who moaned about preserved railway affairs gave a day a month to help, a lot of what they moan about would disappear.And in any case, it doesn't do anybody any harm to compare what we have to start from with the gleaming, working machines seen on most lines.

 

As I said in a previous post, you can't think only about what's happening now on the line. The future has to be considered, if you don't nthen you will gradually run out of stock. Today's heap of junk is tomorrow's mainliner, as has been proved time and time again.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see 34073 kept as it is, purely as a reminder of what a pre-restored Barry wreck looked like. Surely one day every preserved steam loco would have been restored and run, and the sidings and sheds will only be full of out of ticket locos awaiting their turn in the overhaul queue. If it was considered a piece of art then it would command a megabucks price and have critics singing it's praises, along with that Southern S15 tender with paint faded so much you could make out three different insignia.

 

 

 

There's a lot to be said for that, I've thought for a while that someone- probably the NRM- really ought to be keeping an unrestored Barry wreck in 'as found' condition- Barry is a hugely important part of the railway preservation story, and although the best illustration of that has to be the number of ex-Barry locos steaming again, they do only tell a part of the story....

 

As to scrapping unrestored locos, there are no shortage of locos currently steaming that were written off as lost causes and hopeless cases in the past.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly, A diesel loco is just as important in telling the story as a steam loco. It anoys me that some folk just can't see that. There's no doubting that steam engines are great pieces of engineering and as a 30-something I'd much rather ride behind one (or just stand beside one) than a diesel.

 

Diesels do have a role to play in preservation. They're a lot less expensive than a steam loco to run and require much less preparation and end of day time and effort - many first trains of the days are run by diesels whilst the steam locos raise steam meaning that the volunteers don't have to get up before they went to bed.

 

I hate seeing anything rusting away at the end of a siding. Seeing a steam loco falling to bits is just as sad as seeing something much newer rotting away - the Class 504 Bury electric at the East Lancs is a prime example.

 

There's no doubt that Tornado has done much to raise the profile of the preservation movement and the other new build projects are very interesting. That said I'd much rather see the time, money and effort into getting some of the rusting lumps up and running.

 

So say that a diesel should be written off just because of cylinder head cracks is nonsence. It's not beyond the capabilities of a decent engineering workshop to get a new one cast and machined - no different to a replacement steam cylinder or even boiler.

 

 

Happy modelling.

 

Steven B.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

An interesting debate this but the real point - as several have already touched on - is the 'scrapyard/pile of junk' syndrome which lets down so many preservation sites. It's as I have often been tempted to post on another thread, 'what would I like to see on a preserved railway?' - on all too many of them the thing I would most like to see is a bl**dy good clear-up!

 

But as Phil has said above many (most?) railways are pushed for space; after all most sites were originally small country stations with limited facilities. So the big tidy-up might be nirvana.

 

I do know one line which is unashamedly a 'tourist railway' - and not a 'preserved railway' - and they have indeed had that 'good tidy-up' with the departure of various preservation groups and a physical clean up of the site the visitor sees. And such is the standard of their approach that I could find nothing to fault in that area when doing their first operational safety assessment last summer while my colleague is giving them good marks on their H&S etc assessments for the areas where the public have access (and that can often be a major difficulty when assessing preservation sites).

 

So I do applaud site tidiness - it looks better and for most visitors it is far more attractive than rusting hulks etc. But I do appreciate that getting to that state can be extremely difficult for many railways although at least at Alresford yesterday the overall impression given by stabled stock was not too bad (a shame the same could not be said for the over-priced buffet :( ),

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, are the public really bothered...? If all they really want to is ride behind a steam train or see Thomas, so anything else that adds to the atmosphere is a bonus. And are there any stations, on any preserved line, that are a true reflection of a branchline scene from 60 years ago...? I suppose it's only enthusiasts, like me, who are bothered the SVR engine shed at Bridgnorth looks like a Barn and there is a grotty Super BG next to the platform...

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's nothing wrong with a few unrestored locos/coaches/wagons in plain view, it shows the non-enthusiast visitor just what the preservationists have achieved with the ones that are running. "Wadebridge" on the MHR looks superb, but it probably looked like 34073 once! I'm not in favour of sidings full of rusty eyesores, but it's a small price to pay for what we have in terms of working/restored locos & stock of all types. Tidiness is desirable but probably not realistically achievable with available manpower & space in a lot of locations; many of the preserved lines don't have the luxury of "out of the way" sidings to store unrestored stock in a secure location (I bet they wish they did - this seems to be getting more and more important as incidences of theft and mindless vandalism increase - one chav with a spraycan or a hammer can ruin months/years of painstaking work in a matter of minutes).

I'm a Bulleid fan, but IMHO a 25 deserves a bit of TLC too - wasn't 25244 a working loco at Swanage once? Even if restoration isn't possible in the foreseeable future, I'd be in favour of "mothballing" unless said item is a completely hopeless case.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, are the public really bothered...? If all they really want to is ride behind a steam train or see Thomas, so anything else that adds to the atmosphere is a bonus. And are there any stations, on any preserved line, that are a true reflection of a branchline scene from 60 years ago...? I suppose it's only enthusiasts, like me, who are bothered the SVR engine shed at Bridgnorth looks like a Barn and there is a grotty Super BG next to the platform...

 

Yes I think the public are bothered about the way a Railway looks. The Heritage Railway Movement is competing with many other "attractions" for Joe Public's money. Lines of scrap and poor facilities do the movement no good whatsoever. Those of us involved with Heritage Railways need to work hard to make sure that visitors have a good experience so they come back again. The stock the public see should at least look reasonable. Everything else should be out of sight.

 

I do think the time has come to "get real" about some of the ex Barry Locos particularly the unrestored Merchant Navy and GWR 28XX locos: large locos which are of limited use on all but the longest Heritage Lines and now cost eye watering sums of money to restore. Many of them require extensive boiler work and a lot of new parts. To be honest it would be better to build a batch of Standard Class 3 Tanks which would then give at least 20 years service before needing major work. The first 10 year overhaul shoud be fairly straight forward.

 

One area of presrvation that really does concern me is the number of priceless wooden bodied coaches rotting away in sidings, rapidly decaying beyound restoration. There is a real need to tackle this now before we lose them for ever.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

Yes I think the public are bothered about the way a Railway looks. The Heritage Railway Movement is competing with many other "attractions" for Joe Public's money. Lines of scrap and poor facilities do the movement no good whatsoever. Those of us involved with Heritage Railways need to work hard to make sure that visitors have a good experience so they come back again. The stock the public see should at least look reasonable. Everything else should be out of sight.

 

 

Agreed, my local - Midland Railway Butterley, suffers in this respect like many heritage lines. You travel from Butterley Station to Swanwick arriving past a long line of, well, scruffy rolling stock and what appears to be an on-track plant graveyard.

 

I as a shareholder have done my level best to encourage all my wife's friends with kids to visit and the common complaint from them is the "junkyard" appearance.

 

Of course storage is a problem, as is the lack of volunteers to help do something about it (plant a few trees maybe?)but it really is a shame that this is one of the first impressions that joe public get on arrival at Swanwick.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

Actually, are the public really bothered...? If all they really want to is ride behind a steam train or see Thomas, so anything else that adds to the atmosphere is a bonus. And are there any stations, on any preserved line, that are a true reflection of a branchline scene from 60 years ago...? I suppose it's only enthusiasts, like me, who are bothered the SVR engine shed at Bridgnorth looks like a Barn and there is a grotty Super BG next to the platform...

 

Judging by past involvement and 'standing & listening' in more recent times the main things the public want nowadays are -

 

'Thomas' (basically a pale blue tank engine will do, seeing 'Percy' as well

is a bonus for many).

'a train ride' (not too long, a bit of smoke & steam, clean coaches, possibly

a cuppa etc on a longer ride)

toilets (at the place they entrain or detrain - must be clean and properly

equipped; they are a major factor in encouraging 'non-enthusiast'

punters to return)

buffet (everyone wants a decent cuppa and a nice cake or a hot snack - must

be clean, keenly priced in the local market, and offer good grub etc,

another major factor in encouraging return visits)

shop (preferably lots of goodies for the children and keepsahes for the

crockles)

and finally an overall clean & tidy appearance (where the punters go and can see - again it encourages returnees).

 

Interesing comparison on a sunny summer Sunday last year at Buckfastleigh - on the platform/looking at the loco etc, a handful of people; in the (large) tea room, very few empty tables; the shop, heaving.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

One area of presrvation that really does concern me is the number of priceless wooden bodied coaches rotting away in sidings, rapidly decaying beyound restoration. There is a real need to tackle this now before we lose them for ever.

 

You know what the answer is then don't you? (If you need a clue see my post above)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...