Sunday, 25 September 2011

At Shildon to see Hogwarts and Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Railway 85 of 1954 is nowadays a Welshpool and Llanfair engine but for the Shildon Steam Gala she appeared in County Durham (arrived April 2011 for a five year loan as boiler ticket expired). Here she is outside Locomotion on 24th September 2011 and her simple good looks allied to the "something different" appeal was bound to interest. So did seeing Hogwarts Castle/Olton Hall in steam and reflecting how that mixed identity has caused model manufacturers no end of conumdrums. It was a great show and Anthony Coulls who took time out for a brief word had done a really good job.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Gresley LNER A4s may come back from the Americas

This press release is on the York press release site. Hitherto I had decided not to comment on this particular thread but since there is now a press release I share it with my readers:

Statement from National Railway Museum Director

12 Aug 2011

In response to recent speculation about the repatriation of two A4 class locomotives from the USA and Canada, Steve Davies, Director of the National Railway Museum, has released the following statement.

"It has come to my attention that some news of a proposal to repatriate two A4 Class locomotives from the USA and Canada has reached elements of the railway press from a non-official source. Although I am disappointed that the National Railway Museum has not been able fully to control the release of this news, I am nevertheless keen to minimise inaccurate speculation."

"It is true that the NRM has been in negotiations for the last six months with the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum in Montreal, with a view to repatriating Dwight D Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada respectively, as part of the celebrations to commemorate the 75th anniversary in 2013 of Mallard’s record-breaking run. The visit of a specialist team is in progress and a mutual decision will be taken, in conjunction with our trans-Atlantic colleagues, if the loans are considered a practical proposition."

"At this stage, absolutely nothing has been agreed. Fundraising to make this happen will be a principal challenge."

"I cannot emphasise strongly enough that this is a loan proposal and will emphatically not result in the permanent repatriation of either or both of these locomotives. This has been explicit in our negotiations from the outset and I am most grateful that our colleagues in the United States and Canada have so far shared this exciting vision with us."

"In the meantime, I would appreciate the minimising of speculation if that is at all possible."

Steve Davies
Director, National Railway Museum

Flying Scotsman

I find finding news about 4472 Flying Scotsman's repairs at Ian Riley's Bury workshop a bit challenging. And since it is pretty disappointing I have tended not to highlight it in the blog. However I read this "Unfortunately, more cracks had been discovered in the main frame stretcher, which requires the boiler to be lifted out of the frames. This latest setback means that Flying Scotsman won't be back in steam until April 2012. Also, the National Railway Museum has banned photography of Flying Scotsman as a result of these setbacks." Comments?
The actual Wiki entry made no mention of the subject at all as I wrote.

Later today Wednesday I find this:
in the Iconic Aircraft Aviation Forum dated Monday September 19th by 34053 "just when you thought that it could not get any worse:

Latest News is that Scotsman's Boiler is to be lifted off the Frames! The main 'Frame Stretcher' (the horizontal steel sections that hold the two sides of the Frames apart) has got to be replaced, due to serious cracks (!) having been detected. These stretchers weigh about half a ton and it was considered 'easier and more economical' to replace it, rather than trying to carry out a repair job. The saga continues!"

After a media call at Bury on the 30th September more news is available. An example of the reportage giving a good overview comes from Railway Magazine.