Class 22 New Build

Maybach

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31 Dec 2018
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77
There was a recent update from the 'Project Class 22 Society', the volunteer group looking to recreate an NBL Class 22 diesel-hydraulic locomotive, and it makes for depressing reading:

Today we find ourselves in the difficult position of deciding what to do next. With people expecting regular up-dates, which isn’t unreasonable if you are making donations to the fund, we find that we don’t have the people to produce the “Lister” Journal. The technical design work is progressing but only at the pace that would be expected be from two people doing this as a hobby, even though it is being done very well, it is impossible to forecast a time scale of when the project could be relaunched and make substantial progress, other than to say we are almost ready to get quotations to build the mainframe with all of the CAD and design work completed. (This has taken 3 years to complete)

We were able to locate a Voith transmission, the exact type needed for the project from an Italian Company, Dinazzano Po. Unfortunately, we were not able to raise the funds needed because we have stopped proactively fundraising, our marketing has stopped. It’s a shame because we spent 3 years locating it by making contacts across Europe. However, we now know that transmissions are available and what they cost, leaving us in a better position. We have always believed that the only thing that would stop this project is us deciding we didn’t want to do it anymore. It’s still feasible if we could find the right people who would want to see a Class 22 built, but more importantly, would have the times and skills needed to really re-launch the Project?

We have had a number of people offer to volunteer but we struggled to find something practical to do, especially without the stand visiting shows. So this small group has a decision to make about the future where we don’t want to waste the good work already done so far. We have an excellent springboard for a great project, if we had what we had today when we started things may have been very different now. This up-date is also an appeal to see if any people would like to come and take this forward as it would need a committee, there are only a few left from the original organisation.

We need ideas and a new plan going forward and create a new proactive committee. The eventual aim is to create a Charitable Organisation to take over our society so that our committee will become the trustees. This is a big step but needs to be done if a Class 22 locomotive is going to be built.

I wish the group well (and it would be great to see a new build Class 22) but none of this sounds very promising. I just wonder if they've bitten off more than they can chew.

 
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Ashley Hill

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This was one replica I was looking forward to seeing. It would be a shame if it folded after a lot of behind the scenes work. What would happen to the power unit if the group did fold?
 

Maybach

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31 Dec 2018
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Not sure what would happen to the power unit. The FAQs on the Group's Website explain what would happen to the money if the whole thing folds up:

90% of all invested money is held in a separate account and only used for the locomotive design and construction. If the project fails to continue, any funds left in this account can be returned equally or donated to another diesel hydraulic locomotive group in the UK.
 

TheBeard

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18 Oct 2014
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117
They deserved to fail. Can't believe how much money has been wasted and reputations trashed. Diesel Preservation's lowest blow since D818 then D601 then D1200 then D6319 got chopped. Is there a common theme here?
Swindon even cut its 2 preserved Broad Gauge marvels up. Sigh.
 

Gloster

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Up the creek
Do we really need yet another example of a not very successful design. It will take up time, money and effort to build and then more of the same to keep it running. And who will want to come and see it? It will have its admirers among enthusiasts, but how many? Hardly any members of the general public will care: ‘Oh, it’s just another diesel. Where’s Thomas?’ Meanwhile there’s are dozens of lumps of rust that could be put back into order more quickly, cheaply and easily.

Sorry to sound negative, but I have been harping on about this for quite a few years. The age profile of enthusiasts who are interested in old diesels (and steam) is rising, as is that of visitors, of whom an increasing proportion are only interested in steam. Given the length of time these projects take to come to fruition, how many active members will still be that and who will replace those who have gone? Projects like this only use up resources that would be better employed elsewhere.
 

Alanko

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They deserved to fail. Can't believe how much money has been wasted and reputations trashed. Diesel Preservation's lowest blow since D818 then D601 then D1200 then D6319 got chopped. Is there a common theme here?

The only common theme seems to be these locos were scrapped with little fanfare at the time, usually with a lingering death. Easy to say 'what if?'.
 

Ashley Hill

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There are plenty of new build replica steam locos that are popular and receive much publicity,but will the 47xx or Grange mean anything to the GP? No but they’ve been built and using parts from genuine locos. The D63xx should have been a fine project and it’s a shame it’s failed. Perhaps the NRN could have the power unit to look after.
 

birchesgreen

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It is a great shame the project failed (though not a surprise). I think the only way projects like this can succeed is it they gain the backing from at least 1 rich individual.
 

Mike Machin

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It is certainly sad to hear of projects potentially stalling after people have devoted so much time and effort into something which they so passionately believe in and I do genuinely wish them well.

I do feel however that we are now reaching a watershed in the heritage movement, where a new reality has to be faced to ensure the long-term survival of the sector. Disposable income is falling, costs for preservation projects are rising and if heritage groups are not cautious with the outgoings, a large funding gap will soon appear. The proportion of people who can remember steam and vintage diesels is declining, you'd need to be at least in your forties to even remember Network SouthEast and nearly approaching 60 to clearly remember the heyday of the rail blue era.

So, going forward, the main focus for the heritage movement has to be to entertain people who are simply looking for 'a good afternoon out'.

Heritage railways need to be relatively short, provide steam traction, have pleasant cheerful and engaging volunteers and staff, and need to be bright, immaculately-presented, with all of the scrap and detritus often seen at preservation centres tidied away completely out of view. Facilities such as catering and toilets need to be state-of-the art.

So, whilst from a historical point-of-view, new builds of obscure locomotives would be wonderful, they divert time and resources away from the core need to preserve and develop what we already have to ensure it survives into a very different and difficult new era.
 

The exile

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Facilities such as catering and toilets need to be state-of-the art.
Yes and no. Thinking of the latter - it is vital that “state of the art” facilities are available - but there is also a place for “as they used to be” (in addition) - provided that they remain clean and hygienic. (Which I accept is not how they frequently used to be)
 

pdeaves

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all of the scrap and detritus often seen at preservation centres tidied away completely out of view
'Usually'. I can think of one example where the junk is deliberately left in view. The difference is, items are labelled with what they are, what the historical significance is and what progress has been made so far in restoring them. You do need the right sort of space for this to work, though; items have to be laid out in a presentable way, ideally the items are relatively small and they all have to be obviously different from each other.

But yes, in the general case, clear the junk away and make 'a good afternoon out'.
 

xotGD

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There does seem to be a "that will come in handy" tendency, and then said item sits there for thirty years until it becomes totally hidden in the undergrowth.

Mind, I'm sure a lot of us are just as guilty when it comes to the contents of the garage/loft/garden shed.
 

GRALISTAIR

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Do we really need yet another example of a not very successful design. It will take up time, money and effort to build and then more of the same to keep it running. And who will want to come and see it? It will have its admirers among enthusiasts, but how many? Hardly any members of the general public will care: ‘Oh, it’s just another diesel. Where’s Thomas?’ Meanwhile there’s are dozens of lumps of rust that could be put back into order more quickly, cheaply and easily.

Sorry to sound negative, but I have been harping on about this for quite a few years. The age profile of enthusiasts who are interested in old diesels (and steam) is rising, as is that of visitors, of whom an increasing proportion are only interested in steam. Given the length of time these projects take to come to fruition, how many active members will still be that and who will replace those who have gone? Projects like this only use up resources that would be better employed elsewhere.
I agree. I am 65 and have fond memories. But really - new build? I would not contribute a single penny. I would go for a day out at Rowsley and Heritage Shunters Trust though.
 

Box

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The proportion of people who can remember steam and vintage diesels is declining, you'd need to be at least in your forties to even remember Network SouthEast and nearly approaching 60 to clearly remember the heyday of the rail blue era.
63% of the adult population are 40+, so although that's obviously a declining number it's still a vast market to tap into at the moment. But I do agree, sad though it is, that projects such as the Class 22 (niche within a niche within a niche) are probably not viable without some very wealthy individual backers and area waste of "general" heritage resources.
 

Alanko

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Mind, I'm sure a lot of us are just as guilty when it comes to the contents of the garage/loft/garden shed.

Guilty!

Then again I'm not trying to present an air of professionalism in my loft or try and claim that the junk is of historic significance (and therefore you should feel compelled to give me money to maintain it).

I saw photographs on Facebook of yet another heritage railway I was only vaguely aware of. Nicely turned out station, inevitable line of rotten mk1s, wagons and general detritus in the background. Some little Peckett 0-4-0 thing rattling around and past the scrap line of 'sleeping giants' under tarps.

Is this railway really planning to run 10+ carriage consists or demonstration mixed goods trains in the future? They almost always seem overburdened with heaps of this stuff.

Maybe when Network Rail generously offer to donate a thousand battered sleepers they could learn to say 'thanks but no' rather than dump them in the weeds beyond the headshunt.
 

Forty29

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Projects to bring back to life long departed loco types are not usually financed by private groups so heritage railway's can concentrate on running the line. That's in the case of diesels l find, steam locomotives can still be found being built from scratch at railway centre's however.
 

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