Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

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Peter Hall
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Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

Post by Peter Hall » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:01 pm

There has been mention in the RO in recent years of errors having crept into steam locomotive disposal information. Similarly quite a few queries in http://www.rcts.org.uk/features/diesels/ concern similar discrepancies with diesel locomotives whilst http://www.rcts.org.uk/features/carriages/ has a focus on carriage disposals.

With this in mind what is the view of both RCTS members and others of the relevance of such information. Is it important to detail disposals correctly even if this means correcting references that have stood unchallenged for many years or once something has been scrapped should it just be forgotten about?

lackwitbumpkin
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Re: Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

Post by lackwitbumpkin » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:51 pm

Personally I'm not interested once a loco is sent for scrap. It was sold to a scrapman and it was cut up, end of story. I'm not bothered if it was passed on to another yard and they cut it.

However, there are people who find this sort of thing interesting and if they want to delve into this aspect that's up to them. They enjoy doing the research so good luck to them.

The recent stamping of feet by various parties didn't interest me and to be frank I thought it was all a bit childish. The simple answer was for all parties to sit down and thrash out what was believed to be correct and that which needed more research. The same goes for loco's that are known/believed to have been made up of bits and pieces of others. Also decide on a common recognition point, such as the makers plate. Yes thaye can be unscrewed but it's probably more reliable than numbers painted on a panel.

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pdeaves
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Re: Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

Post by pdeaves » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:07 pm

lackwitbumpkin wrote:Personally I'm not interested once a loco is sent for scrap.
I agree. Actually, I'm not particularly interested *before* it's scrapped, either!

lackwitbumpkin wrote:The recent stamping of feet by various parties didn't interest me and to be frank I thought it was all a bit childish.
I agree again.

All sources are subject to error, that's why researchers have fun researching things. Do your research with numerous sources and pick the one(s) you wish to believe...

D3796
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Re: Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

Post by D3796 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:39 am

Peter Hall wrote: Is it important to detail disposals correctly even if this means correcting references that have stood unchallenged for many years or once something has been scrapped should it just be forgotten about?
It is if (like me) you want an accurate record of disposals.
Regards

David - D3796 (08 629)

Palladium
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Re: Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

Post by Palladium » Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:31 pm

I think it is good to search for the correct data (or at least that which evidence shows to be the most likely). It is a strength of the RCTS that there are people who are dedicated to researching data and prepared also to state what the sources are. Others in the future can then, if they wish to, develop that further if possible. Thus yes I agree it is a good to try to get the correct information, and that accumulation of information is part of the fascination of our hobby! The recent articles in the Railway Magazine about the fate of steam locos used as stationary boilers is one such use of information that required the use of disposal information.

Ian

6-6-66
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Re: Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

Post by 6-6-66 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:00 pm

I am aware that there has been some controversy regarding the accuracy, or otherwise, of disposals, in some Society publications.
As with some others, who have already posted, I was (still am) more interested in the live version.
The other questions, which might arouse some thought are:-
1) If as is really the case, as I am fond of pointing out, a railway locomotive (or any other piece of stock) is basically a pair of cabside numbers, surrounded by removable or repairable parts, what constitutes authenticity? 4472. What's left from 1923 if anything?
2) Before anyone gets too carried away about the accuracy of their research, they might well remember that towards the end of steam, a high proportion of sheds were due for closure. Were the shed staff that diligent in recording details of withdrawals with nit picking accuracy, when the main thing on their mind was probably the prospect of redundancy or retirement?

Bevan Price
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Re: Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

Post by Bevan Price » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:34 pm

I suspect that there may never be total accuracy in steam loco disposal history. I recall that on many locos in "pre-scrap" condition, there could sometimes be no easy method of identification. No number plate, no cabside number - maybe just a number stamped on a coupling rod or axlebox. But components got swapped during overhaul, and I sometimes saw locos with 2 or 3 different numbers stamped on components. Accurate identification was difficult, and it does not surprise me that there have been arguments and confusion.

wickhamman
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Re: Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

Post by wickhamman » Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:02 pm

The complete history of a locomotive must encompass details of its build, allocations and transfers, withdrawal and disposal. As enthusiasts our interests may be different, but there will be those who seek the complete history before the authentic records are lost. An author or publisher's reputation for publishing reliable locomotive histories should be based on acknowledging and recording accurately all these details, researching, verifying and where necessary challenging existing material.

Peter Hall
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Re: Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

Post by Peter Hall » Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:35 pm

6-6-66 wrote: Before anyone gets too carried away about the accuracy of their research, they might well remember that towards the end of steam, a high proportion of sheds were due for closure. Were the shed staff that diligent in recording details of withdrawals with nit picking accuracy, when the main thing on their mind was probably the prospect of redundancy or retirement?
Valid point, however the recording, accounting and creating aspect that resulted in the documents that are now being studied by those involved in researching steam locomotive disposals, were created away from the depots in the likes of the regional M&EE offices. In addition a lot of what has previously been published comes from enthusiast observations where diligence in recording can be expected to be more thorough. Little documentation appears to have survived from the depots with much of it presumably ending up on a bonfire.

BigMal442
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Re: Is disposal information of rolling stock relevant?

Post by BigMal442 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:38 pm

Hi Gents,
Indeed there have been some very valid points raised by Bevan & 6s which I agree with.
I can understand the wish of people to complete the story of a loco ie frames set out WE xx xxxx and to traffic WE xx xxxx and the same with date entering a scrap yard with date finally cut up. But to me the value of this information is so people can use it to identify and date photographic achive photos.
As has been said there will always be uncertainty that peoples records or sources of information are correct. Did the shed staff write down the correct number or date, did the transport paperwork list the correct loco or destination, was the destination changed and paperwork not altered. Did the spotter identify the correct loco when looking over the scrapyard or depot wall.
It is fine to record this information but where there is a possible error then a question mark or comment should be added.
But for me, and I think most members will agree this recording and transfer of information should be done in an understanding, helpful and non confrontational way regardless of it being historic or modern information.

Cheers
BM

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