I heard somewhere that your IC 2-6-0 has a cracked frame and will never steam again. Is this true? If so, why can't it be repaired? I always thought that it would be a good locomotive to apoerate on your line.
The over riding objective is to get and keep one locomotive in operating condition ....... 1630.
Not until that is done will there be serious consideration of other locomotives. When you get to that point there is a lot to consider. With sufficient money and skilled resource almost any steam loco could be rebuilt.
Clearly there is a complex balance around how much and what type of work is required on each loco and the fact that we frankly do not know exactly what is wrong with most of them until we commit quite a bit of time and effort to stripping and testing.
It is highly unlikely that we would consider one of the large locos. Several may be in good condition but, absent a major sponsor and the infrastructure for main line running, they would be far too costly to run just on the museum line (and might have potential track issues).
The other factor to be considered is timing. In the current environment you have to ask how many locos it would be worth having "in ticket" at one time. What we are currently doing to #1630 must be done every 15 years or 1472 operating days. Even if we ran her every weekend the museum is open for the next 15 years, we would be pushed to use the 1472 days. More than one loco is steam is costly and difficult to justify except at occasional special events. So multiple locos would mean less days used per overhaul for each of them.
Lots to think about !
As a spectator to the Steam Department activities, it is wonderful to see the effort and progress to bring the 1630 back to life. Also I should note that work continues on the UP 428 and the Shay No. 5. In an ideal world with unlimited resources having three locomotives active or 'in ticket' is a reasonable proposition. One regular service locomotive, one ready on standby to fill in when (not if) there is a problem or breakdown on the first. The third in shop getting its 15 year overhauls. Every five years rotate the positions.
A lot of work has been done on the 26 and it is a nice size for our line, but as Nigel says, it makes little sense to start a new project locomotive given what we have to work with. It would only diminish or dilute the significant strides now seen.
Thank you for your support.
There will be a lot to think about once we have 1630 running reliably. For sure #26 is a favorite of mine as it is an ideal size and should be a nice economical locomotive to run.