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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 99 - April 2008

Rolling Stock Review - Ted Cooper

Ted Cooper sent out an email request on this topic earlier this month. It is repeated in qn for those who do not have email access so that we can get the widest response possible for this important piece of work.

Over the last few months Tony Lyster and I have been preparing the ground for a formal assessment of the relative importance of individual items of rolling stock within the Quainton Railway Society Collection.

The Executive Committee has now agreed the way forward with this and we are moving on to apply an initial set of draft criteria to evaluate the ranking of each piece of rolling stock. Attached is a Word document, which outlines the current thinking on the Criteria to be used. Please note that this is by no means finalised and if you have any observations to make then please take this opportunity to give us your thoughts.

We also need your help to ensure that we have as much information as possible on each vehicle in the Collection, so that the evaluation process can be fairly applied in all cases. Therefore we would ask you to forward to us copies of any background information which you think might be relevant and/or point us to specific reference material which we can look up.

I personally will be unavailable for the next two weeks, but hope to make some inroads on this matter when I return. Tony Lyster is also heavily committed elsewhere in the short term.

But please use this time to pass on the request to as many other members as possible and also to put together any data that you can offer. Can you please (as far as possible) forward such data to me by email and advise any recommended websites or other relevant data sources. If you would like to offer reference material (on loan) or send hard copy material then please forward this to the Rewley Road office.

As well as reviewing any comments you may have on the process, we will start the initial round of assessment, which together no doubt will lead us to make some adjustments to the criteria.

If there is sufficient interest in this subject we will try and schedule a meeting, possibly in May, to review progress.

Thank you in anticipation of your support.


The following table has been developed from the paper of June 2003 by R Gibbon on Railway Carriage Significance and the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway's recently adopted criteria for ranking their rolling stock. The rankings attributed by the Vintage Carriages Trust (VCT) for historical significance and technical significance are used where available, transposing to a numeric scale as noted below.

The table sets out several factors to allow QRS to judge the relative merits of its rolling stock for ongoing retention, preservation or restoration. It currently includes comments from Tony Lyster and Ted Cooper, who were asked by the Executive Committee to initiate this work.

Vehicle takes the VCT ranking interpreted as follows:
10 = unique
7 = few
5 = several
2 = many
1 = n/a

If there is no VCT ranking available use the following:
10 = Unique - only one made or last known example
9 = Extremely rare - one of two known examples
8 = Very rare - one of 3 or 4 known examples
7 = Quite rare- one of 5 or 6 known examples
6 = One of 7 or 8 known examples
5 = One of 9 or 10 known examples
4 = One of up to 15 known examples
3 = One of up to 20 known examples
2 = One of up to 25 known examples
1 = Many (>25) known examples in preservation
Met No l
Horse Box
Vehicle takes the VCT ranking interpreted as follows:
10 = Exceptionally important
7 = Very important
5 = Of some importance
2 = Some interest, modest consequence
I = No immediate importance / not applicable

If there is no VCT ranking available use the following:
10 = Strong historical association of national or international importance
7 = Strong historical association of local or regional importance
3 = local association
1 = Minimal historical significance
Churchill Coach
Brill Loco
10 = Key milestone
7 = significant development
4 = Technological dead end
1 = Typical technology
Fireless Loco
Sentinel Railcar
Vehicle takes highest score available under section (a), (b) or (c) below:

(a) Main Line UK Railway Heritage
Vehicle represents :
Metropolitan, Great Central, London & North Western, or London & North Eastern Railways = 10 points
British Railways or London Transport (steam locomotives and rolling stock) = 7 points
Other pre-grouping railway companies = 5 points
Other railway companies = l point

(b) Other specific aims:
Nominated vehicles as follows:
South African locomotive of the North British Locomotive Society, BR 3-car diesel multiple unit, Egyptian 3-car multiple unit of the Sentinel Trust, London Underground 3-car electric multiple unit (partly owned by the Underground Railway Rolling Stock Trust) = 10 points
or service vehicle needed for operations = 10 points

(c) Industrial and Tramway Heritage:
Vehicle represents :
10 = Brill Tramway
7 = local (<25m radius) industrial railways
5 = nearby (<50 m radius) industrial railways
3 = distant (<100m radius) industrial railways
1 = remote (>100 m radius) industrial railways
Met No 1
G C coach
6989 / 9466 / L.99 (7715)
Beattie / 7200
Sentinel Railcar
Mk 1 coach
Brill loco
Fireless locos
10 = minimal cost required
7 = minor repairs needed (approx £5,000)
5 = intermediate repairs needed (approx £15,000)
l = major repairs needed (£50,000 +)
Mk1 coach

For each criterion (1 to 5) a score is allocated for each vehicle. A score of 10 indicates that the vehicle scores the maximum possible on the criterion concerned.


1. Gibbon refers to a process of designating artefacts that have a special significance and they are then "protected from destruction". He proposed a "logarithmic" scale with possible scores limited to 0, 1, 2, 6 or 10 only. This separated vehicles more clearly than earlier use of a simple numeric scale. In order to be designated a vehicle needed to score at least 25 (out of 70) and have some recognition under "local, regional or national importance" criteria. Scoring was said to be best done as a group activity in order to dilute the effects of any extreme personal bias.

Note also that Gibbon assessed the QRS owned Sentinel Railcar score as 38, putting it at number 8 in a sample list of 38 (essentially UK operated) vehicles. Two BR Mark 1 carriages were ranked at numbers 36 and 38 with scores of 12 and zero respectively.

2. The QRS Management, Acquisition and Disposal Policy for the Museum Collection states that a speciality will continue to be made of collecting material relating to:
Metropolitan Railway.
Great Central Railway.
London & North Western Railway.
Brill Tramway.
Metropolitan & Great Central Joint Committee.
Metropolitan (Great Central?) & Great Western Joint Committee.

It also states that care will be taken not to conflict with the collecting policies of other local railway centres, such as the Great Western Society at Didcot.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 2008 and so does not reflect events in the 6+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Rolling Stock Review - Ted Cooper - Quainton News No. 99 - April 2008

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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