Author Topic: Boiler, the sequel  (Read 8805 times)

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Offline IanT

Re: Boiler, the sequel
« Reply #30 on: Apr 15 2015 14:30 »
Sorry Mark - please feel free to ignore this thread.

Jamie - I perfectly understand that you have a particular point of view - but strangely enough, so do others.

Because of your feedback, this matter was tabled for discussion by the Committee at their meeting at the end of November. A number of experienced members were asked to convene and discuss the issues raised. They did so and perhaps not surprisingly, there were differences of opinion. However, their recommendations were then sent back to the committee for discussion. Our then Chairman (Ted) announced the key points at the AGM in February. The policy was published in the latest Newsletter. I think the matters you raised  received serious consideration and was dealt with quickly.

In summary, your concerns were noted and discussed. Changes have been made. You might not agree with them but that's your right. I have my own views too and they differ slightly from the policy but as I don't feel the current policy will cause any problems in practice, personally I'm happy to accept them. I don't know why you were told there would be no change as clearly the matter was still being discussed at that time.

From my point of view, apart from any private emails to you, I am very certain that on October 26th - I posted on this forum that "The matter has been raised to the Committee for their consideration and I understand that our Boiler Testers will be consulted on the matter and their guidance sought". And that's what happened.

So let me ask you again (and let's be specific) what problems in practice do you envisage you are going to have with getting your Gauge 3 boiler(s) tested - that would not apply equally to the 16mm/G1MRA schemes?

If you don't intend to run at a G3 GTG, then you will not a G3S certificate. If you do want to run at a G3 GTG - then you can most probably get your boiler steam tested there. So what's the problem apart from the fact it's not quite the same as the 16mm/G1MRA scheme?


Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline jamiepage

Re: Boiler, the sequel
« Reply #31 on: Apr 15 2015 16:10 »
First, I have from the start simply been asking what the other point of view is actually based on? ie what's wrong with the established and mutual G1/16mm scheme? I have not been trying to force my preference. Please don't suggest I have been.

And I can categorically confirm that counter to your personal emails on the subject, (for which I was grateful by the way), the G3S informed me on 6th Feb (not Jan) the subject had been debated and there would be no change. Their email was in response to a second query on my part if you recall, because the G3S had previously told me they would discuss, then put a discussion piece in the newsletter prior to the AGM. When the discussion piece didn't appear, I asked again to be told it's already a done deal.
Again, a done deal, on 6 Feb just before the AGM.
The G3S could not have been clearer. 'The issue had been discussed with the testers and there was unanimous approval for no change'. I still have their correspondence so I'm not having a senior moment here.
Actually, I think you were sent a copy. It was addressed to 'everyone' for some reason.

Again, it's not so much the decision, (their's to make) it was the lack of reason, or explanation of reasons, that irritated enough for me to resign.

The size of difference between the schemes can be debated but the G3S scheme is more restrictive, and you yourself recognise the other scheme demonstrably works well with large membership numbers whilst the G3S system works ok in the present.

To be specific again, and bear in mind I have to guess the detail of the new G3S system, G3S still requires an annual inspection by a nominated inspector with calibrated equipment(?).
 A G3S member has to seek out  a G3S inspector with calibrated equipment to get an annual test. A G1MRA or 16mm member can seek out a member of either organisation to carry out a duplicate inspection.

That is designing out  a certain amount of perfectly viable (ie Insured and safe) flexibility from the system, which should only really be done for good reason surely.

Sure, no issue at present, or, to quote you 'most probably' not, for the handful of affected members- most of whom we could  name individually.  But in the future with thousands of members and small boilers? (And I can see no real reason why not if the foundations are set. That should be what G3S aspires to).

1) The G1/16mm system is still more than the insurers require so why should it not be acceptable to G3S?
2) The boilers generate a paper trail and an easily checked certificate. John would still have a certificate to check.
3) To adopt an identical system would have opened up the idea of cross certification between scenic organisations.
4) Nothing in the system precludes a member continuing his association with an established tester. (Just keep doing the same)
5) No extra paperwork for anybody.
6) The other two organisations manage the differing requirements of some ME clubs without any additional angst for those affected. (Just keep doing the same).
7) Any co-operation such as cross recognition of boiler certificates may have led to increased co-operation in other areas of mutual interest - for scenic railwaying, not passenger hauling.

So that's it I guess. It seems daft that I could run a particular boiler at a G1 GTG or a 16mm GTG but not at a G3 GTG.
I will (when it's built!) accept G3, G1MRA or 16mm Assoc boiler certs at any GTG on my railway and I will be perfectly content the letter and the spirit of the insurer's requirements will have been met.

Why did the G3S deliberately design out that flexibility? I really would like to know. That really is all I've been trying to understand.



Offline jamiepage

Re: Boiler, the sequel
« Reply #32 on: Apr 15 2015 17:55 »
As Ian mentioned, our own Society boiler testers were all firmly in favour of the current Society system. Added to the advice of the Southern Federation, we held several discussions and the Committee was unanimous in keeping our existing rules.

For the sake of completeness, I have cut and pasted the above extract from the correspondence I received on 6 Feb from G3S. It was addressed to 'everyone' so I am not sharing a private correspondence, nor have I selectively  cherry picked to influence the message.
That message was not hinting at the possibility of change, nor indeed did it try to explain.  Except to express a society decision to follow MELG and to continue treating Small boilers the same as Large, and therefore to only use selected inspectors with calibrated equipment.
In fact, it went on to explain how I could work around the issue by joining a local ME club, ask them to correspond with the G3S and then ask them to do it by proxy.

Does that suggest any open mindedness to you?

Now, confusingly, the email did follow all that by then saying boiler testing was on the AGM agenda 'and if members call for a vote, it will be taken'. It didn't say on what, though. Or what that meant by that, having so clearly just re-stated the policy following committee discussions. What was the vote to be taken on?

So there seemed little point in attending, having  been told so clearly that the decision had been made. And bearing in mind some of the hysterics on here at the time which made it quite clear there was no appetite for discussion.
So I left the society, to do my own thing.
I am you may appreciate. a little bemused you now say a significant change  was made at the AGM to a new, unique, system.

Offline IanT

Re: Boiler, the sequel
« Reply #33 on: Apr 15 2015 18:01 »
Unfortunately Jamie - I suspect that 6th Feb communication you are referring to, might be an email from myself.  The view that I gave you at that time was my understanding of the (then current) situation, based on an earlier private conversation and some 'internal' emails I'd been party to. You asked me a straight question and I told you what I thought to be the situation but I also pointed out that I was not privy to everything being discussed.

Quite clearly the matter had not been fully decided because further consultation and discussion did occur after that date. I can only apologise for any confusion caused and all I can plead is that I was trying to help (even though in retrospect it quite clearly didn't)

To avoid any doubt, I personally don't disagree with some of the points you make about the 16mm/G1MRA arrangements. However, the Society operates a consensus and there are some members who have different views on this subject. The Committee is obliged to consider their views too - and I'm sure they tried to achieve a workable compromise. I can see both points of view and broadly I am quite happy to take a pragmatic view. I really do not believe this issue is going to cause too many problems in practice for the membership.

I do think that Gauge '3' has quite a lot of challenges in front of it but I doubt this is one of them. However, this is a public Forum and I think it's very easy to give a completely wrong impression to anyone 'lurking' and trying to find out more about G3. I'm afraid it is all too easy to give a pretty poor view of G3 here sometimes - when the actual experience is very different (much more positive) in my view.

So, it appears I was instrumental in your decision to resign and I can only apologise as I certainly had no intent to mislead.  I do seem to recall (somewhere) strongly recommending that you come along to the AGM and talk to the Committee (and the other members involved in this area) and listen to their views on this. I'm sorry that you didn't have the opportunity to do so - you might disagree with some of them but they are quite rational in their views.

As Mark is probably doubly bored with this thread by now - perhaps we should let the matter rest. If you want to talk about this privately - then I'd be quite happy to do so.


Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline IanT

Re: Boiler, the sequel
« Reply #34 on: Apr 15 2015 18:05 »
OK - it seems there was something else sent. I don't know the answer then in that case.


Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline jamiepage

Re: Boiler, the sequel
« Reply #35 on: Apr 15 2015 19:02 »
You're right, it didn't come from you, it was an official response from the G3S. It quite clearly shut down the possibility for change by re- affirming their intention to continue treating Small boilers the same as Large.
Again, I was grateful for your communications, but I took the society message as the statement of policy.

My frustration was in not having been given a valid reason to reject my proposal- by valid, I mean I had variously been told it's illegal (it's not),the insurers wouldn't allow it (wrong), it's dangerous (really?). Still haven't.
I would have been very happy to address those points of view and present a more fleshed out report, (which could have been rejected I accept) but as you see from the response, and the clamour on here, there was clearly no appetite for any change.

I have to say that sort of attitude ( and I am not pointing the finger at you here, you have stood up and debated), is likely to do G3 a lot more harm than the witterings of a solitary old fool.

G3 should be capitalising on its unique position sat as it is between smaller scale scenic railwaying and larger scale engineering. It will benefit immensely if it learns to look inquisitively in both directions and I firmly believe G1 and 16mm Assoc are doing Small boilers right. Look at the membership numbers.
For small locos, I believe the engineering norms of G1 and 16mm are probably more appropriate than Martin Evan's type norms. But G3S needs to provide the environment in which that sort of thing can prosper. (Nothing to stop the super detailed masterpiece as well, though of course).
I would love to see Ian's superb newsletter full of small articles on say an electric water gauge, a small boiler design, simplified reversible valve gear etc, just as G1MRA mag. does.

Finally, if there are any lurkers watching, don't be put off G3 by my ramblings. It comes from a great desire in seeing G3 develop and prosper because it really is an excellent scale. So stop lurking and dive in. Buy a wagon kit or something.

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Boiler, the sequel
« Reply #36 on: Apr 15 2015 19:29 »
Chaps I am a moderator and just logged on to read to find the large number of posts on this thread today.  The large number of posts is to be welcomed (oh that we had more on some other subjects!) but some of the comments are a little too personal.  The last ones seemed to suggest some tacit agreements, but please take care not to be carried away in the heat of the moment and post personal or insulting comments, or they will be deleted.

Our new Chairman has been made aware of the correspondence, is a boiler tester, a capable steam engineer, a 16mm enthusiast (so well aware of <3Bar) and I suspect will be speaking with some individuals about their concerns.

Thank you.


Offline John Candy

Re: Boiler, the sequel
« Reply #37 on: Apr 15 2015 19:44 »
Gosh.... I went to Cambridge for the afternoon and return to find another half-dozen posts.
Mike has seen these messages ahead of me and has drawn a line on etiquette, so please observe or the thread may be locked.

Mark, this may not be of interest to you but there are others who are following it (but are not posting messages) and have concerns about boiler testing.
While out I received a private email from a prominent member (who having read this thread) is asking for advice on the insurance coverage issue.

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline AllWight

Re: Boiler, the sequel
« Reply #38 on: Apr 16 2015 11:36 »
Hi John

I am aware of the requirements for the saftey of the boilers. I do drive and help to maintain the locos at Moors Valley Railway(7 1/4" railway).

I was just concerned there was a lot of heated messages flying back and forth and it winds everyone up.
I felt that the discussion was rapidly becoming counter productive.


Offline John Candy

Re: Boiler, the sequel
« Reply #39 on: Apr 16 2015 14:32 »

Yes, the exchanges were getting rather "heated" but I was out at Cambridge for much of the day and it seems Mike was not available either until late afternoon.

I had hoped that my confirming that "small boilers" without test certificates are covered by the insurance policy (even though the G3S is reluctant to accept ones without certificates at "official" G3S gatherings) would have been the final word on the matter.

The issue, however, seems to have developed into the wider question of the manner in which the G3S conducts business.

In view of this, I consider this particular thread to have run its course and am locking it.

If the policy/conduct of the G3S is to be discussed, than a new topic should be commenced.


My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.