There is no doubt about it that the recent identity swap with 92214 Central Star and 92220 Evening Star has been controversial. There are those that like it but there are also those that hate it and it has also upset some people.
What are my thoughts on this though? Well you are about to find out
I have had mixed feelings and thoughts on this, at first i thought the idea would be good but later on especially after visiting the event at the GCR this was shown at my verdict towards it changed. I can sort of understand why they did as they wanted to bring it back to life and show it to a new generation but even though the real Evening is on static exhibit at the NRM it is still being shown to a new generation especially to those that visit the NRM and see the real 92220 up close and in all its glory. As long as the real locomotive is still with us and is still being shown to a new generation even if still a static exhibit that is something to behold.
I am not against the idea of one locomotive swapping identities with another but this is not the way it should be done. If you are going to do this it has to be a long lost class member that is no longer with us not an engine that is already in preservation because its just a pointless and silly notion and it is not the way to do it. I don't like the idea of seeing two of the exact same engine even if one is only that particular engine in disguise it still doesn't look right.
It makes more sense to do this with an engine that has long gone because that way even if it is an engine is disguise as the engine it is masquerading as that is showing the engine to a new generation for as they will get to see the locomotive close up and it shows that even though a specific class member of locomotive is gone it isn't forgotten and given the fact all class members of a specific locomotive look exactly the same you would never really tell it was another locomotive passing off the identity of another.
and if its for a photographic charter train than that makes even more sense to do so, plus if there are enthusiasts out there that weren't born during the heyday of Steam but love filming Steam Locomotives just as much as I do then that photographer (unless they prefer to film trains again like i do) is able to film that locomotive passing on the identity of another that they would never get to see for obvious reasons that it didn't escape the scrap man and his cutters torch and again like i said above you'll never tell it was really another loco in disguise as each class member of a specific loco looks the same.
When a locomotive is in disguise as another lets say for example it is 34027 Taw Valley in disguise as 34045 Ottery St Mary (it did in my childhood days) in the mind or to the eyes of a rail enthusiast it is seen as a different locomotive. Yes i 34035 was 34027 in disguise but as a kid i saw the locomotive it was in disguise in as not Taw Valley but Ottery St Mary itself, i saw it as a different locomotive and more to the point i was a kid back then but still.
By the way i am not having a go at the GCR or the NRM being a rail enthusiast like myself i have great respect for both of them just like any other heritage railway or attraction, i just find it unnecessary for 92214 to have swapped identities with 92220 i mean what was the point of it?
If 92220 hadn't survived into preservation than this would have made more sense to have done it or if they had picked an engine that hasn't survived. I know i have said in the eyes or mind of a rail enthusiast seeing an engine in guise as another is seen as another engine but this is different with a class member in preservation in guise as another 9F that is in preservation because then it is all too obvious that it is a different engine masquerading as the engine its in guise as when it is already in preservation. Its different and makes more sense when it is done with an engine that hasn't survived but to use an engine in preservation to be in guise of another that is in preservation is just silly, its a very different kettle of fish.
These are my views on it though at the end of the day, we all don't like the same thing and if we did than the world would be a boring place indeed.