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10 most important / noteworthy UK steam designs .your views and why

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by sir gilbert claughton, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

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    the Leader has had 60+ years and still not cracked it
     
  2. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Leader had less than 5, then the experiment was stopped. The idea “ought” to have been a good one; the judgment of history is that the idea did not have the legs in it to keep steam going in front line service for the long term.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Not sure how you come to that conclusion. Perhaps you meant months?
     
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  4. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah ... and that Paget loco ... still haven't got it working a century after it was scrapped .... and I didn't even mention Braithwaite & Ericsson. (Whoops!) :D
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The engineers are still working on Cycloped, but give them time ...

    Tom
     
  6. Peter Wilde

    Peter Wilde New Member

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    Wow! Yes! A prime mover that uses totally green (in every sense) renewable fuel; and can even replicate itself every year or two, without any help from a factory. Not much pollution either - just chuck the "effluent" on the nearest field and let it grow more fuel. In these eco-sustainable times, Cycloped must be the ultimate locomotive. The trains would probably be faster than SWR's, too.
     
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  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    In an attempt to bring this vaguely back on topic (and to avoid having yet another thread about the Leader, since we have one of those roughly every fortnight...)

    With regard the Midland coal burning locos that were included in several lists:

    Here is the original paper in the Proceedings of the Institute of Locomotive Engineers, 1860, p147, C. Markham

    Paper: https://archive.org/stream/proceedings186000inst#page/146/mode/2up
    Diagrams: https://archive.org/stream/proceedings186000inst#page/n219/mode/2up

    One interesting facet is that while the mechanism for coal burning is normally stated to be the combination of brick arch and deflector plate, in the paper, Markham in fact states it as brick arch + deflector plate + blower (to keep smoke down when the regulator is shut) + sideways opening firehole doors (to better regulate airflow). It is also interesting that the author recognised that increasing amounts of secondary air necessarily meant that less primary air was needed for the same heat output (relative to a coke burning firebox), which was achieved by a combination of smaller gaps between firebars and a smaller damper opening.

    Tom
     
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  8. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    Agree entirely that these are also good examples of both waste of money and effort.

    If Leader is not a significant waste of funds (given its limited use on any revenue earning trains - actually scratch that, was it actually used on any revenue earning trains?) as a prototype locomotive, then can we all agree that Edward Thompson's one off prototypes (all of which did haul revenue earning services, and for some years at that and in regular service) are not wastes of money and effort? :)
     
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  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Pretty sure Leader didn't haul anything revenue earning, as ever Simon you make a good point. However! I can't see some of those who bear a grudge against Mr Thompson backing down anytime soon! ;):)
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    To be fair, I don't think I have ever suggested otherwise!

    If you are going to be an objective historian though <grin/> you need to avoid weakening your case by unnecessary hyperbolae. You certainly don't strengthen the case for Thompson by presenting Bulleid in a worse light than he deserves.

    I don't think anyone would disagree with the contention that The Leader was unsuccessful in its objectives, but that is a long way from being the "biggest waste of engineering time, materials and effort in British locomotive history." They built one-and-a-bit experimental locos at a time when BR had a fleet of about 20,000 locos and was building hundreds per year. So the impact of the failure on the operational ability to run a railway was negligible. Ultimately wasteful, yes, but hard to say it was any more of a waste than numerous other one-offs. (Paget, Fury, the Hush-hush; the Maunsell / Holcroft / Anderson recompression loco, the Fell multi-engined diesel Locomotive - the list is pretty long. In some of those at least a rebuild to conventional form was possible, saving some expense, but the entire conception of the Leader rather made that route impossible.)

    Tom
     
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  11. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    Much to agree with you there Tom and my apologies if you feel I had picked on you there in some respect.

    The point I am trying in a roundabout way to make is that some locomotive engineers (of which Thompson is one of several, actually) have had their less successful designs emphasised in reducing their reputation.

    If Bulleid is to be judged on his successes, and not his failures, let all of them be so judged.

    In short (and again, not aimed at you) - but lets have some consistency folks.
     
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  12. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Both Bulleid and Thompson had successes and failures. The Leader must count as a failure, but the Q1 and the Pacific’s were good machines, also his EMUs were excellent. Same with Thompson, the B1, in my opinion, was the LNERs most useful loco. Back onto the real railway, (the LMS!) Stanier’s Duchess on the one hand, the best loco ever, in my opinion, and the class 3 2-6-2 tank, also designed by him, which wasn’t much good
     
  13. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    Good to remind us that many of the very important steps forward in loco design happened in the mid to late 1800s, a period about which most of us are fairly ignorant.
    So, if we're going to bring back lost loco classes, how about concentrating some effort on this era, instead of having to have one of every mediocre design from the 1930s...?
    (Yes, that clip clopping sound you can hear is my hobby horse...)
     
  14. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

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    quite agree mate . I've got one of those hobby horses . mines called Dobbin . what's yours ?

    Stirling Single -Spinners- Clayton , Webb- Race to the North . the true golden age
     
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  15. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    OK Andrew, I'll bite .... Would a HR Skye Bogie (1870) tick yer boxes? Not rapid enough for tearing up the mainline, but 10/10 for cute, plus would look fantastic 'back home' at Inverness! As can be seen from the photo, they lasted into LMS days, the last being withdrawn in 1930. Stroudley fans would salivate over the rear view, with toolbox above the tender buffer beam!

    Image* from Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era (a lovely website which I'm happy to plug) 'chasewaterstuff.wordpress.com':
    14277-h-c-casserley-turntable.jpg.cf.jpg

    Trouble with owt from that era .... t'was increasing train weights as much as anything else which 'did for them' and wooden bodied stock ain't going anywhere on the big railway unless it's a 'one engine in steam' branch and even then, with some stringent restrictions.

    * Edit: Just identified the original photographer as H.C.Casserley.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  16. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    We'll never know whether the principles of the Leader could have been turned into a success story because the Railway Executive pulled the plug on it. As I've said earlier, not every loco design is a success from the start and some needed major modifications to make them a success. Replacing the sleeve valves with a more suitable steam distribution system would have been a good start. There were/are plenty of different arrangements of valve gear that could have been adopted. Turning the boiler through 180 degrees and plonking it in the middle of the frames would have been another and would have placed the fireman at an end, with good access to ventilation and companionship when running in one direction, at least. Being alone when running in the other direction would have been no different from any push-pull set up. That would have needed a mechanical means of fuel transfer from a bunker but, again, there were tried and tested means of doing this.
     
  17. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

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    would you care to list your best locos/designers for 1850-1899 ??? I will do the same after giving it some thought .
     
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  18. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Active Member

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    I'd be interested in the standout designs that enabled the jump from 30mph to 70/80mph.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    It’s an interesting question, but there is a nuance: many Loco Superintendents of the mid 19th century acted more as specifiers and procurers of locomotives, rather than designers. So for example, industrial concerns such as Beyer-Peacock, Sharp Stewart and so on provided more or less identical designs to numerous companies, but the ultimate designer of what were highly successful locos is not necessarily so well known.

    Tom
     
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  20. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    A couple do come to mind, but they were broad gauge!

    Locomotives were only one aspect involved in getting a train to 70/80mph of course. For starters, you had to be able to stop the thing too (no continuous brakes back then). Then there was the perennial issue of stopping services and freight trains all over the network (before cut-off lines and quadrupling of many routes), plus signalling and points control and that's before you consider the first bogie stock in the UK was on the Festiniog Railway in 1872.

    One off high-speed runs are one thing, regular timetabled services quite another, as the "Races to the North" of the 19th century demonstrated all too graphically.
     
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