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6399 Fury

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by neildimmer, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. neildimmer

    neildimmer Part of the furniture

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    The London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) No. 6399 Fury was an unsuccessful British experimental express passenger locomotive. The intention was to save fuel by using high-pressure steam, which is thermodynamically more efficient than low-pressure steam.
    Built in 1929 by the NBL (North British Locomotive Company) in Glasgow, it was one of a number of steam locomotives built around the world in the search for "Superpower steam". The locomotive was a joint venture between the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), with Henry Fowler as Chief Mechanical Engineer (C.M.E.) and The Superheater Company with the latter having responsibility for constructing the complex, 3 stage Schmidt-based boiler. The LMS provided a Royal Scot frame and running gear. However, Carney shows that the frames for Fury were not standard Royal Scot frames, but longer. For the complex boiler, John Brown & Company of Sheffield forged the special nickel-steel alloy high pressure drum and many boiler fittings were imported from Germany[5] but otherwise all manufacture was carried out by NBL.
    A 3-cylindered semi-compound compound locomotive, it had one high-pressure cylinder between the frames (11.5 inch bore) and two larger low-pressure outside cylinders (18 inch bore). The Schmidt steam-raising boiler was a 3-stage unit. The primary generator was a fully sealed ultra-high-pressure circuit working between 1400 and 1800 psi (9.7 to 12.4 MPa), filled with distilled water that transferred heat from the firebox to the high-pressure drum. This raised high-pressure steam at 900 psi (6.2 MPa) which was taken to power the cylinders and also recirculate pure water. The third steam raising unit was a relatively conventional locomotive fire tube boiler operating at 250 psi (1.7 MPa) heated by combustion gases from the coal fire. The engine was technically an "ultra-high pressure, semi-compound steam locomotive". It was given the LMS number 6399 and then inherited the name Fury from LMS 6138, which had itself been renamed in October 1929.
    After short runs during January 1930, a longer test run from Glasgow to Carstairs was scheduled for 10 February 1930. Approaching Carstairs station at slow speed, one of the ultra-high-pressure tubes burst and the escaping steam ejected the coal fire through the fire-hole door, killing Mr Lewis Schofield of the Superheater Company. Subsequently the burst tube was thoroughly investigated at Sheffield University but no definitive conclusion reached. The boiler was eventually repaired and Fury moved to Derby where a number of running trials were carried out until early 1934, mostly revealing significant shortcomings in performance. Fury's rods and linkages were then removed together with the indicator shelter and test gear when in 1935 it was rebuilt by William Stanier at Crewe Works with a more conventional type 2 boiler becoming 6170 British Legion, the first of the LMS 2 and 2A boilered 4-6-0 locomotives. Despite the accident, Fury was primarily an economic rather than a technological failure. Although tolerating the trials from Derby, Stanier didn't devote much effort to rectifying the faults Fury displayed, no doubt because of his many other work pressures and development of the LMS Turbomotive. Nevertheless, Fury never earned revenue for the LMS and in fact "Fury must have travelled more miles under tow than under its own steam". As many other experimental locomotives showed, the theoretical benefits of ultra high steam pressure steam were hard to realise in practice. Fuel is only one part of the operating costs of a steam locomotive—maintenance is very significant, and introducing extra complications always increased this disproportionally.


    6399 Fury


    https://railway-photography.smugmug.com/LMSSteam/Fowler-LMS-Locomotives/Fowler-Tender-Engines/NBL-Company-LMS-Fowler-6399-Fury/i-PtTwZsk/A
    [​IMG]
    N.B.L. Company, LMS & Fowler 6399 Fury - Railway-Photography

    railway-photography.smugmug.com
    railway photographs from the last 100 years

    2 works photos of Fury





    https://railway-photography.smugmug.com/LMSSteam/Fowler-LMS-Locomotives/Fowler-Tender-Engines/NBL-Company-LMS-Fowler-6399-Fury/i-FVpGbBG
    [​IMG]
    N.B.L. Company, LMS & Fowler 6399 Fury - Railway-Photography

    railway-photography.smugmug.com
    railway photographs from the last 100 years





    https://railway-photography.smugmug.com/LMSSteam/Fowler-LMS-Locomotives/Fowler-Tender-Engines/NBL-Company-LMS-Fowler-6399-Fury/i-C92JfBk
    [​IMG]
    N.B.L. Company, LMS & Fowler 6399 Fury - Railway-Photography

    railway-photography.smugmug.com
    railway photographs from the last 100 years

    6399 Fury Crewe works March 1935 experimental prototype locomotive



    https://railway-photography.smugmug.com/LMSSteam/Fowler-LMS-Locomotives/Fowler-Tender-Engines/NBL-Company-LMS-Fowler-6399-Fury/i-PZcVTVj
    [​IMG]
    N.B.L. Company, LMS & Fowler 6399 Fury - Railway-Photography

    railway-photography.smugmug.com
    railway photographs from the last 100 years



    https://railway-photography.smugmug.com/LMSSteam/Fowler-LMS-Locomotives/Fowler-Tender-Engines/NBL-Company-LMS-Fowler-6399-Fury/i-hcgwHXJ
    [​IMG]
    N.B.L. Company, LMS & Fowler 6399 Fury - Railway-Photography

    railway-photography.smugmug.com
    railway photographs from the last 100 years

    Neil
     
  2. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    One interesting discussion about this loco is: was it ever repainted from photographic grey into full LMS crimson Lake? It is often very difficult to tell in black and white photos which version is being carried, but that first photo does appear to me to be very definitely in Crimson Lake.
     
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  3. Kylchap

    Kylchap New Member

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    Thanks for sharing this with us, Neil.
     
  4. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    Essery and Jenkinson decided that it probably was painted Crimson Lake - after close examination of various photos. I would tend to accept their word as being definitive!
     
  5. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Thought for a minute someone was suggesting another new build project!
     
  6. clinker

    clinker New Member

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    I tend to see these type of schemes as Doomed from the start, I would imagine that by the late '20's high pressure boilers were fairly well established for power generation and possibly marine applications, where the boilers were either solidly mounted on masonry or at the very least on substantial frameworks where they could operate in fairly stable conditons, and further efficiency gained from exhaust condensing. neither of which is the case when bolted,no matter how firmly to a mobile locomotive which I'm sure most of us know is likely to be swinging and swaying like a bucking bronco, hence additional stresses being set up leading to failures. Like everything it seemed like a good idea at the time, and had it never been built we would never know, but like all stories, we'll never hear all of it.
     
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  7. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    US Navy used boilers working at 1200lbs a square inch eventually, oil fired of course
     
  8. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I was trying to get my head round the turbo-compressor boilers used on the latest steam driven warships and rather glad I was never to have come across one - the Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsof has them.

    IMHO the 350psi in the Manxman was plenty
     
  9. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    From what I've read they had few problems with high pressure. I seem to recall royal navy used 600psi?
     
  10. Sheffield

    Sheffield New Member

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    We are told that Fury was taken to Crewe and the chassis rebuilt with a type 2 boiler. But I wonder just how much of the original remained. Wheels, motion and minor parts? The frame plates were different to the Royal Scot, as were the cylinders and cab front, but British Legion had Scot frames and cab. I wonder if rebuilt was more a financial rather than engineering term.
     
  11. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    I believe the outside cylinders, frames, wheels, some of the motion, etc. were retained - the boiler, cab (which was Stanier type) and inside cylinder were new.
    It used more of the original loco than the rebuilt Scots (which the LMS called Converted Royal Scots), which had complete new cylinders and frames, although parts of the original engine were used wherever possible. In fact, it was more complicated - parts of the frames of the *previous* rebuild were used in the next one, together with the cab, motion, wheels, etc. of the loco theoretically being converted. The frame bits were then used in the next conversation, and so on...
     
  12. Dag Bonnedal

    Dag Bonnedal New Member

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    Do you mean this type of supercharged boiler, the Velox:
    http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/velox/velox.htm

    Complicated enough, but getting 12 ton/h high pressure steam out of a boiler of less than 300 sqft heating surface is impressive. Output of the loco 1800 hp, and it worked.
     
  13. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Thanks, it certainly sounds a bit like a Velox
     
  14. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Thought a Velox was a Vauxhall car!
     
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  15. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    One of the many things that fascinate me about this Loco., is the rather mind-boggling (to me anyway) fact that, according to I.F. Carney in his book "Fowler's Fury", the entire white hot contents of the firebox were ejected through the firehole and onto the footplate and its unfortunate occupants, in a fraction over 3 seconds. Without the book in front of me I can't say just how much material that was - I'd have thought at least a couple of tons. Either way, that's a Hell of a lot of material through a small hole in a very short space of time... Scary stuff.

    Richard.
     
  16. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    Probably 3/4 of a tonne at most, if the 'box was well banked up? But yes, the energy unleashed due to the tube failure would be utterly terrifying. No wonder it dumped the contents out so rapidly. High pressure steam, and even more so when superheated, can do horrendous things to the human body too. It doesn't bear thinking about...
     

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