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A question about G.W.R. engines

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by 240P15, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. 240P15

    240P15 Member

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    Hi there!:)

    If I`m right (as a norwegian) the majority of British steam are left hand driven (if that`s the correct notion?)
    But looking at the G.W.R. steam locomotives the driver stands at the right side of the cab.

    Why that? Is it any particular reason or story behind it?

    thanks in advance!

    regards

    Knut
     
  2. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    the same reason why the British drive cars from the right, it's the best way. :)

    Sensible answer coming right up I expect.
     
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  3. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    The GWR wasn't alone in having RHD locomotives, I'm almost certain GER locos were RHD and LNER 4472 was originally RHD too but I'm sure someone with better knowledge of this will confirm.
     
  4. weltrol

    weltrol Active Member

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    Several railways in the UK used Right hand drive, GWR, Midland, GNR, Cambrian and others. Austerity tanks and a lot of industrials were RHD... Several 8f's were RHD, so the GWR was not alone.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Industrial locos generally are right hand drive. Main line locos are left hand drive.
     
  6. Bill Drewett

    Bill Drewett New Member

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    It's because GWR locomotives were driven on the left hand track of a double track, where other companies drove on the right.

    I'm pretty sure that's correct...
     
  7. torgormaig

    torgormaig Active Member Friend

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    I don't think that there were any RHD 8Fs in this country back in the day, were there? Those build with RHD were all for overseas use.

    Peter James
     
  8. JJG Koopmans

    JJG Koopmans Member

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    Could the position of a right-handed fireman have anything to do with it?
    Kind regards
    Jos Koopmans
     
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  9. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    With a few exceptions in the very early days, all British railways used the left hand track. The reasons for left hand drive were because that's the side where the platforms usually were (there were exceptions) so it was easier for the driver to judge his stopping point; and it was also easier to site the signals on the left hand side and for the driver to see them from that side of the footplate.

    There were many individual Railways prior to the Grouping which used right hand drive, but three of the Big Four standardised on placing the driver to the left; as usual the GWR was the odd one out. But there were right hand drive locos in use on other regions almost to the end of steam. And indeed, all the right hand driven 8Fs went abroad, all to Turkey, I think, and were never used in Britain.
     
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  10. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Were'nt some 4Fs and Compounds right hand drive?
     
  11. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    All the Midland built ones and early LMS ones were RHD. Later LMS ones used LHD. Same for the 2Ps, but all Jinties were RHD, whoever and whenever built.
     
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  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    SE&CR loco were right hand drive, and it continued into some Ashford designs build by the Southern Railway - most of the N and U class moguls were RHD.

    Tom
     
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  13. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    Just to fool the engine pickers there are some RHD 4Fs in the middle of the later number series, the ex S&D. locos
     
  14. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    The story I got from an exGW driver was that the GW had righthand drive to enable the driver to observe passing trains and report anything out of the ordinary. I'm not sure I buy that but one of the reasons the BR Standards were disliked was the LHD, surprising considering cab comfort on a Standard was way ahead of a GW open cab with a wooden tip up seat.
     
  15. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Some engines were constructed as RHD long after many lines standardized on left hand drive, So there must have been a very good reason many of these engines were designed as goods/ mixed traffic, so prehaps it was not to critical that the fireman would have sighted signals before the driver, as both would need to see the road anyway.
     
  16. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    The fireman generally had enough work to do maintaining the fire and, more so, the boiler water level. It would be foolish to depend on him to observe ALL signals for the driver. Even on a LHD loco, there were a few signals which were easier seen from his side. The crew knew where these signals were located and normally the fireman would ensure that he was free of other duties and would sight them, but he couldn't do this for every signal, especially in a congested area surrounding the big cities.

    On the ex-GWR lines the signals were specially sited for viewing from the right hand side and the Standards' LHD would be, and was, particularly difficult.
     
  17. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    I don't know of any British railway company that adopted righthand running. The NB did have one quirk on the West Highland Line where righthand running was generally the rule through the loops
     
  18. Bill Drewett

    Bill Drewett New Member

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    I forgot to add one of these to my post: ...:D

    ... I was enjoying the imagined confusion on joint lines.
     
  19. torgormaig

    torgormaig Active Member Friend

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    I don't think so John. I cannot think of anywhere on the West Highland that had right hand running through a crossing loop. This changed somewhat with the closure of signal boxes and the introduction of RETB working in the late 1980s. This was done to enable access to sidings without the need to reverse, clip and scotch hydraulic loop points when shunting but it certainly was not a NB way of doing things in the old days.

    Peter James
     
  20. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    Simple reason the GWR had to be different to everybody else.;)
     

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