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Best British Locomotive

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Hermod, May 12, 2017.

  1. 2392

    2392 Member

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    Indeed. They're the only pair I can readily identify in the night sky. It was only about 15 years ago at Pickering I had the Plough pointed out to me, as I was trying to place Orions Belt.......
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  2. Forestpines

    Forestpines Member

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    It *was* named after one. It had the name of a constellation on the side in big metal letters...
     
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  3. Forestpines

    Forestpines Member

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    Cassiopeia is the next easiest to spot - it's an easily-recognizable "W" shape. And that's about my limit!
     
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  4. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it's just as well "The Great Bear" remained unique, considering 111 bore the English version of 'Ursa Major'. Dare I suggest "The Big Dog" rather lacks gravitas and "The Water Carrier" sounds more like a tender!

    For a stonking great express loco, most of the English names of the 88 constellations are a bit, well ..... dull
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/88_modern_constellations
     
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  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Casiopier? A long pedestrian pleasure arcade incorporating one or more portable electronic calculating devices isn't it?

    Tom
     
  6. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    I have. The Internet is only as good, accurate, and as reliable as the community that upholds it. There will be gaps in our knowledge base that prompt an honest question. I assume this is in textbooks, or old GWR magazines/manuals...

    Do feel sorry for Churchward though, I can read the sadness and frustration in the accounts of the aftermath, he loved the big machine and wanted to see it developed further.
     
  7. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    It’s such a weird decision to take to rebuild it.

    There were other unique and somewhat odd locos in GWR stock at the same time but TGB just happened to be most high profile. A real shame.
     
  8. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    Is there a good source for that? There are various contradictory stories. Holcroft and Cook are rather quiet on the subject, and the likes of Nock and especially Tuplin have a tendency to project their own ideas on their subject.

    I dunno. To me it makes sense. The Bear boiler supposedly needed significant work, and in spite of several reworks, especially of the superheating, did not steam particularly well. The Castle boiler, on the other hand steamed well, and was well up to the job. The 4700 had been built to pick up the tasks the Bear was good at, the Castle did the jobs that the Bear was less good at better, and had better RA. Other contemporary Pacifics were not obviously better than the Castle. If you repaired the existing boiler the result was no better than a Castle or a 47, but very route limited, so really needed a major boiler redesign. The LMS under Stanier had some trouble getting a GW influenced Pacific boiler right, so no guaranteed a Swindon one would definitely be right. Why go to all the trouble to design a new boiler and end up with a non standard locomotive when you could do the rebuild, which incidentally would be a test case for doing the same to Stars, as was indeed done later on.
     
  9. Sir Nigel Gresley

    Sir Nigel Gresley Active Member

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    One of my favourites too, but better with Giesl Ejector and Kabinentender, a la ÖBB!
     
  10. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    Here's an extract:

    Authorities differ as to Churchward's attitude to his locomotive. According to Le Fleming, "his dislike of 'The Bear' was well known", but Nock said that he had "a deep affection for the engine", although he came to regard it as "a white elephant" rather than a "Great Bear". He was disappointed to hear of The Great Bear's destruction, and, upon hearing of Nigel Gresley's plans to construct a Pacific for the Great Northern Railway, is said to have replied: "What did that young man want to build it for? We could have sold him ours!"

    I suppose... He was trying to envisage a GWR King...
     
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  11. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    My favourite reported Churchward quote concerned his answer to a director's enquiry as to why 2 Swindon products cost the same to build as 3 Crewe locos. I do hope it wasn't just apocryphal!
     
  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    I certainly can't claim to be an expert on GWR matters, but I've always taken that quote by Churchward as suggesting that he was less than enamoured with The Great Bear and considered the best outcome would be to sell it to someone gullible less familiar with its actual capabilities.

    Tom
     
  13. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    Could have been worse, he could have been responsible for the 56xx class! collectively called the "pigs" in South Wales.

    Perhaps we ought to start a thread on the Worst British Locomotive? :D
     
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  14. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    It probably wasn't, but nor was it the truth. But who tells the truth to the directors?
     
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  15. ross

    ross New Member

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    Which was....
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    No Steve, you can't put Any GW loco.
     
  17. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    I think it was something like 'because 2 of my loco's will haul 3 of theirs backwards'
     
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  18. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    First time I have heard that, got any sources?
    The BR(W) engine men from the region that I have spoken to seemed to quite rate them.
     
  19. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    That's the gist, though I understood it to have been phrased in somewhat more colourful terms.
     
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  20. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Someone who doesn't want to work their notice out? :)
     

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