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Best British Locomotive

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

  1. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    Plenty of references to Churchward using the sanguinary adjective.
    I think my favourite was:-
    [on inspecting a firebox]
    Collett: "Bring me an illuminant"
    Worker: "Beg Pardon Sir"
    Churchward: "Bill, fetch a bloody gas[light]."
     
  2. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Yes I've heard that one too, I believe Churchward was held in rather high regard by his staff, didn't they refer to him as 'the squire' on account of his tweed dress and love of outdoor pursuits?
     
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  3. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Active Member

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    Good one. Now you've got me wondering if Swindon had a suggestion box! :confused:
     
  4. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    Drivers down Barry called them that all the time. They much preferred the Panniers (and old Taffy tanks before GWR scrapped the majority of them.)

    56s were terribly prone for derailing when going forwards or negotiating points. And their axle boxes often ran hot.

    Even in later years, when the scrapyard was gone and they tried to start up a "steam muesum" there, no one had any interest in seeing the resident Barry 10 56/66xx restored.
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Resurrecting an old thread:

    While looking up something else, I came across the following comparative figures for coal usage and maintenance costs for a selection of SR locos, mainly mid-sized tank engines. These were compiled at a time when impending electrification to Brighton made it obvious that there would soon be large numbers of redundant ex-LBSCR locos, and a decision needed to be made about how to distribute them, and which locos to break up.

    There are figures for average coal per mile (based on etc duties undertaken by a sample of the class) and a proportional scale of repair costs for the 0-4-4Ts on the list:

    SR 0-4-4Ts.png

    It shows what a bargain the SE&CR got with the H class: in comparison with similar LBSCR and LSWR machines, it had lower coal consumption than all except the Adams O2; and far lower maintenance costs than any of the LSWR or LBSCR designs!

    (The performance of the R1 is also very credible; these were in effect the basis of the design for the H, and by the 1920s were mostly carrying H class boilers).

    Tom
     
  6. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton New Member

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    or a Princess
     
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  7. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton New Member

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    not really - it must have been due for a new boiler and it's performance was no better than a Castle . on the GWR London to Bristol route the large boilers' potential was not needed.so chop the frames and make it a Castle was the correct accountant decision .
    the GWR was not noted for sentiment
     
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  8. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton New Member

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    I believe it to be true . what is undeniable however is that GJC engines gave twice the working life of those from Crewe.
     
  9. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    If the Crewe locos cost half of what the Swindon locos cost, it's fine that they had half the working life!
    Crewe at this period had a philosophy of building quickly and relatively cheaply, thrashing hard, and replacing.
    To work out the best philosophy overall you'd have to do what we now call a "Whole Life Cost" or Net Present Value type analysis.
    The LMS did develop an operations accounting system along those lines, which led them to pretty ruthless replacement of older locos with more efficient, cheaper to run and maintain standard classes. I don't know the comparative costs of building LMS and GWR standard types by the 1930s.
    GWR locos were already pretty efficient and standardised before the 1930s, of course.
     
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  10. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    This is very interesting, but I can't read your table for some reason...
     
  11. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    The Midland locos tended to have pretty long lives, admittedly, they were standardised in the early days of the LMS, but many of them had long careers, the last 2F and 3F 0-6-0s ran until the early 60s, which suggests that they were pretty well built
     
  12. class8mikado

    class8mikado Well-Known Member

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    Or that the stockpile of the inevitably required spares finally ran out...
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Odd. I attached it as an image because of the difficulty of formatting a table in the forum software.

    Anyway, here are the data in plain text:

    Company / Class / Coal burnt, lb per mile / Repair cost index
    SECR / R1 / 36.3 / 94
    SECR / H / 37.2 / 96
    LSWR / O2 / 36.9 / 108
    LBSCR / D3 / 39.3 / 119
    LSWR / M7 / 40.4 / 120

    The R1 referenced is the Kirtley-designed, but Wainwright-ordered, 0-4-4T; essentially an LCDR 0-4-4T that formed the basis of the H class. To be differentiated from the SER R1 0-6-0T of Stirling (re-boilered by Wainwright) design.

    Tom
     
  14. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    Derby locos were robustly built. With certain well known exceptions they were mechanically well designed and ran well. But by the Big Loco age their steam circuits weren't keeping up with the times.
    Crewe locos, by contrast, were built on the principle of what in another I have heard described as "a short life but a merry one". They couldn't half steam (generally), they could go like the blazes, but if it'd been a while since a shopping they started to be very rough indeed and eventually thrashed themselves to pieces. Whereupon they were quickly replaced by another loco with the same name and number to whatever was now the latest class for that type of duty...
     
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  15. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting figures Tom. The high numbers for the D3 are surprising and may go some way to explaining why they went a decade before the rest, although I wonder if the rather more powerful M7 can fairly be compared with t'others.

    May I enquire as to relevant date(s)? Plus, would those be for repairs carried out at 'home' workshops (i.e. M7 at Eastleigh, D3 at Brighton, H at Ashford)? The reason I ask is there seems to be evidence of fairly disparate repair costings on the same class of locos undertaken at different works elsewhere (e.g. Crewe vs St.Rollox).

    Are there any figures for any one or more Southern classes to directly compare the relative costs of the same works attention across any two, or all three divisional works?
     
  16. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    You also need to consider that Midland locos had a pretty sheltered life in MR days. They were also rebuilt ad infinitum, so we again have to wonder how much of the loco as originally built were still in place when it was withdrawn.

    Crewe products, as you say, were cheap to build and generally thrashed along to produce some scintillating performances, which they did. But some did achieve long lives, generally goods classes. You need to look at the DXs; 17" Coal Engines and, especially, Coal Tanks; 18" Goods ('Cauliflowers), and the various 0-8-0s, substantial parts of which sometimes went back a very long way.
     
  17. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    You make some good points (as usual). Rebuilding was common at the time, especially at Derby, and besides giving historians a headache, rather muddies the waters about how long locos actually survived.
    I've often thought that Crewe's goods locos were better than their passenger ones (and their small passenger locos were better than their express ones). It was high speed running with heavy trains, especially north of Crewe, which really showed up locos' shortcomings (including products of Horwich, St Rollox and Derby).
    My point was that Derby and Crewe had quite different philosophies of loco design, and the companies had different operational philosophies. Both kept their shareholders happy, I'm not sure who had the happier passengers, although I suspect the Midland.
    I still think the LNWR was utterly magnificent, though!
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    I suspect there is less difference than you think between an M7 and an H in power. At the cylinder end, they are very close (18.5" * 26" for the M7; 18" * 26" or 18.5" * 26" for the H; working pressure 150 or 175psi for the M7; 160psi for the H). At the boiler end, the heating surface is also pretty close (1192sq. ft for the M7; 1104 sq ft for the H). The one significant difference is that the M7 has a rather larger grate (20.4 sq ft vs 16.7 sq ft). Comparing that with the respective coal costs might suggest that the H has a better match between the rates of steam production and steam usage.


    The data are from the 1920s, and the repair costs would be those on shed. The full list includes other locos including LBSCR E4 and E5 radials; the Wainwright J and the Marsh I3 and I1x Atlantic tanks. (Worth pointing out, a propos the M7, that the E4 and E5 were each cheaper in both coal and maintenance than the M7).

    Another interesting comparison is between the I3 (superheated) and I1x (unsuperheated).

    Company / Class / Coal burnt, lb per mile / Repair cost index
    LBSCR / I1x / 41.5 / 99
    LBSCR / I3 / 34.2 / 113

    Notable is that the I3 is better on coal costs (as expected) but considerably worse on repair costs - a point often overlooked about the supposed advantages of superheating. There was a reason why the old companies didn't superheat engines unless their duties involved considerable non-stop running: for stop-start journeys, the efficiencies in coal weren't made, but the extra repair costs of more complex boilers would still be felt.

    Tom
     
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  19. 8126

    8126 Member

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    Most interesting. The O2s are the smallest of the 0-4-4T classes listed, certainly in grate area, so their low coal consumption may not be entirely surprising, but they were very popular with crews and sheds would use them almost in preference to the bigger T1s, so I suspect their small size did not result in an easy life.
     
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  20. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Good point re: maintenance which (along with perennial penury) may go a very long way to explaining the GSR's often perplexing boiler policies, with a pool of both saturated and superheated boilers for several pre-grouping classess.

    Back to the Southern, once again the Ashford products shine. Other than the very effective steam reverser, it's noticable that the well proportioned Wainwright era locos were solid rather than innovative, but survived none the worse for that. Naughty thought for the day .... Wonder if the D class will ever come south to play? There's a fair bit been done of late to make replacing that crank axle a less daunting prospect than it would've been a decade ago!

    The larger grate size of the M7 presumably reflects their original intended work (more than once I've seen comment that the M7 would bowl along quite happily at 60mph with a fair load) and I note that where the H was a BR 1P, the M7 was allocated 3P, although there seems little to chose between their respective duties by later Southern and into BR days. In the normal way of things, one would imagine both would've been replaced by around 1950, but for an Austrian Corporal, nationalisation and OK, a certain 0-6-6-0t which may have had some small bearing on matters!
     
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