Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by johnofwessex, Feb 16, 2020.
As first time anything ends up at a shed and needs something fixing and a replacement is installed... so unless you have three of something that came straight out of works into preservation and hasnt run since......
I would hazard a guess that, if you ignore the post-preservation extended coal bunker and main line running equipment on 926, the three Schools must be pretty close. As a class they had minimal changes over their lifespan; such changes as did occur were generally applied en-masse (except Lemaitre exhausts, which none of the survivors have). Added to that, none of them were restored from Barry condition, and they're numerically close together so likely to have had a similar original build.
How about the 'Manors'? All nine of them....
Oh, and while we are at it, including the...........
number of rivets......
Indeed, I've always thought it's only because the LMS didn't really have a "loco class" system in the same way as the other railways that we even think of e.g. the Black Fives as all one class. With all the different boiler/dome/firebox, wheelbase, bearings, valve gear, etc. they'd have been distinguished on most railways. Likewise quite a few LMS types, especially Stanier ones.
But I think disdain for proper classification (other than the Midland power class) was inherited from the constituents.
The LNW was completely contemptuous of anything like that. The "official" class names were things like "Six foot straight link rear coupled passenger engine", even the practice of using the name of the first loco only worked for passenger engines and often people couldn't agree which name to use, see Whitworth/Waterloo or Problem/Lady of the Lake. It is hardly surprising that the use of nicknames like "Jumbo" and "Cauliflower" was widespread.
Meanwhile the Midland, GSW and Caley (and the L&Y until after WW1) all used that rather hopeless system of just using the number of the first built in any class, without systematic numbering, and without real consensus on what was and wasn't a new class... See endless variations on the same theme with slightly different wheel diameters.
The Highland did have a class letter system, but no one used it...
The L&Y had a new class number system, but was slightly odd in how it lumped together types, and there's still some disagreement about what class some types were.
The North Staffs had a class system, but even there they had more than one class with the same letter, hence L and New L.
Hardly surprising that none of these caught on.
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That wasn't entirely unreasonable though as the New L was simply an improvement on the old one, likewise with the New M, in both cases I think the chassis was the same, simply a better boiler, firebox, and more modern cab (IIRC). Quite what they planned to do upon the next round of improvements though we'll never know!
I'm surprised that noone has mentioned eight coupled locos of the railways in south Wales, all of which did splendid service. The Barry Railway had both tender and tank types and the Port Talbot Railway had the same design as the Barry 0-8-2Ts.
I'm not so sure about that. On the Southern, for instance, a T1 class could have valves beneath or between the cylinders, while an H15 could have one of at least three different boiler designs, two different axle spacings, and have been either a new built engine or rebuilt from one of two different classes. The only version there wasn't (sadly) was the Arthurised type. Likewise, an S15 was an S15, the Urie/Maunsell distinction wasn't reflected in the paper classification as far as I know, despite representing a different boiler at different pitch, with different cylinders and valve events.
The LNER was probably the most rigorous in sub-classifying; I think off the top of my head the B17 probably held the record, with the definitive version being the B17/6. In a way the A1 and A3 Pacifics were oddballs in the classification system; they could easily have become A1/1 (original version, extinct early), A1/2 (cut down to Group Standard loading gauge), A1/3 (long travel valves), A1/4 (actually an A3), A1/5 (an A1 converted to A1/4 but keeping RHD)... you get the idea.
I'd be surprised if there weren't some differences between the four from 1938-39 and the five built in 1950. Of the latter batch I would imagine that 7820/21/22 started life the same, but a lot could have changed in service and preservation as others have said. (I think we've already had a thread on surviving consecutively numbered locos)
I wonder whether to a degree classification schemes depend a bit on whether they are being driven by the traffic department (who broadly are interested in locos of equivalent use, and therefore would classify different locos as the same if they were capable of the same type of work) or the sheds (who are concerned more about spare parts and maintenance, so would classify locos of similar capability as different if they were dimensionally not interchangeable).
As an example, on the LBSCR under Stroudley, he classified locos of the same use with the same class name. That meant he had both tender and tank engine 0-4-2 class locos (of a type we'd call now, but didn't then, "mixed traffic") were both class D. Later Billinton built an 0-4-4T to fill the same sort of role, so that became class D as well. Colloquially, but not officially, they became known as the "D" (Stroudley 0-4-2 tender engine; also often called the "Lyons" class); the "D tank" (Stroudley 0-4-2T); the "D bogie" (the Billinton 0-4-4T). Only with the arrival of Marsh, who came with a strong workshop background (he had been works manager at Doncaster before getting the Brighton job) did they get classified as D1 (the D tank); D2 (the Lyons class) and D3 (the D bogie).
It all gets further complicated on the constituents of the SR in that all of them numbered locos according to their place in the capital list and therefore members of the same class rarely had contiguous numbering through the whole series, but instead ended up increasingly scattered as new locos replaced old.
T'was even worse over in Eire (as was). Forgetting pre-grouping systems, the GSR had the 'number' system, taken from the earliest member of any given class (ususally) .... then an LNER type alpha-numeric (a few letter allocations were different .... no 'pacifics' ever ran either side of tbe border) and as if that wasn't confusing enough, another system was allegedly based on haulage capacity (standardised on some decidedly theoretical notions .... hence all but useless!). In practice, axle load tended to be the limiting factor away from Irish mainlines. In all honesty, much of the Col.Stephens empire's PW looked well endowed, when compared with the likes of the Timoleague & Courtmacsherry!
The classification system could certainly indicate which department had the greater influence in the organization. There is also the related issue of whether the classification is indicated in the numbering system, as on the GWR, and in BR diesels since the 1970s.
The Czechoslovakian steam engine numbering system has been suggested as the ultimate in an attempt to be informative:
- 1st digit denotes number of coupled axles.
- 2nd digit indicates the maximum permitted speed in Km/hr - but you have to add 3 and then multiply by 10, so 7 indicates 100 Km/hr.
- 3rd digit indicates maximum axle loading in tonnes - after you've added 10, so 6 denotes 16 tonnes axle loading.
But quite different types could produce the same 3-digit class number, thus a 4th digit was needed! So 354.0 was a 2-6-2T, 354.1 was a 4-6-2T and 354.6 and 354.7 were 2-6-2 tender engines. Complicated, but it made more sense than the LMS classifying dozens of different types as "Class 2F".
Apart from the Single class of 0-8-0 Tank locos, why didn't the Southern build any 2-8-0 tender engines, I know Mansell did look at a plan, based on the Lord Nelson class, Was it because it had enough proven freight design 4-6-0's in the S15 class , that was also capable of working passenger turns when required , and the amount of freight, though heavy, was within the capability of the S15's anyway. .
The need on the LSWR, and subsequently the Southern, was for mixed traffic engines. That needs a reasonable turn of speed, and 2-8-0's don't usually have that. (I know about the 47xx, but we don't want that sort of thing on the real railway.)
But you did build some 8Fs!
They looked at a 4-8-0 but decided instead to build another batch of S15s. (That's the batch incidentally that contained 847).
There were a couple of reasons. Firstly, the economics of the 4-8-0 didn't stack up, because to exploit their haulage to the full, the various loops and sidings available weren't long enough, and in particular some of the block sections as you worked towards London were too short for the size of train suggested. The other point was that there was always a need for freight locos to be able to work passenger trains during the summer, for which the S15s proved very capable. The SR had very few truly genuine freight-only locos; even the 0-6-0s like the Wainwright C, Maunsell Q, Bulleid Q1 etc. were commonly used on passenger trains, and tended too have wheel diameters around 5'0" - 5'3", rather than the 4'0" - 4'8" or so that was prevalent on freight locos in companies that had heavy mineral traffic.
An interesting decision that. Not one I have studied in any detail, but given the costs of tooling up to do so, if the Government needed locos for home use, I wonder why they made everyone build 8Fs, rather than let the Southern build more S15s, the GWR build 28xx, the LNER build O4s etc? Or failing that, let Derby and Crew turn out 8Fs and Black 5s as fast as they could for use all over the country, and turn over the other workshops entirely to munitions and repairs only, with no new construction?
Quality counts, Tom.
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