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Bulleid Pacifics - Past or Present

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by 34007, May 13, 2008.

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    This is bordering on a vendetta now, and it's incredibly unseemly, especially from an administrator. Virtually everything you've said there is demonstrably wrong.

    Given that, as @Spamcan81 has noted, we're well off topic, why don't we leave it there. We have/had a great big thread to go over all the issues to everyone's hearts content. There is a book that will hopefully be appearing soon, which I am looking forward to. Leave it be.
     
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  2. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I think this speaks volumes about you Ralph, rather than me.

    Gents, I'm going to leave it at that. Thank you to everyone who responded to my request for reading material.

    Best wishes
     
  3. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Words that were better left unsaid. I find what he writes interesting because it challenges orthodoxy, and I find it disappointing to see people rejecting it without engaging with the points made.

    Taking availability percentages during the war, there may be scope for someone to do a retrospective time & motion study of different sheds, which might throw up some interesting results (no, I’ve no idea how that might work either!). But I can’t follow the logic that suggesting a class’s poor availability is a black mark on the class is in any way a criticism of those maintaining that class when the availability issue was widespread.

    Similarly, I have always been fascinated by Bulleid’s designs. Yet I also wonder why the SR needed so many Pacifics, or why Leader was ever seen as an answer to replacing the M7s, or why the degree of innovation in the Pacifics was a good idea under wartime conditions. Good, thorough, research on questions like those that draws out the reality can only be welcome and desirable, whether it ultimately reinforces conventional wisdom or (as with Thompson) throws up a new and different understanding.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  4. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I realise thread drift is to be expected but we do have a thread where the V2 etc. maters have been debated.
     
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  5. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Well said Fellas
     
  6. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    A fair comment and I promise there will be no further word from me on it here.
     
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  7. 30567

    30567 Well-Known Member Friend

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    Mea culpa. I was putting the proposition that the SR and its CME faced a whole series of challenges in 1939. What were their options? One was to design new ; another was to buy off the peg. As @Bikermike put it, a question for Simon is whether that top level board decision was sensible and reasonable viewed from the perspective at the time. Underneath that qn is what the options were and what the Bulleid/SR vision was, which @Jamessquared has helpfully identified.

    Personally I think this exchange could be useful to Simon but maybe time to leave it there.
     
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  8. Victor

    Victor Part of the furniture Friend

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    Butting in ?? Is that what you think of a forum member (any one of them)posting a perfectly reasonable post (within forum rules) of his thoughts and opinions?

    Butting in.:rolleyes:
     
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  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Ok...
     
  10. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    I've seen this question raised before and it puzzles me. A class of 110 mixed traffic locos does not seem too many in comparison to say 410 B1s or later 171 BR Standard 5s. They did not have particularly short lives, nor did they spend any significant time parked up out of use as surplus to requirement. There clearly was a need for them and good use was made of them right up to the end of steam. Indeed even with all this modern and versatile power at the Southern Region's disposal they also needed a significant number of later BR Standard 4s and 5s to run the services of the day. It does not seem to me that too many of the light Pacifics were built.

    Peter
     
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  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I dug out my charts of locomotives scrapped by the SR, and in the period 1945 - 1951 when the WC/BB were built, hundreds of pre-grouping locos were scrapped - in other words, the SR or BR(S) got rid of far more locos as they built in that period. Not all of them directly replaced by Bulleid Pacifics of course - they also acquired Ivatt and Fairburn tank engines at the same period - but clearly the Pacifics were replacing much smaller pre-grouping locos.

    To take just 1951 as one year in particular, 73 Drummond 4-4-0s were scrapped, and two Drummond 4-6-0s. So it is pretty clear that either directly or by cascade, the new Pacifics were only replacing gaps made by scrapping old locos.

    (Was going to answer this in more detail but realised my data were incomplete - a project from years ago half-finished, and missing teh SER and LBSCR contingent. One for another day.)

    Tom
     
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  12. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    Or how about 842 Black 5s?
     
  13. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    You then have the cull of 1962 when another lot of locos were scrapped.
     
  14. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    I think the point about seasonality and nature of Southern traffic is key. Pretty much every engine they had was going to turn up on a passenger train at some point, and no heavy mineral traffic to speak of (although there must have been some coal for the good burghers of Pompey, Southampton etc). So it changes your bias significantly.
     
  15. Romsey

    Romsey Member

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    There was coal traffic from the Kent Coal field which was worked by C and S15 classes in the final years of steam traction. Other limited stop freight movements such as dairy products from the South West and ferry vans between Dover and London were reasonable tonnages for the time and run timed to run much faster than mineral trains. In that case mixed traffic locos were what the Southern needed.

    The 1962 cull of Southern non standard classes was partly due to the surplus of more modern steam locos and some diesels displaced by the Kent Coast electrification scheme. As the railway was ruled by accountants and not engineers or operators at that time, the most expensive classes to maintain on future projections met their end.

    Cheers, Neil
     
  16. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    Presumably that could be handled by the Q1?
    Where did kent coal go? I know there was an aerial cableway to the coast. If it went for export it wasn't a long run. Presumably it was mainly used in London and domestic uses in the south east?
     
  17. 8126

    8126 Member

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    I think @torgormaig has adequately covered the Pacific question, although I'll add to that that the SR clearly considered them as mixed traffic engines; that's where they were placed in the locomotive exchanges. Bulleid didn't believe in short changing crews for power, and given the widespread electrification on the Southern there may well have been pressure for the steam side to keep up. If you want to cover a wide range of duties with a limited number of classes, then they will have to have sufficient power to cover the duties at the top end of their expected range, and as a result look like overkill at the lower end.

    I think idea of Leader as just an M7 replacement that got out of hand is overblown. That may have been what Bulleid was asked for, but I think this can be put in the category of: "You don't want that! What you want is..." And specification wise, what a Leader looks remarkably like (in terms of grate area, tractive effort, fuel/water capacities and the speed it was supposed to achieve) is an N. And, since an N is quite a moderately boilered Class 4 (I think we can assume Leader out-steamed the Moguls), that's also not too dissimilar to the Standard Class 4 Tank with more fuel and water. Admittedly, a Standard Class 4 tank that weighed 125 tons on the drawing board and more in reality, but that's the sort of capacity you're looking at. If it had weighed 98 tons (5 tons less than an N and tender, giving an 18 ton axle load and similar route availability to the Class 4s), and actually worked, it would have been a triumph. Two big ifs, I'm sure you'll agree, but a Class 4 with the operational flexibility of a tank engine and the range of a tender engine, plus effectively total adhesion is not a bad concept for a thing to achieve. It would, I assume, have been intended to be the replacement for all the larger tank engines and ultimately all the Moguls. Yes, it would have been overblown for some jobs (hence my suggestion of a Class 2 as well), but Clapham carriage piloting would have been far better done by a high-geared version of the 350hp shunter (basically an 09) very sensibly by suggested @Jamessquared and on routes like the Bude branch, which went from M7 to Ivatt 2, to Standard 3, to Standard 4, it could have been a very handy tool. Just not as actually designed in any way.

    I feel like I may have sounded rather enthusiastic about Leader above, which is an interesting position to defend, but never mind.

    On SR seasonal traffic, it also meant that various geriatric classes lingering on was entirely logical. Many is the ex-LSWR class that spent the winters of the 1950s "rusticating in store" in Bradley's words, which wasn't quite as sure a sign of impending demise as being allocated to Basingstoke. Why invest capital in replacing perfectly adequate, long since paid for locomotives that are only taken out of store to meet seasonal demands? I'm sure not much money was spent on making them serviceable each year, quite a few of the Drummond 4-4-0 classes eventually succumbed when something big enough broke on the last remaining example.

    I am also going to poke the V2 question very gingerly with a stick. Yes, they did a job in the 1950s, but even if Bulleid had brought a full set of drawings for inspiration, Marsh Atlantic style, the Southern Civil Engineer would have said no to large numbers being ordered off the drawing board for the duties in question, just as he did for the 2-8-2 proposal. Now of course, Bulleid could have actually borrowed a V2 for trial (although presumably he could have borrowed a P2 as well at that time, were he so inclined), but they were still on their original pony trucks at that time. Even though SR permanent way was much improved from the time of Sevenoaks, would you bet on them getting the green light for express passenger work?
     
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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Picking up on that bit :

    The April 1946 specification from the Traffic Manager was as follows:

    Routes and weights to be hauled:
    Plymouth to Tavistock or Okehampton: 256 tons
    Okehampton to Halwill Junction and Bude: 256 tons
    Banstaple and Ilfracombe: 325 tons
    Exeter and Exmouth: 384 tons
    Bournemouth and Swanage: 320 tons
    Brookwood (or similar stabling grounds) to Waterloo: 450 tons
    Speed of trains: 50 - 60 miles per hour
    Distance to be run between taking water and coal: 60 miles for water and 120 miles for coal.​
    That usage is primarily in the West Country, with the addition of empty stock trains into Waterloo.

    It is not clear to me where the Traffic Manager got that requirement from (Was it a genuine requirement? Was it almost a challenge to Bulleid to produce something unproduceable? Or did OVSB say "here's what I can do" and the Traffic Manger signed it off?) But it is pretty clear at that point what was being asked for was not just an M7 replacement: you are pretty much already in Light Pacific territory with that specification.

    There is a subsequent letter (October 1946) from the Traffic Manager to the General Manager outlining the justification for needing to replace the M7s; though interestingly that letter notes that there were still 104 M7s in existence (25% working empty stock trains between Clapham Junction and Waterloo; and the rest on West Country branch and local services); the proposal in that letter was for 85 locos (i.e. the 25 already proposed, plus another 60). So 85 new locos to replace 104 old ones, though the specification makes no mention of what the target availability was supposed to be. A large number of design options were explored, including tank engine derivatives of both the Q1 and WC/BB.

    Tom
     
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  19. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    There is a bit of a difference between a railway that covered an area from Wick to Bournemouth with a much smaller enterprise committed to widespread electrification
     
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  20. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    That’s not enough Black 5’s ;)
     
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