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De-streamlined A4's

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by 26D_M, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Well-Known Member

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    Dwight D Eisenhower was also the only one of my Dads managers to have a locomotive named after him............
     
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  2. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    Whilst they were fitted with steam heat boilers I believe reliability problems ensured their commitment to freight duties during the "winter" timetable of the time. According to Brian Webb (English Electric Main Line Diesel Locomotives of British Rail pub. David & Charles) they were originally fitted with with a Clarkson boiler - later replaced by a Spanner boiler; his book also notes the "unreliability" of the boiler and their restriction to freight services.
     
  3. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have anything against any of the A4s, and each one of them, and every other loco, had a claim for preservation in its own right. Some had a better claim than others due to deeds done, but I don't believe that a nameplate moved a particular loco up the queue.

    To correct an impression given in one of my earlier posts, 4468's preservation was fully justified, likewise GWR 3440. Perhaps they didn't quite achieve the claimed speeds, perhaps they did, but their outstanding performances on the day justified their preservation. LMS 6234's performance likewise justified her preservation over other class mambers; it didn't happen.
     
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  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree with this post. Well said.

    I hope my previous posts in the 135mph saint haven't left any doubt over Truro - having her in preservation is a boon for us all. Magnificent locomotive.
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    You might be underestimating the complexity of fitting entirely new auxiliary equipment into what was still at the time new technology - so much having to be designed essentially from scratch without a century of gradual improvement to guide developments.

    In "Under 10 CMEs", E.A. Langridge says the following about the steam heating in the LMS diesels:

    "Even ordinary things that the steam loco did without a murmur seem beyond common sense in a diesel. We had to have two vacuum exhausters, each with motor - one to maintain and the other to help create the vacuum to 21 inches of mercury in reasonable time. The compressors took up half the space in the nose: they were required for air to operate electro-pneumatic control valves. The last thing I will mention in this frightening list of 'extras' is carriage warming. Carriages were, in 1947, all fitted for steam heating - the old steam loco boiler always had a few spare BTUs for any service, or so it seems - so a boiler had to go on, and water too - and even pick up scoops later on. The boilers were all nightmares. Stable surroundings like good solid earth, or even rolling ships, are not the sort of bed a loco can provide and yet the boiler had to be self servicing - you could not have a fellow constantly seeing that the water level was OK and the burner still functioning. Only by the late sixties could it be said that the automatic feed water and burner controls were proof against vibration hazards, down draughts from tunnels and so on. And now the obvious way out has become possible, that is electric heating of carriages. But of course, the funny thing is that the steam engine was always expected to provide the services free-of-charge, even if the power required to heat a train was as much as that wanted to haul it. We spent a deal of time with Clarkson's boiler engineers trying to evolve a waste gas heater - for our diesel, for all its high efficiency, still throws away more than enough eat to warm a train. However, even if we could have got the heat exchanger in the loco we then came up against what would happen at low powers, when the engine was idling etc. So there was no alternative to some sort of boiler with fuel burner. Rather than further complicate matters it was decided to throw away the waste heat and lose a few percent in efficiency."

    So even starting with the blankest of sheets, it wasn't for want of trying that the steam heating may have been problematic.

    Tom
     
  6. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Active Member

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    Ah, well in that case it is also an absolute travesty that we don't have 2903 still in our ranks! ;):p:D

    {time machine...choose one Saint...hmmm....}

    Imagine the kerfuffle!!
     
  7. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Heating by waste heat from the diesel engine seems to be satisfactory in buses (and cars). The periods of continuous high or low power are typically longer on a train, but a coach doesn't get hot or cold instantly (except on systems like London Underground, where they insist on opening all the doors at every station).
     
  8. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    This thread could do with renaming, but it has drifted so far that I really don't know what name might fit.
     
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  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    In 2017 yes, but maybe not in 1947.

    The issue is partly about using waste heat to do further useful work, which is applied thermodynamics; and partly about packaging of machinery within a constrained space while ensuring reliability and ease of servicing, which is an issue of industrial design. I suspect that immediately after the war there were probably a lot of engineers who had previously been involved in areas like aeroplane and tank design who had gained significant experience in those areas; however, how many of them chose after the war to work in a railway drawing office, rather than, say, helping develop jet engines and new civil airliners? Had I been a young engineer considering my future in 1945/6, with four or five years experience designing superchargers for an aero engine company, or laying out drawings of how to get the most ammunition, fuel and armour into the smallest possible tank, I'm not sure that working in a grimy locomotive works would have seemed the most obviously appealing first choice of civilian job.

    Tom
     
  10. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Responses from yourself, @Jimc and @Fred Kerr provide a comprehensive answer. Thank you all for clarification.

    The original question was prompted by thoughts about the economics of operations on such as the ex-Highland lines (the solitary pre-war 3-car LMS DMU was also in the back of my mind) though, on reflection, even considering owt requiring significant capital investment in operationally marginal routes, especially in the immediate post-war climate, was always going to be a tad unrealistic.

    In light of the prototypical nature of Mr Ivatt's machines, it's quite remarkable that both lasted in regular BR service as long as they did. One or other would have been a worthy candidate for preservation and not even predicated on either sporting a noteworthy nameplate! If what I read about a marked reluctance to let the last example go for scrap is true, Willesden shed certainly seem to have thought so.
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    I'm not by any means much of a fan of diesels, but I'd agree with you that 10000 at least should have had a very high claim for official preservation as a locomotive of particular historical significance.

    Tom
     
  12. Eightpot

    Eightpot Part of the furniture

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    I believe E. A. Langridge to be in error with his reference to vacuum exhausters. My experience is that they were electrically powered by a series/parallel arrangement. When run in series they ran at about half speed just to maintain the vacuum, but switched to parallel to speed them up to obtain a quicker release of the brakes.
     
  13. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Part of the furniture

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    IMO it is almost criminal that one of the Ivatt 'twins' wasn't preserved - trouble is, they came out of service when everyone was trying to save diverse steam locomotives and seemingly no-one cared a jot about these 'usurpers'... :(
     
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  14. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Active Member

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    Can buses (and cars) simultaneously provide heating for 15 caravans?

    In 1947 (and quite probably now, too, though don't quote me on this) car heating was plumbed into the engine cooling system and used water which was circulated through the engine block and radiator. The cab heaters in an 08 shunter work in exactly the same way but on a larger scale. But I put it to you that piping engine cooling water to the far end of a train and back, even if it were possible to connect all of the pipes up without dumping the stuff on the track, would be a particularly silly idea. The thought did amuse me though, so thank you for that. :)
     
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  15. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    Yes, I don't think there was much interest in diesel preservation before about the mid 70s. One of the first was the class 24 on the NYMR, also Ive got the 1971 Ian Allen ABC and the list of preserved locos at the back lists no more than 2 or 3 diesels, I think they were all 03s just bought, presumably, for moving stock about
     
  16. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    See#123
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    So I checked:

    No go I'm afraid, we've moved on to diesels ...

    Tom
     
  18. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Part of the furniture

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    I think the time diesel preservation became a 'thing' was down to the DPS...
     
  19. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    Surely 10000 should have gone to the Science Museum instead of "Deltic"
     
  20. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    How about 'Misscellaneous froth about steam and diesel locomotives, liveries train heat boilers and the shortcomings of not preserving 10000 and 10001. (Did a saint reach 135mph? ,Boxes on the back good or bad? Where West Coast are going wrong and if they'd only listen to me I could put them right)' There we go all sorted and with the potential to touch upon the inevitable subjects not covered yet but bound to come up some point in the future.
     

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