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Edward Thompson: Discussion & Analysis 2012 - Present

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by S.A.C. Martin, May 2, 2012.

  1. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    Indeed - as Simon has also alluded... :)
     
  2. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    Interesting - makes a lot of sense.

    As for the 4-6-4/4-6-2-2 debate, that one will run and run :D
     
  3. Beckford

    Beckford Active Member

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    FAS Brown states:"Gresley himself said it should be called a 4-6-4 and not, as some purists persist, a 4-6-2-2". Unlikely to be the last word though.
     
  4. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    A 4-6-4 is only a Hudson if it's a NYC 4-6-4 (or, for some reason, a CPR one). Otherwise, it's a Baltic...!
     
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  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Well-Known Member

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    More to the point how did the W1 compare with an A4 or Peppercorn A1?
     
  6. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    So, this is an entirely subjective viewpoint (and a controversial one) - but my late grandfather (who did spotting and foot plating post war on ECML) described her as Gresley's best engine. Big reserve of power - she had the highest tractive effort of any express passenger locomotive in the UK. She was definitely up there as one of his favourites. Was said to have ridden like a coach which is high praise, but I have seen written sources suggest she was not perfect in this regard.

    She also had a strangely long footplate from firebox to tender (extra long shovels were supplied on that engine).

    On London-Leeds expresses, she was a good engine. Works time normally a bit longer than the A3s or A4s, probably similar amounts of time to the rebuilt P2s in that respect due to being unique.

    I don't know how much of that was down to having the best features of an A4 - the bugatti front end for example - coupled with a bigger boiler and longer overall wheelbase. She wasn't rebuilt like the P2s were, suggesting (like the A3s and A4s) that her conjugated valve gear might have been deemed a problem by Thompson, but she herself was not proven to be a problem as such in terms of her reliability.

    Overall as a unique locomotive, she seems to suffer similar prejudice to Thompson's A1/1. Both of these engines were unloved in their lifetimes but in hindsight had advantages and positives over their LNER brothers and sisters. Both being unique, they were withdrawn in 1959 and 1960 after good lifetime mileages.
     
  7. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    I was once told, pure lineside gossip, that firemen hated her
     
  8. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Well-Known Member

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    Sadly anyone with any significant experience of her is almost certainly long gone
     
  9. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton New Member

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    well , I don't like the current offering
    when the takeover was muted we were told they would not change the Cadbury recipe .but they did . now we have candy .

    and another thing - when I started in the grocery trade (as it was then) tins of roses Xmas chocs were 5lbs . now we have a tacky plastic tub with about 1.25k contents .and the ones that used to have a brazil nut in the middle now have a stunted hazelnut . pfffft!

    sorry , is this off topic ? (made by Rowntree , or were .dunno who owns them now )
     
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  10. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton New Member

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    hmmm

    I don't think HNG was a genius . a man of some charm ,and a good leader . he saddled the LNER with a lot of good looking but fragile locos .they were also less powerful than they should have been for the job in hand . why didn't he beef up the B17 for the rest of the line ? oh yes - wrong valve gear , but potentially the best 4-6-0 on the line. better than the early Jubilees until they were sorted out a bit .

    Thompson gave them the B1 which was exactly what was needed for post war conditions . he also did a great job with the B12 .why do people forget that ?
    the P2 conversion was controversial but they were more useful in the rebuilt form . and still impressive visually.
    a lot of his rebuilds do seem to have little point tho' .after all the B1 was just a big B12 really so I am not sure the rest of the 4-6-0 conversions had any justification . the O4 seemed a good job , but I only saw a few at work , so I cant really give an informed opinion.
    the word I would use for Bulleid , is "mercurial". but the Southern loved him for the glamour of the engines he gave them in a world that had little glamour post war .

    I am pretty sure that dieselisation would have happened more rapidly if the railways had not been nationalised .apart from the LNER the other companies were getting serious about alternatives to steam . the LMS would likely have built many more of the Ivatt locos .probably hundreds . the GWR may well have gone for gas turbines , just to be different . in the south , steam would have probably hung on simply because they had a lot of new engines that had to earn their keep

    even Stanier failed to get it right .it took a lot of money to sort out the boilers , and in the end the drawing office sorted them .admittedly that was their job .

    the only CME who may warrant the genius label is GJC .it was he that laid the foundation of British loco practice for 50 years (IMO of course)
     
  11. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    We can get a partial glimpse of what Bulleid might have done next on the Southern (had it continued) by looking at what he did do on the CIE.
    There, after a bit of playing around, he quickly recommended rapid wholesale dieselisation using imported US diesel locos and railcars (based on the excellent GNRI ones). The British built railcars were good, but CIE could only afford British diesel locos, which were not good.
     
  12. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    Metrovick diesels if I recall?
     
  13. Forestpines

    Forestpines Member

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    At nationalisation the LNER board had already requested manufacturers' tenders for a fleet of express diesels of similar spec to the Ivatt locos, which they intended to use in pairs on ECML expresses, so it may have been the LNER which ended up with a substantial passenger diesel fleet first.
     
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  14. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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  15. 2392

    2392 Member

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    Shades of Sir Vincent Raven and the North Eastern Board 27 years earlier. When he/they proposed the electrification of half +/- their section of the East Coast Mainline [York-Newcastle]. Raven even went to the extent of building a prototype express electric locomotive No 13, which never saw public service. It did though run some experimental trips on the Newport[Thornaby]-Shildon line as that was electrified for the coal trade. As I mentioned in the proposed new thread build, it could be said they were 60+/- years ahead of there time with the proposal. As it wasn't fully electrified until 1989.
     
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  16. 60525

    60525 Member

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    ... and were the Manchester - Sheffield electrics not a precursor of mainline electrification elsewhere?
     
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  17. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    The Manchester-Sheffield was actually suggested, and work had started on it pre war, the 1500v DC overhead was to have been the standard electrification until the advent of 25kv. As to electrification/diesels appearing without nationalisation, agreed that the LMS would have built more of the 10000/1 type, the GWR would have fiddled around with gas turbines for a bit, then ditched them, suspect that the diesels the WR got, the hydraulics, were probably much like they would have gone for, the Southern would have continued with their 3rd rail electrification, with steam and some of the 10201/3 types for outlying areas (IMO the Southern could have carried on its own without nationalisation) don't know about the LNER ordering diesels, could it have afforded to? wasn't it on the verge of going bust and wanted the amalgamation?
     
  18. Forestpines

    Forestpines Member

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    The Manchester-Sheffield electrification wasn't originally intended to require a new Woodhead tunnel, which slowed the work down somewhat. Bonavia's history of the company includes an anecdote about how the member of senior management responsible for infrastructure tried to keep the board from finding out about the state of the old tunnels for as long as he could, until another senior manager, worried about the situation, contrived to leak the need for a new tunnel to the board by means of an ostensibly casual conversation at a dinner party.

    At nationalisation the LNER board had authorised the expenditure on express diesels and depots for them, and had invited tenders, but the tendering deadline was after nationalisation so no orders were placed. Again, Bonavia (who was personally involved) is the best historical source. The LNER management tried lobbying the government for an arrangement by which the railway companies would remain independent but receive public funding, but were unsuccessful.
     
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  19. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    ..... and Bulleid was just as insistent that because CIÉ CC1 burned peat, it shouldn't be called "the turf burner"..... :)
     
  20. twr12

    twr12 Active Member

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    I’m not bothering to read this thread past the title; I have no opinion as to the ability of Edward Thompson, but I do think his biggest problem in the eyes of certain people is that he was not Nigel Greeley!
     
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