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Edward Thompson: Wartime C.M.E. Discussion 2012 - 2019

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

  1. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Yes, I agree. Because then the obvious class in the firing line is the Gresley V4...
     
  2. 30567

    30567 Well-Known Member Friend

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    I agree because Liverpool St was just a very different place in 1960 from 1958. I can remember the shock when D202 and D5501 turned up.

    The last two B17s, 61660 and 61668 worked out their last days on the Southend branch electrification trains.
     
  3. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Not too many, but some inferences might be reasonable about first and last, provided care is taken to consider geography too. It's noticeable which classes clung on very late, and how there was a degree of movement in those classes as they became redundant elsewhere.
     
  4. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member Friend

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    Been doing a bit of reading recently. From A. F. Cook's book 'LMS Locomotive Design And Construction' (an RCTS publication) that around 1950, and despite the use of 3 or 4 sets of individual valve gear, overheated middle (or inside) big-ends became such a problem with LMS/LMR locos that they fitted the LNER pattern 'stink bombs' to all Pacifics and 3-cylinder 4-6-0s. Hmmm....................!

    Re the B17s. Despite the concession gained by NBL to up the axle weights from 17 to 18 tons it appears that they were still not robustly built enough to prevent frame cracking problems right from the start. Indeed when only a year old most, if not all, had to be provided with new frames, a process that required anything up to 7 months in Works to do. These were the batch of 10 built by NBML. Were the replacement ones thicker (yet more weight) or re-designed, or both? Did the later batches built at Darlington and by RS&H have beefed up frames? Was the Chief Civil Engineer on the GE section aware of this? I suspect probably not. The Boilers also a bit on the light side as far as material thicknesses, being pushed up from 180 to 200 psi when new, then lowered again to 180 psi during WWll due to boiler condition combined with age.

    Turning to 'Bill Harvey's 60 Years In Steam', where he demonstrated the old engineering axiom 'that there can be no action without a corresponding reaction'. This really brings us to the crux of the matter in that did Thompson's policy of rebuilding locos from 3-cylinder to 2-cylinder propulsion really pay off. Ok, he may have simplified things but did doing these conversions (the action), cause additional problems (the reaction) compared with the non-rebuilds. I mean this in terms of unavailability, workshop maintenance and repair, altogether amounting to cost.

    I am thinking here of the original B17s and the B2 rebuilds. Bill Harvey records that in a year at Cambridge in 1947 - 1948, B2 61671 fractured its frame twice, and I believe that this particular loco had something of a reputation of doing this.

    So, Simon, is it possible to compile statistics for, say, 1955, for the B17s and B2s, and perhaps include the B1s as well as they amounted to being pretty similar with slightly smaller driving wheels to the B2. Also, and with all now in service, the same 1955 year for comparing the L1s with the V1/V3s. What it all amounts to is did converting to 2-cylinders really pay off overall - it should make interesting reading.

    Have got problems with computer (Apple MacBookPro) which prevent me putting up a photo of 61671 a few weeks after withdrawal. (Did I really take it 61 years ago!). Can't seem to move it from Photo to a file to put it on here. Anyone any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  5. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Not for 1955 - I only have (at best) 1937-1952 and the most complete set I have is 1942-1946, which in fairness are the Thompson years. The plan at the minute is to concentrate on getting these done, and then look at the other incomplete records I have.

    My only interest is in looking at the context of the decisions taken in wartime. It is perfectly acceptable to state that circumstances change and that needs change. The context of the time and whether it was the right thing at that time - is what is important.
     
  6. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member Friend

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    Have you sufficient material to work up statistics for the earlier 1950s, Simon?
     
  7. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Depends for what - Pacifics yes. Some B classes - ish. Then it gets a bit hit and miss.
     
  8. Hermod

    Hermod New Member

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    B16 versus B17?
     
  9. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Not sure. I will check.

    The reality is that I need to concentrate on the full years I have together with completing the book and all else must come second.

    The purpose of my book isn’t to say that Thompson’s decision making was correct in every time frame: rather that his decision making in the context of the time had more behind it than simple malice against Gresley.

    I think in that respect, we have fairly overwhelming evidence for that being the case.

    The availability stats, board notes and cox report all reflect that the LNERs problems were real.

    If they were not real, malice could have been true. That they existed we can only conclude that Thompson’s decision making was at the very least influenced by that.
     
  10. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member Friend

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    B2 & B17, L1 & V1/V3?
    Going off at a bit of a tangent, but I suspect the other railways had their own shortcomings too. The LMS with the low mileage between works attention of the Garretts, Black 5s with the frames gradually thickened over the years from 1", through 1-1/16" to finally 1-1/8" due to cracking.
     
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  11. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member Friend

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    As promised, a photo of 61671 taken on 11/10/58 just a few weeks after it was withdrawn on 22/9/58.

    Scan 5.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
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  12. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    Its a Crampton...
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    A pedant writes ... cylinders in the wrong place (though it does have the Crampton speciality of a low centre of gravity boiler design).

    Tom
     
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  14. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Tin hat time.

    This is the chapter on Great Northern I am considering putting in my book.

    Have at it.

     
  15. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Member

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    That works for me, Simon. Chapeau, sir.

    "it helped to pave the way for something even better. When all is said and done, that’s what all engineers aspire to provide".
    Very true.
     
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  16. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I have now noted so many grammatical errors that it’s irritating me greatly! However maybe that’s a good thing and others will spot some too.
     
  17. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    His reaction to the change of name from “Utility” to “Springbok”

    What was it? Even if you’ve referred to it elsewhere in the book it might be worth a brief reminder just for clarity. Everything else seems to make sense to my inexpert eye.
     
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  18. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    Would you like us to give you feedback on such things - and how far would you like that taken? There are a few grammatical things that I've noticed and a couple of other places where rephrasing would make you sound more confident or more assertive in your argument. I'm aware, though, before I consciously start reading it with that eye open, that not everybody wants to receive that sort of editorial feedback from internet randoms!
     
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  19. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Please do. Call me out on everything! Getting it right and being honest in doing so is key here.
     
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  20. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Yes good shout. I believe it’s mentioned in a couple of books - I will get the reference down.
     
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