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Edward Thompson: Wartime C.M.E. Discussion 2012 - 2020

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

  1. huochemi

    huochemi Member Friend

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    Fairburn was appointed CEE of the LMS in 1934 (from English Electric) and deputy CME in 1938. The LMS was an early mover in development of diesel shunters. Apparently Ivatt (who was still chief assistant to the CME) proposed a mainline diesel in 1945 but Fairburn did not feel the time was right due to upfront costs and lack of (or expenditure needed on) facilities, and it seems unlikely that, even had Fairburn lived a few years longer, dieselisation would have proceeded any more rapidly.
     
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  2. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

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    Apologies ….my memory was at fault . it was Fairburn who was CEE.

    huochemi is correct
     
  3. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Member

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    Raven was the NER's visionary, as far as electrification was concerned, wasn't he? In any case, Thompson married Raven's daughter, so there was a personal connection there.
     
  4. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

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    to reply to a few points from the foregoing pages

    26000 was converted to 25 kv as a test loco for the GER voltage conversion I saw it several times at Ilford depot while I was visiting Plesseys

    (GT) 18000 , the Brown Boveri Kerosene Castle ,spent a lot more time hiding in 81A than powering expresses . spares being the problem. as did the Metrovic 18100 . the crews didn't like either one and management were displeased with their fuel consumption

    post war austerity lasted more than just a few years . we were getting sorted out by 1955 , but had problems in Cyprus , Suez , Malaya and Kenya.
    it was 1960 before we had put it behind us .we still had major problems however ,due to the changing industrial landscape . it seemed that everybody wanted to go on strike to fight the changes that were coming . it was not a happy time for the working man

    ET would have been involved with the GER 1500 v electrification . it was started in the 1930s but the war intervened
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  5. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Both this thread and the new build discussions have had one definte side effect. Sir Vincent Raven has gone way up my list of influential personages about who I'd like to know more.
     
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  6. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Member

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  7. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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  8. ross

    ross Member

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    Diesel engines were simply no available in the early war years. The Royal Navy were desperate to get diesels to replace the RR Merlins in their channel patrol vessels and MTB's, but simply couldn't get them. Imagine going on patrol in a plywood hulled boat with 200 gallons of petrol in it, looking for an enemy armed with tracer? The German MGB's had diesel engines.



    I don't have my copy of “I tried to run a Railway” to hand, but I am sure it is there that I read Gerry Fiennes comments, which I will have to paraphrase”Gresley enthusaists may never fogive me for saying this, but Sir Nigel did Britsh railways a great disservice when he convinced the LNER directors to stick with 1500hp steam locomotives rather than following their interest in the development of diesel traction in europe and the United States” I'm sure its in the chapter on the Deltics, if anyone wants to check...
     
  9. Hermod

    Hermod New Member

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    Hear hear.
    I would like to know why the the Raven front drive pacifics were scrapped and the Gresley /Thompson things allowed to multiply.
    The Raven B16 three-cylinder 4-6-0 front drivers pulled trains to the end.
    Almost.
     
  10. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Checked, and copied from the Kindle copy that I purchased only recently:

    “In the teeth of those who will not hear a word against Sir Nigel Gresley I assert that few men have done a greater disservice to British Railways than when he proved to the Board of the L.N.E.R. that they should continue with a policy of steam traction. If ever Bill Hoole, driver and apostle of steam and now Loco Superintendent of a railway in North Wales, reads these words he will take a day off to throw the book at me. Nevertheless Gresley condemned us to around 2,000 h.p. when we needed over 3,000 for twenty unnecessary years.”


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Member

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    The boilers weren't particularly good, iirc, (yes, one of them was fitted with a Gresley boiler at the end) and there was some concern about the front driving axle being the only one being driven, given the power being transmitted. Yes, the B16s survived a lot longer, but they weren't as powerful. Good locomotives though, the B16 :)

    They were also very large beasties compared with the Gresley A1s. Worse power/weight ratio? Heavier on coal?

    Also valve gear - 3 sets of motion inside the frames needing lubrication & other maintenance, as opposed to 2 outside sets plus the 2:1 lever and linkages - on the Gresley locomotives, which was the comparison at the time.

    Probably the biggest reason, though, was that there were only 5 of them...
     
  12. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Like there were 3000hp diesels available in the 1930s.
     
  13. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    There's quite a lot of misinformation about the Raven A2s, and in particular how they fared against the 180lb Gresley machines. They were actually comparable or slightly better on test than the Gresley equivalent. Their biggest problem was development. The A1s clearly were capable of further development, born out by the facts that followed. Long lap travel valves, superheater headers, 180lb boilers replaced by 220lb boilers, and many other small modifications that made the whole a more potent beast. The A2s required far more drastic measures, and as pointed out one was fitted with an A2 boiler.

    One of the most startling revelations I have found in my study was that Thompson suggested as far back as the late 1920s that the Raven A2s should be converted to two cylinders with higher boiler pressure and comparisons between them and the three cylinder A1s made. They would have been the first two cylinder Pacifics in the UK ahead of the Riddles machines. Gresley rejected the suggestion and the A2s were later scrapped.

    Don't take that as a criticism of Gresley though - they formed a small class, were non standard by the 1930s within their own small class, and the A1s were becoming the A3s and proving very capable. Neither is Gresley's dismissal a criticism of Thompson. Gresley allowed Thompson to convert many classes of locomotives under his tenure. The A2 was simply one suggestion which didn't make the cut.

    I have "liked" this, insomuch that it shows other views are available. I am sceptical however that diesel traction was developed enough in UK in 30s and early 40s (never mind the issues of WW2 and all that brought) that it is entirely fair to blame Gresley in this way. Neither Thompson nor Peppercorn who followed deviated much from the steam vision if at all.
     
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  14. JohnElliott

    JohnElliott New Member

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    Perhaps Fiennes was referring to electric traction, given the NER's plans for electrification prior to the Grouping?
     
  15. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    The LNER did have its eye on electrification. GE suburban and the Woodhead route being prime examples but WW2 intervened and the focus was on other things, even after hostilities ceased. IMO it’s rather unfair to blame Gresley when none of his successors, LNER and BR, bestowed 3000hp capacity on the ECML until the age of the Deltic arrived. Even then Fiennes had to fight tooth and nail to get his proposal accepted.
     
  16. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Of interest .... was any version of the Blue Pullmans (for that matter, any DMU of the era) ever contemplated for ECML services before the deltics were settled on?
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  17. Allegheny

    Allegheny New Member

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    Am I correct in thinking that Gresley was planning a 4-8-2? I suppose we can only speculate on how much power it would have produced.
     
  18. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Well-Known Member

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    But isn't it that the UK pursued steam then diesel when the rest of Europe sought to electrify. By 1935 Germany had electric locomotives capable of 3000hp plus (if I am reading right), by 1950 they were looking to standardise around a few designs.

    And we've acknowledged the difficult conditions of post-war UK, the conditions in Europe were even worse after 1945. It seems to me at any rate, that European decision makers made better decisions than they did in the UK.
     
  19. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    He was - and there were also Thompson and Peppercorn era variants, which didn't get much further than outline drawings. Draughtsman's dream as opposed serious policy, no 4-8-2 ever appeared in Thompson's or Peppercorn's plans.
     
  20. Allegheny

    Allegheny New Member

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    Central Europe also had ample hydro-electric power, which would have shifted the economics, compared with the UK.
     

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