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Edward Thompson: Wartime C.M.E. Discussion 2012 - 2021

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

  1. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Just a post to show that you can make figures mean what you want them to mean but a genuine question would be, "Why were only 20 Gresley locos rebuilt?" There has to be a reason though why Thompson's successors in LNER and BR regimes decided to stick with the Gresley originals and not rebuild or replace en masse.
     
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  2. 60017

    60017 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    popcorn.jpg

    ;)
     
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  3. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    So lets examine that claim:

    1 x A10 built into a Thompson A1 - not developed.
    10 x B17s into B2s - B2 boiler used on future B17s which was an improvement.
    6 x P2s into A2/2s - 15 A2/3s and 15 Peppercorn A2s built from this development. The 6 rebuilt engines worked until the 60s. Significantly better mileages and availability. Improvement.
    1 x K4 into K1/1 - then became Peppercorn K1 - a new standard class of 70 locos built. Improvement.
    1 x K3 into K5 - compared with K1/1 and K1/1 chosen as standard. K5 type boilers are fitted to K3s from this. Improvement.
    1 x D49 with Reidinger valve gear turned into sole D class - was never intended to form a prototype for rebuilding (D49s are, you will note, in the "non-standard to be retained" group) - loco was a wartime expediency measure.

    When you look at it like that, we have a new standard class (K1) that was undoubtedly successful, 6 also ran locos became reasonable Pacifics which then spawned two successful classes after, and two other classes where the boiler type became key to uplifting the existing fleet.

    Hardly unsuccessful when you break it down?
     
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  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    If you had been paying attention to the slides you would have noticed that Thompson wanted to retain most of the Gresley fleet unaltered as part of the "non-standard, to be maintained" group. That's the answer, right there. The most troublesome of the classes or where there was a gap in the LNER's stock were tackled by those conversions and experiments. The boiler issues too.

    Because Thompson was the one who wanted to retain most of Gresley's locomotives during his tenancy. Again, you have ignored the evidence right in front of you.
     
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  5. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    The point I keep expecting to come up is that surely it is better to see the Thompson/Peppercorn era as a continuum, as far as the Pacifics go. Out of that era comes the A1. I don't know how you allocate the credit for that across the design and build teams but surely that was an extremely successful loco based on five years or more of prior development.

    As an amateur reader, my take is that the post war period can be divided into three--- the first decade, during which the A1s and A2s were absolutely core to delivering on the ECML and the Gresleys were struggling for availability ; the 1955-61 period after the A3 and A4 modifications and renaissance happened which gave them a new lease of top line life and perhaps the A2/1s and A2/2s did get cascaded ; then the least interesting period from this pov, the sixties, in which large scale dieselisation replaced steam, the precise way in which that happened being sometimes controversial (Princess Coronations etc) but not really telling us very much.
     
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  6. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    In your "Gresley built under Thompson" category, how are you dealing with lead times?
    A new locomotive has to be developed and designed before it can be built, and in the meantime you can't just stop building if you need the locomotives. Even given a desire to completely change over the building programme to new designs then there is bound to be a gap while the new designs are created and ideally a prototype is constructed. Locomotives could be ordered a year, two or three in advance, sometimes more. Given the war time situation it was presumably not an option to cancel new builds in the "to be maintained" category until the drawing office had completed the design work for their replacements.
     
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  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That point always comes to mind whenever anyone extols the virtues of the Ivatt 2MTs - look at the actual construction dates relative to when Ivatt took over the reins, and consider that poor old Fairburn gets a none of the credit! Oddly enough, no-one by the same token refers to a "Bulleid Q class" though they were turned out under him. It seems like enthusiasts are very selective in what they choose to believe, trying to define neat dividing lines in what was a continuum activity.

    Tom
     
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  8. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    You are right to bring that up. Thompson is recorded in the board minutes as taking the decision to continue with the building of these locomotives, albeit the A2/1 class comes from the final four intended V2s of that construction. It was a pragmatic approach by not cancelling them - the comparison would be the cancellation of building a batch of J50s that later became the basis for Thompson's Q1 construction.
     
  9. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Agree completely. Sometimes the microscope to view history reveals too much detail that in the grand scheme of things may be unimportant. Having said that detail can matter as per the current Hitachi issue!

    But as an illustration of the importance of the Thompson/Peppercorn era (although this concerns Peppercorn) there is that great tale from 1958 when the prestige up Talisman failed at York behind a Type 4 diesel. With no A4s or A3s allocated at York and despite the small number of A1s at the depot it was York loco 60140 Balmoral that was turned out. The train left 25 minutes behind its York passing time and was running through the tunnels towards KGX on time but was stopped outside the station. 169 minutes overall and 158 net with 100 down Stoke and 90+ in two other places.
     
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  10. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I hope that log wasn’t compiled by an enthusiastic young boy with a cheap watch.
     
  11. RalphW

    RalphW Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    And if you do you will be asked politely not to but instead link back to your post 4558.
     
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  12. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Hyperbole, Ralph.
     
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  13. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I have it in my mind that it was Bill Hoole on the regulator that day but I may be mistaken.
     
  14. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Driver Turner of KGX was in charge. It seems he approved of the change of motive power.:)
     
  15. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Does not explain why no more Gresley locos were rebuilt. A few more A2s were built but with Peppercorn's changes and the V2s, from which one A2 subclass was derived, remained as V2s. More A1s were built, again to Peppercorn's modified design, but no more A3s were rebuilt and saw out LNER Pacific steam alongside the A1s. If the rebuilds had been a marked improvement, I would have expected a wholesale rebuilding of the A3s and V2s into more A1 and A2 Pacifics.
     
  16. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    upload_2021-5-14_15-59-57.png


    How many more times do I have to repeat myself?

    Thompson wanted to retain the following locos unmodified:

    [​IMG]

    There was never any plan for a wholesale rebuilding of everything Gresley: it was a measured approach with the worst offenders dealt with and some development for future new standard types.
     
  17. 60017

    60017 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Just a thought @S.A.C. Martin. With publication on the horizon, perhaps it would be better for your sanity and blood pressure if you called time on this thread?
     
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  18. RalphW

    RalphW Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Good idea, there are bound to be many of us whose sanity is being tested.
     
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  19. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Dunno 'bout you, Ralph, but in my case that particular horse bolted many moons ago! o_O
     
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  20. RalphW

    RalphW Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    :)
     

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