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Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Freshwater, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    This whole business of industrial and non-industrial (for want of a better term) has always perplexed me. In the end, it does seem to come down to the simple fact that the loco is ex B.R. or one of its predecessors it is acceptable but without this pedigree it is not. Thus, 68077 and 68078 would be acceptable but all other Hunslet designed and identical Austerities fall into the category of industrial. It has nothing to do with its suitability for the job or anything else, it seems. The 0-6-0's and 0-6-2T's that were once common in the north east were designed and built to operate at reasonable speeds hauling heavy trains over relatively long distances but they are still lumbered with this tag of industrial (or worse,' buckets' if you come from certain southern heritage railways). Yet these locos were little different from the many NER locos that often ran over the same tracks. B.R. and its predecessors had a good number of small locomotives that were identical to those that ran on many small systems. Perhaps it should be down to the locos ability to haul passenger trains, in which case it is ironic that two of the three Austerities on the IOWSR were built with vacuum brakes so that they could haul passenger trains yet 68077 & 68078 were never so fitted. Then, where would it leave 65894 and 63395, which were always rusty coupling locos until being vacuum fitted in the preservation era. We don't discriminate in this way with narrow gauge locomotives, as far as I'm aware.
    Let's be thankful and enjoy what we have and not label some of our much loved locos as second class because of the pre-preservation life. And that even goes for GWR locos.;)
     
  2. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Not entirely sure why you've replied to my comment, when I've already sent a further reply later in the thread, so as to make it clear I don't view industrial locomotives any lesser then the Ex BR counterparts. I am thankful and do enjoy them.

    So if you would kindly not kick a man down when he's already fessed up to having been rash in his initial remark, I would appreciate it...

    Though not sure I agree with your comment about GWR locos... though I suppose if we must...
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    It was not meant as an attack on you in any way. It was simply stating my views on the subject and it was hung on to your post purely to give continuity to the sub thread, rather than specifically replying to your post.
     
  4. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Ah I see, apologies then Steve, I misread your intent there. No harm done.
     
  5. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Excellent idea. In fact it’s surprising that neither of the mainland based ex IOW terriers have ever made a visit to the IOWSR.
     
  6. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    I don't find it too surprising myself, it would seem longer and more arduous a journey to transport a loco (certainly I imagine it must be a little bit of a challenge to get the locos on the ferries) even for a terrier. The biggest problem you have of course is the fact all coaching stock on the IoWSR is air braked, and the surviving Ex IOW terriers preserved on the mainland were converted back to vacuum brake operation and remained that way, until this year that is with the return of 'Bembridge' on the K&ESR.

    Quite amazed and intrigued actually as to how they managed that, as having any locomotive be duel braked for both vacuum and air is a challenge in itself it seems, and with a Terrier your doing with much less space to pack all that extra equipment in. Yet they've pulled it off amazingly, and thus technically (you could argue) now have the most versatile Terrier in operation. Most impressed.

    Edit: So perhaps those reasons I mentioned above then... or the fear that should either/both of the ex IOW Terriers return to that Island across the Solent, they may never return...
     
  7. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    Just exploring the subject, I guess in theory they could be converted to have just the air brake like the terriers or 02, that might be the simplest thing. It would rule out working with vac in the future, and might affect the 'history' aspect, ie moving from army condition.

    They do have steam brakes though, which are useful for shunting. To keep these you would need some form of proportional arrangement. It might be possible to adapt the combined steam and vac brake on 198 in a similar way to the Ivatt mod, but the blue one has a different system with a separate steam brake (either that or the vac ejector has been removed previously).

    I guess we are demonstrating why it is difficult, and Gary is right it cannot be a high priority if the current setup is ok!
     
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  8. howard

    howard Member

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    I’ve not driven a K&ESR Terrier for some time but both were air braked. One of them was always fitted with a Westinghouse driver’s valve and a vacuum/air proportional valve - ‘Bembridge’ I presume. It was easier to use the vacuum brake to operate the loco air brake when using it on Railway Experience days as braking wasn’t so harsh.
     
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Bigger locos have gone both ways across the Solent in recent years - 'Birch Grove" went to Havenstreet, and "Calbourne" has been back the other way a couple of times. So I guess it is more for want of suitable opportunity than want of a suitable low loader that the ex-Island Terriers haven't yet been over for a summer holiday.

    Of the ten preserved Terriers, I'm not convinced that any two of them are the same any more. Certainly lots of variations in how the brakes are arranged. I think the air-brake only ones (with no vacuum) have at least one notable advantage of freeing up a load of space in the cab!

    There are ways and means of running airbraked locos on vac-braked trains, and vice versa - at least under gala conditions. When Calbourne (air only) visited the Bluebell (vac fitted stock only) it always ran double-headed with a vac-braked engine inside. The inside loco braked the carriages in the normal way. At the other end, there was a dummy vacuum bag connected to the vacuum bag of the vac-braked engine and attached onto the lamp iron of 'Calbourne'. Calbourne thus represented unbraked weight in the train, but had the coupling parted for any reason, the dummy vac pipe between the two engines would have been broken and the train would have stopped. I did a trip during Calbourne's visit on the Beattie Well Tank acting as the provider of vacuum and it was fine, except for a ton of faff running round! An interesting workload on the driver given some of the "interesting" features of the Well Tank, mind...

    Tom
     
  10. howard

    howard Member

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    I managed to drive seven of them on the K&ESR and they were all different in some way, sometimes startlingly so.
     
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  11. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    I'm not quite sure how that would work, Tom. As you describe it the leading engine has no control over the brake, so the inside loco must have been responsible for controlling the train, an arrangement that I've never come across before. When I visited a Terrier gathering on the Bluebell in November 2006 the air only visitor from the IOW, No.8, was paired with Birch Grove which is dual braked. I assume that the Terrier controlled the train brake through a proportional valve on the E4. Is this right? The picture here shows the vacuum dummy attached to the Terrier as well as the air bags coupled up. As you say it was a right faff running round as the loco positions had to be reversed each time.
    mini_06-11-11 69.JPG

    Peter
     
  12. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Yes I am aware some locos have gone over there on occasion in the past, just seemed rarer a thing for locos to go over to visit the IoWSR to me, but as you say that was most likely more down to having a reason or indeed a special occasion to do so.

    Have to say 'Birch Grove' looked right at home when it visited a few years back, though was surprised as I didn't know it was duel braked. Is this something that LBSCR engines are known for Tom, being duel braked? I only ask as I don't exactly know the details, but I get the impression LBSCR locos were and are traditionally air-braked? Is that why Birch Grove was able to pull the trains on the IoWSR unassisted? Must assume that is the case as I wouldn't imagine someone would go through the trouble to fit Birch Grove with air brakes just for the visit to the IoWSR.
     
  13. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    The LBSCR was one of those forward thinking railways that used a system that blew rather than sucked.
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    It was definitely how it was done - I guess the only other way would have been to have put a temporary through pipe on 'Calbourne' and put her inside, but for whatever reason it wasn't done that way. The control of the brake was with the inside engine. When it came over in 2019, we didn't have an operational air-braked locomotive, and don't have any air-braked carriages - so it was chaperoned all weekend by the Beattie Well Tank or the H class.

    I think when Calbourne had visited Swanage a couple of years before they had been able to put together a couple of air-braked carriages.

    Tom
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes, the LBSCR was an air-brake only line (save for a small number of dual-braked locos that were useful in places such as Portsmouth for working “foreign” stock). After grouping, ex-LBSCR locos started to move away from the Central Division of the SR and started to more widely acquire vacuum brakes.

    I think one of the reasons there is now so much variation in brakes across all the Terriers is that the components (primarily the air pumps and brake application valves) were expensive. So if a Terrier was moving away from an air-brake line the SR sometimes removed the air brakes to be able to reuse those components. That is how “Stepney” has ended up vac brake only.

    Keeping this to the Isle of Wight, the SR took a decision to standardise on air brakes there (before the grouping, the FY&NR had been a vacuum line, the others were already air braked). One result of that was a preponderance of ex-LBSCR and ex-LCDR carriages on the Island, since they were air braked (and in later years ex-SECR carriages). On the loco front, there was a gradual standardisation on three loco classes - A1x, E1 and O2 - two of which were already air braked; the SR fitted air brakes to the previously vac-fitted LSWR O2s. A couple of ex-LBSCR E4s (like Burch Grove) were tried ca. 1949, but weren’t successful and returned to the mainland. They of course already had air brakes as ex-Brighton locos.

    Tom
     
  16. Nick C

    Nick C Member

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    Even in BR days, all of the Terriers were different - there's enough permutations of bunker, splashers & chimney alone, before getting into brakes, lamp irons, toolboxes, coal rails, etc
     
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  17. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    "Let's be thankful and enjoy what we have and not label some of our much loved locos as second class because of the pre-preservation life. And that even goes for GWR locos.;)"
    Now, steady on there, there are limits...
     
  18. MG 7305

    MG 7305 New Member

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    I didn't know it was duel braked.

    Well, that is fighting talk!
     
  19. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    W11 still has a Stroudley pattern air brake handle as fitted when she went to Paris in 1878 Do any of the others?
     
  20. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    W8 does, and I believe Fenchurch and Birch Grove do as well. Presumably this was the LBSCR standard kit fitted when built and never removed!
     

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