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Longest Tank Engine Runs

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by johnofwessex, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    When the Midland & LSWR took over the S&D through trains were operated by 0-4-4 tank locomotives, and in the last year or so Standard 4 tanks were used between Bath & Bournemouth, a run of just over 70 miles.

    Fowler 2-6-4 tanks were used on the Central Wales between Swansea & Shrewsbury, a heavily graded 120 mile run.

    Any other contenders for long distance runs regularly covered by tank locomotives?
     
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  2. D1002

    D1002 Well-Known Member

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    On the modern scene, some of Vintage Trains double headed pannier tours must cover a fair few miles
     
  3. weltrol

    weltrol New Member

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    Machynlleth-Pwllheli in steam days.....
     
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  4. Enterprise

    Enterprise Well-Known Member

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    Not the longest but Brighton Baltics from Victoria to Eastbourne.
     
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  5. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Didn't the Standard 4 tanks do Shrewsbury to Pwllheli at times?
     
  6. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    Charing Cross to Dover with the River class tanks
     
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  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Famously the Marsh I3 locos ran Rugby - Brighton on trial, non-stop for 77 miles from Rugby - Willesden Junction and no water pick up for 90 miles from Rugby - East Croydon (or vice versa).

    The coal and water consumption figures were, with the comparable LNWR loco:

    LBSCR No. 23 (eleven trips): Coal consumption: 27.4 lbs / mile Water consumption: 22.4 gallons / mile
    LBSCR No. 26 (one trip): Coal consumption: 28.1 lbs / mile Water consumption: 22.7 gallons / mile
    LNWR "Titan" (all trips): Coal consumption: 41.2 lbs / mile Water consumption: 36.6 gallons / mile

    Load was typically 7 bogies, about 220 tons.

    Apart from showing the abilities of the superheated I3 locos, which is generally how that is pitched, it has always struck me as a skilled bit of firing. Given the stated water consumption, a 90 mile trip only leaves about 100 gallons spare.

    Tom
     
  8. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell New Member

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    Coal would be the deciding factor for length of run I guess. Water wouldn't be so much a problem unless it was a non stop run
     
  9. Jason Cottage

    Jason Cottage New Member

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    Shortly after construction, No.40 Brighton was chosen by William Stroudley to represent the LB&SCR at the Paris Exhibition of 1878,[6] and won a gold medal for workmanship. On a run from Dieppe to Paris, arranged to persuade the Chemins de Fer de l'Ouest that the company's boat trains that met the LB&SCR ferries from Newhaven could make better time to the capital, Brighton maintained a speed of nearly 50 mph, previously unheard of on that line.

    Found on Wikipedia
     
  10. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    The GWR 72xx 2-8-2t were used for some long distance South Wales - London traffic.
     
  11. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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    My recollection is that the Salop loco went through to Aberystwyth and a Machynlleth loco came on to the Pwllheli portion after the train split at Machynlleth.
    As regards Arthur's post concerning the limited water capacity of tank engines on long stop runs Stanier 2-6-4T's for instance had water scoops as did the L&Y Radial tanks which could pick up in both directions.
    Ray.
     
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  12. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell New Member

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    Loco coal to Salisbury certainly.
     
  13. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I believe that some GWR Tanks (County?) had scoops - certainly one GWR loco burst its tanks when picking up due to inadequate air vents.

    But it beggars the question I suppose, after the vogue for big tanks in the early 1900's why did that draw to a close given that tank loco's dont appear to be particularly constrained in terms of range = and top speed.
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    You get constrained by grate area to something round about a class 5P (at a push - say an LBSCR L class) because of the tanks forcing you into a narrow firebox and the cab (amongst other factors) limiting the grate length. Going down a wide firebox route pretty well forces you to develop as a tender engine.

    (as an aside - what's the longest grate ever carried by a tank engine in this country?)

    Tom
     
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  15. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    In earlier days saddle tanks such as the 1076 class were used on coal trains Aberdare to Swindon (108 miles via Gloucester).

    On the broad gauge Pearson's 4-2-4Ts ran 75 miles on the Exeter expresses from Bristol.
     
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  16. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    103 miles via the Severn Tunnel. Smaller tank engines had been used on that traffic from an early date.
     
  17. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I assume that while in earlier days the additional weight from carrying the fuel on the frames gave a welcome bonus in adhesion, once loco weights approached the permitted axle loading the loss of adhesion as fuel was consumed on a long run became a disadvantage.
     
  18. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    The River class would usually have to take on water at Ashford after leaving London (about 55 miles), which added a few minutes to the journey time. Therefore the water capacity of 2000 gallons was not adequate for some of the services they worked. The boiler size was also limited by the maximum axle load. In other words a tender loco could have more power and a better range for the same axle weight.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    In a roundabout way, that was what I was trying to say - when you consider the weight and bulk of the tanks and bunker, there is an upper-limit to how big you can make a tank engine, and in answer to @johnofwessex question, by the first couple of decades of the twentieth century, it was obvious that the power requirements for a loco would outgrow what you could fit into a tank engine. For a passenger engine, I suspect somewhere round about a class 4/5 was probably getting up the limit of what could be built as a tank engine, inevitably with a narrow firebox, and the Ivatt Atlantics and general development of traffic must have made it clear by about the First World War that sooner rather than later, locos would need to outgrow those limits.

    (There is also the issue that plagued both the River tanks and the Brighton Baltics, about stability when you have very large water loads mounted high and wide on the loco, and which again must have made it obvious that something like a big 4-6-4T was probably about the limit of what could be developed within the loadings gauge)

    Tom
     
  20. dan.lank

    dan.lank Member

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    Do Garratts count as tank locos or do they have their own category? I know they’re probably not what was meant by the OP though!


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