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Maunsell W Tanks

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by WesternRegionHampshireman, Nov 8, 2021.

  1. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I really need to get my hands on HAVBs book (I read a copy many moons ago, but after about six months, the library wanted it - and the volume on Leader - back!). A few things have always puzzled me though.

    In the wake of Sevenoaks, were any modifications made to the Maunsell moguls? Or any restictions imposed on either them or the Billinton K class?

    With Bulleid being parachuted in from Gresley's demesne, I wonder whether any early concerns surrounding the LNER pattern pony truck, as fitted to the P2 and V2 had reached Ellson's ears? AFAIK, the first derailment of a V2 atrributed to the pony truck design wasn't until 1946 and the first suggestion of any redesign for the P2 by A1SLT for No.2007.

    Given his sacrifice of a Marsh atlantic and later experiments on an Irish mogul, I'm a wee bit surprised Bulleid didn't find a way of trialling a K-H truck on some unsuspecting occupant of Eastleigh's scrap line. Perhaps time and the strings attached to wartime budgets were issues?

    I do hope @S.A.C. Martin's next work can throw some light on this chapter .... but the 2-8-2 still won't make my personal fantasy new-build list!
     
  2. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Member

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    Yet Yankee tanks bucked about like anything but four got preserved and pull coaches. :Bored:
     
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  3. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    The USA tanks were only ever intended for shunting, like J94s, they got preserved because several were still there more or less at the end of Southern steam. W class didn't last as long, otherwise one probably would have been saved. On a heritage line at 25mph, they would be ok
     
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  4. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Member

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    Yankees or W's?
     
  5. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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  6. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Had to check, but to save any confusion, the official SR class name for the Yankees seems to have been USA. SREmG's entry on them both explains Bulleid's reason for preferring them to UK built locos and produces the normal list of woes you'd associate with any 'austerity' locos built with a short, hard life in mind.
     
  7. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Member

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    Right - Pity that.
    Look good with 5 greens strolling along behind them, especially on some of the hillier railways.
     
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  8. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    And yet Bulleid put a lot of effort into another trial; the Leader.
     
  9. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Odd kind of trial that commences building four more before the first is complete.
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’d suggest maybe his feelings about pushing the board, and also the board members themselves, were different in 1938 and 1946/7. In 1938 he was the “newbie” in a largely experienced board and would have been thinking of a long career ahead: by 1946ish he was not only of longer stature himself, but probably perceived the writing was on the wall as to his own tenure as chief (with nationalisation on the cards). My sense with Leader is that he saw it as “now or never”, i.e. if he didn’t get it built by the SR when he was CME, it would be dead in the water under BR when he would, at best, be a regional chief under an overall management structure. Which was pretty much what happened, but could explain why he was in a hurry to push the Leader through while treading more cautiously with the 2-8-2 Merchant Navy.

    Things change as the outside world changes …

    Tom
     
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  11. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Had it been the M7 replacement the original brief required, perhaps so .... but with the radical* concepts underpinning Leader's design going ever so slightly beyond that, I'd suggest that exercise was a very different kettle of fish.

    Edit: I'd echo the points Tom makes (above). Bulleid's attitude to nationalisation has been alluded to by several sources, making it somewhat ironic he decamped to Inchicore!

    *at this point, please keep in mind Sir Humphrey's definitions of 'bold' and 'brave'. :Pompus:
     
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  12. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Member

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    Funny that. o_O
    Still, nothing can beat a tank engine.
    Just waiting for 3D Printing to become available and a W Tank is mine! :Jimlad:
     
  13. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I recently bought Kevin Robertson's new book on Leader (found here: https://strathwood.co.uk/products/the-leader-locomotive?_pos=1&_psq=leader&_ss=e&_v=1.0) with the intention of reading it and making notes towards my own work on Bulleid.

    The book is brilliant - there's so much primary evidence in the form of photographs, reports, train loadings and timings, and more. It is utterly superb. I have found myself changing my views on Leader. I now feel I understand better its aims, and its potential. It needed to appear about a decade earlier I feel - but there IS merit in the ideas, just some poor decision making on certain elements (sleeve valves and the boiler size/firebox position/lack of oil firing in particular).

    Leader to me looked like the biggest waste of funds and time ever. With Kevin's excellent tome, I now feel I understand the whys and wherefores, and it therefore, more accurately, is only partially a waste of funds and time. The waste of funds was in building 36002-4 before finishing trials and analysis of 36001. The development of 36001 should have led to something ultimately useable and useful.

    The trouble is, by its building, Bulleid was working on electric locomotives with Raworth, and diesel-electric locomotives. The writing had already been on the wall for steam for some time. There is something of the Canute in Leader - the LMS diesel-electric pair of 10000 and 10001 should have informed the overall debate. Leader, if it had appeared ten years earlier, might have had significant merit as a concept: it didn't, and its development looks very odd in comparison to the conventional steam locomotives being built around it, and the diesel-electric and electric engines contemporary to it.
     
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  14. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Leader may well look crazy from today's perspective, but has to be seen in the wider context of postwar UK government policy (don't forget the railways between 1945 and the end of 1947 were far less independent than had been the case pre-war. At that time, the notion of spending scarce foreign currency reserves on imported fuel was anathema.

    Leader, obviously, used abundant domestically produced coal reserves, rather than scarce US dollar reserves, at a time when Lend-Lease repayments were already doing the opposite of helping postwar recovery and every penny was needed to repair towns and cities devastated by the six years of war which came hard on the heels of a long lasting and severe economic depression.

    Those among us 'of a certain age' will recall the monthly 'balance of payments' figures, which were such a staple feature of news reports before TINAs reign, by when they had before so unutterably depressing that the powers that be decided diverting the public gaze to just about any hardy perennial was preferable (Yep, unbridled cynicism is alive and well on the South Coast!).

    Does anyone seriously believe, with experience from six years of tight control under the wartime coalition and nationalisation looming, government weren't interested in modernising the railways utilising domestic resources? Had he won the 1945 election and even without a commitment to state controlled railways, does anyone suppose Churchill would've seen things differently in that specific regard?
     
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  15. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Member

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    I think this refers to trials undertaken in May 1948. This was the period when exLMS 2-6-4 tanks
    ( Nos.2198 and 2199) were trialled on several duties within the Central and Eastern Divisions of the
    Southern ( as varied as Oxted Line trains , East Kent locals and the 08.25 Charing Cross to Hastings
    replaced by a Schools at Tonbridge presumably out of gauge for the Hastings branch ? “

    Trials were also undertaken with W2-6-4 tank No.31918. On May 13 she worked Victoria Oxted
    Tunbridge Wells West ( I think via Cowden not East Grinstead ). This appears to have been
    satisfactory as on May 18 31918 was run from Ashford to Tonbridge with 6 coaches (ecs ), and
    return. The UP run (26.6 miles) complete in 27 minutes the return required 55 seconds longer.
    The loco was suffering from badly overheated bearings etc on return at Ashford.

    it was remarked at the time that since she had previously been engaged solely on cross London
    exchange freights this was hardly a surprising outcome.

    I am not aware the Ws were tried on passenger work again. The LM 2-6-4 tank trials led of
    course to some being built at Brighton, extensive use of the Class on the Central and Eastern
    Divisions until 1960 when a swap. of LM vs BR Standard 4 occurred with the result the SR
    then had only the BR designed locos. ( personal experiences over five years indicated the
    SR crews consistently obtained better results with the Riddles designed locos than with
    the Fairburn locos; there were many possible explanations, and now we are talking
    anecdotal ! )

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2021
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  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    So nothing whatever to do with the Standard 4 being a product of the Brighton D.O? Perish the thought! :rolleyes:
     
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  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I never had a trip on 42085 when it visited the Bluebell, but I remember being struck by how agricultural it seemed, relative to 80151 - especially in cab design. A bit like how a Standard 5 seems way in advance of a Black 5. (Maybe I got on a particularly poor Black 5…)

    Tom
     
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  18. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I don't think you're wrong Tom. All of the standards really benefitted from ergonomic approaches in their design of the cabs. The Standard 5MT (personal view incoming!) is a Black Five/Thompson B1 with more of the driver and maintainer's comforts considered.
     
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  19. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Member

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    Should you not include the ‘kits of parts’ that purchased from Woolwich Arsenal and assembled in Ireland,
    at Inchihore etc. I think the MGWR were first, buying 12 sets of parts in March 1923. In March 1925 the GSR
    brougt 15 more kits of parts, 26 separate boilers ( memory says Woolwich Arsenal did not have the skills to
    manufacture boilers ). and 15 pairs of cylinder castings, From these myriad purchases the MGWR GSR
    constructed 26 locomotives,.

    There were naturally some modifications for 5’3” gauge use. All major dimensions eg. coupled wheels,
    , cylinders, boilers etc. as per N
    They formed two classes.
    MGWR Class 2, subsequently GSR Class 372 Nos.372-385
    Inchihore Class K1 Nos.386-91.
    Build dates ( or should this be assembly ? ) 1925 -9 withdrawal 1955-61.

    Michael Rowe
     
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  20. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Part of the furniture

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    I doubt many LMS men would agree with you on that one, Simon! Few of the ones I worked with would take a Standard Five over a Black Five, unless the Black 'un was known to be rough, a far from unknown circumstance. However much thought went into the ergonomics of the Standards, they were considered draughty, dirty with coal dust everywhere, cold in winter and the mangle reverser was largely despised. The seats were fine for forward running but left a lot to be desired if going tender first. Not popular, in my experience, with the exception of Terry Essery, whose opinions always seemed to be at odds with those of every engineman I knew.
     
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