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Narrow gauge train weights

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by jamesd, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. jamesd

    jamesd Member

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    Today I purchased a fantastic book on the Bowaters NG system by David Hammersley. In it there is a photo of the Bagnall tank "Alpha" at the head of a lengthy train estimated at weighing approximately 350 tons. This seems extremely heavy for a 2'6" line and got me thinking about the weight of trains on other British narrow gauge railways. What sort of weights were carried on other lines and how much do trains weigh these days? I know that both the W&L Beyers can haul 62 tons up Golfa bank but what is the limit on the FR and WHR for example? What are the VoR tanks capable of? This is something that I haven't ever seen mentioned before so I'd be interested to know.

    James
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I know nothing about train weights on individual railways but such things cannot be taken in isolation. Even a small loco can shift a considerable tonnage on the level and even more when it is downhill. However, in the latter condition, braking can become the limiting factor and, without any train braking, effectively limits the load to that it can haul up the same gradient.
     
  3. Martin Coombs

    Martin Coombs New Member

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    No knowledge about British NG lines, but as an extreme example the Mitsubishi 2-10-2s on the Rio Turbio 75cm (approx 2' 6") line in Patagonia regularly took 1500 tons down to the coast and were tested at over 2000 tons.

    But then that is really a mainline, laid to 75cm merely because there was a huge surplus of equipment available for that gauge in Argentina back in the early '50s.

    Martin Coombs
     
  4. DJH

    DJH Member

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    As far as the WHR if memory serves me right on the official welsh highland construction page it detailed testing that was undertaken in South Africa before they were shipped. 200 ton being the amount I seem to remember. The amounts on the WHR at the moment I would assume around 100 ton max at the moment with the ngg 16s.

    For the FR given the variety of locos this will likely vary. The other consideration with weights is particually with older operable locos eg Prince on the FR loads used are likely to be a lot less than they are capable of to avoid excessive wear and damage.

    There will be no doubt others who know far more on the subject.

    Regards

    Duncan
     
  5. jamesd

    jamesd Member

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    I suppose you can't really compare the 1in40 of the WHR to the dead flat Bowaters so I suppose it's a silly question. The point I was trying to make was were the Bowaters trains the heaviest regular NG trains to operate in the UK? does anyone know what sort of loads were carried on some of the ironstone lines before they closed?
     
  6. Richieboy

    Richieboy New Member

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    The other thing to consider is that many of the NG lines in the UK were built to take the loaded trains on a downhill journey, and as such the comparrison would be different.

    Bowaters actually had quite a steep climb up from the docks I believe, not sure on the ruling grade though.

    The W&L and the WHR are somewhat different to many others in terms of being steeply graded in both directions, hence limitations on haulage.

    The main issue on the W&L is the fact that the 1:29 is also on reverse curves, at which point the drag really starts to slow the train down.

    Out of interest, where did the 62t for a Bayer Peacock up the 1:29 come from?
     
  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Out of interest, where did the 62t for a Bayer Peacock up the 1:29 come from?[/QUOTE]

    Eight units up the Golfa must be around that sort of weight although such loadings must depend very much on rail conditions and it would not be a good idea to hammer hundred year old locos like that every day!

    Paul H
     
  8. RGCorris

    RGCorris Member

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    Isn't the climb up to the viaduct quite steep ? It certainly isn't dead flat.

    Richard
     
  9. houghtonga

    houghtonga Member

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    Eight units up the Golfa must be around that sort of weight although such loadings must depend very much on rail conditions and it would not be a good idea to hammer hundred year old locos like that every day!

    Paul H[/QUOTE]

    W&LLR trailing loads are measured in units, corresponding to the empty weight of the coach without passengers:

    Zillertalbahn Coach = 1 unit (6 tons)
    Sierra Leone Coach = 2 units (12 tons)
    MAV Coach = 2.5 units (15 tons)
    W&L Pickering Coach = 1.5 units (9 tons)

    From Llanfair Railway Journal No.168 - 22nd March 2003

    Following rebuilding with new cylinders, slide valves, side tanks, bunkers and boilers 822 and 823 together undertook a controlled "one-off" trial on the Golfa incline double headed (but only one locomotive actually working on each run).
    A dead Beyer and an empty seven unit train was calculated to equal a heavily laden eight unit train (62 tons). It was reported that each Beyer managed it alone, on dry rails, whilst keeping full boiler pressure of 160psi with injectors running (i.e. the boilers were not "morgaged").
    The ironic comment was made "it's almost as if they had been built for the line..!"

    The spec to Beyer Peacock in 1902 was 40 tons trailing.
    The GWR applied (excluding the brake van that weighed 3 tons)
    - 7 coal or minerals wagons (1 ton tare + 4 tons cargo each)
    - 11 mixed wagons and vans.
    - 14 empties.

    The 62 tons did exceed the GWR's limits (that had to take into into account poor rail conditions), but when the comparitive flange resistance of several small four wheeled wagons on the very sharp reverse curves were taken into account it all evened out paper. It is the resistance on the curves and the variable rail head conditions that are the problem when climbing the Golfa, not the 1 in 29 (note that the empties limit is only 100% greater than the loaded limit, not the usual 300 or 400% seen on other lines). Typical trailing loads for the Beyers on service trains recently are 6 units (36 tons tare) plus another 10 tons of passengers. The Beyer Peacocks get away with this due to fewer numbers of axles.

    G.
     
  10. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    I live in hope that there may be a rapprochment between the rival WHR camps as there would be the intriguing possibility of locomotive exchanges involving "Russell", "Lyd" and a V of R. loco.

    C.C. Green's history of the Vof R details the relationship betwen the V of R and L& B locomotives. The redesign aimed to rectify the modest haulage capacity and rough riding of the Manning Wardles, which it did, only to introduce problems of its own!

    Basically the load limit in Devon was four and one half bogies and six and a half up the Rheidol. The ruling gradient was 1 in 50 in both cases.

    "Russell" is a size smaller but if she goes as well as her close relative, ex Sierra Leone "85" then there might be a few surprises.

    Paul H
     
  11. AndrewT

    AndrewT Member

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    This sort of loco exchange, you mean?
     
  12. SillyBilly

    SillyBilly Member

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    V of R loco don't exchange very well, aparently they have a stadard gauge wheel profile.
     
  13. jamesd

    jamesd Member

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    A shame it can't be done as I'd love to see a VoR tank on the WHR. I had a couple of runs with Russel at the gala in 2000 and it sounded fantastic, the double headed turn with Mountaineer was awesome!
     
  14. SillyBilly

    SillyBilly Member

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    It would be given there was a proper loco at the front of the train.
     
  15. Richieboy

    Richieboy New Member

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    Off topic I know, but does anyone know if there is any liklihood of seeing Mountaineer again in the foreseeable future?

    It sounded awesome and I know a lot of the "younger" generation of FR volunteers took on the running maintenance of it.

    I assume it must be in a shed somewhere??
     
  16. meeee

    meeee Member

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    The ALCO is currently stored safe and undercover at Glan-y-pwll depot in Blaenau Ffestiniog with no real plans for the future yet.
    I'm sure it will return one day but Linda needs to be finished and then there's Prince to tackle next year. Mountaineer needs a lot of work and money to make it a good engine again so don't expect it anytime soon.

    Luckily it can't be sold so using it fill the hole in the WHR finances is not an option, and it has a good fan base although some of them have bought a C2 instead. 2017 would be a good date for a return though, 100 years for a loco expected to last about 2 weeks is pretty good.

    Tim
     
  17. Richieboy

    Richieboy New Member

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    Thanks for that Tim, glad she is tucked up safe inside.

    I assume the fact it cannot be sold is to do with the way it was aquired in the first place?

    The FR always seems to have a lot of rebuild work on the go!

    I have been shown the C2 by a couple of the guys involved, funnily enough I saw it run in China too. Should be interesting on 2'.

    Lets hope to see the ALCo in 2017 then - Coal fired perhaps???
     
  18. pjm

    pjm New Member

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    If there are no plans to restore it could they not send it out on long term loan to be restored, but it depend if they need it kept in current condition or could be return to as built
     
  19. SillyBilly

    SillyBilly Member

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    What other UK 2ft gauge railway needs a loco as big and as powerful as the ALCo? And if it was to go away then we wouldn't get to restore it.
     
  20. lostlogin

    lostlogin Member

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    It is a shame that it is probably near the bottom of the FR's list at present as overtime I have grown to like the Alco. Especially in the black livery. I think it just has a raw and gutsy feel to in and not at all pretensious although it has obvioulsy been modified over time.

    It definately to me has more appeal than the two ex Penrhyn engines but that is just prejudice showing through as I thought they were almost perfect little loco's pre FR days so I would have had a downer on any major changes. Equally I do realise that in that condition they were in they would not have been suitable for the FR
     

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