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Scrapping of pre Grouping locos.

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by 22A, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Worth remembering, too, that steam was on the whole relatively cheap to build and expensive to maintain, which must have skewed the numbers too. If the cost of replacement is relatively low then reduced running costs can make replacement look very attractive.
     
  2. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    David Wardale pointed out that Dieselization of one section of SAR resulted in a huge reduction on the number of sheds.

    Not only that of course but the massive amount of train mileage run just to meet locomotive requirements
     
  3. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    I read somewhere that Collett replaced two-thirds of the GWR loco fleet during his reign, probably having made an assessment similar to that made above by @Jimc. But I note that the GWR retained a large number of the locos absorbed from the Welsh lines, albeit fitting many with GWR standard boilers. Whereas the North Staffs loco fleet, of similar size and make-up to the larger South Wales lines, was swept aside by the LMS.

    I believe that Stanier considered a programme to re-boiler many LMS locomotives on the GWR model but decided against it. The impression is that the major LMS constituents had all developed good boiler designs, but had weaknesses in the locos' chassis and cylinders/valves.

    There is an interesting section in Campbell Cornwell "Forty Years of Caledonian Locomotives" about expenditure on loco renewals during the early 1900s. Some Caledonian directors became aware that the Caledonian spent much more than the North British from Revenue Account on replacement of old engines, although Caledonian wage costs for loco repairs were lower. The Caledonian CME John McIntosh argued strongly for annual replacement of one-thirtieth of the loco fleet on the grounds that it was simply not economic to keep on patching-up elderly machines. Although McIntosh was unable to achieve his target, his influence on the Board was sufficient to keep the Caledonian fleet a little younger than on other Scottish lines. The North British Board held back expenditure and later halted new builds in the run-up to Grouping, leaving Gresley to sort-out a serious shortage of serviceable machines in the mid-1920s.

    When railways merged, it was common to look for a reduction in numbers of equipment types and spares inventories. On the LNER, the Hull & Barnsley loco fleet had a poor survival rate - its classes were much less numerous than corresponding NE types and so first in line for withdrawal during the 1930s depression. On the Southern, electrification created a surplus of steam passenger engines, from which the weakest and the less numerous classes faced early withdrawal by Maunsell. Further afield, the 1920 merging of the German railways into the Reichsbahn led to a less extreme version of the LMS drive to reduce numbers of classes, but did for instance lead to the demise during the 1920s of all of Germany's Atlantics.

    So a "Scrap and Build" approach was not unique to the LMS, but was pursued there to an extreme that elsewhere was generally seen only in major electrification projects. LMS locomotive policy was certainly "hit and miss" during the pre-Stanier period, but perhaps we should acknowledge that it did have some major successes. The 245-strong "Crab" 2-6-0 was certainly a strategic new departure, as mixed-traffic loco types had been missing from the LMS constituent fleets. Apart from a few fitted with Lentz valves, these engines went through their lives without major alteration and all served into the 1960s - so a good return on that investment.
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I did an analysis once of the build and scrapping dates of locos from Beattie, Cudworth and Craven (it was in the context of a comment along the lines of "Beattie was brilliant and Craven was crap", mostly predicated on the fact that some Beattie locos survived for over 80 years). The interesting point it showed was that all three broadly saw their locos withdrawn at about 3-4% per year, which is pretty close to your comment about McIntosh wanting to replace 1/30 of his fleet each year. I get the sense that because there was rapid locomotive development in the mid nineteenth century, the turnover of locos was quicker then, and slowed down in the twentieth century, when 40 year lifetimes weren't uncommon for late pre-grouping / early grouping locos. Cudworth was sufficiently long in tenure, and started early enough when locos had shorter lives, that he scrapped some of his own locos - there was never a time when all Cudworth locos were in existence simultaneously.

    À propos the early days of the Southern Railway: a lot of ex-LCDR locos were scrapped quickly, whereas many ex-SER locos survived. I don't think that should necessarily be seen in context of their overall weaknesses, but rather a combination of build quality and re-boilering. Put briefly, Stirling's locos from Ashford had a reputation for being very well constructed, but were let down by poor boilers. That problem had been largely addressed by Wainwright in reboilering them, which gave a fleet of reasonably competent locos, soundly constructed and with (in 1923) newish boilers. By contrast, the LCDR locos from Longhedge were probably better as originally built than Stirling's locos, but less well constructed and without much opportunity to be improved just by new boilers. So many of the elderly M series 4-4-0s; B series 0-6-0s and A series 0-4-4Ts were scrapped early in the grouping period, while their equivalent Stirling B1 / F1 4-4-0s; O1 series 0-6-0s and Q1 series 0-4-4Ts lasted a bit longer with new boilers. Wainwright's new designs were heavily influenced by LCDR design practice. Overall of course, you are completely correct that electrification led to a gradual reduction in the steam locomotive fleet - there was only a couple of years between 1923 and 1939 when the SR built more locos than it scrapped.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  5. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    The Glasgow and South Western was another railway whose locos were quickly got rid of. Only one (briefly) reached BR, it seemed to have a lot of small classes, quite a lot of which were old too. The Caledonian and Highland ones generally lasted longer, although it was the smaller and older ones like 0-6-0s and 4-4-0s and tank locos which did best. Most of the 4-6-0s went fairly quickly.

    Another one was the North Stafford, none of theirs reached nationalisation
     
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  6. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Cox talks about it a bit in one of his books. He seems to me to imply that the major problem was that it was too difficult. Obviously these were difficulties that his opposite numbers could overcome, but they had the advantage of an already established range of well developed standard boilers, and were able to extend it by lengthening and shortening barrels and fireboxes. I also gain the impression, which might just be my personal biases, that the drawing office staff didn't much like the idea anyway.

    It also occurs to me that Collett was able to have his drawing office devote a great deal of effort to updating the absorbed stock because he had Churchward's designs and a whole library of standard components to continue with, whereas Stanier desperately needed to get his draughtsmen working on a fresh start. But that's just supposition of course.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  7. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    I am sure that you are right that locos had shorter lives in earlier times, when technological change was rapid. By around 1880, things had settled down and loco lives became longer. In the 20th Century, WW1 & WW2 delayed a lot of renewals, although boosting production of heavy freight types.

    When the SECR withdrew the last of the Martley "Large Scotchmen" 0-4-2WTs in 1914, I believe there was a period of about a year when the SECR had no locos more than 40 years old. Cudworth, Stirling and Wainwright had all built well-standardized fleets and all of them opted for new-build rather than hold on to over-age engines. The LCDR fleet was less standardized, but many were able to take the standard SECR H-class boiler, which would help some of the R/R1 0-4-4Ts to last into the 1950s - only just missing the arrival of the Bluebell Railway! But the LCDR M-series 4-4-0s were apparently unable to take the boiler that Wainwright created for the F1/B1 rebuilds of Stirling SER 4-4-0s, even though the F1/B1 and M3 boiler dimensions were almost identical - possibly a factor in the decision to scrap the M3s in the 1920s?

    Looking at the position at the time of the 1923 Grouping, the age profile of the SECR loco fleet looks similar to that of most major railways in England (less so Scotland and Ireland) with the major exception of the Midland, which still had large numbers of engines from the Matthew Kirtley era of the 1860s. Possibly this was linked with the Midland "small engine policy", which required large numbers of assisting engines for double-heading.

    As an aside, I notice that the Bradley book on LCDR locos has a picture of an A2 0-4-4T on a "Thameslink" service at Enfield GNR station - the location identified yesterday on the GB Picture Puzzle thread!

    As you say, the G&SWR had a lot of small classes, some of them very ancient. The situation was even worse than it looked. The most numerous class was the 64-strong Smellie 22-class 0-6-0, but that "class" was using four different boiler types by 1923 - Smellie domeless, Manson small, Manson large and Whitelegg. That situation was typical across the G&SWR fleet. New loco superintendents in 1912 (P. Drummond) and 1918 (R. Whitelegg) made major changes, without either holding office long enough for their ideas to become the "new normal". So the loco fleet ended up as something of a hotch-potch, anathema to the new LMS regime.
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Thinking along the same lines ... when the last Craven Standard Goods was withdrawn by the LBSCR in August 1898, the oldest locomotive in the fleet would have been a Stroudley Terrier (from late 1872 - just under 26 years old). Amazingly, 65 years later the same was still true ...

    Tom
     
  9. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    That is a startling snippet of information, giving much food for thought. Highlights how small numbers of Terriers were kept for niche duties through the SR and BR periods, long after many newer LBSC engines had been scrapped.

    I’ve been looking further at the veterans to survive Grouping in 1923. I don’t think the “mainland” Southern had anything earlier than 1872, but the IWR contributed 2-4-0Ts dating back to 1864 (Compare age with recently withdrawn Class 483s!).

    So what competitors did the Isle of Wight have at that time in the longevity records?

    ISLE OF MAN – oldest locos were 2-4-0Ts built for the opening of the IMR in 1873.

    IRELAND – Oldest engines appear to have been a pair of Waterford & Tramore 1855-built 2-2-2WTs. Among the larger companies, the GS&WR(I) and D&SER both had locos dating from the 1860s, while the NCC had four H-class 2-4-0s, built in 1856 and lasting until 1924.

    GWR – Some of the Armstrong Standard Goods 0-6-0s remained in service, the earliest dating from 1866. But 0-4-0ST No 95 dated from 1857, stated by Casserley and Johnston to have originally been built for the Birkenhead Rly. Anyone know more about this? Wantage Tramway No 5 at Didcot also dates from 1857, but I’m unsure whether it was ever in GWR stock.

    LNER SCOTLAND – Class D47/2 4-4-0 comprised three ex-GNSR locos built in 1866, while the oldest surviving ex-NBR J31 0-6-0 dated from 1867. Examples of both classes were sent south for the 1925 Stockton & Darlington Centenary event, with the D47/2 considered for preservation but eventually scrapped.

    LNER ENGLAND & WALES – Oldest surviving Ex-GNR Patrick Stirling 0-6-0 (LNER J4) was built in 1873. Further J4s and ex-NER 398 class 0-6-0s dated from 1874.

    LMS SCOTLAND – The oldest surviving Patrick Stirling G&SWR 0-4-2s and 0-6-0s dated from 1866. From the Highland, the oldest accepted into LMS stock were the Stroudley “Lochgorm” 0-6-0Ts, the first built in 1869. Several older Highland engines remained notionally in service until Grouping, but actually derelict and not accepted for transfer into LMS stock. The oldest of these was “Small Goods” 2-4-0 No 27A dating from 1863.

    LMS ENGLAND & WALES – Some of the Ramsbottom LNWR DX 0-6-0s reached Grouping, including the first built 1858 and surviving until 1928 as LMS No 8000. Many of the contemporary Kirtley MR double-framed 0-6-0s also survived, including 22 of the earlier “straight-frame” 240-class built 1850-62. Casserley & Johnston imply that the oldest survivor at Grouping dated from 1852. One of these Kirtley engines was set aside for preservation but subsequently scrapped.

    https://railway-photography.smugmug...tley/Kirtley-Midland-Railway-240-Class-0-6-0/

    It seems that these surviving Kirtley 240-class 0-6-0s were, at the time of Grouping in 1923, the oldest engines in main-line service in the British Isles. Of course, it is questionable how many parts remained from the original build – boilers and cylinders would have been renewed several times.
     
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  10. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I wonder if we are looking at it in slightly the wrong way? For example the withdrawal of the BR standards etc after a short life is viewed as an anomaly, but maybe it is the period in between early and late locomotive development that is the anomalous period. ie rapid replacement of outmoded designs due to technological innovation and changes is the norm, and hanging onto old technology (because there is nothing better) is indicative of a kind of design stagnation? (Economic circumstances is the obvious other factor, considering the Long Depression in the 1870s I wonder what locomotive turnover is like during that period compared to the post-1918, 1929 and 1945 economic crises).
     
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  11. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    The oldest at nationalisation on the LMS was an ex North London Railway 0-4-2 crane engine, built originally in 1858 which became 58865. On the Southern, Brighton Terriers, LNER I don't know, on the GWR I think it was an ex Cambrian 2-4-0 Tank built in 1866, think it was 1197 or 1198
     
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  12. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    The GWR had a number of antique 0-4-0s in various distant corners of the system, something to do with Swindon's reluctance to build any. A lot of grandfather's axe about all of them, 92 and 342 as well as 95. Shannon was owned by the GWR for a while in the late 1940s, having bought her for display, and to my knowledge she was never operated by the GW. There were a number of nominally older 0-6-0s than the Armstrongs, but the grandfather's axe principle comes into play there too.
     
  13. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

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    The former Cambrian system was 'ordered' to send all non standard locos to Swindon for assessment/scrapping soon after the Grouping.

    Lists of available replacements (and axle loadings...) were sent to Oswestry, where it was found that the replacements offered were too heavy for the majority of 'uncoloured' Cambrian branches.
    Even the mainline in 1921 was only 'yellow' Route Availability ( and that was gradually improved to allow the introduction of the 'Manors').

    A reprieve was issued to many locos, and Swindon had the bright idea of sending quite a few equally vintage and obsolete locos to Oswestry to allow withdrawal of some of the oldest specimens.

    Towards the end of steam, the Dean Goods was the only class allowed on the Kerry and Dinas Mawddy branches even after the GWR had upgraded the track.
     
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  14. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    1198 was VoR No.3 'Rheidol' Bagnall works No.1497, built 1896, for a cancelled 750mm gauge Brazilian contract, regauged to 2'-3" and sold to the Plynlimon & Hafan where it was called Talybont, regauged again and sold (with several P&H wagons) to Pethicks - the firm who constructed the VoR, before entering VoR stock. It was the only loco allowed on the Harbour Branch at Aberystwyth and was withdrawn in 1924, before the allocated GW number was applied.

    On the VoR, it was favoured for the light morning mail train and double heading the D&M 2-6-2Ts
     
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  15. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    I wonder how many other locos have been re-gauged twice

    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
     
  16. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    Thank-you for helping to complete the scene by identifying some engines that I overlooked in my last post. I also missed the three Stratford Works crane tanks that became LNER Class J92 - originally built as ordinary tanks in 1868 and which survived into the early 1950s, making them the oldest LNER engines to reach BR ownership.

    https://www.lner.info/locos/J/j92.php

    I possibly should also have mentioned another notable antiquity, the LNWR "Cornwall", originally built 1847 but extensively reconstructed in 1858. This was still in LNWR departmental stock at Grouping but was not given an LMS running number.
     
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  17. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    Severn and Wye Railway no's 2, 3 and 5 were built 3' 8" gauge on 1865, converted to 7' gauge in 1868-69 then to standard gauge in 1872.
     
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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    What did they do? Rivet them together side by side?

    Tom
     
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  19. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    You beat me to it! The locos were by Fletcher Jennings, but I've never seen an illustration. IIRC, wasn't the 3ft8in flavour actually a plateway?
     
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  20. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I'm pretty certain there aren't photos of any them as well tanks with 3' 8" gauge flangeless wheels. A photo of a rather squat looking "Forester" (ex no 5), the 0-6-0, as a broad gauge saddle tank and of 0-4-0WT "Little John" (ex no 2 ) as a standard gauge inspection engine with covered benches alongside the boiler are I think the only photos.
     
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