If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Sir Nigel Gresley - The L.N.E.R.’s First C.M.E.

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by S.A.C. Martin, Dec 3, 2021.

  1. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    6,841
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    @S.A.C. Martin FWIW - there is an interesting article in the current issue of The Pines Express by Bob Curtis where he has worked out the costs of 4 LMS freight classes (4F, S&DJR 2-8-0 7F, Midland 7F 0-8-0, LNWR G2 and the Garratts) using similar metrics to those you used and with good contextual analysis. It struck me that there could be an interesting comparison between LMS freight classes and LNER freight classes. ie the LMS standardising around the sub-optimal 4F.
     
    69530 and S.A.C. Martin like this.
  2. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    4,209
    Likes Received:
    6,452
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Asset Engineer (Signalling), MNLPS Treasurer
    Location:
    London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I would be very interested in reading the article. Where can I obtain a copy, please?
     
  3. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    6,841
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I've checked and the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust does have back issues available for DL and hardcopy purchase but not the latest. My suggestion is to email them - info@sdrt.org

    or

    editor@sdrt.org

    Issues normally cost £4. Membership is £18 and would include the current issue.

    Normally I would offer to scan it for you but as the S&DRT for obvious reasons needs all the money it can get.

    I think @RailWest also has an article in the issue as well.
     
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    4,209
    Likes Received:
    6,452
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Asset Engineer (Signalling), MNLPS Treasurer
    Location:
    London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I’d rather give the donation, of course. Many thanks for the contact details.
     
    Monkey Magic likes this.
  5. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    6,841
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Good luck. Reading the article it looks like a condensed version of the author's work, so I think he has done a lot. He might be someone worth getting in touch with.

    I half wonder if there isn't an LNER goods designs vs LMS good designs Backtrack type article for the writing.

    The other issue that is alluded to in passing but which isn't expanded on in the article is the issues with the hand over from Hughes to Fowler on the LMS. There is an interesting comparison between the different approach that the LMS took to appointing their CMEs in their first decade of existence and the LNER and the consequences that followed from that.
     
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  6. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    6,841
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Apologies for taking a month to respond to this. The way in which attitudes embed and reproduce themselves and why is interesting. Along with the problem of actually getting changes in mindsets and approaches. I am not so sure about whether people really can change - especially when there is a strong institutional culture.

    One of the things I found interesting recently was a discussion about somewhere I used to work. It had a toxic culture when I was there which was a significant while back. I'd hoped that in the time passed that some of the toxicity might have gone and it might have improved. The people were different, but what was striking was the attitudes and behaviours were exactly the same. Some of it was word for word from my time there. I could tick it off a check list. I could see that the attitudes that gave rise to the toxicity had passed from one generation to the next, and it was still considered by them to be a perfectly normal and reasonable way to behave towards others. Someone actually asked me a short while afterwards if I would recommend working there, my answer was concise.

    I can understand where Orwell was coming from when he said that nothing short of dynamite will make some people change.

    To go back to your suggestion about parliament - you could rebuild it in the round, but you'd still have the same two party system emerging out of FPTP and majoritarian rather than pluralist politics which would still give you the same kind of politics. You're really just changing the end point when going to the round rather than the building blocks that politics is built on. And so it was with nationalisation, it changes the form of the railways but not the content of the railways.
     
    ragl, 35B and S.A.C. Martin like this.
  7. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    4,209
    Likes Received:
    6,452
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Asset Engineer (Signalling), MNLPS Treasurer
    Location:
    London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I have made a change to the title of this thread, as it now reflects the work-in-progress title of the book I am working on.

    Given the outcome of the Edward Thompson thread (which you can read at your leisure here) I feel happy to continue to share my research and discussion with the Nat Pres forum.

    So I write today to clarify my intentions and showcase a few things I am working on:
    • The book will be specifically written to discuss SNG's locomotive designs and wider engineering policies
    • The bulk of the primary research will be from LNER record keeping (the national archives at Kew forming most of the work)
    • Statistical analysis is being developed from the Use of Engine Power document and from the Engine Record Cards for the Pacifics, and any locomotives for which we have similar primary evidence
    • Secondary evidence is being re-examined on a case by case basis to try and focus the direction specifically towards confirming the primary evidence available
    The Thompson book perhaps felt like a case for the defence at times; this time I do not want that, nor a "case for the prosecution", so I will again be attempting to provide a more objective analysis.

    There are several key differences to how I will proceed with this book:
    • I am ten years older from when I started the Thompson research (!)
    • I have qualifications in railway engineering now
    • I am approaching this with my "asset engineer's" hat on most firmly
    • I will be reaching out to my peers, colleagues and other writers for their feedback and discussion
    One of the things I really would like to do differently in revisiting Gresley's work is to open the debate up wider, without it becoming an entrenched cyclical debate (which was seen in the Thompson thread more).

    I cannot, and will not, moderate people's posts; but I would ask that everyone when writing simply thinks of the following:
    • Everyone is allowed an opinion
    • Some opinions will be better weighted than others, where evidence is given
    • Please do not personally attack or seek to undermine individuals for a difference in opinion to you (by which I mean take a portion of their character and use it to try and undermine their reputation: it's not necessary and wastes our debating space)
    • If someone disagrees, consider what they say, ultimately what you think is of course down to you
    • Do not dismiss primary evidence out of hand, without discussion or thought
    • Do not dismiss secondary evidence out of hand, without discussion or thought
    With that in mind, I have a few things to showcase.

    Firstly, I have begun compiling the full outcomes of the Use of Engine Power document for - every - single locomotive class the LNER owned throughout 1942-1946:

    upload_2022-4-15_11-4-56.png

    upload_2022-4-15_11-5-20.png

    This will take some time so bear with me!

    This will allow us to create graphical analysis of the classes in question for those years:

    upload_2022-4-15_11-6-21.png

    This data will be supplemented by data from the engine record cards, for which I begun the painstaking process of creating some statistical models to that end:

    upload_2022-4-15_11-7-57.png

    (please note that the above table is NOT final and is representative of how the data may be displayed. This was made by taking the median of the record cards: I am now trying to process EVERY record card for every locomotive in every class we have. Some of these stats ARE final, however, such as classes A1/1, V4 and W1 as they represent small, or singular locomotives in a class).

    View attachment upload_2022-4-15_11-11-23.png

    There is also this automatically updating heat map that is showing my progress in cataloguing all of the locomotives we have data for, and also showing for how long they were in service for, colour coded by designer from LNER to BR and all red for pre-grouping at present.

    I hope this update is received in the spirit it is intended - to generate some debate and thought.
     
    Diamond Gaz, osprey, 60525 and 7 others like this.
  8. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,184
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Librarian
    Location:
    Just up the road from 56E Sowerby Bridge
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Excellent stuff again Simon, and Good Luck with your new research and hopefully book!

    Richard.
     
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  9. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    9,578
    Likes Received:
    9,322
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Fascinating mileage stats in Simon's post #467. Looking at the numbers for express passenger locos, I'm given to wonder about atypical duty allocations during the war years and their effect on maintenance related issues.
     
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  10. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,526
    Likes Received:
    3,655
    Occupation:
    Once computers, now part time writer I suppose.
    Location:
    SE England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  11. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    7,671
    Likes Received:
    5,823
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
  12. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    4,209
    Likes Received:
    6,452
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Asset Engineer (Signalling), MNLPS Treasurer
    Location:
    London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
  13. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    3,926
    I'm not reading all of it in detail but I agree that there's a lot of interest. I don't understand the note at the bottom of Table 8.9 on page 26. By 1935 there would surely have been no question of building any more A1s. It would make sense for more A3s to have been suggested, with A4s then being substituted.
     
  14. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    7,431
    Likes Received:
    4,365
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Freelance photo - journalist
    Location:
    Southport
    One of the major concerns should NOT be locomotive performance per se but how successful Gresley was in melding the disparate pre-Grouping companies in a unified LNER. There is the parsimonious NBR which stopped ordering new fleets post-war as it judged that would be the problem for the LNER to solve; the GER with its restricted axle weights seeking to speed up services between London and Norwich; the NER with its hopes of extending main line electrification - initially between Newcastle and York and the GCR whose services competed with both the GNR and LMS for access to London. It would thus be interesting to know how dependent the LNER was on both freight and passenger traffic and the pressure finance - or lack of it - affected operating decisions. The obvious example ids the replacement of the Shildon electrification by steam rather than new infrastructure on grounds of cost yet the later Woodhead scheme followed the procedures outlined by the electrification report of 1926 to which Sir Vincent Raven was a committee member.

    In respect of "locomotive performance" it would be advantageous to understand the rationale behind the new builds of such as J38 to Scotland (to replace worn out NBR 0-6-0 designs ?) or how decisions reflected the continuation of builds of pre-Grouping designs such as the D11 for use in Scotland or the new-build of the V1 / V3 2-6-2T. Within this remit is also the level of independence / delegation did Gresley allow to his subordinates such as Thomson at Stratford servicing the GER fleet and operations (e.g. was Gresley fully hands-on or did he set boundaries within which his subordinates had the freedom to make decisions without reference to Gresley).

    Given that - for the LNER - he was the first CMEE with the task of melding the separate companies into a unified whole the main question is therefore how successful was he in comparison to the efforts of Collett (GWR); Maunsell (SR) or Hughes / Fowler (LMS) in melding the pre-Grouping companies into a unified whole whilst laying the foundations for a future which subsequently included dealing with the vagaries of WWII. In that context how co-operative were the CMEEs of the individual companies and how did Gresley deal with their effective demotion within the new LNER organisation.
     

Share This Page