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The skill of the Engineman

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Big Al, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    yes an interesting thread.

    Back to Jubilees. They were not AFAIK used that much on the S&C other than during the war and of course
    the Saturday turn that had such a following in the latter years of steam.

    The RPS archive has some WWII logs from Geoffrey Aston on the Down S&C. They involve loads
    up to 15 but with a pilot; either a 2P 4-4-0 or a 4P Compound. Post war 11 appears to be the max
    without a pilot ( but not many records ) There are records of Royal Scots handled up to 450 tons Tare.

    BR, as Steve mentioned took a IMHO a pragmatic view, i.e 3000 lb/hr as a maximum firing rate .
    typically an evaporation rate of 22,ooo - 24,000 lb/hr. Efficiency was important. When
    5660 Rooke was tested twixt Bristol and Carlisle via the S&C the results were spectacular, IHPs
    up to 1880, but evap rates were below 7.0 lb steam/ lb coal.


    Top BR crews ran long non stop distances. (As a digression so did locos. R.I.Nelson in the Fifties had a
    footplate pass Kings Cross to Newcastle return. He travelled Down on the 10.00 ‘Flying Scotsman’ first
    stop Newcastle on A4 60021: on time with 12 on, 253 minutes net. He then went and had a ‘wash and
    brush up ‘ before returning to KX on the non-stop ‘Talisman’. He was surprised that the engine was
    60021 again, after a rapid turn round. With the 9 coach ‘Talisman’ consist an on time run, 242 minutes
    net. Not the same crew though, although in earlier pre WWII years that might have happened ! )

    Returning to the Jubilees, during their lifetime they averaged 50-60,000 miles per annum.
    In the first 9 months of 1957 they averaged 167 days ‘on the road’ and 45,500 miles per loco.
    Somewhat different from current steam, even the hard worked WCRC fleet.

    Over Shap the BR full limit from Carnforth to Carlisle was 415 tons ( In the 20s and 30s
    Claughtons were permitted 420 tons ). More often than not Down trains took a banker from
    Tebay. There were exceptions, A.Mellor ( a Huddersfield signalman at the time ) spent a
    week in August 1936 travelling twixt Crewe and Carlisle. Including a trip behind 5696
    with 13 on ( 12 8 wheelers, one 12 wheeler ) 420 tons tare/443 gross ( he must have counted
    the passengers to arrive at such a figure ). Preston Carlisle was run in 98-10 (96.5 net )
    John Heaton featured the details in a recent RM P&P. In the opposite direction on 12/7/57
    No.45599 with 13 / 413/440 ran Penrith Oxenholme in 42-54 ( schedule 46 )

    Yes the stock was lighter than to-day but no long welded track and the lack of stock conformity,
    particularly pre War etc indicates a higher resistance per ton. However at 30 mph on 1/100
    the ratio of work done against gravity to work done against resistance ( ie air, rail interface etc )
    is c 4:1. What is noticeable on the two runs cited above is speeds up to the mid eighties on the
    descents.

    Thrashing, I empathise with Steve. However I remember being very happy with 44767 held
    on full regulator, full pressure, reverser set to 55 % cut off on a 1/65 gradient with a
    heavy train at Heritage line speeds . ( As an aside perhaps where Stephenson Link motion
    showed up particularly well ). But at the same time surprised to read from the late and much missed
    Mike Nottley that he had been on the footplate of 60163 up to Stoke when at 70mph and RFO
    and 45% the cutoff was lengthened further to 53% ( he did say that normally 45 % was the max )

    70 mph RFO and 45% may not be thrashing but it feels wrong. Certainly efficiencies would have
    been well down ( don’t have any A1 data to hand ) but I suspect less than 6lbs steam per lb of
    coal. The EDHP was c. 2400-2450 so I think, even with any boiler mortgaging, a firing rate
    approaching 5,000 lbs/hr.

    I recognise this was a let’s see what maximum power we can reach. But the trade off of
    a less efficient increased steam flow compared to a cut off of say 30% probably represented
    an IHP increase of c.5%. Not thrashing perhaps, but certainly inefficient and does not
    that dissipated energy have some mechanical consequence.

    ( I am only a chemical engineer, I understand thermal efficiency, mechanical efficiency ? )

    Michael Rowe

    p.s I suspect with 12 on the WCRC Jubilees are given ‘the lot’ both up to Grayrig
    and Shap. With 13 on the minimum speed will be proportionally lower. I.e. c.6%.
    The issues presumably are will time be lost, what happens on a wet or even worse
    late Autumn day, can a restart be made on 1/100 ( S&C ) or even worse on the 1/75.
    Similarly to the long 1/100s on the ‘Long Drag’
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2021
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  2. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member Friend

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    As a contender for the 'thrash' title perhaps I would nominate former Deutsche Reichsbahn 'Pacific' 03.1010 otherwise known as 'The Roaring Monster'. I managed a footplate ride on this loco from Bebra to Erfurt in the early 1990s, the method of driving (confirmed by others also) appeared to be full regulator and 40% cut-off. Only problem was that despite the boiler coping with this at 16 bar pressure, there was only 12 bar getting to the cylinders at a temperature of only 350 degrees C. To me this suggests that the steam line from regulator through the superheater to the cylinders is severely restricted. Other German 'Pacifics' like 01.137 and 03.001 can get up to 450 C.

     
  3. iancawthorne

    iancawthorne Part of the furniture

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    That is quite interesting. So we do have some evidence that a Jubilee has taken 13 over Shap in both directions unaided. But so far nothing for the S&C, so in the category of possible it happened, but would be an exception if it did.
     
  4. 46203

    46203 Well-Known Member

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    In the interest of absolute accuracy - up until the Peak Class took over the titled trains in the early 1960s, 5XPs appeared on the S&C daily. The Thames-Clyde & Waverley express trains being just two examples. Two depots that provided steam locomotives for work on the S&C, Kingmoor and Holbeck, both had a good number of 5XPs which were used on both passenger and goods trains.
     
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  5. Andy Williams

    Andy Williams Member

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    With all this talk of passenger train performance and loadings, we must not forget that the demands of freight work meant that locos had to pull heavier loads with longer periods of sustained high output over a given distance. Anyone who can remember the sight and sound of heavy freight trains over Copy Pit or the Settle and Carlisle will know what working a locomotive to its maximum extent was like.

    Andy
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
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  6. iancawthorne

    iancawthorne Part of the furniture

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    I would agree, Jubilee's were probably used on the S&C more than the post indicates and there is plenty of photographic evidence to back this up. From what I've read Class 7's were the mainstay for the Thames Clyde - Royal Scot's and eventually Britannia's. The Thames Forth (eventually Waverley) were Black Fives, Patriot's and Jubilees.
     
  7. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    You are of course correct. I should check first. The RPS archive from January 1948 to December 61 contains
    between Hellifield and Carlisle 14 logs behind Jubilees and 26 with Royal Scots. In the UP direction
    22 Royal Scots and 11 Jubilees : a small number, but hopefully representative.

    I think ( recesses of the grey matter ) the Jubilees shared duties with Patriots and Black 5s.
    The Royal Scots in the latter years with Brittanias and briefly A3s.

    But having relied on memory once this comes with a warning !

    But one thing, I cannot find any reference to a Jubilee taking more than eleven.

    Michael Rowe

    ps after posting, have seen iancawthorne’s post. I am sure this is correct.
     
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  8. 45045

    45045 New Member

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    I once witnessed what I would term a steam loco being thrashed, or you could say abused. A photographer had paid for a photo event. It was at night. He insisted that a heavy load was attached and the brakes pinned down, then open the regulator. The loco did not move. He got sparks from the wheels and out of the chimney, for his special shot. I spoke to the crew a few days later. They were extremely annoyed that they had been forced to do this by the management, to their loco, and the pway team were not impressed either.
     
  9. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    There is, compared with passenger haulage, a limited amount of detailed footplate
    observations. At the risk of teaching how to suck eggs chapters 3 and 8 of Allen’s
    ‘New Light on the Locomotive Exchanges’ and BR Bulletin No.7 “WD 2-10-0 and
    2-8-0 are interesting. Heavier loads yes, lower power demands I think.

    Michael Rowe
     
  10. Andy Williams

    Andy Williams Member

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    Why do you think that power demands would be lower?
     
  11. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Out of curiosity, I am used to train weights as per TOPS: i.e. including the loco weight. Is this how loads are being referred to here?
    Pat
     
  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Essentially due to lower speeds. For example, a goods engine burning 60lb/mile at 20mph is burning 20lb coal per minute. An express running at 40lb/mile at 60mph is burning 40lb / minute - twice the fuel consumption per unit time, ie twice the power output. It’s one reason why 0-6-0 goods with modest 20 sq ft grates could continue in use quite late even when passenger locos had developed to 40 sq ft or so.

    Fast fitted freights had higher power output more nearly approaching passenger levels. Of course, the freight crew had plenty of other opportunities to show high skill levels!

    Tom
     
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  13. Andy Williams

    Andy Williams Member

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    Thanks for the explanation. I was trying to make the point about locomotives being worked at or near their limits for sustained periods in the context of freight trains. In practical terms, working a heavy freight up to Ais Gill summit with a Black 5 at say 20 mph would involve full regulator and a relatively long cut-off for a sustained period of time. This time period of continuous high output would be at least twice as long as that for a passenger traim over the same distance. Firemen that I have spoken to who regularly worked over this route said that freight work was always much harder than passenger.

    Through freight trains were allowed just over an hour for the the fifteen mile climb (Settle - Blea Moor, or Appleby - Ais Gill)

    Andy
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
  14. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    With unfitted goods trains it's the stopping that matters, though, isn't it?
    Did I once read (or did I imagine it) that the average speed of coal trains from Toton to Cricklewood was 21mph. An attempt to reschedule to 25mph didn't end well.
    Pat
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That and not snapping loose couplings, whatever gravity and inertia may want to do to 'em at any given point, when an unfitted goods is on the move. Being a guard on such workings required detailed route knowledge and was no sinecure.
     
  16. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    OT, perhaps, but at one time, wasn't it more like 21 miles per day? I recall reading of freight crews taking over a loco in a queue of coal trains on the permissivly worked slow lines and then being relieved at the end of their shift, without so much as turning a wheel. This led to the Midland pioneering a central control system subsequently adopted pretty universally.
     
  17. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Pre-Cecil Paget I imagine that one skill of enginemen on the Toton - London run was staying awake while not moving! Seriously though, managing the boiler when not knowing when water would be available must have been tricky. I was thinking of after Control was introduced. The attempt to speed the schedule (which I am sure promised all manner of savings - on paper) caused derailments, breakaways and hot boxes, as I remember it. A very modern 'efficiency exercise' a cynic might say.
    pat
     
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  18. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    In the 1960s Nottingham Division operated some services as "Control" workings which were closely monitored on point-to-point timings and were expected to be given a clear run by signalmen. These were often applied to freight services between toton and Corby / Wellingborough and I have see a Class 44 with around 50 - 60 unfitted wagons rumbling through Corby at speeds around 50 - 60 mph !! This was allowed because the Class 44 at 138 tons weight had the ability to brake quickly and absorb the momentum from the unfitted wagons.
     
  19. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    It most definitely wasn’t allowed and any driver doing that would be carpeted if found out, even a steam braked 9F would need a lot of distance to kill the momentum of a loaded train of that length and what about the poor guard as the three link couplings closed up? . The braking power of most diesels was found wanting, that’s why they were give big chunks of concrete on bogies to shove around ( brake tenders ).
     
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  20. peckett

    peckett Member

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    That didn't happen ,first of all only Toton men were passed on 44S ,if by chance one arrived in Wellingboro 'no one was allowed to move one even if it was in the way, class 20s were in a similar position.
    Coal trains in the 60s ,in diesel times ,between Toton and Wellingboro 'were getting few and far detween,45/46s had as mentioned by John had brake tenders with them,they didn't last long ,6 or so fitted wagons were marshaled next to the loco as a replacement.
     

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