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Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by tony51, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    I half expected the well-known Isle of Wight supporter to argue that the W&LLR does not need another loco but (so far) he hasn't. If he were to, I would argue that the W&LLR is in a very different situation to most other heritage railways, in that there are very few (if any?) suitable locos it could hire in if it were to have a steam loco crisis. It has struck lucky with being able to hire the ZB engine but it would be far better to take luck out of the equation and seek to add an additional loco to its portfolio
     
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  2. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    :rolleyes:
     
  3. jamesd

    jamesd Member

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    In fantasy railway World you’re right, but in reality there is no money or resources to purchase and overhaul another loco. As I understand it, Zillertal is on a rolling agreement and whilst it’s not perfect, it is adequate for the time being. Chevalier was/is available and with a bit of wok could be suitable but the asking price is too high. I’m not sure what’s next once 699 is done as fundraising for 85 is being handled by the friends of the SLR. I suspect it will 823 with a view to that entering service when 822 bows out. Joan may figure again at some point as it received a heavy overhaul prior to entering service in 2010 so it may not need too much work this time round.
     
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  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Is Chevalier a match for Golfa with a full rake? I was aware it improved significantly between two earlier visits. Have to admit, I'm not even aware of it's 'vital stats' (driver dia, cyls, boiler size and pressure).
     
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  5. Richieboy

    Richieboy New Member

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    She is more than capable to be honest, TE is higher than a Bayer, but of course not all adhesion, so a little lighter on her feet. But she has brought a 6 unit train back on her own before now, with plenty in hand.

    it seems that circumstances have lead to her never quite being able to make it into the fleet over the years (sadly in my opinion) including under the GWR.!

    she is a lovely, well built loco and with a sealed smoke box door and redraughted like the others, I think she would be ideal. That is, of course my own opinion.

    as ever, everything comes down to a combination of available funds, resource and time.
     
  6. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    Chevallier is an engine we'd all like to see on the WLLR, and Conqueror would be the other one which would be much better with us than mouldering in a shed somewhere... However it would not be a good use of the railway's fund to buy either of them at a market rate - though no doubt we'd be delighted to accept them as a donation .

    As it is what the railway really needs to get out of the current situation (having enough locos, but too many of them out of service) is more money, not more locos. The overhauls of 699 and The Earl became very protracted for various reasons including the pandemic. After 699 I understand the workshop may take on Chattenden (diesel) while there is fundraising ongoing to get 85 restored (top priority IMHO - please give generously). With sufficient funds the railway could send another loco elsewhere for restoration as well as beginning on Countess soon.

    I for one would love to see Dougal back in steam, and Joan too in good time.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
     
  7. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I made my first ever visit yesterday, being not too far away after staying at Craven Arms the nights before and after Pathfinder's Cambrian Coast Express. It is noteworthy how well lineside vegetation has been cut back to allow sticking one's head out; unlike the situation on the Cambrian line where the strict prohibition is well justified, with branches frequently bashing the coaches.

    If The Earl and Countess were built by BP and overhauled at Oswestry, when and how did they acquire the classic Swindon features of copper-capped chimneys, brass safety valve covers, twin whistles and (I think) right-hand drive?

    A little way out of Llanfair Caereinion I noticed a derelict water tower. Anyone know why the railway needed one there?
     
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  8. Richieboy

    Richieboy New Member

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    The loco’s were rebuilt after being absorbed into the GWR in the 1930’s, cabs were extended, new boilers & smoke boxes with all the copper and brass associated with that. They also used a lot of standard western fittings including 8mm injectors, gauge glass, fire hole doors, Vac brake and ejector amongst others. Very typical Western layout in the cabs.

    As for the old water tower, it was the main watering point until the development of Llanfair yard in the 70’s, it was the only source of water at that end of the line. It was used in the early years of preservation as well, using water from the river Banwy. There is some speculation it was an old broad gauge tender converted for the purpose! In fact the culvert by the old tower was the only pit access during the early days, used for maintenance and inspections back in the day.

    very much hope you enjoyed your visit
     
  9. Hirn

    Hirn Member

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    On a Garratt probably not just the flexible pipe connections but the pivots both ends of the bogie cradle. Sudden changes of gradient apparently caught these pivots out, later Garrets had a "self adjusting" arrangement to cope; apparently it must have been like the arrangements to give and control the side play in an Adams bogie but it would have been a rocking motion - not very much of an angle but a strong effect with the leverage.

    From what I have seen you might have transition curves where a length of permanent way swings from side to side but the Welshpool & Lanfair has brutal changes of gradient with little or nothing in to round it between the ups and the downs. Most apparent over summits: there is one in particular at a level crossing where I suspect the rails and the road surface may have both have been curved together between the steep pitches either side and somebody - whether for the railway or the County Surveyor - has gone and made the rails level through the road ending up with two sharp angles at the top of the gradients down both the sides. Thinking about this, while it might be most evident to see at a summit the same effect might react worse on the locomotives in equivalent dips where any earthworks over a culvert had been minimised. The Tubize 2-6-2 - which I think had a reputation for slipperyness - would find itself with the weight being born by both the end trucks and the driving wheels unloaded with obvious results if you were opening out before an approaching bank. The Resita more in a more subtle way would maintain adhesion moving the weight to the radial end axles where the arrangements with hollow axles for transferring the torque from the outside cranks to the end wheels were not up to so much of it.

    A Nepali Garratt would at best be unhelpfully long. Monarch has fundamental steaming problems stemming from the circular firebox with grate area, firebox volume and free gas area through the tubes all limited- before starting on the restricted water level within the boiler to accommodate the changes in gradient. Both would probably need work to fit self adjusting sockets to the articulation pivots.
    I would reckon that either an Austrian 0-6-2 or a third of the original Beyer Peacocks would preferable to a lot of work to improve the angle transitions in the track. If none of these proposals, at least a spare boiler for Earl and Countess.
     
  10. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    Here's a video from YouTube showing Chevallier in action (including one successful assault on the Golfa and one which needed two goes) as well as Dougal, with the Resita, Earl and Countess. Not my video.



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  11. tony51

    tony51 New Member

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    If you’re going to use numbers, they are 1 & 2, otherwise The Earl and Countess. They were only temporarily 822 and 823 for about 30 of their 120 years when briefly owned by two other railways which unlike the W&LLR no longer exist!
     
  12. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Only nearly no longer exist. GWR liveried trains constantly depart Paddington and we do have a Cambrian (Heritage) Railways - complete with historic plural, which is quite appropriately, given it exists in distinct chunks!

    .... anyhoo, the old Cambrian's responsibilities regarding the W&L were operational, never proprietorial.
     
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  13. tony51

    tony51 New Member

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    Actually I was referring to GWR and BR, not the Cambrian.
     
  14. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Aah .... misunderstanding. We need to wait a wee while longer to see BR back again! :)

    (Red rag flown ..... just waiting on the bull!)
     
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  15. Richieboy

    Richieboy New Member

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    Sort of depends how you view it I guess, they have run with 822 and 823 on since rebuild in 2000 ish, so that does add another 20+ years on that I guess.

    also, “Countess” was “The Countess” before she was made 823 - if you look closely you can see where the name plate was cut down as it didn’t fit on the cab side (The Countess plates she had fitted until overhaul were replica’s of the originals and located on the tanks) where as the plates on “The Earl” were short enough to stay as they were.

    I guess it’s all perspective
     
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  16. Nigel Day

    Nigel Day Member

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    Above is talk about Monarch. My first involvement was with this loco when at FR. There’s much you could say of this loco. What I want to point out is that my study showed that byond anything else that the proportions of of the flue and blast pipe where totally out of proportion thus leading to the description of Monarch syndrome where the exhaust steam dose not fill the flue diameter and thus no smoke box draught is formed.

    This lead us to offer and look at the other engines with 85 being the first non rack engine I did. The success of this work is now well proven after nearly 30 years. There is no doubt that any engine that works this demanding line benefits from a lempor and other locos talked about in this thread would also do so.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2022
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  17. lynbarn

    lynbarn Member

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    I must be one of the few that still has a soft spot for both Monarch's (mustn't get confused with the one that has departed recently).
     
  18. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Is Monarch one of those Meyers where exhaust from the rear unit exits direct into the atmosphere, or do all four cylinders exhaust via the chimney?
     
  19. jamesd

    jamesd Member

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    I’m not old enough to have seen Monarch in service unfortunately but when people talk about problems with maintaining water levels in changing gradients, they seem to forget that Monarch has worked services to Sylfaen which included crossing Coppice lane and it’s associated gradient change. I’ve not read of any issues maintaining water levels when it was operating so this may be a bit of a red herring. Hopefully one day we’ll get to find out.
     
  20. talyllyn1

    talyllyn1 Member

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    I was given the task of cleaning it single handed - it took a long time! The following day I was rewarded with seeing it in action, the only time I did. It did a light engine run to the Banwy water tower, which was still in use then. I remember thinking how delicate the outside valve gear looked, and it was quite mesmerising in action.

    There is an interesting webpage which includes some details of Nigel Day and Shaun McMahon's investigations.
    Welshpool & Llanfair - Improving the Fleet (martynbane.co.uk)
     
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