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What about this (Welsh Museum Web site)

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Jimc, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    Many thanks to posters for highlighting this bizarre odd-ball design. Webb 3-cylinder compounds were not exactly commonplace outside of the LNWR, and I had no idea that a pair had been built for the 2ft 6in gauge. I've since found that Ahrons gives them a brief mention under "Articulated and Miscellaneous Locomotives".

    When these engines were built in 1884, the first Webb 3-cylinder compounds had only been at work for 2 years on the LNWR itself. It seems extraordinary that such novel features should be included in a design for a very remote location, where engineering facilities and expertise must have been limited. I can only imagine that the promise of fuel and water economy must have been appealing for the Antofagasta & Bolivia Rly, in a desert region where water was scarce and coal had to be imported.

    Webb himself did build a few compound tank engines in the 1880s for the LNWR, but scrapped them before he left office.
     
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  2. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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  3. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    There were several other Webb compounds exported, to Brazil, Argentina, Austria and the US. None were repeated...
     
  4. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    That's what the advocates of that theory say, agreed. But others suggest it could be FCAB (or rather CSFA, a predecessor company) No. 12, built as a 4-6-0 by Stephenson which has this odd wheelbase too... See file linked in post #9 above, and see the comments below the photo in the International Steam page. Hence the latter theory seems more likely although I'd love the Webb theory to be right. Perhaps it's a combination of both!
     
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  5. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    upload_2021-2-26_16-31-13.png
    Source: http://www.ferrocarrilesenelconosur.co.uk/Resources/Chilean steam locos 4 sub-metric gauges.pdf

    Yes I see what you mean! Interesting thing though - look at the position of the dome on the preserved loco compared to that photograph. The preserved loco's dome is much further set back, indicating a different boiler type from that photographed. The cab type is different too from that photographed.

    What an interesting mystery!
     
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  6. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    It's my personal opinion that the surviving loco is probably an amalgam of bits from various old locos. Whichever one it started as it probably incorporated parts from others several times over the decades. It apparently carries parts with at least four different serial numbers (i.e. probably works numbers).
     
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  7. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    That sort of weird wheelbase was also to be seen on 3ft gauge* FCdeMallorca 0-6-0T and 4-6-0T locos from Nasmyth Wilson, though they were conventionally coupled, two (outside) cylindered machines. In these cases, the dimensions were dictated by the substantial firebox.

    *the line was converted to metre gauge in the 1980s.
     
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  8. Bluenosejohn

    Bluenosejohn New Member

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    The diagram in the original post is reproduced on page 223 of Peter Davis' new book 'F.W. Webb's Three Cylinder Compounds' with the source showing as the Locomotive Magazine.

    In the book ( which I would recommend to anyone interested ) it states that two were built in 1883 by Robert Stephenson and Co for the 2'6'' gauge Antofagasta Railway of Chile.The line went from sea level to 13,000 feet in 200 miles with a ruling grade of 1 in 33 and with some sharp curves!

    The inside low pressure cylinders drive the single pair of driving wheels and the outside high pressure cylinder the coupled wheels of the 4-2-4-2T. The valve gear used was that of David Joy who did work with Frank Webb on the latter's compounds.

    Driving wheels were 3' and the others 2' with a wheelbase given as being 4'9'' + 5'1'' + 3'3'' + 8' + 5'0 1/2'' !! ( 26 feet and 1 and half inches before you ask... ) The outside cylinder (HP) 10'' diameter by 20'' stroke and the inside cylinder 20'' by 18'' stroke. The total weight was 35 tons and the tank capacity 500 gallons.

    There are no photographs of the original machines in the book and nor could the author find details as to how they performed. In view of the depth of his research in the rest of the work this certainly means that any sources out there would be well buried as he has gone through the contemporaneous technical press and institutes papers in great detail.
     
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  9. tony51

    tony51 Member

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    2’6” ..... 1 in 33 ..... sharp curves ....perfect new build for the W&LLR!
     
  10. Bluenosejohn

    Bluenosejohn New Member

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    To be fair a Webb compound was the last British built steam locomotive to be exported to the USA by anyone from over here for everyday work!

    ( From an article by Phillip Atkins, locos on tour and locos for museums obviously excepted! )
     
  11. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    @Bluenosejohn - I was browsing through Jack Simmons' 'Railway Anthology' and one of the entries was by David Joy and mentioned his diaries.

    I went and had a hunt for and it turns out that they are in the Science Museum and they cover a lot of ground. Some of them are on SteamIndex.

    https://www.steamindex.com/library/joydiary.htm

    There is a reference to some Fairlies for Bermuda being built with Joy valve gear in 1883 but nothing in the Steamindex page about this loco, but I wonder if someone were to go and look at the diaries for the period if there might be something in there.

    Considering his work with Webb and correspondence with Dean etc, it seems like an interesting source for people. (Along with his work in the US)
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
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  12. Bluenosejohn

    Bluenosejohn New Member

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    The Steamindex page seems to be based on G.A. Sekon's 1908 Railway Magazine extraction from David Joy's diaries and from the notes under a different chapter to those for these locomotives Mr Davis is aware of that work. His notes for the Chilean locomotives refer to an article by D.R. Carling in the SLS Journal no 733 in 1988 and letters in the subsequent two editions and to an a piece by H. Vivian in The Locomotive of 15 11 1933. Where Joy's patent of valve gear was used he would not necessarily have been involved in the design of a locomotive that used it.

    Although these two engines look fascinating and worthy of comment to us now they would have been one of a myriad of designs and types in the 1880's built in this country alone for use across the world. As they had a short life perhaps it was inevitable that information is sparse, even today few enthusiasts will have been to Chile and camera equipment then would have been hard to transport.
     
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  13. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    On the subject of going to Chile, I guess the obvious place to look would be the Chilean archives.

    A quick look on the website for them and a quick search gives us this:

    https://www.archivonacional.gob.cl/...digitales/8078:Expansion-ferroviaria-en-Chile

    Closer to home Harold Blakemore wrote on the line. Blakemore, Harold (1990). From the Pacific to La Paz: The Antofagasta (Chili) and Bolivia Railway Company 1888-1988 and his papers are at Uni of Bradford. The price of the book is somewhat eye watering.

    A review of the Blakemore book mentions that he made extensive of the company's archives.

    There seems to be a fair amount of interest in the line in Chile and the UK, so it is surprising that more can't be found about the locos.
     
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  14. Bill2

    Bill2 New Member

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    The diagram in the original post shows a modified version of Joy valve gear, missing the anchor link and with a return crank instead. This version of the gear was used on a few of Webb's LNWR compounds, also on the Lynton and Barnstaple locomotives including the replica Lyd, (I have also seen it on a Russian class O). The modified version of the gear is not covered by David Joy's patent.
     

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