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What Ifs, and Locos that never were.

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Jimc, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’ll have a think about writing something down. In theory lock down should be the opportunity, but I’m actually working harder at the moment than before!

    Tom
     
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  2. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    As you say, the outside cylinder positions are reminiscent of a Thompson pacific. When the cylinders are placed alongside the bogie wheels, as in many De Glehn type engines and in the GWR 4-cylinder engines, the cylinder spacing needs to be very wide so as to allow for sideways movement of the bogie wheels. I don't have an exact figure for the cylinder spacing of the Stars/Castles/Kings, but it looks to be over 7 feet, probably the widest spacing ever used on the standard gauge in Britain.

    If you look at standard loading gauges, you see how the GWR was able to do this and still adhere to Churchward's preference for low-slung horizontal cylinders. The attached diagram shows the GWR width limit widening from 8ft 8in to 9ft 0in at a level 1ft 10in above rail-head, whereas a similar widening on the LNWR and MR only occurred at 3ft 3in/3ft 4in above rail-head. So Deeley had fewer inches than Churchward to squeeze in those cylinders.
     

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  3. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Thinking about it there were, it seems to me, two 'Game Changers; in the UK, the P1 & the LMS Garratts. The latter of course ruined at conception.

    But both capable of hauling significantly heavier - and faster freights than before.

    However what they needed was High Capacity all steel wagons fitted with continuous brakes so you could have 1000 ton 40 mph freights.

    Perhaps we should talk about 'What ifs and wagons that never were'
     
  4. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    7'2"
    Interesting to note that several of those inches came from accepting a much smaller clearance between loading gauge and structure gauge at platform height.
     
  5. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    Looking at photos of French double-track main lines, the track spacing looks similar to the British 6-feet, and yet their steam locos could be quite a few inches wider. Could they have been accepting a smaller clearance than us between passing trains?

    For an anomaly closer to home, consider the Hastings line, with narrow tunnels, reduced track spacing in some locations and special narrow-bodied stock - but still with 9-foot wide foot-boards. Presumably a special derogation.

    There seem also to have been many derogations for specific loco classes on specific lines. Many of the larger NER classes were 3 or 4 inches wider over cylinders than the NER loading gauge said they were allowed to be - probably a case of OK for the main lines, but barred from some minor routes (where they might have been banned anyway on weight grounds). And many LMS express engines appear to have been 13ft 2in high and operated over the Caledonian main line, when the nominal Caledonian height limit was 12ft 11in.
     
  6. Hermod

    Hermod New Member

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    Permissible center distance of outside cylinders also depends on how far in front of first driver(fixed laterally) it is placed.Overhang in curves can eat clearence very fast.
    A picture of P2 cylinder pre WW2
    6 feet 8 inches is more or less practical limit for conrods on outside of coupling rods.
    9F was 6 feet 10 due to clearence between crosshead and front driver coupling pin and was reason for not using Brittania cylinders that had 6 feet 8.
    If we put conrod inside coupling rods on first driver we can come down to 6 feet 3 as om Midland compounds put we have a lot more overhang on curves..
    I do not know if the difference between structural and vehicle loading gauge was compensated for curvature?

    https://www.railwaywondersoftheworld.com/wpimages/wpf01bf5f7_05_06.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  7. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

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    IIRC, the Cambrian Railways had a proposed lightweight 2-6-0 tender engine sketched out.
    Does/can anyone remember where it appeared in print please?
     
  8. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    RCTS. Locomotives of the Great Western Railway part 10
     
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  9. Gwenllian2001

    Gwenllian2001 New Member

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    Does anyone have any information on the steam turbine locomotive proposed by the National Coal Board?
     
  10. Gwenllian2001

    Gwenllian2001 New Member

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    What happened to the steam turbine proposed by the National Coal Board?
     
  11. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

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    Many thanks for that, Lester. Will havve to dig in to the library in the attic....
     
  12. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Didn't think this question warranted a dedicated thread ..... so here goes:

    Is there any particular reason why Maunsell didn't rebuild the underwhelming Marsh I2 and I4 classes, along the lines the I1 to I1x transformation?
     
  13. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    A large mileage of the former LBSC lines were electrified in the 1930s so they were probably surplus to requirements

    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
     
  14. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Seemed most likely to me too, but the withdrawal dates (1933-1940*) give pause for thought.

    *two I2s served the Longmoor Military Rly until after WW2
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I suspect simply that there were more important drawing office jobs to do than try to rework a 20 year old design that was working out its last days on relatively undemanding services; and more important uses of the renewal fund.

    It would be quite interesting to compile a detailed chronology. But in outline, Maunsell and his team seemed to spend 1923 getting to grips with what had been inherited from the three companies, and looking in detail at loading gauge, route availability and so on. Front line express motive power then occupied them for two or three years, with the King Arthurs as an interim design, and then the Lord Nelsons. There was the general strike in 1926, then the Sevenoaks disaster in 1927 which led to the redesign of the K class tank engine into the U class mogul. Then you get the development of the Schools class; provision of the Z class shunting engines; the ultimately abortive work around a heavy freight loco (the Lord Nelson-derived 4-8-0). In between, they did also do a programme of improving or modifying some of the older designs where there was an obvious traffic justification - converting the E1 to E1R for the North Devon and Cornwall Junction; rebuilding the Billinton 4-4-0s; continuing a programme of adding superheaters to Drummond T9s and 700 goods as they went through the works; continuing to reboiler older Stirling locos with Wainwright pattern boilers etc etc. But amongst all that, I suspect redesign work for a class of 4-4-2T that had found a niche on slow London services probably never got high enough up the "to do" list for either drawing office time or renewal expense, until such time as they were withdrawn.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
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  16. Alasdair B

    Alasdair B New Member

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    Dear All,
    Somehow the ghost of the Riddles 2-8-2 that never was does not seem to go away, so I started thinking about 'what if?' - and concluded that it could have been a game changer. I sympathise with the situation Riddles, Cox and Bond found themselves in: they were not to know how suddenly and quickly the end of steam would come, in hindsight it is clear that their grand plan of designing a complete new stud of locomotives had a strong element of engineer's self-indulgence - and in cold hindsight, it can be seen that the 'lost' 2-8-2 could have been part of a more rational strategy.

    Let's take as given the criticism that in many cases they designed new(ish) classes where it would have made more sense to simply make some more to existing designs. Let's also take as given that, marvellous locomotive though it is, 71000 Duke of Gloucester should never have existed - instead of the cost of a one-off new design, they could (and should) simply have built another Duchess. Now ....

    Building the new Britannia class made reasonable sense. However, having done that, following it with the proposed 2-8-2 would have made even more sense. By using the Britannia cylinders, boiler, firebox, cab and trailing truck, the design cost would have been much lower than a complete new design - and with so many pats in common manufacturing and maintenance costs would also have been reduced.

    Now look at the specification: the drawing of it in Cox's Locomotive Panorama shows a loco with 35,900lbs tractive effort, a weight of 94.6 t, 5'3" wheels and a maximum axle weight of 16.9t. The adhesive weight would have been less than a 9F but it would have been more than a Stanier 8F and more than a Riddles Austerity 2-10-0. With narrow flanges on the centre wheels but no flangeless wheels it would have taken sharper curves than a 9F with less risk of derailing, hence wider route availability. With an axle load of less than 17t its route availability would have been equal to or better than a Clan. If 6'2" wheels were OK for up to 100mph, then 5'3" wheels should have been OK for up to 85mph. In other words, it would have had excellent route availability, it could haul heavy freight trains, or turn its hand to all but the fastest passenger services. On heavily-graded lines its acceleration, traction and hill-climbing ability would more than make up for the slight lack of ultimate top speed. In other words, it would have been like the SNCF 141P and 141R classes - a superb 'do almost anything' mixed-traffic locomotive which could have transformed many services.

    Of course then there would have been no need for the Clan class, or the 9F, so instead of 4 new classes of large locomotive (7P, 6P, 71000 and 9F), there would only have been 2 new classes which shared most of their components and design. The cost saving would have been huge. Some of the spare cash and design capacity could then have been spent on researching and improving the draughting of the new engines (and also existing designs), producing further benefits.

    In the end steam would still have been replaced by diesel and electric but the standard of service and financial performance of the railway in the 1950s and 1960s could have been significantly better than it was.

    One final heretical thought: the introduction of self-cleaning smokeboxes undoubtedly reduced operating costs - but how much did it contribute to the image of the steam engine as a smokey dirty beast, with filthy engines surrounded in dirt? I was brought up by the West Coast Main Line at Carstairs Junction and remember that when the wind blew the wrong way our washing was covered in soot and fine cinders and all had to be done again.
     
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  17. Kylchap

    Kylchap Member

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    It sounds to me like a loco that could have had the versatility that the Black Five had lower down the power range. If we can ever return to seriously thinking about new-builds again, this could be one to consider. The rationale could be almost along the same lines as building a new P2, except, of course, that the P2s did get as far as being built, though never fully developed until now.
     
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  18. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    I completely agree about the SC smokebox, 'twas an extremely short sighted concept. I'm kinda surprised preserved lines don't have neighbour troubles.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    ... for those lines that still use them. The presence of "sc" on a smokebox in preservation is not a guarantee they are still in use - certainly none of the Bluebell locos has them, even those that historically did.

    Tom
     
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  20. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Well, I suppose the logical extension to the preservation policy of recreating lemons that back in the day had to be reconstructed at great expense because they were so problematic is to recreate a concept that was abandoned before it even left the drawing board...
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020

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