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White disks on the front of steam locomotives

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by charterplan, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I may be wrong but I thought MNs were barred from the line into the Docks over Canute Road.
     
  2. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    On 'back to the future day' a few weeks ago they had notices saying hoverboards are not allowed on the platforms...
     
  3. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I bet you ignored it though. :)
     
  4. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    I want one of those giant quadcopter things with segway controls...they were in the Metro a while ago
     
  5. Sorry to drag this thread kicking and screaming back to the subject of headcodes... although I'm a bit of a headcode boffin I wasn't aware of this. Are there any photos?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2015
  6. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    As far as I'm aware there's no pictures of the incident in question but there are plenty of 4470 with hers fitted and other of Thompson's locomotives so fitted. The A2/1s and the B1s fitted in particular.

    Best book I can direct you to is Peter Grafton's most recent edition of his book on Thompson - there's two excellent photographs of 4470 with her folding discs clearly shown.
     
  7. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    In addition - from the NRM website:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Interesting. I can understand B1s getting them as they worked on the GE section but Pacifics?
     
  9. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    As I understand it from my research, the issues - as Thompson saw it - were two fold. There had been complaints from signalmen about the general visibility of traditional oil lamps during the daytime and from shed staff the loss and/or damage of traditional locomotive lamps by locomotive crews. Therefore the discs were put onto the newest engines to test the idea, and the locomotive classes chosen were the A2/1s, A1/1 and several B1s. Although I cannot find photographic evidence, The Railway Magazine reported in 1946 that other LNER classes had been retro fitted with these discs. I intend to only report on those where I have clear evidence in my book.

    I suspect as it was close to Thompson's retirement, there simply wasn't the impetus for whole scale change across the LNER. If the idea had worked and been approved, it would have meant retrofitting folding lamps across a variety of classes, and the troubles with the Pacifics and their upper lamp iron heights had already come to the fore. No doubt the cost would have been high, and I suspect the benefits limited as locomotives without electric lighting would have still needed traditional lamps for head codes at night. The anecdotes mentioned on the previous page have been related on a few books on Thompson, and a member of the public who wrote to me recently gave another variation on this theme.

    The discs did however work, as it happens, and 4470 in particular has been photographed with them in use and at work. It's a pity in some respects and a relief in others. In my mind it could have only worked if electric lighting was also applied with the folding discs across the board and as we know, only the B1s, A1/1, L1s, K1s, A2/3s and later Peppercorn A1s and A2s received the electric lighting setups. It was another thirteen years before electric lights and folding lamps were used together on a new locomotive - as I understand it, first on the early BR diesel classes. The Bulleid Pacifics of course had electric lighting and the Southern used discs for daytime use but unlike Thompson's setup they were not permanently attached to the locomotive.
     
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  10. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I see. I was under the misapprehension that thy were intended as route indicator discs a la GE.
     
  11. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    In fairness I may have misinterpreted their purpose too - I will go and check my sources now for you.
     
  12. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Quoting from Grafton's book:

     
  13. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Thanks for that.
     
  14. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Happy to help.
     
  15. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    They are actually quite impotant as the signalman will of looked at them to see which way the train was going. I think they couldnt help them looking silly as they needed to be at the front.
     
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  16. Palwing

    Palwing New Member

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    10FDF427-08ED-4E11-9E26-2F337FF762B5.png 0A929666-F728-4495-97AF-A64738423D65.jpeg Hi. My wife has just received this wonderful old damaged photo of her great grand father from the early 1900’s. He was a stoker first and then became a driver on the London & South West railway. I have repaired and restored the photograph and attach it here. If anyone can shed any light on this locomotive or the location where the photograph could have been taken, it would be appreciated. We have found out that this locomotive was built after 1911. Her great grandfather died in 1922, so the photograph was taken somewhere in between these years. Also, the three white discs symbolise that the train was 1st, 2nd & 3rd class via East Putney and Kingston. It looks like he is holding an oil can by the spout? Hope this is of interest to others and it would be interesting to know if the steam locomotive is likely to still exist? Thanks and regards Paul
     
  17. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    A quick bit of research gives a withdrawal date of 1950, sadly it did not survive. Superb photo !
     
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  18. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    The loco is a T14 or "Paddlebox" four-cylindered 4-6-0 designed by Dugald Drummond. The class was introduced in 1911 and was the least bad of Drummond's 4-6-0s. Drummond built some good 4-4-0s but his bigger engines were not a success. Handsome looking but with a choked front end. The footplate crews said of the earlier Drummond 4-6-0s that "LSWR" on the tender stood for "Lazy Swines Won't Run." All bar the T14s were so rebuilt by his successor, Robert Urie as to be practically new engines. The T14s underwent some modification including extended smokeboxes and as such lasted through Southern days and all but No. 458 (which was destroyed by German bombing) survived to be taken into British Rail ownership. They were withdrawn not long after and none survive. In their improved form, they were still outshone by the Urie locos and, of course, the Southern express engines of Maunsell and Bulleid. However, I saw a run of a T14 on the Waterloo-Bournemouth line where it clocked 82mph through Shawford on the descent from Roundwood to Southampton. The location of your picture, I think, is Waterloo prior to rebuilding. Others may confirm.
     
  19. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    I agree it looks like the old Waterloo. What he has in his hand is probably best described as an oil feeder. There were points all over the loco which were lubricated by oil on the total loss system which needed refilling fairly frequently. The oil resevoirs were each sealed with a cork to keep the oil in and dirt out
     
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  20. Palwing

    Palwing New Member

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    Thanks all for your info. Fascinating! Just as a little story to go with the photograph. It was sent to us today by the 87 yr old granddaughter of the driver in the photograph. Aaron Foweraker Densley is the guy in the photograph and he joined the L&SW railway on the 9th August 1886 at Exmouth junction as a cleaner, paid 2 shillings, increasing to 2/6p in 1889 according to the UK Railway employment records. In 1893, his marriage certificate shows he was living in Battersea and was now a railway stoker. He was then detailed as an Engine Driver living in Sabrine Rd, Battersea in the 1901 Census. The granddaughter tells us that he used to sometimes only take the train as far as Salisbury, but when he travelled as far as Exeter, he often came home with a joint of beef and some clotted cream. These were given to him by his relatives that lived in the Exeter area. This would have been quite a novelty for his neighbours in London of course and perks of the job? Hopefully you may find this snippet of the life and career of an engine driver from that era interesting. Thanks again for all your interest and help. Regards Paul.
     
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