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Y6-Wisbech tram loco replica

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by paullad1984, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member

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    Bearing in mind that a Y6 has inside cylinders and a loco type boiler compared with the Cockerill having outside cylinders and a vertical boiler, for a conversion of the latter into the former it is hardly a good starting point.

    Might well be easier to build a Y6 (or a J70) from scratch, as well as being authentic. The only thing in common is that they are 0-4-0s.
     
  2. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    AFAIK the original owners' intention was not to recreate a Y6 but to create a "Toby like" tram loco to enhance the NVR's Thomas events.
     
  3. m&gn50

    m&gn50 New Member

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    Good luck to the new owner- those Cockerill trams are wee beasties- it will look great as long as superficially correct, will be a great asset to preservation with a lot of hard wok- unlikely anyone will rebuild an exact replica!
     
  4. Cullen

    Cullen New Member

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    Re: Y6-Wisbech tram loco "replica"

    Perhaps I can add some information on the future of this locomotive? I am the new owner of the “wee beastie” and am pleased to see that there is wider interest in seeing it back in steam.
    Although I have had some useful discussions with one of the other contributors to this thread who knows the locomotive much better than I do, I have not yet had a chance to make a detailed inspection of the locomotive or to examine the plans under which the overhaul and rebuild has been carried out so far. For this reason I am unable to say too much about the specific plans to complete its return to steam at the moment, but hope to add further information in future posts.
    What can be stated at the moment is the general intention. I knew Graham Hall as a fellow volunteer on the Nene Valley Railway and that I think that his idea of rebuilding the locomotive is entirely sensible. My belief and intention is that the locomotive should work. To my mind the rebuild is the best way of ensuring this, from the point of view of both practicality and commerciality.
    I am not sure that the heading of this thread as “Y6 Wisbech tram locomotive replica” is entirely appropriate. This steam tram locomotive is now 120 years old, having been built only seven years after the first of the G15/Y6s and before the 1891-2 and 1897 batches. It seems to have been a successful design: I have no details of when the locomotive last worked, but it has outlasted all of the G15/Y6s and also the later C53/J70s. It incorporates outside cylinders and Walschaerts valve gear, features which did not appear on GER steam tram locomotives until the introduction of the C53/J70s class thirteen years later.
    Unlike the G15/Y6s and the C53/J70s, the locomotive was not however built to comply with the Board of Trade’s regulations for the operation of the Wisbech & Upwell Tramway. My view is that the essential requirements of these regulations should be reflected in the rebuild insofar as practicable and sensible and I have obtained a first set of drawings from the GER Society for this purpose. The most significant change that this will involve is the provision of driving positions at each end of the locomotive. I also expect to provide a condenser arrangement, but this needs to be looked into in more detail. I do not however propose to fit the locomotive with a speed governor, as this would appear to be unnecessary for operation on preserved railways and will add to the weight of the locomotive. The locomotive will have side sheets covering the wheels and motion and will also have a warning bell if I can find a suitable example.
    As regards the bodywork of the locomotive, one could hardly speak of it having had any when it arrived at Wansford. As I recall, the only protection for the crew was a waist-high weatherboard at the cylinder end of the locomotive and a rather tatty overall roof. The solution adopted for the GER’s tram locomotives appears to me to be both elegant and practical for a locomotive working by the Fens. What was good enough for Worsdell in 1883 and for Holden in 1903 will also be good enough for me. I therefore intend that the bodywork will as a general principle follow the designs of the bodywork of the GER tram locomotives. Whether it will be closer to the bodywork of the G15/Y6s or to that of the C53/J70s will in part be determined by the physical characteristics of the locomotive, so further details of this will have to wait for a future post. I think the earlier comments in this thread about the wish for a steam tram locomotive in the GER style speak for themselves as to how attractive the rebuilt locomotive is likely to be.
    So, without changing the essential characteristics of the locomotive, the rebuild is intended to follow GER practice for steam tram locomotives as closely as is feasible and practical. If a reference to the L&NER system of locomotive classification is necessary for this locomotive, I venture to suggest that a designation as a Y6/1 is more in keeping with the spirit of the rebuild, rather than a Y6 replica.
    I would be surprised if the locomotive will steam in 2011, but I hope that by the end of 2011 we will have a firm date for steaming in view.
    Finally and apart from wishing a good new year to all those who are interested in the future of this locomotive, I would like to add my thanks to the earlier contributors to this thread, since it was only through their posts that I learned that the locomotive was up for auction and was able to bid for it.
     
  5. B17 61606

    B17 61606 New Member

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    Thank you for this posting, it is great to hear your preliminary plans (which sound very interesting) and that this loco should see some progress after some time sadly in the doldrums. Congratulations on your purchase and good luck with the project - hopefully you can keep us informed of progress on here and/or through NS.
     
  6. chrishallam

    chrishallam New Member

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    I'd like to agree with Paul. Thanks for sharing this with us, and good luck!
     
  7. Cullen

    Cullen New Member

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    Steam tram locomotive, after GER practice

    Thanks for your supportive replies. Here is a brief update on the project.
    I was back in the UK ten days ago to take over the paperwork, have a quick look at the locomotive and have a preliminary discussion with the mechanical engineers at the Nene Valley Railway. What I have heard so far has been very encouraging. A detailed inspection of the locomotive by the NVR mechanical engineers has been arranged – I understand that the locomotive was last worked on some fifteen years ago – after which we will be in a better position to review the rebuild plans and to restart the work on the locomotive.
    In the meantime I am concentrating on research on the locomotive itself and the features of the GER tram locomotives which we intend to adopt.
    I am now pretty certain – pending detailed measurements and the physical inspection of the locomotive mentioned earlier – that “Toby” is a Société Anonyme John Cockerill Type IV, built at Seraing, Belgium in 1890 with works number 1626. I believe that it is one of four similar locomotives in the UK (1625/1890 “Lucie” at the Middleton Railway, 2945/1920 “Yvonne” and 3083/1923 at (I believe) Tyseley), although I have seen suggestions that one of these may be a Type V. More of these locomotives are preserved on the continent. As I understand it, the difference between a Type IV and a Type V is that a Type IV has slightly smaller wheels and cylinders and some parts of the Walschaerts valve gear located between the frames. This design of locomotive appears to have been successful: I understand that Cockerill produced 352 Type IVs between 1883 and 1949, with a further 22 Type Vs between 1926 and 1942. It is interesting to reflect that since work on “Toby” stopped, the NVR received a visit from “Yvonne”. I gather that during this visit “Yvonne” happily took a freight train from Wansford to Peterboro’ Nene Valley, so I think that this bodes well for what “Toby” will be able to do when the rebuild is finished.
    As regards the rebuild, perhaps the most interesting of the outstanding jobs will be to provide duplicate controls at each end of the locomotive: as built, it had only one driving position. I am therefore researching to see how the GER tackled this issue. I believe that I now have – or have on order – all of the published books on the Wisbech & Upwell Tramway and its locomotives, in addition to the drawings of the G15/Y6 published by the Great Eastern Railway Society. I have found the GERS to be extremely helpful and hope with their assistance to obtain a number of relevant Stratford drawings from the Dupen Collection held at the Essex Record Office. Other Stratford drawings have been identified in the collection of the National Railway Museum. Copies have been ordered and I hope that they will arrive by the middle of February. I believe that these – and the relatively few published interior pictures of the GER tram locomotives – will allow us to come up with a workable solution to allowing “Toby” to be driven from either end, as the GER tram locomotives were.
    There do not seem to be any detailed drawings specifically of the construction of the wooden bodies of the GER tram locomotives, however I believe that the general drawings and photographic evidence should allow a fairly accurate set of drawings to be prepared for this purpose. The current thinking is that it would be sensible to follow GER practice in having wooden bodywork which can be lifted off the locomotive as a complete unit. This should make future maintenance of the locomotive easier. I am investigating the practicality of having the body built outside the UK and then shipped to Wansford for installation on the locomotive.
    I am also wondering about the value of a condenser – this would be in line with the Board of Trade’s regulations for working the Wisbech and Upwell and may also assist with water consumption, however I see from the caption to a picture of a J70 on page 22 of Hawkins & Reeve’s “Wisbech & Upwell Tramway” that the condensers exacerbated the problem of the locomotives being hot and dusty. This will have to be considered further but it looks as though the lower doors in each end of the locomotive are going to be needed for ventilation purposes – as photographs show was done with the GER tram locomotives.
     
  8. T.Noakes

    T.Noakes New Member

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    Thanks for the update - I too am a NVR volunteer, and have taken great interest in the engine during my time working on that part of the site - I am glad to see it in safe hands! I look forward to progress, and keep us updated!

    Tom.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Re: Steam tram locomotive, after GER practice


    As you've noted, Middleton has one of these locos (1625) and, although it is not currently in service, it saw regular use a while back. It is certainly an entertaining and unusual machine! Noise it has a plenty, especially when the safety valves blow! It hasa good 'bark' and it's two foot dia driving wheels make it sound like an express passenger loco at speed, even when it is only doing 15 mph! Ours certainly steamed well and did all that we required of it.

    Good luck with your project. I'll look forward to seeing it when it's done.
     
  10. m&gn50

    m&gn50 New Member

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  11. Coboman

    Coboman New Member

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    That sounds pretty awsome! Good luck with your project, I'll check it out when its done, thats for sure ;)
     
  12. T.Noakes

    T.Noakes New Member

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    Impressive little thngs! I can't wait to see TOBY going now.
     
  13. chrishallam

    chrishallam New Member

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    Just a quick question. What sort of braking system are you planning on fitting to her? Will she be dual fitted?

    I assume originally she was air braked, but with the extra GER style casing wonder if the pump will still fit on her.

    For NVR use I imagine air will be best, to run with the Norwegian saloon at Thomas events and the like. However if you're planning on also hiring her out vac braking will be essential.
     
  14. T.Noakes

    T.Noakes New Member

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    The loco already has Air parts attatched to it... whether they are in their intended location or not, I don't know. Air would be essential if the engine was going to do any work on the NVR, particularly with the norweigan balcony vehicle, but as you said Chris, vacuum would also be needed for other railways /the Mk1s. We shall wait and see what the owner says on the matter!
     
  15. B17 61606

    B17 61606 New Member

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    I wouldn't say air braking is essential for use on the NVR, as far as I'm aware only the continental stock (including the Norwegian coach) requires air braking. The Mk1 rake uses vacuum brakes, and it'd be able to haul the wagons too... Personally I feel the Norwegian coach might look a bit silly, dwarfing the loco - I'd much rather see a couple of resident Victorian/Edwardian British four or six-wheelers paired up with it... now there's a challenge!

    Have to agree that the tram locos sound fantastic on the videos - never seen one in steam before.
     
  16. chrishallam

    chrishallam New Member

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    The reason I mentioned the Norweigen coach was due to the similarities between it and Henrietta (Toby's coach from the Thomas stories). On days when a shuttle is used, it usually consists of the Nord and Norweigen coaches too, rather than splitting the vac only mark 1 set, so air would also help there.

    Still. I'm just glad that work will actually happen on her now, rather than looking rather forlorn and forgotten in the shed.

    Good luck with the project.
     
  17. T.Noakes

    T.Noakes New Member

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    yeah, I was thinking, in relation to the services run on NVR, Air braking would certainly be needed for shuttles (the locos main source of work I would imagine, with Thomas) which uses the Nord vehicle and Norweigan balcony coach, and when used to top'n'tail the yarwell services, dual would be necesary, as, particularly on orange service, the engine would work both Mk1s and continental stock. All these assumtions are made on the fact it will work largely similar services to Thomas.

    Anyway, all this is besides the point a bit, I look forward to seeing it being worked on, and in traffic. I hope to see you at Wansford at some point in the not too distant future!
     
  18. B17 61606

    B17 61606 New Member

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    Absolutely, it was only a few months ago that there seemed to be no hope of further work ever being undertaken on this 'forgotten' loco! It's amazing how quickly things can change, this will be a cracking little loco and I too am really pleased that its future looks infinitely brighter.
     
  19. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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  20. Cullen

    Cullen New Member

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    Thanks for the further supportive comments and for the YouTube links - the performance of her sisters appears very impressive, but I doubt that it is entirely in compliance with the Board of Trade's regulations for working the Wisbech & Upwell!

    I believe that there is also some footage on one of the "Nene Scene" videos of Yvonne on a freight attacking the bank from the site of Castor station up to Mill Road Bridge, and making very short work of it.

    A further look at / discussion of the beastie has been arranged for next Monday. If time and weather conditions permit, it may be possible to bring the loco out of the shed for a better look at it in the daylight.

    The drawings which I have ordered from the NRM and others which hope to obtain from the Dupen Collection of the GERS have not yet arrived (but then they were not expected so soon), however I have heard that a file of other documents on the locomotive has been discovered. As far as I know there is one picture of a J70 with the body removed, which shows the arrangement of the screw reverser gear - this should help in working out how to allow the loco to be driven from each end.

    Turning to the various questions, the air pump is fitted near the existing driving position and the air reservoirs are neatly tucked under the extended tank end of the locomotive. I stand to be corrected but as far as I know, the locomotive has not previously had a continuous brake. The picture which I took of it soon after it had been delivered to Wansford certainly shows no sign of hose connections. I would hope that vacuum and air brakes can be fitted. Since the driver will be working the locomotive from each end, I expect the automatic brake controls will be duplicated at each end. The fireman will have to stay at the cylinder end of the locomotive - which is where the firedoor is - and so will be able to apply the screw hand brake which is located there. I understand that the original GER tram locos had screw hand brakes at each end, however the first Y6s at least were built without continuous brakes. If the continuous brakes can be applied from either driving position and the fireman can apply the screw hand brake, I doubt that it will be necessary for a second screw hand brake column and handle to be fitted.

    When the locomotive is back in service I am sure that some interesting combinations can be arranged. One possibility which occurs to me is pairing Toby with Bon Accord of the Royal Deeside Railway: two steam locomotives with tramway skirts should be quite a sight. Now, if they could get Mr. Therm out of Seton Park in Aberdeen as well, that would really be something...
     

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