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You have a time machine and you can go back to the 50s/60s and save one Engine. Which would it be ?

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by toplight, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    And worth what you pay for it ...

    Tom
     
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  2. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    If a proper, ie Stanier one gets mentioned it would be 46256.
     
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  3. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    missed that
     
  4. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Active Member

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    Didn't Webb try something like that? He had to use two outside cylinders for gauging reasons but I don't recall everyone being impressed.
     
  5. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Active Member

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    Well, Baltics in this case (4-6-4)
     
  6. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    Actually, lots of people were impressed, and rightly. A lot (although not all) of their bad reputation is myth from the Whale era. But agreed they were a dead end and surpassed by better developments elsewhere.
    Anyway, even Webb didn't think that arrangement of cylinders was ideal, but it was the best compromise at the time given the LNWR loading gauge, and before better starting valve arrangements were invented by W.M.Smith.
     
  7. Hermod

    Hermod Member

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    British steam locomotive design was guided by overpaid prima Donnas that was ,as a rule ,not impressed by their forebears.
    Whale was not impressed by Webb but his best locomotive,according to Riddles, was the frame breaking Prince of Wales class that was nothing but a simplified Bill Baily.
    The chain is without end :
    Raven- Gresley, Gresley -Thomson-Pepperkorn, Gresley -Bulleid, and finally Riddles that was smarter than all.
    Impressing later generations is evidently useless as measure of value of technical innovation.
    In Germany with much bigger number of locomotives mr Wagner was recognized as a fool still in job and was sidetracked during WW2
    After 1945 the British put him back in command.He was the closest thing to British CMEs evidently.
    The important point in UK locomotive design was a paper read by a mr Diamond a year before the Chappelon revolution.
    He showed by simple analysis that the LMS Compound had a Rankine efficiency at 60 mph that was lower than 55% and showed that by enlarging the inlet valve timeareas about 80% at least should be possible.
    Chappelon ended plus 90% post WW2 and Cox and his merry men on 83%.
    Mr Wagner dictated 1920 that all future lokomotives should be two simple outside cylinders.
    The Reichsbahn found out the hard way that 01 and 03 Pacifics self-destructed when asked to run 130 kmh plus on the level and had to order three-cylinder simple versions that used at least 6% and sometimes more steam.
    The Norwegians has a hill as steep as Shap and five times longer and constructed a fourcylinder Compound 2-8-4 that broke a crank or two.The Norwegian government ordered a design review by Krupp .
    Mr Nordman grabbed the opportunity to compare it to the best German locomotives that at that time were as good as any British.

    For those who can read German it is fun reading a grown up, privilliged man seeking excuses for having misguided german steam devellopment 20 years well paid.
    I think Webb was Very,Very close to making something that could have bettered the Duke for swiftness and economy and still running within UK loading gauge..
    It has become my lousy,unpaid and not apreciated job to prove it.
    Somebody want to join the Glory?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  8. 242A1

    242A1 Active Member

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    The situation with regard to those responsible for British steam locomotive design is far more complicated. All were of their time and worked with their grasp of the knowledge of those times. They were restricted by factors beyond their control. What exactly might come into play also depends on the timeline of the development of railways in the U.K.

    You might ideally want to build a better engine but how do you go about it? Something a little bigger and heavier? The Civil Engineer says no. Sometimes this is down to interdepartmental muscle flexing, but financial constraints are more common. Normally you would be aware of the constraints you were building within but this was not always the case.
    Time, money, knowledge and resources. You might be able to design an outstanding machine given more money and time. You might not be able to yet because your knowledge is incomplete and you might never be able to because you either believe that there is nothing more for you to learn or have not enough life remaining to allow for the competition of the journey. There is the other side to resources; can you actually build what you want to? Some designers had problems with the quality of the works facilities available to them. They were simply not sufficiently adequate to meet the needs of building this new generation of machines. They were too old and there was not the money to improve them. I could expand further but there is little need. Complicated, just complicated.

    Gresley trained under Webb. Webb had the resources to experiment with large numbers of compounds, his pupil could only experiment with one. Too soon, neither sufficient time nor resources. So close but his friend, with fewer distractions, was first past the compound stakes post.

    As to Riddles. Endeavouring to place him on a plinth is not the most considered approach.
     
  9. 240P15

    240P15 Active Member

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    Nobody is perfect as we know. ;)Even not a steam locomotive. But dear me how impressive and fascinating they are!:)

    Knut
     
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  10. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Active Member

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    Indeed they are!

    Some, however, seem determined to critically analyse to the nth degree - to crow of design shortcomings - to preach about what could have been, should have been, and what wrongfully wasn't. Without giving original thought to, (outside of their favourite primary source bible),....: Why? What were the reasons behind it? What underlying factors could have been at play? Was it really as bad as reported? How many crews were they unpopular with, or was it one fireman in a pub? Was professional pride at stake? Did reputations need sullying? Could the primary source (heaven forbid!) be compromised or swayed by the foibles of the human condition?

    As @242A1 said, "...complicated..."

    I wonder sometimes if some have lost the enjoyment of what actually was, and thankfully, still is!
     
  11. CH 19

    CH 19 Active Member Friend

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    It still amazes me that the earliest designs were ably constructed without even the benefit of electric light!!!
    That I find impressive !!
     
  12. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Active Member

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    Or even string theory...
     
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  13. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    Can I have another go in it? I'll go back and save 60121 Silurian - Simply because it's my favourite-named A1.

    Richard.
     
  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Based on the names alone, I'd have saved the lot - and of course squirreled away all the 'King Arthurs' for the Strategic Reserve
     
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  15. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    As I have the time machine and one wish, I would go back to July 2011 and purchase a Euro lottery ticket in front of the person that won £161.7 million.

    I could then build all of the above and still have change to take the wife to Skegness for a dirty weekend.
     
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  16. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Why take the wife? :p
     
  17. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    So long as you bail out The Waverley like that gentleman did
     
  18. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    Eh?
     
  19. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Rustbucket Steam Navigation was up the swannee due to some sort of mechanical contretemps on PS Waverley so he rather kindly stepped in to bail the ship out.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-15678523

    He also funded the 'Yes' side in the Independence referendum rather generously
     
  20. Forestpines

    Forestpines Active Member

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    Webb's engines are a bit of a confusing mystery to me, but I am aware that one of his compounds was exported to the Pennsylvania Railroad. Was he not tempted to sort out the cylinders at that point?
     

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