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If The Pilot Scheme Hadn't Been Botched..........




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#1 scottystitch

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 17:17

It is a matter of public record that the BR Pilot Scheme was explicitly, or at least by association, terminated before any meaningful data had been accumulated about the suitability of the types on trial. Indeed some locomotive models were ordered in bulk even before the prototypes/pilots had turned a wheel in anger on BR metals. 

 

So, what if the Pilot Scheme had been allowed to run its course, and the wheat had been separated from the chaff, and the regions had been brought into line for the greater good of the network and the country. Based solely on the merits of the locomotives themselves, what would have been our standard types in the mid 60s? Based on what I've read and surmised, I've come up with the following. I've deliberately assumed that main line electrification didn't happen, on cost grounds (to make it more interesting/less interesting- delete where appropriate) and so the west coast main line was dieselised. I've also assumed that the BTC decreed that Diesel-Electrics will rule across the board: (TOPS Codes used for clarity):

 

Standard Shunter: Class 08

Standard Type 1:   Class 20

Standard Type 2:   Class 26/27

Standard Type 3:   Class 37 & Class 33 (BR(S) only)

Standard Type 4:   Class 44/45/46 - Heavy Freight, Cross Country & Secondary Passenger Locomotive

Standard Type 5:   Class 55 - ECML, WCML, GWML Express Locomotive

 

Discuss?


Edited by scottystitch, 12 February 2018 - 17:19 .




#2 coronach

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 17:35

I think we would have had at least two small shunters; 6-coupled (03) and 4-coupled.

I agree on the Type 1 - Class 20 - up to 500 off
A type 2 would probably be from the Sulzer clan. Probably 800 with detailed variations to suit regional differences.
The Type 3 would have to be the class 37 - a do anything, go anywhere mixed traffic loco. Say 1500 off.
Type 4s would be either EE or Sulzer. Maybe some of each.
The Deltic is an interesting question. The need was for a high powered, high speed loco. I contend that, given proper development, the Paxman range could have been more successful much earlier than it was for the HST.

Also remember that the standard steam loco fleet could have remained in place until the mid 1980s, particularly for freight using 9Fs

#3 scottystitch

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 17:46

Interesting. Why the Sulzer Type 2 (24/25?)

 

Devil's advocate time:

 

Remember you've had time to thoroughly appraise each offering. You don't get to ponder development of the Paxman, or consider what might work in the future, you have to choose from what's in front of you and what works now(1955-1959)

 

And no regional variations, save for Scottish tablet catchers....... This is a standardised railway........

 

Steam must be eradicated by 1968. And Bond has been hauled over the coals for the Standard Steam building program.



#4 jonny777

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 17:47

Haven't we had this topic before?

 

Anyway, it is always good for an argument. 

 

I think the big problem would be stopping the BR management from not doing what they actually did - i.e. thinking 'we can get a brand new dieselised railway if we milk the government for cash'. 

 

However, given that the 44s were part of the Pilot Scheme and given the extra time needed for it to run its course, would the 45/46 idea have actually given way to the 47s by the time the prototypes had been thoroughly tested?



#5 TheSignalEngineer

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 18:10

Some problems in the early days of dieselisation were that for financial reasons (i.e. the Government was broke) we couldn't bring in ready made expertise from the USA etc. and we were trying to mass produce intricate beasts in factories and with a workforce geared up for heavy engineering. Having said that, without the traffic changes already taking place in the 1950s and restricting myself to seven classes I think there could have been room for

  1. A small shunter, either the 03 or a version of one of the already existing 0-4-0 industrials, 
  2. Class 08 to continue as the standard heavy shunter
  3. Class 20 if a Type 1 was really necessary. Single cab was a bit of a problem. Building more Type 2s may have been better for standardisation.
  4. A Type 2 Sulzer as the successor to the 4MT/4F steam classes.
  5. Class 37 for a medium size mixed traffic loco, the outline of the spec was already proven by the LMS Twins. Probably the diesel equivalent of the Black 5/B1/Hall
  6. For a Type 4 the Class 40 and 45 were a bit unwieldy for their power.  By 1959 Brush and BRCW were already looking at lighter Co-Co Type 4s with more power, so mass building of nearly 400 1Co-Co1 seems a bit of a waste. 
  7. For something to out-perform a Duchess or A4, I don't think the Class 55 was along-term answer due to the heavy maintenance those Napier engines needed. It wasn't achieved on a large scale until the HST, although a fleet of Kestrels may have proved interesting.

The real answer for lines with a long-term future and heavy traffic would have been to press on faster with electrification 


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#6 Kylestrome

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 18:27

Strange that this list is missing the Class 47, which proved to be one of the most useful and versatile locomotives of them all.

 

Edit: But maybe it wasn't one of the pilot scheme locos?  :scratchhead:


Edited by Kylestrome, 12 February 2018 - 18:28 .


#7 phil-b259

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 18:30

It is a matter of public record that the BR Pilot Scheme was explicitly, or at least by association, terminated before any meaningful data had been accumulated about the suitability of the types on trial. Indeed some locomotive models were ordered in bulk even before the prototypes/pilots had turned a wheel in anger on BR metals. 

 

So, what if the Pilot Scheme had been allowed to run its course, and the wheat had been separated from the chaff, and the regions had been brought into line for the greater good of the network and the country. Based solely on the merits of the locomotives themselves, what would have been our standard types in the mid 60s? Based on what I've read and surmised, I've come up with the following. I've deliberately assumed that main line electrification didn't happen, on cost grounds (to make it more interesting/less interesting- delete where appropriate) and so the west coast main line was dieselised. I've also assumed that the BTC decreed that Diesel-Electrics will rule across the board: (TOPS Codes used for clarity):

 

Standard Shunter: Class 08

Standard Type 1:   Class 20

Standard Type 2:   Class 26/27

Standard Type 3:   Class 37 & Class 33 (BR(S) only)

Standard Type 4:   Class 44/45/46 - Heavy Freight, Cross Country & Secondary Passenger Locomotive

Standard Type 5:   Class 55 - ECML, WCML, GWML Express Locomotive

 

Discuss?

 

Sorry, the electrification of the WCML was an integral part of the very same modernisation plan that imitated the 'Pilot Scheme' for diesel locomotives - as was extension of the 3rd rail thought Kent. It was only the dramatically worsening financial situation that followed the unveiling of the plan which led to the curtailment of the pilot scheme and the 'panic buying' of diesels regardless of whether they had proved themselves. So if you want to try and draw up any evidence based ideas as to what had occurred if the Pilot Scheme had been allowed to run the course you need embrace said electrification schemes - not summarily dismiss them.

 

In any case the Deltics were not part of the original planned diesel types and pretty much soley owe their construction to the deferment of plans to electrify the ECML


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#8 New Haven Neil

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 18:31

37's weren't pilot scheme so would not figure - no data to make the choice.

 

The Paxman engines were trash - all of them at that time, I worked on similar engines used as generators at sea, they were time bombs. SO no Paxo's.

 

Leaves us with

 

204 hp shunter

08

20

26 (Much more reliable than the 24/5)

40

44/5/6

 

Then Mr Fiennes might have got his Deltics still


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#9 phil-b259

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 18:32

Perhaps it might be better to draw up a list of ALL locomotives ordered under the Pilot Scheme - then eliminate those that did not perform as expected.



#10 Orion

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 18:33

Fundamentally, the Pilot Scheme itself was seriously flawed. There was a gross underestimate of the power and speed required for a modern railway. Engine sizes and power developed rapidly in the late 1950s and the 1960s. The conclusions of a full trial period would likely have been irrelevant and out of date even before they were published.



#11 PenrithBeacon

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 19:30

Fundamentally, the Pilot Scheme itself was seriously flawed. There was a gross underestimate of the power and speed required for a modern railway. Engine sizes and power developed rapidly in the late 1950s and the 1960s. The conclusions of a full trial period would likely have been irrelevant and out of date even before they were published.

Essentially the pilot scheme was intended to be a dieselisation of the existing steam railway and wasn't what it ought to have been a redesign of the railway to suit the modern needs. Hence the development of loads of Type 2 engines, very much replacements for the Class 5 and Class 8 locos of the LMS, LNE and BR.
The redesign of BR didn't start until the development of the HST in the late 60s/early 70.
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#12 asmay2002

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 19:43

Strange that this list is missing the Class 47, which proved to be one of the most useful and versatile locomotives of them all.

 

Edit: But maybe it wasn't one of the pilot scheme locos?  :scratchhead:

The 47 was the only one's where the pilot scheme plan "test a few prototypes, take the best bits and build a standard loco" approach was actually followed. 


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#13 scottystitch

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 19:58

Sorry, the electrification of the WCML was an integral part of the very same modernisation plan that imitated the 'Pilot Scheme' for diesel locomotives - as was extension of the 3rd rail thought Kent. It was only the dramatically worsening financial situation that followed the unveiling of the plan which led to the curtailment of the pilot scheme and the 'panic buying' of diesels regardless of whether they had proved themselves. So if you want to try and draw up any evidence based ideas as to what had occurred if the Pilot Scheme had been allowed to run the course you need embrace said electrification schemes - not summarily dismiss them.

 

In any case the Deltics were not part of the original planned diesel types and pretty much soley owe their construction to the deferment of plans to electrify the ECML

I'm afraid I find this post quite rude.

 

Some of us are on this forum to try and better understand certain things. I don't know everything and I don't have all the answers, but the purpose of my post was to try and understand something for my own benefit. The parameters of the discussion were set for a particular reason, to suit me. If you don't like those parameters, then, and I mean this in the nicest most hospitable way, it's possibly best if you don't contribute to the discussion, rather than telling me I can't summarily dismiss something.

 

I can, for the purposes of my thought process, assume electrification wasn't an option, and I have.

 

I find interaction in this world difficult enough as it is, and increasingly so, without being told what I can and can't do when trying to set up a discussion.

 

Thank you.


Edited by scottystitch, 12 February 2018 - 20:01 .

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#14 scottystitch

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 20:00

Strange that this list is missing the Class 47, which proved to be one of the most useful and versatile locomotives of them all.

 

Edit: But maybe it wasn't one of the pilot scheme locos?  :scratchhead:

 

I think your observation is a valid one, Kylestrome. Just because the 47 (nor the 37, 55, etc.) wasn't a "pilot" locomotive, that's not to say that we might have ended up with it anyway, had the scheme been completed?



#15 scottystitch

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 20:05

Essentially the pilot scheme was intended to be a dieselisation of the existing steam railway and wasn't what it ought to have been a redesign of the railway to suit the modern needs. Hence the development of loads of Type 2 engines, very much replacements for the Class 5 and Class 8 locos of the LMS, LNE and BR.
The redesign of BR didn't start until the development of the HST in the late 60s/early 70.

 

So, would it e possible to hypothesis that by the time the pilot trials had been completed, we might have realised that the type 1 and 2 were redundant, perhaps? My understanding was that the type1s were for pick-up and trip freight workings. With the demise of wagonload traffic, they weren't needed in the end. What about the Type 2s?



#16 phil-b259

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 20:26

I'm afraid I find this post quite rude.

 

Some of us are on this forum to try and better understand certain things. I don't know everything and I don't have all the answers, but the purpose of my post was to try and understand something for my own benefit. The parameters of the discussion were set for a particular reason, to suit me. If you don't like those parameters, then, and I mean this in the nicest most hospitable way, it's possibly best if you don't contribute to the discussion, rather than telling me I can't summarily dismiss something.

 

I can, for the purposes of my thought process, assume electrification wasn't an option, and I have.

 

I find interaction in this world difficult enough as it is, and increasingly so, without being told what I can and can't do when trying to set up a discussion.

 

Thank you.

 

I apologise if I caused offence - but when it comes to 'what if' exercises you need to remember nothing exists in isolation. If you are going to take a historical event and perform a 'what if' exercise on it, then you cannot ignore other factors which were also a given at the time.

 

The pilot scheme for diesel locomotives only existed because of the BR Modernisation plan which also specifically included the plan to electrify the WCML as soon as possible so any rational discussion about what locomotive types British Railways would have ordered on mass had the programme run its full course needs to factor that in.

 

There is nothing wrong with discussions along the lines of "The class 20 would have become the only type 1 loco" as a result of the plan or that the only type 2 would have been the 26 - indeed that was the original point of running the pilot scheme in the first place.

 

However we have also heard that several of BRs most sucessfull designs were conceived outside of said plan - and that includes the class 52 Hydralics on the Western Region, which backs up the assertion that the Diesel prototype scheme was flawed from the outset and would never have been able to cater for the railways needs electrification or not.



#17 chrisf

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 21:00

Strange that this list is missing the Class 47, which proved to be one of the most useful and versatile locomotives of them all.

 

Edit: But maybe it wasn't one of the pilot scheme locos?  :scratchhead:

 

It wasn't.  Neither was the 37.

 

Chris



#18 New Haven Neil

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 21:04

It wasn't.  Neither was the 37.

 

Chris

 

Tch Chris - invisible ink!



#19 Mad McCann

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 21:14

Even early on in the Pilot Scheme I think it was recognised that although the big Derby and EE type 4s were good, their power/weight ratio and bogie arrangement were less than ideal so a more utilitarian type 4 design would almost certainly have emerged in the early 1960s purely as a result of experience.
Other than that I think the imagined field is a fairly correct one even though the requirement for Type 3 power does actually post-date the original plan.
Had there been less direct interference by the BTC and flaws in the original MAN engine design, it’s also possible that the NBL type 2s would have been more successful.
The knock on of this, of course that there might only be a single A4 and no A2 in existence today.

D4

#20 TheSignalEngineer

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 21:16

Change at the time was fast moving, besides those in the nature of traffic carried.

 

The first Pilot Scheme loco delivered was in the middle of 1957. Annual totals for the 174 locos were 1957 - 21, 1958 - 82, 1959 - 68 and 1960 - 3.

 

By the time that delivery of the Peaks wast completed Brush were working on Falcon and BRCW were working on Lion so the 40, 44/45/46 were already redundant technology. The 47 was a more or less a hybrid of the Sulzer power unit from Lion in the Brush loco.



#21 cheesysmith

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 21:39

If you are going to replicate the pilot scheme locos, there are a few facts that have been lost or forgotten over time.

 

EE were offering the Mk2 CSVT engine with intercooling, with a output of 1200BHP for the V8 (so 1800BHP for V12 and 2400BHP for V16). This engine with the class 45 body, would have no need for the poor 1Co bogies, that had poor suspension design and prone to cracked frames. With more experiance of these bogies in service, would they have been replicated?

 

Also, the faults in the engine that resulted in the twin bank sulzer engine being derated appeared in the 45s as well, but gets overlooked when discussing the 47s. The 45s actually had priority for the stronger blocks to allow full power because of the ETH fitting being done for the midland mainlline services. Also, the CP electrical systems required rectification by the manufacturer, so if you didn't have the benefit of our hindsight you wouldn`t have made more locos using their bits (26/33/45). And the factory was full of commitments at the time with rectification anyway and would not have been able to make more. Also, forget the 27s with the poor GEC electrical bits, as these would have shown up with more testing.

 

Also, forget the deltics, as these were built because of the need to match electric times. Remember the WCML electrification had proved the benefits of the "spark effect"of regular high speed intercity services, which the deltics were a answer to for none electrified lines. Before the electric timetable came into effect, the express trains were pulled by 2000BHP locos and no one could see the need for more power or faster trains. 

 

Also, forget the 37/47s, as these were later orders to make up for the lack of suitable locos in the pilot orders. These could be considered early 2nd generation locos. 

 

 

What I`m trying to say is if you limit yourself to the pilot scheme locos only, you wouldn`t end up with a BR you would recognise.


Edited by cheesysmith, 12 February 2018 - 21:41 .

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#22 The Stationmaster

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 22:45

The 47 was the only one's where the pilot scheme plan "test a few prototypes, take the best bits and build a standard loco" approach was actually followed. 

 

The rapid multiplication of the Brush Type 4 (later Class 47) design into mass construction failed to address numerous problems on the locos resulting in a long period of experiments, modifications and of course de-rating of the licence built Sulzer design engine.  In effect the choice of the Brush design from a suite of Type 4 higher horsepower prototypes was almost a repeat of the error in going for large numbers of one Pilot Scheme design (the Derby/Sulzer Type 2, later Class 24/25) which was definitely not the best of the Pilot Scheme Type 2s.  Oddly in both cases it was a BRC&W design which was dropped, I wonder why?


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#23 Grovenor

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 23:34

Oddly in both cases it was a BRC&W design which was dropped, I wonder why?

There was no BRCW type 4 in the pilot scheme to drop! Lion was a speculative prototype outside the pilot scheme. The various one offs resulted in the class 50 eventually.

Regards



#24 Removed a/c_theonlydt

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 00:03

I'm going completely against the rules. Diesel electric doesn't win the day, apart from niche uses.

 

Standard Extra light shunter: Class 02

Standard Light shunter: Class 04

Standard Shunter/local trip: Class 14 

Standard Type 2: Class 23

Standard Type 3: Class 35

Standard Type 4: Class 42

Standard Type 5: Class 52

Standard Type awesome: Class 55

 

I realise that by cutting out the 08 and the 20 I've done myself a massive disservice... 

 

Imagine the experience gained in hydraulic transmissions being applied to fixing some of the reliability and running issues that they suffered early on. The Class 52 would have its gearing fixed. The 35 was a damn fine machine anyway. The 42s were pretty decent. The 14s were lovely.

Napier Deltic because I appreciate quality engineering. Hence the 23 and 55.

 

There may be too much of a gap between the 14 and 23, especially for freight, so I'll add the 20 if we so wish.



#25 Pacific231G

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 00:05

I don't know much about the diesel pilot scheme so could be barking up the wrong tree but was there perhaps an overall problem from Britain's larger railway companies, including BR, having been accustomed to building most of their own steam locos in house? Did that mean that their managers simply weren't used to and therefore weren't very skilled at motive power procurement? .

 

By and large the in-house loco works such as Swindon and Doncaster may have lacked the skills-set to build diesels so BR had to turn to outside companies who were in turn unused to building for Britain's domestic railways.

 

Across thw world steam loco builders don't generally seem to have made a successful transition from steam to diesel (though there are exceptions) so we lost North British and Beyer Peacock while in the USA General Motors (EMD)  and General Electric essentially wiped the floor with the previously dominant Baldwin, AlCo and Lima. In a way though  that was the builders' problem not the railways.

The situation with BR does seem to have different from other railways in the developed world. They'e long been used to ordering most of their locos to agreed designs from private manufacturers so perhaps far more used to working with the manufacturers to develop the locos that would meet their needs.  I suspect that in many countries this was also tacit government policy to give their developing locomotive industries a strong home market from which to develop as exporters.

 

Other European state railways seem to have had far fewer lemons in their diesel fleets. For example, the first diesel loco built on a large scale (250) for SNCF the 040 DE (later the BB 63000)  was first built in 1954 and though no longer used by SNCF is still in commercial service in industry. The more powerful BB 66000 (originally 040 DG) developed from it ran to  318 locos buit for SNCF between 1960-1968 by five different manufacturers and 25 of them are still in commercial service. Both classes were also built for export as were most of the standard diesels used by SNCF.


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