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Waverley - Between the Frames





Looking at the frames of my ‘Rob Roy’ model, I realised that there is a very visible ‘yawning gap’ between the frames, which really needs to be filled with something. It never bothered me with ‘narrow’ gauge ‘double-0’ models but a 28 mm gap is a different matter altogether.


The instructions for the Broad Gauge Society (BGS) kit of the Gooch Goods, on which I have based my model, contain very little information beyond: “note: the kit provides for two slidebars per cylinder but it was probably a four-bar arrangement”


It soon proved much more difficult than I had anticipated, to find out, with any certainty, what should be there. Drawings of these early engines are few and far between and, where they do exist, tend to be in rather poor condition and difficult to ‘read’.


Fortunately, several fellow members of the BGS came to my aid and I was directed towards a ‘general assembly’ drawing from the National Railway Museum (NRM), which certainly met those criteria of difficulty mentioned above. It did, however, start me off on a line of enquiry, which answered many questions.


NRM dwg 4742a full-size copy can be obtained from the museum


My initial examination of this drawing revealed that the leading pair of driving wheels were flange-less, which I had already anticipated in my model, since it was needed to provide sufficient clearance between the pairs of wheels. On the prototype, it was doubtless desirable, to enable these locomotives to negotiate even moderate curves.


More surprising is that the centre line of the cylinders appears to be above the centre line of the driving wheels but the cylinders do not appear to be inclined. This may be down to the rather poor quality of the drawing and the inclination would only need to be about 3°. On balance, this small inclination seems to be the more likely arrangement.


Being a general arrangement drawing, the detail of the motion is difficult to discern from the NRM drawing, because there are many overlapping details. The Waverleys, however, were built around the same time as many of the Gooch Goods locomotives, so it seemed reasonable to me that the arrangement of the motion should share many features with those engines.


Locomotive design at that period was still heavily influenced by Stephenson’s ‘Patentee’ locomotive, which set the pattern for design throughout much of the Victorian period. Here was the prototype of the classic British ‘Victorian’ locomotive, with two inside cylinders mounted between the frames. There is a very detailed description of the components of Stephenson’s engine in G Drysdale Dempsey’s book “A Rudimentary Treatise on the Locomotive Engine” (download from the Internet Archive)
I found this book very useful in helping me to understand many of the construction details of the early engines. For example, there are detailed drawings of the cross-heads and many other parts of the motion, accompanied by information about the four slide-bars that were used.


Cross-heads Stephenson’s ‘Planet’ type


Gradually, I began to build up a detailed ‘picture’ of how the motion of the Waverley class was probably put together. This was helped further by detailed drawings of a Gooch Goods engine ‘Pyracmon’, in the Atlas of Plates, by Dempsey.


‘Pyracmon’ had a layout of the valve gear that was superficially similar to the more familiar Stephenson-Howe motion but with the important difference that the expansion link was mounted on a fixed pivot, while a radius rod attached to the piston rod could be raised or lowered to reverse the gear. This arrangement is attributed to the Gooch brothers and was applied to many of the Gooch locomotive designs for the GWR.


‘Pyracmon’, showing layout of Gooch valve gear


Taken together, these various sources of information allowed me to attempt a rough sketch of how the motion of the Waverley class engines was probably laid out. By overlaying details from the ‘Pyracmon’ drawing onto the NRM drawing, I established that the overall layout of the components was very similar in the two designs.


One notable difference was that, whereas the feed pumps for the boiler were driven by eccentrics on the driving axle in ‘Pyracmon’, they were driven from the cross-head on the Waverleys.


My very basic sketch, below, shows the overall layout of the motion between the frames of the Waverley-class locomotives. A centre stay ran the length of the engine, between the back of the smokebox and the front of the firebox. My sketch shows the components on one side of this stay, which were mirrored on the opposite side.


The four slide bars are shown in red. These were attached to the back of the cylinders and to angle brackets that were fixed to the motion plate, running across the engine.


The Gooch valve gear components are shown in blue. The reversing action is conveyed to the valve rods via a rotating shaft running across the engine and operated by the reversing control lever, which ran along the side of the locomotive to the footplate.


Moving parts are shown in grey and the fixed mounts for the reversing link and the reversing shaft are black. The reversing shaft was also attached by trunnions to the slide bars.


Simple Sketch of Gooch Motion (LHS only)
NB I now think that the reversing shaft should be above the motion in the Waverley class, not below, as shown in this sketch, which is based on the Gooch Goods.
More information to follow in my next post


I must emphasise that this is my own interpretation of the references quoted above, so there may well be points of detail that I have missed. I intend to use it as a basis for producing a few simplified components, to fill in some of that yawning gap between the frames of my model.


EDIT (5th Jan) - I have re-assessed the possibility of a small inclination of the cylinders since first posting.



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  • RMweb Gold

That's impressive research Mike. You are delving ever deeper into a partially "lost world". Quite exciting. I can't comment on your findings I'm afraid (as I don't have the knowledge), but I find it intriguing to follow.


The beauty of modelling-led research is that it focuses one's energy and attention on very specific details in a way that general railway historians often don't.

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Thank you for your comment, Mikkel. 


When I started this blog, I had no idea how much was unknown about the details of early locomotives.  It has taken me several weeks to find the information needed to produce the sketch I made and there are still several question marks. 


As you say, the aim to produce a model does focus the mind and, even though I probably won't use a lot of the information I've found, I feel that I have to gain an overall grasp of the subject before I can simplify down to what I need for my model

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Hi Mike, don't know if this is relevant, but theres a book titled 'A guide to locomotive building-' from prototype to small scale models by Mike Sharman, this book has drawings for stationary link Gooch motion for outside cylinders and Stephenson built link motion, bought my copy very cheap on ebay. Another reference might be Mike Sharmans book on the Cramptons. 



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Thank you for the info., Pete.  I know some of Mike Sharman's work and have found his book of 7mm Broad Gauge Locomotive drawings in the Oakwood Press Portfolio Series to be very useful.

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Thank you Duncan.  The next step is to decide how to use the results from this research in my model.

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