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Barry Railway K Class




1577022210_BarryClassK.JPG.62eef2b4386f5ca337e0727962179fdd.JPGThis first sketch is aimed at being post war, but pre grouping.


In 1899, the Barry railway desperately needed some new locomotives, but all British builders were at full capacity. To resolve this, the five locomotives of the K class was ordered from Cooke Loco and Machine Co in the USA. It seems the Barry railway really wanted something as close as possible to the B1 class and the Americans wanted to build something as close as possible to their standard product. The result was a decidedly odd hybrid, with the top and rear halves largely complying with Barry standards, and the front and bottom halves  - the cylinders and the frames - pure US with bar frames, outside cylinders and all. The combination does not appear to have been a happy one, and yet when the GWR got their hands on them they elected to rebuild two in the best GWR style with Standard 3 taper boiler and full GWR side tanks, cab and bunkers. They were numbered 193-197. The rebuilds do not seem to have been significantly more satisfactory and all were scrapped between 1927 and 1932, no industrial user having elected to purchase one.



This sketch represents the two rebuilt with Std 3 boilers. The sketch owes as much to an excellent photo in Russell as to the weight diagram.


I had some trouble with this one. Its the muddy shadows under the footplate, and the fact that aspects of the design are so alien. The original Barry weight diagram contains a dimensional error, which complicates my method of tracing weight diagrams as the starting point for my sketches.  The odd mix of US and British practice also complicates things, because I sometimes had trouble establishing in my mind what a line represented. I hope there aren't too many errors. I was having so much trouble getting a feel for what was happening under the footplate that I even reluctantly looked at photographs of a model, which is of course a desperate and highly dangerous step indeed. In the event all I really achieved with that is spot a number of things which obviously the modeller had failed to work out either and omitted. Sensible man!
Under the footplate is really troublesome, and particularly against the firebox between the second and third drivers. I also can't work out where the front sand pipe and sand box is, and the brake rigging looks odd too. I think the brake cylinder might be horizontal between the cylinders, which is quite unlike anything else I've sketched!
The weights diagrams from the Barry (in Mountford) and GWR (in Russell) have been major sources, although as above there's a dimensional error in the Barry diagram which the GWR apparently caught in the first drawing in Russell. Interesting, BTW, that like Churchward's US inspired locomotives, the cylinders are horizontal with their centre line above that of the wheels.


Edited by JimC

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The National Wales museum photo of 118 shows the bar frames much better than most photos and just how much light you can see where traditional British frames would normally be.  Have you looked at PTR 21 or other American locos to help make sense of it all?


Is this drawing with the original boiler or the Barry boiler?  I’m away from home so I can’t tell you the difference.  I don’t think it was much. 


I’m surprised that the GWR bothered to  reboiler these locos.  The Barry boilers weren’t that old.  The real problem with these locos was somewhere in the cylinders and valve gear.  In later Barry days above the footplate they were identical to the B1 class.  B1s could make it to Trehafod without topping up the tanks yet the Ks couldn’t.

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