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t-b-g last won the day on November 26 2011

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  1. The late Malcolm Crawley was once involved in an incident at Barkston triangle when a Peppercorn A1 slipped into full forward gear with a test train including the dynamometer car. The drawbar horsepower showed just over 3,000 for a short while until the situation was brought under control, thankfully before the loco did a "Blue Peter". Unless you have measured power output in many, many situations with different loads in different situations, being certain as to the power output of any steam loco is not a precise science. You can have the same loco with two different crews and you will get two different results. You could put one on a testing station and measure it exactly but even between members of the same class of locos, there were always good ones and bad ones. I just look forward to seeing what Prince of Wales can do if and when it is really given a chance. I can see records for climbing Shap being re-written before too long. If the P2 had the same crank axle as an A3 and, according to the RCTS book, the P2 had a smaller load applied to the crank axle than the A3, I think that pretty much confirms my suspicion that it was factors other than the design of the crank axle which caused breakages on the P2. Almost certainly extra wear and tear due to the pony truck problem and the very sharply curved route they worked on. A beefed up crank axle would have mitigated the problem.
  2. I would agree with all that apart from one matter, According to the RCTS, one crank axle broke as a train was pulling into Dundee at the end of its run, rather than starting one out from a station. It surprised me to read it as "common knowledge" was that it was as they started out.
  3. The RCTS book does list some of the failures and give dates and details of what the locos were doing at the time the axles failed. It seems other locos had damage caused to crank axles by excessive wear without them actually breaking. The pony truck problems will have had a "knock on" effect on wear elsewhere on the loco, no doubt about that. At least the A1/Prince of Wales group have identified and sorted the problems for the new build. I for one am very excited to see what a "Super P2" can do. We have better track nowadays and with the slightly smaller cylinders and higher boiler pressure, plus redesigned components where problems existed before, it should be a real beast!
  4. I must be going blind as I have now read the article and missed any reference to the length of the viaduct. If it is 9 Wills arches long, that is around 4ft in old money. So that would make the layout somewhere around 30ft long, so perhaps the reference to not having 30ft available at the start is a clue!
  5. Who said it was normal? No doubt they were flawed but they were still the most powerful steam passenger locomotives to run in this country and the operating people were sorry to seem them go. If the design was so flawed, how come the sixth one didn't break? Or why did one breakage happen after 10 years of service, running identical trains compared to one that broke after 5 years? And when replaced, why didn't they break again? Factors like wear and tear, maintenance procedures and checks all form part of the picture. It is rare for a problem like a broken crank axle to be down to a single cause. So yes, the design of the crank axle may not have been perfect for a loco with that amount of "grunt" but the very fact that one didn't break would lead me to believe that other factors were involved. There is an interesting bit about the problems with the locos in the LNER RCTS Green book 6B for anybody that is interested.
  6. Mine has just arrived and it looks like a good issue to me. As I am shortly going to be helping a friend design a new layout, I looked at the S & C one, which is something along the lines of what he has in mind and wondered "How big is it and would something like that fit the available space?". Am I missing something or is that information absent? Perhaps somebody on here can help me with that detail? I don't really agree with the editorial. "I drew it in CAD and had it 3D printed" is not something that interests me in the slightest. I don't see any difference between buying a cast metal component or a 3D printed one to help me build what I want but creating or buying almost finished 3D models doesn't interest me and I won't be changing my own modelling techniques to "hi tech" any time soon.
  7. A few thoughts on P2s and their crank axles. They were the most powerful passenger steam locos in the country, hauling really heavy trains on difficult routes. To start those heavy trains, the drivers would have had to put huge amounts of power on to get them moving. Under those conditions, any type of loco might have been slightly more prone to broken crank axles. A heavy loco with 8 drivers is less likely to slip, which is how most locos get rid of excess power applied during starting. How many heavy trains did the P2s haul? How many crank axles broke? Maybe one or two more than you would expect compared to other classes but hardly a daily event. Did they ever cause an injury or major incident as a result of the problem? Not to my knowledge. If you start to withdraw and condemn classes because of serious things that might go wrong, you would have nothing left! It may even be the case that crank axles broke because of driver error, putting too much power on too quickly, rather than any fatal design flaw. The very fact that the operating people were happy to use them and didn't want them to go away for rebuilding would suggest that they were not the dreadful failures that some like to make them out to be.
  8. How many of the model engineering folk passed by muttering about your sanity? Most of them won't ever have seen components that small for anything in their lives.
  9. Last time I looked, steamrollers didn't have flanges on their wheels at all. So the nearest equivalent in 4mm modelling is P4.
  10. Very sad news. I knew John for many years. He was, shall I say, one of the great characters in the hobby. Not always easy to get along with, he took being grumpy to new heights but I always enjoyed seeing him and exchanging a few very friendly insults. I would say "How are you John?" and he would reply "Big, ugly and old but still better than you!" which always ended in a big smile and him pinching some of my wine gums! I recall going to the pub after an EXPO EM show one year and him downing around 10 pints, one straight after the other as fast as the barman could pull them. As the last empty went back on the bar, he announced "I can start drinking now" and had another 10 or so at a more sedate pace. He could still walk in a straight line, when I would have been comatose. Later in life, I think his lifestyle caught up with him and he hadn't been a well man for some time. I have much to thank him for, especially when he issued our group with what amounted to a standing invitation to EXPO EM. As we would leave one year, it was always "See you next year, what would you like to bring?" His public address announcement when the show reached closing time were magnificent. "We have had your money now b****r off" would echo round the hall! Happy memories. RIP John.
  11. It is like bent handrails, footplates and wrinkles in the sides of tenders. All there on the real thing and if you are modelling a prototype at a date when they had them, you should include them. Yet they are rarely done at all and when they are, it ends up looking like sloppy modelling. I once noticed that on certain GCR period photos, the double white lines on cab and tender sides were not spaced equally on some locos. When you see the corner of the lining, it is clear that the radius of the two curves were not drawn from the same centre as the lines get closer together as you go round the curve. So the vertical white lines are closer together than the horizontal ones. Was that deliberate to keep proportions on shorter and longer lines or was it faulty work? Either way, do it on a model and it will look like somebody can't get their line spacing consistent.
  12. The cylinders on that look so much better Morgan. So does the valve gear with the multi layer expansion link. I presume they were made from your own design etches. Lovely stuff. Tony (Gee)
  13. One thing that does rather spoil those RTR A4s is the slab sided cylinder cover. On the real locos, the bottom of the cylinder, from roughly the level of the piston rod, is a lovely curve, just the same as the bottom of the cylinders on more normal other locos. I appreciate that the models have been designed so that the cylinder cover is part of the body and slots down over a dummy cylinder which is attached to the frames, but there are other ways of doing it. The Hornby one looks too deep anyway, coming down almost to the centre of the bogie wheels. The Bachmann A2 pictured above is much better in this respect.
  14. Many years ago, a chap called Harry Teasdale was one of the members of the Doncaster Model Railway Club. He had a layout n his garage and some parts of it were very hard to reach, so if a loco stalled (as they often did) it was tricky giving it a nudge. The layout was built in and very well constructed and tapping the baseboard did nothing. One day he announced that he had "cured the problem" by attaching a washing machine motor to one of the baseboard legs. Not as subtle as your solution!
  15. I don't think our views are very far apart on these matters! The only difference seems to be that you would prefer a novice to have a go when the show is quieter and I am happy to seize the chance to put them in the hot seat at any time and turn the situation into part of the show.
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