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Whilst clearing out old boxes of railway gear to get space for a new layout, I came across a box of part finished Crampton Locos and parts. These were done in the 1960's and 70's mainly from Mike Sharman's designs and research into these early 19th century locos.

 

post-6750-0-29008200-1466271534_thumb.jpg

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A simple one to tackle and get to completion is a 022 Crampton well tank. I think the drawing came from "The Engineer" magazine, long out of copyright. but may have been in Mike's book about Cramptons.

I have no idea what railway it was built for, UK or France, but it is an integrating design, with semi double frames, and a well tank under the front.

 

It looks like the cab bottom may have contained water, but the cab arrangements remain a mystery to be sorted out. Probably side areas for coal, with the boiler top bare except for steam turret of sorts, and gauges.

 

The top of the boiler in the cab would have no dome, as the usual Crampton regulator etc., are in place on the boiler top.

 

The cylinders drove a cranked axle behind the wheels, with Stephenson valve gear outside, but on a model the inner drive from the crosshead can be to a sleeve eccentric to make life easier.

 

No dimensions, but the Buffers are standard height to enable working out, or printing to scale. Unlike ordinary Cramptons the axle has space around it for a gear drive on the model, with the motor in the boiler.

 

The driving wheels can be rigid, with the front wheels pivoting slightly to give level running. With the glut of micro motors on Ebay at present, I am spoilt for choice, but will use a double shafted motor to fit a flywheel.

 No tender to make, and plenty of bits to work with, including some  21mm wheels which seem correct pending doing the scale dimensions better.

 

Not doing it in P4, but 00 to make it more useable for display running etc.

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Looking at the drawing the shading seems to imply a round firebox, so the boiler may be a round top "dome" in the cab, not raised as Crampton did not like steam domes.on most designs.

 

Also I notice in an image search this loco has been covered in the past on RMweb, but only a query as to driving the axle.

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/81420-converting-n-gauge-drives-to-ooem-gauge/

 

Any news of that Loco mentioned there?

Stephen

Edited by bertiedog
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Fascinating idea, but what a challenge! I suspect a lot of detail is missing, not to mention an end elevation or a photo.

 

It looks to have a lot in common with French Cramptons - see this page and the one before, for example.

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The loco in the print is actually a rail car, permanently attached to the carriage, probably an Inspection coach and engine for a line.

 

It is not a Crampton as such, as Cramptons had very distinctive patented features, like no dome, outside Stephenson Valve gear and lots of little details that he specified. Most of his designs were taken up by the French railways, as British railway companies had a distinct dislike of paying patent fees, when similar items were available from others. Joy valve gear was patented and little used till the patents ran out  for instance.

 

The Railcar must be an early example, I cannot read the lines printed underneath at all, too indistinct.

 

Crampton's passions were simplicity of design, low piston speed, no domes on boilers, regulator outside the boiler on top, and the use of Stephenson's valve gear. He was the engineer for the London Chatham and Dover line, as well as a Director of the Company. The tank may have been for the LCD, perhaps only a design, or sold on to the French. I have not got a copy of Mike Sharman's book on Crampton Locomotives to hand any more, which may contain more details in the text. By the style of the design I would place it in the early 1850's and no later than the Great Exhibition, where he showed a Crampton from the LCD Railway, the type with an indirect drive via a dummy axle.

 

I think the boiler must be a round firebox type, butted to the ordinary boiler like the Bury type. The frames are oddly laid out to allow the inside drive to the rear axle, a bit cramped in 00 gauge. Further estimate of the driving wheels are 24mm (six feet) or thereabouts.

 

Stephen.

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The layout of the design looks like a motor can be placed in the Well tank and drive via a short universal shaft to the rear axle, which makes it possible to make the boiler in solid brass bar, with all the weight advantages. Adding the cab in thicker brass, with lead under the floor and under the coal, and it may well make quite a good pulling loco with all that weight on the rear drivers.

Even placed in the well tank there is ample space for a small flywheel to smooth things along in there.

I will not use the boiler I previously made, it is in thin brass and too light.

With any Crampton, the weight is vital!!!

Stephen

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Ariel's Girdle was exhibited at the Great Exhibition, then went to, IIRC, the eastern union rly, then was rebuilt as a 2-4-0t for the london and blackwall.

 

K

They must have found the traction effort of the wheels to be too low. Ariels Girdle? I wonder then was it a Crampton, and the engraver just drew it wrong? Crampton exhibited his 042 indirect drive loco"Folkstone" at the Great Exhibition. That is a real oddity, the only model I have seen running was Mike Sharmans and mine.

 

Stephen

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The Great Exhibition looks to have been an upmarket predecessor to Boulton's Siding http://www.studygroup.org.uk/Articles/Content/102/Locos/Locomotives%20on%20show%20at%20the%20Great%20Exhibition%20of%201851.htm

 

I don't think that AG was a Crampton, and I think I've read somewhere that it had a "round" firebox, which I took to mean a "marine" or "bullhead" boiler. It's hard to tell from the picture, but to me it looks as if the driven axle was under the firebox.

 

Certainly the fact that it was converted d into a 2-4-0T suggests lack of tractive effort in its initial form, but then it was conceived as a "railcar".

 

The one below "Enfield" is cited as the first steam railcar, and until now I hadn't spotted that the loco portion is very Crampton-esque.

K

post-26817-0-88874200-1466282321_thumb.jpg

Edited by Nearholmer
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It is like Crampton, but it has a dome, which he said was not needed on boilers. It has the axle after the firebox though. The big thing with Crampton was his lifelong belief that the piston speed had a limit, and the only way to get that was to have larger drivers.

 

Brunel fell for exactly the same false argument, when the GWR opened he had Armstrong build a loco with giant drivers and a geared up engine, just to keep the piston speed low. It was a disaster, barely able to haul itself let alone coaches. they loaed it with lead, and gave a run to reading from London, and back, and that was it, the Loco was rebuilt as a normal loco.

 

Cramptons were favoured by the French as the trains were lighter, and the Crampton was fast without shake or damage to the track. Crampton later invented the balance weights for wheels on locos, determined to get even smoother running. It just never worked in the same way in the UK.

 

Stephen.

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The loco kit is a crampton design, the key feature being the placing of the driving axle behind the firebox to enable the boiler to have a low pitch. The boiler is a crampton style, being dome less with a round top firebox which wasn't raised. This is the main point of difference with the Adams "aerials girdle" loco. Water was carried in a well tank between the leading wheel and the firebox, cylinders and drive being placed outside of necessity. Coal would be in a bunker in the 'cab' area. The question is who owned it? I can't find any reference to a British line having one like this. The bunker looks like some larger rebuilds on the French Nord line, but I suppose the answer is in Mike Sharmans book, figure 14, if anyone's got a copy . Modelling it should be easy enough, as the side sheets and bunker area of the cab would conceal most of the axle gear drive- you could almost put the drive on the leading axle, otherwise. The wheel disposition should allow enough weight on whichever axle you go for. I'm struggling with a 420 tender crampton, which needs to be built in a different way to any other loco I've tried, and currently I need to replace a wheel set which has faulty insulation.

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Main dimensions worked out, 21mm drivers and 15mm leading wheels, allowing for the 00 sized flanges a bit. The wheels will have RP-25 flanges anyway, reduced to the bare minimum height.

 

The motor gear drive can be the main back axle, but I think there will be a change to the drawing, the connecting rod will be outside the wheel in the conventional position, as I suspect the drawing is incorrect. To have it behind the drivers causes difficulties even at full scale dimensions, and the clearances within 00 back to back are near impossible.

 

If the drawing was from the "Engineer", they were usually accurate, but the engraver may have left off the rods for clarity to show the Stephenson valve gear. The wheels spokes are not drawn either, so I think the rods are outside as usual, despite the apparent line of the action of the piston rods. The cylinders are inside the outer frames, but are smaller than most Cramptons, so the outer frames must be set quite wide, despite the small size of the locomotive overall.

 

The main known dimension the drawing is 14mm from track to the buffer centre line, and Ihave re-sized the drawing to this master measurement. The overall size is a bit smaller than the Beattie Well tank, so pretty small.

 

The Boiler appears to be about the diameter of the space between the frames, therefore about 16.5mm in 4mm scale, and a practical figure would be 14.5 to keep within 00 BB. The inner frames can cut through the round firebox box, or the diameter reduced to fit, and run to the front buffer beam, along with the outer frames. The front wheels can be supported only by the outer frames. The gap between the frames should take the cylinder, with the steam chest upwards and exposed above the frames.

 

On this loco design I would assume there was a foot plate over both frames at the front, and behind the cylinders, although many Cramptons have open frame tops. The front buffer beam would have a curved downwards lowered section under the boiler smokebox front, due to the low pitch line of the boiler, but the rear buffer beam would be normal type. Early Cramptons had hinged doors with a centre split across the middle on the smokebox.

 

The cab area must have a flat front as there appears to be two inside front coal bunkers, and the front acts as the front of the bunker. The Regulator rod passes through the front panel along the boiler line to the firebox top, where the lever is sited.

 

The water is put into the tanks via the brass capped funnels on the side of the boiler, and appears high enough to suggest the top of the well tanks was as high as the bottom of the boiler shell.

 

Most of the body will be nickel silver, with brass frames, both inner and outer, bronze bearings on the main axle, and front as well. The front ones will be sprung, but not sure yet whether inside or outside bearings. It may be better to support the wheel axle in a tube that pivots to allow a flexible chassis to ensure a smooth ride. The main axle can remain rigid to the frames.

 

The open cab demands driver figures, and top hatted as well. The livery can be for the London Chatham and Dover, as Crampton was the Engineer to the line as well as director and investor.

 

Anybody know the LCD livery for the period of the Crystal Palace Hyde Park Great Exhibition?

 

It could of course be a French Crampton, but is so suitable as a small Victorian engine it does not matter.

 

Stephen

Edited by bertiedog
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I had not thought of planking the boiler, as by the Great Exhibition period many locomotives were metal sheet covered.

I think I'll stick with the Green body and boiler, Indian red inner frames, and vermilion red outer frames, with lining on the cab sides and back.

There must have been steps to the cab entrance cutout, a drop loop step under the footplate and a cut in one in the plate work under the entrance to the cab. The dotted lines appear to show the bunkers and the inner splasher valances covering the wheels from the cab floor. All the edges are beaded brass, and brass boiler bands to fit

 

The main material blanks are cut out, pairs to be soldered together for machining, I have to source some 16mm brass bar for the boiler and firebox from the scrapbox in the workshop.

 

I will strip a small micro motor gear box to get the gears required, and test some Ebay sourced micro motors to find one to suit. Aiming at about 50;1 gearing to get better slow speeds.

 

Pickups by sprung plungers behind the front wheels, from inside the well tank, and wire wipers to the rear drivers, covered in micro heat shrink. No DCC, just 12volt DC control. Screw link couplings and chains and hooks on the buffer beam.

 

Couple of ratio 4 wheeled coaches, back converted to oil lamps fittings will do as coaching stock. Finished in Teak I think.

 

Stephen

Edited by bertiedog
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Hope not too long on this, but I have a layout to do as well, and a railway room around it to complete. I have extracted a worm and spur gear set to suit the loco from a micro motor gearbox, ex Digital camera focus unit. It will need a brass gearbox to take the shafts etc made up to fit the small motors I have to hand. I have a nice coreless type to test and see if that can fit, a Citizen brand motor. It needs an extension shaft added to take a universal joint or the worm direct. Other than that, I have a nice Chinese 5pole skewed slot motor that would fit, and with flywheel.

I'll test both ASAP

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The Micro motors are a bit too small, and the worms will not drill out to 1.5mm for a bigger motor, so the choice is the selection below.

 

post-6750-0-41413500-1466430055_thumb.jpg

 

With the best choice, the open framed Chinese motor from Ebay (£1.50) 5 pole skewed slot and 1.5mm shaft, so worms more easy to find from Markit or Ultrascale, at 50:1 ratio, and a flywheel still fits as a bonus. The width is about 9mm So fits 00 frames perfectly well. I will cut out a gearbox for it, after finding how long it takes to order the gears in.

 

post-6750-0-24127900-1466430075_thumb.jpg

 

Stephen.

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Wheels are on order and a 50:1 gear set as well to fit the 5pole motor. Have to wait till it comes to get the pitch dimension for making a gear box frame to suit the gear set. The motor will have to clip in as there are no screw holes, both ends have a boss around the bearing that can fit holes in the frame, to hold it firmly in the gearbox cradle. I have made a small flywheel to fit the motor, and oiled and tested the motor carefully, runs smoothly and near silent.

 

Stephen.

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A nuisance job on this one is the outside Stephenson valve gear, it will have to be mounted on a return crank from the crankpin, and have two disks soldered together to make the two sheaves for the big ends to run on. Normally the big end runs in a grove, and the end is split to fit, but in this size that is impossible. The disks will have to have a rim on the outside that is fitted with the big end in place, and also solid with the valve connecting rod. The outer eccentric can have a capping cover to retain the other big end.

 

At least it does not have to be timed at all accurately, just to oscillate the valve link.

 

The drawing does show the connecting rod from the crosshead to the crankpin, it is just that the pin is at the top in the drawing and the rod is partially hidden.

 

The 50;1 gears set will show a bit at the back, it is between the frames, but would show a bit from behind, so I will add a simple cover.

The motor will have to go through the boiler firebox, if the boiler is made solid, then the metal can be milled out to take the motor.

The solid firebox can be drilled from the bottom upwards with a 12mm drill to just above the motor top level, and the underside to the boiler inside the well tank, can be milled away.

 

The motor can be fitted at an upwards angle from the well tank to minimise the milling cut out.

i am assuming the inner frames run from buffer beam to buffer beam, but early Cramptons simply had no frames at the front, bolting things directly to the boiler. I suspect with this being made later, more conventional frames were used.

 

The well tank is handy for mounting the power pickups on, or underneath. Two front springs will be needed in nickel silver, and the rest of the boiler fittings in polished brass.

 

Definitely a top hatted driver required for this loco.

 

Stephen.

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http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/balanced/balanced.htm

 

Another interesting Crampton was his much later balanced drive shunter design, which may not have been built. It used two cylinders on each side to drive the axles, (one side facing forward, on backwards)....independently, and the crankpins are set at 180, not 90 degree. I wonder if the loco was fitted with a cover over the motion, or did the works run on show?

 

post-6750-0-37467000-1466472721.jpg

 

Stephen.

Edited by bertiedog
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