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Last BR Steam Overhauls when?


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I was surprised to learn the Cowlairs was carrying out K1 overhaul work for the NE region into late 1966 after Darlington had gone.

There is footage of a ‘running in’ K1 at Balornock (65B) in August of that year, when that depot itself had barely three months to go.

 

D.

 

One reason for that sort of thing was that the workshops were working to very different plans and budgets from those the Regions were working to.  This meant work was being shared around between shops, in many cases off Region and also that some works were budgetting for far larger overhaul and repair programmes on steam than they were ever likely to be sent.  A former colleague of mine when working in the WR M&EE dept told me that he had visited Swindon works to discuss the upcoming shopping programme, presumably c.1964/65 only to be shown their planned work on steam for the coming year and it was massively in excess of what the Region was estimating would be required as it reduced the steam fleet and overhauls were discontinued.

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It would certainly be interesting to work out which of the 'last' classes on BR such as Std classes and Black 5s, 8Fs and so on, were last to receive significant overhauls.

 

I am wondering if anyone has tabulated anything like the last overhauls at various workshops, Eastleigh, Brighton, Doncaster, Darlington, Cowlairs, Swindon, or others? And Crewe of course.  I apologise for my lack of research on the histories of these great workshops.

 

Of course any such list would be full of discrepancies arising from definition of 'overhaul', but would still make interesting reading. I guess it's because my teenage years neatly spanned the end of BR steam and withdrawals and the disappearance of steam were a fact of life...  think of where we were exactly 50 years ago!   And yet when I was 10 yrs old in 1961 quite a few engines were still receiving what I thought of as 'full' overhauls, and Deltics were new, and I hadn't realised at that age that steam would disappear so quickly.

 

This was brought home to me recently looking at works histories of 9Fs... some hardly ever or never received any serious work between construction and withdrawal.

 

Come to think about it, have you seen this book?? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Illustrated-History-British-Railways-Workshops/dp/0860935035/ref=sr_1_34?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535390669&sr=1-34&keywords=locomotives+illustrated

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Whether or not the Standard Five was an improvement over the Black Five is debatable. The LMR men with whom I worked didn't think so, rather the reverse.

 

I'm not sure the locos should really be regarded as versions of each other; the Standard had larger driving wheels and different cylinders, to be standard with the Britannias and Clans.  One would expect the Standard to have the edge on faster work, and the Stanier to have the edge for slogging, but a mixed traffic engine is almost by definition a jack of all trades and a master of none, a compromise.  The two classes seem to have been regarded on the WR as more or less equivalent, with the Standard having a slight edge for speed, but both were dismissed as 'Midland' engines, and Halls were preferred, rightly or wrongly.  

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I remember being on a school trip to the NE in 1964 I think it was, we found A1 60127 "Wilson Worsdell" in pristine condition, it was withdrawn not long after our trip, I wondered where that went to?

 

Looking at both Irwell and the RCTS 2A books it's not clear when A1s were overhauled. I'm probably looking at the wrong books!   60127 was withdrawn in mid 1965

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Men I talked with from other sheds around Manchester didn't like the Standard Five for a variety of reasons. The side-facing mangle wheel reverser for one. The drafty and dusty cab another. The later fives reverted to a conventional end-on reversing screw.  As I was used to Austerities and other primitives, a 'borrowed' Black Five was a veritable Rolls Royce

Edited by coachmann
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Did that apply at Patricroft Larry?

 

They seemed to retain their BR5s later than other depots

 

Cheers

 

Phil

In Steam for Scrap the Patricroft case is quoted that it was the shedmaster who liked them and retained them.

 

 

Jamie

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Looking at both Irwell and the RCTS 2A books it's not clear when A1s were overhauled. I'm probably looking at the wrong books!   60127 was withdrawn in mid 1965

According to Yeadon's Register 60127 had a General repair 18/10 to 25/11/61 at Doncaster. It was at Darlington for weighing on 7th October 1963. Withdrawn 14th June 1965.

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It would seem the Std 5's were well thought of in Scotland and certainly on the WHL were apparently preferred to the Stanier version.

The BR Fives generally gave a good account of themselves on the Southern as well, often utilised on fasts but their riding could be "lively" towards the end; the trailing trucks of the Pacifics being kinder to their crews in this respect.

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It would seem the Std 5's were well thought of in Scotland and certainly on the WHL were apparently preferred to the Stanier version.

According to D.L. Smith, opinions were exactly opposite on the Girvan-Stranraer section. The Standards 5s were found to be "deficient in pulling power". They were known to have stalled on the infamous overnight Glasgow to Stranraer freight with loads that Stanier 5s would have had no problems with, and were taken off that duty.

 

They could certainly run, though. Polmadie had a bunch of them, and (surprisingly) very few Stanier 5s and we saw a lot of them on the Gourock line. I've timed one (by railbeats) in the mid-80s between the site of Georgetown and Bishopton, and again between Langbank and Parklea.

Edited by pH
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According to D.L. Smith, opinions were exactly opposite on the Girvan-Stranraer section. The Standards 5s were found to be "deficient in pulling power". They were known to have stalled on the infamous overnight Glasgow to Stranraer freight with loads that Stanier 5s would have had no problems with, and were taken off that duty.

 

They could certainly run, though. Polmadie had a bunch of them, and (surprisingly) very few Stanier 5s and we saw a lot of them on the Gourock line. I've timed one (by railbeats) in the mid-80s between the site of Georgetown and Bishopton, and again between Langbank and Parklea.

 

I remember an interview with Callum MacRaild - I think possibly with David Wilcock - and bearing in mind he was a Fort William driver when asked what his favourite class of locomotive to drive had been, his reply was the Br Std 5.

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Now probably as rare a rockin' 'orse s***, in 1981 the Camelot Locomotive Society brought out a small paper-back book entitled 'The Standard Arthurs' in it was laid out the experiences of former S&DJR footplateman Pete Smith, I would recommend all steam fans to beg,steal, or buy a copy - most enlightening. :sungum:  Edit - but my copy don't leave the house!!!!

Edited by bike2steam
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And on the S&D different drivers preferred the LMS or BR version 

 

Phil

Some in the Bournemouth area regarded the BR locos as "passenger" and the LMS ones as "goods".

 

It was not uncommon for Stanier Fives that had come down the S&D on Saturdays to be "borrowed" for Waterloo turns on Sundays, saving mileage on their own locos.

 

The 73 Standards were reckoned to be significantly faster, and some drivers were perfectly OK with occasionally getting one in place of a rostered Light Pacific. 

 

John

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According to D.L. Smith, opinions were exactly opposite on the Girvan-Stranraer section. The Standards 5s were found to be "deficient in pulling power". They were known to have stalled on the infamous overnight Glasgow to Stranraer freight with loads that Stanier 5s would have had no problems with, and were taken off that duty.

 

They could certainly run, though. Polmadie had a bunch of them, and (surprisingly) very few Stanier 5s and we saw a lot of them on the Gourock line. I've timed one (by railbeats) in the mid-80s between the site of Georgetown and Bishopton, and again between Langbank and Parklea.

 

There are tales of them hitting the 90s on Kent coast expresses before the 3rd rail put paid to the fun.

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We were all Walschaerts "Dahn Sath" here on the Southern.

 

Can any ex-footplatemen who used the Caprottis as well, shed (pun intended) their preferences of the two types of gear. I seem to recall being told that the Caprottis were less able in hard slogging than the main bunch but once on the move there was little difference between them.

 

Maintenance of the rotary driven valve gear was apparently a more specialised affair.

 

It would be nice to hear from first hand experience.

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The whole question of Caprotti is interesting, but perhaps deserves it's own thread.  It was tried a few times, and ought on paper to offer more accurate valve setting and better control of the loco, leading to more efficient use of coal and water, but never seems to have taken off in a big way outside Italy.  I seem to remember somebody, possibly Toram Beg, saying that the Scottish Caprotti Standard 5s were a coach better, but have never heard any first hand opinion of Caprotti Stanier/Ivatt 5s or the other types.  DoG seems to run well enough with it now it steams properly, but it's work is not really comparable with that of a 5MT.

 

GW men considered that the Stephenson valve gear as applied to Churchward types is best for continued hard slogging up banks, and prefer it to Walchaert's; of course, they wotted not of Caprotti except on the odd Franco-Caprotti 9F that turned up at Severn Tunnel from the Gloucester direction, or around the West Midlands.

Edited by The Johnster
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, they wotted not of Caprotti except on the odd Franco-Caprotti 9F that turned up at Severn Tunnel from the Gloucester direction, or around the West Midlands.

 

Are you getting confused with 'Crosti'  ?? ( Or to some of us - 'crusti). :sungum:  

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The whole question of Caprotti is interesting, but perhaps deserves it's own thread.  It was tried a few times, and ought on paper to offer more accurate valve setting and better control of the loco, leading to more efficient use of coal and water, but never seems to have taken off in a big way outside Italy.  I seem to remember somebody, possibly Toram Beg, saying that the Scottish Caprotti Standard 5s were a coach better, but have never heard any first hand opinion of Caprotti Stanier/Ivatt 5s or the other types.  DoG seems to run well enough with it now it steams properly, but it's work is not really comparable with that of a 5MT.

 

GW men considered that the Stephenson valve gear as applied to Churchward types is best for continued hard slogging up banks, and prefer it to Walchaert's; of course, they wotted not of Caprotti except on the odd Franco-Caprotti 9F that turned up at Severn Tunnel from the Gloucester direction, or around the West Midlands.

 

One of the problems with Caprotti valve gear was there were very few fitters that had the knowledge of how to repair and set it up properly.

 

That's the reason they were only kept at a few locations. Mostly near major works or large sheds. Shrewsbury, Patricroft, Derby, Crewe, St Rollox, etc.

 

Source: An ex fitter from Edge Hill, Crewe, Speke and later Allerton who did know about them.

 

 

 

Jason

Edited by Steamport Southport
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