Jump to content

Please use M,M&M only for topics that do not fit within other forum areas. All topics posted here await admin team approval to ensure they don't belong elsewhere.

Imaginary Locomotives


Recommended Posts

20 hours ago, Flying Pig said:

 

Yes, I know it's not a new idea as it has cropped up in various places on RMweb.  I don't recall seeing that one before though.  I wonder what the proposed work was? 

 

A. J. Powell proposed a rather smaller 2-8-4t for heavy suburban work, based on redundant early Black Five boilers released by using the frames of the Black Fives in building a class of 4-6-2+2-6-4 Garrats for the northern end of the WCML.  Bogies for the 2-8-4t would be redundant from Fowler 2-6-4t's converted to 2-6-0 tender locos and leading trucks from Fowler 2-6-2t's which would just be redundant.

I don't think there was any work for it which might be why it was not built. The LMS didn't really go in for big freight tank locos, the LNW 0-8-4Ts being one exception but they mostly worked in South Wales. Colliery trip working would have been the most likely but this ended up in the hands of 8F 2-8-0s with much greater water capacity, after the pre-grouping 0-8-0s had gone.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

If we assume a 20-year jump on Nationalization, and we assume the same heavy influence from the effective-LMS, yet with the possibility of Maunsell in overall charge, how would that go?

 

I see the Woolwich Mogul being the largest locomotive for a decade.   At 4P5F in BR terms, the N class was right at what the Midland seemed to allow into the early days of the LMS.  I could see stagnation without the competition stemming from Grouping. 

 

I could also Dieselization either happening earlier, or being better implemented.   I've posed before that Midland/LMS 'small engine' policy better fit diesels & electric than steam.  Single-unit diesels capable of matching BR class 5 seemed to be well within late 40's capabilities.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, AlfaZagato said:

I see the Woolwich Mogul being the largest locomotive for a decade.   At 4P5F in BR terms, the N class was right at what the Midland seemed to allow into the early days of the LMS.  I could see stagnation without the competition stemming from Grouping. 

The ARLE also had a 2-8-0 design, albeit less advanced than the 2-6-0 proposals.  Its interesting that although Churchward appears to have been greatly involved in the ARLE proposals, by and large the result was rather less sophisticated than the Churchward standards with parallel round top boilers and 180psi boiler pressure.

  • Like 3
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 28/07/2021 at 11:21, Compound2632 said:

Besides, I don't think any of the GWR routes really offered ideal conditions for a compound. Too much chopping and changing of the character of the line.

The original main line, Paddington-Bristol, and the B & E as far as Taunton over the Somerset levels, were probably suitable for non-stop work by compounds, but really we are talking about having a very small number of locos for the Bristolian, and maybe a non-stop Oxford service for the academics.

 

6 hours ago, DK123GWR said:

Maunsell had been CME of the SE&CR since 1913. From what little I know of him it seems that he was more of a manager than a designer. Would this have been seen as desireable given the vast scope of the job?

Maunsell's strength was in production engineering and in providing locos that were practical and easy to prepare and maintain in service.  I think he'd have made a very good CME for a nationalised railway; his own designs were sound and he improved on Urie's very good 4-6-0s. 

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, DK123GWR said:

Hughes had been CME of the L&YR since 1904

And had produced some very good locomotives for that railway, including a 4 cylinder 4-6-0 as good as any in the country, not to mention the successful Crabs.  Seniority mattered in those days, which makes him a very strong candidate for the job.  Collett is probably ruled out due to lack of experience in the top job, and just as well given his reluctance to build completely new concepts.  Gresley was a bit of a one-trick pony, though he was very good at it; 3 cylinder pacifics, 2-8-0s, and big moguls; I suspect his toleration of antiquated workshop procedures might have told against him. 

  • Like 1
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, AlfaZagato said:

I could also Dieselization either happening earlier, or being better implemented.   I've posed before that Midland/LMS 'small engine' policy better fit diesels & electric than steam.  Single-unit diesels capable of matching BR class 5 seemed to be well within late 40's capabilities.

To the extent that Ivatt built two of them, very successfully.

 

It would be hard to institute a scheme of dieselisation that was worse implemented that the locomotive policy of the 1955 Modernisation Plan, but I doubt a post WW1 nationalised railway would have done it earlier.  350hp shunting locos were a no-brainer by the 30s, and dmus were making headway, but there was little spare money for main line diesel locos before WW2 because of the depression, and it would have been politically unacceptable to reduce the demand for home produced coal, especially after WW2.

2 hours ago, Michael Edge said:

, the LNW 0-8-4Ts being one exception but they mostly worked in South Wales.

In practice they mostly derailed in South Wales, by spreading  the road beneath them.

 

2 hours ago, Michael Edge said:

I don't think there was any work for it which might be why it was not built.

The downfall of a many a proposal for big locos in the UK, both actual and those generated by this thread.  Steam era freight speeds were mostly low, and train lengths limited by loops, layby sidings, and signalling overlaps to 60 standard length wagons.  60 mineral empties at 25mph is within the capacity of an 0-6-0 on reasonably level track.  In the UK, the early 8-coupled tender locos (and the LMS Garratts) were by and large a response to the need for economic haulage of loaded coal trains to London which had to climb over the Chilterns, or the Cotswolds in the case of the South Wales-Acton trains.  90 or 100 wagon loads were handled on these jobs, for which special signalling arrangements had to be invoked.  Of the early 8-coupled designs and excluding hump shunting locos, only the NER locos and GW big tanks were not for this traffic.  The Midland refused to play this game and simply double, triple, or quadruple headed the traffic with 0-6-0s, but built easier graded relief roads over Sharnbrook.

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, JimC said:

The ARLE also had a 2-8-0 design, albeit less advanced than the 2-6-0 proposals.  Its interesting that although Churchward appears to have been greatly involved in the ARLE proposals, by and large the result was rather less sophisticated than the Churchward standards with parallel round top boilers and 180psi boiler pressure.

I agree that the ARLE locos look a bit staid and would not have been ideal for a nationalised railway with a centralised standardised locomotive policy, but they were 'informed' to a large extent by wartime conditions and philosophies. 

 

3 hours ago, AlfaZagato said:

I see the Woolwich Mogul being the largest locomotive for a decade.   At 4P5F in BR terms, the N class was right at what the Midland seemed to allow into the early days of the LMS.  I could see stagnation without the competition stemming from Grouping. 

 

But there was no stagnation on the comparable European nationalised or state owned railways, quite the opposite, and I see no reason to assume it would have happened here.  The problem, as occurred with the actual nationalisation in the years following 1948, would have been resistance to new ideas and concepts driven by 'old company' loyalty and working methods, and not just on the ex-GW, but strong centralised management should have been able to overcome this.  Some favourites would never have been built, and the whole concept of British pacifics comes into question; there is very little actual need for non-stop Euston-Glasgow or KX-Edinburgh trains and such competition, while fun (no laughing matter had the LMS not been very lucky with 'Coronation' on the press run approach to Crewe) and fascinating for us enthusiasts may have been regarded as wasteful and uneccessary. 

 

I would envisage the main line trains as being fast, limited load, comfortable, regular interval hauled by 4-6-0s of the Lord Nelson concept, locos changed after about 200 miles.  Commuter would have been hauled by Maunsellesque Woolwich 3 cylinder 2-6-4Ts not unlike the Rivers, with the mixed traffic moguls being developed into a 6' driving wheel 4-6-0 in the late 20s or early 30s.  No streamliners, no pacifics.  The rest of the work might be handled by pre-grouping types.  Diesel shunting locos for yard work would have appeared as they did in reality in the 30s, and by by the end of WW2 there would probably have been a need for a light mixed traffic mogul with a prairie tank version, much like the Ivatt Mickey Mice as the Victorian 'Goods' 0-6-0s became life expired.  The 4-4-0s and 0-6-0s of the 20s and 30s would likely never have been built; no Hunts, Schools, 2251s, Q, J38/9, Dukedogs.  

 

A standard steel framed and bodied coach with bow ends and buckeye couplings would have emgerged in the mid 30s, probably not unlike early Bullied or Thompson styles, and available in 64' and 57' versions, including non-gangwayed, on Gresley bogies, the best available at the time.  There would have been a major expansion of 750v 3rd rail electrification on suburban routes throughout the country, but there would have been little cash after 1926 for main line electrification. 

 

The post-WW1 nationalised railway would probably have made no more progress with large capacity or vacuum fitted minerals than actually (largely didn't) happen unless the coal industry had been nationalised or at least centrally controlled as well, which would have been a politial move by Tory governments to control what they percieved as a communist threat, taking the heat out of union demands.  I don't think this was likely to have ever happened unless Lloyd George had led a government in the inter-war years, in which case it would have happened to the steel and shipbuilding industries as well.  Steel bodied minerals would have been adopted en masse from the mid 20s, and general merchandise freight stock would have improved, at the same time, with corrugated ends, steel or plywood bodies, vacuum brakes, and instanter couplings, screw for vac fitted XP stock. Horsehair axleboxes would have been eliminated.  A new national depot to depot freight service introduced in the 30s would have seen 40 foot bogie air braked 75mph stock with buckeye couplings, including intermodal traffic, the best in Europe in those days, though the common carrier obligation and mileage traffic would have remained.

 

Likes a game of 'what if', me.

Edited by The Johnster
  • Like 2
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Despite the value of it being proven in two world wars.  There is of course a thin line between 'strong, centralised, management' and management by dictat, but the wartime experiences show that it can be done very effectively.  And it's not just the English; we Welsh and the Scots are just as bad, and I have no reason to assume that the tradition Orange elite in Ulster were any better...

 

In peacetime, greed, short termism, and 'grab the money and run', the attitudes that built and destroyed the empire, rule unchecked.

  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, AlfaZagato said:

If we assume a 20-year jump on Nationalization, and we assume the same heavy influence from the effective-LMS, yet with the possibility of Maunsell in overall charge, how would that go?

 

I see the Woolwich Mogul being the largest locomotive for a decade.   At 4P5F in BR terms, the N class was right at what the Midland seemed to allow into the early days of the LMS.  I could see stagnation without the competition stemming from Grouping. 

 

I could also Dieselization either happening earlier, or being better implemented.   I've posed before that Midland/LMS 'small engine' policy better fit diesels & electric than steam.  Single-unit diesels capable of matching BR class 5 seemed to be well within late 40's capabilities.

 

There would still have been no escaping the pressing need for an express passenger locomotive capable of working the WCML traffic. Perhaps fifty "Improved Castles" after all? 

  • Like 1
  • Funny 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

BTW, just in case anyone's in any doubt what an "Improved Castle" would look like:

 

image.png.16bd3d601f65d7f1ecf78e684617e673.png

Ha !

 

When they were rebuilt (converted) they ended up as Improved Kings by quite some margin.

 

Gibbo.

Edited by Gibbo675
I missed typing the closing parentheses
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, The Johnster said:

though the common carrier obligation and mileage traffic would have remained.

 

Likes a game of 'what if', me.

Would it have remained? I'd have thought a government run railway would have removed or diluted the common carrier obligation pretty rapidly.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Gibbo675 said:

Ha !

 

When they were rebuilt (converted) they ended up as Improved Kings by quite some margin.

 

Gibbo.

 

I couldn't agree more. By far the finest express passenger 4-6-0s in Britain - the epitome of concentrated power.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, rodent279 said:

Would it have remained? I'd have thought a government run railway would have removed or diluted the common carrier obligation pretty rapidly.

 

Why? A state railway would (or should?) be run for the common good rather than the benefit of shareholders. There wasn't yet, in the early 20s, quite the road freight competition. Indeed, with the railway as a state asset, one could see road haulage developing (or not developing) quite differently. 

  • Agree 2
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Gibbo675 said:

Ha !

 

When they were rebuilt (converted) they ended up as Improved Kings by quite some margin.

 

Gibbo.

Yet the rebuilt Royal Scots were only given a 7P classification, compared to 8P for a King.

 

6 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Why? A state railway would (or should?) be run for the common good rather than the benefit of shareholders. There wasn't yet, in the early 20s, quite the road freight competition. Indeed, with the railway as a state asset, one could see road haulage developing (or not developing) quite differently. 

Wasn't the development of road haulage facilitated by WW2 surplus though? Eariler nationalisation would not (directly) affect that.

  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Why? A state railway would (or should?) be run for the common good rather than the benefit of shareholders. There wasn't yet, in the early 20s, quite the road freight competition. Indeed, with the railway as a state asset, one could see road haulage developing (or not developing) quite differently. 

Hi Stephen,

 

The roads versus rail argument very rarely takes into account of how the government plans to tax the populace.

 

It would seem that these days road tax and fuel duty generate considerably more than rail fares and goods tariffs that then has to be ploughed back into infrastructure.

 

Gibbo.

 

  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

5 minutes ago, Gibbo675 said:

Hi Stephen,

 

The roads versus rail argument very rarely takes into account of how the government plans to tax the populace.

 

It would seem that these days road tax and fuel duty generate considerably more than rail fares and goods tariffs that then has to be ploughed back into infrastructure.

 

Gibbo.

 

 

Vehicle excise duty and fuel duty are treated as general revenue. If they were ring-fenced for road infrastructure our pot-holes would be filled with compacted £20 notes. Or both duties would be much lower and something else would be much more heavily taxed - windows, for instance.

  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, DK123GWR said:

Yet the rebuilt Royal Scots were only given a 7P classification, compared to 8P for a King.

 

It's true that the King's larger cylinder volume (0.76 m³ swept out per revolution against 0.65 m³ for the Scot) and smaller driving wheels give it the edge in the tractive effort calculation (the two having the same boiler pressure), but the Scot benefited from getting on for two decades in advances in design - I'm sure @Gibbo675 and others with greater knowledge of locomotive engineering than I can itemise them but the most visible one has to be the use of outside Walschaert's valve gear.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Compound2632 said:

BTW, just in case anyone's in any doubt what an "Improved Castle" would look like:

 

image.png.16bd3d601f65d7f1ecf78e684617e673.png

I can never understand why they had such a ridiculously small chimney on the original, always thought they looked wrong as above

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, John Besley said:

I can never understand why they had such a ridiculously small chimney on the original, always thought they looked wrong as above

I think it's partly visual aesthetics-the large, squat smokebox makes the chimney look small by comparison.

I think I've read somewhere that the Scots were rated better sloggers with heavy loads, whereas the Kings were better runners with heavy loads. The rebuilt Scot must have been about the largest 4-6-0 possible within the UK loading gauge. A compound Scot would have been an interesting proposition.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Why? A state railway would (or should?) be run for the common good rather than the benefit of shareholders. There wasn't yet, in the early 20s, quite the road freight competition. Indeed, with the railway as a state asset, one could see road haulage developing (or not developing) quite differently. 

Would the government have wanted to effectively subsidise freight transport by rail? Dunno, debatable point, I guess it depends which colour of government, but my gut instinct is that any government would have reigned it in, at least to limit its liabilities.

  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just now, rodent279 said:

Would the government have wanted to effectively subsidise freight transport by rail? Dunno, debatable point, I guess it depends which colour of government, but my gut instinct is that any government would have reigned it in, at least to limit its liabilities.

 

Whether or not the railway would loose money on being a common carrier would, in the absence of road competition, depend on what rates were set. After all, the railways had made money as common carriers before the Great War.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

It's true that the King's larger cylinder volume (0.76 m³ swept out per revolution against 0.65 m³ for the Scot) and smaller driving wheels give it the edge in the tractive effort calculation (the two having the same boiler pressure), but the Scot benefited from getting on for two decades in advances in design - I'm sure @Gibbo675 and others with greater knowledge of locomotive engineering than I can itemise them but the most visible one has to be the use of outside Walschaert's valve gear.

Hi Stephen,

 

The Scots had three cylinders of a shorter stroke than the Kings which allow for more power at elevated speeds in the same way that Gresley and Bullied Pacifics were both fast and powerful, this allows for a different torque characteristic and better cylinder filling at speed. Another factor that is not always appreciated is that the steam circuits of the Scots, and the Gresley and Bullied pacifics is considerably better designed in that the steam pipes are not only of much larger diameter but also much straighter giving a greater manifold effect at speed and reduced boundary layer friction, also better exhaust passage design, both again assisting the cylinder filling and exhaust back pressures at speed. Bullied went one step further with the manifold effect within the steam chest by way of outside admission rather than inside admission, this also assisted the exhaust by better mixing the exhaust steam further from the blast pipe tip thus reducing the pulse effect that can lift a fire bed under conditions of high speed and power.

 

Stroke to wheel diameter ratios:

  • Scots 26:81 = .32 
  • A3/A4 26:80 = .325
  • MN/WC/BB 24:74 = .324
  • King 28:78 = .358
  • Star 26:80.5 = .323

It would seem that the King class was a somewhat backward step from the Star class of twenty one years earlier.

 

That a King class can start a very heavy train is not disputed, however hauling that train at high speed is beyond them compared to a Scot as most of the power they produce works against itself by way of the arrangement of the steam circuit. The LMS Princess Royal class were just as powerful and just a sluggish as the Kings for the very same reason.

 

Gibbo.

 

51 minutes ago, John Besley said:

I can never understand why they had such a ridiculously small chimney on the original, always thought they looked wrong as above

Hi John,

 

As described above, it is what you can't see from the outside that makes all the difference. The full arrangement of the chimney extends down into the smoke box to about the level of the top hinge door strap. The full height of the chimney would have been about 36" as measured from the top of what is seen atop the smoke box.

 

Gibbo.

Edited by Gibbo675
Correcting my mathematics
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, John Besley said:

I can never understand why they had such a ridiculously small chimney on the original, always thought they looked wrong as above

The design philosophy behind the Royal Scots was to have as large as possible a boiler within the confines of the loading gauge, and as this was a parallel boiler the smokebox drum corresponded to in it diameter.  This meant that there was in fact very little room for a chimney any taller than that provided; this led to the need for smoke deflectors and, when the locos were rebuilt by Ivatt, the use of a tapered boiler relieved the situation a little, but deflectors were still found to be necessary. 

 

The nearest equivalent to the original Royal Scots was probably the Lord Nelsons, but these had slightly tapered boilers and therefore more prominent chimneys even before the LeMaitre type was fitted.  Again, smoke deflectors were found to be neccessary.  The Kings, with slightly smaller diameter driving wheels allowing the boiler to be pitched a few inches lower, and a more pronounced taper to the boiler resulting in the smokebox being able to be of a smaller diameter, were able to feature proportionally taller chimneys, which did not need smoke deflectors.

 

The double chimney King versus rebuilt Royal Scot argument is a long standing one, and probably too highly partisan for any useful conclusions to be drawn from it.  Both locos were very powerful for 4-6-0s, but the Scots should have had the edge for speed, because of the larger diameter driving wheels.  The Scots had a reputation for rough riding which seems to have been to do with the load transferred from the rear of the locomotive by the tender.  Both locos suffered stress failures in the frames due to power being increased beyond what the frames were designed for.  Neither class lasted to the end of steam, which suggests that there were deep rooted problems with both of them.

 

The story of 20th century locomotive development in British express locomotives is one of ever bigger boilers, firstly to handle the increasing loads of the pre-grouping era, and then to increase speeds to cut journey times in the 20s and 30s.  This presented two new problems, firstly the difficulty of providing a good forward view for drivers, who were stuck behind long fat boilers and in some cases Belpaire fireboxes, and smoke lifting as smoke and steam failed to clear from the fat boilers and obscured the drivers' view ahead even further.  It might be argued that 4-6-0s with narrow fireboxes, and especially with taper boilers, were better in these respects than pacifics, and especially so if they did not need smoke deflectors; the GW can claim some superiority in this regard.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...