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30 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

I don't think that they had any mechanism. Indeed it could be a reason why they did not succeed.

 

If I were building a model, I think that I would cheat by using a motor bogie of some sort under the passenger compartments and giving plenty of sideplay to the freewheeling loco axle.

 

I would guess that they were just more trouble than they were worth, the notional savings being lost in the general complexity and working costs. They look like quite an advanced piece of carpentry, lacking overall structural rigidity. 

 

I don’t know how a model would be laid out. I’d suggest some sort of long-wheelbase bogie frame for the trailing axles, with the pivot over the outside axle? A 2-wheel Power bogie sounds like making life difficult for no useful reason. 

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The first decade of the 20th century saw a lot of railways experiment with steam railcar designs. Most were a lot more conventional than this French effort, but then most did not require a tri-class passenger section, British regulations only insisted on one train a day carrying third class passengers.

 

Few made it past World War One, mainly because having a boiler and oscillating pistons on the same frame as passenger seats did not make for a good passenger experience. The concept of self-powered railcars needed the internal combustion engine.

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4 hours ago, rockershovel said:

 

I would guess that they were just more trouble than they were worth, the notional savings being lost in the general complexity and working costs. They look like quite an advanced piece of carpentry, lacking overall structural rigidity. 

 

I don’t know how a model would be laid out. I’d suggest some sort of long-wheelbase bogie frame for the trailing axles, with the pivot over the outside axle? A 2-wheel Power bogie sounds like making life difficult for no useful reason. 

I agree about them being more trouble than they were worth but I don't think they'd have had any structural problems. The underframe is  fairly standard "systeme Vidard"  which, at a time  when wooden chassis were still normal used steel (possibly iron) solebars with a curved "swan neck" at each end to enable the floor of the lower deck to be lowered by about 50cms while still keeping the buffers and drawbar at the normal height and transmitting the drawing and buffing forces appropriately.

Voitures_deux_etages.jpg.fc8c1fa9a41b892747f860293220f862.jpg

 

This arrangement, invented in 1864, allowed more room for the upper deck so that it could be an enclosed saloon rather than the open sided  death traps  used on commuter services around Paris by both the Ouest and the Est.

 

1069738172_6.Voiture_Ouest__impriale_de_3e_classe.jpg.1d5f99a81a04887c83ec4bb4475509e7.jpg

 

For the steam railcar  they simply bolted the motor unit between the ends of the solebars. The driving wheels were fairly close to the nearest coach wheels so the wheelbase was only 4.55m, no longer than that of the coupled wheels of a 140C consolidation  so it it wouldn't have needed much in the way of sideplay and could have been turned on amost any locomotive turntable.  The engine section could be unbolted and separated from the coach for major maintenance and seems to have been a self contained power unit but otherwise stayed with it.

There was a larger but not dissimiar double deck steam railcar built in Germany around the same time but I've no reason to think it was any more successful

159984120_DampftriebwagenGluckAufGeorgThomas.jpg.dffe0ab5e1a77eb9f44035076dd5a312.jpg

 

1922257187_GeorgThomasautomotricevapeursideelevation.jpg.416d7216e0fc0e701fbb7932250bdafd.jpg

 

Several British railways -including the GC and GWR - also built 'steam railmotors' but were they any more succesful and if so why?

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pacific231G said:

I agree about them being more trouble than they were worth but I don't think they'd have had any structural problems. The underframe is  fairly standard "systeme Vidard"  which used steel solebars with a curved "swan neck" at each to enable the floor of the lower deck to be lowered while still keeping the buffers and drawbar at the normal height and transmitting the drawing and buffing forces appropriately.

Voitures_deux_etages.jpg.fc8c1fa9a41b892747f860293220f862.jpg

 

This arrangement, invented in 1864, allowed more room for the upper deck so that it could be an enclosed saloon rather than the open sided  death traps  used on commuter services around Paris by both the Ouest and the Est.

 

1069738172_6.Voiture_Ouest__impriale_de_3e_classe.jpg.1d5f99a81a04887c83ec4bb4475509e7.jpg

 

For the steam railcar  they simply bolted the motor unit between the ends of the solebars. The driving wheels were fairly close to the nearest coach wheels so the wheelbase was only 4.55m, no longer than that of the coupled wheels of a 140C consolidation  so it it wouldn't have needed much in the way of sideplay and could have been turned on amost any locomotive turntable.  The engine section could be unbolted and separated from the coach for major maintenance and seems to have been a self contained power unit but otherwise stayed with it.

There was a larger but not dissimiar double deck steam railcar built in Germany around the same time but I've no reason to think it was any more successful

159984120_DampftriebwagenGluckAufGeorgThomas.jpg.dffe0ab5e1a77eb9f44035076dd5a312.jpg

 

1922257187_GeorgThomasautomotricevapeursideelevation.jpg.416d7216e0fc0e701fbb7932250bdafd.jpg

 

Several British railways -including the GC and GWR - also built 'steam railmotors' but were they any more succesful and if so why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that if these things were a successful format, they would have been more widely used. 

 

It does beg the question of what the ride was like, in the little 4-2-4 “inspection saloon” built by Drummond ..

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From Taff Vale experience they were successful but couldn't cope, even with a trailer, with the number of passenger demands as the population increased. So replaced by autotrains; both TVR and GWR converted the carriages into auto-train carriages.i

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2 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

 

Several British railways -including the GC and GWR - also built 'steam railmotors' but were they any more succesful and if so why?

 

 

 

Yes. But they had a problem.

 

More people used them as they were quick and reliable, so they had to reinstate proper trains again so were back to square one. Most of the GWR, MR, LNWR, etc. railmotor services went over to push/pull trains.

 

 

Jason

 

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In that sense they were victims of their own success.  They were a response by the railways to increasing competition for urban local traffic from the new electric tramways that were springing up everywhere, and indeed the UK  ones often had similar seating to the new trams, with reversible backs for when the direction of travel changed.  Often the guard had no particular accomodation and had to sell the tickets, in the same way as a bus conductor.  They were associated with the provision of unstaffed halts and stopping places, much like tram stops.   They were successful in that they generated new traffic that the railways had not served before, and the next stage was to build trailers for them.   As they were usually barely capable of shifting their own weight, this resulted in late running and unreliable service (running out of steam and having to stop for a blow up was not uncommon). 

 

As this period coincided with the replacement of small locos with bigger more powerful ones as loads increased with the introduction of bogie coaches, and these redacted locos were thus available to haul or propel the trailers while retaining the advantage of being able to do normal light duties when they were not required to work with the trailers.  A drawback to the railmotors was that any fault with the locmotive meant that the passenger portion had to be taken out of service as well, and a normal train of the sort that it had been decided was uneconomic on such services had to be substituted.  Various systems of controlling locos from the driving cabs of trailer coaches were used, the GW using a mechanical system of rods, shafts, and universal couplings, while other railways used vacuum or air systems.  The Taff Vale used cables and pulleys above the coach and cab roofs.  In most cases, only 3rd class  was provided.

 

They were in some ways the forerunners of multiple unit trains.

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1 hour ago, The Johnster said:

In that sense they were victims of their own success.  They were a response by the railways to increasing competition for urban local traffic from the new electric tramways that were springing up everywhere, and indeed the UK  ones often had similar seating to the new trams, with reversible backs for when the direction of travel changed.  Often the guard had no particular accomodation and had to sell the tickets, in the same way as a bus conductor.  They were associated with the provision of unstaffed halts and stopping places, much like tram stops.   They were successful in that they generated new traffic that the railways had not served before, and the next stage was to build trailers for them.   As they were usually barely capable of shifting their own weight, this resulted in late running and unreliable service (running out of steam and having to stop for a blow up was not uncommon). 

 

As this period coincided with the replacement of small locos with bigger more powerful ones as loads increased with the introduction of bogie coaches, and these redacted locos were thus available to haul or propel the trailers while retaining the advantage of being able to do normal light duties when they were not required to work with the trailers.  A drawback to the railmotors was that any fault with the locmotive meant that the passenger portion had to be taken out of service as well, and a normal train of the sort that it had been decided was uneconomic on such services had to be substituted.  Various systems of controlling locos from the driving cabs of trailer coaches were used, the GW using a mechanical system of rods, shafts, and universal couplings, while other railways used vacuum or air systems.  The Taff Vale used cables and pulleys above the coach and cab roofs.  In most cases, only 3rd class  was provided.

 

They were in some ways the forerunners of multiple unit trains.

Hi Johnster,

 

You can't half get some words down in your various postings !

 

Have you ever thought of writing a book ?

 

Gibbo.

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I have thought about it.  I enjoy writing and find it a good way to arrange my thoughts, and if anyone else enjoys reading the stuff that's a bonus.  But I'll never write a book; I don't know enough about anything to write a reference book and I'm not creative enough for fiction.  I was probably the only kid in my school who enioyed writing essays, and that is still fundamentally my approach.  I'll never write an article either, though it's tempting and probably within my capacity, because articles mean publications and publications mean editors and deadlines; far too stressy!

 

Thank you for your kind words, though, and apologies if I sometimes degenerate into a bit of a ramble, or a rant...

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11 hours ago, The Johnster said:

In that sense they were victims of their own success.  They were a response by the railways to increasing competition for urban local traffic from the new electric tramways that were springing up everywhere, and indeed the UK  ones often had similar seating to the new trams, with reversible backs for when the direction of travel changed.  Often the guard had no particular accomodation and had to sell the tickets, in the same way as a bus conductor.  They were associated with the provision of unstaffed halts and stopping places, much like tram stops.   They were successful in that they generated new traffic that the railways had not served before, and the next stage was to build trailers for them.   As they were usually barely capable of shifting their own weight, this resulted in late running and unreliable service (running out of steam and having to stop for a blow up was not uncommon). 

 

As this period coincided with the replacement of small locos with bigger more powerful ones as loads increased with the introduction of bogie coaches, and these redacted locos were thus available to haul or propel the trailers while retaining the advantage of being able to do normal light duties when they were not required to work with the trailers.  A drawback to the railmotors was that any fault with the locmotive meant that the passenger portion had to be taken out of service as well, and a normal train of the sort that it had been decided was uneconomic on such services had to be substituted.  Various systems of controlling locos from the driving cabs of trailer coaches were used, the GW using a mechanical system of rods, shafts, and universal couplings, while other railways used vacuum or air systems.  The Taff Vale used cables and pulleys above the coach and cab roofs.  In most cases, only 3rd class  was provided.

 

They were in some ways the forerunners of multiple unit trains.

 

In the case of the SE&CR the adoption of steam railcars was the result of the infrastructure - in this case human infrastructure - not keeping pace with requirements. In 1901 the SE&CR went into an agreement to operate the Sheppey Light Railway, a Holman Stephens (not Colonel yet) engineered line from Queenborough to Leysdown, traversing what was then - and still is - a lot of nothing. Passenger traffic was very light and not expected to grow either, so the SE&CR looked for a cheaper way of running trains than conventional locomotives and carriages. They trialled a couple of petrol-engined railcars and were on the point of buying one when the issue of maintenance came up. Motor engineers were rare beasts in 1903 and the SE&CR couldn't find one prepared to move to Sheppey. There was also the issue of cold mornings, apparently one of the trial machines needed a push start from a steam engine on frosty mornings. As a result the SE&CR went back to tried and tested technology and bought a couple of steam railcars.

 

The steam railcars were successful on Sheppey, and also on the white elephant line from Strood to Chatham Central. This line, which ran parallel to the main London Chatham and Dover mainline, was built - complete with its own bridge over the Medway - when the competition between SER and LCDR was at its most bitter and manic, almost a personal vendetta between the respective chairmen. Not surprisingly it was never profitable - or even viable - and after merger was operated as a short stub for ten years before closure. A railcar shuttling back and forth met the operational requirements amply.

 

Now the SE&CR board were lulled into thinking steam railcars were the future for lines with light passenger traffic and they ordered six more. They should have paid more attention to Sheppey. On Sheppey there was still a need for a steam engine for the freight traffic, it's why the SE&CR bought a secondhand Terrier from the Brighton. And there wasn't actually enough for this goods engine to do. Railcars were fine for short shuttles, but otherwise their limitations were clear.

 

The SE&CR spent the years before World War One trying to find a use for these railcars. They tried them on Romney Marsh, in theory the way the lines to New Romney and Dungeness were operated should have suited them, but they were soon replaced by loco-hauled trains again. Romney Marsh was flat though, the Elham Valley line was not. Operationally, providing extra services on the busier part of the line between Folkestone and Elham was a good idea. Unfortunately fully loaded railcars struggled with the gradients. Similar issues stymied them in providing extra services between Dover, Folkestone and Hythe.

 

After World War One the railcars returned to Sheppey. At least the coach portions did, pairs of them united over a common bogie to form an articulated saloon. In that form they ran over the Sheppey Light Railway for another thirty years.

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This fascinating story, which describes events I know little of (though I was aware that the LC&D and the SER were bitter rivals and that both suffered from underfunding, eventually merging), has echoes of the misfortunate Cardiff Railway.  This was built during the late 19th century at a time when traffic gridlock, both railway and marine, at Cardiff Docks had already led to the construction of a successful competitor in the form of the Barry Railway.  The Cardiff, promoted by the Bute Docks company, extended the existing Bute owned docks network with running powers over the Rhymney Railway as far as the new Heath Junction, from where a new line was built in the Taff valley as far as Treforest, where it was to tap into the lucrative coal traffic of the Taff Vale Railway, thus it effectively paralleled both the Taff Vale and the Pontypridd, Caerphilly, and Newport lines, all competing for passenger traffic in the same valley. 

 

The Taff Vale was the main player in this area but it's line ran up the sparsely populated western side of the valley, while the PC&N and the new Cardiff Rly passed through the settlements on the eastern side, Rhydyfelin, Upper Boat, and Nantgarw, with the CR serving Tongwynlais as well.  The Taff Vale rigorously opposed it's building and were successful in getting a court injunction preventing the Cardiff from using the new juntion at Treforest; one coal train traversed it on the opening day and that was it; the expensive viaduct over the Taff stood derelict for years and parts can still be seen.  The Cardiff's stations, some 4 track with centre roads to allow the coal trains unhindered abiility to pass the passenger traffic in much the same way as the Barry Railway's Vale of Glamorgan did, lavishly provided with comfortable passenger facilities to host an intensive suburban service between Cardiff and Pontypridd, never saw much traffic and the CR was quick to use steam railmotors with matching trailers on this service, which was perforce cut back to Rhydyfelin.  The remaining stub of it forms the Coryton Branch in Cardiff's northern suburbs. 

 

These railmotor/trailer trains were operationally successful enough, able to manage the 1 in 60 between Crockherbtown and Heath, (the Rhymney section), which was the only seriious gradient on the route.  They were rebuilt post-grouping by the GW as auto trailers with the GW's standard auto gearand lasted until the late 50s on the Coryton service.  The GW closed the line to passenger traffic beyond Coryton not long after taking it over, but retained the connection as far as Nantgarw Coliiery for coal traiffic until 1950, when development at the colliery which provided a new coking plant saw the opening of a new railway, the last in the South Wales network, from Taffs Well to Nantgarw.  The Cardiff  between Coryton and it's junction with the new line had become increasingly derelict and was now abandoned, 'not a bang but a whimper' being the end of what could have been a busy and profitable scheme.  The current A470 dual carriageway is built over it's trackbed between Tongwynlais and Rhydyfelin.

 

The Coryton branch, with low overheads and a large and wealthy catchment, is still in business, and making money, but the line was never viable beyond Coryton for passeneger traffic, even with the railmotor/trailer trains.  The grouping must have seemed like Christmas to GW shareholders who were handed on a plate the, Cardiff Railway apart, higly profitable independent railways and railway owned docks of South Wales, but it turned within less than half a dozen years into a poisoned chalice.  The 1926 coal strike mortally wounded that industry, though it took another 60 years to finish it off, and the Wall Street crash began a decade of severe economic depression across the world in 1929.  Oil became an increasingly used fuel and coal, along with the railways associated with it and the communities they served , went into a terminal decline the effects of which are still with us now.

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When it comes to weird if not worst looking locos. This takes some beating

50604740_CageapoulesLocomotive-fourgon.jpg.db38662b40344bf794628c5cc87d47ea.jpg

 

1372709654_cage_a_poule2.jpg.5ed048bb48b3be83908f3290b1e4004e.jpg

It's the locomotive and baggage car element of a three unit 'thing' popularly known as the Cage à Poules (chicken coop)

cage_a_poule.jpg.bc1aa8baccd816e6c43230df1234022f.jpg

The C.F. du Nord built at least ten of these in the 1900s to provide a train-tramway service from Gare de Nord to La Chapelle-Saint Denis connecting with the Petite Ceinture  that ran around Paris just inside the line of its one time defences. I tthink they also served some less traficked northern industrial suburbs of Paris.

It would have benefitted from the 1880 dispensation for a two man crew (driver and guard). Technically it wasn't really a railcar despute its title of Voiture Vapeur as the loco could be uncoupled from its carriages. It was controlled from a single  raised cab (assuming there was no fireman it would have had to be) but with two sets of driving controls allowing the driver to be on the left looking over the cut away side of each coach in either direction.

Despitr their bizarre appearance, these were quite successful and were in service until at least 1932 

2070249863_cageapoulesNord.jpg.63641755a14fb2a01119a26624c4873a.jpg

Cage A Poules loco.jpg

Edited by Pacific231G
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58 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

This fascinating story, which describes events I know little of (though I was aware that the LC&D and the SER were bitter rivals and that both suffered from underfunding, eventually merging), has echoes of the misfortunate Cardiff Railway.  This was built during the late 19th century at a time when traffic gridlock, both railway and marine, at Cardiff Docks had already led to the construction of a successful competitor in the form of the Barry Railway.  The Cardiff, promoted by the Bute Docks company, extended the existing Bute owned docks network with running powers over the Rhymney Railway as far as the new Heath Junction, from where a new line was built in the Taff valley as far as Treforest, where it was to tap into the lucrative coal traffic of the Taff Vale Railway, thus it effectively paralleled both the Taff Vale and the Pontypridd, Caerphilly, and Newport lines, all competing for passenger traffic in the same valley. 

 

The Taff Vale was the main player in this area but it's line ran up the sparsely populated western side of the valley, while the PC&N and the new Cardiff Rly passed through the settlements on the eastern side, Rhydyfelin, Upper Boat, and Nantgarw, with the CR serving Tongwynlais as well.  The Taff Vale rigorously opposed it's building and were successful in getting a court injunction preventing the Cardiff from using the new juntion at Treforest; one coal train traversed it on the opening day and that was it; the expensive viaduct over the Taff stood derelict for years and parts can still be seen.  The Cardiff's stations, some 4 track with centre roads to allow the coal trains unhindered abiility to pass the passenger traffic in much the same way as the Barry Railway's Vale of Glamorgan did, lavishly provided with comfortable passenger facilities to host an intensive suburban service between Cardiff and Pontypridd, never saw much traffic and the CR was quick to use steam railmotors with matching trailers on this service, which was perforce cut back to Rhydyfelin.  The remaining stub of it forms the Coryton Branch in Cardiff's northern suburbs. 

 

These railmotor/trailer trains were operationally successful enough, able to manage the 1 in 60 between Crockherbtown and Heath, (the Rhymney section), which was the only seriious gradient on the route.  They were rebuilt post-grouping by the GW as auto trailers with the GW's standard auto gearand lasted until the late 50s on the Coryton service.  The GW closed the line to passenger traffic beyond Coryton not long after taking it over, but retained the connection as far as Nantgarw Coliiery for coal traiffic until 1950, when development at the colliery which provided a new coking plant saw the opening of a new railway, the last in the South Wales network, from Taffs Well to Nantgarw.  The Cardiff  between Coryton and it's junction with the new line had become increasingly derelict and was now abandoned, 'not a bang but a whimper' being the end of what could have been a busy and profitable scheme.  The current A470 dual carriageway is built over it's trackbed between Tongwynlais and Rhydyfelin.

 

The Coryton branch, with low overheads and a large and wealthy catchment, is still in business, and making money, but the line was never viable beyond Coryton for passeneger traffic, even with the railmotor/trailer trains.  The grouping must have seemed like Christmas to GW shareholders who were handed on a plate the, Cardiff Railway apart, higly profitable independent railways and railway owned docks of South Wales, but it turned within less than half a dozen years into a poisoned chalice.  The 1926 coal strike mortally wounded that industry, though it took another 60 years to finish it off, and the Wall Street crash began a decade of severe economic depression across the world in 1929.  Oil became an increasingly used fuel and coal, along with the railways associated with it and the communities they served , went into a terminal decline the effects of which are still with us now.

Well that's another chapter to add to, Johnster's Complete Tome of  Miscellaneous Informatives, Volume XIV.

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3 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

When it comes to weird if not worst looking locos. This takes some beating

50604740_CageapoulesLocomotive-fourgon.jpg.db38662b40344bf794628c5cc87d47ea.jpg

 

1372709654_cage_a_poule2.jpg.5ed048bb48b3be83908f3290b1e4004e.jpg

It's the locomotive and baggage car element of a three unit 'thing' popularly known as the Cage à Poules (chicken coop)

cage_a_poule.jpg.bc1aa8baccd816e6c43230df1234022f.jpg

The C.F. du Nord built at least ten of these in the 1900s to provide a train-tramway service from Gare de Nord to La Chapelle-Saint Denis connecting with the Petite Ceinture  that ran around Paris just inside the line of its one time defences. I tthink they also served some less traficked northern industrial suburbs of Paris.

It would have benefitted from the 1880 dispensation for a two man crew (driver and guard). Technically it wasn't really a railcar despute its title of Voiture Vapeur as the loco could be uncoupled from its carriages. It was controlled from a single  raised cab (assuming there was no fireman it would have had to be) but with two sets of driving controls allowing the driver to be on the left looking over the cut away side of each coach in either direction.

Despitr their bizarre appearance, these were quite successful and were in service until at least 1932 

2070249863_cageapoulesNord.jpg.63641755a14fb2a01119a26624c4873a.jpg

Cage A Poules loco.jpg

Fascinating stuff. I can see the idea behind the cutaway in the carriages, but was there any use made of the half height part below the windows?

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4 hours ago, Ramblin Rich said:

Fascinating stuff. I can see the idea behind the cutaway in the carriages, but was there any use made of the half height part below the windows?

Hi Rich

Yes. They were used as lockers for additional baggage. The saloons were only a bit over seven feet wide (2.236m) so the seating was longitudinal with passengers facing one another with their back to the windows- a bit like a lot of modern tube cars (but no standing passengers in the 1st class saloon!)  The guard could reach all three saloons to check tickets and , since this was a train-tramway, possibly sell them as well, and of course the driving cab should the driver beome incapacitated.

 

I've now found an article about these units in Le Revue des Chemins de Fer et des Tramways from 1904 and it makes for fascinating reading with some fairly detailed diagrams. The greatest challenge was for one man to drive and fire the unit  with equal facility in each direction. That required two control positions and some special controls particualrly of the regulator as the two cylinders were compound. The boiler had a large water capacity for its size so that the driver didn't need to constantly fuss over water levels while driving and there were two water gauges so one could be seen easily from either driving position. The driver did though have to get down and fire the boiler during station stops. In the central section was the driver's cab, boiler, engine, guards compartment (with desk and fold down seat) and the baggage compartment which could at busy times accomodate six passengers, probably not the most comfortable place to ride though on a cold day better than the eight places on the two end platforms 

I hadn't noticed before that some of the central sections shown in the postcards were dummies- in other words with the boiler boxed in to look like part of the carriage complete with painted windows  though that's not the case in other so whether later units were built without this or they were simply removed later I don't know. That "coachwork" is in the original drawings of the prototype set from 1904. ISTR that the GWR also used enclosed locos nicely painted chocolate and cream with painted windows with some of the locos used for early auto-trains. 

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On 15/03/2020 at 12:40, The Johnster said:

I’d say the cold dead hand of Oliver Bulleid has a part to play, by way of the SUBs, EPBs, CEP/CIG etc, PEP and derivates, 313s, eyc
 

 

He didn't have much option with the dreaded yellow panel.  With such a colourful unit, it was  a bit of a waste of time, at the closing speed of any collision, the colour wouldn't have made much difference!

     Brian.

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9 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Ugly or not (and my mental jury is still out), it’s impressive.   These Pearson single tanks had a reputation for speed as well.  

 

Like a lot of earlier BG locos, they seem to have anticipated Steampunk by well over a century. I have to admit, if I was asked to name a route suited to high-speed trains hauled by single-driver locos, Bristol to Exeter wouldn’t come to mind. 

 

I certainly can’t think of any other express locomotive with no flanged driving wheels. 

 

One detail which did surface while carrying out a quick google for background information, is that one of the GWR BG single classes included a loco named Arab. Wikipedia has a rather PC explanation involving persons of a ME ethnic persuasion, but I would think it more likely that the intended reference was to the breed of horse, with connotations of speed and stamina. 

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3 hours ago, rockershovel said:

One detail which did surface while carrying out a quick google for background information, is that one of the GWR BG single classes included a loco named Arab. Wikipedia has a rather PC explanation involving persons of a ME ethnic persuasion, but I would think it more likely that the intended reference was to the breed of horse, with connotations of speed and stamina. 

I've just bought a copy of the RCTS book L&NWR Locomotive names, and it gives five possible origins:

Apart from the indigenous North African tribesmen, several sources are possible

1. The name of the earthwork fortress which held out against the Russian army during the Crimean War

2. The breed of horse, famous because of the horsemanship of the Arabs in battle.

3. The name of warship in service at the time

4. A stagecoach name

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13 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Ugly or not (and my mental jury is still out), it’s impressive.   These Pearson single tanks had a reputation for speed as well.  

When new, one was credited with 81.8 mph down Wellington Bank. Like all speed records of that sort, one might be inclined to treat it with some scepticism, but for the fact that MacDermot and Clinker thought it reliable.

 

In any event, the only brakes on the engine were blocks between the wheels of the trailing bogies.

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1 hour ago, Andy Kirkham said:

I've just bought a copy of the RCTS book L&NWR Locomotive names, and it gives five possible origins:

Apart from the indigenous North African tribesmen, several sources are possible

1. The name of the earthwork fortress which held out against the Russian army during the Crimean War

2. The breed of horse, famous because of the horsemanship of the Arabs in battle.

3. The name of warship in service at the time

4. A stagecoach name

 

You might just as well ask why a stage coach or warship might bear the name. The warship appears to be one if those cases where names pass to a succession of vessels, and appears to have been originally an Angkicised version of its previous French name. It’s too early for the Crimean one (in the GWR case) so my money’s on the stagecoach and locomotive both being named in reference to the breed of horse. YMMV, of course. 

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14 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Ugly or not (and my mental jury is still out), it’s impressive.   These Pearson single tanks had a reputation for speed as well.  

 

Apart from the unavoidable Brio effect of wheels set to broad gauge, it's the brutalist treatment of the drivers that raises eyebrows*.  With the running plate swept up over the outside subframes and a proper slotted paddlebox splasher they'd look a lot more conventional.

 

And the suspension - what were those long rods made of?

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33 minutes ago, Flying Pig said:

 

Apart from the unavoidable Brio effect of wheels set to broad gauge, it's the brutalist treatment of the drivers that raises eyebrows*.  With the running plate swept up over the outside subframes and a proper slotted paddlebox splasher they'd look a lot more conventional.

 

And the suspension - what were those long rods made of?

 

I rather like the arresting visual treatment of the drivers. There’s a distinct step change between early locomotives and later Victorian types, the “primitives” having been left behind but the Victorian aesthetic of polished brass and subtle compound curves not yet developed. Look at the footplate crew (at least, I assume the figure bottom left is the driver). These are hard men, skilled in their trade, pushing the frontiers of a new technology: and don’t they know it! 

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