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Why did some classes not go to Woodhams?


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4 hours ago, br2975 said:

It appears they were purchased by a Briton Ferry or Swansea scrap yard; but someone realised they were banned west of Cardiff on the South Wales main line.

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They were resold to Woodham Bros. and allowed to be moved, slowly, as far as Barry instead..

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I've no doubt some contributors will have differing versions.

 

I think that it comes down to why they were banned west of Cardiff. If it was loading gauge then they are not going anywhere. If it's weight then having a loco with no coal or water makes it a lot lighter (by several tonnes) and make it easier to move. This was the benefit of the BR RA system in that it is 'fairly' easy to reverse calculate a pseudo RA number for something not in a normal condition. I have no idea if you could do that for the WR colour system.

 

One of our roads managed to get a chunk gouged out of it by a GW tank loco, it was sat on a load loader full of water instead of empty - first dip curve it overloaded the trailer embedded itself into the tarmac.

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5 hours ago, br2975 said:

It appears they were purchased by a Briton Ferry or Swansea scrap yard; but someone realised they were banned west of Cardiff on the South Wales main line.

.

They were resold to Woodham Bros. and allowed to be moved, slowly, as far as Barry instead..

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I've no doubt some contributors will have differing versions.

That makes sense.  Kings were banned west of Cardif on the Barry route as well, but a slow move when traffic was light is a lot easier to arrange on the Barry than the busy SWML.  IIRC the actual restriction was platforms 1 and 3 at Cardiff General station as well as the up and down mains (middle roads).  They could not run in to platform 1 from the Swansea end or depart from 2 at the Newport end, and only use 3 in the down direction.  They could haul stock to the carriage sidings from 3, and of course run to Canton shed reception roads, but could not haul stock from the carriage sidings to platform 1, and this was done by the up pilot for trains originating at Cardiff.  The King waited on the loco spur off no.1 goods, visible from Saunders Road.

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8 hours ago, The Johnster said:

That makes sense.  Kings were banned west of Cardif on the Barry route as well, but a slow move when traffic was light is a lot easier to arrange on the Barry than the busy SWML.  IIRC the actual restriction was platforms 1 and 3 at Cardiff General station as well as the up and down mains (middle roads).  They could not run in to platform 1 from the Swansea end or depart from 2 at the Newport end, and only use 3 in the down direction.  They could haul stock to the carriage sidings from 3, and of course run to Canton shed reception roads, but could not haul stock from the carriage sidings to platform 1, and this was done by the up pilot for trains originating at Cardiff.  The King waited on the loco spur off no.1 goods, visible from Saunders Road.

 

One wonders why the GW designed a loco class with so many restrictions, its not as though their 6fts weren't big enough.

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41 minutes ago, Bomag said:

 

One wonders why the GW designed a loco class with so many restrictions, its not as though their 6fts weren't big enough.

When they were introduced they were designed for a limited number of services and they didn't wander around.

Mainly Paddington - Wolverhampton & Paddington - Plymouth.

As a result they were initially (IIRC) only at OOC, Stafford Road & Laira

 

You could say the same with the coaches.

Why build 73' x 9' 7' coaches that couldn't be used on many of the company's routes and also couldn't be used off system at all?

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1 minute ago, melmerby said:

When they were introduced they were designed for a limited number of services and they didn't wander around.

Mainly Paddington - Wolverhampton & Paddington - Plymouth.

As a result they were initially (IIRC) only at OOC, Stafford Road & Laira

 

You could say the same with the coaches.

Why build 73' x 9' 7' coaches that couldn't be used on many of the company's routes and also couldn't be used off system at all?

 

There is a difference between not being able to cross Saltash Bridge to only being able to access platforms from one end. I have no idea about the coaches either, I assume they were used on fixed diagrams - there is a difference between a limited number of captive rakes of coach than a fleet of 30 locos

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This is ground covered many times before, but the Kings were originally intended as a more general use top link express passenger loco than it eventually proved to be.  To understand the evolution of it, one has to go back to the Churchward Star, and Collett's successful enlargement of it into the Castle, around 200 of which were built and which could do most of the work demanded of them easily enough.  Some of the heavier jobs were strenuous even for these paragons, notably the Cornish Riviera and some of the Paddington-Birmingham trains, along with the very heavy South Wales expresses. 

 

The King is basically an enlarged Castle in a similar way to a Castle being an enlarged Star; the GW wanted to be able to claim it to be the most powerful 4-6-0 in the world for publicity purposes, and Collett did his best but was close to the limits of what could be achieved with a 4-6-0, and had to reduce the driving wheel diameter to a non-standard 6'6" so that the larger boiler could clear the inside motion and still sit low enough for the loading gauge (which also helped bring the tractive effort up), and a new front bogie with outside frames on the leading axle designed to accommodate the larger inside cylinders.  The loco then ran into trouble with the Civil Engineers who declared it to be too heavy; some shaving of weight and a bridge strengthening program allowed the class into service but the South Wales route was not available to them. 

 

South Wales trains were overloaded for many years in consequence; they loaded up to 16 bogies and required assistance with more than 14 between the bottom of the Severn Tunnel to the summit at Badminton.  Castles struggled with them, joined by Canton's Britannias from 1952, until the route was cleared for Kings as far as Cardiff in 1961.  The Britannias were tranferred to the LMR, and Kings worked these heavy trains successfully for some 18 montsh until they were supplanted by Hymeks(!), which were hopelessly underpowered for the task but were all that was available as the Kings had to be withdrawn, mostly with cracked frames after being given the higher power outputs of double chimneys and new superheaters in the 50s. 

 

Type 4 diesels took over in 1963, in the form of Westerns and Brush Type 4s, which were more suited than the 'meks.  Timetable improvements followed over the next decade resulting in a 2 hour 50 minute Cardiff-Paddington run with up to 16 bogies being cut to 2 hours 10 minutes with a 47 and 9 coach rake of airco mk2s, the result of trimming the loads and slewing junctions for higher running speeds.  The HSTs reduced the timing to 1 hour and 42 minutes, which has only recently been re-established by the Class 800 bi-mode electrics, which are 10 car sets as opposed to the 8 mk3s of a HST.

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A bit like asking why did the LMS built Duchesses or the LNER A4s as they were only used on a few routes.

 

They were built for specific duties and by the time they were withdrawn they were nearly life expired anyway. The life span of a top link loco was estimated at about 40 years. Notice that the earlier A3s went at the same time. Whereas some of the others were expected to last for a few more years.

 

That's why BR had planned for a new 8P 4-6-2 in the 1950s. They knew they needed replacing. Dieselisation wasn't guaranteed at that point.

 

Even the GWR was working on a replacement before Nationalisation, the much mentioned Hawksworth Pacific.

 

 

Jason

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11 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

A bit like asking why did the LMS built Duchesses or the LNER A4s as they were only used on a few routes.

 

They were built for specific duties and by the time they were withdrawn they were nearly life expired anyway. The life span of a top link loco was estimated at about 40 years. Notice that the earlier A3s went at the same time. Whereas some of the others were expected to last for a few more years.

 

That's why BR had planned for a new 8P 4-6-2 in the 1950s. They knew they needed replacing. Dieselisation wasn't guaranteed at that point.

 

Even the GWR was working on a replacement before Nationalisation, the much mentioned Hawksworth Pacific.

 

 

Jason

 

I don't think it is the same, A4s may have been concentrated on ECML services but could run over much larger parts of the network. They easily ran on the Kelso branch on the 1948 diversions and ex LNER locos were staple power on the ex LMS line to Aberdeen in the mid 60's. I am not aware if Duchesses were limited due to loading gauge; from the number of diverse lines they have been on in preservation probably not.

 

Given the later LNER split between 6'8" A1/A3/A4 and 6'2" A2s would the GWR have been better to have gone for a more powerful, but physically smaller, 6'2" 4 cylinder 4-6-0 for wider use, which would have been better going up the hills or seven tunnel approaches. Other than Acton to Bristol Parkway did locos need 90mph+ capability?

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14 hours ago, Bomag said:

 

There is a difference between not being able to cross Saltash Bridge to only being able to access platforms from one end. I have no idea about the coaches either, I assume they were used on fixed diagrams - there is a difference between a limited number of captive rakes of coach than a fleet of 30 locos

" a limited number of captive rakes"?

There were hundreds of long wide coaches, they could generally go anywhere that was originally built to broad or mixed gauge, which was a greater sphere of use than the Kings ever had.

However many of the originally standard gauge lines, often built by individual companies before absorbtion into the GWR couldn't take them.

The GWR built these coaches long after the abolition of the broad gauge, so why? Because their extra size could be usefully applied in the places they would fit.

 

As has been mentioned the LMS Pacifics were similarly restricted due to weight and size, so why build them?

The Princesses were probably the worst with an overlong wheelbase, due to Stanier re-using the main dimensions from the King Class, married to a bigger (longer) boiler and a trailing truck.*

The Coronation is an altogether neater arrangement (and shows you can get 40000lb TE with standard size wheels ( 6' 8½")

 

*EDIT The GWR was hampered by rigidly sticking to the traditional cylinder position which led to the King's infamous front bogie

The same size cylinders, wheels and wheelbase on the Princess, but with slightly altered cylinder positions allowed Stanier to use a normal front bogie.

 

Edited by melmerby
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Not sure BR actually planned a new 8P in the 50s, as there were recent designs on all regions except the WR.  There was TTBOMK no 8P in the Standard range; Riddles got the chance to have a go at one in order to replace 46202 Princess Anne, formerly the Turbomotive, when it was written off after the Harrow and Wealdstone accident.  He was clearly much influenced by the then still very recent Peppercorn A1s.

 

Riddles' purpose in designing the Standards was to provide replacements for older 1920s designs that would 'see steam out' until the main lines were all electrified and secondary lines dieselised, which he thought would be 1980.  Something Rabbie Burns said about mice and men comes to mind...

 

The GW, and WR, were in a similar state of complacency to the LMS in the 20s, of the view that their existing locos were good enough.  They wanted more Castles, 28xx, and 5101s and were given Britannias, 9Fs, and 3MT tanks against their will.  I doubt the Mattingley/Hawkworth pacific was ever a serious proposal, and the gas turbines, while showing a little innovation, were probaby never a serious proposition as opposed to a proof of concept.

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6 minutes ago, Bomag said:

 

I don't think it is the same, A4s may have been concentrated on ECML services but could run over much larger parts of the network. They easily ran on the Kelso branch on the 1948 diversions and ex LNER locos were staple power on the ex LMS line to Aberdeen in the mid 60's. I am not aware if Duchesses were limited due to loading gauge; from the number of diverse lines they have been on in preservation probably not.

 

Given the later LNER split between 6'8" A1/A3/A4 and 6'2" A2s would the GWR have been better to have gone for a more powerful, but physically smaller, 6'2" 4 cylinder 4-6-0 for wider use, which would have been better going up the hills or seven tunnel approaches. Other than Acton to Bristol Parkway did locos need 90mph+ capability?

 

You're looking at later though. I was pointing out the original plans which are well documented.

 

If the A4s hadn't been replaced by diesels then they would have stayed on the ECML until withdrawal. The ones that were put on the Aberdeen trains was a temporary measure until they had enough diesels. Many of which were due to be replaced on the WCML by electrics.

 

The railways didn't tend to use the bigger locos on lesser duties as it wasn't financially sensible. They just went for scrap.

 

 

 

Jason

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10 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

Not sure BR actually planned a new 8P in the 50s, as there were recent designs on all regions except the WR.  There was TTBOMK no 8P in the Standard range; Riddles got the chance to have a go at one in order to replace 46202 Princess Anne, formerly the Turbomotive, when it was written off after the Harrow and Wealdstone accident.  He was clearly much influenced by the then still very recent Peppercorn A1s.

 

Riddles' purpose in designing the Standards was to provide replacements for older 1920s designs that would 'see steam out' until the main lines were all electrified and secondary lines dieselised, which he thought would be 1980.  Something Rabbie Burns said about mice and men comes to mind...

 

The GW, and WR, were in a similar state of complacency to the LMS in the 20s, of the view that their existing locos were good enough.  They wanted more Castles, 28xx, and 5101s and were given Britannias, 9Fs, and 3MT tanks against their will.  I doubt the Mattingley/Hawkworth pacific was ever a serious proposal, and the gas turbines, while showing a little innovation, were probaby never a serious proposition as opposed to a proof of concept.

 

An 8P 4-6-2 was on the list of planned locomotive types.

 

This has been covered before in a previous thread. They even had a list of names and was the reason the 71XXX range was left empty rather than being used for the Clans.

 

 

Jason

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46 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

Not sure BR actually planned a new 8P in the 50s, as there were recent designs on all regions except the WR.  There was TTBOMK no 8P in the Standard range; Riddles got the chance to have a go at one in order to replace 46202 Princess Anne, formerly the Turbomotive, when it was written off after the Harrow and Wealdstone accident.  He was clearly much influenced by the then still very recent Peppercorn A1s.

I don't think the plan for a BR8 followed the withdrawal of 6202, but was a Riddles proposal independent of this. 71000 was built without approval from the Board, which had to be gained later  the following month,when retrospective authorisation was given for 71000’s construction (Philip Atkins, NRM Librarian, in Steam Railway, August-September 2002) so he had no prepared place in any Region for it to go. No-one wanted it, and 6202 was withdrawn as that made a vacancy on the LMR where it could be sent, and the LMR could not justify rejecting it. 

 

Following Harrow, 6202 languished at Crewe works for 18 months. 71000 was to traffic 18 May 1954, but 6202 was not withdrawn until 22 May 1954, so it cannot be said that her withdrawal allowed the building of 71000. Had the LMR, or any other Region, accepted 71000, 6202 would most probably have been repaired.

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1 hour ago, LMS2968 said:

I don't think the plan for a BR8 followed the withdrawal of 6202, but was a Riddles proposal independent of this. 71000 was built without approval from the Board, which had to be gained later  the following month,when retrospective authorisation was given for 71000’s construction (Philip Atkins, NRM Librarian, in Steam Railway, August-September 2002) so he had no prepared place in any Region for it to go. No-one wanted it, and 6202 was withdrawn as that made a vacancy on the LMR where it could be sent, and the LMR could not justify rejecting it. 

 

Following Harrow, 6202 languished at Crewe works for 18 months. 71000 was to traffic 18 May 1954, but 6202 was not withdrawn until 22 May 1954, so it cannot be said that her withdrawal allowed the building of 71000. Had the LMR, or any other Region, accepted 71000, 6202 would most probably have been repaired.

6202 was the least damaged of the two Pacifics involved at H&W. The other was rebuilt.

Maybe as a non-standard Princess/Coronation hybrid it wasn't first in the queue for major repairs?

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2 hours ago, melmerby said:

" a limited number of captive rakes"?

There were hundreds of long wide coaches, they could generally go anywhere that was originally built to broad or mixed gauge, which was a greater sphere of use than the Kings ever had.

However many of the originally standard gauge lines, often built by individual companies before absorbtion into the GWR couldn't take them.

The GWR built these coaches long after the abolition of the broad gauge, so why? Because their extra size could be usefully applied in the places they would fit.

 

As has been mentioned the LMS Pacifics were similarly restricted due to weight and size, so why build them?

The Princesses were probably the worst with an overlong wheelbase, due to Stanier re-using the main dimensions from the King Class, married to a bigger (longer) boiler and a trailing truck.*

The Coronation is an altogether neater arrangement (and shows you can get 40000lb TE with standard size wheels ( 6' 8½")

 

*EDIT The GWR was hampered by rigidly sticking to the traditional cylinder position which led to the King's infamous front bogie

The same size cylinders, wheels and wheelbase on the Princess, but with slightly altered cylinder positions allowed Stanier to use a normal front bogie.

 

 

Sorry, you said that 73'x9'7" had limited usage but now say they could be used over all the old broad gauge lines - which is it? I know nothing about GW coaches so have only what you imply. It sounds like saying that the LNER should not have built 61' stock / Silver Jubilee / Coronation stock as they were a bit of an issue on sections of the GEML.

 

As for the LMS Princess, they needed a quick fix for the WCML - instead of doing a 4 cylinder version of an A3 you got a Pacific King - it looks looks contrived. They fixed it with the Duchess which could AFAIK go over the ex LNWR and CR mainlines. Given the waning influence of Derby there was never a chance of normal usage on the MML, although they seem to work OK on the S&C in preservation.

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2 hours ago, Bomag said:

As for the LMS Princess, they needed a quick fix for the WCML - instead of doing a 4 cylinder version of an A3 you got a Pacific King - it looks looks contrived. They fixed it with the Duchess which could AFAIK go over the ex LNWR and CR mainlines.


If by ‘fixed’ you mean they got the appearance right, I would argue that, but it is a matter of opinion. However, if you mean that they increased the route availability, the Princesses could go virtually everywhere the Duchesses could, certainly on the ex-Caledonian lines. Regulars in Glasgow and Perth, not unknown in Aberdeen (though I can’t say I’ve heard of one in Edinburgh or Dundee). There was even a proposal to transfer some to Scotland, rather than withdraw them from the LMR, to cover for the failures of the NBL Type 2s (Class 21).

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3 hours ago, Bomag said:

 

Sorry, you said that 73'x9'7" had limited usage but now say they could be used over all the old broad gauge lines - which is it?

A lot of what became the GWR was not built originally to broad gauge, so a lot more restricted loading gauge and unless specifically built to generous clearances could not take the long/wide stock.

e.g. in 1936 not north of Oxley* or Hereford*. Severn & Wye Jt. lines, Valleys lines, Newport to Tredegar, Midland & South Western Junction, Central Wales etc.

That means and awful lot of territory not available to them.

 

After a few years and a few absorbtions the GWR was until the abolition of the broad gauge effectively two groups, the broad gauge based at Swindon and the narrow (standard) gauge based at Wolverhampton, each responsible for their own locos and rolling stock.

Woverhampton carried on building locos until the Edwardian period. e.g. the 44XX class and the first 20 45XX were built in Wolverhampton (with different numbers than later carried) as well as a lot of earlier 0-6-0 saddle/pannier tanks

 

* which rules out Shrewsbury, Chester & Birkenhead.

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Getting back to the topic of why loco’s ended up at Woodham’s yard, especially the two King’s, you have to remember that there was a certain amount of horse trading between yards.  I remember reading in the books “steam for scrap”, a yard in Sharpness either transferred or sold a number of loco’s to another and were moved in one long train.  Even more remarkable was that some of the loco’s were half cut and practically no more than a rolling chassis.

Edited by jools1959
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 09/07/2021 at 06:47, LMS2968 said:

And you're sure that all these thefts were by steam enthusiasts? There was a certain amount, but it was mostly by groups who were buying an engine and making up for parts stolen from 'their' engine, or in some cases as spares for the future.

 

There are certain parts of society notorious for stealing valuable scrap, and these founds rich pickings on the engines stored in the open at Barry.

I remember visiting with my Dad in the early 80s and passing a bloke with some component in his hand, "Just got something for my mantlepiece; it's alright it's off one of the unreserved locos".  Sounded more like an enthusiast than a regular scrap thief to me, but he was still a thief.

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8 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Sounds like he was making a prepared excuse in case he was challenged, as sure a sign of knowing guilt as any! 

But was he en route to the sales office, so he could get it weighed and paid for?

 

:angel:

 

 

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9 hours ago, Northmoor said:

I remember visiting with my Dad in the early 80s and passing a bloke with some component in his hand, "Just got something for my mantlepiece; it's alright it's off one of the unreserved locos".  Sounded more like an enthusiast than a regular scrap thief to me, but he was still a thief.

Hi Northmoor,

 

It could be argued that humans have stolen all of the metals form the earth and smelted them with fire which Prometheus stole form the gods.

 

I may also be asked, who claimed the earth in the first place, how did they do that, and why do we all put up with them placing themselves between us and our earth ?

 

Gibbo.

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13 hours ago, kevinlms said:

But was he en route to the sales office, so he could get it weighed and paid for?

 

:angel:

 

 

I doubt it.  He didn't say 'I'm just on the way to the office to get this weighed', he just made some excuse about mantelpieces.  It's got thievery written all over it!  The 'sales office', btw, was a brake van body that was what served as an office in general; there was a table, a small weighing scales (though Dai's usual method was to pick whatever the thing was up, heft it - he had hands like shovels - and name his price). and a kettle on the stove.  No safe; Dai kept his cash (and, like most scrappies, only dealt in cash) in his pockets.  If you could breathe in there over the cigar smoke, you were doing well!  The idea of a 'sales office' is a lot more 'formal' than the reality on the ground was...

 

The only other bloke I've ever seen with hands like Dai's was Gareth Edwards, the rugby player.

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On 09/07/2021 at 15:18, jools1959 said:

You have to also remember that Dai didn't think they were going to last that long either as he sold a load of tenders to BSC Port Talbot to be cut down and used as ingot carriers.  I don't know if they were cut down before they left Barry or when they arrived at BSC.

Are you sure about Port Talbot? The steelworks at Briton Ferry and Llanelli definitely received tenders from Woodhams but I have never heard of Port Talbot having any. There is information on these tenders at Briton Ferry and Llanelli in the Industrial Railway Record no 232 March 2018.

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