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Imaginary Locomotives


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On 19/01/2022 at 02:17, Alex Neth said:

I read somewhere that the proposed Whyte notation for the BR standard 5MTs was 4-6-2, but deemed too large and costly, and so the 4-6-0 design was chosen over it. I made a (real terrible, but tried my best) photoshop of what if the 5MTs were 4-6-2

Adobe_20220118_200552.png

 

Despite looking like a 5MT boiler, that looks like it might work.

 

On 19/01/2022 at 02:21, Ben Alder said:

My almost finished take on a Class Five pacific with smaller drivers.

 

IMG_1912.JPG

Which boiler are you using, it looks like the Clan boiler?

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On 22/01/2022 at 06:07, Traintresta said:

 

Despite looking like a 5MT boiler, that looks like it might work.

For the edit I used a clan boiler, even though I wanted to use a slightly extended 5MT boiler.

Edited by Alex Neth
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I know discussion of this particular class is often rather fiery due to... everything but I'm rather curious as to how one should go about fixing the E2's. Based on driver reports, I suspect an issue with excessive drafting was the cause, as they tended to throw burning coal out the chimney when the regulator was wide open. Could a redesigned smokebox have fixed this?

E2.jpg

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1 hour ago, tythatguy1312 said:

I know discussion of this particular class is often rather fiery due to... everything but I'm rather curious as to how one should go about fixing the E2's. Based on driver reports, I suspect an issue with excessive drafting was the cause, as they tended to throw burning coal out the chimney when the regulator was wide open. Could a redesigned smokebox have fixed this?

E2.jpg

I would think so, but another part of the problem was that the E2s had the I2 boilers, which in turn were real sh*tty. Always having the boiler pressure drop right as you get it up to where it needs to be. 

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7 hours ago, tythatguy1312 said:

I know discussion of this particular class is often rather fiery due to... everything but I'm rather curious as to how one should go about fixing the E2's. Based on driver reports, I suspect an issue with excessive drafting was the cause, as they tended to throw burning coal out the chimney when the regulator was wide open. Could a redesigned smokebox have fixed this?

E2.jpg

Why do you want to fix it?  The E2 was intended as a shunting tank, and, with 4' 6" diameter wheels, it seems a rather rash experiment to see whether it might work as a commuter train loco, when a wide open regulator would be required.  They weren't even superheated, which might have helped the situation.

Interesting photo though, as it appears to have only four head-code irons, missing the ones that should be on the smokebox door.

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12 hours ago, Alex Neth said:

was that the E2s had the I2 boilers, which in turn were real sh*tty

I did get curious about that, and I found that at least a few E4’s also used the I2 pattern boiler yet turned out significantly more successful. I’m at a loss as to why or how, but their higher coal/water capacity might’ve mitigated the issues that lead to its inefficiency

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2 hours ago, tythatguy1312 said:

I did get curious about that, and I found that at least a few E4’s also used the I2 pattern boiler yet turned out significantly more successful. I’m at a loss as to why or how, but their higher coal/water capacity might’ve mitigated the issues that lead to its inefficiency

Four E4's received the I2 pattern boiler, and were subsequently known as E4X, and the larger boiler required various modifications to the tanks etc.  The result was fairly expensive, and not very successful.  Bradley (RCTS) noted "It may only have been an impression, but in Brighton days the E4X's always appeared to work more than their share of goods duties as well as frequently spending quite lengthy periods yard shunting."

All subsequent re-boilering involved the smaller I1 boiler, which seemed to give adequate service for the rest of their lives. There were also two D3X rebuilds using the I2 boiler design, another unsuccessful experiment, partly because the higher pitched boiler affected the centre of gravity, making them unsteady at speed.

Part of the problem with the boiler design was its small heating area, combined with a greater water content, which would have reduced its capacity to deliver sufficient steam when working hard. It should be noted that both these rebuilt classes had larger driving wheels than the E2's, reducing the r.p.m. for any given speed, and perhaps making the steaming easier.

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That wouldn’t have helped with the steaming, but larger driving wheels would result in a lower piston stroke rate over any set time, and therefore less steam is required from the boiler to power the pistons over any given distance at any given speed than an otherwise identical loco with smaller driving wheels. 
 

But it’s not as simple as that, because in order to achieve this with any given load, the loco with the larger driving wheels must be worked harder, with regulator and valve settings that use more steam, other things being equal.  Designing a steam locomotive for any particular type of work is always a compromise, and a 6-coupled tank, typically required to take local passenger, trip and transfer goods, and yard shunting duties in its stride and be acceptably competent in all of them particularly so, so perhaps we can cut Mr Billington a bit of slack here if his attempt was not perfect; it’s a big ask!  It lasted until the 60s so it wasn’t all that bad, either. 
 

It is significant when you compare the situation with the other Edwardian railways that not many of the others had cracked this nut with much particularly spectacular success either!  The Midland’s Johnson 1F, GW 2721, and a few others, but not many more.  The 1F developed into the Fowler Jinty and the 2721 into the 57xx family, both superb all-rounders.  The 57xx were used on Newport-Brecon trains in later years when they were given yellow RA, 3 hours running time with gangwayed stock taking in some fearsome gradients and high summits, as well as being the go-to heavy shunting engine and trip/transfer horse. 

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1 hour ago, The Johnster said:

It lasted until the 60s so it wasn’t all that bad, either. 

image.png.66d39d7e29838064a33b726f0602c300.pngalthough the E2's were respectable locos and could work commuter trains, as they did throughout strikes in the 1920's, I believe this is more through lack of will to replace shunters by the Southern. They only built a small number of 0-6-0 diesels and the Z Class, generally letting the locos already at work in a particular yard continue to work. That said, despite their flaws, both the E2's and the Z's were adaptable for various different jobs, albeit primarily low speed work.

Edited by tythatguy1312
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On 27/01/2022 at 01:38, Nick Holliday said:

Why do you want to fix it?  The E2 was intended as a shunting tank, and, with 4' 6" diameter wheels, it seems a rather rash experiment to see whether it might work as a commuter train loco, when a wide open regulator would be required.  They weren't even superheated, which might have helped the situation.

Interesting photo though, as it appears to have only four head-code irons, missing the ones that should be on the smokebox door.

It wasn't just used for shunting only, it was also used for short freight trains to get the goods where they needed to be. The E tanks were old and worn out, so they weren't being used for shunting/goods trains at the ports. The E tanks were going to be rebuilt into E1Xs (As seen below) but only one was rebuilt, because of Marsh's declining heath. It was rebuilt back into a E tank in 1930 after the boiler was condemned. Back to the E2s, L.B. Billington wanted to improve the working class E1s, thus introducing the E2s. They were great, except for the range, only 3 tons of coal and 5000 liters to work with, not to mention the high water consumption, which led to the tanks on the sides to be extended. The stability was okay, if kept under 50 mph, and like I said earlier with the I2 boilers, they were garbage, dropping pressure after a few miles. The reason why they lasted so long was because of the war and money issues. They weren't the best or revolutionary, they were good enough for whatever the task was, except puss-pull passenger trains. They weren't meant for that type of work.

89-LB&SCR-b.jpg

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I don't know if something can be described as 'great apart from inability to maintain pressure, low fuel capacity, instability at speed, and high water consumption.'

By that margin my car is 'great apart from missing engine and gearbox' ;) 

 

Although that said I'm interested in the 50mph figure - where did you find that out? Seems quite a speed for a loco of that size, I had always assumed it was instability over 30mph.

 

I seem to remember they had a problem with 'surging' on passenger services but can't find any reference to it now, did I imagine it?

Edited by Corbs
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17 hours ago, tythatguy1312 said:

although the E2's were respectable locos and could work commuter trains, as they did throughout strikes in the 1920's

What's your source for this? I can't find anything online and the idea of a strike forcing the use of specific locomotives seems illogical.

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2 hours ago, Corbs said:

I don't know if something can be described as 'great apart from inability to maintain pressure, low fuel capacity, instability at speed, and high water consumption.'

By that margin my car is 'great apart from missing engine and gearbox' ;) 

 

 

Sounds like the British Leyland house design manual around 1970, or any Series Land Rover..

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4 hours ago, Corbs said:

Although that said I'm interested in the 50mph figure - where did you find that out? Seems quite a speed for a loco of that size, I had always assumed it was instability over 30mph.

It's from a book about the Southern Railway from a guy who was either the Driver or the Fireman. I didn't read it directly, I heard it from 2 videos about the E2s, which is how I got my info, plus a little digging around on the internet.

Edit: Found the two YouTube links: 

 

Edited by Alex Neth
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If we're speaking of E2's, how practical or feasible would a 'real' version of the television Thomas be?   I'd wager the wheelbase is about 75% shorter in length. 

 

I suppose it is difficult to to ascertain boiler efficiency or the like from a deformed model.   Did the LB&SCR have any boilers that would match the appearance?

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6 minutes ago, AlfaZagato said:

If we're speaking of E2's, how practical or feasible would a 'real' version of the television Thomas be?   I'd wager the wheelbase is about 75% shorter in length. 

 

I suppose it is difficult to to ascertain boiler efficiency or the like from a deformed model.   Did the LB&SCR have any boilers that would match the appearance?

I would assume the wheelbase would be like that of an Austerity 0-6-0 (11ft) or a USA tank (10ft), maybe a 15xx class (12ft). So shortening it from 16ft to around 11ft sounds ideal.

 

The boiler length would be the same as an I2, but I can't find how long the boiler is. If the loco length (E2) is around 33ft, and the wheelbase is 16ft, the boiler would (maybe) be around 14ft. and since we reduced the wheelbase by 5ft, the length of the boiler would (maybe) be 9ft or 10ft. same with the water tanks, but I don't want to do the math right now.

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17 hours ago, eldomtom2 said:

What's your source for this? I can't find anything online and the idea of a strike forcing the use of specific locomotives seems illogical.

from various sources, I've heard that E2's were required to work passenger trains (specifically 2103, 2104, 2106 and 2107) around greater London during the 1926 general strike. I can't find why the strike particularly required E2's on the work (idk maybe the more suited locos were stuck in the shops for repairs) but nonetheless they could be seen on passenger trains around this time.

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20 hours ago, Alex Neth said:

It's from a book about the Southern Railway from a guy who was either the Driver or the Fireman. I didn't read it directly, I heard it from 2 videos about the E2s, which is how I got my info, plus a little digging around on the internet.

Edit: Found the two YouTube links: 

 

Thankyou for posting those two links.  The amount of disinformation on both of them has confirmed the wisdom of me not getting too close to YouTube, and especially makes me very glad I have never used Facebook or Twitter, with their rather unsavoury underclass of participants.  Whoever would have thought that in a sane world there would be gang wars concerning Thomas!

At least they explain the amount of negative ideas you have been spreading.  The writer of that Southern book "Footplate Days on the Southern", Harvey Norman, was recounting his experiences of the class at Herne Hill on the SE&CR.  The E2's were only allocated there in 1936, once electrification of the Brighton lines to Victoria was virtually complete.  They replaced the venerable Kirtley T Class 0-6-0T class, that had been the mainstay of the LCDR and later SECR piloting work at Victoria and Herne Hill for almost fifty years.  The E2's thus arrived already 20 years old and past the first flush of youth, and placed in the hands of ex-South Eastern men, who, no doubt, were a bit put out by the newcomers, which, admittedly, were not a great advancement.  It has been shown, almost from the beginning of steam, that many depots are reluctant to accept any change, and will occasionally do almost anything to register their disfavour, whilst others embrace the opportunity and take advantage of the new(er) equipment. A prime example was the LMS Compound, which was detested at many of the depots they were sent to, with stories of various failures being circulated, yet the crews on the Glasgow & South Western embraced them with open arms and extracted phenomenal performances from them.

So we might have a jaundiced view of the newcomers, with crews relishing in stories of their pitfalls, perhaps ignoring the fact that such failures could happen to any loco, no matter how famous or well maintained. They may not have bothered to get to grips with the foibles of the locos, each perhaps having its own quirks, and maybe not giving them the attention they deserved, such as ensuring that the grates were not blocked with clinker after long periods on shunting duties.  Comments on their braking habits might also have been influenced by their experience of the T Class, which had both Westinghouse and vacuum brakes, with the latter, a rather less powerful brake,  probably more used in service.

On the Brighton line, before the transfer date, there don't appear to be any negative stories, apart from rough riding on passenger duties; one account describing them as "good engines".  

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23 hours ago, eldomtom2 said:

What's your source for this? I can't find anything online and the idea of a strike forcing the use of specific locomotives seems illogical.

Bradley (RCTS Volume 3) notes the use of four E2's in London, as per @tythatguy1312 's listing above, during the coal strike of 1926, as well as 2109 at Tunbridge Wells West on local passenger duties.  No doubt their use depended on their being easily accessible from the shed - it might have been difficult to do much movement of locos on shed with only limited personnel available, and passengers were probably grateful to have any train running.

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As a thought: NWR #1 was a very non-standard loco, working at the other end of the country to the works that built it and to all of its classmates (and there were only 10 E2s built). Spares must have been a nightmare. Can we imagine Thomas with a 57xx boiler and Belpaire firebox? That would at least allow standardisation with Duck, and given that 57xxs were far more numerous, worked further north, and were built by Hatt's former employer, spares might have been easier to obtain as well.

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On 27/01/2022 at 21:58, Alex Neth said:

It wasn't just used for shunting only, it was also used for short freight trains to get the goods where they needed to be.....

I am not sure where this is going, but to put a different point of view (apologies for the length).

It wasn't just used for shunting only, it was also used for short freight trains to get the goods where they needed to be.

The emphasis here is “short”.  Most were allocated to London depots, generally piloting around Victoria and  London Bridge, with the odd trip out to Norwood Junction, to act as shunter there. A couple went to Brighton, where the highlight of their day might be a trip to Hassocks or Worthing.

It mustn’t be forgotten that the second phase of the electrification opened in 1911, before the E2’s appeared.  This would have released the E4 Radials used on passenger services around London for other duties, and they were recognised as an excellent mixed traffic loco, and could handle the goods trains, alongside the E3 and E6 Radials, and the various 0-6-0 classes.

The E tanks were old and worn out, so they weren't being used for shunting/goods trains at the ports.

Yes, they were old, but not exactly worn out. Of 79 built between 1874 and 1891, 63 survived to Grouping, and 30 made it to BR days.  If they weren’t being used for shunting and goods trains, where were they hiding for 50 years? As for shunting at ports, not one of them, in Brighton days, was allocated to Newhaven, the LBSCR’s major port, although they would have reached Battersea and Deptford Wharves as part of their New Cross and Battersea duties.

The E tanks were going to be rebuilt into E1Xs but only one was rebuilt, because of Marsh's declining heath. It was rebuilt back into a E tank in 1930 after the boiler was condemned.

The E1X was a bit of a failure.  The higher boiler made its riding habits worse than the others, and it was rapidly confined to goods duties, after a short spell at West Croydon.  The unaltered E1’s were occasionally called upon for passenger duties, even after their initial spell as emergency cover, so the additional expense of the conversion was not considered worthwhile. As above, some managed to survive another 50 years

Back to the E2s, L.B. Billington wanted to improve the working class E1s, thus introducing the E2s. They were great, except for the range, only 3 tons of coal and 5000 liters to work with, not to mention the high water consumption, which led to the tanks on the sides to be extended.

Mr. Billinton, without the G, was merely trying to create a modern equivalent of the E1, to replace those that were worn out.  He kept within his brief of a shunting loco, making use of an existing I2 boiler design for simplicity. I take it you are referring to the extended tanks on the second batch, the first examples seemed to have struggled on with their 1,090 gallons, hardly missing the extra 166 gallons (755 litres). The actual coal capacity was noted as 2½ tons, although no doubt more could be carried if carefully stacked; this capacity was the same as the Radials, and ¾ tons more than the E1’s.

The stability was okay, if kept under 50 mph, and like I said earlier with the I2 boilers, they were garbage, dropping pressure after a few miles.

It seems unlikely that they would be expected to reach 50 mph. I have a book on German steam locos, which handily gives the maximum speeds for each class, and for a loco with 4’ 6” wheels (1.37m) they range from 50 to 65 kph, which equates to 30 – 40 mph.  Hence any loco of that wheel size would have trouble at 50 mph, unless specially balanced.

As for the Marsh boilers, their reputation was stained by the performance of I1 No 600, which, when new, was given the task of running the Royal Train from Victoria to Epsom Downs, and failed miserably.  However, it had been given a rather unfair challenge for what was intended to be a suburban tank; a fairly long non-stop (hopefully) run on a severely graded line with a heavy train and a passenger who expected the utmost punctuality.

Since the comment about the boilers being “garbage” seems to be derived from one person’s opinion of a 20-year-old, “foreign” loco design foisted on ex- SECR crews, I would be tempted to take the idea with a pinch of salt as it smacks of someone with an axe to grind.  Even with the best boiler design, various minor problems can give rise to dropping pressure; poor coal, clinker in the grate, priming, scale, mechanical failure or fireman’s mistake, so condemning the boiler design on this basis could be a little unfair.

The boiler was only part of the equation, the rest of the design played a great part, as shown when later they were rebuilt as I1X with much better boilers, but only regarded as then having “acceptable performance”.  The I2 boiler was an enlargement of the I1 design, which itself was based on Robert Billinton’s Radial tanks’ boiler, although with larger tubes which gave a smaller surface area, and increased water volume.  As others have noted, both gave reasonable service when used as replacement boilers on such classes as the E4 Radials.

The even larger boiler that Marsh designed for his C3 0-6-0’s, although initially less than perfect when combined with the rest of the machine, proved an excellent beast after some minor tweaking, when applied to the C2X, B2X and the E5 and E6 rebuilds.  The last class, E6X, were considered the best Radial tanks the company possessed, and the C2X were the mainstay of Brighton goods workings into the fifties. Meanwhile, the C3’s just poodled around the Weald before disappearing soon after Nationalisation.

The reason why they lasted so long was because of the war and money issues. They weren't the best or revolutionary, they were good enough for whatever the task was, except push-pull passenger trains.

A life of nearly 50 years is very good going for a steam locomotive, whatever the circumstances.  They evidently eventually, if belatedly, found their niche at Southampton Docks, alongside the USA Tanks.

They weren't meant for that type of work.

This last comment rather sums up the whole situation.

Edited by Nick Holliday
Posted early by mistake
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1 hour ago, Nick Holliday said:

At least they explain the amount of negative ideas you have been spreading. 

I'm not trying to give out negative ideas about the class (even though it sounds like it), I'm just trying to inform everyone how the class was. Although it was all bad information, I have no disdain for the class, I just want to talk about a subject that I can relate with. 

But what I really want to know is the performance, statistics, and dimensions for the E1X, which I have a great interest to.

Edited by Alex Neth
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1 minute ago, Alex Neth said:

Although it was all bad information

 

I've been reading this exchange with great interest. Whilst on the one hand it is the case that there's nothing like posting something that isn't quite correct to winkle out more accurate information (I've done it myself; one has to do so with an open mindset, willing to be better informed, as in this case) there's a lot to be said for assessing the reliability of one's sources beforehand. There are far too many myths propagated amongst steam locomotive enthusiasts; it's good to see the facts being checked. Critical thinking is a very necessary skill in this day and age! 

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