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Was there any rhyme or reason to the letters?  Maunsell sort of used them in order with U, V, W and Z but threw in K, Q and LN (ok, that last one's obvious).  But where did N, S15, N15 and H15 fit in?  A suffix of 1 meant a variant, such as the 3-cylinder K1 and N1, but Bulleid's Q1 is hardly a tweaked Q.  The alphabet had run out by Bulleid's time anyway.

 

Were they just pre-Grouping names carried over?

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The South Western (probably introduced by Adams at Nine Elms) used the order number of the first batch of a class as the class designation, but only for those built by itself. Locos built by outside builders such as Dubs, Beyer-Peacock and such, were, as a class known by the stock number of the first delivered loco (usually).

 

As an example the O2 0-4-4T was built mainly in batches of ten to the order numbers O2, B3,K3,D4 and R6.

Adams had come from Stratford and the GER would seem to have the same type of classification system. No doubt other railways did much the same. Old habits die hard.

Edited by Sabato
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U, V, W, Z, K & Q continue / filled gaps in a sequence started way back - lost in the mists of time - by the South Eastern Railway, then followed by the S.E.C.R. with confusion added with the addition of L.C.D.R. classes.

 

Yes there WAS rhyme & reason - at one time.

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To some extent, the Southern's policy of leaving well alone among its three main constituents could cause confusion. I well recall many years ago a fellow Brighton enthusiast gleefully telling me that someone was going to make a kit for a Southern B4. He was quite crestfallen when I pointed out it was almost certainly the LSWR dock tank, not the LBSCR 4-4-0, and sadly I was right. (London Road Models now make a kit for the latter) Similar confusion could occur with SECR and Brighton D1s and E1s, a world apart in age, design and capability.

 

Then of course there was the SECR, which bequeathed to the Grouped Co. 2 locos designated R1 - an 0-6-0 and an 0-4-4 - one from each of its 1901 Joint Management Cttee's constituents.

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1 hour ago, rogerzilla said:

Bulleid's Q1 is hardly a tweaked Q.

The Q1 is essentially what you get if you take the chassis of a Q and stick as large a boiler as feasible on top of it. (And the appearance was largely the consequence of having to keep the weight within limits - keeping the boiler warm was a higher priority than providing a running plate.)

 

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1 hour ago, Oldddudders said:

.... Then of course there was the SECR, which bequeathed to the Grouped Co. 2 locos designated R1 - an 0-6-0 and an 0-4-4 ....

Not to mention the related 'R' classes which spawned them - one by rebuilding and t'other by new construction.

 

..... and, talking of 0-4-4 tanks, we can get back to the earlier 'Q' and 'Q1' classes !

 

 

 

Still I think it's easier to comprehend than the LMS system where everything was 3F ( or whatever ) or Mr.Thompson's LNER where A1s became A10s, L1s became L3s etc. ..........

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Posted (edited)

Very interesting answers, thanks.

 

On the subject of the Q1, the Hornby model (which is a good one otherwise) doesn't attempt to replicate the ripples in the cladding, which is what really give a Q1 that "knocked up in an afternoon" look.

 

It is true that a lot of Q1 dimensions are the same as those of a Q.

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Wheel diameter, cylinder dimensions and wheelbase yes, everything relating to the boiler was bigger: pressure, heating surface, grate area. Maximum axle loading went up by about 1/2 ton. Table 39, p 151 of Southern Steam by O. S. Nock.

 

I read somewhere that the Q was derived from the MR 4F, but had improved cylinders / valves. A set of 4F drawings were supplied by the LMS? Was Clayton the link here?

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On 13/06/2022 at 19:46, Wickham Green too said:

 

Still I think it's easier to comprehend than the LMS system where everything was 3F ( or whatever ) or Mr.Thompson's LNER where A1s became A10s, L1s became L3s etc. ..........

 

3F, 4P, etc was the power rating, not the class. It's like calling a Hall a "D Class".

 

A MR 4F is officially the 3835 Class.

 

A10 and L3 were duplicate designations for classes due for rebuilding or scrapping.

 

 

Jason

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49 minutes ago, Wickham Green too said:

I've read that the Q was derived from the 4F too ............ NEVER believe what you read - the Q was an enlarged C which was derived from the Chatham B/B1/B2 family - with cosmetic input influenced by James Clayton who DID come from Derby.

Ah, thanks for clearing that one up.

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On 14/06/2022 at 22:22, Artless Bodger said:

Wheel diameter, cylinder dimensions and wheelbase yes, everything relating to the boiler was bigger: pressure, heating surface, grate area. Maximum axle loading went up by about 1/2 ton. Table 39, p 151 of Southern Steam by O. S. Nock.

Holcroft wrote about them in Locomotive Adventure  Q1 Boiler was based on the Lord Nelson,

 

On 14/06/2022 at 22:22, Artless Bodger said:

I read somewhere that the Q was derived from the MR 4F, but had improved cylinders / valves. A set of 4F drawings were supplied by the LMS? Was Clayton the link here?

Not sure LMS would have supplied drawings,   Holcroft writes Clayton styled it as he was trained at Derby. Luckily the SR had decent axle boxes and  decent cylinders already in service so the Q's didn't suffer the 4Fs woes.  That said they didn't seem to steam very well though the trains they hauled  didn't really need good steaming. They did sterling work banking up Poole Bank on occasions but they were obsolete from new. By contrast despite being truly awful the 4F's were the best fast freight and excursion train locos the Midland had so the staff never realised how awful they were, rather like the man who dines on Rice and noodles or the man who dines French Quisine often fails to appreciate the superiority of a Cornish Pasty or Tripe and Yorkshire Pudding.  No offence!

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On 15/06/2022 at 08:52, Steamport Southport said:

A MR 4F is officially the 3835 Class.

Jason

Which of course was nothing more exotic, than the next number available after the last of the 3F's!

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8 hours ago, DCB said:

.... Not sure LMS would have supplied drawings,   ....

No need to as the Q was basically a C updated with boiler and cylinders from the L1. BUT - if they HAD wanted to borrow the 4F drawings it would have been sort of in exchange for the LN drawings the LMS borrowed to create the Royal Scots.

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LMS might have been willing to supply drawings, since Maunsell gave them the Lord Nelson drawings (used as the basis for the Royal Scot, although I can't believe they used much of the LN in the final version) when the GWR refused to build the LMS any Castles or give them the Castle drawings.

 

Of course, the GWR and LMS competed for traffic on some routes but the SR and LMS didn't.

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The Q1's achillies heel S&D wise was its poor brakes, It might have been different if they had used an 8 wheel version.  The WD 2-8-0 and GWR 5600 tank failed miserably when tested on the S&D as the brakes were inadequate, the S&D 7Fs had to have special Ferodo brake blocks designed and fitted as the brake block wear was so bad.   They reigned as the premier S&D goods engine till the end.  Loadings had fallen away when 8Fs took over and the 9Fs could not be turned at Evercreech or Templecombe S&D so they were only used on Bournemouth  Bath and Poole Bath turns.   The 3Fs and 4 Fs were in their element, slogging slowly up hill and down dale like half dead flies, until worn out GWR 2251s arrived and the line closed.

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Setting aside all this tosh folklore about the Royal Scots being based on the Lord Nelsons (see D. Hunt, J. Jennison and R.J. Essery, LMS Locomotive Profiles No. 15 The ‘Royal Scots’ (Wild Swan, 2019) for a properly-researched account of the gestation of those engines) and returning to the topic, I'm puzzled by the letter designations for Stirling's SER classes, in chronological order, A, O, Q, F, R, and B. 

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1 hour ago, Wickham Green too said:

I guess an hour or so delving through Bradley's RCTS SER volume would determine why those letters became available when they did ............ like their numbering system, the Accountants at London Bridge didn't like gaps ! 

 

But earlier SER locomotive classes were known simply by the number of the first of the class.

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1 hour ago, Compound2632 said:

But earlier SER locomotive classes were known simply by the number of the first of the class.

.... until Mr. Stirling came along and allocated classes B to E, G to N & P to existing classes in a sort of Express locos to tanks and goods sequence. OK he was big-headed enough to put his A class at the start, add F in the middle ( yes, that one is very odd ) and O near the end - where he added Q & R. [ Bradley, page 15 ]

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22 hours ago, rogerzilla said:

At least one Crab made it to the S&DJR.  They were famously good sloggers.

And fast, and very efficient thermodynamically, better than the Black Five. Absolutely ideal for the S&D, but too heavy for the Bath to Mangotsfield and on to the Bristol / Birmingham line.

see "Mendips Engineman"   

 

On 17/06/2022 at 06:55, Compound2632 said:

Setting aside all this tosh folklore about the Royal Scots being based on the Lord Nelsons (see D. Hunt, J. Jennison and R.J. Essery, LMS Locomotive Profiles No. 15 The ‘Royal Scots’ (Wild Swan, 2019) for a properly-researched account of the gestation of those engines)

 

Don't know about tosh, the SR definitely supplied drawings, the LMS wanted Castle drawings really, the NB Loco co  knew how to build a first rate reliable, strong free steaming, fast loco, (Like Swindon and Ashford, Unlike Crewe, Derby, Horwich etc ) there are an awful lot of similarities, but the design parameters were different. the Castle was weight restricted and needed the lighter weight of taper boilers, the LN's and Scots were not. so the Scot had a Parallel boiler.  By 1940 ish Stanier designed a much lighter taper boiler for the scots and allowed them to become premier power on secondary routes like the S&C instead of secondary power on WCML etc 

 

 

Edited by DCB
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I see the Royal Scots being a copy of the Lord Nelson nonsense has reappeared.

 

 

I'm afraid it's an urban myth constantly perpetuated by authors that should know better.

 

The Royal Scot boiler was almost the same as used on the large Claughton. Which is virtually what it is. A Midland-ised version of a Claughton.

 

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Which was a Claughton with a L&Y type boiler.

 

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Jason

Edited by Steamport Southport
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1 hour ago, DCB said:

Don't know about tosh, the SR definitely supplied drawings, the LMS wanted Castle drawings really, the NB Loco co  knew how to build a first rate reliable, strong free steaming, fast loco, (Like Swindon and Ashford, Unlike Crewe, Derby, Horwich etc ) there are an awful lot of similarities, but the design parameters were different. LN and Castle were weight restricted and needed the lighter weight of taper boilers, the Scots were not.  The SR at Ashford had 9/10 years experience of taper boilers, Derby /Crewe who likely had to maintain the Scots didn't have this expertise, so the Scot had a Parallel boiler.  By 1940 ish Stanier designed a much more Nelson like and lighter taper boiler for the scots and allowed them to become premier power on secondary routes like the S&C instead of secondary power on WCML etc 

 

2 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

I see the Royal Scots being a copy of the Lord Nelson nonsense has reappeared.

 

I'm afraid it's an urban myth constantly perpetuated by authors that should know better.

 

The Royal Scot boiler was almost the same as used on the large Claughton. Which is virtually what it is. A Midland-ised version of a Claughton.

 

Which was a Claughton with a L&Y type boiler.

 

I really can't recommend D. Hunt, J. Jennison and R.J. Essery, LMS Locomotive Profiles No. 15 The ‘Royal Scots’ (Wild Swan, 2019) too highly. When I rise to power it will be compulsory reading for anyone wabting to utter the words "Royal Scot".

 

Can I just point out that the Lord Nelson, Castle, Claugton, and Dreadnought were all four-cylinder engines, whereas the Royal Scot had three? 

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