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Edward Thompson: Discussion & Analysis 2012 - Present

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by S.A.C. Martin, May 2, 2012.

  1. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    Most pre nationalisation stock disappeared during the 60s. Presumably, there was a surplus of coaches caused by the service reductions, caused by the Beeching closures, and also, the introduction of DMUs meant less loco haulage.

    A handful lasted long enough to carry blue/grey (a few Staniers, Gresley/Thompson buffets, as we have said, and a small number of GWR Hawksworth coaches) most had gone by about 1970/1 ish, a bit too early for the majority of heritage lines
     
  2. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Lplus, good to know - and that explains why no.2005 was immediately fitted with a brand new kylchap on being rebuilt from its single chimney P2 configuration.

    The A2/1s which were built later for comparison also had double kylchaps from the start. It is interesting to observe that Thompson's planned class A was only ever single chimney in its very first draft, all other drafts including the double chimney and kylchap as standard. In the event, all of Thompson's Pacifics were fitted with the double chimney and kylchap.
     
  3. Lplus

    Lplus Well-Known Member

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    Having already seen the benefits of the kylchaps on the 4 A4s the A3 and the P2s, it's no surprise to me that Thompson used them on his pacifics. It's a pity no one considered the immediate adoption on the rest of the LNER pacifics as soon as the patent lapsed. I reckon Gresley would have done so if he had lived, especially seeing how simple and cheap the modification was. I realise Peppercorn didn't use the kylchap on most of his A2s because they got in the way of the self cleaning gear, but fortunately sense prevailed for the A1s and the likes of Blue Peter
     
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  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I disagree with there is "Gresley would have done so if he had lived". There's no evidence for that, and there's a lot of evidence in the "might have beens" going forward that the double kylchap wasn't Gresleys foremost concern. The planned mountain had a single chimney, for example.

    Gresley was not omniscient. Only four Pacifics (all A4s) had the double chimney under his tenure. Great Northern was to all intents and purposes a post war A4 Pacific - and had she been streamlined to match the A4s as planned, I very much doubt half the criticism Thompson receives for her would have materialised. The aesthetics argument has been used against him for some time and the streamlined casing would have hidden the cylinder/bogie arrangement quite nicely.

    Thompson remains the only LNER CME to apply the double kylchap to all of his Pacific designs and none of the three LNER CMEs retrospectively fitted older locomotive designs with it (all three effectively considering the A10s and A3s and single chimney A4s as non standard designs to be maintained).

    Thompson came closest with the A2/1s, fitting double chimneys instead of single chimneys as per the V2s - a great what if moment as they were the last of a batch of V2s built under his tenure. There were clear advantages but no action was taken until the late 50s and 60s. A pity and a missed opportunity for Thompson and Peppercorn.

    But their mandate was to build new for the future and to maintain the status quo elsewhere. In the late 50s and 60s it was about maintaining steam to its end - different vantage points for Townend and the like working on the Pacifics and V2s by then.
     
  5. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Good decisions like the one you describe do tend to get lost in the other more negative observations about Thompson and, in a way, it is sad that people do dwell too much on the downside of what was achieved. On a bad day OVS Bulleid suffers a similar problem.

    On the kylchap, as we know, Tornado benefits considerably from having one fitted. But as we also know, in the background, we have a lot to thank André Chapelon for.
     
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  6. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Since a large part of your argument in favour of ET is that he did or didn't do things "because there was a war on," the same argument can be made for Gresley regarding the Kylchap exhaust. He'd tried it on an A3, the P2s, the W1 and four A4s and if WW2 had not broken out, there is no reason to believe that in the three years between the building of the Kylchap A4s and his death, further locos would have been so fitted either at construction or at overhaul. So whilst there may be no evidence to say that he would have done - except maybe his plans for a "Super A4," 4-8-2 etc. - there is no evidence to say that he wouldn't.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
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  7. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't describe it as a large part but it is the context in which we can see Thompsons decisions being made.


    It's interesting to speculate. Undoubtedly the W1 is key to either argument. The rebuilding of the W1 included much of the development Thompson later in spirit applied to the rebuilt P2s and his own Pacific designs.

    The fact is that the super A4 and mountain designs had single chimneys at Gresleys death. That's evidence to show the kylchap was not necessarily being considered for future designs.

    Of course we don't know what would have happened in the future, had Gresley lived, but it looks a more educated guess to suggest he would have experimented potentially doing the same thing as he did with the A4s - build both examples and compare and contrast. That seems most reasonable to me.

    Thompson took the decision to standardise the double blastpipe and chimney. That was a good decision and undoubtedly none of his Pacifics were poor steamers as a result.
     
  8. Lplus

    Lplus Well-Known Member

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    The only "might have been" I've seen which would accommodate a double chimney is the mountain, and I don't think an undated outline produced by the drawing office is a good indicator of Gresley's intentions.
    Yes only four A4s were produced, in 1938, together with the P2s in 1934 and an A3 in 1937. but the patent wasn't due to expire until 1941, making the exercise a great deal cheaper. Not rushing to spend money unnecessarily can hardly be considered a fault. Once the wartime loads really kicked in, and the patent expired a cheap and quick increase in efficiency and pulling power would have been a significant benefit. Pity Thompson didn't think of it, but there you go.
    perhaps

    Please remember that Gresley would have had to pay patent rights to retrofit further locomotives, whereas Thompson and Peppercorn didn't, so don't assume that Gresley had no intention of upgrading the A1, A3 and single chimney A4 once the patent lapsed.
    indeed
     
  9. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Wow. That's one big stretch of the imagination IMO.
     
  10. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    It really isn't actually.

    When the W1 was rebuilt Gresley had it fitted with what became the standard double kylchap exhaust, and a larger firebox boiler than the A4s. It and no.2006 shared this quality.


    Thompson actually had the W1 on test in Scotland on the P2s stamping ground prior to rebuilding the no.2005 for precisely the reason of seeing what the larger boilered Pacific could do. He was satisfied enough with the results that no.2005 was then taken into works for rebuilding.

    Thompsons standard boiler for his Pacifics was clearly based on the work done on no.2006 and the W1, though with the strange reversion to the round dome for the A2/3s.

    You mock, but examine the diagrams and see the development of line and it becomes clear that minor changes forward, particularly where the boiler and exhaust were concerned, was the order of the day.
     
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  11. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Shouldn't that be "two"?;)
     
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  12. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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    Sorry, I seem to be having a groundhog day. I'd delete this post if I could - the question was answered a couple of pages pack.
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Welcome to the thread :) (*)

    Tom

    (*) And lots of others on NP to be fair - the WSRA thread is on about its sixth iteration of how to market the Quantick Belle
     
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  14. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    Well ladies and gentlemen: humble pie time:

    A contributor has pointed out via email the following quotation from Geoffrey Hughes' book on Gresley:

    Many thanks to Owen for pointing this out - it's on pages 147 and 148 of that volume. I therefore humbly retract my earlier statements.

    This puts a different view on things for Thompson and Peppercorn to some extent. Thompson - who was enamoured enough with it that he put it on all his Pacifics but not the older machines or the V2s, and for Peppercorn, who applied it to the majority of his Pacifics but like Thompson did not wish to retrofit it to the older Gresley machines.

    In that respect, the difference in approach can be seen - Thompson and Peppercorn considered the older machines non standard to be maintained, Gresley himself saw the opportunity for further development.
     
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  15. 8126

    8126 Member

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    I bet Cantlie loved that. "Yes, we really like this exhaust. We'll fit lots of them when we don't have to pay you." :D
     
  16. huochemi

    huochemi Active Member Friend

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    Indeed. I was under the impression that Gresley was rather urbane, but this, if true, is rather tactless.
     
  17. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    Yes I also did think it rather tactless too, however I need to read the passage first hand again to read the full context.
     
  18. 8126

    8126 Member

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    Seamlessly shifting to the other side of the argument, without having read the full passage or knowing that much about either man, it's possible that Gresley and Cantlie were on friendly enough terms that Gresley could afford to be honest. And really, in 1940, with the patent due to expire in a year, both men would have known that it didn't make much financial sense for the LNER to pay the royalties now.

    Having said that, if Gresley had started production of Kylchap V2s then, on the (hypothetical) grounds that the licence cost was cancelled out by avoiding the future cost of converting them, maybe the story of ECML steam in the postwar era would have been that bit more glorious.
     
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  19. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Or alternatively it was by way of a negotiating point in connection with some other piece of business, where Gresley needed a reduction.

    Sent from my GT-N8010 using Tapatalk
     
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  20. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a lot to suggest that the railway companies were very reluctant to pay patent licensing fees.
     
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