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10 most important / noteworthy UK steam designs .your views and why

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by sir gilbert claughton, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    To qualify, my feeling is that the locomotive, either individual or a class must meet at least one of the following criteria:

    - To have been the first example to demonstrate some feature or capability that went on to become widespread
    - To have made a significant transformative impact for the company for whom it was designed
    - To have been associated with a person or event of significant importance.

    So my ten:

    - "Salamanca": I've hummed and haa'd over a significantly early locomotive, but in the end chosen this (rather than a Trevethick loco) because it demonstrated the commercial success of the steam locomotive.

    - "Rocket", for the reasons elaborated on by others: the whole history of railways may have been different had Rocket not been successful

    - "Planet", for being the first loco to bring together all the features that ended up typifying British practice: plate frames, braced at the front by inside cylinders; integrated firebox / boiler barrel / smokebox; multi-tubular boiler etc.

    - E.B. Wilson "Jenny Lind" type, for being the first standard locomotive used in large numbers on a single railway.

    - A Kirtley Midland locomotive, for the final development of a practical form of coal burning firebox. I went to the original paper by Charles Markham, and the specific type illustrated is a 2-2-2 passenger engine, so I'll go with one of them, though the specific significance is the firebox, not the rest of the loco.

    - The LNWR DX goods, for being the standard loco beyond compare in an era of bespoke designs. In proportion to the total loco fleet of the LNWR, it makes even a Black 5 look like a niche design. The construction of locos for the L&YR also had a long-lasting impact on UK loco history by leading to an injunction that prevented one railway company building locos for a rival.

    - The GNR large boiler Atlantic, for becoming effectively the prototype "large engine" that became widespread across the country for frontline express passenger use.

    - The Churchward standard designs. A bit of a cop-out possibly to lump them together, but at least part of their significance was to put together a coherent group of locos all incorporating the same modern philosophy.

    - The Maunsell N class - the first loco to combine the Churchward modernisms with the general principles of easy access to the working parts. It was designed in 1914, and the final UK locos - the BR Standards - were scarcely any different in concept 40 years later.

    - Fletcher Jennings "Dolgoch", because it ran the first season on the Tal-y-llyn in the preservation era and thus was the beginnings of a modern leisure industry.

    Tom
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    That is a good, well thought out list with no regional bias and I can find little to argue about with it. My exception is with Dolgoch, not because it doesn't deserve its place in history but because I don't think its design made any significant contribution to locomotive development. I accept that it meets your third condition, though. Perhaps if the thread title was "significant UK steam Events in history", it would better qualify.
     
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  3. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

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    i'm a bit surprised that nobody has picked a broad gauge loco -Lord of the Isles maybe and for narrow gauge, McConnell's large Bloomer. both for the same reason - the 1st genuinely fast locos on their respective gauges
     
  4. THE MELTER

    THE MELTER New Member

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    I thought I said all gauges
    The melter
     
  5. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I realise I forgot to give reasons when I posted my list way, way back. I think most are obvious except to add that I included the Kirtley 0-6-0 for several reasons; its brick arch firebox and possibly being the design that finally settled once and for all the goods locos into the form that that would last for half a century (I don't consider the difference between inside and double framed that significant) after a period when the most powerful freight locos had taken a variety of form such as long boilers (yes I know Gooch had the same idea but wasn't in the mainstream and didn't influence other companies) . The Derby design was, in its day, built for a number of other companies by private builders too.

    I know Great Northern wasn't entirely successful in it's own right but it was the, somewhat rushed, progenitor for later successful 3 cylinder designs.

    The Coronation? I had to include a 4 cylinder express loco and really could not include the Star bearing in mind my other choices
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  6. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Well-Known Member

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    Not participating for fear of regional bias castigation.

    And, no one would learn anything....
     
  7. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    My guess would be that the verdict of history on the BG (The GW version) has to be that it was a technological dead end. Later (and equally extinct) convertible classes aside, the spirit of the 7ft died in May 1892 as lone genuine survivor "Tiny" is scarcely representative of the BG fleet and with the best will in the world, the two magnificent repros at Didcot are just that .... repros, as is "North Star", regardless of being built at Swindon with some parts from the scrapped original.

    A pity perhaps, but there you go. Not everything could be saved.
     
  8. Spinner

    Spinner New Member

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    To pick up on the heading, and the direction that this should be going (its heading), I'd include some overseas locomotives built to UK designs.

    From Jamessquared:
    "- To have been the first example to demonstrate some feature or capability that went on to become widespread
    - To have made a significant transformative impact for the company for whom it was designed
    - To have been associated with a person or event of significant importance."

    Since people are talking about a McConnell Bloomer, how about NSW's No 1 in its place. 1854 Stephen2on built 0-4-2. In service 1854 to 6/1877. Pure McConnell in design & appearance.

    Further, HR 103 is mentioned. Why not replace it with an NSW C-32 Class 4-6-0. First one built in 1891, entered traffic on 3/2/1892 and last one withdrawn 12/1971.

    In terms of world development, Metropolitan No 23 would surely get a place. It is the UK's only surviving example of what became Beyer Peacock's 'Colonial' locomotive. There's a 5'8" example in Spain and several 3'6" and 4'8½" examples in Australia. In NSW at least, the basic type entered traffic during 1863 and finished up in 6/1972.
     

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  9. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

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    Spinner has a point -I like the 0-4-2 btw.
    the Metropolitan BP tank was available in many guises. tank or tender , various cabs etc. they went to france ,Holland , SA , Oz , the underground , and no doubt other places as well.
    they shuudda called it the Meccano engine

    re broad gauge - 80 mph in 1850? must have been terrifying 30ft , 60lb rail ? - but definitely noteworthy
     
  10. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    James^2' list is pretty good.
    I think you can make a case for the Gooch Firefly class for the GWR as being the first which aimed for interchangeable standard parts even when built by different manufacturers.
    Maybe, controversially, to make room you leave out Rocket and retain the Planet as being the Rocket ideas in full flower. Certainly can't leave out the Jenny Lind.
     
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  11. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Sir ... I question your use of the adjective 'terrifying' (thinking of hyperbolic press headline usage here), I'd be inclined to go with "interesting". Stiff upper lip, old chap ..... :Pompus:

    Keep in mind IKB's 'system' utilised a very different rail section, more akin to a heavy "bridge rail" than the contemporary double headed wrought iron rail of the day. That, plus the ride on longtitudinal baulks have been rather steadier, if harder, than equivalent speed on conventional transverse sleepers.

    Didn't even Stephenson concede Brunel's system was technically superior to 'the narrow road'?

    As an aside (as said by everyone heading off-piste), IIRC, wasn't there discussion over whether the SW mainline should be built to BG? I've often wondered how much more mileage the 7ft would have needed for the gauge commission to come down on the side of Brunel.

    (The edit was confined to correcting punctuation)
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  12. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Member

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    I seem to recall that around 1,900 miles was cited in the Gauge Commission's minutes of evidence for the total length of Stephenson gauge trackwork compared to something in the region of 300 miles for the Brunel gauge; I therefore think it's safe to say it would have taken a fair bit more. One could speculate that the time when gauge was up for grabs was probably around 1830-1835, making the GWR just a bit too late to define the terms of the debate. Instead, it had to defend its position.
     
  13. 2392

    2392 Member

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    Must say on occasion, I've wondered what would have happened had the boot been on the other foot so to speak gauge wise. With broad gauge having the suggested 1900 miles and standard 300. Would the narrow/standard gauge lines have been made to convert up to broad gauge, rather than broad gauge converting down to standard? Of course it's an impossible question to answer.
     
  14. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Why do you call the 9Fs an anomaly? And by what criteria do you not judge them 'the limit of their line of development'? They were one of the most powerful, capable freight locos ever built, and, given their capabilities on passenger workings, you could argue the case that they were actually more of a mixed traffic design to the degree that no other heavy freight loco could be considered such
     
  15. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

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    I forgot to mention 4 wheelers .they weren't composites either which may have been another cause for concern .
     
  16. Hermod

    Hermod New Member

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    Just my view.
    As three-cylinder compounds they would have bettered all over class 5 , be they freigth or passenger.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  17. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Perhaps you're thinking of the open variety? Where's your sense of adventure man? :D
     
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  18. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    It was a dead end politically, but technologically it was superior to what became standard gauge. More space for where the power comes from (firebox, boiler, cylinders) and rolling stock more stable when running at high speed. Who's to say what railways around the world would be like today if it had been adopted more widely.
     
  19. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    On noteworthy designs, on the Didcot Railway centre Facebook section today there's a couple of photos of a vintage freelance model 4-4-0.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Its Harry Holcroft's own original demonstration model of conjugated valve gear.
     
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  20. maddog

    maddog New Member

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    I think sometimes too much is made of the Deltics replacing the LNER Pacifics. The Coronations were replaced by Electrics, and didn't the Western region start using double headed warships? Also the Deltics brought about an improvement rather than just equal service.
    A4 does deserve it's place on the list though.
     

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