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Bluebell Motive Power

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Orion, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    If you look at the standard SER 0-6-0 before Stirling's appointment, it was an outside-framed loco with the springs above the running plate, a domed boiler with raised firebox and no cab. They were built by the score under Cudworth and continued, largely unchanged, during the interregnum after Cudworth's departure. Indeed, the last three locos of basically Cudworth design appeared in 1879! (Bradley calls the latter a Mansell design - Mansell was the works manager at Ashford, and it seems he organised the erection of the locos using parts which had previously been ordered).

    Then, within a week or so of Stirling having been appointed, the Locomotive Committee had accepted a new design with inside frames, domeless boiler and Stirling-pattern cab, that was near indistinguishable from a G&SWR 0-6-0. Pretty much the only thing that wasn't straight Stirling practice was the lack of steam reverser, but that was altered when the locos were ordered - and all of that before Stirling had finished in Glasgow! (The tenders, by contrast, seem to be standard SER design based on those being built for Cudworth's locos).

    I don't believe that Stirling was sitting at a drawing board with pen in hand. But effectively the SER ordered a batch of twenty locos all but identical to those he had been responsible for on the G&SWR, and quite unlike those that were being built at Ashford up to 1876 - and did so before Stirling was formally working for the company.

    I doubt we will ever truly know the process, but I strongly suspect that Stirling was able to supply drawings to the SER drawing office, and also gave a very clear direction to what he wished to see, even while he himself was still nominally based in Glasgow.

    [​IMG]

    ^^ This is what the SER were building ca. 1856 - 1879. (This particular loco was the prototype, completed in January 1856).

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2022
  2. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Possibly tricky in the intellectual property department!
    Pat
     
  3. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    I'm intrigued, though, by this rejected 0-4-2 that shared components. Is anything known of it beyond that components were used in the 0-6-0 design? What sort of configuration was it? It seems hard to believe it was the Cudworth style configuration if the cylinder design could be reused. Had Stirling been moonlighting? Maybe even for months? Or was Stirling picked because that was the way they wanted to go, and the chief draughtsman had been instructed to produce a Stirling style locomotive? The lead time on a design was in months wasn't it? But as you say, never know.
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    (deleted)
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    There is a comment in Bradley, but I don't know his source (I guess I could go and look it up on the SE&CR Soc. members' section as they have his notebooks at least).

    "Such thoughts apparently crossed Stirling's mind because his earliest drawings at Ashford were for a domeless 0-4-2 having 18in by 26in cylinders, 5ft 3in coupled wheels, a 4ft 4in boiler and an estimated weight of 33 1/2 tons. Objections must have been raised to its use since the next series of drawings dated 4 April 1878 were for a 5ft 0-6-0 incorporating the same cylinders, boiler and tender. The design found favour with the Locomotive Committee and it was these drawings which were circulated to interested manufacturers when quotations for the supply of twelve goods engines were sought on 11 April 1878. The various tenders received were opened on 15 May 1878 when the offer by Sharp, Stewart &Co. at £2,050 each was accepted, providing steam reversing could be substituted for lever without a price increase. This proved acceptable and on 17 May 1878 a letter of intent was despatched to Manchester. Later, on 5 September 1878, the order was increased to twenty engines.​

    Known as the O class and numbered 279 to 298, these engines were delivered between October 1878 and April 1879."​

    All of that makes sense, until you combine those dates with those relating to his formal employment:
    • 28 March 1878: Stirling appointed Locomotive Superintendent of the SER (this essentially means the board decision to offer the job)
    • (Undated, but before 4 April) Putative 0-4-2 design rejected by the SER (mentioned by Bradley)
    • 2 April 1878, Stirling resigns from the G&SWR, begins working out his notice
    • 4 April 1878, Revised 0-6-0 design, agreed by the SER - same boiler, cylinders and motion as the rejected 0-4-2 design
    • 11 April 1878, Tenders sought from interested suppliers
    • 15 May 1878, Letter of intent for first batch, Sharp Stewart and Co
    • 30 June 1878 - finishes his notice period at G&SWR, "leaves Kilmarnock for good" (Source: Steamindex)
    • October 1878 First loco delivered
    There is also another oddity, which is the 59 class 0-6-0s, which were basically the last Cudworth pattern locos. As is well known, Cudworth had fallen out with the board due to the board going over his head to order a batch of 2-4-0 passenger engines, known as the "Ironclads" -- closely based on LNWR designs -- following a report from John Ramsbottom who had been bought in as a consultant to assess the locomotive fleet. Cudworth resigned in 1876 and for a period until Stirling's appointment, locomotive affairs were handled jointly by the Traffic Manager, Alfred Watkin (the Chairman' son) and the Ashford Works Manager, Richard Mansell (he of the wooden wheels). That situation lasted for over a year from 1876 until Stirling arrived in 1878.

    In that critical period, the following locomotives were constructed:

    • 20 * Ironclad 2-4-0s, generally referred to as a Ramsbottom design (1876)
    • 3 * "Folkestone" tanks, 0-4-4T, attributed to Mansell, (1877)
    • 9 * "Gunboat" tanks, 0-4-4T, attributed to Mansell (1877-8)
    • 20 “O class” 0-6-0, Stirling design, (1878-79)
    • 3 * "59 class" goods, 0-6-0, attributed to Mansell (1879)
    • 2 * "A class" 4-4-0, Stirling design (1879; further locos built 1880-1881)
    So the interest there is that the three "59 class" goods engines were produced to what was basically a Cudworth design a year or more after Stirling arrived at the SER! Bradley describes them thus:

    "At Cudworth's retirement Ashford Works had material available for the construction of three standard goods [i.e. Cudworth's standard goods - TJ], but no action was taken before December 1878 when Mansell incorporated many of the parts in three 0-6-0s of his own design. In consequence they had many details in common with the earlier class, but differed in having larger cylinders and coupled wheels, and boilers with conventional flush-fitting coal-burning fireboxes as fitted to the "Gunboat" 0-4-4 tanks. A roomy square cab was provided while the framing was curved over the wheels. Numbered 59, 70 and 150, they entered traffic in March, May and June 1879."
    Compare again with the timeline above!

    Essentially, it is a very confusing period, but apparently you have the first batch of a modern 0-6-0 being delivered in 1878, clearly to Stirling's design while he wasn't actually the railway's Locomotive Superintendent; and then a year later, the final examples of an old 0-6-0, lightly redesigned but attributed to the workshop manager rather than the Locomotive Superintendent.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2022
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  6. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    With 5'-3" drivers, any SER 0-4-2 would scarcely have been used the same way as the Brighton B class ..... but given what later happened at Sevenoaks, I still can't help thinking of the effects of the South Eastern's PW on locos demonstrating 'track sensitive' ride qualities at speed. Maybe the Sterling's reputation dodged a bullet there.
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    You'd have had something not dissimilar in capability to the Stroudley "Lyons" class, I guess. My guess is that after an initial 20, the railway would still have needed bigger (for the time, relative to the Cudworth locos) 0-6-0 goods engines, so maybe you'd still have had the O class - 122 locos in total, split between a smallish 0-4-2 class and a larger 0-6-0 class. As such, likely the 0-4-2s would have been gone before the real problems with the SER permanent way started to manifest themselves with much bigger weights in the twentieth century.

    (And this is the G&SWR 221 class, built 1877, so I suspect that Stirling was basically proposing something very similar: https://transportsofdelight.smugmug...F-THE-GLASGOW-SOUTH-WESTERN-RAILWAY/i-QpWHNts)

    Tom
     
  8. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Cheers Tom. I'd always associated the pw situation (IIRC, due to the ballasting) proving inadequate as speed increased, forgetting about the weight increases.

    It's interesting to consider an 0-4-2 / 0-6-0 'alternative'. Over on the GNRI, the approach from the latter part of the 19th century was 4-4-0 for passenger work, with a (usually concurrently developed) 0-6-0 variant for freight. Due to the physical constraints of Dundalk Works, right down to the last new locos in 1948, that's as big as their locos ever got.
     
  9. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    I'm away from books, but was it Ashford that. Holcroft reports had not erected one or more authorised locomotives, but used the parts for overhauls until Maunsell arrived and issued orders they were to be completed?
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes, a couple of the Wainwright H class. 64 were constructed between 1904 and 1909; and then another two in 1915, following Maunsell's intervention on discovery that parts for those two had disappeared into a pool of spares rather than being turned out as complete locomotives.

    Note to self: go and look up the loco committee records of how many locos were in capital stock for the years in question to see how it was hidden ...

    Tom
     
  11. bluetrain

    bluetrain Well-Known Member

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    In the Pre-Grouping era, there were several cases where loco superintendents moved to a different railway and then built engines that were very similar to those they had built for their previous employer - Samuel Johnson, Thomas Wordell, William Adams and Dugald Drummond all come to mind.

    And then there are the products of the Stirling Family - Patrick, James and Matthew - plus Hugh Smellie, all characterized by the Stirling domeless boiler and distinctive cab shape. The standard Stirling 0-6-0 begins with the G&SWR 58-class introduced in 1866, just before Patrick Stirling departed for the GNR and continued with the same design until his death in 1895. In the meantime, his son Matthew introduced a near carbon-copy on the Hull & Barnsley, while James Stirling & Hugh Smellie built more of the same basic design with variations in safety valve and sandbox position, reversing mechanisms, etc. Common characteristics included a 10-ft boiler barrel length, 5ft 6in firebox length and 15ft 6in wheelbase.

    In later years, these Stirling engines would acquire domed boilers from later loco superintendents (Manson, Ivatt, Wainwright, etc) and many served well into the 20th Century. The Bluebell's O1 No 65 is the sole survivor of a group of Stirling goods engines that once numbered several hundred spread across four Pre-Grouping railways.
     
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  12. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    The secret of Dugald Drummond's design practice was William Stroudley. (Probably one of the few men that he truly respected.) WS didn't build 4-6-0's or railmotors, both types that DD never mastered. Brother Peter borrowed heavily from his big brother, and was then lucky enough to inherit a 4-6-0 tradition, rather than start with a clean sheet.
    pat
     
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  13. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    Drummond definitely moved beyond Stroudley in some respects, though. Stroudley was always notoriously averse to leading bogies, for example...if Dugald had not been willing to break away from that precept, we would never have seen his classic 4-4-0 designs.
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed - I'm struggling to think of one who managed to do it before being fully in post though!

    Tom
     
  15. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Mr Stroudley didn't like trailing bogies either, did he? DD had to progress from 0-4-2T to 0-4-4T during his Caley career, due to the weight, and weight distribution. The same considerations drove the supercession of 2-4-0's by 4-4-0's. Perhaps if Mr Stroudley had not died prematurely he would have had his hand forced, and produced a 4-4-0 design?
    Pat
     
  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Logically though, where do you go from an express passenger 0-4-2? Most other railways that had been building 2-4-0s for express work in the 1860s and 1870s could progress fairly seamlessly to 4-4-0s in the 1880s. But a 4-4-0 doesn't really develop smoothly from an 0-4-2, so at best there would have been a lot of risky design work, rather than just an incremental change if he had needed to design express passenger engine more capable than a Gladstone.

    Stroudley's locos were undoubtedly very good for the 1870s, and seemingly had good build quality - but he did also back the LB&SCR into something of a design dead end, which would perhaps have become more apparent but for his untimely death.

    Tom
     
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  17. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    I suppose one question is to ask how different the various six wheeled types really were? Main line types didn't have radial axles or anything. The mid Victorian six wheelers, be it 2-4-0, 0-4-2, 2-2-2 or 0-6-0 all had eccentrics and cranks on the middle axle, cylinders or at least slide bars somewhat between leading wheels although some variation in valve position. Yes the different types required a little variation in wheel position for weight distribution, but what else? However when you go up to 8 wheels there's longer boilers, side play in leading/trailing wheels, all sorts of new factors to consider...
    So my question is whether there was much dead end in a 0-4-2 that wasn't also in a 2-4-0...
     
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  18. 8126

    8126 Member

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    I'm not sure I'd agree here. The disposition of firebox and coupled axles in a passenger 2-4-0 is basically identical to that of an equivalent 4-4-0. Even the cylinder layout is basically the same, horizontal cylinders driving the leading coupled axle. Moving to a 4-4-0 gives obvious advantages with side control and axle loads, but a lot of 2-4-0s had the cylinders and smokebox ahead of the leading axle, whereas on an early 4-4-0 they'd probably be roughly above the bogie pivot, with scope for later forward extension when adding superheaters. The boilers didn't get significantly longer. The GER proved this by rebuilding their T19 2-4-0s in two different batches, first with a new Belpaire boiler, still as 2-4-0s, then deciding that a better version was possible using the same boilers in a 4-4-0 rebuild (both classified T19 Rebuilt). The 4-4-0s went to the LNER as D13s, a sort of pre-Claud Hamilton (but rebuilt after that class appeared). I can't think of any comparable examples of an 0-4-2 becoming a 4-4-0; you might be able to keep a reasonable number of major components but there'd be some significant rearrangement required.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2022
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  19. bluetrain

    bluetrain Well-Known Member

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    You are almost certainly right. Some engineers moved quickly after appointment to get their loco designs into production - but not as quickly as James Stirling on moving to the SER.

    Hamilton Ellis mentions speculation that Stroudley was considering a 2-4-2 express engine, but there appears to be no firm evidence. Some of the French railways were building 2-4-2 express types at the time, but these evolved from long-boiler 2-4-0 designs. Francis Webb at Crewe built his 2-2-2-2 "Greater Britain" and "John Hick" classes in the early 1890s.

    On other railways that used 0-4-2s, they were eventually dropped, superseded by 0-6-0s for goods work and small-wheeled 4-4-0s (or later 2-6-0s) for mixed-traffic. Stroudley appears to be the only engineer to have used the 0-4-2 for express work.
     
  20. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    Did anyone ever consider 0-6-0s with large wheels for such work? The GNR/LNER J1 had 5'8" wheels , which are the biggest ones I can think of on an 0-6-0.
     

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