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Bulleid Pacifics - Past or Present

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by 34007, May 13, 2008.

  1. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I don't think you are quite getting the gravity of that particular incident.

    You are correct that the locomotive is not responsible for the action itself; nevertheless, it is recorded against the locomotive.
     
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  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    It was not bad luck. It was also not due to the design of the loco as built but a change to that brought about by ignorance of those who rebuilt it.
     
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  3. bristolian

    bristolian Member

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    I wonder what 34067's health was like back in 1963, when she became one of the early withdrawals - what reasons were behind that choice?.
    There were only four withdrawals prior to November 1963.
     
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  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    My apologies Steve: I was not criticising the design, for clarity.
     
  5. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Any number of reasons could have been behind her withdrawal. With diesels beginning to take over west of Salisbury, fewer steam locos would have been needed to cover services and with 34067 being a Salisbury loco, withdrawal beckoned.
     
  6. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The little end failure was caused by a bad decision during overhaul about a detail of one component. It was that particular loco's bad luck to be the one affected. It was good luck that the consequences were no worse.
     
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  7. Jonno854

    Jonno854 New Member

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    I was on the train and am aware of the gravity. My point is not to make light of such but to counter the oft heard view that Tangmere was a bad loco as put forward by Big Al. The incident could have happened to any loco in the same circumstances, it was 34067s 'bad luck' that it was the loco involved. The same can be said of Wootton Basset, a serious incident, that just happened to involve 34067.
     
  8. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    Bear in mind that 34067 left Barry in 1981 and I doubt much of the motion including almost definitely the Connecting Rod that 'dropped', remained intact by that time? Also bear in mind that preservation over the past forty plus years will have needed to deal with any wear-and-tear from early 1960s.
     
  9. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Manufactured and designed in the preservation era as I recall - a design modification had been made away from the original, without a sufficiently robust process of design review.

    Tom
     
  11. twr12

    twr12 Well-Known Member

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    A design modification to one that works perfectly safely on other classes of loco.
    Just saying.
     
  12. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    No guarantee of it working on this class just because it works elsewhere, and then only as good as the maintenance and inspection.
     
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  13. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Even if we park the occasion when Tangmere (very luckily) caused little more havoc than just dropping a cotter pin, there remains a list of occasions when the loco hasn't covered itself with glory. You mention a few.

    I can think of two West Coast drivers who really understood the loco and could get the best out of it but that wasn't the norm. The issue with the loco is that you need to know it well to fire and drive it well. By comparison, when it was on the main line City of Wells was something different aided by its different draughting arrangement.

    The issue with the loco simply is, in my view, that it is not a straightforward loco. I can't speak for the Carnforth maintenance team but my guess is that if you were to put this Bulleid alongside their '5', Scot and MN, tractive effort aside, I imagine that Tangmere wouldn't be top of their list.
     
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  14. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Locomotive engineers learned a long time ago that if you put such things as cotter pins in a direction where they are subject to reciprocating forces there is a chance that they will eventually be knocked out. It won't happen every time to every loco but it will happen occasionally and to not take account of that is folly. It is similar with taper cotter pins on crankpins. They should always be set so that the pin is radial with the large end nearer the wheel centre; that way any centrifugal force is driving the pin tighter and not applying a loosening force. Reciprocating steam locos are essentially two or more hammers that will knock themselves apart if you give them half a chance and, strangely enough, if a person wants to remove a cotter pin or similar, the usual thing he will use is a hammer.
     
  15. Jonno854

    Jonno854 New Member

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    OK, can we see 'the list' please? A loco is only so good as the crew. Some locos need a bit more thought to them to get the best out of them. I suspect if you look at the mileage covered and loads worked and take out issues that I've mentioned that have little to do with the loco, you'll find it to be pretty darn good.
     
  16. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Don't let's pick holes in a class that actually I like! My point is that Tangmere seems not to be a straightforward loco and the smoke screen it is capable of sending across the countryside is hardly helpful for sight lines, for example. On 'the list' there is also when it stalled on Hemerdon in 2015. That's a location where you can do without sitting down. And don't let's rehearse again why it happened. It did and it arguably shouldn't have.

    The good news is that it can haul air braked trains and is valuable on the Statesman for that reason. The fact that the Statesman usually takes a diesel as well also provides the insurance that I suspect WCRC appreciates.
     
  17. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    You do talk some nonsense at times.
     
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  18. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    That's a lovely throwaway comment, for effect, no doubt.

    If the 'nonsense' in the post you mention is about the list of 'happenings' involving the loco then you've not been keeping count. Neither have I actually but there have been a few.

    If the nonsense is referring to two specific West Coast drivers, that can handle Tangmere then I think that is fact on the basis of what they have been able to achieve with '67.

    If you are talking about the change brought about by the Giesl on '64 and '92 then please read: http://svsfilm.com/nineelms/giesl.htm

    I'm sure like most people, I talk nonsense at times, but this isn't one of those occasions. :)
     
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  19. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    It would be nice if, just once, when you make those sweeping critical statements you would back it up with a clarification as to what exactly is the "nonsense" from your point of view.

    I don't necessarily agree with Al on everything he's written in this thread but maintaining a dialogue by way of discussion rather than grumpy down the pub-esque throwaways has got to be better, surely?
     
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  20. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Is that not at least partly to do with the fact that by and large most locos that come the way of WC crews are Stanier designs, which are quite different from Bulleids and require quite different handling. If you're a crew member who has spent most of their training on Black 5s and the like and is used to working them, to occasionally be presented with an extremely different machine that wants different handling is going to be a challenge as you have to readjust your thinking of how to work it, and perhaps restrain yourself from instinct or dealing with certain circumstances the default way that works with the other locos you're used to. Yes, WCRC now have a Bulleid to work with and also do a lot with Flying Scotsman, but both of those locos are arguably more powerful than an Unrebuilt West Country, giving a bit more power in reserve if things go wrong, and are also more conventional, so might behave a bit more like the locos they are used to (pure speculation on my part, I will admit. I have not crewed any of these locos so don't know first hand what they're like!)

    I wonder, were Tangmere to be part of a larger fleet of Unrebuilt Light Pacifics operated by the same crews, whether that would have had an effect on its reputation
     

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