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Castles v King Arthurs

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by johnofwessex, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    So, stuck at home how about a moot point.

    Loco's of similar vintage and type.

    Both in my experience good performers

    Possibly the King Arthurs didnt have the equivalent of The Bristolian or The Cheltenham Flyer to demonstrate what they could do.

    An ex Southern fireman said that they were not the quickest but could maintain speed uphill.

    Discuss their merits and demerits
     
  2. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    Not sure you are comparing apples with apples there...

    Four cylinders Vs two,
    cutting edge technology Vs tried and tested,
    Different power classes?
     
  3. class8mikado

    class8mikado Member

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    Surely the Nearest equivalents would be King Arthur Vs Hawksworth County, or Castle Vs Lord Nelson. In both Cases the older Locomotive seems to have been the more reliable/ succesful, the later having a degree of unfulfilled potential perhaps...
     
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  4. Will RL

    Will RL Member

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    Going by industry guidelines, and using the locos you’ve mentioned. If we’re sticking with the same regions it may be more fitting to compare:

    Castle vs Bulleid Light Pacific
    Hall vs King Arthur

    Both comparisons can roughly be compared to power class and work loads run.
     
  5. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    King Arthur v Black Five?
     
  6. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    777 made a very good run that is on record. A Castle was 2 power classes higher had a larger boiler and much greater tractive effort. An Arthur would not be able to achieve the performances that a Castle could but I would have hated oiling round a Castle on a regular basis. I walked under Caerphilly at Swindon and believe it was designed by someone who had never prepped an engine in his life. An Arthur was much simpler.

    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
     
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  7. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Wasn't SR Nelson vs GW Castle 'the thing' back in the 1920s? I honestly haven't a clue whether the two classes were likely to have been seen together anywhere during ttheir working lives.
     
  8. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    Oxford probably.

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  9. 8126

    8126 Member

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    I'm reluctant to indulge too much in direct comparison, because the GWR and SR classes don't quite line up. The nearest might be to describe the KAs as a big-boiler Saint with sensible valve gear arrangements. And then what version of the classes are we talking about? Are we including the Urie engines, do the Castles have double chimneys and four row superheaters?

    The Arthurs were arguably the accidental success of the Southern; combined with the not-quite-success of the Nelsons they remained the mainstay of SR express power, so until the Merchant Navies were available reliably and in numbers, the SR couldn't diagram anything the Arthurs couldn't do. Holcroft almost damns them with faint praise, saying that you could almost always exactly predict how an Arthur would match up to any task, but that surely made them ideal traffic engines.

    There was an interesting piece in a recent Steam Railway, with Tom Tighe talking about early days with 777 on the mainline, blasting up banks with a wide open regulator, the gear nearly full out and full pressure. He also mentioned a local inspector at Hull who did a lot to aid acceptance; he'd had very positive experience with the engines sent to the North East during the war and told them that as long as 777 was as good as those all would be well. What he didn't mention was that those engines were the Urie originals, which on the SR were considered second rank...

    I've seen at least one picture of a Nelson next to a Castle at Oxford in BR days. Interwar you probably wouldn't have seen Nelsons on those inter-regional trains, it was usually an N15 duty. In an amusing inversion of the GWR County 4-4-0 gestation, Bournemouth tried to use Schools' on the service, but the Great Western objected to such heavy 4-4-0s.
     
  10. Southernman99

    Southernman99 New Member Friend

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    The better comparison for a Castle surely would be a Royal scot? A comparison for an Arthur would be a Hall or black five.
    As for the Nelsons. The kings were built to because of the Nelsons. Competing west of england traffic.
     
  11. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    I've just finished reading S.C. Townroe's "Arthurs, Nelsons & Schools At Work", which is a very interesting read. Even he was surprised by the Southern not improving the Urie Arthurs. I wouldn't have thought it would have taken that much doing, in the grand scheme of things, considering the rebuilding that other Railways undertook. I guess the advent of the Bulleid Pacifics probably sealed the decision eventually, but even when the Maunsell engines were being built, the differences in performance levels must have been known...

    Richard.
     
  12. class8mikado

    class8mikado Member

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    What was the back story to the 'King Arthur GTI', aka The Red Knight...
     
  13. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    The nelsons was always better than the castles people said so that used to go on them both
     
  14. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    Quite surprised by that, as the Nelsons struggled in service, reportedly being difficult to fire, and only when they put them all at the same shed did they get some consistency. The Castles on the other hand where a real success story. Where did you read it?
     
  15. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I've just finished reading S.C. Townroe's "Arthurs, Nelsons & Schools At Work", which is a very interesting read. Even he was surprised by the Southern not improving the Urie Arthurs. I wouldn't have thought it would have taken that much doing, in the grand scheme of things, considering the rebuilding that other Railways undertook. I guess the advent of the Bulleid Pacifics probably sealed the decision eventually, but even when the Maunsell engines were being built, the differences in performance levels must have been known...

    Richard.[/QUOTE]
    Perhaps, bearing in mind the Southern's limited resources it was to some extent thought more could be gained by trying to reduce the coal consumption of the T14s (as well as further DC electrification).
     
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  16. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    I've not come across that one... Will have to do some more research!

    Richard.
     
  17. M Palmer

    M Palmer Guest

    Did The Red Knight not retain the larger cylinders?
     
  18. 8126

    8126 Member

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    Confused, is what it was. I'm reluctant to over-commit on this, because the information out there is occasionally contradictory. I'd love to see drawings of what was actually done.

    What is for certain is that 755 was the last engine of the last batch of Urie N15s ordered by the LSWR (although actually delivered post-grouping). It seems to have acquired a good reputation and something of a pet engine status at Nine Elms, where apparently if there were only two engines clean they would be 119 (the Royal T9) and 755.

    What's less clear is the full extent of what Bulleid did to it. Like several other N15s, it received a Lemaitre exhaust, but depending on who you read, it also acquired new cylinders with double-porting on the exhaust side of the piston valves. Some sources say these retained the 22" diameter of the original Urie cylinders, as opposed to the 21" diameter Maunsell gradually introduced. Bradley just describes them as "Bulleid pattern 21" cylinders". Double exhaust porting was tried with indifferent results on the LMS, where the passages through the valves tended to carbon up, but Langridge notes (on an unrelated matter) that hydrostatically lubricated South Western engines were much less prone to carbon build up than mechanically lubricated Midland engines. They may well have worked on an N15, which suffered from having shorter lap than was desirable. Whatever was done, it was very popular after the modifications and frequently used instead of King Arthurs or Nelsons, although by the 1950s it seems to have acquired a mixed reputation. Bert Hooker describes this, although he found it very good.

    Side note on the Nelsons. I'm fairly sure that had they been used on the Great Western or the LMS, where long split grates were well known on Castles and Scots, they wouldn't have had half the poor reputation. Townroe apparently spoke to BR footplate crews driving 850 in its first preservation main line stint who told him they fired it like a Royal Scot and had no trouble. The Arthurs were just that much easier to fire, and there were lots of them, with even more H15s and S15s carrying the same boiler.
     
  19. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    A Black Five or Hall could more aptly be compared to an H15, which also had 6ft driving wheels. A Saint would offer a better comparison with an Arthur.
     
  20. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Exeter? Weymouth?
     

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