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Current and Proposed New-Builds

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by aron33, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think you are looking for the wrong thing in the conception of the H15. When setting out a locomotive, there are lots of desirable qualities, some of them conflicting, so standardisation wasn't as high as some other desiderata.

    The key point was that Urie was designing his first locos having seen at first hand the, ahem, shambles of the Drummond 4-6-0s. His first action was to cancel a proposed Drummond mixed traffic four cylinder 4-6-0 and an 0-8-0 goods design. He then set about designing what he saw in their stead.

    Urie had a very different conception from Drummond of what was needed, but proceeded somewhat cautiously while proving the features that were departures from previous practice. In particular, the first series of H15s were fitted with a mixture of Robinson and Schmidt superheaters, except for two which were left un-superheated. The various locos were then put on long term trials on a variety of freight and passenger turns to prove the cost effectiveness or otherwise of superheating. Those superheaters proved somewhat unsatisfactory, being expensive on maintenance (as well as having royalty attached), so Urie then designed his own superheater which had the major advantage of greatly simplifying routine boiler maintenance. All of that took time, and in addition was taking place during the pressures of World War I.

    The second point was the significant embarrassment of the Drummond 4-6-0s. No 335 had been laid aside at Eastleigh at barely five years old. Urie rebuilt it more or less along H15 lines, but retained the boiler shell amongst other components; the result being that this loco kept the long shallow grate of the Drummond original - which also necessitated an extra 7" of length between the middle and trailing driving axles. Later on, Maunsell rebuilt the F13s 330-334 along similar lines; again they retained the longer Drummond grate and accordingly were lengthened at the rear. The extra length between axles is quite obvious when looking at a profile shot of the 330 - 335 series and comparing with the new built locos.

    All of which is very non standard. However, I think the need to do something with the Drummond 4-6-0s that the accountant would accept as a rebuild was paramount. Put simply, the costs of writing off the capital of a large number of nearly new heavy locomotives was not acceptable. So a degree non-standardisation was preferable to taking the hit on capital of simply writing off the Drummond locos, even if it led over time to higher revenue costs. Such is the way of accountants! At the time (say 1914 - 1924), the LSWR/SR had a heavy demand for capital, firstly for suburban electrification, and secondly for the massive construction of Feltham Yard. So Urie started, and Maunsell continued, in typical fashion, a process of getting good locos out of bad by simplifying, reusing what they could of old locos and rebuilding along improved lines. In practical terms, once you get past the fact that the three series of locos (Urie original; Urie / Maunsell rebuild of Drummond; Maunsell new) had non-interchangeable boilers, I doubt there was much loss caused by lack of standardisation.

    Then, having worked through those design issues with the H15s, the Urie (and later Maunsell) S15s and N15s did constitute a large standardised pool of locos.

    Tom
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Fair points Tom .... and a good comprehensive analysis. Thanks (Though I still feel for the works foreman and the poor bloke in the stores!).

    I always consider Urie's contribution, in producing rugged and reliable machines, is too often overlooked.... probably a result of Maunsell's later modifications I guess. It's a very great shame neither of the large tank loco designs survived. That G16 4-8-0T especially would have solved the NYMR's dining service motive power issues once and for all ... always assuming the platform edges survived!
     
  3. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    I sometimes think we enthusiasts get the wrong priorities about standardisation. The key thing, it seems to me, is to standardise parts that are regularly replaced. Does it matter if frames are non standard - perhaps not very much if they are going to last the life of the locomotive. Does it matter if (what are common consumables) wash out plugs, fire bars, brake shoes and all the things the sheds keep in stock and have to replace frequently are standard? Yes, very much. If each shed carries £500 worth of spares, and you can halve that, then multiplied by every running shed on the line you are soon talking about real money.
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Exactly, what I was alluding too but you said more succinctly!

    The development the Eastleigh, then Maunsell superheater to make routine tasks such as replacing an element easier, shows that both Urie and Maunsell had their eye on the ball for what cost money in sheds. A comparison of principal dimensions of the Urie and Drummond-rebuild boilers show they had identical tube lengths. So in practical terms, spares were identical between the two types; likewise other items such as brake shoes, piston rings, superheater elements and so forth. Firebars would have been about the one significant difference in consumable items.

    Whereas an extra 7" in frame length was neither here nor there.

    The biggest issue with the Drummond rebuilds seems to have been that the extra length of grate, and its relatively flat nature, made firing an art that not all mastered, especially in an era of common user engines when firemen may not have got much practice on a specific engine. The entirely practical LSWR solution to recalcitrant engines of that sort was to send them to large provincial sheds with a regular crew (or rather, a pair of regular crews) who would gain the necessary proficiency to get the best out of them.

    Tom
     
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  5. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Fair points (though a loco's life will be circumscribed by major components such as, say, non-standard frames), but interchangability of boilers is jolly useful. Witness the prolonged visits of the rebuilt LNER W1 to the works .... and a demise earlier than had the boiler been a standard design.

    Swings and roundabouts, eh?
     
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  6. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    Couldn't resist that challenge. The Soviet FDs had a taper on the underside of the first ring in front of the combustion chamber. I am sure there are other examples.
     
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  7. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    Standardisation was both a blessing and curse, as in when a component was retained long after it became inadequate or better components had elsewhere superseded it. For some reason, Midland coupled axleboxes come to mind. But it did allow a drastic reduction in spare parts that had to be carried, saving both capital in reducing the amount of space required.
     
  8. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    .... demonstrating that very little isn't actually a mixed blessing. Some exact balance might exist in theory, but in the real world a 'happy medium' was about the best which could be hoped for.

    I wonder .... does application of initially successful standards lead to whole classes being retained far longer than might otherwise be the case, simply because the spares needed to keep them active are still current on later designs? Perhaps the planned 20 year lifespan of so many (relatively cheaply built) LNWR locos wasn't as profligate as it might at first seem?
     
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  9. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    That's not strictly speaking true in the W1's case. The writing was on the wall for steam in 1959 and the W1 as a class of one did pretty well for itself to last till then. Especially when the aim was to reduce steam locomotives by smallest classes first in any event.

    I totally agree on the usefulness of the interchangeability of boilers however - born out by the A2/2s improved mileage and reduced works times and visits when they were fitted with Peppercorn boilers than having to wait for their own specific types.
     
  10. 60835

    60835 New Member

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  11. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Active Member

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    H15x anyone...?
     
  12. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    A Wordsell T1 4-8-0T would be a far more appropriate alternative although steaming capacity might have been an issue. If only one had survived to 1967!
     
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  13. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Not at all bad choice and certainly a loco with 'grunt' a-plenty to spare, but I confess I prefer the very handsome inside cylindered NER pacific tank (later LNER A6), although how the peeps who'd have to oil round it a few times a day felt might well be a different matter!

    Well, if you're turning your nose up a the G16, I'm sure one would slot in somewhere closer to it's old stamping grounds .... on the mainland .... before anyone at Haven Street panics. :)
     
  14. ross

    ross Member

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    Oh, you didn't wanna do that
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Well if I'd mentioned the Bluebell, our Tom (@Jamessquared) would've been out to platforms 4/5 at HK with a tape measure by now and be back here having a right go at me for wanton disregard for their platform edges. :)

    With the IWSR, it's somewhere we know a G16 couldn't conceivably be made to fit! 'Spose the Bodmin & Wenford might have to be counted out for much the same reason. Pity that ..... it's one design which would have no problems whatsoever with those gradients!

    I actually reckon the Mid Hants would be a great location for the beastie, if someone was crazy enough to actually build one, though their passenger traffic folk might experience some problems trying to pry it from the clutches of the freight train mob .... I can see it now .... "It's our engine, Nurse Ratched"!. :D
     
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  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think if you are playing fantasy new build, a “green tank” (H16) would be a better bet than a “black tank” (G16) as the trailing truck would be kinder on the track on a sinuous line for a loco spending half its life going backwards. Can’t say I am holding my breath waiting for a viable proposal to come along though!

    Tom
     
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  17. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I'll not be holding my breath either. Even if my lottery numbers come up (and assuming my heart could take the shock), there's the small matter of a Brighton K and a particulary obscure 1861 North London 4-4-0T, which have headed up my personal "porcine aviation list" for a fair old while.

    Lawson Billinton's superb mogul probably has enough of a following to make it back to the land of the living with a serious new build proposal, which I'd jump at the chance to support. Not so the all but forgotten Slaughter Gruning design, which would likely be below at least the NLR 1-10 and 51 class 4-4-0T's on any North London enthusiast's list.

    I'd agree the H16 is the more suitable choice of the two Urie bruisers for most conditions (well, for starters....it's green!), with the eight coupled beastie mentioned in relation to the specific issue of heavy NYMR services. I'm guessing that decades of successful operations in freight yards, not normally noted for having the best track on the system, indicate Urie (unlike the GS&WR's Watson over in Ireland) managed a sufficiently flexible eight coupled chassis, but your point is well taken.
     
  18. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Quick question to the Southern guys, were the G16, Z class and the 0-8-0 tank from the KESR the only eight coupled locos on the SR?
     
  19. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    AFAIK, that's the lot, though the last pair of Robert Billinton's posthumous E6 class 0-6-2T's, LBSCR No.s 417/418, were originally intended to be turned out as 0-8-0T's (for heavy shunting), but opposition from the PW supremo allegedly put the kybosh on the idea. Class details herewith:
    http://www.semgonline.com/steam/e6_class_01.html
     
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  20. D6332found

    D6332found New Member

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    I'm going to build 77020 :Hilarious:
     

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