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Edward Thompson: Both sides of the Story. Discussion 2012 - 2019

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by S.A.C. Martin, May 2, 2012.

  1. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    But none of them had to deal with Shap and Beattock on a daily basis. ...

    (runs away and hides!)
     
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  2. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Cox can write what he likes and heaven knows what 60532's little disaster has got to do with things.
    You are obviously anti-Gresley so little point in trying to have a meaningful conversation with you.
    His A3 and A4 Pacifics were in front line service until virtually the end of steam in the UK. The Scottish region drafted in some A4s to replace the diesels that had been introduced to speed up services between Glasgow and Aberdeen. The fact that 30 years old locos could be called on to do this task day in, day out speaks volumes for the overall quality of the design.
     
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  3. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    And of course the post war speed record for steam. When it comes to judging the Gresley Pacifics, I'll trust the opinions of those who worked with them on a day to day basis over those of a Dane with an agenda any time.
     
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  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Once again I feel strongly that you are taking this far, far too personally, and if I may say so, calling someone “a Dane with an agenda” is both personal and unfair.

    I also think it’s inflammatory and unnecessary quite frankly.

    People can disagree with history. That is their right. Play the ball, not the man.

    FWIW I feel I am now understanding Hermods views more clearly and whilst I still fundamentally disagree with his stance, he is not the first person in history to ask effectively the legitimate question: did Britain need quite so many large wheeled Pacific locomotives?
     
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  5. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    The LMS could have done with a few more.
     
  6. bluetrain

    bluetrain New Member

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    I had thought to ask what other solutions had been considered for the P2, but you've clearly been round this topic already!

    The P2 was a distinctive design in a couple of ways (apart from simply being large). The conjugated valve gear was one aspect. The other was that, while the 2-8-2 was an extremely common wheel arrangement right across the world, they were nearly all intended for mixed traffic or goods work, with smaller coupled wheels and shorter coupled wheelbases than the P2. Certainly a top choice for the heaviest passenger trains, but not usually for the fastest ones. An express 2-8-2 was a rarity.
     
  7. ross

    ross Member

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    So.....

    Gresley was an egomaniac, building unnecessarily fast locomotives.

    Peppercorn was also misguided by building 6'8” locomotives.

    Thompson was the only CME who we can approve of because he build a lot of mid-sized mixed traffic locomotives and a few very ugly pacifics.

    British trains actually ran at much lower speeds that their timetables required.

    BR standard 7's testing at 70mph proves that British trains do not exceed 70mph.

    The road speed limit in Britain does not permit 100mph travel therefore British trains also do not travel at high speed.

    Blue Peter's valve gear disintegrated at a supposed 160mph, which indicates the high speed potential of trains hauled by locomotives with 6'2” driving wheels.

    Our railways as a whole were inferior because they didn't get a thank-you letter from the Nazis.

    Have I missed anything?
     
  8. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Taking it far too personally Ross.

    We seem to be forgetting that we’re talking to someone whose grasp of English far outstrips our Danish, and, things may get lost in translation.

    In any event - he is allowed to hold views, even if we don’t ultimately agree with them. Where we can correct viewpoints with facts we should do so constructively.
     
  9. 8126

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    I think that depends on what you consider a "large wheeled Pacific". If you consider 6'2" to be large wheeled then clearly there were an awful lot roaming across the country, but that's no bigger than a fair number of mixed traffic 4-6-0s, so is it fair to single out the Pacifics for being large of wheel? So let us set the bar a little higher, to a breed that were mostly (and until the mid-30s concentrated almost entirely) on the LNER. Clearly, the LNER built a lot of large-wheeled Pacifics, but under Gresley's tenure I think this can be considered an entirely evolutionary process. The A4 is nothing but a super-super-A1, when it comes down to it. The A1 was in that sense a very future-proof bit of design; perfectly adequate as introduced but also enormous potential for improvement, and at each stage of improvement an better locomotive could be developed with quite modest changes and no doubt equally modest expenditure in re-tooling. The amusing bit is that Gresley had two attempts at creating something better than the Pacifics, and neither of them quite came off, so it was back to refining the Pacific again.

    The wheel diameter simply wasn't the factor most worth messing with and at the time of introduction it was perfectly in the standard range for express passenger locomotives. The French railways, with a blanket speed limit of 120 kmh (I think) also built considerable numbers of large-wheeled Pacifics, Mountains and Baltics, were they also wrong to do so? I will admit that I have always been slightly perplexed by the LMS decision to increase the wheel diameter on their Pacifics, while also trying to push the boiler size to the limit...
     
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  10. ross

    ross Member

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    It isn't the driving wheel diameter that is the issue, its the trailing axle.
    GWR/BR built 171 Castles with 6' 8 1/2" drivers, but these weren't too many, too large, or Collett's ego trip.
    LMS had 70 Royal Scot's with 6'9" driving wheels. Not too many, not too large wheels, not unnecessary for timetabled service. 3 cylinders, but ok.
    Southern had 74 King Arthurs. 6'7" driving wheels. Not too many, not too large,
    LNER, 78 A3's and 35 A4's. Too many, too large, too fast. ergo, an egomaniac self indulgence.
     
  11. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Indeed. They were always short of 8P power.
     
  12. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Oh give it a rest. anyone who comes on here to do a similar hatchet job is met with opprobrium from your good self. As for lost in translation, I reckon Hermod is saying just what he means so don't use that as an excuse. I'm sure if he was as disparaging about ET instead of HNG you'd soon have something to say.
     
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  13. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yep, ET could walk on water. :)
     
  14. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Well 66A did borrow a few Peppercorn A1's to help out for a while :)
     
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  15. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Well ET was quite happy to add to that number with his A1/1 and would have built more had he stayed in office longer and nobody is saying that the LMS had too many. It's only Gresley that's coming in for criticism in this matter.
    A Dane with an agenda is a fact - Hermod is Danish and he has an agenda, that being to dismiss his three cylinder designs. So it ain't personal and it ain't unfair UMO.
     
  16. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Do you actually read what I say, or is it easier to simply accuse everyone of a “hatchet job” because they do not exactly agree with your views on Gresley?

    “You reckon” - so you’re being aggressive and bolshy based purely on a gut feeling?

    Take a step back for five minutes, take a deep breath, and think about how exactly you’re coming across here. Please.
     
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  17. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    That’s not how I read it at all - and Hermod has on several occasions criticised the layout of the Thompson Pacific in this thread if you read back.

    I am struggling with the idea that you need to be quite so aggressive and personal to an individual on the internet whose views can be met, disagreed with, and dismissed perfectly easily without such aggression.

    I also struggle with the idea that it’s an “agenda” - people are allowed to have a difference of opinion on engineering! Would you say all those who don’t like Gresley have an agenda?!

    Your manner and responses of late have been at best grumpy and at worst downright aggressive.

    Just because one person has not agreed with you.

    Lord knows - if I’d taken that approach with everyone who disagreed with me on Thompson I’d have no one left to talk to.
     
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  18. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    You say this but there are writers out there that claim they didn’t need anything bigger than a rebuilt royal Scot too.

    The GWR managed with the biggest engines being the kings.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The difference though was that the GWR didn't have to do anything longer than about 4 hours non stop, whereas the LNER and LMS were working 6 - 7 hours. The point of a pacific is less about the maximum power output it allows (not much difference between an A1 as built and a Castle; or a Princess Royal and a King; to take 1920s and 1930s comparisons), but because the trailing axle box allows a wide firebox with bigger ashpan volume which is benefit itself, and helps slow degradation of the fire in a situation where you have to run for hours without being able to clean it properly.

    The rationale for wide-firebox pacifics on the Southern was related. In optimum condition, both Merchant Navies and West Countries are somewhat over-boilered. But the SR generally had poor access to good coal and that situation was predicted to only get worse post war. In those circumstances, with a wide firebox the locos could keep performing to their potential even with a degraded fire in a way that a narrow firebox 4-6-0 wouldn't.

    It's not all about performance in optimum condition: how quickly, and under what conditions, that performance falls off is important. The benefit of pacifics over big 4-6-0s has a lot to do with arresting that performance fall off over the course of a long duty.

    Tom
     
  20. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Getting too personal. Its becoming an increasing issue. There are a number of forums I participate in on radically different subjects where I am very wary of expressing opinions that diverge from the groupthink.

    And railway preservation is positively mild compared to the reception one may get from the 'right on' millenials if one dares diverge from their current version of politically correct language - something that changes so fast that they'll probably all have to resign from their jobs in 20 years time when people dig up the dreadful things they said in their youth - which were 100% politically correct and acceptable when they said them!

    But even here I am - believe it or not - very wary about what I say re criticism of certain major players back in the day. After all [shameless plug] I want everyone who believes all GWR locomotives looked the same to buy my book and find out they didn't, so I don't want to upset anyone... [/shameless plug!!]
     
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