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FR & WHR & WHHR News

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by AndrewT, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    And to think that the NG15s were acquired because they were judged to be in better condition than the NGG16s which were also available from failed Robin Hood's Bay scheme - No. 87 being one of the latter. It makes you wonder just how bad the Garratts must have been! :Wideyed:
     
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  2. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    .... and whether anyone who actually knew what the were looking for had taken a close enough look at No.133's boiler!
     
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  3. meeee

    meeee Member

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    I'm not sure there are any real winners with either 16s or 15s. Most of them worked hard for a living into the 80s, then were just left by the sea when they became redundant.

    143 was purchased "overhauled" from the ACR. The boiler it arrived with will be about 80% new next time there is a fire in it. Again the pitting on the outside finished a lot of it off. The inside wasn't so bad. 133 suffered even more because it took about 15 years sat at Dinas before anyone took the lagging off. 130 needed a complete new boiler. 87 had some major surgery, as did the one from 129 now going into 143.

    Tim
     
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  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Pretty much Barry Island with non-liquid sunshine then? Given what was found at Blodge when the doors of the old engine shed were first opened under the new regime, t'would seen there's a long history of having to restore stuff stored in less than ideal conditions. With KS4415, it seems that's a tradition even the diesels share. :)

    With the restored boiler ex-Puffing Billy, will the line finally have a servicable 'spare' for.the Garratt fleet?
     
  5. meeee

    meeee Member

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    The boiler from 129 ex Puffing Billy is going into 143. The old boiler from 143 is going into 138. This means that the boilers from 138 and 140(recently removed from 143) are effectively spare but they are not currently servicable. I guess it probably depends how much money you had to blow if you want to turn one of those into a useable spare.

    Tim
     
  6. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Cheers Tim.

    Mmmm .... Repair one or both NGG16 boilers, or a new boiler for No.133. Assuming additional motive power were needed, or looking at the overhauls schedule, if it were my call, with things as generally tight as they are, I'd be waiting to see how No.134 performs before deciding where to allocate funds to bring another boiler on stream (sorry about the horrible wording, but you get what I mean). If WHR workings are comfortably within an NG15's grunt range .... i.e. not going to send maintenance costs too far north .... then they're surely going to be cheaper to run?

    Of interest .... has the idea of an NGG16A rebuild ever been mooted? I'm aware of the claims regarding improvements, but would they stack up in practice?
     
  7. steamingyorkshire

    steamingyorkshire Well-Known Member

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    This weekend saw a few gravity trains running on the Ffestiniog Railway. Yesterday, 'Palmerston' and 'Welsh Pony' were seen hauling the two uphill services. 'Blanche', 'David Lloyd George' and 'Lyd' were all in action too.

    Video Available Here

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    Wonderful to see the news in latest FR magazine that Mountaineer is finally going to be restored to traffic.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
     
  9. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That's extremely welcome news. Any update on the frames front? IIRC, there was some concern that the definition of 'completely life expired' might need tweaking.
     
  10. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    I don't believe anyone quite knows the state of the frames as yet. As has been said here before, depending on who you talk to they are either bent or twisted or both. But no-one really knows until the project gets going and things are stripped down for a proper assessment.

    If they are cream-crackered then it should not really be a surprise. It is after all something designed and built for an intended short life span - that has in fact lasted in excess of 100 years!

    Either way this is a rebuild that could well take some time...
     
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  11. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Same's true of Moelwyn .... and with the wonderful sense of irony one has come to expect from Blodge, would anyone be surprised to see one American loco maneuvering t'other into the works? I trust you'll note I didn't ask about the boiler! ;)
     
  12. meeee

    meeee Member

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    The frames were bent in a shunting accident at Dinas quite a long time ago. It also had a couple of misadventures off the headshunt at Port. It didn't prevent the loco from continuing to run for about 10 years after that. If you straighten them out the cab won't fit anyway!

    There are no insurmountable problems with this loco that after all ran until the last day of its boiler ticket. It just needs time and support so it can get a comprehensive overhaul. It's a popular and useful machine so it is about time it got a bit of love.

    No steam locos were ever built to last 100 years. They just ended up that way. So it seems a silly thing to dwell on really.

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2022
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  13. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    I noted...

    The boiler actually doesn't have all that many miles on it and hopes have been expressed that it won't need too much work.

    However a doubt with the boiler revolves around its length. When the original was replaced at the time of the rebuild, the new one, which was/is the same as that on the ladies, is a bit longer and hence the firebox extends further into the cab. While oil firing was applied this was of no consequence but with coal there is no room to swing anything like a normal shovel.

    Assuming the boiler is good, this is one issue that the project team have to address. A rather more significant rebuild beyond a "simple repair" might be called for, which would allow other shortcomings identified over the years to be addressed. But that would leave a number of vocal Alco fans to placate.

    If the boiler is a dud then who knows what direction those involved will take. All bets are off really.

    All in all there are a number of things to look at by a project that is only just getting started.
     
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  14. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Indeed so ..... though if there's a ringfenced fund up and running, not enough to stop me putting my hand in my pocket. I've always been rather fond of the Alco's unpretentious presence. If the number of 3½in gauge copies running on lines around the world are anything to go by, I'm not alone in that! I've even seen one 7¼in gauge edition ..... and a mighty impressive chunk of model engineering it is too!
     
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  15. meeee

    meeee Member

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    The problems with the boiler are a bit more complicated. There isnt much room to swing a shovel but it is no worse than a double engine. It's not a Jubliee, you don't need to take a big swing. A far bigger issue is that the firebox sits over the pony truck pivot now. So there is no room for an ashpan.

    The firebox tube plate is cracked and it has an odd tube layout. The tubes are also quite small which probably doesn't help with gas flow. The dome is also a bit on the small side which causes priming. It is a 1980s, cheapo, square corner firebox boiler that is the wrong size. The reasons for it being the wrong size never came to fruition. I'm not sure there would be much love lost if you just built one that fits. It would solve a lot of problems and wouldn't alter the appearance of the engine much. However it really depends how much money you have to spend.

    Tim
     
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  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    From what's being said by those with recent experience of 'coal substitutes', the ashpan issue sounds as if it has the potential to be infinitely more problematic in future.

    So far as shelling out for a new boiler goes, my understanding is that the modern welded designs can work out cheaper than heavy repairs. Whether or not that's the case this time I imagine will depend on what future role is seen for a 100+ year old machine. What could be done with it isn't necessarily what should be done with it .... if you get my drift!

    As an aside, Boyd's history mentions a boiler barrel being shortened on the old FR. Assuming this to be correct, and if it were theoretically technically feasible for the boiler currently fitted, is it the sort of thing which insurers would be content to sign off on? Even if all of that were a 'yes', would it be a financially practical proposition?

    Another question (sorry!), but if the current boiler is a derivative of the design fitted to 'The Ladies', is it a sufficiently close derivative to use on them at some stage? (My money is on that being a hard 'no' btw)

    Festipedia lists Mountaineer as previously been rated for 8 carriages, the same as 'The Ladies'. Can it be assumed that, like them, it's WHR rating would be 4 carriages?
     
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  17. meeee

    meeee Member

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    The SB3 boiler was born out of the fear that it would become increasingly difficult to buy new boilers in the future. So the idea was that the railway would adopt three standard designs for the fleet to make procurement simpler. One of those designs would be required to fit two very different types of locos. The intention was to alter the locos to both fit this boiler. So it doesn't especially fit either of them very well. It was also designed with less skilled manufacturers in mind. So an all welded design with no flangings. Basically not very nice.

    As it happens, boilers have not been hard to come by. Those fears haven't been realised. The addition of DLG, Taliesin, and Lyd to the fleet have further muddied the waters anyway.

    The only thing the SB3 is now standard with is the SY Gondola. I believe it is actually too heavy for that too. You could hack it about if you want to. I think realistically you have two options. Do the work required to put that boiler back in service which might not be too painful, and live with the issues it creates. Or you can build a new one the right size but keep the boiler pressure and superheat.

    Tim
     
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  18. dan.lank

    dan.lank Member

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    Very interesting! Didn’t know about the plan to standardise the boilers…

    This is the kind of thing that makes me cross my fingers that one day there’ll be a sequel to the excellent Little Giants book to cover the preservation era!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    With the https://www.1863mountaineerloco.co.uk/ mob making superb progress with a small 'small England', who knows ...... perhaps the next Little Giant to take centre stage might be the sadly missing No.6?
     
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  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Mr Lewin in understandably serious mode, with a status report on year to date. Very mixed picture and for a variety of reasons, some you may guess, others less obvious. Evidently, this is a period of much change, whether due to brexit, coal, covid, industrial action, sickness ...... (you get the picture).

    Good to hear NR's local team at Machynlleth are being supportive concerning use of Cei Pawb Crossing on RMT strike days. Some explanation concerning timetabling decisions and some tweaks to better reflect developments.

    At 23'55" this is quite comprehensive, if somewhat less reassuring than we might hope.

     

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