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Is a real Bulldog possible ?

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by hyboy, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Julian - what makes you think 9017 will be a lot of work to restore? At her last overhaul she essentially had her frames almost completely renewed; and the SVR did considerable P&V work during her recent sojourn there. So realistically, there is only the boiler work. OK, I don't want to underestimate that work, but by the standards of many Bluebell locos, 9017 will actually be a relatively simple prospect to restore.

    Tom
     
  2. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    i forgot to mention how the EARL rebuilds were also a very clever accountancy 'fiddle' in the 1930s. there was a budget for 'new' builds that was strictly controlled. the EARLS bypassed this! another example of Collett's cunning and snipe at the GWR board ! if you look at the EARL nameplates subsequently fitted to the CASTLES they werent even altered for the increased radius! hence GWR Castle EARL OF BERKELEY's nameplates fitted 9017 perfectly even though they were never fitted until preservation days until post 1963!
    cheers,
    julian
     
  3. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    hi tom,
    not wishing to cross swords with you but 9017 was withdrawn 2 years before her boiler ticket expired. that doesnt bode well for the boiler, especially after quite a lot of work done 10 years ago. the boiler was the reason for early withdrawal. not a good omen?
    cheers,
    julian
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    No, there's simply a difference between a serious problem, and a problem that isn't especially serious, but isn't worth fixing for a loco that only had a limited amount of time left in traffic anyway. The issue with 9017 was simply that the likely cost of repair, and the disruption that would have been caused to the then workshop programme, was deemed not worth it for an engine that would have, at most, another 18 months in traffic. That's quite different from saying that there was a serious issue.

    Steam locomotives are expensive to maintain, and have an irritating habit of developing unexpected faults. But set against the general run of maintaining an engine that is, depending on your point of view, either 80+ or 110+ years old, 9017 shouldn't be an especially complex repair next time round.

    Tom
     
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  5. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    It's strange to contemplate that the hypothetical conversion of 9017 would indeed result in it being rebuilt to an earlier condition and yet to a more modern design!

    But strange things did happen with with the rebuilding of double framed 4-4-0s in their heyday. Somewhat curious is the fact that new 6' 8" locos with lighter No 2 boilers (Flowers) were being constructed with a stronger frame design at Swindon alongside the fitting of older locos of the same class, but with shallower frames, with the heavier No 4 boiler. I have wondered if this was because there was a requirement for more express 4-4-0s with No 4 boilers; but the construction of brand new Cities would have raised embarrassing questions for Churchward as to why more of his standard Counties weren't being built?

    Then of course there is the fascinating saga of the 3521 class some of which started out as Broad Gauge 0-4-2 saddle tanks and ended up as 4-4-0 tender engines with standard No 3 Churchward taper boilers.
     
  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    How much of the originals ended up in the rebuilds, though, and how much was simply accountancy sleight-of-hand?

    Tom
     
  7. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    hi LesterBrown,
    the Churchward Counties were built out of 'standard ' bits to placate the LNWR over the pontypool - hereford route. in service they were very rough riders. hence why no more were built. none lasted more than 25 years - in fact not much less than the CITYs!
    cheers,
    julian
     
  8. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    Although several authors, including Holcroft, describe how the original frames were shortened at one end, lengthened at the other and turned back to front to my mind the fact that the coupled wheelbase also changed suggests to be that probably just the heavier fittings such as hornblocks were re-used (the steel plating to composite sandwich frames was quite thin and easy to replace, though perhaps they kept some of the teak!). But re-using wheels, cylinders and motion saved a lot of the machine shop work at a busy period for Swindon and the result was a type of loco very useful in the first years of the 20th century.
     
  9. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    Eventually further Counties were built, after the introduction of De Glehn design bogies, so it seems they weren't JUST for the north to west route. But as you correctly state the Counties rode very badly and I can easily imagine someone from the operating department in about 1907 saying "we're not having any more of THEM thank you!"

    I recall reading that the LNWRs concern about Saints related to the hammer blow from such heavy locos, yet in reality the Counties were worse in that respect. They were probably just miffed that the GW had bigger locos than the "Premier Line" at that time.
     
  10. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    hi LesterBrown,
    lovely to see a reference to Harold Holcroft! i agree with you re the original Churchward Counties. the LNWR took the view they wouldnt allow Churchward's standard designs on their route, so Churchward decided 'sod them, i'll build a a loco from standard bits' to a 4-4-0 design!
    however in miniature they have proved to be quite successful!
    cheers,
    julian
     
  11. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    That was surely a policy decision though: they scrapped *all* the large wheel 440s at that time and a good number of the medium wheel ones as well. Replacements were all 6 coupled. The Gw had presumably come to conclusion that Riddles came to 20 years later with the standards, no point in medium or large 4 coupled locos.
     
  12. quarterjack

    quarterjack New Member

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    Considering the County's reputation for rough riding, interesting to note that the GWS have announced their intention to build one from scratch...
     
  13. quarterjack

    quarterjack New Member

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    (Well not quite from scratch - reusing parts where available, in true Swindon fashion!)
     
  14. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Although that may have been a factor, the outline was in Churchward's original list of proposed standard classes in 1901. It would have been odd not to have a 4-4-0 in the list at the turn of the Century.

    Shouldn't be too much of a problem round Didcot though, or possibly even at 25mph preserved line speeds, although the front coach might be for enthusiasts only!

    I suspect that some of the fine detail of the build and modification programme around the double framed 4-4-0s is going to be pretty much impossible for us to reason out at this distance. There seems to be evidence that bottlenecks in some parts of the factory and maybe also the drawing office were involved.
     
  15. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I agree. Clearly the operational need at that time was for more 4-4-0s following on from the Cities, when the first ten Counties were built in 1904 only four 4-6-0s had been built and though others had already been ordered they weren't built until 1905 and another twenty Counties were ordered for the following year.
     
  16. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Another interesting thing about the single/double frame period is that a County had been turned out with a Std 2 boiler the year before the Flowers. I assume that it must have been unsuccessful. Now I think of it, am I right that although a number of tank engine classes were turned out with the Std 2 boiler, all the tender engines with the Churchward 18*30 front end had Std 4 or larger. I wonder if there was an adhesion problem with the lighter boiler, or maybe some other factor.
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    (Wading in to unfamiliar territory): It's not that with a Std 2 boiler, the boiler and front end are out of proportion, is it? I wonder if with such big cylinders, the boiler couldn't keep up with the demand for steam from the front end. It's always struck me that a loco like a 61xx might be nominally similar to a BR Standard 4/5 when just looking at Tractive Effort, but the boiler and in particular the firebox dimensions are nothing like as big. So class 4/5 capacity in terms of short efforts, but much more like a class 2/3 in sustained steaming rate...

    (For example: 61xx is nominally 27,300lbs TE - even bigger than the 26,100lbs for a BR 73xxx 5MT. But the 61xx only has 20.4sq ft grate area, against 28.7sq ft for the 73xxx. So the sheer capacity to burn coal to generate steam is much impaired).

    Tom
     
  18. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Its documented that the 43xx could run short of steam on heavy fast fitted freights even with a Standard 4 boiler: hence the conversions into Granges. But the large Prairies AIUI were primarily used on suburban stopping services, so you may well be right, but the short effort power was what was required to do the task in hand.
     
  19. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Presumably there are folks hereabouts who have used large Prairies in anger and could provide more informed commentary?
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Confirms my suspicions - glorified shunting tanks… :rolleyes:

    Tom
     

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