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Locomotive Superintendents

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Dunfanaghy Road, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    There were lots of good reasons why the GWR kept the inside motion on classes that didn't require outside motion, and precious few reasons *in their circumstances* to use it.
     
  2. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Part of the furniture

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    Would you care to elaborate, please? The only major point I can see to keep the gear inside was the use of Stephenson's, for keeping which there certainly were valid reasons, which would be a bit tight outside the wheels, even though the LMS managed it. But it's less obvious for the Walschaert's gear for the four cylinder engines.
     
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  3. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    Amoung other reasons, as I understand it, Swindon took a look at the maintenance records and compared the number of motion vs rod bearing faults. They decided that outside motion was not "easy to get at " but instead "in the way" for the majority of real life incidents leading to lots of dismantling and reassembly. If it very rarely goes wrong there is no incentive to move something from a previous/traditional location and doing so can actually be counterproductive.
     
  4. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Part of the furniture

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    Fair enough if something goes wrong, but that isn't a daily occurrence. Oiling around is, and I can assure you that it's much easier if everything is outside in front of you rather than inside, either below when leaning over a possibly wet and dirty running plate, or above you where you have to find the cork and guide the feeder into the oil hole by feel.
     
  5. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    First turn round the question. What are the advantages of making the change?
    But in the case of the 4 cylinder classes it would simply not be possible to fit the standard layout gear outside without making major changes or accepting compromises to valve setting.
     
  6. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    Fair point - and having handled both types I would agree. However crew convience was never high on designer priorities until labour prepared to live with it became scarce post war. I often feel we apply modern standards to what was a very different world when these design decisions were being taken. At the time, a loco being a pain to oil up just wasn't that big a deal - to those designing it that way anyway. They had other priorities to worry about.
     
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  7. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Fair enough, but locomotive prep on the GWR was a piece work task, so there were no financial savings to be made, and the GW culture was such they could trust the crews not to skimp on the job.
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    There's a PhD thesis or two in looking at historic locomotive economics.

    What do you throw into the mix? Initial construction cost, mileage between overhauls, unplanned failure rate (i.e. availability), cost of provision of spares, renewal rate, relative availability of capital and balance between capital and renewal funds, coal and oil consumption, preparation time etc etc. And then how do you balance all those out - and with the acceptance that the answer changes over time, i.e. a loco suitable for service in a time of high labour availability may not be the optimum answer in times of low availability.

    My reading of GWR loco policy was that they got to a point in which overhauls became a very predictable, mileage-based business. 80,000 miles - into the shops. That is a good figure on its own merits, but even more important perhaps was the predictability, which gives a high degree of reliability to the operations (and quite likely a higher availability, i.e. lower proportion of your assets not in remunerative service).

    On shed servicing costs -as @Jimc says, if that work is done on a piece work basis, there is no financial advantage to making the job easier unless you are also prepared to renegotiate those rates. All that changed post war, but it doesn't mean the pre-war design philosophy was wrong.

    Then you have management capacity to implement change, and there is only so much capability to do so (with the additional factor that a fundamental change in design philosophy probably takes 30+ years to work its way through the entire fleet, based on a 3% replacement rate of stock). In really broad brush strokes, the SR spent its pre-war existence focusing on electrification, so the steam loco department had very little capital, and to an extent there was a policy of make do and mend - even the new designs were to an extent mix-and-match adaptations of old ones. (The Z class was a Maunsell mogul front end with an old LBSCR C3 boiler. Even the Schools was a kind of Lord Nelson front mated to a shortened King Arthur boiler). The GWR by contrast seems to have concentrated very heavily on improving the reliability of the existing designs. The LMS, as far as I can tell, eventually settled on a policy of heavy standardisation, with slightly mixed results.

    It's hard to say any of those policies were wrong: they just ended up with different results. (The SR with a somewhat antiquated steam fleet but a significant passenger electrification; the GWR with locos that in design terms were not much advance on Churchward, but with very high reliability). My guess is that the respective boards backed the policies: Collett wasn't asked to prioritise on-shed preparation time over consistent overhauls, just as Maunsell wasn't asked to deliver a fleet of 2,000 modern locomotives off the back of almost no capital investment.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  9. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    That is the most Swindon thing I have ever heard...
     
  10. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    "My reading of GWR loco policy was that they got to a point in which overhauls became a very predictable, mileage-based business. 80,000 miles - into the shops."
    not only that, but they could tell you to the nearest nut which parts were needed to repair it, and the cost to the nearest farthing.
    In some ways, it is utterly admirable, and it's a brilliant example of a business having a formula and sticking to it rigorously (Delta Airlines is/was the recent buzzword on this).
    Among the many things I'd like to have seen in a world without WW2, is how that formula would have survived the next 20 years - the kings were as big as you could get without changing some of the rules.
    Would they have eaten humble pie and copied Stanier? Dieselised? Gone back to America for fresh ideas? or France - imagine a Chapelon-ised fleet. Either which way, they would have had to make big changes which wouldn't come easily to an organisation that has majored on not changing for so long.
     
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  11. Hermod

    Hermod New Member

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    The Belgian type 1o ran from 1910 until 1959 when displaced by electricity.


    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...omloc_type_10.jpg/1024px-Stoomloc_type_10.jpg


     
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  12. Hermod

    Hermod New Member

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    The railways would have been memories by now without WW1+2.
    People wanted cars and woud have taken busses until they could afford one.
    Rail freight was going the lorry way.
     
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  13. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Here are the Castle inside gear components superimposed on a drawing in the outside cylinder position.

    460-4073Castle-outsidegear.JPG
    The most obvious issue is the rocker shaft for the inside gear passing through the wheel, but there are others too. A few years ago I thought it would be fun to draw up a Castle with outside valve gear, but I couldn't make it work.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  14. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    The rocker shaft on the GW 4 cylinder locos was in front of the outside cylinders. The problem with that arrangement is that an allowance would be needed for thermal expansion of the outside valve spindles.


    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
     
  15. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Part of the furniture

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    As with Stanier Princess 6205. It worked, sort of . . . But Tom Coleman did a bit of rearrangement with the next class, 6220-57, which allowed the rocking lever to be behind the outside cylinder. It could not be retro-fitted to a Castle, of course.

    The comments about piece work in #66 and 67 are interesting. From memory, any engine below 1500 sq.ft. of heating surface was allowed only three-quarters of an hour for preparation, but one hour above that. This brought about the ridiculous situation where a driver had to oil two cranks and four eccentrics and gear of an old but small engine, but was allowed the hour for, say, a Standard Five, which not only had the gear on the outside, but it was grease lubricated - by the fitters!
     
  16. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    A number of the multi cylinder classes on other railways admirerd for the accessibility of the outside Walschaerts valve gear had another set inside the frames too.

    At the date Churchward was developing his standard 2 cylinder designs I can't think of any other designer using outside Walschaerts except in conjunction with another set (not necessarily Walschaerts in Drummond's case) inside on 4 cylinder locos.

    Even if there had been precedents I doubt if Churchward would have chosen outside valve gear as there was no financial case at that time in view of the less convenient access to the solid big ends. I think outside valve gear on conventional 2 cylinder locos started to make sense during the first world war.
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    A couple of (just) pre war examples. The LBSCR J2 4-6-2T from 1912 was outside Walschaerts valve gear, though the valves were inside and driven by rockers through the frames. But most of the gear was outside. (There were two class J tanks; one had inside Stephenson's gear, the other outside Walschaerts, though broadly similar in all other respects).

    Then you had the Urie H15, first of which arrived in January 1914, and was genuinely 2 cylinder, outside valve gear, outside valves, Walschaerts.

    Then you get the Maunsell N class, first built in 1917 but designed in 1914, which is really the outside valve gear equivalent of a Churchward standard design.

    It was clearly a concept that was of interest to other designers by the middle of the Churchward era, though maybe not the beginning.

    Tom
     
  18. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Not to mention the SM&AJR Single Fairlie of 1878 .....
     
  19. Jon Pegler

    Jon Pegler New Member

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    And the Highland Rivers of 1915, despite being designed at Cowlairs and sold to St Rollox.
    Probably the best Scottish 4 6 0
     
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  20. Cosmo Bonsor

    Cosmo Bonsor Member

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