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Longest Tank Engine Runs

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by johnofwessex, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I suppose technically a Garratt is a tank engine, but given the size of the coal bunker & water tanks they are not in the same league as the loco's we are talking about
     
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  2. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member

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    Can't help feeling that the words "without taking on more water" could be added to the title of this thread. However, would that take into account the different train loads, stops, and gradients. For all that, the best contenders to me are the LB&SCR I3s on the 'Sunny South Express'.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  3. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    As well as showing a) the advantages of superheating and b) what excellent driving and particularly firing the Brighton loco must have had, I've always thought these figures illustrate what a pretty pass Crewe had got to in terms of coal consumption.
    With all their problems, Webb compounds were at least economical on coal (when driven properly).
    The Whale locos were much more reliable performers when power was needed, but coal consumption must have skyrocketed.
    If drivers heaved a sigh of relief at receiving engines which could just be thrashed in place of the complicated compounds, firemen must have cursed the change!
    (To be fair, Whale and Bowen-Cooke locos were normally fine fresh out of the shops: was Titan recently shopped or in dire need of attention?)
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Don't know the answer to that, but since it was an organised trial and there was no doubt a bit of prestige at stake as well as the scientific data, you'd have thought the LNWR would have sent an engine in good fettle - wouldn't you?

    Tom
     
  5. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    There's the story told, forget where, that when a LNWR shed manager was told to send an Experiment class locomotive to the GWR for the exchange with the Star, it was left up to him which one to send, so he sent the one that he could most easily do without.
     
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  6. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    I believe Whale's lcos were known by some of the crews as "mankillers".
     
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  7. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    Whilst not perhaps the longest but the London Tilbury and Southend was an entirely tank engine railway for passenger working. Would it have had the largest alocation of 2-6-4 tanks on any one line?
     
  8. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    I don't know whether this is true or entirely apocryphal, but it does rather sum up the LNWR, and explain why they may not, in fact, have sent an engine in mine fettle to an official trials...
    (Not derogatory, I love the LNWR).
     
  9. peckett

    peckett New Member

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    Just checked my note book for 1955.On a Sunday in June I visited 33APlaistow /33B Tilbury /33C Shoeburyness. 61 ,2-6-4tanks were noted on these three sheds. 4 more were noted whilst traveling along the line.
    I dare say 0ne would be at Derby works ,A couple in Bow works , say five or so running about I didn't see. Also five Tilbury 4-4-2T were also noted. They were being replaced by BR 80XXX, if so replaced that would make 73 on the L T &S Rly at least.
     
  10. The Black Hat

    The Black Hat Member

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    BR Standard 3MT-Ts did Darlington to Tebay... you know the proper S&D....
     
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  11. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    Sorry to be a bit late in responding to the first post in this thread, but I was abroad last week. However I would like to clarify the notion that the standard 2-6-4Ts worked through from Bath to Bournemouth in the last couple of years of the S&D. Not surprisingly it was very rare for this to happen as there were usually enough class 4 and 5 tender locos to cover the four daily through trains, while the tanks were left to cover the shorter Bath - Templecombe and Templecombe - Bournemouth workings. However on a spring Saturday in 1965 I saw a Bournemouth Ivatt tank (41224) running to time at Chilcompton with the 1.10 pm Bournemouth - Bristol train, although I've always suspected that it took the train over at Templecombe. And then the very final service train over the Mendips, the 18.45 ex- Bournemouth on the 5th March 66 was worked throughout by 80041 to get this WR loco back to Bath - a turn normally diagrammed for an SR 76xxx. So it happened but not in normal circumstances.

    Peter
     
  12. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Would the GW 51xx tanks do something like Stratford-(via Snow Hill) Worcster/Hereford? Or would there be changed at somewhere like Snow Hill or Stourbridge Junction?
     
  13. bluetrain

    bluetrain New Member

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    (as an aside - what's the longest grate ever carried by a tank engine in this country?)

    I don't think there has been any response to Mr Jamessquared's question (above) in post #11. Perhaps I can suggest a possible answer.

    The Whitelegg G&SWR 4-6-4 tanks had a firebox that was 9ft 6in along the bottom edge (same as the Hughes LMS 4-6-4T) but 10ft 0in overall, owing to sloping throat and back plates. Grate area was 30 sq ft. Some of the continental 4-6-4 and 4-8-4 tank types may have been a little longer.

    Some photos of the G&SWR engines may be found within the gallery at this thread:

    https://national-preservation.com/threads/p-drummond-whitelegg-designs-of-the-g-swr.1287500/

    Looking at photos of the G&SWR engines, and even more so of the Hughes 4-6-4 tanks (on wikipedia and elsewhere), I was struck by the height of the side tanks and bunker, which must surely have limited vision from the cab and made them unpopular with some train crews.

    A larger (as distinct from longer) firebox was provided on the Great Eastern's experimental wide-firebox 0-10-0 tank, giving a grate area of 42 sq ft, twice the size of he contemporary Claud Hamilton express engines.

    Generally speaking, tank engines were particularly favoured by railways with only short main lines, including the LBSC, Metropolitan and North Staffs. Tender engines usually predominated on railways with long distance main lines, but with one important exception in the UK. The GWR had been particularly partial to tank engines since broad gauge days and this tendency was strengthened in 1922 by the absorption of the South Wales lines, who were all strong tank engine fans. The GWR went on to build the 5700 and other pannier tanks in huge numbers and unlike the LMS and LNER, built heavy freight tanks (42xx etc) in large numbers. This was one GWR type that Stanier did not transfer to the LMS, nor was any heavy freight tank included in the BR standard range of the 1950s.

    To balance its large numbers of tank locos, the GWR had proportionately far fewer freight tender engines than the constituents of the LMS and LNER. So to come back to the original topic of this thread, I think we can be fairly sure that the longest-distance tank-hauled freight journeys in UK would have been on the Western Region.


    A la
     
  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    The GWR & its constituent companies had a massive business hauling coal relatively short distances - downhill from the South Wales Coalfields to the ports. This required a loco capable of controlling the loaded trains going downhill & then hauling the empties uphill, all duties ideal for a tank locomotive.
     
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  15. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell New Member

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    i think it happened more than you think. Peter Smith in his very readable books has stated that at the suggestion of Donald Beale, the standard 4 tanks were drafted in due to an increasing lack of suitable tender engines in the last couple of years.
     
  16. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    That is true, but that enabled them to cover the shorter workings, leaving tender engines to work the longer ones. The loco diagrams took the tanks from one end of the line to the other but not on the through trains. Having got to Templecombe from either Bath or Bournemouth they visited the shed and their next working was either forwards or returning from whence they came. They had the advantage of being able to turn at Templecombe which the larger tender engines could not do. To think it all came to an end 53 years ago this week!

    Peter
     
  17. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell New Member

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    well what Peter Smith was saying is that Donald Beale persuaded the Gaffer that the Tanks they already had at hand could do the whole 70 mile trip to Bath. The whole story would be quite pointless otherwise.
     
  18. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    Indeed what you say is correct. They were used as such on occasions but not regularly - there were sufficient tender engines to cover the full line trains if the shorter distance trains were operated by tank locos. That was certainly the way things worked when I got to know the line in 1965.

    Peter
     
  19. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Interestingly enough, stuck at home with a knackered knee & reading The Somerest & Dorset in Colour by Mike Arlett & David Lockett, it seems as though even tender loco's could not do the whole line without stopping for water.
     
  20. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    Water was available at Chilcompton, Shepton Mallet, Evercreech Junc. and Blandford so there was ample provision for tank engines. Almost everything took water at Evercreech Junc. I think that coal capacity was more of a concern with a tank engine.

    Peter
     

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