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Newbuild Claughton

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Gav106, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Tim Light

    Tim Light Active Member

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    If someone wants to build a Claughton then good luck to them. I suspect that these guys are genuine, but very naïve about attracting contributions. Their project has had no publicity in the railway press (that I'm aware of), and nothing concrete to convince anyone that it could succeed.

    Personally I would love to see a Claughton, but my preference would be an original-design loco, with all its faults. It would look lovely on a preserved line. The reboilered locos looked a bit top-heavy.
     
  2. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Yes, I would agree, the original version with the smaller boiler looked better. Quite a complex 4 cylinder loco and would be a fairly major project so a lot of funds needed
     
  3. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Update: I just sent an e-mail to the address given on the website and it has come back as undeliverable.
     
  4. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    I've PM'd him ref this.
     
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  5. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    I case my rest!:D
     
  6. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    In their original form, I think the Claughtons were very elegant. They did have the slight air of someone Victorian trying to be modern. As rebuilt, I rather liked the effect of the rather brutal boiler coupled with the somewhat archaic splashers.
    If you want my opinion (and you're going to get it anyhow) I think the Claughtons typify the Crewe jinx: something which affected all their express passenger locos from the Dreadnaught on. That is, their designers had lots of good ideas, and got lots of things right, but never all together on the same loco.
    This was what really let down the Webb compounds in various ways (his other locos were excellent). Whale's designs could give good performance if thrashed, so long as you didn't mind them wolfing coal and tearing themselves to pieces. Bowen-Cooke got it right about superheating but strangled the front end. Whale and B-C engines were cheap to build but absolute dogs when due a shopping and relatively expensive to maintain.
    When it comes to the Claughtons, the balanced front end and four-cylinder arrangements of valve gear (which seems to have been taken from the Webb Alfred the Great compounds) were, as I remember, good. But the boiler wasn't adequate for the cylinders (with increased post WW1 loadings), and when the boiler was increased the frames weren't adequate for the increased power of the loco.
    So, all in all, a fine subject for a model, but probably not for a new build...
    The George V is a much better prospect!
     
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  7. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    The "Claughtons" have intrigued me for far longer than they were in service (Strewth, I'm getting old!). Confession time... I came at the design from the WIBN 'new build' angle myself, but the more I dug, the less practical it seemed.

    Looking at the design, I can't see any way the inherent shortcomings could conceivably be overcome without radically altering the whole concept. The geometry of the chassis constrained the design of the firebox and was directly responsible for the perennial hot axlebox issues on the rear couples wheels. Draughting issues could have been solved, but the original boiler simply couldn't meet peak demand for steam to supply the four cylinders. I doubt traditionalists would much care for the appearance of an efficient chimney either.

    Looks aside, the best feature of the original "Claughtons" was the superbly designed drive which was, by all accounts, very easy on the track. The axlebox issue could have been solved by stretching the chassis to a 'pacific', the steam demand by compounding. Trouble is, as Stanier later concluded, a successful four cylinder compound couldn't be made to fit the British loading gauge. Gresley's W1 4-6-2-2 (or 4-6-4, if you prefer) rather confirmed Stanier's findings. It also wouldn't, by any stretch of the imagination, have been anything like the "Claughton" as built.

    Sorry folks, but I agree with Andrew. Lovely looking locos, but way down the list of useful new builds. The "George V" does indeed seem a far better bet.
     
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  8. aron33

    aron33 Member

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    At first, I thought this Claughton project was real, and would've been a great addition to the preserved LNWR motive power. Now that it's been revealed to be fake, I was disappointed, but I already agree too with Andrew on the "George V", and that we already have a good number of 4-6-0 newbuilds (f.e 5551, 6880, 2999, 1014, etc...)
     
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  9. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everything Andrew says, apart from the last line: I suggest, and did so at the start, that a Prince of Wales would have been a better choice then a Geotge in preservation. However, the route has been chose.

    Like 30854, I have a soft spot for this class, which was a better engine than given credit. It looked elegant with the original boiler, but it should be pointed out that this wasn't the boiler intended. That was much bigger (whether or not it was the one used for the rebuilds is uncertain) which gave a high static axle load. Bowen Cook put this to the Chief Civil Engineer pointing out that the drive train would give zero hammerblow so it would be lighter on the track than other, smaller, engines. But the CCE couldn't see past the static loading and vetoed the design, so the Drawing Office had start on a weight reduction exercise, most of which was in the boiler. As an aside, this delayed the locos' introduction and left a motive power shortage, which was solved by upgrading the Experiments with superheating and piston valves, in the same way that the Precursors had been upgraded to George the Fifths. The resulting Prince of Wales class, while never actually intended, proved to be good machines and were built in large numbers.
     
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  10. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    I've always found them interesting too which is why I noticed this proposal. In a way, they are a missing first stage in the development of the LMS 4-6-0s, as the larger boiler from the rebuilt version was mated to the Scot frames, to produce the Patriots, which in turn, was developed by Stanier into the Jubilees. The George was a better engine and its good that one of those is being built, but a Claughton is a WIBN in my opinion..

    Re the axlebox problem, this would be an issue on the main line, certainly, but at 25 mph trundling 5 Mark1 s on a heritage line?
     
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  11. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    LMS2968 raises the spectre of hammer blow. It always amazes me that it took so long for some mechanical engineers to get the concept of solutions to mitigate the problem across to some civil engineers.

    The story of the Highland Rly "Rivers" is the cautionary tale for the ages. Now there's a class of loco which could make a useful return from oblivion. All it would take to turn a very competent design into a star performer would be a few well established tweaks ahead of the leading axle.....plus the slight issue of a few quid needed to get it built!
     
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  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Time for a new build Bodmer patent engine ...

    Tom
     
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  13. Cartman

    Cartman Active Member

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    Talking about Claughtons not being a massive success, I wouldnt have said that the P2 was either, but that hasnt stopped that particular project. If anything I would say that a Claughton is a better subject for a new build than a P2, but then again, I am an LMS fan... Also, a Claughton would be less likely to cause problems for the P Way due to its balancing so Network Rail would probably prefer it too.....

    Gets coat....
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
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  14. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Lubrication might be an issue. Nobody trying to get their head round the Bodmer concept should do so when sober!
     
  15. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    To be rather brutal, is that a jinx, or is that, well you fill in the word. Its not too hard to get some things right and some things wrong in the art of compromising between incompatible factors, and indeed it would take a peculiar talent indeed not to get *anything* right. A competent design is one with no serious faults within the current state of the art. A brilliant design is one that goes beyond the current state of the art.
    It always struck me when I worked in the motorcycle industry. The press would rave about the latest high performance whatsit as if the performance was an achievement. But the difficult part was never the performance - any racing bike would deliver far more performance and it was never hard to tune for more performance . The difficult part was delivering the performance with acceptable reliability and longevity with street servicing intervals - and that was very hard indeed.
     
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  16. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Something even Mr Google hasn't anything about................

    Please say more
     
  17. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    OK.... but don't say you didn't ask!

    This is the clearest description I've found (From "Locomotives of the GNRI" by the late Norman Johnston pub Colourpoint 1999).

    "(The Bodmer) system used cylinders twice the normal length with two pistons to each cylinder. The rear piston rods were connected to the cranks in the usual manner but the front piston rods were connected to crossheads, coupled rearwards, by rods, attached to cranks fixed at 180 degrees in relation to the cranks driven by the rear piston. A further curious feature of the arrangement was that the rear piston rods were hollow, so as to allow the front piston rods to pass through them."

    If I understand correctly, the two cylinders sharing the common bore were separated. This adds the complexity of a gland which must rank amongst the most inaccessible component on any steam loco ever.

    The solitary Dublin & Drogheda example, a 2-2-2 named "Queen", a Sharp Bros product of 1844 was inside cylindered, believe it or not! Unsurprisingly, it only lasted a few years before being rebuilt as a conventional 2-4-0 in 1848, in which form it lasted until 1865.

    Now let us never speak of it again!
     
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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Each cylinder contained two pistons that moved in opposite directions. The piston rod of the "rear" piston was hollow to allow the piston rod of the "front" piston to slide within it. There were then two crossheads (which moved in opposite directions) and two connecting rods. So in theory all the reciprocating masses were balanced, though I think in practice the issues of lubrication of one piston rod inside the other and making all the glands steam tight were probably beyond the technology of the time. I believe the proprietors of the LBSCR were persuaded to have one (might have been in the Joint Engine Committee of the SER / L&B / L&C days) but without success.

    Round about the same time he had a patent for a continuously moving grate that was fed at the front and slowly drew the fire through the firebox; I'm not sure if that was ever built. He also held various patents for improvements in weapons: his obituary is quite detailed on Grace's Guide.

    Tom
     
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  19. Dag Bonnedal

    Dag Bonnedal New Member

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    Sounds simple enough;)
    There are a number of varieties on the theme. To make it a bit complex, the Soviet OR23 is a "good" example.
    http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/russ/russrefr.htm
    halfway down the page.

    My personal favourite are the Maffei four couplers.
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayerische_ML_2/2
    They had the "side rods" inside the frames to synchronize the two halves.
    Exactly the same system on the 600 mm gauge Maffei steam motors on the Otavi in Namibia.
     
  20. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    I agree with others that a Claughton looks better with the original small boiler, and that I would like to see a new build one, but it seems extemely unlikely to happen. As of today, the website says "We expect to start manufacturing in July 2016".
     
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