Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by alexl102, Sep 12, 2022.
What did you have for lunch today....
....and can I have some?
Striking a somewhat pessimistic note, I struggle to see the V3 getting built and the K3 (if another A1SLT project) even less so.
I hope they do, but am not holding out for an appearance during my lifetime.
If we're talking stereotypes, I've just realised ..... amidst all those thousands of old photos of GW pagodas and goods workings, I've yet to see any image of any goods wagon carrying a single sheet of corrugated iron.
More seriously, thinking on Stanier's departure for pastures new and his subsequent none too successful 2-6-2T, you have to wonder why he didn't do as he did later with the Lizzies and ..... what was that 4-6-0 he developed from the Halls? ..... and develop his own 2-6-2T along the lines of the Swindon school of design.
It seems incredible Stanier wouldn't have been aware of the issues with Fowler's earlier design, yet with his intimate knowledge of Swindon practices (and his own decidedly iconoclastic tendencies), all he achieved was to confirm why the Fowler loco was a dud, with a dud of his own, near doubling the number of modern, but still dud 2-6-Ts the company owned. If this were some Machiavellian exercise in bring the Derby D.O to heel, it was a ruddy expensive way of going about it. There must've been something more to the story
In terms of overall length, Riddles 82xxx was closer to it's LMS predecessors and the GW's 'large praries'. Both LMS and the later BR class 3 employed 5'-3" dia drivers, where on the GW 'small praries' that was 4'-7½" (w/base 5'-6" + 6'-0") and on the 'large prairies' 5'-8" (w/base 7'-0" + 7'-9"). Would that be enough for Stanier to eschew the familiar, in favour of the unsuccessful?
How "dud" are we talking here? 139 examples built, in the mid-30s, and withdrawn at the onset of dieselisation, in the early 60s, giving around 25-30 years work, being employed on day to day working operations of the railway...
This sounds awfully like half the stuff aimed against the LNER's Thompson L1 class: digging into the primary evidence and a look at the evidence we have available, I sincerely doubt these were "duds".
Possibly, or possibly just that they were mediocre but competent enough to undermine any case for replacement. In which case, not "duds" but not good enough either.
Pretty 'dud', actually. They were too heavy and steaming was not brilliant. The fact is that when Ivatt introduced his Class 2 2-6-2Ts, they would easily out-perform the Fowler - and Stanier - engines, which were supposed to be Class 3, and certainly so over any distance.
And the Bulleid concept for the Southern (apart from electrification of course) really was just four classes, one of them best forgotten about altogether and two of the others just slightly different sizes of the same thing, so really only two designs worth bothering with.
Regrettably, I tend to concur. I cannot for the life of me think of a way around the design's asymmetric weight distribution. Maybe a modified 'Turf Burner' (square) boiler, with a longitudinal (extremely brisk) walk through corridor? No? Maybe not!
I sometimes wonder if Stanier was fighting a battle with his drawing office. Whilst there are tales of him saying that "the way we've always done it" is no justification, it's pretty evident that at least some of the time they carried on the way they'd always done it anyway. I might, I suppose, be forcing my own interpretation on the text, but in the book by Cox I have I seem to read a lot of subtext of the drawing office pushing back for their traditional practices.
Holcroft talks about ex LSWR design having a tendency to revert to Urie unless carefully watched, and I wonder if there was a similar tendency atv the LMS - to revert to Anderson perhaps?
Looking at Stanier's biography up to his move to the LMS, he spent over half his time (out of forty years on the GWR) in some kind of workshop role, including his last twenty years as - firstly - Assistant Works Manager, and then Works Manager, at Swindon. By contrast, he spent only three years in the drawing office, and that was as a relatively junior stage in his career, and before Churchward.
He then went to the LMS. From what I can see, the significant problem wasn't really about workshop organisation or efficiency; rather, it was melding three disparate design schools into a single standard LMS design school, from a starting point in which none of Crewe, Derby or Horwich could really be seen as at the forefront of locomotive design of the era. Hence his struggles: a workshop man with very limited design expertise placed in charge of a department where the issue was design, not workshop practice. My sense is that loco design then became somewhat hit and miss: successes (like the Black 5s) and duds (like the 2-6-2T) but my hunch is Stanier didn't have the design acumen to be able to spot the duds before they left the drawing office.
If I were being controversial, sometimes I wonder "if Stanier was the answer, did Josiah Stamp ask the wrong question?"
Have a read of Eric Langridge from Derby D.O. (Under 10 CMEs) and that becomes plain, with frequent comments along the lines of weaning Stanier off GWR principles (Langridge started with the LSWR, and hated the GWR with a passion!). But Stanier was not a designer as such - most CMEs weren't - and left that to the Drawing Offices, soon overseen by Tom Coleman, ex-North Staffs.
As has been pointed out before, the CME was primarily a manager and administrator, and the bulk of his work was repair and maintenance rather than new build and the design work that entailed.
I think that Staniers only dud was the 2-6-2 tank, all his Other designs were excellent. Arguably the 5X Jubilees needed a bit of fettling and had to have a bit of work, but the others were pretty good from the start
Harsh, I think Stanier was a good choice, an external appointment was I submit vital, but perhaps he was too keen not to be seen as simply a Churchward follower, and might have benefitted from importing a Swindon draughtsman, maybe a front end and/or boiler specialist.
Langridge mentioned a visit by WAS to the Derby DO in which he queried the use of short-travel valves on the last batch of 0-4-4T's, which had SLIDE valves! Langridge was unimpressed.
He was hired, surely, because he could run a large, and expensive, department - and to break the state of undeclared warfare in the MP Dept.
Staniers legacy was that future UK boilers would have narrow grates between wheels and strange corners hindering the field of view for crew.
It was never proven that it was worth the higher cost of manufacture.
More a Churchward legacy, to be honest, rather than Stanier. And the Belpaire boiler was hardly confined to the LMS and GWR, or Britain.
I take it you've never been on a Stanier engine on the move? Forward visibility was limited by the smokebox rather than firebox, as with all engines, but the taper boiler allowed a smaller diameter smokebox so, if anything, aided forward visibility.
My only footplate ride was once on a Heisler along Pacific coast Tillamook,
Germany made Belpaire 2-8-2s and 2-10-0s in great numbers around WW1 and rebuilt quite some with round tops later.
Never the other way.
France built some metre gauge Belpaires after WW2 for export but none for own use.
Pennsylvania stuck to Belpaires until end with the wild Duplex locomotives.
Not many Belpaires made in rest of USA for own use and exports.
World final verdict not worth the extra trouble and expence I would say.
That locomotive (LMS 2P Edit:0-4-4T) might a sensible new build project. Would be useful. Fills a historical niche as no LMS small passenger tanks survive. I think it had a boiler similar (the same?) as a Jinty (cylinders too?), thus a new 2P could benefit the surviving Jinties. And quite cheap to build compared to some, I think they were saturated so James would be happy with that.
However I doubt enthusiasts at large would want to support that probably preferring the earlier Midland 1P design...
As so often with steam era kit there doesn't seem to be much in firm evidence either way. Enthusiasts of and even engineers from particular lines assert that their solution was the best, but real evidence seems thin on the ground. It seems quite clear, for instance, that Churchward found his boilers considerably cheaper to own than the previous round top ones, but was that because of the Belpaire shape, or other design improvements?
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