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Sir Nigel Gresley - The L.N.E.R.’s First C.M.E.

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by S.A.C. Martin, Dec 3, 2021.

  1. 6220Coronation

    6220Coronation New Member

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    Not sure if this is true or not, but didn’t Butlin also have his eye set on 46220 at one point?
     
  2. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    They could only have what was available
     
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  3. Miff

    Miff Part of the furniture Friend

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    Unnatural selection from a limited catalogue curated by one scrap dealer, not on any historical or engineering basis.
     
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  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    upload_2021-12-8_8-50-41.png

    The 104,304 miles between repairs for the standard class 2MT is quite an eye-opener. Notice the slightly higher mileages of the Thompson L1 compared to the V1s/V3s.

    I have been hugely sceptical when I see stats like these, as they by and large don't actually take into account what is happening to the classes in question. When I did the LNER stats for the Thompson book for annual average mileages by way of the Use of Engine Power Document, this was a much better measure of what was actually happening in relation to shopping.

    There's a huge misconception where the LNER is concerned in terms of shopping, anyway - there are targeted mileages between overhauls (made more complicated by targeted between different types of overhaul) but the main target for the railway is high annual mileage and availability for the locomotive stock. Previously this has not been reported.

    What is perhaps particularly heinous is that we've seen much made of how many times a locomotive was shopped, with no clear context for said shopping or indications of the time out required.

    By and large, the work I have done confirms that - and we are talking purely about the LNER Pacifics - the Thompson Pacifics were shopped more often, with less days off for repair and higher availability, Gresley's were in works the longest over fewer visits, and the Peppercorn A1 nailed it by way of fewest works visits in a year, and highest mileages and availability.
     
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  5. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    We should recognise that averages can become most suspect when the data set is small and also if the data set contains 'outliers' at either end. Use of median values as a measurement of an average has advantages in that respect but I suspect that what is in #184 is a conventional average. And aside from how the figure is arrived at, you also have to take into account the nature of what the locomotive classes are doing most of the time before drawing too many conclusions. Of course, whether each company prior to BR had the same policy on 'servicing' trumps all the above.

    Having said all that, it is an interesting list that actually tells us 'not a great deal' in substantive terms, I suggest.
     
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  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I agree the table raises more questions than answers. (Not least - did all four regions count a "periodical repair" as meaning the same thing?)

    Three comparisons I raised an eyebrow at as interesting, and which at least - being confined to a single region - should be comparable:

    1. LM Class 5 - 56,909
      LM Class 5 with manganese liners - 92,291
      So a simple change in axle box design almost doubles the time between repairs! Though it begs the question of how much more knackered everything else was - i.e. did the loco with manganese liners need a bigger repair after 92,000 miles than the one without needed after 56,000?
    2. WR Castle - 87,424
      WR Hall - 87,924
      WR County - 87,588
      That's very consistent (which I suspect is supported by the fact that the WR tried to base overhauls on mileage, not once they reached a particular condition)
    3. SR N 53,852
      SR U 68,941
      Why such a large difference in two similar locos? Maybe to do with the U having larger wheels, so mile for mile, less piston and valve wear, fewer cyclical stresses? N class more banged about on heavy freights relative to the faster passenger duties of the Us?
    I wonder to what extent axle box repairs were what drove repair cycles?

    Tom
     
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  7. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Well-Known Member

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    actually IIRC the Duchesses were scheduled for GRs at 70k . most went over .

    what didn't happen was locos working out the mileage before being called in . they stayed on EP work the whole time .

    i only ever saw / heard a LM engine with nackered bearings a couple of times . 2 x 8F and 2 x Fives . the last 5 was C1967 on a LTS parcels to Southend - possibly the last BR steam on the LTS - running very slowly and clankily .
     
  8. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Well-Known Member

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    ..............which means nothing without looking at what they were asked to do.

    the Duchesses were the hardest worked engines in the UK . 5A locos 700 t over Shap unassisted on the Postal .
    i've seen them with 19 on out of Euston 16 was normal .
    the only time i ever saw one in trouble was 46223 , a 66A engine heading south thro' Harrow with a bad superheater blow .

    GRs were mileage based - not condition
     
  9. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Member

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    Yes CJA does quote Geddes as saying this ( “The LNER” p.48) He also suggests that there was no love between
    Geddes and Whitelaw. The particular issue was the post WW1 NBR compensation claims against the
    Government. ( Hamilton suggests that Whitelaw may have considered Geddes “a jumped up subordinate”.)

    As regards the NBR claim( which ultimately prevailed ) CJA says “With little doubt it was the reputation that
    William Whitelaw thus established that influenced his election as the first Chairman of the LNER. “ (p.27 )

    Chapter V of CJA’s book is titled “The New Chairman - Its Chairman”
    He includes the Geddes quote (p.48 ) But he includes lines such as “ Yet Whitelaw remained in office
    longer than the Chairman of all the other groups over a further span of 15 years guiding with dignity and
    unerring touch, the destination of the new company”

    We should not forget the NER Board did not want Geddes as MD or Chair of the new LNER. ( Geddes
    was hardly likely to greet Whitelaw’s appointment as Chair enthusiastically )

    Two quotes from CJA ( taken at random ) p.40 “In, Scotland, William Whitelaw of the NBR was not
    only a man of great force of character, but also more than any of the others was steeped in the practical
    side of railway administration”.

    p.219 with reference to Whitelaw’s announcement that he intended to resign both the LNER Chair and
    Board. “It seemed almost impossible to think of the Company without Whitelaw who, with his splendid
    presence , his courtesy, and the tenacity with which he had grappled with the Company’s many
    problems from the beginning onwards, had inspired profound respect among proprietors and staff
    alike. His selfless service was widely recognised and his going was regretted by all”

    Two other thoughts. He was good enough as a Chair to work with Wedgewood as GM who by all
    accounts was intellectually brilliant and to some intimidating.

    Whitelaw said “ our passengers must be accommodated in an ever increasing scale of comfort”
    Helm Backtrack 11.

    Hamilton included the Allen ref.to Whitelaw “How they disliked each other is shown by Geddes
    remark when opposing Whitelaw’s appointment as Chairnan of the LNER”.

    Quotes taken out of context can seriously mislead I am afraid.

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
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  10. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    Are you sure of that date? The LTS was my local line during the 60s and AFAIK there was no steam east of Tilbury after 62. Parcels and freight were usually in the hands of Cl31s or Cl15s after electrification.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
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  11. Eightpot

    Eightpot Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Peter Townend has stated that Pacific middle big ends were taken down for inspection at 10,000 mile intervals, and that normally only required re-metalling at 20,000 mile intervals. From this I suggest that claiming (in post 159) that the inside big ends on a 'Duchess' could run for 80,000 miles without inspection or attention does not sound credible. Whitemetal will still wear no matter what loco it is used in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
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  12. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Makes sense. The comprehensive CIÉ fleet review of 1948 (part of The Milne Report) makes mention of this factor, concerning ex-MGWR 0-6-0 Class H /GSR Class 619*: "A very powerful engine, but the wheel diameter is 4'-9" from which the high power is derived ..... the revolutions per mile are, therefore, excessive and the engine needs continuous heavy repair after 22,000 miles". They obviously meant it, as the last of this 1880 class, all four of which had heavy repairs between 1936 and 1941, were withdrawn in 1949.

    Of some relevance, the same report says of the two Irish Maunsell mogul classes, 372 and 393 (akin to SR classes U and N, built from parts bought from Woolwich Arsenal, post WWI): "Primarily goods engines but suitable for passenger trains. The only difference between the two classes is the 393 have larger wheels. They work Galway passenger trains but are too overloaded to run fast .... also Sligo and Rosslare Expresses, Up and Down Cork Night Mails. The boilers were built for British gauge and are too small for Irish requirements. Their axleload is much in their favour because they can go over sections that other large engines cannot. A good general purpose engine not requiring excessive repair."

    There was a proposal to give the mogul classes larger boilers, which got as far as a construction order being placed, but the Milne reports observations led to the order being cancelled. In view of mainframe issues and an inevitable reduction in route availability which the increased weight would have caused, this was probably for the best.

    Oddly, the report made no mention of frame problems experienced with both classes, akin to those on the UK Southern variety, but exacerbated by an 'interesting' adaptation to 5'-3" gauge. It was suspected the wider cylinder centre to centre spacing on the Irish editions added to mainframe woes. Complaints from tbe footplate seem to have been centred more on the UK sized cab, than frames or boiler capacity! Though the half dozen with 6'-0" dia drivers became extinct in 1959, the last of the 5'-6" wheeled variety hung on until 1962.

    *Even by Irish standards, a very small class of four locos bought from Avonside, to an order from the Waterford, Dungarvan and Lismore, but that company refused them due to late delivery. At £1600 a piece, the MGWR probably just couldn't resist a bargain.
     
  13. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Except it isn't a quote out of context. Hamilton is discussing Geddes, Whitelaw and the NBR claim and cites Allen. The context was clear the first time I cited it. So I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Allen is clearly very sympathetic, bordering on hagiography towards Whitelaw, but Allen is hardly an unbiased observer in this discussion considering his day job. There is no reason not to reassess whether Allen's assessment of Whitelaw is accurate or fair.

    Do you have a ref for the NER not wanting Geddes as MD or Chair?
     
  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don't, but I do notice that one of Geddes' roles had been Minister of Transport, and another was as chair of a Committee on National Expenditure that wielded the "Geddes Axe"; neither had endeared him to the wider world. With those posts in his cv after leaving the NER, I don't find it surprising that he had outgrown the railways that had given him the boot up for his later eminence.
     
  15. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Gamekeeper turned poacher. :)

    What is the timeline with Geddes? The Geddes Axe is 1921. It seems late for a reason to be anti-Geddes. More likely the issue is settling up (something Hamilton goes into at some length). The NBR claim was by far the largest claim.

    Maybe a bit too jumped up for the stuffed shirts of most railway boards. Geddes had certain got his hands a lot more dirty than Whitelaw ever had.

    (In a battle between Geddes and Whitelaw it really does look like a race to the bottom)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
  16. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I understand better your point. I think it's unlikely that any of the steam locomotives we're discussing could do such mileages or indeed that this was desirable. Much of later steam development focused around preventable maintenance and shopping regularly at intervals to keep them in traffic longer. I do think we tend to over-simplify how the whole shopping procedure works - I have tried to do my best to describe this for the LNER in my book on Thompson.
     
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  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The Geddes Axe was after he’d left the MoT. I know little of his pre WWI career; my observation is about the time after he’d left the NER for bigger things.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. 62440

    62440 New Member

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    “We should not forget the NER Board did not want Geddes as MD or Chair of the new LNER. ( Geddes
    was hardly likely to greet Whitelaw’s appointment as Chair enthusiastically )”


    Didn’t the NER fork out £50k to buy out Geddes and regard it as money well spent? He seems to have been the unity candidate for the new LNER - the one nobody wanted
     
  19. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Well-Known Member

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    not certain .but i am not far out - could have been '65, as it must have been a 1A loco . i lived alongside the LTS for 20 years close enough to hear a steam loco. it was certainly a long time time after '62. to say i was surprised is an understatement as 5s were a rarity at any time during the daytime (which it was) .possibly a Sunday as routing a parcels thro' the weekday traffic would have been problematic.
    location ? the roadbridge east of Basildon station - Clayhill Rd. i saw it from C 50 yds. the only steam i saw after the power went on. the knock was much more than a nackered bearing .i would say the white metal was out. a hammer blow on every rev. it may have been stopped at Pitsea - i don't know.
    in any event , it was the last working BR steam loco i ever saw as i was not on the habit of chasing of rusty wrecks in run down depots.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
  20. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Well-Known Member

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    Townend says the Top Shed A4 s were given attention to the MBE at those intervals to achieve reliability because of the heating issues .the best locos were selected for the prestige trains and given special attention . IIRC it was only those selected engines that got that extra attention because taking down the MBE was a Main Works job - not a job for a running shed. if you translate taking down every 10000 miles that equates to about every 6 weeks on the Elizabethan. no Duchess ever got that sort of attention. with that regime in place they damn well should have been reliable .
    that attention was not standard ER practice . in fact it was pretty clandestine. what he doesn't say is what mileage was achieved by the outer big ends . maybe S,A.C Martin has the answer to that
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021

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