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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. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The number built, rebuilt or influenced by Stephenson must be colossal :rolleyes:

    Tom
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Who copied much from Matthew Murray, notably two cylinders arranged at 90 degrees out of phase and the slide valve. Fortunately, he didn't copy the rack rail principle.:)
     
  3. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Am I allowed to mention Mr Hackworth? He’s certainly someone who has a part credit in the copyright material. :)
     
  4. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    We seem to be generating a lot of sound a fury here without much evidence. And you aren't going to find much evidence, because that's not necessarily how people work.

    According to Grace's guide there are Chapelon articles in Engineering in 1938 and the Engineer in 1934. Just about everyone is going to have read those articles, and like any good engineer they will have thought some things worth considering, some irrelevant , some pointless, disagreed with others and all the rest of it, and mentally filed away useful stuff for future reference. As I've said before an example is in Swindon Apprentice by Dusty Durrant, where he records that Swindon had redesigned the cylinders on the standard classes in accordance with Chapelon ideas on steam chest volume. Such cylinders would have spread slowly across the fleet when replacements were made as well as appearing as new on Manors and Granges etc. In many ways I suggest it's a fool's game to try and trace influences too closely.

    I rechecked Durrant while writing this and was amused by "...240P, the short lived yet famous Chapelon 4-8-0 which managed to cram a quart into a pint pot - with disastrous results to the pot". Shades, of course, of 4472 in preservation.
     
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  5. bluetrain

    bluetrain Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. We can track the limited adoptions of the Kylchap exhaust system, but the take-up of Chapelon's work on steam passages and "internal streamlining" is likely to be largely "under the radar", such as you describe for the GWR.

    Gresley was possibly the most prominent adopter outside France of Chapelon's ideas. To quote from his 1936 presidential address to the Institution of Locomotive Engineers:

    "I did not hesitate to incorporate some of the outstanding features of the Paris-Orleans Railway's engines, such as the provision of extra large steam passages and a double blastpipe. There was no real novelty in these features but the French engineers had worked out the designs scientifically and had proved them by results obtained in actual service."
     
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  6. RAB3L

    RAB3L Member

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    No doubt, but someone was claiming the opposite for Chapelon.
     
  7. Victor

    Victor Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Has the hiatus ended ?
     
  8. RAB3L

    RAB3L Member

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    I'm not sure what evidence Mr Durrant had to justify these remarks. Perhaps it was the relatively short career of the 240Ps? They were made redundant by electrification - the same reason why Chapelon spent much of his time rebuilding locomotives rather than building new, because of the policy of electrification adopted by French railways after WW1. After redundancy, the Nord region of SNCF became intensely interested in acquiring both 240As and 240Ps to work the heavy expresses on the steeply graded Lille-Valenciennes-Charleville line. The headquarters of SNCF were under the mistaken belief that the new 241Ps were more suitable for the task and the application was rejected. The following year this line was also selected for electrification with 25kv/50Hz. SNCF could have saved themselves the expense of replacing the 240A/Ps with the inferior 241Ps. There is also the suggestion that the SNCF decisions were unduly influenced by ex-PLM employees.

    The motive power engineers responsible for the former Etat line from Paris to Cherbourg were also keen to use the 240A/Ps, remembering the sparkling performance of 240.707 in trials over their line. However, the late Engineer-in-Chief of this railway had opposed further use of eight-coupled express locomotives on the light and heavily curved line owing to the derailment in 1933 of one of the Est 4-8-2s which had, at the time, deficient bogie lateral control.

    Mr Durrant's comments about economy and maintenance are not borne out by the facts. The Chief of the Motive Power Department of the Sud-Est expressed his great satisfaction with these locomotives. The boilers remained in an exceptionally good condition and in their latter days the percentage of 240Ps immobilised was only 4 (i.e. 1 in 25!), a figure which was much below the norm for steam locomotives.

    During the war, and after it, the 240Ps were hauling vast trains. When the main line via Dijon was closed by war damage, they were working trains of 22 to 28 coaches weighing 1,100 to 1,400 tons on the only day service to the south over the Bourbonnais line via Nevers and were sustaining speeds of 53mph on level track and 25mph up gradients of 1 in 166. They also worked vital coal trains of over 2,000 tons from the Pas de Calais coalfield following the end of the war,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2024
  9. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    That quote underlines the fact that Chapelon was influential in the thinking of UK loco engineers and not just Gresley. It is bizarre for anyone to imply that one person, whoever it is, was the source of all great thinking about locomotive design. Good engineers share and learn from each other.
     
  10. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    And equally bizarre to imply that no engineer was influenced by their peers or predecessors, as has happened in this thread.
     
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  11. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    He doesn't have much else to say in that book. Worth remembering that Durrant was a fully trained professional steam engineer as well as a steam enthusiast. He travelled widely and was notably open to international design concepts, rather more so than most of his contemporaries. It's hard to believe anyone else studied post WW2 steam in person in as many countries as he did.
     
  12. RAB3L

    RAB3L Member

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    I've never seen any evidence to support his remarks, quite the opposite in fact. The 240Ps are usually recognised as one of the most outstanding steam locomotives ever built. Perhaps Durrant was judging them on their short lifespan?

    For comparison, the A4 maximum hp figure seems to be about 2,500. The 240P managed 4,000 with approximately the same grate area. They had a higher power-to-weight ratio than any other steam locomotive with the exception of Porta's Argentina, which equalled it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2024
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  13. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    It’s this sort of bullying behaviour that keeps going on, both from some individual members and members of the moderating team that is forcing me to take this hiatus for my own mental health.

    So no, the hiatus has not ended. I don’t intend to post on Nat Pres in any meaningful way for some time. Congrats, you’ve got what you wanted.
     
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  14. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    So it seems you agree on the quart in a pint pot part of his statement. To evaluate whether he was correct about the 'disastrous results to the pot' would take a proper study of the maintenance records, if they still exist, and not just the usual enthusiast's unsupported assertions.

    It kind of reminds me of a feature of motorcycle journalism in the 80s when I was in the trade. The press would rave about the high power output of such and such new street bike, when anyone with half a brain could see the same manufacturers race versions developing way more horsepower. The achievement, by no means always achieved, was to ship a bike that would run a reasonable life without excessive breakdowns in the dubious hands of the public. More power was the easy bit.
     
  15. Victor

    Victor Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Don't be silly, nobody is bullying you and NOBODY has 'got what was wanted'.
    You don't handle criticism very well (however well intentioned that criticism is)
    Hiatus ? most people associate that with a hernia, why not just say "I'm having a break/rest"
     
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  16. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Nat Pres stalwart

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    Depends. I wouldn't associate 'hiatus' with 'hernia', but rather the OED definition.

    Screenshot 2024-02-15 at 12-03-10 hiatus - Google Search.png
     
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  17. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    I suppose it depends on how you have heard the word used, I would hazard a guess that at least 50% of members would associate it with hernia since the OED meaning is a far more uncommon use, usually as Victor says, taking a break, having a rest, or even taking a sabbatical. would be used.
     
  18. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Opinions on usage will vary - my experience is much more of hiatus as referring to a pause rather than a medical condition. Dare I suggest that age may be a factor - at rising 50, I've just encountered the first of my circle of contemporaries being diagnosed with cancer, and none have yet had a hernia.
     
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  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’ve never heard it used in the medical sense.

    I think @S.A.C. Martin ‘s charge of bullying by, in particular, two people is spot on.

    Tom
     
  20. Musket The Dog

    Musket The Dog New Member

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    Sort of proves the point doesn't it? Man says he's taking a break for his mental health and we get through one whole other message on the subject before the choice of word used to describe that act decidedly needs picking apart.

    Also in the camp of never having heard hiatus associated with hernias.
     
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