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Welsh Highland & Garratts

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by richards, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Watching the "Steam Train Britain" programmes made me wonder: what would the WHR have used if the South African Garratts hadn't been available?

    They seem well-suited to the length and gradients of the route, and I can think of many alternatives that might have been available when the WHR project started up.

    Or did their availability make the WHR project possible?
     
  2. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    I have often wondered how it would have turned out if the Kalaharis had been picked instead of the Garratts. One result could well have been more frequent shorter trains; not so great commercially, but more visitor friendly, perhaps.
    Pat
     
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  3. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Or longer, double headed and less frequent trains.....

    ...... Wot? :D
     
  4. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Interesting question........

    I believe that the original intention was a more frequent service
     
  5. ragl

    ragl Member

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    Is there that much to choose between a NGG16 and a NG15 in terms of haulage capacity...?
     
  6. CymruGarratt

    CymruGarratt New Member

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    The Kalaharis are only slightly less powerful than an NGG16 Garratt. It will be interesting to see how No.134 performs on the gradients when it enters service.
    C
     
  7. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    The NGG16s are officially rated at a maximum of 12 cars. No-one knows for sure until 134 gets a chance to show its stuff but on paper the NG15s should be quite capable of handling 10 (the normal summer season set length). Those that have seen both types in action at Sandstone (in SA) report that this is a very realistic expectation. Most WHR crews that I have spoken to are very much looking forward to getting a go on 134...
     
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  8. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    Funnily enough the NGG16 vs. NG15 conversation came up when recording the latest podcast (link in signature). Huw told me the SA crews reckoned the NG15s to be as capable as the Garratts.
     
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  9. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I'd love to see an NGG16A let loose on the WHR. The two SA rebuilds seemed to do what was expected .... and do it rather well,
     
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  10. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Going back to my original question (rather than comparing South African locos), what else could the WHR have used if the South African locos weren't available? Or did their availability make the project possible?
     
  11. 48DL

    48DL New Member

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    Richard,
    I think that the FR would have run shorter trains using thier own fleet, they have more than enough locos to run the FR service, most of thier locos could handle say 5 or 6 cars over the WHR and increase the number of trains per day.
    But we do not have to worry about such thing although I am curious to see how the NG15 compares with the NGG16's, not only in performance but in running costs.
     
  12. ragl

    ragl Member

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    I suppose that by the time that the modern WHR became feasible, a lot of other potential, large 2'-0" gauge locos had disappeared; I'm thinking more about the 2-footers in India here, like the Gwalior locos and the Visvesvaraya Bagnalls, all probably big enough but would probably have come with some serious down-sides such as overly long wheel-base, poor valve design (the Gwalior Bagnall Pacifics) and being completely knackered.

    There are a couple of the Gwalior Bagnalls in the Rampton collection, so there is a possibility of seeing one of those one day. All speculation and what-ifs, but a good topic nonetheless, I, for one, am very thankful that the WHR project progressed the way that it did.

    Cheerz,

    Alan
     
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  13. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    If you are going to exclude the NGG16s and NG15s then I am struggling to think of anything (realistically) available of suitable power. So the simple answer to your main question is probably yes.
     
  14. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    Not so. The only FR locos capable of those sorts of loads are the fairlies - and they are far too valuable on their home turf. As a rule-of-thumb locos have approximately half their FR rating on the WHR. So the ladies, while rated 8 on the FR are limited to 4 on the WHR and so on.

    I feel it is often forgotten quite what a test the northbound climb is for a loco - both in gradient and duration. Think the same gradient as the Lickey and 3 times the length...
     
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  15. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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  16. CymruGarratt

    CymruGarratt New Member

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    I'm pretty sure the Luttermollers would be very slow due to their gearing, and their water and coal capacities too small for this long and arduous route.
     
  17. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    Why is transmission of drive through 1:1 gears inherently slower than a coupling rod thrashing round?
     
  18. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I wonder if in the longer term Boston Lodge might have considered a completely new larger Fairlie, maybe an 0-6-6-0, utilising the more generous loading gauge to provide more fuel and water capacity?
     
  19. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Gearing seemed to work pretty well on applications such as 'Western' diesel loco final drives.
     
  20. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Dunno about "the project" in toto, but to operate the line in the manner which it currently is ...... yes.

    I'm not aware of anything else with the sheer grunt (at reasonable operating speeds) these bendy bruisers possess. Further south, the Rheidol Tanks, not exactly lacking in the power department, aren't expected to manage more than 7 bogies on a line with a 1:50 ruling gradient, substantially less than the 1:40 of the WHR.

    Whether those O&K Luttermöller 0-10-0s (presumably 'tenderised', as per Linda and Blanche) could have been considered, I don't know, though they look to be a very specialised design, so suspect it'd be a "no". Electrification? The old PB&SSR proposal was for electric haulage. Somehow, I couldn't imagine the National Park's management would have been unduly supportive of OHLE through Snowdonia, nor, probably, would the bulk of 'heritage types' ... plus, with no suitable source of off the peg locos, the same issues would've applied as to steam (or diesel) power.

    Would a different service pattern, with shorter rakes, be viable? Again, dunno and note that "possible" doesn't necessarily equate to "viable". Do WHR passengers all travel the full distance? I'd imagine (at least) some coach parties enjoy a one-way journey .... and there certainly seems to be scope to market shorter trips from either extremity, though the line's management have to take account of many other considerations .... extra staffing, extra catering, extra fuel and water, maintenance burden etc. etc.

    Would a novel bespoke design have been feasible? As for service patterns, that seemingly small difference between "feasible" and "practical" looms large. I certainly wouldn't put it beyond Blodge to come up with a suitable design (for some reason, an 0-6-0+0-6-0 Fairlie springs to mind!), but t'would have added significantly to the financial burden of getting the line up and running.

    Yes, I could imagine a WHR without the NGG16s, but luckily, we don't have to, and (just for the record) I'd love to see one turned out in Mr.Stroudley's 'improved engine green' .... but that's probably just me! :)
     
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