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Welsh Highland & Garratts

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

  1. tony51

    tony51 New Member

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    Remember that they bought (and butchered) Monarch
     
  2. Nigel Day

    Nigel Day Member

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    The NGG 16’s where purchased at the same time as the track from the same source., Alfred Country Railway. Some of the track was from the Doney brook like further up the South African coast.
     
  3. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Why bother with complicated articulated locos if you can fit a 2-8-2 with a KH front truck up the line. No flexible steam pipes or inefficient steam circuits to worry about. Only two sets of valve gear not four. Just look at the narrow gauge railways in East Germany where the desire for more power led to large 2-10-2 tank engines with a flexible wheel base, rather than bigger articulated locos like a Mallet.

    Robert Fairlie was an excellent salesman and used his engineering friends to push his idea across the world. For a short period of time the double engine occupied a niche that conventional locos couldn't. That quickly came to an end though when powerful and much more reliable 2-8-0s started to appear. The constraints of the double engine arrangement meant it fell out of favour very quickly.

    Tim
     
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  4. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Monarch was dismantled and carelessly left lying around. It went back the same as it came apart though. So not butchered.

    Tim
     
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  5. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    If I'm reading the runes correctly, my understanding is that Blodge's work on flexible steam joints is at least on a par with their ultimate development by Beyer Peacock, back in the day. The 5" gauge 'Leader' built by Kevan Ayling ran into issues as a result of high temperatures in the live steam circuit, which he solved with 'armoured' flexible tubing. Whether this particular solution would upscale to 2ft gauge locos, I don't honestly know, but to my mind, it does demonstrate that there's still scope for development.

    Like many, I feel the Garratt format, even with it's inherent overall length penalty, has proved the optimal solution for articulated steam, largely due to it's ability to incorporate adequate steam generating capacity, without resort to a less efficient longer, smaller diameter boiler.

    Since the WHR already does benefit from the NGG16 design, it seems unlikely that, eccentric millionaires aside, there'd be any reason to replace a perfectly adequate design in any event.

    Down the line, I could envisage development of railcars (beyond what Launceston are already doing) to enable viable shoulder operations, where the haulage capacity of a stonking great Garratt (or any powerful steam loco) isn't required, or commercially sensible, but likley as a joint project between various railways.
     
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  6. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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  7. tony51

    tony51 New Member

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  8. Steve B

    Steve B Member

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    Others more knowledgeable will correct me if I've got this wrong, but I seem to recall that armoured flexible pipes were tried during trials in the ?1960s. I believe that one of the reasons they weren't continued with is that whilst alternatives may have leaked spectacularly if worn or in need of packing, etc, if a flexible pipe failed it just failed - end of. Not the end of the world on a Fairlie with two regulators - the loco could get back home, but not so easy at the uphill end of a 11 coach train.

    Steve B
     
  9. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    From what Huw said in the podcast, the Fairlies do now use a 2" braided pipe.

    At 24:25 in video link is when he talks about it:
     
  10. Steve B

    Steve B Member

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    Thanks! I stand corrected (or at least updated!)

    Steve B
     
  11. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    ISTR from Gordon Rushton's "I tried to run a little railway" (I don't have the book to hand) that he (and one other) bought Monarch and donated it to the FR, and was somewhat irritated when they sold it and trousered the money. I don't have the book to hand so happy to be corrected.
     
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  12. talyllyn1

    talyllyn1 New Member

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    No need for speculation, it's all in Gordon Rushton's excellent book "Welsh Highland Railway Renaissance".
    Following accusations that the FR were secretly trying to buy the track-bed to prevent what is now WHHR from opening a short section from Porthmadog in competition with the FR, Chairman John Routly was sidelined.
    The case to "open the lot" was formulated by Mike Hart, Mike Schumann and Gordon Rushton. Messrs Hart and Schumann had the vision to use the SAR Garratts (and indeed funded 138 and 143 themselves) and track. Rushton put together the marketing case to open from the Caernarfon end.
     
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  13. talyllyn1

    talyllyn1 New Member

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    Correct. It was Gordon Rushton and Andy Savage, who donated it to the FR Trust.
    They envisioned oil firing Monarch to overcome the perceived disadvantage of the marine firebox. It was intended for use on the FR rather than WHR, but would have required extensive narrowing of the carrier frame as well as regauging the bogies. Rushton had it dismantled without FR Co. permission, and they decided that the conversion would be a doubtful success and ruin an historic locomotive.
    It was considered (by Mike Hart) to be lacking sufficient power for WHR, the bogie wheelbases were too short and the wheels too small. Subsequent experience with K1 suggests that he was right.
    Rushton and Savage made the mistake of not stipulating what would happen to the loco if FR decided not to use it, so they got no recompense when the Trust sold it back to the W & L.
     
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  14. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I think it's not flexibility that's the problem but where to put a firebox with an adequate grate on the 2' gauge. Metre gauge gives a lot more space to build scaled down standard gauge concepts. I think Mallets of any size on the 2' gauge would also cause some head scratching too.
     
  15. ragl

    ragl Member

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    The real overarching advantages of a Beyer-Garratt is that you can have that highly desirable short, fat boiler with a more than adequate deep firebox and grate area with attendant accessibility and a reasonably low centre of gravity as part of the deal; no wonder they quickly supplanted the Mallets in South Africa when they became available.

    Thread swerve: the ultimate Garratt was sketched out by David Wardale in his book "The Red Devil", a 2-12-2 + 2-12-2 with a weight of 460 metric tons, he saw the Garratt concept as the only way to go bigger than the "Big Boy" Malletts.

    Cheerz

    Alan
     
  16. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    I dont know the truth of it but I remember reading somewhere the claim that, among railways that ran Mallets and latterly Garratts, not one in the world ever bought another Mallet once they had tried a Garratt. It sounds like a BP sales pitch but possibly illustrates the advantage that a Garratt had when complicating things like politics are removed from the decision.

    M
     
  17. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Thinking about it, when the WHR rebuilding was conceived - and there have been similar discussions on the L&B thread, you know roughly how long the journey will take.

    That in turn then means what facilities are required - catering, toilets etc which then feeds back into the size of train, and hence the locomotive required.
     
  18. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    Isn't this a totally pointless discussion by some anoraks who've no real life? I travel the full length of the WHR a couple of times a year and enjoy the locos. I've also been to Sandstone 6 times and enjoyed them there.
     
  19. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Isn’t that the whole point of NP? Don’t try to kid me you have a life as well :)
     
  20. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    Nothing wrong with conjecturing as to what might have been used if the Garratts hadn't been available. As Miff says, NP is the place to have these flights of fancy!

    Maybe you need to to lighten up a bit? What harm is the discussion doing to anyone?

    Keith
     

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