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West Somerset Railway Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Do the diesel hydraulics not have steam heating? IIRC, it was the inability to power ETH (as much as non-stanfard transmission) which did for them on the big railway in the 1970's.
     
  2. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Member

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    This has been discussed several pages ago. The DEPG hydraulics have all had their boilers removed when they were first preserved.
     
  3. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Member

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    I know that the G/WR and GCR both acquired steam heating vans from Ireland, but never got round to using them - possibly too much work to get them operating again.
     
  4. nick glanf

    nick glanf New Member

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    Mk1 BG or a GUV Van may be good candidates for steam heat conversation. I know Tysley uses a GUV Van as a water carrier on some of the steam tours they do. I saw a picture of a restored MK 1 BG on the Gloucester & Warwickshire Railway recently, should at the very least be looked at and the costs looked into. Could add an extra 35 Ton to the train.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I suspect getting a reliable boiler that could work at the necessary power output unattended would be a non-trivial task. Yes, I know that such things have been designed before (i.e. steam heat vans, or steam heat boilers in locos), but there must surely be a reason why they were stripped out rather than retained.

    It's another example of where the traditional steam locomotive boiler provided power for auxiliaries (heating, brakes etc) in a reliable fashion that was largely unrecognised until it comes to trying to replicate those demands without a boiler, where they suddenly become very hard. Langridge made the same point in his book about the issues of designing the prototype mainline diesels.

    Tom
     
  6. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Or better still simply slightly increase the available steam fleet rather than invent a "solution looking for a problem?"

    The event we are referring to is the Winter Steam Festival - remember?
     
  7. nick glanf

    nick glanf New Member

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    Also a means of providing train heating . So that Diesels can also be used during the winter months if and when needed.
     
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  8. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Well the GWSR have steam heat diesels so maybe not a priority for restoration. The GCR had a couple iirc, at least one has been used - http://paulbiggs.zenfolio.com/p924950774/h11D95FBB
    http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/upl...and!.jpg.41a85b027054e7f43935c35c48f4e315.jpg
    Not my images but show them in use.
     
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  9. burmister

    burmister Member

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    As a CTO for a nationwide maintenance company in the 90s we had several 'packaged' boilers under our care of same makes as BR used ( mainly in Laundrys and food processing plants) Of these by far the simplest and in my opinion the best was the Stone Vapour design which was simply a long coil with a burner at the top in the middle of the coil. you pumped 120% of your steam demand as water into one end and extracted dry steam at the outlet, Admittedly the other designs were a design muddle of furnace, fire tube and shell with ogee rings and other undesirables to trap the unwary. Water treatment and attention to the water feed side of these boilers was vital if trouble free operation was required and I had to ensure the contract managers put decent fitters on those contracts or we ran into trouble and unbudgeted cost rapidly. I can see why BR had trouble, they needed on the tools people who knew what they were doing with steam so not perhaps best suited for diesel biased fitters and some of the controls/ relays etc used were not of the most robust design and the 3 pot water pumps were a pain to keep tight. Having said that on a preserved railway I would not see any great problems in using them or keeping them serviceable. I can see advantages of having a steam supply that can be started and then left to run on its own giving you steam in minutes for carriage heating in winter, the steam loco crews can start later in winter for one and non steam fitted diesels can be used for another,
    Even in todays legislation heavy world can't see many problems or difficulties in putting one in a mobile van on wheels, after all its the same basic plant as thousands of oil fired unattended boiler and water heaters fitted to buildings all over the country. If starting afresh would not bother with an old ex BR boiler, would buy a new one.

    Brian
     
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  10. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    What interests me in that context is that the GCR bought 2 ex IE vans, and have not then made the anticipated level of use of them.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    Sounds like a solution looking for a problem, No need for all this - just use steam locos.
     
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  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Only one diesel capable of steam heat currently operational, I think one other is on the horizon. The boiler coach does see work done slowly. AIUI (I'm very much not involved!) the main issue is not the steam heating boiler and equipment itself but the actual coach it's sat in being in poor condition.
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I suspect that the steam heat boilers that still exist from the BR first generation diesels are effectively worn out and, unlike a conventional locomotive boiler, are not easily brought up to a satisfactory standard. The coils will be shot and require replacement and the controls similar. If a reliable steam heat boiler is to be provided you are really looking at new at not inconsiderable cost. You've also got to find one that is going to be suitable for mobile use and fit in a rather cramped vehicle profile. By mobile, I don't mean one that can be moved around but one that will work whilst on the move in far from steady conditions. Such may be available but the market will be quite limited. All in all, the cost of such a project is not going to be cheap and hardly likely to justify the outlay in terms of use.
    It is a fact of life that, unlike a steam locomotive, diesel locomotives will only continue to exist as long as there is a stock of spare parts available as many components cannot be realistically produced on a one-off basis. The steam heat boiler is one such component.
     
  14. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Why though? - they are not needed. The WSR does not run passenger trains in November, January (other than New Year) and February (other than half term). The services which are run in the winter are - Dunster by Candle Light, Santa, the Winter Steam Festival, the other services between Christmas & New Year and a very few days at half term.

    The expectation with all these is steam - particularly so with the first three above.

    What IS needed is slightly higher steam fleet availability, the benefit of which is far more significant than just the winter service period.
     
  15. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    Yes, that's really the point. For the odd occasion when a steam loco is not available it seems hardly worth the expense of a 'boiler coach'.
     
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  16. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Having many happy memories of steam heated diesel hauled trains in the early 80's its certainly a WIBN.................
     
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  17. Captain Fantastic

    Captain Fantastic Member

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    Well coach 5030 still has the EH sockets but I don't know if it still works, for the peeps interested in these things 5030 was one of the north wales MK1s in the late 90's
     
  18. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Member

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    There is no operable ETH on any WSR coach. Have a look back at post #9185 on page 460!
     
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  19. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Hmm - I would observe that stranger things have happened in railway preservation than a simple task of buying a new packaged boiler and fitting it into a railway vehicle.

    Regarding new spares for Diesels, Sulzer LDA people have already remanufactured more smaller specialist items to the original drawings such as valve guide inserts, springs, valves, inserts, rocker pins etc on the cylinder heads and my 33 is running with these already. Similar situation pertains for the EE design.
    Consumables such new Piston rings, injector nozzles can be obtained off shelf and with the Sulzer design as long as you do not ruin your crankshaft by stupidity you can respray to original size so fitting new mains and big ends not a problem either. Electrically rewinding generators and traction motors has never gone away. For the future I also predict that the rapidly developing 3D printing manufacturing technique will assist both steam and diesel preservationists in am increasingly positive way and over a widening range of components. So I think I will be enjoying repairing the 33s and 207 I help look after with new parts as required for as long as I am able to lift a spanner.

    Brian
     
  20. Paul Kibbey

    Paul Kibbey Well-Known Member

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