If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

WW2 locomotive building.

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Eightpot, May 26, 2017.

  1. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    ah now you can't be comparing GWR and SR loco output like that and drawing conclusions. The SR also built a lot of electric traction which alters the balance quite a lot.
     
    Wenlock likes this.
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    19,720
    Likes Received:
    34,835
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think you have missed the point that I was making, which is that the economic calculation about the pros and cons of both standardisation and iterative design improvements vs new designs are fundamentally different depending whether you are talking about applying them to classes that number into the hundreds or not the tens. To take just one example, the LMS built about twice as many Black 5s alone as the SR built of every design of new steam locomotive they had put together.

    Tom
     
  3. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    well I believe the SR standardisation was second to none when you consider the electric units which were largely the same design with variations for certain traffic roles.
     
  4. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,291
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stanthorpe, QLD, Australia
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Yep, cash is king. Railways were/are a business after all.

    For Swindon to leave behind their tried and true designs that were still very much doing all that was asked of them, let's say anywhere from the late 1930's onwards, it may just have been too much of a financial risk in a time of falling receipts. I get the feeling the other big 3 were always searching for an exceptional design that would make all the difference and turn things around in financially difficult times. Certainly there was some excellent work done but at what financial cost. An awful lot of money must have been burnt through on design, construction, troubleshooting, rectifying and experimentation. Take the SR's Leader project, (granted, possibly the most extreme example!), - I would bet the accountants would have loved that chunk of money back!
     
  5. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    14,487
    Likes Received:
    11,589
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Cash is indeed king. But there comes a point where avoiding spending it is a false economy - as I suspect the accountants at British Airways may be thinking right now...
     
  6. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,291
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stanthorpe, QLD, Australia
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Lol, I'm a cheap b*st*rd at heart and I've been bitten more than a few times by the false economy bug myself! Sometimes it definitely pays to "just spend the damn money".

    The crunch was definitely coming for Swindon practices. Nationalisation more than likely/almost certainly saved them from having to make any major direction changing decisions although diesel thinking had started - which does makes me wonder if there was ever any thought in Swindon that steam was ultimately a dead end.
     
  7. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    2,033
    Likes Received:
    1,840
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Taunton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    But remember the GWR were looking into electrifying the lines west of Taunton in the late 30's but the costs and WWII got in the way of doing this.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  8. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    5,403
    Likes Received:
    3,087
    An interesting difference between where on the GWR system electrification was perceived to be most beneficial at that time and now.
     
  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    9,380
    Likes Received:
    5,149
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    31A
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    London to Taunton was in the frame I believe.
     
  10. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    379
    It pains me to say it, being an LNER man, but the GWR had justification - the Midland didn't.

    The LNER had a very different organisation the the other groups, and was very tight on money. Hence the deliberate retention and often rebuilding of relatively old types to keep them in service. In such a situation standardisation is less relevant than for a company like the GWR (and the LMS with Stanier) that can afford to replace wholesale many of their locos. It may account for Bullied's attitude to standardisation (just an extra set of incompatible spares) .

    Parts of the LNER in 1948 would look much the same, for motive power, as they did in 1923. Fortunately they inherited a basically competent set of designs from their constituents.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  11. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    379
    double post
     
  12. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    6,473
    Likes Received:
    4,722
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    AFAIK the GWR thought that they were best, BUT didn't they attempt to adopt 'best practice' and they were anything but ignoring what was happening elsewhere
     
  13. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,018
    Likes Received:
    1,704
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Topography and loco performance I suppose. I remember reading an old mag from circa 1962 when the writer (Nock?) commented on a run behind a French electric from circa 1962, where he was struck for the first time that the constraint on performance was the line speed rather than loco, as would have been the case with steam. Perhaps the GWR thought that electrics could have run unaided over the banks at line speed? I'd be interested if someone better read than me could comment further

    Patrick
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,166
    Likes Received:
    6,431
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The GW did and didn't. It had good boilers and good valve gear but it stuck with right hand drive, a poor braking system, inside valve gear and poor crew conditions. Away from locos, it stuck with lower quadrant signals, stuck to fang bolts for rail chairs and a host of other things that other railways had decided were not the best approach.

    The Midland believed its small engine policy and frequent short trains was right. Others didn't. Interestingly, the current passenger train operations over the big railway are pretty much like this on many lines.

    The LNER was tight for money but it adopted a policy under Gresley of building locos for specific duties rather than large numbers of a few classes. It stuck with RCH standard gangwaysand screw couplings instead of buckeyes and Pullman gangwys (but so did the LMS and, intriguingly BR with its DMU's, which is really another discussion.)
     
  15. Hirn

    Hirn New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2015
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    170
    Gender:
    Male
    [QUOTE="D1039, post: 1834695, member: 1545"]Topography and loco performance I suppose. I remember reading an old mag from circa 1962 when the writer (Nock?) commented on a run behind a French electric from circa 1962, where he was struck for the first time that the constraint on performance was the line speed rather than loco, as would have been the case with steam. Perhaps the GWR thought that electrics could have run unaided over the banks at line speed? I'd be interested if someone better read than me could comment further

    Patrick[/QUOTE]
    I think this is right. The Great Western main line through Devon and Cornwall seems an ideal length for main line electrification:
    the gradients begin after Taunton with the climb to Whiteball and then beyond Newton Abbot become severe, recurrent for 100 miles
    with plenty of speed restrictions and junction stations just where you don't want them - in the dips.

    Had it been electrifed with a good power to weight ratio, it should have been possible to improve both the timings and the general service.
    And to get operating economies. Whether regeneration - which notably saves adjusting and reblocking the brakes -
    was possible then with the 1,500 volts DC proposed I'm not sure. Presumably, though never mentioned, the stumbling block was
    - and is - the difficulty with storm conditions at Dawlish but the new inland line to avoid the sea wall was suspended in 1939
    and of course never built. If only they had put in the overhead for Dainton and everything beyond Newton Abbot and reckoned to go
    further East later - to at least Exeter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
    MellishR likes this.
  16. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,881
    Likes Received:
    1,403
    Location:
    Aylesbury
    Beg to differ with your last sentence Steve. The LNER did use Pullman-type gangways and Buckeye couplers on its main line/express coaching stock. The non-corridor suburban stock still used screw couplings. I believe much the same situation pre-1923 too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  17. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,166
    Likes Received:
    6,431
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    You're too right. I don't know what happened with my post. I was showing how the GW didn't necessarily do things the best way and intended to say 'The GWR stuck with RCH standard gangways and screw couplings.....' I'll blame it on cutting and pasting as I adjusted the text before posting.
     
  18. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,206
    Likes Received:
    2,070
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hilton, Derby
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    As Anderson was in charge of motive power, that gave him an obvious entreé into design matters on the basis of what wasn't working in practice leads quickly to "I know what will work".
     
  19. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,206
    Likes Received:
    2,070
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hilton, Derby
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Oddly enough Stanier's Class 3 tanks weren't very good either.
     
  20. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,520
    Likes Received:
    3,356
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Lecturer retired: Archivist of Stanier Mogul Fund
    Location:
    Wigan
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Yes. It was a shame it didn't, though!
     

Share This Page