Journal Institution of Locomotive
Volume 36 (1946)
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Journal No. 189
Topham, W.L. (Paper No. 456)
The running man's ideal locomotive. 3-29. Disc.: 29-91.
Mainly concerned with rugged locomotives for rugged terrains, based mainly on experience gained during WW2 in Persia (now Iran) and Egypt: oil firing tends to colour his views. Noted the "unquestionable" desirability of three-cylinder type for high speed passenger work (either 4-6-0 or 4-6-2), and for heavy freight jobs performed by 4-8-0 or 2-10-0 types. The two-cylinder 4-6-2, such as the Indian Standard XB class or the BAGS 12K "is to be eschewed as it hunts notoriously in service especially if provided with Cartazzi slides for the radial wheels instead of helical return springs. Nevertheless did acknowledge the success of LMS class 5.
His proposed "ideal" would have had 5ft 9in coupled wheels, 21in cylinders, a parallel boiler with Belpaire firebox operating at 220 psi. The parallel type was cheaper to produce and cheaper than the taper type. A steel firebox should have been fitted as the copper type was out-moded. Longitudinal stays rather than roof bars were specified. With oil firing roof stay nuts burned. Welded fireholes as used on Buenos Aires Great Southern and BAW were found to be effective. The method employed in the USA for fixing superheaters should be adopted. Three fusible plugs of the type employed on the Egyptian State Railways should be used. "The boiler needed to be big enough for the engine, many good engines were spoilt by too small boilers". Multiple valve regulators combined with the superheater header both avoids the use of snifting valves and ensures that steam is retained in the elements. It was noted that the GWR locomotives had no domes yet the regulators were located in the boiler steam space. Some of this followed experience with 8F 2-8-0s fitted with oil firing: notably burning of torpedo ends of superheater elements. More washout plugs were required to ensure adequate accessibility. Topham considered that the header joint which leaked least was the old Midland Railway pattern of plain face-to-face type. There was further criticism of the 8F: the superheater tubes were only 11 SWG and there had been many burst elements in Persia and Egypt with oil-firing: 9 SWG was advocated. Shorter superheater elements were advocated for oil-firing. Considered that superheaters should be fitted with shut-off valve in the event of burst elements.
The standard GWR smokebox combinging drum with saddle was advocated. The Midland Railway smokebox door was an excellent one and should be fitted with six circumferential clamps. All pipework in smokebox should be of steel not copper as latter deteriorates. Many failures were experienced with GCR ROD type due to lack of belling and welding in steam pipe connections. The blower ring cast integrally with blast pipe cap as fitted to Midland Railway and Egyptian State Railways was recommended. The steam fountain should be placed outside the cab on top of the firebox. This improved accessibility and avoided heat in the cab. Injectors need to be capable of working at high ambient temperatures (as in Persia where feedwater temperatures reached 96° to 109° F): the Seller's monitor injector was simple to change (Figure) and the Nathan injector was also advocated. Feed water pumps and heaters were deprecated ("never live up to reputation in practice").
Advocated clackboxes on side of barrel with a stop valve, Considered that top feed led to priming. Water gauge of Klinger reflex pattern. Whistle should be of Caledonian type and on cab roof.
Noted the gymnastics needed to operate LNWR brake valves. Advocated crosswise rather than fore and aft operation of brake valve. Westinghouse vacuum ejector was simplest. The blower valve location was critical. Liked the double sliding firehole door fitted by the LMS and GWR. Noted the need for cab seats and advocated thick glass windscreens as fitted to LNER Pacifics and Italian locomotives. Steel chequered cab floors with duck boards under the crew's feet were recommended.
Plate frames were advanced, but these needed to strengthened around the horms: "when a Baldwin 2-8-2 and an LMS 8F collided in Persia it was easy to see who got the best of it" (p. 16). It was considered that bar frames were very weak at the front end. Disc wheels for the bogie were abhorred: "you cannot see what is going on". Commended King class bogie's external axle boxes (17). Automatic pressure relief valves for the cylinders were demanded. Poppet valve gears were too prone to catastrophic failure for the service envisaged. The Walschaerts valve gear as developedd for the LNER V2 class was admired. One suggested modification suggested for the union link from the crosshead to the combination lever was for it to be coupled directly to the small end pin as in the USA and on Italian locomotives. Pennsylvania type piston valves were advocated. The screw-type reversing gear as used on the GWR, MR compounds and 2P class was admired. The pistons, crossheads and rods should be of cast steel. A solid single slidebar with renewable bronze slipper liners was recommended and all nuts should be catellated.
The 8F solid bronze bushes with white metal inserts gave excellent service.Knucklepins gave a lot of trouble in service, and should be catellated. Springs should be laminated throughout. Compensating gear good theoretically, but in practice has a lot of disadvantages. Compensating beams add to the weight. Hangers need to sufficiently large. Advocated LMS latest type of axleboxes. In lubrication "grease is the thing", advocated grease guns and candles wherever possible. For the valves and pistons the Detroit sight feed lubricator was better than the Eureka type as the latter gets hotter in service. Flexible rubber connections for lubricants were deprecated as they burnt away. The sandbox should be placed on top of the boiler. A wooden cowcatcher was prefered to steel ones. The Whitaker Automatic Staff Exchange Apparatus was commended (see son's comments in Discussion). The GCR ROD ashpan received specific condemnation as the trailing coupled axle was completely surrounded. The tender should run on four-axle bogie type with the number on the sides. It should be all-welded.
The President, F.S. Whalley (29-30) noted that "if a thing was complicated in proportion to its function it was wrong". Draughtmen should have running experience. Operating staff should be involved in design. A.H. Whitaker (30-2) disagreed with statement on parallel boilers: he preferred the taper type. He considered that superheating was taken too far on some freight engines: it was suitable for long-haul, but not for lighter work. The boiler needed to be lagged. During WW2 "'his Company' (LMS?) had borrowed some old engines (K10?) from the Southern Railway, and they had wonderfully efficient injectors which could be detached in a very short time": these were presumably Urie-type. Agreed for the need of strong buffer beams. Thanked the speaker for recognizing his father's work. W. Cyril Williams (32-3) was critical of Topham's slant: 8F class were neither designed for Persia nor for oil-firing. Also suggestion that excessive emphasis placed upon Argentina and worse still Italy. Highly critical of Topham's observations on bar frames: the British locomotive industry had exported hundreds of locomotives with bar frames. Power reverse was essential for large locomotives
Meeting in Derby on 12 December 1945 chaired by J. Rankin
J.M. Jarvis (62) said the Author recommended that the cab roof should be long and made from one piece with the cab sides. It would seem that this might cause considerable difficulty in attaching the lifting gear to the rear of the engine, such as in the case of a break- down. It was also noticed that chequer plate was recommended for the cab floor; whilst this would wear much better than the usual wooden boards, would it not tend to be very slippery for the fireman? One further point of interest was the position of steam collection suggested. It would appear likely that trouble mlight be experienced with water getting carried over into the collection elbow due to the boiler water surging forward, especially when running on gradients. Admittedly, whilst braking or running downhill the regulator would generally be shut, but the water could still enter the elbow and the header, and so cause trouble when the regulator was subsequently opened. Although the G.W.R. do not use domes, they position their steam collectors in the front of the Belpaire box, where the water level is reasonably constant.
R.G. Jarvis (62-5) commented on the Author's remark that the 2-cylinder 4-6-2 was to be eschewed. This was a very sweeping statement when one considers that this type was and probably remained the most popular arrangement in the U.S.A., and many most excellent examples of the type were in use all over the world-to mention one particular case, the large South African Railways' Pacific type locomotive. Surely the objection to the 2-cylinder 4-6-2 was not fundamental, to be condemned because some South American Railways had trouble with one particular design, whilst the "XB" class in India had got a bad name, possibly not entirely of its own fault. He agreed that the Cartazzi control of the trailing wheels was a bad feature but this was only one particular arrangement and not fundamental to the Pacific type. In his opinion the 2-cyl.inder 4-6-2 could be an ideal arrangement. for a medium sized mixed traffic, general purpose engine. The 2-cylmder arrangement had the advantage of simplicity with no crank a:cles or inside big ends, eccentrics, etc., a point very much appreciated at runnmg sheds. The type permitted of the use of a wide firebox, so important in countries where coal is not of the best. The arrangement of the rear end gave much greater freedom of design for the firebox, ashpan and self-emptying features. With no frame envelopmg the firebox all stays could be repaired with the boiler in situ and no steam-tight stays were required.
He agreed with the Author that the 4-6-0 type was a useful engine where good coal was available, but the 4-6-2 was generally a far better riding engine, with its fixed wheel base in the centre of the frame, and with carrying wheels under the cab. . Another advantage of the 4-6-2 was that it lent itself to the bar frame arrangement and here he disagreed with another of the Author's points that frames should be of the plate type. Doubtless the Author had .made this recommendation largely upon his experience of the relative damage sustained by the two types of frame in the event of a collision, but there was far more in frame design than the occasional question of collision, almost however careless the Running Department might be.
Essentially the frame had to be a girder to carry the components of the locomotive and to act as the main bed plate of the machine. He considered emphatically that it should be rigid and not allowed to bend on curves, as otherwise all manner of axle box, crosshead and other troubles came in. From this point of view, from the point of view of. accessibility, and also through the axial loading of all the suspension he considered that the bar frame, properly designed, fulfilled all these requirements in a better manner than the plate frame.
The Author's experience of bar framed engines had been unhappy but Mr. Jarvis's had been very much the reverse. He had taken an interest in certain designs of German origin during a period of nearly 12 months spent on the Turkish State Railways in 1941-42, and had, reluctantly perhaps, to admit that the big 2-8-2 and 2-10-0 classes of Henschel design and the smaller 2-8-0s built largely by Nydguist and Holm, and Tubize, but which were actually a standard German State Railway design, were very excellent engines. The Turkish State Railways' tracks are well laid and engineered, but owing to the nature of the country, which was almost entirely mountainous, conditions of curvature and gradient were very similar to those obtaining on the Highland and Callander and Oban sections of the L.M.S. The large 2-8-2 and 2-10-0 were bar framed, the frames being slotted from the slab. They were developments of the plate framed 4-8-0 supplied by Henschels some years ear her. The frame repairs on the bar framed engines were practically nil except for a slight weakness at the saddle, which had been rectified, but the 4-8-0s were a mass of patches, welds and twisted suspensions. It is, of course, true that the 2-8-2 and 2-10-0 were not more than 3 or 4 years old and troubles might develop later. On the other hand the bar framed 2-8-0s mostly had steel cast frames and these engines had been running under most arduous conditions since about 1928. He had seen many of them passing through the Sivas Workshops for general repairs, and had seen only one case of a defective frame, which was the result of a very severe collision. The only damage sustained in this case was the bending of the front legs of the frame, and this was rectified in a way which was perhaps primitive but nevertheless effective.
The most illuminating example of the resistance of the bar frame was the case of one of the big 2-10-0s which was in head-on collision between Ankara and Kayseri early in 1942. After the collision it toppled over the embankment and rolled down .a slope of .about 30 ft., finishing with all wheels uppermost. A branch line was built to retrieve the engine, which in due course reached Sivas, an ugly, dlshevelled mass of twisted iron, but running on its own wheels. The engme was brought into the light repair shop, where the damaged details were burnt off, straightened and welded on agam. As an after thought, the engine was un-wheeled and being found to be in good order so far as frames, wheels and boxes were concerned, she was wheeled and sent back into service. He dreaded to think what would have been the condition of a plate framed engine in similar circumstances.
A pressure of 50 lb. per sq. inch in the lubrication. system. did appear to be rather high, and now that the 011 was bemg injected mto the axle box keep instead of the top of the axlebox, he thought that some consideration might be given to putting the non-return valve at the pump end of the flexible pipe and thus avoiding pressure in this pipe.
The American engines running here during the war used a very special block with hard inserts which were probably expensive to manufacture. Shrouded blocks had something to recommend them, particularly on lines with sever~ curves . .Double brakeblocks were being used on several types of engmes and this would reduce the amount of changing in the Sheds. The screw controlled ashpan dampers had quite a lot to recom- mend them since a more variable opening to the ashpan .door could be obtained by their use. They were, however, a little more complicated and could not be operated with the same rapidity as could a normal push and pull gear.
The Author favoured the extension of grease gun points to pin joints. Due to the small size of the grease nipples, was there not a danger that they might be overlooked if used extensively? Had the Author any comments on other features of American design, bar frames, for instance?
J.C. Loach (65) (in a written communication) stated that when discussing the general type of locomotive, the Author's first two sentences implied that the 2-cylinder 4-6-2 was not such a successful type of locomotive as the 3-cylinder 4-6-2, because of the different number of cylinders. Apparently the Author still held the idea that the steam load on the cylinder cover and out-of-balance masses, first on one side of the locomotive and then on the other, were causes of nosing. It was usual in engines 50 or more years ago, when their weight was not great and their length was short, but with a 4-6-2 engine of, perhaps, 90 tons weight and 45 feet long the period of nosing was not directly connected to these fore-and-aft off-centre-line thrusts when she was running at 400 revolutions per minute. The solution lay in proper and effective controlling arrangements in the bogies and trailing axle unit. He suggested that the Author had considered locomotives in which there were a number of differences in design and he had inferred that the defective feature was due to one difference, whereas it was really another. He regretted it, but it was so easy to draw incorrect conclusions when so many differences in the designs occurred.
One detail not mentioned in the discussion was the spring. The Author suggested that nibs were frequently the cause of broken plates. He agreed, but thought the central rivet hole was even more frequently the cause of fractures. Both were avoided by using rib-and-groove section for the plates and by having a button to locate the plates in the buckle. Nevertheless, whether the springs had a central rivet fastening or a button, it was understood that more than 50 per cent. of those changed at one large shed in this district were due to the plates moving through the buckle. There was no known reason to believe that this was not typical of what existed at other depots. The cause of the trouble-and here he dared to be as dogmatic as the Author in his paper-was that the spring links were used in compression. If brackets were fitted to the frames so that the spring links were in tension, a self-centring tendency would completely eliminate the trouble. Although the solution involved a little more initial expense and a little more weight being added to the engine than the other (links in compression) arrangement, he considered that these items are outweighed handsomely by the saving at sheds and in spring repairs throughout the life of the engine.
R.S. Hall (65-8) (in a written communication) stated that it was plain that the Author based his criticisms on that very important factor-the elimination of unnecessary or avoidable time taken up in shed repairs and examinations, especially at times when the demands of the Traffic Department for motive power exceeded the supply; his paper was highly controversial and without doubt all the better for that, as the resultant discussion proved. 00 In .the paper there were very few engine details that remained unrnentioned, but one that came to mind was the thermic syphon in the firebox which, of course, was welded to steel firebox plates which the Author so whole-heartedly advocated. It would appear that thermic syphons are well thought of m one East African Colonial Railway, and he referred members' attention to a letter on this subject published in "The Engineer" issue of November 16th, 1945. The comment on fusible plugs was interesting, although one would hardly expect a long parallel small hole as illustrated in Fig. 3 to be satisfactory in service; It was generally hoped that these safety devices are never required to function and so if in use for a long time without blowmg It would seem that the lower end of the hole-with the metal in it-would become so corroded that the plug would fail to act when the necessity arose. It was more general to have a bell-mouth at the lower end as well. which is not filled with metal. Perhaps the Author omitted this detail from the sketch, concentrating more on the taper thread, which was his main point. Some years ago the design of fusible tin boiler plugs was investigated by the Bureau of Standards, U.S.A., and m Paper No. 53 it was recommended that "The bore of the plug be tapered uniformly from end to end and be filled the whole length with tin, and plugs to be fitted with !he small end of the bore exposed to the fire, with the other end one inch above the water side of the plate." This, no doubt, was also controversial and he would add that the paper in question related to marine boilers.
Referring to the fit of smokebox doors, the use of circumferential clamps implied the use of a spanner, which was not so convenient as the centre dart and handle. The doors were usually pressed and then machined on the bearing edge and as this edge bedded on to a machined door ring on the smoke box front an air-tight joint should be made by means of the centre dart; he was of the opinion that the rivetting of the ring to the smokebox front and also of the hinges to the door itself produced some distortion which was difficult to eliminate entirely and so there seemed to be some justification for the Author's preference for the old Midland type of fastening.
The Author's comments on driver's brake valves were most interesting and having had experience with both the types mentioned he could well appreciate the suggestion to combine the L.M.S. type with the Dreadnoght ejector; one possible objection came to mind, and that wvas the. resistance to be overcoma when the large ejector is brought into action. For crosswise operation of the brake valve with a bent arm a back-handed movement would be necessary when releasing the brakes, as presumably the hand of driver remote from the cab side would be used for brake application whether the engine was right or left hand dnven. For application wiIth an almost straight arm giving the best purchase, the combined brake valve fitting would have to be located somewhere near the middle of the boiler front plate, by no means the best position, except perhaps with a broad gauge engine.
The next item of interest I note is the sliding type of firehole door and providing the door leaves are so fitted that sliding is free and they do not require coaxmg to open or close I am in agreement with the Author but must admit to a liking for the top hinged type of door as used on the Indian State Railways and which acts as an excellent air deflector as it opens inwards but should be designed so that the door will come up at least to the honzontal position; the projecting balance weight and handle is not usually considered objectionable. In the Author's sketch of his ideal cab arrangement he noticed that he showed the roof ventilator hinged at the back; he may have some special reason for admitting air from the front but for fast runmng this arrangement did not seem so satisfactory as that fitted to tropical Colonial locomotives which had a double cab roof, the. inner one. of timber, with an air space between the two and a ventilator opemng upwards at the rear.
He noticed that the bronze piston head nut was considered most undesirable, but as no reason was given except by inference (sla:kening back) he would be interested to learn if there were other objections. The Author would probably approve the M.O.B. type of piston and rod as developed by Wota Ltd. (A.B.C. Coupler Co.); this rod has a double taper at the piston end covered. by a plate permanently fastened to the piston head by countersunk rivets, the whole machined flush after assembly.
In respect of laminated leaf springs, there was no doubt that the majority of cracks in spring leaves emana!e from cen!re nvet holes or nibbing, any interference with the full section of a spnng plate must of necessity be a weakness, and it would appear that Messrs. Wm. Gnffiths Ltd., of Sheffield, have so far provided the best answer to this problem. They had a patent spring buckle fastening which was pressed on. to the assembled spring leaves, the rounded edges of which, for the wldth of the buckle, were ground flat; no end movement was then possible, and each spring plate retained a full rectangular cross-sectional area. In dealing with the lubrication of valves and cylinders. he was sorry to see that the Author leaned towards the American type of sight feed lubricator instead of the Enghsh Eureka lubncator, and he wondered why the latter should be hotter when in use, as both types work on the hydrostatic displacement principle, using boiler steam. Valve and cylinder lubrication was a matter of much interest to him some years ago, and he still. retained a liking for the forced feed mechanical lubricator; he admitted that its application sometimes left something to be desired, but he was firmly convinced that this was due to too much attention having been bestowed on the design of the pump itself, which without doubt had reached a very fine state of perfection, and not enough to those most important adjuncts: the non- return valve at the far end of the oil feed pipe and the dnve to the mechanical lubricator. For condensed steam to find its way into the lubricator as mentioned by the Author, some serious defects were indicated but it was true that water would often find its way into the feed pipes and so interrupt the uniformity of the oil feed; but this state of affairs could only be caused by two things, means of .mgress into the pipes from the cylinders.or valve chest and at irregular intervals a drop in pressure in the oil pipes permittmg this inrush of steam. For this same reasons the regularity of feed drop by drop wiIth hydrostatic displacement lubrication may by no means be that indicated by passage of oil drops througyh the sight glasses
Lt.-Col. J. Blundell (68-71) (in a written commication): all designers should consider the locomotive as it was seen in an ill-lighted, cold, wet and dirty shed, without the specialist departments, tools, and tradesmen found in the shops. It made all the difference working on an engine all round the clock, always against time, in very uncomfortable conditions, compared with mainly day shift work in a comparatively well-lighted and heated workshop, with the best and latest equipment at one's hand. These different circumstances accounted for the" Great Gulf." Much closer liaison was essential between the designer-manufacturer and the user, and it was not to be obtained by a few periodical visits and trips, or by the mere use of the dynamometer car, or even by the perusal of unfeeling reports and statistics, valuable as they may be. Above all, the engine crew must be considered, and more done to keep them better informed and increase their technical outlook. The present-day system of the " Mutual Improvement Class " did not meet the case.
His civil and military experience had convinced him that the new work engineer and technician was not interchangeable with the maintenance engineer and technician. New work personnel was more easily trained and reached experienced maturity very much sooner than maintenance personnel, which required much longer experience to become really efficient and reliable. Both. however, must be provided, and the more each realized the other's difficulties, the better designed and more economical working, reliable, and accident-free, will the locomotive become. The running shed personnel, however, did tend to be too conservative and old-fashioned He welcomed a go-ahead, virile and young shop personnel to combat this failing. The shops on their part, must play the game and grant the sheds the customer's privilege of being, shall we say, very often, right.
The Author's choice of types was good, for general work a two- cylinder, outside, engine. It was easier maintained and inspected on the level, a great benefit to its crew and the shed staff. He would, however, like to see a good 0-6-0, or 0-8-0, tank shunting loco. In this country with its many large yards much time and temper were wasted in heavy shunting with under-powered engines, or by keeping main line engines back for this work. Such tank engines should be three-cylindered to give good acceleration, and have reasonable coal and water capacities, and a reliable power reverse. Under some special circumstances the diesel engine was the answer, but when used it must never be overloaded.
Boiler washing plugs must be better considered, they should be placed after consultation with the sheds, and if necessary replaced after experience with the prototype of a class. The necessary use of rods, and visual inspection, were generally very difficult or even quite impossible once the boiler was in the frames. After much varied experience he held that the taper fusible plug was the most desirable.
If a ratchet arc on the regulator was provided, place the ratchet lever on the push side of the main handle grip. He had seen several accidents on U.S.A. locomotives where the ratchet lever had to be pulled towards you at the same time as the main handle had to be pushed away to close the valve. He suggested that main steam pipes should not be in the main compartment of the smokebox, which should have nothing but blastpipe, cowls and any necessary exhausts, with a smooth floor flush with the bottom of the main door or separate ash drawing door. Could not the steam pipes and header be placed in segmental compartments immediately in front of the tubeplate with external covers. All fastenings to be made from outside except the main header joint. Elements could be fixed with a bolt passing right through the header with the nut on the top inside the outer cover plate of the compartment. Steam pipes could be of oval section if necessary to give clearance for the outer rows of tubes.
All boiler accessories should be changeable on the level in ten minutes and replacements held at the shed for last-minute emergency changes. The water valve control of some W.D. locomotives was so designed that the whole rodding up to the actual handle bracket had to be stripped to change the plug cock which was seized owing to being bulged by frost. Dismounting alone took a fitter forty minutes. Actually he preferred top feeds properly maintained. He would, however, like to see injector feed pipes brought up to a clack box on the face plate, and continued by an internal tube passing through a plus hole in the plate so that it could be withdrawn entirely when it became choked by merely dismounting the clack box. A new feed pipe could then be fitted at once and the old one cleaned in the shed shop. The internal pipe in this case must be reasonably straight and secured at its leading end by an easily reached clip under the dome or top boiler manhole. The steam manifold should be outside with the sterns of the valves passing into the cab, and the valve wheels fitted with clear enamel plates specifying their purpose with an arrow showing the shut-off direction of turning. He advocated a return to the good old "Dog Chain" whistle control, the usual modem contraption is a thorough nUisance. Hot water injectors soon cease to function as such with temporary hard water, the sliding cone furs up solid in a few hours. InCidentally, D.M. boiler enamel is the perfect answer to this trouble under field conditions. .
The brake controls should be carried across the cab on all engines, many claims are due to this not being the case. It was far more necessary to stop the engine from both sides than to start it.
Sanding, cylinder cock and rocker gate controls needed more care In design. He had seen an engine on its side owing to the cock gear over-opening and passing the centre on a bell crank arm. It jammed at a critical moment, causing the driver to divert his attention just when. it did matter. All joints should be grease-nipple lubricated, especlally the fulcrums of the levers. Rods should be light round tubing, and not flat strip, and should be placed so that they can be both seen and got at, and not so that they get nipped between the frame and fireebox. All crank connections must be fork-ended with a collared pin screwing up tightly to one leg of the fork, nutted and pinned.
"Better cabs, better enginemen," was a good slogan, and he advocated a roomy, easily cleaned, sheltered cab and a clean plastic or wood-lined clothes locker; they were often going to lodge and wanted a clean turnout when they got in. The locker floor should be flush with the door opening to allow cleaning. The tool locker wanted the same consideration. Much had the old, dirty, wet tool locker contributed to delays and failures. Put recesses for the oil bottles, and clips or trays for a proper tool kit. Make the tool kit part of the engine, it should never have to be carried about, and thrown down on the stores floor, ballast or footplate several times each day. No man did his best with discouraging tools. Open cabs were best in this country three hundred days a year, but the remaining days required windows, if accidents were to be avoided. On too many engines the driver's coat was wired up for a wind breaker, and spongecloths, waste or newspaper filled the all-too-many holes in the sides and floors of cabs in an endeavour to keep body and soul together on a cold night run. We could do better for the enginemen, and taken all round they deserved it. Personally, he disliked a chequerplate cab floor.
He doubted the necessity for running platforms in this country, the restricted gauge ruled them out. They did require better footsteps and general accessibility to the front end, motion and tenders. Let them have proper non-slip treads to steps, and a plastic covering to all hand- rails and handles generally.
In regard to cylinders, they should be designed so that pistons and valves could be inspected and drawn without requiring an acetylene burner, or removing a hundredweight or so of other gearing, or even removing the whole front buffer beam. These things had to be done in the shed. Nuts should be easily reachable with an effective spanner, preferably a box spanner, and the fitter should have room to use his bar. Give him space to fix a pulley tackle where the part was heavy, and a suitable attachment to lift the part, or fix a lifting eye if required. He did not like the U.S.A. necked studs, and preferred a cover with a centre easily fractured, so that the least weight possible came adrift, should the unexpected happen: let most of the weight remain fixed.
Many of the suggestions for valve gear deserved consideration. Personally, he would like to see the poppet type developed and per- fected. Poppet gears, when good, were very good. The sheds must advance and be able to deal with these types of gear. If diesels were coming, as he hoped they were, running sheds would have to go in for higher grade fitting, equipment, and layout, in any case. Poppet gears could very well be dealt with in the diesel shop.
Screw reversing gears were certainly the best, and preferable to unreliable power operated gears, but a special case should be made, as previously mentioned, for shunting engines, the screw gear was too slow, and involved the driver in crossing the footplate at times. All shunting engines in large yards should have right and left hand, dupli- cated throttle, brake and reversing controls. The cost would be saved in time, and claims for damage, to traffic, and damage to stock. He considered that the crosshead was too often a weak spot. The rod end was too frequently forced into the crosshead when the engine had been "working hydraulically." He had experienced much trouble With crosshea~ cotters. fitted, as is now a standard practice, with no draw for refitting .. This made it necessary to send the assembly back to shops after a mishap. If a cotter with draw was fitted, the cross- head could ~sually be refitted in the shed, and much engine availability saved. Havmg to send such repairs to shops robbed the shed of valu- able po:ver, often when most needed, as it was invariably the case that these. mishaps occurred .mostly when everyone and every machine were workmg all-out. The nsk of poor quality fitting at the shed should be remote, and the sooner sheds were trusted to do this sort of work the better for efficiency.
Stiffening-up springhangers was begging the question. They were quite heavy enough. The fault lay in the rocking washers which did not rock. Instead of approximating to knife edges, they more nearly approached a ball and socket joint, which needed to slide instead of roll. Allow rollmg and proper rocking to take place, and most trouble would vanish.
In connection with brakes, all running joints in the pipe work should be eliminated and the joints made with modern connections of the cone and socket type, or flanges where there was no room for end clearance to get cones up and down. Above all, sectionalize the pipe work so that it may readily be taken up and down as often as required for inspection, or more often still, to give ready access to other parts of the engme s anatomy. -r:he best brakeblock was that with one single heavy lug, and not two lighter ones at the sides. Although heavier a double cheeked han"er, and single lug block, gave longer life, and went a long way to obviate that most troublesome feature of the single hanger type splaying out sideways. Many an expensive failure had been due to this trouble. Single lug blocks wear to the bitter end and never break away sideways.
Finally he said he would like. to pay a tribute to Mr. J. G. Robinson, of the old Great Central Railway. It was very interesting to see many of his ideas re-suggested in Colonel Tophams very valuable Paper. Robinson liked to be,able to say, and could do so in very many of his designs, that It was A Sound Running Shed Job " This should be the aim of all designers.
Meeting in Manchester, 14 January 1946. 74-
Third Ordinary General Meeting of the Manchester Centre held at the College of Technology, Manchester, on Monday, January 14th, 1946, at 6.30 p.m; chaired H.H. Saunders
Saunders (74-5): The Author in the beginning of his Paper said there
was a great gulf between the loco. Runnmg people and the shops. In his view
this ought not to be the case. If, however, there was a great gulf between
the loco. Running and the. shops on any particular railway there was certainly
something amountmg to an ocean between the locomotive running people on an
overseas railway and the actual designers and manufacturers in this country,
and closer collaboration should be established.
The Author suggested that the boiler should have a good size Belpaire box and let the boiler be big enough for the engine and a bit more as well. Designers know what the correct size of boiler should be to match the performance of the engine, but they seldom get an opportumty of incurnng the size of boiler if this is necessary, as in nine cases out of ten they are given a basic design to work to and asked to add a lot of items which alone will increase the weight above that specified.
Bar Frames. He could not agree with the Author that "the frames should unquestionably be of the plate type and not bar." He saw no reason whatsoever why bar frames should have a weak front end. It seemed probable that the Baldwin 2-8-2 that collided with the L.M.S. 8F in Persia was built in the first place to take the American couplings, and even if the Americans knew something about side buffers they had no idea that boxing contests were arranged in Persia for the amusement of the troops. Beyond a certain size a satisfactory engine can only be built around bar frames, which help in the design of the firebox, eliminate horn blocks, and provide better rigidity as regards side stresses. Much of the difficulty with some of the "X" Class engines in India would have been avoided had the engines been designed around a bar frame, when racking plates, double horns, and elaborate horn clips would have been unnecessary.
There was one item which he thought the Author might reasonably ha ve included, and that was the necessity of renewa ble items such as steel hub liners, crosshead slipper blocks, axlebox liners, etc., being made and drilled from properly manufactured jigs manufactured on a jig borer. If he was ordering an engine he would insist on getting his inspectors to check over the jigs before they were put into use.
W. Paterson (75): In 1895 John A. Aspinall used him, then a lad, to stand in front of a full-sized cab built with every fitting that would be on the proposed locomotive. He had to stand at varying distances to make quite sure that the visibility and sighfing distances from the cab were quite right due to the windows being repositioned, as the locomotive had a Belpaire firebox, one of the first to be adopted in this country. He placed a seat for the driver and went to the trouble of measuring all the driver's and fireman's manual movements on the footplate. So far as he knew that practice had been continued. Even then Sir John invited drivers, firemen, Running shed fitters, not to mention a few Loco. Superintendents, to examine the cab and to make comments on it. That was about 1895. His Running experience began in 1899. He was never conscious of any obstacle such as the "Great Gulf" the Author mentions, but he had the responsibility for years of upwards of 3,000 main line locomotives, including 60 a day which were timed at over 60 miles an hour, and the supervision of thousands of footplate men, and he thought that he knew something about a Running shed point of view. Well, that was rns first experience of a C.M.E. That very well known C.M.E., George Hughes, sent him a questionnaire, including 90 separate questions on a parhcular superheater in which he was interested and an instruction to be at his office in three days. When he arrived there, to his surprise (here were four other of his colleagues, who had also had 90 questions to answer, and when they got to the office, those 90 questions had been tabulated and classified in their own names. and they had to explain their own comments on that particular superheater and comment on what the other men said. It seemed to him there was not so much of a gulf there. The same C.M.E., as a matter of interest, after scrutinizing the recorded instances of locomotive failures in service from any cause set up a battery of Committees comprised of District Loco. Superintendents, and he divided the locomotives up and allocated each part of the Locomotive into Sub-Committees, and a report had to be made on any failures m six months. Do you know that nearly every recommendation made by those Committees was adopted as standard and future practice. He never remembered a single instance where he had any difficulty in obtaining access to the builders of the locomotives which it was his privilege to use. Sir Nigel Gresley invited him to discuss one of his latest creations from the point of view of the Running Shed Man, and as a final example of shop and Running shed collaboration, Sir W. Stanier personally discussed his L.M.S. engines with representatives of the' Running shed staff, even down to such precise detail as the number and position of every washout plug, and during construction arranged for shed fitters, boilersmiths, engine drivers, and firemen, as well as supervisors, to see the engines being built in the L.M,S. workshops and make comments thereon. It is only fair that they should prevent the impression spreading that the C.M.E.s were inaccessible, even to a humble man like himself. One more point. It did not appear that the average shopman was any worse off for his lack of running shed experience. It was infinitely more important that as a shopman he should specialize in his own class of work. Specialization was surely a basic essential in Running shed practice, as it was in workshop practice. The range of machine tool equipment at Running sheds depends upon a number of variant factors, including geographical positions, transport, and so on. Personally, he was never happier than when there was not enough work for the wheel drops and the machine tools at his depots. He had charge of 97, covering the whole of the western Division (L.M.S.),
He thought that the ideal axle box would be better if it were round topped. He would like to think that some future C.M.E. would substi- tute rotary for all reciprocating parts. Then he thought they should be approaching the Running man's ideal locomotive,
G.C. Marsh (76) said he was particularly interested in that part of the Paper dealing with ejectors and steam brake valves. The Author stated his preference for the Westinghouse type both on the score of performance and simplicity, Westinghouse ejectors were, of course, practically unknown in this country, and very few people here have ever seen one, but he understood that this ejector incorpor- ated five separate jets with their attendant steam valves, and could, therefore, hardly be described as simple, As far as performance was concerned, that was purely a question of the quantity of steam one was prepared to use. Ejector makers could provide jets to suit any specification the railway authorities were likely to lay down. Many Railways had very definite ideas in this connection. Coming now to the steam brake question, he could not agree with the Author that the old Midland type was the last word in automatic steam brake control. It was a most delicate brake, but not in the sense intended in the Paper. The delicacy was required in manufac- ture and assembly in order to get it to function sufficiently well to pass muster on the steam test stand. On a train it always applied the steam brake during vacuum applications but when release took place it invariably released the engine brakes from "full on" to "full off" long before the train brakes were released, thus allowing the engine and tender to give that sickening lurch so well known to passengers, particularly after signal checks when the train had been slowed down and was startmg to get away again. this was particularly noticeable on long trains and had led on occasion to the engine and tender parting company with the train.
Nowadays, modern steam brake valves were available which really did graduate the engine brake cylinder pressure in accordance with the tram pipe conditions, not only in application, but also in release. Such valves also gave the driver an independent hand- operated graduated control of the steam brake. He did .not agree with the Author that sight feed lubricators were the most suitabl.e, as at the present time mechanical lubrication was gaining rapidly in favour. The check valves on the feeds to cylinders should be of the diaphragm type when mechanical lubrication was employed. He would point out that the trials of ejectors in South America to which the Author had referred, took place some 10 years ago: Since then they. have had some progress in this country and completely new types of ejectors were now available which would put up a very different performance . In fact, thossands, of the new type ejectors were fitted to all the British and Amerncan Austenty engines, which, strangely enough, recelve no mention in this Paper, although the German equivalent engme was fully described. Finally, the "trigger" type steam brake valve, of whatever form, was obsolete, and all modern locomotive designs incorporating steam brakes employ graduable type valves, again incidentally fitted to all the Austerities.
J. Hadfield (77-8) said he would most certainly agree that the Running Department should be consulted regarding matters such as train loadings, speeds, etc., but he was equallyy certain that the average Running man did not possess either the time or the highly specialized knowledge such as would enable him to become a successful locomotive designer.
As recently as January 2nd of this year E.S. Cox read a Paper before the Institution in London entitled A Modern Locomotive History, and he made particular reference in that Paper to the stultifying effect which the Operating Department of the L.M.S. exerted for a number of years. Regarding George Hughes, Cox referred to what he termed the C.M.E.'s misfortune in having to work with an Operating Department which strongly resisted proposals for new designs for large engines.
The Author referred to the riveting of crown stays by first heating the head ends of the stays by oxy-acetylene flame. Quite frankly, he could not understand this, as to the best of his knowledge such stays were cold-riveted in this country, and the question of overheating therefore did not arise.
The Author's reference to the multiple. valve header having the great advantage of retaining steam in the elements at all times was not always true, since it was standard practice on the South African Railways to arrange the multiple valve regulator on the saturated side of the header.
On page 8 the Author referred to the position of the steam outlet from the boiler. He could not agree that it was good practice to dis- pense with the dome. In his view the higher the steam outlet was above water, the better, and in the case of the particular engines mentioned one wondered to what extent the superheater was acting as a steam dryer. Could the Author say what degree of superheat was attained on these engines?
The statement that a steam temperature of more than 300° C., i.e., 572° F., was undesirable, was not borne out in actual fact, since final temperatures in the region of 700°F. are commonplace to-day, and no difficulty was experienced providing the metallic packings and lubrication arrangements were suitably designed.
The reference to the positioning of the steam turret on Garratt locomotives seemed to be out-dated since for a long period of time the steam turrets had been placed outside the cab.
Referring to the outline of the tender shown in Figure 16, one would have thought that the Running Department would have insisted that an ideal locomotive should be fitted with a self-trimming coal bunker, which was certainly not the case in the design illustrated.
B. C. McPherson (78) suggested to the Author the use of a self-cleaning smokebox of a type similar to that used on a number of the modern L.M.S. engines which were giving good results and kept the smokebox very clean.
The proposed cab with a large opening in each side did not appear to be ideal for use in this country, and would undoubtedly evoke considerable criticism from engine crews in bad weather, particularly when standing or shunting.
The provision of a running board round the engine seemed to be of no great advantage as it should not be necessary, nor was it advisable, for a driver to walk round the engine whilst it was in motion, and would merely reduce the width of the cab and particularly the size of the cab windows, a feature which was often a great disadvantage on modern locomotives with large fireboxes.
Needle bearings were a fitting which gave good results provided they were located at points where the motion was purely rotary, but were not altogether satisfactory for valve gear, since this condition did not obtain, and seemed to be rather out of keeping with the Author's desire to provide a locomotive that was economical to maintain.
Referring to the tender, the Author presumably did not intend to use a water pick-up arrangement, and if that was so, there seemed to be something in favour of the side filling lids for the tank. If, however, a pick-up was used considerable trouble was likely to be experienced in keeping the lids fastened due to the pressure generated inside the tank when picking-up water.
The Author recommended the fitting of castle nuts everywhere, and such nuts, when correctely fitted, were certainly efficient, but there was the tendency for fitters, should the pinhole not register correctly when the nut was tightened up, to slack back the nut to the next castellation for easy fitting of the split pin, which was a potential source of trouble in service, and for that reason the use of spring washers or nuts of the Simmonds pattern would probably be more satisfactory for general use, since these nuts could be tightened easily when any looseness was apparent.
D. Patrick (79) said: The Author's statement in the preamble that "what is required is an engine to run a maximum of train-miles at a minimum of repair expenses," coupled with his declared aversion to fuel-saving devices, may be all right on Railways which are not troubled by competition from other forms of transport. On very many Railways, however, the overall running costs, including repairs, are of first importance, and the efficiency of the steam locomotives as a power unit must continue to be improved by all reasonable means or eventually give way to other forms of motive power, and considerable use of fuel-saving devices must be made to attain the desired improve- ment in overall efficiency. He suggested that improvement in design of the locomotive and all its accessories should receive constant attention. Another point was that for a valve travel of 7" suggested by the Author, he advocated a plain circular valve spindle guide. While appreciating the simplicity of this item, it appeared that that arrange- ment was cumbersome for such a travel, and introduced a bending action on the valve spindle when in full gear, due to the angular thrust from the valve rod. The modern crosshead type of guide eliminated this and also gave a lateral stability to the valve gear which was not provided by a circular guide. The German arrangement mentioned wherein a swinging link was employed in place of a guide introduced an additional pin in the gear and also a bending action on the valve . spindle due to the angular movement of the short link connecting it to the swing link.
Regarding the self-trimming bunker suggested by Mr. Hadfield, which the Author thinks might be an additional complication, surely there was no comparison between firing an engine from a well-designed self-trimming bunker as compared with one in which it was frequently necessary to move the coal forward by hand to within reach for firing.
erred to the cab sketch on page 15, where a hinged skylight opened upwards. Unless the cab roof was well clear of the gauge there seemed little doubt
Journal No. 190
Cox, E.S. (Paper No. 457)
A modern locomotive history: ten years' development on the L.M.S. 1923-1932. 100-41. Disc.: 141-70; 275-6. 9 illus., 14 diagrs. (incl. 9 s. els.), 11 tables.
Major paper in terms of steam locomotive history: it generated a considerable amount of discussion, and therefore needs to be read in association with Cox's Locomotive panorama. Several unfulfilled projects are considered: a Hughes design for a Flamme type 4-cylinder 2-10-0 (Fig. 2); a 1924 design for a 4-6-0 based on the compound 4-4-0 with a boiler which Cox considered led to the Royal Scot type (Fig. 6). Figures 7 and 8 show the Fowler 4-cylinder compound designs for 4-6-2 and 2-8-2 and Fig. 9 shows the cylinder layout to have been adopted. A notable feature was the proposed large combustion chamber. Long lap valve gear would have been employed. Cox considered that the problem of incorporating a large compound within the British loading gauge had been solved (this assertion does not appear to repeated in Locomotive panorama). The four-ply frame construction at the back end of the trailing truck was incorporated in the later LMS Pacifics. Cox claimed that some cylinders were actually cast. Fig. 11 shows the starting valve fitted to No. 10456, a Hughes 4-cylinder 4-6-0, rebuilt as a compound in association with the Pacific project which was "the most modern but least known compound engine to run in this country" (he appeared to forget that the Gresley high-pressure locomotive was a compound). Fig. 12 (graph) showed annual coal consumption in the period 1927 to 1938 for 4-cylinder 4-6-0 (1929: 53lbs/mile; 1933 60 lbs/mile); standard compound (1927: 44 lbs/mile; 1937: 51lbs/mile); Prince of Wales (constant 52lbs/mile), Hughes 4-6-0 (constant 60lbs/mile) and class 2P 4-4-0 (47 lbs/mile).
T. Henry Turner (151) said the Author's paper helped us to study the way we had come, with a view to our deciding where to go from here. After considering what had been done in other forms of transport as a guide to what -night have been done with railway steam locomotives, he concluded that liquid fuel, high speed engines, rotary motion and reduction gears stood out as a challenge. It was notable, therefore, that the paper referred to no experiments to replace crude run of mine coal during a decade when ships, buses, cars and aeroplanes turned to liquid fuels. Perhaps the next paper before the Institution would make it possible to follow two other such features-rotary motion and reduction gears-on the L.M.S. turbine locomotive.
D.R. Carling (154). The graphs of coal consumption are certainly interesting but would pe even more interesting had it been possible to plot Ibs./ton-mile instead of lbs./mile. Nearly all the curves are concave with minima in the worst of the slump years, possibly due to lighter loading. Can the Author remark on this feature?
It is by no means certain that the Author's conclusions about the deterioration of compound performance would apply to the proposed larger designs, such engines being unsuitable anyway, compound or simple, for secondary duties; nor might it apply to compounds of more suitable design. Surely the correct policy is to educate and train the staff up to the best possible design of locomotive, not to .design the locomotive down to an under-trained staff? It is an arguable point, too, if locomotives should be kept in service in unsuitable duties. With ever-increasing utilisation the modern locomotive may well have completed its economic life before it is really obsolete for its original duties or something not much different.
This raises the question of repair costs. Has any allowance been made for the age of the various locomotives and classes, as repair Costs usually tend to increase with age if the work performed remains similar? It is 110t without interest that the classes mentioned as having low repair costs are also those of which fairly large numbers were built not long before the .dates relevant to Table V. This would probably not affect the general conclusion but might affect the degree of difference. Similarly, was it necessary to make any allowance for the type of service performed by various classes? The Author h~ referred to the fact that different conditions and methods of repair affected the cost but does not say if any allowance was made in arriving ~t the repair cost indices?
The writer's only personal experience of the engines reviewed was the erection and running in of most of the second batch of Garratts in 1930. At the time it seemed strange that they were built without inner carrying wheels, giving very heavy loading of the rather undersized axle boxes and probably adding to flange wear. Admittedly, the axleboxes were not so severely loaded by piston forces as in the case of the inside cylinder 0-6-0 Class 4 engines. The use of the short travel valve gear seemed then, as now, quite inexplicable, especially in the second batch of engines.
It is very interesting that in ail those cases where test figures and long period averages are given for coal per mile for passenger locomotives and where the journey covered on test can be taken as closely representative of the general duties the.. long period consumption IS almost exactly 4/3 times the test figure, i.e., 1.363, 1.360, 1.364, 1.356, 1.328 (almost too consistent !), while other values 1.09, 1.495 and 1.462 are not strictly comparable.
This increase is presumed to be due partly to the fact that the long-term figure contains bad as well as good conditions, that the generality even of top link drivers are not as skilful as the test drivers and that the tests are carried out with carefully selected coal, as is necessary if the figures are to mean anything. The consistency, however, gives authority to any forecast based on the test results.
D.W. Peacock (155). Towards the end of his interesting paper, the Author says that in some of the L.M.S. standard engines increased efficiency has to be paid for by lack of " guts," or overload capacity, as compared with the older types. While in some cases this may be so, it would be interesting to have the Author's reasons why he considers efficiency must necessarily penalise overload capacity. A comparison of boiler and cylinder dimensions of standard and pre-grouping engines is given in the table below, most of the data being taken from Table II of the paper. The last column was headed "Boiler Demand Factor" and was computed as (cyl. dia.)2 x stroke x boiler pressure/ total evaporative heating surface (for a two-cyl. engine), and gives a simple comparison of boiler and cylinder dimensions.
Royal Scot 1,518
5X 3-cylr 1,548
Class 2 4-4-0 1,459
2-6-4 Tank 1,722
Class 7 0-8-0 1,274
Class 5 2-6-0 (Hughes) 1,371
Class 4 0-6-0 1,572
L. & Y. Class 5 4-6-0 1,334
LNWR Prince of Wales 1,301
George V 1,322
G2 0-8-0 1,061
On the whole the standard engines have higher boiler demand factor in comparison with equivalent older engines. This does not infer that the engines are relatively over-cylindered, but is a necessary consequence of the habitual early cut-off working, with lower mean effective pressures. lt follows that, in comparison with the older engines, a standard engine needs larger cylinders to do the same work.
Comparing a hypothetical modern and an older engine with the same boiler, and working at the same evaporation rate, the modern engine, with its larger cylinders, would be working at an earlier cut-off and lower back pressure, consequently the blast arrangement would require to be more efficient than that of the older engine. The same general principle is presumably true for the two. groups' of engines, namely: standard (mostly long valve travel) and pre-grouping (mostly short valve travel). If, therefore, a standard engine steams satisfactory in normal working, it should be capable of equal or even greater overload than an older engine, since overload capacity is mainly a question of the boiler supplying the steam to cylinders, which are always capable of using it.
lt is true that some performances made by pre-grouping engines in the past (when in first-class condition) show remarkable power of overloading, of which, incidentally, the same engines appear to be incapable to-day. Part of the explanation of the Author's contention may perhaps be that the modern engines are not asked to put up similar', plerformances when overloaded, and for this l'eason (and others), many drivers are not often disposed to get the utmost out of them. Certain special runs made shortly before the war would seem to suggest that modern engines can put up remarkable records when driven all out.
Discussion at Derby Meeting on 14 January 1946; J.C. Loach (161-3) was highly critical of the LMS lack of a small smart tank engine. The Stanier 2-6-2T still had an undersized boiler. He was also critical of the bissel trucks in spite of Stanier having modified them with bolster bearing pads and check springs. The 16ft 8in fixed wheelbase was excessive and the overhang was appreciable: he suggested 14ft or 14ft 6in. Cox replied that the wheelbase was an "old Spanish custom" at Derby, and that in later designs this had been reduced..: D.W. Sanford (163-4) made a contribution which O.S. Nock was apt to paraphrase: "it had been very pleasant to hear the Author recall the very interesting years that followed the formation of the L.M.S., particularly for those who were there at the time. It seemed to him that the three English locomotive centres had very different outlooks. At Derby the nice little engines were made pets of. They were housed in nice clean sheds, and were very lightly loaded. There must have been a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Engines in existence. At Horwich they had gone all scientific and talked in "thous.", although apparently some of their work was to the nearest half-inch. At Crewe they just didn't care so long as their engines could roar and rattle along with a good paying load, which they usually did. As regard Horwich contribution, he thought that mention should have been made of the very excellent Dynamometer Car which was designed and constructed by the old L. &. Y. That was far in advance of anything used in this country, ... Whilst it would. appear that Crewe design was largely inspired by Heath Robmson, it must be admitted that the Western Division of the L.M.S. took heavy loads: although servicing facilities at sheds were poor.". Also commented upon the replacemrent of Schmidt piston rings by narrow rings: on the Royal Scots where coal consumption was reduced from 70lb/mile to 35lb/mile. A similar replacement on the Claughton class reduced coal consumption to that attatined by the Caprotti modified engines. Finally he noted that the advantages of long travel valve gear had been described by Colburn and that Benjamin Connor had used it on Caledonian locomotives in 1859.
Discussion at Newcastle Meeting on 27 February 1946 R.A. Smeddle (168-9) that the old North Eastern Railway did not have comparable problems in terms of rivalry which the Midland and LNWR shared as the other constituents of the LNER were much smaller! He had seen the first Royal Scot on a visit to NBL and considered that it was "a most impressive locomotive" and experience of Lentz oscillating cam and rotary cam valve gears led him to believe that poppet valves caused less problems than Walschaerts or Stephenson valve gears . J.J. Lovatt (169) considered that a disadvantage of poppet valves was the large cylinder clearance and that this led to eddy currents in the flow of the exhaust steam.
Journal No. 191
Bond, R.C. (Paper No. 458)
Ten years' experience with the L.M.S. 4-6-2 non-condensing turbine locomotive, No.6202. 182-230. Disc.: 231-65 + 10 folding plates. 4 illus., 20 diagrs. (incl. 4 s.els.), 10 tables.
Ljungstrom non-condensing turbine 2-8-0 locomotive on the Grangesberg-Oxelösund Railway: illustration and side elevation. The turbines (one for forward, and another for reverse working) were the major distinguishing feature and these in turn placed considerable demands upon the lubricating system, and to some extent upon the boiler. A feed water heater was fitted. There was a double blast pipe and chimney. It was soon found that the degree of superheating needed to be increased. Roller bearings were fitted. There are data on availability and a detailed record of repairs. Table 2 compared coal and water consumption of the turbine locomotive with Princess Royal Nos. 6212 and 6210 on London to Glasgow workings with a dynamometer car:
Bond used these data to show that No. 6202 achieved a lower coal consumption of over 6% except in the case of one run by No. 6212. Data compared the hammer blow inflicted by three classes: Coronation at 72 mile/h 3.47 tons per rail (whole engine: .24); 5XP at 72 mile/h 8.31 tons per rail (whole engine: .61) and classs 5 at 64 mile/h 7.59 tons per rail (whole engine: 9.03) Data were presented which showed that coal consumption of the Royal Scot class increased by 8% over 28,000 miles of running due to wear in the valves and pistons. Hammer blow and wear in cylinders was eliminated in No. 6202.
Discussion: Sir William Stanier
(231-3). who opened the discussion, said he was wondering what had
happened to the London Passenger Transport Board. During the present President's
term of office there had been two outstanding papers on steam locomotive
practice, and the Institution had been very fortunate to get them. As one
who had had something to do with the substance of the present Paper, he would
like to say how very much he appreciated the good work which the Author had
done in collecting so much information of the greatest value . He felt that
that was long overdue, and he was sure that it would be received not only
by the Institution but by the locomotive world in general as of outstanding
He would like to say something about the inception of the locomotive, because, having been himself connected with it, he perhaps knew more about it than the Author could know. The work which was done on the Grangesberg-Oxelosund Railway in Sweden was brought to his notice by Dr. Guy, who was then with Metropolitan- Vickers; he thought that he (Sir William Stanier) would be interested in the results that the Ljungstrom people were claiming for their. locomotive. Dr. Guy suggested that it might be worth while going to Sweden to see it. After discussing the information which he had obtained with Sir Harold Hartley, his Vice-President, it was agreed that he should go to Sweden with Dr. Guy to see the engine and find out what they were doing. As a result of that visit the L.M.S. Ralway, he thought very wisely and progressively, felt justified in askIng for a scheme to be prepared so that they could consider whether it was worth while to build a locomotive of the kind in question. Dr. Guy and his staff at Metropolitan-Vickers worked admIrably with the team at Derby, and as a result of that good work the turbine locomotive was built.
In the Paper reference was made to the boiler being changed for one with a larger superheater. He thought that at this stage he ought to confess that, having been brought up as a Great Western man, he thought, with his limited experience, that the Great Western were right and everyone else was wrong. and that a two-row superheater was all that was necessary for a locomotive. He soon had grounds, however, for altering his opinion. One of the things which he discovered was that the conventional Schmidt superheater, with its relatively large diameter elements, never superheated the steam right through the section of the tube; but with the smaller units to which he had been accustomed, and which were 1-in , in diameter, proper heat transmission did take place, so that tne steam was superheated right through the tube. That was an advantage of the type of superheater to which he had been accustomed, but it did not give a temperature as high as could be used on a reciprocating engine, and certainly not as high as could be used on a turbine engine; and so he turned to the larger superheater which was put on the turbine locomotive, and, as the Author said, those superheaters were now standard on the "Coronation" class. He had therefore learned a good deal from the work which was done on the L.M.S. with regard to superheaters ..
One of the troubles with the turbine locomotive was due to the arrangement of the control, which was in the position usually occupied by the reversing screw. When rotated clockwise, the six valves for the forward turbine were operated, and when rotated anti-clockwise the three valves for the reverse turbine were operated. Interlocking mechanism prevented the reverse turbine clutch from being engaged until the handle was in the neutral position. The point was that the interlock must not be released until the engine had stopped. Before the war they had under consideration a scheme by which when the wheel was rotated anti-clockwise and came to the neutral position it would be locked there until the engine stopped. and then, when it was moved back to open the reverse turbine valves, it would automatically engage the clutch and then open the valves. That would avoid the necessity for a man from the C.M.E.'s department being on the engine all the time to see that the drivers did not make a mistake and damage the gear.
It must be borne in mind that with the 8-hour day it was impossible for the Motive Power department to do what they would wish to do and keep one or even two sets of men for the engine. At one time, when the engine was stationed at Liverpol, it was worked by twenty sets of' men in turn, and there was little hope of an experimental engine being successful in those conditions unless there was someone there to maintain continuity of practice. There was another interesting fact about the engine which he did not think had been quite appreciated. He believed that it was the only engine built for this country with roller bearings for all the wheels. He had been interested in reading the Paper to see what little trouble those roller bearings had given. Mr. Cox had referred to that in a previous Paper. The Timken Company had collaborated with the L.M.S. in fitting up the engine and certainly provided bearings that were well up to their job.' The care which they took to keep water and dirt out of the bearings had led to very satisfac tory results.
He had always felt that the engine had been very successful, especially having regard to past experience with turbine locomotives. It was largely from the information that the Americans were able to get from it, which he admitted was rather limited, that they were encouraged to build the turbine locomotive for the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Colonel H. Rudgard (233) said he
had had the engine to run for some time and would like to testify to the
comfort in riding on the engine when it was running at speed. It was so
pronounced that it did not feel that one was on a locomotive at all. With
regard to its performance in traffic at the present time, it could be said
definitely that with confidence it was put on trains and even special trains
that were required to give a good performance. The teething troubles seemed,
at the moment, to have been very successfully overcome.
They had had a certain amount of trouble with the firebox and the tubes, and especially. the large tubes at the firebox tubeplate getting dirty. It was necessary to stop the engine for a thorough tube cleaning more often than would be necessary with an ordinary reciprocating engine of the same type. That was something which had to be tackled and overcome if they were to have the availability which he felt they would be able to obtain with the turbine locomotive when it was fully developed. There was no doubt that they were getting a very fine availability from the ordinary 4-6-2s. They were attempting to get 100,000 miles a year out of them at the present time. It might be a difficult task to develop the turbine locomotive in such a way as to compare with that, but from his knowledge of what had transpired and of the present performance of No. 6202 he felt that the possibilities were great. It was a high standard, however, to have to attain.
In the old days, when the Beyer-Ljungstrom locomotive was working on the L.M.S .. people were not as sympathetic as they were to-day. It was allowed out on the main line only with special permission, and at the slightest sign of trouble it was taken off again for fear it would interfere with the traffic. A more liberal-minded attitude prevailed to-day and everything was done to see that not too much was made of teething troubles.
E.S. Cox (233-5) said that amongst
the advantages of turbine propulsion for locomotives which were set out in
the Paper, high power output figured as the last item. That was probably
in order in this country, where under present-day conditions the maximum
output of a locomotive was very largely keyed to the capacity of the fireman.
But it was otherwise abroad, and particularly where the mechanical stoker
removed all limitations to the maximum power output of a locomotive. N; a
sidelight on that, it might be of interest to refer to the privilege which
he had had within the last two months of making a footplate run on the
Pennsylvania turbine engine, to which reference had already been made.
Before he referred to the actual run, he would like to say a few words about the background to the American engine. First of all, it was designed to provide more power. The cry in America to-day was for more and more power to meet the traffic needs of. greater
T. Henry Turner (239) noted that the smoother traction would be
appreciated by the passengers; D.R. Carling (243-4)
noted that there had been improvements in condensing mechanisms, the possibility
of using a geared reciprocating engine for travel in the reverse direction,
and possibly acting as a "booster" to assist in starting: he also refered
to S.R.M. Porter's B-E bogie. H.I.
Andrews (252) could not understand what was going on inside the turbine when
the locomotive was exerting tractive force at standstill: Bond replied to
this with the assistance of R.A. Struthers of Metropolitan-Vickers (pp. 255-6):
basically the energy is briefly converted to heat within the turbine.
H. Fowler (261) noted th reduction in hammer blow and thus reduced track maintenance costs and the possible reduction of wear on firebox plates due to the constant blast.
Manchester Meeting 2 May 1946
Chaired H.H. Saunders
J. Hadfield (257-8) said that
many attempts had been made to recover the energy in the toe of the Rankine
Cycle and the turbine offered many possibilities. In discarding the condenser
the design had been considerably simplified but the availability of the steam
locomotive was largely determined by the condition of the boiler due to the
use of con- taminated water. By the use of the air-cooled condenser not only
was it possible to increase the thermal efficiency, but it was also possible
to reduce the water consumption to about 5% of that required by the
non-condensing locomotive. The actual saving in overall cost of operation
due to that reduction was obviously of much greater importance than the increase
in thermal efficiency, since the time required for washing out the boiler
and carrying out repairs necessitated by the use of contaminated water could
easily cause the locomotive, to be out of service for about one eighth of
its life-time. The Ljungstrom turbine locomotive built by Beyer , Peacock
& Co. was fitted with an air-cooled condenser and this locomotive showed
economies in water consumption of 95% as compared with normal type locomotives
employed on similar duties. The Autho; had been frank enough to admit that
between the same limits of pressure and temperature; the non-condensing turbine
locomotive did not show any large economy when compared with a modern
reciprocating engine and said that for an appreciable improvement in thermal
gain it would be necessary to use temperatures and pressures well above the
maximum that would be practicable with a reciprocating engine. In this connection
it would appear that the design of the boiler would become the limiting factor
since there were qbvious limits to the steam temperature and pressure which
could be attained by the use of the orthodox type of Stephenson boiler.
In contemplating the possibilities of future developments, he asked the Author whether he considered that the steam turbine locomotive would be able to survive the competition now emerging in the shape of the gas turbine.
Tritton, Julian S. (First Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton
Locomotive limitations. 283-323. 17 illus., 17 diagrs.
Presented at Institution of Mechanical Engineers on 10 April 1946. Figure 7 shows the now well-known photograph of bogie Sentinel locomotive for Colombia with Woolnough boiler in Belgium with distiguished guests, including Gresley and Bulleid. Noted that locomotive had excellent ride and reached 56 mile/h. On p. 296 it was claimed that King class had exceeded maximum dimensions for a narrow grate. On page 297 there is an extensive quotation from Sir Alan Mount's Report of the Pacific Locomotive Committee in which it was stated that high speed operation of heavy modern engines will cause inestimable damage to unsuitable track. He then proceeded to examine flange forces on the track examining work performed in France, Germany, America and India. He then considered large articulated locomotives: the American Mallet and the Beyer Garratt and high pressure and multi-cylinder designs, notably the Schwartzkopf-Loeffler locomotive and the Swiss Locomotive Company's 4-6-4 of 1937 for the Chemin de Fer du Nord which employed Uniflow cylinders. He followed this by describing relatively traditional electric, diesel electric and gas turbine motove power. Figure 34 shows Sir Seymour B. Tritton in his Stanley steam car in about 1906..
Journal No. 192
Kelway-Bamber, Herbert (Paper 459)
Coal and its Post-war carriage on British Railways. 332-7. Disc.: 337-47.
Presented at Institution of Mechanical Engineers on 1 May 1946 shortly before his death on 5 June. Sir William Stanier chaired the meeting and contributed to the discussion. The paper was highly critical about the way in which coal was handled by British railways, both in terms of the low capacity wagons used and the use of wagons as a form of low cost storage. Statistics of coal conveyed:: criticism of failure to employ bogie wagons and the low (9.5 tons) amount conveyed per wagon. Wagon productivity was extremely low: on avaerage each wagon ran about 8 miles per day. Discharge was mainly manual. Train resistance was very high. In India and South Africa productivity was much better: bogie wagons were employed in South Africa with a capacity of 45 tons. Duncan Bailey (339-42), a wagon builder, stated that he had presented a paper to the Newcastle branch of the Institution in 1935 (presumably in IMechE Library) which had advoacted the use of steel for wagon building. The situation was worse than had been estimated: the 12 ton wagon really had a capacity of only 11½ tons and that it was not until 1923, rather than 1913, that this capacity was attained. He noted that some "shuttle traffic" was handled in 40 ton wagons, notably ICI limestone between Buxton and Winnington and the LMS coal traffic [to Stonebridge Park] The Samuel Commission had recommended 20 ton wagons. Most of the time coal wagons were used as storage space. F.W. Sinclair (343) noted vthat coal merchants handled about 10 tons per day and that this dictated wagon size. Stanier (p. 345) claimed that the 20 ton wagons used by the GWR in South Wales enjoyed a special environment with special fscilities for discharge. He considered that 50 ton or 60 ton wagons were needed to increase the tare/weight ratio: in such terms two 20 ton wagons were better than one 40 ton wagon. T. Henry Turner considered that the British Coal Utilisation Research Association should be involved in wagon design.
Smith, K.A. (Paper No. 460)
Stages in the development of a railway dynamometer car. 348-80. Disc.: 360-89.
Includes a brief analysis of the various types of dynamometer then available. This is followed by a description of a new dyanamomter car constructed for the New South Wales Railways.
Journal No. 193
Whalley, F.S. (Presidential Address).
The work of their craft. 401-29. 28 illus., 8 diagrs., map.
Mainly an account of the "Liberation" type built for UNRRA: the United Nations Relief & Rehabilitation Administration: the 8F and Riddles Austerity (2-8-0 and 2-10-0) designs are also considered: there were similarities between the Liberation and Austerity designs. The Liberation type had a wide firebox as the Berne loading gauge is more generous. The tender was very similar to that fitted to the Austerities but ran on two bogies. Amongst the many illustrations there are two of locomotives in transit by road from the Vulcan Foundry to Liverpool docks. The road trailer was capable of being steered from the rear and ran on solid rubber tyres. There are further pictures of the locomotives at the dockside and being loaded into the hold of a ship...
Nightingale, W.A. and Kamlani, M.V. (Paper No.
The use of experimental data in fixing the proportions of locomotive boilers. 430-69. Disc.: 469-86. Bibliog. 36 diagrs.
Based on Indian conditions. pp. 443-6: ashpan losses at low firing rates lesser proportion of total fuel consumed than at high firing rates. C.W. Clarke (472) commented at length with particular reference to Indian coals
Journal No. 194.
Eastwood, Frank. (Paper No. 462)
Workshop gadgets in railway shops. 491-577. Disc.: 577-88.
Broad gauge railways in the Argentine.