Journal of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers
Volume 56 (1966)
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Journal No. 309
Roberts, H.P. (Paper No. 678)
The changeover from vacuum to air brakes on British Railways. 8-36. Disc.: 36-72.
Ordinary General Meeting of the Institution held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, SW1, on 14 February 1966 at 5.30 p.m.: Mr. A.W. Manser, President, was in the Chair.
In opening the discussion E.S. Cox (36-8) noted that only 25 out of 720 of the Institution's Papers had dealt with retardation of trains: he noted that Dumas of the former GWR was mentioned in the paper, and one thought of Sutherland and Sanford on the old LMS, Ell in more recent times at Swindon, Broadbent of London Transport and various others.
Jowett, W.G. (Paper No. 679)
Some design and service aspects of commutators and brush gear in traction service. 74-99. Disc.: 100-34.
Ordinary General Meeting was held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on Monday 14 March 1966. The President, Mr. A.W . Manser was in the Chair. Discussion: G.J. Corson (108) recalled that the first electric locomotives used in the London Underground, City and South London, had grids in the floor to enable the motorman to observe the sparking!
Journal No. 310
Barwell, F.T. (Paper No. 680)
Traction research. 158-88. Disc.: 189-96.
The use of analogue computing to study pantograph catenary interaction, statistical methods applied to locomotive slipping. use of semi-conductors, the Hawk locomorive, PTFE insulators and the linear motor. Bibliography.
Discussion: T. Henry Turner (194-5) said that Professor Barwell referred to research as directing one's eyes to the future. What was the competitor which the railway would have to meet in the future? In that connection one might recall one of the Author's earlier papers dealing with what happened on the motor-way. In order to obtain the maximum amount of useful transport over the motor-way he had pointed out that it was necessary to marshal the road vehicles and, in effect, make a train. If that rubber-tyred train were to run on the road, it would need some guiding underneath: so the railway's competitor might be a motor-wayed electronically guided train of rubber-tyred vehicles. The Author had mentioned adhesion, but not that there was unlikely to be aquaplaning at excessively high speeds with railway steel tyres on steel rails. But there might be aquaplaning, with the weather conditions current in this country, if one started running at excessively high speeds rubber-tyred vehicles on motor-ways, and there might then be dangerous lack of control on curves or when retarding. Mr. Warder had been somewhat unkind to the old research. Research was not invented when British Railways came into being.
Sir Nigel Gresley had the fastest steam locomotive in the world, and in his team he had electrical engineers and metallurgists who were apprenticed in electrical engineering work. Credit must be given to those people who planned the Manchester-Sheffield and London-Shenfield electrifications before 1939 when the present knowledge of metal physics had not yet been won by the metallurgists and physicists and so made electronics possible. It was not the other way round.
Material science and art now preceded engineering hardware. If British Railways wanted to be forward looking, they must deal with the first thing first, and increase their knowledge of metallurgy and metal physics. Considering the aircraft industry as a competitor of the railways, it should be noted that they had forward-looking departments where work on fibre-reinforced metals for special parts was being undertaken. The aero-engine makers were paying for materials development for the needs of ten years ahead; but one did not see that happening in Railway Metallurgical Research. The Author would no doubt agree that what he had been advocating had become possible because semi-conductors and thyristors were now available. There will be other tricks for the railway research department to find out in the same way.
He suggested that in railway traction the biggest advance had been in cleanliness, so far as the public were concerned: the washbasin at the end of the carriage was no longer dirty. The carriage double-glazed windows were not dirtied when the train went through a tunnel, and a passenger could breathe freely when the diesel or electric train went through a tunnel. The diesel locomotive made only one tenth of the sulphur dioxide of the old steam locomotive. That should be publicised. It was a great improvement so far as the country, the prevention of corrosion, and railway traction were concerned. Finally, the greatly improved Manchester to Euston train speeds and comfort would not have been possible without the metallurgical development of long-welded rails.
H.I. Andrews (192) said he was recently in the neighbourhood behind Euston station, and there amongst the parked cars in what remains of Ampthill Square, he was confronted with the ghost of a row of decrepit buildings in No. 39 of which the first organised Railway Engineering Research in this country had its birth. It was a tall grubby house, with steps up to the door, exactly like the others, and there were strange tales of the welcome received by a gentleman who called at the wrong house by mistake.
It is easy to contemplate the difference between this building and the modern laboratory at Derby, but he did also wonder what was the difference in mental attitude between that time and now. The greatest difference, he thought, is in the attention which is now paid to economies. This is of course necessary, but he suggested that it has got somewhat out of balance because logically the ultimate economy is to close the railway and sell the equipment for scrap. In those days attention was concentrated on the increase in net revenue, which is quite a different matter, and more truly to the benefit of both the railway and the public.
Any paper published nowadays on electric or diesel-electric traction seems to deal much more with the economies to be effected than with the corresponding positive advantages, though with an adequate supply of cheap power on the train these may be considerable. It has been estimated that all the improvements that can possibly be made to the motors of a train are only equivalent to the carriage of one extra dog, so logically we should concentrate on the provision of electrically heated, ventilated and possibly, soundproof, dog kennels on the train and revive the old' 'take your dog with you" publicity campaign.
Seriously, the most profitable application of readily available power in goods traffic would probably be the special loads increasingly offered by the food and chemical industries requiring the maintenance of particular conditions in transport. These include loads requiring high temperature, refrigeration, forced ventilation, controlled humidity, pressure, vacuum or forced circulation or stirring, conditions to be maintained, all of which would of course involve automatic control. There are also many cases where it is economic to install power handling equipment on the vehicle rather than on the loading dock.
For passengers the need is less obvious since speed, frequency and punctuality are the most important factors, but such matters as air conditioning, reliable heating and possibly cooling, controlled humidity and sewage incineration would be of interest. Some of' the spare channels in Mr. Ogilvy's G line, referred to by Professor Barwell, could very profitably be devoted to providing public telephones on the train for the use of passengers, while it would be technically possible for the Railway to provide certain of its patrons with examples of the popular music they favour at the moment for twenty-four miserable hours in each day!
D.R. Carling (193) referred to Professor Barwell's remarks about adhesion, and said that the Office for Research and Experiments had authorised the necessary expenditure for the conversion of a withdrawn B.R. locomotive into a special adhesion measuring device. It would go some way to filling the gap where the available power of the locomotive was not sufficient to enable the wheels to be slipped at any but low speeds when adhesion was good. That would be done by converting one of the A-1-A bogies of No. 18000 the former Brown Boveri gas turbine locomotive to l-A-l and fitting it with a Monomoteur of an electric locomotive of the SNCF normally used to drive two axles. At a short time rating the power available on one axle would be about four times the normal continuous rating. Power would be supplied from an accompanying electric or diesel electric locomotive. That conversion should be completed towards the end of next year, and would enable a variety of adhesion problems to be studied as it would be possible to change the axle load between 15 and 25 tons, the wheel diameter between 3 feet 0¼ inches and 4 feet 7 inches, and flexibility of the drive from virtually zero to about double the usual amount and the wheels were to be instrumented so that the forces acting vertically, longitudinally and transversely couls be measured simultaneously. The motor could also be supplied with rerctified a.c., undulating current or with genuine dc.
Discussion on the Engineering aspects of high-speed trains: (1) motive power. 196-200.
Discussion on the Engineering aspects of high-speed trains: (2) passenger rolling stock. 200-2.
Discussion on the Engineering aspects of high-speed trains: (3) braking and signalling. 202-6.
Discussion on the Engineering aspects of high-speed trains: (4) permanent way. 206-09.
Meeting at Derby on 15 December 1965: Discussion: 209-18. T. Henry Turner (209) noted that the LNER articulated coaches peovided extremely smooth riding. E.D. Henley (212) compared a range of plastics with aluminium, iron and lead in terms of cost (pence per pound) and volume (pence per in3). J.C. Loach (213) commented on cant deficiecies. A. Forester Fielding was critical of the LNER and LMS high speed trains and advocated more reliable trains at lower speeds. G.R. Mahy (213-14) advocated multiple units for very high speeds. A.N. Emerson (217-18)summarised the discussion..
Suresh Chandra (Paper No. 681)
Maintenance of diesel electric locomotives on the Eastern Railway, India. 219-42.
Journal No. 311
Crane, M.A. (Presidential Address)
The wheel turns. 270-98.
Being a former Swindon man there was some brief comment on Kings and Castles, but the main thrust of the paper was operation over steep gradients (in the Andes, other parts of South America and in Africa) and over long distances.
Electronics in railway traction. 298-314.
The Stanley Herbert Whitelegg memorial travel scholarship 1966 award: visit to Sweden and to Switzerland..
Journal No 312
Management of design. (Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton lecture). 318-29,
Speaker was Chairman and General Manager of the Southern Region. Showed how the Southern Region, because of its extensive third rail DC electric system, had quite different motive power requirements from the rest of British Railways. Its main requirement was flexibility: it was essential to be capable of coupling all types of multiple unit together and to drive them as one unit. This concept had been extended to diesel, electro-diesel and electric multiple units and had included the introduction of push-pull working with these units.
Koffman, J.L. and Fairweather, D.M.S. (Paper No.
Rubber as an aid to suspension design. 331-71. Disc.: 371-423.
"rubber was surrounded by an aura of mystic" and "the use of rubber has led to some expensive disappointments". This received extensive response from Manser who described LTE's extensive use in rubber in suspension systems and from Lindley who supplied his characteristic shape factor diagram. Discussion: P.B. Lindley (390-6) presented in an ultra-concise form (but with a full list of references) what amounted to his classic Engineering design with natural rubber including its paradigm diagram showing how compresssion modulus varies with shape factor. A.R. Payne (NRPRA: 396-7) said that as he was present as a guest he wished to apologise in advance for his comments, which would be rather rude. This had to be said in fairness to the considerable amount of work done in the past in trying to elevate the use of rubber as an engineering material. In the Paper the word "Shore" was mentioned time and time again. This term came over with the Norman Conquest, but in 1948 the British Standards, in, their wisdom, developed a new code of hardness called the British Standard of International Rubber Hardness, and this was accepted throughout the industry as the measure of this property. It is about time people started using British Standard definitions, which do not agree with Shore.
The references in the Paper were entirely to the Continental papers, the majority of which were inaccessible and could not be easily obtained. There must be some excellent linguists in British Railways but there appears to be a complete inability to read the vast amount of work published in English on the use of rubber as an engineering material. This was a great pity but it reflected another attitude that he had encountered. Four weeks ago there was a very large conference at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Imperial College on Rubber in Engineering. It was a two-day conference and 19 papers were given, solely devoted to how to use rubber in an engineering sense in both road and rail vehicle suspensions, in mounting buildings, in mounting bridges, and how to design with it.
Out of the 270 delegates, mostly engineers and technologists, there was not one single representative of British Railways who bothered to attend. This was in spite of the fact that he had made considerable personal effort, as had his colleagues, to ensure that British Railways were invited to hear something of the amount of work being done in England in regard to the use of rubber as a proper engineering material. There is a rubber engineering advisory service at Welwyn which helps anybody with rubber engineering problems.
There exists an excellent piece of equipment designed to test rubber engineering components in order to find their static/dynamic ratios. It is now gathering dust in one of the Railways' establishments. It had never been used and there seems to be no indication that it ever will.
It is fantastic that the civil engineering industry is quite prepared to put large buildings on rubber, and that every bridge recently built on the new roadways are now sitting on rubber. Nowadays many cars are running on rubber suspensions (the Mini Minor, Morris 1100 and 1800 for instance) and the London Underground as well as many Continental Railways have used rubber suspensions very successfully for many years, but with British Railways there is no chance. It is about time British Railways employed one or two people with some knowledge of rubber engineering, so that the Railways might then have a real opportunity of using an excellent material for suspending railway equipment, carriages, etc.Dr. Payne apologised for being so critical, but he thought that his remarks needed to be made.
L.D. Porta (397-) referred to the part that rubber suspensions had played in railway carriage development in relation to the parallelism of axles; namely the B.R. bogie depicted in Fig. 17 with rubber suspension allowing for freedom from forced parallelism. He recalled the use of diamond bogies with helical springs on a rather bad track which needed some damping. The rubber from ,the walls of old motor car tyres was used for the purpose of improving the damping properties. This had proved to be much more successful than pure rubber, and it was a reasonably cheap solution, with the advantage that broken springs keep their position. The idea had come from the tramways at La Plata where a very high intensity of pitch and movement had been causing concern and could be controlled that way.
Alwin Duskow (398-403) described the ill effects of badly designed pads associated with magnetic track brakes fitted to four-wheel tramcars in Hanover. Hans Tapert (403-5) described and illustrated the bogies useed on articulated units on the Hamburg where Clouth rolling springs had replaced chevron units. A. Kniffler (405-6) wrote to list the locomotives and rolling stock using rubber suspension on the German railways. ..
Journal No 313
Lucas, H.W. and Wojtas, B. (Paper No. 683)
Automatic wheelslip control. 442-69. Disc.: 469-95.
Throughout the life of the steam locomotive, limitations on the power-to-weight ratio and the relatively modest demands for drawbar tractive effort, kept the problem within manageable proportions. A relatively skilful driver was able to control the locomotive at the limit of adhesion without serious consequences and without the aid of complicated control features.
The advent of the electric locomotive altered the situation because the increased maximum tractive effort which was possible made slip more likely and the characteristics of the d.c. series motor with rheostatic control made the consequences more serious. Many locomotives were therefore fitted with simple detection devices which gave the driver warning so that he could take appropriate action. As locomotives have become progressively more powerful there has arisen a pressing need for sophisticated slip detection devices and the driver has become less and less reliable as a means of applying corrective action. A stage has now been reached where it is useful to describe some recent developments in the technology of slip detection and automatic correction and to draw tentative conclusions from the evidence presented.
Wheelslip phenomena fall into two distinct categories, and the distinction between them is only now becoming clear. The first category is concerned with the behaviour of the wheels when the locomotive is at, or near, standstill. This phenomenon has, until recently, always been considered most important because it prevents the locomotive from starting the train and its effects on train performance generally are usually immediately and forcibly brought into prominence. The second category is concerned with the behaviour of the wheels at high speeds. The phenomenon of wheelslip at high speed has only recently been recognised as a problem, and this is no doubt due to the increasing use of locomotives which regularly operate at high speeds and are required to develop substantial power whilst doing so.
Mechanical engineers will probably agree that there is some scope for a more complete theoretical explanation of the wheelslip phenomenon in all its aspects, although some light has been thrown on the problem in recently published papers. This Paper is therefore concerned with the problem as it affects the control engineer.
Discussion: W.G. Jowett (469-71) mentioned the damage which had been caused to the early Southern Railway electric locomotives by slipping; W.G.F. Thorley (471-2) commented on the nuisance of wheelslip on steep gradients and the risk of burnt rails.
Botham, G.J.M. (Paper No. 684)
Practical aspects of primary suspension design. 495-535. 3 illus., 22 diagrs.
The most common primary suspensions on carriage bogies may be put into four categories:
Leaf spring and horn guide,
Coil spring. equaliser beam and horn guide,
Coil spring and cylindrical guides, and
Hitherto, the first of these had been the most widely used, both on British Railways and throughout the world. In this suspension, vertical elasticity is provided by the leaf spring, vertical damping by the inherent friction in the spring and horn guides, longitudinal forces transmitted via the horn guides, and no lateral elasticity is deliberately provided although some will in practice occur.
The second of these categories is perhaps best known for being the primary suspension of the Commonwealth Bogie. In this case, vertical elasticity is provided by the coil springs, damping in the horn guide friction only which if necessary can be supplemented by hydraulic or friction dampers across the springs, and longitudinal and lateral forces transmitted via the horn guides. Generally in horn guide suspensions, a limited relative longitudinal movement between axles and bogie frame is permitted by the clearances.
The coil springs again give vertical elasticity in suspensions of the third category, (shown in the photograph of a British Railways B4 Bogie, Fig. 1). The important difference in principle between this and the horn guide suspensions is that, here, no lateral or longitudinal elasticity or freedom is permitted by the guide except for the necessary minute clearances within it.
Finally, the chevron rubber suspension gives both vertical and lateral elasticity by shearing the rubber and longitudinal by compressing it. Suspension systems for both four-wheel and bogie wagons were also considered.
Discussion: F.E. Sheppard (530) said that he understood that Schlieren suspension was a thoroughly proven and tested suspension and he asked if any European Railway had had similar troubles with oil leakage. If not, why not? What were the different conditions? Longitudinal freedom of axles relative to each other had been mentioned; this freedom could also take place laterally. Sheppard thought that this was partly due to the use of a self-aligning axlebox: He was aware that the geometry apparently called for this, but thought, that axles could be located more closely if rigid axleboxes were used. One bearing would have to be loose in the box, but this would prevent some of the torsional freedom which now existed between the journal and the axlebox in the horizontal plane.
J. Henry Turner, (530) asked if one started off with passenger or the load and worked downwards, or from the rail contact and worked upwardsif it was the wheel which required "primary" suspension?
If we were going to have very high speeds, it seemed to Turner that we just cannot have a "large mass waving about in the air." It was a fearsome sight to see a big "Pacific" steam locomotive roll laterally, and if we were going to double the speeds he did not think we could tolerate that, therefore, the "primary" may have to reverting to be something between the axle centre and the track. Followowing this line of thought, the term suspension, generally speaking, was quite wrong. We have hardly got it in the Schlieren which has been under discussion. It is a sprung support. Mr. Turner thought that "suspension" was a term used because the old carriages had "C" springs, and leather straps; like a suspension bridgethe carriages were actually hungthey were suspended. In the Schlieren type there was no suspension, unless it was that the spring was carried slightly below the centre of the axle. It was a sprung support. The former Midland Railway had a sprung support between the tyre and the centre of wheelit was wooden planksmuch quieter than any of the solid steel wheels now used. Modern trams had rubber-sprung wheel centres; so if we were going to have very high speeds, should we not regard the "primary" suspension as that between the steel tyre and the centre the axle?
S.R.D. Power (530) said that having spent many years with C.I.E. before joining British Railways, he was pleased to hear acknowledgement being made of the important development work being carried out on that railway system. C.I.E. had introduced railcars in the early 'fifties and, here again, the manufacturers had learnt many lessons which enabled them to produce a better product for British Railwavs,
Journal No 314
Ell, S.O. (Paper No. 685)
Some design problems of diesel locomotives. 543-72. Disc.: 572-92.
Meeting at Institution of Mechanical Engineers on 12 December 1966. Mainly vibration problems, especially torsional vibration on the Western Region diesel hydraulic locomotives. Many of the problems concerned rubber bearings used in the couplings. Spline wear on the cardan shafts of the D 7000 class was severe. Torsional vibration in the transmission of power to the axles on the D.1000 class was also studied. .
Maxwell, W.W. and Ware, D.K. (Paper No.
Automatic train operation on London Transport Railways. 593-631.
Expertiments conducted on the Woodford to Hainault section in preparation for ATO on the Victoria Line. Discussion: T.Henry Turner (pp. 623-4) commented on the need for gated platforms (as used later on Jubilee Line) and on the need fo minimize the distances passengers had to wlk between lines..