Eric S. Beavor
Doncaster trained, spent most of his railway career in running department.He started his premium apprenticeship on 28 August 1936 when aged sixteen.
Steam was my calling London: Ian Allan, 1974.
dared to question some of British Railkways sacred cows in the discussion
on J. Instn Loco. Engrs Paper
He wrote that considerable reductions in the cost of BR Standard Locomotives could be made. The following items are but a few of those which appear to be very expensive, bearing in mind the present severe restrictions on capital expenditure:
(a) Trailing truck on the Pacifics
(b) Belpaire fireboxes.
(c) Reversing mechanism.
These locomotives have numerous small pipes for remote lubrication by oil and grease. It is very desirable that grease should be applied from a point whence the oozing of the grease from the bearing can be observed. If this cannot be observed then excess grease may be applied and cracked pipes may not be noticed. The provision of so many lengthy pipes must surely add to the cost of these engines. The writer would point out that there are a number of inconsistencies due to various parts of the same engine being designed in different drawing offices. A good example of this may be found in the fastening of the valve crosshead guides, where the bolts are fitted with split flat cotters. Yet on those engines having underslung crossheads of LNER type the slide bar bolts are only fitted with split, pins! Clearly the slide bar bolts carry much greater vibrating forces than do the bolts of the valve crosshead guides. It wouId seem that early opportunity should be taken to fit the slide bar bolts also with split flat cotters. There is, no doubt, further scope for detailed investigation to remove similar anomalies in the design of existing and future BR Standard Locomotives.
Cox's reply: Mr. E.S. Beavor criticises three features as being unduly costly. The trailing truck, based on the SR design is not specially expensive as trailing trucks go. The Cartazzi arrangement is cheaper, but is technically less satisfactory and is seldom used over the world in general. The Belpaire firebox may be marginally dearer to build but is more economical in maintenance cost, and gives much better steam release conditions at high rates of working. It is significant that three out of the four former Companies used it. The reversing mechanism was made more expensive deliberately to try to get improved service out of what is often a rackety piece of mechanism. It has shown certain defects it is true, but these are not necessarily best overcome by making the job cheaper. The grease lubrication system is working very well, which it certainly would not do if the nipples were tucked away out of sight so that their greasing was overlooked. It would be miraculous if there were no inconsistencies, especially as a good number of actual regional parts have been incorporated. The Author notes the example of the slide bar bolt split pins