What if Stanier had got the CME job at Swindon instead of Collett

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Bevan Price

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22 Apr 2010
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Hmmmm. I don't think all of it is correct.

AIUI, the LMS was impressed with the Castle and did want to buy a batch from the GWR (50 sounds about right), but they were stopped by the government (would that have been the Board of Trade?) because it was deemed unfair to the private manufacturers. (I'm not sure why, possibly because of fears of cross or hidden subsidies.)

I'm neutral on the 'lending drawings' question, ie I don't know.

However, on the story of the SR lending drawings to North British, I believe evidence shows this is a myth - poppycock, even.

About 15-20 years ago, on the then LMS e-group, this story was discussed. In the group was an older gent who had worked as an apprentice in the North British drawing office. He was there when closure came, and knowing history was being lost, or threatened with such, he went through the drawing office files, and found hundreds of blueprints, all carefully numbered and recorded. I think he actually mentioned some interesting classes/designs, which I've forgotten.

But of Lord Nelsons there was no drawings, nor trace of such, ie no missing numbers around the time that any drawings that might have come, been recorded, but subsequently been lost.

He concluded there were none, and never had been. My thesis is that in the mid-1920s, it would have been normal around the bar room table (or platform trolley if under 18) for folks to talk about the similarity, at least externally, of the LN and parallel-boilered Scots, and this is how the tale began.

OF course, they looked quite similar, they were both designed to do similar jobs within the same loading gauge - but equally, in the guts, they were about as different as you could get - the LN was four-cylinder, the Scot was three, although they both had Walschaerts gear, of course. But if the whole point (as the myth goes) was for the LMW to 'big-up' its locomotive fleet ASAP, why go to the bother of redesigning the cylinder arrangement, and all the valve gear and associate gubbins?

My conclusion is on the lines of the NB draughtsman, largely based on his research. It is simply false.



Now that sounds a highly cost-efficient solution: no more outlays on separate designs, more parts, just knock up another what, 15 x 47xx?

What improvements were needed? I thought the 47xx were supposedly good machines, bar their RA?



:)

Yes - the 47xx were good, but limited to a few main lines. A redesign from 2-8-0 to 2-8-2 might have reduced the axle-loads and given them a wider route availability. They also needed to be upgraded a bit to permit higher running speeds (I seem to remember they were officially limited to 60 mph or thereabouts. )

Unlike much of Europe, the 2-8-2 tender loco wheel arrangement was never common in UK. The only locos seem to have been the two P1s and the six P2s on the LNER. The P1s were probably "too good" as they could haul freights that were too long to fit in many of the loops on the ECML, whilst the P2s had wheelbases that did not mix well with some of the curved track north of Edinburgh.
 

Irascible

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The useful way to be better than a King over the banks would be to make more steam, or at least more energetic steam - unfortunately the King boiler is already pushing weight limits and as we discussed there's practical boiler length limits so there's not really any point looking at a trailing axle ( which causes adhesion problems too ). Raise the pressure - that gave the 1940s Swindon trouble let alone late 20s - add more superheat, do all the fancy firebox trickery Bulleid used and you'd make a monster out of a King. The 4700 is more or less a slow 2 cyl Castle - similar axle loading, similar TE, similar boilers, but apparently worse RA. You could try repeating the King process on it, but I don't see you getting more cylinders in it.
 

Bevan Price

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22 Apr 2010
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5,497
A better concept over the banks might be something like a King, but with smaller driving wheels - say around 5ft 6 inches. The trouble is that it would create a small batch of non-standard locos, with little use elsewhere.
 

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