LNER Diesel proposals.

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drmditch
LNER P2 2-8-2
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LNER Diesel proposals.

Post by drmditch »

Yesterday at Locomotion, Shildon, where I volunteer, on of my colleagues pointed out a new collection of drawings and associated history drawn from materials in the Railway Museum archives.
It is a bit more 'coffee table' than I normally prefer, but on page 82 et seq there is an item which made the book irresistible.
There is a discussion of early diesel policy on both LMS and LNER

From English Electric Bradford works are shown three outline drawings for articulated diesel-electric locomotives for the LNER.

Dated February 1945 is a twin 1,200hp scheme with a central cab and A4 style streamlining.
From April 1945 is a more conventional scheme with end cabs and a range of engine options of which the largest would have provided a combined 3,200 hp. There are options for auxiliary electric power for the train and a steam-heating boiler.
The front end (in profile) looks rather like a DC3 aircraft with added buffers. The rear end is more flattened, a bit like the rear cab on a Class 91.
Fuel tankage is supplied for 1,200 miles of running.
The articulation is permanent and there would be no provision for running the two locomotives separately as with the later LMS scheme.

Unfortunately, no correspondence has yet been discovered.

However these drawings were produced over two years before the board-level proposal for some 25 diesel-electric locomotives with support and maintenance facilities, as set out in Appendix 2 of Volume 3 of Michael Bonavia's history of the LNER.

The rest of the book contains interesting material as well - if you like such things as the L&M Rocket (as re-built),NER Dynamometer Car, the 1924 'Never-stop' Railway, Castles, Princess Coronations, GNR horse-drawn omnibuses, and other eclectic items!

The author is Christopher Valkoinen who works in the Search Engine in York; the book,which is large and heavy is published by Thames and Hudson in association with the Railway Museum (no comments on branding please - I don't know why they dropped the 'National').
ISBN 978-0-500-02167-5

Good reading, entertainment, and source for speculation as evenings get darker and longer.
65447
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
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Re: LNER Diesel proposals.

Post by 65447 »

Dr Geoffrey Hughes wrote up the background to the LNER's attempted procurement and ISTR it has been discussed on here previously.

The appearance of the drawings and the potential designs is very interesting. No doubt copies of the submitted tenders will be held somewhere, presumably at TNA, Kew, but possibly also at York.

That could develop into an interesting article, but of course the RM will claim copyright to material that they simply became custodians of...
drmditch
LNER P2 2-8-2
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Re: LNER Diesel proposals.

Post by drmditch »

Yes, previous discussions have focussed on the 1947 proposals.
I have never seen any reference to these 1945 drawings previously.
Michael Bonavia (and have just re-read Vol 3 of his history) makes no reference to them either.
65447
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Re: LNER Diesel proposals.

Post by 65447 »

Well we know that certain of the extant manufacturers at the time were investing in the development of prototypes and that the same principle applied a decade later with the appearance of a number of one-off types that were tested on BR metals, not least Deltic, Falcon, Lion, DP2, GT3, HS4000 as well as the earlier prototypes bought by the LMS, SR and GWR.

Some of these were intended for foreign (Commonwealth) markets and it is entirely unsurprising that the outlines and fundamentals mirrored US practice.

The key answers here will be to the questions (i) 'were those drawings prepared specifically for the LNER in anticipation of Tenders being invited, based on preliminary discussions' and the alternative (ii) 'were those drawings prepared as in-house development designs and subsequently relabelled for offering to the LNER, it being the one remaining potential British customer'?

It seems that certain of the design features (the fuel capacity for 1200 miles for example) might be excessive for British applications...
drmditch
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Re: LNER Diesel proposals.

Post by drmditch »

65447 wrote: Sat Aug 28, 2021 5:59 pm
The key answers here will be to the questions (i) 'were those drawings prepared specifically for the LNER in anticipation of Tenders being invited, based on preliminary discussions' and the alternative (ii) 'were those drawings prepared as in-house development designs and subsequently relabelled for offering to the LNER, it being the one remaining potential British customer'?

It seems that certain of the design features (the fuel capacity for 1200 miles for example) might be excessive for British applications...
All of the drawings are clearly marked:-
The English Electric Co.Ltd Bradford
LNER
Outline of main line diesel Electric Locomotive.

The first drawing (with the centre cab) dated February 1945 shows a basic shape for the leading unit clearly modelled on an A4.
It would be likely that they were intended by EE to form some part of a discussion/tendering process.
The second two drawings from April 1945 would suggest some degree of reaction and/or request for modification, but no supporting correspondence has so far been found. I think this would suggest something closer to your point(i) rather than (ii).

The dates are before the late 1945 trip by senior engineers from the LNER and LMS to the USA. They are well before H G Ivatt started his discussions with EE that lead to the LMS twin diesel-electrics.

The 1200 gall. fuel would allow for three return trips between London and Edinburg, which might have economised on fuelling facilities? The fuel tanks are contained within the locomotive bodyshells, at the articulated end. I wonder whether this might have given some safety/crashworthiness issues.

it is interesting that the ''LNER East Coast Diesel Scheme of 1947' as laid out by Michael Bonavia discusses separate 1,600 bhp locomotives capable of multiple working, rather than the articulated units shown in the drawings.

It might be that H W Richards (the LNER CEE) might have been a point of contact rather than Edward Thompson (CME)
Certainly A H Peppercorn can back from the USA trip with ideas for a 4-8-4 steam passenger locomotive rather than the diesels preferred by Mr Richards. Has anyone seen any references to what Mr Thompson's views about non-steam traction might have been?

Perhaps though discussions with EE might have occurred at Board level, rather than just with senior officers.
Dave
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Re: LNER Diesel proposals.

Post by Dave »

Some years ago I was in Search Engine and one of the staff told me inconfidence that they had found an LNER drawing for a diesel which looked as if it was modelled on an A4. If I remember correctly a woman there was researching it to produce a paper or booklet. So it has at last come to light.
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Atlantic 3279
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Re: LNER Diesel proposals.

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

Whilst the LNER main line diesel scheme is certainly of interest to me, and that interest obviously includes any early design proposals, I feel it is a shame that there is nothing to suggest that drawings and/or details (beyond the few mentioned by M. Bonavia) of the ultimate proposed form of the locomotives have been discovered. It certainly sounds as if the final form of the design does not appear in the newly published book. On that basis, I'm afraid that the only price I've seen listed so far for a book I have not had the chance to see, is well outside of my comfort zone...
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S.A.C. Martin
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Re: LNER Diesel proposals.

Post by S.A.C. Martin »

drmditch wrote: Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:26 pmHas anyone seen any references to what Mr Thompson's views about non-steam traction might have been?
Yes. He was an advocate of the diesel-electric shunters being ordered in. Development in LNER rolling stock largely focused on providing simply built, standardised steam locomotives to get the LNER through to the next decade, reducing the stock from over 160 classes to 19 classes.

Regarding electric traction - it wasn't his remit - Richards was the C.E.E., and I haven't seen anything specific regarding electric traction in the archives.
Mickey
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Re: LNER Diesel proposals.

Post by Mickey »

A different railway and a different company but I read something similar maybe within the six last months about the early prototype 'Western class' diesel hydraulic locos that eventually became the class 52s in B.R. days that in the very early design stages they were originally drawn up in the GWR drawing office at Swindon.
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Seagull
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Re: LNER Diesel proposals.

Post by Seagull »

65447 wrote: Sat Aug 28, 2021 5:59 pmIt seems that certain of the design features (the fuel capacity for 1200 miles for example) might be excessive for British applications...
I was thinking the same but then it clicked.

Pre-war one of the problems that really bothered the CME's department was providing power for the heavy day trains and more especially the heavy sleeper trains through to Aberdeen. This looks to me like a diesel version of the pre-war 4-8-2 proposal.

3200 horsepower would solve the problems of fast regular running, accelerating from stations and signal checks and also maintaing a good speed over the ups and downs on the Scottish sections.

The distance from KX to Aberdeen is about 520 miles = 1040 round trip + 10% reserve for bad weather/signal checks/etc + 5% for yard and light engine running = 1200 miles.

Alan
Playing trains, but trying to get serious
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