If early BR policy had been a little different.......

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drmditch
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If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by drmditch » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:30 pm

Here is a subject for discussion in these long nights.
(Without taking too much time away from building my railway.)

I've just been re-reading E.S.Cox's 'Locomotive Panorama'. In Vol.2., he discusses the different policies considered for BR locomotive construction. One of the alternatives would have been more like that adopted by H.N Gresley in 1923, in that existing regional types would be continued where they were suitable for their 'native' lines, and a limited number of new 'standard' types provided where there was a clear need.

Actually, as is well known, there were 12 designs of BR Standard locomotives, and a total of 999 constructed. The largest numbers (accounting for 773 out of the total) being:-
172 Class 5 4-6-0s (and also 80 Class 4 4-6-0s)
115 Class 2 2-6-0s
155 Class 4 2-6-4Ts
251 Class 9 2-10-0s

From 1948 to 1952, 396 locomotives of LNER provenance were constructed.
49 A1 4-6-2s
14 A2 4-6-2s
136 B1 4-6-0s
70 K1 2-6-0s
99 L1 2-6-4Ts
28 J72 0-6-0Ts

This data is taken from op.cit Tables 1 and II on pages 7 and 8. It does not include the 're-building' which produced 04/8s and 01s. (I don't think his LMS numbers include the 'Re-built' Scots either!)

So, if the less radical policy had been followed, what would have been the LNER classes perpetuated, and what would have been smaller number of BR Standards?

My opinion, (which is of course entirely my own and entirely prejudiced!) is as follows:-
A1 (Peppercorn) as built.
A2 (Peppercorn) with Kylchap exhaust built in greater numbers with possible use on other regions.
B1 as built as a general purpose Class 5.
K1 as built as a general purpose Class 4. (I have not checked the details compared with a BR class 4 2-6-0)
K6 lightweight 2-6-0 as schemed at Doncaster. (I have not yet compared this to the BR class 2)
01 new build, as a standard freight engine

Despite being a great admirer of the NER, I would question whether the J72s should have been constructed after 1947, and would suggest that the DES (or more likely their LMS equivalent) diesel-electric shunters should have been built, and possibly a diesel-mechanical machine for the light-weight role. (I don't know enough about the early BR models to express a view on which one.

As far as I can see, this would have left a need on former LNER lines for a 2-6-4T better than the L1. Either the LMS Fairburn locomotive or it's BR equivalent might have been suitable. Perhaps also a different tender (to make reverse running easier) would have been needed for the K1 and K6.

Would a light-weight tank engine also have been required?

Could the role which the 'Britannia's filled on the GE have been met in some other way?

In my scheme there would, of course, have to be a role for the 9Fs because they were such magnificent and competent engines! Perhaps this would predicate against new-build 01s.

The 1947 LNER scheme for diesel-mechanical railcars based on GW precedents should have been implemented rapidly.

So, there you are! Anybody have any different ideas?

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manna
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Re: If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by manna » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:09 pm

G'day Gents

My thinking in regard of the Brits on the GE, maybe a 2 cylinder version of the A2, not to difficult to remove the center cylinder on a new build !!!!

manna
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65447
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Re: If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by 65447 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:40 pm

It neglects the consequences of the potential purchase of the main line diesels, had the LNER been permitted to order them. Postulation without their inclusion in the mix would be incomplete.

Hatfield Shed
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Re: If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by Hatfield Shed » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:54 pm

The BR standard steam loco development was a complete waste of money. All it did was introduce yet more variation and thus more spare parts holdings to maintain them. Pick a vital few from the best existing classes, and build those, no increase in variation in the loco stock. (A common error of those who propound new designs for overall 'standardisation': it is only worthwhile if you can quickly eliminate all the existing, and replace with a much smaller number of the 'standard' designs.)

Rationally, the LNER A2 and B1 should have got the nod for the heavy and medium MT locos and the O1 for class 8 freight. They were cheaper than equivalent power locos of alternative design, and BR's own trial had shown that under service conditions the expensive Belpaire firebox was of no benefit. The Fairburn 2-6-4T was clearly outstanding for the large tank loco requirement.

Nothing else was required, the Derbyesque fiddle-faddle of low power designs built in penny packet numbers a class 1 blunder, there were plenty of such low power locos kicking around the system, and systematic reallocations of loco classes as replacement diesel power was introduced could have covered the jobs to the end of steam.

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Re: If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by 65447 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:58 am

This was all controlled by political dogma and lack of available funds - these having been 'stolen' by the Labour government prior to Nationalisation.

What perhaps would have been a better approach - and especially given the hindsight of knowledge of the Suez crisis and shortage/high cost of oil as fuel - would be to electrify the GN line suburban services together with those around Edinburgh and Glasgow- Newcastle already having its own electrified routes . There was shared technology between the 'Shenfield' stock and the recent LMS units, which could have done likewise with its own suburban services out of London.

Whilst the capital cost of the OHLE infrastructure was much higher, has there ever been a comparison with the cost of the design and construction, higher maintenance and operating costs and very short lifetime amortisation of the capital expenditure on new steam locomotives?

Electrification is the way in which the 'losers' following WW2 became the eventual winners in terms of their economies.

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Re: If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by Hatfield Shed » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:39 pm

You have to allow for national temperament too. I have half my family on the continent, and all my life they have been regularly amazed at the 'unbelievable' attitudes and decisions of the British. They are right now: 'But this is not rational!' they say, or words to that effect, often couched rather more bluntly. Still not quite reconciled to this awkward squad offshore that doesn't particularly respect its elected leaders or technical expertise!

Where their political establishments post war had a pressing need to put before an electorate, that was fully aware of the problems and saw much to be gained by pulling together in the national interest, that concensus in the UK which had lasted through the war (more or less) was lacking. And still is. We have sixty million opinions on the ideal path, and on a good day can get roughly a quarter pointing somewhat in the same direction...

Mickey
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Re: If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by Mickey » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:27 pm

Hatfield Shed wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:54 pm
The BR standard steam loco development was a complete waste of money.
That is the usual argument regarding the development and building of the BR standard classes but at the time when the BR standards began to enter traffic during the mid 1950s those locomotives were suppose to have had a working lifespan of around 30 years which would have meant many of them would have been working well into the 1980s if it wasn't for BRs rush to abolish steam from Britain's railways by August 1968. The BR standards and especially the 251 9F 2-10-0s could have been retained for 'heavy haul' freight workings a long side there diesel counterparts especially on the many non-electrified AC lines around the country that were then still in existence during the 1970s & 1980s. On the European continent German standard gauge steam lasted into the late 1980s.

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Atlantic 3279
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Re: If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by Atlantic 3279 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:42 pm

65447 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:40 pm
It neglects the consequences of the potential purchase of the main line diesels, had the LNER been permitted to order them. Postulation without their inclusion in the mix would be incomplete.
It would be interesting to know whether anything of what was on the drawing board has survived. I assume that something was on the drawing board and that the LNER was not considering ordering something for which no proper plans actually existed?
Bachmann A2 to A2/3: from my thread in Model Railways page 56 to 83, also

Hornby A3 to A1/1 Great Northern: from page 84, in resin from page 108.


Apologies for so many missing images - see page 1 for reasons & possible solution.

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Re: If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by 65447 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:26 pm

Atlantic 3279 wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:42 pm
65447 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:40 pm
It neglects the consequences of the potential purchase of the main line diesels, had the LNER been permitted to order them. Postulation without their inclusion in the mix would be incomplete.
It would be interesting to know whether anything of what was on the drawing board has survived. I assume that something was on the drawing board and that the LNER was not considering ordering something for which no proper plans actually existed?
It was all very serious in intent with tenders being invited but acceptance being refused by the incoming BTC. This from the 1947 LNER Magazine, having briefly discussed electrification:

'Another, and more promising, alternative is diesel-electric traction, of which the L.N.E.R. have already had some limited experience in the form of shunting engines and rail-cars. An article by Mr. H. W. H. Richards, Chief Electrical Engineer, published in this magazine in December, 1946, drew attention to the widespread development of this form of traction in the U.S.A. and much valuable information has been gained from the study of results obtained in that country. An interesting announcement was made, a short time ago, that the L.N.E.R. Board had approved, in principle, a large-scale experiment involving the construction of 25 diesel-electric locomotive units, each of 1,600 B.H.P. at the generator coupling, which, it is estimated, will be able to take the place of 32 " Pacific " steam locomotives. Two such units (operated by multiple unit control) will be required to haul an East Coast express (with a trailing load of, say, 520 tons) giving a total locomotive power of 3,200 B.H.P., equivalent to approximately 2,400 rail H.P. at the driving wheels. With a stock of 25 units, it should be possible to " dieselize " all the principal East Coast passenger trains and to provide a margin for repairs, etc. Special depots for the maintenance of the diesel locomotives will have to be provided.

'The introduction of diesel-electric tractive units in this form means that the changeover from steam involves merely the replacement of one form of independent locomotive by another, the train vehicles, whether passenger or freight, being those which would be hauled by a steam locomotive. It is claimed for diesel electric traction that, apart from its financial advantage, it should produce increased availability, higher acceleration, better performance on adverse gradients and, of course, greater cleanliness. Many of the advantages of electric traction can, in fact, be achieved by the use of diesel-electric locomotives, but at less capital cost and with greater flexibility, without prejudice to the eventual adoption of main-line electrification if that can be justified by traffic conditions. The experiment inaugurated by the L.N.E.R. should have an important bearing on the future of mainline services.'


I have never quite got why the LMS, GW and SR were allowed their diesel-electric and gas turbine trials but the LNER was not.

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Atlantic 3279
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Re: If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by Atlantic 3279 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:47 am

Thanks for the material from that article. The same in summary appears in one of the published books, possibly one of Michael Bonavia's.

I'm aware of nothing to suggest that there might be any surviving drawings as such of proposed locomotives that formed part of any tenders for the contract, but I'd be delighted to find that genuine drawings do survive.
Bachmann A2 to A2/3: from my thread in Model Railways page 56 to 83, also

Hornby A3 to A1/1 Great Northern: from page 84, in resin from page 108.


Apologies for so many missing images - see page 1 for reasons & possible solution.

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Re: If early BR policy had been a little different.......

Post by Hatfield Shed » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:10 am

65447 wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:26 pm
...I have never quite got why the LMS, GW and SR were allowed their diesel-electric and gas turbine trials but the LNER was not.
Rationally, the LNER scheme was a duplicate of the LMS Ivatt diesel units (and there were the Bulleid units to follow) no need to duplicate when the results of those projects could be shared. And as most probably recognise , it would have made no difference as those responsible for BR's traction provision wasted seven years by focussing on steam developments before the 'surprise' realisation that diesel and electric would have to replace steam.

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