Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

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GWRSwindon
LNER J94 0-6-0ST Austerity
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Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by GWRSwindon »

Edward Thompson and his team produced a simple, robust design in the B1 that did just what it was supposed to do. At a time when utility and a lack of fuss was required, they rose to the occasion. This leads me to ask: should the B1s be considered one of the best all-around classes of British steam engine? Going even further, could we crown them the best mixed-traffic class in the UK?
burnie
LNER J39 0-6-0
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by burnie »

One of my favourites along side Gresley's V2 to do the same role, enjoyed both on the old Great Central, if you have an interest in 00 gauge model railways I can recommend the Hornby model of the B1,a superb loco and a fair representation for a ready to run.
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NZRedBaron
NBR J36 0-6-0
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by NZRedBaron »

I remember watching the SLIPS about them a while back; during it, Chris noted that during the 1948 Exchanges, the Bongo's showed they were easily on equal standing with the "Black Fives", the "Halls" and... I think it was either the King Arthur's, or maybe even the Bullied Light Pacifics. And they did have some relatively advanced features; like padded bucket seats for the crew, electric lighting, and so on.

Of course, they worked best on LNER metals, which is why the Standard's were built.
rockinjohn
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi, well not many classes could be compared by drivers from the same sheds but black5's &B1's could be, think the LMR 5MT had the edge when High Mileages(not a lot in it by some class members) rolled around as far as riding was concerned, but pretty evenly matched otherwise, the ex LNER men favoured the B1 whilst the LMR went for their own of course,familarity/loyalty from pre nat.days etc?although the LMR 5MT's cabs were more comfortable to sleep in!Intrestingly Kentish Town had a class member I know the # cant say I'm told its trainspotting on these pages,but turned out by 14B regularly instead of a Jub or Scot & sometimes surprised everyone,could never understand why the 9F class wasn't built as as 2-6-2 or @ the very least a 2-8-2 for what they expected from them @the time& timed @ 85mph in some cases on passenger work making up lost time I expect, now that would be a memorable footplate ride, that I for one would decline!if offered.
Hatfield Shed
LNER A3 4-6-2
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by Hatfield Shed »

GWRSwindon wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:06 pm... could we crown them the best mixed-traffic class in the UK?
Cheapest in first cost of 5MT's too. Somehow, 'lacking' the positively fetishised and expensive Belpaire firebox they did equivalent work, and typically on less coal and water. (Moreover this was a consistent finding in the BR exchange trials of 1948, the Belpaire firebox conferred no advantage on the locos that had it, when compared to the service performance of the Doncaster designs.)
markindurham
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by markindurham »

rockinjohn wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:27 am Hi, well not many classes could be compared by drivers from the same sheds but black5's &B1's could be, think the LMR 5MT had the edge when High Mileages(not a lot in it by some class members) rolled around as far as riding was concerned, but pretty evenly matched otherwise, the ex LNER men favoured the B1 whilst the LMR went for their own of course,familarity/loyalty from pre nat.days etc?although the LMR 5MT's cabs were more comfortable to sleep in!Intrestingly Kentish Town had a class member I know the # cant say I'm told its trainspotting on these pages,but turned out by 14B regularly instead of a Jub or Scot & sometimes surprised everyone,could never understand why the 9F class wasn't built as as 2-6-2 or @ the very least a 2-8-2 for what they expected from them @the time& timed @ 85mph in some cases on passenger work making up lost time I expect, now that would be a memorable footplate ride, that I for one would decline!if offered.
The 9Fs were turned out as 2-10-0s because of Riddles' experience with the Austerities, iirc. They certainly weren't conceived as fast running MT locomotives, but they were obviously pretty well designed, to be able to do such things and not scare the wotsit out of their crews :D
Pyewipe Junction
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by Pyewipe Junction »

The 1948 trials showed little to choose between the three 5MT designs, but it would've been a miracle if anything other than an LMS lookalike had emerged as a BR Standard, given that the design team were nearly all ex-LMS. Of course, the real winners were the Southern Light Pacifics, which trounced the others in terms of outright performance, especially over the GC and Highland routes, although at higher coal consumption.

The heavy freight design did in fact start out as a 2-8-2, but Riddles eventually decided on a 2-10-0 because of its higher adhesion and lower axle loading.
drmditch
LNER P2 2-8-2
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by drmditch »

It would be interesting to hear views from people who have run on both designs on the NYMR.

The question I would have to ask would be about the rear axleboxes, and the relative degree of riding, especially when a while out of shops.
Mickey
LNER Thompson B1 4-6-0 'Antelope'
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by Mickey »

My knowledge on locos is limited compared to the expert knowledge that is on this forum but after watching a number of loco dvds down the years I believe the GWR Hall & Hawksworth modified Hall mixed traffic 4-6-0 was well regarded by many people as a good 'all round' loco for passenger and freight work. Also Ron White railway enthusiast and onetime proprietor of Colour Rail I believe(?) in a discussion with a former LNER/B.R.(ER) shed master (off the GE I forget his name but it wasn't Dick Hardy) about the comparisons between the Thompson B1 and the Stainer Black 5 both agreed that overall the the Black 5s had the edge over the B1s and the Black 5s were a more durable design.

Apparently Stanier when he was at Swindon took the Collett Hall design to Crewe when he became CME of the LMS and designed the Black 5s
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
rockinjohn
H&BR Q10 0-8-0
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi Happy New Year to all,my mention of sub-shedded B1's&Blk5's, I was thinking of the sheds/areas that this comparison by crews could be made eg: Sheffied& Bradford areas came to mind,but in a light bulb moment remembered KX MPD had all three 5MT's types LMS/Standard&LNER working alongside each other & not just on the CBE either the strangers were drafted in for ATS trials in '56/'57, seem to remember a Fowler 2-6-4 tank on Broad Street Peaks also(outside of this remit),Now my ref:to 9F's came about because they eventually ended up replacing B1's/K3's&V2's on their duties Fast Fish/Mixed Freight&Parcel Workings,Now the Austerity 2-10-0 were used mainly for coal or mineral in Scotland &few mixed freight workings,the 9F EARLY class, members designed for the same, working out of South Wales/Tyne Dock/ 31A/35A/14A/15A/18A working@ slow or moderate speeds,however a superb boiler&free steaming even without DBL chimney fitted,became a Works Manager's&Fitters nightmare below the boiler, extreme piston &valve wear&a Shedmaster's dream when short on locos,just send a 9F crews loved them, not caring how fast those little wheels revolved, its sure to come home eventually(in more ways than one),a case of build Horses for Courses or Desperation the Mother of invention?(make do)Like Mickey mentioned look @ the Halls/Granges on freight, never a bad word heard,& some crews making the "new" County Class fly(100mph!recorded) others struggled with them Double or Single chimney versions& "just" a mixed loco too,the Clean Air Act put pay to a lot of those Brent&Ferme Park headed Coal trains, think what the wrong wheel arrangement&ill suited work ended up punishing those wonderful "spaceships".
Mickey
LNER Thompson B1 4-6-0 'Antelope'
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by Mickey »

rockinjohn wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:18 am Mickey mentioned look @ the Halls/Granges on freight, never a bad word heard,& some crews making the "new" County Class fly(100mph!recorded) others struggled with them Double or Single chimney versions& "just" a mixed loco too,...
Hope you don't mind me using your quote rockinjohn regarding the GWR locos cos it makes me feel good knowing something about steam locos even if it is off the GWR!. So it does eventually pay off watching endless hours of dvds about steam locos even if they are off the GWR ha ha ha...

With regards to the B1s sometimes I like the look of them but on the whole when it comes to steam locos in general I always preferred locos with 'Belpaire fireboxes' as opposed to locos with 'round top fireboxes' mainly on looks.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
rockinjohn
H&BR Q10 0-8-0
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi Mickey&others, no worries.... share the knowledge, it would appear from the various "engine"lead posts/comments they arrive from reading/watching or modelling with unlike yourself Manna/Hatfield? &others having first hand experience of the Railway Operating Side of things that I enjoy,me like the former comment observed&read avidly on the subject having been blessed with a very good memory thankfully(still holding on to it) helped, contact with a few men from "14B" yeah I know its Midland, gave opinions &they were theirs personally and differed from each other on the same subject!So I for one enjoy everyones comments on all the relevant subjects put up,knowledge is power(in a nice way)still waiting to hear from the "engine" contributor who met Stanier/Gresley/Fairburn/Thompson/Bullied or Hawksworth in person,Its all about personal views &opinions that were read or repeated nothing more & I really enjoy&look forward to reading them.
Mickey
LNER Thompson B1 4-6-0 'Antelope'
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by Mickey »

According to the book Kings Cross Lineside 1958-1984 published by Ian Allan the last known sighting of a B1 'in steam' in the London area was at Finsbury Park diesel depot on new years day 1965.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
rockinjohn
H&BR Q10 0-8-0
Posts: 180
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi missed that B1, but remember a line of "B1" or V2 tenders parked along with 3or4 "baby"deltics lined up as they failed, ready to go over to Stratford Works for storage pending just what to do with them,seem to remember crews refused to work them over the Widened LInes because of fumes, so some thought at to go into their planned diagrams when they did function.
burnie
LNER J39 0-6-0
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Re: Was the B1 one of the best UK steam locos?

Post by burnie »

I lived alongside the GC on the incline that ran south out of Leicester up to Whetstone station, that climb certainly showed which locos could pull and which struggled. When the 9f's replaced the old 2-8-0 rods, the coal train "runners" from Annesley seemed to be longer and travelling faster up the hill. Those coal trains were pretty much 100% 9f hauled then, but the empties going down the hill had a mixture of ex WD 2-8-0, Stanier 2-8-0, B1 and Black 5's hauling them. Mixed freight was B1 and V2 hauled quite late in the lines life and also some of the passenger traffic. I really miss that line, the games we had trying to predict what loco would appear next when a "peg" went up amused us right through the summer school holidays.
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