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Posts Tagged ‘Locomotive exchange trials. 1948’

This months picture…

Gresley A4 class 60033 ‘Seagull’ heads to London on a locomotive exchanges route familiarisation working in May 1948. The Home signal that controls entry to Platform 1 or 3 at Salisbury Station is made from model Signal Engineering components.

Gresley A4 class 60033 ‘Seagull’ heads to London on a locomotive exchanges route familiarisation working in May 1948. The Home signal that controls entry to Platform 1 or 3 at Salisbury Station is made from model Signal Engineering components.

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I have now made two previous posts on this blog about the 1948 locomotive exchange trials, and my models of the locomotives that featured on Southern metals and would have passed through Salisbury and therefore can occasionally be seen on Fisherton Sarum. The first Talking Stock # 2 post focused mainly on  the Express Passenger and general purpose locomotive trials whilst the second post Talking Stock #30 focused on the less often referred to freight locomotives trialed. This post is by way of my own thoughts and conclusion about the actual trials themselves.

Ex LMS City of Bradford Heads past Fisherton Sarum onm an Exteter to Waterloo working. Note the WD tender fitted due to lack of water troughs on the SR.

Ex LMS City of Bradford Heads past Fisherton Sarum onm an Exteter to Waterloo working. Note the WD tender fitted due to lack of water troughs on the SR.

These trials were not attempting to judge an overall winner but to gain an insight and comparisons of good design and practice that could be in theory carried across into the future design of new British Railways steam locomotives.

A number of observers are of the opinion that the trials should have been larger to encompass more locomotive varieties and that there are some notable missing classes.

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

Some of the missing classes that have been mentioned include: the Western Region’s Castle Class, the London Midland Region’s Royal Scots or Jubilees, the Eastern Region’s V2s and of course the Southern Region’s Lord Nelson; of which a direct comparison with the Royal Scot Class would have been very interesting due to similarity on the origins of the designs. Also as I mentioned in my Talking Stock #30 post the Southern did not put any freight locomotive forward so perhaps the design of the S15 whilst being a possible contender was considered to be too old.

ex LNER A4 Seagull heads towards Exeter.

ex LNER A4 Seagull heads towards Exeter.

One major inconsistency that directly affected all the recorded parameters, despite all the precautions taken, was with the locomotive crews. The method of engine control varied; from those crews trying to be as economic as possible, such as the London Midland crews, whom allowed timings to slip to the benefit of coal consumption; whilst others, especially the Southern Region crews,  were keen to show the best of what the engines could do performance wise including some extremely impressive hill climbs. Coal and water, but not oil, consumption’s were all recorded and compared along with horsepower outputs and overall efficiencies. These therefore varied considerably by the style of driving. Additionally; loads on each test run varied rather than being controlled to be something near constant and that on a number runs considerable signal checks were experienced rather than Control ensuring a clear run where possible.

Ex LMS Royal Scot Hussar

Ex LMS Royal Scot Hussar

Also the Southern Region crews were not used to such prolonged running due to the relatively short maximum length of route available; 143 miles, between Waterloo and Exeter compared to runs on other regions ranging from 172 to 299 miles. The later being between Euston and Carlisle which was also longer than usually worked by the Eastern Region crews too.

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

As all locomotives were coaled with Yorkshire hard coal this immediately put the Western Region engines at a slight disadvantage as the drafting arrangements for these engines had been designed around the use of softer South Wales steam coal. Subsequent additional tests were carried on the Western Region with these engines on their more usual South Wales steam coal which did result in an improvement in coal consumption.

Due to the inconsistencies explained above it is very difficult to grade or score the performances of individual locomotives designs. In some cases locomotives were inconsistent on consumption, horsepower between runs or varied from route to route.  Some of the possible conclusions that can be drawn are as follows:

  • In the express passenger group it was a close run thing on efficiencies between the Eastern A4s and the London Midland Duchess Class.
    All of the Pacific’s were very consistent across all runs; however the results of the 4-6-0s varied more across the different routes.
  • In the general purpose engines group the Southern Region West County Pacific’s put in some brilliant and very impressive performances but these were at the expense of efficiency figures as already implied. The London Midland Region Class 5’s showed the best efficiencies of this group. The Eastern Region B1 class showed some considerable fluctuations in efficiencies between routes.
  • The greatest variation in overall efficiencies was experienced with the freight group with no engine type being consistent across all routes although the closest to this was the Eastern Region O1 class, but it put in a variable performance on the Eastleigh – Bristol route for an unexplained reason.
  • The widest variation of all in efficiencies and performance was seen with the Ministry of Supply WD 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 locomotives. In fact the 2-8-0s did not on the whole distinguish themselves very well at all.
  • Whilst the Eastern Region A4 class locomotives put in some fine performances they were marred by the fact that there were three failures during the testing attributed to the middle big end overheating on each occasion.

The data recorded and utilised in the final report was not generally seen by most as being fully conclusive, not helped by the fact that it took no account of the costs of construction or average costs of maintenance for each locomotive design.

Whilst it is also generally considered that future British Railways standard designs perhaps bore more resemblance to the origins of their designer, the trials were if nothing else a Public relations exercise for the newly formed British Railways as a show of unity between the now Regions.

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Much has been written in the past about the locomotive exchanges that took place in 1948 shortly  after nationalisation; indeed my own Talking Stock #2 post here discussed the exchange trials and featured some of the locomotives that appeared on the Southern with respect to the Express Passenger, General Purpose locomotive trials.  Not discussed so often is the fact that as well as passenger locomotives a number of trials were also conducted with the freight locos of the time. This post looks at some of the freight locomotives that appeared through Salisbury on the Eastleigh to Bristol freight trials and therefore I have modelled to occasionally be seen on Fisherton Sarum.  My thoughts on the overall effectiveness or otherwise of the 1948 locomotive exchange trials will form the basis of a further post.

Hornby have produced models of three of the freight locomotives used on the trials on the Southern and whether by complete coincidence or not are two correctly numbered for the actual locomotives used. It should be noted that the Southern did not put forward a freight locomotive.  I am not sure why an S15 was not put forward perhaps the Southern felt it was not a modern enough design when compared to their Bullied Pacifics? I am yet to model the London Midland Region 8F number 48189 but it on the list of things to do.

28xx number 3803 from a Hornby model passes Fisherton Sarum during the trials.

28xx number 3803 from a Hornby model passes Fisherton Sarum during the trials.

First up is the 28xx class 2-8-0 from the that other railway the Western Region number 3803. I have fitted etched brass number plates over the original printed number plates to enhance the appearance, added real coal to the tender and lightly weathered. I am pretty certain this is not the first picture that has appeared on this blog of a WR locomotive, or for that matter run on Fisherton Sarum, but they are pretty rare!

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

The second Hornby locomotive is the Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789 and is generally thought of as being an excellent model. I have replaced the later British Railway crest (that did not exist at the time of the trials) with the correct style for the period wording ‘British Railways’ in Gill Sans.  Again just the addition of real coal in the tender and weathering was required before entering the fleet.

In addition to the above two locomotives the WD 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 classes were also trialed, although the 2-10-0 was larger with a larger firebox and grate area it was essentially the same boiler as its slightly smaller brother and in fact the 2-8-0 generally gave better results.

A back dated Bachmann WD 2-8-0 as allocated to the SR in 1946

A back dated Bachmann WD 2-8-0 as 78531 allocated to the SR in 1946

The Ministry of Supply WD 2-8-0 produced by Bachmann is in my opinion currently one of their finest steam outline models in terms of both looks and performance. My model does not strictly represent the exact locomotive used in the trials as she is based one of the class as allocated to the Southern Railway in 1946 having been backdated with the Westinghouse pump etc but is pretty much in the same condition as number 77000 that was used in 1948.

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

My model of the WD 2-10-0 number  73774 is built from a DJH kit specifically to match the condition of her real life counter part used on the Eastleigh to Bristol runs. For those confused by the 77xxx and 73xxx numbers of the WD Locomotives they were renumbered into the BR standard 90000–90732 number range in the early 1950’s.

During the trials the freight runs to assess performance, just like the passenger runs the ex North Eastern Railway Dynamomenter car was attached to the locomotive. My model is  from Golden Age Models and will also feature in a future Talking Stock post.

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Whilst of course I am indebted  to all of you out there who take the time to read my online ramblings, here in my little corner of the world wide web (I still don’t know why people say ‘www’ when it takes more syllables to say than then full version), I firmly believe there is still very much a place for the printed word in magazine etc. especially in our hobby.

There is still something great about the feel and action of physically turning the pages and reading such diverse content, especially such that I would not usually search for or find on the internet. After all good and inspiration modelling is good and inspirational modelling whatever the scale and genre. Also model railway photography has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years, to something that is stunning and inspirational in its own right, especially from behind the viewfinder of the likes of Chris Nevard and Mike Wild. When seen in magazine these sometimes just leap off the page at you in a way I don’t perceive from the screen.

I have been fortunate to have had articles published in a number of magazines, and should you be interested in searching out a few, below is the list of where I can be found in the printed word:

Fisherton Sarum has appeared in the December 2007 issue of Railway Modeller,  The April 2009 issue of Hornby magazine, and most recently the February issue of British Railway Modelling magazine.

My conversion of a Bachmann Southern N Class to a Southern N1 appeared in the August 2004 issue of Railway Modeller magazine

I have had three main articles (along with a couple of product review items) published in Hornby Magazine: the first of which was an article on my weathering techniques in the October 2008 issue. The March 2010 issue contained my article on my creation of LMS Coronation Class ‘City of Bradford’ as she appeared on the Southern for the Britsh Railways locomotive exchange trails in 1948. I also provided background  information about the trials in general.
Lastly for the January 2011 issue I penned an article on changing identities of Ready to Run locomotives to obtain the locomotive name and number of your choice and covered how to repaint and line locomotives too.

So long live the printed word, I am sure that magazines are here to stay in our hobby for a while yet.

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It is often debated in Southern circles if the term ‘unrebuilt’ should or should not be used to describe a Bulleid Pacific in its original form. One school of thought is that if something has not yet been ‘rebuilt’ it can not be ‘unrebuilt’. You might have guessed that if I am honest the use of ‘unrebuilt’ is a pet peeve of mine. Now Hornby, perpetuated by some of the written media have coined the phrase ‘unconverted, to describe the Maunsell Diagram 2005 Third / Second Open coach being released this year. This is I assume come about due to fact that some were converted to form part of the 1959/60 Pull Push sets nos. 600 to 619 but surely in original form they were just that ‘original’ not ‘unconverted’?

I also take this opportunity to clarify a few other things that has  arisen since the announcement last week or correcting misinformation that has either appeared online, in some retail stores listings or in the printed media…

Hornby Bogie Van B’s In Olive and BR(s) liveries (picture copyright and courtesy of Hornby Magazine)

Firstly, contrary to at least one retail site and one magazine, the Bogie van B release is a completely new tooling of a model not previously in the Hornby range. It is neither ‘gangwayed’ or a retooling of the now aged ex Triang/Hornby Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van which is a different prototype entirely.

I can also re-confirm, as this has been questioned on at least one online forum,  that the BR(s) Converted Maunsell Pull- Push Sets will be released both in a train pack as set 600 along with M7 locomotive number 30029 and also as a coach pack as set 610. It should also be worth reiterating that the driving trailer is a completely new tooling of the correct style 1935 built ex diagram 2403 BCK, as this style had flush style windows and droplights rather than the earlier style Maunsell coaches already in the Hornby range.

The release of West Country class 34001 Exeter in early emblem BR livery paired with high sided 4500 gallon tender represents the short period between January 1555 when she received the modified wedge shaped cab and November 1957 when she was rebuilt. I am hoping that the cab side lining will be corrected from the sample (computer generated) image shown on the Hornby website to horizontal lining that it should have when still paired with high sided tender, rather then the paneled lining as shown which would be correct if the tender was cut down.

I was asked a question via a comment on my Hornby announcement post of last week about the Sound Chips used by Hornby in relation to the release of both a rebuilt Merchant Navy and a West Country with DCC Sound. In case you missed my answer, I  obtained the following clarification: the Soundchip will be an ESU LokSound V4.0 with 18 sound functions. Hornby in the past on their sound fitted releases have always used authentic sounds rather than generic and I would be surprised if they changed that policy, especially when recordings from the preserved locos are available. They have previously been developed in-house (which perhaps could in reality be another 3rd party) but not SW Digital.

Image of Pre-production version of the LNER O1 class 2-8-0 (Picture copyright and courtesy of Hornby Magazine)

Although not directly Southern, being from other railway companies, two of the brand new tooling steam locomotives announced did run on Southern metals. The GWR 72xx heavy goods 2-8-2 tanks were regulars at Salisbury on the freights and coal trains from South Wales and the LNER O1 class 2-8-0 freight locomotive number 63789 was used on during the Locomotive exchange trials on the Eastleigh to Bristol (via Salisbury) freight trials in 1948. Last years release of GWR 28xx class 2-8-0 number 3803 also was used on this trial.

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The 1948 locomotive exchange trials took place from April  though to September 1948 with Waterloo to Plymouth being one of the chosen routes and utilised during may and June 1948. I was keen to introduce some of the locos that ran on the Southern during the trials into the locomotive fleet on my Fisherton Sarum layout as it is based on Salisbury and as such was a stopping off point for the trials.

To provide a little background; in the immediate aftermath of the formation of British Railways the newly formed Regions were generally allowed to continue the locomotive build programmes that had already been approved and put in place by the previous railway company up until the end of 1950.  In the meantime it was decided to compare a number of engines from the previous big four in order to ‘supposedly’ consolidate designs and good practice for the future locomotive development of the new organisation after 1950. My own views on the success or otherwise of the trials may well form the topic of another post in the future.

The exchanges were to trial locomotives in three categories: Express Passenger, General Purpose and Freight Locomotives.  Locomotives and their crews from each region had a small number of runs on each route, the week before, to gain limited route knowledge (although generally recognised as not enough) prior to the main test runs for which dynamometer cars were attached.

34006 'Bude' with extended smoke deflectors and paired to a Stanier tender. Whilst this tender pairing was for when off Southern metals, she did test runs out of Waterloo in this condition.

Hornby have already produced a limited edition model of Bulleid West Country Class No. 34006 Bude with a Stanier tender and complete with the correct extra long smoke deflectors.  The three Light Pacifics so fitted only did a couple of test runs on the Southern in this form which is a good enough reason to run Bude.

34004 'Yeovil' as back on the Southern reunited with her original style tender.

I have also matched a renumbered and named Hornby ex Bude and paired her with a standard 4500 gallon Bulleid tender as 34004 “Yeovil “as she ran on return from the trials.

Double chimneyed A4 60033 'Seagull' complete with tender with cut down raves.

Ex LNER A4 class No. 60033 “Seagull” took part in the exchanges on the Southern Region and was created by renumbering and naming a suitable Bachmann model which also involved the fitting of a replacement white metal double chimney from 247 Developments.  I also modified the tender as those tenders fitted to the A4s on trial had the raves cut down at the rear to allow clearance for the water cranes at Euston Station.

Duchess 46236 'City of Bradford' on the main line passing Fisherton Sarum

Once Hornby produced a version of their Duchess class in LMS lined black of the ‘Semi’ variant (i.e. a de-streamlined version) I used this as the basis for City ofBradford.  For this conversion I renamed and numbered Hornby “City of Manchester” and coupled it to a slightly modified Bachmann 2-8-0 WD tender.

Rebuilt Scot 46154 'Hussar' also fitted with WD style tender

I have also created a model of the Rebuilt Royal Scot class locomotives No.46154 “The Hussar” that also took part in theWaterloo–Exetertrials utilising one of the recently introduced Hornby LMS lined black models suitably renamed and also fitted with a suitable WD style tender in the same way as  above.

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