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Author Topic: Branch lines and Autotrains.  (Read 743 times)

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Offline Karhedron

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Re: Branch lines and Autotrains.
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2018, 12:05:41 pm »
I have read that running coach first down the Aberaeron branch was necessary because of the 1 in 40 gradient.  Having the firebox "downhill" guarded against low water problems.  Is that correct?

I haven't heard of that particular fact before but it is plausible. I know of other routes that had engines orientated in certain directions due to gradients. On hilly routes it was common to have the chimney facing downhill. This was so that the higher levels of smoke produced during uphill working would not obscure the view from the cab.
Well, that's just not good enough. Some fount of all knowledge you are!  :no:  ;)

Offline NeilWhite

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Re: Branch lines and Autotrains.
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2018, 08:40:40 pm »
Yes, that is correct - if a line was mostly uphill (or downhill, depending on direction) then the preferred direction for a steam loco is to face uphill. This makes it easier to keep water over the crown of the firebox. If the loco is facing downhill then the water tends to fall down towards the front (smokebox) end of the boiler, and can leave the top of the firebox uncovered. This can lead to nasty things like fusible plugs blowing and water pouring into the firebox and putting the fire out. This, of course, is better than total meltdown!

This choice of direction was not, generally, an option for tender locos.

The 56XX 0-6-2 tanks working the South Wales coal fields generally worked facing up hill.

Neil
 

Offline PLD

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Re: Branch lines and Autotrains.
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2018, 08:41:43 pm »
I have read that running coach first down the Aberaeron branch was necessary because of the 1 in 40 gradient.  Having the firebox "downhill" guarded against low water problems.  Is that correct?
It is certainly plausible... On routes with a grade in one direction there are two considerations:
1. yes as you say - chimney uphill ensures that the firebox crown is covered by water.
2. often there would be a preference for the coach to be at the uphill end of the formation in case of break-away.

With the usual GWR preference for autotrains to be formed loco cab to the coach, obviously both the above could not be fulfilled...

I haven't heard of that particular fact before but it is plausible. I know of other routes that had engines orientated in certain directions due to gradients. On hilly routes it was common to have the chimney facing downhill. This was so that the higher levels of smoke produced during uphill working would not obscure the view from the cab.
Not necessarily common to all hilly routes, but certainly true of some routes that had significant grades in tunnels e.g. part of the Glasgow suburban network...

 

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