Recent posts

#41
General Discussion / Re: An Eventful Christmas at T...
Last post by Chris in Prague - June 19, 2024, 02:50:12 PM
As Lila gracefully moved around the Great Hall, distributing the soothing drink, she could not fail to notice the unmistakable look of infatuation on young Tommy's face. The fifteen-year-old boy's eyes followed her every movement, his cheeks flushing with youthful ardour. Despite his tender age, Tommy's gaze drew Lila's attention with an unabashed admiration that belied his youth.

Lila found Tommy's innocent admiration endearing, a reminder of her own wide-eyed wonder and unabashed emotions. She remembered well the stirrings of her own first crushes, the butterflies that fluttered in her stomach at the mere sight of the object of her affection. Though she and Tommy were firm friends, she could not help but be flattered by the open adoration in his bright eyes.

As Lila leaned over to pour the shimmering elixir into the adult guests' crystal glasses, she stole a glance at Bill Truscott, the highly respected Yardmaster. Despite his crippled leg and the hardships he had endured, the seasoned railwayman carried himself with quiet dignity and strength of character that commanded deep respect. Bill's dedication to the railway was evident in every aspect of his being. Known as a fair and just man, he was someone to whom others naturally turned for guidance and support. Lila and her parents held a deep reverence for Bill's unwavering Christian faith and his role as a Methodist lay preacher. His humble yet principled nature was an inspiration, a reminder that even in the face of adversity and personal tragedy, one could maintain their moral compass and commitment to serving others.

As she straightened up, Lila met Bill's warm, paternal gaze, and a silent understanding passed between them. She knew that despite Tommy's youthful infatuation, Bill would handle the situation with his customary wisdom and gentle guidance, just as he had done countless times before. With a respectful nod in Bill's direction, Lila moved on.

As Lila met Tommy's smitten gaze across the hall, she could not deny the slight flutter in her own stomach. Though she cared for him deeply as someone she had known and admired since primary school, she was also very much aware that he was rapidly growing into a fine young man before her eyes. She appreciated the newfound confidence in Tommy's bright eyes and the determined set of his jaw—qualities borne from the hardship he had endured after his father's abandonment. She admired his resolve to forge ahead and secure a position on the railway at such a young age, assisting the admirable Bill Truscott.

Lila empathised deeply with Tommy's struggle to make his own way in life; she, too, understood the worry of maintaining appearances. Her family's relentless efforts to make ends meet while ensuring their daughter was always well turned out had given her a profound understanding of his challenges. The worry lines etched into her mother's brow as she meticulously mended and pressed Lila's school uniform remained vivid in her memory. A deep connection bound Lila and Tommy – two resilient teenagers who bore responsibilities and hardships beyond their years. Yet, rather than succumbing to bitterness, they faced adversity with unwavering strength and optimism, each setback strengthening their determination to persevere with both grit and grace. In Tommy's pride and protectiveness, in his unwavering commitment to respectability despite meagre resources, Lila saw reflections of her own struggles and determination.

As Tommy's cheeks flushed under her gaze, Lila felt her own face warming. Despite her usual composure, she suddenly felt self-conscious, acutely aware of every subtle movement and breath. Was it their years of friendship that moved her, or was there perhaps a new tendril of something more beginning to unfurl between them? Her eyes lingered a moment too long on the highlights in Tommy's neatly combed light brown hair, the straight line of his nose, and the faint smattering of freckles across his cheeks. Flustered by the direction of her thoughts, she abruptly tore her gaze away.

Months earlier, as Lila and Tommy walked home from Wadebridge market, a snarling stray dog had come bounding around the corner directly toward them. Without hesitation, Tommy had stepped in front of Lila, shielding her slight frame with his body and raising a makeshift walking staff to defend her. Though the dog's aggression quickly subsided, Lila had glimpsed Tommy's steely resolve and fierce protectiveness. His instinct had been to shield her, even at possible peril to himself. From that moment forward, Lila knew she could depend on Tommy's gentle yet boldly chivalrous spirit hidden beneath his unassuming demeanour.

Despite Lila's own protective instincts towards Tommy, akin to those of a devoted sister, she could no longer ignore the emerging undercurrent of new and unfamiliar emotions. A small thrill joined the protectiveness as she contemplated the man Tommy was swiftly becoming—one of strength, determination, and an obviously tender heart. Smoothing her features, Lila forced herself to move on, though a part of her remained acutely aware of Tommy's presence. She wondered if Bill sensed the potent energy flowing between the two teenagers on the cusp of something new. Only time would tell what that something would be.
#42
N Gauge Discussion / Re: A Coarse Guide to the Stea...
Last post by Hailstone - June 19, 2024, 02:44:16 PM
Quote from: martyn on June 18, 2024, 12:26:24 PMThanks again, John.

Possibly anticipating part of your posts, if the crown sheet mentioned above was exposed due to low water level for any reason, then there was serious risk of distortion or even collapse, resulting in an explosion.

To counter this, a lead fusible plug was placed in the crown sheet which would melt and thus allow the water in the boiler to partly douse the fire and warn the crew-who may have had difficulty getting off the footplate if the loco was at speed!

Richard Hardy, when shedmaster at Kings Lynn (I think) tells of going into a firebox when the loco was still in steam to cure a weeping plug; this was strictly forbidden, I think, but the alternative was cancelling a train.

Martyn

later;

Just looked it up; he was at South Lynn (ex M+GN), and it was one of his boilermakers who went into the firebox to effect the repair.

M

I did something similar in 1979 when King George V failed on a Friday Railtour and that night 5900 Hinderton Hall was brought back to Didcot I went into the firebox next morning with 40 PSi of steam still on and gave it a proper clean round knocking the "corks" off the Crown stays and brushing down the Brick arch before cleaning the grate Whilst one of our drivers kept an eye on me to make sure I was ok. then getting out and emptying the ashpan before handing over to the lighter up as the Hall was to cover the Sunday railtour that the King had been due to take. I was offered a place on the service crew as a result of the job I had done, but had to decline as I was due to take my shunters exam the next day! so next morning we saw the Hall depart then I took the exam and passed out as a shunter having endured a grilling under a BR inspector and was able in my new position to see the Hall back on site after a successful tour - Happy Days!

Regards,

Alex

#43
N Gauge Discussion / Re: A Coarse Guide to the Stea...
Last post by fisherman - June 19, 2024, 02:12:28 PM
another abs  fascinating account !
#44
N Gauge Discussion / Re: A Coarse Guide to the Stea...
Last post by Train Waiting - June 19, 2024, 01:51:31 PM
A Coarse Guide to the Steam Locomotive for 'N' Gauge Modellers - Part 20


Hello Chums

We have spent rather a lot of time on the Belpaire firebox.  Especially in its form developed by Mr Churchward, it allowed 'greater water area and steam volume for steam release at the point of maximum evaporation'.1

By the time of the Grouping in 1923, most of the major British railways used the Belpaire firebox to a greater or lesser extent.  Two which didn't were the North Eastern and the London & South Western.

After the Grouping, its use was pretty much universal on the LMS and GWR.  The Southern was interesting because its designs derived from Mr Maunsell's work on the South Eastern & Chatham used it, but those derived from London & South Western designs, such as the 'King Arthur' 4-6-0, had a round-topped boiler.  The new 4-6-0  'Lord Nelson' class used a Belpaire firebox, but the SuperSuccessful 4-4-0 'Schools' class didn't.  Because its firebox was based on that of the 'King Arthur'.

I try to include at least one picturingham in these postingtons and I like the 'Schools' class.  But I don't have a photograph of one.

Brainwave!

Friend of Poppingham @Ali Smith is a scholar and a scholar (albeit not necessarily in that order) and he and Rob have the absolutely fabulous Vermouth layout.

Bingo! 





It is understood Mr Maunsell would have preferred to use a Belpaire firebox in the 'Schools' class and that the first design proposal used a firebox based on that of the 'Lord Nelson' class.  However, the restricted loading gauge of the Hastings route, especially Mountfield tunnel, required a width of no more than 8' 6 1/2", with, importantly, only 7' 7" width at cab gutter level.2  This meant the side sheets of the cab had to be turned inward from about half-way up - such a distinctive feature of the class.  The very narrow cab width, coupled with a Belpaire firebox, would not have given sufficient room for cab front windows of a practicable size.  So the same round-top firebox as on the final series of 'King Arthurs' was used.  Ali's phabulous photograph demonstrates these features to perfection, so you can see the reason the engine has a round-top firebox is so the enginemen can see.3

One other major pre-Grouping company did not use the Belpaire firebox - the Great Northern - and its practice became very influential on the LNER.  Hopefully, we'll think about that in the next part of this series.

*

The firebox is where the potential energy from the coal is transformed into heat energy which, in turn (due to the magical properties of water), becomes kinetic energy and Mallard goes at 126mph.  I'll bet Tommy Bray was kept jolly busy that day. 

It's obvious, but the bigger the grate, the more heat energy can be obtained.

In early Twentieth Century British practice, there were two fundamental constraints on grate size.  Firstly, the distance between the frames in which to fit the firebox - please remember the four inches or so water space between the inner and outer fireboxes and that the track gauge is not the distance between the inside of the frames.  If width is constrained - and three feet is pretty much the maximum grate width for a firebox that fits between a standard gauge locomotive's frames - increased grate area can only be achieved by additional length.

If the only way to increase grate area was greater length, the second constraint was how far an average, tired, fireman could fling4 a shovelful of coal.  At 80mph!

Here's Mr Churchward on the subject, speaking at the ICE meeting mentioned in Part 19:

"It has been found on the Great Western, that both in the French engines and in our own engines, with a proper slope of the boxes, a 9 or 10 ft. box can be fired without any difficulty whatsoever.  As a matter of fact, some of the 9 and 10 ft. boxes that are running at present are more easily fired and easier to work on the foot-plate than a number of the old 6 and 8 ft. boxes cut on the straight.

If you will keep in your mind's eye for a moment the short flat portion that goes over the trailing axle in the ordinary long box and then the considerable bit of slope that runs down, you will find that 75 per cent, I should say, of the coal is put on to the the flat part of the box and the rest fed down,  There is really no trouble whatsoever in this respect, and the difficulty of firing is no argument to my mind against long boxes at all."


Please, someone, correct me, but I believe the GWR 4-6-0 'King' class has the largest grate area of any British steam locomotive, with the firebox between the frames, at 34.3 sq ft.  This required a firebox no less than 11' 6" long.  Remember King George V with the bell the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad presented to her which is proudly carried on the buffer beam?  I'm given to understand that young cleaners, aspiring to be firemen, were challenged to propel a shovelful of coal so powerfully that it hit the tubeplate of the firebox with sufficient force to ring the bell.  Impossible, of course.  Except that old hand firemen could do it every time.5

More importantly, and I do not write from experience, but GWR firemen used a very deep fire below the firedoor.  I expect they also put a few shovelsful 'down the sides' and in the back corners of the firebox.  There was probably little need to fire to the front of the 'box, as Mr Churchward said.  However, on other railways, not using Welsh steam coal, firing techniques could be different with a thinner, more even fire preferred.

The Southern Railway's 4-6-0 'Lord Nelson' class was next in grate area, I think, at 33 sq ft.  And 'Nelsons' were believed by many enginemen to be difficult to fire.  Perhaps a firebox length of 11-12 feet or so was approaching the limit for hand firing.  Which would give a theoretical maximum grate area, for a firebox between the frames, of around 35 sq. ft.

I won't discuss further the pros and potential cons of sloping grates, as mentioned by Mr Churchward, here as this is not relevant to 'N' gauge.

If a larger grate area was consider desirable, how could it be achieved? If all goes according to what I call a plan, the next part will consider how this can be done - a 50 sq. ft. grate anyone?

Time, now, to prepare for the next part by crossing the Atlantic to the USA where, as @grumbeast helpfully mentioned, the Pennsylvania Railroad used the Belpaire firebox.  As did the Great Northern Railway (unlike our one!).


1  I pinched the phrase from Mr ES Cox, Executive Officer (Design), Railway Executive.  It's in his report Proposed New Standard Locomotives, of 13 December, 1948.

2  BR dealt with Mountfield tunnel in the 'seventies by singling the line through it.

3 Special thanks to Ali and Rob for their scholarly contribution.

4 Presumably during that vicious climb in the down direction from Carrbridge to the Slochd, it would be a Highland Fling.

5 I understand firemen used a length of string, looped round their foot, to ring the bell on 'KGV'.  No ideal if its true but a nice story.


'N' Gauge is Such Fun!

Many thanks for looking and all best wishes.

Toodle-oo

John



#45
N Gauge Discussion / Re: N Gauge Wheel Sets
Last post by chrism - June 19, 2024, 10:15:22 AM
Quote from: Mr Sprue on June 19, 2024, 09:25:01 AM
Quote from: njee20 on June 18, 2024, 11:18:40 PMWhat's the advantage of brass tyres?

Much easier to machine than steel, more conductive (not that it matters for rolling stock) less corrosive, and easier to blacken.

And would slide easier on the rail if the axle locks up  :smiley-laughing:
#46
N Gauge Discussion / Re: N Gauge Wheel Sets
Last post by Mr Sprue - June 19, 2024, 09:25:01 AM
Quote from: njee20 on June 18, 2024, 11:18:40 PMWhat's the advantage of brass tyres?

Much easier to machine than steel, more conductive (not that it matters for rolling stock) less corrosive, and easier to blacken.
#47
N Gauge Discussion / Re: N Gauge Wheel Sets
Last post by Mr Sprue - June 19, 2024, 09:17:52 AM
Quote from: nick_bastable on June 18, 2024, 10:40:32 PM
Quote from: Mr Sprue on June 18, 2024, 08:11:03 PM
Quote from: njee20 on June 18, 2024, 11:58:44 AMI think price is relevant too (certainly is for me). I find the Farish wheel sets fine, but they're fairly expensive. I suspect yours will be 'gold standard' which is great, but I'm too tight!

Price is something I'm wrestling with at present, so far the cost of the brass tyres has been guestimated @ 30p each!

I would expect double that

It's not a bad price when you consider the waste involved from the machining process, but they are machined on a Swiss Auto Lathe, so labour cost is quite low.
#48
N Gauge Discussion / Re: N Gauge Wheel Sets
Last post by njee20 - June 18, 2024, 11:18:40 PM
What's the advantage of brass tyres?
#49
N Gauge Discussion / Re: N Gauge Wheel Sets
Last post by nick_bastable - June 18, 2024, 10:40:32 PM
Quote from: Mr Sprue on June 18, 2024, 08:11:03 PM
Quote from: njee20 on June 18, 2024, 11:58:44 AMI think price is relevant too (certainly is for me). I find the Farish wheel sets fine, but they're fairly expensive. I suspect yours will be 'gold standard' which is great, but I'm too tight!

Price is something I'm wrestling with at present, so far the cost of the brass tyres has been guestimated @ 30p each!

I would expect double that
#50
N Gauge Discussion / Re: N Gauge Wheel Sets
Last post by crewearpley40 - June 18, 2024, 09:48:28 PM
Quote from: KevTheBusDriver on June 18, 2024, 09:22:24 PM
Quote from: crewearpley40 on June 18, 2024, 08:41:51 PMSounds like a plan. Bit of a faff but a tweak they should fit Kev.
Here's a pic of Lima flr flats, one with the Lima bogie and one with a GraFar bogie - the 1mm spacer could be made smaller of the GF wheels were a) smaller diam and b) smaller flanges.
The next one I did (today) has no spacer at all - I just didn't file away as much of the cast stretcher...


Thanks Kev. Really helpful
Much appreciated
Please Support Us!
June Goal: £100.00
Due Date: Jun 30
Total Receipts: £35.00
Below Goal: £65.00
Site Currency: GBP
35% 
June Donations