234 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News – Spring 2000 – Part 6
From Chasewater News – Spring 2000 – Part 6
Posted in Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
Tagged Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Burntwood, Cannock, Chasetown, Chasewater Railway Museum, Cheslyn Hay, Diesel, DMU, Fowler, Great Wyrley, Heath Hayes, Hednesford, Lichfield, No.21, Norton Canes, Pelsall, Staffordshire, Walsall, Wolverhampton
1876 4-4-0 Johnson
Midland RailwayNo.1579 (later 345), as rebuilt in 1906.
S.W.Johnson’s first thirty 4-4-0s were of two varieties, ten engines in 1876 with 6’ 6” driving wheels, Nos. 1312-21, followed by another twenty in 1877, Nos.1327-46, which had 7’ 0” drivers. The 4-4-0 design type was continued in 1882 and remained substantially the same until 1901, but successive batches had increased dimensions, and some were built with 6’ 6” wheels and some with 6’ 9” and others with 7’ 0”. The later-built ones, with their larger cylinders, proved themselves to be somewhat underboilered, and Deeley rebuilt the whole lot (with the exception of the original thirty engines) between 1903and 1910 with much larger boilers, at the same time as doing away with the decorative splashers and other Johnson features. As rebuilt they were greatly improved, but when Henry Fowler (afterwards Sir Henry Fowler) appeared on the scene in 1910 he was still not entirely satisfied with them and the majority underwent a further nominal rebuilding, and emerged with superheaters and cut-away splashers. It seems doubtful whether this second transformation can be classified as a true rebuild, as little if any of the original engine was used in the reconstruction, although the engines emerged from the shops bearing the numbers of those they replaced. They are therefore regarded as an entirely new class originating in 1912.
Not all of these received this second treatment, some were modified later merely by the provision of Belpaire fireboxes or extended smokeboxes, or both, and thus a considerable number of minor varieties resulted. Quite a few were scrapped in the intermediate condition, as it may be described, mostly in the 1920s, but a small number of engines of one batch of the 6’ 6” variety lasted much longer, in fact one of them survived to become BR No.40383 and was not withdrawn until 1952. At the 1907 renumbering the rebuilt engines became Nos. 328-562.
Returning to the original batch, two of the 7’ 0” engines had been scrapped before 1907, when the remainder became Nos.310-27, whilst the 6’ 6” locos were 300-9. The only one of all these to be altered to any extent was No. 323, which acquired an extended smokebox, but retaining the small boiler with Salter safety valves on the dome. The last of the unrebuilt 6’ 6” engines was No. 306, scrapped in 1930, whilst No. 311 of the 7-footers was in service until 1934.
One of the M&GNR engines, No.77 after receiving a Belpaire firebox in 1930.
It should be mentioned that another forty engines of the same design were constructed between 1894 and 1899 for the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway. Ten of these were rebuilt with larger boilers corresponding to the intermediate stage of the Midland engines, the others retained their small boilers, but received extended smokeboxes like No.323, and a few of them also had Belpaire fireboxes in later years. They passed into the hands of the LNER in 1936, which Company scrapped them all by 1945. The magnificent work these small engines had done with heavy loads in M&GNJR days, however, deserves to be mentioned as bordering on the well-nigh impossible. It was not unknown for them in the height of the summer season to cope with trains of sixteen bogies, a load more suited to a modern ‘Pacific’ in later days.
The dimensions of these engines have varied so considerably both in the original state and final rebuilding that it is not possible to tabulate full details. The following, however, are provided as a specimen.
Original 1877 series of 7’ 0” engines – Driving wheels – 7’ 0”, Cylinders – 18”x 26”, Pressure – 140 lb.
6’ 6” class of 1888 as rebuilt by Deeley – Driving wheels – 6’ 6”, Cylinders – 18”x 26”, Pressure – 160 lb., Tractive effort – 15960 lb.
1757 Beatrice – ahisgett
Posted in Steam Locomotive Classes of a Leisurely Era
Tagged Deeley, England, Fowler, Johnson4-4-0, M&GNJR, Midland Railway, S W Johnson
From Chasewater News April 1990
A Tale of Toad – I.Newbold – Part 2
I rang directory enquiries and asked for Leyland/Daf; phone number actually in Leyland, Lancs. No such luck, their computerised system could not find it. Oh well, try a different tack. I rang BREL at Derby and after about four phone calls managed to speak to someone who knew the Leyland 900 engine. Unfortunately, after speaking to him, I was probably more depressed than before. BR had employed the horizontal version on some of their stock and they had not exactly been the most spectacular success story ever. Initially the engines had employed a wet linered cylinder block, there had been a change in piston design, followed by a change in crankshaft design, followed by a change to dry linered cylinder block. The last modification was to cure an inherent problem of blowing head gaskets, not totally successful either, he added. The outcome was that he could not be sure which variant we had, even from the engine number, his only suggestion was to go away and measure the cylinder head stud diameters, find out if washers were incorporated under the head nuts, etc. etc. As a final comment, after giving various gasket fitting tips, he said that in BR use a good engine of this type would run for about a year between blowing gaskets. Our ‘Toad’, it appears, had done so every couple of years, Leyland must have been taking lessons from Crossley.
Parallel to this, I decided to try to find Leyland again, but how? Ring up the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust thinks I, well they only deal with cars but their non-computerised system had a record of Leyland’s phone number. Computers 0, Card Index 1
So, feeling a little perkier I rang Leyland – Daf as it is now, and after a few tries I got through to their technical publications department.
“Have you still got any data on the 900 series?” asks I, “Good grief” say they. After a five minute rummage, I was asked to ring back in a couple of days. A couple of days later I rang back: Bad news and good news, they had disposed of all their old manuals, but most had gone to the British Commercial Vehicle Museum. However, they could not guarantee their having passed a 900 series engine manual on as it really was an Albion engine, built in Scotland. I could try the Albion owners club. This I did, but they didn’t seem to want to answer the phone.
The other parallel course was still grinding onward and after a measuring session of head stud diameters, etc. I rang BREL back: the chap I wanted was on holiday. Ho Hum.
I decided to ask the loco’s previous owners if they knew anything about it. Now I don’t know if you have ever tried to find the phone number of a military establishment, but it’s not quite as straight forward as it could be. Deciding not to bother with Directory Enquiries, I rang the War Office, sorry, Ministry of Defence, in London and eventually got the requisite number. I rang Radway Green, only to be told that I had just missed the Head of Transport, he had just gone home. I rang back the next day – he was not in. The third day I rang I was given a vital piece of information, they were shut down for holiday, could I ring back next week? OK folks, don’t invade us or declare war – we’re on holiday!
Next week I rang back and spoke to the head of the transport department, they certainly remembered ‘Toad’, but did not repair it themselves, some chaps used to come from ‘somewhere near Derby’ to repair it. I was passed on to the fitter, who was uncertain about whether it was wet or dry linered, and did not know the head torques.
Not long afterwards I traced the British Commercial Vehicle Museum phone number, BT’s computer had this one in memory – shock, horror, anyway I gave them a ring.
“The chap you want is out, can you ring back tomorrow?” This sounded familiar, so I rang back the next day and found the relevant person and gave him the by now very well rehearsed patter. He sounded quite hopeful and asked me to ring back in a few days. This I duly did and was rewarded with the information we required. Just for the record, if anyone else wants to fit a Leyland 900 head gasket, the torques are: 200lb/ft on the ⅝” UNF studs, and 100lb/ft on the ½” UNF studs. Eureka! They could even sell us a copy of the engine manual. It is at this point that someone comes up and says ‘I could have told you that’ – if they do I’ll scream!
Now all we’ve got to do is buy a head gasket and fit it….
Then there is the dynamo control box to set up……
Then the exhauster to fit…….
Update 2011 – ‘Toad’ is now owned by R. Fredwoods (not sure about the spelling!) and is awaiting a new engine…..
Posted in Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
Tagged 0-4-0DH, BREL, Brownhills, Burntwood, Chasewater Railway Museum, Diesel, Fowler, Leyland, Lichfield, Norton Canes, Staffordshire, Toad
Big Bertha – Fowler 0-10-0 Banking EngineThe engine as running soon after construction, in 1920. H.C.Casserley.
The closing weeks of 1919 saw the appearance from Derby works of what was by far the largest locomotive to be built for the Midland Railway, which had remained a ‘small engine’ line during the period when most other railways had gone in for much larger and more powerful machines.
No.2290 was a four cylinder 0-10-0 engine built especially for banking up the Lickey incline with the three miles of continuous 1 in 37 ascent, and which had hitherto seen nothing larger than 0-6-0Ts on this duty. It was, moreover, the only ten-coupled engine in the country at the time, its only other predecessor in this respect having been the GER ‘Decapod’, and it was not until 1943 that any further engines with ten wheels coupled appeared in Great Britain.
The new Midland locomotive had Walschaert’s outside valve gear, and the two piston valves for the two cylinders had outside admission, the parts inside the cylinders being crossed. The cylinders were steeply inclined.
The famous Lickey Incline banker, locally known as ‘Big Bertha’ MR No. 2290 (here renumbered 22290) stands at Bromsgrove in May 1948 with steam up in readiness to assist a train up the 2¼ mile 1 in 37 gradient. H.C.Casserley
To facilitate drawing up to the rear of a train in darkness, preparatory to banking, it was later fitted with a powerful electric headlight. It spent almost the whole of its life on the duty for which it was built, although it made one or two early trials on mineral trains between Toton and Cricklewood. It remained the only representative of its class, and in order to ensure as short an absence as possible on its visits to shops, it had two boilers, which could be interchanged on these occasions. After 36 years of heavy pounding up the bank it was withdrawn from service in 1956. In 1947 it was renumbered 22290, and under the BR regime it became 58100. It went locally by the name of ‘Big Bertha’. Fortunately the impressive sound of its throaty exhaust has been preserved on a gramophone record by an enterprising firm specialising in railway recordings.
Driving Wheels – 4’ 7½”, Cylinders (4) 16¾” x 28”, Pressure 180lbs.
Tractive Effort 43,315lbs. Weight 73 tons 13 cwt.
‘Decapod’ – J.Holden 0-10-0TThe ‘Decapod’ as built – H.C.Casserley
This startling engine which was built in 1902 to the designs of J.Holden was totally unlike anything else which had appeared previously on the GER or any other line. It was indeed believed to be the most powerful locomotive in the world at the time.
No.20 had an enormous boiler with a firebox extending the full width of the frame (as on GNR Atlantics of the same year) and the water was carried in a well tank beneath the bunker. It was the first ten-coupled engine in this country, and apart from two very early machines of 1846 and 1868 it was the first to be fitted with three simple-propulsion cylinders. The middle pair of driving wheels was flangeless.
Its purpose was purely experimental, to ascertain whether steam haulage was capable of attaining as great a rate of acceleration as electric traction for suburban working. The electrification advocates maintained that they could produce a train of 315 tons which could be accelerated to 30 mph in thirty seconds. The new engine, with a train of 335 tons, actually exceeded this target on test; as a result the question of electrifying the Great Eastern suburban lines was shelved for another decade. Unfortunately the necessary strengthening of track and bridges was also postponed on account of cost, and in the event was never carried out. Owing to the permanent way restrictions, the ’Decapod’ was never able to be used in ordinary service, and in 1906 was reconstructed as a 2-cylinder 0-8-0 tender engine with a smaller boiler, and was used on freight trains. It was finally scrapped in 1913.LNER Info.
It was unfortunate that the engine was so much before its time and never had the opportunity of completely justifying itself.
As 0-10-0T As 0-8-0
Driving Wheels 4’ 6” 4’ 9”
Cylinders (3) 18½” x 24” (2) 18½ x 24”
Pressure 200lbs. 180lbs.
Weight 80 tons 54¼ tons