Proceedings Institution of Mechanical Engineers to 1859

It should be noted that neither Volume 1 nor 2 featured continuous pagination and that both of these volumes extend to more than one "year". Furthermore, in some cases both the presentation of the paper and the discussion extended to more than one meeting. Thus citation is potentially difficult In some of these early Volumes it is sometimes difficult to establish a thread: thus George Stephenson's response to rotary engines it is difficult to establish what prompted his contribution..

1847/8 (Volume 1)
Key file

June 1847

Haddan, J.C.
On a patent solid wrought iron wheel. 9-21

24 November 1847

Beyer, Charles
Description of the luggage engine "Atlas", etc. 3-14 + 8 plates
These were Sharp 0-6-0s with midfeather fireboxes and 3ft 6in diameter boilers 13ft 6in long. There were 175 tubes of 15/8 diameter. The coupled wheels were 4ft 6in. Theye were named Atlas, Hercules, Hector and Jupiter. The results of service on the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway between May 1846 and October 1847 were reported. Coke consumption and running costs are quoted. Includes side & front elevations, sections and plans. Also the very similar Manchester & Birmingham Railway 0-6-0s Nos. 30 and 32 and the frequently cited tests of No. 30 between Longsight and Crewe on 3 October 1846.

April 1848

Fothergill, Benjamin
Banks' steel tyres. 21-3.
Refers to Bank's patent steel tyres which were produced by steeling Staffordshire Iron and were competitive in price and performance with Low Moor Iron. The paper included a reoommeudatory letter from Jenkina, Locomotive Superintendent of tbe Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, dated 28 January. It stated that these patent steel segments bad been inserted in tbe wheel tyres of the engine Oldham and that it had run 58,866 miles with them when its crank axle broke; the wheels were then taken off, and not again used until they were put to the engine Queen on 12 Norember 1846. From that time to 31 December, 1847, they rnn 20,482 miles, mnking a total of 88,348 miles and should no accidout occur, Jenkins was of opinion that they would run 40 or 50,000 miles more. In the discussion Peacock noted that he had tried a great number of them, especially upon tenders: indeed he had some which worked five feet wheels, and they answered very well. The principal trials, however, had been on tenders, 3 feet 6 inch wheels, on the Manchester and Sheffield Railway, the gradients of which were very heavy, and he found that on an average they were obliged to change the tender wheels about once in four months. The first which were tried with Banks’s mode of steeling ran twelve months. This proved that they were a great saving, for tenders especially. They had had some which ran nearly 30,000 miles under an engine, and they worked very well

13 June 1848

McConnell, J.E.
On the balancing of wheels. 1-9.
Cited George Heaton as the originator of wheel balancing (for road carriages) in 1810. McConnell adopted system on Birmingham & Gloucester Railway. In the discussion Cowper stated that Braithwaite and Milner had introduced wheel balancing on the Eastern Counties Railway "eleven years ago".

Samuel, James
On an express engine. 8-10.
Samuel, the Locomotive Superintendent of the Eastern Counties Railway, referrred both to a very small self-propelled inspection saloon with a vertical boiler, and to a larger vehicle or vehicles called "steam carriages" (cylinders 7 x 12 in) ordered for the Eastern Counties Railway with the involvement of the patentee W.B. Adams. The brief paper gives the full dimensions both for the inspection car and for the steam carriages then under construction. In the discussion Samuel stressed the reduced rail wear and argued that the vehicle's increased speed would compensate for the time lost by passengers in changing trains at junctions.
The total length of the first carriage was 12 feet 6 inches, including machinery, water tank, and seats for seven passengers; all on one frame, which was hung below the axles, and was carried on four wheels 3 feet 4 inches in diameter. The floor was within 9 inches of the level of the rails. It wa propelled by two cylinders, 36 inches in diameter, with a six inch stroke, placed on each side of the boiler, and acting on a crank axle. The cylindrical boiler was placed vertically; and was 1 foot 7 inches in diameter, by 4 feet 3 inches in height. It contained a fire-box, 16 inches in diameter, by 14 inches in height; with 35 tubes, 3 feet 9 inches long, by 1½ inches in diameter ; giving 5½ feet of heating surface on the fire-box, and 38 feet on the tubes. The engine is fitted, complete, with link motion, feed pumps, etc. The water tank is placed under the seats, and will contain 40 gallons. This carriage was capable of conveying seven persons, at a rate of 30 miles an hour; it bad at times attained a speed of 44 miles. The consumption of coke was only 25 lbs, per mile ; and the weight of the whole machine does not exceed 255 cwt, including coke and water.
"The result of observations which I have for a considerable time been making on the Branch Passenger Traffic of Railways has been to convince me that, on the whole, it is not remunerative ; and in some cases, it is even worked at a loss. I have, therefore, been led to consider, whether the expenses might not be reduced by the introduction of a system of steam carriages more suitable to the amount of traffie to be conveyed."
The average weight of a train on the branch lines of the leading railways is 6G tons, – the number of passengers conveyed by each train not exceeding 35 to 40 on many of the branch railways in England. Supposing each passenger with luggage to weigh 1½ cwt., the total weight of the passengers conveyed is about 3 tons; or in other words, for every ton of paying load now carried by the system of locomotion, we have 18 to 20 tons of dead weight. " It is, therefore, in a commercial point of view of the greatest importance, not only to railway companies but also to the public generally, that some less expensive, and, at the same time, equally safe means of transit be adopted. "
Accordingly, it is proposed to substitute for locomotives, on branch railways, steam carriages similar in construction to the accompanying drawings. These drawings represent a patent steam carriage now in course of construction, under my direction, by Mr. W. B. Adams, the patentee; intended for the Eastern Couniies railway company. The following are a few of the principal dimensions :- Diameter of cylinders, 7 inches Length of stroke, 12 inches Diameter of driving wheels, 5 feet Distance between centres, 20 feet Width of framing, 8 feet 6 inches '' The boiler is of the ordinary locomotive constniction;-5 feet long by 2 feet 6 inches in diameter; the fire-box is 2 feet 1½ inches by 2 feet 0 inches. There are to be 115 tubes 1½ inches in diameter, and 3 feet 3 inches in length; giving 210 feet of heating surface on the tubes. The area of the fire-box is 25 square feet ; giving a total of 235 feet of heating surface on the boiler. The consumption of coke I have estimated at 7 lbs. per mile at a velocity of 40 miles per hour. The total weight of the steam carriage, with coke and water, will not exceed 10 tons ; and it will be capable of conveying about 42 passengers, at a speed of 40 miles per hour. The water will be carried below the floor of the carriage, in wrought iron tubes 12 inches in diameter, and 12 feet long. One great object attained in this machine is the reduction of the centre of gravity ; from which there will be a consequent absence of lateral oscillation. Tt is intended for the Enfield and Edmonton branch of the Eastern Counties railway, and is expected to be at work in about 3 months from this date. When its practical utility and economy has been proved, I shall be glad to submit the results to the Institution; as I feel convinced that the subject is one deseming the attention of the members, and of all parties interested in the profitable working of railways. " I may add, that were the system of light steam carriages adopted, branch railways might be constructed at a very smiill cost indeed, compared with the present, outlay ; an outlay which is unavoidable with the system of heavy engines ; and the advantages of railway accommodation might be extended to districts which can never hope to enjoy them so long as the present system, which requires so great an outlay of capital, is continued.

26 July 1848

Stephenson, George
On the fallacies of the rotary engine. 1-3.
In the discussion the President observed, that the fallacy of Mr. Onion’s principle was pretty conclusively proved by the fact, that fifty patents, at least, had been taken out for Rotary Engines, every one of which had failed. No man who ever lived could improve on the lever principle, as there was no power but in the lever. He would now be glad to hear the opinions of the members, and also any explanation that Mr. Onion might wish to offer. Onion stated, that his engine had been working for some weeks at the Derby station, by permission of Mr. Kirtley, the Locomotive Superintendant of the Midland Railway; and, duriug that trial, experiments with his and another engine had proved that his effected a material saving in fuel. A statement to that effect, authenticated by Mr. Kirtley, was now in the possession of Mr. M‘Connell, at whose suggestion he attended that meeting. Henry Robinson noted that the Government had a Rotary Engine (Lord Dundonald’s) working in the Portsmouth dock-yard for the last seven years. Onion claimed the credit of being the first who had ever succeeded in packing efficiently, but it was only the same as he (Mr. Robinson) had been in the habit of using for years; Onion had not therefore, advanced anything at all new. If Mr. Onion would call upon him in London, he would show him an engine similar to his own, and packed in the very same way. It was one that was applied to a locomotive, and commonly known as the ‘‘Jim Crow Engine,” from its having been painted black. The difficulty with Rotary Engines had hitherto been in keeping them tight. The difference between Mr. Onion’s engine and the one at Portsmouth dock-yard was, that in the latter, the packing did not depend upon springs. All that he (Mr. Robinson) was prepared to say about that engine (Lord Dundonald’s) was, that it had hitherto done the work which it was intended to do. A Member having spoken of Beale’s Rotary Engine, the President stated, that he had been concerned in having a trial made of that engine, in a stearn boat intended to carry passengers a short distance of only half a mile, to Yarmouth; but when the engine was put to work, he could not get the boat to move forward, and so the experiment failed. He managed to get the boat to sea, and it cost him and his party £40 to bring her back again. As to Lord Dundonald’s engine, he was invited, on one occasion, to see it tried on the Liverpool and Manchester railway; but he refused to go, because he was convinced that a failure would be the result ; and so it was,-for the engine could not be made to draw a train of empty carriages.

25 October 1848

Russell, J. Scott
Memoir of George Stephenson. 3-13.
Refers to George Stephenson's many interests including electricity, but perhaps the obiturist's most thought provoking phrase was "Was there ever a bolder theorist than he was?" Read by McC

Jones, John
On the adpation of the "Cambrian" engine to locomotive purpose. 13. Disc.: 14-17.
Messrs Thwaits & Co. of Bradford had built Albion to Jones' patented design. Advantages claimed: obtaining a long stroke in the crank, without the disadvantages of a long stroked cylinder, where high velocities are required; the arrangement of levers which balance the engine;' absence of oscillating motion of the engine; doing away with all centre pressure, an object of the highest importance, and one that deserves more attention than it has hitherto received.//Crampton type mentioned on p. 18 and a rotary engine by R.P. Jackson on page 21.

Kinmond, W.L.
Description of a railway carriage elevator. 22-5.
Lift installed at the Glasgow terminus of the Glasgow & Ayr Railway.

Brockedon, Wicksteed
Vulcanized India-rubber pipe joints. 25-9.
Brockedon is credited by Thomas Hancock with the invention of the term vulcanization and introduced the process to Britain from the USA where he had met Charles Goodyear.

April 1849

Holby, J.W.
Construction of permanent way, 21-32 + Plate
Required characteristics: an adequate platform or bearing surface on the ballast to prevent the road from being crushed into the ballast. adequate bearing surface of the various parts to prevent mutual crushing. sufficient cross ties to secure uniformity of gauge between rails; adequate side stiffness in rails; adequate strength of materials to prevent crushing. Modes then in use  included stone blocks; cross sleepers; sleepers brought nearer at the joints, with a larger sleeper under the joints, and triangular section sleepers. Also mentioned the longitudinal bearer used on broad guage lines; the same as laid on the narrow guage at London Bridge; and a combination of the cross sleeper with longittldinal bearers used on the Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland, and formerly on the Croydon line: with these a flat-bottomed or bridge rail was bedded on and secured directly to the longitudinal bearer. The South Coast lines and the Great Southern and Western of Ireland used bridge rail directly fastened to the sleepers: those on the Southern and Western of Ireland varied considerably in size, and were placed at proportional distances, the great body of the support being under the rail joints.

25 July 1849

Ramsbottom, J.
On an improved locomotive boiler. 1-8. Disc.: 8-11.
Locomotives had two to three times greater heating surface than those built about a decade earlier. Consequently when performing proportionately increased work, they required two to three times the quantity of air to be forced . The working parts of these engines had also increased in size: cylinders from 12in to 15-16 in diameter, stroke from 16in to 20-24in, and driving wheels from 4ft 6in to 6ft diameter, or greater. Notwithstanding these increases two components had barely changed: the diameters of blast pipes and the cylindrical part of the boiler. As the whole of the exhaust steam is driven through a forcible jet up the chimney to produce draught through the fire, and as the power required to produce this jet is taken from the gross power of the engine, it follows that the smaller the blast pipe is in proportion to the total heating surface of the boiler, the greater will be the resistance to the action of the piston, and the greater the loss of power on this account. From observations made upon engines under the author’s immediate superintendence, it appears that whilst boiler heating surfaces have increased from 400 ft2 (in 1842) to 987 ft2 (in 1846), the blast pipe had not been enlarged, but reduced in area in the proportion of 12½ to 8½ in2. The heating surface of the 1846 locomotive had increased nearly three-fold in proportion to the size of the blast pipe, as compared with the 1842 engine. Furthermore, the boiler diameter remained the same and the extra heating surface was obtained by enlarging the fire-box, by putting in a mid-feather, and by increasing the length rather than the number of tubes.
The power absorbed by the blast pipe ranges from 10 to 20 per cent. of the gross power of the engine, according to the number, diameter and length of tubes, and also the speed of the engine. On average a degree of exhaustion is required in the fire-box under ordinary circumstances equal to a column of water 4in in height, and the degree of exhaustion in the smoke-box must be greater than this by the resistance offered by the tubes to the passage of the heated gases from the fire-box to the smoke-box. Experiments made about 2½ years ago upon an engine with a total heating surface of 987ft2, carrying 147 tubes of 1¾in external diameter and 13ft 10in long, it was found that the latter force was at all velocities three times as great as the former: or 66 per cent of the total force of the blast was required to overcome the resistance offered by the tubes to the passage of the heated gases, leaving only 33 per cent to operate upon the fuel.. This fault stems from the comparatively limited flue area of the boilers as at present constructed.
A method was proposed for increasing power without increasing the diameter, or length of the boiler, or making it oval, by enlarging both the fire-box and tube surface by 35 to 40 per cent. The copper fire-box would be constructed with an arched roof, the top being nearly as high as the top of the cylindrical part of the boiler. This box may be any length without reducing the strength of the roof, and would require none of the stay-bars which are so essential to the security of the flat-roofed box, and which for a moderate sized engine weigh not less than 400 lbs. With such a box the whole of the cylindrical part of the boiler can be filled with tubes, and the longitudinal stays be eliminated: in the "present instance" there were 225 tubes of 2in. external diameter, the shell of the boiler being 3ft 8in diameter and 10ft long ; the total heating surface of the fire-box was 80ft2, and the tubes 1177ft2, making a total heating surface of 1257ft2. Such an arrangement involves keeping the boiler full of water, and therefore demanded a separate steam chamber: this consisted of a cylinder 13ft long and 20in diameter, fixed  over and parallel to the cylindrical part of the boiler, this tube had a cubic capacity of 285ft2  McConnell (pp. 8-9) noted the heat loss in the smokebox and Allan (p. 9) had experimented with rods in the tubes but this had no effect upon fuel consumption. Ch: CB.

24 October 1849

Samuel, James
On the economy of railway transit. 1-13.
The employment of Enfield on the Eastern Counties Railway and on the Norfolk Railway. Ch: RS.
to 1410 tons; viz., 169 tons of goods and 1241 tons of coal. The “Enfield” Steam Carriage worked the 10 a.m. Passenger train from London to Ely on 14th June, a distance of 72 miles, taking behind her three of the ordimq carriages and two horse-boxes; she arrived at Ely 8 minutes before time, and the total consumption of fuel, including the getting up steam, was found to be 8½ lbs. per mile. The tubes of the boiler are only 5 feet 3 inches in length, and the economy of fuel is consequently scarcely at the maximum.
The Fairfield Steam-carriage on the Bristol and Exeter Railway, had hitherto been worked with an upright tubular boiler, which had not proved satisfactory, and the regular working of the engine had been prevented by the difficulty in keeping the tubes tight ; but a horizontal boiler had been substituted, and the engine was just starting to work with it.
In the discussion Sanuel added that the Enfield engine, made the quiokest journey that had ever been performed between Norwich and London. With a train capable of containing 84 passengers they performed the distance of 126 miles in 3 hours 35 minutes, including stoppages. Another advantage in a large carriage of this description resulted from making use of the side space, for there were only 8 wheels to do the work of 24, and at the same time they had no greater amount of weight on each wheel than under the ordinary arrangement. The whole weigbt was 9 tons without passengers, and 84 passengers might be taken at an avexage as weighing 6 tons. Samuel expected the small engine would be as dnrable for locomotive purposes, and even more so than an engine of larger dimensions ; the bearings could be made larger in proportion to the strain, and the boiler being smaller in diameter the steam could be compressed with greater safety. The Enfield engine was worked at 120 lbs. pressure, while in ordinary engines it did not exceed 80, and hence an advantage of 40 lbs.wss obtained.

McConnell, J.E.
On railway axles. 13-27
Torsional deformation. The Chairman (Robert Stephenson?) refered to experiments made by John Gray, on the Hull and Selby Railway,  and reported in the Engineers’ and Architects’ Journal, or the Mechanics’ Magazine, to show the importance of time in axle fracture. He took a round bar of iron 3 feet long and 2 inches diameter, and turned it down in the middle, to 1 inch in diameter for 2 inches in length. He then took another bar 1 inch in diameter uniformly throughout, and he tried the strength of these bars under concuasion and not mere pressure. Now the severest point of strain would evidently be the middle of the bars where the diameter was the same in both, and consequently if weights were gradually and quietly laid on, the results would be alike in both bars ; but when small weights were let fall on them, the bar 1 inch in diameter throughout its whole length was found to be much stronger than that which was in the main 2 inches and 1 in the middle. For as time is an element when the resistance of material is concerned, regarding the axle as elastic like a piece of india-rubber, the only particles that could yield to percussion from the falling weight were those between the shoulders in the part of the axle that was turned down, but in the case of the bar an inch in diameter throughout its whole length the whole of the particles would yield; the one being a good spring and the other a very bad one. See also On the detioration of railway axles..

Volume 2 (1850)

January 1850

McConnell, J.E.
On the deterioration of railway axles, etc. 5-14: (April): 3-6.. Disc. 14-19 : (April), 6-14 + Plates 1-2.
Having been requested at the last meeting to furnish further proofs of the change from the fibrous to the crystalline character produced in railway axles, and fceling convinced that a strict and careful examination of this important subject is a necessity in this age of Railway practice, the enquiry has been resumed in the hope that the further information and experience gained may tend to a more perfect knomlcdge of the subject.

Adams, W.A.
Springs for railway carriages and waggons. 19-29. Disc. 29-31. + Plates 3-4.
Buffing and bearing springs are applied to carriages and wagons to absorb and neutralise the force and momentum of shocks to which vehicles are exposed in ordinary service. A perfect spring would absorb the entire power and space of the blow without disturbing the inertia of the vehicle, but in practice is impossible, due to varying loads on bearing springs and varying forces on bufing springs: in bearing springs the nearest approach to perfection was in the modern first class carriage, where the disproportion of total weight between loaded and unoaded was less than in any other vehicle.
The laminated spring was the commonest form for the springs of railway vehicles, consisting of a number of plates, the taper being given by reducing the plates successively in length. The wagon bearing spring in ordinary use on the Midland, London and North Western, and other Railways is shown in Fig. 1 (Plate 3): this could take a load of about 2 tons per spring: load-deflection data are given and it was considered that such springs could cope with a 3 ton load. Fig. 3 represents the wagon bearing spring, or prop, in extensive use on the North Branch of the London and North Western, the South Staffordshire, Caledonian, and other Railways, which may well be designated by the term cheap. This spring was 2 feet 5 inches long, 4 inches wide, 2 inches thick, camber 4 inches, consisting of 4 plates ½inch thick and weighed about 40 lbs. Load-deflection date are again quoted. The wagon bearing spring in extensive use on the Midland Great Western, and other Irish Railways, and on the London and North Western Railway, is the ordinary spring (Fig. 1), but with eyes rolled at the ends and hung on scroll-irons. The advantages of this form of spring are the great space passed through and quickness of adaptation to the inequalities of the road, in consequence of the deflection of the end shackles caused by the deflection of the spring, and consequent elongation between the centres of eyes of shackles; also rubbing friction at ends is almost entirely obviated. The disadvantages are first, that to carry a given load a much greater quantity of material is required, as from the circumstance of a great portion of the space between the sole-bar and the axle-box being taken up by the scroll irons and shackles the radius of the curve of the spring is much reduced, and a thicker spring consequently required. Secondly, the tension on the sole-bars tending to hog the waggon frame, being the reverse of the action of the ordinary spring. Thirdly, in consequence of the great space passed through by the deflection of this spring, the variations of the load will considerably vary the height of the buffers from the rails. Fig. 4 represents the "universal" carriage bearing spring originally introduced by Wharton on the LNWR, resulting from repeated practical trials and improvements. This spring was 5 feet 3 inches long, 3 inches wide, 2 11/16 inches thick, consisting of 9 plates 5/16 inches thick; the ends of the plates are what is technically termed long spear-pointed. Similar shorter and lighter springs were used for horse-boxes, carriage-trucks, and brake-vans (presumably carriage stock). Buchanan’s bearing spring consisted of four flat horizontal plates 4 feet long, 4 inches wide, and tapered in thickness from ½ inch at the centre to ¼ inch at the ends, and fastened in the centre and impinging at the ends only. It did not seem to possess any advantage over the ordinary laminated spring, except that the friction between the plates was entirely avoided except at the ends, but there were several disdavantages, including increased cost.
Adam’s Bow-Spring
: advantages held the axle-boxes without the intervention of the guards in the same manner in previously described with reference to the carriage bearing spring.
top links permitted wheels, axles, and axleboxes to traverse laterally in passing curves
quick adaptation of this spring to lateral and perpendicular blows preserves the inertia of the body almost wholly from displacement at moderate speeds.
Disadvantages: at high speeds and on a bad road the reaction of this spring is so great as to cause rebound, and increasing momentum from each successive blow occasions very considerable oscillation
Spiral bearing springs as used on tenders of Midland Railway locomotives
Buffer and draw springs.including double draw springs; De Bergue’s buffer springs packed with rings of vuloanised in& vulcanized rubber (Adams was critical of these); Todd’s cork buffers; Adams’s Disk Buffers with packing consisting of 16 disk spring made from flat circular plates of steel 8 inches diameter and ½ inch thick; Webster’s Air Buffers; Brown's Conical Spiral Spring Buffers,

July 1850

Thorneycroft, T.
On the form of shafts and axles. 35-41. Discussion: 41-3.

October 1850

Buckle, W.
On the inventions and life of William Murdock. 16-25. Disc.: 25-6 + Plates 15-16.
Author appeared to be unaware that Murdock's name had originally been Murdoch, and that this change was not reflected in those of relatives who remained faithful to the Scottish version. Murdock was employed by Watt from 1777 and within two years was snet by Boulton & Watt to Cornwall to look after their interests there. Whilst living in Redruth he produced a model road locomotive and invented gas lighting

Volume 2 (1851)

January 1851

Adams, W.A.
On the improvement of the construction of railway carrying stock. 10-19 Oct 1850/Jan
Attempt to reduce weight by replacing timber (oak) sole bars by wrought iron

Peacock, R.
On the workshops for the locomotive carriage and waggon departments of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire railway. 22-7.

Barrans, Joseph
On an improved axle box for railway engines and carriages. 30-5, + Plate 23. Discussion: April, 3-8.

July 1851

Henson, Henry H.
On improvements in the construction of railway wagons. 3-20 + 3 plates. 10 diagrs..
Covered wagons

Cowper, E.A.
On an improved mode of moulding railway chairs. 42-4. Disc.: 44-5. + Plate 41
Cheaper method of casting with reduced labour costs due to the employment of boys.

Shipton. James A.
On the direct conversion of rectilinear into circular motion in the steam engine. 4-9.

Volume 3 (1852)

Handley, W.
On an improved break for railway carriages. 19-23. Disc.: 23-7 + Plates 50-1.
A sledge type of brake which acted upon the rail. Refers to an earlier brake developed by Lee in 1842 which acted on both the wheel and the rail and to one introduced by Adams in 1847 of the sledge type which acted under a bogie.

Samuel, James
On a continuous expansion engine. 27-34; 41-7. Disc.: 34; 47-52 + Plates 52-3 and 55
An experimental assessment of compounding on the Eastern Counties Railway. Discussion: In the discussion Samuel (page 49) replied, that in the two engines that had been tried no difficulty appeared in making steam, and they were not found short of steam. Goods engines working at slow speed might perhaps be found the most useful cases for applying the principle. The other engine that had been tried was a passenger engine, in which the second cylinder was made double the area of the first; and it was never found short of steam, though running an express train of considerable weight. The results of the experiments as to economy were interfered with by a defect in the construction of the valves, which were tried with india-rubber packing at the back, as equilibrium valves, and proved leaky in working ; and there was not an opportunity of carrying out the experiment further with valves of the ordinary kind, so that no sufficient results were obtained as to consumption, though as long as the valves remained in order the engine contrasted favourably in consumption with other engines of the same class and work. The only definite result obtained was with respect to the sufficiency of the blast, which proved quite satisfactory during the regular passenger train work of about a month. D.K. Clark (50), basing his remarks partly on his experiments made on the Caledonian Railway that the back pressure in the second cylinder, where there was no blast, had been taken in the diagram at only half-pound per inch, and would, of course, require to be matter of experiment to prove it positively; but he had observed the back pressure as low in locomotives where the valves and ports were properly adjusted ; and in the diagram, taken from the Great Britain engine, at fifty-five miles per hour the back pressure was less than half-pound, with a blast pipe, when the steam was cut off at one-third of the stroke.

Clark, Daniel K.
On the expansive working of steam in locomotives. 60-82. Disc.: 83-8; 109-131 + Plates 55-7.
The object was to show at what rate in practice the efficiency of steam is increased by expansive working in locomotives with the best existing arrangements of cylinders, valves, and valve gear, and to point out the conditions on which expansive action may be most successfully carried out.
Discussion: McConnell (83) agreed that the link-motion was the most advantageous and useful of any locomotive valve-motions known; and the mode of hanging the link from a fixed centre, adopted by Gooch in the Great Western engines, had the advantage of preventing the increase of lead that took place in the ordinary link-motion when working with much expansion. He considered that the surcharging of the steam in the smoke-box was a valuable suggestion, and might very probably admit of being carried out so as to effect an important economy. And he thought that a hotair chamber should be contrived, passing round the cylinder, and kept constantly in such a temperature as to prevent any condensation of steam during expansion, and ensure the steam being always maintained perfectly dry, without any water being ever present in the cylinder from condensation or priming. The suspending the cylinders in the smoke-box was a good plan in the Great Western engines, but a special arrangement was required for the purpose of thoroughly carrying out the principle in a proper manner.

Siemens,  C.W.
On the expansion of isolated steam and the total heat of steam. 131-40. Disc.: 140-1 + Plates 63-4.

Adams, William A.
On improvements in the construction and materials of railway waggons. 206-10. Discussion: 210-12 + Plates 79-80. 10 diagrs..
The substitution of wrought iron for wood in the construction of the under-frame of railway wagons> Discussion McConnell  (210-11) considered that the reduction in dead weight was very important; H. Wright (North Staffordshire Railway, 211) considered that iron-framed wagons were more expensive to repair; E. Jones (211) considered that the lack of buffer springs led to damage of wagons;

Hodge, Paul R.
On a new self-lubricating axle-box for railway engines and carriages, and a self-acting spring crossing point. 213-17. Disc.: 217-22 + Plates 81-3..
Patented axle box with following claims: exclusion of dirt or grit from the box, by leather and wrought-iron collar; constant lubrication to journals and brasses via capillary medium placed in a separate chamber, and detached from the back of the box by means of the bridge wall, so that the hydraulic lead of the oil can be carried much higher than the joint of the leather and collar, allowing the upper chamber to be full of oil, yet inhibiting oil leakage at the back; provision of an under-chamber for waste oil. The self-acting crossings used rubber springs

Volume 4 (1853)

McConochie, John
On an improved railway chair. 9-15. Disc.: 15-19 + Plates 1-4 (17 diagrs.).
The following were the advantages claimed:
The lower-head of the rail is preserved free from injury, while the upper one is in use.
The abutment-piece, or loose jaw, forms a self-acting fastening.
The Improved Chair gives the rail great additional stiffness, vertically and' laterally.
The length of the jaws of tlie Chairs causes the distance of unsupported rail between Chairs placed the usual distance apart to be less than with those in ordinary use,
This Chair, by preventing the ends of the rails slipping, and securing level joints, lessens the wear and tear of the rolling stock, and promotes ease in travelling.
The keys require much less attention, as their office is not to support the rail, as in the common Chair, but only to keep it from rising in the Chair.
The above advantages are secured at a very slight extra expense on the first cost of the chair.
The rail experimented upon was on the Liverpool, Crosby, and Southport Railway

Copper, Edward A.
Description of Cugnot's original invention of the locomotive steam engine for common roads. 33-7. + 3 plates
Plates include plan, side elevation and cross sections. The description  was prepared  Professor Armengaud of the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, and was translated from French.

Allan, Alexander
Description of an oil axle-box for engines and tenders. 37-8. Disc.: 39. + Plate 8. 5 diagrs.
Cast iron axle-boxes with sponge to assist with transfer of lubricant. Data on oil consumption. Participants in the discussion included Lea, Fothergill and McConnell.

Craig, William G.
On improved India-rubber springs for railway engines, carriages, &c. 45-57.
Used Moultons Prepared India Rubber.

Adams, W. Bridges
On railway axle lubrication. 57-63. Disc: 63-5. + Plates 11 and 12
Before railways, mail coaches and private carriages, with a maximum weight of 3 tons, were constructed with axles case-hardened, and with a bearing surface on each arm equivalent to 30 square inches. This is equivalent to about 56 psi on the bearing.
Nicholas Wood's experiments on axle friction, found that with the best oil and with favourable circumstances, a superincumbent weight of 90 psi gave the minimum of friction. Some of the earliest railway axle-bearings were 4 inches in length by 2¼ in diameter, something under 14 inches. of total bearing surface, fitted according to Wood's calculations, only for a waggon of 2 tons total weight. It would seem as though these sizes had been calculated from the fixed shafting of factories, without any calculation of concussion. Probably this was the reason why viscid soap was substituted for fluid oil, increasing the toughness of the material used for lubrication to make up for the want of bearing surface. In railway practice it is found that the soap or grease which serves well in the winter, is too fluid in the summer, a sure proof that the bearing surface is far too small for any lubrication with oil, which offers the minimum amount of friction. A strong objection to soap lubrication is, that it requires a considerable amount of friction in the winter time to make it fluid ; and it is sometimes difficult to start a train into motion when the grease has been frozen.

McConnell, J.E.
On hollow railway axles. 87-95. Disc.: 96-101 + Plates 19 and 20 (19 diagrs.).
Tubular form of axle having considerably less weight of material in the form of the tube, a much greater strgngth can be obtained to resist torsion, deflection hy pressure or weight, or concussion from blows. The resistance of a solid cylinder to deflection and torsion, increasing in proportion to the fourth power of the diameter (or the square of the square), but the weight increasing only as the square of the diameter. Discussion: W. Mathews asked for the saving in weight of the hollow axles, and whether they had yet been applied extensively and was informed that the reduction in weight was about 2-5ths theoretically to obtain the same strength, but it had been taken at 33% of the solid axles, to be on the safc side. Hollow axles were being extensively applied on the London & North.Western, Midland, and Great Northern Railways, and more than 500 had already been made; some had been at work for nine months with entire satisfaction.

Norris, R.S.
Improved railway joint chair. 101-08

Ramsbottom, J.
Description of an improved coking crane for supplying locomotive engines. 122-3. Disc.: 124-6 + Plate 28 (diagr.).

Lloyd, Samuel
On an improved turn table.126-31. Disc.: 131-4. + PLates 29 and 30. 11 diagrs.
Balanced turntable for use in goods yards: ten years experience on Syston to Peterborough line.

Rolinson, John
On an improved apparatus for preventing explosions of steam-boilers. 134-6.

Fairbairn, William
On the retardation and stoppage of railway trains. 156-65 + plate 39.
Mainly a description James Newall's brake adopted by the East Lancashire Railway.

Volume 5 (1854)

Beattie, Joseph
On an improved locomotive engine. 24-33. + Plates 5-7 (7 diagrs.)
Diagrams show complex firebox and feedwater heater mounted around chimney. Experiments with locomotive Britannia running between London and Southampton in October 1853 and January 1854..

Marshall, William Prime
On Berdan's crushing and amalgamating machine. 33-48.

Payne, Edward J.
On a new railway train signal. 49-57.
Invented by Alfred Bird of Birmingham: hydraulic system replete with anti-freeze to enable communication between engine driver on locomotive and guard on train.

Ramsbottom, J.  
On an improved piston for steam-engines. 70-2. Disc.: 73-4  + Plate 16.
Advantages claimed:
Lightness, a 15 in. piston of cast iron weighs only 88 lbs. on the new construction, and the lightest the writer had previously in use weighed over 119 lbs. If made of wrought-iron or brass the weight might be still further reduced.
Siniplicity and economy of construction ; the piston consisting only of one piece with the three rings, and having no workmanship upon it except turning the rim and boring the centre. The packing rings being drawn as ordinary wire and then bent, can be produced at a cost little more than nominal.
Impossibility of getting deranged, in consequence of there being no loose parts, such as bolts, nuts, cotters, or pins, which might come out, and cause damage ; and no parts that can become unfastened, as each ring is effectually secured in a separate groove.
Less friction, both from the reduced weight of the piston and the less amount of elastic surface pressed against the cylinders. This latter for an 18 in. piston is about as 42 in2 to 14 1 in2 , when compared with an ordinary piston with packings 2½ in. deep, and from the results shown in the working the writer i3 of opinion that it is mainly to this that its satisfactory performance is owing.
It was sixteen months since the first pair were put to work, and others had since been made to the number of 30 pairs, the whole of which are realising all that could be desired. Tlie piston now shown had been at work fifteen months, and had run a distance of 19,650 miles. A set of rings will run from 3,000 to 4,000 miles, and cost when new, about 2s. 6d ; so that in examining and cleaning a piston the renewal of the packing is of little more consideration, so far as cost is concerned, than if the piston were hemp-packed.
A careful average of the consumption of the fifteen engines which were first fitted with thesc pistons, and which have since run intervals of time varying from four to sixteen months, and an aggregate distance of 209,800 miles, shows a reduction, when compared with the duty of the same engines for four years previous to these pistons being put in, of 5.7 lbs. per mile : a result which has been carefully arrived at, and which goes to show that this piston, either from greater average tightness, or reduced friction, or both combined, is greatly superior to those which it has superseded

McConnell, James E.
On an improved wrought-iron piston. 119-22 + Plate 28.
Piston constructed entirely of wrought iron, and forged in one piece with the piston-rod, by means of which the ordinary joint between the piston and piston-rod is avoided, and a great saving of weight effected.

Kitson, James
Description of an improved friction hammer. 133-8 + Plates 32-3 (2 diagrs.).

Volume 6 (1855)

Fenton, James
Description of an improved safety valve, for locomotive, marine, and stationary steam boilers. 24-9 + Plates 5-6 (6 diagrs.)

Beyer, Charles
Description of an improved tuyere and smiths' hearth. 125-9.  
Description of an improved water tuyere designed by John Nuttall. The tuyere was referred to in an earlier paper by Charles Beyer.

Miller, George M.
Description of a new expansive valve motion for steam engines. 146-51. Disc.: 151-4 + plates 24-5. 7 diagrs.
The object of the valve motion described, the invention of John Wakefield, of the Great Southern and Western Railway, Ireland, was to obtain an expansive action more simple and more perfect than the motion usually employed, the whole motion being obtained from a single eccentric upon the crank shaft. A practical trial was made on two locomotive engines on the Great Southern and Western Railway, over 1½ years and l¼ years ending March and July, 1854. One, a passenger engine, was fitted with the new motion In the other, a goods engine, a slight modification was made, the construction being simplified by dispensing with the slotted arm. The passenger engine, No. 9, had 15 inch cylinders with a 20 inch stroke, and 5 ft. 6 ins. driving wheels worked regularly between Dublin and Thurles (a distance of 87 miles), with two other engines, Nos. 17 and 19, by the same maker, and similar in all respects, except that they are furnished with the ordinary link motion.
Discussion: J. Ramsbottom (158) considered that the action of the new motion was nearly the same as that of Dodds’ wedge motion, and differed so little from that of the link motion, that its superiority would be mainly a question of durability and maintenance, which could be decided only by long experience. In the link motion the lead became greater at a higher degree of expansion, but he did not consider this objectionable, but rather an advantage, as the greater lead was used principally for higher speeds. The arrangement of the new motion was ingenious, but, he should fear the maintenance of it would involve an increase of expense.

Adams, W. Bridges
On an improved spring and axle box for railway carriages. 163-71.

Joy, David
Description of a spiral coil piston packing. 171-6 + Plate 32 (7 diagrs.).

Fairbairn, William
Description of a new construction of pumping engine. 177-82.

Craig, William G.
On an improved axle box and spring fittings for railway carriages. 182-91.

Ramsbottom, John
On the construction of packing rings for pistons. 206-07. Disc.: 207-08 + Plate 40 (diagr.)..
The writer had invented a a metallic piston, as described in Proceedings 1854, 5, 70), where the packing is forced against the working surface of the cylinder by its own elasticity, and owing to its being comparatively slender in cross section, had to be left about 10% larger in diameter than the block of the piston, in order to give the requisite pressure for preventing the passage of steam. It was found, that when such packing was made of a circular figure before being compressed, it was invariably worn more rapidly at the joint, and at the part opposite. It is very natural that this should he the case, and it has been the practice with many engineers, when using packing rings which are pmssed against the cylinder by their own elasticity alone, to make the part opposite the joint, where there is clearly the most strain, stronger than any other, each half being tapered off to the joint ; although the writer is not aware that this has been done by any positive rule.
It was taken for granted that the unequal wear above referred to was owing to the pressure against the cylinder being unequal in different parts of the ring, and as the packing rings used by the writer are made of wire or drawn rods, and consequently uniform in thickness, it was found impracticable to ensure this equable pressure by tapering the ring, but as this uniform pressure can be obtained by making the packing ring truly circular in figure, but unequal in thickness it oocmred to the writer, inasmuch as the rings which he employs are bent and not turned, that the same elld might be gained, by conversely making the ring equal in strength of material but unequal in figure or that a ring might be made of such a shape, that although uniform in cross section, it would press equaly against the working surface of the cylinder all round.

Volume 7 (1856)

Ramsbottom, J.
On an improved safety valve. 37-47.
The tamper-free duplex safety valve. It was not unknown for locomotive drivers to load their safety valves in order to obtain increased boiler pressure so that they could make up lost time. Such practice was dangerous and a number of boiler explosions were attributed to it. Ramsbottom's safety valve design prevented any loading which would result in an increase of boiler pressure, but did allow pressure to be released by means of a lever which had contact with both valves.

Allan, Alexander
On an improved construction of link motion for locomotive and other engines. 70-7.

Chattaway, E.D.
Description of a central buffing and drawing apparatus for railway carriages. 173-8 + Plate 76 (2 diagrs.)
The centre buffing and coupling apparatus had been applied to two of the mineral wagons running on the North British Railway, with a view of determining the practicability of using it conveniently in connection with the ordinary buffers and couplings. These wagons had been running for nearly five months upon one of the coal branches having a gradient of 1 in 25 with curves of 300 feet radius, and the result had been to establish decisively the feasibility of the centre buffers working satisfactorily amongst stock with corner buffers. Arrangements are now being made for the more extended use of the centre buffer in consequence of the success of this experiment.

Allan, Alexander
Description of an improved steam boiler for locomotive and other engines. 233-5 + Plate 85.

Neilson, Walter
On an improved locomotive boiler. 236-8.
Firebox designed to obviate boiler explosions caused by failure of semi-cylindrical steam reservoir placed above firebox and the firebox roof was depressed in a circular shape, whereby a more correct form of roof girder or crown stay was obtained, and one which was the strongest that could be got to support the weight or pressure upon the roof cross-section of firebox.

Voume 8 (1857)

Fenton, James
On a new water connexion between locomotive engines and tenders. 99-102.

Tosh, G.
On the relative evaporating power of brass and iron tubes. 119-21. Disc. 121-4.
The writer had the superintendence of locomotive and other engines for a number of years and used considerable numbers of both brass and iron tubes, in several cases with apparently equal success: the former have generally been preferred for locomotive engines working at a high pressure, because there is less difficulty in keeping them fast in the tube plates, and the adhesion of the deposit from bad water was not so great on brass as on iron; it being well known that when iron tubes once become leaky, their ends are speedily wasted and cannot afterwards be depended upon. Eight experiments were made with vertical boilers to establish the quantity of water evaporated with brass and iron tubes where it was found that brass evaporated about 25% more water than iron with the same quantity of fuel. Further experiments were made with brass and copper tubes, where it was found that copper will evaporate about 56 %. more water than iron with the same quantity of fuel.

Ramsbottom, John
Description of a safety escape pipe for steam boilers. 179-83.

Beyer, Charles
On balancing the valves of steam engines. 189-92. Disc.: 192-5.
D-pattern balanced slide valves for all types of engine developed by Robert Wilson of Patricroft, mainly stationary (especially for steam hammers, notably at Low Moor), but also including locomotive. Contributors to the discussion included [Robert] Wilson (it was his work which was being described, mainly in its application to steam hammers), Henry Maudslay, Pilkington, Morrison, [Joseph] Tomlinson who noted that in the case of the locomotive slide valve there did not appear to be any provision for keeping the back steam tight after wear had taken place. Wilson replied that he had found the wear was so slight that the elasticity of the plate was sufficient to compensate for it, by the deflection of the plate under the pressure between the supporting sides

Kitson, James
On lighting railway trains with gas, with description of Mr T.J. Thompson's system. 242-58 + Plates 141-3.
Flat-flame burner encased in a ground glass globe positioned about 9 inches from ceiling. Fed by central gasholder on tender and rubber flexible hose between vehicles..

1858 (Volume 9)

Froude, W.
Dynamometer and friction break [sic]. 92-110. Disc.: 110-117 + Plates 21-6. 18 diagrs.

Hunt, Thomas
On a new construction of railway springs. 160-73.

Fairbairn, William A.
On an improved construction of axleboxes and coupling rods for locomotive engines. 166-70.
Advocated India rubber linings for axleboxes as this made them last longer.

Haswell, John A.
Description of an improved railway switch. 171-3. Disc.: 173-5 + Plate 42. 4 diagrs.
Point switches installed at York and Newcastle stations. The switches, invented by Edwin Thompson and William Nicholson of York, were designed to remove the difficulty of lubrication, by avoiding the sliding of the tongue rails upon the chairs, and so dispensing entirely with lubrication.

Wood, Nicholas
On the improvements and progress in the working and ventilation of coal mines in the Newcastle-on-Tyne district within the last fifty years. 177-236.
As Wood is so important in the development of steam locomotives this paper is listed

Fletcher, E.
Description of the locomotive engine shed and turntables at Gateshead Station. 256-60.
Paper presented in association with a visit to Gateshead by the Institution.

Tomlinson, Joseph
On the burning of Welsh steam coal in locomotive engines. 274-95.
Results from trials with steam coals from South Wales in locomotives on the Taff Vale Railway, in comparison with the best available coke in the same district . In all previous trials failure had resulted from burning of the firebars. This failure of the Welsh steam coal in locomotives has been hitherto attributed to the firebars becoming clinkered over, but the results of the trials appear to show that the failure has arisen from an entirely different cause, and one that can be completely obviated.
Discussion: B. Laybourn (287) noted the use of coal on the Monmouthshire Railway; B. Fothergill (288-90) noted the problem of the burning of firebars; W.G. Craig (290-1) made observations about coal burning on the MSLR; W. Smith (291) noted that channelled firebars were used by Gray; Tomlinson (293) noted the use of Gray's firebars on GWR Iron Duke

Volume 10 (1859)

Allan, Alexander
Description of a new steam pressure gauge. 179-85.

Naylor, William
Description of Haste's improved safety valve for steam boilers. 186-94

Penn, John
On the application of superheated steam in marine engines. 195-210.

Fenton, James
Description of Fryer's apparatus for filling locomotive tenders with water. 211-16.

Allan, Alexander
On increased brake power for stopping railway trains. 230-5. Disc.: 235-7. + Plate 45. 2 diagrs., 3 tables
In 1859 on the Scottish Central Railway a form of combined counter-pressure and steam friction brake was devised, in which a leaky shutoff valve was placed in the blast-pipe and a connection provided from the blast-pipe below the valve to a brake cylinder applying brake blocks to the wheels of the carrying axle or axles. When the valve was closed, the regulator still being at least slightly open, pressure rapidly built up on the exhaust side of the pistons so that a retarding effect was produced without reversing the valve gear. This arrangement was certainly fitted to one, perhaps more, of the six 2-4-0s built late in 1857 by Fairbairn & Sons and to one or more of the 2-2-2s rebuilt between 1854 and 1859, originally dating from 1847-49, as Allan definitely refers to the brakes on the leading and trailing axles and as shown in one of his diagrams. The trials included the descent of an incline of 5 miles of 1 in 80. Abstract based on Carling Newcomen paper.
Discussion: R. Morrison (236) had observed experiments on a steep incline of 1 in 40 on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, with a steam brake contrived by Mr. Paton which gave a very powerful retarding force when the brake was applied to the leading and trailing wheels of a large tank engine having all the wheels coupled, and the pressure was produced by a steam cylinder communicating direct with the boiler. The action of the break was very efficient, but he believed the principal objection to it was found to be the great shock caused by its sudden application, which often deranged the levers of the apparatus and occasioned an objectionable concussion to the train.

Maudslay, Henry
General meeting [notice of the death of Robert Stephenson]. 245-8