Proceedings Institution of Mechanical Engineers: 1900-1909
Volume 58 (1900)
Road locomotion. 185-247. Disc. :248-331. Plates 29-38.
Mainly concerned with the design of automoblies (motor cars) and lorries powered mainly by internal cobustion engines, but also by advanced steam engines with water tube and flash-type boilers, and the interaction of these with other road users, notably horse traffic, and with road surface. The various forms of pneumatic tyre available at that time are considered notably those manufactured by Dunlop and Michelin. Henry Hoy (Appendix II p. 283-5 described the use Thornycroft steam lorries on the Lancashire & Railway in Liverpool). Henry Fowler contributed to the discussion mainly on freight transport by road wwith the power provided by steam and the internal combustion .
Volume 59 (1900)
Recent locomotive practice in France. 375-407. Disc.: 408-33 + 13 plates (Nos. 43-55)
Further paper by Sauvage in Volume 66 page 327
Four-cylinder compound locomotives were frequently used: there being more than 800 locomotives of this type in service or under construction in France. The four cylinders drove either two, three, or four axles. With two driving axIes the machines had large wheels, and were intended for working express trains, but could also be employed on the heaviest passenger trains and sometimes for goods trains. The locomotives with three axles also had large wheels: hauling long freight trains or heavy passenger trains; and exceptionally express trains. This type rendered great service, being suitable for most trains plus increased speed for freight trains. Four driving axles were sometimes used; but less than the preceding. Includes an extensive bibliography on compound locomotives. Mentions experiment use by Etat system of two locomotives fitted with Bonnefond valve gear.
John A.F. Aspinall (408-12) referred to the Atlantic type on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway: twenty if which had steam-jacketed cylinders, 19 inches by 26 inches, and to ensure that the driver should continuously make use of the arrangement, the steam which worked the injector was made to sweep through the jacket on its way to the injector so that the cylinder took up a certain amount of heat, the cylinders were kept hot, and the condensed steam was not lost. The officials of the railway thought they were getting some advantage from that. Special arrangements were of course made for taking sway auy water of condensation, such as accumulated when the engine was standing at the station, but otherwise during the whole journey the injector was kept going, and any little water that was made in the cylinder jacket was swept into the injector and back into the boiler. That was one thing. Another thing was that of that lot of engines nineteen were built all alike, while the twentieth had its boiler barrel shortened internally. Externally the appearance was exactly the same as the others, but internally the boiler barrel was considerably shortened, and that gave, as it were, a kind of extended smoke-box inwards, and the space in that smoke-box was made use of to insert a large superheater which was cylindrical in shape, with two tube-plates at either end. Through those tubeplates were a number of tubes equal in number to those going through the boiler barrel, slightly larger in diameter, to enable the boiler tubcs proper to be withdrawn for repairs, and a space was left between thc superheater and the tube-plate of the boiler proper, with suitable arrangements for getting in between, so that the boiler tubes proper could be thoroughly cleaned out, as well as the tubes that went through the superheater.;
H.A. Ivatt (412-13) on his experience with the Worsdell von Borries system with a Class 101 0-6-0 and his own arrangement on a Class 60 4-4-0 whilst he was Locomotive Superintendent of the GNR(I). Also noted the increase in boiler size and pressure on Freanch locomotives. "It was no use having large cyliuders, and figuring the power of the engine from the cylinders, unless one had a boiler that would keep the cylinders properly supplied. A large purse was not of much advantage unless the bank account was capable of keeping it well filled. One of tho difficulties which locomotive engineers had to deal with was trying to pull very big trains at very high speeds. When a locomotive engineer made an engine that was capable of pulling a church, he was at once asked to hitch on the schools as well."
Bowman Malcolm (416-17) described his experience with Worsdell von Borries two-cylinder compound locomotives and his experience of Walschaerts valve gear on the Belfast & Northern Counties Railway, both on inside and inside cylinder engines and found it very satisfatory.
John Riekie (417-) recommended an engine having two 20-inch high-pressure cylinders, and one 31½inch low-pressure one, or 40% more than the four-cylinder engine which had been mentioned, leaving a fair margin for a future day to haul the heavy palatial Pullman cars.
Also discussion by Twinberrow (423-5) referred to self-balancing systems including the Yarrow, Schlick, Twinberrow system.
Written communications from Dugald Drummond (p. 429) noted "the [French] two-cylinder engines of modern type which were being replaced by four-cylinder engines, supplementing it with the train load, speed, and a complete set of indicator diagrams of both classes of engines working express trains, the coal consumption per horse-power per hour and the coal consumption per ton of train per mile" but gave no indication of his own limited success with four cylinders David Joy (p. 429) mainly on proven advantage of compounding in marine engines.
Polyphase electric traction. 435-58. Disc. 459-62. + Plates 56-67.
Polyphase System applied to railways, with illustrations from the Burgdorf Railway in Switzerland. Included acceleration tests made on the Burgdorf Railway, and a comparison of the results with those obtained with continuous-current railway motors at Chicago.
Great Eastern Railway Locomotive, Carriage, and Wagon
Works, Stratford [visit on 28 June 1900]. 477-83 + plate 68.
The plate contains a plan of the works and a diagram of a balanced slide valve. The erecting and fitting shop built an engine in December 1891 in the worlds record time of ten working hours. This engine was set to work on coal trains between Peterborough and London immediately on being turned out of the shop, and ran 36,234 miles before receiving its finishing coat of paint. Its mileage to 31 December 1899 was 233,091. Four wheels coupled bogie express engines of the type of No. 1900, the Claud Hamilton now on exhibition at Paris, were in course of erection.
Observations on an improved glass revealer, for studying condensation in steam-engine cylinders, and rendering the effects visible. 509-32. Disc.: 532-53 + Plates 72-5.
Tests on staionary compound engines; both high- and low-pressure cylinders were examined..
Capacity of railway wagons as affecting cost of transport. 557-74. Disc: 575-616 + Plates 76-84.
Long wagons.had a body with twice the standard capacity, but with an increase of only one-third in tare weight. The resulting gross load per axle would then be 14 tons; but as enlarged capacity would be obtained chiefly by increasing the length, the wheelbase of the four-wheeled vehicle would create inconvenience on the sharp curves of sidings in colliery yards and factories, and would involve greatcr resistance to traction on ordinary curves and necessitate the removal of short turntables and traversers. Both the Grcat Western Railway and the London and North Western Railway were experimenting with steel coal-wagons of 20 tons capacity with a wheelbase of 12 feet, the bodies were provided with side doors for unloading; the tare of the GWR wagon was 8 tons 6 cwts., whilst that of the LNWR had been reduced to 7 tons 18 cwts. by the expedient of employing thinner plate.
Coal traffic terminals fell into the following classification:
Producers terminal. Colliery yard.
Consumers terminal. Industrial establishments, etc
Traders depot. Distribution by cartage.
Shipping terminal of Railway or Dock.
The first would usually admit long wagons without alteration, but the levels of the screens and filling spouts limited the height above rail-level. Weighbridges could usually be adapted for bogie-wagons, if the load on each bogie is taken separately. Included an examination of the methods of transhipping coal via hoists and staiths to colliers. End-door wagons were used in South Wales, and self-discharging hoppers in Northumberland and Durham. Discussion: F,G, Wright (GWR, 583) noted that wagons had been designed to carry 160 chaired sleepers each, and were constantly employed running to various points of the line; 250 twenty-ton coal wagons were then running between the Ebbw Vale and Cileby Collieries and different parts of the system, and to have wagons running regularly carrying special traffic was advantageous and economical.
Volume 60 (1901)
Maw, William H.
Address by the President. 431-59.
Railways rarely mentioned and locomotives only in terms of standardisation: "interchangeability of parts has been commonin locomotive practice, at all eventsfor over forty years". Mainly about education of engineers with some consideration of materials inspection..
Volume 61 (1901)
History of the Furness Railway locomotives. 727-38.
Illustrated with line drawings of virtually all locomotives from Fairburn 0-4-0s to latest 0-6-0s and 4-4-0s.
Some particulars of the results of the compound locomotive on the Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway. 817-22. Disc. 823-4 + Plates 159-161.
Worsdell/Von Borries two-cylinder compounds (4-4-0, 2-6-0 and 2-6-2T) were selected as being the simplest arrangement, and interfered least in terms of duplicate of parts with the standard simple engines already in service. Both simple and compound locomotives were built by Beyer, Peacock under the instructions of Livesey, Son and Henderson, the Companys Consulting Engineers. The first compound was acquired in 1889 and the results obtained were "so excellent" that, with the exception of locomotives for shunting and local traffic, no simple engines (either goods or passenger) had since been ordered. The engines proved easy to handle, exhibited a high economy in coal and water, and owing to the reduced demand on the boiler, showed less tendency to prime and scale than the original simples; they could run much fuller into gear without lifting the water, and thus haul heavier loads. As an offset against these advantages, the first compounds sometimes showed an inclination to jib after starting, due to the rapidity with which the automatic Worsdell/Von Borries starting valve caused compounding to take place, reducing the power by cutting off the live steam from the low-pressure cylinder before long and heavy trains were fully in motion. A modification to the valve made in the Company's worshops obviated the tendency to jib and ensured certain and easy starts.
Some experiences and results derived from the use of highly superheated steam in engines. 847-53. Disc.: 854-64.
International Engineering Congress, Glasgow, 1901: relates solely to stationary engines.
The balancing of locomotives. 1157-88. Disc.: 1189-1208. + Plate 188
Mainly theoretical. Alexander McDonnell (pp. 1191-3) described early work on locomotive wheel balancing which had included contact with le Chatelier and with Beyer. Parks (Park?) his assitant had performed tests on running locomotives without balancing..
Volume 63 (1902)
Smith, Walter M.
The application of cylindrical steam distributing valves to locomotives. 515-36. Disc.: 536-44 + Plates 61-9.
Prior to 1887 piston valves had been tried experimentally in locomotive engines, but without much success, and the experiment invariably resulted in the piston valve being discarded. In 1887 the author turned his attention to the question, and endeavoured to produce a satisfactory piston valve, and in the following year a compound passenger engine was built fitted with piston valves of the type shown in Fig. 6, Plate 62. This engine had two cylinders, the high pressure being 18 inches in diameter, the low pressure 26 inches in diameter, the length of stroke in each case being 24 inches. One valve 7 inches in diameter was used for the high pressure and two valves 5½ inches for the low pressure cylinder, the latter valves being placed side by side and actuated by one rod connected to each of the valve spindles. In 1831 a goods engine was built with cylinders and valves of the same size and form as those of the previous engine, with the exception that steam was admittcd by the ends of the valves, instead of at the centre of the valve, as in the previous case. As an experiment, gun-metal rings were substituted for those of cast-iron. To get sufficient flexibility in the wide rings, the flanges formed on the same had to be made shallow. This gave very little end surface, and the rings after a time became loose ; and it was found necessary to make these flanges deeper, and means had to be devised to prevent the rings being too rigid. The method adopted is shown in Fig. 7, Plate 63. Another and better method is shown in Fig. 8.
Volume 64 (1903)
The education of engineers in America, Germany, and Switzerland. 281-306. Disc.: 307-349.
A.F. Yarrow opened discussion and had contributed to paper. Dugald Drummond (312-16) made a lengthy contribution which included a Notice to Apprentices. I am anxioue that the apprentices in the London and South Western Railway Works at Nine Elms should have every possible opportunity afforded them of having a scientific education, arranged to go hand in hand with their practical everyday work, and to enable them to prepare, at the end of three years, to take up the higher sciientific training to be obtained at the Technical Colleges during the last two years of their apprenticeship.
Volume 65 (1903)
The Newcomen engine. 655-96. Discussion: 696-704 + Plates 16-30.
Stromeyer, C.E. and Baron, W.B.
An inquiry into the working of various water-softeners. 773-886 + Plates 36-8.
Controlling chemical treatment; and detailed descriptions of water softening apparatus by Archbutt-Deeley (described in Appendix p. 790 et seq and shown in Fig. 1), Atkins Company, Babcock and Wilcox, Bell Brothers, Body Water, Carrod, Desrumaux, Doulton...
Hibberd, Frederick C.
Automatic couplers. 899-911 + Plates 41-2.
(1) The history of the automatic coupler question.
(2) The various systems of automatic couplers in use, with brief descriptions of typical examples of each system.
(3) The requiremets of an ideal automatic coupler.
(4) The question of the adoption of the automatic coupler in Great Britain.
History. In 1874 the Master Car-Builders Association, a subsidiary association of technical men representing the various railways in the United States, turned their attention to the subject of an efficient automatic coupler, that is, one which would couple by impact. Various Committees were appointed, but it was not until 1884 that the Massachusetts Legislature passed an Act requiring that as freight cars were constructed or purchased, or when cars were repaired, they should be fitted with such form or forms of automatic or other safety couplers as the Board of Railroad Commissioners prescribed. Lists the requirements for a British system and noted the vast number of patents. Included mention of Janney coupler.
Volume 66 (1904)
Compound locomotives in France. 327-80. Disc.: 380-467.
Begins by making reference to Author's earlier paper (Volume 59 page 375) and to John A.F. Aspinall's obsevation (page 408), economy in locomotive working does not mean only economy on the coal bill, but on the total expenses of locomotive service; and this question cannot be considered as definitely settled until the superiority of a certain class of engines, say of compound locomotives, is demonstrated by unimpeachable figures. As regards marine engines, very few people indeed, if any, doubt that the multiple expansion engine must be preferred to the simple one ; but opinions are far from uniform when locomotives are considered.
Really scientific data on the working of locomotives are very scarce. It seems that the best plan for collecting such data is to test the locomotive in a specially equipped laboratory, as at Purdue University in the USA, and in the GWR Swindon Works. In such tests, coal and water consumption, indicated and effective power, could be measured under perfectly defined conditions, which may be altered one by one in experiments of sufficient duration. It was unfortunate that such tests had seldom been made; although furnishing very useful data for practice, they could not have given in every case the best practical solution, for which the numerous ever-changing conditions of service must be taken into account.
Regarding compound locomotives in France, results were presented both of experimental running, and of prolonged service.
The interest of French locomotive practice exists in the development of the four-cylinder compound, which permits a marked increase in the weight and speed of the trains. The main French railways continue to build or to order locomotives of this class. Whilst Table 1 in the Proceedings 1900 (pages 398 and 399), mentioned 803 such locomotives in use or on order on the 1 January 1900, for standard gauge railways alone, this number had been increased to 1577 by the 1st October 1903 (narrow-gauge loaomotives excluded). To these must be added (always considering exclusively the stock for standard gauge) a few two-cylinder and three-cylinder compounds.
Table 1 (pages 329-331) gives the statistics of the four-cylinder compounds on the 1st October 1903.
The majority of these engines belong to two classes, which may be considered as standards in France, the express locomotive, with four large coupled-wheels, of 2 metres diameter or a little more, and being fitted with a bogie in front. The six-coupled locomotives are equally fit for goods and for ordinary passenger trains. A tendency must be noticed to increase the diameter of the six-coupled wheels of these engines to about 2 m. for enabling them to work express trains : for instance, this has recently been done on the Eastern, Paris-Orleans, and Western Railways. On the other hand, the Atlantic type is resorted to for increasing the power of express locomotives, the boiler and particularly the fire-box being enlarged.
Participants to the Discussion included Alfred G. De Glehn (Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques, 387 et seq) said that as an Englishman separated by more than thirty years residence on the Continent from what he might say was the original home of mechanical engineering, he felt it a quite peculiar pleasure to be able to assist for once at one of the Institutions meetings, and considered it a great honour to be asked to say something about the four-cylinder engine. Unfortunately, M. Sauvage had said really almost all there was to be said, and he was afraid that in what he would wish to say he would be repeating a great deal of what had been already said. The author mentioned the fact that there were 1,577 compound engines at present running in France, the greater number being four-cylinder ones. Since that time more than 90 new engines had been put into service. In addition, on the Continent outside of France there were more than 600 four-cylinder engines running at present, which gave a total of more than 2,000 of such engines working on the Continent at the present time. In England and on the Continent engineers had been doing their best to increase the power of engines, without increasing at the same rate their weight, but he thought that American practice had been different. The Americans had increased their power, but they had also enormously increased their weight. Already signs of a change could be seen, or rather a wish for a change. American engineers were beginning to see that very heavy engines had great drawbacks, and attempts had been made to get more power, by what the author called a more efficient engine principally by using the steam better; and there was no doubt that would lead to a very great and rapid change in American practice. It was always very dangerous to prophesy, but he was perfectly confident that it would be a change more in the direction of what was being done in England and on the Continent than that they should go in the direction the Americans had been following. In the following remarks he would confine himself to the type which was called by the somewhat cumbersome title of four-cylinder divided and balanced compound. It had also often been called the de Glehn system, but he wished to state plainly that that was not correct; for though he had done something towards the evolution of the type, others, and particularly the Northern of France engineers, had done as much, if not more, than he had, and without them the engine would never have been brought to its present state of perfection. The engine had been criticised principally as being a complicated engine. There was no doubt it was so, but was it not true that almost all progress in mechanics had been by complication? It was quite useless to multiply instances ; but they had only to think of the automatic air-brake, which certainly was not simple, but very complicated, and yet everybody was very glad to have it.
The question that must be asked in introducing any complication was -Was the complication justified? That was at the bottom of every question connected with the compound engine. Its origin was as follows: The engines that were used on the Northern of France Railway were powerful express engines with crank-axles, which were constantly breaking. The Northern of France wished to have a stable engine, as stable as an inside-cylinder engine usually was, and did not want to have those constant breakages. How to manage that was the question. The proposal he made was to divide the engine into two, and to make an inside-cylinder and an outside-cylinder engine. There was room for that, and it was thought that by that means the breakage of the crank-axles would be prevented, and that had been the fact. Another most important thing was the question of the balancing. It was, of course, even with very powerful engines, comparatively easy, especially when large wheel diameters were used, to balance properly the revolving weight8 ; where the difficulty came in was with the reciprocating parts. Those had to be balanced by revolving weights, which entailed successive increase and decrease of pressure on the rails. With very powerful engines at great speeds those variations might become dangerous, aud must be kept within pretty definite limits. The question was getting so serious that in Germany it had become the rule to specify a certain percentage of increase or decrease, otherwise the balancing of the reciprocating parts must be reduced. With a too great reduction in the balancing of the reciprocating parts, there was a risk of a very perceptible fore-and-aft motion of the engine ; the balancing was not sufficient. Rut in the four-cylinder compound, with two inside and two outside cylinders, the weights of the reciprocating parts were so arranged that they practically balanced one another, thus being able to dispense with revolving weights to balance the reciprocating parts, the balancing of the revolving parts then being easily dealt with. That was, ho thought, an important point, and became moro important with the increasing power required in engines, the wheel diameters remaining about the same as before. This improved state of things was useful in another way, for the steadiness of the pressure on the rails meant less slip. There were even reasons for thinking that in ordinary engines there was a frequent, if not continuous, small slipping, the number of revolutions not always corresponding to the distance traversed. As at the same time the four-cylinder acted upon four cranks at 90°, much more uniform turning moment was obtained, thus approaching the motor drive of electric locomotives or cars.
Referring to the division of the total work over an increased number of parts, there was, in fact, an inside-cylinder engine and an outside-cylinder engine each doing half the work. For each there was as much room as there was in an outside or inside-cylinder engine having all the work to do, and for each half could be given the same length of bearings as for the simple engine, reducing the diameters proportionately.
With regard to the valve-gear, there was the same division, and it was the utility of that arrangement which had been the most questioned. If one had a valve that was tight, and would keep really tight, and would with ordinary care remain balanced, that was collapsible or would lift so as to do away with the need for relief valves, and, lastly, that would let the steam in and out of the cylinder as freely and with as little change of section and direction as an ordinary D valve, then perhaps the only justification of the four gears and two reversing-shafts would be the possibility it afforded of adjusting the relative cut-offs in the high- and low-pressure cylinders with a great degree of nicety to the varying running conditions. That was no small advantage, for it was extraordinary how sensitive a four-cylinder engine was in that respect.
John F. Robinson (pp. 398-400)
G. J. Churchward (Locomotive Superintendent of the Great Western Railway 400-4), wished most heartily to congratulate the author, Mr. de Glehn, and the other engineers in France who had put so much work and ability into the perfecting of the compound locomotive. There was no doubt in his own mind, and probably none also in those of the members present, that the compound locomotive had been developed to a point of greater perfection in France than in any other country in the world. It was his strong opinion to that effect which induced him to advise the Great Western Railway Directors to purchase one of those locomotives for experiment. A large number of so-called trials or tests between simple and compound locomotives had been made all over the world, but in his judgment no really fair and square tests between the advantages of compound and simple cylinder engines had ever been made. It would be found that some of the earliest tests between compound and simple locomotives which were made in this country were made between a compound engine, on the one hand, having 200 lbs. to the square inch in the boiler, and a simple engine having 175 lbs. per square inch. Quite naturally, the compound engine had the best of it, and that settled the point for the time. He was sorry to say that even in America that opinion still obtained to some extent, and in France also it had been the same. He would no doubt be told that the high pressures were used in the compound in the belief that it was impossible by any known valve-gear to use the same high pressures to advantage in a simple cylinder. He had thought that that had yet to be proved, and had had the courage to fit a simple engine with 18-inch by 30-inch cylinders, with a boiler carrying 225 lbs. to the square inch. He had done that with the deliberate idea of finding whether such improvements could be made in valve gear, and consequent steam distribution, as to enable the simple cylinder to use steam of that pressure as efficiently as the compound engine. With the further view to make sure that the tests as between a simple and compound engine should be on quite equal terms, he had managed to arrange that the powerat any rate the powers at high speeds such as were now used for passenger trainsof the compound was practically identical with the power of the simple. It had been arranged that equal power should be given on the basis of a cut-off of the compound engine, as recommended by Mr. de Glehn, of 55 and 65 in the high and low pressure respectively, and a cut-off of something between 20 and 25 per cent. in the simple cylinders. It would seem no doubt ambitious to expect such power as was developed at 55 and 65 by the compound locomotive out of a cylinder in a simple engine cutting off at 20 to 25 per cent. ; but he was pleased to say that with the assistance of an efficient staff, a good deal of very hard work, and a determination to see what was possible to be done with the valve-gear, he believed such improvements had been made in the steam distribution that a satisfactory result could be ensured from as high a cut-off as 15 to 20 per cent. In a test which had been made of the 18-inch by 30-inch stroke cylinders, of which he had been speaking, they had obtained, at 70 miles an hour, a draw-bar pull of 2 tons behind the tender. Upon a test which had recently been made with Mr. de Glehn's engine, " La France," that had also obtained a draw-bar pull of 2 tons at 70 miles an hour. The cut-off in the case of a compound engine was as advised, 55 and 65; and the cut-off in the simple engine was 25. The pressure used in the simple engine mas only 200 lbs. to the square inch, so that in the simple engine carrying 225 lbs. to the square inch he thought it was legitimate to expect that the 2 tons at 75 miles an hour would be obtained with a rather higher cut-off than 25 per cent. The question which would immediately occur to all engineers was, what was the amount of steam used in the cylinders respectively on the two engines to give the pull of 2 tons at 70 miles an hour? The theoretical amount of inch cylinder with 25 per cent. cut-off was practically identical with that which there was in the high pressure cylinders of the compound locomotive at the 55 cut-off; 80 that, if those figures were appreciated, engineers would no doubt understand that he had on foot, at any rate, means for a more equal trial between a compound and simple locomotive than had ever been made before. He would not like any one to take anything he was saying as to the results of trials between the French compound locomotive " La France " and engines on the Great Western as final or definite, because it would be obvious to any who had practical experience in the running of locomotives that for 80 short a space of time, and with 80 little mileage as they had been able to do with the engines, it was fruitless to give any definite opinion upon results. He was endeavouring in what he was saying to give no definite opinion as to the accomplished results.
The first question that would occur to an engineer's mind would be the relative coal-consumption. When one knew the various factors which went to make up high a d low coal-consumption, one realised that nothing short of a 12-months' average was of any use in comparing the coal-consumption of one engine with another, and he did not propose to give anything of the kind. He would like to take the opportunity, as both Mr. de Glehn and M. Sauvage were present, to say that "La France " had been doing very first-class work indeed on the Great Western Railway. She had given every satisfaction, and had entirely fulfilled his expectations ; the work she had been doing on some of the fastest trains was really very fine, and he thought had not been equalled by any of what he might perhaps be permitted to term the old-fashioned simple engine. Those present who had studied the actual draw-bar records, which to his mind was the only record that was worth talking about in regard to a locomotive, knew that a steady pull on the draw-bar at the back of the tender of 2 tons at 70 miles an hour on a 6-foot 6-inch wheel, took, if he might use a colloquialism, a great deal of getting, and when they had it, it took a good deal of keeping up. But it was fair to say that the Great Western had two or three engines running today that would do that, and " La France " was one of them.
A great deal had been said, and comparisons had been made upon what had been said, as to the weight of train which a particular engine would draw in a certain time between two points which were so far apart. From his experience he wished to caution anyone from laying too much stress on such a comparison. A 300-ton train might, for example, be a train of 8 or 9 bogie carriages: it was about that on some lines; while in another case a 300-ton train might be one of about 13 bogie carriages, which was about what it was on the Great Western. It was obvious that in a wind, or round curves, and on almost any piece of line there was in the country, the traction required for a train of 13 bogie coaches was very different from that required for 8 or 9 coaches, so that such figures were really no guide in comparing the performance of locomotives. I t was not possible, even to the greatest expert, to compare locomotives unless he happened to be riding in a dynamometer car at the back of the engine at the time; so that in any results which they were striving to get between the various engines they had under observation, they were basing the whole of their calculations upon observations made in a dynamometer car.
The force of what Mr. de Glehn said on the division of the engine was, he thought, very great. He was not sure that at present they had arrived at the limit of weight at which they must divide the engine, but he felt sure with Nr. de Glehn that if they had not arrived at it now, they would soon do so if the engine grew much bigger. The Americans had undoubtedly arrived at the point when they must divide the engine, and he hoped the success of Mr. de Glehn's engine, which was going over there to the St. Louis Exhibition, would result in the whole subject being enquired into by American engineers, in much the same way as he believed it was being done today in this country.
There was one defect about the compound engine which gave him, he thought, more disappointment than any other, namely, that it did not get over boiler troubles. As a man having the care of a great many engines, he did not mind much what the engine did : he could always look after the engine ; it was the boiler that troubled him. In the compound engine one felt that he must use a high pressure ; he was not quite sure that that was necessary, but at any rate it was universal up to the present ; and whilst they were still obliged to use such a pressure as 225 lbs. to the square inch, he believed that the progress of the compound principle would be checked very largely among locomotive engineers who feared trouble with the boilers. The Great Western were facing the trouble, and had a large number of boilers running today at 200 lbs. to the square inch ; and in some cases, at any rate, there was evidence that the increase of trouble with the higher pressure was not quite 80 much greater than they had been led to expect. But still there it was, and it was impossible to get rid of it. The fact had been mentioned frequently that the divided engine and four cylinders gave a more equal torque on the shafts. He might be very dense, but he had been unable to realise that up to the present. If there were two cylinders exactly opposite one another at 180°, and the same steam distribution was used as with one, he hardly saw how the torque on the shaft could be otherwise than the same in each case. He would conclude by saying that he thought some of the advocates of compounding had perhaps laid too much stress on the fact that the same power could not be got at high speed out of a simple locomotive without using excessively large cylinders. The Great Western had already gone far enough to prove that one could get the necessary power without going beyond an 18-inch cylinder, and whilst the cylinder diameter was restricted to 18 inches, the stresses were really no greater on the big end and on the shaft than the dimensions they were able to provide would meet.
Volume 67 (1904)
Testing plant on the Great Western Railway at Swindon. 937-9.
Bed of cast iron bolted onto a concrete platform. Five pairs of bearings enabled horizontal travel. Dynamometer.This led to contributions from W.F. Pettigrew which noted measured tests in service. (940-5) and from J.F. McIntosh: "We have no fixed locomotive testing plant, properly so called, unless a 10-mile gradient of 1 in 75 may be classed as such. Tabor indicator was used. Noted that working conditions could not be replicated on a test plant (945-6).
Measured tests in service: instruments and results required at a test. 940-5.
M'Intosh, John. 945-6.
Caledonian Railway beg to inform you that we have no fixed locomotive testing plant, properly so called, unless a 10-mile gradient of 1 in 75 may be classed as such. All our tests have been confined to those taken in actual running. Indicator diagrams are taken from both cylinders simultaneously at intervals of one minute, the times being given by an observer in the cab working the whistle. The Tabor Indicator is used. The number of revolutions is taken at the same times from the revolution counter connected to the crosshead. The steam pressure in boiler and valve chest, the opening of the regulator and position of reversing lever are all noted at one-minute intervals. The quantity of water used is measured at all stopping places by means of a gauge rod, the depth being afterwards read off in gallons from a Table. The coal is weighed when placed on the tender, the remainder being again removed and weighed after the trip. In addition, and in order to check the speeds, the timcs of passing all stations are taken, and also all signal checks.
Fox, Sir Douglas. 946.
For the everyday testing of new locomotives, friction rollers are used by one or two of our largest locomotive builders, but they are not fitted with brakes, and their sole and only object is to enable an examination of the moving parts of the locomotive to be made, the engine itself remaining stationary. The main object in testing a locomotive is to detect mechanical defects, to see that ample clearances are allowed, and generally that the engine is in a good workable condition. As to what horse-power is developed, what the pull on the drawbar is, how much coal and water is used, the amount or volume of air admitted, temperature of smoke-box gases, etc., no observations are taken. These are data that must be obtained by persons who are specially appointed to undertake this class of work, and who have unlimited time and appliances, and, above all, are not having engines built under contract. No doubt a testing plant will give a considerable amount of information, but a locomotive is subject to such varying conditions of wind and weather, condition of rails, unevenness of road, which are all absent in a nicely warmed and ventilated laboratory, that all results thus obtained are in a measure only comparative.
Riches, T.H. 946-7
Vice-president, Locomotive Superintendent of the Tnff Vale Railway, wrote that all the locomotive departments of the larger railways had elaborate shops fitted with machines for testing materials used in the construction of locomotives. The Great Western Railway and the Great Eastern Railway had carried out a good many tests on locomotives as well as on material. He himself had given special attention to the testing of springs, and had erected a powerful machinc for this purpose.
A scientific investigation into the possibilities of gas-turbines. 1061-1106. Disc.: 1106-31.
Volume 68 (1905)
Notes on the visit to America. 97-101.
"The one thing that must impress every visitor to America is that the Americans are great at great things. In method, in enterprise, in self-reliance, and in giant and rapid production, they were far ahead of the British." The case for introducing American methods into Britain and the difference in the economic conditions in the two countries were examined. The USA had vast resources of raw materils and a much bigger local market, which was aided by protectionism. If the railways that were laid through a wilderness, had not been made cheaply, they could not have been constructed at all; the same may be said of the towns. Thus temporary work began as a matter of necessity. Americans, comparatively speaking, do not repair; they scrap their things and buy new ones. Locomotives were scrapped in about ten years; shops are gutted and supplied with now plant; railway bridges were rapidly replaced.
Hogg, John T.
Note on a ten-wheels-coupled tank-engine on the Natal Government Railways. 369-74 + Plates 13-14.
4-10-2T designed G.W. Reid (illus. and diagr. (s/f els) designed to cope with 1 in 30 gradients and 300ft radius curves. 19in x 27in cylinders; 3ft 9in coupled wheels, Allan straight link motion and Richardson balanced slide vales.
Volume 69 (1905)
Superheaters applied to locomotives on the Belgian State Railways. 409-22. Disc.: 423-7 + Plates 15-17
Application of Schmidt superheaters. John F. Robinson (423-5) opened the discussion
Volume 70 (1906)
Large locomotive boilers. 165-75. Discussion: 176-255 + Plates 19-34.
"In America the great power of engines now employed renders the wide fire-box a necessity, but in Great Britain, where the coal burnt per mile is very much less, few boilers of this kind have been built." He made reference to the Ivatt Atlantics and Holden's 0-10-0T. Continuing [in the USA] " poorer coals in large quantitities can be burnt with much greater facility and economy in this type than in the narrow pattern [but his offset when] "goods trains are kept standing, as is often the case." With reference to the USA, Churchward noted the leaking of tubes and via stays. A higher standard of skill was required by the fireman. The main mass of the fire being so much nearer the tube-plate had a bad effect upon the tubes. Churchward referred to Drummond's experiments with water tubes and noted his experiments on steam drying. Churchward had fitted a Schmidt superheater to the No. 1 boiler. Hughes opened the discussion questionning why freight locomotives were not fitted for compounding in the UK. He is also mentioned piston valves, water softening and furnace design
Vaughan Pendred (206-12) drew a comparison between a then new Manson 4-6-0 and Stroudleys Grosvenor on the London and Brighton Railway thirty years ago. He could remember when Stroudleys engines used to run to Brighton on one fire. The system of firing used was extremely clever and ingenious. The fire-box held about 15 cwt. or 16 cwt. of coal. The fire was lighted up a good while before the engine started, and the whole of the fire-box became filled with a dull red fuel. The engine was run with the front ash-pit dampers closed, and very little air was admitted under the grate except through the back ash-pit damper ; nearly all the air came in through the fire-door. The result was that practically there was a gas producer at work, and a gas flame in the fire-box. With a train of perhaps 120 tons behind it, the engine used to arrive at Brighton with the coals in the fire-box all burned down to the bars. If the engine had had to go any distance beyond Brighton, that could not have been done, because it would be necessary to keep the fire up..
Petroleum fuel in locomotives on the Tehuantepec National Railroad of Mexico. 265-84. Disc.: 285-312 + Plates 35-9.
Discussion: Lawson H. Fry (285-8, with 2 diagrams) showing two systems of oil-burning, which were largely used on locomotives in the Western and South-Western States of America: the standard system of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, and the arrangement used by the Southern Pacific Railway.
1906 (Volume 71)
Riches, T.H. and Heywood, Thomas E.
Mechanical appliances used in the shipping of coal at Penarth dock. 423-33. + Plates 45-55.
Hydraulic machinery, and its associated engine house and hydraulic mains: some of the equipment was invented by the authors. The earlier timber wagon tips were described, but then recent (1905) coal tips installed by Messrs. Tannett, Walker and Co., of Leede, with steel structures were described and illustrated at length.
Coal-shipping appliances and hydraulic power-plant at the Alexandra (Newport and Soute Wales) Docks and Railway, Newport, Mon. 435-65. Disc.: 466-98 + Plates 65-65.
Riches, T.H. and Haslam, Sidney B.
Railway motor-car traffic. 651-78. Disc.: 678-718.
In 1873 or 1874 Rowan attempted to sell steam railcars in Britain but without success, although sales were achieved in Austria and Switzerland. The LSWR Fratton to Southsea service was the earliest and this was followed by the vertical boilered cars on the GWR. They enabled more frequent services to be provided where traffic was light. The Taff Vale Railway has heavy gradients of up to 1 in 40. The TVR cars were designed to cope with heavy gradients and the locomotive portion was designed to be simple to detach from the body and to be able to raise steam rapidly. He considered the alternatives of electric vehicles: battery electric had been used in Swansea and in Belgium but the capital cost was high: the overhead and third rail options were also mentioned.
The TVR car was steam-heated, had oil-gas lighting and an electric bell for communication with the conductor-driver. The cars cold provide a more frequent service, set up or set down more frequently and had rapid acceleration and could achieve 20 mph on 1 in 40.
Cars were also operating on the GNoSR, GCR, LNWR, SECR, GSWR, GNR, NER and PTR (where three miles had to be climbed at 1 in 40).
Steam as a motive power for public service vehicles. 753-87. Disc.: 787-860 + Plates 83-6..
Lighting of railway premises: indoor and outdoor. 865-906. Disc.: 906-41.
Includes arc lighting, oil lamps and gas lighting; the use of a portable photometer for assessing lighting in passenger stations; the cost of gas mantles; fuel consumption; the use of incandescent electric lamps; and the problems of lighting goods yards, locomotive sheds and workshops. Hughes contributed to the Discussion (pp 917-20)
1907 (Volume 72)
Riches, Tom Hurry
Address by the President. 495-507. + Plates 34-52
Contains an uncorrected error on first page: Stockport [sic] and Darlington Railway! Maw and Aspinall gave the Votes of Thanks. The paper acknowledged the Presidential Addresses by Tomlinson and Johnson relating to railway engineering, and the very extensive collection of illustrations of "modern" express passenger and freight locomotives follows on from Johnson. On the major main lines the speed of passenger trains and length of non-stop runs had greatly increased. Public demand for greater comfort and increased competition called for much larger coaches, some of 35 tons and more, had greatly added to the weight per passenger to be hauled. These demands made more powerful locomotives necessary. Like Johnson he yearned for a larger gauge: "we are led to wish that the 5-foot 6-inch gauge had been adopted. It would have given room, not only for cylinders and motion work, but would also have enabled journals to be lengthened without crippling other dimensions."
"A word of regret I must express, that the fine old single-driving-wheeled locomotive has to be superseded... the day seems to have arrived when sufficient adhesion cannot be obtained on one pair of wheels to utilize the increased tractive capacity of the modern locomotive, with the result that two or more pairs of wheels have now to be coupled to utilize the power produced." Instead of using large wheels, which were favoured thirty years ago, smaller wheels were used, and greater care was needed in balancing to avoid undue oscillation."
Increased steam-pressures led to much larger fire-boxes and greater heating surfaces. Churchwards paper on boiler design was noted, and boilers were only briefly reviewed. There were the cone [conical] boiler, having a large space round the box and above the crown so as to give plenty of steam space, the barrel gradually tapering to the leading end. There was the Belpaire fire-box, which had been introduced into British locomotives for some time with some success, although it requires greater care in construction, and somewhat greater care in management and repairs. The Drummond cross tube fire-box succeeded in improving evaporation. Many years ago some predecessors used water mid-feathers and transverse tubes, but, these were large diameter, and whether from lack of experience or from the lower quality of materials these earlier schemes failed through being too costly to maintain and too difficult to keep stock running constantly. In those days of high pressures, not only in the sense of steam pressure but also of heavy and continuous work by the locomotive, it was essential for the boiler to be both well, and as far as possible, simply made; to ease maintenance and provide economy. Larger firegrates and heating surfaces, together with the more rapid generation of steam at higher pressure, had placed extra stress on the locomotive boiler.
Many efforts had been made to introduce compounding, but there does seem one requirement that has not been fully accomplishcd, namely, to get full effect out of the steam condensation should be applied. It was proposed that with the facilities then existing on many railways for picking up water, it might have been possible to apply a condenser, and so assist in front of the piston by obtaining at least a partial vacuum and then pumping the condensed steam back into the boiler at high temperature.
Smaller improvements included the almost universal cab; the protection of gauge-glasses; water-gauges on tenders or other tanks to save men from risks, which used to exist in their having to leave the foot-plate, when the locomotive was running, to ascertain the condition of their water-supply. Power-brakes were almost universal upon locomotives, and therefore the men had much better control of their engines and trains.
Although a high percentage of goods wagons were built to carry 8 and 10 tons, the average weight carried by these vehicles rarely exceeded 2 tons, and therefore if it were possible to put the load of a train into the wagons capable of carrying the weight, the load to be hauled would be reduced by at least 50 per cent through the saving in tare weight. This is a matter that in the interests of the country at large should surely have received greater attention. It was often urged that still larger wagons should be used in England, and that the practice on British railways should be brought more closely into line with that of the American, but a large percentage of the traffic over American railways was carried over much longer distances than in Britain: further, the load per vehicle was very much higher. Moreover, effort had been initiated by American railroads to reduce the waste of vehicles compared with the loads carricd. Larger wagons in Britain lacked suitable traffic other than coal, iron ore, rails, stone and a few other heavy commodities, but even coal tended to be restriacted to small lots of 10 tons or less, as purchasers did not exceed these quantities: send a 30 or 40-ton wagon carrying 10 tons or less would have been wasteful. Even for shipment traffic, many ships, particularly in the coasting trade, took small cargoes. In wagon stock some efforts had been made to introduce automatic couplings, but without much success. Eitherside brakes had also been devised with some success, and roller bearings had been evaluated to a limited extent on some wagons. Specifications had been agreed for wagons of 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 40, and.56 tons capaeity.
The development of railway steam-motor-cars (steam railcars) was mentioned. Controversay had arisen over this type: for sparsely populated districts, and for close tratfic over short distances, these self-contained cars were eminently successful, but when used to haul trailer-cars their advantages disappeared. Under such circumstances the method is being adopted on the LSWR and LBSCR, and some of the othor railways, including the Taff Vale, of fitting carriages that can be attached to an ordinary locomotive, and by which arrangement that locomotive can be driven from the leading end of the carriage when it is being pushed in front, is the better method of dealing with mixed traffic. He cited his own to be published Paper.
Electric traction was briefly considered. Similar questions arose to those relating to steam railcars; electricity might be in the same way be abused if not used properly. In the case of passenger traffic there can be no doubt that for frequent trains, over not too long distances and for frequent stops and high speeds, electricity is extremely useful and desirable. Electric traction for goods and mineral traffic raised the question of regenerative control: in South Wales and many other mining districts, loaded wagons came down hill and empties had to be taken up. If it were possible to use the gravity and momentum of the down train to generate current for the up traffic, at reasonable cost, then it ought to make an enormous difference in tho possibilities of electric traction for such purposes. Why should not the slowing and stopping of trains be done by retardation of the electric motor instead of by brakeblocks, and this force returned electrically to thc generating station for other use?
Ivatt, Henry A.
Notes on road trials of three express passenger-engines, carried out on the Great Northern Railway in 1906. 525-32.
With No. 1300 (a four-cylinder compound supplied by the Vulcan Foundry); No. 292 (combined 4-cylinder compound or simple designed by Ivatt at Doncaster) and No. 294 (2-cylinder simple: the standard Ivatt large Atlantic). The paper includes diagrams (side elevations) of each type of Atlantic; a gradient profile of the King's Cross to Doncaster route on which the tests were conducted. The type of coal used was given, as well as full dimensions for each of the locomotives, but the season was noit given.
|No. 1300||No. 292||No. 294|
|Coal used per engine mile||44.84||43.02||44.31|
|Coal used per train mile||45.84||43.98||45.31|
|Coal used per ton-mile||0.133||0.126||0.131|
|Oil consumption per engine mile||0.165||0.16||0.14|
|Repairs per engine mile (pence)||0.56||0.45||0.37|
Nock considered these tests to be highly inconclusive., but were reproduced in his book on the class.
1908 (Volume 74)
Balancing of reciprocating engines. Lecture at the Graduates' meeting. 197-217 + Plates 9 and 10.
Chaired T. Hurry Riches.
Combustion processes in English locomotive fire-boxes. 237-68.
See LNWR Expperiment class: research at Liverpool Univeristy was funded by LNWR.
Fry, Lawford H.
Combustion and heat balances in locomotives. Based on experiments with the Pennsylvania Railroad Testing Plant. 269-375.
St. Louis Tests: the calculations which have been described have determined for various rates of firing for each locomotive the values of the five items of the heat balance
(1) Loss by formation of CO.
(2) Loss of heat carried off in the products of combustion.
(3) Loss by coal escaping unburnt.
(4) Loss by external radiation (assumed).
(5) Useful heat of evaporation
Altoona Tests.-The heat-balances in Table 15 (page 346) were calculated for rates of firing ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 pounds of coal per hour. Within these' limits, which correspond to the range covered by the tests at St. Louis, the four chief items of the balance are affected as follows by an increase in the rate of firing:
The loss by CO increases from 0.4 to 2.4%.
The loss of heat in the gaseous products of combustion decreases from about 18% to about 15%.
The loss by unburnt coal increases from about 10 %. to about 28%
The boiler efficiency decreases from about 68% to about 52%.
Discussion (included Paper by Brislee): 365-7: Druitt Halpin pointed out that "it would be remembered that not very long ago a large number of steam locomotives were running on the Metropolitan and District Railway, which ran with blast when they could, but for a very great part of their time they had to run without blast when running in the tunnels. There were other cases of engines running perfectly independent of blast, a subject which had been referred to by several of the speakers. Some years ago the Hunslet Engine Co. built several engines which were absolutely independent of blast... In the Hunslet engines there was a scparate fan on an independent tender which was driven by a separate engine, which sent the air into the fire-box. No blast at all was used, and it could not be used because all the steam was condensed. In that case there was a perfect regulation of draught, and no puffing or panting in any way.
He remembered discussing the question very fully with Mr. Webb just before his last illness. He told that gentleman what was being done with the engine, in which he was greatly interested ; but he did not know whether Mr. Webb ever went to the length of getting out any designs for the work. He felt almost sorry that, in the mine of wealth there was in the two Papers, Dr. Brislee did not see his way to add one set of figures which would have made the Paper, to hie mind, invaluable. It must never be forgotten that the primary object of a locomotive boiler was not to burn coal, but to evaporate water..."
Volume 75 (1908)
Riches, T. Hurry and Reynolds, Bertie
Forced lubrication for axle-boxes. 599-624.
Volume 76 (1908)
Aspinall, John A.F.
Address by the President. 423-91. + Plates 9-10
It is probably certain that what may be called the "Battle of the Systems" has had the effect of causing railway companies to defer electrification until they could see that engineers were not at variance as to the system to be adopted. I have no intention of dealing with the controversial point raised in the "Battle of the Systems. Those who are interested will find in a recent short Paper, read by Mr. F. W. Carter before the Rugby Engineering Society, a very clear statement of the kinds of work to which the different systems can be applied with advantage.
Advantages of electrification for local services are:
High schedule journey speed.
Much more frequent service when required.
Increased acceleration and deceleration.
Greater possible mileage per train per day, increasing the earning capacity of any given quantity of rolling stock, and increasing the loading and unloading capacity of existing platforms.
Plates show interior and motorman's compartment in Liverpool to Southport stock
Appendix X (p. 487) based on an extract from the Railway Times, 10 April 1842 concerning the electro-magnetic locomotive constructed by Davidson and run on the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway..
Volume 77 (1909)
Locomotives designed and built at Horwich with some results. 561-620. Disc. 620-53 +14 plates
Presented at IME Meeting in Liverpool on 27 July 1909. At the time the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company possessed 1,517 locomotives, 1,052 of which had been constructed at Horwich, and there were about 1,100 engines in steam daily, varying according to the demands of the traffic. When Horwich works opened, the company had 1,000 engines (353 passenger and 647 goods): there were 29 different types of passenger and 26 types of goods engines. Realizing the importance of having few classes Mr. Aspinall, then Chief Mechanical Engineer, resolved to reduce the number, and to introduce standardization, and, wherever possible, interchangeability.
Wintour, speaking on behalf of Ivatt noted, "As Mr. Churchward has stated, it is absolutely necessary there shall be some check on the lubrication which, if it once gets slack, will cause a great smash on the engine. In one case where the lubrication failed, the piston and the cylinder were quite broken up, and we find it very necessary to have a reliable lubricator and a good cylinder oil, with steam superheated to 650°F. If these precautions are not taken, more cost may be incurred in five minutes than will be saved in two years." Like many others, Ivatt patented an arrangement of steam pipes in the smokebox, to provide a low degree of superheat in older engines where new tubeplates were hard to justify: but their complication militated against their advantage-they were mounted on trunnions to permit swinging them clear for tube-cleaning. Discussion: H. Fowler (626-8).
Heat transmission. 921-86. Disc. 987-1071.
Very extensive (over 500 papers were examined) literature review on heat transfer between fuel combustion in a furnace and water in boilers of all types, including those on locomotives. Table 10 lists papers on heat transmission in locomotive boilers beginning with N. Wood's Practical Treatise on Railroads of 1838; De Pambour's Comparative value of fire-box and tube surface in locomotives; this ratio should not be greater than 10:1. Comp. Rend. Acad. Sc. M. 1840, 10 , 32).