Proceedings Institution of Mechanical Engineers 1880-9
key file

Volume 31 (1880)

Francq, Léon
Reply on the discussion upon fireless locomotives. 37-43.
See also Volume 30 page 610 et seq. Rueil and Marly-le-Roi Tramway. In reply to Tomlinson, it was maintained that hot water could be applicd to work trains on underground railways, where the length of line did not exceed 12 to 15 miles, and where the gradients were similar to those of the Metropolitan Railway. Since 2000 litres of hot water were found to produce motive forcc sufficient to draw a load of the gross weight of 36 tons over a line 9 miles long, 12,000 litres would certainly do six times as much work, or more than sufficient to draw a train of the Metropolitan Railway, which weighs 100 tons. Therefore, there were really only two points to examine, (1) the power and rapidity with which the engine can start, and (2) the possibility of storing 12,000 litres of hot water on the engine. Now power and rapidity of starting may be obtained in all cases with four cylinders, and perhaps on straight level lines with two cylinders of large diameter. Again the author’s investigations showed that it is possible

Browne, B.C.
On Brown's tramway locomotive. 44-56. Disc.: 57-81 + Plates 1-3 (5 diagrs.)
The conditions required to be met by  a Tramway Locomotive over and above those of an ordinary locomotive were:
(a) No visible smoke or steam, no visible fire, no noise of either blast or machinery, and no visible working parts. The object of these restrictions was to avoid frightening horses or annoying the public.
(b) The engine must work both ways, the driver being always in a commanding position; it must be able to exert great power for starting and stopping on steep inclines, and must both start and stop very easily; it must run round sharp curves, and adapt itself to any inequalities in the road its working parts must be readily accessible and easily repaired; its firing and feeding must need no attention while it is running ; lastly, it must be worked by one man.
(c) The Board of Trade requires beyond these a speed indicator always visible to the driver, a governor, and a bell or whistle for signalling.
Having carefully considered these conditions, it was concluded that among existing engines they were best and most economically met by the engine of Charles Brown of Winterthur.

Riches, T. Hurry
Is automatic action necessary or desirable in a continuous railway brake? 100-12. Disc.: 113-51.

Larsen, J.D.
On permanent way for street tramways, with special reference to steam traction. 188-202. Disc.: 203-23 + Plates 15-18. 36 diagrs.

Cowper, Edward A.
Address of the President. 312-23.
His father saw Trevithick's locomotive running in Euston Square, and noted that it derailed due to excessive speed. The Address was very wide ranging,. but he did find space to mention Webb's adoption of the Joy valve gear..

Stileman, F.C.
On the docks and railway approaches at Barrow-in-Furness. 324-9. Disc.: 329-35 +Plates 33-8.
Partly autobiographical noting that as a pupil of J.R. McClean he set out the railway between Barrow and Dalton and Kirkby which opened in June 1846 and was designed to transport iron ore and slate. Describes the Buccleuch Dock Brisge with its sprung girders and hydraulic machinery.

Joy, David
On a new reversing and expansive valve-gear. 418-29. Disc.: 430-54 + Plates 57-69. 40 diagrs.

Strong, George S.
On a feed-water heater and filter for stationary and locomotive boilers. 539-45. Disc.: 545-51 + Plates 75-77 (7 diagrs. incl. 2 s. els.).
Great Southern & Western Railway of Ireland 0-6-0 and Metropolitan Railway 4-4-0T.

Volume 32 (1881)

Cowper, Edward A.
President's Address. 413-24.
Cowper was not a locomotive engineer, but was an astute observer of Victorian engineering: thus the following verbatum quotations are significant, especially as the Address was given in Newcastle:
It seems but a few years ago that George Stephenson, at a meeting in 1847, proposed the resolution that the Institution of Nechanical Engineers be formed. He was strongly supported by a large number of the mechanical engineers of the country, and I had the honour of seconding the resolution that he be our first President.... Locomotives have shared to some extent in the general improvement in machinery. The boilers are better made, and are safer at the higher pressures now carried than they were formerly with a lower pressure. Several new valve gears of great promise have been brought forward, both for locomotives and marine engines.
Amongst these Joy's motion should be again noticed, and I have in my hand a note from Mr. Webb (who I am sorry to say cannot be with us to-day), in which he refers to his promise of last year to report on the subject to the members. He says, "The engine has been continuously at work ever since the Barrow meeting, and had run 30,273 miles up to the 18th July, when wo had it in for examination, and found the motion practically as good as the day it went out of the shop, more especially the slides, about which so many of the people who spoke at the meeting seemed to have doubts. I do not think you could get a visiting card between the slides and the blocks; in fact, the engine has been sent out to work again, having had nothing whatever done to it. The first thing of course that will require doing will be the tyres: as far as I can see nothing else will want doing for some time.
Automatic continuous brakes are now coming into use, adding greatly to the safety of railway travelling; indeed, it has for some time been obvious, that with tbe higher speed and greater number of express trains, some more powerful means of stopping quickly than the old guard's brake van has become absolutely necessary; and the advantage of being able to stop a quick train in 250 yards is self-evident. Improvements have been made in the direction of ensuring greater safety on Railways during the last dozen years, as the "Block System" has become general, and interlocking of signals and switches, and the use of switch locks, have become the rule instead of being the exception.

Bell, I. Lowthian
On the Tyne as connected with the history of engineering. 425-47.
The following extract is informative as it presents the "Newcastle perception" of how the steam locomotive developed and must have coloured many subsequent studies.
It is supposed that the first idea of forming the railroad of cast iron occurred in 1738 ; but 6he wagons in use on the wooden roads being too heavy, or the iron rails too light to carry the load, it required thirty years before it struck any one to diminish the size of the one, or to increase the weight of the other. Such a rate of progress would appear indeed to justify the belief that the development of mechanical engineering did not exceed the ‘’ contrivings ” referred to in the opening remarks of this paper
For forty or fifty years the horse on the level, and on uneven ground the steam-engine by means of ropes, continued to labour on the iron roads in conveying coal to its point of destination; when a crude idea of Trevithick’s was taken hold of by Mr. Blackett, of Wylam near Newcastle, who, with the aid of his engineer, William Hedley, constructed the first locomotive which ever did any work worthy of the name.
In a small cottage, situate on the railway along which Mr. Blackett’s engine ran, but some thirty years before its appearance, George Stephenson was born. To his ingenuity, and particularly to his confidence in the then improved powers of the engine, the world owes a good deal in respect to the period at which it received the gift of the locomotive, as we see it at the present day. First at Killingworth, for the use of the colliery there, and next at the Walker Iron Works for sale, locomotive engines were constructed under his superintendence. These early engines, according to information left by the late Nicholas Wood, and given to the writer by his son, Mr. Lindsay Wood, cost £500, and weighed, exclusive of the water tank, 6 tons. The boiler was 8 ft. long and 4 ft. 2 in. in diameter, with a single tube. On a level road, and with a consumption of 16 cwt. of coal per day, these engines, on the Hetton colliery railway, could draw twelve wagons of coal, weighing, all included, about 48 tons, at the rate of four miles an hour. Upon this slender foundation of experience, gained from our collieries and from the first public railway in the world, the Stockton and Darlington, Stephenson was able by his force of character to build an argument, which determined the adoption of the locomotive on the Liverpool and Manchester line. An experimental engine, the famous Rocket, was built within a stone’s throw of this room, by means of which the then unheard and undreamt-of speed of nearly thirty miles an hour was attained.
From the diminutive dimensions of this early attempt, the locomotive grew, under the fostering care of the Stephensons, father and son, of the Hawthorns in this town, and of other firms elsewhere, to a machine which is a marvel of compactness, combined with mechanical strength and power. By means of it something like 1000 tons of dead load can now be drawn on a level, at a speed of 25 to 30 miles an hour. For this extraordinary amount of duty we are indebted to the multitubular boiler, suggested by Henry Booth, and first successfully applied by the Stephensons in the Rocket engine.
In less than twenty years after the celebrnted trial on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the London newspapers were delivered by the locomotive in Edinburgh on the evening of the day of publication. It needs nothing more than to recall the existence of the many many thousands of miles of railway at work in different quarters of the globe, as an evidence of the vast changes which have sprung out of the northern coalowner’s attempts to economise his cost of transport.

Volume 33 (1882)

Crampton, Thomas Russell
On an automatic hydraulic system for excavating the Channel Tunnel. 440-50. + Plates 82-4
The successful completion of the Mont Cenis and St. Gothard tunnels led to design of rotary boring machine to drive tunnel through chalk and arrangements to transport spoil in the form of sludge (or cream) back to base shaft by pumping. Based on lecture delivered at the Conversazione at Lceds on 16 August, 1S82.

Parker Smith, W.
On the automatic screw brake. 500-8. Disc.: 508-18. + Plates 89-91.
Brake had been tested for a year on the Liskeard and Caradon Railway, Cornwall. The apparatus consisted essentially (1) of a screwed metal sleeve A, Figs. 1 to 6, Plates 89 and 90, loosely encircling an axle B of the coach, from which, by means of a coned friction-clutch C, it may be rotated when desired ; (2) of a part-nut D, contained in a cast-iron box, which, by means of a cam E, Figs. 3 to 5, may be raised and lowered, so as to engage with and be disengaged from the screwed sleeve. A lever F performs by its descent and ascent the double duty of engaging and disengaging the part-nut ; and also, when in its lowest position, acts as a wedge for forcing together the surfaces of the coned friction-clutch, as shown in plan, Fig. 6. The action of the apparatus is as follows. If the lever is held up in its highest position, as shown dotted in Fig. 5, Plate 90, the part-nut is held up clear of the screwed sleeve, as in Fig. 3, and the surfaces of the coned clutch are not in contact. If the lever is permitted to descend by its weight to its lowest position, shown full in Fig. 5, the part-nut becomes engaged with the screwed sleeve, as in Fig. 4, and the surfaces of the coned clutch are also brought into contact by the wedging action of the lever. Any downward pressure applied to the lever in this position results in the screwed sleeve revolving, and the part-nut being carried to the right or to the left of its central position, according to the direction in which the axle is revolving. It will be seen by the plan, Fig. 2, that, with the double inclines on the pair of horizontal levers H H, a movement in either direction will cause the ends G G of the two brake-rods to move inwards, and so bring the brake-blocks against the wheels. For the purpose of obtaining downward pressure on the lever, and of graduating the friction between the surfaces of the friction cones, there is mounted loosely on the lever a sliding weight of about 10 lbs., W, Fig. 5. The lower the weight is permitted to slide down the lever, the greater will be the friction produced between the surfaces of the cones; and as the power which the screwed sleeve is capable of

Volume 34 (1883)

Webb, Francis William
On compound locomotive engines. 438-62 + Plates 41-4 (9 diagrs.).
Discussion: W.E. Rich noted that he been requested by the Royal Agricultural Society to report on the advantages of compounding and had concluded that it increased by one third the time an engine could remain in service, or the distance it could travel, or the work it could perform (J. Roy. Ag. Soc., 1881, 17, 661). M.A. Gottschalk (449-50) noted that marine application of compounding had reduced fuel consumption and wear of the engines. T.R. Crampton (450-1) recorded that simplicity should be axiomatic and cited Aveling's single cylinder traction engines. Furthermore, he accused Webb of not comparing like with like when justifying compounding, but he did agree with Webb's attempt to do away with coupling rods. D. Joy (452) supported Webb on the substantial savings in fuel brought with compounding (8 lbs/mile) and noted the free running achieved with the absence of coupling rods. Druitt Halpin (455-8). Borodin (457) noted that Aveling had at the last show at which he had exhibited (Derby 1881), showed a conipound engine, and if he had lived no doubt he would have continued the practice. Alexander McDonnell (458-9). William Stroudley (459-).

Cowper, Edward A.  
On the inventions of James Watt, and his models preserved at Handsworth and South Kensington. 599-631 + Plates 55-87.

First report to the Council of the Committee on Friction at High Velocities; by Alexander Blackie, William Kennedy and A. Morin. 660-7.
Various authorities, including Fleeming Jenkin, A.S. Kimball, R.H. Thurston, Douglas Galton, and George Westinghouse.

Volume 35 (1884)

Marié, George.
On the consumption of fuel in compound locomotives. 82-101. Disc.: 101-25.
Chief engineer of the Paris and Lyons Railway. Began by observing the very considerable improvements which had been made in fuel consumption in marine engines through compounding and improved condesers. Webb made a written contribution, but the spoken discussion turned towards criticism of Webb's compound locomotive from McDonnell, Ramsbottom and Aspinall.

Decauville, Paul
On portable railways. 126-49.

Longridge, Michael
On the Moscrop engine recorder, and the Knowles supplementary governor. 150-66.

Savill, A. Slater
Description of the automatic and exhaust-steam injector. 167-70. Disc.: 171-89. + Plates 20-3 (12 diagrs.)

Bell, Lowthian
Address of the President. 202-26

Riches, Charles H.
Description of the new locomotive running shed of the Taff Vale Railway at Cathays, Cardiff. 243-56.

Urquhart, Thomas
On the use of petroleum refuse as fuel in locomotive engines. 272-330.

Slater, Alfred
On the mineral wagons of South Wales. 415-43.

Timmis, Illius A.
On the application of electro-magnets to the working of railway signals and points. 444-71.

Volume 36 (1885)

Richardson, John
On recent adaptations of the Robey semi-portable engine. 371-5 + Plates 43-9 (15 diagrs.).

Volume 37 (1886)

Langley, Alfred A.
Description of a hydraulic buffer-stop for railways. 105-10. Discussion: 110-20 + plates 12 and 13.
Discussion: Joseph Tomlinson (110-11) said he had seen the hydraulic stops on the Great Eastern Railway, but he had never seen them in operation. The plan seemed to him to have in it the element of what was required. The ordinary fixed buffer-stops with a resistance of about 6 tons were simply a delusion and a snare, because running into them with an ordinary locomotive was like running into a dead wall, and it was utterly impossible they could stand against any speed worth naming. Having the power to resist a train at eight miles an hour with safety, the hydraulic buffer-stops fulfilled pretty nearly all that was wanted. In his own experience of accidents from trains running into the ordinary fixed stops, nothing like a speed of eight miles an hour had been attained; though of course there had been isolated cases of speed high enough to go clean through stops and buildings too ; but nothing would provide against such a contingency as this except some gigantic mass of solid material, which might be a sure stop, but not a very agreeable one. The hydraulic buffer-stop could not be expensive to maintain. But the ordinary fixed stops constructed of posts put into the ground, if they were hit even at two miles an hour by a train of 200 tons, had always to be replaced immediately afterwards. In these and other respects he considered the hydraulic stops were a great improvement on those hitherto in use.

Borodin, Alexander
Experiments on the steam-jacketing and compounding of locomotives in Russia. 297-354 + plates 64-79. 47 diagrs.
In 1880 the Russian South-Western Railways altered a locomotive to the compound system on the Mallet pattern. At the same time another locomotive was provided with steam-jacketed cylinders and comparative studies were made.

Sandiford, Charles
On the working of compound locomotives in India. 355-62. Discussion: 363-409. + plates 80-8.
Discussion includes that on paper by Borodin. On the Scinde Punjaub and Delhi Railway two 2-4-0 locomotives with 5ft coupled wheels were modified: Vampire became a two-cylinder compound and Vulcan a four-cylinder compound.

Excursions. 410 et seq
Great Eastern Railway Works, Stratford. 419-20.
These works, opened in 1847, included locomotive, carriage, and wagon departments, and occupied an area of about 48 acres; 12 acres are covered by shops, and 36 are used for yard and siding purposes. The total number of hands employed was 3,857, of whom 1,697 were in the locomotive, 843 in ths carriage, 363 in the wagon, and 954 in the running department. All new rolling stock for the railway was now built here, the average output being one engine, two carriages, and twenty wagons per week; besides which the existing stock of 685 engines, 3,080 carriages, and 14,300 wagons, was kept in repair mainly at these works. About 600 of the carriages were lit with compressed gas, the manufacture of which was carried on at the works.

London Chatham and Dover Railway, Longhedge Locomotive Works, Battersea. 420-2.
These works were designed about twenty-five years ago, and were opened in 1862 for the repair of the company’s engines and rolling stock. The general plan of the workshops consists of a number of separate buildings with intervening spaces, an arrangement necessarily requiring a good deal of ground. The boundary wall of the works encloses an area of about 18 acres, which however was not all covered, there being room still for further extensions. The shops were fairly convenient in their arrangement and relative positions, though not possessing the advantages of the more modern plan of connected workshops, which are now built in successive bays of one storey; besides being cheaper in first cost, the latter occupy less ground, and afford better facilities for turning out work, by reason of easier intercommunication between the different shops, the transport of material from one to tho other being much reduced in consequence. The workshops are very substantially built of brick, with iron roofs ; and evident care has been taken in working out the designs so that.the buildings should possess some architectural as well as useful features ; the exterior surfaces of the walls are well broken up by the buttresses and windows, with good effect, presenting altogether a much less bare and monotonous appearance than is usual in erections of the kind. The locomotive shops are arranged in the following order, side by side, lying north and south, with considerable spaces between them: boiler shop ; copper-smiths’ shop ; erecting shop ; and smiths’ shop, which contains also the forge and springmakers’ shop. Facing the north end of these shops, and lying east and west, arc the fitting and machine-shop, brass finishing shop, pattern shop, wheel and heavy-tool and grinding shop, engine house and boiler, and range of offices. These are all contained in a long two-storied building; and the space between this building and the ends of the other shops forms the yard, down which run three lines of rails, having turntables opposite the different shops. The wheel yard and tiring shed are between the erecting and smiths’ shop, and immediately facing the wheel shop. The carriage shops abut on the end of the two-storied building, the principal shop being placed next to and parallel with thc smiths’ shop. The wagon shop, a recent addition of considerable size, lies immediately behind the carriage shop and in the same line, both being served by the same steam traveller. The roads in these shops are at right angles to the length of the buildings. The saw mill, which has recently been considerably enlarged and contains some of the most modern wood-working machinery, is conveniently placed at one side of the carriage shop, the ends abutting on the timber yard and drying sheds.
The work carried out consists principally in the repair and renewal of locomotive engines and tenders. In the carriage and wagon shops have been constructed the whole of the carriages and a large proportion of wagons which have been added to the stock for many years past. The iron and brass foundry is at Dover. Immediately outside the works is a running shed, planned by the present locomotive superintendent, William Kirtley, and the total number of men employed is 668. erected in 1877 to replace an old and inconvcnient round shed, which had become too small for the increased stock of engines. The area, of the new shed is 5,906 square yards, and it will hold ninety engines. In connection with the shed is a high-level coalstage conveniently arranged.

Broad Street Goods Station. 422.
At this goods station of the London and North Western Railway may be seen hydraulic qachinery used in the performance of work connected with the receipt and despatch of merchandise. It comprises hydraulic lifts for trucks and other purposes, hydraulic capstans, and the engine and boiler house.

Whitecross Street Goods Station. 422.
This is one of the city warehouses for the receipt and delivery of goods carried by the Midland Railway. The machinery is worked by hydraulic power ; and the engines, boilers, hoists, cranes, &c., employed to do the work, are as follows.
There are two pairs of horizontal direct-acting hydraulic pumping engines; one pair has 18-inch cylinders with 30 inches stroke, and the other pair has 16-inch cylinders with 22 inches stroke. Three boilers of the locomotive type : cylindrical part 10 feet 6 inches long, and 4 feet 4 inches diameter; fire-box shell 5 feet 6 inches long. Each boiler has 150 tubes of 2 inches diameter, with a heating surface of 853 square feet ; heating surface of fire-box 94 square feet ; total heating surface 947 square feet. Fire-grate area 18 square feet. Steam pressure 100 lbs. per square inch. Two hydraulic accumulators : one has a ram 24 inches diameter and 20 feet stroke; the other has a ram 18 inches diameter and 20 feet stroke ; water pressure 720 lbs ...p er square inch. Nine hydraulic platform-cranes, of which two lift 50 cwts. each, five lift 25 cwts. each, and two lift 20 cwts. each. Two hydraulic wagonhoists, each lifting 20 tons ; three cage-hoists, each lifting 20 cwts. ; six jigger hoists, each lifting 30 cwts. ; total number of hoists, eleven. Fifteen hydraulic capstans, each having a hauling power of one ton. Five wagon-traversers, of which two are worked by hydraulic cylinders, and the other three by the capstans. The pressure main from the engine-house to the warehouse is 6 inches internal diameter. The exhaust water from the machines is returued to a tank in the engine-house to be used over again.

Volume 38 (1887)

Brown. Francis R.F.  
On the construction of Canadian locomotives. 186-273.

Arrol, William
Notes on the machixery employed at the Forth Bridge works. 312-16. Discussion: 317-22 + Plates 45-55.

Volume 39 (1888)

Geoghegan, Samuel
Description of tramways and rolling stock at Guinness's Brewery. 327-40. Disc.: 340-62 + Plates 51-68.

Volume 40 (1889)

Urquhart, Thomas
Supplementary paper on the use of petroleum refuse as fuel in locomotive engines. 36-84.

Lapage, R. Herbert
On compound locomotives. 85-117. Disc.: 118-47 + Plates 23-35.
Experience of two-cylinder compounds in the Argentine. Also included data on coke consumption of compound tramway locomotives on the Manchester Bury Rochdale and Oldham Tramways and on the Rossendale Tramway.
Discussion: Samuel Johnson (118-19) wrote that he had had no experience with" compound locomotive engines, but had watched with considerable interest the records of the working of the Webb and Worsdell compounds, the results of which he thought were such as were likely to be obtained by the use of a higher boiler-pressure and a higher degree of expansion. He had not yet seen any records of trials made in Britain between simple and compound engines where equal boiler-pressures and the same kind and quality of fuel had been used, and where the engines had been capable of taking the same maximum load ; and to his mind comparisons made on other bases than them were of little value. With regard to the experiments made by Adams on the London and South Western Railway with both Mr. Webb's and Mr. Worsdell's compounds, in neither case had he been able to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion ; and he thought it would afford valuable information if these experiments could be continued until something definite was arrived at.
The saving of fuel by the compounds was given at 15%. Some three years ago he had made a number of locomotive boilers to work at a pressure of 160 psi, and had employed the engines on the same duties as those working at 140 psi; in every other respect the engines were of the same class. The result had at once been a saving of fuel of from 11 to 13%. with the higher pressure, a saving almost directly in proportion to the increase of 14¼%. in the boiler pressure. From the 20 lbs. increase in pressure no inconvenience whatever had been experienced in any of the working parts of the engines-cylinders, valves, rods, or bearings. He had no prejudice either in favour of for or against any particular design of engine, providing it was suited to the work it had to perform; and he should be in favour of any engine which could be proved to do an equal amount of mechanical duty to an ordinary engine, with a smaller amount of fuel and at lower aggregate cost.
The question arose, how far could the ordinary boiler-pressure of 140 psi in the simple engine be increased with advantage, and without inconvenience in working ; and to what extent had tho compound engine an advantage, if any, over the simple engine. It must be admitted there were several good points about Mr. Webb's compound engine : - firstly, it got rid of outside coupling-rods ; secondly, the fire-box and grate area could be made as large as could be wished ; thirdly, there was only a single-crank axle, instead of a double one. But on the other hand there were three cylinders and three sets of motion to do the work, instead of two, involving a consequent increase of friction owing to increased number of parts.
As a specimen of the working of heavy fast main-line passenger trains on the Midland Railway, the results from a number of engines over a considerable period on the Carlisle section showed a consumption of 29-3 lbs. of fuel per train-mile with an average load of 133/8 vehicles, and 30.1 Ibs. per train-mile on the Leicester and London section with an average of 14¼ vehicles : using in each case the ordinary coal of the district. The booked speeds of these trains were from 48 to 50 miles per hour; and the coal used included that for getting up steam, standing &c., in fact all coal bookcd to the engine. The published consumption of Mr. Webb's large compounds on similar duties he believed was 29.5 lbs. per train-mile.

English, Thomas
Further experiments on condensation and re-evaporation of steam in a jacketed cylinder. 641-702.

First Report of the Research Committee on the Value of the Steam-jacket: tabulated results of previous experiments; Alexander Blackie and William Kennedy. 703-45.