Journal of the Institution of Locomotive
Volume 13 (1923)
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Journal No. 58 (January-February)
Eckhard, K.N. (Paper No. 132)
The maintenance of the electric rolling stock of the Central Argentine Railway. 9-45. Disc.: 45-60.
Members of South American Centre met at Tigre, Argentina, on Friday, 29 September 1922. Author was Resident Engineer of Electrification, Central Argentine Railway,. A W. Bannantyne, Chief Mechanical Engineer, Buenos Aires Western Railway, and Vice-Chairman of the South American Centre, presided. Subsequently a visit was made to the car shed and workshop for the electric stock. The Chairman said: I am glad that the electrified service on the Retiro to Tigre via Victoria branch of the Central Argentine Railway was inaugurated on the 25 August 1916. Since then the service had operated with complete success, both from an engineering and a traffic point of view. The increase in the number of passengers carried had been gratifying, as will be seen from the following figures, especially when it is remembered that during the past few years building, due to the price of materials, had been far below normal for the suburbs of Buenos Aires
Deacon, R.D. (Paper No. 133)
Oil fuel burning. 61-9.
Author was Locomotive Superintendent, Central Railway of Peru.
The following are some of the advantages of oil fuel :-
1. Almost total elimination of labour in handling the fuel. In some cases this being absolute, the oil passing by gravity directly from the tank wagon to the storage tank and thence to the burner.
2 Oil suffers no loss or deterioration by handling or storage for any length of time, such as coal in loss of calorific power occasioned by long storage added to deterioration of the fuel by breakage, etc.
3 The smaller bulk of oil in relation to its power-producing capacity compared to coal, occupying only half the storage space required for coal to produce equal power.
4 Elimination of all charges in connection with the removal of ashes and cinder from ashpits, etc.
5. The oil burner is a mechanical stoker using little power and requiring no attention in action. Having no moving parts it requires no maintenance and entails no supervision, except for adjustment in relation to work required.
6 The time necessary to change over from coal to oil requires no longer than a week.
7. The time required to raise steam can be considerably reduced.
8. Flexibility of firing conditions.
The combustion of oil in the furnace or firebox of a boiler can be, and often is, a wasteful and smoky performance, but with a properly-designed burner and equipment combustion is literally perfect and smokeless, there being neither soot nor dust deposited in the tubes or flues. Mith a well-designed burner the flame produced is entirely luminous, and consequently gives up a large amount of its heat by radiation, and so prevents scouring of the plates by intensely hot non-radiant gases, a process which gives rise to severe local heating and deterioration of plates and stays.
Kelway-Bamber, H. (Paper No. 134)
South African railways and their rolling stock. 79-95. Disc.: 253-61.
Extraordinary General Meeting was held at the Engineers Club, Coventry Street, London, on Thursday, the 23 November 1922, at 7 p.m. The chair uas taken by Colonel Kitson Clark in the absence of the President, who wrote regretting that he was unable to be present on such an important occasiori.
South African transport problems are governed by:
(a) Small population in relation to area.
(b) Great distances between:
(i) Chief industrial centres and coast;
(ii) Principal centres of population
(iii) Producing and consuming areas.
(c) Albsence of navigable waterways or canals.
(d) Vast tracts of undeveloped territory which railways must traverse to reach their objectives.
The railways of the Union of South Africa were, with a few exceptiona, owned and worked by a Department of State known as the Railways and Harbours Administration.
Fourth Ordinary General Meeting (1922-23 Session) of the Manchester Centre held at the College of Technology, Manchester, on Friday, 5 January 1923: Mr. A.E. Kyfin presiding. Discussion. Kyffin (255-6+) showed pictures of Beyer Garratts plus a diagram (side elavtion) of a 4-8-2+2-8-4 Garratt.
Fourth Ordinary General Meeting (1922-23 Session) of the Leeds Centre was held at The Railway Institute, Darlington, on 16th February, 1923, at. 7 p.m., Mr. C. N. Goodall, Chairman oi the Centre, presiding.
Robinson, C.H. (Paper No. 135)
The main base locomotive workshops of the British Expeditionary Force, St. Etienne du Rouvray. 97-132. (Disc.: 123-4). 5 illus., 9 diagrs.
Second Ordinary Genera1 Meeting (1922-23 Session) of the Scottish Centre held in the Royal Technical College, George Street, Glasgow, on Friday, 24 November, 1922, at 7.30 p.m.: Mr. Walter Chalmers (Chief Mechanical Engineer, North British Railway) occupying the chair.
The loss of the Nord Co.s main locomotive shops at Lille, besides many of their large sheds and repair shops near the Belgian border, was a very serious handicap; they also, of course, had to give up a large number of their staff for military service. The main locomotive shops were transferred to Amiens, which in peace time was a large district shop; they also managed to arrange repair shops in the Paris district.
There mas considerable difficulty in obtaining a suitable site for the new shops, but after many places had been reconnoitred and after many conferences with the French it was eventually decided on 28 January 1917, that the British Army should take oker the unfinished portions of the new shops of the Etat-Ouest Rly., at St. Etienne du Rouvray a village about three miles from Rouen on the main line to Paris, and about one mile from the old Etat-Ouest shops at Sotteville. This line was the first railnay built in France, and much of the original works remained a t Sotteville.
Nevertheless, it would appear at first glance that this site was too removed from ihe traffic area operated by the British Army, but there were three very good points in its favour :
Firstly: It was a good distance from the fighting area Borre was in a very unsafe position, as was proved later, and the possibility of having to evacuate St. Etienne was almost as remote as that of losing the war.
Secondly: It was in a good position for one of the main base ports, le Havre, where there were ample facilities for unloading heavy machinery, such as locomotives, and at the same time there was a reasonably good railway connection with the north-east. There was also a very good connection with Paris and the south-west for such ports as St. Nazaire, if required.
1hirdly: Work had been commenced, practically all foundations were in, some of the structural steel work was already erected and the rest was on the site. Overhead cranes were also on order and were due for delivery.
On page 123 there is a list of all the locomotives used by the British Expeditionary Force between 1917 and 1919; this includes locomotives from the Caledonian, GCR (0-6-0 and 0-8-0 as well as WD 2-8-0); GER; GNR; GWR; LYR; LBSCR; LNWR; Midland; NBR; NER and SECR.
Journal No. 59 (March April)
Smith, J.W. (Paper No. 136)
Some details of locomotive practice. 135-50. Disc.: 151-60.
Third Ordinary General Meeting (1922-23 Session) of the Manchester Centre was held at the College of Technology, Manchester, on Friday, 1st December, 1922, Mr. W. Rowland being in the chair.
Inside and outside cylinder designs. Discussion: W.G.P. Maclure (151) considered that the objection to outside cylinders, so far as the riding of an engine is concerned, was influenced by a certain amount of prejudice, the general design of the engine having a great deal more to do with the riding. It must be admitted that the liability for condensation in the case of the outside cylinder is greater, and there is often some difficulty with regard to smokebox joints being kept tight; but this, I think, takes place more particularly when the cylinders are fastened on to the frames instead of being built up with a centre portion to form one complete unit. J. Parry (151-2) noted outside cylinders obviated the use of crank axles, and little can be said that is good about a crank axle. The rolling of outside cylinder engines is sometimes aggravated by the use of short connecting rods. The GCR engines, which Mr. Maclure had experienced all had very long connecting rods. Rolling could be reduced by using stiff bearing springs and making up for the consequent reduced longitudinal flexibility by compensatitlg beams. It is much more difficult to counterbalance the effects of reciprocating parts in an outside cylinder engine than those of an inside cylinder engine; but with six or more coupled wheels and a long wheel base, very good results can be obtained. Many outside cylinder engines suffer through want of rigidity at the front end, resulting in the failure of pipes, or at least theii joints. This fault had been met by rigidly connecting the cylinders together, as Mr. Maclure intimated.
McColl, J. (Paper No. 137)
Impressions of modern locomotive design, with observations on their performance on the road. 175-92. Disc.: 192-203.
Third Ordinary General Meeting (1922-23 Session) of the Scottish Centre was held in the Royal Technical College, George Street, Giasgow, on Friday, 15 December, 1922, at 7.30 p m., Walter Chalniers (Chief Mechanical Engineer, North British Railway) being in the chair.
This accentuates North British Railway policy. W. Chalmers chaired the meeting. (Chief Mechanical Engineer). The author favoured the 4-4-2 over the 4-6-0 as it was possible to improve the shape of the grate, avoiding excessive length and slope. He favoured a large grate area in relation to thetube heating surface area. He noted that the rapid changes of gradient experienced in Scotland could lead to gradual damage to the lead fusible plugs and cause unexpected catastrophic failure. Favoured superheating and mechanical lubricators, especially the Intensifore type
"It has been said that the " Atlantic " type engine has not been a success anywhere, even on fairly level roads, due to the limited weight available for adhesion. The Author has had a good deal to do with it on anything but level roads, and he maintains that any other type that may come along to try and run it down has got to " lift its legs," so to speak, whether going up hill or down dale. Quite recently a fine performance was made by an " Atlantic enginc. It took a load of 410 tons behind the tender up a gradient of I in 96 for 6½ miles at a uniform speed of 29 miles per hour, having previously started the load on an up grade of I in 200 for about half a mile before it reached the 1 in 96 grade. The engine was built in Hyde Park Works and put in traffic eighteen months ago. During that time it has been working an average of 200 miles per day. There has been no heating in any moving parts; as a matter of fact, the big ends are exactly as they came out of the Works. Twice during the time it has been running it has had the valves and pistons examined, and strange to say there was no carbon deposit on them. For heavy express work the '' Atlantic " is hard to beat, and the men who can handle it have little trouble, even in the most unfavourable weather. The author makes no comparison with it and the up-to-date 4-4-0 type of express locomotive, which only proves its insignificance when put on the same traffic as the " Atlantic." Impressions of other types of engines on lower grade passenger work might be given, but time does not admit of it, and goods engines of various types were dealt with by a member last year,". Some consideration was given to injectors.
Byrne, Basil (Paper No. 138)
The constitution of iron and steel: an exposition of the application of the science of metallography to the study of the physical properties and heat-treatment of steels and cast irons. 208-52. bibliography
Fourth Ordinary General Meeting (1922-23 Session) was held at the Engineers Club, Coventry Street, London on Wednesday, 20 December 1922, Major Williams, Member of Council, taking the chair. See also Paper No. 152.
Stress testing could:
(1) Those in which a dead load is applied to a rotating specimen, which ultimately fails under repeated bending.
(2) Those in which the test piece is made to act as an elastic constraint between the prime mover and a reciprocating or oscillating mass. (generally known as direct stress machines)
(3) Machines designed to produce a combination of stresses such as tension bending or torsion bending
Discussion: Sir Henry Fowler: I should like to congratulate the Institution on having had a Paper of this description presented to it. I know that is the usual thing for the speaker to say, but I am saying it very sincerely. This is a subject to which I have given all the attention I have becn able to, and I therefore appreciate very much the way in which the .luthor has put forward the question of fatigue and the results of various tests quoted in the first part. The work is one of the very greatest importance to us as locomotive engineers. When Professor Lea, who one is always so delighted to remember obtained his first training in the locomotive shops at Crewe, publishes more thoroughly the work that he has carried out and is still carrying out in what one may call the " Fatigue Laboratory " at Birmingham, I think we shall probably get some further light on this subject.
There is one point the Author has spoken of in which the Americans, I think, have carried their work forward in a way in which we have unfortunately not done in this country (with the exception of Professor Lea), and that is the question of carrying the experiments to a xery great length. I know a certain eminent metallurgist, who discussed the matter with me many years ago, thought ~o,ooo,ooor eversals was quite enough for any material. Now in dealing, for instance, with the straight axle of a fairly small wheel of a locomotixe, me can easily run up to fipe hundred million reversals, and it is in such cases that we frequently get trouble. I have given this matter very considerable thought lately because by periodical examinations it is ascertained that a fatigue flaw may be started after material has stood 100,000,000 reversals. But there is one point we cannot forget which is peculiar to our railway work, and that is that we are not giving a steady reversal stress to the material we have in service. I remember many years ago when I was a student saying that I was surprised that locomotives ever ran on rails at all, and as a matter of fact when one deals with these repetition stresses one has still a feeling of surprise that locomoti.ces run for any length of time, because they are subjected to shocks from various causes-from loose rail joints, from check rails, etc. The material does not therefore get that steady reversal of stress that is coupled to the ordinary conditions under which the fatigue range of materials is ascertained. 'There are, however, I believe, experiments being carried out at the present time in which the specimen under fatigue test is receix ing an additional periodical blow and therefore an additional stress.
These points that I have spoken ofof getting trouble after a very large number of reversals we are all acquainted with, and I do feel that if there are some members here who would give their experience in that direction, it would help us because it is a most complex subject, and one which it is essential to deal with from a railway point of view. I am pleased to find the Author has noted the point that there is a similarity between flint flake and the fatigue fracture. Some work was carried out some ten years ago by Frernont-Ville on research into the fractures occurring under impact; and I think it would be found that there is, practically speaking, the same phenomena there, and one can trace back to the nucleus the point from which the stress started.
The other day I had the opportunity to visit those wonderful "abri" at Les Eyzies, and it is possible to tell whether one has got a real flake which was chipped off by some fellow 20,000 years ago by this particular test.
There is one point, however, that the Author has not dealt with in all these investigations it is generally assumed that the steel one is dealing with is perfect, uniform, homogeneous and is free from non-metallic inelusions But I believe that our great trouble with regard to the majority of fatigue flaws is due not so much to the question of scratches, although that has a very important bearing as. anyone who reads the work of Taylor and Griffiths will appreciate, but also to the presence of non-metallic inclusions in steel. This is particularly so with regard to crank axles. One cannot expect to get a mass like an ingot from which a crank axle is made, free from those non-metallic inclusions, and I feel very strongly that that is one of the sourcesof flaws in crank axles. The same thing holds, but to a less degree, with any mass of metal which has not received a very large amount of work and been reduced in section from the original size.
Lee, Wallace and Edwin Welch (Paper No. 139)
Development, description and application of locomotive applicances and fittings. 269-350.
Fourth Ordinary General Meeting of the South American Centre (1921-22 Session) was held in the Teatro Florida, Buenos Aires, on the 2znd day of December, 1922, a t 9.30 a.m., Mr. M. F. Ryan, C.B.E., occupying the chair. There were 135 members present. A Paper was read by Messrs. W. R. Lee and E. A. Welch, both of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, Buenos Aires, and this was afterwards discussed.
Fire doors; steam grate shakers; air bell ringers; electric headlights; and air sanders. Presented in Argentina: North American practice).
Journal No. 60 (May to June 1923)
Tritton, J.S. (Paper No. 140).
The internal combustion locomotive for railway use. 359-79. Disc. 379-405 + 2 folding plates. 16 diagrs., 3 tables.
Fifth Ordinary General Meeting of the 1922-23 Session was held at the Engineers Club, Coventry Street, on Thursday, the 25th day of January, 1923, at 7 p.m. The chair was taken by Sir Philip Nash, Vice-President.
Includes an account of the Still system.
Gresham, J.N. (Paper No. 141)
The theory and practice of steam jet instruments. 407-43. Disc.: 568-78.
Fifth Ordinary General Meeting (1922-23 Session) of the Manchester Centre was hdd at the School of Technology, Manchester, on Friday, the 2 February 1923. The chair was taken by Mr. W. Rowland. Abstract of paper in Locomotive Mag., 1923, 29. 114. In about 1849, Giffard, who was at the time experimenting with steam engines for dirigible balloons, first conceived his idea for utilising the energy of a jet of steam for forcing water into a boiler, and at the same time overcoming the difliculty he was experiencing with pumps for that purpose, due to their heavy weight. Giffards idea was not entirely- new, for in 1570 we have record of a crude ejector apparatus used by Vitrio and Philebert De Lorme; but the first device that bears any resemblance to the principle of the injector mas patenteL on 15th August, 1818, by Mannoury de Dectot, who utilised steam to raise water, the combined jet playing on to a paddle wheel. It was six years later (1857) that Giffard made his instrument, and this delay nearly lost him the honour of his invention, for in the same year Bourdon, the inventor of the well-known steam gauge, also took out a patent for an injector. The question of priority was finally settled in Giffards favour. About 1860 Sharp, Stewart & Co., then of Manchester, took up the manufacture of Giffards injector. They entrusted this department to the late James Gresham, whose energies in this direction were mainly responsible for the many improvements which have made it almost a universal fitting on locomotives to-day.
Before discussing the action of an injector, it will be as well to trace out the various improvements to this early type of Giffard's. Fig. 1 shows the first improvement, which only differs from the original in that it is somewhat neater and has no "peep-holes" for seeing whether it is at work or not. The great fault of these early instruments was that they required almost constant attention to see that they did not stop working, or else the steam would blow back into the tank and heat the water up; even lukewarm water made them very difficult to start. The cones were solid with the body and not renewable; the steam ram packing was most unreliable, allowing steam to leak through and destroy the vacuum in the lifting chamber. In 1864 Mr. Gresham took out a patent for improved construction. The steam ram was dispensed with and fixed nozzles used in its place. The water was regulated by moving the combining and delivery cone by means of a rack and pinion, as shown in Fig. 2. The cones were also now renewable, but, like the early Giffard, it required a certain amount of skill to operate this injector and necessitated constant attention from the fireman to regulate it, for if the boiler pressure dropped 10 lbs. or more, it would overflow. About the year 1869 Mr. Gresham introduced the first radical improvement by utilising a divergent instead of convergent steam nozzle. Since the introduction of the steam turbine a great deal has been written on the flow of steam through different shapes of nozzles, and only last year Professor Stoney published several articles on this subject, based on experiments carried out in the Manchester University, and more recently still Professor Mellanby has presented a Paper an the subject to the Institution.
Andrew, J.H. (Paper No. 142)
Special steels. 444-57.
Fifth Ordinary General Meeting (Session 1922-23) was held in the Societies Room, Royal Technical College, George Street, Glasgow, on Thursday, 15 February, 1923, at 7.30 p.m. Mr. Walter Chalmers, Chairman of the Centre, occupied the chair.
Dalby, W.E. (Paper No. 143).
Mechanical transport and some of its problems. 466-72. Disc. : 472-8 + 2 folding plates. 8 diagrs., 4 maps.
Includes a plea for a testing station.
The Rocket combined. three essential mechanical elements never before brought together, namely: multitubular boiler, blast pipe and the cylinder directly connected to the crank. The Rocket in its trials achieved a speed of 44 miles per hour. Thus was born the railway era. Energy was now flung into the building of railaays, and this developed into the madness which culminated in the financial crash of 1847. But out of that fine frenzy our railway system ot to-day was born. Prior to that on 17 July, 1761, a new era dawned. On that day the first Bridgewater Canal was opened, connecting Worsley with Manchester. The tractive resistance of a canal boat is low. With aid of maps transport across the Vale of the White Horse is considered. Part of the main lines from London to Bristol pass across this area. Whilst Cirencester is a knot in rhe network of Roman roads, Swindon is a knot in the railuay network. Imagine a Bristol express to enter the area on the east. It may weigh, say, 400 tons and carry 1,000 passengers. The section of the line on the map is 30 miles long, and the express will pass off at the western edge in 30 minutes. To carry 1,000 passengers over the road would necessitate a string of 50 stage coaches, and the journey would probably occupy three hours. A pedestrian would take 10 hours to cover the journey. Turning to goods tfansport, a coal train from South Wales would carry 1,000 tons of coal across the area in, say, two hours. By canal it would require a string of 20 barges to transport 1,000 tons across the area, and, even neglecting time lost at locks, it would occupy 10 hours. Again, to move 1,000 tons across the area, a string of 10,000 packhorses would be required. Since then a motorway has come to dominate freight transport and one wonders what Dalby would have made of it.
Edwards, W.S. (Paper No. 144)
Training of apprentices. 480-8. Disc.: 489-513.
Sixth Ordinary General Meeting of the 1922-23 Session was held at the Engineers Club, Coventry Street, London., on the 22 February 1923, Mr. J. Bowden, Chief Superintendent, Woolwich Arsenal, occupying th: chair. Based on practice at W.G. Bagnall of Stafford. Discussion: Bearman (502): I have been, unfortunately, a premium apprentice on the Great Western. Their system is to have three classes of apprentice. First of all the ordinary apprentice, that is, one whose father or relation is in the companys service. Secondly a premium apprentice, that is, a person coming from outside who pays £100 for five years ; and thirdly a pupil, who pays £150 a year. The first two are paid wages, but the pupil gets nothing. The period is for four years in the case of the premium apprentice and five years in the case of the ordinary. When the apprentice enters the Great Western, if he is a premium apprentice he is put on the marking-off table just to find his feet a bit. If he is an ordinary apprentice he is put to work on small engines, and generally employs himself in getting in and out of tanks and places where a large man could not get. The premium apprentice, after coming off the markingoff table, is generally put on to turret lathes or some repetition lathes, and kept there until a vacancy occurs ; but generally speaking he is dependent upon the foreman for his promotion. There is no recognised rule. There are two machine shops in which he can start, but there are no turret lathes in one of the shops. It depends entirely on the foreman to which shop he goes, so it is entirely by chance whether he does any repetition machine work or not.
From there he goes to the fitting shops, and perhaps remains until a vacancy occurs in the erecting shop. He stays in this shop until he is 21, when possibly there is a vacancy in the drawing office and he may get three months or more there, according to circumstances. In October, 1921, the rule was that on attaining the age of 21, if unable to get into the drawing ,oftice, he automatically left the companys service. On the other hand, if he should be fortunate enough to be allowed an extra period he went into the drawing ofice for that time and then left.
The technical education system is that the apprentice first starts by attending three nights a week. At the end of the session an examination is held, and those who pass high enough are enabled to go to the technical school one day a week free of charge, and also one evening. The remainder continue to attend the ordinary classes three nights a week throughout the apprenticeship. The day classes are under the control of qualified teachers engaged by the town council; but the instructors for the evening classes are recruited from the drawing ofice staff at the workswhich, I think, is much the better plan
It depends upon chance how the apprentice progresses through the factory. If he gets on favourably with the foreman he may possibly get a more varied experience
Another feature is that there is no communication between the foreman and the management. It would be a good thing if better records were kept. Should a foreman leave, the apprentice is practically unknown to his successor. The chief point raised by Great Western men is that they are unable to hold other companys positions; and I really think if the Great Western were to adopt the system advocated by the Author of the Paper there would be a great many more Great Western men in the big positions than at present.
W.A. Lelean: As a G.W.R. man I would like to say thxe is something to be said for the Spartan system started b! Nr. Dean, the former locomotive superintendent. He had ap objection to any nursing of his apprentices, and the slstem of requiring every apprentice to leave when his time was out compelled the development of a certain initiatixe at the outset of their career. He had, further, no sympathy with those who could not get up in the morning, good time-keeping being with him a prime recommendation for any appointment he had to make. His attitude with ali parents and guardians pressing him as to the future of any apprentice was I only make mechanics ; it is for them to make themselves engineers. He simply provided facilities for men to train in his shops and left it to their own application and initiative to fit themselves by attendance at exening classes or otherwise for any future appointments as officer\. None the less, it is questionable if the system advocatzd hq Mr. Edwards is not a better one. Out of the men that \Lent through Swindon works, there were very few men who had grit enough in them lo attend the classes regu- Iarl>, and considering the number of apprentices, the attendance at the classes in Mr. Deans time was lamentable. I have had a good deal to do with apprentices since then, and I am satisfied that every young man coming from school and going into the works needs some inducement and encouragement, or rather, as Mr. Edwards has put it, needs to be shown the necessity for starting on his technical training in a proper way. I do not think that any scheme such as the welfare system that the Midland and other companies have introduced for their apprentices can be in any sense called a superfluous scheme. I was very much impressed with the Midland scheme, and think the men that are turned out from the Midland are clear proof of the advantages of that systemas also those from Horwich.
The Author made reference to the insular effect of all the people in their own works being trained solely in their own aorlis, and other speakers have referred to the undesirability of that. Here again the Great Western system has distinct advantages. They used to sack all of us wrlieii we were out of our time, unless we happened to be fortunate enough to get into the drawing office, etc., but with the exception of just a few men, the whole of the men had to leaie Snindon and earn their money elsewhere before they came back into the works. That had the effect of introducing new ideas amongst the workmen there. There is just that danger which Mr. Edwards seems to be quite alive to, if he only engages workmen from their own apprentices.
I must eongratulate Mr. Edwards on the fortunate position that he is in, and I think it is largely clue to the system that he has introduced of looking after the apprentices that he has got more men fo choose from than he can find positions for.
I think also the system that he has of three months probation is an excellent one. There is no doubt that one does get young men sent forward by their parents, who have not the faintest idea of what engineering means. They are totally unfitted for it, and if there is not this recognised three months probation there is a tendency for them to be kept on them and they become a perfect drag on the works and a misery to themselves.
Mr. Edwards has provided a very unusual feature in his works in giving apprentices a chance of getting some idea of the costing department. I think he might even go further and give them some idea of the secretarial and correspondence work. It is surprising how few chances there are of any engineering apprentices, from whom engineers are going to be recruited for high positions, having any experience whatever in costing and secretarial correspondence before they actually have to take charge and attempt to supervise departments of which they have no knowledge whatever.
Another point in Mr. Edwards Paper was the change round from shop to shop and from trade to trade. At Swindon I started on the marking-off table, going from there on to the axle-turning lathe for nine months. Having no one to advise, and there being no welfare department, one had simply to stay where one was put. I regard fully six months of my first year as wasted time. I would like to ask Mr. Wooliscroft whether the different grades of apprentice all received the same pay.
Rowland, W. (Chairman's Address)
Engine loading for varying classes of traffic. 514-24. Disc.: 524-7.
Mercer, Ivor E. (Paper No. 145)
Locomotive running repairs. 528-47. Disc.: 548-59.
Fifth Ordinary General Meeting (1922-1923 Session) of the Sorth-Eastern Centre, held at the Mechanics Institute, London & North-Fastern Railway (G.N.Section), Doncaster, on Friday, 16 March, 1923: chaired Brocklebank. States Author based at Greenore, One essential method for keeping repairs at a minimum is that of thorough examinations. Some years ago a district man arranged for some men specially to examine axlebox lubrication on engines leaving a certain shed. A great deal of such lubrication included oil wells in the axlebox crowns, and it did not take very long for it to be found out that these examiners were drauing so much water from the axlebox crowns that the oil used by them was a very large quantity. This large extra issue of oil apparently frightened the men concerned, and the special examination was soon dispensed with. In that way repairs will never be reduced. If, in the instance mentioned, defective design was causing the oil to be washed out of the axlebox crowns, the only sensible thing to do was to replace the oil with more, while at the same time drawing the chief mechanical engineer's attention to the large quantity of oil needed. It is probable that if a reliable fitter and boilermaker examined every engine thoroughly before going out to work, everyday failures would be much less frequent than now. It is for the motive power superintendent to decide what is the practical happy medium in the daily examination. The method of using an ostler for engines arriving on the shed is a very good one where the number of engines warrants his employment. In the States he is used at what would seem to us quite small sheds, but American customs may not coincide with the needs of English railways
Hinds, C.N. (Paper No. 146).
Joints and jointing materials. 581-4. Disc.: 584-94.
Sixth Ordinary General Meeting (1922-23 Session) of the North-Eastern Centre was held at the Philosophical Hall, Leeds, on the 13th day of April, 1923, at 7.0 p.m. The chair was taken by Mr. C.N. Goodall, and two short Papers were read by Mr. C.R. Hinds in order to introduce a discussion OR Some Points in Locomotive Practice. The first Paper was upon Joints and Jointing Materials, and the second subject was Piston Tail Rods and Their Alternatives.
Hinds, C.N. (Paper No. 147)
Piston tail rods and their alternatives. 595-9. Disc.: 599-607.
Is a tail rod support to the piston head necessary?
If necessary, does this need apply to all diameters of cylinders ?
Is a tail rod support more needful with superheated than with saturated steam?
What design of tail rod aupport is best?
What lubrication arrangements should be supplied for the tail end support?
Is the usual tail rod sufficiently stiff?
In the absence of a tail rod support, what methods may be wed to prevent tbe piston head wearing into the cylinder?
Which of these alternative methods is best?
I.E. Mercer (602): With cast iron pistons of the right quality metal, pistons and cylinders have often run two or three general repairs without needing attention. It is thus proved in practice that a piston head is quite suitable for taking such pressures as may arise to bring the piston against the cylinder barrel. This being so, a tail rod but increases the weight of reciprocating parts and weight bearing down on the piston, unless it can rigidly hold the piston central in the cylinder throughout the stroke. Tail rods of usual dimensions are insufliciently stiff to hold the piston central; and to add adequate tail rod slipper and guide greatly increases cost of construction and maintenance, also increases reciprocating weight, n ithout being able to improve on the results of cast-iron piston heads without tail rods. Steel heads of any size used in main line engines will badly,score a cast-iron barrel if the steel bears on the barrel. Why not then cast an iron rim on to the steel head, as Mr.. Hinds suggests? Separate junk rings secured by nuts have always given trouble.
Parker, L.P. (Paper No. 148)
The coaling of locomotives. 609-16. Disc.: 617-28
Eighth Ordinary General Meeting (1922-23 Session) was held at the Engineers' Club, Coventry Street, W., on Thursday, the 26 April 1923, Mr. A. D. Jones, Past President, occupying the chair.
G.W. Selby (623-4) commented upon LNWR practice. The former North Western Railway had six mechanical coaling plants running of various types. Crewe North was the first, and was the only one similar in principle to the Trafford plant, although not so up-to-date. There were a lot of points embodied in the Trafford plant which were great improvements on Crewe North. They have a tippler discharging into an underground hopper that holds about 20 tons, from which there is a bucket conveyor. The buckets held about a third of a ton each, and emptied only when an engine was being coaled: when an engine came under the shoot the bucket conveyor was started and the number of bucketfuls discharged into the tender counted. That worked quite well and was fairly simple.
It had been suggested that one might have a high ramp and simply empty the coal right out. At Edge Hill there was a set of sidings about 30 to 40 feet above the track, and a branch was simply turned out of the sidings and a ferro-concrete bunker made underneath. Of course, that is the simplest possible way; there is nothing mechanical about it; one simply ran the wagon over the top and emptiede coal into the engines below.
The latest plant was Crewe South, and that is one where the wagon was lifted and tipped. which Selbie consideredto be the simplest and most satisfactory way, provided the bunker is not more than 400 tons. The Crewe South plant had these advantages: firstly, no underground bunker; there was no excavation work, and there was no necessity to keep a pump running to drain the underground bunker of water; secondly, only one lifting motor and only one set of mechanical work was involved, in place of having a tippler with an electric motor driving it, a distributor below the floor level, a rotating disc to draw the coal from the bottom of the .underground bunker and turn it on to the elevator; then a third motor driving the elevator, making three electric motors and three sets of mechanism at least-possibly a small electric motor for driving the pumps as well. The combined horse-powers of these motors were generally more than needed to lift the wagon. When the wagon is taken up on lift, the weight of the lift, of the empty wagon :iud half the probable charge, was counter-balanced. Carlisle and Camden had no overhead bunkers. balanced, so that all the electric motor had to do is to lift half the charge. It took just under two minutes at Crewe to raise the wagon and empty it, and just under two minutes to come back. In four minutes from the time the wagon was run on the table it could be emptied and back again ; that wagon's contents were now in the overhead bunker and there was nothing more to do: one man could look after it. One man and one shunter in the period during which bunkers were being filled, and one man only on the other tmo shifts where coal is simply being fed out of the bunker on to thc engines, are amply \ufficient, and I do not think that can be done with any other form of conveyor.
As regards measuring the coal, I think as a rule the main question for a railway company is whether they are getting the full amount of coal frotn the colliery that they are paying for; that seems to be the most important thing. Whether one engine is burning more than another does not matter exactly, unless tests are being carried out. The principle we propose to h a w in our next plant is to put '1 weighing machine in the base of the lift, and as the nagon comes into the lift it registers its weight, so that there ;s no waste of time at all.
I think the Crewe North plant has a calibrating arrangement, but I am not sure about the others ; some of them have calibrating arrangements and sonic have not. The point is that if the calibrating arrangements prokided could be guaranteed to actually measure the coal exactly, it would be perhaps worth while having them ; but they cannot bc relied on. We hale not tried an overturning scale arrangement, as has been suggested; I have never seen that applied to a locomotive coaling plant. The proposal is to open a valve and fill a i t h coal a box that is supposed to hold ten hundrednzight; then the valve is shut and the contents of the box shot into the tender; this operation i \ repeated a number of times, so that it takes about three to five minutes to coal an engine. By simply opening a vaI\rs and alloming the coal to shoot out on to the tender, thr" coaling is done in half a minute. Because the engine Sot six half-ton reservoirfuls it does not necessarily follow that it rereived three tons of coal, unless it was all small coal. Another point about the Crewe South plant is in reg;ird to dust. Everyone finds the Yame difficulty with the mechanical coaling plant ; there comes a time u hen it discharges a tenderful of dust. This has been graduall\ gathering together, and then it comes all a t once. At Crcne South it was found that there was one discharging shoot that generally turned the dust out. It happened in that plant to be directly under where the wagon tipped, and apparently the dust got straight down to the bottom and rhe big coal rolled down the slopes. A spout was put under that and it was used for coaling saddle tank engines.
The Chairman: A question has been raised as to whether hopper wagons were used.
Mr. Selbie: Any kind of wagon would do as long as its sides were not less than a not or eighteen inches high, and ilot niore than ten feet total height. The plant we are considcring now will handle anything from the smallest se\ enton coal wagon to our large standard locomotive coal wagons, which carry 20 tons comfortably. They are Ioft. high from the rail, 8ft. wide and 24ft. long, with a 12ft. wheelbase. An important practical point is to make the rlebator long enough to take the wheelbase of the largest aagon. I know a plant that has been put up with provision for only a nine-feet wheelbase. As regards oil coming out of the axleboxes, if the wagon i, run on, emptied and brought back immediately, there will not be much trouble. But if the wagon is not absolutely emptied when tipped, and the hopper only holds about twcnty tons, it is very much iriclined to jam ; the hopper is completely filled and thc tippler cannot be brought back, and the wagon may stand for five or ten minutes. That does :;he the oil time to come out.
Scottish Section meeting. 629-630.
Sixth Ordinary General Meeting held on 22 March, 1923. A paper was read by James Dalrymple on The Glasgow 'I'ramways. On thc afternoon of the smie day a visit was made to the Glnsgow Trammay Works at Coplawhill...
Journal No. 62
Heaton, Walter. (Paper 149)
Carriage bogie design. 632-95. Disc.: 695-716, 1924, 14, 614-626.
Bogies of lighter design, supporting equal weights, had been in use for oxer thirty years on steam stock and showed no signs of fracture; in fact, there were many bogies in use without headstocks which gave no such trouble. There may, however, have been other causes for fractures. It could be deduced that no pressed member for bogie framing for electric coaching stock should be less than ½in. thick and that means should be adopted to keep the frame rigid. Part 2 in Volume 18 Paper 222
Rodolfo Jaramillo (Paper No. 150)
The railways of Chile. 633-716.
The Chilian State Railways form three principal systems:
Arica to La Paz System.
The Arica to La Paz System in its Chilian section, has 206 km. of metre gauge. It is administered directly by the Government of Chile, which appoints a General Manager who is over both the Chilian and Bolivian sections.
The Northern System has 1,726 km. of metre gauge and will shortly have 2,439 km. when the 713 km. now operated temporarily by " The Chilian Northern Railway '' have been handed over.
The Southern System has 2,635 km. of 1.676 m. gauge and comprises the lines from Valparaiso to Santiago and Puerto Montt.
Both systems, the North and the South, constitute the Company of the State Railways, a powerful autonomous corporation which is administered, according to the 1914 law, by an Administrative Council of six members, two of them being nominated by the President of the Republic, two by the Chamber of Senators, and two by the Chamber of Deputies. The Council is presided over by the Director- General of the Company, who is nominated by the President of the Republic. The Members of Council nominated by the President of the Republic hold office for five years, those nominated by Congress three years, and the Director-General six years.
Sanderson, R.P.C. (Paper No. 151)
Heavy tonnage handling on railways of the United States. 733-59. Disc.: 759-60.
The haulage of coal, and the design of locomotives capable of hauling very heavy trains.
Presidential address. 762-5.
An examination of where the Institution was going: acknowledged the excellence of the Journal and the papers therein, but wondered whether the Institution should be doing more.
Byrne, Basil (Paper No. 152)
The fatigue of iron and steel: an essay on the practice of endurance testing and the mechanism of fatigue failure. 766-808. Disc.: 808-18.
The subject was then complex due to conflicting opinions and tentative theories inseparable from a comparatively new field of investigation, but there had emerged certain accepted proofs, The Paper is divided into two sections in an endeavour to separate and simplify branches of study which differ substantially from one another, while both are essential to an understanding of failures under repeated stress. Part I. is an account of the machines used in endurance testing and of the results obtained for various grades of steel. Part II. is intended as an introduction to the study of the inner structure of metals and its influence on their endurance. See also Author's Paper No. 138: The Constitution of Iron and Steel,