Journal of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers
Volume 47(1957)

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Volume 47 (1957)

Journal No. 255

Pepper, F.J.  (Paper No. 568)
Some considerations on the problem of the heating of British Railways carriages. 13-74.
60/100 lbs steam/h in Britain. Pressure not to exceed 50 psi due to flexible hoses

Turner, D.L.  (Paper No. 569)
Hydraulic buffers—a new factor in wagon design. 75-100.

Journal No. 256

Simpson, T.F.B. (Paper No. 570)
Diesel locomotive building and maintenance. 131-62. Disc.: 163-94.
At Derby Works, where speaker was Works Manager.Discussion: T. Hornbuckle (170-1) gave a brief historical description of how the LMS developed diesel shunting locomotives in the early 1930s, and the key influence of the Hunslet demonstrator locomotive working on the LMS.

Van Dorp, S.D. and Graham, G.W. (Paper No. 571)
Modern methods of train performance calculation. 195-222. Disc.: 222-6. Bibliography.
Analogue computers, including Hartree and Ingham's Differential Analyser of 1938; the SNFC Amsler Train Schedule Computer; a similar machine developed with English Electric and the English Electric DEUCE (Digital Electronic Universal Computing Engine).

Journal No. 257

Parsons, A.J.  (Paper No. 572)
Some aspects of locomotive boiler feed water treatment. 229-250.

Hancock, J.S.  (Paper No. 573)
A brief history of locomotive feed water treatment on the London Midland Region of British Railways. 251-62. Disc.: 262-93.
Locomotive boiler feed water treatment is 80% chemicaI and 20% mechanical engineering. If the chemical basis of the treatment is correct and capable of giving the results required, then how it is applied, whether by the engine tender or by lineside plants, does not matter very much. The method of treating feed water used by the LMS/London Midland Region over the past 25 years involved lineside softening and conditioning plants to provide a general type of low hardness, alkaline feed water well suited for use in boilers not fitted with desludging valves as was at present the case on this Region. These lineside water softening and conditioning plants are not difficult to operate and their output efficiency rarely fell below 95%.
T. Henry Turner, (263-6) said that, since he had taken part in the discussion on Hancock’s Paper in 1936, he was glad to be able to make some comments in the present discussion. The subject of the two Papers was of importance to all railway mechanical engineers in charge of steam locomotives, because new mechanical devices and chemicals were now available. He welcomed the Paper by Parsons, because he was greatly indebted to Stanley Stevens for his advice regarding the use of sodium aluminate in softeners when he had first become responsible for the treatment of locomotive feed water on the LNER in 1930, the year which . Hancock mentioned.
His chief then, later known as Sir Nigel Gresley, had appointed him Chairman to a Committee on which locomotive works managers, running superintendents, outside machinery engineers and accountants from each of the Southern, North Eastern and Scottish Regions had sat together to assess the effect of boiler water composition on locomotive maintenance routines and costs.
He had set up a Water Treatment Section and standardised the method of boiler water analysis in each of his four laboratories, and set about obtaining chemical analyses of every locomotive feed water used on the LNER. When 20 years later the Railway Executive had set up a Water Treatment Committee, the LNER had been able to table at once the complete list of their boiler water analyses and they had been the only British Railway able to do so. In 1942 he had proposed the formation of a British Standards Institution Committee to investigate various aspects of boiler water treatment, and again he had had the greatest possible help from the organisation which Parsons represented. In almost every one of the numerous BSI Committees for which he had been responsible from 1942 until the present day, that organisation had been liberal in sharing its “know-how,” as a result of which there were now in existence British Standard Specifications : -
Methods of Sampling Water used in Industry B.S. 1328: 1956
Methods of Testing Water used in Industrv B.S. 2690: 1956
Methods of Sampling and Testing Boiler Water Deposits B.S. 2455: 1954
Treatment of Water for Land Boilers B.S. 2486: 1954
Treatment of Water for Marine Boilers B.S. 1170: 1947
One of the first decisions of those Committees had been to use parts per million in expressing the composition of water. He was pleased to see that in Parsons’ Paper he gave the figures in brackets as parts per million. Hancock’s Paper gave them as grains per gallon. In some places grains per gallon was written in full, in others as g.p.g. He recommended that the Institution of Locomotive Engineers should adopt the p.p.m. method, as its Journal was read throughout the world, and p.p.m. would be understood, whereas grains per gallon had a different meaning when speaking of an American gallon and a British gallon.
Unfortunately, there was still no British Railways Code of Practice for the treatment of locomotive boiler water. British Railways had never had a single executive who could speak as the expert solely responsible for locomotive boiler water treatment, recommend policy, and be responsible for its implementation. It was perhaps not surprising, therefore, that these Papers praised the outstanding success of boiler water treatment on the SNCF, for on that railway Louis Gintrac might write on paper bearing his own name only, above the valuable title “Chef de la Section Traitement des Eaux de la SNCF.”
Before he had been appointed Chief Chemist and Metallurgist of the LNER, the Chief Mechanical Engineers of the four grouped railways had combined to support research to find a better firebox copper. Coming to the railway as an outsider, he had regarded that as a well-meant effort which overlooked the fact that even with the most corrosion-proof copper raw water would still encrust the boiler with scale and cause priming and carry-over. With the permission of his Chief Mechanical Engineer, he had put in hand tests with sodium aluminate at Mexborough and Annesley, where magnesium-bearing hard waters had proved intractable to ordinary lime-soda softening. The LNER Committee of which he had been Chairman had recommended complete softening of all boiler water, but the management had not felt that it could take so drastic a step, and had authorised the procedure of the second recommendation. This was that they should soften the worst waters on the basis of the amount of damage they were causing, which they had calculated from his formula, which included the quantity of water used and its temporary and permanent hardness. As a result, within the next six years the Great Northern main line softening plants had been installed and had produced such a revolution in boiler conditions that, as reported in the discussion on Mr. Hancock’s Paper in 1936, the LNER Pacific locomotive boilers had been as clean in the previously bad water areas on the Great Northern Railway as they had been when using the almost pure Scottish area waters.
The LNER had approved two further extensions of water softening, the last on the basis of their accountants’ proof of the financial success of their full use of water softening plants, worked to produce a water of minimum hardness. Nevertheless, their lime-soda, sodium aluminate external softening plants had been constantly falling short of perfection because of mechanical breakdowns and human errors. They ought to have instituted control by tests of the water in each boiler, instead of tests of the water leaving each softener. Nevertheless, great financial benefit had resulted to the LNER and greater use of the available locomotives had been achieved during the war period because of water treatment. It was tragic that the war had prevented the completion of the schemes voted by the LNER directors and that subsequent managements had never taken water treatment to its logical conclusion, as had the S.N.C.F. Before his death, Sir Nigel Gresley had learned to have faith in water treatment. M. Louis Armand had described water treatment as “Une chose de foi et de discipline.” Armand had faith and successfully imposed the discipline.
In a world of changes, where leaders had been shuttled from Region to Region, it was not surprising that similar faith in water treatment had not been shown by the propaganda-present company excepted-of any of the post-Bulleid mechanical engineers. Just before D-day, he had, at Mr. Bulleid’s request, gone to Eastleigh to inspect some tubes and in 1946 to study the corroded inner steel firebox which had been cut out of the boiler of Mr. Bulleid’s first “Merchant Navy” locomotive. He had then written that from the water treatment chemist’s point of view the corrosion was what should be expected, and that if Mr. Bulleid adopted full water treatment, such as T.I.A., his steel firebox should resist corrosion. Mr. Bulleid had adopted the T.I.A. method; .ten years later his steel fireboxes were still in use, and from the Clean Air Act point of view those locomotives had reduced the smoke nuisance by minimising cold lighting up.
With the lesson of Suez and the uncertainties as to oil supplies in mind, they must realise that many steam locomotives might have to serve Great Britain for unspecified years to come, despite the intentions of the Railway Modernisation plan; but with diesels and electrification coming, boilersmiths would not be easily encouraged to apprentice their sons to follow them in their trade, and craftsmen would be ever more difficult to find. Full water treatment with log book control of the water in each boiler would make the boiler tubes and fireboxes last as long as they were needed. The men to controI the water treatment would be easier to find and less numerous than boilersmiths.
He saw great advantages in British Railways declaring that that was their policy. So far there appeared to have been no public statement of their policy as regards .boiler water treatment for all Regions, such as had been available in France for ten years, with such outstanding success in its application. Parsons’ Paper indicated that they had in this country the “know-how.” They could only ask, therefore, that the modernisation programme of British Railways should make full use of this potentially valuable knowledge. Hancock’s Paper was entitled “A Brief History,” but it included no bibliography. He therefore contributed a short alphabetical bibliography on the subject of locomotive feed water treatment prepared for him by the Librarian of British Railways Research Department; those 50 references should prove helpful to serious students of locomotive boiler water treatment. (See page 260-Editor).

Campbell, A. (Paper No. 574)
Unification of freight vehicles on oversea railways. 294-332

Fancutt, F. (Paper No. 575)
Painting and cleaning of rolling stock. 333-68

Cox, E.S. (Presidential Address)
Approach to modernization. 384-416. 14 illus., 3 diagrs. (incl. s. els.), 5 tables, plan, map. Bibliog.
Includes a short sketch of Ivatt's policy.

Wilke, Gerhard (Paper No. 577)
Modern battery railcars. 455-75. Disc.: 476-91.

Journal No. 259

Seddon, N. (Paper No.578)
The elements of electric transmissions for diesel locomotives—a review of the fundamental considerations. 492-520.

Glasspoole, W.F. (Paper No. 579)
Some thoughts on gas turbine locomotives. 521-40. Disc.: 540-3.

Koffman, J.L. (Paper No. 580)
Vibrational aspects of bogie design. 549-686; 48, 139-50.
P. Pringiers (Seraing, 139-42) wrote about sensitivity of passengers to vibration, the wave length of  tyre coning, lateral oscillations, ignorance of natural frequenncies of a "dead stroke" system. W.F.D. Hart (142-4) considered disturbing forces from the rail and wheel vibrations.  D.E. Dodridge (144) considered passenger comfort numbers and the effect of bogie pitching on electric locomotives upon adhesion. R. Mayr (Winterthur, 144-6) advantages of the torsion bar, especially its adoption on the Netherlands to Switzerland Trans-Europ Express.

Rhead, T. (Paper No. 581)
Some notes on the performance of rolling stock axleboxes. 687-712. Disc.: 712-19.
Research Department, Derby, paper. No major problems were evident with plain bearings on bogie coaching stock, although a small number may at times have been running somewhat hotter than desirable. Similarly, on the steam locomotives tested, the roller bearing temperatures were quite acceptable. In the case of wagons, however, a number of uncertainties still existed; of the existing types of box fitted, there was no doubt that the cast iron divided type gave better heat transfer than either the cast or fabricated steel open-fronted box with liner. On the other hand the cast iron box is susceptible to damage in shunting and inspection of the bearing virtually requires the wheels to be taken out, whereas the steel boxes are easily accessible and the bearings can be removed in a few minutes. Although the use of special irons may result in improved life for the cast iron box, it is debatable whether this feature alone will make it a sufficiently worth-while proposition. If it were possible to obtain virtual certainty regarding the elimination of continuous lateral forces at the bearings, it is probable that the present design of cast iron box would be just about good enough to run in Class C timings on loaded mineral wagons. To attain this degree of certainty, however, would necessitate some alterations to the vehicle; even the provision of auxiliary links to the spring gear would mean a lot of work, and how far this would be acceptable is not yet clear. On the other hand, it is fairly certain that both the Isothermos type of box and the roller box could cope with any continuous end thrust that may arise without difficulty. A third possibility also exists, that of providing a plain bearing box which will have heat transfer characteristics somewhat better than the present cast iron divided box and which will take thrust on a ball or roller thrust race. This would eliminate the necessity for alterations to the springing, but would, of course, be fairly expensive. Whether such a scheme would provide a sufficient factor of safety in operation and could be produced at a suitable price remains to be seen.