Specific locomotive types
2-6-2 tender locomotives (V2 and V4 classes)
Pannier tank engines
Development of the pannier tank locomotive from side and saddle tank precursors under Armstrong, Churchward and Collett. Author divided GWR 0-6-0 tank locomotives into five categories:
1. Large Wolverhampton tanks with inside or sandwich frames.
2. Small Wolverhampton tanks with inside frames only
3. Large Swindon tanks with inside and double frames [57xx was main manifestation of these]
5. Absorbed locomotives.
Argues that Classes: 1813, 1854, 2721, 57XX and 94XX formed a single procession in design, and produced a total of 1313 related locomotives. The Dean Goods (2301 class) stemmed from the 1813 series, whilst the 94xx employed the Number 10 boiler developed for the 2251 mixed traffic 0-6-0. Argues that two divergent processes were at work: standardization and diversity wrought through improvements, or the need to meet specific conditions. Two tables illuminate both trends within the classes. Some of the diversity is demonstrated by the series numbers: 67xx were fitted only with steam brakes and were intended for shunting. The 97xx series were fitted with condensing apparatus, a special form of ATC to clear electrified tracks, and trip cocks for working over the Metropolitan line to Smithfield. The 8750 series incorporated several improvements. Suggests that the design should have been adopted as a standard by British Railways. The class combined cheapness, simplicity, reliability and versatility. Michael Rutherford: Matchless matchboxes (Provocations/Railway Reflections No. 9). Backtrack, 9, 471-7.
Happily the Stirling devotee has only to make a pilgrimage to the York Railway Museum to see the first of the class, No. 1 of 1870, preserved in all her glory to remind us of the golden age of steam. Looking at her, we must remember that in that golden age the express steam locomotive was the fastest thing on earth and the most potent embodiment of man's mastery of the elements of fire and water. It becomes easier then to appreciate why, when No. 1 emerged from the Doncaster shops, she was hailed as the ultimate mechanical expression of speed and power, a consummation long sought but never before fully achieved.
Unlike some locomotive designers, Patrick Stirling had not striven for novelty; instead he had selected a number of features that had been developed and proven during a half century of locomotive evolution, and com- bined them in a design of classic fitness and beauty. This was the secret of the immediate popular success of the Stirling single. It was acclaimed a thoroughbred precisely because, as with a successful racehorse, its strength and symmetry were so clearly a triumph of selective breeding. That unadorned simplicity of which Acworth speaks was not due to the puritanism of a dour Scottish engineer, but to the fine judgement of a craftsman. Such a wine needed no bush; perfection of line and proportion was enough. Handsome is as handsome does.
Was the Stirling single really as good a locomotive as it looked, or was performance, economy, and practicality sacrificed to appearance? And to what extent was its unique fame due to that appearance rather than to sheer merit in day-to-day service? Before we can attempt to answer such questions as these, we have to know something about Patrick Stirling, what he set out to achieve and what technical and economic considerations necessarily governed his design policy.
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