Tom Hurry Riches of Taff Vale Railway


On the Tynewydd Colliery inundation, with particulars of the appliances used for rescuing the miners and recovering the workings. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs., 1877, 28, 221-36.
Is automatic action necessary or desirable in a continuous railway brake? Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs.,1880, 31, 100-51.
Mechanical appliances used in the shipping of coal at Penarth dock with Thomas E Heywood  Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs., 1906, 71, 423-33.
Railway motor-car traffic with Sidney B Haslam. Proc. Instn Mech Engrs, 1906, 71, 651-78. Disc.: 678-718.
In 1873 or 1874 Rowan attempted to sell steam railcars in Britain but without success, although sales were achieved in Austria and Switzerland. The LSWR Fratton to Southsea service was the earliest and this was followed by the vertical boilered cars on the GWR. They enabled more frequent services to be provided where traffic was light. The Taff Vale Railway has heavy gradients of up to 1 in 40. The TVR cars were designed to cope with heavy gradients and the locomotive portion was designed to be simple to detach from the body and to be able to raise steam rapidly. He considered the alternatives of electric vehicles: battery electric had been used in Swansea and in Belgium but the capital cost was high: the overhead and third rail options were also mentioned. The TVR car was steam-heated, had oil-gas lighting and an electric bell for communication with the conductor-driver. The cars could provide a more frequent service, set up or set down more frequently and had rapid acceleration – and could achieve 20 mph on 1 in 40.
Cars were also operating on the GNoSR, GCR, LNWR, SECR, GSWR, GNR, NER and PTR (where three miles had to be climbed at 1 in 40).

Address by the President. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs. 1907, 72, 495-507.
Maw and Aspinall gave the Votes of Thanks. The paper acknowledged the Presidential Addresses by Tomlinson and Johnson relating to railway engineering, and the very extensive collection of illustrations of "modern" express passenger and freight locomotives follows on from Johnson. On the major main lines the speed of passenger trains and length of non-stop runs had greatly increased. Public demand for greater comfort and increased competition called for much larger coaches, some of 35 tons and more, had greatly added to the weight per passenger to be hauled. These demands made more powerful locomotives necessary. Like Johnson he yearned for a larger gauge: "we are led to wish that the 5-foot 6-inch gauge had been adopted. It would have given room, not only for cylinders and motion work, but would also have enabled journals to be lengthened without crippling other dimensions."
"A word of regret I must express, that the fine old single-driving-wheeled locomotive has to be superseded... the day seems to have arrived when sufficient adhesion cannot be obtained on one pair of wheels to utilize the increased tractive capacity of the modern locomotive, with the result that two or more pairs of wheels have now to be coupled to utilize the power produced." Instead of using large wheels, which were favoured thirty years ago, smaller wheels were used, and greater care was needed in balancing to avoid undue oscillation."
Increased steam-pressures led to much larger fire-boxes and greater heating surfaces. Churchward’s paper on boiler design was noted, and boilers were only briefly reviewed. There were the cone [conical] boiler, having a large space round the box and above the crown so as to give plenty of steam space, the barrel gradually tapering to the leading end. There was the Belpaire fire-box, which had been introduced into British locomotives for some time with some success, although it requires greater care in construction, and somewhat greater care in management and repairs. The Drummond cross tube fire-box succeeded in improving evaporation. Many years ago some predecessors used water mid-feathers and transverse tubes, but, these were large diameter, and whether from lack of experience or from the lower quality of materials these earlier schemes failed through being too costly to maintain and too difficult to keep stock running constantly. In those days of high pressures, not only in the sense of steam pressure but also of heavy and continuous work by the locomotive, it was essential for the boiler to be both well, and as far as possible, simply made; to ease maintenance and provide economy. Larger firegrates and heating surfaces, together with the more rapid generation of steam at higher pressure, had placed extra stress on the locomotive boiler.
Many efforts had been made to introduce compounding, but there does seem one requirement that has not been fully accomplishcd, namely, to get full effect out of the steam condensation should be applied. It was proposed that with the facilities then existing on many railways for picking up water, it might have been possible to apply a condenser, and so assist in front of the piston by obtaining at least a partial vacuum and then pumping the condensed steam back into the boiler at high temperature.
Smaller improvements included the almost universal cab; the protection of gauge-glasses; water-gauges on tenders or other tanks to save men from risks, which used to exist in their having to leave the foot-plate, when the locomotive was running, to ascertain the condition of their water-supply. Power-brakes were almost universal upon locomotives, and therefore the men had much better control of their engines and trains.
Although a high percentage of goods wagons were built to carry 8 and 10 tons, the average weight carried by these vehicles rarely exceeded 2 tons, and therefore if it were possible to put the load of a train into the wagons capable of carrying the weight, the load to be hauled would be reduced by at least 50 per cent through the saving in tare weight. This is a matter that in the interests of the country at large should surely have received greater attention. It was often urged that still larger wagons should be used in England, and that the practice on British railways should be brought more closely into line with that of the American, but a large percentage of the traffic over American railways was carried over much longer distances than in Britain: further, the load per vehicle was very much higher. Moreover, effort had been initiated by American railroads to reduce the waste of vehicles compared with the loads carricd. Larger wagons in Britain lacked suitable traffic other than coal, iron ore, rails, stone and a few other heavy commodities, but even coal tended to be restriacted to small lots of 10 tons or less, as purchasers did not exceed these quantities: send a 30 or 40-ton wagon carrying 10 tons or less would have been wasteful. Even for shipment traffic, many ships, particularly in the coasting trade, took small cargoes. In wagon stock some efforts had been made to introduce automatic couplings, but without much success. Eitherside brakes had also been devised with some success, and roller bearings had been evaluated to a limited extent on some wagons. Specifications had been agreed for wagons of 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 40, and.56 tons capaeity.
The development of railway steam-motor-cars (steam railcars) was mentioned. Controversay had arisen over this type: for sparsely populated districts, and for close tratfic over short distances, these self-contained cars were eminently successful, but when used to haul trailer-cars their advantages disappeared. Under such circumstances the method is being adopted on the LSWR and LBSCR, and some of the othor railways, including the Taff Vale, of fitting carriages that can be attached to an ordinary locomotive, and by which arrangement that locomotive can be driven from the leading end of the carriage when it is being pushed in front, is the better method of dealing with mixed traffic. He cited his own to be published Paper.
Electric traction was briefly considered. Similar questions arose to those relating to steam railcars; electricity might be in the same way be abused if not used properly. In the case of passenger traffic there can be no doubt that for frequent trains, over not too long distances and for frequent stops and high speeds, electricity is extremely useful and desirable. Electric traction for goods and mineral traffic raised the question of regenerative control: in South Wales and many other mining districts, loaded wagons came down hill and empties had to be taken up. If it were possible to use the gravity and momentum of the down train to generate current for the up traffic, at reasonable cost, then it ought to make an enormous difference in tho possibilities of electric traction for such purposes. Why should not the slowing and stopping of trains be done by retardation of the electric motor instead of by brakeblocks, and this force returned electrically to thc generating station for other use?

and Hurry Riches, T.
Balancing of reciprocating engines. Lecture at the Graduates' meeting, with W.E. Dalby. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs.,1908, 74, 197-217.
Forced lubrication of axle boxes [on steam rail motors] with B. Reynolds. Proc. Instn. Mech Engrs. 1908, 75 599-624

Association of Railway Locomotive Engineers (via Hughes)
Meeting in November 1907: the Railway Fires Act was prominent in the discussions, with the associated question of spark arrestors. Riches said that he had tried unsuccessfully with these devices for thirty years, 'suffering more fires with spark arrestors than without'.

8095/1900. Improvements in brake apparatus for railway vehicles. Applied 1 May 1900. Published 10 November 1900.
brake lever for railway wagons.
4578/1903. Improvements relating to stop-valves and similar valves with Henry Frederick Golding. Applied 26 February 1903. Published 22 October 1903.
14097/1903. Improvements relating to apparatus for loading or ballasting ships or vessels. Applied 24 June 1903. Published  5 May 1904.
7493/1904. An improved method of and apparatus for loading or ballasting ships or vessels. Applied 29 March 1904. Published 2 February 1905.


Marshall notes that Tom Hurry Riches was born in Cardiff 24 November 1846 and died there on 4 September 1911, aged 64. He was Locomotive  Superindent of the Taff Vale Railway. In 1863 he entered the works of the TVR as an apprentice under Joseph Tomlinson and spent five years in the shops and drawing office. In 1868 he was awarded a scholarship at the Royal School of Mines, where he obtained both a Whitworth and a Science and Art Scholarship. After a period at sea, gaining experience as second engineer on SS Camilla he returned to Cardiff to continue his studies. He later became manager of the Bute Iron Works and of Bute Old Works under John McConnochie, and was engaged on the construction of bridges, roofs, boilers, engines and general engineering.
In 1872 he returned to the TVR as chief locomotive foreman. On 1 October 1873 he was appointed Locomotive Superitendent in succession to B.S. Fisher; and at barely 27 he was then the youngest locomotive superintendent in Great Britain. He retained the position until his death. He was responsible for hydraulic dock machinery. During his career he was president of the Association of Locomotive Carriage & Wagon Superintendents of UK; He was elected MICE 10.1.1882; Member of the Iron & Steel Institute; British Association; South Wales Instution of Engineers.. Also MIME 1874 and president 1907-8.
Member of Council, University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire; Member of Council of Governors, Imperial College of Science and Technology; Member Court of Governors, University of Bristol; Member Advisory Board of Studies in Engineering, University of London; of Provisional Council, Institute of Metals; of Council and Board of Governors, National Museum of Wales, and Vice-Chairman of Building Committee; Chairman Mechanical Engineering section, Franco-British Exhibition; was reporter for Great Britain and Colonies to International Railway Congress, 1910, upon Railway Motor Cars; was for 12 years Chairman of Technical Education Committee, County Borough of Cardiff; was a Member of Education Committee for the County Borough of Cardiff; was presented with a piece of silver plate by Lord Mayor of London for assisting in rescue of entombed Welsh miners, 1877; contributed papers to engineering and other societies, and at the request of the Council of the International Railway Congress completed the Report for their Paris meeting, 1900, upon express passenger locomotives in Great Britain and her Colonies
He contributed several important papers. In Cardiff he was active in local affairs and education. His principal engines were the standard 0-6-0s of classes K and L, 85 engines 1874 89. It is interesting that the K class was adopted by Barton Wright as a standard engine on the LYR. Riches was also responsible for the introduction of the  0-6-2T into S Wales, in 1885, a type which had been introduced on the LYR by Barton Wright. It became the most popular type in S Wales. In his interview with Sekon (see below) he envisaged distributed power on trains through electricity provided by a mobile steam-powered electricity generator. Obituary Locomotive Mag., 1911. 17, 192.

For full details of TVR locos see The Locomotives of the GWR (RCTS) Part 10 1966. Engineer 112 8.9.1911 p 256; Engineering 92 8.9.1911 pp 325-7 (portrait); Min. Proc Instn Civ Engrs 187 1911 12 p 330; Proc IME 1911 pp 1054 6; The Locomotive 15.9.1911 p 192; Barrie, D.S.M., The Taff Vale R 1939, 1969.

Sekon, G.A. Illustrated interview. No. 44. Mr Tom Hurry Riches. Rly Mag., 1902, 10, 1.

Carlton Tom Hurry Riches

Died at Caerphilly on 5 August 1943, at the age of 69, son of T. Hurry Riches, the locomotive superintendent of the Taff Vale Railway who was President of the Institution in 1907-8. Served his pupilage under his father at the West Yard depot of the Taf€ Vale Railway and subsequently obtained an engineering scholarship at the University of Wales. After completing his studies he was appointed assistant works manager to Messrs. Browett, Lindley, and later joined Messrs. Rendel and Robertson (now Messrs. Rendel, Palmer and Tritton), consulting engineers for the Indian State Railways. Riches left the firm to become assistant works manager at the Gorton locomotive works of the Great Central Railway. His next appointment, which he took up in 1906, was that of locomotive carriage and wagon superintendent of the Rhymney Railway. The locomotive designs for which he was responsible during this period were straightforward types of 0-6-2 and 0-6-0 tank engines, built by private manufacturers. The amalgamation of that railway with the Great Western Railway took place at the close of 1922, and Riches was made divisional locomotive, carriage and wagon superintendent of the Cardiff Valleys Division of the G.W.R., occupying this position until his retirement in 1939. Riches was keenly interested in the technical training of engineers, and was chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Technical College, Cardiff. His long association with the Institution dated back to 1895 when he was elected a Graduate. He was transferred to Associate Membership in 1900 and to Membership in 1906. He was also a past-president of the Locomotive Association of Great Britain and Ireland. IMechE obituary v. 151

Riches, Charles H.
Description of the new locomotive running shed of the Taff Vale Railway at Cathays, Cardiff. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs.,1884, 35, 243-56.


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