Re: Steam Vehicles

snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gulliver) wrote in message


So. Question. In summary, were the early objections against over-the-road locomotion versus over-rails locomotion sound?
Could a slight difference in advocasy by both governmental groups, industrial groups and theoreticians in England in the early 1800s, have made road traffic using smaller steam engines, the primary method of transit in the later 1800s instead of rail transit?
Were the early objections against over-the-road versus rails, sound or imaginary?
It would seem to me that over-the-road would be less efficient in terms of some energy factors, as well as total weights that could be hauled with one locomotive, but you might need to build less in terms of making transit lines and you might get greater versatility in terms of initial and final locations in potential routes as well as scheduling.
Were the railroads of the later 1800s all a big mistake?
I think I will crosspost this to a few sci groups.
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The advantage of using rail was the lower rolling resistance, compared with an largely unmade road, or cobbled streets. However, the impracticability of laying rails to every destination meant that powered road vehicles were needed, usually in the form of traction engines, which could also be used for agricultural purposes. These would include ploughing, driving threshing machines, and general haulage.
Many street tramways were initially steam hauled, with small locomotives. When powered buses came in, most were petrol-driven, but there were quite a lot of steam buses, Clarkson being an example. The early steam carriages never seemed to catch on. Possibly due to unreliability and frightening the horses.
Steam lorries continued in use until the 1950s or even later. Sentinel and Foden in England both produced them.
Tram systems need a minimum traffic flow to make them economical. Heavy rail lines need an even higher flow. Buses can be economical at relatively low traffic densities.
--
Terry Harper, Web Co-ordinator, The Omnibus Society
75th Anniversary 2004, see http://www.omnibussoc.org/75th.htm
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Terry Harper wrote:

Only if the road is there in the first place.
Regards Oliver
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-------------------------------------------------------
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Ashley Clarke wrote:

I disagree. Good, efficient electric motors did not exist until about the 1870's. Until then, refrigeration plants, escalators, even dentist's drills had to be powered by steam.

Uh huh. Those damned coal companies.
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Bonjour,
Voici quelques liens qui devraient vous intresser :
http://quasiturbine.promci.qc.ca/QTVapeur.html
The Steam-Powered Quasiturbine in Direct-Drive Railway Locomotive Propulsion http://quasiturbine.promci.qc.ca/QTLocoVapeurValentineH.htm
Stirling-Hydraulic Quasiturbine Locomotive http://www.geocities.com/harryc11
A Thermo-Pneumatic Quasiturbine Locomotive (with addendum on subway operation) http://quasiturbine.promci.qc.ca/QTPneuLocoValen030908.html
Meilleures salutations, Gilles www.quasiturbine.com
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Gulliver wrote:

You could consider broadening your historical horizons.
There was water transport, and canals from point to point.
The canals from point to point permitted low energy transportation for the invonvenience of having to make a special connection - the canal.
The rails from point to point permitted low energy transportation for the inconveninence of having to make a special connection - the railroad.
So, there was a lot of similarity between the two - canals and railroads.
Without a specially prepared connection between two points, the energy required to transport goods was high and the transportation was slow. Especially in prolonged wet muddy conditions. And snow.
Without highways, there was less benefit of a "POwered Buggy" wehther the buggy is powered by gasoline or steam.
Frankly, you likely need to study the relationship between the road and the gasoline powered vehicle. To understand the whole mess of point to point transportation from a real example. Not some assumed history reinvention.
If you haven't got that subject down well, you are trying to reinvent history that you don't understand.
Trade routes and transportation means form a very important part of the history of Europe.
JIm
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The version I heard was that steam vehicles came along before the horse drawn coach got seriously established. The aristocratic land owners owned most of the soon to be developed roads, and were otherwise being usurped by the industrial revolution. So they built massive stables, developed the coach, and prevented anyone else from using their roads.
I doubt this was the whole story, though I suspect it was a part of it. Rail locomotion may have been something of a political way around this, indirectly giving some control to the landowners.
If dim memory serves, I think the first car crash occurred back in the 1600s, it was a steam vehicle traveling at little more than walking pace.
Pete.
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So is the general consensus that, (A): lack of early power capabilities among the different types of early steam engines, and lack of good shock absorbers and power trains, meant that the requirements for the building of the types of roads that early road vehicles could actually use, in terms of friction and slope gradients, made them unfeasible in comparison with the optimisation of scale and the frictional properties, that would come with use of steel rails for contact with the ground?
Or is the consensus generally that, (B): it was all false, and that railroads were ultimately the result of mistaken conceptions about the ultimate feasibility of ground locomotion without rails, considering the fabrication technology that existed at the time. And that the failure of early road based steam power, mostly came from regulation and from partial quasi-monopolistic competition with horse coaches, which kept them from being developed to their complete potential early on, or at least mistaken ideas about the practical feasibility of mechanised road transit, allowing rail transport to be given the more critical levels of development, that would give them the ability to obtain the higher and more continuous reliable speeds that would be needed, to give them more tangible advantages over horses?
If one could have halted all railroad development, is it reasonable to say that the later 19th century would have been one notable for the heavy use of steam vehicles on roads, or were the design barriers real, when it came to 19th century fabrication technology?
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I think you are foolish to "Draw a consensus" and doubly foolish to present only two options "Pick A or Pick B" and try to require a consensus be picked from those two.
Bad research methods show.
Jim
Gulliver wrote:

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You are entitled to your own opinion.

I do not expect all persons who post here to be totally ignorant of all phenomenon. Perhaps that is not a valid assumption. Perhaps some posts are better than others.

Many phenomenon can be a continuum.

Well, not everything is perfect. I would imagine that your research methods are, however. I will not challange you on this matter.
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Laying down rails, first made of wood then later strapped with iron and finally made of steel was much cheaper than grading and paving roads in the early years, the first half of the 19th century. The lack of pavement and the extreme weight of steam equipment severely limited its use on roads. By 1830, a 150HP steam engine could haul a 200 ton train at 15mph on rails, a feat totally impossibe on roads, paved or not. So, the reasonable cost of rails plus the low rolling friction and the ability to handle heavy loads at for then high speeds was unparalleled. Road transportation did not become feasable until widespread paving of roads occured, rubber balloon tires were invented and lightweight gasoline and diesel engins were available. Even today, rail transportaion is more efficient uses less fuel and less labor per ton-mile hauled than road traffic. Bob
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So, I guess it would be safe to say in summary (?):
1. Steam engines were first put to use as stationary units in factories in the 1600s or 1700s or slightly earlier. They were first used in places where water wheels or windmills might have had more difficulties. More industrial methods became gradually more mechanised.
2. With many towns and cities that then had more coal using factories, and more homes with buildings that heated with coal, there was generated a greater need to bring coal into the major cities, since greater and greater uses of wood and the large scale transport of burning materials, by horse and cart over the standard roads, became less and less feasible. To fill this need, railroads were produced with only slight grades of incline for the purpose of hauling heavy loads over long distances. There was also a need to haul ores or other materials for industrial purposes.
3. About this time, steam engines stopped being used only in the factories, and started being used also for the purpose of hauling some of the heavy loads over the rails, as well as in steamboats. These steam engines were relatively large, and tended to be more easily adaptable to hauling heavy loads, over the at least partially predictable surfaces, that existed on the rails. This happened also, however, at almost exactly the same time that many of the rails themselves, were still being built. When it came to over the road traction, however, it was another matter. Smaller steam engines were also produced, but they did not have the power needed to reliably drive over the more unpredictable surfaces, that were many of the roads of the 1800s. No shock absorbers. Poor or nonexistant tires. Low speeds. They could not compare with trains or horses. Regulation or competition may or may not have had some effects, but over-the-road traction still needed more development before the automobile would be practical.
4. Later in the 19th century, the internal combustion engine possibly allowed somewhat higher cylinder temperatures than high temperature steam. This tended to allow greater energy output in a smaller amount of weight. It was adapted from earlier steam engine designs, and furthermore, did not require relatively energyless water as a feedstock for the steam, to be carried along with the power source. The oil might have contaminated more quickly with explosion by-products, but the internal combustion engine might have corroded less from the steam condensate, and the engine could be made from different materials. Better tires and shock absorbers meant that it could work under poor road conditions. Then and only then could it produce comparable or better results than horses. Much of the general phenomenon involving design, however, existed much earlier. It was a matter of producing incremental changes to a great enough extent, to have significant results. Then by the 20th century it was mass produced.

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Look up James Watt and Newcomen for the first steam engines. Principal uses for pumping water out of mines.

You've missed out canals and horse-drawn tram roads.

Steam traction engines could pull loads far in excess of those which a team of horses could tackle, and they didn't get tired. Look at funfair uses.

Most of this is nonsense. Go back to your text books.
--
Terry Harper
http://www.terry.harper.btinternet.co.uk /
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By steam traction I imagine that you mean transport without rails. Are you claiming that the widespread use of automobiles was significantly impaired and delayed by monopolistic regulation?
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team
They took time to be developed to a stage where they could be used widely. The pneumatic tyre was a major factor in this, coupled with the improvement of road surfaces. The only regulation was speed limits and weight limits on bridges.
--
Terry Harper
http://www.terry.harper.btinternet.co.uk /
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Gulliver wrote:

    Interesting summary but what is the POD for this OTL?
--
Israel is not a banana republic. It is not
a republic and yes it has no bananas.
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Generally, the ASBs kill the railroads, or at least change some regulations in England in the 1800s. What happens to the automobile?
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Yes, this first paragraph is clearly unequivocally bad, and upon extra time, I would probably rewrite it.
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