Leader model

On the model side I am told Dapol in conjunction with one model shop are
to produce a limited edition 4mm model of ?Leader?. I wish them
every success, one thing we can be certain of, the model is likely to
behave far better than the prototype ever did.
Reply to
Jane Sullivan
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Leader was an innovative design, and almost inevitably had faults that it might have been possible to cure. BR chopped the finance before this could happen. Who knows what success might have achieved if the Bulleid & Southern Railway had continued for a few more years ?
Bevan
Reply to
Bevan Price
European railways had already demonstrated that diesel/electric was the way to go - the only real question is why BR built any steam engines at all, except that Riddles fancied having a go at doing one or two. Leader was indeed a revolutionary idea, but would have had to be super-efficient to cover the costs of coal distribution and handling alone, never mind the operating costs (BR never intended having double manning on diesel/ electric, it was the Unions that forced that) and the huge support network required simply to run the engines, never mind the trains.
The steam era was a great "romantic" era (except for those who had to work every day with it, especially the unsung ones like the boiler cleaners who had a life expectancy of diddly-squat) but it's day had already passed before WWII (LMS 10000 etc). Likewise what one may call the "engines, coaches and freight" which I get all misty-eyed about has gone and the railway, like happened to so many steam types, has moved on and become a source of total disinterest with all the EMU/DMU's - but if it doesn't change it will die.
Sorry to be downer, but times change.
Cheers Richard
Reply to
beamends
Well, I suppose if you spent unlimited funds you "might" of done something, but really was it worth the effort? It wasn't like they almost worked, some of the problems were fundamental to the design - flames coming out of the firebox into the cramped fireman's cab, is one that under today's safety laws would cause it to be abandoned forthwith.
Kevin Martin
Reply to
Kevin Martin
Personally I'd like to have a model available of Francis Webb's Teutonic Class. As per this quote from "The Book Of Heroic Failures (Handbook of The Not Very Good Club of Great Britain)": "Few engineers can equal the achievement of Francis Webb, a locomotive designer for the London & Northwestern Railway at the end of the last century. In one book of locomotive design the index reads: "Webb, Francis - his incompetence" Many of his engines were quite outstanding, they were no faster or more powerful than other designs and yet were more expensive, less efficient and much worse at starting. Despite this, he improved on them in such a way they would frequently not start at all. His Teutonic class of locomotives, for example, had two pairs of driving wheels which were not connected and were capable of turning simultaneously in opposite directions. The engine would remain motionless, puffing violently, with the two pairs of wheels pulling in opposite directions to no effect. To overcome this problem, the LNWR frequently had to use two engines, one of Webb's design and the other of a different design, simply to get the engine started"
Reply to
Keith W
Kevin Martin wrote in news:49882289$0$7704$ snipped-for-privacy@news.optusnet.com.au:
Still, at least it wouldn't have happened in recent times (spending money that is on projects then pulling the plug before it can be fully developed and the faults ironed out).
APT
Reply to
Melbournian
This section, kind of made it rather pointless and impossible to continue, not least the departure of Bulleid, who IIRC disliked the concept of nationalisation.
End of the project
"The whole concept was quietly dropped in 1951 after Bulleid had departed British Railways to become Chief Mechanical Engineer of Córas Iompair Éireann (where he produced a similar peat-burning locomotive), and all five were scrapped. [2] This resulted in a project that utilised £178,865 5s 0d of the taxpayer's money, though when the press reported the story as late as 1953, £500,000 was claimed to have been wasted on the project.[11] R. G. Jarvis, who was placed in charge of the project upon Bulleid's departure, emphasised that the locomotive would have required an entire re-design to solve the problems of the original concept. No members of the "Leader" class survived the 1950s, and only the numberplate of 36001 is located in the National Railway Museum. In 2008, a locomotive builder's plate intended for the locomotive was auctioned, though it was never fitted in service."
Kevin Martin
Reply to
Kevin Martin
Ye, but I suspect the APT was a lot closer to actually working than the Leader was. Many parts of the design were fully proven and successful. Unlike the Leader:-
consumption, mechanical unreliability, untenable working conditions for both fireman and driver, and uneven weight distribution on the bogies
As far as I know fuel (electricity consumption) was not a major issue, and crew conditions not too bad. Sure it had flaws, but certain key features worked - such as it reached its design speed.
The Leader also
the locomotive by filling the linking corridor with a large quantity of scrap metal. This was latterly replaced by the fabrication of a raised floor covering ballast material. These necessary modifications meant that the engine exceeded the weight limit of 150 tons, severely limiting the design's route availability during testing.
Over 150 Tons, that is heavy for a fairly modest loco, weighed down with too much junk ideas
Kevin Martin
Reply to
Kevin Martin
They built them because they didn't have the foreign exchange to buy oil for diesel after WW2 left them impoverished.
The plan was for the new steam locomotives to last until electrification.
With a change of government in 1952 the pwers that be decided steam wastoo old fashioned.
It's easy to accuse people of not wanting to lose their jobs.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
The double singles were compounds with the low pressure cylinders using slip eccentrics rather than proper valve motion.
These are commonly used in live steam modelling. It requires the engine to be pushed in the right direction to get them working in that direction.
Not a problem with models which are given a push by hand.
But these were full size compounds.
The idea was that the high pressure side would move the engine forward and to set the
On starting steam reached the high pressure side of what was effectively a single driver until it reached the low pressure side.
Single drivers were notoriously easy to slip on starting. So if it slipped the low pressure side was still set in reverse after the engine backed onto the train.
So the high and low pressure sides slipped trying to go in tried to go in different directions.
Webb wasn't the only heroic failure.
William Dean did some crazy designs too. A class of 0-4-4 tanks with no side control on the bogie that wouldn't stay on the track, and a 4-2-4T with the same bogie that was even worse. Also some tandem compounds whose valve events were all wrong that broke their cylinders.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
Obviously also the Handbook of the don't know a lot about 19th century locomotives club ;)
I'd recommend the recent biog of Webb as an antidote to this particular urban legend :)
In reality, the Teutonics were notably fast and powerful machines, probably amongst the best express engines of their time (only the much bigger and more expensive NER types were probably clearly ahead then). Ahrons, who was around to see and record their running, rated tham highly. starting, however, could be undertain, for the reasons Sue sets out below..
The other Webb 3-cyl passenger compounds were less happy: smaller wheels made the differences in effort from the cylinders harder to smooth out (they would have benefitted from coupled wheels, probably, but metallurgy at the time wasn't really up to making 10'6"+ coupling rods which could be depended on), plus the boilers of the 8-wheeled types were distinctly odd. The 4-cyl compounds really seem to have been pretty good (tho' the 5'3" wheel 4-6-0s didn't thrive on express work - hardly surprising, that one!). And the goods compounds all seem to have been reliable workhorses. I'll gloss over the three compound tank engines, mind.
Think a fix was arrived at fairly quickly, though - as in weeks, not longer. It wasn't a problem which was around for long.
many of the engineers who tried to drive the art forward had their difficulties. Webb and Dean are two of those. I could also nod at bouch (on the S&D) and his problems with piston valves, the younger Beattie on the L&SW and his problems with - err - pretty much everything (now, the younger Beattie would be a better contender for "heroic failure", or at least failure on a heroic scale..), Adams for most of the designs from the first half of his career - the list goes on.
But yes, I'd love to see a model of the Teutonic class on sale. Ideally DCC with sound, so you get that great slow harsh bark of the exhaust, only two beats per revolution.. I'd also very much like to see the GER Massey Bromley single modelled - to me, the only one to steal the palm of beauty from Stirling's big GNR bogie singles, and a notably competant machine. And a Bouch S&D goods engine (ha! enough variations in any of those classes to keep the collectors happy from not until the heat death of the universe...). And a Fletcher 901 (ditto, in spades..). And almost anything from the pre-Drummond Caledonian Railway's stable. And..
Oh, that's probably enough for now.
Reply to
Andrew Robert Breen
:
: : Leader was an innovative design, and almost inevitably had faults that it : might have been possible to cure. BR chopped the finance before this could : happen. Who knows what success might have achieved if the Bulleid & : Southern Railway had continued for a few more years ? :
History proves you're suggestion wrong, whilst I'm a fan of Mr Bullied and his designs I'm also a realist, after his service to the Southern Rly and BR(s) Bullied went on to be CME of CIR (southern Irish railways) were he built a very similar loco to "Leader" except that it burnt turf rather than coal - it suffered much of the problems as "Leader". The only thing that might have saved the leader project, but not the three Leaders built / mostly assembled [1], would have been oil burning and thus allowing the fireman to control his boiler functions from alongside the driving position. It's a matter of history that Leader was being designed at the time that the UK Govt. was pushing oil firing onto the railways, as a means to improve the post war coal supplies, and that it was *originally* going to be oil fired but the whole Govt. backed oil firing project ended before Leader was built.
[1] The boiler in the coal (and turf IIRC) burning locos were off set to the locos centre line due to the need, as designed, to allow an access way for crew alongside the boiler/bunker. This is also why "Leader" ended up being so heavy, as once assembled and weighed it was found that the loco was unbalanced to one side (not surprisingly!) this mean that the intended passage ways had to be filled with steel ballast ingots.
Reply to
Jerry
: : Ye, but I suspect the APT was a lot closer to actually working than the : Leader was. Many parts of the design were fully proven and successful.
...and many parts of the design went onto be developed by others and are now found in modern rolling stock around the world - ATP failed due to poor PR and political interference, not because it was a bad design - remember that it's two main problems, stuck tilt mechanisms and frozen brake lines, can and do still bug modern tilt stock.
Reply to
Jerry
The fireman still needs to be close to an oil firebox to check the condition of the fire and even relight it.
This shouldn't have been a surprise. Shays had had offset boilers and balancing ballast for years.
Other problems included using motorcycle chains not just to drive the valve gear but also to replace the coupling rods.
The valves themseves were also a disaster. Sleeve valves don't work on railway applications because the differential expansion of the different components makes them seize. Which was the main reason the Leader kept failing.
If he really wanted an articulated, a small Garratt would have been much better. But this engine was meant do do the work of everything from an M7 to a black five. Imagine a Leader and push pull set at Seaton.
Compare with Ivatt, who built excellent, modern engines that were at the same time orthodox and traditional.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
: : >
: >: : > : >: : >: Leader was an innovative design, and almost inevitably had faults : >that it : >: might have been possible to cure. BR chopped the finance before this : >could : >: happen. Who knows what success might have achieved if the Bulleid & : >: Southern Railway had continued for a few more years ? : >: : > : >History proves you're suggestion wrong, whilst I'm a fan of Mr Bullied : >and his designs I'm also a realist, after his service to the Southern : >Rly and BR(s) Bullied went on to be CME of CIR (southern Irish : >railways) were he built a very similar loco to "Leader" except that it : >burnt turf rather than coal - it suffered much of the problems as : >"Leader". The only thing that might have saved the leader project, but : >not the three Leaders built / mostly assembled [1], would have been : >oil burning and thus allowing the fireman to control his boiler : >functions from alongside the driving position. It's a matter of : >history that Leader was being designed at the time that the UK Govt. : >was pushing oil firing onto the railways, as a means to improve the : >post war coal supplies, and that it was *originally* going to be oil : >fired but the whole Govt. backed oil firing project ended before : >Leader was built. : : The fireman still needs to be close to an oil firebox to check the : condition of the fire and even relight it.
Your point being? Yes access would be needed, but it would not have needed to be all the time, unlike with manual coal firing. Also, had it been possible to use oil firing (as intended) the firebox end of the boiler could have been placed so it backed onto one of the cabs - unfortunately having to manually stoke the firebox with coal meant the fire-hole door had to be placed 'amidships', next to the coal bunker...
: : >[1] The boiler in the coal (and turf IIRC) burning locos were off set : >to the locos centre line due to the need, as designed, to allow an : >access way for crew alongside the boiler/bunker. This is also why : >"Leader" ended up being so heavy, as once assembled and weighed it was : >found that the loco was unbalanced to one side (not surprisingly!) : >this mean that the intended passage ways had to be filled with steel : >ballast ingots. : : This shouldn't have been a surprise. Shays had had offset boilers and : balancing ballast for years.
You missed the point, the design had to be adapted during construction/very late in the design stage, I suspect that they knew that balancing ballast would be needed, the problem was that the design had not allowed for it.
: : Other problems included using motorcycle chains not just to drive the : valve gear but also to replace the coupling rods.
Err, wrong, they did not use 'motorcycle chain', you obviously have never seen the internals of the valve gear on the non rebuilt Bullied 4-6-2s... anyway, IIRC, the problem with the 'coupling chain' was with the sprockets and not the chains.
: : The valves themseves were also a disaster. Sleeve valves don't work on : railway applications because the differential expansion of the : different components makes them seize. Which was the main reason the : Leader kept failing.
Hmm, they do work (they were already used in some designs of valve gear), the problem (again, IIRC) was that the Leader used fabricated valves/cylinders and not the more usual cast iron.
: : If he really wanted an articulated, a small Garratt would have been
He didn't want an articulated (locomotive), he wanted a double ended locomotive with the driving cab at the forward end of the direction of travel, a Garratt would have had no advantage over a standard design in this respect.
: much better. But this engine was meant do do the work of everything : from an M7 to a black five. Imagine a Leader and push pull set at : Seaton.
That's a bit like saying, imagine a Class 42 DH Warship in the place of a Pannier tank...
: : Compare with Ivatt, who built excellent, modern engines that were at : the same time orthodox and traditional. :
Ivatt copied what had gone before, he had no interest in furthering the design of the steam locomotive, the LMS had set their sights on a fleet of Diesels.
Reply to
Jerry
That may be true, it would make sort of sense, but it has never been mentioned in any of the discussions I've read. It was suggested in Ian Hislop's recent programme, but in only in hindsight - as in "perhaps keeping steam until electrification, missing out the diesel bit" night have been an idea. Certainly, road hauliers and airlines didn't seem to suffer from such problems.
Still, I'll add it to the list so to speak.
Indeed, but the drivers I worked with couldn't wait to see the back of steam, though firemen tended to disagree for some reason!
Cheers Richard
Reply to
beamends
Have you ever ridden in the cab of an oil fired engine?
When I lived in California one of my closest friends fired oil-fired engines regularly and I often rode with him. Because it wasn't a common skill he was in regular demand for visiting engines.
And I saw what he did. He constantly monitored the fire, before adjusting the flame which required opening and closing the fire door. Otherwise it would be like adding coal without bothering to check the condition of the fire.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
Only if you're silly enough to forget about needing to accomodate differential expansion (and that applies to piston valves as well, as witness the sad histories of several mid-19th century designs: Ginx's babies, and suchlike). It's be more accurate to say that sleeve valves are difficult to make work reliably in any engine. Really, only Daimler (in cars, and at copious cost in oil) and Bristol (in aero-engines) made 'em work as advertised. In both cases the price was some serious precision engineering (much finer, i'd suggest, than any railway works of the day could perform, being held back by antique equipment and training) and, certainly in the case of Bristol, serious investment in the metallurgy of exotic alloys (Brividium! Ha!).
Sleeve-valves could have maybe worked in a railway setting - if the manufacturing and running maintainance had been brought up to the standards of equipment and training (and facilities) of the aviation industry. Which just wasn't going to happen on the steam railway (not least because it'd have meant the same sort of salary level..).
If you want a non-Garrett double-bogie express steam engine, try a Heilmann instead :)
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now, that'd make a lovely model...
Reply to
Andrew Robert Breen
Not in hindsight. It has been known for years.
The reasons the oil firing program was dropped, didn't disappear overnight.
And going over from coal to oil, not just just on the railways but also in industry, was one of the causes of a long term balance of trade deficit.
Although being a Londoner I was glad to see the end of the pea soupers we had when I was a child.
Drivers would be retrained on diesel. Without second men, the firemen would lose their jobs.
For some reason a lot of people think the future unemployed shouldn't object.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee

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