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Author Topic: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !  (Read 6546 times)

DickyD

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Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« on: December 24, 2009, 02:35:23 pm »



Passengers were rescued by a steam locomotive after modern rail services were brought to a halt by the snowy conditions in south-east England.

Trains between Ashford and Dover were suspended on Monday when cold weather disabled the electric rail.

Some commuters at London Victoria faced lengthy delays until Tornado - Britain's first mainline steam engine in 50 years - offered them a lift.

They were taken home "in style", said the Darlington-built engine's owners.

Train services in Kent were hit hard by the freezing conditions at the start of the week.
   
The weather-related disruption included three days of cancellations for Eurostar services through the Channel Tunnel.

Tornado, a 3m Peppercorn class A1 Pacific based at the National Railway Museum in York, was in the South East for one day, offering "Christmas meal" trips from London to Dover.

Its "Cathedrals Express" service, the last mainline journey in its first year of operations, was about to depart when staff heard about the stranded passengers.

About 100 people were offered free seats, according to Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust - the charity which built Tornado.

He said: "It was a nice way to finish for Christmas, though I think some of the rescued passengers didn't realise they'd even been travelling on a steam train until they got off."

Mr Allatt, who was on the service at the time, said he only saw a handful of other trains between London and Dover throughout Monday.

He added: "If any of the train operators want to modernise their services by using steam trains, I would be happy to give them a quote."

A spokesman for Southeastern Trains congratulated Mr Allatt on his "moment of glory".

He said: "I'm sure those passengers were saved from a lengthy wait, all credit to him."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8428097.stm

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gondolier88

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2009, 03:19:29 pm »

Shame steam is out of date...... >>:-(

Greg
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sheerline

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2009, 06:25:01 pm »

As we're rapidly descending into 3rd world status, I'm sure it will be back. All the hi tech toys are fine when they work but there isn't much which will keep a REAL loco at bay. Great stuff.
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gondolier88

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2009, 08:19:55 pm »

Along with a resurgance in steam excursion vessels....? %)

Greg
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tony52

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2009, 08:33:30 pm »

My father in law used to drive steam trains in the 1950's & 60's in the Manchester area. He would say that with the old steamers 'you would always get yourself home'.

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gondolier88

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009, 08:43:17 pm »

It's true- they have the power, simplicity and general over-engineered'ness that means they can keep going under problems that diesel and electric loco's can't- mind, steam loco's don't fall foul of half the problems they do either!!!

Greg
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DickyD

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2009, 08:56:27 pm »

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Perkasaman2

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 11:06:28 pm »

No offence gents,I love steam locos, but I'd rather hear a 'Deltic' coming down the tracks - just 'fill/fire up an go'. A pair of big 'D's would have sorted the recent 'Chunnel' difficulties super quick.  O0
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gondolier88

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 11:21:39 pm »

Yes the gentle nostalgic 'chuff chuff', palls of steam and hot oil and coal/steam smells can't compete with a roaring Deltic belching acrid blue smoke %% :-))

Greg
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Spook

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 11:28:23 pm »

As a signaller in South Wales I'd welcome steam locos with open arms. It'd make a nice change from the suburban diesels and class 66 locos hauling coal trains that I get to see every day/night.
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RickF

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2010, 12:09:22 am »

Leaving aside maintenance staff, a steam engine needs at least four people to get it ready for service (cleaner, fire-raiser, fireman and driver) who start work  up to five hours before the time the engine is required. The diesel or electric engine driver clocks on five minutes before the off, turns a key and he's away.

Just imagine how much more the most expensive rail service in Europe would cost if these levels of manning were introduced. And that doesn't even begin to address the cost of imported coal!

Rick
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polaris

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2010, 11:03:00 am »


Dear Rick,

The railways managed rather well with steam for 100 years + prior to diesel arriving on the scene, and they managed to stay profitable - in the main anyway. Imported coal is supposed to be cheaper than home produced coal...? The re-introduction of steam would help with unemployment?

Regards, Bernard
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RickF

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2010, 12:00:44 pm »

Bernard,

As a railway enthusiast and fan of all old transport, I would love to see steam locomotives back in general use on main-line duties. However, when I take off my rose-tinted spectacles I can see it is unlikely to happen - I wont say "never", because one cannot be that sure in one's predictions!

The infrastructure required for regular running of steam no longer exists - few turntables, water cranes or coaling stages. Maintenance is in the hands of a few enthusiasts. The manpower requirements - if they could be found and trained, as you suggest, from the ranks of the unemployed - are huge. And who would train them - the old men and enthusiastic amateurs who keep the art of engine driving alive?

As regards imported coal, I believe the majority is the stuff burnt in power stations. Many years ago, as the Welsh pits were closing, I remember steam enthusiasts bemoaning the lack of good steam coal/anthracite. I don't know if the situation has changed now, but if it is readily available I doubt if it's cheap.

Rick

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gondolier88

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 12:08:45 pm »

Leaving aside maintenance staff, a steam engine needs at least four people to get it ready for service (cleaner, fire-raiser, fireman and driver) who start work  up to five hours before the time the engine is required. The diesel or electric engine driver clocks on five minutes before the off, turns a key and he's away.

Just imagine how much more the most expensive rail service in Europe would cost if these levels of manning were introduced. And that doesn't even begin to address the cost of imported coal!

Rick

This is the general view by all, that when we say 'steam locos' we mean exactly the same as what the railways were using in WW2- with modern manufacturing techniques, a modular locomotive just like an electric one could be made- envisage a locomotive that has two driving positions- front and back- with one end holding the boiler and engine.

The boiler is a super-efficient watertube boiler- lighter, quicker, faster steaming (try 20mins from cold to full pressure for the size of boiler that would be required) , electrically heated using the catenaries already there for the electric loco's, or gas fired on non-electric lines, automatic pressure control, condensing- negating the need for picking up feedwater, and controllable at the flick of a switch.

Greg
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polaris

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2010, 12:09:55 pm »


Dear Rick,

All that you say is true of course... unfortunately! However, who know's what the future holds........

Regards, Bernard
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oldiron

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2010, 01:11:13 pm »

Greg:

  As you may know this was proposed in the US during the eighties with the ACE 3000 project headed by Ross Rowland. Test to establish a data base were done using Rowlands ex C&O 4-8-4 #614. The locomotive was put into regular service hauling coal trains on the Chessie System.
  The ACE 3000 was very modern using all computer technology to operate it. It could MU with diesel locomotives, providing it was in the lead. All maintenance and care was set up to work within modern parameters.
The reduction in the price of oil shelved the project, but didn't destroy it. If the price of oil rises to make this technology competitive again I can see the project resurrected. The project was backed by a consortium of coal companies and employed David Wardale in its design.

John
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Circlip

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2010, 02:16:20 pm »

" And we could get rid of all those dirty diesel powered trucks and put goods back onto the railways and distribute and deliver locally using three wheeled vehicles" and yes the moon is made of green cheese.

  Deltic,? wonderful concept, pitty the engines (power units) were fraught with problems, - ask the Navy.

  And steam locos ONLY travel at 120MPH for a FEW miles.

   Oh the world was a MUCH better place when we were kids.

  Regards  Ian.
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Perkasaman2

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2010, 03:07:56 pm »

We are a bunch of romantics  :-)) The deltic was 'modular' - 36/18/9 cylinder versions, and 'in situ' repairs were/would be difficult in most applications. Napier/English Electric overcame this by ensuring the engines were relatively easy and quick to change - minimal 'down time'. The current 'Ton' replacement, Hunt class minesweeper, use three 9 cylinder 'Baby' Ds. The 'Ton' ships used twin 18's, same as the classic type 55 locos. These loco/marine engines were capable of long service and ancilliaries were very easy to change. Their power/weight/size ratio was/is oustanding.
I often heard  55's in the sidings which were very close to my home as a youngster - the sound of them starting/spinning up was impressive - some sounds you don't forget. :-)   
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polaris

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2010, 06:20:28 pm »


Dear Ian,

How right you are re frieght on railways.

Far too much goes by road, but, since they destroyed most of the medium and small railway freight handling facilities................... >>:-( >>:-( >>:-(

Regards, Bernard
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Jimmy James

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2010, 07:24:33 pm »

I'm no engineer so don't know the In's and outs of it but I often wondered why the more modern steam loco's weren't converted to oil burning and fitted with a condenser and also would not the speed problem of piston loco's be solved by steam turbines and electric drive??? I know I'm putting my head on a block with so many engineering types in this outfit but it seem's to make sense to me ... Even the vaunted Atomic Submarines are really only steam powered vessels so why not high speed steam trains ????
 It's not rocket science all the bits are already in existence, they only need putting togeather in the same package,,, I do remember being told many years ago that one of the reasons trains powered by the "infernal conbustion engine " kept running into trouble is that they ain't as heavy as the old steam Loco's
Freebooter :(( :(( %) :-))

 
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kiwi

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2010, 07:41:59 pm »

Rail freight transport - THE most efficient method of hauling long distance!
With modern technology could be made to work for intercity freight, removing trucks from the highways.
Leaving local delivery by road. Once was the case in NZ, before greedy poly's and buddies privatized everything to line their own pockets.
But, it wont happen, to many fingers in the till
cheers
kiwi
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oldiron

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2010, 07:51:55 pm »

I'm no engineer so don't know the In's and outs of it but I often wondered why the more modern steam loco's weren't converted to oil burning and fitted with a condenser and also would not the speed problem of piston loco's be solved by steam turbines and electric drive??? I know I'm putting my head on a block with so many engineering types in this outfit but it seem's to make sense to me ... Even the vaunted Atomic Submarines are really only steam powered vessels so why not high speed steam trains ????
 It's not rocket science all the bits are already in existence, they only need putting togeather in the same package,,, I do remember being told many years ago that one of the reasons trains powered by the "infernal conbustion engine " kept running into trouble is that they ain't as heavy as the old steam Loco's
Freebooter :(( :(( %) :-))

 

  You've opened a very long story. All you have mentioned has been tried as far back as the fourties. This was done both in Britain and the US. The US had massive units such as the Jawn Henry on the N&W and the a  similar unit on the C&O. Canada didn't partake of the experimentation in these areas. Condensers were used in Germany and extensively in South Africa. However, I think they found limited use elsewhere.
  There are several problems, first and most obvious is the large amount of extra equipment that has to be bought and maintained. The next, at least in relation to the steam turbine is the question of variable speed. The turbine doesn't lend itself to varying speeds very well. As speed goes up, so does the need for more steam with the accompanying increase in heat. This causes a differential expansion problem between the rotating blades and the diaphragms. The same is true as the locomotive slows down. Obviously railway locomotive speed changes constantly. Not a very friendly environment for a steam turbine. The LMS probably had the most successful steam turbine, but even it didn't last very long. Steam turbines are a more constant speed machine. They do find use in marine practice, but even that is diminishing.
  Oil burning was used extensively in western Canada and the US. In fact engines were changed depending on the cost of fuel available.
  The conventional steam locomotive was ideally adapted to what it had to do, and it did it well. There are many improvements in efficiency that could be accomplished as shown by L.D.Porta and David Wardale. At the time steam was done away with the technology and means of handling hadn't been changed since the turn of the century. The N&W in the US did a lot of work to improve the servicing and downtime of steam and , in fact did very well. There engines were very successful and very competitive with diesels. However, the diesel locomotive salesman was very persuasive, particularly when they are one of your top shipping customers.
  That's it in a nut shell, but the details could go on very much longer.

john
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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2010, 08:13:13 pm »

It never ceases to amaze me, (Not difficult) that if a loco is travelling between two points it's more economical to have NO goods on board than reduce the cost because the train is on a scheduled run?? Obviously transporting fresh air is more cost effective, can't see the carbon footprint reducing due to a "Mail" coach being replaced by Jet aircraft.

   Regards  Ian
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polaris

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2010, 09:27:06 pm »


What an interesting thought... a steam turbine steam loco.............
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gondolier88

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Re: Modern Rail Locomotives, Poo !
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2010, 09:40:06 pm »

A turbine can't sit at neutral without using steam, doesn't produce torque from 0 revs's like an engine can, it can't drive direct and requires a gearbox, and also would need trained turbine technicians, whereas a steam engine can be maintained by a mechanic.

Apart from that, no reason why it wouldn't work %)

Greg
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