Carriage loading docks

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Paul Townsend » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:48 pm

Thanks to Martin, Gerry, Noel et al for airing this issue.

I now have no excuse for failing to address it for the Highbridge ELD which has been in place for 30 years with an offensive gap!

I will also need to build a Broad Gauge version in the next year for Dartmouth.

The Highbridge one was extensively used for traction, ploughing, road engines etc arriving from their manufacturers to be driven through the town to a local distributor. No doubt some went out again by rail.

On the assumption that Martin's problem is now solved I add another issue that I have yet to solve:

Once the arriving vehicle has bridged the gap that exercised Martin it is now safely on the dock some 3 ft above ground level.
Since there would rarely be an adequate crane I presume it would be driven or winched down a ramp to ground level.

I wonder if anyone has any idea about the construction of said ramp, materials, gradient etc.

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Noel
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Noel » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:59 pm

The Sopwith Camel trainer, like most such, was a two seater http://www.adf-gallery.com.au/gallery/Sopwith-Camel/P921737.

The DH4 was successful, but did not last long after WW1 in RAF service, being replaced by the DH9A, which again lasted into the 1930s. The DH4 did, however, see civilian use for some time after the war.
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Noel
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Noel » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:12 pm

Paul Townsend wrote:Since there would rarely be an adequate crane I presume it would be driven or winched down a ramp to ground level.


It would have to be driven, I think, as there would not be anywhere to anchor a winch at the top of the ramp [or the bottom for that matter]. To use a winch there would also need to be suitable blocks and ropes as part of the station equipment, and someone on the station staff with the necessary skills to set them up, plus some means of applying power to those ropes.

In practice, at many stations there would not be a ramp; With plenty of space available the road access would be at platform level, with the loading dock behind the platform and a long, very gentle, gradient down to the rest of the goods yard. All designed for horse drawn traffic, originally, of course, and with the abysmally low power to weight ratio of the horse in mind.
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martin goodall
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby martin goodall » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:11 pm

I deliberately fixed the level of the road behind the buffer stops at Burford to be at roughly the same height as the end loading dock, so no slope. As Noel has observed, most end loading docks would have been arranged in this way, or with only a minimal change of level. I can't think of any examples of a significant slope down from the ELD.

John Palmer
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby John Palmer » Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:19 pm

martin goodall wrote:I am coming to the conclusion that this model is just too darned big to be used as a wagon load.

I think you may be right. The Rectank design already features a shallow well, such as to lower the height of the deck approximately to the level of the buffer centres. If you contemplate loading the engine on a wagon with a deeper well, other considerations start to intrude, such as the risk that the winding drum will ground as the engine is being moved into the well.

The engine loaded on the MAC C in Peter Tatlow's book looks much smaller than what I assume is BB1 prototype of your model. I think it may be a K5.

The railway might make it a condition of carriage that the engine is shipped 'dead', in which case loading under its own steam would be out of the question. That's when another engine and a push pole come into use.

May I suggest an Avro 504K as a disassembled substitute for the Camel? Extensively used by the RAF as a basic training aircraft and much more suitable for training purposes than the Camel, which acquired some notoriety as a killer of inexperienced pilots. Airfix once produced a kit of the Avro, assuming the scale disparity is acceptable.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Paul Townsend » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:23 pm

Noel wrote:
Paul Townsend wrote:Since there would rarely be an adequate crane I presume it would be driven or winched down a ramp to ground level.


It would have to be driven, I think, as there would not be anywhere to anchor a winch at the top of the ramp [or the bottom for that matter]. To use a winch there would also need to be suitable blocks and ropes as part of the station equipment, and someone on the station staff with the necessary skills to set them up, plus some means of applying power to those ropes.

In practice, at many stations there would not be a ramp; With plenty of space available the road access would be at platform level, with the loading dock behind the platform and a long, very gentle, gradient down to the rest of the goods yard. All designed for horse drawn traffic, originally, of course, and with the abysmally low power to weight ratio of the horse in mind.


Big stations may have had capstans. However Highbridge did not.
Photos and plans of Highbridge show a crowded situation. The surrounding yard could not be high as there was a level crossing over the Burnham line very close by. I have never seen any piccies of the "back" of the Highbridge ELD but am confidant that any ramp must have been pretty steep due to lack of space. I doubt if nobs ever visited Highbridge with horses and carriages so believe the ELD was provided for the traction engine traffic. I wonder what traction engine brakes could cope with when offloading and how steep they could climb if sent out again by rail.

My situation at Dartmouth is entirely for road carriages and a bit more space is available so I can provide a slow ramp.

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Noel
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Noel » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:31 pm

John Palmer wrote:May I suggest an Avro 504K as a disassembled substitute for the Camel? Extensively used by the RAF as a basic training aircraft and much more suitable for training purposes than the Camel, which acquired some notoriety as a killer of inexperienced pilots


Or the later radial engined 504N. I suspect that the two seater Camel, which seems to have had a service life of less than two years, was used as what would now be described as an advanced trainer, i.e. an aircraft used to introduce newly qualified pilots to higher performance front line aircraft with the support of a more experienced pilot. As you imply, it would be totally unsuitable as a basic trainer.

Paul Townsend wrote:Big stations may have had capstans


Only very big city goods stations, for moving wagons about. Pre-electric motors they would require a hydraulic accumulator for power [i.e. a tall tower with a water tank on the top, not common elsewhere...]. I would doubt their ability to move a 25 ton ploughing engine, which has no visible reason for being in the inner city to start with, once it had left the builders, who probably had their own siding. Such engines commonly belonged to contractors, who would move around country areas. Given the problems we have identified, it looks as though large ploughing engines probably travelled by road rather than by railway, towing a living van for the crew.
Last edited by Noel on Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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martin goodall
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby martin goodall » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:35 pm

John Palmer wrote:. Airfix once produced a kit of the Avro, assuming the scale disparity is acceptable.


If one wants to make use of a small-scale plastic aircraft kit, the standard scale of 1:72 has to be accepted. It produces an oversize model, but is a compromise most of us are prepared to tolerate for the sake of saving time.

I'll keep a lookout for an Avro 504 kit.

martin goodall
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby martin goodall » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:52 pm

Noel wrote: Such engines commonly belonged to contractors, who would move around country areas.


This confirms that it is not realistic to put a ploughing engine on a railway wagon (except on initial delivery from Fowler's in Leeds). I was aware that these engines were owned by agricultural contractors and taken from farm to farm, together with their crews. They worked in pairs, with a balance plough being pulled back and forth between them.

There is in any event some doubt as to whether steam ploughing would have been practised in the Cotswolds, as my impression is that the soil (cornbrash) would have been easy to work, unlike the heavy clay soils found in some other areas.

I have several other road vehicles that could serve as wagon loads on the Burford Branch, including traction engines and a steam roller, and which would be loaded or unloaded over the carriage loading dock at Burford, as well as various lighter vehicles as listed by Noel earlier.

dal-t
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby dal-t » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:32 pm

Don't know how to link to a post on Facebook, but the 'Everything Great Western' Group** has posted an interesting photo of a Fowler traction engine waiting to be unloaded at Carn Brea. Not over an end (carriage) dock, unfortunately, just in the yard and apparently about to be handled with block and tackle, but shows that such loads could still be seen in the '50s.

** Please don't ask how I became aware of this. I am not a Green With Rivets modeller (at least, not in 4mm) and I don't wish to be thrown out of my favourite 'line' society, which only ran Black engines ...
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Noel
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Noel » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:37 pm

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Noel

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Noel
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Noel » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:22 pm

The wagon looks a bit like GWR G13 of 1926-34, but isn't, so I can't identify it. I can't match it to a LMS, LNE or SR vehicle, so possibly pre-group? The cable is tied to the rail between the feet of the man on the far left, apparently, but I can't see any evidence of a block and tackle [I think the man on the ramp is holding a piece of timber]; I would have thought that the friction inherent in the loading method would require a more complex set-up to overcome. The attachment to the rear wheel does make sense, though.

The loading is interesting, as the engine appears to be on timber baulks laid across the side girders, presumably because the engine wheels are wider than the loading well.

I'm inclined to think that this may be 1940s rather than 1950s, but can't show specific evidence to justify that.
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martin goodall
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby martin goodall » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:26 pm

Loading the ploughing engine on timber baulks to overcome the problem of the driving wheels being wider than the loading well was an idea that occurred to me to solve the problem of loading my Oxford Diecast model on a Mac or Loriot, but I had no idea whether this would have been done in practice, and so I dismissed it. Maybe this would be a practical answer after all. However, easing the machine off the side of the wagon, as shown in the photo, looks like a tedious and tricky problem (which as modellers we fortunately don't have to tackle). Looks as though the wagon could just be left in the mileage siding on the layout, and then discreetly crane-shunted during the hours of 'darkness'.

John Palmer
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby John Palmer » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:35 am

I think the picture at Carn Brea must be of Fowler A4 road locomotive 11029. In 1950 it was sold by Craddock's Saw Mill in St Germans and apparently acquired then by South Crofty Mine. I presume the Mine arranged for the engine to be conveyed to Carn Brea by rail so it would appear that the picture dates from 1950. This is consistent with the livery applied to the machinery wagon, which I must say does look to me like a Diag. G.13 Loriot L, so I'd be interested to hear why Noel has ruled this out. I'm fairly confident I can see Dean-Churchward brake levers, strengthening the case for this being GW vehicle. Bit surprising to see that the brake hasn't been applied – perhaps the wheels are chocked.

I would expect the Fowler to be narrow enough to fit the wagon, though with not much clearance on a Loriot L. The caption to the photograph is a bit misleading as the engine is midway across the gap between wagon and ramp, so unloading has been under way for some time. I can attest to the feasibility of shifting quite big loads sideways in the manner shown with the aid of a Tirfor or similar winch. I participated in the re-railing by this means of a DMU that had gone through an open trap at Minehead some years ago, with the difference that we slid the wheelsets on rails laid on their sides rather than the channel sections visible in the photograph.

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Noel
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Noel » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:34 pm

John Palmer wrote:which I must say does look to me like a Diag. G.13 Loriot L, so I'd be interested to hear why Noel has ruled this out


Misinterpretation of the photo, John; having had another look I agree G13. I hadn't spotted the channel section, either :oops:. Although a 15T capacity wagon, the1936 General Appendix limits the load for engines to not more than 10 tons. I've no idea of the weight of an A4; is it under 10 tons or have the rules been changed or possibly bent?
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John Palmer
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby John Palmer » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:05 pm

I'm no expert on Fowler engines but think it likely the A4 weighs in at around the 10 ton mark, perhaps a little more. A B4, which I think is larger, weighs under 13 tons.

Enginemen can be a bit coy about the true weight of their mount. Maclaren 547 carries a cast plate on its smokebox door suggesting that it weighs 6.5 tons, but it's a fib!

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:22 pm

Weight does rather depend on the amount of water and coal on board.
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martin goodall
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby martin goodall » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:46 pm

“If all else fails, try reading the instructions.” (Or to put it more succinctly, “RTFM!”)

I should have looked at the box of my Fowler ploughing engine. It gives quite a lot of information about this machine. It turns out that it is a model of a Fowler BB1 16nhp engine, built in 1918 (Maker’s number 15145, Registration: CF 3348). Perhaps this would allow someone to say what its unladen weight (i.e. without coal and water) would have been, and possibly whether the model is indeed accurately reproduced to 1:76 scale.

The Oxford product code for this model is 76FBB001. The model was produced for the Great Dorset Steam Fair 2016, although I bought it from a retailer’s stand at a model railway show in 2018.

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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby John Palmer » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:19 pm

The unladen weight for a BB1 is 20 tons, and I estimate that coal and water would add about another ton. I couldn't say whether the Oxford Diecast model is accurate in scale, but it seems to capture the look of its prototype well. The steering wheel and shaft and the representation of the steering linkage look overly thick, but that is probably a limitation of the manufacturing process. I'm particularly taken with the dishing of the flywheel spokes; Oxford seem to have done a good job with that.

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Hardwicke
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Hardwicke » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:02 pm

I've seen those metal hinges. Possibly Retford before the loading dock was removed and turned into a car park or elsewhere but I do remember them.
Builder of Forge Mill Sidings, Kirkcliffe Coking Plant, Swanage and Heaby. Still trying to "Keep the Balance".

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Hardwicke
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Hardwicke » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:08 pm

martin goodall wrote:One of the vehicles I intend to place for unloading at the end loading dock is a Fowler ploughing engine, and it was this 25-ton monster I had in mind.

A separate problem is what wagon could carry this machine. It has a very wide wheelbase - 8' 6", and assuming these wheels could not be allowed to overhang the sides of the well wagon, that rules out almost everything except possibly a well wagon from one of the LNER's pre-grouping constituents. Even when loaded on a well wagon, the ploughing engine would have to have its chimney removed to fit within the loading gauge.

(And now someone will tell me that the limestone soil of the Cotswolds was light enough not to require steam ploughing!)


Didn't they remove the wheels? I think there is a picture in Midland Wagons.
Builder of Forge Mill Sidings, Kirkcliffe Coking Plant, Swanage and Heaby. Still trying to "Keep the Balance".

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:26 am

Probably not helpful or relevant ... but as I had it ....

007.jpg
Tim Lee

John Palmer
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby John Palmer » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:51 pm

Lovely picture!

Given the pristine condition of the engine (look at the finish of the paintwork on the bunker!) and the use of a 20 ton SECR machinery wagon to convey it, my guess is that this is a spanking new plougher on delivery from Aveling & Porter's Invicta Works at Rochester. Can't be sure, but there are several features on the engine suggestive of an Aveling product.

The end dock seems to have been constructed in such a way that vehicle headstocks can butt directly against it to facilitate loading/unloading.

At the left of the picture there's also a portable engine partially visible.

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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Bulwell Hall » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:52 pm

martin goodall wrote:“If all else fails, try reading the instructions.” (Or to put it more succinctly, “RTFM!”)

I should have looked at the box of my Fowler ploughing engine. It gives quite a lot of information about this machine. It turns out that it is a model of a Fowler BB1 16nhp engine, built in 1918 (Maker’s number 15145, Registration: CF 3348). Perhaps this would allow someone to say what its unladen weight (i.e. without coal and water) would have been, and possibly whether the model is indeed accurately reproduced to 1:76 scale.

The Oxford product code for this model is 76FBB001. The model was produced for the Great Dorset Steam Fair 2016, although I bought it from a retailer’s stand at a model railway show in 2018.

Martin

If you wish to find details of specific Fowler Locomotives I would suggest that you contact the Museum of English Rural Life at Reading, part of the University of Reading. They have on deposit there in the archives the John Fowler of Leeds Company archive including the order books which give the detailed specifications of each Fowler Locomotive as it was ordered. As well as the official order books they have the works order books which give additional information and which are covered in the grease and grime of many years spent in the works. There are also a number of albums of works photos of the machines taken when new. As well as road locomotives Fowlers also made railway locomotives - diesel and steam - as well as rolling stock, farming and other machinery much of which went for export. I know that the Fowler archive is there because one of my final jobs before retiring was to spend several days at the museum assessing the material for the work required to conserve and make it suitable for access by readers. The physical conservation work on the archive is still ongoing by my former employer I understand as there is a significant amount that will take a number of years to complete. There is also a programme of digitising the archive so that it will be more accessible but I don't know how far advanced that is. It is a fascinating archive and was a splendid project to work on in the last year or so of my career in the conservation business. I know that they welcome enquiries and the curator and staff are both keen and helpful. For what it is worth the museum also have the F.W.Woolworth Company archive as well as the Ladybird Books archive with much of the original artwork - fascinating stuff!

Gerry

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Carriage loading docks

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:29 pm

another image of end loading for what it may be worth ....

009.jpg
Tim Lee


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