Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Model and prototype rolling stock, locos, multiple units etc.
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ginger_giant
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Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby ginger_giant » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:02 pm

I’m currently planning my next project, a 1950s-62 BR(WR) engine shed. The one thing that I’m trying to avoid is that it will turn into a layout where locos move about with little purpose apart from coaling turning and going on shed. So thoughts are;
    There will be a timetable that the shed locos are rostered
    There will be visiting locos allocated within the timetable
But… I’d like to take it a step further and create a card system that will try to represent some of the day to day issues that a shed foreman might face. I’m thinking that when a loco arrives on shed a card is drawn with an outcome for that loco. Two stacks of cards one for home shed locos one for visiting locos. Cards with outcomes along the lines of:
Home Locos
    Loco in good condition – continues with roster schedule
    Fire in poor condition (fire needs dropping)
    Loco reached mileage allowance (Swindon needs notifying)
    Loco has hot big end
    Loco requires boiler washout – (off roster for 2 days)
    Brick arch unstable – (off roster for ?? days)
    Blocked sanding box
Visiting Locos
    Loco in good condition – continues with roster schedule
    Fire in poor condition (fire needs dropping delay in being available ?? hours)
    Loco has hot big end
    Blocked sanding box
    Late arrival so misses return working – This is a good loco an attempt will be made to keep it. (roll D6 for number of weeks before home shed demands its return)
    Late arrival so misses return working - This is a poor loco so will be returned on first available working to home shed.
My knowledge of day to day issues is limited and would appreciate ideas that I might include that would give a shed foreman a headache.

Many thanks in anticipation

Stephan.wintner
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby Stephan.wintner » Sat Dec 05, 2020 10:34 pm

I would think late arrivals would be an occasional issue for all locos, esp.in poor weather. Similarly a planned minor repair might go awry. Perhaps dice or a card deck could randomly hit a few arrivals with a delay?

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steamraiser
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby steamraiser » Sun Dec 06, 2020 8:54 am

How about a card for the occasional failed engine ie leaking boiler tubes. That could mess things up.
The failure card could have a number of different reasons that are identified by the throw of a dice.
The differing reasons could also put the loco out of action for differing lengths of time.

Albert Hall
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby Albert Hall » Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:59 am

Brake blocking!

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby Guy Rixon » Sun Dec 06, 2020 1:17 pm

"Fused fire-bars" is something that comes up in accounts of shed life.

Phil O
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby Phil O » Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:29 pm

You need to determine which end the tube(s) are leaking, if it's the smokebox end the repair is likely to be an hour or so, if it's the firebox end, then the fire will need to be dropped and time for the boiler to cool enough for the boilersmith to enter the firebox.

I have heard a story of a boilersmith entering a firebox after the fire had been thrown out, he was wrapped in wet sacks and hose played on him whilst he rung up the leaking tubes. The reason for it being there was no other suitable loco available and he volunteered to do it. The job was done inside an hour, after arrival on shed.

Cheers

Phil.

Highpeak
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby Highpeak » Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:07 am

Something to give the shed foreman a headache? This almost gave somebody a genuine headache. In the early 60s Royal Scot 46111 had to be relieved at Millers Dale on a St Pancras to Manchester train due to a hot axlebox. Buxton's fitters attended and the locomotive limped its way to Buxton.

The left side motion was being dismantled when one of the driving wheels fell off due to a broken axle. The motion had been holding it in place. Fortunately nobody was in the way as it fell.

The 4-5-0 was a guest at Buxton for a while until Crewe sent a driving wheel up so that the engine could be restored to a 4-6-0 and taken away.

That wasn't really a day-to-day issue of course but you could include the occasional incident with visiting locos where the engine can't go anywhere until parts are received or its condition is such that it could not be repaired at your shed and had to be taken away under tow.

Source: Buxton Engines and Men J. M Bentley, Foxline
Neville
If at first you don't succeed, try reading the instructions.

Albert Hall
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby Albert Hall » Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:19 am

I cannot speak for the steam depot as main line steam ended the year before I started my apprenticeship. But in diesel depot days, if a loco was crippled purely due to the lack of a component there was a system of priority ordering through the stores known as UVS - urgent vehicle standing. Naturally, the system did get abused from time to time when we became frustrated at how long delivery was taking.

For moving locos between depots to access specific facilities such as a wheel drop, there was the wheel skate which allowed a wheelset to be raised off the running rails by a small wheeled trolley and the loco to be moved at very reduced speed - typically 10 mph on plain track and 5 mph through points and crossings.

Roy

Terry Bendall
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:24 am

Albert Hall wrote:there was the wheel skate which allowed a wheelset to be raised off the running rails by a small wheeled trolley and the loco to be moved at very reduced speed


Try modelling that in 4 mm scale! :D

Terry Bendall

Albert Hall
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby Albert Hall » Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:44 am

Indeed! The wheels on the skate were around 6 inches in diameter so only 2mm on a model. I once had the conundrum of one of the wheels on the skate running a 'hotbox' only 2 miles into the journey from Bristol to Gloucester. It was actually a lump of ballast which had flicked up and wedged itself between the rail and tread causing the wheel to skid and create a lot of smoke. Luckily it was spotted before it managed to cause a big flat which would have been game over. I cooled it down by draining some coolant from the engine using the driver's billy can. We knew how to improvise in those days! With such moves, it was a requirement to grease the bearings on the skate every 10 miles so it meant being recessed into every available loop. Not a quick journey!

Roy

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jim s-w
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby jim s-w » Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:04 pm

Albert Hall wrote:Indeed! The wheels on the skate were around 6 inches in diameter so only 2mm on a model.
Roy


Use a top hat bearing as the wheel? :D

Jim

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Wed Dec 09, 2020 7:07 pm

Highpeak wrote:Something to give the shed foreman a headache? This almost gave somebody a genuine headache. In the early 60s Royal Scot 46111 had to be relieved at Millers Dale on a St Pancras to Manchester train due to a hot axlebox. Buxton's fitters attended and the locomotive limped its way to Buxton.

The left side motion was being dismantled when one of the driving wheels fell off due to a broken axle. The motion had been holding it in place. Fortunately nobody was in the way as it fell.

The 4-5-0 was a guest at Buxton for a while until Crewe sent a driving wheel up so that the engine could be restored to a 4-6-0 and taken away.

A single driving wheel on a broken axle would make a change from the usual cliché of random driving wheels dotted around the loco shed.

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Noel
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby Noel » Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:15 pm

pete_mcfarlane wrote:A single driving wheel on a broken axle would make a change from the usual cliché of random driving wheels dotted around the loco shed.


Neither of which is at all likely in reality, as the broken axle and its wheels would be replaced by a new assembly and returned to the Works. Meanwhile, the loco would stand with an axle missing, on blocks if necessary.
Regards
Noel

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ginger_giant
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby ginger_giant » Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:59 pm

Excellent comments, many thanks.

Since my original post, I've finished reading Tony Barfield book "Panniers and Prairies" and started his other book "When there was Steam". I've also placed orders for "St. Philips March - memories of an engine shed" by D.J. Fleming, and "Organised Chaos - Bath (Green Park) Running Foreman's Log Book 1960/61" by Brian Macdermott. Hope these books can give some insight into the workings of WR engine sheds.

As I'm still only at the planning stage it will be quite a while before I put into action any randomisation of operation so any more comments will be appreciated.

Cheers guys

bécasse
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby bécasse » Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:48 pm

Bath Green Park had only been a Western Region shed since 1958, pre-nationalisation it had (effectively) been an LMSR shed and between 1948 and 1958 it was a Southern Operating Area shed, so not a good example for learning about GWR practices - and the GWR was notorious for always doing things differently. You are alright with St.Phillips Marsh though.

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ginger_giant
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Re: Adding operational interest to a engine shed layout

Postby ginger_giant » Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:07 pm

Ah.. thought it had been WR before 1958 and hadn't realised it was an LMSR before becoming Southern. I always thought of it as Southern then WR in later years.

Thanks
Ian


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