Running out of coal.

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jim s-w
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Running out of coal.

Postby jim s-w » Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:16 pm

Hi all

I’ve tried to look into this but haven’t got very far. Was it common for steam locos to be still in service but really low on coal. As you might be aware Brettell Road is set in the evening so would a loco coming to the end of its roster and with a ‘not very full’ tender be something relatively common?

Jim

Jeremy Suter
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby Jeremy Suter » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:43 am

Hi Jim

Of Coarse an engine runs low on coal A train running from London to Glasgow will refill water on the troughs and probably change loco at Crewe or Carilse. I think the Duchess could get all the way. Many years ago A driver once told me a Euston Manchester train he was working on at the end of steam ran out of coal passing Longsight and still got to London Rd. station how true it is I don't now.
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jim s-w
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby jim s-w » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:21 am

Thanks Jeremy

I realise the long distance stuff would but what about a loco pottering around on local services. I guess they weren’t topped up if there was still enough coal for what they needed to do? why would they bother?

Cheers

Jim

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Lord Colnago
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby Lord Colnago » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:54 am

Hi Jim,

I would imagine that if you go for a slightly less than half full tender it won't be too far off and would probably look right too.

John
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Will L
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby Will L » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:26 am

On Knutsford East I don't think any of the running loco's had fully loaded tenders, and one at least must have been getting to the point when the fireman was going to have to get up there and move coal forward. This must surely be prototypical?
P1030734 croped.jpg
P1030734 croped.jpg (120.75 KiB) Viewed 1503 times

Does help if you've modelled the inside of the tender coal space though.

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jim s-w
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby jim s-w » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:32 am

Lord Colnago wrote:Hi Jim,

I would imagine that if you go for a slightly less than half full tender it won't be too far off and would probably look right too.

John


Thanks chaps

Will L wrote:Does help if you've modelled the inside of the tender coal space though.


That’s the plan Will

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby grovenor-2685 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:56 am

According to E S Cox, the reason that the BR Standards had a lot of variations in coal capacity was that it was tailored to the expected duties as having leftover coal in the tender then filling on top the leftovers degraded such that when it was eventually needed the quality and thus steaming would be poor. So the aim was thave as little as possible left.
Plenty of stories in the literature of running out, Longsight to Piccadilly would be nothing, I've heard of Watford to Euston. In either case the problem was getting back to the shed on the residual steam.
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Noel
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby Noel » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:24 am

Stories in the books as well about steam raising on locos which then absented themselves because the handbrake was not on and the regulator was slightly open. Locos on their own would move on far less than their normal working pressure. It isn't strictly relevant, but fireless locos would work for several hours before running short of steam.
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Noel

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johndarch
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby johndarch » Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:40 pm

Is coal not taken from the bottom of the tender? In which case any leftover coal in the bottom will still be the first to be used when it is filled and should not have degraded.

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steamraiser
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby steamraiser » Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:03 pm

That depends on the shape of the coal space.
On some tank engines yes the coal is shovelled from the bottom.
On some tender engines the coal may be able to roll down the pile to the shovelling plate at the front, so the last coal will be from the back of the tender.

Gordon A

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Noel
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby Noel » Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:19 pm

There are a number of other factors as well:
Was the loco coaled by the crew that brought it on shed, in which case they probably didn't pull the remaining coal forward, especially if they were late for the end of their shift, or was it done by a preparation crew with many other locos to prepare and therefore in a hurry to get the job done?
Was the last crew to have the loco heavy-handed, leaving a nearly empty tender, or a well behaved economical crew who left a couple of tons?
Did the previous crew have the chance to 'top up' at the destination, before returning, and if so, did they do so, and were they right, or was the driver one who won't take the slightest risk of running out?
Has the loco spent its day standing in steam to cover failures, or working a long distance heavy train or something in between?
Is the loco in good condition or just about tolerable?

Steam loco coal consumption on BR was very variable even between locos of the same class. I don't know the context of E S Cox's comment, but it was probably about making sure there was enough coal capacity to do any likely job, not about finishing the day with minimum coal in the tender.
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Noel

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby grovenor-2685 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:53 pm

Noel wrote:Steam loco coal consumption on BR was very variable even between locos of the same class. I don't know the context of E S Cox's comment, but it was probably about making sure there was enough coal capacity to do any likely job, not about finishing the day with minimum coal in the tender.

I thought I paraphrased E S Cox fairly well, but since you know better here is the relevant page with the paragraph concerned marked.
Cox.jpg
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Keith
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Noel
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby Noel » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:09 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:I thought I paraphrased E S Cox fairly well, but since you know better here is the relevant page with the paragraph concerned marked.


I wasn't saying I knew better, Keith, or concerned about your paraphrasing; I'm sorry if I gave a different impression. I did say I didn't know about the context of his comments, so thank you for that. There was only one 10 ton tender, that for Duke of Gloucester, which was intended to work the same diagrams as a Princess Coronation, but which was a notoriously poor steamer until after preservation. There were quite a few 9 ton tenders, allocated to some 9Fs, some 5MTs and half a dozen 7Ps, but the rest of the BR1 tenders were all 7 tonners. The 9 ton tenders were mostly on locos which were allocated initially to the LMR, the small number of exceptions going to the ScR. Presumably the 9 and 10 ton capacities were to match the ex-LMS Stanier 8P, 5XP, 5MT and 8F classes. This in itself suggests to me that the LMR were looking for their locos to have a standard coal capacity for each power class, so that any of them could be rostered to a job requiring that capacity; how many of them were each day is, I suspect, another matter.
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Noel

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Running out of coal.

Postby Le Corbusier » Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:52 am

I don't know what help this might be, but I asked the question of Glynn Waite ex of the Rowsley Shed as I have been in correspondence with him regarding Monsal Dale.

Glynn-Waite wrote:On 4 Sep 2020, at 01:51, Glynn Waite <Glynn.Waite@btinternet.com> wrote:

Nice to hear from you again Tim.

I would imagine that different sheds had different practices. However, at Rowsley they always coaled / topped up engines going onto the shed, so that when they went off shed for their next duty they had a full tender / bunker.

While this eliminated delay at the start of work, because the layout initially required all movements on to the shed yard to pass under the coaling plant and then over the ashpit, it caused delay to ‘turnback’ engines (worked by ‘foreign’ crews) that only needed to be turned on the turntable. This was rectified in 1955 by the construction of an independent line (known locally as ‘the Burma Road’) which enable ‘turnback’ engines to access the turntable without having to pass under the coaling plant / over the ashpit.

Confirmation that engines were coaled going on to the shed can be seen from odd photos of engines put into store with their chimneys capped, but also having full tenders / bunkers.

Engines going on to the shed after a day’s work would inevitably have a depleted amount of coal, but the extent of this would depend on the type of work undertaken during the turn of duty.

Regards,

Glynn
Tim Lee


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