Top Steam locos in Australia designed for freighters.(pre Diesels)

 
  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
T and TF got me confused too, glad its clear .

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  CAP_gauge Junior Train Controller

Yes the terminology is referring to NSW steam locomotives.

In general terms all steam locos in service & affected by the re-classing of their types in 1924 into the 2 class number system, (not all were re-classed owing to age & imminent withdrawal).  Most railway men still referred to many of them by their old pre 1924 class.  Consider also that when 100 or more of the one type was built they rolled over the number, thus the 30class included those with 31, the 32 & 33 were one class, 50, 51 & 52 were all one class, 53, 54 were one & 55 - 56 were one.

In that context, the 30Tclass were rarely referred to by the old S class owing to them essentially being a different class or type of engine, however the 30 tankers were still referred to as S class. 32cl as P class, 35 as Nannies, 36 as Pigs, 50 as T, 53 as TF, & 55 as K.  

The T, TF & K were deemed & bracketed as Standard Goods engines as they shared many common components, however many enginemen simply referred to them as (in a group of the three types) freighters.
"a6et"


Thank you very much a6et, that makes it all clear.

Regards,

Frank
  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
Top=IMHO,the best freighter in Australia at the height of steam loco on  design, IS the Class that met cost-efficiency,the traffic needs,was  user friendly,and that  Australian Governments had the will to support. Thats  the question.
Now from all our excellent wide-searching  posts  so far, a Short list ?1to3
Thanks for all your posts.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I still vote for the Victorian X class. Built (with mods) over 20 years which would have been even longer had the B class not arrived.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Top=IMHO,the best freighter in Australia at the height of steam loco on  design, IS the Class that met cost-efficiency,the traffic needs,was  user friendly,and that  Australian Governments had the will to support. Thats  the question.
Now from all our excellent wide-searching  posts  so far, a Short list ?1to3
Thanks for all your posts.
jayrail
There are several that met each of those criteria, but! the criteria really is sort of different in each state.  Take the item regarding Australian Governments were willing to support as an example.  That would mean a steam locomotive that crossed over state borders as well as include the old CR system, which could rule out some other loco types.

IIRC, the NM class was the same as the QR C17, the later did a pretty fair job in Qld, but how does those 2 compare with the others. The initial 2 NSW freighters of the T & TF, which were built found on the CR, rails, also the 50c was built in similar types & used in Belgium. The NSW Pcl was also built for the CR likewise the NSW 36cl used on the CR, in the quise if the Walker QLD built C class.

I guess in linking that aspect to each of the criteria the P, T & TF, types meet them quite well. None of those engines did not meet the criteria as well as they each generally outlasted more modern & heavier type steam loco's, although the 60cl garratt did slightly outlast the freighters in revenue service but not by much.  The T & TF also outlasted the newer K class, even in the all but as delivered saturated steam condition,

But, one has to consider the VR K class, perhaps some others, the A2 lasted a fair while, the QR, PB & C17 were very capable across the state as well.
  M636C Minister for Railways

I would think that the SAR 700 class would be the best freight locomotive on that system and would be among the best in Australia.

In the 1929 SAR Annual report, 706, then recently fitted with a booster, as the most powerful freight locomotive in Australia.

It was not as powerful as the 500 class, so clearly the SAR didn't consider the 500 as a freight locomotive (its main duty was to haul the Overland to and from Tailem Bend), although they were used on freight trains on the same section of line.

The 700 was the only Webb design duplicated (apart from the not so successful 720 class) with ten more built as the 710 class and a further ten each as the 740 class and the L class to CR.

They were older than the VR X class but were more modern with better valve dimensions (the X retained the rather conservative cylinders from the C class) and bar frames rather than the plate frames of the X class. There appeared to be no reason to change the boiler design as was required with the X class.

M636C
  M636C Minister for Railways

I guess that just by weight of numbers the three NSW 2-8-0 classes would need to be considered as the top freight locomotives on that system. But I'd expect that, from the earlier discussion, we need a bit more explanation of thre three types and their features.

The original T class dating from 1896, later the 50 class had 290 members built, but ten were commandeered by the British Army for use in Belgium.

The TF class of 1912 had many changes from the T class design. These included flanges on the second coupled and driving wheels (hence the "F"), knuckle jointed coupling rods and a larger tapered boiler (much like that on the NN (later 35) class. These became the 53 class, and 190 were built.

The K class built from 1918 included all the changes of the TF but with Southern Valve gear added, and 120 were built.


Part of the problem was that E.E. Lucy was not a designer and did not arrive (as Stanier did at the LMS around thirty years later) with detail drawings of the parts that made GWR locomotives a success. This was despite him knowing Harold Holcroft, possibly the most talented GWR designer.

So the NSWGR adopted the exterior features of GWR locomotives but without the knowledge of the design intent behind them.

The tapered boilers did not include the curved sides of the Belpaire fireboxes used by Churchward and his successors on the GWR which were derived from designs of the Brooks Locomotive works in the USA. These features were eventually adopted in the early 1950s for the 35 and 36 class replacement boilers.

In particular, the flanged driving wheels used in conjunction with knuckle jointed coupling rods did not work out. Holcroft had used much simpler spherical ends on normal rods on GWR locomotives.

Eventually, the 53 and 55 classes were rebuilt with flangeless second coupled and driving wheels and conventional coupling rods, becoming similar to the 50 class in that respect, apart from the longer wheelbase.

In 1937, a new design of standard boiler was fitted to a 53 class locomotive. This was externally similar to the original T class boiler but had the wider water legs (and slightly smaller grate area) of the tapered boiler. This boiler was called a "Standard Goods" boiler and was progressively applied across the fleet so that by the 1950s most locomotives had that type. Even a non-superheated version of the standard boiler was produced.

The term "Standard Goods" was used for all three classes once they had the same boilers, but strictly this did not apply to any locomotives before 1937, and never to the different types before 1924.

In fact, had the 1924 reclassification not taken place, the converted TF class locomotives with a standard boiler might have been relassified "T" since all the distinct features had been removed. Apart from the slightly longer wheelbase the locomotives were the same. The NSWGR diagrams never acknowledged the weight of modified 53 class locomotives as being lower (nor of 50 class locomotives with standard boilers as being slightly heavier).

M636C
  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
I was pleased to see M636C nominating the SAR 700 class as a leader in SAR and also overall  Australian freighter stables.
I have been most impressed by these 700s in action, and not surprised; a truly worthy machine that is photogenic as well.
I have located in my library a copy of "Australian Railway History"Dec2005,Vol56.No818.There is a fulsome discussion on these group of SAR freighters as introduced by the USA engineer when appointed the  new Chief Commissioner in 1922.An excellent study of William Alfred  Webb's contribution  in the resurgence of a stumbling rail  system at the time.
The author of the article is LLoyd   Holmes, who photographed many SAR freighters in action in a visit in 1953.I congratulate the author in this very informative study. Worth revisiting as it compliments this thread in the search for "Top Loco"
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

The VR X Class  was designed with application of boosters to improve load haul on ruling grades. Originally the booster exhausted into the blast pipe but the booster exhaust interfered with the exhaust to the detriment of locomotive operation. Consequently, the booster exhaust was run independently of the blast pipe behind the dome. Unfortunately the total loss booster exhaust meant that the booster could only operate for short periods of time before boiler pressure fell. The SAR apparently had the same problem with their booster equipped locomotives insofar as they copied the VR in externally exhausting the booster. The VR re-designed the blast pipe to incorporate the booster exhaust such that the booster exhaust combined with the (main) cylinder blast to their mutual benefit so much so that the booster could be operated indefinitely which also allowed an increase in ruling grade load haul. Concurrently, the firebox of the X Class was re-designed as a modified Belpaire eventually incorporating thermic syphons to increase direct heating surface.

However, the SAR did not progress such modification and the 700/710 Class locomotives had their boosters removed. The reason for this was not only because of civil branch axleload concerns but also because the steam consumption (total loss) of the booster impacted severely. Ron Stewien, in his excellent "A History of the SAR" Volume 6 refers to the fitting of boosters to the 700/710 Classes as a "disaster" for good reason.

So, the VR persisted with the booster and solved the problem (and some) on the X Class and the SAR did not with the 700 Class. Further, modified Belpaire firebox design was subsequently adopted by both the SAR (520 Class) and NSWGR (38 Class).

The SAR 700 Class was a good engine but the 520 Class (which was a mixed traffic locomotive) was very much better and is arguably the best Australian steam locomotive placed in general service.

TW
  M636C Minister for Railways

Firstly I should indicate that my reference to the booster on SAR 706 was simply that although, even with the booster, its nominal tractive effort was less than that of a 500 class without booster, and that this indicated that the SAR did not regard the 500 class as a "freight locomotive" but as a heavy passenger locomotive with mixed traffic capability.

I have always regarde boosters as a passing fad. They were not used in NSW because the only likely candidate, the 57 class already carried three tons more on the trailing truck than the diagram indicated and addition of a booster would exceed the allowable axle loading.

The 700 and 710 classes were intended to run on lighter lines in SA than the X in Victoria and the booster equipped locomotives were limited to heavier rail than those without boosters. The SAR eventually purchased ten N class from VR for their lightest lines.

I understand that one X class, X36, never carried a booster. How was this loco treated in traffic? Did it haul C class loads or was it considered separately as a different class?

While it is technically the case that the X class Belpaire boiler appeared before that on the 38 class, it is understood that the 38 class design was decided by 1939 and is unlikely to have been influenced by the VR design.

M636C
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

X 36 and X 37 were outshopped from Newport not equipped withboosters. These engines were allocated to the Geelong district, on a trial basis, where theboosters were of little benefit. X 37 was subsequently fitted with a booster in March 1932 but X 36 was never fitted with a booster. Victoria did not regard boosters as a passing fad and tested the concept on N110 before adopting them on the bulk of the X Class.


Non booster equipped X Class were regarded as equivalent to C Class for traffic purposes.


Mr Rogerson completed his design of the modified Belpaire boiler of the X Class in 1938 ......


TW
  M636C Minister for Railways




Mr Rogerson completed his design of the modified Belpaire boiler of the X Class in 1938 ......


TW

While i would not doubt that the VR design was completed earlier, i would be surprised if things such as details of proposed designs were shared between state railways.

I know for certain that the layout of the long buffet cars 'Wimmera" and "Mitta Mitta" influenced the design of the NSW RS buffet cars, but the VR cars emerged in 1940  and the NSW cars in 1949, giving plenty of opportunity for the NSW officials to observe the VR cars in service, since one was usually allocated to the Albury Express. But my evidence is an official VR photo with NSWGR annotations on the back, indicating that the completed car, not drawings were the inspiration.

All Australian railways looked closely at US and British trade magazines and the Loco and Carbuilder's Cyclopedia. H.W. Clapp indicated that ACF gave him drawings of B&O streamlined trains which formed the basis of the Spirit of Progress (and the buffet cars).

It is known that drawings of the South Manchurian JF2 class 2-8-2 from a Loco Cyclopeda were used in developing the detail design of the NSW 57 class. The SAR 520 streamlining was based on the Pennsylvania T1, and it is likely that the Belpaire firebox details might have come from the same source.

The NSW 38 class boiler looks very like the 1914 Pennsylvania K4 boiler, suitably scaled down to the required clearances, and it is known that details of that design were available to the NSWGR at the time.

I don't think that the existence of contemporary drawings of parallel features can be considered as influence.

M636C
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

There certainly was tic-tacing between the Australian railways relating to locomotive design as the minutes of the sundry ANZR conferences attest. I have much correspondence between VR and SAR relating to, inter alia, welded tender tanks, tender underframes and trailing bogies, blow down details etc etc. and there was regular despatch of arrangement and detail drawings between the systems. VR MFE experience also was influential with SAR with modification to the 500, 600 and 700 classes. I also have some correspondence between VR and NSWGR but to a lesser degree.

I simply stated that the VR adopted the modified Belpaire firebox design before either NSWGR or SAR.

Your comment about the "South Manchurian JF-2 from a Cyclopedia" is interesting. I cannot find reference in general nor detail to such a locomotive in particular in the 1922, 1925 or 1927 Locomotive Cyclopedias. It was unusual for details of foreign locomotives to be included in the Cyclopedias unless they were innovative; turbine locos, pulverised coal locomotives etc.

TW
  M636C Minister for Railways



Your comment about the "South Manchurian JF-2 from a Cyclopedia" is interesting. I cannot find reference in general nor detail to such a locomotive in particular in the 1922, 1925 or 1927 Locomotive Cyclopedias. It was unusual for details of foreign locomotives to be included in the Cyclopedias unless they were innovative; turbine locos, pulverised coal locomotives etc.

TW
t_woodroffe


The innovation was of course the use of three cylinders and Gresley Holcroft valve gear and it was a relatively early application by Alco to a new design. The locomotive was only slightly smaller than US domestic designs.

This reference was from a very reliable source, but I haven't looked at the documents myself. It may be that the drawings were in a trade magazine and not the Cyclopedia. but when I get a chance I will check.

The classification would have been "Mi Ka 2" when built. "MK 2" under the first post war classification.

Two further groups were built by Japanese builders, and one of these is preserved in Shenyang.

The design was superseded by a large two cylinder design "Mi Ka 4" but even fewer of these were built while thousands of the 1918 Alco "Mi Ka 1" were built as a standard design.

M636C
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

The 1925 Locomotive Cyclopedia has detail drawings of the (3) cylinders (25") of the Lehigh Valley No. 5000  4-8-2 and what was stated to be the (3) cylinders of an NYC 4-8-2. However, the cylinder diameter of the drawing is 22 1/2" which is not the diameter of the NYC engine (25"). Reference is made to a 2-8-2 built for the South Manchuria Railways as having 22 1/2" cylinders so the drawing in the Cyclopedia would seem to be incorrectly titled. My apologies, the reference to the South Manchurian locomotive did make it into the 1925 Locomotive Cyclopedia but not in the foreign locomotives section. Both cylinders have the centre cylinder steam chest on the opposite side of the cylinder centreline (RHS) to that of the D 57 (LHS) but are otherwise similar.

Certainly, the VR used these drawings as a basis for the cylinders of the S Class. This included the conjugating gear and the brackets supporting it. The S Class cylinder drawing shows a two piece casting as per the Alco locomotives but the VR went one better and cast the cylinders in one piece. The S Class centre cylinder valve chest was on the RHS.

TW

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