D57 class question?

 
  TBP Minister for Railways

Location: Singleton
While talking to a modeler over the phone today, the subject of the D57 class came up, since there is talk 5711, may return to steam, one day.
He said that the D57 could have worked the short north, it was not the weight that was a problem it was the fact that the cylinders would scrape alone platforms as he said the platforms on the Short North were a little different to the ones South, it got me a little  Confused
So dose anyone know if the D57 could have worked the Short North?

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  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
I'm sure they could have been made to if it had become an operational requirement, and they ran on the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra, neither of which can hardly be described as generous loading gauge areas! D58s were delivered down the main north from Cardiff (if I recall correctly). There are even now still limitations on big locos outside their regular stomping grounds...90 classes have to tread extremely lightly (near empty tanks, many many speed restrictions and light engine only) when venturing south of the Hunter for wheel lathe attention.

From a modelling point of view, I'd more than happily run a 57 on a short north layout...claim it was a trial trip, it'd be one of many!
  M636C Minister for Railways

While talking to a modeler over the phone today, the subject of the D57 class came up, since there is talk 5711, may return to steam, one day.
He said that the D57 could have worked the short north, it was not the weight that was a problem it was the fact that the cylinders would scrape alone platforms as he said the platforms on the Short North were a little different to the ones South, it got me a little  Confused
So does anyone know if the D57 could have worked the Short North?
"SMR30"


There were both weight problems and clearance problems.

Platform faces had to be cut back from 1929 when the 57 class was introduced on the West, Illawarra and South. The clearances on the North were not altered because the 57 class were not allowed to work North.

The main problem with weight was a number of plate girder bridges at Ourimbah and Wyong among others that were not strong enough for a 57 class locomotive (or a 58 for that matter). I think the Wyong bridge was the last of these to be replaced in about 1964, after the 57 class were withdrawn.

Part of the problems of the 58 class were due to their smaller cylinders which made them significantly less powerful, although the NSWGR officially insisted they were the same power, even quoting the same tractive effort as the 57 class (which wasn't really correct for either class!). These cylinders were only required to operate on the North.

So we must assume that some clearances on the North were more restrictive than just the platform faces, but I don't know exactly what these were. It shouldn't have been the plate girder bridges, because these were intended to be replaced before the 58 class entered serice on the North.

The clearance problems had been eliminated by the late 1970s since Goninan built wide suburban cars could run to Sydney, not as an out of gauge load but in regular service.

It is possible that the major clearance restriction was the old "Tickhole" tunnel between Cardiff and Adamstown.

But if 5711 returns to service (and I'm not holding my breath) it could now run on the short North, but it could not at any time when it was in service.

M636C
  M636C Minister for Railways

I'm sure they could have been made to if it had become an operational requirement, and they ran on the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra, neither of which can hardly be described as generous loading gauge areas! D58s were delivered down the main north from Cardiff (if I recall correctly). There are even now still limitations on big locos outside their regular stomping grounds...90 classes have to tread extremely lightly (near empty tanks, many many speed restrictions and light engine only) when venturing south of the Hunter for wheel lathe attention.

From a modelling point of view, I'd more than happily run a 57 on a short north layout...claim it was a trial trip, it'd be one of many!
"Grantham"


While 58 class, which met the clearance restrictions, did run very occasionally on the North, for trials, and delivery and the very occasional service run, the 57 class were never run on the North because they didn't fit!

On a present day model layout, electrified, and so on, a 57 would be allowed, but not on a historic model layout, because it didn't, and couldn't happen.

M636C
  C3827 Junior Train Controller

I remember Harold Young (ex NSWGR CME) talking about loco designs. While he is famous for the 38 class he considered the 58 class was a much more difficult design. In fact he stated that the 58 was closer to a 38 than a 57 class.
One the problems with the 58's was that the crews would try to drive them like a 57 with partially opened regulator and long cutoffs. When they should have been using the 38 class technique of  full regulator and short cutoff and therefore taking advantage of the expansive power of the steam. This was very hard for goods train crews who had not had experience with this technique.
Furthermore, by the time they were put into service, dieselisation was in progress and no monies were allocated to fixing up the minor problems with them or crew training.
  M636C Minister for Railways

I remember Harold Young (ex NSWGR CME) talking about loco designs. While he is famous for the 38 class he considered the 58 class was a much more difficult design. In fact he stated that the 58 was closer to a 38 than a 57 class.
One the problems with the 58's was that the crews would try to drive them like a 57 with partially opened regulator and long cutoffs. When they should have been using the 38 class technique of  full regulator and short cutoff and therefore taking advantage of the expansive power of the steam. This was very hard for goods train crews who had not had experience with this technique.
Furthermore, by the time they were put into service, dieselisation was in progress and no monies were allocated to fixing up the minor problems with them or crew training.
"C3827"


The 58 class was doomed from the very beginning. It was a difficult design because they started with 25 underframes designed for the 57 class and tried to build a locomotive to fit tighter clearances. The NSWGR basically lied about their intentions and received 50 cast frames from the USA during the war. 25 were for 38s, and proved useful although not until after the war. The 25 57 class frames were delivered and the NSWGR realised that it had to build something with them, although clearly they didn't need 25 more 57 class.

Young clearly believed that by incorporating various changes he could compensate for the much smaller cylinders, but I think he was wrong in this belief. In particular he expected more from "Chapelon" style improvements than he got, possibly because his detail designers hadn't taken account of the different steam conditions - Chapelon's work was largely based on improving the low pressure side of compound locomotives, and the 58 was of course a simple.

To overcome the basic difficulty of the Gresley version of the Holcroft valve gear, it should be located behind the cylinders so that the centre valve motion was not affected by lengthening of the valve stems due to heating. The 57 had its main brake cylinders behind the cylinder block and of course, the 57 frame didn't allow an easy redesign.

The 58 class were not abandoned because of the introduction of diesels. The 58 class construction was stopped well before the 59 and 60 classes were delivered. It was clear by 1951 that they were a mistake.

Some of the design work was very clever, but the rack and pinion valve gear did not overcome the problems of the original Holcroft gear. The operating insistence on giving 58 class the same loads as 57 class and blaming any shortfall on the crews was probably the worst thing they could do.

As late as 1955, C.A. Cardew was asking for them to be rebuilt as standard 57 class, but the delivery of the 42 class that year showed what the real answer would be.

I don't believe a useful locomotive could have been built with the 58 design parameters. The frames fitted with two cylinders and a modified 38 class boiler with a longer combustion chamber might have resulted in a useful high speed freight and heavy passenger loco for the south that could have run on the north after the bridges were replaced.

But when the question is wrong, the answer doesn't matter.

M636C
  Crosshead Station Master

Location: Always within earshot of a train
I understand that the D57s were out of gauge in width for the Short North but does anyone know exactly how wide they were. Were they wider than the standard max. width for NSW country lines of 9'9"? I've seen detailed drawings of the D57s but have never seen a drawing showing the actual maximum width. This has always puzzled me as other out of gauge in width locos have operated on the Short North. For example, the 40 class diesels were just over 9'11" in width and operated on the Short North from the early 1950s. Or were the 40 class only overwidth above platform heights?
  M636C Minister for Railways

I understand that the D57s were out of gauge in width for the Short North but does anyone know exactly how wide they were. Were they wider than the standard max. width for NSW country lines of 9'9"? I've seen detailed drawings of the D57s but have never seen a drawing showing the actual maximum width. This has always puzzled me as other out of gauge in width locos have operated on the Short North. For example, the 40 class diesels were just over 9'11" in width and operated on the Short North from the early 1950s. Or were the 40 class only overwidth above platform heights?
"Crosshead"


I don't have the answer yet but I'll check!

The 57 and 58 were exactly the same dimensions except for the cylinders. Even the piston valves (above platform level) appeared to be about the same overall width - the 58 had larger diameter piston valves than the 57.

I believe that the clearance problems were at or below platform level. The 57 class had 23-1/4" diameter cylinders and the 58 class had 21-1/2" diameter cylinders. It is possible that as well as being smaller in diameter, the cylinders of the 58 were placed closer to the centre line, since extensive design work was done on the rods and crosshead which wouldn't be needed if the centres were the same.

The 36, which ran unrestricted on the North, had 23" diameter cylinders, but these were higher, being angled rather than horizontal and also due to the larger coupled wheel diameter. The shorter rigid wheelbase of the 36 probably contributed to less "throwover" on curves which would affect the clearances.

As I said earlier, I suspect that the shape of the old Tickhole tunnel may have been the most difficult problem, and this was bypassed for electrification.

M636C
  TBP Minister for Railways

Location: Singleton
If 5711 was ever to return to steam, would it be able to run on the Short North, or not now days?
  M636C Minister for Railways

Having tried to scale from the general arrangement drawing of the 57 class in the Craig Mackey "57 and 58" book, the width across the maximum diameter of the cylinders of the 57 appears to be 10 ft 2 ins.

This is about the same as the width of "medium" width electric stock such as the Tangara now permitted to run to Newcastle.

M636C
  Crosshead Station Master

Location: Always within earshot of a train
[ Posted: 06 Dec 2006 22:36
Having tried to scale from the general arrangement drawing of the 57 class in the Craig Mackey "57 and 58" book, the width across the maximum diameter of the cylinders of the 57 appears to be 10 ft 2 ins.]

Thanks M6363C. I'd always thought they'd be about 10' wide or a smidgeon more. It's surprising how hard it's been to get this figure despite numerous references in the literature to the fact that they were out of gauge.

Cheers
Crosshead
  Spinner5711 Train Controller

I know this is a very old thread...

It was possible for 57's to go north, under special conditions.  Circa 1953/54, three of them were overhauled at Cardiff Workshops, as were two 58's.  This occurred because Chullora was too busy to handle them.  The 57's were, it seems, towed north.  As for their southbound runs, the position is murkier.  Were they towed empty, with rods off?  Did they work light engine?  Did they haul trains from Broadmeadow to Enfield?

Today, or even in 2006 when this was first raised, if 5711 were in operating order, it could quite easily run on the short north, if structural clearances (loading gauge and weight limitations) were the only factors.  its other characteristics, like speed limits (on the locomotive) might be a problem though...
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

This is the first time I have ever heard of 57 class locomotives running on the Short North. Two 58s were sent north for overhaul but other than that I know of no other trips. Two were built at Cardiff, 5807 and 5813 (which was the last in service on 31-10-52). They were all withdrawn by August 1957. They were built as a stop gap measure until the 46 class arrived to haul very large tonnages of coal from the west. This traffic did not eventuate. The reason for the reduced cylinder diameter was to allow them to run on the Short North which still had the 1908 loading gauge. This did not happen because the replacement of the bridges was postpone several times. The RTM made an approach to preserve one but the NSWGR, somewhat disappointed with the class declined. The boilers would have been near new when scrapped and would have fitted 5711. I don't think 5711 is ever going to run again. But then they said that about a Big Boy didn't they!
  M636C Minister for Railways

This is the first time I have ever heard of 57 class locomotives running on the Short North. Two 58s were sent north for overhaul but other than that I know of no other trips. Two were built at Cardiff, 5807 and 5813 (which was the last in service on 31-10-52). They were all withdrawn by August 1957. They were built as a stop gap measure until the 46 class arrived to haul very large tonnages of coal from the west. This traffic did not eventuate. The reason for the reduced cylinder diameter was to allow them to run on the Short North which still had the 1908 loading gauge. This did not happen because the replacement of the bridges was postpone several times. The RTM made an approach to preserve one but the NSWGR, somewhat disappointed with the class declined. The boilers would have been near new when scrapped and would have fitted 5711. I don't think 5711 is ever going to run again. But then they said that about a Big Boy didn't they!
"neillfarmer"


I think a number of 57 class were fitted with 58 class boilers and 5711 was, I think one of them.
I think at least two had 58 class frames fitted.

Its boiler should have had years of life left in it when it was withdrawn.

The 58 class were built using frames ordered from the USA during WWII. I think these would have arrived around 1943.
25 57 class frames and 25 38 class frames were ordered for wartime traffic.
The 38 class were completed first, but the first of those was completed after VJ Day.
The decision was taken to build the additional 57 class with smaller cylinders to allow their use on the short North.

The smaller cylinders were a problem because the same loads were applied to both classes.
As late as January 1955, CA Cardew was arguing for the 58 class to be fitted with 57 class cylinders and valve gear.
The 42 class arrived in November 1955 and after that it didn't matter.

Peter

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