British Railways Standard Steam Locomotives

 
  rogerfarnworth Junior Train Controller

1951 was the year of the Standard Steam Locomotive. The Railway Magazine of the time focussed on the development of these locos. Rather than just looking backwards to those days, it is good to listen to and read things from the perspective of the time!

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/07/08/british-standard-steam-locomotives

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  M636C Minister for Railways

1951 was the year of the Standard Steam Locomotive. The Railway Magazine of the time focussed on the development of these locos. Rather than just looking backwards to those days, it is good to listen to and read things from the perspective of the time!

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/07/08/british-standard-steam-locomotives
rogerfarnworth
In retrospect some of the decisions were strange:

The "Clan" was clearly based on the good performance of Bullied's West Country in the interchange trials.
For some reason it used the same chassis as the Britannia. Most light Pacifics had the wheelbase shortened by about 300mm between the trailing driver and the trailing axle compared to the heavy equivalent. This meant the loco was heavier and it was hampered by a boiler that left something to be desired.

As well, the Standard 5 could do much the same work and was based on the proven LMS Black 5.

While the early diesel locomotives were less than excellent, many of them, mainly the English Electrics, proved reliable and gave dramatic improvements in availability and a reduction in maintenance costs, even if thier purchase costs were high.

The Germans introduced new standard locomotives, and even in the West kept building them until 1959, only one year before "Evening Star" appeared, although they didn't build as many new steam locomotives as BR.

Peter
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville

The Germans introduced new standard locomotives, and even in the West kept building them until 1959, only one year before "Evening Star" appeared, although they didn't build as many new steam locomotives as BR.

Peter
M636C

The German transition from steam to diesel seems to have been achieved in a more orderly fashion. Steam in the UK finished in 1968 while in West Germany it continued until 1977.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

In the late 1940s and early1950s it is remarkable that no railway, other than those in the USA saw the diesel electric revolution. It wasn't until each had taken the first tentative step of ordering a small quantity of DEs around 1950 that the purchase of steam locomotives finished.
US railroads were convinced before WW2 that the steam era was over, and it was only material and manufacturing urgencies that precluded the final batches of Baldwins, Alcos and Limas from being EMD and Alco diesels.
I guess it may also have been that every allied country owed money to the USA and they weren't about to increase that debt by buying expensive USA DE locomotives.
The need to standardise was  not a British thing, Railroads in the US used common components such as axles, axleboxes , and appliances across a number of locomotive classes. Union Pacific's Otto Jablemann's title was Vice President of Standards and Development, rather than Chief Mechanical Officer.
We can say that hindsight is a wonderful thing but had it not been for WW2 dieselisation would have happened much earlier and there would have been no English standard classes, VR Rs,  NSWGR 60s or SAR class 25s
  Distant Beginner

In the late 1940s and early1950s it is remarkable that no railway, other than those in the USA saw the diesel electric revolution. It wasn't until each had taken the first tentative step of ordering a small quantity of DEs around 1950 that the purchase of steam locomotives finished.
US railroads were convinced before WW2 that the steam era was over, and it was only material and manufacturing urgencies that precluded the final batches of Baldwins, Alcos and Limas from being EMD and Alco diesels.
I guess it may also have been that every allied country owed money to the USA and they weren't about to increase that debt by buying expensive USA DE locomotives.
The need to standardise was  not a British thing, Railroads in the US used common components such as axles, axleboxes , and appliances across a number of locomotive classes. Union Pacific's Otto Jablemann's title was Vice President of Standards and Development, rather than Chief Mechanical Officer.
We can say that hindsight is a wonderful thing but had it not been for WW2 dieselisation would have happened much earlier and there would have been no English standard classes, VR Rs,  NSWGR 60s or SAR class 25s
neillfarmer
US railroads were convinced before WW2 that the steam era was over, and it was only material and manufacturing urgencies that precluded the final batches of Baldwins, Alcos and Limas from being EMD and Alco diesels.

I think this is a significant point. I have long been struck by the fact that, to take one example, Union Pacific ordered only 25 'Big Boys' - compared to 105 Challengers and 45 FEF 1 - 3 4-8-4s. I know it is almost heretical to suggest this but would I be correct in thinking that had WWII and the War Production Board not intervened, UP would have taken EMD FTs (or ALCO FAs) rather than the 4-8-8-4s?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I know it is almost heretical to suggest this but would I be correct in thinking that had WWII and the War Production Board not intervened, UP would have taken EMD FTs (or ALCO FAs) rather than the 4-8-8-4s?
Distant
Quite possibly - but probably not until some time near the end of the 1940s.

If the US involvement in WWII hadn't happened (better US trade policy could have avoided provoking Japan into escalating their regional conflict into a war with the USA and UK) then there wouldn't have been the surge in rail traffic which demanded the last few UP steam loco orders.

If the US entry into WWII had still happened but later (e.g. 1945 rather than 1941) then it would have been really interesting, as the first generation diesels would have been a bit closer to being mature products which could have competed with steam as the product of choice for wartime use.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet

The Germans introduced new standard locomotives, and even in the West kept building them until 1959, only one year before "Evening Star" appeared, although they didn't build as many new steam locomotives as BR.

Peter
The German transition from steam to diesel seems to have been achieved in a more orderly fashion. Steam in the UK finished in 1968 while in West Germany it continued until 1977.
bingley hall
East Germany and much of the Eastern Block were using steam well into the Mid 1980s as there rail network tonnages where seeing much more use and growth than the west, with traffic being forced onto rail. East Germany iirc was building till 65 I think.  Steam till this day lingers on in Serbia and Bosnia.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner


The Germans introduced new standard locomotives, and even in the West kept building them until 1959, only one year before "Evening Star" appeared, although they didn't build as many new steam locomotives as BR.

Peter
The German transition from steam to diesel seems to have been achieved in a more orderly fashion. Steam in the UK finished in 1968 while in West Germany it continued until 1977.East Germany and much of the Eastern Block were using steam well into the Mid 1980s as there rail network tonnages where seeing much more use and growth than the west, with traffic being forced onto rail. East Germany iirc was building till 65 I think.  Steam till this day lingers on in Serbia and Bosnia.
Dangersdan707
You will actually find that steam persisting on certain eastern European and Asian railways was largely the result of under-investment, not due to rail traffic increasing faster than they could keep up. Strategically important routes were electrified, secondary routes were left to make do without investment.

The differing strategies for military logistics of the Allied forces on the western and eastern fronts of the European theatre of WWII had a big effect on this too.

The western Allies had a sophisticated logistics system which placed priority on quickly patching up roads and quickly laying fuel pipelines in order to ensure that supplies could keep up with the fast-moving spearheads. Their lack of reliance on railways consequently allowed them to turn 8th Air Force and Bomber Command towards comprehensively bomb the railways to disrupt German logistics, which had the effect of forcing railways in Western Europe to be completely rebuilt after the war.

In the east, the Soviet Union built large slow-moving armies which were heavily dependent on railways for logistics. They couldn't afford to heavily bomb the railways, because the armies would be forced to wait for them to be repaired before supplies could be replenished.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet

The Germans introduced new standard locomotives, and even in the West kept building them until 1959, only one year before "Evening Star" appeared, although they didn't build as many new steam locomotives as BR.

Peter
The German transition from steam to diesel seems to have been achieved in a more orderly fashion. Steam in the UK finished in 1968 while in West Germany it continued until 1977.East Germany and much of the Eastern Block were using steam well into the Mid 1980s as there rail network tonnages where seeing much more use and growth than the west, with traffic being forced onto rail. East Germany iirc was building till 65 I think.  Steam till this day lingers on in Serbia and Bosnia.You will actually find that steam persisting on certain eastern European and Asian railways was largely the result of under-investment, not due to rail traffic increasing faster than they could keep up. Strategically important routes were electrified, secondary routes were left to make do without investment.

The differing strategies for military logistics of the Allied forces on the western and eastern fronts of the European theatre of WWII had a big effect on this too.

The western Allies had a sophisticated logistics system which placed priority on quickly patching up roads and quickly laying fuel pipelines in order to ensure that supplies could keep up with the fast-moving spearheads. Their lack of reliance on railways consequently allowed them to turn 8th Air Force and Bomber Command towards comprehensively bomb the railways to disrupt German logistics, which had the effect of forcing railways in Western Europe to be completely rebuilt after the war.

In the east, the Soviet Union built large slow-moving armies which were heavily dependent on railways for logistics. They couldn't afford to heavily bomb the railways, because the armies would be forced to wait for them to be repaired before supplies could be replenished.
justapassenger
Im referring to the Cold War era. In the early 1980s Soviet Railways were the most intensively used in the world and had the highest traffic density on the planet. This obviously lead to massive reliability issues.  From what I've read about Bosnia and Serbia steam was and still is used in coal mining areas for economic stimulus to gain, essentially not to through people out of work. And all this Military stuff? that irrelevant, the under investment is true for the 3rd world but not Eastern Europe.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I was talking about the Cold War era, though I probably should have drawn a bit more of a distinction between the state of things in the Soviet Union proper (where they generally looked after their railways fairly well, even branch lines were electrified) and their third world client states in Eastern Europe (where only routes of strategic importance to the Soviet Union were upgraded and other routes left to rot).

WWII is not irrelevant, it did define what happened to railways all throughout Europe for the next few decades afterwards.

Western European railways had been severely damaged during WWII and had to be rebuilt, so of course the rebuilds during the Cold War were done to modern standards with electrified mainlines and steam/diesels in use on secondary routes.  I even read a post on a British rail forum once which basically said that their railways would be far better today if the Luftwaffe had done a better job on them during the war!
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
I'm afraid you are a bit off on this one Dan the Man.

While no doubt economic growth had some impact on the retention of steam into the 80s in Eastern Europe, the root cause as JAP suggests was chronic under-investment by the communist regimes, although it should be noted steam working of any relevance in Russia was gone by the very early 80s.

Mention of Bosnia and Serbia is clutching at straws - steam was long gone by the start of the Yugoslav civil wars, and the remaining steam operations were nearly all related to coal mines. These were all ramshackle operations where under-investment occurred not only in the rail operations, but the mines themselves.    

New steam builds in East Germany finished in 1960. There was a major rebuild program of 'Rekonstruktionslokomotive' that continued through until 1965.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Mention of Bosnia and Serbia is clutching at straws - steam was long gone by the start of the Yugoslav civil wars, and the remaining steam operations were nearly all related to coal mines. These were all ramshackle operations where under-investment occurred not only in the rail operations, but the mines themselves.
Bingley Hall
Mainline was gone by then yes, The Coal Mines Steam operations are still hanging on till this day there! I would not call them 'ramshackle' as they are still churning out parts for their locos. Predictably, they are pretty rundown things. Thank you for your corrections in regards to Russia however.
http://www.internationalsteam.co.uk/europe.htm#Bosnia

As JAP says, the Client States of eastern Europe were left to fend for themselves as correct with very limited aid being provided along with the reparations to the USSR and the raiding of local industry by the Russians this issue can be attributed too.

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