H220 Heavy Harry - How fast could he go?

 
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
I think woodford and other are on the right track here.   As it sits today the chances of H220 ever running are unlikely but its what the future holds and how things change that can alter that and in that sense people being passionate and keeping an open mind that circumstances can change should be regarded as a good thing rather than just closing it off completely.   Woodford mentionned the restoration of the US big boy and there is the imminent return to operation of the former Norfolk and Western J 611 which has been funded by a global fundraising program that I donated to.    In the UK national treasures like the restoration of Mallard is another.   I think the challenge for H220 is that whilst it is a unique locomotive, it is not however an iconic loco with a profile and history that would entice thousands of people to donate the millions that are needed to mount a project of this scale.   Having said that, I've always held a strong interest in the engine and I too would love to see it running.

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  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Having said that, I've always held a strong interest in the engine and I too would love to see it running.
"Trainplanner"
Wouldn't we all my son; wouldn't we all.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

My thanks to Woodford for his valuable information. 70 mph sounds about right to me. It is possible HH220 can go faster, but what I have seen here answers my question.
As my original post was only related to the maximum speed of the locomotive, any other posts such as the unpleasant exchange I saw here are simply irrelevant.
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
What is protected under the EPBC Act?
woodford
Wrong Act - EPBC is a Federal Act. Harry is registered under the Victorian Heritage Act 1995.

Now, let's go off into Fantasy Land and say that a rather large politician decides he would like to restore a really big heritage loco to divert attention away from his imploding political party. He donates $100M to H220's caretakers on the provision they get it steaming within say 5 years and he can go for a trip in a first class carriage behind it.

There is nothing in the Act that prevents that. All works have to be approved by Heritage Victoria, but elements changed for safety or parts not available can be used. If there wasn't some flexibility, all Victorian Heritage Registered stations would have to use incandescent bulbs instead of fluoros on the platforms.

Back to reality, it won't happen for all reasons stated.

Rick
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Now, let's go off into Fantasy Land and say that a rather large politician decides he would like to restore a really big heritage loco to divert attention away from his imploding political party.
RustyRick
One rather large, billionaire politician appears to have had his Titanic replica project go belly-up; now there's a few million surplus to requirements.Laughing
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I would love to see 220 run again but where; Seymour is perhaps about it and even then you cannot turn it when you get there.
Hopefully, one day even what is left of the NE BG will see partial (perhaps total haha) conversion to SG making things even more difficult.
Conversion to SG would, in my view, be essential making everything well nigh impossible.
As in so many other ways the BG is our worst enemy.
YM-Mundrabilla
From examination of the machine itself, I do not believe gauge conversion of H220 is impossible. The problem appears to be the cylinders. Most likely this is a single casting as this was common practice for american 3 cylinder locos of the time. Making a new cylinder casting is not impossibe, in fact it would probably be better and easier to fabricate one up, there a number of firms in Victoria that would easily have the required skills to do this. If the casting is in fact 3 pieces all that would be required is a new centre cylinder. There are still plenty of engineering skills in Aus, particularly Victoria.

woodford
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
From examination of the machine itself, I do not believe gauge conversion of H220 is impossible.The problem appears to be the cylinders
"woodford"
Sigh!
This has been comprehensively examined some years ago, particularly with some excellent technical input from t_woodroffe who is an expert on this loco.
The cylinders are but one of myriad hurdles to gauge conversion. There is a previous and large thread on this same subject, and there is no doubt that H220 cannot be gauge converted.
If I may quote the redoubtable t_woodroffe, "The world wonders why this keeps cropping up!"
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Sigh!
This has been comprehensively examined some years ago, particularly with some excellent technical input from t_woodroffe who is an expert on this loco.
The cylinders are but one of myriad hurdles to gauge conversion. There is a previous and large thread on this same subject, and there is no doubt that H220 cannot be gauge converted.
If I may quote the redoubtable t_woodroffe, "The world wonders why this keeps cropping up!"
Valvegear
I did come across a thread on H220, it consisted largely or people saying it was impossible to gauge convert, almost no evidence was given on why though. H220 is a steam locomotive, these are machines of a bygone age which were made from the outset to be rebuilt easily. Look at G42, very little of the original machine exists, boiler, cylinders, cab and water tanks are all known to have been replaced in the past. During its rebuild most of the rest was replaced and this included the main frames. the PB workshop consitently called it G43.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Note on "rebuilt easily" from the above post,

This of course is a relative term, rebuilding a steam loco requires a good deal of specialised knowledge and much in the way specialised tooling. Most such tooling has long since been discarded so one first has to make all these tools, thankfully the plans for most of these being still in existance.

The work on UP's 4014 project is a good example of this. It appears little has been done to it since its movement to the workshop, but the team has been busy building all the new tooling required. UP is clearly spending a small fortune on this machine.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I am not trying to be a pain in the rear end here, my experience though on topics like this regauging is to many people are speaking from a position of little knowledge. VERY few people these have EVER had anything to do with rebuilding a steamer, thankfully I have had the pleasure of being having some invlovement in rebuilding two such machines (as a fitter and turner).

woodford
  M636C Minister for Railways

From examination of the machine itself, I do not believe gauge conversion of H220 is impossible. The problem appears to be the cylinders. Most likely this is a single casting as this was common practice for american 3 cylinder locos of the time. Making a new cylinder casting is not impossibe, in fact it would probably be better and easier to fabricate one up, there a number of firms in Victoria that would easily have the required skills to do this. If the casting is in fact 3 pieces all that would be required is a new centre cylinder. There are still plenty of engineering skills in Aus, particularly Victoria.

woodford
woodford

While the S class had a single casting for all three cylinders, H220 had three separate castings. One reason for this was that the three cylinders were not in line, the centre cylinder being further forward than the outside two.

However, the two outside cylinders are bolted together at the centreline, and are therefore set at 5'3" gauge spacing.

So to convert the locomotive all the frame transverse members (often called stretchers) would need to be renewed along with the three cylinder castings.

TW compared this to the R class which had the frames at standard gauge spacing from the beginning, and had spacer blocks where the cylinders bolted together at the centreline, allowing for rapid conversion, as occurred with R766.

It is possible that R class cylinders could be used to convert an H class, since they had a similar design to H220 (even to the space for the centre rod to pass through). They had the same dimensions of bore and stroke as well.

It is possible that VR intended to use R class cylinders to convert H220 if the need arose.

But it would be pretty much as easy to build a new H class from scratch, assuming that a new boiler is likely to be needed anyway...

They are doing it all the time in the UK. I found out about a new LNER B17 4-6-0 only a few minutes ago.

M636C
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

While personally it would be awesome to see H220 hit the mainline again, I think it would be more realistic to restore X36 or spend $10 million on a new build S-class....

Incidentally, a similar loco in a lot of ways to H220 has been steamed again in the USA just this week: https://www.facebook.com/Fireup611

However, it's was in far far better shape to start with than poor Harry.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
One previous thread did have a good deal of argy bargy in it, but, as I have taken pains to point out, t_woodroffe gave detailed technical explanations of the reasons why 220 is not gauge convertible, and he is an expert. He gave chapter and verse on frame dimensions, wheels, axles, cylinders et al, and quoted drawing numbers to back it up. He knows what he's talking about.

I contributed an opinion from a former Rolling Stock Engineer who was one of the loco's designers, and he said conversion could not be done.

Experts say it can't be done, and yet we have rank amateurs from all over the place saying that it can.( see note about argy-bargy above.)

Gentlemen; it can't.

The comparison with what PBR was able to do with G42 is irrelevant - G42 belongs to PBR and they can do what they want with it; H220 isn't in the same boat.

If you want a standard gauge H class, "do a Tornado"; start from scratch and build one.
  M636C Minister for Railways

One previous thread did have a good deal of argy bargy in it, but, as I have taken pains to point out, t_woodroffe gave detailed technical explanations of the reasons why 220 is not gauge convertible, and he is an expert. He gave chapter and verse on frame dimensions, wheels, axles, cylinders et al, and quoted drawing numbers to back it up. He knows what he's talking about.

I contributed an opinion from a former Rolling Stock Engineer who was one of the loco's designers, and he said conversion could not be done.

Experts say it can't be done, and yet we have rank amateurs from all over the place saying that it can.( see note about argy-bargy above.)

Gentlemen; it can't.

If you want a standard gauge H class, "do a Tornado"; start from scratch and build one.
Valvegear

There is a considerable difference between a locomotive being "gauge convertible" as were the R, post war N and J classes and being able to convert, or rebuild, if you prefer a locomotive to a different gauge.

It is possible to rebuild H220 to standard gauge with many new components although it wasn't designed for easy conversion. You would end up using the wheels and maybe the main frame bars and the original boiler if it was still serviceable and a multitude of new parts such as axles and frame spacers and in H220's case new cylinders.

Apparently in the 1930s, the LNER had a set of A3 Pacific frames assembled at Doncaster and when an A3 came in for a heavy overhaul, they started with the new frames, and of course a further set was assembled. Until the 1950s, Clyde Engineering delivered new sets of 32 class frames to the NSWGR which were used to replace locomotives with cracked frames. Many locomotives had no original parts when they were finally withdrawn.

But I am agreeing that it would be easier to start from scratch as you suggest and as I suggested earlier above.

And I was a rolling stock engineer, now long retired.

M636C
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
M636C - thank you for a very thoughtful post and excellent opinion.
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
It is possible to rebuild H220 to standard gauge with many new components although it wasn't designed for easy conversion. You would end up using the wheels and maybe the main frame bars and the original boiler if it was still serviceable and a multitude of new parts such as axles and frame spacers and in H220's case new cylinders.
M636C
And with such drastic alterations to the original design you wouldn't get it past Heritage Vic. Is it a safety issue? - no. Do the proposed changes affect the heritage significance of the loco? Yes ==> a permit would not be issued. The basic aim of ANY repair or conservation work is to retain as much of the original item as possible, and re-gauging doesn't do that.

Anyway, this thread has wandered way off track. Thanks to Woodford and Valvegear for sharing their knowledge. I like the idea of a new S though...

Rick
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

And with such drastic alterations to the original design you wouldn't get it past Heritage Vic. Is it a safety issue? - no. Do the proposed changes affect the heritage significance of the loco? Yes ==> a permit would not be issued. The basic aim of ANY repair or conservation work is to retain as much of the original item as possible, and re-gauging doesn't do that.

Anyway, this thread has wandered way off track. Thanks to Woodford and Valvegear for sharing their knowledge. I like the idea of a new S though...

Rick
RustyRick
All this is Alice in Wonderland stuff . Really  if  Government were to make any $ m  available to Heritage Rail preservation surely the first priority has to be to get the  outdoor loco and carriage exhibits at North Williamstown  housed undercover somewhere . Otherwise with continued exposure to the open (salty) air there will eventually be nothing to preserve .

One would have thought that there would be some area within the huge roofed Newport WS complex that could be made available to house the ARHS  loco & carriage museum ?
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
If I may quote the redoubtable t_woodroffe, "The world wonders why this keeps cropping up!"
Valvegear
To state the bleeding obvious, the subject keeps returning because we let it do so. Duncs original question has been answered, the remainder is strictly off-topic.

We have new people joining all the time and the subject returns, best to point them to the original discussion and leave it at that.
  M636C Minister for Railways

And with such drastic alterations to the original design you wouldn't get it past Heritage Vic. Is it a safety issue? - no. Do the proposed changes affect the heritage significance of the loco? Yes ==> a permit would not be issued. The basic aim of ANY repair or conservation work is to retain as much of the original item as possible, and re-gauging doesn't do that.

Anyway, this thread has wandered way off track. Thanks to Woodford and Valvegear for sharing their knowledge. I like the idea of a new S though...

Rick
RustyRick

At no stage have I suggested that H220 should be converted to standard gauge.

Had standard gauge been adopted in Victoria during the steam era, VR would probably have rebuilt H220 rather than scrapping it.

It was not designed for easy conversion to standard gauge, as were the R class but it is far from impossible to do so.

M636C
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
The real issue about restoring H220 is this- what is the business case for restoring the locomotive?  Unless the proverbial Texan millionaire appears, who could make a justification for allocating scarce public funds to restoring what many would see as just another steam engine. I would have thought that with A2 986's return within sight, we have a pretty good representation of Victorian steam available for service. It is reasonable to expect that the operation of mainline steam will get even more difficult over time as the network becomes more congested.  I agree with Kuldalai that the Newport railway museum is a far more deserving beneficiary, with a priceless collection stored in less than optimum conditions. For my money, the provision of secure under cover storage of the ARHS collection at Newport is a real priority. H220 would no doubt appreciate having a decent roof over it's head.
  1084 "Cockatiel" Station Master

Location: Dapto NSW
I have a problem in working out whether you are an agent provocateur, or just plain dumb.
Put very simply - The law does not let you tamper with H220. It is heritage protected. It stays as it is.
The topic has been done to death by people who know considerably more than you do - please let it rest.
Valvegear
Don't the Heritage listing laws have clauses for repair and maintinence so that the item doesn't just deteriorate until it falls apart?
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
Don't the Heritage listing laws have clauses for repair and maintinence so that the item doesn't just deteriorate until it falls apart?
1084 "Cockatiel
Yes they do. Demolition by neglect (for a building) is an offence under the Act also.

Rick
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
One would have thought that there would be some area within the huge roofed Newport WS complex that could be made available to house the ARHS  loco & carriage museum ?
"kuldalai"
 It's not a case of one would have thought; dozens have thought the same for at least 25 years to my knowledge. A consortium of the Groups occupying West Block was formed about 20 years ago ( I'm open to correction on the exact time frame ), and this was done to, among other things, plan and activate the move of the ARHS Museum to Newport WS under cover. Government help was expected/ promised and we are now no closer to this happening than we were then. Meanwhile, as countless people have pointed out, irreplaceable exhibits are left to the mercy of the salt air, tempered by whatever efforts a small band of volunteers put in. I'd love to see 220 and his friends under cover, but I despair of it ever happening.
  1084 "Cockatiel" Station Master

Location: Dapto NSW
Yes they do. Demolition by neglect (for a building) is an offence under the Act also.

Rick
RustyRick
Does this apply for items as well as buildings? Would H220 and 3820 fall under this?
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Yes they do. Demolition by neglect (for a building) is an offence under the Act also.

Rick
RustyRick
Demolition by neglect is a favoured way of removing unwanted buildings in some places.

Put simply, if a building has a heritage overlay or the title has a covenant put on it by a previous owner, it's hard to get a permit to demolish it. However if a building is left empty and it's emptiness is "made known" in certain circles, (stoner hippy squatters or junkies), they will move in. Sooner or later, one of them will try and hot-wire an appliance or decide, while stoned, that a camp fire would look nice in the middle of the lounge room floor.

Presto! The building has burnt down, so the heritage order or covenant no longer applies and the owner has no alternative to rebuild on the site.

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