3801 Boiler

 
  M636C Minister for Railways

But if the plans sent to the Germans were the same as the original plans why would it have been a problems for the Germans to convert imperial to metric measurements. I don't see its too big a problem for the master race to solve.

While old drawings were probably sent to Germany, the contract called for them to design a new welded boiler to the same dimensions as the original boiler. This drawing was provided to a consultant working for the NSW Government. He approved the new drawing before the boiler was built. Presumably the drawing was seen by others before the boiler was built but nobody picked up the problem that it wouldn't fit.

Meiningen managed to build the boiler for "Tornado" and a boiler for a former GWR 2-6-2T (both to designs originally in feet and inches) and they are both still in use. There may be others. So why was 3801's boiler the only one that didn't fit?


I honestly don't know what the actual problem was but it didn't happen with any other boiler.

So the blame must be with the people who checked the drawing to which the boiler was built.

If an Australian company had done the same and the same discrepancy made in the drawings, the result would have been the same, if the people responsible for checking the drawing didn't pick up the difference.

Peter

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Did the Consultant still get paid for his/her error?
Did they get hit with damages for their error?
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

But if the plans sent to the Germans were the same as the original plans why would it have been a problems for the Germans to convert imperial to metric measurements. I don't see its too big a problem for the master race to solve.

While old drawings were probably sent to Germany, the contract called for them to design a new welded boiler to the same dimensions as the original boiler. This drawing was provided to a consultant working for the NSW Government. He approved the new drawing before the boiler was built. Presumably the drawing was seen by others before the boiler was built but nobody picked up the problem that it wouldn't fit.

Meiningen managed to build the boiler for "Tornado" and a boiler for a former GWR 2-6-2T (both to designs originally in feet and inches) and they are both still in use. There may be others. So why was 3801's boiler the only one that didn't fit?


I honestly don't know what the actual problem was but it didn't happen with any other boiler.

So the blame must be with the people who checked the drawing to which the boiler was built.

If an Australian company had done the same and the same discrepancy made in the drawings, the result would have been the same, if the people responsible for checking the drawing didn't pick up the difference.

Peter
M636C
I understand by way of a comment from the otherside that the original drawings were so deteriorated as to be unintelligible. Normal practice would be to stop and ask for something better?
Neill
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
I find it very hard to believe that there isn't a company within Australia, that could have done 3801's boiler from the getgo, are you seriously trying to tell me that there is nowhere in Australia that could have done the rebuild? I know it's all "old news" now, but I still find it hard to believe that it was shipped to Germany for the job!
Kind Regards
But if the boiler had been built in Australia, would it have been built to the correct dimensions?

If the same people that supervised and authorised the German boiler were in charge, why would the result be different?

The Germans didn't "get it wrong".
They prepared a design which was accepted as correct, and then built the boiler to that design.

It wasn't their fault that it didn't fit the locomotive.
It was the fault of whoever approved the design to which it was built.

As far as I know, none of the many other boilers built in that factory have ever not fitted the frame for which they were designed, including the hundreds built for the German State Railways.

It was not a mistake getting the Germans to build a boiler.
It was a serious mistake not ensuring that the drawings to which the boiler was built were correct.

And that wasn't the fault of anyone in Germany.

However, sending the boiler back to Germany in the vain hope that the Germans would fix our mistakes for free was futile.

Peter
M636C
Thanks for the clarification on that, now it makes a lot more sense
Kind Regards
  M636C Minister for Railways

I understand by way of a comment from the otherside that the original drawings were so deteriorated as to be unintelligible. Normal practice would be to stop and ask for something better?
Neill



Neill, not everybody here had the advantage that you and I had of being taught engineering drawing by Gordon Vonwiller who edited the Australian Standard for Drawing Practice.

But it is known that the Tornado group had all the existing drawings redrawn to current standards before starting to have anything built. Tornado's boiler, built in the same factory as that of 3801, was a success.  

Modern techniques, such as 3D scanning, were available when 3801's boiler was ordered and could have been used to verify the dimensions on both the old drawings and the German design.

But nobody expected anything to go wrong.

Peter
  a6et Minister for Railways

I understand by way of a comment from the otherside that the original drawings were so deteriorated as to be unintelligible. Normal practice would be to stop and ask for something better?
Neill



Neill, not everybody here had the advantage that you and I had of being taught engineering drawing by Gordon Vonwiller who edited the Australian Standard for Drawing Practice.

But it is known that the Tornado group had all the existing drawings redrawn to current standards before starting to have anything built. Tornado's boiler, built in the same factory as that of 3801, was a success.  

Modern techniques, such as 3D scanning, were available when 3801's boiler was ordered and could have been used to verify the dimensions on both the old drawings and the German design.

But nobody expected anything to go wrong.

Peter
M636C
Peter, how often do expectations go wrong especially when an item that is as costly as this one is made and who has owned up to the blooper.

Did anyone from Germany come over here to inspect an existing boiler on a 38cl? If the original plans had deteriorated that they could not be used, then caution should have taken. Problem is we are talking of hindsight overall which is always the perfector. Surely there could have been options such as sending an existing boiler over to the factory for them to take details from it, at worst, an arrangement could have been made to even borrow 13's boiler from Dorrigo for that purpose.  

I would think cheaper in the long run.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
When an engineering firm is supplied with drawings and told, "Make it to the drawings", that firm is entitled to believe that the customer has checked the drawings and confirmed in his own mind that this is what he wants.
There is no reason on God's earth for the Germans ( or any manufacturer) to question the drawings.
Is there any reason to believe that the originals had deteriorated? If so, they would not be sent to the factory - that is obvious. Equally obvious is that if any anomalies were found on the drawings, the factory would query them - this is standard engineering practice.
There was no reason for anyone from Germany to inspect anything, and equally no reason to send 13's boiler for them to look at.
They have drawings; that's what they work to. If the drawings are wrong, then, as the Russians would say, "Toughski Titski."
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Having worked on with and around German machinery and Germans installing and repairing same.
I have little doubt the Krauts supplied exactly what was asked of them.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

When an engineering firm is supplied with drawings and told, "Make it to the drawings", that firm is entitled to believe that the customer has checked the drawings and confirmed in his own mind that this is what he wants.
There is no reason on God's earth for the Germans ( or any manufacturer) to question the drawings.
Is there any reason to believe that the originals had deteriorated? If so, they would not be sent to the factory - that is obvious. Equally obvious is that if any anomalies were found on the drawings, the factory would query them - this is standard engineering practice.
There was no reason for anyone from Germany to inspect anything, and equally no reason to send 13's boiler for them to look at.
They have drawings; that's what they work to. If the drawings are wrong, then, as the Russians would say, "Toughski Titski."
Valvegear
Absolutely correct!

Poor or inaccurate drawings are a constant problem for engineering firms. Its CRITCAL that the people doing the job should not be able to ASSUME anything. Even original drawings of old equipment are a SERIOUS problem as its almost certain that material to the original specs cannot be obtained. For instance the motor units main frames for Victorias narrow gauge garrat's is specified as 7/8" plate, the closest size to that availible these days is 22.0mm so ALL drawings need to be checked and the required alterations and redesign done, otherwise the result will almost certainly not work correctly. For a machine like a locomotive to get such work done professionally will likely cost something like 10,000 to 40,000 dollars.

This area of enginneering is a REAL mine field....................

Note 1: Puffing Billy was lucky with G42's engine units frames, they managed to get 4 pieces of 7/8" plate of the correct material AND size from of all places Brazil.

woodford
  a6et Minister for Railways

When an engineering firm is supplied with drawings and told, "Make it to the drawings", that firm is entitled to believe that the customer has checked the drawings and confirmed in his own mind that this is what he wants.
There is no reason on God's earth for the Germans ( or any manufacturer) to question the drawings.
Is there any reason to believe that the originals had deteriorated? If so, they would not be sent to the factory - that is obvious. Equally obvious is that if any anomalies were found on the drawings, the factory would query them - this is standard engineering practice.
There was no reason for anyone from Germany to inspect anything, and equally no reason to send 13's boiler for them to look at.
They have drawings; that's what they work to. If the drawings are wrong, then, as the Russians would say, "Toughski Titski."
Valvegear
What you say is true, IF THE DRAWINGS SENT WERE CORRECT, and that's the point you are ignoring & is what I was refering to, especially in the early stages.  IF the drawings were wrong or not good enough to read as you say if the drawings that they received were legible then that's how the boiler was made. No questions at all about that but the simple fact is that the boiler is wrong for a 38cl.
  M636C Minister for Railways

The Germans produced a new design for a welded boiler from the information they were provided with, which included drawings of the riveted boiler.

They then submitted the new design to a consultant paid by the NSW Government, who approved the new drawings as correct.

I can't believe that the drawings were not seen by others in the NSW Government and Rail Heritage involved with the project.

But with the drawings, now known to be incorrect, approved, the boiler was built.

This is an extreme case of "The boiler isn't what we wanted" and "But it is exactly what you asked for...."

As I've said before the Tornado group spent a lot of time and money having the existing drawings redrawn to current standards.

That was not done for 3801 and the debacle resulted.

Since we have the boiler, should we look at building a new frame to carry it?

The Germans have a nice technique to produce an all welded one piece frame that is a good substitute for a cast frame.

We could use 3813's wheels and tender....

Peter
  a6et Minister for Railways

When an engineering firm is supplied with drawings and told, "Make it to the drawings", that firm is entitled to believe that the customer has checked the drawings and confirmed in his own mind that this is what he wants.
There is no reason on God's earth for the Germans ( or any manufacturer) to question the drawings.
Is there any reason to believe that the originals had deteriorated? If so, they would not be sent to the factory - that is obvious. Equally obvious is that if any anomalies were found on the drawings, the factory would query them - this is standard engineering practice.
There was no reason for anyone from Germany to inspect anything, and equally no reason to send 13's boiler for them to look at.
They have drawings; that's what they work to. If the drawings are wrong, then, as the Russians would say, "Toughski Titski."
Absolutely correct!

Poor or inaccurate drawings are a constant problem for engineering firms. Its CRITCAL that the people doing the job should not be able to ASSUME anything. Even original drawings of old equipment are a SERIOUS problem as its almost certain that material to the original specs cannot be obtained. For instance the motor units main frames for Victorias narrow gauge garrat's is specified as 7/8", the closest size to that availible these days is 22.0mm so ALL drawings need to be checked and the required alterations and redesign done, otherwise the result will almost certainly not work correctly. For a machine like a locomotive to get such work done professionally will likely cost something like 10,000 to 40,000 dollars.

This area of enginneering is a REAL mine field....................

woodford
woodford
Woodford, that's the whole point isn't it.  What needed to be doubly sure is that the old original drawings were done in the old imperial measurements and not metric, not exactly compatible are they?

Using the boiler aspect that M636 mentioned for Tornado how were those drawings done, metric or imperial?  With the world working in two systems of measurements its critical in getting either the conversion correct or, the company who is assigned to do the work are able to work in both sets of measurements, especially one would think that they have worked on what is not the standard system in Germany which is metric, but like many places today that do work with both measurements they could be able to work in imperial.
  a6et Minister for Railways

The Germans produced a new design for a welded boiler from the information they were provided with, which included drawings of the riveted boiler.

They then submitted the new design to a consultant paid by the NSW Government, who approved the new drawings as correct.

I can't believe that the drawings were not seen by others in the NSW Government and Rail Heritage involved with the project.

But with the drawings, now known to be incorrect, approved, the boiler was built.

This is an extreme case of "The boiler isn't what we wanted" and "But it is exactly what you asked for...."

As I've said before the Tornado group spent a lot of time and money having the existing drawings redrawn to current standards.

That was not done for 3801 and the debacle resulted.

Since we have the boiler, should we look at building a new frame to carry it?

The Germans have a nice technique to produce an all welded one piece frame that is a good substitute for a cast frame.

We could use 3813's wheels and tender....

Peter
M636C
Peter, would seem you answered my reply as I was typing the bit to Woodford.

You are absolutely correct in what you say re the drawings and the way they were signed off.
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Australian private companies do specialist pressure vessels for industrial needs on a regular basic.  
petan
The work that contractors can do in this field is limited by the tools they have available. None of these contractors have presses of a size or capacity suitable to press new plates from scratch for a 38. Also understand that the 38 is a riveted boiler, something very few contractors will take on under warranty without knowing they have the skills to make it work in a world where all boilers nowadays are welded.

The Goulburn contractor who is working on the 38 boiler (K and H Ainsworth Engineering) had a press at their shop (the largest available still working) which was only _JUST_ large enough for the 38 job. Completely new tooling and moulds needed to be designed and manufactured before work could even begin.

The main challenges with the 38 project have been the riveted design, the sheer size of the job and the fact that the boiler was modified in the 1980's in a way which has made it sufficiently different from original designs so as to cause issues marrying a new firebox (made to original design) with the repaired boiler (which has been modified).

In all fairness, I don't blame ORH years ago for jumping at the chance of a "turnkey solution" and just having a completely new boiler made in Germany. Unfortunately, as is now well known, this approach didn't result in a satisfactory result either and stands as good reason why it's not always good to just throw money at something and then pray it'll fix itself.

I have no doubt at all that John Snider and his team WILL succeed and the result will be an "as new" locomotive, ready for heavy, regular and rigorous tourist train service - as opposed to a "repaired locomotive" which needs to be babied and only used sparingly lest they break it again.

ZM
  M636C Minister for Railways

From:



THE PRE-CONSTRUCTION PHASE

Drawings – before the construction of No. 60163 could begin, copies of all the relevant design drawings had to be obtained and any necessary updating/redesigning undertaken. By 1992 the Trust had examined almost 400 drawings located in the archives of the National Railway Museum (NRM) and produced a computerised catalogue of a further 300 drawings cross referenced from those already examined.  The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust approached the NRM with a proposal to digitally scan the original drawings to provide a compact and convenient means of storage and reproduction. It would also allow the Trust to convert the scanned drawings into vector form for modification using a Computer Aided Design (CAD) system. The effort put in by the Research and Development team, all of which had been donated free to the project, was evaluated at £50,000 worth of professional time during 1992.



I think that sums it up....


Peter
  a6et Minister for Railways

From:
https://www.a1steam.com/category/history/page/2/

THE PRE-CONSTRUCTION PHASE

Drawings – before the construction of No. 60163 could begin, copies of all the relevant design drawings had to be obtained and any necessary updating/redesigning undertaken. By 1992 the Trust had examined almost 400 drawings located in the archives of the National Railway Museum (NRM) and produced a computerised catalogue of a further 300 drawings cross referenced from those already examined.  The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust approached the NRM with a proposal to digitally scan the original drawings to provide a compact and convenient means of storage and reproduction. It would also allow the Trust to convert the scanned drawings into vector form for modification using a Computer Aided Design (CAD) system. The effort put in by the Research and Development team, all of which had been donated free to the project, was evaluated at £50,000 worth of professional time during 1992.


I think that sums it up....

Peter
M636C
Certainly does
  a6et Minister for Railways

Australian private companies do specialist pressure vessels for industrial needs on a regular basic.  
The work that contractors can do in this field is limited by the tools they have available. None of these contractors have presses of a size or capacity suitable to press new plates from scratch for a 38. Also understand that the 38 is a riveted boiler, something very few contractors will take on under warranty without knowing they have the skills to make it work in a world where all boilers nowadays are welded.

The Goulburn contractor who is working on the 38 boiler (K and H Ainsworth Engineering) had a press at their shop (the largest available still working) which was only _JUST_ large enough for the 38 job. Completely new tooling and moulds needed to be designed and manufactured before work could even begin.

The main challenges with the 38 project have been the riveted design, the sheer size of the job and the fact that the boiler was modified in the 1980's in a way which has made it sufficiently different from original designs so as to cause issues marrying a new firebox (made to original design) with the repaired boiler (which has been modified).

In all fairness, I don't blame ORH years ago for jumping at the chance of a "turnkey solution" and just having a completely new boiler made in Germany. Unfortunately, as is now well known, this approach didn't result in a satisfactory result either and stands as good reason why it's not always good to just throw money at something and then pray it'll fix itself.

I have no doubt at all that John Snider and his team WILL succeed and the result will be an "as new" locomotive, ready for heavy, regular and rigorous tourist train service - as opposed to a "repaired locomotive" which needs to be babied and only used sparingly lest they break it again.

ZM
zordmaker
Zordmaker, was the replacement boiler a riveted boiler?  I seem to recollect that there had been permission given for the replacement boiler to be a welded type rather than riveted.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

From:



THE PRE-CONSTRUCTION PHASE


Drawings – before the construction of No. 60163 could begin, copies of all the relevant design drawings had to be obtained and any necessary updating/redesigning undertaken. By 1992 the Trust had examined almost 400 drawings located in the archives of the National Railway Museum (NRM) and produced a computerised catalogue of a further 300 drawings cross referenced from those already examined.  The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust approached the NRM with a proposal to digitally scan the original drawings to provide a compact and convenient means of storage and reproduction. It would also allow the Trust to convert the scanned drawings into vector form for modification using a Computer Aided Design (CAD) system. The effort put in by the Research and Development team, all of which had been donated free to the project, was evaluated at £50,000 worth of professional time during 1992.



I think that sums it up....


Peter

M636C
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust went further than that, The materials specified in the old drawings were to a standard that is no longer valid. They searched out a latter locomotive material standard and managed to get that to apply to the new boiler, AND this did take a good bit of effort. They were helped greatly by the builders in Germany who had already got the materails they used in new boiler construction certified to the current EU standards. Note: the A1 people got a massive amount of help and support from the rail industry in Britain (and Europe), including the privatised rail standards bodies.

A question was asked why did they build the 38 class boiler incorrectly, simple that could not tell the drawings were incorrect. They had likely never seen a 38 class and they were clearly not told to redesign the boiler (which the particular firm can do). It appears the drawing supplied had been checked as correct and all they were required to do was build the boiler to the drawings supplied.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A comment on building any replacements for old machiney. It would be quite safe to say anything built in Britain prior to around the early 1960's, drawings would have had dimensions in fractional inchs (1/16ths etc). For items for such things I found its best when laying out to do ALL calculations in fractional inchs, then convert to the standards your machine uses (Note 1) at the VERY last step. If one first converts everything to metric and do the layout in metric one is from experience absolutely asking for trouble.


Note 1: Both my lathes and my small milling machine are metric, my big milling machine (Ellliot Omnimill 02) is in decimal inches. The Elliot is a magnificent machine, built in the late 1950's, lights years better to use than my small mill. My big lathe (a Sheraton Diploma) is from the same era, a much better period for machine tools.

woodford
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
What you say is true, IF THE DRAWINGS SENT WERE CORRECT, and that's the point you are ignoring & is what I was refering to, especially in the early stages.  IF the drawings were wrong or not good enough to read as you say if the drawings that they received were legible then that's how the boiler was made. No questions at all about that but the simple fact is that the boiler is wrong for a 38cl.
"a6et"

I am not ignoring any point. What I said is quite simple - the factory went ahead and built a boiler to the drawings supplied AS IT WAS PERFECTLY ENTITLED TO DO. No factory would ask," Hey mister, are you sure these are right?" unless there were obvious errors, and nothing was obviously wrong when the German engineers had a look.
There is no doubt that the damn boiler doesn't suit a 38 - nobody is disputing this but, as others have said, what they were asked to do is what they did.
  M636C Minister for Railways

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust went further than that, The materials specified in the old drawings were to a standard that is no longer valid. They searched out a latter locomotive material standard and managed to get that to apply to the new boiler, AND this did take a good bit of effort. They were helped greatly by the builders in Germany who had already got the materails they used in new boiler construction certified to the current EU standards. Note: the A1 people got a massive amount of help and support from the rail industry in Britain (and Europe), including the privatised rail standards bodies.

A question was asked why did they build the 38 class boiler incorrectly, simple that could not tell the drawings were incorrect. They had likely never seen a 38 class and they were clearly not told to redesign the boiler (which the particular firm can do). It appears the drawing supplied had been checked as correct and all they were required to do was build the boiler to the drawings supplied.

woodford


I don't think there is any suggestion that there are material problems with the new-build 3801 boiler.

What is clear is that Rail Heritage NSW were not as well prepared to have a boiler built as were the A1 group.

Any errors in dimensions must have been able to be detected on the German welded boiler design which was examined and approved. One possibility is that the local team misread the original drawings just as they did in Meiningen.

However, while the new-build boiler is apparently just an embarrassment since it won't fit a 38 class frame, it is a working certified boiler. It would probably cost less to build a new frame and cylinders for that boiler than to modify the boiler to fit an existing frame.

All sorts of possibilities arise from that: You could use plain bearings to avoid the heavy cost of roller bearings (which might help if you were to use 3813's axles....)

The main thing would be to design the frame to current standards. Using a welded box structure as used in Germany for their later steam classes would mean that it could be built locally relatively cheaply. You just have to look at the number of new plate frames being assembled in the UK now (although I'm not suggesting plate frames for a new 38 class).

Peter
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust went further than that, The materials specified in the old drawings were to a standard that is no longer valid. They searched out a latter locomotive material standard and managed to get that to apply to the new boiler, AND this did take a good bit of effort. They were helped greatly by the builders in Germany who had already got the materails they used in new boiler construction certified to the current EU standards. Note: the A1 people got a massive amount of help and support from the rail industry in Britain (and Europe), including the privatised rail standards bodies.

A question was asked why did they build the 38 class boiler incorrectly, simple that could not tell the drawings were incorrect. They had likely never seen a 38 class and they were clearly not told to redesign the boiler (which the particular firm can do). It appears the drawing supplied had been checked as correct and all they were required to do was build the boiler to the drawings supplied.

woodford


I don't think there is any suggestion that there are material problems with the new-build 3801 boiler.

What is clear is that Rail Heritage NSW were not as well prepared to have a boiler built as were the A1 group.

Any errors in dimensions must have been able to be detected on the German welded boiler design which was examined and approved. One possibility is that the local team misread the original drawings just as they did in Meiningen.

However, while the new-build boiler is apparently just an embarrassment since it won't fit a 38 class frame, it is a working certified boiler. It would probably cost less to build a new frame and cylinders for that boiler than to modify the boiler to fit an existing frame.

All sorts of possibilities arise from that: You could use plain bearings to avoid the heavy cost of roller bearings (which might help if you were to use 3813's axles....)

The main thing would be to design the frame to current standards. Using a welded box structure as used in Germany for their later steam classes would mean that it could be built locally relatively cheaply. You just have to look at the number of new plate frames being assembled in the UK now (although I'm not suggesting plate frames for a new 38 class).

Peter
M636C
A number of separate comments............

The item on the Tornado was put in to show how much effort the A1 people put in to make sure everything was correct.

When one is the machinist building an item some errors will be obvious some wont be, say for the 38 boiler a boiler barrel sheet thickness of given as 10mm would clearly be questionable. If though the firebox is specifed as 25mm wider than will fit in the frame thats an error, the builder could not possibly detect.

A possible problem in building a frame to suit the incorrect 38 boiler is the resulting machine would be a new design and as such would likely to be far more difficult to get the resulting machine certified. I know thats certainly the case in Britain, although the Tornado was a new locomotive built to the suit the current standards it as classed as an example of the original class and as such did not need a such strict certification.

woodford
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
Fit the now homeless boiler to a 59 cl frame??? 5908, 5910, 5916? It's capable of generating more than enough steam. Adjust and balance to make it a 100Kmh or greater runner. It could be great tour loco.

Structural issues?

Efficiency issues?

Dollar issues?

Regulation issues?
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Fit the now homeless boiler to a 59 cl frame??? 5908, 5910, 5916? It's capable of generating more than enough steam. Adjust and balance to make it a 100Kmh or greater runner. It could be great tour loco.

Structural issues?

Efficiency issues?

Dollar issues?

Regulation issues?
GrahamH
Definitely Number Three.

And you forgot the most important one :

HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

Did you check to plans to see if it will fit?
Neill Farmer

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