3801 Boiler and it's return to operation

 
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Did you check to plans to see if it will fit?
neillfarmer

Why start now?

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  a6et Minister for Railways

Did you check to plans to see if it will fit?
Neill Farmer
neillfarmer
That's a good question Neil.

From my experience working on 59cl I know they had the same size grate area as the 38cl but the firebox was a different shape, slightly narrower and longer. Firing a coalie it was easier to pack the back corners on the bank but you had to have a good arm to get the coal to both front corners.

The shovelling plate was at a very good height and you did not bend your back as much as with other classes and the tender types. However, the cab back plate was wider than other similar all weather cabs and unless you positioned yourself well, it was very easy to crack your elbow on the side of the back plate on the 59cl. Did it a few times and it darnwell hurt. Never had that with other similar loco's, and as you were conscious of it, it also hindered you in getting the front corners fired.

Other thing is that to put the boiler on to one of the Baldwyn frames what overall body design would one use?  The length of the 59cl frame is likely less than the 38cl what about width? as I mention above the cab design was different, also the firebox. Also I doubt the 38cl boiler would be as economical as the 59cl in coal use, as the 59's steamed better and used less coal on goods trains Enfield - Goulburn than the 38cl used.

Other aspect to consider also, is that while they were an 80Km/h loco. They were darn rough at that speed though, at 100Km/h they are not going to be any better.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Call it a 39 class.
  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?
Definitely Number Three.

And you forgot the most important one :

HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES
zordmaker
Clarifying a bit. I was mentally including the HR aspect in the Dollar issues. The only way this could ever happen is in a supported environment, eg thinking back to the 3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing. I don't have any of this type of engineering expertise or access to drawings. I do know in other fields that things never designed to interface can be made to interface when they are of comparable size. I ask the question here knowing there are some who can speak to the idea. There exists one new boiler and two/three static/unspoken for locos, so can something be done to use these? The usage I was thinking of was day trips from Sydney to the Illawarra/Short South, Blue Mountains and Newcastle.

From my very limited knowledge I was expecting what a6et said about efficiency. I also can remember riding in a 59 at 15 secs to the 1/4 mile and needing to hang on.
  M636C Minister for Railways

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

Presumably the Meiningen drawings show the dimensions of the boiler that they built.

I've never seen them and nobody has clearly explained how the new boiler dimensions differ from those of the 38 class.

I seem to recall that the problem related to the depth of the firebox, being deeper than the frame allowed..
If this is so, since the 59 has the same general design of cast steel bed as the 38, it is possible that it wouldn't fit that frame either.

I didn't think there was a distinct shortage of 59 class boilers or that those available are beyond repair.

But if someone is interested in improving 59 class riding at speed, check out:

https://www.p2steam.com/design-study/

Again the Brits seem to have been there before us as they were with their boiler.

Peter
  M636C Minister for Railways

Call it a 39 class.
apw5910
The numbers prefixed by 3 (or 4, had they got that far) were for six coupled locomotives.

The numbers prefixed by 5 or 6 were for eight coupled locomotives.

Class D61 is the first available for a new eight coupled locomotive.

Peter
  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?
Definitely Number Three.

And you forgot the most important one :

HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES
Clarifying a bit. I was mentally including the HR aspect in the Dollar issues. The only way this could ever happen is in a supported environment, eg thinking back to the 3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing. I don't have any of this type of engineering expertise or access to drawings. I do know in other fields that things never designed to interface can be made to interface when they are of comparable size. I ask the question here knowing there are some who can speak to the idea. There exists one new boiler and two/three static/unspoken for locos, so can something be done to use these? The usage I was thinking of was day trips from Sydney to the Illawarra/Short South, Blue Mountains and Newcastle.

From my very limited knowledge I was expecting what a6et said about efficiency. I also can remember riding in a 59 at 15 secs to the 1/4 mile and needing to hang on.
GrahamH
Herein lies this erroneous assumption that all you need to do is throw dollars at something and it'll work out OK. Thats what went wrong with the first boiler. The truth is, the environment in which we train people to do this work no longer exists - so it doesn't matter how much salary you want to attach to a position when you advertise it, you will still not get anyone answering the position because people with those skills simply no longer exist - and never will. Unless we're willing to create a new NSWGR then wait another 10 to 20 years while the shed cleaners filter through and pop out the other end as train crew and railway engineers, HR will forever be the primary challenge of running any heritage rail operation.

Even the "3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing" was 30 years ago.

So unless you're willing to pay a few billion $ to create a world where these people can gain experience, you can't "include the HR aspect in the dollar issues" anymore.

Because no amount of dollars can buy skills that simply no longer exist.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
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?
Definitely Number Three.

And you forgot the most important one :

HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES
Clarifying a bit. I was mentally including the HR aspect in the Dollar issues. The only way this could ever happen is in a supported environment, eg thinking back to the 3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing. I don't have any of this type of engineering expertise or access to drawings. I do know in other fields that things never designed to interface can be made to interface when they are of comparable size. I ask the question here knowing there are some who can speak to the idea. There exists one new boiler and two/three static/unspoken for locos, so can something be done to use these? The usage I was thinking of was day trips from Sydney to the Illawarra/Short South, Blue Mountains and Newcastle.

From my very limited knowledge I was expecting what a6et said about efficiency. I also can remember riding in a 59 at 15 secs to the 1/4 mile and needing to hang on.
Herein lies this erroneous assumption that all you need to do is throw dollars at something and it'll work out OK. Thats what went wrong with the first boiler. The truth is, the environment in which we train people to do this work no longer exists - so it doesn't matter how much salary you want to attach to a position when you advertise it, you will still not get anyone answering the position because people with those skills simply no longer exist - and never will. Unless we're willing to create a new NSWGR then wait another 10 to 20 years while the shed cleaners filter through and pop out the other end as train crew and railway engineers, HR will forever be the primary challenge of running any heritage rail operation.

Even the "3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing" was 30 years ago.

So unless you're willing to pay a few billion $ to create a world where these people can gain experience, you can't "include the HR aspect in the dollar issues" anymore.

Because no amount of dollars can buy skills that simply no longer exist.
zordmaker
There are still competent professional engineers (at least here in Victoria) but they have two disadvantages:

  1. They cost money because they know what they are doing and they also know what needs to be done.
  2. They are are not based in NSW.
  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?
Definitely Number Three.

And you forgot the most important one :

HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES
Clarifying a bit. I was mentally including the HR aspect in the Dollar issues. The only way this could ever happen is in a supported environment, eg thinking back to the 3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing. I don't have any of this type of engineering expertise or access to drawings. I do know in other fields that things never designed to interface can be made to interface when they are of comparable size. I ask the question here knowing there are some who can speak to the idea. There exists one new boiler and two/three static/unspoken for locos, so can something be done to use these? The usage I was thinking of was day trips from Sydney to the Illawarra/Short South, Blue Mountains and Newcastle.

From my very limited knowledge I was expecting what a6et said about efficiency. I also can remember riding in a 59 at 15 secs to the 1/4 mile and needing to hang on.
Herein lies this erroneous assumption that all you need to do is throw dollars at something and it'll work out OK. Thats what went wrong with the first boiler. The truth is, the environment in which we train people to do this work no longer exists - so it doesn't matter how much salary you want to attach to a position when you advertise it, you will still not get anyone answering the position because people with those skills simply no longer exist - and never will. Unless we're willing to create a new NSWGR then wait another 10 to 20 years while the shed cleaners filter through and pop out the other end as train crew and railway engineers, HR will forever be the primary challenge of running any heritage rail operation.

Even the "3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing" was 30 years ago.

So unless you're willing to pay a few billion $ to create a world where these people can gain experience, you can't "include the HR aspect in the dollar issues" anymore.

Because no amount of dollars can buy skills that simply no longer exist.
There are still competent professional engineers (at least here in Victoria) but they have two disadvantages:

  1. They cost money because they know what they are doing and they also know what needs to be done.
  2. There are not based in NSW.
YM-Mundrabilla
Good to hear.

Assuming they're not retired and they're not engaged on other work, got any phone numbers?

We can't keep grabbing in desperation to find people who won't be there tomorrow.

This entire sector is at five minutes to midnight.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

One of the problems is that a blend of skills are now needed at both an engineering level and at a trade level. The advances in welding now permit repairs that would never be allowed or attempted back in the steam era. Assessing what can and can't be done to a steam loco boiler relies more on recent welding engineering knowledge than steam age riveting knowledge. Then, again,when a riveted lap seam is replaced by a butt weld the tensile strength across the join will be as good as the parent metal, but how do we assess the loss of stiffness that the riveted lap seam added to the boiler?
Old boiler people are a reticent lot and for good reason, they know full well the dangers of stepping outside tried and true practice.



Neill Farmer
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
One of the problems is that a blend of skills are now needed at both an engineering level and at a trade level. The advances in welding now permit repairs that would never be allowed or attempted back in the steam era. Assessing what can and can't be done to a steam loco boiler relies more on recent welding engineering knowledge than steam age riveting knowledge. Then, again,when a riveted lap seam is replaced by a butt weld the tensile strength across the join will be as good as the parent metal, but how do we assess the loss of stiffness that the riveted lap seam added to the boiler?
Old boiler people are a reticent lot and for good reason, they know full well the dangers of stepping outside tried and true practice.



Neill Farmer
neillfarmer
Agreed.

So what we're facing in modern railway preservation is a situation where new, un chartered engineering takes place. A situation where neither the old hands nor the new generation can quite wrap their skills around the situation.

In effect, it's necessary in many of these cases to start again from scratch. Neither the old nor the new work methods can be used - a third and quite complex blend of both is called for.

This sort of thing of course was done back in the past too.. but in that case we had 100's of locomotives, huge workshops and entire teams of full time engineers, often with unique and specialised experience, to wrap their heads around the various problems. In these environments, problems could be worked on in pa