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Bulleid Pacifics - Past or Present

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by 34007, May 13, 2008.

  1. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Well-Known Member

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    I think its 34028. I think they are doing the overhaul there.

    On the subject of Bulleid's. What was the situation with 35027 in the 90's/00's? I think the loco was withdrawn in about 1995 at the Bluebell but when she moved to Swanage in about 2000 she was allowed to steam again. Was the boiler in good enough condition that steaming's were still allowed (I think she ran about 3 years at Swanage before being withdrawn again and sold to Jeremy Hosking along with 35022)?
     
  2. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Well-Known Member

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    How do the Bulleids compare with the other Pacifics in terms of their performance? They were certainly managing high speeds in the 60's
     
  3. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Usual caveats of driver proficiency, atmospheric conditions, route and fuel quality apply. Haven't got details to hand in the pub, but I recall that on paper, they were less potent than a Duchess and one one or two of the LNER pacifics. In practice, they seemed to do quite well; in good hands, they were reasonable hill climbers, were quite fleet of foot, and kept producing steam. Will look in Bradley's book in due course.
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Bradley has a real downer about the original Bulleid pacifics. I've got (and read) all his volumes covering the LSWR, LCDR, SER, SECR, LBSCR, SR, S&DJR and IoW companies, and in the main he is pretty dispassionate - even about complete turkeys like the Drummond double singles and the earlier Drummond 4 cylinder 4-6-0s. Yet in the case of the original Bulleids, he seems to let his guard drop and becomes very subjective in his view. Of course, there is evidence if you look about their deficiencies, endlessly debated since, but it is notable to my eyes that Bradley loses his objectivity when discussing them.

    Interestingly, he did really like the rebuilds. Indeed, in his view, they "were the finest express locomotives to work in the country. Just as the BR Class 9 2-10-0's stood head and shoulders above all other freight classes, so did the rebuilds in the ranks of pacifics." The only class he saw running them close were the A4s (a view for which he goes on to provide a justification). Make of that what you will!

    Tom
     
  5. 8126

    8126 Member

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    There's perhaps a more balanced view of the relative virtues in D.W. Winkworth's book on the classes, although as with many other subjects, generally when somebody says a piece on the relative merits of the original and rebuilt Bulleids is "balanced" they actually mean: "It accords with my views." I prefer the rebuilds, but where the subjective bias ends and rational technical justification begins is anyone's guess.

    Winkworth rates the originals and the rebuilds as much of a muchness, although he marks the rebuilt West Countries down for the loss of route availability. The interesting bit is in the discussion of in-service performance. A run by 35012 (rebuilt) is cited as evidence that the MNs were one of the few classes in the country to exceed 3000 ihp* (the other recorded instances being apparently being a Duchess, some A4's and an A1). So for power the MNs were right up there with the best of the other regions. The best performance for a WC is cited as 2410 ihp by 34044 (rebuilt). Earlier on, in the 1948 exchanges the Bulleids were responsible for fourteen out of twenty-two recorded instances of over 1700 edhp, and eight of the nine highest. Their well-known high fuel consumption on these trials may possibly be slightly linked. I'd guess if you were to apply the ihp fudge factors to the best WC performance in the exchanges (2010 edhp) you'd get over the 2410 ihp cited for 34044.

    As others have commented, on paper the Bulleids are less potent than their near-equivalents, especially when it comes to tractive effort. However, at 70mph (the starting speed for 35012's feat) starting tractive effort doesn't matter so much. Maybe the MN wouldn't be notched up so far as a Duchess for equivalent performance, but with those excellent boilers the steam would be there to do the work as long as the fireman could match its demand for coal, even if it wasn't being used quite as efficiently. I'd also argue that for all the issues concerning reliability, the basic mechanicals were quite robust; a crew wouldn't be afraid of working a Bulleid hard, even before the crank axles were sorted out.


    * I have my doubts about ihp estimates; the whole point of ihp is you actually use an indicator to characterise what's going on in the cylinders and frankly if it doesn't turn up at the drawbar a big ihp figure still does nobody any good. In this case it's what I have available. Occasionally I suspect people like citing them because the numbers are bigger.
     
  6. nickt

    nickt Member

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    It is 34028. Tyseley is doing the bottom end overhaul, i.e. axle boxes, etc. They did the same job for 80104 in 2016. Rolling chassis is expected back in Herston in July. The boiler is being repaired at Buckfastleigh. Everything else is being done at Herston.
     

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