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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Box Loco - Question
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 28/12/2009 19:57:37
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The image in the original post includes a scale and is drawn with care. I would give the benefit of the doubt to the original draftsman with regard to its accuracy. Several times I have found that accounts from the 18th and 19th century are more reliable than I might have first thought. It doesn't pay to dismiss old accounts or drawings just because they are old. Our predecessors were oft times just as meticulous or moreso than present day recorders.


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Hé ! Ki kapcsolva le a villanyt ?
IP: 92.2.30.150
Peter Burgess

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Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 28/12/2009 20:00:37
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Actually, I've glanced through the topic and didn't see the source of this drawing. Where did Clunk get it from? Is it in fact an original drawing or a more recent impression?

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derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 06:17:33
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well, yes and no. I've had many problems over the years, working up to old structures.

as an example, I did survey control for a tunnel into the Carnaby St power substation some years ago. The drawings were all on file, scaled and titled; the only thing was, they were a generic type which had been adapted to suit the site, and the actual structure was found to be back-to-front relative to the drawing.

as another example, I worked on the Brunel tunnel at Wapping-Rotherhithe. The designed track layout couldn't be made to fit the existing platforms, which couldn't be rebuilt due to lack of space. The reason was, that the original tracklayers had laid the track using the then-usual method of offsets from tangents of fixed length, defined by a string-line, and the platforms had been constructed to suit the track and ( presumably ) checked using a loading-gauge template. Again, the original drawings were essentially indicative. The new track was fitted using a 'best-fit' in CADD, which amounts to much the same thing.

this is quite common with older drawings; the designer indicates what is required and the construction supervisor adapts the design within the space and materials available.

the practice of making as-built drawings as part of the final documentation wasn't a 19th-century habit, they did much more 'in the field' and didn't worry much about modern practices of signing things off before, during and after.

apart from anything else, the modern positions of 'contractor' and 'resident engineer' were often combined; Brunel and Stephenson both operated in this fashion, as designer and gangmaster. This meant that the contractor was responsible for the quality of his work, largely unchecked; he was free to take commercial decisions in many respects, including materials employed and specifications.

This is the main reason why Brunel in particular, was able to produce spectacular triumphs and utter catastrophes by turn.


just because a drawing is well drawn, it doesn't mean it is accurate. There is no necessary relationship between the two.
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ICLOK

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Joined: 19/02/2008
Location: Ripley, Derbyshire up North.

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 10:57:00
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Having worked on old loco and carriage drawings for years, loco works drawing are very accurate but as derrickman says the very early days (pre 1850 in my experience) the General Arrgt sheets tended to be a well drawn sketch as against a formal drawing! The reason being that they were merely concept drawings in many cases and did not fully reflect the locos and each loco would basically be hand built by skilled men to make the whole and as long as it looked something close then we had a winner... quite often this lead to dire locos which could not even move their own weight that well let alone a train, it was that hit and miss, except as rightly stated where such men as Brunel, Stephenson etc over saw the design and build stages.
I believe the GWRs first broad gauge contractor locos were so bad that that was one of the main reasons Swindon decided to build their own.
Once it was realised that the men however skilled could not be relied upon to reproduce the same product again and again more work went into the standardising of tolerences and production of ever more detail drawings, yet this seems to have been the case for years before for stationary engines years before, which whilst all are different in minor ways were built to good sets of tolerences and known fits based on experience and adaption of tried and tested standard bits.
John Curr of Sheffield in 1797 was delivering parts to finely detailed drawings to 1/100th of an inch... and Bersham ironworks was certainly boring cylinders (Wilkinsons boring bar) so well that Watt kept all his cylinder boring there for some 25 years.
It has to born in mind that locomotive technology was a complete break from what these engineering companies knew and I think the first half of the 19thC shows this with the proliferation of small companies and builders all having a go without much success.
I have certainly seen carriage and loco GA drawings from the early days of railways that were effectively the building drawing too and have sketch notes on in pencil and little scrap drawings made by the foreman/workers on the shop copies. At Met camm we had linen stuff going back to Joseph Wright and the carriages were built from that one drawing!!!

I dont believe the drawing of the box loco to be anything other than a sketch or artists impression... not a builders drawing as it seem to rough for the era of building.



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derrickman

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 11:16:31
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it's curious how much re-invention of the wheel seems to have taken place during the 19th century.

civil engineering drawings are often little more than 'concept sketches' as late as the 1920s, in some cases. The reason is, I suppose, that you can do a great deal in the way of on-site variation using modular systems like bricks, or 'plastic' systems like concrete, whereas machined steel parts either fit, or they don't.

yet Isambard Brunel's father made his fortune producing standardised blocks for the Royal Navy; Wellington's army marched against Napoleon wearing mass-produced boots and carrying mass-produced muskets

that said, you can't beat making sure it fits in the field at some stage. I've just done a rig move and for all the GPS telemetry and geodimeter technology blinking and flashing all about, the drilling super and Company man were still down there on the back deck sighting through two scaffold poles welded to the spider deck vs a paint mark on the back deck......
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ICLOK

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 11:31:37
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Sometimes you just have to "file to fit" ... problem was every bit on the early early locos was file to fit Laugh .

We still set up loco frames with no more than a spring line... needs must etc etc

I remember building class 56 locos at Crewe in the early 80s and we did lots using old hand build method on the structures and we always managed to keep in tolerence... you wouldn't do that building a wheelset or motor etc but for a bodyshell it was fine... not all old methods were bad.

A young QA guy in one plant in Europe told me recently they were achieving +-5mm on a body shells using jigs and special measuring equipment... he was very proud of this until an old inspector on the shopfloor pulled out his old notebook and proudly showed us they were getting just the same result 10 years before in the same time without spending €1,000,000 on measuring tackle... The young QA seemed quite upset... I wonder why!! Laugh

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Wat a lo da gob ul dyg ook
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seend

Joined: 11/11/2007
Location: Wiltshire

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 13:37:02
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Yes it was drawn with care - in the 1970s by Paul Weaver of New Farm, Lacock, Wilts - it was how he thought the loco might have looked - since then my researches have turned up a lot about this machine which will be revealed in my forthcoming book. IP: 84.92.61.24
blondin

Joined: 26/12/2007
Location: north east wales

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 15:20:44
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what an intresting loco this would be in reality!If the drawing is accurate,the loco as a 220 (or an 022?Depending on which end is the front?),you would wonder how much traction it would provide.Without being coupled,either by outside rods or a drive shaft,it seems there would be relatively little weight for adhesion over the driving wheels,other than the water tank which wouldnt weigh the same all day,and the engine,which is ´set back from the driving axle.Because of the gearing,there would i think be lots of torque,but depending on how much weight there would be on the driving axle,the ability to pull heavy loads might be limited.What is the history of the drawing/loco?Is it based around marine components?Makes me think a little of the aveling shunters (traction engines with loco frames and wheels).Maybe of intrest,apparently Beamish museum has an 1871 Coffee Pot loco,recently restored,built by Head Wrightson for comparrison (havent seen photos myself,but might be worth a look). IP: 91.109.63.227
ICLOK

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 16:10:41
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I suggested Head wrightson earlier in the thread... they built a loco named coffee pot which was name applied to this one... but I was unable to prove a link.
I am going thru my industrial pics to see if I can find the loco in pic 2 of recent posting on the subject.


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Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 17:36:45
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seend wrote:

Yes it was drawn with care - in the 1970s by Paul Weaver of New Farm, Lacock, Wilts - it was how he thought the loco might have looked - since then my researches have turned up a lot about this machine which will be revealed in my forthcoming book.


Thank you for clearing up the age and nature of the drawing.

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Hé ! Ki kapcsolva le a villanyt ?
IP: 92.6.226.48
JohnnearCfon

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Joined: 22/12/2005
Location: Sir Caernarfon

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 17:38:29
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Where abouts in Wales is the second photo taken? IP: 89.240.245.107
seend

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Location: Wiltshire

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 17:49:16
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Ely - allegedly on a contract for sewage works. IP: 84.92.61.24
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 17:54:31
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seend wrote:

Ely - allegedly on a contract for sewage works.
]]

The image name rather gives the game away Wink

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Manicminer

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Joined: 29/04/2007
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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 18:03:23
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A quick google comes up with
Head, T. H. 90 Cannon Street, London
Thomas H. Head is according to Lowe credited with building at least one locomotive including Coffeepot, a vertical boiler 0-4-0T for the Dorking Greystone Lime Co.



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Gold is where you find it
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Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 29/12/2009 21:11:11
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Ah, I know about that one. Quite a few photos exist of it.

[web link]

There is one in the interesting article above.

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Hé ! Ki kapcsolva le a villanyt ?
IP: 92.6.226.48 Edited: 29/12/2009 21:13:03 by Peter Burgess
derrickman

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 30/12/2009 08:03:48
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interesting link, apart from anything the comments about the rapid inflation in the prices of redundant and obsolete industrial locos for preservation.

I'm just about old enough to remember visiting the Dinorwic quarries when they were substantially 'as-left' with locos, waggons, rails, tools and papers simply lying where they had been left at the close of operations. Much of this was in more-or-less scrap condition, and there was little expectation that it would ever be used, or usable, again.

it also gives a clear illustration of the difference between an engineering drawing and a sketch showing the approximate overall appearance of a loco.The drawing which this thread start with is the latter.
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Morlock

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 30/12/2009 09:07:57
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I can remember the Dinorwic Museum before it really got started, lots of enthusiastic volunteers, guessing it must have been the early 70s? IP: 86.27.145.6 Edited: 30/12/2009 11:56:06 by Morlock
derrickman

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 30/12/2009 12:26:51
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slightly before that, 1968 - 1972.

I went to Camborne in 1973 and apart from a single trip to the Dragon Rally in absolutely filthy weather on a Panther outfit in about 1976, I've never been to N Wales since

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Vanoord

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 30/12/2009 12:30:10
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The odd thing with the Ely loco is that the boiler shape seems very unlike any other vertical boiler loco?

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Graigfawr

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Box Loco - Question
Posted: 30/12/2009 20:47:48
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This book may help the search:

J.W.Lowe 'British Steam locomotive Builders', Cambridge, 1975, reprinted London, 1989. 704pp both printings. There was also a hard-to-find 56pp softback 'Supplement to...' but I don't have its publication date to hand.

From the blurb:
Notes from the jacket flap: From the early 1800s and. for nearly 170 years steam locomotives were built in Great Britain and Ireland by a variety of firms, large and small. James Lowe has spent many years diligently researching, culling information from sources both private and official, and has compiled this alphabetical listing of over 350 organisations who are known to have built steam locomotives. The list may not be complete but it is doubtful, though of course possible, that more names will come to light, so thorough has been his work. [Indeed the supplement published in 1984 adds more photos and information]. Often manufacturers changed their name, sometimes more than once, and this has been cross-referenced in the text. Some organisations were mainly concerned with other forms of engineering and only built one "coffeepot" to shunt their sidings, but they have been included. At the opposite end of the scale is the giant "tripartite" output of the North British Locomotive Company. The 541 photographs and 47 diagrams have been carefully selected and clearly indicate the characteristics and idiosyncrasies of each builder: most had some sort of trade mark, be it the shape of the chimney, the cab, or the dome. This then is a unique reference book, bringing together in one volume information on all.

I can vouch for how comprehensive its coverage is from c.1830 onwards. There have been numerous 1810s/20s discoveries in recent years - see for example the various 'Early Railway Conferences' proceedings - so it would be unfair to expect a 35 year old book to be complete for the very early period. Checking shows that it includes, for example, virtually all the Welsh engineering works / iron works that built (or - as often - assembled from bought-in parts) a loco or two, and even included Grylls & Co of Llanelli, a little known and very short-lived 1840s company that I have researched that mainly built contractors and export locos that virtually every other book seems to miss.
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