Front couplings on locomotives

Any aspect related to the prototype stock.
dunalastairv
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:01 am

Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by dunalastairv »

Oh well, bang goes that theory!
Michael.
lindsay_g
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:43 pm

Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by lindsay_g »

Handy thread this. Hopefully, one day I'll have 2 104's running. Since 169 had a single link, I thought I'd better have a look at my chosen 2. Turns out that 106 had a single link, which I'd never noticed before, but 167 didn't. Wonder why the presence of them seemed sporadic?

Lindsay
jimwatt2mm
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by jimwatt2mm »

lindsay_g wrote:Handy thread this. Hopefully, one day I'll have 2 104's running. Since 169 had a single link, I thought I'd better have a look at my chosen 2. Turns out that 106 had a single link, which I'd never noticed before, but 167 didn't. Wonder why the presence of them seemed sporadic?

Lindsay
Is it anything to do with when the respective photos were taken?

BTW I notice that although 169 has a single link, she also has a screw coupling with both shackles hanging on the hook! I also notice that on the earlier locos the link is sort of pear shaped, narrower at the hook.

Jim W
IBrown
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by IBrown »

Graham R's post on shunting using props or ropes reminded me of an accident at Polmont when propping wagons:-

http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/docume ... nt1902.pdf

after the prop had been placed against the loco buffer beam, and AFTER the driver had been waved forward, the shunter tripped and dropped his (wagon) end of the prop which caught a rail chair, and a derailment occurred.

Not Caley, but after reading the thread I wondered how the engine end of the pole might be held in place against the buffer beam? The Report doesn't say and similarly, the Caley GA p75 and Rule Book p 113 (d) on the use of tow ropes or chains for towing and wooden props for propelling don't reveal where these were placed on the engine or wagon, or how they were fixed. I seem to remember seeing 'knots and places' in my time in an early BR publication but whether it was in connection with towing or securing loads, I can't recall.

If propping or towing, I would expect that regardless of the class of engine that the driver and fireman would need (want) a good forward view of the movement and this can only be achieved if the engine is attached chimney leading to the wagons. An attachment via a 3-link coupling is not on as it would be impossible to maintain constant force through it for a rope or chain; and as a prop is about 8" diameter it is unlikely to go through the link, though if a single link was placed over the prop its weight might help keep it in place against the buffer beam. It would also be the ideal attachment for a rope or chain.
Jim Summers
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by Jim Summers »

Ian,

I too have wondered how props were secured, and I suspect that they simply weren't, relying on the shunters to position them.

In the US, the buffer beams had a cup-shaped moulding at each end to facilitate positioning of the prop. Of course, there were no buffers on the beam to get in the way. Nevertheless the practice was deemed unsafe, even by American standards, and I understand became prohibited.

Incidentally, I have never seen a photo of propping in action, or towing for that matter.
Or double-coupling (though I have quite a lot of material about the practice).

If anyone has such photos, I would be interested to see them.


Jim S
lms14509
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by lms14509 »

Dave,

is there any chance you could post a full length copy of that photo on No 169? I tis a brilliant shot

Thank you,

Allan
Dave John
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:42 am

Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by Dave John »

Interesting, I too have often wondered why so many tender engines just have that single link. The superb photo at the front of the livery book shows the whole lot, polished to a shine, links up. My only thought as to why would be to attach a cable for emergency recovery, but there are many pics of tank engines which would have run bunker first a fair bit of the time with that same single link, even the 262/263 seemed to have it.

Just to play devils advocate about mysteries, we could magnify a pic or two and see if they are stamped with a mysterious crescent in a circle mark ......



Sorry Jim ...
Jim Summers
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by Jim Summers »

I am still of the view that the single link was on passenger engines, both tender and tank, for nothing more than cosmetic (even designers' egotistical) reasons. Hence the bulling up.

The Killin Pug seems to me to prove that rule - an insignificant wee engine in the grand scheme of things, but important locally and not to be confused with a common goods engine. Tank engines did not have it on the rear, as that was not their best side.

The fact that it was useless is shown by the number of occasions where the link on a passenger tank engine is supplemented locally by an infinitely more practical portable screw coupling.

What fun this innocent query has been!

Jim S
jimwatt2mm
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by jimwatt2mm »

Just to add strength to Jim's argument, the photo near the front of the carriages book shows Hurst Nelson's pug, well bulled up, sporting a single link. The caption makes mention of this!

Jim W
jim mac
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by jim mac »

Another random thought; to simplify the inventory it is assumed that the draw hooks front and rear would be identical, so if there is an unused bolt hole on the front hook why not use it.
An alternative approach would be to have two separate inventory items - a front and a rear draw hook, one with and one without a bolt hole. The full set of drawings for the 812 class in the Archive has only one style of draw hook.
jim mac
jim mac
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by jim mac »

To broaden the debate beyond the CR; among the Ken Nunn LCGB collection is the following image of a North British train on the Forth Bridge, the front end of which has many of the features of it Caley contemporaries - upright polished link, burnished smokebox door hinges, burnished edges to wing plates.
NBR front end LCGB1005.jpg
NBR front end LCGB1005.jpg (197.64 KiB) Viewed 9845 times
Note the figure coming towards the camera, the photographer's assistant?
jim mac
Jim Summers
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by Jim Summers »

Jim Mac is of course right. The NB did practise this practice, and even the Reid Atlantics have been photographed with the single link.

Euan Cameron has told me that on the NB it persisted from Drummond's time there until the grouping, with odd exceptions. Of course the locos which had the "upside down" coupling to attach to the Cowlairs Incline rope could hardly display this single link, but did so after the rope haulage finished in 1908/9. Drummond also took it to the LSWR, where the crews seemed less keen to flaunt it.

Jim S
David Blevins
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by David Blevins »

To lms14509,
I have been on Holiday and have just come across your request for a Photo of CR 169. The person to contact is Donald Peddie the Photograph Archivist for the CRA and I am sure he will oblige with a copy but I am not sure what the actual procedure is, but I am sure he will advise you of CRA Policy.
David Blevins.
IBrown
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by IBrown »

Just a thought on the possible impact of having this type of 'aesthetic' coupling on the front of a locomotive rather than a 'working' coupling that could be used in all normal operations.

I've been checking out Ambulance Train journeys into Scotland during WW1 and have found a 'surprise' at Aberdeen Joint Station - which served hospitals some 16 hours away from the Port of Southampton.

Trains from Southampton arrived into the station, but they were not unloaded there. Contemporary newspaper accounts tell of 'delay' while the train was shunted - 'backed' - into a loading dock to the east of station, on a siding to the south of Station Square. This dock - (Fish, Horse or Carriage loading banks? GA Special Instructions p39) - were buffer-ended at the north end. So the train had to be rounded, drawn back to Denburn South Jn, and 'backed' (propelled) into them. If the train engine was fitted with one of these couplings, then it would require to be turned first, rather than after the train had first been placed into the relevant dock, perhaps the reason for the delay noted by those present?
jim mac
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by jim mac »

If the train engine was fitted with one of these couplings, then it would require to be turned first, rather than after the train had first been placed into the relevant dock, perhaps the reason for the delay noted by those present?
Is it not more likely that the station pilot would reposition the train after the mainline locomotive had been uncoupled on arrival?
jim mac
jimwatt2mm
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by jimwatt2mm »

jim mac wrote:Is it not more likely that the station pilot would reposition the train after the mainline locomotive had been uncoupled on arrival?
jim mac
Even if the train loco was doing the shunting, it would be the carriage coupling which would be used so no need to turn the loco.

Jim W
Dave John
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Re: Front couplings on locomotives

Post by Dave John »

I wouldn't mind betting that a lot of engines carried a spare screw coupling on the tender, or that there was a spare held at most stations just in case.
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