Steam locomotive performance testing
|Various testing work to investigate ways of improving the
performance of steam locomotives was carried out for a number of years by
the Big Four railway companies and later by the BR Regions. Here is a selection of pictures and diagrams of testing in the
very early days of BR under the auspices of the British Transport Commission.
The performance assessment and test work involved monitoring steam engine performance on the rigs and out on the road using the Mobile Test Plant. Various routes were utilised including the Settle - Carlisle line and the Western Region main line.
The reports, known as 'Bulletins' were very comprehensive even detailing the type of coal and the colour of the burnt ash. They were available for the general public to purchase and were advertised in the popular enthusiast magazines of the day.
The following is a taste of the work undertaken on steam locos old and new as well as work on some of the early diesel locomotives. Some pages include a great deal of detail of the tests undertaken, others not so much.
There's an interesting page here about the use of the dynamometer cars in UK before the Second World War.
Click the link for information and pictures
|Bulletin No||Date||Loco type||
|1||May 1951||Western Region Hall Class||4-6-0|
|2||August 1951||Eastern & North Eastern Region B1 Class||4-6-0|
|3||October 1951||London Midland Region Class 4||2-6-0|
|4||January 1952||British Railways Standard Class 4||2-6-0|
|5||April 1952||British Railways Standard Class 7||4-6-2||Britannia class|
|6||May 1953||British Railways Standard Class 5||4-6-0|
|7||August 1953||WD Freight Locomotives||2-8-0 and 2-10-0|
|8||March 1953||Eastern & North Eastern Region V2 class||2-6-2|
|9||November 1952||SR (Type 3) 1750 HP||1 Co-Co 1||10202|
|10||January 1954||SR Merchant Navy||
|11||April 1959||EE Type 1 1000HP diesel||Bo-Bo||Class 20|
|12||March 1960||BTH Paxman Type 1 800HP diesel||Bo-Bo||Class 15|
|13||July 1959||BR Standard Class 9F||2-10-0|
|14||1960?||Brush Type 2 1250 HP diesel||A1A-A1A||Class 31|
|15||1954||BR Standard Class 8||
|71000 Duke of Gloucester|
|16||1958?||Southern Region 2,000 HP Main line diesel Electric||
1 Co-Co 1
|19||1958?||English Electric 3,300 HP Diesel-electric DELTIC||
|20||1958||SR Merchant Navy class||
|21||1959||BR/AEI?Sulzer Type 2||
Here are a couple of pages with pictures from similar early steam performance testing for which I have no record
|LMS Black 5||
|BR Standard 9F fitted with Crosti Boiler||
More information about steam testing on BR in the 1940's and 50's can be found in the late Alan Rimmer's excellent book entitled 'Testing Times at Derby'. (Oakwood Press ISBN 0-85361-628-0).
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