Date   

Re: the narrow gauge question

Michael J
 

Hi John,

The Kalka Simla line was not so much a hill line as a mountain line by
our standards! 102 tunnels, 864 bridges, and 919 curves with a 1:25
ruling gradient, in about 60 miles. It is also interesting in that
construction started in 2ft gauge, but after the edict from the British
military, the line was converted to 2ft6in gauge. I wrote the following
about it's steam locos in a Wikipedia article:

The first locomotives to arrive were two class "B" 0-4-0ST from the
famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darjeeling_Himalayan_Railway> . These were
built as 2' gauge engines, but were converted to 2' 6" gauge in 1901.
They were not large enough for the job, and were sold on in 1908. They
were followed by 10 engines with a 0-4-2T wheel arrangement of a
slightly larger design, introduced in 1902. These locos weighed 21.5
tons, and had 30" driving wheels, and 12"x16" cylinders. They were later
classified into the "B" class by the North Western State Railways. All
these locos were constructed by the British firm of Sharp Stewart
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp%2C_Roberts_and_Company> .
Larger locomotives were introduced in the form of an 2-6-2T, of which 30
were built with slight variations between 1904 and 1910. Built by the
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunslet_Engine_Company> Hunslet and the
North British Locomotive Company
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_British_Locomotive_Company> , these
locomotives were about 35 tons, with 30" drivers and 14"x16" cylinders.
These locomotives, later classed K and K2 by the North Western State
Railways, subsequently handled the bulk of the railways traffic during
the steam era. A pair of
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meyer_locomotive> Kitson-Meyer 2-6-2+2-6-2
articulated locomotives, classed TD, were supplied in 1928. They quickly
fell into disfavour, as it often took all day for enough freight to be
assembled to justify operating a goods train
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goods_train> hauled by one of these
locos. Shippers looking for a faster service started to turn to road
transport. These 68 ton locomotives were soon transferred to the
<http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kangra_Valley_Railway&action=
edit> Kangra Valley Railway, and subsequently ended up converted to
metre gauge <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metre_gauge> in Pakistan
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan> .
Michael


Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

The Bickfords <womloc4@...>
 

Trevor,

I have here a detailed scale plan from athe Octber 1997 issue of Continental Modeller magazine.
It shows the front tank at 6'7" wide, the cab at 7'0" wide over the handrail knobs and the rear tank/bunker at 6'6" wide.

cheers,
Mike Bickford
Berowra & Nalya Tramway
Sydney, Australia
www.ritginc.org

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steamfreak" <steamfreak@bluedigital.com.au>
To: <LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au>
Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2007 6:50 PM
Subject: RE: [LRRSA] Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?


I viewed a drawing last night for the attachment of weights
to the underframes of the NU louvre vans to reduce their
centre of gravity. If these weights needed to be added to
vehicles that were 6ft 3in wide to stabilize them what would
wider vehicles have been like?! Maybe the width of the VR NG
vehicles is right, but then again the ex Mt Lyell 3ft 6in
gauge cars sit reasonably well on 2ft 6in.
By contrast, how wide is the NGG16 at Puffing Billy compared to an NA?

Trevor.


Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

Steamfreak <steamfreak@...>
 

I viewed a drawing last night for the attachment of weights
to the underframes of the NU louvre vans to reduce their
centre of gravity. If these weights needed to be added to
vehicles that were 6ft 3in wide to stabilize them what would
wider vehicles have been like?! Maybe the width of the VR NG
vehicles is right, but then again the ex Mt Lyell 3ft 6in
gauge cars sit reasonably well on 2ft 6in.
By contrast, how wide is the NGG16 at Puffing Billy compared to an NA?

Trevor.


the narrow gauge question

John Peterson
 

Hello all,

An interesting discussion.

Having a closs look at the article that started it all it seems to me
that it was built with a different criteria to the situation in Vic.

The locos were big and eight coupled to spread the weight to allow the
5 tons axle load. These railways were built for the desert with little
or no major engineering works as an exercise in the maximum effeciency
for a railway. Imagining them used on a trip to Walhalla I don't feel
it would make it around the curves used and would require major
earthworks to allow for overhang and swing on curves. On a reverse
curve?? In other words it would defeat many of the advantages of using
a narrow gauge.

The VR ran some long trains. I suspect that the rolling stock was on
the small size to allow for efficiency in engineering in hilly country
and to make it less likely to derail. In that context I guess 2'6"
would have an advantage over 2'. I suspect the train lengths were much
longer on the VR than the NE Dundus in the photos I've seen.

I checked out another line in India that ran in hilly country also 2'
6" gauge to see the sort of loco and rolling stock; were they smaller?
The Kalka Simla line [still running] seems similar to VR mountain
country. They used 2-6-2T and at one stage 2-6-2 + 2-6-2 artics as
well. The rolling stock however, seems bigger than the VR one. Could
someone with knowledge of these lines comment?


Cheers
John


Re: Light Railways Magazine

Joy <jloughnan@...>
 

Mine arrived at Portland, Vic. on Monday. The cover designer has
outdone himself this time, it's excellent.


-- In LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au, Brian Rumary <brian@...> wrote:

Bob McKillop wrote:

If the February issue of Light Railways was only posted on Friday,
Australia Post has
done well this time - mine was received here in Sydney on Monday 5th.
Mine arrived here in the UK this morning!

Brian Rumary, England

www.rumary.co.uk


Re: Timber Tramways East of Mansfield

glenn_howe
 

Roderico & All,

Harper & McCashney's Buttercup tramway was still substantially intact
when Peter Evans led a tour there in about 97 or 98, looking at a map
on the CFA website the recent fires have come very close though -
hopefully it survived for future generations to admire.

North of Mansfield, around Tolmie & Tatong at least 7 other tramways
once existed, I explored some of them a few years ago and found some
good remains (mill sites, bridges, log landings, timber rails &
sleepers). Sadly the current fires have affected this area and a lot
may have been lost although with the undergrowth and blackberries
gone a lot more will be visible (look out for mine shafts!).
Its still burning up there but I intend to head back into the hills
when things cool down.

Cheers,

Glenn Howe


--- In LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au, "mcsawdust" <mike.mccarthy@...>
wrote:

Roderico,

The tramway was probably that operated by McCashney and Harper from
1937 to 1947. There is a history of it in Light Railways No71 (Jan
1981). If you can' get a copy I would be happy to scan and send it
to you.

Cheers,

Mike Mccarthy

--- In LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au, "roderico_llanos"
<roderico_llanos@> wrote:

I have been planning to ask about this one since I joined, so I
am
introducing myself with this topic at last.

In the early 1980s I came across a partially rotted but still
intact
wooden railed tramway. This line lead north out of the Buttercup
Creek
valley east of Merrijig. It ran across rising pastureland into
forested hilly land along a ridgetop. It appeared to have been
constructed to cart logs to a mill in the Buttercup valley or
perhaps
for timber cartage to a point where road log trucks could reach.
The
condition of the timbers indicated to me that it was most likely
constructed in the 1920s or '30s.

Does anybody know anything about this tramway or others in the
Mansfield region ? There have been a few fires about those parts
since
I looked at those old wooden rails and I am sure that most traces
have
utterly disapeared by now.


Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

Bernie and Trish
 

……….lets not forget that idiot who was doing his best to take over the world
in WW II. His name was Adolf Hitler and this clown had visions of a ten foot
gauge. As if some of that European stuff isn’t butt ugly as it is, imagine
what the looks of something on 10’ would look like. “Oh look our station is
arriving”. Then again we could have 20 000 hp units where the likes of EMD
could just stack those 16-710 in side ways., but I’m not sure how a 14 foot
wide F7 would look at 9’ 9” high.

Bernie at the funny farm.

_____

From: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au [mailto:LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au] On Behalf
Of Michael
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:42 PM
To: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au
Subject: RE: [LRRSA] The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

Hi John,

As one who has made a bit of a hobby out of investigating 2’6”/750mm
gauge railways in particular, your question is of some interest to me.

First thing to say is that 2’6” was not the unusual gauge we sometimes
think it is. Worldwide there was probably more mileage of 2’6” gauge
common carriers than 2’ gauge, and certainly more than 3’ gauge. There
were a number of systems with over 1000 route km, and many more with
less, in all parts of the world. The first 2’6” gauge lines started in
the early narrow gauge days. For instance the Antofagasta (Chili) &
Bolivia Railway started construction in 1872, and had a 1500km route
that climbed from sea level to over 4500 metres, while handling goods
traffic totalling near 2 million tons per annum. I have even read that
General Palmer considered 2’6” gauge for the D&RGW, and it was also
seriously considered for South Africa, only being replaced by 3’6”. So a
well read railway engineer in 1900 would not have found the idea of a
2’6” gauge railway strange.

The second thing is at the end of the 19th C there was quite a bit of
pressure to build NG railways in this gauge throughout the British
Empire. The British military declared that all future NG lines should be
2’6” gauge. While this would not have affected self governing Victoria,
it would have been a big hint. Also at this time railway engineer E R
Calthrop was promoting the use of 2’6” gauge. He did quite a bit of work
to show that for feeder lines, this gauge offered the prospect of the
best financial return. Calthorp was behind several lines in India, most
notably the Barsi Light Railway, but also the Weshpool & Llanfair and
the Leak & Manifold in Britain. He also introduced the concept of
transporter wagons. We know that Calthrop was corresponding with VR over
the proposed NG lines. So all said the gauge is perhaps not a surprise.

The rolling stock question is also interesting. There is a “rule” that
states that rolling stock should not be more than 3 times the track
gauge. Rules are made to be broken, but I’ve seen very few items of 2’
gauge rolling stock more than 6’ or 6’2” wide. So at 6’6” wide the VR
stock would be a little too wide for 2’ gauge. By comparison the Barsi
LR wagons were 7’ wide. I’m not sure you are right about being able to
build the locos in 2’ gauge. At 8’3” the nA class are as wide as any
2’6” gauge loco. I doubt if a feasible 2’ gauge loco could have been
built to the same specifications.

As a side point it is interesting to compare the rated maximum loads of
the VR and Barsi LR open wagons. Both were 25’ long on pressed steel
underframes, with Fox bogies. The Barsi LR had 30lb rail, and allowed an
axle loading of 5 tons. Calthrop multiplied this by the 4 axles, and
deducted .the weight of the wagon to give a loading of 14.75 tons per
wagon. This compares with the VR maximum loading of 10 or 11 tons, which
by comparison looks very conservative.

Cheers,

Michael J

-----Original Message-----
From: LRRSA@yahoogroups. <mailto:LRRSA%40yahoogroups.com.au> com.au
[mailto:LRRSA@yahoogroups. <mailto:LRRSA%40yahoogroups.com.au> com.au] On
Behalf Of crannyjohn
Sent: 06 February 2007 14:25
To: LRRSA@yahoogroups. <mailto:LRRSA%40yahoogroups.com.au> com.au
Subject: [LRRSA] The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

Hi all,

Very interesting that the size of the VR rolling stock was more 2'
like. On reflection they do seem the same size as used on the NE
Dundus line in Tas. Given that the locos used could easily have been
built to 2' gauge, was there any real advantage in using 2' 6" gauge
in Victoria? It would be interesting if someone in the know could make
a comparison between the VR lines and NE Dundus.

Cheers
John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


The Narrow gauge question

Iain
 

This has been an interesting discussion which brought home to me the
complexities of making a decision about gauge. In most railway histories the
question has been glossed over as a political decision and the technical
sides of things overlooked.



It would be great if the contributors could collaborate on an article for
Light Railways, putting their views, agreeing to disagree, but expressing
both sides of the argument, for the benefit of future historians.



yours



Dr Iain Stuart

JCIS Consultants



P.O. Box 2397

Burwood North,

NSW 2134



ph/fx (02) 97010191



HYPERLINK "mailto:iain@jcis.net.au"iain@jcis.net.au

HYPERLINK "mailto:iain_stuart@optusnet.com.au"iain_stuart@optusnet.com.au



Check out the website at HYPERLINK "http://www.jcis.net.au"www.jcis.net.au






--
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
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3:33 PM


Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

bll_hnks
 

A couple of things: -

"That an NA could have easily been built to 2ft gauge" - Yes, sort of. The ration between the length of the wheelbase to the track gauge would increase. A 2ft gauge NA would most likely not be able to negotiated curves as sharp as the 2ft 6in versions. It has been stated earlier that the contractors objected to the VR specifications and refused to submit tenders. Maybe they could not supply 2ft gauge locomotives as powerful as the VR wanted, therefore the change to 2ft 6in enabled more powerful locomotives to be built with a relatively short wheelbase to negotiated the 2 chain curves.

I viewed a drawing last night for the attachment of weights to the underframes of the NU louvre vans to reduce their centre of gravity. If these weights needed to be added to vehicles that were 6ft 3in wide to stabilize them what would wider vehicles have been like?! Maybe the width of the VR NG vehicles is right, but then again the ex Mt Lyell 3ft 6in gauge cars sit reasonably well on 2ft 6in.

Bill Hanks



________________________________

From: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au [mailto:LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au] On Behalf Of Michael J
Sent: Thursday, 8 February 2007 12:04 AM
To: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au
Subject: [LRRSA] Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?



--- In LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au <mailto:LRRSA%40yahoogroups.com.au> , ceo8@... wrote:


In taking up the cudgels on behalf of the 2ft gauge, I agree with
Michael's
assertions regarding the extent of 2ft 6ins gauge railways in the
orbit of the
British Empire in the late 19th century.
Well taken up. By the way ca we assume for the sake of discussion we
are talking about 2ft/600mm and 2ft6in/750/760mm.

This is not to detract from the fact that the 2ft gauge and its
continental
close equivalent, 600mm gauge, represents the world's first significant
locomotive-hauled narrow gauge railway (the Festiniog) as well as
becoming the
original extensively-used and extremely significant developmental
narrow gauge
originating from the portable track concept. The CSR cane tramways in
Queensland at Victoria, Homebush and Goondi mills were among the
first of
these.
Granted. Of course the Ffestiniog was constructed well before the
introduction of steam. And there is no denying that 2ft gauge is the
queen of industrial railway gauges, and of course the most practical
for portable track. But there were plenty of 2ft6in gauge industrial
railways, including cane trams in the Caribeen, southern USA, Taiwan,
off the top of my head.

Interestngly, can Michael explain the choice of 2ft 6ins gauge by
Metropolitan
Gas in melbourne in 1886?
No, except to say that 2ft6in was a common gauge in British gasworks.
Remember there was also the Long Tunnel mine line at Walhalla, which
dates from 1866, although I'm not sure what date locos were introduced.

Can anyone say if any locomotives of this gauge were
built before this date? (I can't check readily because my library is
1000km
away.)
Yes, plenty.

2ft 6ins was a gauge that did make up for some of the perceived
defects of 2ft
while not straying too far from its costs and versatility. Calthrop was
certainly a major influence and advocate. But given that 3ft gauge
was already
well established, tried and tested, one wonders why 2ft 6ins was
preferred to
it.
In the early days of narrow gauge I think it was pretty well the
choice of the promoter and engineer as to choice the gauge. Later
engineers such as Calthrop tried to introduce science, looking at
things like capacity against construction costs. Calthrop was quite
dismissive of 3ft gauge, especially as it was practiced in Ireland.

The paucity of 2ft 6ins gauge railways in the UK and the relatively
low number
of preserved lines of this gauge worldwide reflects the fact that
2ft 6ins was
an "afterthought" in the then more developed countries and that the
ubiquitous
2ft gauge never lost its popularity for industrial and temporary
applications.
I'd think the Germans and Austrians prior to WW1 would have objected
to being regarded as less developed. The term might be applied to the
Russians, but all three combined built thousands of miles of 750/760mm
gauge railways, quite a number of which are preserved. As far as
Britian goes, the following is a summary of mainland public NG
railways by gauge, then number, then number preserved:

2' 8 4
2'3" 4 1
2'4.5" 1 0
2'6" 3 1
2'8.5" 1 1
3' 5 0
3'6" 5 0

There may be some errors, and of course does not include industrial
lines, or recent tourist constructions. But it does show a fair
variety of gauges used, not only 2' (and of course some of the 2'
lines are actually 1'11.5")

The British had to change their position and revert to 2ft gauge for
the
narrow gauge military railways on the western front in the Great War.
Actually no. The British as junior partners in the land war were
obliged to adopt the French 600mm (not 2ft) gauge for the trench
railways. Interestingly there was only one 750mm gauge railway in
France, there was a law against gauges other than initially metre, and
later 600mm.

Their
insistence on 2ft 6ins in other theatres such as Salonika and Egypt
caused
significant problems and wastage of resources.
I know nothing about Salonika. In Egypt there was already an extensive
(over 1000 km) 750mm gauge system, the Delta Light Railways,as well as
at least three inderpendant lines of that gauge. In Iraq things worked
just as they were meant to - the British simply picked up an entire
2ft6in gauge railway from India and laid it in the Basra region to
support their invasion.

It is hardly correct to imagine that the "rule" of three times the
track
gauge was not broken often. The CSR Hudswell Clarke tender engines,
introduced
in 1912, were 7ft wide and from that date I don't believe that you
would find
many new locomotives as narrow as 6ft or 6ft 2ins in the Queensland
sugar
industry. Of course, I realise that this was subsequent to the
introduction of
the 2ft 6ins in Victoria.
Sorry my mistake, the rule applies not to locos but rolling stock. I
think that locos being symetrical and with the weight centred, there
was less of a problem with stability. I think it also fair to say that
we are talking about public railways - what is done past the factory
gate might be a different matter.

In relation to the specifications of the NA class, without doubt
they are
powerful locomotives, but there have been many very powerful 2ft gauge
locomotives built. I have no doubt that in 1898 Baldwin would quite
happily
have built a 2ft gauge version of the NA practically identical to it
in all
other respects.
My point related to the width, and in the steam era there definately
seemed to be a maximum width - for 2ft6in gauge that was 8'3" or there
abouts. I did measure the largest 2ft gauge loco I have plans for, a
South African NG15 class, and it's width is 7'3".

The current use of 44 tonne ex standard gauge diesel locomotives
with 11-tonne
capacity 4-wheel cane wagons in Queensland leaves no doubt that the
2ft gauge
can handle just about anything that has been put on 2ft 6ins gauge,
even if a
wider gauge is more optimal. The real issue nowadays is not the
gauge but the
weight of rail being used. Mind you, no one would suggest that 2ft
gauge would
be chosen for sugar cane haulage in Queensland today if starting
from scratch!
(Wouldn't that make the world a poorer place?)
True enough. However my point was and remains that to a railway
engineer in 1900 the choice of 2ft6in as a track gauge would have
seemed entirely reasonable and logical. It just seems to me that often
we wipe it off as something odd today.

cheers,

Michael





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

Frank Stamford
 

--- In LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au, ceo8@... wrote:


Interestngly, can Michael explain the choice of 2ft 6ins gauge by
Metropolitan
Gas in melbourne in 1886? Can anyone say if any locomotives of this
gauge were
built before this date?
I don't know why the Metropolitan Gas Co. chose 2 ft 6 in gauge, but
75 cm gauge (2 ft 5-1/2 in) was by that time well established for
public railways.

The Royal Saxon State Railways (headquarterd at Dresden) began
building a large system of 75 cm gauge branch lines in 1881. The first
locos were 0-6-0Ts built by Sächsische Maschinenfabrik, Chemnitz. They
were the Saxon IK class, with an in-service weight of 16.8 tonnes.
About 44 locos of this class were built. As the traffic built up other
classes followed, including (amongst others) two Double-Fairlie
0-4-4-0Ts built by R. & W. Hawthorn in 1884; six 0-6-2Ts with Klose
flexible wheelbase; and the highly successful IVK class 0-4-4-0T Meyer
articulated locos, which first appeared in 1891 and of which well over
100 were built.

The rolling stock on the Saxon 75 cm gauge lines was quite narrow, and
could have been accommodated on 2ft/60 cm gauge.

But they carried standard-gauge wagons and vans on transporter trucks,
as was done on the Leek & Manifold in England. I do not think that was
possible on 2 ft gauge.

Regards,

Frank


Re: Light Railways Magazine

B.Rumary
 

Bob McKillop wrote:

If the February issue of Light Railways was only posted on Friday, Australia Post has
done well this time - mine was received here in Sydney on Monday 5th.
Mine arrived here in the UK this morning!

Brian Rumary, England

www.rumary.co.uk


Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

Michael J
 

--- In LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au, ceo8@... wrote:


In taking up the cudgels on behalf of the 2ft gauge, I agree with
Michael's
assertions regarding the extent of 2ft 6ins gauge railways in the
orbit of the
British Empire in the late 19th century.
Well taken up. By the way ca we assume for the sake of discussion we
are talking about 2ft/600mm and 2ft6in/750/760mm.

This is not to detract from the fact that the 2ft gauge and its
continental
close equivalent, 600mm gauge, represents the world's first significant
locomotive-hauled narrow gauge railway (the Festiniog) as well as
becoming the
original extensively-used and extremely significant developmental
narrow gauge
originating from the portable track concept. The CSR cane tramways in
Queensland at Victoria, Homebush and Goondi mills were among the
first of
these.
Granted. Of course the Ffestiniog was constructed well before the
introduction of steam. And there is no denying that 2ft gauge is the
queen of industrial railway gauges, and of course the most practical
for portable track. But there were plenty of 2ft6in gauge industrial
railways, including cane trams in the Caribeen, southern USA, Taiwan,
off the top of my head.

Interestngly, can Michael explain the choice of 2ft 6ins gauge by
Metropolitan
Gas in melbourne in 1886?
No, except to say that 2ft6in was a common gauge in British gasworks.
Remember there was also the Long Tunnel mine line at Walhalla, which
dates from 1866, although I'm not sure what date locos were introduced.

Can anyone say if any locomotives of this gauge were
built before this date? (I can't check readily because my library is
1000km
away.)
Yes, plenty.

2ft 6ins was a gauge that did make up for some of the perceived
defects of 2ft
while not straying too far from its costs and versatility. Calthrop was
certainly a major influence and advocate. But given that 3ft gauge
was already
well established, tried and tested, one wonders why 2ft 6ins was
preferred to
it.
In the early days of narrow gauge I think it was pretty well the
choice of the promoter and engineer as to choice the gauge. Later
engineers such as Calthrop tried to introduce science, looking at
things like capacity against construction costs. Calthrop was quite
dismissive of 3ft gauge, especially as it was practiced in Ireland.

The paucity of 2ft 6ins gauge railways in the UK and the relatively
low number
of preserved lines of this gauge worldwide reflects the fact that
2ft 6ins was
an "afterthought" in the then more developed countries and that the
ubiquitous
2ft gauge never lost its popularity for industrial and temporary
applications.
I'd think the Germans and Austrians prior to WW1 would have objected
to being regarded as less developed. The term might be applied to the
Russians, but all three combined built thousands of miles of 750/760mm
gauge railways, quite a number of which are preserved. As far as
Britian goes, the following is a summary of mainland public NG
railways by gauge, then number, then number preserved:

2' 8 4
2'3" 4 1
2'4.5" 1 0
2'6" 3 1
2'8.5" 1 1
3' 5 0
3'6" 5 0

There may be some errors, and of course does not include industrial
lines, or recent tourist constructions. But it does show a fair
variety of gauges used, not only 2' (and of course some of the 2'
lines are actually 1'11.5")

The British had to change their position and revert to 2ft gauge for
the
narrow gauge military railways on the western front in the Great War.
Actually no. The British as junior partners in the land war were
obliged to adopt the French 600mm (not 2ft) gauge for the trench
railways. Interestingly there was only one 750mm gauge railway in
France, there was a law against gauges other than initially metre, and
later 600mm.

Their
insistence on 2ft 6ins in other theatres such as Salonika and Egypt
caused
significant problems and wastage of resources.
I know nothing about Salonika. In Egypt there was already an extensive
(over 1000 km) 750mm gauge system, the Delta Light Railways,as well as
at least three inderpendant lines of that gauge. In Iraq things worked
just as they were meant to - the British simply picked up an entire
2ft6in gauge railway from India and laid it in the Basra region to
support their invasion.

It is hardly correct to imagine that the "rule" of three times the
track
gauge was not broken often. The CSR Hudswell Clarke tender engines,
introduced
in 1912, were 7ft wide and from that date I don't believe that you
would find
many new locomotives as narrow as 6ft or 6ft 2ins in the Queensland
sugar
industry. Of course, I realise that this was subsequent to the
introduction of
the 2ft 6ins in Victoria.
Sorry my mistake, the rule applies not to locos but rolling stock. I
think that locos being symetrical and with the weight centred, there
was less of a problem with stability. I think it also fair to say that
we are talking about public railways - what is done past the factory
gate might be a different matter.

In relation to the specifications of the NA class, without doubt
they are
powerful locomotives, but there have been many very powerful 2ft gauge
locomotives built. I have no doubt that in 1898 Baldwin would quite
happily
have built a 2ft gauge version of the NA practically identical to it
in all
other respects.
My point related to the width, and in the steam era there definately
seemed to be a maximum width - for 2ft6in gauge that was 8'3" or there
abouts. I did measure the largest 2ft gauge loco I have plans for, a
South African NG15 class, and it's width is 7'3".

The current use of 44 tonne ex standard gauge diesel locomotives
with 11-tonne
capacity 4-wheel cane wagons in Queensland leaves no doubt that the
2ft gauge
can handle just about anything that has been put on 2ft 6ins gauge,
even if a
wider gauge is more optimal. The real issue nowadays is not the
gauge but the
weight of rail being used. Mind you, no one would suggest that 2ft
gauge would
be chosen for sugar cane haulage in Queensland today if starting
from scratch!
(Wouldn't that make the world a poorer place?)
True enough. However my point was and remains that to a railway
engineer in 1900 the choice of 2ft6in as a track gauge would have
seemed entirely reasonable and logical. It just seems to me that often
we wipe it off as something odd today.

cheers,

Michael


Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

John Browning
 

In taking up the cudgels on behalf of the 2ft gauge, I agree with Michael's
assertions regarding the extent of 2ft 6ins gauge railways in the orbit of the
British Empire in the late 19th century.

This is not to detract from the fact that the 2ft gauge and its continental
close equivalent, 600mm gauge, represents the world's first significant
locomotive-hauled narrow gauge railway (the Festiniog) as well as becoming the
original extensively-used and extremely significant developmental narrow gauge
originating from the portable track concept. The CSR cane tramways in
Queensland at Victoria, Homebush and Goondi mills were among the first of
these.

Interestngly, can Michael explain the choice of 2ft 6ins gauge by Metropolitan
Gas in melbourne in 1886? Can anyone say if any locomotives of this gauge were
built before this date? (I can't check readily because my library is 1000km
away.)

2ft 6ins was a gauge that did make up for some of the perceived defects of 2ft
while not straying too far from its costs and versatility. Calthrop was
certainly a major influence and advocate. But given that 3ft gauge was already
well established, tried and tested, one wonders why 2ft 6ins was preferred to
it.

The paucity of 2ft 6ins gauge railways in the UK and the relatively low number
of preserved lines of this gauge worldwide reflects the fact that 2ft 6ins was
an "afterthought" in the then more developed countries and that the ubiquitous
2ft gauge never lost its popularity for industrial and temporary applications.

The British had to change their position and revert to 2ft gauge for the
narrow gauge military railways on the western front in the Great War. Their
insistence on 2ft 6ins in other theatres such as Salonika and Egypt caused
significant problems and wastage of resources.

It is hardly correct to imagine that the "rule" of three times the track
gauge was not broken often. The CSR Hudswell Clarke tender engines, introduced
in 1912, were 7ft wide and from that date I don't believe that you would find
many new locomotives as narrow as 6ft or 6ft 2ins in the Queensland sugar
industry. Of course, I realise that this was subsequent to the introduction of
the 2ft 6ins in Victoria.

In relation to the specifications of the NA class, without doubt they are
powerful locomotives, but there have been many very powerful 2ft gauge
locomotives built. I have no doubt that in 1898 Baldwin would quite happily
have built a 2ft gauge version of the NA practically identical to it in all
other respects.

The current use of 44 tonne ex standard gauge diesel locomotives with 11-tonne
capacity 4-wheel cane wagons in Queensland leaves no doubt that the 2ft gauge
can handle just about anything that has been put on 2ft 6ins gauge, even if a
wider gauge is more optimal. The real issue nowadays is not the gauge but the
weight of rail being used. Mind you, no one would suggest that 2ft gauge would
be chosen for sugar cane haulage in Queensland today if starting from scratch!
(Wouldn't that make the world a poorer place?)

Cheers

John Browning
Annerley
Queensland


Re: Light Railways Magazine

Bill
 

Hi,

Likewise time frame in Adelaide - many thanks.

Bill

Bob McKillop <rfmckillop@bigpond.com> wrote: If the February issue of Light Railways was only posted on Friday, Australia Post has done well this time - mine was received here in Sydney on Monday 5th.

Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com


Re: Light Railways Magazine

bll_hnks
 

The magazines were not received in time for the normal scheduled mail
out. The next available time when enough people could get together was
the council meeting where we performed the mail out and meeting at the
same time. It's a tricky business taking the minutes and applying
sticky labels at the same time. The magazines were dropped off at the
UB LPO at 7.30am Friday morning and would have been picked up from there
by midday and through the Hallam Mail Centre (35km SE of Melbourne) that
afternoon.



The black background for the front cover enhances the photo nicely.
Another fine issue.



Regards,

Bill Hanks



________________________________

From: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au [mailto:LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au] On
Behalf Of Bob McKillop
Sent: Wednesday, 7 February 2007 10:59 AM
To: LRRSA Yahoo Group
Subject: [LRRSA] Light Railways Magazine



If the February issue of Light Railways was only posted on Friday,
Australia Post has done well this time - mine was received here in
Sydney on Monday 5th.

Comments from readers on delivery, content and style now 'open for
business'.

Bob McKillop


Light Railways Magazine

BM
 

If the February issue of Light Railways was only posted on Friday, Australia Post has done well this time - mine was received here in Sydney on Monday 5th.

Comments from readers on delivery, content and style now 'open for business'.

Bob McKillop


Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

Michael J
 

Hi John,

As one who has made a bit of a hobby out of investigating 2’6”/750mm
gauge railways in particular, your question is of some interest to me.

First thing to say is that 2’6” was not the unusual gauge we sometimes
think it is. Worldwide there was probably more mileage of 2’6” gauge
common carriers than 2’ gauge, and certainly more than 3’ gauge. There
were a number of systems with over 1000 route km, and many more with
less, in all parts of the world. The first 2’6” gauge lines started in
the early narrow gauge days. For instance the Antofagasta (Chili) &
Bolivia Railway started construction in 1872, and had a 1500km route
that climbed from sea level to over 4500 metres, while handling goods
traffic totalling near 2 million tons per annum. I have even read that
General Palmer considered 2’6” gauge for the D&RGW, and it was also
seriously considered for South Africa, only being replaced by 3’6”. So a
well read railway engineer in 1900 would not have found the idea of a
2’6” gauge railway strange.

The second thing is at the end of the 19th C there was quite a bit of
pressure to build NG railways in this gauge throughout the British
Empire. The British military declared that all future NG lines should be
2’6” gauge. While this would not have affected self governing Victoria,
it would have been a big hint. Also at this time railway engineer E R
Calthrop was promoting the use of 2’6” gauge. He did quite a bit of work
to show that for feeder lines, this gauge offered the prospect of the
best financial return. Calthorp was behind several lines in India, most
notably the Barsi Light Railway, but also the Weshpool & Llanfair and
the Leak & Manifold in Britain. He also introduced the concept of
transporter wagons. We know that Calthrop was corresponding with VR over
the proposed NG lines. So all said the gauge is perhaps not a surprise.

The rolling stock question is also interesting. There is a “rule” that
states that rolling stock should not be more than 3 times the track
gauge. Rules are made to be broken, but I’ve seen very few items of 2’
gauge rolling stock more than 6’ or 6’2” wide. So at 6’6” wide the VR
stock would be a little too wide for 2’ gauge. By comparison the Barsi
LR wagons were 7’ wide. I’m not sure you are right about being able to
build the locos in 2’ gauge. At 8’3” the nA class are as wide as any
2’6” gauge loco. I doubt if a feasible 2’ gauge loco could have been
built to the same specifications.

As a side point it is interesting to compare the rated maximum loads of
the VR and Barsi LR open wagons. Both were 25’ long on pressed steel
underframes, with Fox bogies. The Barsi LR had 30lb rail, and allowed an
axle loading of 5 tons. Calthrop multiplied this by the 4 axles, and
deducted .the weight of the wagon to give a loading of 14.75 tons per
wagon. This compares with the VR maximum loading of 10 or 11 tons, which
by comparison looks very conservative.

Cheers,

Michael J

-----Original Message-----
From: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au [mailto:LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au] On
Behalf Of crannyjohn
Sent: 06 February 2007 14:25
To: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au
Subject: [LRRSA] The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

Hi all,

Very interesting that the size of the VR rolling stock was more 2'
like. On reflection they do seem the same size as used on the NE
Dundus line in Tas. Given that the locos used could easily have been
built to 2' gauge, was there any real advantage in using 2' 6" gauge
in Victoria? It would be interesting if someone in the know could make
a comparison between the VR lines and NE Dundus.

Cheers
John



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

bll_hnks
 

John,



The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways had a tour of inspection to Tasmania to view the NE Dundas Railway when planning was well underway for the VR NG. Maybe there was an influence there. At the time a letter from the TGR advised the VR against using NG to Outrimm because of the transshipment costs that would soon erode any financial benefits from building NG. Secondhand 60lb rail from the VR BG lines was proposed to be used and indeed was for the NG lines that would have easily accommodated vehicles at least 8' wide and heavier axle loads. Even the trestles bridges were built to almost BG loading standards. The NAL cars at PB sit nicely on 2' 6". As I've mentioned before the Fox bogies are a limiting factor to carrying greater loads. PB is limited by them with their ballast wagons and they restrict the amount of rock loaded at any one time. I'd guess that the carriages and goods vehicles had already been designed by the time the decision was made to add 6" to the track and the VR had already over spent their budget.



Regards,

Bill Hanks



________________________________

From: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au [mailto:LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au] On Behalf Of crannyjohn
Sent: Tuesday, 6 February 2007 2:25 PM
To: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au
Subject: [LRRSA] The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?



Hi all,

Very interesting that the size of the VR rolling stock was more 2'
like. On reflection they do seem the same size as used on the NE
Dundus line in Tas. Given that the locos used could easily have been
built to 2' gauge, was there any real advantage in using 2' 6" gauge
in Victoria? It would be interesting if someone in the know could make
a comparison between the VR lines and NE Dundus.

Cheers
John





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


The narrow gauge question? Best gauge?

John Peterson
 

Hi all,

Very interesting that the size of the VR rolling stock was more 2'
like. On reflection they do seem the same size as used on the NE
Dundus line in Tas. Given that the locos used could easily have been
built to 2' gauge, was there any real advantage in using 2' 6" gauge
in Victoria? It would be interesting if someone in the know could make
a comparison between the VR lines and NE Dundus.

Cheers
John


Re: fox bogies

Colin Harvey
 

The following Ironmonger references may be of interest as to the
origins of ng in Victoria. Who were the three tenderers?

Colin


From the Australasian Ironmonger Vol 12, No. 5, May 1897, page 142:
The Victorian Railways Committee has suggested calling tenders for a
narrow-gauge railway between Wangaratta and Whitfield. Alternative
tenders are called for a line on the Decauville system, the Bochumer-
Verein system, and with 40lb steel rails and wooden sleepers, or with
wooden sleepers and secondhand rails supplied by the Government…

...and from Vol.12, No.7, July 1897 page 220:
For the narrow-gauge railway between Wangaratta and Whitfield three
tenders were received… Both D Diercks & Co. Pty Ltd, the Australian
representatives of the Bochumer Verein, and W C Van der Velde, agent
for the Decauville system, were so dissatisfied with the
specifications that they refused to tender…



--- In LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au, "Bill Hanks" <bhanks@...> wrote:

John,



I can reply now to your query regarding the difference in size
between the India and Victoria narrow gauge vehicles.



The Wangaratta to Whitfield railway was going to be built as a 2ft
gauge railway. A book was published circa 1995 called 'Light
Railways' that was in the old VR technical library. It had a
paragraph highlighted in pencil that said something like "a railway
built to 2' 6" gauge would have a far greater carrying capacity than
2' gauge and on the same alignment and grades."



The Wangaratta to Whitfield plan and section drawings have all had
the 6" added after the 2'. So the track was built 6" wider but the
width of the carriages was never increased and most of the VR NG
vehicles are only 6' wide, which is reasonable for 2' gauge.. It has
been suggested that Krauss locomotives may have been consider early
on for 2' gauge, as Diercks were Krauss agents in Melbourne at the
time. With the decision to go to 2' 6", larger motive power was
chosen and for whatever reason the rolling stock was not beefed up to
match the NAs which are 8' 3" across the cylinders.



Mr Fox was Samson not Samual as I had said before. The Fox pressed
steel bogies were not made after 1910. Mr Fox was an Englishman who
did a lot of work building and developing boilers in England before
starting business in the USA to manufacture all steel rolling stock.



Reference: - "The Narrow Gauge Question" in Light Railways No??
(Google LRRSA)



Regards,

Bill Hanks

________________________________

From: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au [mailto:LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au] On
Behalf Of Bill Hanks
Sent: Tuesday, 30 January 2007 10:01 AM
To: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au
Subject: RE: [LRRSA] fox bogies



John,

I've seen many of the Fox bogies at Puffing Billy over the years in
various states of repair and disrepair. The side frames were all made
from pressed steel plate which was then trimmed to shape be the
simple method of drilling a line of holes and breaking off the excess
material. There are two open channel iron cross beams that are
riveted to the side frames with a dished pivot bearing fixed on top.
The axle boxes are castings that house plain half bearings for the
journals to running in with lubricating pads and oil cellar beneath.
The axle boxes with coil springs on top, slide up and down in horns
that are riveted to the side frames.

Many of the pressed steel side frames have strengthening pieces
riveted on their bottom side next the inner edges of the horn guides.
It appears that they were added the time of construction to
strengthen weak points in the steel pressings.

Whilst the Fox bogies are adequate for use under most of the VR NG
passenger vehicles, they could be stronger for use under the freight
rolling stock, especially the ballast hopper wagons. They are
probably a bit light for use under the Lyell cars as well.

Some bogies have been fitted with modified axle boxes that contain
roller bearings. In most cases they are maintained to their original
design and most seem to have lasted their 100 odd years in reasonable
condition.

Whilst Samual Fox's bogies may be primitive by today's standards,
they have stood the test of time. The VR did design and build some
fabricated bogies of which I have a drawing, but they did not build
many. A pair of which was built and tried at PB resulted in extra
tyre wear.

I'd like to read the article mentioned below.

Regards,

Bill Hanks

________________________________

From: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au <mailto:LRRSA%40yahoogroups.com.au>
[mailto:LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au <mailto:LRRSA%
40yahoogroups.com.au> ] On Behalf Of crannyjohn
Sent: Monday, 29 January 2007 9:52 PM
To: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au <mailto:LRRSA%40yahoogroups.com.au>
Subject: [LRRSA] fox bogies

Hello all,

The recent issue of Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling
Review had 2 articles of interest to readers here. One was on
explaining the features of underground diesels based on Ruston
leaflets. The other was a reprint of a report on a trial of E R
Calthrop's railway equipment for India. His work was influential on
the VR narrow gauge.

Fox bogies and frames were discussed in detail; part of their
advantage was their light weight which was important to Cathrop's
ideas of having all rolling stock with an axle load of 5 tons so
that
light rail could be used.

The VR used secondhand heavy rail so the original idea was not
followed here. Fox bogies were used though. My question is did they
use Fox [ie pressed steel] frames as well on the rolling stock? If
not
why the Fox bogies? What would have been the advantage?? The article
suggests that their construction made them difficult to repair over
time. Has this been the case?

Cheers
John








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