The Resurrection.... Of a Steam Locomotive



  • DarllenwrDarllenwr Shipmate
    I was in Ireland last summer but not close enough to visit - alas!

    I've seen dual (but not triple) gauge in Sweden. I wonder if there was ever anywhere where narrow gauge, standard gauge and Mr. Brunel's broad gauge co-existed?

    I find myself wondering about Plymouth - there would certainly have been broad and standard gauges present, but there might also have been the 4' gauge of the Dartmoor railway. No claims to accuracy here - I simply speculate.

    I think probably not South Wales. Memory suggests that there wasn't much narrow gauge around here - you had to venture further north to find it.
  • DarllenwrDarllenwr Shipmate
    Just as a thought, a fairly extreme example of dual gauge existed for some years in the Lake District, between Ravenglass and Murthwaite. The gauges were Standard and 15". The Standard Gauge ran only to the Murthwaite granite crushing plant, whilst the 15" ran on up the valley to Dalegarth, calling at the Beckfoot Quarry (source of the granite) en route. I should note that there was no common running rail; the two gauges were completely independent. This was, I suspect, inevitable, given the huge difference in cross section of the rails.

    The logic that lay behind this arrangement is that it removed the need for trans-shipment at Ravenglass. The 15" railway brought the granite to Murthwaite where it was crushed for use as roadstone. It was then loaded directly into standard gauge wagons which could be handed over to the LMS at Ravenglass. The Ravenglass & Eskdale railway had their own standard gauge diesel locomotive (built, I believe, by Kerr Stuart) to do the necessary.

    The reason for the 15" tracks was simply that the passenger service up and down Eskdale was run on it from Ravenglass to Dalegarth, as it is to this day. The standard gauge is long gone.
  • (Folks mentioned an interest in trams - the GMPTE bus museum at Cheetham Hill has a few, and there are one or two running in Heaton Park (on the last remaining tracks of the original Manchester tramways system). Just in case you're ever in these parts...).

  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    The picture says it's Gladstone in South Australia.

    Yes, 891mm is three Swedish feet, and I travel on a preserved steam line of that gauge back in the early 70s. 891mm is also the longitudinal measurement of a sheet of A4 paper, which doesn't seem to me to be a coincidence.

    A4 is 210x297 so I'm not sure how you get 891mm.
  • 891 appears to be exactly 3 x 297, suggesting a4 is a Swedish foot long. Who knew!
  • ...which reminds me of long ago working in Sweden for a summer. I borrowed the works bike one evening and asked a colleague how far it was to a place I wanted to visit. "Just a couple of miles", he said. A Swedish mile is 10 km. (Another summer I worked at the Nohab locomotive works in Trollhättan, but I'll tell about that later).
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    I remember seeing (in the Boy's Book of Locomotives, I think) a picture of a 'cab-first' steam loco on and Italian Railway - the Ferrovia Adriatico, I believe it was. Can anyone confirm and give details?
  • Yes, 'cab-forward' locos seem to have been mainly an American phenomenon.

    A Southern Pacific example is preserved, but not, AFAIK, in running order (a future Resurrection project, maybe?):
  • You might want to argue that Hackworth's "Sans Pareil" (and "Puffing Billy") were cab forward - despite the lack of said appurtenance!
  • Well, yes - as with many other things, We invented them First!
  • Talking of early steam - Northern readers might be interested to know that Rocket (yes that one) is at MOSI in Manchester until September, and unusually for a visiting exhibition you don't have to pay to see it.
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