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Not Rocket Science (photos)

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  • Not Rocket Science (photos)

    I previously posted photos of a replica of Stephensons Rocket:-

    This locomotive was built in the same year, 1829, but represents old technology. It lacked the multi-tube type of boiler and exhaust/blast pipe of Rocket, and favoured the complicated beam type of engine. Probably heavy and slow. No springs, by the look of it. I don’t know enough about it to know how it compared with Rocket in other respects. Hard to believe it had a working life of 35 years.

    Valve gear entangled in roof structure. I’m reminded of the old saying about using a canary to test whether a biplane had enough rigging. If the canary could escape from between the rings, there weren’t enough wires.

    Made by Foster, Rastrick in the English Midlands, who also built the first locomotive used in the USA, Stourbridge Lion.

    I now wish I’d spent more time studying it. The big end has a bronze bearing, but I don't know about the coupling rod ends. One thing I wonder about is the coupling of the wheels. They probably weren’t quite the same diameter, possibly not even truly circular, so what happened at the coupling rods when the axles tried to turn at slightly different speeds? I suppose the question applies to all coupled wheel sets, especially on rough track. Perhaps the coning of the tyres helps accommodate differential speeds?

    Something completely different:-

    What really appealed as a bit of elegant design was the short lengths of track which combined the rack and the rail, while the rack lugs also supported the track. Introduced by Murray and Blenkinsop in 1812, the first rack locomotive being ‘Salamanca‘.

    All seen at the National Railway Museum, York.

  • #2
    Hey! I like that cogged rail! I'm in Colorado, home of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, but the rack on that stands proud in the center of the track. That solution is much more elegant, but I bet a rock or two in the cogs would really muss up the works!

    On the engine, 35 years and not even a cab. And we think we have it rough.

    Last edited by uute; 09-03-2007, 07:58 PM.