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Harold Gough
13th February 2019, 04:15 PM
I suppose you steam buffs know all about these. The Shay is particularly impressive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geared_steam_locomotive

Harold

Naughty Nigel
13th February 2019, 10:04 PM
I had heard of them but have never seen one. I don't think they were ever used on main lines in the UK; more in quarries, coal mines and suchlike, and I suspect the gears would wear fairly quickly too.

I am actually surprised that a single engine would get enough traction on steel rails to make use of gears.

I have a particular fascination with the old Stainmore line which ran from Darlington to Tebay across the Pennines, and actually ran parallel to the A66 for several miles. At 1,370' (418 metres) Stainmore summit was one of the highest railways in the country until it closed in 1962, and had very long and steep gradients on both sides of the Pennines. The line carried mainly heavy mineral trains, so they used two locomotives at the front and an uncoupled 'banking' engine at the rear to help push rains up the hill.

I will try to find some photographs.

MikeOxon
13th February 2019, 11:45 PM
My other hobby is building model locomotives - although photography comes into that as well, since I like to record model scenes (https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/15678-photographing-the-layout/).

There are many models of Shay locomotives and they are fascinating to watch, as the pistons and other moving parts seem to be working frantically, while the locomotive itself progresses very sedately! There's lots more about them at: https://www.mendorailhistory.org/1_railroads/locos/shay.htm

Harold Gough
14th February 2019, 06:08 AM
[QUOTE=Naughty Nigel;472067]I had heard of them but have never seen one. I don't think they were ever used on main lines in the UK; more in quarries, coal mines and suchlike, and I suspect the gears would wear fairly quickly too. [QUOTE]

The latest episode* of Impossible Railways on Yesterday shows them in action and gives their history. *Series 2, episode 1 Into the Wild.

Harold

TimP
14th February 2019, 09:05 AM
There was a brief bit view of one recently on one of the Portillo programs in the US. It caught my attention as despite having grown up at the end of steam here in the UK, I’d never seen anything like it. Got to see one, albeit not running, on Vancouver Island last June at Port Alberni. It possibly ran during their summer which is only July and August. I was intrigued by the fact that the boiler was off centre to allow for the motion and gearing.

Harold Gough
14th February 2019, 09:05 AM
A couple of videos:

Mountain Climbing Shay Locomotive - YouTube

Shay Locomotive gear in motion - YouTube

Harold

Harold Gough
14th February 2019, 09:26 AM
The theory was that the huge single piston of early locos tranferred its horizontal motion to the track, causing damage. The main purpose was to spread the drive power over several axles. The result was they could easily climb track three times as steep as other locos.

Harold

Otto
14th February 2019, 10:01 AM
I have a particular fascination with the old Stainmore line which ran from Darlington to Tebay across the Pennines

Me too Nigel. The old Kirkby Stephen East (http://www.kirkbystepheneast.co.uk/) station is being restored and houses the Stainmore Railway Company now. The loss of the 200' high Belah Vaduct (http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/b/belah_viaduct/index.shtml) was particularly tragic, and I cannot see it ever being restored so there's little chance of the line being rebuilt - especially as some of the trackbed is now a road. I have been to the site of the viaduct and it's a pretty impressive gap!

I remember seeing a semi-derelict Shay in Yosemite National Park a long time ago but didn't know what it was at the time. I have a photo of it somewhere but it may take a bit of finding!

Harold Gough
14th February 2019, 10:05 AM
On the subject of general train photography:

Colin Garret died last year.

https://www.heritagerailway.co.uk/tributes-paid-to-milepost-92%C2%BD-founder-colin-garratt/

Harold

Otto
14th February 2019, 10:34 AM
I found the Shay photos more easily than I expected! Originally taken in 1983 on Agfa CT18 film with my OM-2SP, probably with the Zuiko 35-105 lens.

Naughty Nigel
14th February 2019, 05:07 PM
As promised, a busy scene at Stainmore Summit with a pair of Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0's waiting to depart with a westbound mineral train. The banking engine, its job complete, can just be seen at the rear.

Copyright Armstrong Trust

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Stainmore_Summit_Working.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/101802)

Otto
14th February 2019, 05:26 PM
When was that photo taken Nigel?

The famous short film "Snowdrift at Bleath Gill" was made near Stainmore Summit in 1955 when we used to have proper winters! A freight train was trapped in snow for four days - well worth a watch:
https://youtu.be/-ugIoMD495E

TimP
14th February 2019, 06:30 PM
So how many of us like our 60s (and older?) steam locos then? I’ve got great memories of Southern steam, even driving locos from coaling stage to turntable while a grown up walked alongside chanting the points.

Naughty Nigel
14th February 2019, 07:10 PM
When was that photo taken Nigel?

There is no EXIF data but opinion seems to be that it was late 1950's. As you know the line was permanently closed in 1962, pre-Beeching.