A STRIKING CONTRAST to the three tanks on the opposite page is provided by this picture. It shows one of the latest LMS tank engines, a 2-
THE tank locomotive, which carries its coal and water supply on the engine chassis, and requires no separate tender, has aptly been termed the railway maid-
Tank engines are of three main types -
The well tank may represent either the sole means of storage or supplement that in the side or saddle tanks. In the side-
Although tank engines have been in use for the greater part of the railway era, their introduction came at a relatively late date in the history of the locomotive itself. The early colliery engines had tenders, and this design was followed on the first public railways both at home and abroad.
ALTHOUGH THIS TYPE OF TANK ENGINE was built more than sixty years ago for the Midland Railway, it is still in service on the LMS. This photograph shows a 0-
Indeed, during the ‘thirties and the next ten years there was, in England, quite a vogue for the locomotive with a tender at either end. One reason why the tender type came first may have been that the early British locomotives used coke, while wood was largely employed in the United States, Russia, and other countries; both these forms of fuel occupy more space in relationship to their weight than coal. Furthermore, the design of even the most primitive water storage tank called for greater ingenuity than that of the early tenders, in which the water supply was kept in a barrel mounted on a simple four-
A POWERFUL NARROW-
One of the earliest, if not the earliest, types of tank engine built in England was a series of Great Western broad-
Many of the earlier side tanks were “singles”, a favourite wheel arrangement being the 2-
The most celebrated of the “single” tanks, and one of the most famous types of tank engine ever built, were those first constructed in 1853 for the Bristol and Exeter Railways. These were ten-
No fewer than twenty-
This is a “Garratt” locomotive, with two three-
THE FOLLOWING ILLUSTRATIONS are of three tank engines built by W. G. Bagnall, Ltd, at their Castle engine works, Stafford.
The Locomotive shown above is a 0-
THIS TYPE IS A 2-
BUILT FOR A GAUGE OF 3 ft 3⅜ in, this locomotive has a tractive effort of 15,541 lb. The diameter of the coupled wheels is 3 ft 7 in, of the bogie wheels 2 ft 4½ in, and the fixed wheelbase is 10 ft. The wheelbase total is 24 ft. The capacity of the side tanks is 800 gallons.
This is, of course, an exceptional locomotive in every respect, and it is, therefore, not to be regarded as typical of British practice. The most prolific type of tank engine in Great Britain still remains the 0-
Mention should be made of a type of tank engine that, although its use in England has always been limited, is of British design, and has largely been constructed by British builders for overseas railways. This is the double tank, which differs from the articulated locomotive proper in being two engines in one that are normally coupled together, back to back. The design is usually associated with the name of Fairlie, but so long ago as 1855 Robert Stephenson had built them for Italy for main line work on the Giovi Incline between Turin and Genoa, with gradients of 1 in 29 and 1 in 36. The original Giovi type was a unit composed of two 0-
A favourite British type of tank engine, although its popularity has declined in recent years, is the 2-
The ‘sixties also witnessed the adoption by various railways of two types that may still be seen in use, the “front-
ANOTHER TANK LOCOMOTIVE built by W. G. Bagnall, Ltd. It is a 0-
These underground locomotives deserve special mention, because the designers had to solve a novel problem, that of eliminating, or at least reducing, smoke in the tunnels, which was effected by means of a condensing apparatus. Its operation consisted in diverting the exhaust steam from the blast pipe into another pipe. From here it passed into the top of the tank. where it could be discharged on the surface of the water.
This resulted in only the upper layer of the water in the tank being heated, and the smaller pipe with an open upper end was added in consequence. The upper end was extended into the orifice of the larger pipe, while the lower end, which was also open, entered the tank. Enough steam then found its way into the smaller pipe to secure circulation of the water. As originally constructed in 1864 (only a year after the opening of the Metropolitan, which was at first worked by Great Western broad-
A similar type was used by the District, 120 engines being constructed for the two companies. They had no cabs. The dome was placed unusually close to the chimney; the tank traversed the greater length of the boiler and extended along most of the footplate. The outside cylinders were slightly inclined. The use of these engines was not confined to the two Underground companies, since the North Western, South Western, and Midland had at one time a total of twenty-
It should be mentioned that these bogie tanks were not the first to be fitted with condensing apparatus for underground working. The broad-
OPERATING IN CEYLON. A 2-
Two celebrated tank types of a later period, associated with the name of Stroudley, of the Brighton Railway, are not only known to all students of locomotive history, but survive to this day. These are, respectively, of the 0-
Their total weight in working order was only 24 tons 12 cwt, which was equally divided between all three axles. The heating surface amounted to the modest figure of 528 sq ft, and the tank capacity was 500 gallons. One of these engines, the “Brighton”, won a Gold Medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1878. Incidentally, this locomotive became famous; while in France it was tried over a short distance on a French train, and its performance induced the then Western of France Railway (now part of the State system) to accelerate some of its services.
The Brighton system specialized among British railways in employing tank engines for express passenger work. Until the electrification of the main line between London and Brighton, many of the fastest and heaviest passenger trains were regularly hauled by side tanks. These included the “Baltics”, or 4-
Another celebrated tank of an experimental type was Holden’s 3-
In their original form, these Brighton locomotives had a heating surface of 2096.7 sq ft, the weight in working order was 98½ tons and the driving wheels had the exceptional diameter -
The “Rivers” were designed for working heavy suburban and other passenger trains. Only five 2-
THIS TYPE OF LOCOMOTIVE is used on many sugar plantations throughout the world. It weighs 13¾ tons and has a working pressure of 150 lb per sq in. The cylinders are of 9 in-
Since locomotive compounding has never thoroughly acclimatised itself in England, there is nothing surprising in the fact that most British tank engines have always been of the “simple” variety.
But there was a noteworthy exception to this rule during the regime of the late F. W. Webb at Crewe. Webb first experimented with compounding in 1879, when he converted a six-
The success of the experiment led Webb in 1882 to build his first three-
As mentioned above, no fewer than twenty-
With the exception of the four-
This is especially noteworthy with the 0-
Reference has already been made to many of the individual types enumerated in the above list, but some others call for special mention. The London, Midland and Scottish “Baltics”, or 4-
Of special interest are the London, Midland and Scottish Beyer-
It will be observed that the most powerful of tank engines used by all four groups is the 2-
The distinction of being the most unusual type of tank engine ever designed belongs to the Kitson-
This engine was part-
The heat produced in the Diesel end of the cylinder, which is water-
The eight cylinders of the Kitson-
Owing to the space occupied by the cylinders and their position above the wheels, the water tank, which had a capacity of 1,000 gallons, was accommodated at the rear, beneath a fuel oil tank, with a storage space of 400 gallons. The working pressure was 180 lb to the square inch. The coupled wheels were of 5 ft diameter and the leading and trailing pair of 3 ft, and a combined exhaust was provided for both sets of cylinders. The smoke-
Tank engines, as a class, have given valuable service to the railways of the world and, with the weight of the water tanks and coal bunker available for adhesion, have proved capable of handling all kinds of traffic from heavy mineral trains to the fastest main-
A TANK ENGINE OF THE 0-
“Mixed traffic Locomotives” on this website.