(F) Hypothetical Sir Arthur question

Want to talk about Sir Arthur Heywood's 15" gauge railways? About modern day minimum gauge lines? Have you found a minimum gauge line you've not seen mentioned on the website? Want directions to one of the railways that is mentioned? Whatever your interest in real minimum gauge lines, post your questions (and answer other modellers' questions) here.

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(F) Hypothetical Sir Arthur question

Postby JeffSaxton » Sat Mar 13, 2004 5:08 am

Hello, All;

Something occured to me while I was reading Smithers' book on Sir Arthur. If you could go back in time and ask him one question, what would it be?
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Postby Alan » Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:55 pm

Easy!
If you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently?
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Postby James Waterfield » Thu Jun 17, 2004 8:00 pm

Well, if I was actually there in my time machine I would ask if there was any chance of seeing over the workshops about 1900 when Ella was being overhauled and Shelagh and Ursula were under construction. Very interesting I think!

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Postby MuzTrem » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:37 pm

If you could go back in time and ask him one question, what would it be?

I know what mine would be:
"Could you build me a 15" gauge railway please?" :D
Still need to find a way of fitting it all in the time machine, though...
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Postby Matthi205 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:38 pm

"Could you give me a tour of your Railway?"
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Postby Steve Bennett » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:08 am

It does strike me that most Gn15 modellers seem to opt for industrial themes, nothing wrong with that but I just wonder why?


Simple one to answer, space and operation.
I would really like to model Eaton Hall, either Eaton terminus or Balderton Junction, but would need to move to a much bigger house to be able to do it properly. If that sort of space was available though, I would probably go for the Ratty instead, not passenger traffic I'm afraid, but the stone working from Beckfoot down to the crusher at Muirthwaite :) .
Even putting aside the location, passenger trains take a lot more space than industrial ones. Even a modest one, say a Heywood loco and 5 coaches is going to be about 4 feet (1200cm) long, so in order to get anything like a reasonable distance to run it in, you are back to a big layout again. A full size train like the ones that now run at either Ravenglass or Romney are going to be even longer.
Just my personnal thoughts why industrial is more popular than passenger carrying lines.
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Postby W P Rayner » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:17 am

I suppose I'd ask him where to get a good stout Mackintosh...

Though, I would probably side with James and ask for a guided tour of his workshops... sure would answer a lot of questions.
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Postby Heywood Fan » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:02 am

Hmmm :D

No one thought to ask "What is the colour you actually use in painting your locomotives?" or "Could you explain the signalling system you're using on your line at Duffield, its not mentioned in the charming little book you wrote which I'd borrowed?" [with hopefully an oh thanks, I can have my own copy, how kind!].

Or how about "Could you possibly get your staff to construct me a 1/12th scale replica of your locomotives" 8)

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Postby rough-shunter » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:12 am

I would be asking him why he chose such a c**p boiler design over the conventional one, and if he would have seen through time the re-boilering and rebuilding of his engines with the more traditional locomotive type Boiler.

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Postby jameswaterfield » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:12 am

Rough Shunter has a point about Sir Arthur's choice of launch boilers. However, they were necessary for his designs to work as they needed to clear the radiating gear underneath, which a depending fireboxed boiler would not. Also he quite rightly wanted a well balanced engine with the weight exactly spread on all driving wheels- this would have been difficult with a locomotive boiler. They were also cheap and very low maintenance, having no stays and economical to replace.

Bear in mind his engines did what they were designed for very well. In my experience they would have manged the Eaton line with no problems. They were shown up at Ravenglass beacuse the route was too long and the boilers were life expired and in the case of Muriel frequently damaged by low water.

My full size Ursula has an exact copy of the original boiler and although it takes more managing than a normal boiler does quite well with good management, although it certainly doesn't have the fast recovery powers of a conventional boiler. Bagnalls improved on the launch boiler with their bullhead design which had a bigger firebox wrapper which meant the furnace could also be bigger.
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Postby jefran » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:29 pm

If you look at the tests which Heywood did when the Eaton line was opened, Katie does not appear to be suffering from any lack of steam, which suggests that the boiler, as James points out, was adequate for the job it was required to do.

Incidentally, The Bug manages to achieve the Heywood criteria of equal overhangs at each end and no carrying wheels, with a locomotive boiler, albeit a quite highly pitched one, and no doubt was significantly more expensive than Katie, which is of a similar size.
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