BR 4MT 2-6-4T - resource material

Discussion in 'Resources' started by Dog Star, 12 December 2017.

  1. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Catalogue again, I'm afraid. If usability of individual records was the aim we'd have cut up and reassembled Domesday Book centuries back and we wouldn't have it now. We copied it instead so still have the original and working copies. It's still an utter pig to use in any printed or electronic form which can be sliced and diced in dozens of ways. The 1941 National Farm Survey is much easier in many ways but exists in the form of millions of bits of paper in envelopes. That's catalogued at parish level - you could go to farm, farmer, number of tractors, horses...

    Catalogue design is one of those areas of information science where I'm generally too scared to tread: two people can have hundreds of different views depending on what they do or don't know about what they're looking for.

    Catalogues are getting better, but even the best started out as card indexes and most have no choice but to preserve the way in which things ended up in the archive. Some still are, card indexes, of course. The collection-based approach is more or less the only sustainable way to introduce new collections into a collection.

    No, or at least, not categorically. What archives are about, basically, is not production for researchers - that's very recent, the last couple of hundred years or so - but so that an organisation knows about itself and managing the decay of that knowledge.

    Here's my favourite example of this process. Allow me to present TNA E 163/24/31: Sir Henry Cole's Rat

    It's a rat. Stuffed full of parchment. This belongs to an Exchequer series which spans c.1154 to c.1800 and presented as part of an enquiry into the state of the rolls of Chancery: Exchequer: King's Remembrancer: Miscellanea of the Exchequer | The National Archives

    Since it's a mummified 19th century rat, it too is now decaying - I've had a 3D print of it on my desk. The series will also contain - as well as loads of parchment and velum - paper, wood, leather (in the form of bags, pouches, thongs tying things together, all sorts), boxes, tins, paper, whole generations of paperclip and the skincells of clerks, archivists and researchers long dead.

    The point of the archive is to make sure that what we have today is available tomorrow. Public accessibility now has to be traded off against that in 5, 10 or 100 years time. Conservation for preservation and production is extremely skilled, very time-consuming an incredibly expensive. That's the archivists' province so we play by their rules and if the catalogue doesn't work the way that we as users would like, it's best to tell the archivists themselves that so that they can explain why that is, where what you are after actually is (if they've got it) or what uncatalogued - or barely sorted - stuff is out the back. The NRM has a relatively small amount of that sort of thing, a mere lifetime or two's unsorted material submitted in often fairly chaotic ways. Compared to the National Archives, they're minor league players.

    Last edited: 14 December 2017
    jamiepage, 76043 and adrian like this.
  2. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Ahh, but our system has a wild card, (%), add that to any search with a minimum of three characters and it'll find all the parts, it's amazing how many ways you can spell switch!
  3. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    I bet one of 'em begins with an 'F'. ;):))

    adrian and mickoo like this.
  4. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    An interesting ice-breaker for any visitors!!
    Definitely puts things into perspective - and if they are struggling then the task for the National Archive must be monumental!
  5. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    They have half a salt mine in Cheshire. I can't remember, offhand, how much completely uncatalogued medieval material they have, never mind later stuff but it's a lot. Literally millions of files, tens, possibly hundreds of millions of individual pieces and of course, there's always more coming in and what you've got is always finding ingenious ways of falling apart. No rats, these days, hopefully.

  6. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I have had lots of success over the years using terms like 'unidentified', 'unknown', 'anonymous' when searching catalogues, especially for photographs and drawings. It can take a bit of time to work out which term is used in the catalogue for things the cataloguer didn't know about or couldn't be bothered to look at. I am using a drawing at the moment found this way, the station it shows was demolished in the 1920s but it is a mirror image for one I am working on for which the drawings aren't available so it has been traced and mirrored in cad. The contract date was clearly visible so the location could be confirmed even though the title was illegible.
    AJC likes this.
  7. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    There are several on-line builds of the MOK BR Std 4MT tank... two are on WT. Each of the builds that I have read mentions that there are prototype variations in how the coupled wheel springs are attached to the spring hanger brackets. The instructions provide one option and hint at a second - parts are included to represent a spring hanger bolt with two nuts visible below the suspension cup (which the instructions refers to as a Spencer block). The upper nut is for adjusting weight on the axle and the lower nut for locking that adjustment. This makes sense to me.

    The instructions describes an alternative where the lower end of the spring hanger bolt and what secures the bolt in place are hidden within the suspension cup. I do not understand how this works given that adjustment of the loco weight per axle is going to require serious spanners if the spring hanger is threaded. I have no information as to which class members have the nuts visible below the suspension cups and which do not.

    What does the collective WT-mind know about this variation?

    Anyone any pictures of the parts either in place or on the floor?

    thank you, Graham
    Last edited: 19 February 2018
  8. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I have a photo of 80135 at Barry in November '67 so soon after withdrawal and 80139 at Basingstoke in July '67. Possibly the photo of 80135 may tell you what you need to know if it's from the same batch. 80139 is a bit "moody" and inside the shed so the details are somewhat less distinct. I'm happy to make either or both available if useful. Both are my copyright so normal caveats apply.

    Dog Star likes this.
  9. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Yes please Brian.
  10. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    My pleasure, Graham. These two are the closest to 80136, but I have quite a few of the standard 2-6-4Ts if needed.


    80135.  Barry.  18 November 1967.  Photo by Brian Dale.  FINAL.jpg 80139.  Second Shot.    Basingstoke.  6 July 1967.  FINAL.  Photo by Brian Dale.jpg
  11. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer


    would you also have a shot showing the AWS shoe/arrangement on the 4MT tank? I cannot see anything on the pictures that I have access to.


  12. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Hi Mike.

    I've just rechecked all my photos but there's nothing showing the AWS. Sorry!

  13. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi Brian,

    many thanks for taking the trouble to look. I'll continue the quest.

    Seasons greetings from a very foggy Wirral.

  14. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    I've never heard of any changes to spring hanger arrangements, nor have I read anything in any books to support this so whilst acknowledging that it is a possibility, I'm at this stage inclined to believe it's a bit of an embellished modeller's tale. Of course this will prompt every Tom, Dick, and Harry out of the woodwork with photos damning me. I will be at Bo'ness over the holidays avec camera so I'll see if springs are lying around.
    As above I'll take some pics, certainly 105 has an AWS head.
    Dog Star likes this.
  15. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer


    that would be very kind of you. I am finishing mine as 80037 which was fitted with AWS, Speedo and SR cab roof lifting brackets in July 1960.

    Seasons greetings from a now fog free Wirral.

  16. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Right Gentlemen
    Been at the railway today and went snap snap all around the Std 4. After each picture I have added a description of what is seen. most of you will already know anyway, but for completeness sake if nothing else.

    The rearmost section of the frames essentially under the bunker, the bits of tinware don't belong there, convenient storage/dumping ground.

    The platework under the cab floor.


    The drivers pedestal, from the top AWS indicator, vacuum brake valve, blower valve, sanding valve.


    Frame stays and hornguide LH rear driver, my boot.


    Frame stays again.

    Looking forward from a position more or less at the boiler backhead, if it were there.

    Frame cutout with horn guides for axlebox and spring hanger brackets.

    Brake hanger bracket

    RH expansion link with trunnions in brackets bolted to the rear of the motion plate. Lifting lever for slideblock in radius rod.

    Expansion link and motion bracket.

    More later
  17. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    I think I might have got to the bottom of the story re spring hangers. When originally designed both top and bottom of the spring hanger had a collet arrangement with various thickness wedges inserted to alter the spring rate and hence weight distribution. This was a mighty faff to alter or change a spring so someone came up with the idea of converting the lower end to be retained by a nut and locknut, much as a Black 5. What is important to know is that this happened in the preservation era and didn't pertain to locos when withdrawn by BR. I'm told that the bogie and pony primary springs retain the original arangement, but since they are also stripped at the moment I cant get any pictures.

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  18. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Batch 2

    RH motion bracket from front.


    RH mechanical lubricator and perch.

    RH cylinder rear with mountings for slidebars.

    RH rear of valve chest, lubrication atomisers above.

    Close up of atomisers


    Rear of LH libricator and filler pipes for front sandbox.


    LH valves and cylinder from front.


    LH front framing


    LH front footstep and buffer beam gussets

    Spring hanger bracket.

    More later
  19. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Batch 3

    Grease nipples for horns.


    Rear of LH expansion link


    Motion bracket


    Valve chest front cover


    LH rear valve chest cover and valve spindle crosshead slide bars


    Valve spindle slidebars with slipper blocks.

    Driving wheel springs.

    RH crosshead (top surface).

    RH crosshead (front view).

    Regulator valve seat. This is usually inside the dome and therefore not visible.

    That's enough for today, I'll do the rest tomorrow. All of these pictures are my copyright and are posted on Western Thunder for personal use of members of the forum. If you want to repost them elsewhere I'll likely have no objection but please let me know first.

  20. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    More stuff

    Bunker and cab rear.


    Cab interior rear.

    More of.


    Rear buffer.

    Rear buffer plank.

    Reverser weighshaft and bracket.

    Front buffer plank.

    Front bits.

    Smokebox saddle.

    Front footplate.

    More after some breakfast.