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Author Topic: Steam Locomotive Pr0n: A Study in Steel  (Read 923 times)
von Corax
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« on: October 23, 2013, 09:03:38 am »

From Hack A Day's Retrotechtacular series: A Study in Steel follows the construction of London Midland & Scottish #6207 from billets to roll-out.

Particularly memorable line: "Foundry work is rather paradoxical - it is what isn't there that counts. A [casting] mould eventually consists of an ordered assembly of spaces, into which the molten metal is poured," delivered in that peculiar tone of stilted enthusiasm characteristic of film narration of the time.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 11:21:19 pm by von Corax » Logged

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The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics is 5838 km from Reading
Athanor
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Keep them off-balance and brazen it out!


« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 08:18:03 am »

That's a fascinating little film, and unlike so many publicity films of that era, it gives a pretty accurate portrayal of some of the sheer, hard, physical work that goes into building a steam locomotive.

It has a particular resonance for me, because I was there! - no, not in 1935, but in the early sixties, right there in those same Crewe locomotive works, and in the intervening 25-30 years very little had changed; the shops, the machines, the men, their clothes, all the same..... Crewe built its last steam locomotive in 1960 - a Class 9 heavy freight 2-10-0 - so I missed it by one year, but I was there, in those very shops, from 1961 to '65 - machine shop, foundry, forge, erecting shop, boiler shop, helping to repair and rebuild those magnificent machines.

I worked on diesels too, but there was never the same sense of satisfaction of a heavy, difficult job competently performed. It was increasingly obvious that I was experiencing the end of an era. By 1967, when the last repaired steam locomotive rolled out of the erecting shop, I felt that something magnificent and romantic had gone from the world, never to return.

Thank you, von Corax, for finding that,

Athanor.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 07:03:10 pm »

That's just great.  I've seen it before but it's always worth watching again (and again...)
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James Harrison
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 06:58:11 pm »

I kikkum srek srraod su rasirm su reka.  Reka I koae, reka, reka omd reqa omav.  

There, that should do it... thread necromancy...

I found this little gem on the BFI website today, Crewe works in 1905...

http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-building-a-british-railway-constructing-the-locomotive-1905/

EDIT for our North American members: That's British Film Institute, not Browning-Ferris Industries. Wink
EDIT: Content not available in Canada.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 10:12:59 pm by von Corax » Logged
James Harrison
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 11:10:52 pm »

Darn; that is a pity. I'll have a look tomorrow (when not posting from a 'phone) for an open access version.
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Athanor
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Keep them off-balance and brazen it out!


« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2016, 03:21:19 am »

Not available in Mexico either .... sheesh!

Looking at that still photo, though, I'd swear some of those 1905 guys were still around in the 1960s, caps and all, with a quarter of a Woodbine* clamped in the corner of the mouth. The steam loco fitters' uniform probably hasn't changed in more than a century. You'll also note no hard hats, no ear protectors, no gloves even ..... exactly the same in the 60s. Anyone other than a riveter wearing gloves or ear protection back then would have been greeted with hoots of derision.

In the 60s in the main works at Crewe we also maintained the Eastern Region Manchester-Sheffield-Wath electrics, until British Railways in its infinite wisdom  Roll Eyes shut the whole system down and sold the locomotives to the Dutch. With their heavy all-steel riveted construction the MSW electrics were much more steam-like than the later 25kv West Coast Main Line locos, which had their own meticulously clean workshops carefully segregated from the riffraff like us, on the opposite side of the North Wales main line.

I remember one incident vividly. We used to pull (or, more accurately, vibrate) the pinions off the motor shafts by clamping a massive chunk of about 2-inch thick steel plate over the end of the shaft and behind the pinion, then pounding on it with 12lb sledge hammers. On one occasion my mate was off doing something else and removing the pinion fell to me. I reefed the plate up tight with a 7/8-inch Whitworth spanner about 18" long, then swung the sledge.  It took one blow and the pinion neatly popped off. The whole shop, I think, including two chargehands and a foreman, crowded around wondering why I'd stopped pounding. "You're supposed to ...." a chargehand said; then "....Oh." The general consensus was that I'd somehow cheated. I'm still not sure how they surmised I'd done that.

Ah! Fond memories......

Athanor.

* Woodbines: cheap unfiltered cigarettes, also known as "Woods", "Woodies", or "gaspers".
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 03:45:11 am by Athanor » Logged
James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2016, 06:14:42 pm »

Found a part of it on youtube; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I6ojay7hcU

(also, the same channel has a few other videos of Crewe predating WWI)
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