Class21/29

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Bigmet
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Re: Class21/29

Postby Bigmet » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:48 am

The painted samples are now on show with the usual suspects among retailers and web sites, and generally look well.
https://www.hattons.co.uk/356436/dapol_ ... etail.aspx
All but the glazing, which looks like something tooled in the 1970s. Inexplicable as it is much inferior to other Dapol releases, including the class 22 which had the same pattern cab. While I hope this is only 'test' status...

Bigmet
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Re: Class21/29

Postby Bigmet » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:41 am

First of the NBL type 2 DE (class 21) in BR all over green now with retailers. That completes my 'dire diesel line up' for the KX area in current standard models; TOPS 15, 16, 21, 23, 105 all available as good RTR OO models. Amazing, never would have expected some of these to ever get models, as there were few in class, and often little time in service before withdrawal (the 16s were being withdrawn before steam had gone from BR, none saw BR blue).

The 21 will be my first sampling of a Dapol traction item. A friend has a Dapol LMS 10000, and this is the only example I have seen of their mechanisms in long term use and it runs sweetly, hopefully the 21 will likewise oblige.

Bigmet
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Re: Class21/29

Postby Bigmet » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:08 am

It has been in my hands five days now, and overall I would rate it as very good. Runs beautifully, became ever quieter over its first couple of hours running; very smooth from a dead slow creep into movement on DC, yet better on DCC. Looks right all around, and the wheels are correctly spoked, though I have not counted the spokes, they are practically concealed behind the sideframes of the bogies.

The construction is neat and tidy, and the external detail appears robust. Body comes away easily for decoder installation; there don't appear to be any clips, it just fits snugly over the chassis casting. The body is tethered by wiring, but this is on plugs so full separation from the chassis will be simple. Not a 'super-heavyweight' model, but has plenty of traction for a class 2, it moved a 14 coach set smoothly, and that's about twice the normal load. (In Scotland these and the class 29 development were used in pairs if a load got anywhere near that size.) There are switches under the fuel tank providing lighting options for DC control, a neat touch

The glazing on the body sides is a little clumsy with a very pronounced lensing effect, would be my sole serious criticism. (The all important front windows are good and 'full size' in appearance, with very narrow pillars for a convincing appearance in end view, which is key to the model having the character of the prototype in my opinion.)

Bigmet
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Re: Class21/29

Postby Bigmet » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:48 pm

With the time period on the layout now halfway through 1959, the NBL DE type 2 (class 21) is putting in its brief stint as part of KX inner suburban dieselisation, infuriating the commuters by failing regularly. Apart from BRCW type 2 (26/0) and Brush type 2 (30) which are decent performers, there are also EE type 2 'Baby Deltics' (23) and Cravens (105) DMU's letting the side down. The now departing N2's already nearly 40 years on this arduous work from introduction in 1920- they will all be withdrawn by 1962 - may have smoked and shouted a bit as they jerked the train away off the 1 in 39 of the 'Hotel curve' platform, but they got the job done reliably and were fondly regarded. (Which is why one got privately preserved, a very early 'save', and also why it was H-D's first tank loco model: Let's hear it for the 'Big Met' tank, the best pre-group suburban tank loco design.)

Whatever, this Dapol model sprang into life when called on, and continues with the fine running seen when it arrived. Very pleasing indeed and I am only able to resist buying another by the thought that on average they only spent nine months in (and out of) service at KX before dispatch to the naughty step in Glasgow: for NBL to think very hard about what they had done. (Or rather not done, they had failed to invest for the new technology: and this would see their business fail and close. I had this first hand from a very fine MechE, who as a new graduate had started his career with NBL. He quickly saw the way the land lay, hidebound management not prepared to admit new thinking from those with better qualifications in current technology, and smartly departed for better opportunities, in which he had great success.)

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: Class21/29

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:48 am

Conversely - the N2 tanks were disliked by Scottish crews, the ones around the Glasgow area had a reputation of being very rough riders compared with the V1/V3 tanks and as a result were relegated to trip freights with a maximum speed of 25mph imposed. The 2-6-2Ts were the preferred loco for the passenger workings on the ex LNER routes around Central Scotland.

Jim
This Signature Left Intentionally Blank, but since I have written this and I intended to do it, this Signature is intentionally not blank. Paradox or What?
My layout - Gateside and Northbridge
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Bigmet
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Re: Class21/29

Postby Bigmet » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:23 pm

I am in no way surprised. The N2 was a straightforward thug of GNR origin, based on the J6 0-6-0 boiler. Very simple, very robust, could do a job that the Midland would have required two locos on the front and the Lickey banker at the rear to perform. And it was what the KX crews were accustomed to, no creature comforts but a highly effective kicking beast that would do the job. Every day they took sets of a pair of quadarts specifically tailored to the platform lengths of the Metropolitan, about 200 tons when fully loaded, off the 'hotel curve' platform. This had a gradient of 1 in 39, and a six chain radius. Basically starting with the whole train on the Lickey incline, no assisting engine. The crews were coached in positioning the cranks optimally for maximum torque from the cylinder that was going to start the loco, and the driver having made sure he had full pressure available gave her full regulator in full forward gear, and she 'kicked off'. Crash! The commuters were well trained in holding on, if they were among the large proportion of the trainload that was standing (12 seated in third, and anything up to 12 standing in a compartment.) The N2 was well known for being 'troublesome' on the more curvaceous sections of the Hatfield branches and was both significantly speed restricted and eventually only supposed to be used on freight loads too great for the N7. (The newly formed LNER briskly 'imported' the smaller and lighter ex-GER N7 0-6-2T for the majority of these branchline turns, and based a small group at Hatfield shed where they rejoiced in the title 'Swedey Met'.)

Gresley had a three cylinder 2-6-4T design which was the forebear of the V1 prepared for this work, but it simply could not be made to fit within the constraints imposed by the Metropolitan Railway tunnels and other infrastructure. So he took the Ivatt N1 0-6-2T 'Met tank' that was then on the job and struggling, and upgraded it with a better boiler and larger superheater, piston valves, and larger diameter cylinders; and that was the N2, logically named the 'Big Met'. BR had endless trouble replacing these machines forty years on, and had to settle for a diesel loco 50% greater in weight and length, that was thereby restricted to operating trains of BR stock on the Metro lines, with as a result only 65% the passenger capacity. No truly satisfactory solution was obtained until the GN section electrification came fully on stream in late 1976. Then we had the excitement of the 313 sets sliding doors opening at random while we were going at 70 mph. You have never seen so much flying newspaper, as everyone standing grabbed for a handhold, but that's another story...

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: Class21/29

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:36 pm

Bigmet wrote:I am in no way surprised. The N2 was a straightforward thug of GNR origin, based on the J6 0-6-0 boiler. Very simple, very robust, could do a job that the Midland would have required two locos on the front and the Lickey banker at the rear to perform. And it was what the KX crews were accustomed to, no creature comforts but a highly effective kicking beast that would do the job. Every day they took sets of a pair of quadarts specifically tailored to the platform lengths of the Metropolitan, about 200 tons when fully loaded, off the 'hotel curve' platform. This had a gradient of 1 in 39, and a six chain radius. Basically starting with the whole train on the Lickey incline, no assisting engine. The crews were coached in positioning the cranks optimally for maximum torque from the cylinder that was going to start the loco, and the driver having made sure he had full pressure available gave her full regulator in full forward gear, and she 'kicked off'. Crash! The commuters were well trained in holding on, if they were among the large proportion of the trainload that was standing (12 seated in third, and anything up to 12 standing in a compartment.) The N2 was well known for being 'troublesome' on the more curvaceous sections of the Hatfield branches and was both significantly speed restricted and eventually only supposed to be used on freight loads too great for the N7. (The newly formed LNER briskly 'imported' the smaller and lighter ex-GER N7 0-6-2T for the majority of these branchline turns, and based a small group at Hatfield shed where they rejoiced in the title 'Swedey Met'.)

Gresley had a three cylinder 2-6-4T design which was the forebear of the V1 prepared for this work, but it simply could not be made to fit within the constraints imposed by the Metropolitan Railway tunnels and other infrastructure. So he took the Ivatt N1 0-6-2T 'Met tank' that was then on the job and struggling, and upgraded it with a better boiler and larger superheater, piston valves, and larger diameter cylinders; and that was the N2, logically named the 'Big Met'. BR had endless trouble replacing these machines forty years on, and had to settle for a diesel loco 50% greater in weight and length, that was thereby restricted to operating trains of BR stock on the Metro lines, with as a result only 65% the passenger capacity. No truly satisfactory solution was obtained until the GN section electrification came fully on stream in late 1976. Then we had the excitement of the 313 sets sliding doors opening at random while we were going at 70 mph. You have never seen so much flying newspaper, as everyone standing grabbed for a handhold, but that's another story...


I would imagine they would also be trained to make sure the train stopped with all buffers compressed. Remember hearing that one about York, if a rookie driver stopped short and had to draw up, it would be a nightmare to restart as al the couplings would be taught and the loco was effectively taking the full weight of the train from a standing start. By compressing the buffers apparently you could get nearly half a revolution of the driving wheels before the full weight of the train was on the drawbar.

Jim
This Signature Left Intentionally Blank, but since I have written this and I intended to do it, this Signature is intentionally not blank. Paradox or What?
My layout - Gateside and Northbridge
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Bigmet
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Re: Class21/29

Postby Bigmet » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:02 am

I have read some very colourful descriptions of 'getting it wrong at York', the curvature on the old platform 15 regarded as notably trying with a long train. Using the buffer compression by stopping on the tender handbrake, before applying the vac brake again was the trick of it; and you were deeply in the mire if the tender was due for replacement brake blocks and wouldn't hold hard to positively stop the whole train even from the low speed rolling along the platform! (There are also some quite alarming descriptions of the LNER's high speed trains significantly wearing their brake blocks within the week between scheduled reblockings, and being noticeably 'soft' if a heavy brake application was required by the time Friday came around. Fortunately no harm ever came from this, but there was more than one driver that found himself wondering if he would pull up for the signal.)

But this couldn't be done wth the inner sub train on such a gradient, (There were only two sets of buffers active in the whole train, loco to leading quadart, and between the two quadarts that made the complete train, in any case.) The recorded descriptions by the crews tell us that they pulled as far forward as possible when the train came out of 'the hole' at KX as they got the engine stopped set right for the restart. They wanted to be as far forward as possible as there was a catch point ('jack catch' in GN parlance) immediately to the rear, to prevent a train rolling back into the tunnel. Then the drill was screw down loco handbrake hard, then on getting the right away, blow off vac. brake on train, the fireman then took off the loco handbrake as fast as he could and the moment the loco 'twitched', the driver gave her full regulator. Crash!, it was all very agricultural. If they didn't get away, then repeat the drill. You only got the one repeat attempt as the threat of the catch point and blocking the entire down Moorgate service in the rush hour was unthinkable. (On those rare occasions this happened, the West side pilot was coupled on and ran with the train to Finsbury Park.)

Bigmet
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Re: Class21/29

Postby Bigmet » Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:53 pm

My 21 has accrued some decent running time now, and just had its first scheduled inspection: all looking well, tyres nicely polished, reliable pick up from all wheels, smooth and quiet running throughout the speed range. (There have been a few user reports of the pick up arrangements becoming unreliable, but no sign of that; and a DIY wiper pick up is very easy to arrange should this ever be a trouble in future.) So that's it for 2 more years before the next inspection, very satisfactory altogether.

Wonder if Dapol will ever make another loco suited to my interest? There are loads of East coast steamers without models, you chaps in Chirk...

Bigmet
Posts: 9118
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Class21/29

Postby Bigmet » Mon Mar 15, 2021 12:02 pm

Bigmet wrote:...So that's it for 2 more years before the next inspection, very satisfactory altogether...

Famous last words, though nothing serious happily!

Instead of the usual silent operation, last Friday there was an odd scratchy noise, but with no apparent effect on the running. So the mechanism has been part dismantled to find the source. What was a small stray spring, now much mangled and trapped above an axle, was making the noise. It was all straightforward despite the lack of an assembly diagram, very neat construction which has gone back together perfectly and has resumed running as smoothly and silently as before. (I like this model more than I expected to...)

Not identified where the little spring came from; I have more than a suspicion that it may have been a Kadee coupler spring which 'bounced in' when it fell off a coupler. Not from one of the Kadee couplers on the 21, but lots of other vehicles to inspect to see if a Kadee is sans spring. (I usually tack them with cyano on the non-moving mounting to stop this occurring, but that may not always be perfectly executed of course.)

Bigmet
Posts: 9118
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Class21/29

Postby Bigmet » Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:54 pm

More versions of this fine model coming, including tablet catcher equipped.


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