Henry's Basis, As-Built

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Henry's Basis, As-Built

Post by Jaromir Jagr's Mullet on Sun May 20, 2018 6:37 pm

I'm trying to figure out what the Reverend Awdry intended Henry's basis to be prior to his rebuild as a Stanier Black Five in 1935. From what I remember of Peg'n'Sean's articles (the site is now down), C. Reginald Dalby depicted Henry as a Pacific just as much as he was depicted as a Ten Wheeler, and the Reverend Awdry preferred an illustration where Henry was depicted as a Pacific.

From what I remember of the articles, Henry's firebox could not have been supported without a trailing truck under the frame, but had to be reduced in size to fit within the frames. According to the wiki, Henry was built c. 1919, which also narrows our date down some. This gives us a pretty decent place to start with: Henry is a c. 1919 Pacific-type locomotive, that happened to be a relatively poor steamer because of a small firebox. What helps with this search is that in real life, only five Pacific-type locomotives were built prior to the 1923 Grouping in Great Britain, and in three classes.

First, we have the GWR 111 Great Bear, a one-off design built in 1908 at Swindon Works. Although the Great Bear had significant steaming troubles and was rebuilt into a Ten Wheeler, this probably was not Henry's basis because Henry was supposedly built from a design derived from the Great Northern Railway's A1 class, but with significant shortcomings. Also, the Great Bear was built eleven years too early and had a Belpaire firebox, characteristic of the GWR, while Henry hat a wagon-top, rounded firebox before his rebuild.

Next, we have the GNR A1/A3, of which Gordon is the prototype. This has a wagon-top firebox and was built for the Great Northern Railway immediately prior to the Grouping, and most examples were completed under the auspices of the London North Eastern Railway. These were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and built at Doncaster Works and North British Locomotive Works from 1922 to 1935. This could potentially be Henry's pre-rebuild basis but for the fact that Flying Scotsman is explicitly mentioned to be Gordon's only surviving brother.

The most likely candidate seems to be the NER 4.6.2 class, redesignated A2 by the London North Eastern Railway. These had a superficial resemblance to the A1/A3 classes and were built in two batches, two by the NER in 1922 and three by the LNER in 1924. These were designed by Sir Vincent Raven and built at Darlington Works. These did have steaming issues and were built as a direct response to the Gresley Pacifics. All of the Raven Pacifics were withdrawn and scrapped by LNER in 1936-1937, after working lives of less than 15 years.

Based on the superficial resemblance to the Gresley A1/A3 classes, steaming issues, and their working lifespan roughly matching that of Henry's career prior to his rebuild, I believe that, had Dalby been given a specific locomotive class, Henry would have been depicted as a Raven A2 Pacific-type locomotive.
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Re: Henry's Basis, As-Built

Post by TGC on Sun May 20, 2018 10:11 pm

I thought Henry was made by designs stolen from Gresley that were prototype designs for the A1
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Re: Henry's Basis, As-Built

Post by Jaromir Jagr's Mullet on Sun May 20, 2018 10:39 pm

TGC wrote:I thought Henry was made by designs stolen from Gresley that were prototype designs for the A1

Well, IRL, the Raven A2s were close enough in design that one was modified to accept an A1 boiler during an overhaul. It would follow that Raven "stole" the design from Gresley (and they were superficially similar enough that unless you were looking at the valve gear or knew the road numbers, you could easily mistake one for the other.) If I were trying to depict pre-rebuild Henry, I would definitely say that a Raven A2 would be a good bet. Throw in the fact that Awdry only came up with the Railway Series after they had been scrapped, and it's reasonable to assume that A) Awdry forgot what the engine was called, B) Dalby didn't recognize the class of locomotive because he wasn't much of a railfan, or C) both.
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Re: Henry's Basis, As-Built

Post by Sleeper Agent on Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:19 am

Henry and Gordon aren't easy engines in their Mk1 forms but my interpretation steeped in Earth Prime history is that the former is basically the Ivatt/Gresley Pacific cooked up in 1915

*Not sure why the image is so large but you can download it for a full view

and then tweaked by his builder, basically his tender, cab and running plate, cylinder arrangement etc to match Dalby and Spong's illustrations (wouldn't read into Middleton and Dalby's illustrations concerning what inspired their designs as they didn't research much at all and just merrily beavered away in their studios, hence why Henry wasn't even a generic Atlantic).
The would be GNR engine does feature a parallel boiler and Wooten firebox but is undercooked compared to the finalised A1 due to the axle load restrictions. The wheelbase is also more condensed compared to the revised A1 design so does fulfil the line about Henry being smaller than Gordon and it easily would be an inferior steamer.

Oh by the by Pegnsean is back up Smile
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