View Full Version : Deltic question

Onan the Clumsy
25th Apr 2004, 01:03
If you look at a Deltic, below the windshield, there's a bit that sticks out and there's a door on the front of it.

What's it for?

My brother (level 2 anorak) says it's a crew lounge where they can make a pot of tea, but I think his answer's about as useful as a OMO Sprinter.

Anyone know the real answer?



What a **** I am. There's no door at all and I can see here (http://www.lexcie.zetnet.co.uk/deltic.htm) that it's the traction motor blower and filter unit.

Was this the most boring and useless thread ever on JB?

25th Apr 2004, 03:25
Was this the most boring and useless thread ever on JB?

Well, maybe, but why we're here, isn't it a fine machine ?

25th Apr 2004, 04:15
Hell no Onan,

You've posted far more useless and boring threads..........remember New Years just gone!?! ;) :p

Onan the Clumsy
25th Apr 2004, 04:36

25th Apr 2004, 09:25

There was a smaller loco with a similar body design, which did have doors in the front. This was a thought at the time that crews could change shift from the first coach behind and that when a crew had two loco coupled at the head of a train they could access the second loco through the doors. It didn't catch on!:8

Boss Raptor
25th Apr 2004, 14:34
Yes the lightweight Class 23 'Baby Deltic'


Onan the Clumsy
25th Apr 2004, 14:35
I know I've seen American locos with doors there.

I was on the train in Switzerland once and I shared a compartment with a couple of English blokes what were train drivers. I started to peel an orange and being a decent sort of chap, offered it around. They were amazed at my generosity and had to explain that within the ranks of Britishj Rail (as it was at the time) it would be an unusual event.

"In fact" one of them said "Many's the time I've shared the cab of a train and on entering a tunel, noticed a beautiful orangy smell. When we popped out into daylight, I've looked over to see my fellow driver trying frantically to swallow.".

"Oh yeah." said his mate "Train drivers are the only people who can peel an orange in their pockets.". :}

Evening Star
25th Apr 2004, 20:47
The nose section of a Deltic, in common with other English Electric locomotives of the period (Class 23 'Baby Deltic', Class 37 and Class 40), contains the traction motor blowers, essentially large fans providing cooling air for the traction motors. The side grilles are the inlet for the cooling air and the hatch on the roof of the nose (directly in front of the windscreen) is access for maintenace/replacement. I cannot comment on the Deltic, but from memory of the Class 37 (which were the staple diet at my local depot when I was a teenage trainspotter), there are two blower sets, positioned each side, with (very tight) space in the centre.

To allow crews to make tea, the cab itself contains a small hot plate.

Boss Raptor
25th Apr 2004, 20:57
I never realised that there were only 22 production Deltics plus the prototype...although apparently very successful...I remember seeing them at Euston and/or maybe King Cross

The engine concept was certainly odd but clearly worked well but haven't quite worked out how yet although the notes on these sites are excellent..now I see two cylinders per one spark/injection point...clever :)

JB Spotters Club member 005 :ok:

25th Apr 2004, 23:05
Another train question, if you dont mind (I've always wondered...)

When the power is taken from the overhad line using the pantograph (??), the pantograph is hinged halfway up. Now, why is the hinge always pointeing to the rear of travel??

Every train I have seen (including the Eurostar) have this arrangement, and I was wodnering why?

25th Apr 2004, 23:26
There is no requirement for the pantograph arm to be set up uni-directionally, indeed operationally this would be difficult

Eurostar has two Pantographs in use as high voltage power cables are not taken through the train. Therefore on any journey at least one pan must trail.

Contact between the pan and the contact wire is maintained by means of spring control on the pan head and aerofoils on the pan head arms.

There is a specialist railway discussion forum recently set up at http://www.railwaytalk.com which you may find useful for raising such matters in future.

Any post will be answered very quickly indeed by specialist railway personnel.

Onan the Clumsy
26th Apr 2004, 02:32
specialist railway personnel :p

and another thing...does the overhead line run parallel to the track or does it zigzag from side to side a little?

If it ral parallel, wouldn't it cut a groove in the pickup?

26th Apr 2004, 05:15
Onan, it zig-zags to spread wear.

26th Apr 2004, 07:37
I used to see the prototype passing towards Newton Heath through Manchester Victoria, when it was on trial.

The Deltics finished their days hauling just 6 coach trains on the Liverpool - York, Trans Penine route. It was a sight to behold.

I've elected to be JB Spotters Club member No.7.

Boss Raptor
26th Apr 2004, 08:31
Those were the days when things/companies had proper names like 'English Electric' and not just initials and numbers :\

Another railway techy question that I have wondered for years...

In a forward and rear power car set up like the 125 HST and the Eurostar (I assume or does it have power bogies all the way down?) how does/is the push/pull force shared between both power cars i.e. is it equally shared or does the push car do most of the work?

...and if so how is the power/force regulated as if one power car was slightly out of synch with the other they could squash or pull the train apart...obviously power regulators in both units which I assume must be interlinked/equalised but would this help if one power car was slipping for example are there force meters on the connectors to the rest of the train, how does it work?

Evening Star
26th Apr 2004, 09:52

Nominally shared equally, but variations exist between each power car so in reality each will do an uneven amount of work. Whether it is the front or back power car doing the most work is not an issue in either case. If front, it is like a normal locomotive pulling a train, albeit with a contribution from the tail end. If rear, then the train is just getting a bit more of a shove.

On a similar point, while the Deltics had two engines, the control circuitry arrangement allowed the front engine to run at slightly higher revs to provide extra power for the electric train supply (carriage heating and air con). Making it always the front engine allowed even engine wear as each end spends about 50% of the time as 'front'.

With regard to Eurostar, as far as I remember (and I should as my brother drives the bloody things and I once had a very nice day out to Paris from the front end) the powered bogies are both bogies on each power car and the bogie adjacent to each power car.


With regard to the Trans-Pennine Deltics, I was a student in Liverpool at the time. One morning noticed a Deltic sitting in Lime Street, and knew it would be leaving about 10 minutes after a lecture finished. Having nothing afterwards decided a quick trip to Manchester would be a good move. Never have I willed so hard for a lecture to finish and never have I made it down Brownlow Hill so fast! A grand trip out. :cool:

JB Spotters Club member 002 :ok:

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Apr 2004, 09:58
Hey, a train thread! Can i jump in, please?

Regarding HSTs, I don't suppose it matters too much if one power car is producing more power tha the other. the worst case scenario would be one dead power car and one working (a not unknown state of events!). Then it would bethe equivalent of the West Coast loco hauled trains; a class 87 electric is at the back on southbound trains, pushing the coaches. It's therefore on the fron on northbound trains, pulling the coaches, and liminating the need to uncouple and run around the train at the terminus. This also demonstrates that the loco's single pantograph operates in both leading and trailing modes.

It always amazes me that a rake of Mk111s can be pushed from Manchester to London at speeds up to 110 mph in perfect safety.

Now, a question I hope someone can answer: It is common to see electric locos being 'dragged' (hauled dead) either on non-electrified lines during engineering diversions or because the loco has failed and another has been coupled on in front. When they are being dragged, are the traction motors still connected to the wheels (in which case I'd have thought they would cause a lot of drag as they are spun by the train's wheels), or is there a 'neutral gear' they can be put into?


26th Apr 2004, 10:05
Do electric motors drag with no power on them? I've got a fan on my desk which is switched off and it spins freely if touched.

Oh bu gger! Can I have my Spotters' Club Number please?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Apr 2004, 10:11
The traction motors are geared to the wheels using a reduction gear, as the motors will run at a higher rpm than the wheels. If being dragged, this becomes a step-up gear, spinning the motors faster than the wheels are turning - unless there's a 'fre-wheel' or neutral gear-type device.


Lon More
26th Apr 2004, 10:30
Great engines, horizontally opposed two stroke diesels. Used to spehd my summer holidays in the 1960s driving a Commer truck fitted with one, Scaring the cr'p out of English tourists up the A9

26th Apr 2004, 11:14
SSD, when I have been to pick up another loco we have turned up, coupled and attached the air pipes. When the air is up in the dead unit then we just drive off to wherever we have to go with it. It gets complicated if the other engine is 'live'. I.E if the engine is turned on or it is connected to the overheads.

I have driven with double headed 33's, 37's 73's and there is no need for a driver in the rear cab but I do remeber once on a double headed 37 ballast train we had to have a driver in the middle cab. Can't remember exactly why but only done that the once.

When you leave an engine you just put the handbrake on and switch everything off(cut it out). The air in the tanks will then be discharged by a regulator that makes a 'click' noise. This happens ever couple of seconds or so. Each 'click' releases a tiny amount of air and over say two days it will have got rid of all the air in the tanks leaving the train just secured by the handbrake.

Never been in a deltic. Closest is the 37. In the nose ends of them there is a generator in one end and that is really noisey. If you are in a ballast site and you are at the compressor end then it meant you usually couldn't have a kip as it would go off every few minuites. Very annoying I can tell you. There is also a door in the middle of the cab leading to the nose end and also there are on top of the nose bit two panels that open out for maintainence. In the engine room there was a small toilet thing that you could stand up in and have a wee. Couldn't do anything else though, it was at waist height. I don't know what female drivers used to do..!!!! Also there would be some kind of hotplate in the engine room. This was used for heating the billy can up for a cup of tea and some used to have a grill under them. Never known anyone to use it to make a full english, that would take some doing because there was not much room.

HST's I have only driven two and not passed out on them so I can't say much about them. One of the ones that I had a go on, the engine at the back kept cutting out at high speed. You could notice it but I wasn't told to alter my driving technique to compensate for the lack of power so just kept it wide open. They are powerfull though. Same engine as the 56 has in it I believe.

Pantographs do not have to face any particualr way as far as I know. The ones I drive now have them and it is just pot luck whatever way they are facing.

I have passed a Deltic last year in the summer. It was painted a horrible Purple and white colour...:yuk: :yuk:

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Apr 2004, 11:37
I have passed a Deltic last year in the summer. It was painted a horrible Purple and white colour...

Yup, the Porterbrook one. I beleive it is painted in 'proper' colours again, now:O .
But they've painted one of my beloved class 87 electric locos in that horrid prurple now:(

A few years ago Virgin used a Deltic on services on WCML. I saw it a few times at Crewe, at Willesden, and once running on the slow lines between Stafford and Crewe - it sounded lovely as we powered past in a train 87-hauled of Mk111 coaches. I had the vestibule window open and was getting a breath of fresh air at the time (the aircon is probably the only thing about the Mk111 coach which is crap).


26th Apr 2004, 17:05
Here it is....... (http://www.btinternet.com/~paul.evans28/Deltic.jpg)
Taken from the second mans side when I had a trainee driving.. :)

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Apr 2004, 17:13
.....And here's 87002 in similar horrrific colours....



26th Apr 2004, 17:34
:yuk: :yuk: :yuk: :yuk:

26th Apr 2004, 20:06
This thread seemed to be calling my name... ;)

I heard another theory about 'noses': Prior to dieselisation, BR feared that ex-steamo drivers would get 'ground rush', as they adapted from a down-the-boiler perspective to a front windscreen view. Noses were intended to address this, or so the story went. I'm sceptical as several early designs had flat chests, so to speak.

Anyone remember the true era of ECML superpower? I'm talking of the late 1980s, when the Class 91s were rolling out but the Mk IV DVTs weren't ready. Several 43s were used as surrogate DVTs for TDM testing, fitted with buffers but retaining their own power, effectively top-and-tailing with a 91. I doubt they ran late very often! :cool:

(Not a spotter really, but had a troubled youth...)

26th Apr 2004, 20:12
Ok, put your hands up if you own a train set...!! :suspect:

Boss Raptor
26th Apr 2004, 20:15
Yes large N Gauge with a collection of different locos and stock from all the different countries I've visited...most recent being Argentine, Brazilian and Chilian trains :cool:

26th Apr 2004, 20:16
Does a virtual one count?

Isn't there a DMU painted in a version of Porterbrook :yuk:

Sold all my proper ones when I left the UK.:{

No room in my new home.

26th Apr 2004, 20:47
The rear Power Car runs at slightly higher revs as it provides electric power to the on-board services.

This should ensure that when a demand for power is applied, that the output should broadly equalise between the two PCs.

It is only possible to run above 100mph by the use of two PCs and any HST that suffers from a PC shut-down, cannot really achieve much beyond 100 mph.

Obviously the precise speed will be a number of variable factors governed by wind conditions, gradient, trailing weight, age of working PC engine, etc.

Electric Locos Hauled 'Dead'

When hauled dead the wheels will still turn the traction motor and will in effect now generate electricity. There will be a resistance to the turning motion.

There is no 'free-wheel' facility in locomotives equipped with traction motors.

The resistance generated by the traction motors is actually used in certain classes of electric loco to provide an electro-rheostatic brake force.

This brake is certainly quite effective on Classes 86/87, where (certainly in my day) the brake was 'blended' with the air brake coming into play further down the braking curve.

Anyone who has (does) drive an 86/87 will have experienced the feel of the rheostatic braking effect.

As a passenger you would also feel it as a definite reduction of speed, although to you it would feel as if the brake was applied.

If you look closely at the front of a class 86, the grills on the cab roof front allow ventilation of the resistors.

26th Apr 2004, 20:52
A virtual one.!!!!!!! Your not telling me you can build one on-line and run it are you ? :ooh: :ooh: :ooh:

26th Apr 2004, 20:55
About 2 years ago the whole Hornby catalogue was available.
You designed your layout, picked your locos and rolling stock. It ran on any Windows based system.
Ideal if you have no room for the real thing!:ok:

Boss Raptor
26th Apr 2004, 21:06
Have a similar one from the States but it allows you to design your layout and then drive your choice of diesel loco from the cabin...very good actually

26th Apr 2004, 21:09

I've just checked on Amazon.
The original 2001 edition is still available reduced from 19.99 to 12.99.
The updated 2003 version is available for 24.99 from Dream.

Go on...treat yourself!:D

26th Apr 2004, 21:20

AAAAAAAAAAgggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh :{

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Apr 2004, 22:38
Mmmm. Train set. Just wait till the kids leave home.....:)

I've already got an 86, HST, Royal Scot, Peak Diesel, some MK111s, Warship, 2 Westerns (including 'Western Enterprise in Desert Sand livery), Evening Star....

Just need a bit of room and some track.....


Evening Star
26th Apr 2004, 22:52
've already got an 86, HST, Royal Scot, Peak Diesel, some MK111s, Warship, 2 Westerns (including 'Western Enterprise in Desert Sand livery), Evening Star....

Somebody called? :ok:

26th Apr 2004, 23:14
I just went to that site. They do virtual fishing. :\

26th Apr 2004, 23:21
Fresh water or sea?

If it's sea, do you get to drive a trawler
a) that's actually a cover for spying?
b) catches submarines in it's nets?

Well, that would make it more interesting!!:E

Onan the Clumsy
27th Apr 2004, 00:38
it sounded lovely Wait a minute...I thought steam trains sounded lovely and diesels were a gift from Satan

...or is it anything outmoded, or vanished is loverley? ;)

27th Apr 2004, 07:34
The enthusiasts magazines tend to have a three or four way split these days.

Modern, Preserved, Steam and narrow guage.......

and there is much debate at present regarding "National Treasures" i.e. the last class 58 built, being shipped off to France to work on construction traffic there. It has been listed for the National Collection, but loco's heading to France and Spain for construction work have a habit of not returning!

In Spain we have class 37's and 58's which have requested asylum, rather than suffer by the torch of the scrapman in the UK!

27th Apr 2004, 09:09
Evening Star, you wern't born in Swindon in 1959 by any chance?

Evening Star
27th Apr 2004, 11:30
Evening Star, you wern't born in Swindon in 1959 by any chance?

Oxford 1963. Can understand why you ask however, although that should be 1960.

27th Apr 2004, 11:52
OK point taken. Saw you a few times 1963 - 66 or so in Radstock, a bit Slow & Dirty though.

Fond of 'Pines' you were around that time.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
27th Apr 2004, 13:08
And I saw him a few years ago on the Worth Valley. A ten-coupled loco don't half screech on those sharp curves!

Used to see lots of his plain black brothers on freights around south Manchester and Cheshire in the 60s, though.

Never saw the Slow & Dirty (got a great vid, though), but used to see the 'Pines' a lot, with a Brittania on the front by the time it was getting near Manchester.


27th Apr 2004, 15:36

Our occasional "treat" at Ashton-u-Lyne was for the 14.20 double header from Leeds to Liverpool, to have a Brit on the front instead of the usual Scot/ Jub /Pat. The front engine came off at Manchester Victoria and worked back to Leeds around 17.00. However the Brits never did the return trip and one of the usual suspects substituted.

27th Apr 2004, 15:51
Even better, I got a footplate ride on 92220 a few years ago on the West Somerset Railway when it was there. :ok: Even got hold of the regulator for a few minutes. :}

Remeber lots of them on the coalies round Nottinghamshire, early 60s, together with the ex-WD 9Fs and a whole load of old Gresley J39s (mainly totally xmassed). Didn't think much of them at the time - they were just freight engines, passengfer ones were much more exciting. One makes many mistakes when young though.

Right about the squealing on the curves though, even with the 'flangeless' middle wheels - the WSR was considerably straighter by the time she left.

27th Apr 2004, 18:44
An old mate of mine was a driver at the now closed Dinting Railway Centre. On bank holiday weekends, he used to do nights, whereby the engine in steam was kept fired overnight.
After closing time, we used to go up to the yard and drive up and down the running line on one of the Jubilee's, Bahamas or Leander.:ok:

27th Apr 2004, 22:09
Nothing beats hammering down the Fast line out of Euston on a first stop Preston on an 86. Sadly no longer possible unless you work a Freightliner.

Had some brilliant runs with a brace of 86s' and 1250 odd tonnes behind.

28th Apr 2004, 08:33
Well in my spare time I make the trains for peoples trainsets! and sometimes write magazine articles too. Any proone spotters club members who want a Deltic for their mantlepiece, have a look at Bachmann UK's web site, they do a OO one which is 'acceptable' for around the 60 quid region. If you want one in a bigger scale then you'll need to see DJH for an O gauge model and you'll need someone like me to put it together for you. Any commisions I'll donate some of the money to the PPrune fund!

Any 40 sumthing spotters will recognise many of the soggy sarnies and warm pop in this, one of my favourite books that I've read, it has some parallels with plane spotting too! http://biffo.net/arts/platform/platform.htm

Right I'll get me coat, it's the one with the fur lined collar and the warm bottle of Tizer and melted Penguin bar in the pocket!.

28th Apr 2004, 10:02
Is this high speed push pull such a good idea? There were a number of articles in The Engineer (which is pretty well respected technical magazine) querying whether or not the Heck crash would have been so disastrous if the loco had hit the Landrover, rather than a light trailer car.

Having seen the photo of the 47 that hit a lorry at speed on the G &SW and stayed on the rails, I wonder. And of course, there's the cows incident on the Edinburough and Glasgow, involving a trailer car.

28th Apr 2004, 10:21
Back to the original subject: I used to travel between Peterborough and King's Cross a great deal in years gone by and always looked to see the nameplate. The ones I recall were named after racehorses - more often than not it was Crepello doing the Sunday night journey.

Totally irrelevant but in May 1956 my sister was almost born at the Tallington crossing where my parents got held up waiting for the Flying Scotsman to go through. Mum just held on long enough for the dash to Stamford...