1950 Britannia wooden mock up

1950 Britannia full scale wooden mock-up
Taken from the Febuary 1950 issue of "The Model Railway News"
A full size mock-up has been constructed of one of the new standard steam locomotives to be built in 1951 for British Railways.
This shows all of the relevant detail from the front of the firebox as far back as the middle of the tender and all of the controls and fittings in the cab are reproduced as they will be seen and handled by the driver and fireman of the future.

Locomotive inspectors, trade union representatives and engine drivers from all the regions of British Railways were invited to the London headquarters of the Executive where the mock-up is housed. They saw for themselves how maximum safety and welfare of drivers and firemen will be sought in the first British Railways standard locomotives.
Although the design is completely new, it embodies what are considered to be the best practices from each of the railway regions plus several new ideas, and regard has been paid to suggestions already made by members of the railway staff and the trade unions. The comments which the visitors have made will be most carefully considered when the final drawings come to be prepared.
The arrangement of the fittings in the cab is intended to be representative of what will be provided in all twelve standard locomotive types eventually to be built.

The objective of the design is to provide a locomotive cab in which the driver, completely protected from the weather, has all of his controls so placed that he is able to operate them without leaving his seat and without taking his eyes off the track ahead. The fittings under the fireman´s control are conveniently grouped on his side of the cab, for both men, special provision has been made for locker accommodation, including a stainless steel lined cupboard for food with
double doors to exclude dirt, and a special feature is that the usual moveable flap between between engine and tender is eliminated, giving a firm, level floor for the fireman to work on.

Features of the mock-up were explained to the representative enginemen by Mr R.A.Riddles, member of the Railway Executive responsible for the mechanical and electrical engineering matters, and by Mr.E.S.Cox, the Executive Officer for design, and questions were encouraged and answered.

Technical Features
The following are some of the objects sought after in the arrangement of the mock-up :-

1. To take the steam manifold, the majority of steam pipes and valves and the regulator gland outside the cab, as a contribution to keeping it cool and free from leaks and also to improve accessibility.

2. To present the simplest possible layout of fittings, grouping on the drivers side those controls for which he is responsible, and placing on the firemans side those appropriate to his duties.

3. To provide a firm, level floor right back to the tender by extending the footplate rearward and eliminating the hinged fall-plate. this also allows the provision of better side doors.

4. By securing the cab to the boiler instead of to the main frame to eliminate relative movements, and thus to enable floorboards and cab front to fit snugly up to boiler.

5. On the drivers side, a new arrangement of reversing wheeland vacuum brake valve endeavours to give more room and greater convenience.

6. The blower valve is placed in a position instantly operable by either driver or fireman as the need arises.

7. The injectors are secured to the firebox in accessible positions, and steam and delivery pipes are carried on firebox and boiler, thus avoiding relative movement
and undue vibration. The controls to both injectors are on the firemans side, and both overflows are visible on that side.

8. Large front windows are provided, free of obstruction and set at an angle to avoid glare. The front side windows are moveable so that the outside of the front windows can easily be cleaned from inside the cab.

9. The tender front carries the following features :
(a) Large folding doors for access to the coal space.
(b) Vertical handles for brake and water pick up.
(c) Rear windows with clear vision along inset coal bunker for setting back.
(d) large-sized tunnel for firing-tools.
(e) Separate locker lined with stainless steel for food.
(f) Large locker for clothing. In addition there are on the engine, lockers for bucket, brush, spanners, etc. on the one hand, and for oil bottles on the other, with removable floors for cleaning purposes.
(g) Positive water-level pointer, operated by float mechanism.

10. The controls for the rocking grate are sunk below floorboard level with substantial cover plates, so the draught and dust will not blow up from that source. The control for the self-emptying ash pan doors is at ground level on the left-hand side of the engine.

11. Ashpan damper doors are provided at the front only and are operated by a single wheel. the amount of opening can be seen by day and felt by night by the amount of screw which protrudes.

12. A large sliding door in the cab roof, the provision of large side windows, all of them able to be opened, and the absence of cowling between engine and the tender will, it is hoped, help keep the cab well ventilated and cool.

The photographs are reproduced by courtesy of British Railways.

(original text by J.N.Maskelyne).

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