Trains.com

Thomas Was "Bloody Useless"

4394 views
54 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2002
  • 4,497 posts
Posted by M636C on Sunday, October 2, 2022 12:04 AM

Overmod

I loved the Paddington Bear books, but I am at a loss to describe any locomotive class designed by him.

 

But he did have tea with the late Queen quite recently...

Peter

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 2,467 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Sunday, October 2, 2022 10:31 AM

Not only that, but you learn just what was in her handbag. 

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,681 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, October 2, 2022 11:33 AM

54light15

Not only that, but you learn just what was in her handbag. 

 

And I always thought she had a .455 Webley in there, just in case. Wink

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,681 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, October 2, 2022 11:57 AM

54light15
OK, those American locomotive designers may be famous amongst train buffs, but do any of them have statues like the ones of Nigel Gresley and I.K. Brunel in Paddington Station?

There's a statue of Matthias Baldwin in Philadelphia.  Unfortunately it became a target for ignorant SJW's in 2020, who apparantly didn't know anything about Baldwin other than he was a "dead white male."

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/defaced-abolitionist-statue/

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 1,123 posts
Posted by pennytrains on Sunday, October 2, 2022 5:44 PM

Too much of that happening these days.  Sad

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,681 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, October 2, 2022 7:51 PM

pennytrains

Too much of that happening these days.  Sad

 

That the problem with mob mentality.  It's infectious, it's seductive, it get's people thinking with their adrenals instead of their brains and makes them do things as part of a mob they'd never do as individuals.

Like a cattle stampede, once started impossible to stop until the energy runs out.

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • 4,497 posts
Posted by M636C on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 10:50 PM

Flintlock76

 

 
NorthBrit

I am well loved here at Leeds Sovereign Street.   Big Smile  and I can pull  Annie and Clarabel.  Whistling

 

 IMG_2302 by David Harrison, on Flickr

 

 

 

Look at the face of that useful little engine!  He doesn't care what anyone says, he's just gettin' it done!

They certainly think Thomas is useful at the Strasburg RR!  So much so that on their "Day Out With Thomas" events they call him "Thomas the BANK Engine," because as the old song says "My God how the money rolls in!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfgwySTdpv0

 

 

"We've shares in all the best companies,

in Tramways, Tobacco and Tin

in brothels in Rio de Janeiro

My God, how the money rolls in..."

I can't remember any more and I suspect much of it would not be acceptable, at least the versions I heard...

Peter

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 2,467 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 11:13 PM

And I always thought she had a .455 Webley in there, just in case. Wink 

I would have thought it would be a broom-handle Mauser- Winston carried one. 

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 2,467 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 11:14 PM

And I always thought she had a .455 Webley in there, just in case. Wink 

I would have thought it would be a broom-handle Mauser- Winston carried one but I'm sure you knew that. 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 19,413 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 5:05 AM

Ah yes, rugby songs...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eKzZVA0Eyc0

There are clean versions out there but I couldn't find one. Does anyone know the chorus for 'my typist is on her vacation' [I have of course extensively proofed the title for clarity...]

This song always makes me think of W.W.Stewart's story about the person involved with the NZR Garratts rubbing his hands together saying My God, she'll practically be puffing pound notes out of her chimney... 

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • 4,497 posts
Posted by M636C on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 7:29 AM

Overmod

Ah yes, rugby songs...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eKzZVA0Eyc0

There are clean versions out there but I couldn't find one. Does anyone know the chorus for 'my typist is on her vacation' [I have of course extensively proofed the title for clarity...]

This song always makes me think of W.W.Stewart's story about the person involved with the NZR Garratts rubbing his hands together saying My God, she'll practically be puffing pound notes out of her chimney... 

 

For those unfamiliar with W.W. Stewart's work, he was relating a story from the early days of the NZR Beyer Garratts that combined many of the worst features common in the years of their construction. Apparently a junior draftsman was tasked with calculating the combined savings in fuel cost promised by the various devices intended to increase the locomotive's efficiency. The total of the economies promised added to more than 100%, hence the comment, attributed to the then CME (who realised that the claims were, to put it politely, somewhat overstated...)

The Gresley Conjugated valve gear wasn't the worst feature, since it was retained on the six Pacifics rebuilt from the three Garratts.

Peter

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 19,413 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 8:10 AM

In my opinion the NZR locomotives were among the best designs of all Garratts... just not good designs for the contemporary NZR.  North Americans might compare them with the Erie Triplex and the PRR HC1 as just too big and powerful for their own good... or PRR's Big Liz who even in pusher service produced all sorts of mayhem with some of the interchange stock...

I'm still sad that Oz abandoned three-cylinder power without solving the shaft-whip problems with their ingenious rotating-shaft version of conjugated valve gear.  All that was really needful was to use larger-section tube (on the principle of hollow axles but larger diameter) ideally with larger rolling-element bearings with ratcheting cages and the job would have been done... 

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,681 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 9:12 AM

54light15

And I always thought she had a .455 Webley in there, just in case. Wink 

I would have thought it would be a broom-handle Mauser- Winston carried one but I'm sure you knew that. 

 

That's right, he did!  At the Battle of Omdurman.

However, Winston ditched the Mauser when the Colt 1911 came along and carried one of those, a much superior pistol. In some photos of Winston taken during WW2 when he visited the fronts you can see the outline of the Colt though his jacket. I've handled the Mauser, OK for it's time but really over-engineered.  I'm surprised it stayed as popular as it did when better things came along.

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 2,467 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 10:04 AM

My father said the same thing- he owned one in the 1940s and told me that it was easy to take apart but you needed five hands to put it back together. I recall one with the wooden stock being used by the bad guys in an episode of Hawaii 5-0. 

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 12,953 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 10:09 AM

Overmod

Ah yes, rugby songs...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eKzZVA0Eyc0

There are clean versions out there but I couldn't find one.

Of course not, they don't exist.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,681 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 10:44 AM

54light15
My father said the same thing- he owned one in the 1940s and told me that it was easy to take apart but you needed five hands to put it back together.

Bingo!  The same thing happened to me when I worked in a gunshop in the 80's. Easy to take apart but a nightmare getting it back together again. Bang Head

The 1896 Mauser pistol with the wood stock was very popular in China though.  In fact in the movie "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" the Chinese guerrilla leader "Charlie" who helps the crew of "The Ruptured Duck" after they crash carries one, a nice attention to detail by the film makers!

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 2,467 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 11:38 AM

They are also used in the BBC series, "Peaky Blinders," and I recall one with the wooden stock in an early episode. To get back to trains, there are quite a few railway scenes filmed on the Keighley and Worth Valley railway. I've been there, it's a good one. 

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,681 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 11:43 AM

One last thing on the Mauser.  Han Solo's "blaster" in "Star Wars" is a dressed-up 1896 Mauser.  As an aside, some of the Imperial Stormtroopers are carrying dressed-up Lewis guns!  

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 2,467 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 4:49 PM

Here's a question for you- Lewis guns are used in Peaky Blinders and also the film, "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" in both, men are holding them by hand and firing them, no tripods- was that possible? In both cases they have that cooling sleeve around the barrel unlike an aviation model. I do recall that about Han Solo's pistol. 

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,681 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 6:37 PM

54light15
Here's a question for you- Lewis guns are used in Peaky Blinders and also the film, "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" in both, men are holding them by hand and firing them, no tripods- was that possible?

Yes!  In fact the Lewis towards the end of WW1 was used as a squad automatic weapon in the manner the Bren gun and BAR would be used in WW2.  It's definately possible to shoot a Lewis with a hand hold and no bipod or tripod. 

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 1,065 posts
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 10:54 PM

The Lewis was the first light machine gun - one that could be carried across no man's land, be fired by one man in the assault and then used to defend the captured position against the counter attack - to see wide spread use. The British assigned one to a team of gunner and assistant gunner, who carried more ammunition and spare parts. This is compared to a four man team for the Vickers, Commander, Gunner (who carried the tripod), Assistant Gunner (who carried the gun itself) and Ammunition Bearer (who carried the Water filled cooling can and additional amminition) - in practice, as many riflemen as possible were detailed to carry more ammunition. The Lewis so impressed the Germans that they used all the captured ones they could get and even issued a German translation of the British manual and some were converted from .303 Enfield to 7.92mm Mauser. By 1916, the Lewis had completely supplanted the Vickers in Infantry battalions, and by 1918 each battalion had two in each of its 16 platoons (4 companies of four platoons) and 4 under direct control of battalion to reinforce critical sectors, for a total of 36 (12 Battalions per Division = 432). Not bad for a gun the British had originally not wanted. The Vickers - now considered a heavy machine gun - were consolidated into divisional Machine Gun battalions of four companies of four platoons of four guns each for a total of 64 to support the infantry. "Saul has slain his thousands, but David his tens of thousands" 1 Samuel 17 

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,681 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, October 6, 2022 8:02 AM

BEAUSABRE
Not bad for a gun the British had originally not wanted.

Maybe the Brits were cool on it at first, but in fact it was the US Army that didn't want it at all.  Ironic since Captain Isaac Lewis (who designed the gun) was an American and a US Army officer.

By the time WW1 came along the US Army had changed their minds and tried to get Lewis guns but the British said no.  "Sorry lads, we can barely make enough for our own people, much less someone else!" 

A little loading and live-fire Lewis demonstration.

(Shooters two and three exercise a little more fire discipline than shooter one.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO5fptjmsgU

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 1,065 posts
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Thursday, October 6, 2022 4:24 PM

1) Isaac Newton Lewis was a retired Colonel

2) The design originated with Samuel McClean whose finnacial backers took over the rights when he could do nothing with his idea (his prototype was a watercooled gun) and hiredd Lewis to turn it into something practical

3) Reason the US Army didn't want the Lewis was because the prototype guns had violent extraction that tore the rear of the carridge case off - requiring a special tooland sometimes the services of an armorer  to extract the blown cartridge case. BSA is supposed to have modified the design to have gentler extraction on the British weapon. And yes, I know about the Crozier - Lewis feud, but there is more to the US Lewis story than just that'

4) As for the US requesting British Lewis Guns, that's a new one on me/ Do you have a source for that?

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,681 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, October 6, 2022 5:10 PM

BEAUSABRE
As for the US requesting British Lewis Guns, that's a new one on me/ Do you have a source for that?

Nothing I can quote directly unfortunately.  I read it in a magazine article about the Lewis gun decades (literally) ago and don't remember where. 

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • 4,497 posts
Posted by M636C on Thursday, October 6, 2022 7:20 PM

I recall my father telling me that he was posted to the stone pylons on the Sydney Harbour Bridge with Lewis Guns while they were waiting for delivery of Mk III 40mm/60 Bofors guns (I assume in 1940).

For those unfamiliar, the bridge is similar to the Hell Gate bridge, but had six road lanes as well as four rail tracks, and there are four separate towers owing to the greater width.

Peter

 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy