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phill
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Well i have read an interesting article in the Hornby Mag this month and i thought i would share it with those you do not get the mag or if you do but never read it for some reason.

Again it will be in my own words so no copyright worries Bob.

What i find strange and the more i research various things to do with the Railway i find what a load of money was wasted every time a new Loco or Engine was built, only to find it did not meet the future needs and so was scraped. Why not research more and think of what the future may or may not hold;d and then maybe money would be saved and maybe just maybe the railways today would still be thriving, instead of the mass cuts that have occurred.

Anyhow back in the late 60's designers were looking at the next lot of power full loco's which would be capable of what they thought would be the kind of Loco for the work to come in the 70's.

The railway at this time (60,s) where almost heavy or fast diesel or electric traffic Loco's. Two of the power house's were the Deltics and Western Regions Westerns. Both had 2 engines for power, this led to a very expensive maintenance programme on them. So BR published a draft of what they wanted, which was a Locomotive of 3,000hp. This would have to be a single engine and be capable of use on mixed traffic. The challenge was taken by Brush Traction. Enter the KESTREL.The power source for this baby was a Sulzer 16LVA24, this gave 4,000hp via 16 cylinders arranged in 2 v shaped banks.

The Kestrel was handed over at Marlyebone on January 29th 1968 and was sent for testing at the Northern End of the West Coast Mainline. After which it was put to work at Tinsley Depot in Sheffield pulling heavy trains from Nottinghamshire coalfield. Often pulling 1,600 ton trains twice a day. This was done 5 days a week, between Mansfield Colliery and Whitemoor yard. Further tests where carried and this saw the Kestrel pulling a increased work load of up to 2,028 tons.

Sadly thou before all of its various trials were complete it was obsolete, having decided that they wanted future express trains were to be of a fixed formation with a Loco at each end, this was achieved a few years later with the introduction of the HST. So it was sent to Cardiff docks and from there it was shipped to Russia. What has happened to it is very vague. The shell is known to have survived until around 1993 when it was dismantled, suffering from heavy corrosion.

So as i say why ask for something, spend thousands when it has been build and then scrap it later for something else, tut what money was wasted over the years and they wonder why the railways was losing money hand over fist.

If you go on this link then there is more on the Kestrel.

http://www.derbysulzers.com/HS4000.html

Do anyone know if a model has been made?.

Phill

 

 

 

 

 

Last edited on Wed Dec 2nd, 2009 04:44 am by phill

Sol
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Phill, Heljan did a Kestrel model
http://www.kernowmodelrailcentre.com/product/25215/40001_Heljan_Kestrel_CoCo_Diesel_Locomotive_number_HS4000

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You also have to remember Phill that part of the research process is running a prototype.  Things can look amazing on paper and in theory but then in practice something does not work as well as the designer has claimed.

In many cases the traffic that the prototypes were built for vanished before the end of the trial!

Many of the prototypes were actually built by the manufacturer as demonstrators to show off their wares and hopefully entice railway companies to by more of them.

There is no doubt that the railway management of the 1950s wasted a lot of money.  As diesel on rail was a new technology at the time the Pilot Scheme was a good way of proving what would and would not work.  They then messed up by placing large follow on orders before actually having proved what were sound designs, in some cases before the prototype had even turned a wheel!

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Dont forget about the class 89 electric loco again another brush product although the shell was built by brel at crewe. This loco was to have been the basis of the new fleet for the ECML electrification but as it was being built the plan changed in favour of the class 91's. Ironic thing is however the 89 had a top speed of 125mph whilst the 91's were designed for 140mph opperation yet in the past 21 years of use they have never run above 125mph in normal service! Doubt that the 89 would have suffered the same adhesion problems that the 91's had when new either.


                 

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