Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Royal Arsenal and Narrow Gauge

This piece is the fourth of six parts delving into the history of the narrow gauge railway at the Royal Arsenal.  Subscribe by email to this blog (on the right of this page) to read the further installments. 

All the Class were constructed with outside frames to accommodate the 25in. dia wheels, at the Arsenal gauge of 18in. and the now standard axles centres of 3ft. 3in.

Operating at a steam pressure of 160 lbs/sq. in. Walschaerts valve gear was employed to the 8½ dia. by 12in. stroke cylinders.

The oil-fired units had a side tank water capacity of 260 gallons, a balance pipe connecting the two tanks, boiler feed by two Craven & Chesham injectors.

The rear portion of each tank sectioned off for 50 gallons of light fuel oil, which was preheated via a steam coil before atomisation through a Kermode burner. It is presumed that on the coal fired units; this 'oil tank' would have served as coalbunker.

Overall the Charlton’s were a sturdy and presentable locomotive, with a tractive effort of 4,980 lbs. They were quite happy to work around curves of 35ft. radius and could manage a tight bend of 25ft. if required.

Text (c) by Robin Parkinson and Mark Smithers.

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