Taff Vale 4-4-0 Locomotives in Great_Britain

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class I (Locobase 10432)

Data from "Tank Locomotive for the Taff Vale Railway", Engineering, Volume 39 (27 March 1885), pp. 266, 312-314.

T Hurry Riches served for years as the TVR's locomotive superintendent and from the start seems to have sought the best performance from all of his locomotives. Better known for a long string of 0-6-2T engines, the TVR built this trio four-coupled with bogie tanks in 1884-1885.

Riches adopted a "special form" of blast orifice and a multi-link bogie centering system that may have been unique. The orifice opening could be enlarged by 1/2" (12.7 mm) and shortened by "a couple of inches." He reported that experiments showed that "this blast has enabled goods engines to work at a reduction of fuel of as much as 4 lb to 5 lb per mile compared to the ordinary form of blast.

The bogie was "so arranged" that all of its weight could be carried by eight radiating links, "which compensate one another and allow the bogie frame to arrange itself to any cant of the road without being affected by the main engine frame." Riches noted that allowing 3 1/2" of lateral play and the ability to turn freely upon the centre, in combination with this link setup made the class "very free running in curves."

Other features included a wheel flange lubrication system and a boiler-fed jet of water to wash the rails when needed. The latter had been "found to answer well and save ...a considerable quantity of sand."

All three locomotives were taken into the Great Western upon grouping in 1923. They were renumbered, but remained in service only until 1925.

Class Motor train (Locobase 20731)

Data from "Passenger Tank Engines, Taff Vale Railway," Locomotive Magazine, Volume 21 (14 October 1916), pp. 205-206. See also "New Motor Train for the Taff Vale Railway", Model Engineer and Electrician, Volume XIX [19], No 389 (8 October 1908), p. 353.

See Locobases 10590 and 10407 for earlier, smaller rail-motor designs for the Taff Vale. Of decent size and wheel diameter for a passenger engine on a coal and mineral railway, the TVR's trio of 4-4-0 tanks (Locobase 10432 later took up auto-train duties.

This entailed semi-permanently coupling each end of the locomotive to one end of a specially modified coach. The resulting vehicle could be driven from either end. These trains measured 162 ft 5 1/2 in overall and accommodated sixteen first-class and 102 third-class passengers.

In 1908, T Hurry Riches--locomotive , carriage and wagon superintendent--claimed the rail motor-car system was "greatly in advance of anything yet attempted by any other railway." By 1908, the number of "journeys" (trips) had reached 2 million per year and the cars aggregated 360,000 miles (579, 600 km) per annum. On average, each car managed 198 journeys daily over a total of 1,166 miles (1,877 km) and carrying 6,422 passengers a days (32 passengers per journey).

Riches didn't calculate the average trip length, but Locobase figures an average length of 5.9 miles (9.5 km). Was this the average trip for a passenger or an average run length over such segments as Cardiff and Penarth, Cardiff and Cadoxton or Pontypridd and Aberthaw?

In 1914, the class received new boilers. After the Great Western absorbed the TVR in the 1922-1923 Grouping, these smaller tanks were soon retired.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassIMotor train
Locobase ID10432 20731
RailroadTaff ValeTaff Vale
CountryGreat BritainGreat Britain
Number in Class31
Road Numbers284-286
Number Built31
BuilderCardiffTaff Vale
Valve GearStephensonWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 7.83 / 2.39 7.83 / 2.39
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)20.54 / 6.2620.54 / 6.26
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.38 0.38
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)20.54 / 6.26162.46 / 49.52
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)67,200 / 30,481
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)98,560 / 44,706101,696 / 46,129
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)98,560 / 44,706
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)1152 / 4.36
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 1.40 / 1
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)56 / 28
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)63 / 160063 / 1600
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)140 / 9.70140 / 9.70
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)16" x 24" / 406x61016" x 24" / 406x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)11,605 / 5263.9511,605 / 5263.95
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 5.79
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)194 - 1.75" / 44232 - 1.625" / 41
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)10.25 / 3.12 4.08 / 1.24
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)81.72 / 7.5963 / 5.85
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)16 / 1.4910 / 0.93
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)956 / 88.82465 / 43.20
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)956 / 88.82465 / 43.20
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume171.1783.26
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation22401400
Same as above plus superheater percentage22401400
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area11,4418820
Power L135922053
Power MT235.68

All material Copyright © SteamLocomotive.com
Wes Barris