On The Settle & Carlisle Line 'The Duke' storms through the twilight at Smardale The New Concrete Arch

Concrete Arch

The concrete arch in the firebox, installed during restoration, reached the end of its satisfactory life in 1991. It had been cast without an official drawing, at an angle obtained by 'rule of thumb' - taking a projected line from where the arch would meet the lower part of the combustion chamber towards the rear top corner of the firebox. The profile from centre to sides was tailored to suit the studs in the sides of the box which support the arch. This produced a slightly unusual shape, being fairly "flat" against the throatplate, but with greater curvature towards the rear nearer the firehole door. 'The Duke' steamed well with it.

When a new arch was cast in 1991, the BR arrangement drawing was to hand, but difficulty was experienced in making formers to achieve the correct upward angle and correct arch shape. As time was limited in the preparation for a new season a compromise was reached, although the resulting arch was neither as high nor as flat in shape as it should have been. It appeared to be satisfactory, but in practice this did not prove to be quite the case. Unhappily, whilst 'The Duke' still performed well in the hands of skilled firemen, it did not seem to have the same margin, in terms of steaming capability, to compensate for poor quality coal or less skilled firing, that it had shown previously.

At the end of 1992, there was more time to look into this matter. The arch was compared carefully with the BR drawing and was found to be significantly lower than it should have been! The subsequent demolition revealed that the (original) studs in the sides of the firebox, which support the arch, were not only lower than on the drawing but also at the wrong angle! This discovery prompted two questions - did 'The Duke' run with an unsuitable arch in BR days' and if so, did this compound the problem with the original front end? Given the experience outlined above, the only answer to both questions is "yes".

Later another arch was cast, higher in the box, using formers to the 'designed' profile, but incorporating flat vertical side sections extending down to, and covering, the studs. The angle was adjusted by raising the height at the rear. This appears to be completely satisfactory.

Headlamps and Other Equipment

'The Duke' has purpose built electric headlamps and sidelamps, made from original oil lamp cases by John Beesley. These present an appearance as authentic as possible. Most importantly, the headlamps meet the specifications necessary to have a maximum permitted speed of 90 MPH.

'The Duke' is fitted with a steam turbo-generator supplying 24 volt A.C. electricity and an alternative 24 volt A.C. supply is provided by a Diesel generator underneath the Support Coach, which also supplies 240 volt A.C. electricity for coach services. A radiotelephone, on the locomotive, connected to the Railway Network. A B.R. Railtrack radiotelephone is fitted in The Duke's cab and there is a "hard line" intercom system, from locomotive to support coach, to enable communication between footplate staff and support crew.

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