Re: Slip Coaches: Back When British Express Trains Detached Passenger Cars at Speed
Author: Ed Workman
Date: 07-08-2018 - 13:17
Britain was slow to adopt brakes other than hand brakes
In 1879 the Board of Trade decreed that Rys install 'continuous brakes'
Westinghouse started his demos ca 1871, there was a large competition at Newark in 1874 and GW greatly aided Capt Galton in his landmark investigations of 1879. Newark and the Galton experiments clearly showed the superiority of WAB, if one's criteria was safely stopping trains i.e.; quickly.
BoT told the Rys to submit reports and many Cos lied or submitted scraps.
Brake 'failure' was interpreted without much standard; the brake name helped considerably in some cases.
When it became obvious that the Westinghouse Automatic was the only worthwhile brake, the good old boys bent every effort against it, until a certified Britain could come up with a vacuum brake.
Now as to slipping
As the Brits were slow to adopt continuous brakes, several guards were present, proportional to the number of carriages. Slips were almost all done on multi-track lines- one of the early 'beliefs' was that a single track could not sustain operation.
So real stations hgad a signal box at each end, save small stations for which one sufficed. Voila , cut off, coast ahndbrake in the stubend track on the other side of the platform. No shunting, until the other direction train came to pick it up. I have trouble keeping track of direction, and there were only two UP and Down, but I think UP is toward London, and the DOWN trains, going away, were slipped. Google is your friend.
THe other choice was to put all the brakes in one , or a few cars, such as a 'Brake Second" and pipe to it/them.
Eventually passenger stock got vac brakes, with a few holdouts in the northeast that kept WAB AUto. There was mauch shared stock for trains from say Manchester to Edinburg that were fitted with BoOTH types. THe vac brake was a pos compared to WAB and freight wagons remained essentially small, 4 wheeled unbraked, for silly, made-up reasons. That meant the Guards in the Brake Vans screwed down the brakes on signal, and the adhesive weight of the vans plus the locomotive was the only effective use of the tare.
Passenger trains were run at high speeds despite reduced efficiency compared to air and the double large heavy equipment that had to be pulled, but wagons got no brakes until after nationalisation , in the late 50s.
To modernize BR to compete with other modes - actually to save the Rys at all in fact, BR faced scrapping of steam locomotives, some ancient, some very new, and 800,000 POS wagons.
Hundreds of those wagons, maybe 1000s, saved dozens of steam locomotive from scrap long enough to be purchased, rebuilt and run currently on the preservation railways.
At the Barry scrapyard it was just so much easier to cut up wagons and ship the pieces
Museums only, even in India which tried like SsOB to make it work on heavy freight trains of bogie wagons on steep grades.
Much of the brake story of Britain involves Stupid, Lying, etc.