AN ENGINE MATCH BETWEEN ENGLAND AND AMERICA.

A WORLD'S RECORD FOR ENGLAND.

By Frederick A. Talbot.

THE START—HOW THE AMERICAN ENGINE LOOKED AT 7 A.M.

THE START—HOW THE AMERICAN ENGINE LOOKED AT 7 A.M.

That anomalous principle, friendly rivalry, which exists between the various railway companies of the world, is responsible for many extraordinary performances.

One of the most interesting, and certainly one of the most curious, of these has been the attempt by three different companies—two on this side of the water, and one on the other—to erect a locomotive in less than twenty-four hours, and so far the palm has to be awarded to an English company.

By building is simply meant the assembling of the thousand and one intricacies that constitute the iron steed of to-day, and not the manufacture of these innumerable parts, as it is perfectly obvious, even to the most uninitiated, that such a feat is absolutely impossible, under the present circumstances, in such a brief space of time. The accomplishment of such brilliant performances, however, speaks volumes for the skill, efficiency, and pride of the men engaged in such herculean tasks; the organisations of the railroads; the good feeling prevalent between the masters and the men; and lastly, but by no means least, the splendid standard of perfection attained by the gigantic machinery for the execution of the work with precision and thorough regard to gauge, thus enabling the parts to fit as accurately, and move as smoothly, as the cog-wheels of a watch.

The first record-breaking in this direction was attempted so far back as February 1878, by J. Deans, the well-known engineer of the London and North-Western Railway, and the engineering works of this company at Crewe. The class of engine selected for the operations was one of their standard coupled six-wheeled goods engines.

THE ENGINE AT 12 O'CLOCK, AFTER 5 HOURS' WORK. THE ENGINE AT 12 O'CLOCK, AFTER 5 HOURS' WORK.

The engine was taken out of the erecting shop, complete in every detail, having been erected in the extremely short time of 25 hours 30 minutes. It may be as well to mention that only the actual working time devoted to the engines is considered, and although about two and a half days elapsed before the engine was completed, only 25-1/2 hours were really occupied in its erection. That same day the engine ran a trial trip, and was afterwards sent back to the shops for a final coat of paint.

RESULT OF 10 HOURS' WORK ON THE ENGINE. RESULT OF 10 HOURS' WORK ON THE ENGINE.

Some ten years elapsed after the establishment of this record before another effort was made to erect an engine within twenty-four hours. On this occasion it was the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, one of the largest railroad companies in the United States, possessing over 8,000 miles of railway track, which is about equal in extent to almost three of our leading railway systems combined. The engine selected on this occasion was also a tank of the light passenger type, with cylinders 17 inches in diameter and a 24-inch stroke, driving wheels 62 inches in diameter, and with a total weight when in complete working order of 96,300 lbs., or about 43 tons. It was erected under the supervision of Mr. F. L. Sheppard, General Superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, at the company's works at Altoona, Pennsylvania.

FINISHED!—THIS ENGINE WAS BUILT IN 16 HOURS 50 MINUTES. FINISHED!—THIS ENGINE WAS BUILT IN 16 HOURS 50 MINUTES.

Although in this instance the engine was a little more complicated than that erected at Crewe, owing to the bogie-wheel provision in the fore part of the engine, it cannot be said, on the whole, to have been such a brilliant performance as that accomplished at Crewe; for whereas in the London and North-Western sheds, when the commencement was made, the frame plates were simply lying on the trestles without any attachments of any description whatever, at the Altoona works, when operations were commenced at 7 a.m. on Monday, June 18th, 1888, not only were the frame plates in position, duly riveted or bolted, and complete with cross bars, but the cylinders were also accurately placed.

GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY ENGINE AFTER 3 HOURS 52 MINUTES' WORK. GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY ENGINE AFTER 3 HOURS 52 MINUTES' WORK.

Now, considering that in the effort at Crewe these operations alone occupied over six hours, it is absolutely impossible to place the Altoona experiment on all fours with the London and North-Western performance of 1878.

In the case of the American engine the foundations were practically completed before it entered the erecting shed.

Under these circumstances the first thing that the workmen had to do was to place the boiler in position upon the prepared frame, which had the majority of the tubes and fittings in position before it was placed in the hands of the engine-erectors. At twelve o'clock noon, however, after five hours' work, it was safely fixed, and the hardest part of the undertaking was thus successfully accomplished. Up to this stage, as will be seen from the illustrations, the whole of the engine so far erected was resting upon those little unpretentious, though indispensable, mechanical contrivances—jacks. These had now to be removed to make way for the wheels which were ready waiting to be inserted. Part of the motion was also installed, as well as the cow-catcher and cab.

GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY ENGINE BUILT IN 8 HOURS 22
MINUTES. GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY ENGINE BUILT IN 8 HOURS 22 MINUTES.

While these operations were in progress, an army of painters had entered upon the scene with their pots and brushes, and soon were displaying the arts of their craft upon the barrel of the boiler. The change of colour between the painted and unpainted portions is easily distinguishable in our illustration on page 652.

A FOUR HOURS OLD TENDER. A FOUR HOURS OLD TENDER.

When the men arrived at their work at seven o'clock on the following morning, they had only to put the finishing touches to the engine, such as the funnel, dome, the remainder of the motion, and other minor adjustments, while the painters gave the entire engine a complete coat of paint. At ten minutes to three in the afternoon of the same day the engine was completed, with steam up ready for trial, having been erected in 16 hours 50 minutes, thus beating the London and North-Western record by some eight and a half hours; and although it cannot be contrasted with the accomplishment at Crewe, yet it is still a wonderful performance.

The English locomotive builders, however, were determined to wrest the laurels away from the American company, and thus retrieve their paramount position. In December 1891, the Great Eastern Railway Company, which has been the pioneer in many ramifications pertaining to railway matters, entered the field of the competition, and succeeded in establishing a record which completely eclipses the wonderful performances at Crewe and Altoona. In this last instance an engine was erected in the phenomenally short time of ten hours. The Great Eastern, however, besides lowering one record, created another at the same time. In the previous efforts, the engines erected had been only tanks, but the latest competitors beat the record with an engine and tender!

THIS TENDER WAS BUILT IN NINE HOURS. THIS TENDER WAS BUILT IN NINE HOURS.

The engine erected was one of the six-wheel coupled goods type, of which there are between two and three hundred in existence already upon the Great Eastern Railway system. The cylinders are 17-1/2 inches in diameter, with a stroke of 24 inches, while the coupled wheels are 57 inches in diameter. When running in complete working order, the engine itself weighs 37 tons 2 cwt., augmented to 67 tons 12 cwt. with the tender. The latter has a capacity for 2,640 gallons of water, and three tons of coal.

The engineering works of the company at Stratford was the scene of the remarkable engineering feat conducted under the superintendence of Mr. James Holden, the designer of the style of engine selected, and also the chief engineer to the Great Eastern Railway.

The commencement was made at eight minutes past nine on the morning of Thursday, December 10th. The start was similar to that at Crewe, with the frame plates lying on the ground with nothing more attached to them than the horn blocks and spring brackets. The number of men employed in constructing the engine was 85, including 39 fitters, assisted by 3 boys, 2 smiths, and 44 boiler makers, riveters, etc.

At eleven minutes after the word was given to commence, the first rivet was driven into the frames; nine minutes later, the foot-plate casting was fixed, and at twenty-six minutes after the start the motion plate was placed in position. The cylinders came next, and occupied another fifty minutes for their insertion in the requisite place.

At twelve o'clock, when the men left off work for their dinner, they had been four hours all but eight minutes upon the task.

It will be seen in our illustration that the fundamental parts of the base of the engine are completed, while the wheels are standing on the rails at the foremost end ready for adjustment. These were inserted soon after the men resumed operations after dinner, the frame of the engine being raised by means of the jacks to a height sufficient to allow the wheels being rolled along to the necessary position. The axle boxes, connecting-rod, and coupling-rod brasses were shortly afterwards fixed.

Previous to the installation of the wheels, the boiler was brought into the shed and mounted upon the frame. It was without the smoke-box, cab, or copings, which had to be fixed subsequently. At 4.15 p.m. the men were engaged in setting the valves, which task was still incomplete when they ceased work for the day, after 8 hours 22 minutes had been expended upon the engine. The engine at this stage is represented in our illustration, being, as will be seen, almost complete.

The next morning, when work was recommenced at six o'clock, the valve setting was continued, not being completed until seven o'clock. The painters now appeared, the engineers placed the finishing touches, and at ten minutes past nine, 9 hours 47 minutes from the start, the engine was complete.

THE GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY BEAT THE WORLD'S RECORD BY
PUTTING THIS ENGINE AND TENDER TOGETHER IN 9 HOURS 47 MINUTES. THE GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY BEAT THE WORLD'S RECORD BY PUTTING THIS ENGINE AND TENDER TOGETHER IN 9 HOURS 47 MINUTES.

While this hive of workmen were engaged upon the engine, another army of workers were just as busily engaged upon the erection of the tender.

The men worked away with a will, and in four hours they had the tender half completed, and succeeded in finishing their entire task three-quarters of an hour before their fellow workmen engaged on the engine. Fifty-two men were engaged upon the erection of the tender, comprising sixteen fitters, the same number of boiler-makers, and twenty labourers, riveters, etc.

As soon as the engine was finished it was connected with the tender and taken out of the shops to be photographed. Meanwhile, steam had been supplied, and later in the same day the trial trip was performed. This being satisfactory in every particular, the engine was immediately placed upon the regular goods service running between Peterborough and London.