Tuesday 30 April 2024

Bullleid’s Clever Collapsing Loco

Very occasionally the rather unusual Q1 Class locomotive would visit Combwich. And here we see Guildford shed’s 33019 departing with a goods train for Poole. 

They were very clever in that they could be folded almost flat like a camera bellows to save space in busy engine sheds. Lighting the fire would of course build up boiler pressure, which in turn would allow the engine to expand. At the end of the shift, the reverse would happen as the engine cooled down. That Oliver Bulleid was a clever chap indeed, I’m sure you’ll agree. But sadly he never extended (pun there) the same design element to the water tender. 

In unlikely event of ahead on collision, the engine would collapse in upon itself, making it very safe in the event of such an incident in the hands of a reckless crew under the influence of moonshine. Though of course such behaviour wasn’t generally accepted even in those far off days. 

Note the 405 line VHF television aerial extending out of the cab roof which allowed the crew and those in first class to watch television whilst the train was on the move. Alas bridges could occasionally be an issue if the crew forgot to lower the aerial in time, so for this reason such modern onboard entertainment was short lived. 


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