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What if Stanier had got the CME job at Swindon instead of Collett

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Eyersey468

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How much difference would there have been to GWR motive power policy if Stanier had got the CME job at Swindon instead of Collett?
 
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Eyersey468

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And what differences would have happened to LMS motive power without Stanier..........
I'm not sure to be honest as there would probably still have been the rivalry with the LNER and the races to the North
 

UrieS15

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If Stanier remained a GWR man, I suspect we would have seen things that look like his LMS creations in GWR colours.
I wonder if he would have taken advantage of the slightly more generous loading gauge, or would have opted for the ability to go anywhere by sticking to the tighter limits?
 

randyrippley

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Things would only have changed if he was able to overcome the GWR weight restrictions and antipathy towards pacifics.
If he'd been limited to 4-6-0 then little would have been different
 

Irascible

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Most of Colletts actual engineering was done by Hawksworth, iirc - Collett did stagnate matters a little, but it could be argued that Churchward left the GW in a good enough state that it didn't matter. I suspect Stanier would have made some advances in boilers & valve gear as he did at the LMS ( Hawksworth modelled his County boiler on the LMS 8F so there was some cross back again as it is ) but the basic set of existing classes was what the GWR needed - so I wonder if he would have turned his eyes to more novel technology.

We'd have never got the Coronations, which would be a terrible loss - but yes, who would have got the LMS job? maybe Crewe would finally have got someone in given H P Beames spent a lot of time as almost-CME ( although one has to wonder why he missed being CME of both the post 1922 LNWR & the early LMS ).
 
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delt1c

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We could have had the Coronations but in a GWR version.however who would have taken over LMS and what they would have built is another question.
 

Gloster

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R A Riddles anyone, after all he was appointed as Staniers principal assistant in 1933.
However compétant Riddles was, you were still in an era and industry where age and experience weighed heavily. Unfortunately, he was fifteen to twenty years younger than other candidates.
 

Bevan Price

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Most of Colletts actual engineering was done by Hawksworth, iirc - Collett did stagnate matters a little, but it could be argued that Churchward left the GW in a good enough state that it didn't matter. I suspect Stanier would have made some advances in boilers & valve gear as he did at the LMS ( Hawksworth modelled his County boiler on the LMS 8F so there was some cross back again as it is ) but the basic set of existing classes was what the GWR needed - so I wonder if he would have turned his eyes to more novel technology.

We'd have never got the Coronations, which would be a terrible loss - but yes, who would have got the LMS job? maybe Crewe would finally have got someone in given H P Beames spent a lot of time as almost-CME ( although one has to wonder why he missed being CME of both the post 1922 LNWR & the early LMS ).
The early LMSR was dominated by Derby.
On formation of LMSR, George Hughes was the senior CME, but I believe he decided he was too close to retiring age to accept the post, so they chose Fowler, the CME at Derby.

Ernest Lemon replaced Fowler for a short period, but moved to "higher duties". It is pure guesswork about the next choice if it had not been Stanier - they might have recruited someone externally, or Fairburn might have got the job a few years earlier than actually happened. In that case, he might have pursued main line electrification much earlier than actually happened. (Fairburn was a trained electrical engineer.)

(Remember that both Fairburn and HG Ivatt both got the LMSR CME job in preference to Riddles)
 

John Webb

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It seems it was Lord Stamp, LMS Chairman, who brought in Stanier from the GWR, in part to overcome the infighting in the LMS between the Crewe and Derby factions!
 

webbfan

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The early LMSR was dominated by Derby.
On formation of LMSR, George Hughes was the senior CME, but I believe he decided he was too close to retiring age to accept the post, so they chose Fowler, the CME at Derby.

Ernest Lemon replaced Fowler for a short period, but moved to "higher duties". It is pure guesswork about the next choice if it had not been Stanier - they might have recruited someone externally, or Fairburn might have got the job a few years earlier than actually happened. In that case, he might have pursued main line electrification much earlier than actually happened. (Fairburn was a trained electrical engineer.)

(Remember that both Fairburn and HG Ivatt both got the LMSR CME job in preference to Riddles)
Hughes was the first CME of newly formed LMS.
Not sure if Ivatt was made CME in preference to Riddles as Riddles soon after became a Vice-President. That may have been the intended plan.

There was always Beames but he was a true Crewe man and unlikely candidate as far as Stamp was concerned for reason John gave above.
 

Irascible

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The early LMSR was dominated by Derby.
As I remarked elsewhere recently, I still wonder how they managed that - the LNWR was enormous, and recently merged with the L&Y too.

Ernest Lemon replaced Fowler for a short period, but moved to "higher duties". It is pure guesswork about the next choice if it had not been Stanier - they might have recruited someone externally, or Fairburn might have got the job a few years earlier than actually happened. In that case, he might have pursued main line electrification much earlier than actually happened. (Fairburn was a trained electrical engineer.)

(Remember that both Fairburn and HG Ivatt both got the LMSR CME job in preference to Riddles)
There's a lot of interesting what-ifs; how about if Collett had retired at 60 instead of 70 - the GWR had both Stanier & Hawksworth who could have taken his place ( albeit Stanier was heir apparent ). Bullied was knocking around as assistant CME to Gresley ( and was - of no particular relevance - HG Ivatt's brother in law - quite a club in the top of rail engineering back then! ) - I wonder if he was ever considered by Stamp. And there's another what-if at the LNER too..

I rather like the idea of a Castle with a higher pressure boiler, better drafting & some more modern valve gear - either choice of successor to Collett could have put one together.
 
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EbbwJunction1

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Was Stanier actually in line for the CME job when Churchward retired?

My understanding is that Collett was the natural successor, with Stanier set to take over after he retired, but when the LMS offered him the top job, he opted not to wait and left.
 

greatvoyager

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Collett seemed to be good at evolving existing designs, such as Saints to Halls, but with Stanier I wonder if instead of Castles or Kings, we would have seen Jubilee type locomotives as the principal 4-6-0.
 

Irascible

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Was Stanier actually in line for the CME job when Churchward retired?

My understanding is that Collett was the natural successor, with Stanier set to take over after he retired, but when the LMS offered him the top job, he opted not to wait and left.
He was works manager at Swindon when Churchward retired, so possibly not enough experience anyway. Collett could have retired when Stamp started nosing around though, he was 60 by then.

Collett seemed to be good at evolving existing designs, such as Saints to Halls, but with Stanier I wonder if instead of Castles or Kings, we would have seen Jubilee type locomotives as the principal 4-6-0.
Castles ( let alone Kings, they're almost LMS Princess Royal class ) are considerably more powerful than Jubilees, the sorts of boiler pressures you'd need to get enough TE out of what would be a 3 cylinder Saint were iirc rather experimental in the 1920s. Churchwards designs were really excellent too, there'd be no need to cook up something new instead of a modified Star - Stanier was quite fine with evolutionary designs ( like all the tank engines, and the 5MT Mogul ). I don't think Swindon ever built a 3-cyl engine? I can't think of one off the top of my head anyway. A lot of the general layout & appearance of a design comes from the works it was built in, so a GWR Stanier 5 would have basically been a modified Hall rather than a LMS Black 5.
 

greatvoyager

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He was works manager at Swindon when Churchward retired, so possibly not enough experience anyway. Collett could have retired when Stamp started nosing around though, he was 60 by then.


Castles ( let alone Kings, they're almost LMS Princess Royal class ) are considerably more powerful than Jubilees, the sorts of boiler pressures you'd need to get enough TE out of what would be a 3 cylinder Saint were iirc rather experimental in the 1920s. Churchwards designs were really excellent too, there'd be no need to cook up something new instead of a modified Star - Stanier was quite fine with evolutionary designs ( like all the tank engines, and the 5MT Mogul ). I don't think Swindon ever built a 3-cyl engine? I can't think of one off the top of my head anyway. A lot of the general layout & appearance of a design comes from the works it was built in, so a GWR Stanier 5 would have basically been a modified Hall rather than a LMS Black 5.
Ah okay, how does a rebuilt Royal Scot compare?
 

Taunton

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Was Stanier actually in line for the CME job when Churchward retired?

My understanding is that Collett was the natural successor, with Stanier set to take over after he retired, but when the LMS offered him the top job, he opted not to wait and left.
I understood a bit differently. Lord Stamp, LMS Chairman, saw the issue and took advice. He then had a quiet meeting in his London club with his oppo Viscount Churchill, GWR chairman. The correct procedure was followed, he then popped back to Paddington and asked his General Manager Sir James Milne, who asked Collett. Collett said yes, which he would not have done if he had alternative plans. A telegram was sent to Stanier, who was up north somewhere on business, to go in and see Stamp the following morning. I wonder if he had any inkling ...
 

Irascible

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Ah okay, how does a rebuilt Royal Scot compare?
Slightly more TE than a Castle, bit higher boiler pressure - not sure how grate area & other boiler bits compare ( maybe someone with more details on a Scot could compare 'em ) so I don't know how they'd really compare over a full journey - Scots were originally 6P & Castles 7P so perhaps they weren't a complete match. A Castle rebuilt along the lines of a Scot is an interesting iidea ( something close to what I'd mentioned above, actually ). While a Castle might seem a bit more complicated than a Scot, there's a few advantages to 4 cyls over 3 - it's easier to balance, and using two sets of valvegear just needs simple links instead of Gresley's solution.

In original form Hawksworth's County class ( which was basically a much modified Hall iirc ) was a match for both of them, with just two cylinders - mostly because it had a 280psi boiler.
A telegram was sent to Stanier, who was up north somewhere on business, to go in and see Stamp the following morning. I wonder if he had any inkling ...
I'd loved to have been a fly on the wall then - you don't get much more GWR than Stanier, born in Swindon, dad worked for the GWR, he worked for the GWR his entire life up to then too...
 
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greatvoyager

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Slightly more TE than a Castle, bit higher boiler pressure - not sure how grate area & other boiler bits compare ( maybe someone with more details on a Scot could compare 'em ) so I don't know how they'd really compare over a full journey - Scots were originally 6P & Castles 7P so perhaps they weren't a complete match. A Castle rebuilt along the lines of a Scot is an interesting iidea ( something close to what I'd mentioned above, actually ). While a Castle might seem a bit more complicated than a Scot, there's a few advantages to 4 cyls over 3 - it's easier to balance, and using two sets of valvegear just needs simple links instead of Gresley's solution.

In original form Hawksworth's County class ( which was basically a much modified Hall iirc ) was a match for both of them, with just two cylinders - mostly because it had a 280psi boiler.
I do wonder how the development would have been, whether the Castle for example, would still have been built in the same manner or loaned to the LMS and make the impact it did.
 

Taunton

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I'd loved to have been a fly on the wall then - you don't get much more GWR than Stanier, born in Swindon, dad worked for the GWR, he worked for the GWR his entire life up to then too...
The most surprising thing was Stanier, in his new elevated position and salary, then bought a grand new house convenient for the LMS HQ at Euston - in Rickmansworth, so he commuted daily on either the Metropolitan or the LNER. I wonder if Gresley gave him a first class pass. It was one of the finest houses in Rickmansworth, on Chorleywood Road. Stanier named it "Newburn", which was the same name as Churchward's house in Swindon had been, that having been originally built for Joseph Armstrong, GWR CME in the 1870s, which Churchward later bought. I wonder if Stanier used to look at it and think that one day he might be buying that one as well.
 

Bevan Price

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The most surprising thing was Stanier, in his new elevated position and salary, then bought a grand new house convenient for the LMS HQ at Euston - in Rickmansworth, so he commuted daily on either the Metropolitan or the LNER. I wonder if Gresley gave him a first class pass. It was one of the finest houses in Rickmansworth, on Chorleywood Road. Stanier named it "Newburn", which was the same name as Churchward's house in Swindon had been, that having been originally built for Joseph Armstrong, GWR CME in the 1870s, which Churchward later bought. I wonder if Stanier used to look at it and think that one day he might be buying that one as well.
At that time, he could have used the LMSR (ex-LNWR) Rickmansworth branch to commute to Euston (changing in the Watford area if necessary.)
 

Gloster

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The most surprising thing was Stanier, in his new elevated position and salary, then bought a grand new house convenient for the LMS HQ at Euston - in Rickmansworth, so he commuted daily on either the Metropolitan or the LNER. I wonder if Gresley gave him a first class pass. It was one of the finest houses in Rickmansworth, on Chorleywood Road. Stanier named it "Newburn", which was the same name as Churchward's house in Swindon had been, that having been originally built for Joseph Armstrong, GWR CME in the 1870s, which Churchward later bought. I wonder if Stanier used to look at it and think that one day he might be buying that one as well.
He apparently had two homes called Newburn on Chorleywood Road. The second was the (retirement?) bungalow where he died, while the first was a much larger property further along the road to the north.
 

edwin_m

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He apparently had two homes called Newburn on Chorleywood Road. The second was the (retirement?) bungalow where he died, while the first was a much larger property further along the road to the north.
My grandparents did that too (not in Rickmansworth). I guess it saves re-directing the mail...
 

greatvoyager

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I think Stanier may have created a GWR Pacific, but would have face reluctance internally after The Great Bear, being disappointing. Maybe he would have been able to get no 111 to be successful after modification.
 

webbfan

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As I remarked elsewhere recently, I still wonder how they managed that - the LNWR was enormous, and recently merged with the L&Y too.


There's a lot of interesting what-ifs; how about if Collett had retired at 60 instead of 70 - the GWR had both Stanier & Hawksworth who could have taken his place ( albeit Stanier was heir apparent ). Bullied was knocking around as assistant CME to Gresley ( and was - of no particular relevance - HG Ivatt's brother in law - quite a club in the top of rail engineering back then! ) - I wonder if he was ever considered by Stamp. And there's another what-if at the LNER too..

I rather like the idea of a Castle with a higher pressure boiler, better drafting & some more modern valve gear - either choice of successor to Collett could have put one together.
Was less of a merger as many of LNWR senior directors retired at the time. Then joining the LMS gave further dilution. Hughes became CME purely on seniority after merger and for LMS.
 

Irascible

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I do wonder how the development would have been, whether the Castle for example, would still have been built in the same manner or loaned to the LMS and make the impact it did.
I vaguely remember hearing a tale that Stanier took a full set of King drawings with him. Not sure how really true that is - and Crewe/Derby/Horwich would definitely have wanted to do *something* differently - much like a Swindon-built Coronation would not have had the same style ( lower running plate for one, I suspect ) or details. Stanier's Horwich designed Mogul didn't look much like a GWR 4300 bar the boiler. So, I suspect Stanier-designed Swindon engines ( or a 30s Hawksworth modified Castle as a different what-if ) would have looked pretty much like every other Swindon engine. A Stanier evolved Hall might have got Walschaerts gear though ( the Counties nearly got it, I think they only didn't in the end for commonality ).

There was actually an exchange in the 20s - but with the LNER, the GWR sent Pendennis Castle which seems to have done rather well. I've no doubt in the 30s there was some considerable exchange of ideas all round CME offices even without sending actual hardware.

I think Stanier may have created a GWR Pacific, but would have face reluctance internally after The Great Bear, being disappointing. Maybe he would have been able to get no 111 to be successful after modification.
I wonder. I think the reluctance not only stems from Great Bear but Chuchward's trials with Atlantics, which rapidly got rebuilt into the familiar shape. I did see mention of an idea about building a 4-8-0 - which doesn't seem to solve anything, because the advantage of a Pacific is you can have a wider firebox as the rear drivers don't get in the way ( that would have been a heck of a sight though! ). Did the GWR really need Pacifics? the only place a King didn't manage was South Devon & I wonder if operations would have let a Pacific on a King turn up there on it's own anyway. Until the welsh steam coal got scarce I wonder if they really needed bigger fireboxes.
Was less of a merger as many of LNWR senior directors retired at the time. Then joining the LMS gave further dilution. Hughes became CME purely on seniority after merger and for LMS.
Ah, that would explain a lot, I thought there might be a structural reason.
 

Taunton

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I think Stanier may have created a GWR Pacific, but would have face reluctance internally after The Great Bear, being disappointing.
One of the difficulties would be such a loco would be most appropriate on Paddington-Plymouth services, on the South Devon banks.

I've written here before that a key problem here is the 1 in 36 climb up Dainton Bank for a locomotive with a long boiler (ie longer than a Castle/King), with the way the boiler is tipped going over the summit and the water level changes inside. You may think it's no different to the Lickey, but Dainton after 1 in 36 up is immediately followed by the same gradient downwards, which doubles the change in water level at the firebox end as you go over. Given that the boiler is heavily drawn on going up, it's difficult to get to the top with the glass anything more than half full, and often less. Longer boiler still - more likely to blow a fusible plug. And its the same going the other way. Didn't The Great Bear come to grief there?

This one can be laid at the door of Churchward, who had a long-running feud with Grierson, the GWR Chief Civil Engineer. The latter was on a roll after all the 1900-10 new lines, Castle Cary, Badminton, Paddington to Banbury, and a number more. He had drawn up outline plans for an Exeter-Newton inland route avoiding Dawlish (which was disrupted then as often as nowadays) and also Newton to Plymouth avoiding the big banks. He told the board the engines couldn't handle these well. Churchward told them he would show he could design locos which could, for far less cost, the board believed Churchward, and the two senior managers apparently never spoke again.

I always felt that changing locos at Exeter instead of Plymouth, and a batch of Castle-concept 4-cylinder locos but with Hall-sized 6'0" wheels for everything west of there to Penzance, would have been a good solution.
 
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