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The driving wheels are not unbalanced. That is the purpose of the large balance weight clearly visible in all such.

The issue is that being driving wheels, where there has to be a direct mechanical linkage between the wheel and the driving force (cylinder assembly), there is a considerable unsprung weight impacting on the track. The "hammer blow" resulting from the combination of the weight and the vertical force from the cylinders can exceed  20 tons per wheel. It is that which wears the track.

I don't dispute that it's a problem tho'.

The issue of the discomfort of working on steam engines is largely moot. Much of that was from a victorian attitude towards worker comfort and safety that was hardly restricted to railways. And anyway, even nowadays you'll find many drivers (mostly now retired) who worked on both steam and other traction who would gladly endure the discomforts of steam for the professional pride of working such beasts.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jul 13th, 2006 at 04:59:59 AM EST
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