James Holden (engineer)

James Holden (engineer)

James Holden (26 July 183729 May 1925) was an English locomotive engineer. He is remembered mainly for the Claud Hamilton 4-4-0, his pioneering work with oil fuel, and his unique Decapod.

Biography

James Holden was born in Whitstable, Kent on 26 July 1837.Marshall 2003] He was apprenticed to his uncle, Edward Fletcher and, in 1865, joined the Great Western Railway, where he eventually became chief assistant to William Dean. In 1885, he was appointed locomotive superintendent of the Great Eastern Railway, which placed him in control of Stratford worksFact|date=February 2007. He held office from 1885 to 1907 and was succeeded by his son Stephen (1908–1912), who enlarged the Claud Hamilton type into the capable 1500 4-6-0 design.

A Quaker, Holden had little regard for trade unions and believed employers should spontaneously look after their men. He played his part by erecting the first hostel (1890) for enginemen arriving in London with late trains from the provinces, and by providing commodious side-window cabs.

Holden's first oil burner of 1893, "Petrolea," was a 2-4-0 and burned waste oil that the Railway had previously been discharging into the River Lee.Cite web |url=http://www.steamindex.com/backtrak/bt9.htm#163-lb |title=Fuel energy & steam traction |last=Brooks |first=Lyn D. |accessdate=2008-07-24] It was largely inspired by Thomas Urquhart's success in Russia and was eventually followed by more than a hundred additional oil-burners.

Holden died in Bath, Somerset on 29 May 1925.

Locomotive development at the Great Eastern Railway

Overview

While to some extent his work consisted in improving the designs of his predecessors, Holden was responsible for several noteworthy - designs of his own. But his outstanding genius was seen in the complete reorganisation of Stratford Works, which, together with a considerable degree of standardisation, brought Stratford to an exceptionally high position among British locomotive works in the speed and efficiency of its locomotive production. Some of the extensively-built locomotive classes that came into existence under his aegis may not have been outstanding in performance on the road, or in fuel economy, but they were rugged in design and with their massive working parts have paid handsome dividends in reliability and ease of maintenance. So much so, indeed, that at the time of writing, 47 years after Holden's retirement, many of his engines are still in active service. [Allen 1961]

Wheel arrangements

For the first thirteen years of his tenure at the Great Eastern Railway (GER), Holden displayed no interest in locomotive bogies. His predecessors had vacillated between 0-4-4 and 2-4-2 tanks for suburban and branch services, and between both 2-2-2 and 4-2-2, and 2-4-0 and 4-4-0 tender types for express passenger service, but Holden came down firmly on the side of single axles with side-play rather than a leading or trailing bogie. Indeed, whereas at his accession to power the GER owned some 75 bogie single or four-coupled engines, by the end of 1897 their number had dwindled to twelve. Then, just as the bogie appeared to be doomed to extinction on the Great Eastern, he changed his mind, and in no more than three years had brought out new 4-2-2 and 4-4-0 passenger and 0-4-4 tank classes.

Boiler, cab, valve gear

As to externals, Holden continued for thirteen years to fit his engines with stovepipe chimneys, and also with Thomas Worsdell's capacious cab, with its gracefully curved side-sheets. But while for a time he continued also the Worsdell three-ring boiler barrel, with 106 the dome on the middle ring, before very long he designed a two-ring boiler with the dome on the front ring, immediately behind the chimney, a practice which, with the stovepipe chimney, helped to give most of his engines a very distinctive appearance. Internally, he substituted Stephenson link-motion for the Joy valve gear preferred by Worsdell.

Locomotive classes

On his arrival at Stratford, Holden lost no time in getting to work. In his first year, four separate locomotive classes were put in hand 2-4-2 tanks, 0-6-0 tanks, 0-6-0 freight engines, and the first of a new 2-4-0 express passenger type. This was No. 710, prototype of the well-known T19 Class, which was to prove the mainstay of Great Eastern main line passenger service for many years. While the new engine closely resembled one of the Worsdell Gl4s, the boiler was slightly larger, with 1,230 as against 1,200 sq ft (114 m² and 111 m²) heating surface, and 18.0 as compared with 17.3 sq ft (1.67 vs. 1.61 m²) grate area; cylinders were 18 in by 24 in, and weight in working order 42 long tons (43 t). Building of these engines continued for eleven years, from 1886 to 1897, until there were 110 of them in all. The first sixty, numbered from 710 to 779 inclusive, had the older three-ring boiler with the dome on the middle ring and a pressure of 140 lbf/in² (970 kPa; then in 1892 there followed Nos. 700 to 709 and 781 to 790, in 1893 Nos. 1010 to 1019, in 1895 Nos. 1020 to 1029, and in 1897 Nos. 1030 to 1039, with the two-ring boiler and the dome well forward. Not until the last ten did the boiler pressure rise to 160 lbf/in² (1.1 MPa, but in course of time all the engines of the class were fitted with 160 lbf/in² two-ring boilers. When rebuilt in 1900, No. 758 acquired an extended smokebox of curious appearance, for it was of smaller diameter than the boiler barrel, and with a flange round the outer edge of the extension it looked exactly like the inner tube of a telescope party drawn out.

uburban passenger tanks

ix-coupled

In 1889, one of Holden's shunting tanks engines was fitted with the Westinghouse brake and evaluated on passenger working. So the 1889 experiment resulted in eighty of these handy tanks, slightly larger than Class T18 and classified as Great Eastern Railway Class R24, being turned out from 1890 to 1896 inclusive, and taking over the whole of the suburban working between Liverpool Street and Chingford, Enfield Town, and Palace Gates; twenty shunters of the same type emerged in 1890 and 1891; and, in addition, in 1889 and 1893 Holden built twenty smaller 0-6-0 tanks (Class E22) with 14 in. by 20 in. cylinders and a weight of 36½ tons, for light branch work. Some of the latter worked for years between Fenchurch Street and Blackwall with part of their side rods removed, so converting them to the 2-4-0 wheel arrangement.

The feats of the diminutive R24 0-6-0s with their packed trains of 15 four-wheelers verged on the incredible. Between 1900 and 1912 my ["Allen"] 's parents lived in a house in Upper Clapton which overlooked the whole sweep of the Hackney Marshes from Lea Bridge to Tottenham, with the stretch of the Chingford branch from Clapton Junction to St. James Street, Walthamstow, in view across the River Lea almost immediately opposite. Some of the up morning workmen's trains were non-stop from Hoe Street, and had the advantage of a start down at 1 in 125 and 1 in 80 to Hall Farm Junction; and I am prepared to take an affidavit that their speed across the marshes, with the coupling-rods of their 4 ft wheels loudly ringing as they lashed round at terrific speed, was nearer sixty miles an hour than fifty.

When the intensive suburban service of 1920 was introduced, reliance was still placed largely on these cheerful little 0-6-0s to maintain the new split-second timings, and they were quite equal to the task. By then their numbers had been further reinforced by the twenty built in 1900 and 1901 with 160 lbf/in² (1.1 MPa) boilers, and by a further twenty turned out in 1904, the latter with 180 lbf/in² (1.24 MPa) pressure, larger boilers giving 988 sq ft (91.8 m²) heating surface and 14.5 sq ft (1.35 m²) grate area, and side-tanks holding 1,200 gallons (5,500 L), which increased the weight to 42½ long tons (43 t). Those built from 1912 onwards were decorated with flared-top chimneys, in place of stovepipes, and the high-roofed cab with side-windows which was now the Holden standard.Allen 1961]

Compilers of the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society (RCTS) has disputes some of this and other early information published. [RCTS 1983]

Ten-coupled

The Decapod developed mainly under the Chief Draughtsman Russell was an extraordinary endeavour to develop a steam locomotive which could perform at the level of electric traction.Skeat 1953] It was built under Holden in 1902 to forestall an imminent scheme for an electrified railway out of London to suburbs served by the Great Eastern. Since the proponents of the scheme had a slogan about electric trains accelerating to thirty miles an hour in thirty seconds, Holden resolved to obtain the same performance with steam traction. Most of the design was accomplished by his chief designer (Frederick Vernon Russell). A massive boiler with Wootten firebox, three cylinders each with its own blastpipe cone, and ten smallish driving wheels ensured a lively acceleration. On trial it did rather better than 30 mi/h (50 km/h) in thirty seconds, accelerating at 1.46 ft/s² (0.45 m/s²): This performance put an end to the electrification scheme even though (as Holden had known all the time) the regular use of so massive a machine would never have been permitted by the civil engineer. [Skeat 1954]

Oil fuel and water-scoops

Holden developed oil-burning initially in stationary boilers at Stratford Works, but subsequently on suburban locomotives and finally on express locomotives., [Rutherford 1995] . [ [http://www.steamindex.com/backtrak/bt9.htm#163-lb Backtrack Volume 9 ] at www.steamindex.com] When Holden introduced his oil-burning equipment, Nos. 712 and 759 to 767 inclusive were fitted with it, and their tenders acquired on top two cylindrical tanks, arranged longitudinally, to accommodate the oil fuel; No. 760 received the name Petrolea in honour of this change. Nos. 762 to 767 and 1030 to 1039 also had their tenders fitted with water-scoops in preparation for the non-stop running over the 130 miles between Liverpool Street and North Walsham of the summer Cromer Express (later the Norfolk Coast Express), which began on July 1, 1897, water-troughs having been laid down both at Halifax Junction, Ipswich, and at Tivetshall St. Mary for this purpose. The engine chosen for the inaugural run was No. 1037.

Miscellaneous

Distinguished services rendered by T19 Class 2-4-0s included the working of the funeral train of the late Duke of Clarence from King's Lynn to Windsor by No. 755 on January 28, 1892, and of the honeymoon train of the then Duke and Duchess of York. James Holden was a Quaker and this led to a rather paternalistic type of management where trade unionism was not encouraged. His most lasting contribution was that of standardization which Gresley wisely did not disrupt leaving the Great Eastern lines with standard locomotives many of which lasted to the end of steam, almost to the end of much railway activity in East Anglia.

List of locomotive classes

:"Please see Whyte notation and Steam locomotive nomenclature for a description of the notation used in the section headings below.

* LNER Class D13 4-4-0 (rebuilt from GER Class T19 2-4-0)
* GER Class D14/D15/D16 'Claud Hamilton' 4-4-0
* GER Class E22 (LNER J65) 0-6-0T
* GER Class F48 (LNER J16) 0-6-0
* GER Class G48 (LNER J17) 0-6-0
* GER Class G58 (LNER J17) 0-6-0
* GER Class P43 4-2-2
* GER Class R24 (LNER J67) 0-6-0T
* GER Class R24 Rebuilt (LNER J69) 0-6-0T
* GER Class S56 (LNER J69) 0-6-0T
* GER Class T18 (LNER J66) 0-6-0T
* GER Class T19 (710 class) 2-4-0
* GER Class T19 Rebuilt 2-4-0 "Humpty Dumpties"
* GER Class T26 (LNER E4) 2-4-0
* GER Holden 2-2-2
* GER Decapod 0-10-0T

Patents

*28,946/1902 - Improvements in locomotive engines, with Frederick Vernon Russell. Added forked opening to connecting rods. Applied 31 December 1902. Accepted 3 December 1904.
*708/1903 - Improvements in or relating to apparatus for distributing sand beneath the driving wheels of locomotive engines and other motor vehicles on railways and tramways. Added links between driving wheels to prevent wheel slip (used on "The Decapod"). Applied 10 January 1903. Accepted 26 November 1903.
*21837/1910 - Improvements in and relating to liquid fuel apparatus for the furnaces of locomotive and other boilers, with Frederic Jocelyn Davis and John Charles Taite. Applied 20 September 1910. Accepted 15 June 1911.
*6642/1904 - Improvements in and relating to spark-arresting apparatus, with Edmund Spenser Tiddeman. Applied 18 March 1904. Accepted 19 January 1905.

Notes

References

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External links

* [http://www.lner.info/eng/jholden.shtml LNER Biography]
* [http://www.steamindex.com/people/holden.htm SteamIndex.com Biography]
* [http://www.steamindex.com/locotype/gerloco.htm#holden SteamIndex.com Engine List]
* [http://www.steamindex.com/backtrak/bt9.htm#163-lb James Holden's Oil Boilers]

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