LNWR 2-2-2 3020 Cornwall

LNWR 2-2-2 3020 Cornwall

__NOTOC__ __NOEDITSECTION__ Infobox Locomotive
name = 'Cornwall'

caption = as rebuilt in 1858
designer = Francis Trevithick
(son of Richard Trevithick),
rebuilt by Ramsbottom
builder = LNWR Crewe
builddate = 1847,
rebuilt in 1858
totalproduction = 1
whytetype = 4-2-2
rebuilt as 2-2-2
gauge = 4' 8½"
leadingsize = 3' 6"
driversize = 8' 6"
length =
weight =
fueltype = coal


cylindercount =2, outside
cylindersize = 17½" × 24",
later 17¼" × 24"
firearea =
boilerpressure =
tractiveeffort =

London & North Western Railway 2-2-2 No. 3020 "Cornwall" is a preserved steam locomotive. She was built at Crewe in 1847. She was a 4-2-2 in 1847, but was extensively rebuilt in 1858.

Early high-speed locomotive design

In the 1840s, express passenger locomotive design was focussed on the need for single large-diameter driving wheels of around 8 foot (96"). The wheel diameter is effectively the "gearbox ratio" of a steam engine. Large driving wheels deliver the high linear tyre speed needed for fast locomotives, whilst keeping the axle bearing and piston speeds low enough to remain with the technology limits of the day.

Later on, increasing engine power would require better adhesion than could be achieved with single driving wheels, but that was not yet a problem at this time.

Along with needing large wheels for speed, stability required a low centre of gravity, and thus a low-slung boiler. The difficulty is that both of these needs are in conflict, requiring the driving axle position to overlap the boiler position.

One solution to this was the Crampton design, where the driving axle was moved behind the boiler's firebox. These engines were relatively long in comparison to their contemporaries and had long rigid frames, sometimes with as many as three carrying axles ahead of the driving axle, for a 6-2-0 wheel arrangement. Cramptons were most popular in France and Germany, but some were also used in England, by companies including the London & North Western Railway (LNWR).

One of these LNWR Cramptons, "Liverpool" was notably long, with an eight-wheeler (6-2-0) layout and rigid wheelbase of 18' 6". Although fast and capable of working heavy trains for long distances, it damaged the roadbed owing to the long rigid frame.

1847 design by Trevithick

Francis Trevithick had a notable pedigree as a locomotive engineer, being the son of Richard. He had moved North to become resident engineer, then Locomotive Superintendent of the Grand Junction Railway (GJR) (later formed into the LNWR). "Cornwall" was named after the county of his birth.

"Cornwall" was an attempt to avoid the damaging long wheelbase of the Cramptons, whilst still permitting large driving wheels. By moving the driving axle "ahead" of the firebox, one of the carrying axles could be moved backwards, giving an shorter overall wheelbase. The difficulty of how to fit the axles past the boiler recurred, to which Trevithick provided an "extremely complicated" solution. cite book
title=British Steam Railway Locomotive
volume=Vol 1: from 1825 to 1925
author=E. L. Ahrons
] The boiler was placed entirely "underneath" the driving axle. cite book
title=Locomotive Engineering
] Even then, it was necessary to recess a transverse channel across the top of the boiler, so as to provide clearance for the driving axle. The trailing carrying axle passed through a crosswise tube "through" the middle of the firebox. This made assembly difficult, but as it was only a straight carrying axle rather than a cranked driving axle, the tube diameter required was manageable. This use of a cross-firebox axle tube was part of Crampton's patent of 1842. As completed in 1847, and first numbered 173,cite web
publisher=The Siding
good photo of her today, at Shildon] 'Cornwall' was a 4-2-2 with 8' 6" drivers, paired leading wheels of 3' 6", single trailing wheels of 4' and an overall wheelbase of 16' 6". This is the condition in which she was exhibited at The Great Exhibition of 1851.

The Railway Gazette cite journal
journal= The Railway Gazette
date=5th July 1918
] , cited in , suggests that there was an even earlier design for 'Cornwall', as a 2-2-2 with single 4' wheels both forward and back. It's uncertain if 'Cornwall' was ever built in this form. The drawing does show a considerable front overhang, with a high load placed on the front axle. If constructed like this, the likelihood is that it would suffer the same problems as its contemporary, Gooch's first 2-2-2 'Great Western' class of 1846, where a broken front axle led to re-design as a 4-2-2.

A typical Crampton feature, previously used on 'Liverpool', was the large diameter of the outside eccentrics used to drive the valve gear. These were so large as to be larger than the driving cranks, thus avoiding the need for an overhung (and potentially weak) crank. The 17½" × 24" cylinders were horizontal, fed by inclined steam chests above them.

= 1858 Rebuilding by Ramsbottom =

In 1858, Ramsbottom redesigned Cornwall almost completely. Little survived unchanged, other than the outside frames and the centres of the drivers. The boiler was now moved entirely "above" the driving axle, without any notches, channels or tubes, to what would now be regarded as conventional practice.

New cylinders and valve gear were provided, fractionally smaller at 17¼" × 24". Wheel arrangement was now 2-2-2, shortening the wheelbase still further to 14' 10". Ramsbottom also included his newly designed tamper-proof safety valve.

Another minor rebuild later on provided a typically LNWR style of cab, with a short roof and semi-open sides. By this period she also had her current number, 3020.

In service

'Cornwall' was a famously successful high-speed passenger express engine of its period. Charles Rous-Marten (cited in cite book
title=British Steam Railway Locomotive
volume=Vol 1: from 1825 to 1925
author=E. L. Ahrons
] ) reported an 1884 run from Crewe to Chester behind 'Cornwall' (now far from new, and of antiquated design) at an average speed of 50.7 mph, reaching 70 mph down Whitmore bank. It remained in express service on the Liverpool-Manchester route until withdrawn in 1902. In 1925, Ahrons reports that it was still in service hauling the Mechanical Engineer's inspection coach.

On final retirement, 'Cornwall' was deliberately preserved, one of the first locomotives to be so treated.

Preservation today

She is owned by the National Railway Museum and resides at Locomotion.cite web
title=Locomotion - The NRM at Shildon
publisher= [http://www.locomotion.uk National Railway Museum]

Similar locomotives

: Preserved, or else well-described on Wikipedia
* (1840s)
* GWR Firefly Class (1840)
* GNR Stirling 4-2-2 (1870)
* Midland Railway 115 Class (1896)

See also

* Crampton locomotive


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • LNWR Cornwall — Cornwall La Cornwall telle que construite en 1847 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Francis Trevithick — (son of Richard Trevithick), from Camborne, Cornwall, was one of the first locomotive engineers of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). LifeBorn in 1812, he began the study of civil engineering around 1832, and by 1840 was employed by the …   Wikipedia

  • John Ramsbottom (engineer) — John Ramsbottom (11 September 1814 mdash; 20 May 1897) was an English mechanical engineer who created many inventions for railways, including the Ramsbottom safety valve, the displacement lubricator, and the water trough. Biography Born in… …   Wikipedia

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