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RAILSPOT RELOADED

 
 
   
  If you lived in Gloucestershire between 1990 and 1992 you might remember a weekly newspaper called The Gloucester Journal. In The Gloucester Journal was a feature called Railspot, which I wrote. Each week, Railspot would include a picture, 500 words describing it, and often some pub quiz type questions about railways.


People have often asked me what happened to Railspot, and the good news is that it is - slowly - coming back. Even better news is that as I am no longer restrained by the limitations of a newspaper on the Internet, I can revisit some favourite topics, update them and add new pictures and web links. I can even do my own proof reading!


Here is a reload of some of my articles on six coupled British Standard steam locomotives

 
 
   
 

BRITISH STANDARD SIX COUPLED STEAM

 
 
   
 

With a full head of steam lifting the safety valves, 70015 "Apollo" starts a Railway Correspondence and Travel Society railtour from Manchester Victoria station on 19 March 1967.

 
 
 

With a full head of steam lifting the safety valves, 70015 "Apollo" starts a Railway Correspondence and Travel Society railtour from Manchester Victoria station on 19 March 1967. Note that reinforced handholes cut directly into the deflector plates have replaced the handrails of the original locomotive design.

 
 
 

THE RIDDLES EFFECT

 
 
  Outshopped from Swindon Works on 18 March 1960, 92220 "Evening Star" was the last steam locomotive to be built for British Railways. It was also the last of twelve engine classes designed by Robert Riddles for the nationalised industry.

Riddle's railway career began on the London & North Western Railway and continued with the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). During World War II he designed the well known "Austerity" 0-6-0STs as well as 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 locomotives for the Ministry of Supply. In 1948 he became Chief Mechanical Engineer of British Railways and his first "Standard" engine appeared in 1951. This was the pacific 70000 "Britannia" , built at Crewe with design input from Brighton, Derby, Doncaster and Swindon Works under Riddle's direction. The mixed traffic "Britannia" bore a close front-end likeness to the "Princess Coronations" of the LMS, albeit with smoke deflectors resembling those used by REL Maunsell on his Southern Railway engines.

This styling blend was perpetuated in the "Clan" pacifics of 1951, the unique "Duke of Gloucester" and the 251 strong 9F class, both introduced in 1954. Despite Riddle's hope that his engines would still be working in the 1970s, dieselisation decimated these doyens of the track. "Evening Star" itself was a museum piece by 1965.

 
   
 

With steam shrouding its exhaust injector, 70041 "Sir John Moore" hauls an express passenger train away from Thetford towards Norwich in this Roger Carpenter image from 1958.

 
 
   
  With steam shrouding its exhaust injector, 70041 "Sir John Moore" hauls an express passenger train away from Thetford towards Norwich in this Roger Carpenter image from 1958.  
 
   
 

THE BRITANNIA PACIFICS

 
 
   
  70041 "Sir John Moore" was built at Crewe in 1953 as part of the second batch of "Britannia" Pacifics. Numbered 70025-44, these locomotives had many detail differences from the first 25 Standard 4-6-2s which had been introduced in 1951.

The balancing of the driving wheels was improved to counter bad riding and the tendency of the wheels to shift on their hollow axles. Also, the specification of the rods coupling the driving wheels was changed from the original fluted type to a stronger plain-forged section. 

Similarly, the first seven locomotives -  70000 to 70006 - were originally built with squat steam domes but after April 1951 all subsequent Britannias were given a higher dome and the original seven machines similarly modified.  The low steam dome of the original specification risked boiler water entering the steam circuit which in turn caused damaging and dangerous "priming" when it condensed steam in the cylinders. This effect could break the piston rings or even smash the cast cylinder head.

Rubber bellows were installed between the cab and the tender to reduce severe draughts when running at speed, and the tender itself was of an improved design.

Known as a BR1A it could hold 5 000 gallons of water, as opposed to 4 250 gallons on the BR1 variant it replaced. Two small steps at the front of the engine were also substituted for one wide one, although in the picture above 70041 still has the top lamp bracket above the number. In later years many Britannias had this moved to between the hinges of the smokebox door- as witnessed by the position of the RCTS headboard on 70015 "Apollo", above .

"Sir John Moore" was allocated new to Stratford, East London, and stayed until diesels replaced steam there in 1959. While most of Stratford's 7P6F pacifics joined Norwich shed, 70041 was one of three sent to March to work accelerated services between Kings Cross, Grimsby and Cleethorpes. It was here that it lost its smoke deflector handrails in favour of holes cut in the metal - again see 70015 "Apollo", above.

This change was made as a result of the Milton accident in 1955 when 70026 "Polar Star" derailed at speed with an Up excursion train near Didcot. The handrails on the deflector plate had obscured the driver's view of a speed restricting facing point and eleven people died in the resulting catastrophe.

The offending handrails were gradually removed from most Britannias, yet despite the multitude of modifications made to them they remained rugged machines that could work most routes with a minimum of maintenance. Indeed, the final ten examples, built in 1954, had the BR1D tender with a nine ton coal capacity and high curved-in sides. This not only stretched their radius of operation but finally cured the cab draught that had beset their earlier Southern Railway inspired BR Standard tenders.

Of the 55 Britannia pacifics built, only 70000 "Britannia" and 70013 "Oliver Cromwell" have been preserved although they are the only pacific class to have visited all the London terminii. The chime whistle of "Oliver Cromwell" - fitted halfway along its boiler - also sounded the death knell of standard gauge BR steam in 1968 when it hauled its last train.

 
 
   
 
70000 Britannia
70001 Lord Hurcomb
70002 Geoffrey Chaucer
70003 John Bunyan
70004 William Shakespeare
70005 John Milton
70006 Robert Burns
70007 Coeur-de-Lion
70008 Black Prince
70009 Alfred The Great
70010 Owen Glendower
70011 Hotspur
70012 John of Gaunt
70013 Oliver Cromwell
70014 Iron Duke
70015 Apollo
70016 Ariel
70017 Arrow
70018 Flying Dutchman
70019 Lightning
70020 Mercury
70021 Morning Star
70022 Tornado
70023 Venus
70024 Vulcan
70025 Western Star
70026 Polar Star
70027 Rising Star
70028 Royal Star
70029 Shooting Star
70030 William Wordsworth
70031 Byron
70032 Tennyson
70033 Charles Dickens
70034 Thomas Hardy
70035 Rudyard Kipling
70036 Boadicea
70037 Hereward the Wake
70038 Robin Hood
70039 Sir Christopher Wren
70040 Clive of India
70041 Sir John Moore
70042 Lord Roberts
70043 Lord Kitchener
70044 Earl Haig
70045 Lord Rowallan
70046 Anzac
70047  
70048 The Territorial Army 1908-1958
70049 Solway Firth
70050 Firth of Clyde
70051 Firth of Forth
70052 Firth of Tay
70053 Moray Firth
70054 Dornoch Firth
 
 
   
 

71000 "Duke of Gloucester" on its first visit to Gloucester on 30 June 1990

 
     
  71000 "Duke of Gloucester" on its first visit to Gloucester on 30 June 1990  
 
   
 

71000 "DUKE OF GLOUCESTER

 
 
   
  British Railways locomotive 71000 "Duke of Gloucester" was born out of disaster. On 8 October 1952 "Princess Royal" pacific 46202 "Princess Anne" collided with "Jubilee" 4-6-0 45637 "Windward Islands" in fog at Harrow station, causing Britain's worst railway accident. Many lives were lost and London Midland region was deprived of a valuable 8P pacific. British Railways Chief Mechanical Engineer Robert Riddles was called upon to design a replacement.

This was to be developed from his successful 7MT Britannia pacifics, although to generate the extra power needed within the London Midland loading gauge three cylinders rather than two were used. Another departure from BR Standard practice was the installation of Caprotti rotary cam poppet valve gear - previously to be found on only 20 of Stanier's "Black Five" LMS 4-6-0s (see below ).

71000 was built at Crewe in May 1954 during which time the ashpan was incorrectly fabricated - impeding the airflow through the firebox and giving the locomotive an unwarranted reputation as a coal guzzler in its working life. Despite this, the new pacific was soon despatched to Willesden depot, London where it was exhibited at a Conference of the International Railway Congress ( Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer or UIC) at Willesden . The Honorary President of the Congress at the time was the Duke of Gloucester and 71000 was named in his honour.

Sadly though, within a few months of its construction this final flowering of British express passenger steam design was declared obsolete in the Modernisation Plan of 1955. As industry rushed to build diesels, 71000 worked its final years from Crewe North depot until withdrawal in November 1962.

Despite assurances that it would be preserved for the nation, only one set of valve gear was taken for the Science Museum and the rest of the engine was sold for scrap in 1967. Luckily, in 1974, 71000 was saved from the Woodham Brothers in Barry by the Main Line Steam Trust. The rusting hulk was moved to the Great Central Railway at Loughborough and restoration work began. This included rebuilding the ashpan to its proper design specification and allowed "Duke of Gloucester" to return to steam better than new in 1986. It has been a firm railtour favourite ever since and in 1990 ran over the arduous Settle and Carlisle line complete with Hawksworth dynamometer car to see how good it really was!

For more information about 71000 "Duke of Gloucester" visit www.71000trust.com

 
 
   
 

"Black Five" 4-6-0 45158 "Glasgow Yeomanry" rests on shed next to BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0 73064

 
 
   
 

"Black Five" 4-6-0 45158 "Glasgow Yeomanry" rests on shed next to BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0 73064

 
 
   
 

FROM BLACK FIVE TO STANDARD FIVE

 
 
   
  Designed by Sir William Stanier in 1934, the 842 strong "Black Five" class was the backbone of London Midland motive power until the very end of steam.

The black liveried 5MT ( Class 5 mixed traffic - where 0F were small shunting engines, 4Fs were 0-6-0 goods engines and 8Ps covered the mighty "Princess Coronations" ) engines were inspired by the Great Western "Halls" of Charles Baker Collett. Indeed, their taper boilers and Belpaire fireboxes gave more than a hint of Stanier's own training on the GWR. Like the Halls too, the Black Fives had 6' driving wheels, two outside cylinders, superheating, a boiler pressure of 225 psi and the ability to work almost any kind of train. 45158, pictured above, for instance bears the lamp code for a ballast duty stopping between stations.

In contrast to their Swindon counterparts however, Stanier's rugged workhorses had outside Walschaerts valve gear. Only four of them were named in service ( 45154 "Lanarkshire Yeomanry", 45146 "Ayrshire Yeomanry", 45157 "The Glasgow Highlander" and 45158 "Glasgow Yeomanry" ), construction was spread over a variety of sites and many of the class had experimental features.

Indeed, Vulcan foundry beat Crewe Works in the race to complete the first Black Five - much to the embarrasment of LMS top brass! However, by the end of construction in 1951 Vulcan had built only 100 units to Crewe's 241, with Armstrong Whitworth contributing 327 locomotives, Horwich Works 120 and Derby 54.

After the Second World War, many Black Fives were fitted with Timken or Skefco roller bearings in place of the standard white metal variety. others had double chimneys, 44718-44727 received steel fireboxes and 44767 ( now preserved ) boasted outside Stephenson valve gear. 44738-44757 and 44686-7 meanwhile had Caprotti rotary cam valve gear, the former batch being distinguished by splashers and the latter by a very high running plate. Both Caprotti variants had fatter than usual steam pipes and were about 2 tons heavier than their Walschaerts-motion siblings.

Ironically, a Caprotti sub-class was to be a feature of the Black Fives apparent successor - the British Railways Standard 5MT. Introduced in 1951, the Doncaster designed 4-6-0 was the first Standard mixed traffic tender type to be outshopped without smoke deflectors. Riddles owed much to Stanier in the philosophy of this design. Boiler pressure, valve motion and cylinder numbers were identical; half an inch was added to the piston diameter, 2" to the wheels and only twenty were named - this time after legendary Arthurian characters. The only radical changes were the sloping cab front, high running plate and whistle just behind the chimney.

The thirty five Caprottis - 73125 to 73154 - were built in 1956. One of them - 73129 - is preserved on the Mid-Hants Railway, but it was the original LMS engines that were to work in steam's standard-gauge twilight on British Rail. 45318 headed the last scheduled train on 3 August 1968.This was the 2125 Preston to Liverpool Exchange, and on the following morning 45212 shunted sleeping cars in the bay at Preston.

Then on 11 August, 44718 and 44871 assisted 70013 "Oliver Cromwell" on the fifteen guinea special "Farewell to Steam" tour. Fourteen Black Fives lived on to work in preservation, but after that fateful Sunday in 1968 the railway world was changed forever.

 
 
   
 

BRITISH RAILWAYS STANDARD CLASS 5 MT NAMES

(FOLLOWED BY NUMBERS OF N15s WHICH CARRIED THE NAMES PREVIOUSLY)

73080

Merlin

30740

73081 Excalibur 30736
73082 Camelot 30742
73083 Pendragon 30746
73084 Tintagel 30745
73085 Melisande 30753
73086 The Green Knight 30754
73087 Linette 30752
73088 Joyous Gard 30741
73089 Maid of Astolat 30744
73110 The Red Knight 30755
73111 King Uther 30737
73112 Morgan le Fay 30750
73113 Lyonesse 30743
73114 Etarre 30751
73115 King Pellinore 30738
73116 Iseult 30749
73117 Vivien 30748
73118 King Leodegrance 30739
73119 Elaine 30747
 
 
   
 

73082 "Camelot" rests next to the water crane on shed at Sheffield Park on the preserved Bluebell Railway.

 
 
   
 

73082 "Camelot" rests next to the water crane on shed at Sheffield Park on the preserved Bluebell Railway.

 
 
   
 

On 19 October 1991 75069 arrived at HP Bulmer's steam centre at Hereford en route from Crewe via the Welsh Marches to Kidderminster. Its express headcoded train was organised by RPR Railtours to celebrate the 85th birthday of one of the founding members of the Stephenson Locomotive Society. The letters SC below the 89C shedplate on the smokebox door denote a self cleaning smokebox

 
 
   
 

On 19 October 1991 75069 arrived at HP Bulmer's steam centre at Hereford en route from Crewe via the Welsh Marches to Kidderminster. Its express headcoded train was organised by RPR Railtours to celebrate the 85th birthday of one of the founding members of the Stephenson Locomotive Society. The letters SC below the 89C shedplate on the smokebox door denote a self cleaning smokebox

 
 
   
 

BRITISH STANDARD 4 4-6-0 75069

 
 
   
  Designed at Brighton to fulfill the same operational requirements as a WR Manor, 75069 was among the last batch of 4-6-0s to be built at Swindon Works. Outshopped in September 1955, it was one of only 14 such engines to receive the BR1B tender. With capacities of 4 725 gallons of water and 7 tons of coal, this 50 ton 5 cwt vehicle allowed extended runs on Southern Region where water troughs were not available. Indeed, 75069 served on all three Southern Divisions while allocated to either Bournemouth, Stewarts Lane or Nine Elms depots. A double chimney was fitted in 1959 but sadly the Riddles inspired locomotive was withdrawn in September 1966.

After languishing in Barry scrapyard from 1967 to March 1973 it was diesel hauled to Bewdley on the Severn Valley Railway and then moved again to Bridgnorth for restoration in July 1974. Work on 75069 began in earnest three years later following the return to steam of British Standard 4 4-6-2T 80079. This proceeded well enough for the twin outside cylindered engine to appear in lined green livery at Gloucester during the GWR 150 celebrations in 1985.

 
 
   
  British Standard 4 4-6-0 75005 with a smaller capacity Riddles designed tender heads a Class 6 express freight train, largely composed of sixteen ton mineral wagons of the type built by the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company  
 
   
  British Standard 4 4-6-0 75005 with a smaller capacity Riddles designed tender heads a Class 6 express freight train, largely composed of sixteen ton mineral wagons of the type built by the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company  
     
 

BRITISH STANDARD 4, 3 and 2MT MOGULS

 
     
 

115 Doncaster designed Class 4 2-6-0s were built from  December 1952 with a 225 psi superheated boiler supplying steam to two outside 17 1/2" x 26" cylinders connected to 5'3" driving wheels via piston valve Walschaerts valve gear and yielding 24 170 lb of tractive effort.

 
     
  115 Doncaster designed Class 4 2-6-0s were built from  December 1952 with a 225 psi superheated boiler supplying steam to two outside 17 1/2" x 26" cylinders connected to 5'3" driving wheels via piston valve Walschaerts valve gear and yielding 24 170 lb of tractive effort. 

Essentially based on the LMS Ivatt Class 4 "Flying Pigs", 25 examples were constructed at "The Plant" - with 76114 being the last steam locomotive built there in November 1957 - and the other 90 split between Horwich and Derby Works.

Although a BR Standard, locomotives 76000 to 76114 had a different wheel design to the same-diameter drivers on Swindon built 3MT 77xxx 2-6-0s and 82xxx 3MT 2-6-2Ts although all three classes shared the same cylinder casting.  With an axle loading of only 16 tons and 15 cwt, the 59 ton 2 cwt 76xxx class had virtually unrestricted route availability and served on every region including - finally - the Western. 

Apart from a pair allocated to Leicester most of the London Midland Region's batch of 15 Class 4 Moguls spent their working lives in the Liverpool, Manchester and Preston areas while the 35 examples allocated to Scottish Region were mainly concentrated in Ayrshire and around Glasgow. At one time Corkerhill depot was home to ten of the class, which worked over the bleakly dramatic Waverley route between Carlisle and Hawick while others appeared on the 'Port Road' from Dumfries to Stranraer. Five Class 4 Moguls however found their way to Aberdeen and three to Thornton in Fife.

Of the 37 Class 4 Moguls originally allocated to the Southern - like 76013 illustrated above at Eastleigh on 15 October 1959, courtesy of Stewart Blencowe - most were concentrated in one area around Eastleigh, Southampton and Bournemouth. They were used on the cross-country services between Portsmouth, Salisbury and Cardiff, Reading to Redhill, Brighton to Bournemouth and over the Swanage branch. Their most celebrated duty was the London Waterloo to Lymington boat train, purely because only 2-6-0 or 4-4-0 tender engines could fit the turntable at Brockenhurst.  All 17 Class 4 Moguls equipped with the BR1B high-sided tender were allocated to the Southern Region yet the BR1B tender had a higher axle load than the locomotives.  In the last few years of steam operation on the Southern Region a few examples were allocated to Guildford shed before moving on to Feltham in London.

The North Eastern Region's 13 Standard 4MT Moguls were initially spread as far apart as Darlington, Gateshead, Hull, Sunderland and York but were later concentrated at either Kirkby Stephen or West Auckland to work over the Stainmore route whose viaducts were not only spectacular but had severe weight restrictions. Like their small cousins the in the 78xxx Class,76000 to 76114 were ideal for working both coal and passenger trains over this line and were a regular choice for excursions from Tyneside to the Lancashire coast resorts.

Further south meanwhile, Eastern Region divided its 15 between two London depots. Five went to Stratford on the ex-Great Eastern section, and the remainder to the one-time Great Central depot at Neasden. One Eastern locomotive, 76034, was fitted with a tablet catcher for running over the Midland & Great Northern lines in East Anglia.

Made redundant by dieselisation, the Stratford engines were transferred to the Southern and arrived at Brighton. The Neasden engines also in due course departed the capital, in this case for Chester and ex-Cambrian Railways territory.

 

The cylinder covers of engines built early in the programme of construction were fitted with "screw-in" type pressure relief valves but from September 1955 revised cylinder covers were introduced for renewals incorporating "bolt-on" type pressure relief valves.

Four Standard Class 4MT 2-6-0s have been preserved including 76077, currently being restored on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, and the Moguls were also made famous by a Rosebud Kitmaster 00 Gauge plastic kit of 76000, the moulds for which were later transferred to Airfix and then Dapol.  More recently, other class members have been represented in 00 and N gauge ready to run format by Bachmann.

 
     
 

 
     
  The second smallest numerical class of the British Standard range - and therefore not very standard at all - were the twenty 2-6-0s numbered 77000 to 77019 outshopped from Swindon from February to September 1954 at the same time as 45 3MT 2-6-2Ts numbered 82000 to 82044.

Indeed, despite having the outward appearance of a Riddles format Standard, the Swindon designed 3MT Mogul essentially combined a number of LMS Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0 parts with a shortened version of the GWR Number 2 boiler fitted to the Great Western Railway's Large Prairie and 5600 Class 0-6-2 tank engines.  Like those on the 5101 Class 2-6-2Ts, this operated at 200 psi delivering superheated steam to two outside 17 1/2" x 26" cylinders connected to 5'3" driving wheels via piston valve Walschaerts valve gear and yielding 21 490 lb of tractive effort.  The motion brackets were also derived from the design of those fitted to LMS Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0s and 2-6-2Ts and unlike a number of the larger BR Standards the exhaust steam manifold within the smokebox saddle was a steel fabrication that was part of the welded saddle. In the BR Standard Classes 6 and 7 for example the exhaust steam manifold was a steel casting welded into the saddle during manufacture.

The British Standard 3MT Moguls mainly worked on Scottish and North Eastern Region lines which required locomotives with a 16 ton axle loading.  77003 is seen above at West Auckland  on 20 September 1963 courtesy of Stewart Blencowe - although 77014 did finally migrate to Southern Region.  None of these locomotives were preserved.

 
     
 

Smallest of the British Standard Moguls were the 65 locomotives numbered 78000 to 78064, designed at Derby and built entirely at Darlington from December 1952 to November 1956 - for a while sharing the erecting shop of the former North Eastern Railway works with their inspiration, the LMS Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0s.

 
     
  Smallest of the British Standard Moguls were the 65 locomotives numbered 78000 to 78064, designed at Derby and built entirely at Darlington from December 1952 to November 1956 - for a while sharing the erecting shop of the former North Eastern Railway works with their inspiration, the LMS Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0s. 

However, the Riddles British Standard design of "Mickey Mouse" featured a reduced cab to enhance route availability and other standard fittings - including speedometers in some cases - and a taller chimney although the BR3 tender  - like the Ivatt original - also featured a cab to protect the crew and enhance visibility when running tender first.  Ironically though, despite praise from the footplate for the sure footedness of the 78xxx machines, crews mostly grumbled about cab draughts!

Both Ivatt and Riddles 2MT Moguls had an axle loading of just 13.75 tons giving a very wide route availability as well as a total weight of 49 tons 5 cwt, 200 psi superheated boiler, two 16 1/2" x 24" cylinders, 5' diameter driving wheels and a tractive effort of 18 515 lb.

Two former Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway sheds, Bank Hall (Liverpool) and Wigan, respectively designated 27A and 27D, received an allocation of the class.

Bank Hall had 78041-4 which were used with great success on both slow and fast trains from Liverpool Exchange to either Preston, Bolton or Rochdale. The Wigan engines , numbered 78040 / 61-4, were used on stopping trains to Liverpool, Southport, Bolton and Rochdale where they replaced LMS 2P 4-4-0s and LYR 2-4-2Ts.

On the former L&Y lines the British Standards were generally employed on passenger work whilst the LMS class 2 2-6-0s were more often found on shunting and freight jobs until the mid 1960s.

When the Cambrian section closed and other areas dieselised, other members of the class came to the former L&Y lines (some as replacements for those originally allocated to 27A and 27D). These included 78002 (in green livery), 78007, 78027 and 78057. Some of these were used on shunting duties from Bolton and Lostock Hall sheds.

78022, preserved on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, also had a spell as Preston station passenger pilot whilst allocated to Lostock Hall while similarly surviving scrapping were 78018, 78019 and 78059.  The latter, however, lost its tender while in Dai Woodham's Barry scrapyard and is now being reborn as its Prairie tank equivalent, to be numbered 84030.

78018 meanwhile was the locomotive famously trapped in the 1955 film "Snowdrift at Bleath Gill"

 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
   
 

OTHER RELOADED RAILSPOTS

 
     
  Avonside Standard Gauge Tank Locomotives  
  Brush Class 60 Type 5 Co-Cos  
  Coal  
  English Electric Type 3 Co-Cos  
Great Western Railway Express Passenger 4-6-0s
  Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways  
  LMS "Princess Royal" Class 4-6-2 6201 "Princess Elizabeth"  
  The Midland & South Western Junction Railway  
National Waterways Museum Wagons
  Southern Railway Class N15 "King Arthur" 4-6-0s  
  Warship Class Diesel Hydraulic Locomotives