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Bncr class n

The meaning of «bncr class n»

The Belfast and Northern Counties Railway (BNCR) Class N was a class of 0-4-0ST dock engines that worked on the Belfast Harbour Commissioners' lines in north-east Ireland. No.42 was the first of the class and was built by Sharp, Stewart and Company in 1874. A second, similar engine, No.16, was built by the MR (NCC) in 1914.

The opening of the Belfast Central Railway in 1872 led to an increase in railway freight along the Belfast quays. The BNCR ordered an 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotive from Sharp, Stewart and Company in Manchester to work the traffic. This engine, works number 2444, was delivered in 1874. It was numbered 42 in the BNCR's stock.

No.42 had outside cylinders and was to remain the only outside cylinder locomotive on the NCC for forty years, until it was joined by No.16 in 1914. Steam was admitted to the cylinders by outside steam pipes mid-way along the smokebox. Lubrication to the cylinders was by cylinder taps mounted over the cylinders.

The drive was on the trailing wheels and the slide bars were attached to a motion bracket just behind the leading wheels. The wheels themselves had twelve spokes and very large balance weights. The front pair of wheels of the engine were partially enclosed in splashers which did not come above the running plate.

One peculiar feature of the engine was the extreme forward placement of the dome on the first ring of the boiler. The chimney was built up in three pieces and placed at the very front of the smokebox.

Immediately behind the smokebox was a cylindrical sand box; sanding, which was by hand, was provided in front of the leading wheels and behind the rear ones since the engine worked as much backwards as forwards. On the saddle tank, which extended from the front of the smokebox to the front of the firebox, was a Sharp Stewart maker's plate.

The buffer beams were of wood – a common practice in 1874 – and the buffers themselves had almost rectangular heads. Jacks were carried as was common practice on all BNCR engines at this time.

When No.42 first appeared, it was equipped only with a weatherboard and the locomotive crew must have found the lack of a proper cab very unpleasant in wet weather. The Ramsbottom safety valves were placed over the firebox and exhausted in front of the weatherboard.

No brakes, other than a hand brake actuated by a large hand-wheel, were fitted to No.42. This, the fireman was expected to work under the driver's commands.

No.42 was rebuilt in 1901 with a cab which enclosed the safety valves that now exhausted through the cab roof. The spectacles were small and round and the cab sides were quite open. This alteration increased the weight by about 1 ton.

The makers plate was removed at some time during its career, possibly when the engine was rebuilt.

No.42 was well suited for dock shunting. A relatively high tractive effort for a four coupled engine of 1874 vintage was packed into a total wheelbase of 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m), ideal for the tight dockyard curves.

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