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Old 03-10-2019, 10:46 PM   #1
telltale
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Why no headlights ??

Of course not today. But in the steam era in England there appears to be no headlight on these engines...I occasionally see lanterns on their pilot beam. But no headlight ! Why ? You're not going to tell me they didn't run at night back then. They had to have had dynamos for the coach lights ! Also, why on the smaller locos were the cabs so short, front to back ? Am I to believe that in winter the cabs were so warm or hot from the back head and firebox heat that they didn't need deeper cabs ? These two things have always puzzled me....And it's not like they didn't see pix/movies of US steam back then..Thanks, M
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:23 AM   #2
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Well, maybe they figured they'd never be able to stop within the range of the headlights that were available anyway, so just charge ahead?
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:55 AM   #3
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I don't know the answer but I've also wondered about the lights and the cab. My guess is that they mounted lanterns on the front so people crossing the track could see the train coming.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:16 PM   #4
Deane Johnson
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There used to be a slogan "The sun never sets on the British Empire". Maybe there was never a need for a headlight, it was never dark.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:47 PM   #5
telltale
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Funny, no one has the true explanation yet ! I mean how did the engineer ('engine driver' in England,I think) and/or fireman see up ahead at night ? What if a bridge had collapsed just 17 min. ago with no transceivers in the cab ? What if 20 cows were on the track at 2 AM ? Cabs, shallow depth-wise, what did they do when it snowed or rained heavily on those small locos (the ones that had the portholes on the cab front), mainline or in marshaling yards ? I'll venture to say that not even the Flying Scotsman has a headlight..And, ironically, the train is an English invention !!

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Old 03-11-2019, 07:48 PM   #6
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Did you google it?
http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/148168.aspx
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:56 PM   #7
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on british rails it simply wasn't needed , they ran station to station between fenced lines mostly
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:56 PM   #8
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And probably pretty slow at that.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:13 PM   #9
telltale
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Originally Posted by wvgca View Post
on british rails it simply wasn't needed , they ran station to station between fenced lines mostly
OK. I might accept that. But it's not as if these lines didn't run past rock cliffs, or come up to a fallen tree or a lorry, horse drawn wagon, postman on a bike at pre-dawn, a mule stuck on the tracks at a grade crossing at night..I mean they had to have had grade crossings. Or, where they all those small brick bridges over the line ? I don't know..And the stubby cabs in the snow and rain. I mean how much more would it have taken to add a headlight and a longer cab ? %*@%^ does happen ! American trains had both from the get go..(OK, maybe not that first B&O stuff)..
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by telltale View Post
rock cliffs, fallen tree or a lorry, horse drawn wagon, postman on a bike at pre-dawn, a mule stuck on the tracks at a grade crossing at night..

true, but that was the exception, not the rule ..
and a dim headlight wouldn't involve much reduction in speed anyways ..


and besides, they weren't supposed to be there anyways, lol


a slightly different way of thinking ..
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