The recent anniversary of the opening of the test plant at Rugby made me wonder whether it would be worth designing and building (money permitting of course) a new and updated version of the Rugby test plant. It might save on test runs and a lot of data could be recorded at mainline speeds without having to pay the expensive costs of organising a test run simply every time you changed something on the loco.
A portable one for smaller gauges could also be designed which might allow for testing of festiniog railway locomotives without disrupting their busy summer timetable say.
I would be very interested to hear all you thoughts on this
Yes, I like the idea, especially with modern instrumentation. The Lynton and Barnstaple is a the same gauge as the Festiniog, so it would be good for their new-builds.
If we were to build a narrow gauge one it could even be multi gauge. say 15inch and 2ft? I’m not sure how that would work but I’m sure a way could be found.
Assuming the locomotive driving wheels are supported on rollers, I would think it’s relatively straight forward to design them for multiple gauges. A similar priciple to dual gauge or multigauge track. I think one of the locomotive manufacturers (I can’t remember which – possibly Hunslet) had a multiple gauge test track on which it could run locomotives of most gauges.
Rollers would seem the best way to do it. I think the only difficulty then would possibly be to make it portable. Which could definitely be done its just a question of good design.
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