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Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Train loading on bridges since Stephenson's Rocket - meeting of IStructE History Study Group 13 December 2010

Alan Hayward will be speaking to the Institution of Structural Engineers History Study Group on how train loading has increased from the start of the public railways up to the present day leading to the early bridges becoming unsuitable on major routes.

In his talk, Alan will refer to the Dee Bridge disaster and public enquiry into iron bridges, Norwood Junction collapse 1891, the phenomenon of hammer blow, comparisons between early and modern loadings and lessons for the future.

Alan Hayward is a bridge specialist both as designer and constructor. He was a co-founder of Cass Hayward and is now a consultant to the firm. He is also a volunteer bridge advisor to SUSTRANS. 

The talk will take place at:

Institution of Structural Engineers
11 Upper Belgrave Street
London SW1

Monday 13 December, 5.45pm for  6.15 pm

For more information on the IStructEhisotry study group see

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

"Mr Russel (Letters 13 November) questions the wisdom of councils borrowing to meet redundancy costs.  He cites the Waygood Gallery and the Blue Carpet as examples of doubtful use of money by Newcastle City Council.
Should their proposed borrowing of £30M to support the private redevelopment of the Stephenson Quarter be added to this?  Your article of October 28 suggests that this is being done despite banks being unwilling to lend the money directly.  Is it right for the public sector to take on private risk at a time when it is struggling to meet the cost of shedding it's own staff?
It is also a great shame that the Council has shown no real enthusiasm for developing and exploiting the Stephensons' engineering heritage within this area."

Posted By Robert. Stephenson


Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Over 5,000,000 visitors online to see this fantastc model railway presentation


Posted By Robert. Stephenson

The Rapiscan truck scaning the Planet

The replica 1830 Planet at MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester) was X-rayed to test the new Rapiscan Eagle® M60, which was developed by Rapiscan in association with The University of Manchester.

It now hits the road to scan cargo and unoccupied passenger vehicles to protect against threats, counter trade fraud and detect contraband such as narcotics. 

The insides of Planet locomotive are revealed in a fascinating X-ray image taken by the M60, which shows its complicated system of boiler tubes, cylinders, valves and watertank. It is the first time that such an image has been taken of a steam locomotive.

The M60 was originally designed to help identify contraband and plastic explosive type materials in cargo shipments, and is able to detect different materials such as wood and metal.

It is the first Rapiscan system with a high energy X-ray imaging system in a road legal, mobile platform.

Rapiscan Systems works regularly with The University of Manchester and funds research work by mathematics postgraduates to help develop X-ray imaging, including work on the M60.

Professor Bill Lionheart, professor of Applied Mathematics at The University of Manchester, said: "Stephenson's Planet was made for the first passenger railway here in the North West so it seems fitting to make an X-ray image of it with Rapiscan's Eagle truck scanner, which has also been developed in the region.

“Unlike Stephenson's more famous rocket the cylinders of Planet are inside. With Rapiscan's huge X-ray machine we should be able to show the inside workings of the engine.”

Robin Holgate, MOSI’s Head of Interpretation and Learning said: “It’s fascinating to see the insides of Planet in the image taken by Rapiscan’s Eagle M60 and really helps us to understand the complex engineering behind this 19th century technology. We hope to display the photo in the future for our visitors to see the inner workings of our favourite steam locomotive.”

The original Planet steam locomotive was built by Robert Stephenson and ran on the Liverpool & Manchester Railway – the world’s first passenger railway, built in 1830. MOSI is based in the buildings of the former Liverpool Road railway station – the oldest surviving station on the line.

Rapiscan Systems, a division of OSI Systems, Inc. is the world’s leading security screening provider, utilizing X-ray and gamma-ray imaging, and advanced threat identification techniques such as neutron and diffraction analysis. Rapiscan Systems products are manufactured at four locations including Biddulph near Stoke-on-Trent.



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