|RTV Diesel Brake Tender|
|Tuesday, 12 January 2010 11:12|
Diesel Brake Tenders were an engineering solution to a problem of reduced brake force that arose once diesel locomotives took over from steam on unfitted goods and mineral trains.
Steam locomotives invariably had brakes on the tender as well as the engine giving them a much higher brake force to control unfitted trains. Diesel locomotives didn't need to haul around a couple of tons of coal and a few thousand gallons of water and as a result had a reduced braking ability. The brake tender was designed to take the place of the steam locomotives' tender and theoretically increase the brake force available.
The design was a simple one with surplus coach bogies being used to support a frame and box that was loaded down with scrap metal and concrete to a gross weight similar to that of a steam locomotives' tender, naturally the design called for vacuum brakes. The tender themselves were hauled or propelled in front of the engine depending on operating requirements or local instructions. The effectiveness of the idea is open to much speculation with some claiming they made little difference, others stating they were effective when hauled but liable to skid and bounce when propelled.