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· In depth idiot
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QUOTE (Jerry @ 19 Mar 2009, 21:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. I've always found it curious that in countries like Germany practically every steam loco from narrow gauge engines through shunters to large express engines carried working electric lighting yet British railways seemed to have so much difficulty with it.
This is the old story, that if a feature is standardised then all the facilities to support it have to be provided. A few hundred locos with electric lighting, among 20,000 steam locos with no such fitting, few staff trained to maintain it, a limited number of sites with the spares, in an environment where keeping up basic maintenance was a challenge; guess what's going to be an early casualty? With the long established oil lamp system in place, a non-working electrical light system did not make the loco a failure.

It would have needed universal fitting to all locomotives (at least within a delimited region) and withdrawal of the oil lamps at a pre-announced date, with the establishment of an appropriate maintenance structure, to make it happen.

When a form of traction requiring electrical supply for its' function was introduced, then the essential maintenance structures had to be provided, and electric lighting quickly became the norm, and as easily maintained as on any other railway system.
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