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Mallard: streamlined for speed

Discussion in 'National Railway Museum' started by Anthony Coulls, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    Most people are probably aware that the NRM’s star loco Mallard has gone on her holidays from York and is now on display at Locomotion in Shildon (see Anthony’s post below). This seemed like a good time to have a dig around the image collections.

    [​IMG]LNER A4 Pacific 22 'Mallard' at Waterloo, 22nd June 1948


    The 1930s saw a renewed interest in running speed on the railways due to increased competition from the roads. The LNER and LMS (and briefly GWR) began streamlining their engines in the hope of producing faster speeds resulting in the iconic streamlined A4 Pacifics of the LNER and the ‘Princess Coronation’ Pacific engines of the LMS.

    [​IMG]LMS Steam locomotive 'Coronation' with train, Shap Summit, Cumbria


    In 1935 the LNER launched the Silver Jubilee service between London and Newcastle, boasting in the poster below to be Britain’s first streamline train. The success of the Silver Jubilee led the LNER to introduce further services including a London to Edinburgh route in 1937. The following year saw Mallard become famous.

    [​IMG]The Silver Jubilee, Britain's First Streamline Train', LNER poster


    The photograph below shows Mallard in July 1938 just before her record breaking run from London to Edinburgh under the guise of a brake test. She was recorded at 126mph, a steam speed record that still stands today.

    [​IMG]LNER 'Mallard' 4-6-2 steam locomotive no 4468, 3 July 1938


    Below 4 LNER Class A4 locomotives line up at the NRM in 2008 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Mallard’s world steam record.

    [​IMG]A4 Locomotive Great Reunion Event, NRM 2008



    Filed under: Image collections [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    A fine locomotive indeed and one I hope to see in steam once more. Next time I hope to get a run behind her too.
     
  3. hussra

    hussra New Member

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    Probably worth pointing out that, since the blog this came from moved over to http://nationalrailwaymuseum.wordpress.com/, Anthony is not the only person writing and it could be a bit misleading for them all to be automatically posted here under his name?
     
  4. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    OH ANTHONY !!

    .

    Please report to headmaster for review - your accuracy is negligible - time for a rest to recharge memories. The brake trials were held between Kings Cross and Grantham with scheduled reversal of train at Barkston triangle; the photograph alluded to shows the train at Barkston Junction shortly after reversal but before the southbound run when the Westinghouse staff were offered the chance to leave the train as their contract was for "brake trials" not "record-breaking runs". Needless to say no-one left the train !
     
  5. admin

    admin Founder Administrator

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    Did not realise this,.
    A NRM blog bot needs to be set up.
     
  6. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    Hello Fred, as m'learned friend points out above, I am not the only one who posts these blogs now from the NRM feed, it was written by a colleague who has been advised and will edit the post. Thanks, Anthony
     
  7. thetriangman

    thetriangman New Member

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    Isn't Mallard incorrectly preserved in it's record breaking form? If I remember correctly, in some old LNER mags of the time which I sold at a collectors fair last year, Mallard had crome plated nameplates and today her nameplates are plain brass.
     
  8. thetriangman

    thetriangman New Member

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    Whilst everyone goes on about Mallard and her run, there is a more impressive and considerably more powerful "Super A4" that has just drifted away since it was scrapped in 1959 although it's tender lingers on behind A4 Union of South Africa, does the NRM still have the plans for the "Super A4"?

    I refer of course to the REBUILT W1 4-6-4 with the proposed Gresley Super A4 improvements which were death in office and war stopped a lot of new designs and work on the project or so the rummour goes. It was rummoued Gresley had planned a raft of improvements to the rebuilt W1 turning it into the Super A4 class loco he had planned. As it was the rebuilt W1 outclassed the A4 class and Princess Coronations in terms of Drawbar Horsepower and starting railhead TE. The rebuilt W1 "Super A4" had a railhead starting TE of 41,100lbs+.

    It would be great to see the NRM mention the loco in the museum and perhaps do an exhibiton on the giant "super A4" we lost in 1959.

    There was supposed to be a record run booked for 1939 for both Malllrd and the Rebuilt W1 neither on which came off due to the the prevailing conditions and war. Gresley was rummoured not to be happy with Mallard's run and felt she should have gone faster. Mallard was checked at Grantham by a PW speed restriction slowing her to 20MPH or less I believe on her dash for the record?
     
  9. thetriangman

    thetriangman New Member

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    On the record run Mallard arrived at Barkston at 2.49pm where the train and loco were turned and parked into a siding. A late lunch was taken washed down with cups of tea. During the layover Sam Jenkins and Eric Bannister thoroughly doused the middle big end with super-heater oil. After lunch Sam Jenkins and Tommy Bray made up the fire and re-tested the intercom equipment in readiness for the high speed run. The fire was got as hot as possible to generate the steam required. A quick roll call was done. Just before departure Douglass Edge called the Westinghouse team together. He addressed a Mr LaClair telling him what was about to happen and asked if anyone wanted to take a taxi back to Peterborough, needless to say everyone stayed. Mallard gave a couple of short whistles and slowly ambled out onto the mainline. The time was 4.15PM Precisely. Mallard was checked at Grantham nearly wrecking the run, a PW slack reduced speed to 18MPH so the old girl had to be flogged to regain speed, Mallard passed stoke box at 85MPH and the rest is histroy.

    Sadly shutting off steam against a full head of steam for Essendine's 90MPH curves overheated the middle big and melted the white metal. Mallard rounded the curves at Essendine at 108MPH and was reported to have leaned over most alarmingly and we nearly had the fastest high speed steam wreck but luck held. The loco was swarming with fitters when she came to rest at Peterborugh north after having limped in and was quickly replaced by an eldery Ivatt Atlantic 3290 which took the train onwards to King's Cross. The press were at King's Cross to meet the hero's and the train minus Mallard arrived at exactly 6.27pm.

    The run was over.

    Gresley wasn't totally satisfied with the run and more runs were planned but war stopped them happening. Gresley felt Mallard was good for 130 pushing onto 140 MPH, had the PW check not slowed Mallard perhaps the record would have been higher and Mallard would have slowed down more gently and sooner thus alleviating the melted middle big end white metal bearing.
     
  10. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    There's a super new book by Bill Brown who used to work for the NRM just come out on the engine - look out for it, it's well worth a read!
     
  11. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    A bit of A4 "trivia" for you Anthony, courtesy of Cecil J Allen in "British Pacific Locomotives" ( hardback copy just picked up in local charity shop for £2-49....). Experiments were conducted at the National Physical Laboratory with scale models of the proposed A4, and an A3 pacific, to determine what value the streamlined casing would be in overcoming air resistance at high speed.
    The actual horsepower economies calculated from thse experiments, in favour of streamlining were : 41 h.p. at 60 mph, 97 h.p. at 80 mph, 190 h.p. at 100 mph, 253 h.p. at 110 mph, and 639 h.p. at 150 mph. So yes, indeed "streamlined for speed".

    Apologies if I am relating something you already know, but others may find it interesting.

    Regards

    46118
     
  12. spindizzy

    spindizzy Member

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    What is the maximum power in HP that an A4 can produce?
     
  13. tomparryharry

    tomparryharry Member

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    I'm sorry, I don't understand this.... How can shutting off steam overheat a bearing? The bearing is reciprocating, or rotating, and is not directly connected to the boiler. Removing force (boiler pressure) would help the molten big end, not worsen it. If the whitemetal has gone, then having 250-odd psi bashing the middle rod around is a no-no. Putting the wrong lubrication into a journal can shorten the life of a bearing in very short time, and trying to get steam oil to travel thro' a wick is wishful thinking. By the time the oil has thinned out, the damage is done....

    Regards,
    Ian.

    If at first you don't succeed.... Select a larger hammer.
     
  14. KatyR

    KatyR New Member

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    Douglass Edge was my Great Grandfather and I have been looking for any reference made about him in relation to the Mallard Speed record. Family stories say that members of the crew were awarded MBE's but most were given back in protest, due to the Beetles receiving one shortly after. My Great Grandfathers was one of these..

    This post is one of the only times I have found any mention of him and i was wondering if you know of any articles or photos that may be in existence?

    Many Thanks,

    Katy
     
  15. oddsocks

    oddsocks Well-Known Member

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    Mallards record run was in July 1938. The "BEATLES" were awarded their M.B.E.'s on 12 June 1965. Over a quarter of a century later and hardly "shortly after".
     
  16. Robert Heath No.6

    Robert Heath No.6 Well-Known Member

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    Depends how good the fireman is :)
     
  17. Richard L

    Richard L New Member

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    Dunno but the sudden shutting off of steam was the cause of the big end going according to Don Hale. He stated in his book on Mallard that without the steam to absorb the heat the metal in the boiler cooked itself. The steam in the boiler would be a definite coolant.
     
  18. Mallard's record run took place in July 1938, the Beatles received their MBEs in October 1965.

    If the above is true, it begs the question - would it really have taken the best part of 27 years for the crew of Mallard's record-breaking run to be awarded MBEs?

    I've just spent half an hour or so searching the interweb for any evidence that any of the crew on the record-breaking run received MBEs and I can't find any. I'm sure if they had been awarded them there would be some mention, even if they had been given back.

    I've a feeling what you have there, Katy, is a good old-fashioned family myth :smile:
     
  19. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    Something to do with the motion behaving differently under load to when not under load...
     
  20. Richard L

    Richard L New Member

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    Compression of steam still in the cylinder would have softened the action of the piston. With steam off the crank pin had to provide all the force to do the work. Thus the bearing overheated. This was the judgement of inspector Denis Carling and also of German engineers.
     

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