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Steam speed records including City of Truro and Mallard

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Courier, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    If anyone's read my article on City of Truro's max speed in "Western Celebration" (Steam Railway GW175 magazine) I'd be very interested in hearing any opinions or questions they have. It's always good to see feedback - of whatever sort.
     
  2. williamfj2

    williamfj2 Member

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    I haven't read it, I can't find one at the moment but I'd imagine her top speed is 102.3mph!


    I'll get me coat
     
  3. Coboman

    Coboman Member

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    80 downhill with a trailing wind ;)
    I'll also get me coat!
     
  4. KentYeti

    KentYeti Guest

    No. Circa 92 mph.

    Read the web page that I spent so long researching. http://www.germansteam.co.uk/Tonup/Tonup.html

    Can't believe it's more than 5 years since I updated it! I have got some bits to add, none that make any difference to the results.

    To me it is a total tragedy that the first steam loco that reached 100 mph and left an undisputable "audit trail", LNER A3 2750, "Papyrus", was scrapped because of the irregularities that surrounded the claims for City of Truro and Flying Scotsman. And that comment from myself, someone who has no interest at all in LNER locos!

    Not that the runs by City of Truro and Flying Scotsman weren't superlative efforts, because they were.

    But if I had a time machine and GPS etc that would work back in the 1920s/30s I'd first go back to time Pennsylvania Rail Road E6 4-4-2 No. 460 on the "Lindy" train in 1927. Where, despite ridiculous speed claims made at the time, (but at least the loco was preserved as a result), there is a good chance that 100 mph was touched at some point on that historic run. But it took a loco type that had reached 2,500 ihp on test, a two car train and a totally open road to get to/or very very close to that speed.

    And the second one I would time is Milwaukee Rail Road F6 Hudson number 6402, (later number 127) on the test run for the Hiawatha trains. Trains that were to hold the blue ribband for the fastest scheduled steam hauled trains in railway history. I am personally convinced that on July 20th 1934 #6402 just exceeded 100 mph. But the audit trail is just not strong enough for me to have survived review of concluding that loco was certainly the very first 100 mph steam loco by my peers in the timing world.

    And maybe I'd also go back to time that wierd looking Philadelphia & Reading Railroad P5 "Camelback" Altantic #343 on 14th June 1907!
     
  5. buseng

    buseng Part of the furniture

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    I phoned up the publishers via the advert in the latest Steam Railway & ordered mine. Well worth buying, amongst other things including the CoT article (above), there is a very interesting 1st hand on the day article about the Ian Allan "Great Western" run on the 9th of May 1964.
     
  6. Coboman

    Coboman Member

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    I personally believe that an L&Y highflyer was the first steam loco to achieve 100+ mph, authenticated or not. The evidence points towards it going mighty close, if not exceeding it. It was timed at an average of 80 mph between to points, and the first was passed at approx 20 mph. I forget how close together they were now. I think there have been many locos capable of 100+ speeds that never got the chance due to the areas where they worked.
     
  7. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    That, I believe, was alleged to have happened on the Liverpool (Exchange) - Southport line - I presume that it wasn't until after Bank Hall that they'd have opened it out - those curves are pretty tight... ;)

    mark
     
  8. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The details I have noted state that on 15/07/1899, as part of pre-electrification time trials, Highflyer 1392 operated 14:51 Liverpool Exchange - Southport express working, passing MP17 at 15:03.75 thus reportedly reaching 100 m.p.h. This was never reported as a record because (a) it was a test train with no public interest being expected and (b) there was a general concern at the time about train speeds in general and the L&Y was unwilling to add to the controversy.
     
  9. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Fred - MP 17 - that's near Ainsdale, isn't it?

    Cheers
    Mark
     
  10. Coboman

    Coboman Member

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    Thank you Fred and Mark, I couldn't remember the details of the run. I also remember reading about another incident again involving a highflyer undergoing tests in the 20s with blast pipe pressure relief valves touching 120, but I find that very hard to believe!
     
  11. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    ... as unbelieveable as the story of a GW 'Saint' doing 120mph light engine!
     
  12. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Because of change from Liverpool Exchange to Liverpool Central my guess is that MP17 would be on the straight between Ainsdale and Hillside; at 100 mph I would imagine that by Hillside they would be looking to start brake applications foir the curve at Birkdale, the 3 level crossings into Southport and the sharp curve into the Southport platform however.
     
  13. Courier

    Courier New Member

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  14. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    This event is always treated as a myth - but it is certain that 2903 was driven light engine down from Badminton at a very high speed, Collett wasn't the type to have made up such a story. Even before WW1 Saints had achieved 90mph on Birmingham expresses so a speed in excess of 100mph light engine down 10 miles of 1:300 is not ridiculous. How much in excess who knows. That would be the one to go for if you had a time machine and a speed gun.

    One of the people on the footplate that day in 1906 was Inspector Flewellen who was also on City of Truro when it made it's run and on Pendennis Castle on the LNER.
     
  15. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member

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    I don 't know about the accuracy, but, whatever it was, I'm damned glad I wasn't on it. A light engine is pretty lively at 40 or 50 mph: I shudder to think what it was like on the footplate at speeds like that. They're much more stable with a train, and, of course, much easier to stop!
     
  16. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    I don't know if you have done that, given the scale, but it would be useful to have your vertical axis seconds per mile and have intervals of 10th of a second so that its readily possible to spot the limits of the measurement technology.

    Mind, it sometimes seems to me that the principal requirement for UK speed records was a good hill - and the LNER had the best hill... Speed achieved on level track would be a much more acceptable record.

    The other thing about the COT record is that I understand there were other timings of the large wheel 4-4-0s in the 90s, so its not hard to disbelieve those calculations that suggest a max speed of 80 something...
     
  17. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member

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    Further to my last, I forgot to mention that City of Truro is and absolute sweetheart to drive and ride on. It is silky smooth, like the modern big Pacifics. It's not difficult to believe it did the biz, having been on it.
     
  18. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    Hi Fred - I don't know what happened to my reply to this yesterday...lost in the ether somewhere, I guess...

    I wasn't too far out in location then - not bad, considering that I left the area in 1981 :) . As you say, they'd have likely been looking to start braking about there - stopping from speed could be a little problematic back then, for sure...

    Mark
     
  19. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Did you know soemthing ? I wasn't transferred to the area until 1982 .
     
  20. osprey

    osprey Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yes, I remember it passing through Warwick a few years ago at a fair speed on a positioning move. It was almost like a sewing machine, so smooth. I was quite taken aback as prior to then had only seen it in the NRM. Always thought it looked a well balanced machine
     

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