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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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    Very true - these appear to be the first vehicles to achieve 100mph - though of course these were experimental tests - not something that happened as part of 'normal' running as with 3440 in commercial service. I would like to believe a steam loco was first to 100mph but have not seen anything earlier than these German runs that stands up to scrutiny (999 on the New York Central does not for instance).

    But if you want to dream of an really early 100mph this Irish run is interesting....
    Elrington.jpg
     
  2. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    this might be easier to read

    Elrington a.jpg
     
  3. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I simply refer my learned friend to the postings on Page 2 of this thread including :

    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.
     
  4. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    So is there any other record of any locomotive anywhere doing 17 miles in 12:45 from a standing start? The best I can find are just over 14 minutes for the fastest Cheltenham Flyer run, 13:20 for a German streamlined 4-6-4 and 13:30 for a Merchant Navy running from Basingstoke to Woking. The German loco might have done it in 13 dead if it had not had to slow to 80mph at one point, the MN might have done it in 12:45 if it had been able to run the last 6 miles from Fleet at 100mph rather than slowing to 66mph. That was over falling gradients and the train was only 170 tons.

    So with a very good power weight ratio, falling gradients and no speed restrictions it might just be possible to do that distance in that time. But Liverpool - Southport is not downhill and there are several speed restrictions. I don't think any of the locomotives above could run to mp17 on that route in 12:45 - let alone a Highflyer.
     
  5. KentYeti

    KentYeti Guest

    I agree with Courier in this one. Every properly recorded fast run has been gone over time and time again by those at the heart of the timing community and the Liverpool - Southport run does not feature in 100 mph runs. Virtually certain it is one of very many runs where high speed was reached, but not 100 mph. But still a super effort for it's time.

    So far as fast starts. My own record is on 4th April 2004 with German 012 100-4 plus 225 tonnes. Leaving Bucholz for Hamburg via the freight line. Under 5 mins 30 seconds to reach 5 and a half miles. By then the loco had been eased back to keep to it's 87 mph limit. Running just above it's original speed limit 12mins 45 secs for 17 miles would have been marginally possible without reaching 100 mph.

    I think the fastest ever steam start recorded was with a Bulleid Light pacific on an astonishing run up from Salisbury on a stopping train. All stations to Woking. I think it was leaving Grateley for Andover. Only 4 cars, and even time in circa 5 minutes from the start. 90 mph max. I wasn't on that run, so am talking from pure memory of discussing it with the recorders. It was a specially set up run with Gordon Hooper driving. Super engineman, still with us. See him most years at the Bluebell Nine Elms re-union and exchange cards at Christmas. He was looking very fit when I saw him last. All those years yanking the regulator into the roof did him good!

    Re MN runs, my I suggest the 26th June 1967 run on the last up Weymouth. I know a little about that one as I was on the footplate at the time. My full footplate log is here on NP somewhere. I made it 13 mins 1 sec to MP 31, 16.8 miles from the Basingstoke start. Circa 13 mins 10 for 17 miles. After a slowing to 68 mph at Farnborough, (pws). Loco eased back circa 11 miles from the Basingstoke start at 106 mph or we would have gone past 110 mph without a doubt. No doubt Fred remembered he had two axle parcels vans in the train, (speed limit 75 mph). Safety valves lifted as soon as he eased back to sustain 100 mph on level track.

    Back on 27 April 1967 I recorded the only known instance of a UK steam loco reaching 100 mph three times on one section of a normal service train. Alebit with a 99 mph between two of them. Up semi fast again, and after leaving Basingstoke. 245 tonnes and 35003 again. Driver Chapman and 12.59 secs to MP 31, (16.80 miles). Circa 13.09 secs for 17 miles. Loco obviously eased back once 100/101 mph had been reached less than 10 miles from the start.

    Point from the above is that a superb pacific, right at the end of UK steam loco development, on a light load with favourable grades on a known racing stretch would only just have done 12mins 45 secs for 17 miles from a standing start if unchecked and worked a fair bit harder. Worked flat out we would have taken off! But the rebuilt MNs were an astonishingly fast and powerful loco. Very close to, (but not quite up to), the best pacifics ever in the UK. Much underated during their working life. Mainly because of the cr.p schedules they ran to.

    Sorry. Gone a long way from CoT. On which my views and very lengthy analysis using the work done over a number of years by the cream of the timing communuity are well known.
     
  6. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    I always like to see the source document in any study and believe this is the one for 1392 from the Locomotive Magazine of 1898: 1392 a.gif 1392.jpg

    Whatever happened (and I don't believe the 17 miles were run in 12:45) the fast run probably depended on a very fast start rather than any extreme speed. There is a 1902 account of one running the first 2.25 miles from Manchester in 2:51 with 100 tons (a similar load to the 1898 run).

    I was very interested in reading Bryan's accounts of fast starts in Germany and the UK - thanks. (But as regards 3440 still stand by the conclusions of my article!)
     
  7. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    As has been pointed out before the probable reason for the Liverpool - Southport run not being recorded as 100 mph was twofold - (1) the actual run was a test of potential electrification timings and - possibly - the effect on track of high speed running and (2) given the fears of the time regarding high speed running (remembering that it was a time when some commentators still thought that travelling at 100 mph+ would cause body deformations) the L&YR possibly felt it better not to publicise the actual speed.

    For those unfamiliar with the Southport - Liverpool route it is worth pointing out that at the turn of the 20th century the route was considered as an express passenger route and the local service from Liverpool actually finished at Hall Road where the turnback siding was located. This continued into early electric days but during the 1960 / 1970s the service became standardised with all station calls that have made into the suburban service that it operates as today. The route itself is relatively flat as it follows close to the coastline and it is only between Sandhills and Waterloo that there is any gradients of note AFAIK.
     
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  8. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    The issue over this run is not the reporting (as noted previously it was reported at the time - though a bit more supporting data wouldn't go amiss) but the feasibility. To do 17 miles in 12:45 requires a very high power weight ratio, falling gradients and no speed restrictions. I don't believe any locomotive - ancient or modern - could do that time on that route - the curve at Bank Hall and the generally level gradient count against it.

    I'd be interested to know what is the source for the run being a pre electrification test - as it must be a different source than the report in the Locomotive Magazine of August 1898. There were certainly resistance measurement runs on that route with that loco in the 1898-1900 period.
     
  9. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    Just been running a simulation on this - using Bryan's run with 35003 as a basis plus also a 1962 run with Cranbrook Castle that was almost as fast.

    I've changed my mind - a M Navy or a Castle with 100 tons could do L/pool - S/port in less that 12:45 ASSUMING NO SPEED RESTRICTIONS.

    Interestingly change the loco to a Highflyer and the power requirement is much less - as the loco is some 55 tons lighter than a MN (I've guessed a Highflyer with tender at 95 tons) - and so much less power is needed to accelerate the train to cruising speed. With a Highflyer a 12:45 run for the first 17 miles requires some 1400ihp and a max speed of 95mph. If the time was 30 seconds slower those drop to 1200ihp and 90mph. Note there are lots of assumptions in this - particularly over the initial acceleration.

    So could there be some truth in this run? - yes, perhaps not 12min 45sec but maybe not that much more.
    Did 1392 do 100 mph? - there is no evidence for this (ie the passing time does not require that high a speed - and no one claimed to have timed the train at this speed) and the power would have been over 1500 ihp.

    This all assumes the Bank Hall curve was taken at around 65mph - don't know if that is feasible.
     
  10. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    Should have added that whatever the max speed was it was with little or no aid from gravity - so even 90 mph would be quite a feat for 1898.
     
  11. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    A further point would be the train weight (the Railway Magazine quotes 5 coaches but not weight -or even if coaches were filled with ballast weight to represent passengers) which would impart on the power / weight ratios.

    2 further points - (1) MP17 is actiually between Ainsdale and Hillside on the lengthy straight leading into Southport (2) given that AIUI the test was to check proposed electrification timimngs I would presume that the train would be allowed to ignore some speed restrictions subject to the Civil Engineer's discretion.
     
  12. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Part of the furniture

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    Weight isn't a major factor in high speeds. It's almost everything at low speeds and acceleration, and its input to train resistance varies only with gradient. It's effect on rolling resistance is constant at any speed. What does make the difference is aerodynamic resistance, which rises with the square of velocity, so the power needed to overcome the aerodynamic resistance of a train at 60 mph is four times that required for 30 mph, while the rolling resistance hasn't altered, but is added to it. This is why there is a big difference between, say, 98 mph and 100 mph: the power required for the latter would be appreciably greater than for the former.

    So power / weight ratio for high speeds is fairly (although not entirely) meaningless, but the number of vehicles, each one of which has its own aerodynamic resistance, is more appropriate. That's why many pre-grouping companies gave number of vehicles rather than weight when deciding passenger train loadings.
     
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  13. KentYeti

    KentYeti Guest

    I should add that 35003 was not in good mechanical condition for the 26th June 1967 run, even though she was very smooth riding, (just been reading my elder brothers notes on that week). And for an almost repeat two days later when the maximum was 105 mph, (I was back in the train for that second run). She had a very bad big end knock and was in generally very bad nick as she ony had a few more days of working life left. But she had always been a very free running and fast locomotive.

    I had another tremendous run behind her with a lightly loaded 11.30 ex Waterloo in April 1967, circa 200 tons tare. Not worked on that log yet. But the highlight (amongst many!), was a time of 5 mins 58 seconds start to stop from New Milton to Christchurch, (5.79 miles), with an 86 mph max. The late Reubens Hendicott driving. From a glance it look like we were just about inside even time from the start fractionally inside 5 minutes at 83 mph, ( a possible new record if that is the case), having eased back from the 86 max as Christchurch was quite close. Not put the run on a spreadsheet yet, or researched whether the station distances were any different to those I am using tonight because of platform extensions etc. And I think we over ran the stop at Christchurch. Need to research that as well. There were a number of us timing the train that day.

    Re the Liverpool run. I've not seen any log of the run, so I presume the only details are the supposed time of 12 mins 45 seconds for the first 17 miles. Not sure that is enough data for me to add it to my list of very fast runs that have insufficient evidence to prove 100 mph was reached. Evidence for me by the way! But no way would my peer group accept a 100 mph conclusion on just one published time that may or may not be accurate. Without a supporting log we will never know that.

    Bit rushed as I've paused while working through adding photos from a 1972 trip to Austria to my web pages. Where has the evening gone! LOL!
     
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  14. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    The weight of approx 100 tons for 5 coaches is from Aspinall's paper on rolling resistance - in those trials the coaches were empty without ballast. Suspect the significance of mp 17 is that is where the brakes went on. I'm sure official speed restrictions were ignored - however my question on the curve at Bank Hall is whether it is possible to go round at 65mph without coming off the rails.

    Weight is critical as over a short run like this a sharp acceleration is v important to get a fast time.

    Just to repeat what I said earlier - there is no evidence for 100 mph - no one claimed to have timed the train at that speed and the time does not require a speed of 100mph. I'm sure a fast run was made but who knows what the exact details were - ie how precisely were the start and finish times recorded? (did the 2:51 train leave exactly at that time or thirty seconds early, were the start and finish times recorded by the same watch - or one by a station clock and one by someone's watch?) However I'm happy to believe it was a fast run and one with a very high speed on level track for that time.
     
  15. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    This is from Aspinall's 1902 paper at the Civil Engrs. Same loco, same route, almost same load, two years later. Neither run is very fast - the slowest is during a gale that blew over a stone at Stonehenge - but still interesting.
    1392 L S.jpg
     
  16. Hirn

    Hirn Member

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    The Hiawatha: I too have always been tantalised by the strange mixture of clear public and reliable public information eg the timetable but little more. It does not seem to have inspired any general pride or public curiosity, certainly in the form of surviving corroborative detail.

    I begin to think that we are lucky to have even outline track and gradient diagrams. We are lucky indeed that Vuillet went when he did, wrote his book with publication agreed, and then that it was not cancelled - the publishers changed hands and the incomers didn't think it likely to sell well. Indeed I believe that despite being quite a big book it was not published in full and wether a full typescript might survive or of course Vuillet's logs/notes?

    What has always intrigued me about the line is that the transitions between double and single track ought to have
    led to appreciable permanent speed limits whenever they occur'red: there seem to be three probable ways to minimise the consequences, First there could have been interesting high speed points, Second all the double lines could have been reversibly signalled and the points laid out so that you could run straight through without diverging, Third that the trains simply braked hard and accelerated very well afterwards.

    In particular might you know just what was causing the high costs of track maintenance? Might there be any indications whether it was the rails or points being affected. In Canada there was certainly a problem after frost heave in the winter - the ground had frozen hard in the winter lifting the sleepers but when the thaw came it did not go down evenly - it would seem that you could palliate this by having deep stone ballast and really good drainage under it yet I could see there being quite a lot of detailed track repacking wanted quite suddenly when everything turned from ice to water. This would be expensive to restore the "top" along the rails and the Milwaukee road had financial crisis after financial crisis...........

    ( That the Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific Railroad in the USA and the London and North Eastern Railway in Britain both had good managements though neither was strong financially and both produced trailblazing fast trains with steam haulage might be the stuff of another thread.)
     
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  17. Hermod

    Hermod Member

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    The wording can be made a little more clear:
    The force (Newton2 or lbsf) to overcome air resistance grows squarely
    The power (hp or kW) grows cubedly

    A very simple formula for needed power to a british train at constant speed:

    Rolling power:
    Total mass of train(kg)*9.81(m/sec**2)*0.oo15*speed(m/sec)=needed power in Watts

    Air resistance power for british trains:

    Estimate eqvivalent drag plate area as 0.13 times total length of train in meter.
    (A 100m long train has a flat plate area of 13 squaremeter as example)
    This square plate is multiplied with dynamic pressure that is
    1/2*density of air (kg/cubemeter)*speed squared=force in Newton
    Force *speed then gives nessecary power in kW.




    The two fudge factors 0.0015 and 0.13 has been aplied to Mallard and Tornado,and give very close to ca 2180 indicated horsepower when gravity gift is subtracted.
    https://www.national-preservation.c...5e0fe0caa84741dd8660a1663c052a.jpg?1555165211
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2023
  18. D6332found

    D6332found Member

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    They spin a good yarn in the West Country. Rous Martins books are semi fictitious also.Derring do tales.
    3440 is a punchy little engine though, and the fastest kettle I've ever had accelarating out of York other than 5305 to Leeds at 60mph. Which just show how much more you are asking to get to precisely 102.3mph.
    Interestingly I have an authentic 99mph report of a kettle in 1922! Now, with 1% allowance for error, is that 100mph like Tornado?!?
     
  19. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    One of the things I am looking at in my PhD at the minute is some of these high speed claims. The big thing that has come across to me in my research is the issue of sustained evaporative rate against things like rolling resistance, weight of train, and streamlining, in the whole overall story of any individual run.

    I remain consistent in my view that CoT did not achieve 100mph, but the story surrounding it saved a very beautiful and interesting locomotive from the scrap yard.
     
  20. Hermod

    Hermod Member

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    https://www.rmweb.co.uk/topic/14790-imaginary-locomotives/page/220/#comment-3660015

    I found the latest calculation and it gives 2400 IHP for Tornado

    Let us try Mallard

    Total lengt of train?
    Total mass of train
    Gradient?
    Wind speed and direction if any?
     

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