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Tornado Christmas Express: 7/12/19

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by NeilL, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    On first reading it didn’t quite register, but it now strikes me that whatever problems of coal quality or any other constraints on performance may have beset Tornado and its crew on the outward journey, the southbound climb out of the Leam Valley from the Leamington restart, past Fosse Road to Harbury Tunnel, must have been quite outstanding to deliver 60 mph at the tunnel entrance – or certainly it would seem so when comparing this with “back-in-the-day” King class 8P performances on this section.

    Nagged by this thought, a trawl back through some 20 or so records of runs timed by Brian Basterfield and other notables held in the RPS archive appears to confirm this impression. Looking specifically at runs that featured a restart from Leamington as opposed to a run-through typified by Preservation Era steam runs, and within this group those featuring 10 or 11 coach trailing loads grossing out at some 365-395 tons, the typical passing speed at the site of Southam Road and Harbury station fell in the range 48–52 mph, compared with Tornado’s 60 mph some 50 chains further north/ nearer to Leamington. All the more impressive because this last half mile sees the climbing gradient ease right back from the three miles of 1 in 187/ 143 of the Fosse Road bank to a half mile of 1 in 779, so the typical King speeds observed at this point would have occurred during acceleration away from the climb.

    It’s certainly true that in my brief survey there were handful of instances recorded where much lighter trains hauled by Kings (Loads 7 to 9 grossing at 280-335 tons) did manage to achieve around 60 mph at the site of the long-since disappeared station here. For example when Kings stood in on short-formation hauled Pullman trains due to the non-availability of the “Birmingham Pullman” diesel set. Or when hauling a portion of the Cambrian Coast Express rather than then full formation. But the general idea was to get the best like-for-like comparison that I could to verify my impression of Tornado's performance.

    Alongside the (as-usual) magnificent visual impact of Tornado so well captured by all the images and videos contributed to this thread (thanks to you all for this, wish I too could have been lineside yesterday), I thought that this snippet of performance analysis might be similarly welcomed, and I do hope that we shall see more of this story and any further insights in a future edition of Heritage Railway. Please.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
    sunstream, 1020 Shireman and Sheff like this.
  2. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Yes it was impressive as was all the hill climbing and starts. But these were compensated by easy running downhill to recover steam. Full details in the Heritage Railway due out January 16th. Milepost details up Fosse Road which I can say support the speeds.
     
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  3. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Well-Known Member

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    That blast through Keynsham is terrific. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  4. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Actually 62.5 at Southam Road. On 15th October 2011 Bill Warriner driving 5043 on 8 was doing 60 there after passing Leamington Spa at 34 mph. Also in the January HR plus a run up the GWR main line with 6024. A treat for copper cap fans.
     
  5. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Don't forget the big green Southern loco with a massive Pullman train last July. But we digress.
     
  6. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    I hadn’t forgotten it and may compare all three. It’s taken me most of yesterday to translate the IA gradients into current milepost locations
     

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