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Mallard is fastest steam loco?
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   Author  Topic: Mallard is fastest steam loco?  (Read 3345 times)
ClydeDET
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #100 on: Jul 11th, 2010, 9:41pm »
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George, that analysis of track conditions by somebody who actually knows the subject is - interesting. There are, of course, no Milwaukee As or Pennsy T-1s to be had, but there is the N&W J, a couple of Santa Fe 4-8-4s (3751 running and 2916 under rebuild), the 614 from C&O, SP 4449 and several 3460-class 4-6-2s of Santa Fe ancestry that could be rebuilt.
 
I have a feeling that a carefully rebuilt Santa Fe Hudson with a suitable train (say a dozen Budd or P-S lightweights) turned loose on the BNSF main across eastern Colorado and Kansas would show just how fast it could be done with steam. I rather imagine 130-135 mph for several miles would quite possibly turn out to "just how fast"....


« Last Edit: Aug 11th, 2010, 4:21pm by ClydeDET » Logged
George_Harris
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #101 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 9:30pm »
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on Aug 8th, 2010, 3:39pm, toptrain wrote:       (Click here for original message)
* Now we step ahead in time to July 3 1938. The London North Eastern Railway's 4-6-2 pacific # 4468. A A4 class Streamlined loco hauling a 240 ton train established the current world speed record of 126 mph. This was the locomotive Mallard. It had 80" drivers, and 18.5" by 26" cylinders. It also had the 250lb boiler pressure.  
* This is what info I can find. If you have more please reply with a quote and add the additional info.
  frank

Rather than waste everybody's time, may I firmly suggest that you go back and read the last few pages of this thread, maybe even all of it.  We started out exactly where you are now.  After getting past the what was recorded to the satisfaction of Guinness or whoever, we went on to discuss the whole issue of who and what can run fast and how fast, and that there are several almost certain candidates in the past, and a couple of examples still in existence that could beat the Mallard's speed, and do it without major strain.


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #102 on: Aug 11th, 2010, 4:18pm »
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I doubt that many don't recognize that Mallard has the fastest well-documented run by steam.A few German partisans feel otherwise.
 
Few who have actually studied steam doubt that there have been steam locomotives that made higher top speeds, at least briefly (and Mallard ran at its top speed only briefly), but the same were not documented for a number of reasons.
 
My own studies of the subject suggest that (a) Mallard was PROBABLY capable of exceeding its top recorded speed, at least briefly; (b) locomotives that actually exceeded Mallard's speed, in service, almost certainly included the Duplex-drive (NOT articulated) Pennsylvania Railroad S1 (6-4-4-6) and T1 (4-4-4-4) locomotives, Milwaukee Road Class A 4-4-2 types built for the Hiawatha, and Santa Fe 3460-Class Hudsons; (c) others were PROBABLY capable of exceeding Mallard's recorded speeds and MAY have done so included some Santa Fe, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific and Burlington 4-8-4  types. Likewise a number of 4-6-4 classes.  
 
But - we will never know, which strikes me as a pity. If I had enough money, I'd sponsor the rebuilding of a few of the better (in terms of probable speed capability) surviving 4-8-4 and 4-6-4 locomotives and hire the use of a stretch of good track (say on the BNSF on what used to be the ATSF "raceway across eastern Colorado and Kansas) and find out. Unlike Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, it is not likely I'll ever have that sort of money available.
 
Closest we will ever come to "knowing" will be if somebody wth the skills and access to a big, fast computer (and a LOT of information that doesn't exist in convenient form) devises a model and makes some simulated runs.


« Last Edit: Aug 11th, 2010, 4:20pm by ClydeDET » Logged
HwyHaulier
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #103 on: Aug 12th, 2010, 10:49am »
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Clyde - George - And Colleagues -
 
I have long been partial to the T-1. Yes, I followed the GH advice, and sorted thru much of the "back issues" right here.  
Noted the critique the S-1 had some troubles of its own...
 
On a suddenly parochial note, we may have had a couple Baltimore built efforts by local, B & O. Else, and as I rode  
behind any number of them in the "Last Stand Days" of steam, Midwestern 4-8-4 types were strong performers. Whether  
it was thought they might top well over 100 mph is another issue...
 
Finally, yeah, it is ludicrous to make speed record claims, when those of us here Stateside know any quick running was  
"...need to know..." basis, otherwise, none would acknowledge any of it ever happened. Note the recorded US Speed  
Records date to an era absent much ICC oversight... Post safety regulations, the dilemma: "The Mail must go thru!" even  
if it took some quick running. So, the Mail stayed to time, and no one asked of exactly how it was done...  
 
............."Loose Lips Sink Ships, Y'All!".....................Vern..........................


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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #104 on: Aug 15th, 2010, 7:35pm »
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I just joined this forum and read this stuff on Mallard.
 
The point about Mallard's run is it's the only one of any steam locomotive at this kind of speed with a detailed official record for all the world to see, in this case the dynamometer car chart, even if it's controversial. Many may well have gone faster, probably did.
 
I thought I'd do something few seem to have done - look up some informed independent facts! I read the RCTS 'Locomotives of the LNER' part 2A pages 92 through 135 on Gresley's Class A4 which includes every possible detail about them, including Mallard's run. In summary this tells me:
 
A. Reason for streamlined A4 class Pacifics
 
1. The reason for a high speed train and locomotives to haul it was commercial as railways needed to compete with the emerging airline industry, rather than record breaking. The resulting trains were a highly profitable venture.
 
2. Hitler's Germany had introduced the 'Fliegender Hamburger' diesel powered 2-car lightweight streamlined service between Berlin and Hamburg. The LNER managemert considered a similar London-Newcastle service would be a profitable proposition.  
 
3. The LNER gradients and speed restrictions would have restricted the average speed of such a unit to 63mph and the facilities onboard were very limited.
 
4. The LNER's CME (Sir) Nigel Gresley believed he could do better with steam power and a streamlined 7 later 8-car train with full onboard facilities like restaurant cars, tare weight 248 tons. The 'Silver Jubilee' was timetabled for 4 hours for the 268 miles with 1 stop at Darlington. The 232 miles on to London called for average speed 71mph and sustained speeds over long distances in excess of 100mph.
 
5. Later similar streamlined trains were introduced for London to Edinburg, 'Coronation' and London to Leeds with onward working to Bradford, 'West Riding Limited'. Then WW2 came and all discontinued, never to return. In the 1950's non-stop and 1-stop London to Edinburg trains using non-streamlined cars were introduced at 390 minutes for the 393 miles, all A4 hauled.  
 
6. For these and other services 35 A4's were built, some having corridor connections through the tender for non-stop crew changing; 1 destroyed in an air raid.  
 
7. To save weight all Gresley's 3-cylinder locomotives had middle cylinder valve events derived from the outside cylinders using a 2:1 lever arrangement. Although not a problem in regular service, at very high speed the levers would 'whip' causing the middle cylinder big end to overrun, overwork and overheat.
 
8. Despite this criticism of the conjugate valve gear, eventually resolved in the 1950's, A4's were among the most reliable, cost effective and last main line steam locomotives in revenue service, not finally succumbing to diesels until late 1966.
 
9. The #4496 named Golden Shuttle was assigned to Gen Eisenhower's train in WW2. At the end of hostilities it was renamed Dwight D Eisenhower; in 1948 it was renumbered 60008 and is preserved in USA. (The #60010 Dominion of Canada is preserved in Canada.)  
 
10. They weren't just greyhounds either. In WW2 they regularly hauled very heavy trains, known examples being 850 and 730 tons gross with long distances at average speeds of 70-80mph. In the 1950's as a teenage railfan I recall them hauling as many as 16 cars, about 550 tons.
 
10. Of the 35 built, 6 are preserved. Presently, Mallard is on static display with cracked mainframe so OOS for enthusiast excursions.  
 
The Record Attempt
 
1. For the record attempt by Mallard it was calculated in advance that the top speed could be over 130mph but a temporary speed restriction limited the run up the bank before the record attempt down the other side.
 
2. As a precaution for this exceptional run the suspect inside big end was 'drowned' in cylinder oil.
 
3. At the end of the run Mallard was removed from the train for inspection. It ran to the New England shed where THE DAMAGE WAS FOUND NOT TO BE SERIOUS. New England (which was a running shed not a repair works) found the white metal had run out of the big end brasses and only needed to be replaced which as a running shed it was used to doing and did. That done, it returned to Doncaster works under its own steam for a more thorough inspection. Nothing significant found, it returned to traffic just 9 days after its epic run.  
 
This would seem to refute stories Mallard was 'all smashed up' (unless of course you're a conspiracy theorist who believes it wasn't Mallard returning to service but a a renumbered, renamed duplicate with Mallard's works #1870 stamped on all its moving parts.)  
 
4. The speed(s) calculated from the dynamometer chart and written on it, Gresley  and the LNER's publicity department's, further analysis in the cold light of day soon after the original claims were made and again later still, all differ.  
 
Early calculations showed 120mph between mileposts 92 1/2 and 89 3/4 and 125mph for 306 yards around milepost 91.
 
Contradicting that, the official published speeds later showed 124.5mph at milepost 91 and 125 mph at milepost 90.25.
 
A later amendment showed 120mph was achieved at milepost 92 3/4 not 92 1/2.
 
The speed of 126mph had been marked on the chart BUT GRESLEY WOULD NOT ALLOW THIS CLAIM TO STAND, INSISTING THAT IT WAS ONLY A PEAK AND THE CLAIM MUST BE FOR A SUSTAINED SPEED OVER A DISTANCE.
 
Gresley and the LNER claimed only the average of 125mph over the 306 yards around milepost 91.
 
The plaques in Mallard claiming 126mph were fitted in 1948. The disparity between it and 125mph speed curve prepared by the LNER led to a re-examination of the dynamometer chart.  On the basis of the way in which speed averages were calculated over 5 second intervals, it was agreed Mallard could conceivably have touched 126mph for a few sleepers (ties).  
 
There is therefore no official proof nor could there ever have been that Mallard achieved 126mph.
 
So, Mallard's world record speed for a steam locomotive claimed by the LNER and Gresley himself was 125mph and that remains to this day, the record, not 126mph..  
 
 
 
 
 
 


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George_Harris
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #105 on: Aug 15th, 2010, 11:33pm »
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To AngloTexan, I want to say an enthusiastic thank you for your information.

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HwyHaulier
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #106 on: Aug 16th, 2010, 10:47am »
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Anglo Texan -
 
Welcome Aboard! Many Thanks for this very useful detail of the various good engineering tricks relied upon to make it happen.
 
This endless debate will likely last forever. I still like the T-1, and I suspect B & O had some good and worthy entrants, too...
 
(Sigh! Usage note. Yes, when one says "endless" it, therefore implies "forever". Sometimes, a little redundancy an effective device.)
 
......................Vern....................


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #107 on: Aug 16th, 2010, 6:42pm »
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Well, today, if speed attained is all we insist on knowing, a GPS + a doppler radar (as in the highway cop's favored revenue-enhancing tool) gun, hooked into a computer to keep a record of readings along the way, would do a much better job than what was available in years past.
 
My Garmin nav system constantly tells me how fast i'm going, and I believe it to be pretty accurate. Pity they didn't have one on Mallard. Or on a Hiawatha some day when it was trying to make up lost time...


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toptrain
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #108 on: Apr 20th, 2012, 1:51pm »
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A opinion on the Speed record of trains.
* The A4 Mallard that was designed by Sr. Nigle Grisly was a fast locomotive at a time when speed was not as important. Also when timing was more accurate. Ever since the telegraph timing should have been considered accurate but wasn't. And that was pre civil war. The Mallards speed was easily broken many times, on many railroads in this country. This was done as early as the 1860's. The Mallards time was also broken many times in England. In this country the legal system was slowing down the train speeds  Most likely this was also being done in England.  
 * The Mallards speed crown was a artificial one. Since the civil war almost all railroad watches were very accurate. The mile posts along a Railroads track, represented exact measurements. Any conductor, engineer or passenger with a good watch could have noted the times between mile posts and figured out the speed. None of this counted as there wasn't a high priced know it all, fixing the test, and adjusting the perimeters of the test so his higher calculations would count. And he could not raise his nose and point his finger at other persons exalting his personal expertise in the timing of trains.  


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toptrain
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petey
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #109 on: Feb 27th, 2013, 5:44pm »
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OK, fastest steam engine.  
 
My Hornby OO live steam engine failed to make a curve, and put a large hole in my sheetrock wall.  Does that qualify as 'fast'.


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #110 on: Feb 27th, 2013, 10:35pm »
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on Feb 27th, 2013, 5:44pm, petey wrote:       (Click here for original message)
OK, fastest steam engine.  
 
My Hornby OO live steam engine failed to make a curve, and put a large hole in my sheetrock wall.  Does that qualify as 'fast'.

 
Would in my book. And in steam, too.


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NWClassJ
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #111 on: Feb 28th, 2013, 9:46pm »
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In terms of American steam I really feel that there were many that could and have and I'm sure did post better numbers than the Mallard.  To begin with lets take the N&W's "J's"....very capable of 100+ running with 70" drivers!  Specifically #610 posted speeds of 110mph or better on several occasions while testing on the Pennsy.  But I would focus more on the UP's FEF's and the Santa Fe's 2900's.  In the case of the FEF's there was a post on another forum from a gentleman who had actually spoken to an RFE with UP back in the mid 60's who was at the throttle while testing to see what the FEF's would do, the tests included several of the FEF's and 844 was one of them.  Several tests were performed at 90mph, 95mph, 100mph and 105mph, this RFE was at the throttle for these runs, now towards the end of the testing a test Mgr. who was in the cab suggested they see just what the 844 would do, after passing 120mph the test Mgr asked for the brakes to be set to bring the speed back down below 100mph...the RFE was certain the FEF's had much more in them....80" drivers= no problem.

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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #112 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 8:26pm »
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The Milwaukee F7s were said to hit 100+ on a daily basis. They have my vote for the fastest steam locos.

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ClydeDET
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #113 on: Jan 5th, 2016, 6:47pm »
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I think the Milwaukee Class A 4-4-2s with their 84" drivers (and the original train-set) were probably faster than the F-7s, but hard to know.
 
Also expect the Santa Fe 3460s would been to be in the running for "real fast locomotive' classification. But we will never know.


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