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Mallard is fastest steam loco?
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   Author  Topic: Mallard is fastest steam loco?  (Read 3332 times)
ClydeDET
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #80 on: Mar 12th, 2007, 1:33pm »
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George, you have to understand - we aren't WORRIED about signals, ATS or any the FRA. We are going to SEIZE, using armed force, the line selected for as long as it takes to find out just what engine will roll its train fastest...
 
I wish, or something. But I do believe that (use of armed force) is what it would take to acquire the required access to suitable trackage.


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RDG_4-8-4
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #81 on: Mar 13th, 2007, 10:47pm »
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on Mar 11th, 2007, 10:20am, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
True about the calculations and the instrumentation.  It does need to be done first.  Then let's run trains.    
 
Was't thinking about the Milwaukee main.  Does it have ATS?  That would be a nice location to do it.  
 
George

 
Milwaukee at the very least had ATS if not cab signals since their trains were legally allowed to exceed 79 MPH.  Don't forget the Hiawathas were at one time the fastest regualrly-scheduled passenger trains in the world.


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George_Harris
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #82 on: Mar 14th, 2007, 12:05am »
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on Mar 13th, 2007, 10:47pm, RDG_4-8-4 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Milwaukee at the very least had ATS if not cab signals since their trains were legally allowed to exceed 79 MPH.  Don't forget the Hiawathas were at one time the fastest regualrly-scheduled passenger trains in the world.

Don't know the current condition.  Would not be surprised if the significant word in this sentence is "had"  There used to be a lot of lines with ATS that have had it removed.  
 
I think Clyde is right.  We just have to sieze the line by force for as long as it takes.  Then, we don't have to worry about such minor legalities as appropriate signal systems.  But we must have an international operation to kidnap the Guiness record checkers as well.  
 
George


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #83 on: Mar 14th, 2007, 11:36am »
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Works for me. I expect trhe Guiness folks would respond to a Fabrique NAtionale Armes d'Guerre Grand Puissance displayed along with instructions to "come with me, pliss". most people get quite coopertive when they sudenly realize the alternative is finding out what it REALLY feels like to take 9mm hardball in the knee cap...

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George_Harris
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #84 on: Apr 18th, 2008, 10:52pm »
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I have been gathering ETT's from areas of interest on ebay since being back in the US.  One is the Gulf Colorado and Santa Fe Northern Division "in effect sunday April 2, 1950"  In the back is this rather interesting list,  
 
Maximum Speed of Engines.  Under the heading of STEAM, the following engines were allowed 100 mph with a train.  (They were only allowed 40 mph running light.)
 
1218, 1453, 1473, 2900-2929, 3400-3408, 3410-3442, 3446-3448, 3450-3465, 3776-3785.
 
Under the heading of 90 mph was another list of engines almost as long.  
 
I would bet any of these on the 100 mph list could have gotten above 125 mph with a light train on straight track.  
 
The fastest speed limit anywhere in the division was 80 mph.


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #85 on: Apr 19th, 2008, 10:39pm »
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A 2900 is being restored to serviceable condition (and it ain't no lick and promise job, either) as we type. Perhaps it could be turned loose when finished in a couple of years and after it gets broken in on the New Mexico Centennial train....

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ellen_liu
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #86 on: Apr 20th, 2008, 1:21am »
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I have some information about it ,and I  think the English Mallard is the winner, but the German 05 002 was  close, 200.4 km/h for the 05, against 202.4km/h for Mallard.  
 


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George_Harris
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #87 on: Apr 20th, 2008, 2:35am »
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on Apr 20th, 2008, 1:21am, ellen_liu wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I have some information about it ,and I  think the English Mallard is the winner, but the German 05 002 was  close, 200.4 km/h for the 05, against 202.4km/h for Mallard.  
 

Ellen, if you go back to the very beginning of page 1 of this multi-page thread, you will see that this is what started the whole thing.  Let's just say that there is a feeling that what happened on the US side of the Atlantic is blithely ignorged on the excuse that what was done did not have what it took in the way of measurment of elapsed time to satisfy our English (and German) cousins.  
 
There is the feeling that there were several runs that were unrecorded or poorly recorded or even fairly well documented but by methods not up to British standards, quite conveniently for them, that were made at higher speeds that either of these two and done by engines not specially prepared for the exercise pulling regularly scheduled trains carrying fare paying passengers. In addition, there is the feeling that quite a few American built steamers that could have left either one of these European fine tuned machines in the dust if they had been given the opportunity to do so.
 
It was quite common for many years that top passenger trains were allowed to exceed, with the connivance of all people involved, the official speed limits when the train got behind schedule.  This was not as irrational as it sounds today.  Generally these trains were being operated by engineers that had many years experience running trains on that particular line, and operating policies in the past did not tolerate delay of their premier trains.


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #88 on: Apr 20th, 2008, 11:18am »
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on Apr 20th, 2008, 2:35am, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...It was quite common for many years that top passenger trains were allowed to exceed, with the connivance of all people involved, the official speed limits when the train got behind schedule.  This was not as irrational as it sounds today.  Generally these trains were being operated by engineers that had many years experience running trains on that particular line, and operating policies in the past did not tolerate delay of their premier trains...

George -
 
Yep! Let the record show I stipulate all your remarks. The operating rule was, "...the Mail must go through! Do not delay!..."  
In practice, it became quite exciting...
 
My recollections include:
 
1) Just try to keep a cup of coffee acting right on the Eastbound, B & O #6, Capitol Limited East of Cumberland, MD in the morning!
 
2) Seaboard #58, Silver Meteor, on a wee hours of the morning run, Durham to Petersburg, and the engineer was aware he was back  
of the advertised. I was seated in the forward Budd lounge, and a couple of the on board guys were trying to get some rest. Man, oh,  
man! Running quick on that stretch of railroad! The jostling and banging around, getting into and thru the curves was a bit of wondrous
performance. Beats me how the Pullman patrons slept thru any of it. (Present day advice from the Captain of, "...ah, expect a bit of in  
flight air turbulence..." a walk in the park!)
 
3) Once again, Seaboard #57, Silver Meteor. Its predictable, standing excuse was it was hard to compete with ACL. One morning, after  
sleeping on and off all night, awoke just below Savannah. I was on one of the ex-C&O, Pullman- Standard coaches. Though the car  
was very quiet and stable, I thought we were running, "...a bit quick..." So, I went to the vestibule, looked for mile posts, and my watch.  
So help me, this near half mile long train was making 105 - 106 mph! My thinking was, "...well, I hope no one does anything stupid at  
a grade crossing!..."
 
4) Finally. And we get to second hand, hearsay reports here. U P RR would routinely do some startling tricks between Green River, WY  
and Grand Island, NE... Then, there's the persistent urban legend wherein some of the ATSF geared for, and could easily attain 120 mph.  
In any official statements from Chico, much like a Mission Impossible episode, such a thing was always denied...
 
So much for '79 mph' Rules! Besides, by now the Statute Of Limitations has long tolled on all of these antics. Most likely, all of the  
actors in these dramas are long gone, too...
 
P.S. Oh, anyway and besides. In the last few years, Trains ran a recollection of one of the Last Days of the Late, Great P R R T-1 types.
IIRC, the guys had it at around 130 mph, long ago somewhere in Ohio. It caused some later unrest from the Superintendent, but...
 
.....................Vern...................    


« Last Edit: Apr 20th, 2008, 11:23am by HwyHaulier » Logged

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ClydeDET
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #89 on: Apr 20th, 2008, 5:55pm »
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This is a guess, but i suspect that the potential for fastest runs will be found in the characteristics of the Milwaukee Class A Atlantics, Santa Fe 3460-class Hudsons, and PRR T-1s. Which one? Dunno. But I suspect one of those. And N&W Js close behind...

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feltonhill
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #90 on: Apr 20th, 2008, 7:03pm »
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The referenced T1 article was in Aug 1993 Trains and was written by John Crosby.  It's probably one of best first-hand high speed steam stories ever written.  He was the fireman on 5536 during the run.  They claimed about 120 mph between Monroeville and Ft. Wayne before slowing down to 80 mph!  There was a Gil Reid painting as part of the article.

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HwyHaulier
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #91 on: Apr 21st, 2008, 7:57am »
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on Apr 20th, 2008, 7:03pm, feltonhill wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The referenced T1 article was in Aug 1993 Trains and was written by John Crosby...

feltonhill -
 
Many Thanks! The piece is now fifteen years back? Time flies! Did I possibly see, also, a later recollection (about a half page or so)  
of another experience, too? I'll guess it is widely agreed that while even late in the era the T-1 power served, they could deliver some  
quick and capable timings...
 
.........................Vern....................


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ellen_liu
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #92 on: Apr 21st, 2008, 10:43pm »
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on Apr 20th, 2008, 2:35am, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Ellen, if you go back to the very beginning of page 1 of this multi-page thread, you will see that this is what started the whole thing.  Let's just say that there is a feeling that what happened on the US side of the Atlantic is blithely ignorged on the excuse that what was done did not have what it took in the way of measurment of elapsed time to satisfy our English (and German) cousins.  
 
There is the feeling that there were several runs that were unrecorded or poorly recorded or even fairly well documented but by methods not up to British standards, quite conveniently for them, that were made at higher speeds that either of these two and done by engines not specially prepared for the exercise pulling regularly scheduled trains carrying fare paying passengers. In addition, there is the feeling that quite a few American built steamers that could have left either one of these European fine tuned machines in the dust if they had been given the opportunity to do so.
 
It was quite common for many years that top passenger trains were allowed to exceed, with the connivance of all people involved, the official speed limits when the train got behind schedule.  This was not as irrational as it sounds today.  Generally these trains were being operated by engineers that had many years experience running trains on that particular line, and operating policies in the past did not tolerate delay of their premier trains.

Thanks George!I'm sorry but I don't know that.


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Henry
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #93 on: Nov 27th, 2009, 8:42pm »
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I found this in the December 1941 issue of Popular Mechanics in an article titled "Riding the Gargantua" about PRR's S1 6-4-4-6 duplex #6100. Note the comment of Asst. RFE Charlie Wappes at the end, "It's pretty hard to hold her back. She'd do 150 if we let her."
 
It must have been quite a rush riding in the cab of that monster when it topped 130 MPH.
 
Henry
 
Quote:
You can take it from any engineer who has opened her throttle, she is also the fastest. Nobody knows just how fast. You don't let out a million-pound locomotive to the limit, as you might tramp the accelerator of your car to the floor to see what it will do. But unofficially she owns the world speed record that has officially belonged for 36 years to another Pennsylvania Railroad engine, which, pulling the father of today's Broadway Limited, on June 12, 1905, was clocked by telegraph at 127.2 miles an hour for three miles.
 
One day Charlie Wappes, assistant road foreman of the Fort Wayne division, who rode No. 6100 on her test runs and taught most of the engineers how to handle her, noticed that the speedometer was bang up against the 110-mile mark, the limit of the gauge. He pulled out his watch, started clocking at Wanatah, Ind. Two minutes and 50 seconds later they passed the next station, Hanna, 6.3 miles on. That's 133.4 miles an hour. Back of the big engine were 12 cars, heavy equipment. There was no deliberate attempt to write up a new speed record. As Charlie Wappes said afterward. "It's pretty hard to hold her back. She'd do 150 if we let her."



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Redwards
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #94 on: Nov 28th, 2009, 6:23am »
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Very nice Henry!  Is it worth trying to find a copy of that issue for that article?
 
--Reed


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Henry
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #95 on: Nov 28th, 2009, 8:00am »
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Google books has it online
 
Click HERE to read Riding the Gargantua of the Rails
 
Henry


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Redwards
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #96 on: Nov 28th, 2009, 8:46am »
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Even better!  Thanks for that!
 
--Reed


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #97 on: Nov 28th, 2009, 6:40pm »
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Interesting - not least for all the other things in that issue. A trip to the past, a couple of years before i was born....

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tintin1689
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #98 on: Jul 9th, 2010, 12:42pm »
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Hello Gents,
 
Delighted to have found this forum. As a bit new to seriously studying the railway and its locomotives (and being from the UK) I am enjoying this debate, but can't really contribute much.
 
I can, however, give a bit of info about lights and other issues on British Railways raised earlier.
 
One contributor wondered if we really cared about people and livestock on the line. Well since the beginnings of the railway there has been a common law obligation to fence the track. Trespassing on the railway is a serious offence. Allowing your livestock to do so or damaging the fences is also looked on pretty seriously. Not so long ago one of our EMU's round here hit a bull which did n't do it or the train service any good and totally spoilt the bull's day. To go on the line nowadays you require a "track card" (or be accompanied by some one with one) and you have to pass a course to get one, even the police, fire etc will only go on in an emergency. So the attitude is that anyone who goes on the line takes his chance.
 
Now as to the lights the new EMU's on Southern have quite powerful lights which I discussed with a friend who is a signal man not so long back, but these are not for the benefit of the motorman. They are so the train can be seen, rather than the driver can see things. With faster average speeds this is important so that people can get out of the way - see we do care!
 
There are still some places (like Polegate very near to where I live) where traffic is controlled by semaphore signals with the coloured "spectacles" at night. I don't think anywhere still has oil lamps though. Back in the fifties my father was a goods porter for a little while and had to fill the oil reservoirs and trim the wicks as part of his duties.
 
There is a very good book on the Mallard - Mallard: How the Blue Streak Broke the World Speed Record by Don Hale which you can get for about $5 on Amazon. This gives a lot of background about how the record breaking run fitted in with the railway scene at the time (and the political scene - like it or not there was a sub-text that a country run by representative government had to prove itself able to run a better train than one run by Hitler - and the UK government were interested behind the scenes). There was also a steam vs diesel element to it.
 
I think we ought to share the honours. OK our loco was faster - but the US ran the fastest scheduled steam service on "the Milwaukee Road" and after all hauling stuff around is what railways are all about.


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George_Harris
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Re: Mallard is fastest steam loco?
 
« Reply #99 on: Jul 11th, 2010, 2:09am »
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Tintin:  I would suggest that you go back through this topic and read what has been said already.  Yes, we can agree that the run of the Mallard set the record for high speed steam when we consider "record" as meaning measured and recorded by standards determined in Britian.  Having gotten that issue out of the way, the discussion revolved around which engine could actually run fastest, and which engines did run very fast based on reliable data, even if not of the quality demanded by the keepers of the records.  
 
 It seems to be a fair certainty that that honor belongs to one of several possibilities, all of American manufacture and operation.  That is to say, that there were several models of US steam that could go out, run 120 mph plus pulling a string of passenger cars carrying fare paying passengers, get their inspection, routine maintenance, refueling and go out and do it again when and where the need arose.  
 
In another thread the question was raised about whether these steamers could do it on present day American track.  My answer, which is repeated here, is as follows:
 
N&W J, and for that matter, other 4 driving axle steam locomotives on modern track:  Where to begin?  
 
Most of the steamers were never interlined, and commonly worked very specific territories.  Employee timetables would list prohibitions for various classes of engines on certain yard tracks, industrial tracks, branch lines, etc.  It is highly likely that the J and the other big 4 driving axle steamers were not allowed on any industry track anywhere.  Therefore, these engines and the tracks they ran on were effectively married to each other.    
 
At the time these engines were the norm, tie conditions in yard tracks and branch lines were on average somewhere between better and much better than they are today.  How good a track is depends a lot on what is under the rail.  Without good ballast and good ties, you will not have good track, no matter what sort of rail you have in it.    
 
Small radius curves:  without good ties these are a derailment waiting to happen.  Also, when the large diameter driver 3 and 4 driving axle engines were common the track gauge was widened on these curves.  With the use of 4 axle diesels, gauge widening is unnecessary on any curve that will handle a 40 to 50 foot freight car.  Even with a 6 axle diesel less widening is needed than for a 3 driving axle steamer.  Therefore, you cannot get one of these large steamers to nicely travel though a curve that modern equipment will handle.  This said, I think if you looke into it, large steamer derailments on yard tracks and wye tracks had more to do with track condition than anything else, despite Boyd's statements to the contrary.    
 
Main lines:  I would see no problem there at all.  Remember, at the time of these engines, while they may have had 60,000 pounds to 72,000 pounds per driving axle, a heavy freight car was 220,000 pounds gross on 4 axles, or 55,000 pounds each axle, and many had much lighter gross weight limits.  Now, 286,000 pounds, or 71,500 pounds per axle is a common limit, so instead of only 2 to 3 percent of the axles being heavy, 50 percent plus of the axles will be up to the loads of these steamrs and applied through smaller diameter wheels at that.  
 
The N&W mains and PRR mains of the 1940's still had a lot of 131 lb/yd and lighter rail.  The 140PS rail did not come into use until 1946 or 47, and given the longevity of rail, until the end of their days, these big engines spent a lot of their lives on main tracks laid in 131 lb/yd and lighter rail.  Yes, I know about the Pennsy 152PS and 155PS sections, but there was never really that much of this big stuff.    
 
According to one source I have, the AT&SF main track standard at the time of these big steamers was 131RE for the transcontinental main and 112RE for most of their other main lines and 90ATSF, yes, a 90 lb/yd section of their own design, for almost everything else, including such lines as the Grand Canyon branch and San Diego line.    
 
All these were of course jointed rail, with 39 foot lengths the standard.  However, they did all have good timber under those rails.  
 
Now most high traffic lines are in at least 132 lb/yd rail, with most of them in either 136RE or 141RE rail, continuously welded of course, and a fair amount on concrete ties.  If you see a line that allows any of their freight trains to run 70 mph, that means that is passes the FRA standards for Class 5 track, which, aside from the allowable speed, has a lot to say about tie conditions and other such issues.  
 
Therefore, I see no problem at all with these engines being allowed to sturt their stuff to the maximum on a modern main line track.  They should be able to do even better now than they could on the good main line track of their own day.


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