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Fastest Steamers
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   Author  Topic: Fastest Steamers  (Read 477 times)
Transcon
Historian
Posts: 359
Fastest Steamers
 
« on: May 3rd, 2006, 2:31pm »
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Which of the following was the fastest steam loco?
The PRR, MILW, C&NW and ATSF engines had 84 inch drivers, right? Can you tell me driver diameter of the C&O and NYC engines?
 
NYC Commodore Vanderbilt Hudson
NYC J-3a Super Hudson (for the 20th Century Limited)
NYC Empire State Express Hudson
PRR S-1 6-4-4-6 Duplex
C&O streamlined Hudson
MILW F-7 Hudson
C&NW E-4 Hudson
ATSF Blue Goose Hudson
 


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Henry
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Posts: 6129
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #1 on: May 3rd, 2006, 5:39pm »
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My guess goes to the S-1 or the F-7. The S-1 didn't see that much service, but it had nice big drivers and I have heard stories about the F-7 unofficially hitting the high side of 125.
 
I have heard a story of a Central Hudson hitting 120+, but that was supposedly from someone who was in the cab using a watch to time it I think.
 
PRR had an Atlantic which hit 127, but not "officially."
 
There is another steam speed discussion at http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?board=SteamGeneral;action=display;num=1117790012
 
Henry


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feltonhill
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Posts: 76
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #2 on: May 3rd, 2006, 7:25pm »
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I believe you missed two of the more likely candidates:
 
Milw A 4-4-2 (84" drivers)
PRR T1 4-4-4-4 (80" drivers)
 
These two had the potential to easily run 120-125 or more, with small cylinders, light weight rods, 300 psi, and high drivers.  Whether they did or not.... well, believe whatever anecdote suits.  There are plenty to chose from!


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RDG484
Former Member
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #3 on: May 3rd, 2006, 9:42pm »
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I read about a Reading camelback Atlantic hitting 120+ between Winslow and Florence, NJ.  The road foreman allegedly told the engineer to "show off" for the top brass on board the train, and the engineer did just that.
 
Other than that, I would have to go with the Pennsy S-1.  That engine, due to its sheer size and its 84 inch drivers, had the potential to hit 150+.


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52_2006

Posts: 68
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #4 on: May 7th, 2006, 3:37pm »
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Officially the british 'Mallard' has the world record, with 200,xx km/h. But it was on a downhill track with a very light train, and the locomotive was over her limit. The german 05 002 was about as fast as this, maybe even faster, but on a horizontal track with heavier train, and not with full power. The following website contains the comparison. It also contains the potential american candidates which could be faster, but they never did official runs to beat Mallard and 05 002:
 
http://www.germansteam.co.uk/FastestLoco/fastestloco.html


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kondensierte Grüße,

Stefan

http://www.kondenslok.de

Transcon
Historian
Posts: 359
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #5 on: May 7th, 2006, 5:41pm »
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Thanks for the link, but I already know that the Mallard and the german 05 Class were the fastest steamers ever since I also live in Germany, so this is no new info for me.

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Virginian
Railfan
Posts: 129
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #6 on: May 21st, 2006, 11:01am »
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Mallard holds the Guiness World record.  Everything else is speculation, EXCEPT that the Milwaukee F-7 Baltic holds the record for the fastest timed start to stop run, at I believe, 118 MPH.  For my money, that loco is also the most likely candidate to have been able to easily best Mallard and any other contenders for top speed honors, had they cared enough to try.  All the right ingredients; horsepower, high steam pressure, free flowing steam passages, good valve action, large drivers, excellent steaming characteristics, and very good dynamic balance.  Interesting you didn't include any 4-8-4's on your list.  I would think SP's GS-4, NYC's Niagara, and SF's 2900 Class Northerns all might have had a legitimate shot.  There are way too many stories of 2900s streaking across the heartland with sugar beet trains at well over 100 for them not to have some credence.  The engineers said they were so much smoother than anything else at high speed that they really didn't worry.
That NYC or Pennsy Atlantic (I forget which) was claimed to have hit 100 way back when I believe, not 127.  Sorry, but I can't see any Camelback or Pennsy engine hitting over 100 unless pushed off a cliff.  Can't think of a Camelback with close to the right ingredients, or an engineer brave enough to pilot one of Pennsys slippery beasts if it would indeed have been able to go that fast.  Pennsy discovered how to make horsepower, they just couldn't figure out how to build a locomotive to use it.  One big reason I don't think the NYC or Pennsy ever hit close to the high mark is because these were two roads that did want the publicity if they could have legitimately garnered it.


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RDG484
Former Member
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #7 on: May 21st, 2006, 11:24am »
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The UP FEF-3's also regularly ran at 100+.

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52_2006

Posts: 68
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #8 on: May 21st, 2006, 3:30pm »
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Hi Virginian,
 
did you read the whole website I linked above? You should do!


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kondensierte Grüße,

Stefan

http://www.kondenslok.de

moocow

Posts: 486
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #9 on: May 22nd, 2006, 9:03pm »
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on May 21st, 2006, 11:01am, Virginian wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Mallard holds the Guiness World record.  Everything else is speculation, EXCEPT that the Milwaukee F-7 Baltic holds the record for the fastest timed start to stop run, at I believe, 118 MPH.  For my money, that loco is also the most likely candidate to have been able to easily best Mallard and any other contenders for top speed honors, had they cared enough to try.  All the right ingredients; horsepower, high steam pressure, free flowing steam passages, good valve action, large drivers, excellent steaming characteristics, and very good dynamic balance.  Interesting you didn't include any 4-8-4's on your list.  I would think SP's GS-4, NYC's Niagara, and SF's 2900 Class Northerns all might have had a legitimate shot.  There are way too many stories of 2900s streaking across the heartland with sugar beet trains at well over 100 for them not to have some credence.  The engineers said they were so much smoother than anything else at high speed that they really didn't worry.
That NYC or Pennsy Atlantic (I forget which) was claimed to have hit 100 way back when I believe, not 127.  Sorry, but I can't see any Camelback or Pennsy engine hitting over 100 unless pushed off a cliff.  Can't think of a Camelback with close to the right ingredients, or an engineer brave enough to pilot one of Pennsys slippery beasts if it would indeed have been able to go that fast.  Pennsy discovered how to make horsepower, they just couldn't figure out how to build a locomotive to use it.  One big reason I don't think the NYC or Pennsy ever hit close to the high mark is because these were two roads that did want the publicity if they could have legitimately garnered it.

 
In 1893 New York Central 999, an American (4-4-0) was timed at 112.5 mph
 
In 1905 Pennsylvania RR 7002 an Atlantic type (4-4-2) was timed at 127.1 mph between two towers.  The speed was documented, but is considered "Unofficial" because the watches of the towermen who timed it were not deliberately synchronized beforehand.
 
the reason that speed records were not often challenged late in the steam age was that railroads had discovered that power can be used for speed or tonnage, and the most cost effective compromise favored tonnage  
 


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steve b
PW_bullet_train
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Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #10 on: May 28th, 2006, 2:43pm »
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I also mentioned this under the "Mallard" thread.  The Atlantic Coast Line's small fleet of 4-8-4's may have been the most obscure such group in the country, but with ACL's dead-straight ROW, I'm sure these engines ran very often at over 100 MPH.  I could also see them possibly hitting 110 and higher when making up lost time.
 
Just my two pennies.


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JasonU
Former Member
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #11 on: May 28th, 2006, 7:59pm »
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The fastest shay is the GCRC 1925 at the moment... I forget how fast it was... faster than what cass can pull off!

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Mark_Foster
Historian
Posts: 918
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #12 on: Aug 28th, 2006, 9:32pm »
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I think on  scheduled runs the Milwaukee Road 4-4-2's heading the early Hiawatha's regularly hit speeds of 120+mph. Other than possibly some publicity runs I don't think any other steam trains in the US could come close to matching what the Milw did on a daily basis.

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Virginian
Railfan
Posts: 129
Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #13 on: Aug 29th, 2006, 10:35am »
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I read that whole article, plus several others but I was completely UNimpressed.  As with Mallard, the fact that they made a big deal out of it, with special preparations and all, also makes me suspicious that everything was standard about that loco.  No doubt the German loco would seem more capable than Mallard, but being right next to Switzerland I know the Germans had access to plenty of certified timing equipment.  One reason no American locos hold an official record is because 99.9+% of the time they just went out and turned them loose on a routine basis and any timing was done with whatever was handy.  If one looks at the overall capabilities of the relative engines it is a no brainer, but Mallard followed all the rules, and holds the "certified" record.  If everything still existed and they could all be lined up to try it with full ESPN coverage on wide open spaces flat trackage with a simple 4 to 7 car consist, I am betting my money on that Milwaukee F-7 Baltic.  True, the Milwaukee Atlantics were pretty fast too, but all the crews said the F-7s were even faster and smoother.  That was one high-stepping puppy.
Oh, and if something breaks in the attempt, as far as I am concerned that eliminates that machine from consideration.  Unlike Car and Driver's fastest car charade where the winning Didge Viper had to be hauled away on a trailer two years running; the Ferrari won that sucker in my opinion.  And the dealer drove it to the trial and then drove it away afterward.


« Last Edit: Aug 29th, 2006, 10:37am by Virginian » Logged
ClydeDET
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Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #14 on: Aug 29th, 2006, 5:34pm »
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Actually, quite possible taht some fo 3460's standard siblings might be faster than she was - a bit lighter, all the mechanicals (including 310 psi) the same.
 
Unquestionably taht teh 3460 class on Chico's trains were fast, and almost surely faster than anybody ever admitted to. Supposed to not exceed 90mph, there are reliable accounts of 100mph+ with heavy trains making up time across Kansas. Whether they would be fastest, dunno. Sure wish we could put a contest together and see, but since few of the potential contestants survive, and of those that do, few are running, it can't happen.


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Cinder2000
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Re: Fastest Steamers
 
« Reply #15 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 8:40pm »
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The Milwaukee F7s have my vote.

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