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Saint Class 135 ish mph

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Reading General, May 5, 2017.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    That the brakes were more robust than the inside big end...

    Tom
     
  2. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Active Member

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    For those who wish to comment in this thread and have...

    A. not read the entire thread,
    B. poor comprehension skills, or
    C. trolling....

    No one in this thread thinks a saint did 135mph
    No one in this thread thinks a saint did 135mph
    No one in this thread thinks a saint did 135mph

    :Banghead::Banghead::Banghead:
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    I concur with both points, although Tornado's run (the officially sanctioned one at least!) obviously wasn't done 'light engine'.

    The unanswered question regarding the 1906 run remains why, having accomplished the 110%, there was a need or desire to push on?

    Somehow, appealing though it is, the notion that having proven the 29s could shift at (for argument's sake) 120mph light, those on the footplate looked at each other and said "That was great, now let's never ever do that again" doesn't ring true.

    Was this run intended as the precursor to an official loaded test to 100mph? Well, racing the LSWR boat trains was, at that exact point, still very much a live issue. That, of course, is pure speculation on my part, but if so, events at Salisbury a few weeks later would almost certainly (and quite properly) have been what put the kybosh on that.

    When you recall the awful carnage at both Salisbury and later, albeit under different circumstances, at Quintinshill, it is unquestionably a good thing that nothing so reckless as regular high speed running with the stock of that era became the norm.
     
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  4. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Active Member

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    I like the 10% extra test speed theory. Certainly could be another justification for light engine testing above and beyond what could be considered normal running speeds. Who knows, perhaps the GWR liked bigger margins than 10%...20%, 30%??!!

    If you consider there are always two turns on a loco roster that are guaranteed to be light engine - the first and the last - it would be useful to have knowledge of what was a safe speed for each engine class. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you compared the averaged speeds of the first light engine turn and the last turn then the last turn would be faster - crews wanting to knock off for the day are going to push to get home quicker, perhaps even recklessly by modern thinking.

    An official or unofficial directive to engine crews on light engine speeds would be helpful. Not sure how GWR engine crews were payed but perhaps the less time they were on the footplate then the less they needed to be payed. It was all about being profitable for the railways remember.
     
  5. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    Salisbury was wrecklessness, Quintinshill was gross negligence. Neither involved high speed running in the context of this thread.
     
  6. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    Light engine ex works tests. Leaving aside the rather rare exceptionally high speeds for the moment, I would have thought every works would do a shakedown light engine test on every locomotive that's ready to leave the factory. It was routine in my time in the motor trade simply because a pre delivery/pre collection test saves an awful lot of customer complaints. Its much easier to deal with the odd loose bolt or whatever before it leaves your hands rather then have it coming back with sarcastic complaints.

    And why light engine? Well, you've got to go and get the test vans, couple up, put them back at the end of the run: that's probably at least another half hour, maybe more. Then the vans have got to be maintained and kept in first class order and are generating no revenue whatsoever. The factories were always under pressure to reduce costs and increase productivity and even if a manager did decide to introduce a train for the shakedown tests does anyone doubt it would be the first thing to go next time the directors were agitating for some savings?
     
  7. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Harsh! :p
     
  8. jma1009

    jma1009 Active Member

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    The background to Driver Robinson's account to the press was partly due to his retirement, but more significantly the Cheltenham Flyer records being set in 1931 and 1932. There was also a press release about City of Truro going to York Museum in 1931.

    Chief Locomotive Inspector Robinson (as he then was) was on the footplate for the 3 famous Cheltenham Flyer runs of 14th, 15th, and 16th Sepember 1931. In each case the loco was 5000 Launceston Castle.

    The special record breaking run with 5006 Tregenna Castle on 5th June 1932 received even more publicity.

    O.S. Nock quotes in 'Speed records on Britain's railways' that Cecil J Allen recorded his first sustained 90mph running with a Saint, namely 2915 Saint Bartholomew, hauling a load of 320 tons on a Birmingham - Paddington express. No date is quoted by Nock but the context indicates pre-WW1.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
  9. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    While the train involved in the Salisbury crash was't moving at anything like the rate involved in the test being discussed (70mph IIRC), the competative nature of LSW & GW services at that time was undoubtedy a significant factor in the accident. That, IMO, makes the incident relevant.

    Quintinshill was, as I did mention, of a very different nature. The point I was making (perhaps rashly believing the relevance would be sufficiently clear from the context) was regarding the nature of stock in service at that time. Whatever the specific details, the Quintinshill episode demonstrates, better than any other example, just how (un)crashworthy such stock was.

    As construction standards for mainline stock of the period were broadly comparable, I stand by both comments in my post.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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  10. david1984

    david1984 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The difference is the GWML in parts is capable of taking some very high speeds, coming through Salisbury most certainly is not, Going at 70 into a 40 or whatever Salisbury is/was will never be a good idea.
     
  11. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    True enough, however I'm evidently failing to communicate that my comment (from post #243) was with regard to the likely motive for such a run as the 1906 dash, and one possible reason why it seems to have not been repeated. That's all. I'm emphatically NOT trying to compare this stretch of the GW mainline with any other, on it ot any other railway, of any gauge anywhere on this world or any other.
     
  12. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Not just in terms of crash resistance but also the propensity for gaslit carriages to catch fire in accidents. Companies such as the Midland and the G.W.R. were notoriously dilatory in turning to the much safer electric light. A practical system was available 25 years prior to Quintinshill.

    PH
     
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  13. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    The GWR was an effective organisation - but it would be fair to say that communication between Civils and Mechanicals was poor. The Civil Engr didn't tell the CME that the bridges were being upgraded to take heavier locomotives, and the CME didn't say that the true loco weights were higher than advertised. Suspect neither did they tell them they were running high speed runs with trial locos.

    The following data for the Saint comes from the Bridge Stress Cmttee of the 1920s:

    6 rps (86 mph)
    18.4 ton axle load

    Hammer Blow
    17.9 ton whole loco
    6.9 ton axle
    6.4 ton wheel

    Max Combined Load
    25.3 ton axle
    15.6 ton wheel

    A quick calc says the worst case axle starts to see wheel lift at 103 mph. (please check) This is just one axle - and the left and right wheels did not lift together.
     
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  14. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    Another quote from E Nutty: 'We could have run the railway with 29s and 43s if we had to - everything else was a luxury'

    (29s = Saints, 43s = 2-6-0 tender locomotives)

    Churchward planned a range of two cylinder locos based on American practice. He bought three French 4 cyl compounds for benchmarking - and was impressed by their smooth running - and so built a few 4 cyl 4-6-0 - intending to use them on the most prestigious express trains. After monitoring their costs and performance and listening to the feedback from the running department Churchward stopped building 2 cyl express passenger 4-6-0s and built only 4 cyl ones instead.

    In a world where there was no shortage of people willing to work for the railway and get between the frames to oil inside rods and valve gear who is to say he was wrong?
     
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  15. Courier

    Courier New Member

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    I've not seen anything published - for instance I don't recall seeing anything in the IMechE papers from Gresley or Spenser. Carling said that there were several brake applications from 100 mph during the northbound journey that day - and the NRM have the dyno roll for that trip as well as the southbound one later in the day - so the data is still there for anyone who wanted to study it.

    BTW Carling's papers are in the IMechE.
     
  16. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    Of course, on the GWR, people had to get between the frames to oil the inside... valve gear, irrespective of the number of cylinders, or their disposition
     
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  17. Hermod

    Hermod New Member

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    Morale of the exercise here?
    Two cylinder locomotives and twin motorbikes looks nice.
    When running fast they selfdestruct
     
  18. 1472

    1472 Active Member

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    Never yet seen a loco where it wasn't necessary to go underneath to properly prepare it whatever its origins.
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    You can prep MW 1210 Sir Berkeley without going underneath, even though it is inside cylindered and has inside valve gear. The axleboxes are mechanically fed, the big ends are grease stauffers (which you can reach) and the eccentric straps have chimneys and no corks, which can be reached with a conventional feeder. All the other wiggly bits can be lubricated from outside with a conventional feeder. You only need to go under to examine it and I don't count that as prep.
     
  20. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Active Member

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    :eek:
    My ride-on mower has is a twin cylinder. Should I be worried?
     

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