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 Post subject: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:54 pm
Posts: 271
I was on TO a while ago and saw a thread that mentioned speeds that 844 has attained in the past 40 years or so, and further than that, the FEF's running at alleged speeds of 120+ on occasions. With that said, how many speed myths are there out there? Such as the one of a T1 engineer pushing his mount to 135mph or the run of PRR 7002 at 127. How many more have you heard, and which ones (not necessarily record breakers) are your favorites? To add on, what is the fast a steam locomotive has gotten in preservation in the US?


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:16 pm
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Most famous speed myth would be NYC 999 doing 112.5 mph.

Claims of PRR S1 doing 140 mph.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:10 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 572
There are a couple of people with pictures of GCR 4960 doing 70 mph in the yard at the Grand Canyon.

Robby Peartree


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:22 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8358
Location: Baltimore, MD
Fastest in North American rail preservation? Well, there are a couple possibilities. Among those I'd have to go and re-check:
*C&O 614 operating at speeds up to 79 mph on the Port Jervis NJ Transit runs;
*Reported speeds of CB&Q 5632 in the low eighties on CB&Q trips in the early 1960s;
*some similarly high speeds reported with CN 6060 and/or 6218 out of Toronto in the 1960s;
*SP 4449 reaching a confirmed speed of 79.5 mph on an SR excursion between Culpepper and Manassas, Va. on August 29, 1976 (the fare for two days Atlanta-Alexandria was $44.49).


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:34 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:58 am
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Quote:
*some similarly high speeds reported with CN 6060 and/or 6218 out of Toronto in the 1960s;


Not a myth at all, CN expected their excursion locomotives to maintain track speed on busy mainlines, particularly the Kingston and Oakville Subdivisions. The exception was deadhead moves with no weight tied onto the rear drawbar, due to stability issues.

Steve Hunter


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:00 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 634
Robby Peartree wrote:
There are a couple of people with pictures of GCR 4960 doing 70 mph in the yard at the Grand Canyon.

Robby Peartree


Surely you jest.....


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:13 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 572
The speedometer indicated 70 and we survived!

Robby


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:01 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Just my opinion and no argument intended.

This sounds like the some of the current youth who do not believe the Holocost happened and it was all Hollywood special effects. No one could be that evil as either Adolf Hitler and his psyco bunch or the Japanese Army that thought they could defeat anyone without the Navy even when Japan was an island.

Same can be said for the flat-earthers and that the Moon landing was just a Hollywood event. I wonder what I saw in 1969 (age 13) when I waited on the beach for a few hours at Cape Kennedy? A giant hologram with earth quake generators to shake the ground?

NYC 999 started out special designed for the speed run with 84" or 86" drivers. It was then rebuilt with the class standard 70" drivers.

PRR routinely used 80" drivers on its E class 4-4-2s, K class 4-6-2s, and its 4-4-4-4 T1 class. The T1 used two sets of cylinders to reduce the dynamic influence from the drive rods.With lighter drive rods, faster speeds are achivable. The T1 was more like a 4-8-4.

The PRR S1 had 84" drivers and its failure was due to the steam turbine.

This "Steam Speed Myth" is sort of like the rule of thumb that the maximum speed is 1.1 times the driver diameter. It is a rule of thumb that has MANY exceptions.

Just my point of view.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:23 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1102
Location: South Carolina
Dougvv wrote:
The PRR S1 had 84" drivers and its failure was due to the steam turbine.


The S1 was the first duplex. The S2 had a steam turbine and only 68 inch drivers, but I doubt driver size had a significant effect on its speed capabilities since it had perfect rotational balance and the turbine could be geared to provide whatever top speed was desired.

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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:07 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:24 pm
Posts: 102
Chicago and Northwestern #1015, a 4-4-2 (Now in St. Louis) is said to have set a speed record of 125 mph.

#1015 is equipped with 81'' drivers and more "modern and efficient steam distribution equipment" It was an Alco. product of 1900.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:10 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
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Location: Strasburg, PA
Since an N&W J with 70" drivers was clocked at 110 on a run while on loan to the PRR (unless that is a myth as well), I have no doubt that many of the 80" and higher drivered engines exceeded 100 MPH frequently, given the clear and smooth track to do so.

My mother recalled riding the CB&Q from Kewanee IL to Chicago many times during her youth. She said the observation car had a speedometer the size of a bird bath in the middle of the lounge area that was often reading over 100 MPH. This would have been in the 1930's.

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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:29 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 206
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
There was a story in TRAINS magazine some years back by an ex-Pennsy employee named John Crosby. I think it was titled "Last Chance".

He related how he and his engineer were called for a passenger train that was quite late. If memory serves, the train had 17 heavyweights when it rolled into town with a pair of Pacifics. These were taken off and a dirty, unwashed T-1 was put on the point.

As they got going and put a few miles behind them, both enginemen realized that the engine was in good mechanical shape and able to make steam so they agreed to try to make up time. Using mileposts to accurately record their speedc, they got the train up to 120 mph before running out of space.

When they showed up at the terminal, they got both a polite ass-chewing and attaboy from a supervisor.

Great read if you can find it.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:31 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 206
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
Txhighballer wrote:
Robby Peartree wrote:
There are a couple of people with pictures of GCR 4960 doing 70 mph in the yard at the Grand Canyon.

Robby Peartree


Surely you jest.....



Robby is right...I've seen the video of the test runs and also talked with a couple of guys that were on the engine that day. No jesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8358
Location: Baltimore, MD
Anyone for 96-inch drivers? Bristol & Exeter broad-gauge 4-2-4 of 1853-54, recorded as doing 81.8 mph downgrade not long after construction.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:09 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:16 pm
Posts: 5
Kelly Anderson wrote:
Since an N&W J with 70" drivers was clocked at 110 on a run while on loan to the PRR (unless that is a myth as well), I have no doubt that many of the 80" and higher drivered engines exceeded 100 MPH frequently, given the clear and smooth track to do so.

It requires more than just tall drivers to get over 100 mph. Balancing is the key. N&W was able to do that by restricting lateral movement of the drivers, which limited its ability to negotiate curves.

It also requires powerful boilers able to produce the horsepower needed to make the speed and a free flowing steam circuit that doesn't choke the power.

Regarding NYC 999, the highest speed its speedometer reported was 86 mph. Unnamed journalists claimed the 100 mph+, but gave nothing to back their data up. I wouldn't be surprised if they were paid by NYC


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