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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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CD -

You may well be correct sir! Thanks!


Les


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2355
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
I'm no expert on the various valve motions but it is my understanding that the real speedsters were the high wheeled engines with Stephenson Valve Gear. Maybe someone can explain it better than I can but it is my understanding that Stephenson increases valve lead as you hook up the engine which allows steam cushioning of the piston and a higher speed without pound the pistons. By the time the high wheel American and Atlantic types were replaced Stephenson was gone and overall speed between stations was reduced by better signaling and scheduling and the top end speeds were not as important. Maybe someone else can explain better.

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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:31 am
Posts: 99
Location: Northern Illinois
CREEPING DEATH wrote:
I understand it was, REDUCE TO 90 - but I may be wrong.

CD


Not to spoil a good legend, but Milwaukee Road speed control signs had no wording on them. They were first installed for the initial Hiawatha trains of 1935 powered by the Class A Atlantics. They were in the form of a yellow metal flag at an upward 45-degree angle with a black border and numbers for the permitted speed(s). For example 70-50 (passenger-freight) or just a single number if the restriction applied to all trains.

The Hiawatha's schedule was based on a top speed of 90 mph: higher speeds were allowed to recover from delays, instead of padding the schedule with extra time. Eventually, the C&M (Milwaukee Division - First Subdivision) was re-engineered for continuous 100-mph running except near the end points of KK Bridge on the Milwaukee end and Tower A-2 (Western Avenue) on the Chicago end.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 634
tom moungovan wrote:
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.



That's impressive for a 64" drivered Mike! I'd love to see that video.....


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:06 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:24 am
Posts: 478
Location: Canada
When the Southern Railroad was using ex CP Hudson 2839, they realized she had real speed potential, and it was not unheard of to wind her up to high speed on the main. Perhaps telling of their true potential was in the book "I Remember" by Herbert Stitt a former CP fireman and Hogger, when he wrote that running late one Christmas night trying to make up time, they held the century mark for mile after mile nearing montreal. This was with 75" drivers.
Also in the article "Glory Years of the Blue Goose" there is mention of the 84" drivered Hudson accelerating at a very intense rate, as the road foreman asked to see what she could do, as he was tired of hearing wild stories. When he was summoned over to look at the speedometer, he was amazed to see the needle swinging between 95-110mph before the engineer had to reduce the throttle for a slow order ahead.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:51 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 9:53 pm
Posts: 23
One of the last runs of 765 on the New River Train in 1993 we were on the return trip from Hinton when three of us in the tool car noticed "we weren't in Kansas any more Toto". During our typical socializing and conversing we suddenly noticed all the harmonics of the car had changed and things outside were going by much more quickly than usual. We tried to time mile posts in the dark which proved futile for the most part but thought we came up with a 43 second mile. When we came to a stop in Huntington we high tailed it to the cab to get the "official" speed from Tom Stevens. He was grinning like a Chessie cat and could hardly hold his cookies. As we had started down Scarey Hill and began picking up speed Tom said he started to grab some air when the pilot grabbed his hand and said "let's see what she'll do". When the speedometer hit 79 he had to hold her there. But what the pilot didn't know, before the rebuild, the speedometer was off 5 mph. As best as we can figure we ran 84 mph for mile after mile after mile that night. Supposedly there is video by a railfan who shot us storming through Hurricane that night. I have never seen it but other crew members have claimed to. Tom said the 765 felt like she had allot more in her but I doubt we will ever find out.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:45 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

I guess that the issues of speed is like the rubber tires on the automobile. A static bubble level will work for slower speeds. A hight speed balance on the tires can be useful for higher speeds (say 100MPH).

The static and dynamic balancing on wheels (iron or steel or rubber) needs to be co-linear for the higher speeds.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:41 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
I have noticed that when this topic comes up, there is the widespread belief that the greatest speed was possible only with the largest and latest examples of fast engines. This is always accompanied by a lot of technical reasons why modern is faster. It seems to reflect the greater preference for the largest and most modern class of power.

We had a long discussion on the Trains forum about the supposed debunking of the Death Valley Scotty speed legend which had been the subject of an article in the magazine. Calculations were offered to prove that the claimed speed would have been impossible, and yet, the possible maximum speed was left undetermined. To help with the debunking, it was claimed that timing to the second was not technologically possible in that old fashioned era.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:36 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:54 pm
Posts: 271
765nkp wrote:
One of the last runs of 765 on the New River Train in 1993 we were on the return trip from Hinton when three of us in the tool car noticed "we weren't in Kansas any more Toto". During our typical socializing and conversing we suddenly noticed all the harmonics of the car had changed and things outside were going by much more quickly than usual. We tried to time mile posts in the dark which proved futile for the most part but thought we came up with a 43 second mile. When we came to a stop in Huntington we high tailed it to the cab to get the "official" speed from Tom Stevens. He was grinning like a Chessie cat and could hardly hold his cookies. As we had started down Scarey Hill and began picking up speed Tom said he started to grab some air when the pilot grabbed his hand and said "let's see what she'll do". When the speedometer hit 79 he had to hold her there. But what the pilot didn't know, before the rebuild, the speedometer was off 5 mph. As best as we can figure we ran 84 mph for mile after mile after mile that night. Supposedly there is video by a railfan who shot us storming through Hurricane that night. I have never seen it but other crew members have claimed to. Tom said the 765 felt like she had allot more in her but I doubt we will ever find out.

Wow! I have heard stories of berks back in the day on the NKP reaching upwards of 90, and it amazes me that they can do that out of the "lower" drivers.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:22 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:16 pm
Posts: 5
southern154 wrote:
Wow! I have heard stories of berks back in the day on the NKP reaching upwards of 90, and it amazes me that they can do that out of the "lower" drivers.

AAR recommended max driver speed is 504 rpm. It equates to something like 1.5 mph per inch of diameter. So a 70" Berk could, if balanced well, reach 105 mph. Theoretically.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:19 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 896
I have seen a picture of the "Reduce to 90" sign, which I believe was Deerfield. In 1941 (See Scribbins' book) the EJ&E crossing restriction at Rondout was 80 mph.

I'm surprised it's so hard to find pictures of one of these signs on the Web.

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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:39 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 572
Dear Kent,

You are correct that 4960 was equipped with a dual range speedometer. This is how a speedometer can indicate 70 mph and still be legal in the yard! I heard some threatened to use their photo to have some fun with a former employee and to drive railfans nuts.

Dear Tom And Txhighballer,

Tom is correct that 4960 did hit 70 mph on a test run. I rode a test run that speed was obtained out on the more level parts of the railroad. 4960 had quite the rebuild. It amazes me just how many things the rebuild addressed Grand Canyon has both a strong shop and a solid track program.


Robby


Last edited by Robby Peartree on Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:33 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
Posts: 44
According to a piece in Railroad magazine about the return trip of the 5632 on the night of Nov. 1st 1964 on the cutoff between Brookfield and Kansas City, it was claimed that 100 mph was attained. All I know was that the exhaust was a solid roar.

Tom Hamilton


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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 728
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Perhaps the most significant aspect of the LNER speed record is that the train Mallard was working was a test train with dynamometer car, which provided verifiable data to support the speed record claim.

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 Post subject: Re: Steam Speed Myths
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Jeff Lisowski wrote:
Overmod wrote:
I'm surprised it's so hard to find pictures of one of these signs on the Web.


I personally think there is a large wealth of information in books, that is now lost to the newer generations of rail fans.


Previous thread on the "Reduce to 90" sign.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=33877


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