'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby johnthefireman » Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:54 am

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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby philipmartin » Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:42 pm

Wiki on the tornado.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Pe ... 63_Tornado

I certainly get a charge seeing it go by at high speed.
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby johnthefireman » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:33 am

I'd love to be on the footplate doing a ton! Fastest I've ever been on a footplate is 65 km/h, which is the maximum speed limit for steam locomotives in South Africa, but even at that relatively low speed it is an all-round sensual experience - the sound, the heat, the smell, the vibration, the glow of the fire, the wind in your face, even the taste of smuts in your mouth, and the constant attention to the fire, the instruments, the controls, the beat of the exhaust, the signals...

It's really exciting to see that the steam limit for steam in UK might soon be raised to 90 mph, which will not just provide this exhiliartaing spectacle but will also make it easier to find more paths on the busy network for steam charters.
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby philipmartin » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:19 pm

GWR's Iron Duke class could do 80mph and originally had no protection for the engine crew other than the boiler. It must have been fun running the "Flying Dutchman" for them. :wink:
Shots of the Iron Duke replica.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DGuLCak238
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby johnthefireman » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:11 am

Hm, not sure I would fancy doing 80 mph on a cabless loco like Iron Duke! When describing the footplate experience I forgot to mention that in winter it is bloody cold even on a more modern footplate. If you could just stand still right in front of the firehole door it might not be too bad, but of course you can't - the fireman is moving all the time, shovelling coal, operating the injectors, checking the signals, which usually entails sticking one's head out of the window. The driver is stuck in his own little corner away from the firehole door, also having to stick his head out of the window to view signals, which means of course that you have to run with the windws open most of the time, regardless of the weather. Running backwards in winter is even worse. On a cabless loco it must be ten times worse than that. Those early footplatemen must have been tough!

Reminds me of an occasion a few years back in South Africa when a diesel driver had been assigned as our pilot. He climed onto the footplate, took one look around, and then climbed off again declaring that the footplate was unsafe because there were no doors. We had to hang around until they could find a driver who had been a steam driver or fireman in the old days to accompany us as pilot. Mind you, most of the diesel and electric drivers were OK with us - they viewed piloting a steam engine as an interesting new experience where they got paid for a whole shift doing virtually nothing except standing behind the driver who in fact already knew the road but had to be accompanied because he didn't drive the route often enough to sign for it. Some of them were also very helpful to the firemen by teaching us the road as we went along. And if you did happen to get an old steam driver or fireman as pilot, then usually all the fireman had to do was sit and operate the injectors as the old chaps loved to get their hands on a shovel again and would usually fire for the whole trip instead of piloting!
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby philipmartin » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:20 am

johnthefireman wrote: Those early footplatemen must have been tough!

It seems to me that that was all they were used to. Before trains all people had were coaches, and there was no firehole on them.
Some Canadian steam locomotives had pretty well inclosed cabs. In case anyone one is wondering, Canada gets pretty cold in the winter. Photo of a Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson.
"Safe tea," sounds like good stuff.
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby johnthefireman » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:23 am

philipmartin wrote:It seems to me that that was all they were used to


True, of course. Although we like to make fun of modern health and safety (or Elf 'n' Safe Tea, as we say in England), it has radically improved the lot of the workers, thanks in large part to the efforts of the trade union movement (known as labor unions in USA, I believe).
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby philipmartin » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:20 am

Good anecdotes about railroading in South Africa, John. Was that first pilot afraid that he was going to be pitched out of the cab? He would have been OK if he'd been on that Canadian Pacific engine.
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby johnthefireman » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:43 am

philipmartin wrote:Was that first pilot afraid that he was going to be pitched out of the cab? He would have been OK if he'd been on that Canadian Pacific engine.


Yes, I think he was. From memory, I don't think any South African steam locos had doors. In East Africa, in contrast, the big Garratts had doors. In Britain many of the more modern steam locos at least had a waist-high door.
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:34 pm

In America there were commuter railroads into the 1940's on which the passenger coaches didn't have doors (some of those with vestibules had doorways, but nothing that could be closed, and even on those that had real doors with actual hinges the trains ran with all doors open between stations), and some roads still had open-platform coaches--even the passengers had to keep their wits about them, let alone the engine crews.
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby george matthews » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:27 pm

ExCon90 wrote:In America there were commuter railroads into the 1940's on which the passenger coaches didn't have doors (some of those with vestibules had doorways, but nothing that could be closed, and even on those that had real doors with actual hinges the trains ran with all doors open between stations), and some roads still had open-platform coaches--even the passengers had to keep their wits about them, let alone the engine crews.

I have seen trains in Sydney New South Wales running with open doors, possibly because the passengers wanted some air on very hot weather days. I wonder if these trains are still running? There didn't seem to be automatic door closing apparatus.
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby johnthefireman » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:44 pm

george matthews wrote:I have seen trains in Sydney New South Wales running with open doors, possibly because the passengers wanted some air on very hot weather days. I wonder if these trains are still running? There didn't seem to be automatic door closing apparatus.


Many of the commuter EMUs in South Africa regularly run with some of the automatic doors open, and with people leaning out and hanging on, as passengers force the doors open.
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby philipmartin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:18 am

My road, NJ Transit, does not run with open doors, and gets delays when doors aren't all closed. Apparently it's interlocked with the enginmans ability to move the train. When he gets a door light, he tells the crew via the radio, and they get it closed, if necessary, locking it out. In the old days on the Pennsy, anyone could open the doors. I did that in 1960, coming into New York, stepped off on the wrong foot and almost fell in between the cars.
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Re: 'Tornado' steam locomotive exceeds 100mph!

Postby David Benton » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:08 am

george matthews wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:In America there were commuter railroads into the 1940's on which the passenger coaches didn't have doors (some of those with vestibules had doorways, but nothing that could be closed, and even on those that had real doors with actual hinges the trains ran with all doors open between stations), and some roads still had open-platform coaches--even the passengers had to keep their wits about them, let alone the engine crews.

I have seen trains in Sydney New South Wales running with open doors, possibly because the passengers wanted some air on very hot weather days. I wonder if these trains are still running? There didn't seem to be automatic door closing apparatus.

All modern doubledeckers with Automatic doors in Sydney these days , George.
I do remember my first visit to Sydney in the early 80's, been surprised by the wooden carriages parked around central Station. But every train i rode was modern stock.
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