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Re: Off the Rails

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:18 pm
by Dangermouse
Also the fact that Mallard melted the bearing on her inner con rod while trying to do so... I have read that the reason for it being such a brief peak speed was that the crew smelled the bearing going and jammed the regulator wide open for a few seconds before closing it.

The one I'd love to conclusively clear up is whether City of Truro managed to hit the ton. I know there's plenty of evidence against but machinery is often capable of far more than the design spec if you get just the right match of driver and engine. However, seeing as the only way of doing that would be if time travel is invented (and I think the Edwardian passengers might be rather alarmed by a fire-breathing flying steam train cruising alongside them) it's likely to remain a mystery!

Re: Off the Rails

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:56 am
by mtskull
Mike Bull wrote: It would be interesting to know the percentage of LOOT (Loss Of Original Train); I don't know anything about it at all, is it already one of those where 'The Flying Scotsman' has had two new boilers and five new sets of wheels etc?
Ahem. (Puts on nasal pedantic train-spotter type voice):
"I think you will find the Loss Of Original Train to be 100%, as the term "train" refers to the vehicles drawn by the locomotive, rather than the locomotive itself". :geek:

OK, in seriousness: As regards Loss Of Original Locomotive, it all depends on when you draw your baseline. If you have ever glanced at any of the specialist steam railway magazines you will be aware that, ever since it entered preservation, there has been ongoing controversy along the lines of: "she never ran in NE/LNER/BR days with that combination of tender/smoke deflectors/chimney/whistle, whilst painted Apple Green/Brunswick Green/Black".
The fact of the matter is that Flying Scotsman, in common with many other locomotives (and a certain hydroplane...), underwent a continuous process of development and modification almost from the day it entered service. Add to this the fact that, during a 40 year service life, parts wore out and were replaced; also that major components such as boilers, wheelsets, motion and tenders were routinely swapped around when locomotives underwent heavy overhaul.
It is probably true to say that it would be possible to restore Flying Scotsman to the condition it was in at the end of its BR service without a vast amount of loss of the fabric of the locomotive (as it stood at that time). At the other end of the spectrum, if you wanted to represent the loco as it left the works when new, you might as well go the whole hog and build a new one; you wouldn't end up with much less original fabric. (As has already been stated, that option would probably cost less than the current bill for Flying Scotsman's restoration).

Mallard - World steam speed record holder

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:20 am
by conistoncollie
There is another big blue world speed record holder named after a bird.
I am involved in the project to get a bronze statue of Sir Nigel Gresley erected at King's Cross. Sir Nigel was one of Britain's finest and most innovative engineers, he designed the world steam locomotive speed record holder - MALLARD (126mph). When he wasn't designing cutting edge, innovative machinery, he relaxed by feeding the ducks and he had a great love of them. It is no coincidence this particular world record breaker is named after one.
The superb new bronze statue featured a beautifully sculpted mallard at his feet but now the powers that be want the duck removed. The significance of the duck is not - it seems - recognised or appreciated by the powers that be.

Sign the petition to reinstate it at ... el-gresley


Re: Mallard - World steam speed record holder

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:45 am
by mtskull
conistoncollie wrote: The significance of the duck is not - it seems - recognised or appreciated by the powers that be.
Maybe the powers that be appreciate that Sir Nigel Gresley's greatness stems from more significant, yet less widely recognised achievements than designing a locomotive that momentarily went faster than it was designed to.
What would you have liked to have seen incorporated into the statue if the record had been set by "Union of South Africa" or "Sir Ralph Wedgwood"?

Re: Off the Rails - Train Stuff

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:33 am
by Renegadenemo
Can't see as it makes any difference - duck or no duck. Personally I'd leave the duck alone as it's the most interesting part of the statue so far as the casual observer is concerned.

Re: Off the Rails - Train Stuff

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:50 am
by quicksilver-wsr
I'm not a loco buff, but I am continually inspired by the efforts and achievements of the brave bands who toil to resurrect and maintain key elements of our locomotive history. Many of those projects are every bit as difficult to pull off as an absolute speed-record success, but with way less recognition ever accorded to the "victors".

I'm sorry but I don't go with the LOOF thing at all. If an item is a working piece of machinery, parts will deteriorate sooner or later and will have to be replaced. The only way to avoid this is not to run, preserve in aspic - and then the thugs will cry "Dead Metal!"

Many WW2 aircraft, to take those as an example, were built in the certain knowledge that their lifespan would be brief. No-one who built them could imagine that some of these machines would still be flying 75 years later, and expected to carry on in flying order indefinitely for future generations to enjoy. Of course, parts have been successively replaced, to the point where very often, little remains of the original. Pragmatism, practicality - leave alone common sense and statutory airworthiness requirements - would have it no other way.

I don't know much about the trials and tribulations surrounding the Flying Scotsman as a specific case (it doesn't sufficiently interest me), but as a general principle it's inevitable that the longer a piece of machinery is worked into the ground, the more parts will have - progressively - to be replaced.

LOOF = longer life. Even when it comes to hip and knee replacements!


Re: Off the Rails - Train Stuff

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:39 am
by quicksilver-wsr
Got to add, while I'm on here, that there was once a Quicksilver locomotive - a Gresley A4 built in 1935 and withdrawn from service 1963, pictured here in model form ...
A4 Quicksilver.jpg

We have rediscovered what remains of it and are rebuilding to full running order, but due to extensive LOOF, once completed, it will look like a boat.


Re: Off the Rails - Train Stuff

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:27 pm
by rob565uk
I think your Fireman's shovel will be but a blur as he feeds the boiler with best steaming coal at 400 mph :-)

Re: Off the Rails - Train Stuff

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:04 pm
by quicksilver-wsr
rob565uk wrote:I think your Fireman's shovel will be but a blur as he feeds the boiler with best steaming coal at 400 mph :-)
Bless you, Rob ... ever the optimist. Four hundred mph. How terrific would that be!

It has been designed for that speed, and it was always that way - right back to when Ken was in charge (for 12 full years, Mr Ackroyd, not two) - but a quick look at the stats bears out that the speed increases from one record to another have tended to be in very small increments. Only the current record of 317.60mph stands out as the exception that proves the rule. A whacking 29-mph increase on the previous mark. In WWSR terms, that's a colossal speed hike.

So if anyone hikes it from there to a 400, it will be against all the form of the past 85 years or so since the WWSR began.

To be honest, to get a boat that planes first would be fantastic. We'd then have a hydroplane in nature, not just in name. If we can get that, there's no reason we have yet found why we shouldn't get up to some respectable-sounding speeds. At least then we'll feel we've accomplished something.

We'll walk before we can run, we'll stay optimistic - because you get nowhere if you aren't - and we'll hope we're getting all our sums right. And if it turns out that we haven't, we'll hope we've got the engineering skills to back us out and put us on the right road again.

We'll find out, one way or the other.

And before I get accused of hijacking this thread ... which would be a perfectly reasonable accusation ... I'll shut up and let everyone talk about locomotives again! :D


Re: Off the Rails - Train Stuff

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:45 am
by Renegadenemo
Not quite a railway locomotive but very much steam-powered is the delightful Coniston steam yacht, Gondola. She suffered almost total LOOF, leaving only a tiny proportion of original fabric still afloat but the spirit of the old craft lives on in full measure in not only the polished brass, albeit replacement polished brass, amongst her period steam machinery, but also in the people who crew and maintain her. I've done many a talk aboard the old / new Gondola on Coniston Water and she always feels well and truly original to me and the best part is that she lives and breathes and anyone can take a trip on her - something I would highly recommend.