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LMS Record of 114mph

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by James F, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. James F

    James F New Member

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    Hello! I'm looking for any information regarding the alleged speed record of the LMS obtained by a Duchess south of Crewe. I've heard the story it nearly ended in disaster and all the crockery smashed because of how fast it was going over the points on the station approach, but Google is failing me trying to find any concrete info! Can't even find which Duchess it was...

    Anyone got any more info or sources?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jsm8b

    jsm8b Well-Known Member

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    Look for The West Coast Pacifics - J F Clay and J Cliffe Chapter 9.

    Loco 6220, date 29/06/37. the text gives the impression that 114mph was claimed but not proven.
     
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  3. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    It was the first of the class, 6220, 29 June 1939, and an attempt at the speed record was made down Madeley Bank, with Crewe station at the bottom. The loco's speed recorder topped at 114 mph, but on board train timers all agreed at 113; the LMS claimed the 114 though. It wasn't a disaster although the potential was there: the train had to negotiate several 20 mph restricted crossovers to enter the station, but took the first at 57 mph, despite heavy braking. The crockery did suffer, but nothing else; I doubt the LMS was too worried on that score.

    The same day, 6220 returned the eight coach 263 / 270 ton train to Euston in 119 minutes, average 79.7 mph. This was probably a more impressive performance than the high speed peak. The same driver and fireman, Tom Clarke and J Lewis, worked the train both ways.
     
  4. AndyY

    AndyY Member

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    There is a description in one of O. S. Nock's books, I forget which, he was on the train.

    Andy
     
  5. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    That should be 1937 not 1939. A max speed well and truly beaten by Mallard the following summer (1938)

    Peter
     
  6. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you're right on the date, should have rechecked my typing.

    But the advantage of the long Stoke Bank to the A4 should not be underestimated.
     
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  7. John Webb

    John Webb New Member

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    Other sources include "The LMS Pacifics" by J W P Rowledge and "A History of the LMS 2. The Record-Breaking Thirties" by O S Nock.
     
  8. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Member

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    Someone was looking out for the LMS and those on board the train that day, for sure! Had 6220 come off the rails at that first crossover, the consequences were potentially horrific.

    Also, of course, would it have dampened the enthusiasm for faster and faster runs in the UK? Might we not have then seen Mallard's run into history on July 3rd 1938?
     
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  9. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    I originally read this in O.S. Nock's "Speed Records on Britain's Railways -A Chronicle of the Steam Era" published originally by David & Charles in 1971. (ISBN 0 7153 5342 X, if you're interested - its a thoroughly absorbing read).

    Chapter 10 "East-West Contest" fills in all the fascinating detail, including the explanation of the contested LMS claim of 114 mph. I'd forgotten that the reason for this was that it entitled the LMS to reclaim the British vmax. record from the LNER. This was set by A4 Silver Fox on 27th August 1936 on Stoke Bank when, despite Cecil J Allen' recorded speed of 113.9, the LNER accepted the dynamometer car reading of 113 mph. An interesting contrast of ethical approaches - or otherwise - to speed record claims, its seems.
     
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  10. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    Presumably the fact that the loco returned to Euston later the same day suggest it didn't suffer any debilitating failures during it's speed run? Another pretty impressive display of engineering, wasn't Mallard damaged during it's famous run?

    Sent from my HTC U Play using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    So what? Surely the speed achieved was the more important thing at that moment. No-one intended to run either loco at such speeds in normal service. It was just a test.
     
  12. Muzza

    Muzza New Member

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    Silver Link had no ill effects from its 112.5 MPH - and then ran the service on its own for a few weeks without failure. That’s quite impressive.

    126 is a lot more than 114. It would be interesting to know if Mallard had been restricted to 115 ( or not have the steam shut off so suddenly) whether any damage would have occurred.

    Of course 6220 also had steam shut off and brakes applied quite quickly and suffered no problem.
    Both fine classes of locomotive.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Was there any record of p/way damage? Rails pushed out of gauge, for example? Given the geography and the proximity of the station to the foot of the bank, presumably those involved must have realised that speed would inevitably be high approaching the station, and had considered the risks and mitigations appropriate. I wonder if they ensured a p/way gang was on hand to check immediately for any displacement of the track before a subsequent train passed?

    One wonders quite how close the LMS was to another Salisbury.

    Tom
     
  14. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Member

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    Quite why the train was signalled across a tortuous path into Crewe rather than a more direct route into another platform is, frankly a bit of a mystery. This was, of course, in the days before "Risk Assessment" was really applied, but even so...

    Was this the incident where flange marks were found on top of the running rail at one place during subsequent examination of the p/way, indicating just how close they actually were to disaster?
     
  15. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Cecil J Allen was on this train and there is a full description in his book - British Pacific Locomotives that includes a commentary by R.A. Riddles who was on the footplate. The loco speedo showed 114 mph but the timers on the train were more confident that the max was actually 113. Either way it was rather quick. Apparently the ride quality of 6220 as it negotiated the reverse curves gave few clues as to the mayhem that was unfolding in the carriages. Apart from the crockery, I gather that the only other casualties were a few chairs on the permanent way. It's still hard to believe that the pass to stop time for the final 10.5 miles was 6 min 58 sec. That's an average of 90 mph!
     
  16. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    This is the trouble with rail speed records, especially the British ones. They're at least as much about the hill as the locomotive.
     
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  17. AndyY

    AndyY Member

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    I recall reading somewhere that nobody had bothered to inform the signalmen that a record attempt was to be made, so they just assumed 'business as usual' and routed the train accordingly...……….

    Andy
     
  18. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    ...and was said to be a little shaken by the experience of charging into Crewe! So much so, he apparently declined an invitation to travel with Mallard on 03/07/38.
     
  19. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    So what? Nobody complained when people were first breaking the sound barrier by going into a dive.
     
  20. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Bet he regretted that in the end.
     

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