What is the Consensus on the Steam Record?

Started by Seasaltchap, February 18, 2007, 02:55:26 PM

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The Milwaukee Road Class As were 4-4-2 Atlantics.  Yes, they were fast.  They were also enormous Atlantics.
Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"

Mark Damien

Hi All,
I just came accross some info on a test with a NYC HUDSON, which was statically steamed to 165 mph. This was the fastest steaming rate ever achieved. But it does not count as the loco was not going anywhere at the time.

There was a point made as to why steam declined, in the US anyway, due to the cost of staff to run them. In the UK, steam was hastened on its way by the sad fact, B.R. could not get anyone to do the dirty work associated with steam. Driving & firing is one thing, but the daily, dirty, maintenance was another.

Even if the prototypes never existed, someone would have created Model Trains anyway.
Steams the Dream


o in 1892 a little 4-2-0 called the pioneer went 115. after that day in was nicknamed the sprinter

Guilford Guy



For Mark D:

A mainly women crew of cleaners in WW1.

© Colin G Maggs, 1986
Phoenix AZ: OO enthusiast modelling GWR 1895-1939, Box Station Wiltshire; S&DJR Writhington Colliery, Nr. Radstock.

Interested in making friends on the site with similar interests.

Atlantic Central

I bumped this to the top for the benifit of those discussing the steam record in the "steam name" thread.

Instead of repeating myself there, interested parties can just read this discourse from six months ago.



Just to throw fuel onto the fire here is a quote from a thread on another site, I cannot verify its accuracy-

''The 126 mph figure corresponds to a blip on the speed graph, with physically impossible accelerations. It must have been due to a jolt, or,
according to British railfans who unearthed a second speedgraph copy without the bump, later doctoring.
Indeed the railway engineers themselves (including designer Sir Nigel Gresley) certified 125 mph (201.2 km/h) as the true top speed achieved - but that is within the margin of error with the other two contenders below.
The Mallard achieved the record downhill, and
with modifications unfit for more than a single run - indeed the Mallard broke down at the end of the record run with a hot axle.''

There is another issue here- is it a world record or a world fastest time. As I understand it you cannot have a world record in the Athletics Marathon because of the huge variation in conditions- just a world fastest time. By contrast the world land speed record is measured using a set of pre-determined criteria to try to achieve some level of uniformity.

What is undoubted is that Mallard is [almost] universally quoted as having achieved the fastest speed by a steam locomotive. There is little doubt that other locomotives had the ''potential'' to go faster, and may have done so without any recording equipement on board.

The other two contenders referred to in the thread were-

Deutsche Reichsbahn's [class] 05 [no.] 002

Milwaukee's "Hiawathas".

Here is the website-