BEGINNING THE RUN. On September 27, 1935, the new LNER streamlined express, the “Silver Jubilee”, undertook a demonstration run between King’s Cross and Grantham, Lincolnshire. On the journey the train created four world’s records, and twice attained a maximum speed of 112½ miles and hour. The picture shows the “Silver Jubilee” leaving King’s Cross Station.
SEPTEMBER 30, 1935, was a great day in British railway history. For it witnessed the entry into regular service of the first ultra-
The “Silver Jubilee” flyer of the LNER strikes a new note altogether. In the first place, it is booked to cover 536.6 miles every day -
A preliminary experiment, to prove the feasibility, of this timing, was made on March 5, 1935, over the London-
But to make assurance doubly sure, and to impose less strain upon the locomotives on this onerous duty, it was decided to design a modified type of “Pacific” locomotive specifically, for the new service, and to make the fullest possible use of streamlining in lessening air resistance at high speeds. It has been proved that increase in speed from 60 to 70 miles an hour increases head resistance by fifty per cent, and although this forms only a part of the resistances to be overcome, it is by no means negligible. Recesses and projections on exterior coach surfaces, and, in particular, the gaps between coach-
Four streamlined locomotives, of which No. 2509, “Silver Link”, is the first, were ordered to be built. So far as concerns their internal arrangement, they follow fairly closely the design of the existing “Pacifics”, for their duties will take them on the ordinary express workings between London and Newcastle, as well as on the “Silver Jubilee” express. The working pressure, however, is increased from 220 to 250 lb per sq in, and the cylinders are reduced from 19 to 18½ in in diameter, as compared with the previous high-
THE OUTER FIREBOX of the new “Class A4” 4-
The leading dimensions of the new “class A4” 4-
Diameter.. .. .. .. .. 18½in.
Stroke . .. .. .. .. .. 26 in.
Heating Surface -
Tubes and Flues .. .. .. 2,345 sq ft.
Firebox .. .. .. .. .. .. 230 sq ft.
Superheater .. .. .. .. 750 sq ft.
Total .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 3,325 sq ft.
Firegrate area .. .. .. .. .. .. 41¼ sq ft.
Tractive effort (at 85 per cent working
pressure) .. .. 35,455 lb.
Working pressure, per sq in .. .. .. 250 lb.
Adhesion weight .. .. .. 66 tons.
Engine weight (in working order) .. .. .. 103 tons.
Tender coal capacity .. .. .. 8 tons.
Tender water capacity .. .. .. 5,000 gallons.
Among novel features of the engine equipment are seats for the crew, with backs, facing towards the front cab windows, a Flaman speed indicator, and a pyrometer to reveal the temperature of the superheated steam. But the most remarkable feature of the design, of course, is the streamlining, which has been carried out with great care. From the buffer beam a casing, across the width of the engine, rises in a beautiful curve to the top level of the boiler, and merges at the rear end into the wedge-
The wedge is horizontal in shape, as this method of streamlining causes a strong up-
The defect of the vertical wedge type is that at high speed laterally displaced air may seriously affect trains running on the adjacent road in the opposite direction. A distinctive effect has been obtained by the three shades of grey in which “Silver Link” has been finished, instead of the normal green. Similarly, in place, of the normal LNER varnished teak for the coaches, the whole train has been finished in grey with chromium-
“Silver Jubilee” Schedule
Some beautiful new schemes of decoration have been introduced inside the train, and the passenger accommodation is the last word in comfort. A novelty in the first-
In the kitchen all the cooking, as is now customary on the LNER, is carried out electrically, and weight has been saved by using welded steel for the stoves instead of cast iron. The fittings include an automatic electric refrigerator, an automatic water-
The streamlining of the train has been carried out by linking coach to coach with panels of aluminium-
Of chief interest, of course, is the schedule of the new service, which is as set out in the accompanying tables. These show the passing times at all important points intermediately, and the booked speeds between each.
It will be seen from the tables that two sections of the journey -
Out of King’s Cross the line rises, almost directly off the platform end, at between 1 in 105 and 1 in 110 through two tunnels for a half to Holloway. Following a short level section, the rise is resumed, for eight miles continuously, at 1 in 200 from Wood Green, until the crest of the “Northern Heights” is breasted at Potters Bar. After a gentle descent past Hatfield to mile-
IN REGULAR SERVICE. A head-
From Peterborough to Tallington there are eight and a half miles of level, but the next stretch of thirty miles has in the middle of it Stoke Summit, exactly one hundred miles from King’s Cross, and the highest point anywhere on the line between London and Newcastle. It was in descending from Stoke to Essendine, down the 1 in 178 and 1 in 200, which extend for nine miles, that the engine “Papyrus” touched 108 miles an hour in march, 1935. Yet a study of the schedule reveals that the down “Silver Jubilee” has to maintain an average of 71.3 miles an hour from Peterborough to Grantham, including the whole of the climb to Stoke. Indeed, the northbound flyer is allowed only half a minute more than the southbound over this length. From Stoke northwards, because of curves between there and Grantham, and a slight slowing required through the latter station, high downhill speeds are not practicable until Grantham has been passed.
The section from Newark to Doncaster is of an undulating description, with two minor “summits”. Of these the first -
From Doncaster for the next seventy-
The final stretch of thirty-
OVER SEVENTY MILES AN HOUR. A remarkable photograph of the “Silver Jubilee” climbing the 1 in 200 gradient past New Barnet, some nine miles out of King’s Cross, at a speed of nearly 75 miles an hour during the Experimental run. About forty-
The ability of “Silver Link” -
For the next twenty-
The detailed times and speeds on this wonderful journey, in which the present writer was privileged to participate, are fully set out in the table. Over no fewer than seventy miles continuously up hill and down dale, from Wood Green until the brakes were applied at Fletton Junction for the slowing through Peterborough, the speed averaged 91.8 miles an hour -
It is in view of the exceptional speed and comfort provided by the “Silver Jubilee” that a supplementary fare over and above the ordinary ticket is made for its use. The charge is five shillings to first-
The gain in time over the best ordinary all-
Since its record-
Regular running of the “Silver Jubilee” began with the up run from Newcastle to King's Cross on September 30, 1935. This trip shows a striking similarity with that accomplished two days later, on October 2. The express was specially timed at every station between Darlington and King's Cross, and it was found that the difference in passing times between the two runs at any point was never greater than 67 seconds.
This shows how soon the drivers had accustomed themselves to a schedule of so revolutionary a description. More remarkable than this is the fact that, during the first fortnight of running, which comprised ten runs in either direction -
During the same fortnight there was one late arrival at Newcastle -
Between Newcastle and York are installed sections of automatic signalling, and the distances between signals are comparatively short, so that it is found essential here to restrict the running speed to a little over 70 miles an hour. For this reason it has been necessary slightly to amend the original schedule and to allow 3½ minutes more between York and Darlington, with a corresponding acceleration between King's Cross and York.
“SILVER LINK”. An unusual view of the new LNER 4-
It is on the uphill sections of the journey that the full benefit of the locomotive's increased power is shown to be available. On October 2, for example, the speed of “Silver Link”, after passing through Grantham at 76½ miles an hour, fell no lower than 71½ miles an hour at Stoke Summit, with its continuous climb of 1 in 200. Descending from Stoke on the southern slope the running was consistent at a speed of 90 to 94 miles an hour, averaging 90 miles an hour over the stretch of 15.2 miles between Corby and Helpston. Yet another fast climb on this journey was that accomplished at a speed of 74 miles an hour up Abbotts Ripton Bank, which has a similar gradient to that leading to Stoke Summit. The long ascent past Hitchin to Stevenage was ended at 70½ miles an hour.
Diesel propulsion has been avoided with the express intention that British native fuel -
[From part 45, published 6 December 1935]
[Read the previous article in part 45]
[Read the next article in part 45]
SPECIAL COACHES were built for the “Silver Jubilee”. Streamlining of the train was achieved by linking coach with coach by panels of aluminium-