PERHAPS it is the record recently made by the LNER locomotive “Papyrus” that has prompted so many correspondents to ask if I am going to devote a chapter to speed and speed records. Part 17 will contain such a chapter, which my colleague, Mr. Cecil J. Allen, has written. This will deal with speed records from 1895 to the present day.
Speed is perhaps the most provocative of all railway topics. Very many legends and strange stories are connected with it. Many fantastic claims have been made. At the time of writing the world’s record for any train is held by an American streamlined Diesel-
THE record for a steam-
Speed points the way to future developments. Some of the most fascinating stories are those that describe the efforts of the pioneers who are laying the foundations of the future. Many of their efforts are odd and unconventional. Many people laugh at them, or dismiss them with a gesture almost of contempt.
MANY people laughed at the early aeroplanes, yet to-
achievements are due to those restless men who wanted change -
IT is the same with the railways. Next week, in Part 17, there will be a chapter on the Railplane System of transport. In practice the system consists of a streamlined car which is suspended from bogies running on a single overhead rail. The car is propelled by air screws, the engine being either oil or electrically driven. The railplane is designed for maximum speeds relative to the track of 100 miles per hour or more. A test line has been erected near Glasgow, and details of this system, which, it is claimed, has innumerable advantages over other forms of transport, will be fully discussed in next week’s chapter.
In Parts 11 and 12 I have already dealt with the railways in Australia, but one chapter is certainly not sufficient to describe railway development in that vast continent. Next week there will be a further chapter describing railways and railway development in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania. There will be a detailed description of the main routes, of expresses that run over them, and of the general characteristics of the system. This chapter will also include details of the testing of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.
A CHAPTER that begins in Part 17 will describe the largest railway station in Europe -
THIS week’s cover shows Germany’s latest streamlined locomotive. The whole of the boiler front, buffer beam, and cylinder head are covered with curved plates, offering the minimum of air resistance of the locomotive, which is said to be capable of speeds in excess of 100 mph. The doors in the plating, which, it will be noted, is carried almost down to rail level, give access to the smoke-