100 mph by “Flying Scotsman” Locomotive
The photograph above, reproduced by the courtesy of the LNER, shows No. 4472 “Flying Scotsman”, probably the best known locomotive of its class. The records described on this page are in keeping with its already distinguished career. It was exhibited at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924 and 1925, and was the first engine to make the London to Edinburgh non-
SPEED records of quite a sensational nature were achieved on Friday, 30th November last, when the LNER made two experimental runs -
The locomotive responsible for these remarkable exploits was the famous Gresley “Pacific" No. 4472, "Flying Scotsman”. In the down direction the train consisted of a dynamometer car, a first-
The demonstration was made as an answer to the challenge of the German Diesel-
The details of the running show some astonishing features. King’s Cross was left at 9.08 a.m. and Hatfield (17½ miles) was passed in 17 min. although the line is on the up grade almost all the way for the 12½ miles from the start to Potter’s Bar. On the favourable stretch between Hitchin and Huntingdon travelling became exceedingly swift and a maximum of 94½ mph was reached. Peterborough (76¼ miles) was passed in the phenomenal time of 60 min. 39 sec. from King’s Cross On the rising grades beyond, the running was astounding in its brilliance, and what was probably the most amazing feat of the day was accomplished by covering the 10 miles of decidedly adverse grades -
The return journey was commenced at 2 p.m, and although, owing to the increased load and a severe p.w. check to 40 mph at Sandy, the time taken was longer by 5 min. and the average speed correspondingly lower, it was none the less of a record-
These, it would seem, are the highest fully authenticated speeds ever attained oil British railways. The long-
The LNER state that subsequent examination of the dynamometer car records has shown that the experimental train actually attained the magic rate of 100 mph, and maintained this over a distance of 600 yds. near Little Bytham station. For the first time therefore in steam locomotive history the claim to reach a speed of 100 mph has been supported by the precise and authentic records of the dynamometer car.
The GWR ‘‘Cheltenham Flyer” still holds the unbeaten record, made on 6th June, 1932, for a steam-
Mr. Gresley’s splendid engine has certainly made new records and demonstrated that coal can still hold its own against oil in railway traction. It has shown conclusively that great accelerations are possible in British railway services.
The special train was in charge of Mr. V M Barrington Ward, superintendent Western Section, and the driver in both directions was the renowned Sparshatt of King’s Cross depot. His driving was supremely able and he was competently aided by fireman Webster, who during the double journey had to shovel 9 tons of coal from the tender to the fire-
[From The Meccano Magazine, January 1935]