The London to Brighton “Southern Belle” Run Compared With That of the Famous Atlantic City and Philadelphia Express
BRITAIN’S FAMOUS SIXTY-
This train, comprising five to seven Pullman coaches, runs between London and Brighton, covering the 50½ miles in the hour.
WHILE comparisons between train speeds attained in various countries invariably are interesting, as a rule it is almost impossible to discuss them fairly, owing to the difficulty of reducing the performances to a common basis. So many factors affect the situation, such as gradients, curvature, condition of the track, junctions, carrying capacity and weight of the trains, character of the service, and distance.
But there is one very interesting parallel affording comparisons to be drawn, seeing that the conditions are approximately equal. Both trains are scheduled to cover a similar distance in sixty minutes; the composition and weight of the trains are about the same; the permanent ways are alike and of the give-
The English train is the “Southern Belle”, running between London and Brighton, which has earned justly the distinction of being the finest and most luxurious “sixty-
Its composition varies from five to seven Pullman coaches, according to the exigencies of the traffic. Each car measures 63 feet 10 inches in length, by 8 feet 8¾ inches in width, with a height of 13 feet 6 inches from rail to roof, and weighs about 40 tons. The full train has seating accommodation for 219 persons, and complete with full load represents a weight of about 280 tons.
The American train plies between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, which is to the Quaker City what Brighton is to London, only, whereas the English resort has an all-
THE BUFFET CAR “GROSVENOR” ON THE “SOUTHERN BELLE”
Luxurious appointment is the feature of this train: this car is furnished in the Adam style.
In order to obtain a closer parallel between the English and American trains it would be necessary to imagine the Thames a mile wide, stretching from Victoria Station to the south end of Grosvenor Bridge, and negotiated by ferry. But although the latter is eliminated from the English conditions, there is a stiff bank on a sharp curve outside Victoria Station, rising at 1 in 50 for half a mile, which is against the train starting from rest.
The composition of the American train is closely analogous to the “Southern Belle”. As a rule it comprises six coaches of the Pullman pattern -
The Atlantic City flyer was introduced in the summer season of 1896, and it aroused intense world-
The speed was so high, and maintained so consistently day after day in each direction, that interest became centred in the engine. This was of a new class able to fulfil the speed conditions the company desired. It was of the 4-
The story of the evolution of this engine is somewhat interesting. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad built a 10-
THE DRAWING ROOM CAR “CLEOPATRA” ON THE “SOUTHERN BELLE”
The performances of this class of engine becoming appreciated, it has been adopted practically throughout the world in a modified form, but is universally known as the “Atlantic”, from its first appearance in connection with the Atlantic City flyer.
Other countries have not followed the practice of placing the driver’s cab over the driving wheels and forward of the fire-
So far as the British and American roads are concerned the last-
Although the Philadelphia and Reading Railway is less troubled in this latter respect it has its own peculiar adverse influences not experienced on the British railway -
The “Southern Belle” makes the round trip between London and Brighton twice a day throughout the year. Its arrival five minutes ahead of time is by no means uncommon, while the occasions on which it has been half-
The fastest run placed on record by this express was made on July 20th, 1904, when the 55½ miles down were reeled off in 43 minutes dead, giving an average speed of 77.4 miles per hour. It may be pointed out that, although the fastest runs have been made on the outward journey, owing to the grade falling steadily and almost continually towards the sea-
COMPOUND NO. 1027, ONE OF THE FIRST “ATLANTICS” WHICH HAULED THE AMERICAN FLYER
The drivers were 84¼ inches in diameter, and the complete weight of locomotive and tender was 114½ tons.
Needless to say, this fine express is patronised heavily by season ticket holders, who, preferring to reside by the sea during the summer, yet demand quick communication between home and business. This train meets their convenience. On the up-
journey it leaves Atlantic City at 8.15 a.m., arriving at Philadelphia an hour later; on the return journey it leaves Philadelphia terminal at 4.0 p.m. (Camden at 4.10 p.m.), reaching Atlantic City at 5 o’clock.
Although the “Southern Belle” still ranks as the crack train on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, this pride of place now is attributable rather to luxury and comfort than highest speed, seeing that one or two other trains cover the journey in the hour dead. But taken on the whole the running performances over the 50½ miles between London and Brighton do not compare so favourably with the train service offered over the 55½ miles between Atlantic City and Philadelphia (Camden Station). Of the twenty daily up trains, two cover the distance in 54 minutes, two in 55 minutes, three in 60 minutes, and six in 63 minutes. On the down journey, of the twenty trains one takes 53 minutes, two 55 minutes, two 60 minutes, and eight 65 minutes. But the hustling Philadelphian has become so accustomed to fast travelling over this system that he dubs the 65-
THE FASTEST 60-
The Atlantic City flyer, which covers the 55½ miles between Camden (Philadelphia) and Atlantic City in 50 minutes, hauled by type of “Atlantic” (4-
Seeing that the “Atlantic” type of locomotive is utilised for the haulage of these two famous expresses a comparison of the engines used on the London, Brighton and South Coast and the Philadelphia and Reading Railways respectively is interesting.
THE AFTERNOON “SOUTHERN BELLE” EN ROUTE TO BRIGHTON
[From Parts 3-