View Full Version : Trains

Onan the Clumsy
4th May 2004, 22:00
I think the Mallard was an ugly old brute.

...and quite titchy in comparison the The Union Pacific Big Boy (http://www.dallasrailwaymuseum.com/bigboy.html).

4th May 2004, 22:04
sorry mate, trains?? heard about them but we rarely see them in england. Are they the tin cans that are always late, expensive and full of *American T.V voice* ''Englands worst citizens''.

Onan the Clumsy
4th May 2004, 22:05
Proper ones aren't.

4th May 2004, 22:48
If trains were cars, the 'Big Boy' would have to be some sort of SUV and the Mallard an MG, Austin-Healey or Triumph.

So what would the train equivalent be of the Smart? Not a Turbostar, surely?

4th May 2004, 22:53
So what would the train equivalent be of the Smart The "Picasso" (http://www.trains.asso.fr/materiel/X3800.htm), maybe ?

4th May 2004, 22:58
Onan, I think there was a "Big Boy" at Steamtown, USA, when it was located at Bellows Falls, VT. The operation went bankrupt in I believe 1984 and at least some of it was taken over by the US Parks Service. See http://www.steamlocomotive.com/pennsy/steamtown/bellowsfalls/. The collection is now at Scranton, PA. It was a wonderful collection when I saw it, and they had a steam train trip of a few miles. I believe it still is good.

A trip I recommend is on the narrow-gauge Durango and Silverton Railroad from, Yes, Durango to Silverton. It was built narrow-gauge because the radii of the turns round the mountain sides were so short a standard gauge could not cope with them. You have to book ahead.

4th May 2004, 23:17
I reckon your Picasso is more of a CitroŽn 4CV.
Something more up to date is needed for a Smart-train: click here (http://www.transport.alstom.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/View&inifile=futuretense.ini;futuretense_xcel.ini&c=at_product_type&cid=996157083912&lid=en&pid=996157055604&rid=996157069649&mid=996157083355) and select Coradia A-TER (can't link directly).

A turbostar is probably more of yer Opel Astra.

4th May 2004, 23:22

You will have Messieurs Andrť CitroŽn and Louis Renault turn in their respective graves.

It is the CitroŽn 2CV or the Renault 4CV ;)

4th May 2004, 23:23
sorry, I'm too young for this. The CitroŽn two horses.

5th May 2004, 01:15
Big Boy and Challenger are fabulous machines; like most things American, larger than life. Mallard, however, is a 'classic' and STILL holds the world record for steam speed...

But then, as I sit and look at the model of Silver Link before me, it is a singularly spectacular colour scheme on a beautiful locomotive.

Onan the Clumsy
5th May 2004, 03:00
A TRAIN thread with only 9 replies :confused:

and it started off with an insult :confused: :confused:

Perhaps the Sante Fe Zephyr was more elegant and sophisticated than any of the leaky old British models with their electrical problems :E

5th May 2004, 06:24
ANY steam loco which is fired and ready to move, whether it be Big Boy, Gresley A4, Stanier 8P or little 'Stepney' at Sheffield Park, is a joy to behold. Engineering poetry. The sight, sound and earth-trembling feel of a main line steamer at speed was more thrilling than a space shot - and I've been privileged to witness both.

5th May 2004, 07:10
I spent a few months in China a while back and Steam trains still seem to be in common use there. I'm not a train fanatic so I don't know the types but they were big and black and great to see in action, not just stuffed away in some museum.

5th May 2004, 08:22
May 9, 2004 is the centenary of GWR Dean 4-4-0, "City of Truro" reaching 100mph between Plymouth and Bristol. The first time the speed was said to have been achieved, using conventional steam traction.

5th May 2004, 10:14
Having just been accused of hijacking a thread (well, it was my own) by T.I.M., I hesitate to go off at a tangent on this one.

But does anyone model Marklin HO (strictly German outline), or live steam in the garden?

5th May 2004, 10:26

The first 100mph was in, if I remember the railway history correctly, 1899, on I think, one of the New York railways. City of Truro was the first in the UK, although people argue over that, as it wasn't that well documented.

Is there a steamable Big Boy? I know there's a Challenger, but I'm not sure about a Big Boy.

As a kid, I saw all the A4's, but somehow, I still prefer the looks of a GWR Castle.........and that's nothing to do with living near Swindon!

Shaggy Sheep Driver
5th May 2004, 10:45
Mallard - ugly? Umm. Yes (ish)!

Those who've read other train threads will know I'm no fan of Gresley's designs. At least, with his A4, he hid that ugly LNER loco outline in a slightly less ugly tin skin.

Mr Stanier of the LMS designed some superb locomotives (he took what he'd learned on the GWR, and built on that). To me, his ultimate (and THE ultimate steam locomotive) is the 'Coronation' class Pacific. In a misguided marketing move in the late 1930s, some of these lovely engines were also given a tin skin. Thankfully, these were subsequenly removed to allow the superb lines of the loco to be seen.

I don't think Stanier designed an ugly locomotive, though Fairburn's version of his class 2-6-4 tank loco is arguably better looking. Many of the BR standard class steam locos were based on Stanier designs - some little changed from the original. None of Gresley's were used as prototypes for the Standard classes. So all the standard class engines look good, IMHO, especially the 4MT tank and tender engines, the Brittanias, and the 9Fs.

There have been some good looking diesels, too:

'Western' diesel hydraulics, Hymeks, Deltics.

And the class 86 and 87 electric locos have an attractive look about them, as does the Turbostar.

There can be few uglier trains than the Voyager, and the Pendelino doesn't look like a train at all. :)

Ugly modern locos? The class 67 takes some beating, even though this Saturday I hope to be travelling behind on on a 'special' from Cheshire to Didcot via the Hope Valley.


5th May 2004, 10:51

I saw an engine in the York National Rail Museum that appears bigger than "Big Boy'. I don't know its designation but I think it was built in UK and I do know that it served its time in China.

It is a great machine!:ok:

Shaggy Sheep Driver
5th May 2004, 11:00
A Beyer-Garrett? Big, articulated loco. Biult in Manchester and used on railways all over the world.:ok:


5th May 2004, 11:52

Have seen the large loco you mention and I think from memory that it was sent to China (although, it could have been U.S.S.R.).

Was it built in Britain, though? I seem to remember, that the workmanship was reminicent of ship building at its worst!

5th May 2004, 11:59
My thanks to Mr seacue for gently pointing out in a PM that Durango is in Colorado, not New Mexico. I was going by 20-year-old memory, and I should have checked. Still, the trip by the Durango to Silverton Railroad was a great treat.

5th May 2004, 19:29
"City of Truro" reaching 100mph Maybe. We did this last month, didn't we (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=123192&pagenumber=5) ?

5th May 2004, 19:36
Can recommend a visit to the GWR Museum in Swindon (STEAM)
Also visit the railway cottages for a glimpse into life at a railway workers family home.


5th May 2004, 22:07
SSD wrote:
'There can be few uglier trains than the Voyager'
true but the Meridian is essentially the same train with a redesigned bodyshell and front-end. Looks much better.
See both here (http://www.therailwaycentre.com/Voyager/voyagerindex.html).

6th May 2004, 08:34
The claim in the USA of 100mph in 1899 is generally discounted. The type of engine involved normally had a major problem getting over 60 and, with the exception of the single claim of 100mph, never did anything outstanding.

The City of Truro run (down Whiteball bank, approx 02:00, 9th May 1904) was well documented - there was an observer on the train timing the 1/4 mile posts. The timings gave 102mph for a quarter mile.

And out of interest the engine currently labbeled City of Truro isn't the original. That had to be scrapped so another of the same class (City of Bath) was renamed as City of Truro.

6th May 2004, 21:20
The City of Truro run (down Whiteball bank, approx 02:00, 9th May 1904) was well documented - there was an observer on the train timing the 1/4 mile posts. The timings gave 102mph for a quarter mile.No dynamometer car was involved in City of Truro's fast run. Rous-Martin, (a famous train timer of the day), was recording in the dark using a stopwatch to take times between some of the quarter mile posts passed by the train, then calling them out to a "scribe" who was writing them down. Hardly the best conditions for accuracy. Well-documented ? :hmm:

Onan the Clumsy
7th May 2004, 04:12
Hardly the best conditions for accuracy. Maybe Roy Castle was busy that day. :}

Evening Star
7th May 2004, 08:55
Big locomotive in the NRM was made in Britain for the Chinese railways. Donated to the NRM a few years ago. While certainly large, it is much smaller than 'Big Boy'. See http://www.nrm.org.uk/html/coll_pb/st_chi.asp. Last few years been sat next to (and over shadowing!) 'Evening Star' (IMHO a much smarter machine).

Claim of first to 100mph is interesting. As MadsDad explains, the 1899 claim is not accepted. Part of the problems is the lack of any verifiable recording. As for City of Truro, the lack of dynamometer carriage makes it harder to verify the results, plus the GWR held back Rous-Martin from publishing the results for a number of years (sensitivity after the Salisbury accident - controversy over railway accidents is nothing new). Reading out the results to an assistant is not necessarily an indicator for inaccuracy, and in the case of recording times at quarter mile posts probably is useful in allowing the train timer to concentrate on the actual timing (try it and see for yourself!), thus may even help accuracy. Modern computer analysis is allowing train timers to look at Rous-Martin's data. Analysis using a dv/dt methodology and plotting the result shows an interesting result for the critical quarter mile before the driver had to brake for some tardy permanant way workers. Based upon the accerleration for the previous quarter mile it is almost certain that City of Truro passed the first critical timing point at above 100mph. Modern work suggests a peak of about 104mph during the quarter mile (which allows a reasonable margin for any error in the claim) before braking, bringing the average for the quarter mile to a figure in excess of 100mph. Therefore, there is little doubt the City of Truro was the first to 100mph.

Being fair, this achievement does need setting in context. This was a momentary peak on a lightly loaded train making full use of a falling gradiant. It was most certainly not a performance repeatable on a day to day basis. Flying Scotsman's 100mph I will therefore concede is perhaps the more significant as it was the precursor of a situation where it was possible to timetable 100mph railway operations by the 1930's, be it LNER, LMS or the German Railways.

This is perhaps the trouble with train timing, in that the unusual is more noteworthy. Perhaps my most interesting timing was when the class 47 pulling a train I was on from from Liverpool to Newcastle failed at Manchester and was replaced by a class 31 (you know, if tasked with pulling the skin from the custard my money would be on the custard skin). We of course lost time all the way to Standedge, but the struggle was epic. (Once clocked a class 86 at 108mph near Crewe. Naughty naughty. Was it you, Bletchley?)

7th May 2004, 09:14
PaperTiger. Agreed, the recording of City of Truro was not the best that could have been made but was at least independant. The USA claim was by the driver, with no timings, and was at best a guess.

And Evening Star: agreed it was a peak with a very light train. Working from memory it was 5 up, with a load of gold landed at Plymouth being taken to the London. The whole run was phenomely quick, averaging somewhere about 70mph for Plymouth-London, including an engine change at Bristol - would be good for 2004, let alone 1904.

The consistent high speed runs in the 30s were a different kettle of fish although the record breaking runs always seemed to be on the edge of disaster - Mallard needed a complete rebuild after it's run and I won't even mention the earlier incident of the Coronation hitting the cross-overs at Crewe at after it broke the record (I used to know an old guy who was on the station when it arrived - he said the railway speed record wasn't the only record broken; he claimed a sub-10 second 100 yards running away from the wreck that appeared inevitable and he was nowhere near the fastest). :hmm:

7th May 2004, 10:58
wooo oooo woooooooo......cchuff..........cchuf........chuf.....chuf... chuf..chuf.chufchufchufchufchufchufchufchufchufchufchufchufc hufchufchuf :ok:

7th May 2004, 12:26

It's hardly surprising that the BR Standards had such a likeness to the LMS locos, when you consider where the top men of the design team came from. It's also arguable that the LMS design team were probably the best around at the time - Bulleid was very much the 'guy in charge', Peppercorn was getting on in years, as was Hawksworth. By the time BR was formed, Stanier was no spring chicken, either.

The BR 2MT (tank and tender) were based on Ivatt, not Stanier designs: the only Stanier based designs were the 5MT 4-6-0 and the 4MT 2-6-4 tank...By the time of BR, the basic Black 5 design had changed somewhat, too - thicker frames for example.

No-one has mentioned the Saint reputed to have done 120mph - what little is known suggests more than 100mph, though.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
7th May 2004, 13:04
I always thought the Britannia had a 'Bulleid' look about it - a bit like his light pacifics but a tad more beefy.

If so, I suppose it could be said that the 9F, one of my favorite engines, has a Bulleid ancestry:uhoh: .

I thought Ivatt was a Stanier protoge? His types certainly have that Stanier look about them.

But whatever, nothing from Gresley made it into the standard classes, though many of his locos survived to the end of steam on BR. But more of Stanier's did I think.;)


surely not
8th May 2004, 18:07
Davaar, I also visited Steamtown in Vt, in 1977. The Big Boy was a magnificent sight, and an engine which dwarfed anything I had ever seen before.

I think the biggest surprise of the day was to find a little LSWR B4 0-4-0 tank in the roundhouse!! Of all the locos for the Americans to have imported that had to be the strangest choice.

I think that there was a Maunsell Schools class 4-4-0 there as well.

All that way from home and these 2 ex LSWR/Southern railway engines were thereas well, a very strange feeling.

All this talk of good looking engines and yet no mention of the rebuilt Royal Scots and Patriots. Lovely looking engines.

8th May 2004, 18:25
We had two Jubilee's, 45690, Leander and 45596, Bahamas at Dinting together with 46115, Scots Guardsman. The Scot was in black livery, whilst the two Pats were in differing shades of maroon.

Scots Guardsman was the last of the class to be withdrawn in 1965.

Great pitty when the center closed down.

The Schools that went to the USA was 926 "Repton"

surely not
8th May 2004, 19:12
IB4138, I'm sure 45690 and 45596 are Jubilees if my memory serves me correctly. Another good looking loco.

8th May 2004, 20:35
Correct surely not.

The great shame is that not one Patriot survived.

I personally preferred then to the Jubs.

We also had Compound 1000 on loan for one season.

Posting under the influence...I'd better stop for the night, as I've just uncorked another bottle!:ok:

surely not
8th May 2004, 20:39
Maybe it says something about me, but I also thought that the 'Crab' was a ruggedly attractive loco. The raised running board over the pistons gave it a sense of purpose lacking in some prettier locos.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
9th May 2004, 00:40
Each to their own, but I must admit I found the 'crabs' not very good looking.

But earlier in this thread I said the 67 was an ugly engine. Still think it is, but having ridden behind one today, it's a damn good engine. Fast, excellent acceleration; sounds nice, too:) . We joined our 'special' Chester to Reading at Mobberley at just after 8 this morning. Routed via mid Cheshire line to join the Hope valley line at Hazel Grove, through the Peak, then via the Dore curve, Chesterfield, Derby, Tamworth, Water Orton, Solihull, Warwick, Leamington Spa, Oxford (first stop since Altrincham, on the mid Cheshire), Didcot (for the GW rail centre), to Reading. A rake of 12 mostly Mk 1s (we were in a Mk1 first - very comfy!), ahead of time most of the way, and home tonight an hour early!

Grand day out! Grand loco. But what are they going to used for? Where's the role for a fast passenger-hauling diesel loco on today's Voyager/Pendelino/other MU type railway?

Bring back loco-hauled trains!


None of the above
9th May 2004, 07:38
A few years ago I became hopelessly lost in Cheyenne WY on my first visit to the US and went past an example of "Big Boy" at least half-a-dozen times. On the other hand there may have been six of them, I suppose.......... but I digress.

Info here http://www.cheyenne.org/attract_details.asp?id=45

9th May 2004, 09:18
Pushed the boat out, did you, Shaggy Sheep Driver?

First Class was £51 per person on this trip!

Personally, for just £5 more, I would prefer to be on "The Western Whistler II", on May 22nd from Crewe to Plymouth, behind 40145, with assisting EWS traction at Plymouth.:ok:

9th May 2004, 12:10
As we're talking about trains - could someone please explain how the "CoCo" & "BoBo" etc designation is arrived at in regard to locomotives. It's puzzled me for years, I know it's something to do with the axle arrangement, but every reference to it assumes one already knows...............

9th May 2004, 12:24

Have a look at the following, for all to be revealed:


Shaggy Sheep Driver
9th May 2004, 14:51
First Class was £51 per person on this trip!

Personally, for just £5 more, I would prefer to be on "The Western Whistler II", on May 22nd from Crewe to Plymouth, behind 40145, with assisting EWS traction at

With a Whistler on it, that EWS assist might end up dragging the whole lot:) .

BTW, it was £51 per head plus £8 each for a 'table for 2' - window seat and aisle seat, all in one. Excellent value! And those old first class Mk 1s are sooo comfy:ok: .


9th May 2004, 18:17
surely not

I've done a bit more research.

It is not a L&SWR 0-4-0 tank at Steamtown, but a L&SWR Drummond 0-4-4 tank numbered No:53.:ok:

9th May 2004, 20:55
IB 4138, was'ent that Drummond 0-4-4 [M-7] returned to the UK with Repton and is now on the Swanage [spellin?] branch?

surely not
9th May 2004, 22:32
Thks for that IB4138, it was some time ago and obviously the memory was playing up :D

Evening Star
10th May 2004, 22:43
Seeing as it got a mention, what did happen to the Dinting Centre?:confused:

11th May 2004, 07:56
With the earlier talk about City of Truro.

Watching local tv news last night and City of Truro was shown, live, leaving Exeter on a 'spotters special'. They showed the times which meant it would be going near where I live, within a mile, about 8 o'clock, so since it was a nice evening and I have never seen her in steam I thought I would wander down and watch her go past.

Pausing only to put on my bestest anorak, fill my flask and sharpen my pencil I went out about 7.30 to walk over to the bridge only to hear her go past. :{ :{ :{

Doesn't say a lot for the timetabling though. :suspect:

11th May 2004, 08:02
Evening Star

The Bahams Locomotive Society, which operated Dinting relocated to the Keighley and Worth Valley railway. Why I don't know...but I've asked someone who should!

Evening Star
11th May 2004, 10:52

Thank you. Let us know the outcome.

MadsDad (and anybody else who may be interested!)

From the NRM (and subject to alteration), City of Truro's schedule for this summer:

7-12 June; York to Scarborough & return (twice daily)
19 June; York to Tyseley
20-27 June; Birmingham Snow Hill, Shakespeare Express
1 July; Birmingham to Didcot (double headed with 4965 'Rood Aston Hall')
1-19; At Didcot Railway Centre
20 July-6 September; Operating on Bodmin and Wenford Railway
7-20 September; At 'Steam in Swindon'
w/c 20 September; Move from Swindon to Shildon

Think I will have to get myself down to York for one of the Scarborough trips, but will need to think of a good reason for Mrs ES (talked Mrs ES and Miss ES into going to Railfest because Hogwarts Express will be there!).

11th May 2004, 11:04
ES. Thanks for the information. I don't rally go off spotting much, I preferred working in the sheds (there is something theraputic about hitting a large piece of metal with a 7lb sledgehammer after a week in the office), these days I just wander over when convenient.

Mate of mine who is a driver, out of Bristol, usually tells me if anything is around and if it's convenient I wander over for a look. Occasionally get a good one though (like 'Union of South Africa' on full chat, I was the only person there to see it. I did have to leave England v Australia for 15 min though but the timing was perfect - left pub, walked down, waited on bridge 1 minute, train went past, walked back to pub. And that was special, the only A4 I had never seen).

Yesterday the b*gg*r was 30 minutes early. :}

surely not
11th May 2004, 11:12
I can remember being taken to Brookwood station as a young lad to watch 'Mallard' going through on a special to Bournemouth.

It was a very impressive sight and made a very different noise to the Bullied pacifics that were the normal express engines I saw.

For looks though, I would say that the Kings and Duchess Class Pacifics were the best.

11th May 2004, 12:09
Ah. The duck. (As opposed to the 'Mucky Duck', which was Golden Eagle).

Diferent type of valve gear and valves would account for most of the noise difference (plus a proper exhaust beat). (Incidentally Mallard had Walschaerts valve gear, named after the inventor who was one of the four famous Belgians).

I'll get my anorak.

12th May 2004, 09:17
The local hystorical society have informed me that Dinting Railway Centre closed, as it's lease ran out and the landlord wanted the land back. Seem to recall that the landlord was....British Rail!

12th May 2004, 09:44
IB. Why is that a surprise? They are totally seperate organisations and BR was acting as a commercial landlord (within BR the property lettings department (and it was a big department, think about all the space they rent out in, and above, stations, viaduct arches, coal yards etc.) was totally seperate from the railway operating departments).

And it would be less of a surprise if you consider some of the other things that happen. For instance ballast is shipped from the quarry, at Okehampton, to Scotland. By sea (it was cheaper to the PW dept. than to pay the freight dept. to run a train). Also a lot of rolling stock is moved by road to maintenance depots - cheaper to hire a lorry than to pay the track charges. Even though the money is going out of the business rather than recycling within it. And would keep traffic off the road.

Accountants have a lot to answer for.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
12th May 2004, 11:34
OK, guys, where can I go to see a 'Duchess' pacific on the main line? I live in Cheshire, so the nearer the better;) .


13th May 2004, 08:13

Take a look at:


Evening Star
17th May 2004, 08:19
Dinting and the British Rail Property Board. Now why am I not surprised! Got a book entitled 'The Railway Surveyors' (just had to you understand), which has a lot of interesting stuff about the original surveys (lots of cloak and dagger stuff, including surveys at night to avoid locla landowners!),and then finishes with an over sanitised bit about the Property Board. What it nevers says it the remit given to the folks at the Property Board seems totally at odds with maintaining a viable railway network, and they seem keen to follow that remit to the end regardless. Sale of old trackbeds is the classic short sighted thinking that in a number of cases is causing complication where the closure was a closure too far and there is case for reopening. Parts of the Waverley route and the Keswick branch come to immediate mind.

As for the carriage of locomotives by road, I notice that there is at least specialist road haulage company doing very well out of this situation. As I understand it, it is not only track access costs, it is unavailability of paths (railway equivalent of landing slots). This particularly applies to shunting engines with a maximum speed of 20mph or other speed restricted crippled locomotives/stock. Whereas years ago one could stuff them inside a class 9 train or find space in the timetable, now it is road haulage. Another example of the consequence of the shortsighted \'rationalisation\' of our railway system. Whatever, it always strikes me as a spectacular own goal to see a railway engine being lowloaded down a motorway.

17th May 2004, 09:44
I think the first of the new Virgin units was built in Brum and then transported by road to Germany for testing by road, as it was not passed to run or be towed on BR metals.

During this move it killed a motorist, when it came off the back of the lowloader on the M40 and crushed his car! So without turning a wheel in the UK the new units were responsible for their first faitality.:sad:

30th May 2004, 11:43
Thanks to The Beeb (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/3760485.stm)

RB is pictured on 3 of the 5 pics ;)

Onan the Clumsy
30th May 2004, 14:15
IB Did that unit eventually turn up for sale in the East End?

Well it DID fall off the back of a lorry.