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Irish Railway Speed Record

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Hi lads,

Have often wondered If anyone knows the 'official' top speed recorded on an Irish Railway. I have often heard stories and whispering on the grape vine about some amazing speeds achieved! but wondering is there any recognized max speed that stands as the official record in Ireland? It's an interesting topic and I would love to see a non-stop record breaking run between Hueston and Kent Stations. I wonder would a 201 or 22K be chosen if such an experiment was ever to be tried? Is an 071 the record holder?

Edited by Sulzer201
Don't forget the 071s
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I'd love to know what 208 and 209 would have managed when they double headed a rail tour back in the mid '90s. They started in Belfast and 208 was removed in Lisburn while 209 carried on to Connolly. It was said that the couplings on some of the Cravens were found to be damaged after the tour was over. 6,400hp, don't think there was ever so much power hauling a train in Ireland before.

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Yes Eamonn, I heard from a very reliable source many moons ago that an 071 hit 115 on a section in Tipperary. I reckon they could go far beyond 90Mph

 

I suppose when you think of it the 071s had the aerodynamics

of a brick,so perhaps running them at higher speed and the fuel

used did not add up?.

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I've been in an 071 cab at 87, and a 201 cab at 107.... which as far as I'm concerned is by far the fastest....

 

JHB, as a matter of interest , at that time was the track the old joined or continously welded? id emagine if it was the former, youd would want safety belts on!:rolleyes:

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in the good old days of steam, back in 1942, no 802 'TAILTE' achieved a steady speed of 95 mph on a 6 to 8 mile section of the line between Maryboro and Knightsbridge. she was pulling 10 coaches at an average speed of 71mph, completeing the journey in 43 minutes! beat that with a stick!!:tumbsup:

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I know Maeve hit the high 90's near Thurles, im nearly positive it was 96? the 201's definetly went over 100 on or near the same stretch as for the 071's I wouldn t be surprised if they did.

 

the boys in inchicore at the time were convinced that if 802 had top quality coal she would have hit the 100mph!

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I believe the Mk 4 DVT's can achieve 125MPH Though the 201's, track and signalling probably wouldn't be able to cope

 

Heard a story not so long ago that proved the 201s could do those kind of speeds... although I'm not sure they'd last long doing it all the time! An 071 properly prepped wouldn't be too far off, either. ;)

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In 1937 402 a rebuilt 400 Class 4-6-0 ran non-stop from Cork to Kingsbridge in 147 minutes and avergage speed of 67mph with the 1st American Ambassador to the Free State

 

I think a maximum of 87mph was recorded on the section north of Limerick Junction, it would have taken a lot of skill on the part of the driver and fireman to avoid stopping for water in a run over such a distance.

 

Class B 2 - 401 - GS&WR Class 400 4-cylinder 4-6-0, built 1921 by Inchicore Works - 1925 to GSR, 1930 rebuilt as 2 cylinder simple, 1939 rebuilt with large diameter Belpaire boiler, 1945 to CIE, 1952 rebuilt with superheated Belpaire boiler, 1953 rebuilt with superheated Belpaire boiler - withdrawn 1961- seen here at Cork MPD, 06/53. Note 'Enterprise' headboards.

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@1996 up 1805 Galway between portarlington and kildare loco 226 or 224 connelly driver got up over 12x,in 1991 1915 ex cork in cab of loco 084 plus 9 mk3 past newbridge got up to 106 and was still pulling when cork driver had to put break on for TSR,would have got over 110 no problem!,being in cab of 083 hauling 13 mk2s on 850 tralee @1990 north of mallow at 97mph, knowen past kerry driver getting over 80 with pairs 121s and cravens in the 70s!!!.

 

M.

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JHB, as a matter of interest , at that time was the track the old joined or continously welded? id emagine if it was the former, youd would want safety belts on!:rolleyes:

 

Heirflick, the 071 run was in 1977 or 1978; almost certainly jointed, though I can't remember - but holding onto the seat was indeeda good idea! Mind you, a cab ride in a 141 at speed would have skaken the teeth out of your head. At the same time as the above I had cab rides in "A"s, "121"s, "141"s, and twice in an o71, and once in a C on a ballast from Clonsilla to North Wall. The 121s and 141s were much more lively than anything else and as you'd expect an A was relatively smooth. The C just bumbled along at slow speed as it had ballast trucks behind and in any case seemed to get stopped at every signal. I think one of the most bouncy runs I ever had has to be a tie between a pair of 121s on the 6pm up Sligo mail - he was tearing along and the track on the Sligo line at that stage was both jointed and of varying quality; that, and a run on a Cork-Cobh train in the hands of 150. THAT was lively. It seemed like the jointed track there was made of two-metre-long lengths!

 

The 201 run I had was betweden Dublin and Dundalk about 1999 / 2000. Probably welded, but again, not sure?

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and a run on a Cork-Cobh train in the hands of 150. THAT was lively. It seemed like the jointed track there was made of two-metre-long lengths!

 

Some of those Cork to Cobh rides could be scary as hell, always felt like the train was lifting to one side as it rounded Harpers Island on approach to Cobh Junction (Glounthaune)!!! You'd get knocked against the window and sometimes there'd be a loud bang of what was left of any suspension on the Cravens.

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@1996 up 1805 Galway between portarlington and kildare loco 226 or 224 connelly driver got up over 12x,in 1991 1915 ex cork in cab of loco 084 plus 9 mk3 past newbridge got up to 106 and was still pulling when cork driver had to put break on for TSR,would have got over 110 no problem!,being in cab of 083 hauling 13 mk2s on 850 tralee @1990 north of mallow at 97mph, knowen past kerry driver getting over 80 with pairs 121s and cravens in the 70s!!!.

 

M.

 

A 201 has also reached the magic 120 mark with a Mk IV set. ;)

 

The highest speed ever achieved by an 071 was 116mph, on a test run shortly after delivery.

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Made a few enquiries this morning from one who was on trial trips with 800 and footplated it a number of times Dublin - Cork and back. To his knowledge it almost hit 100mph, but not quite on trips he was on. He says it could have on other trips, but he thinks that had it happened he would have heard of it. Just wanted to clear that up!

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Made a few enquiries this morning from one who was on trial trips with 800 and footplated it a number of times Dublin - Cork and back. To his knowledge it almost hit 100mph, but not quite on trips he was on. He says it could have on other trips, but he thinks that had it happened he would have heard of it. Just wanted to clear that up!

 

Impressive stuff all the same, JB! I doubt the Per Way dept was best pleased, though...

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Impressive stuff all the same, JB! I doubt the Per Way dept was best pleased, though...

 

3 cylinder locos like the 800s, Scotts and Compounds would have been easier on the track and smoother riding, than large 2 cylinder with outside cylinders like the Woolwich and rebuilt 400 Class 4-6-0.

 

I read somewhere about a GWR Saint hitting 90 or 100 in the early 1900s, an order went out to enginemen to keep the speed down as someone realised that because of hammer-blow (vertical motion) the wheels would lift clear of the tracks at some stage of every revolution of the driving wheels.

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Made a few enquiries this morning from one who was on trial trips with 800 and footplated it a number of times Dublin - Cork and back. To his knowledge it almost hit 100mph, but not quite on trips he was on. He says it could have on other trips, but he thinks that had it happened he would have heard of it. Just wanted to clear that up!

 

thanks j! has he any pics he could share?

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Because the mass of the piston,side rods,connecting rods on a two cylinder loco is very hard to balance out. If you think of the piston stopping and starting many times p.sec at each end of its stroke and one on each side of the loco, then divided drive can be seen to help with balance and hammer blow. But it cannot cure totally cure either problem.

I have no experience of the GWR 2900"s, I"m not that old! but some of my old drivers who were in their 60"s in the 60"s reckoned they were the fastest thing on rails. i only ever did 95mph on a steam engine once. And there was a lot of hanging on for grim death!! Back to balancing and hammer blow! Mike

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I'm afraid, Heirflick, there are no pics! He took very few pictures of anything - which is a pity. However at 95 he retains an extremely accurate and on some subjects almost encyclopaedic memory and knowledge of things*. He recalls one story of being taken with his friend on a Saturday to Inchicore where they were able to climb up a ladder onto the frames before the boiler was put into "Maedb", and of seeing her in works grey before painting. If ONLY there were pics of that!!!!! I have a number of negatives of things he did take pics of, but strangely none of the 800s were among them...

 

(* So, if there's anything that anyone wants me to ask...........!)

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It's quite possible, Minister. Those engines were unsung heroes in Irish narrow gauge lore, having b een designed for fast suburban trains on Ireland's only narrow gauge double-track suburban line. That the CBPR could operate an intensive service reliably with just four of these engines all its narrow-gauge life is testament enough. Apart from the NCC 2.4.2Ts, the only n-g locos with which they were comparable, they would have been the fastest narrow gauge locos in ireland.

 

While the other locos and rolling stock on the C & L were very decrepit indeed by CIE days, strangely the track on that system was in tip-top condition. The only thin g I would have worried about if racing one of those engines on the C L would have been whether the carriage behind me would fall to bits!

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  • 7 years later...

Interesting reading back through this thread, some interesting anecdotes and figures. It got me wondering about the ability some of the other classes to go faster than their rated speeds.

Based on that if an 89mph geared 071 could do 116mph and a 165km/h geared 201, 120mph, then what sort of speeds could the likes of a 141 or even an 'A' Class manage?

Presumably an 'A' could manage at least it's maximum speed on re-engining of 85mph but could they go faster? One of the uprated 1,650hp might have enough grunt for a 'ton' I would've thought.

Or an 89mph geared 141, possibly 89mph would be pushing it for a single 141 but a higher-powered 181 might be just about able with a very light load but a pair would have enough power to get into the 90s I'd think.

And is 96mph the overall Irish steam record or purely the record for a GSR B1a/800 Class?

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