September 2010

The Flying Scotsman

This month we consider the Pacific Class locomotive - surely one of the prettiest designs around, we are all familiar with 3801 and it's sisters to 3805 and then the unstreamlined sisterhood up to 3830. But there is another more famous one - the 'Flying Scotsman' - actually the name belongs to a train - not the loco - but only the loco survives. The Flying Scotsman service rain between London and Edinburgh, along the east coast, daily. Starting in 1862. It was a joint operation between North British Rail, North Eastern Rail and Great Northern Rail, which established the East Coast Joint stock. Initially the trip took 10.5 hours with lunch at York but technology rapidly reduced the time to 8.5 hours - non-stop - finally 7.5 hours in 1938. The trip was accomplished with 1 tender of coal and watering was done on the run with a trough between the rails.

The Flying Scotsman Locomotive

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The locomotive was a Gresley 4-6-2, initially an A1 and A3 but by 1935 an A4. The photograph is #60103, 1960's version.

Comparisons statistics are

  A1-A3 38 Class
Driver Wheels 80ins or 2032mm 1752mm
Wheel base 60ft 10.6ins or 18.56m 20m
Length OA 70ft 5ins or 21.46m 23.28m
Loco WT 91.35 tons or 92.8t 113.47t
Tender capacity 8 tons or 8.1t 14.2t
Water 5000gal or 23000litres 36.4501
Total Weight 151toms or 153t 198.3t
Cylinders 3 2
Size A1  20x26ins or 508x660mm
A3  19x26in or 483x660mm
Top speed 108mph (173kph) 163kph
Number built A1   52
A3   79

The comparison raises some questions, like why were the Scotsman drivers bigger, because the route was flatter, hence the Scotsman was about 10kph faster. The NSW 38-s had to contend with the Cowan Bank, the Bank to Moss Vale and for awhile the Blue Mountains. The 'Scotsman' visited Australia and went on tour with and coupled to 3801

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