Stram RR London to Edinburgh
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,415
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1188
    Likes (Received)
    1123

    Default Stram RR London to Edinburgh

    British Transport Films - Elizabethan Express - 60017 Silver Fox

    YouTube

    Flying Scotsman: YouTube
    Last edited by paul39; 10-19-2019 at 03:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Shandaken, NY, USA
    Posts
    4,295
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1145
    Likes (Received)
    6806

    Default

    Paul:

    I've seen both these youtube clips before, a few times over, and always enjoy watching them. The Silver Fox is quite a little film in its own right and speaks volumes for the people and the times in England & Scotland, well beyond following a fast passenger train. The degree of formality, aside from the overall gentility or civility of the travelling public and routine railway operations always intrigues me. We in the USA are a generally friendly, if less formal people. Simiarly, the locomotive and rolling stock in "The Silver Fox" are seemingly a bit smaller and more "finished" in their appearance than US locomotives & rolling stock.

    For many years, I was always curious as to how a crew change "on the fly" via the "tunnel" thru the tender was accomplished. The "Silver Fox" shows this. The "tunnel" thru the tender had to have been a very cramped affair, just big enough for a man to scrunch down and scrape his shoulders to get thru. I've often wondered how the tunnel was situated in a tender body. To keep the load of coal and water balanced about the centerline of the tender, the tunnel would have to go along the centerline of the tender. But, in order for the fireman to pull coal out of the coal bunker in the tender, the tunnel would have to be offset to one side. This would likely be the engineer's (driver's) side. At the same time, the tunnel could not be too big or it would significantly reduce the coal and water capacity. This was addressed by having a "scoop" under the tender to take water "on the fly".

    I know in the USA, the scoops for taking on water were usually air operated. In this youtube, the fireman cranked a jackscrew (or similar mechanism) to lower and raise the chute. In watching youtubes about British steam locomotives, I have come to notice how many designs utilized not only cylinders outside the frames, but cylinders inside the frames. With tighter tunnel, station, and bridge clearances, and tighter curves than we have on US railroads, there was only so big that a steam locomotive could grow on overall dimensions. The answer was adding cylinders inside the frames. When I look at those designs of steam locomotive, I invariably find myself thinking not only of the engineering to design them, but the work to build them. After that line of thought, I find myself thinking of the maintenance of those locomtives with additional cylinders inside the frames. In "the Silver Fox", to add to the maintenance headaches, the locomotive is streamlined by shrouding.

    There is something special about a steam locomotive, particularly one running at a high rate of speed, hitting her stride. Diesel or electric locomotives, at least for me, do not have "that something special". Kind of bland. Easier to manage and maintain, better adhesion and better drawbar pull on the diesels and electric locomotives and no pounding of the rails, but still nothing I can get excited or intrigued by. Like the men in "The Flying Scotsman", I am still like something of a kid around steam locomotives. I keep a hand in doing engineering on full size steam locomotive boilers, determining fitness for service and designing any needed repairs or alterations. The steam locomotives on the shortline or tourist railroads for which I've done engineering are generally lighter engines, running at low track speeds over shortlines. The closest I came to anything like "the Silver Fox" or "The Flying Scotsman" was doing a full set of boiler calculations for the "Royal" Canadian Hudson a good few years back. The boiler drawings and documentation including some relevant photos inside and out of the boiler and a full set of ultrasonic thickness gauge readings were sent to me in NY State. I ran the numbers, designed whatever repairs were needed and drafted a Form 4 (boiler registration document). Sent the whole package back to Canada. Never saw that locomotive in the flesh. The closest locomotives to heavy mainline engines that I worked on were the two engines at Steamtown. These are both ex Canadian engines. It is easy to see the fusion of American locomotive design practice with the British design practice and eye for finish.

    The "Elizabethan" shows the high degree of service on a crack passenger train, probably in the 50's at the latest. Here in the USA, rail passenger service with that degree of service and high finish probably vanished by the mid 50's. Today, rail passenger dining is little more than a rolling fast food joint with none of the eating off china and having a linen tablecloth or a waiter providing formal service. When our son was an undergraduate at Hobart College, he got the idea he'd take a train home for one of the holidays. The train was known as the "Maple Leaf" since it originated in Canada. I forget whether our son boarded the train in Waterloo or Syracuse. Either way, the train was hours late, and service was hardly the stuff of the "Elizabethan". Our son only took that train to and from college that one time.
    Years before that, when our kids were small, my mother thought we ought to have a nice family trip to Montreal by train from Rhinecliff Station in our area. The train was a few hours late in each direction. We packed sandwiches for the trip in either direction. In Montreal, we stocked up on corned beef (salt beef) sandwiches and liter cans of Dortmunder Union beer. Our son was maybe 10 or 11, and he had been around trains on our tourist railroad, and knew a little about railroading. He and I went to a kind of snack-bar car where some of the crew were hanging out. They had two way radios on them, so we got a better idea of what was going on and why the delays were happening. We sat in the snack bar car, eating corned-beef sandwiches and my son getting a bit of Dortmunder Union Beer, learning a dog had come on to the rails, the locomotive engineer made an unscheduled stop, and this threw things askew schedule wise. Our train wound up taking a siding to let a scheduled slow freight pass, and we poked along behind it. No linen tablecloths, no waiters, no regular meal service, just a laminate topped table where we could spread out the sandwiches and the beer. As my son and I joked, since we were passengers, Rule G (no alcohol) did not apply to us. Perhaps the biggest kick our son got out of that trip was when, heading into Canada, our train stopped at the border. Canadian customs agents came thru the train in full cry and hard charging, hollering and looking for someone to bust for something. A fellow travelling on a Greek passport was seated near us, and he told us he expected to get rousted and hassled. He was right. Our son enjoyed handing his passport to the Canadian customs men, who actually were quite polite and friendly to him. Overall, that train trip was little more than a commuter train, nothing to keep the aura of a real train trip or make travelling a memorable experience.

    A few years later, we took a family trip to Span and took a night train from Madrid to Grenada (or thereabouts). Madrid's main station was a complete zoo, and it did not get any better. We had sleeper compartments, which we promptly called "dog kennels" due to the miniscule size. We were expecting something on the order of a Pullman sleeper compartment or roomette (as I believe they were called). What we got was an oddly shaped compartment configured to stack above another compartment. A berth on an old diesel submarine would be about the equivalent. The door at the end of the sleeper car came open while we were underway, and the smell of either creosote or something like it from the roadbed was sucked through our sleeper car. The conductor was one shade from useless, spending his time playing some kind of video game and made no move to secure the door. The car was colder than cold with the wind whistling thru, aside from the stench from the roadbed. This train service had sunk below the level of the Elizabethan by a few light years. We packed lots of food and plenty to drink, and we needed it. To add to the situation, when our daughter, who was then about 13 or so, went into the corridor in the sleeper, young men tried to grope her. My wife told our daughter to stay in the compartment, and told me not to start an international incident. SO much for civility in general, long gone by that point in time. Wife knew my temper was akin to a boiler with the safety valves "simmering" and "showing the white feather" (steam wisping off the safeties just before they pop). She also knew I'd seen a barroom free-for-all or two in my heavy construction days, and was about ready to go clean house in that corridor. Little, if any, sleep that night on that train. Nowhere near the levels of civility, service, or care for the rolling stock that were shown in "The Silver Fox". Nothing you'd want to write a poem about, at least not a poem of positive praise

    Different era in so many ways, not just because of steam locomotives. I think we lost quite a bit in terms of civility, personal contact, and so much more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    L'Orignal, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,058
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1647
    Likes (Received)
    822

    Default

    Paul 39 ,
    Thanks for sharing .

    Joe Michaels ,
    I posted some pictures of the tender passage way on the tender of the A4 Dominion of Canada another Gresley locomotive at Expo Rail near Montreal in post # 47 of this thread.
    OT. 90mph Steam train celebrates 75 year old, 126mph speed record
    That would be much the same
    There is a vestibule at the rear of the tender where it couples on the passenger car .
    There are three steps on the right hand side that lead up to the walkway along the side of the tender.
    https://www.practicalmachinist.com/v...d-dscf5411.jpg
    I checked to see if I had taken a picture from the cab end but no luck.
    If someone were big and close to or over 6 ft. tall, it would be more challenging to get through .
    For someone short they could step sideways if they were too wide to walk through normally .
    if someone was claustrophobic they might find it quite confining
    There are some more photos of the engine and tender before repainting three years earlier back in post # 19
    https://www.practicalmachinist.com/v...d-dscf2429.jpg
    OT. 90mph Steam train celebrates 75 year old, 126mph speed record
    I'm on the wrong side to see the passageway entrance at the front in this picture.
    Jim

  4. Likes Asquith liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    17,881
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1820
    Likes (Received)
    2988

    Default

    I remember the old time dining cars from trips probably in the 50s. On the NP to Seattle as I recall, but I cannot be sure. Tablecloths, china, the whole nine yards. Or you could sit at a counter, more like a diner, as I remember it. Diners at one time were sometimes an old railroad dining car set in place....so they used that counter part. Those are likely all gone also.

    Yes, definitely a bit different to these days.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •