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September 5, 2015 / consort3

Flying Scotsman

The Flying Scotman the Cornish Riviera Express and the Brighton Belle are featured on this:
The Trains That Time Forgot: Britain’s Lost Railway Journeys
Timeshift journeys back to a lost era of rail travel, when trains had names, character and style. Once the pride of the railway companies that ran them, the named train is now largely consigned to railway history.
Writer and presenter Andrew Martin asks why we once named trains and why we don’t do so anymore. He embarks on three railway journeys around Britain, following the routes of three of the most famous named trains – the Flying Scotsman, the Cornish Riviera Express and the Brighton Belle. We reflect on travel during the golden age of railways – when the journey itself was as important as reaching your destination – and compare those same journeys with the passenger experience today.
A glorious, evocative, journey back to a lost era of rail travel, when trains had not only names, but also huge character and style. Back to a time when, instead of buying a ticket for a journey, you booked yourself on a ‘service’. If you were travelling to Bristol, the fortunate passenger could choose ‘The Bristolian’; to Sheffield, ‘The Master Cutler’; and to Dover, ‘The Golden Arrow’.

The launch of a named train was, for the time, a highly sophisticated marketing tool. They attracted the discerning passenger by giving them a markedly superior product offering than the competition. Yet, once the pride of the railway companies that ran them, the ‘named train’ is now largely consigned to railway history. An astonishing three hundred and fifty named trains have come, and mostly gone, in this country. Trying to resolve the conundrum of why we once we were in love with named trains and why we aren’t anymore, noted railway writer Andrew Martin Andrew embarks on three railway journeys around Britain.

He follows the routes of three of the most famous named trains: The Brighton Belle, from London Victoria to Brighton; The Flying Scotsman, from Edinburgh to London Kings Cross; and The Cornish Riviera Express, from London Paddington to Penzance. The contrast between travel during the golden age of railways and what many would consider as the bland and densely packed passenger experience of today, is palpable. An un-missable programme for anyone who cares about our rich railway heritage.

Confusingly the FS term can refer to the train or  an engine. The engine had a special tender with a corridor so the crews could change without stopping. At some time they ran with 2 tenders.

New livery for the Flying Scotsman
The Belle is being restored:

The Cornish Riviera Express was non stop and they used Slip coaches for intermediate stops:
One of the technical achievements enabling the Flying Scotsman to be non-stop was the water scoop, picking up water from troughs in the track. The last time the system was used was in 1968

I found this on a forum:
“In UK there were many installations of water troughs. Without research I know of ‘West Coast Route’ say 390 miles long at four locations between London and Crewe. On the ‘East Coast Route’ I think there were similarly about three. The Great Western used them but not the Southern. If you want I can research and list. I used to spend many hours at Bushey Troughs on the WCR, 12 miles north of London, Euston. I was just a few feet from the track and enjoyed the frequent passage of fast and slow, passenger and freight trains collecting water on the move. The scoop needed lowering and lifting with skill. The fireman would need to be quick turning a screwed actuator. At commencement of the troughs the scoop would be quickly lowered energetically by the fireman who would then watch the tender water level gauge to estimate when to start lifting the scoop. If the lift was late then there would be an overflow, washing coal off the tender and soaking un-warned passengers in leading coach compartments. If there were two engines they would arrange to collect in turn, requiring more skill and co-ordination between two firemen. The scoop was fitted with a deflector which assisted the passage of water into the scoop mouth. Water troughs were first used and invented by the London North Western Railway, a constituent of the WCR and at its time the largest Joint Stock Company in the world. On reflection I seem to remember a list of about twenty UK installations. Locomotives were fitted with large deflector plates protecting leading small non-driving wheels so that water from the collection activity did not wash lubricant from bearings. Diesels were fitted with steam heating boilers for train heating with water tanks. Early deliveries of some classes were fitted with scoops. I worked a lot on diesels but am unaware of the pick up equipment ever being used. Later deliveries came without the equipment and it was soon removed where fitted. Some equipment and buildings associated with trough installation remain in place”

Overflow from the tender (courtesy Jimquest)


The trains consumed so much water which weighed a lot, so that carrying it cut down the payload, hence the scoop idea. It  is rather similar to long haul flights today where they have a reduced number of passengers so they can carry more fuel. The idea of in-flight refuelling has resurfaced.

Whether one wants these long haul flights also depend on sleeping arrangements as well I would have thought. How about this for an idea:

With a re-jig of the aisles, the economy class layout is 1:2:2:1 twin module so that everyone has access to an aisle, the idea would work. I was unaware that the Douglas DC3 was originally conceived as a ‘sleeper’

A typical overnight trip would be Newark to Los Angeles in 14 hours 40 mins

Stage 1 Newark to Memphis 945 miles, Stage 2 Memphis to Dallas 418 miles, Stage 3 Dallas to Phoenix 886 miles, Stage 4 Phoenix to LA 357 miles Total miles 2606

They are providing a sleeper bus service from SF to LA

A further program in the Timeshift series covered the diesel engine and mentioned the Deltic diesel. A beautiful concept and the Type 55 was used for the Flying Scotsman.

I found this on another forum: If you ever get the chance to hear a Deltic at full speed, do. The turbo  is huge and turns 140,000 rpm at full speed. It creates an incredible  shriek that I’ve never experienced from any engine other than a Deltic, not  even the sound of a Formula 1 car turning 19,000 rpm can equal it.

Youtube has let me down, I easily found the Vulcan howl (see Olympus) But the Deltic howl is elusive If anyone has a recording please let me know. Imcidentally the opposed piston 2 stroke diesel concept has been taken up by a company called Achates who claim better fuel economy.

Trains and boats and planes


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