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Re: Tornado hits 100mph

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:11 am
by AndyG
For those out of area in the UK with Sky TV channel 955 will get you the regional BBC 1 NE & Cumbria feed .


Re: Tornado hits 100mph

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:46 am
by Fairway 2746
Hi all,

To start, I'm not an A1 fan. I believe they are not particularly good riders at any speed due to their divided drive & weight balance especially compared with A4's (even A3's). The A1 trust also ignored the input of several acknowledge experts in steam locomotive design, LD Porta & David Wardale to name two, which would have produced a significantly better machine. Near blind adherence to making a 50th A1 is to blame.

Improvements are never-the-less possible. See for their oil burning conversion. Adopting their design would eliminate hand firing of coal (a nasty substance as-used) & smoke. Also, no more lineside fires thank you plus reduced crew fatigue as the system is significantly less noisy compared with other oil firing systems.

Regarding the dynamic augment issue see the archives of the 5AT project on This organisation's proposals are detailed at length including dynamic balance & track wear. I do not know how Tornado complies in this regard but, three cylinder machines should be capable of high speed without undo wear & tear on the right-of-way. In fact, I highly recommend an in-depth perusal of all the site's files. If anyone wants to know what is possible in today's world with modern "reciprocating steam" technology, the information contained there-in will be an eye opener. Imagine a new build steam locomotive capable of 125mph & sustained speeds around 110mph. This group did. Unfortunately, while the expertise was there, the money was not.

i would still like to see those A4's in steam be allowed to run at 90mph. They're certainly capable enough to permit 90mph service. Network Rail requires a 10% margin (hence the required 100mph run). This whole thing is predicated on mainline steam being fast enough to avoid slowing the the system's high speed trains. 75mph is not going to be enough in the future.

Fairway 2746

Re: Tornado hits 100mph

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:23 pm
by richard
I think LD Porta (and one assumes David Wardale - I haven't seen his comments) had a fundamental mis-understanding of the A1 project and its aims. To "Porta-rise" (to coin a phrase) an A1 would not have produced an A1 but something else. If you're going to do that, you might as well do something like a 5AT - and as we've seen, there isn't a wide enough interest to build something like that.

Re: Tornado hits 100mph

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:23 pm
by Fairway 2746
Hi All & especially to Richard,

Thank you for your input. I followed the A1 Trust's program nearly from inception & understand their reasons behind the decisions made (which your reply served to remind). But, (is there not always a but ?), the A1 design as modified could have included one feature which, had the railways retained steam, been considered an evolutionary upgrade. As the LNER applied Kylchap exhaust arrangements to Mallard (as distinct from previous A4's) & Peppercorn's decision to apply same to the A1's after production began, adoption of Porta's Gas Producer Combustion System by the Trust in 1999 - 2000 could have been considered exactly the type of technology adopted after-the-fact without seriously compromising the basic design. I believe that nearly 20 years on we're beyond adopting that now. Oil firing is another thing altogether. That could be installed & would anyone consider Tornado to no longer be a "real" A1 ?

Heritage steam in the UK is a multi-million Pound industry & future views by the Government & the public may come to regard continued use of coal as unacceptable. The company I noted is one of a number offering relatively easily applicable oil firing systems. Whether the industry wants to apply any of the systems referenced or not may not be up to them. The A1 Trust's design variations on the P2 project are of note. From the roller bearings to the rear frame revision & the front bogie (no Gresley double swing link there) the Trust has elected to adopt design details yet still call the final product a P2 when it should be more like a P2+. Surely applying a better firing system on Tornado would have been seen as a step towards showing the Public an evolved A1 but, still an A1.

That the heritage system gets on with a huge amount of donated time by volunteers is a plus & if I lived in Britain I would be doing so as well. Reducing the maintenance required by their locomotives with superior firing systems and / or better water treatment would benefit everyone (the Porta type is still something the A1 trust could apply to both locomotives). On this note, the Union Pacific is restoring Big Boy 4014 & will be converting her to oil fuel. Eliminating the stoker will reduce service / operating costs & improve emissions (a very big deal here as well as in the UK). The attendant lineside fire safety improvement is an unstated benefit. With Britain experiencing longer dry periods, failing to adopt oil firing could be detrimental to the future of continued summer operations. As has been noted by many, variations in coal quality can seriously disrupt good steaming & the screens used for spark control can affect steaming if clogged up with poorly burned particles. Stories of BR's experience with screens on V2's are notorious.

Who cares about 90mph mainline operation if the currently certified locomotives are barred from running during dry periods ? Surely the smaller heritage systems could be at financial risk as well.

Thanks to all for your time & be assured my intentions are honorable. I'm no troll but, do enjoy a lively discussion.

Fairway 2746

Re: Tornado hits 100mph

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:07 pm
by kimballthurlow
In relation to lowering of emissions, I doubt there is sufficient weight of argument to incentivise the fitting of any new or modified combustion system.
A maximum reduction of 25% is what I have read in wide combustion industry reports. Is that enough, or even significant?
And on a few heritage steam engines?

We need to be aware of the historical value of leaving the technology "as it was".
Are historical artifacts a teaching medium? For what value?

The UP is different. They had many of their original locomotives fitted for oil, so nothing new to them.