Very Windy

Tornado, ‘very windy’ ha, ha, but, as you can see from the sideways exhaust, it was very windy. I have often wondered if the chaps who do the timing logs add this into their calaculations when they work out draw bar horse power. I don’t know the formula for such things but, when running into a cross/head wind, what I do know is you burned a lot more coal.

I wrote a book about ‘Racing Trains’, covering the 1895 Railway Races to the North and the sensation they created at the time. Timing and logging runs has been around for a while, and in an era where there were no speedometers fitted to the locomotive, it was the stop watch which was the only method of determing the exact speed. However, when, as it inevitably did, this activity extend beyond the timing of special runs, to recording the everyday work of the crews on the fastest services it takes on a different aspect.

In these circumstances it was particular crews who were followed; drivers who would run hard and fast had bands of followers who knew which duties they were on and which trains they woud be working. However, there is no shortage of published runs where the actual crew were, and remain, anonymous; the vast majority of the published logs never gave the fireman any credit, which, given the vital role he plays, is a little odd. Being knowlegeable about the railway and the footplate isn’t the same as actually being a footplateman at work on it. The ability to deliver maximum power outputs, over sustained periods, isn’t so much about the engineering genius of the design but the symbiotic relationship between the crew and the locomotive.

No.60163 Tornado is pictured, during a visit to the North Yorksire Moors Railway, at Moorgates, with a train fr Pickering.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:



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