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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 7 (October 1, 1936)

Our London Letter

page 27

Our London Letter

Some Notable Non-Stop Runs

Speeding up of main-line passenger trains continues apace in Britain. Following on the acceleration of the London, Midland & Scottish “Mid-day Scot” service, referred to last month, there must now be recorded even more striking Anglo-Scottish running, on both the L.M. & S., and London & North Eastern routes.

Commencing 6th July, the “Royal Scot” express out of Euston terminus, London, was accelerated so as to reach Glasgow in 7 ½ hours—the shortest regular journey time on record over the 401 ½ miles between the two cities. This run is non-stop from Euston to Carlisle (301 miles), where enginemen are changed. No stops whatever are made for passenger purposes, and the same locomotive is employed throughout

The “Flying Scotsman” expresses between King's Cross, London, and Edinburgh, now perform the world's record, daily non-stop runs of 392 ¼ miles in exactly 7 ¼ hours—faster than any previous regular schedule. This non-stop service is only made possible by the utilisation of giant locomotives fitted with corridor tender, enabling enginemen to be changed en route without stopping. Long non-stop runs are growing in favour on the Home lines. One regular non-stop journey is that of 188 ¼ miles between King's Cross and York. On the L.M. & S. the longest non-stop runs include London-Carlisle previously referred to; Holyhead (263 ¾ miles); and Colwyn Bay (219 ½ miles).

Features of New Rolling Stock.

Low-waisted windows, arm-rests and shoulder reading-lights are being standardised as permanent features of passenger coaches for long-distance services on the L.M. & S. line, which, in addition to building 687 new. carriages this year, is carrying out an extensive modernisation programme of its existing stock. During the past six years a total of over 3,580 new passenger carriages have been introduced on the L.M. & S., representing over twenty per cent, of the total stock.

The modernisation of the restaurant car and sleeping car stock (the company has 200 diners and 232 sleeping cars) is also proceeding. In 1933, a five-year plan was begun for the replacement of 70 of the older diningcars, with the result that 42 new cars have been placed in service, while the remaining 28 will be built this year or in 1937. In addition, 7 new diners are being provided for service locally in Scotland, while 20 more kitchencars are to be introduced for excursion trains. During the past three years the L.M. & S. has provided 26 entirely new and 64 modernised firstclass sleeping cars; and 13 new and 12 modernised combined first and third-class sleepers, giving a total of 115 new or renovated cars. Altogether the company owns nearly 17,000 passenger carriages, as well as over 6,400 vehicles used for parcels and other traffic conveyed by passenger train.

Development of the Rail-Car.

Extended employment of the railcar for both long and short-haul passenger work is a feature throughout Europe. In particular, we find increasing attention being paid to the development of the fast streamlined railcar, of which the German “Flying Hamburger” was probably the first outstanding example. The very latest development is the pneumatic-tyred rail-car, various types of which are being run both in France and at Home.

The Flying Scotsman speeding northwards from King's Cross station, London.

The Flying Scotsman speeding northwards from King's Cross station, London.

Five years ago, the French State Railways placed in service an experimental pneumatic-tyred rail-car developed by the Michelin Company. So successful did this prove, that the stock of such cars has gradually been increased to between seventy and eighty, these mostly being 56 and 100. seater units. At Home, the L.M. & S. authorities are at present trying out two pneumatic-tyred rail-cars of new design. Each of the cars is carried on 16 pneumatic-tyred wheels, accommodates 56 passengers, seated, and has a cruising speed of 60 m.p.h., with a maximum of about 75 m.p.h. Each rail-car is driven by a 275 h.p. petrol engine with self-changing gearbox, and can run with equal facility in either direction. Silent and smooth running is a feature of the pneumatictyred rail-car. Another distinct advantage page 28 page 29
Diesel-electric, Streamlined Ball-cars, Netherlands State Rallways.

Diesel-electric, Streamlined Ball-cars, Netherlands State Rallways.

is that the pneumatic tyre presents a high co-efficient of friction in contact with the rail, this giving acceleration and braking greatly in excess of the rates possible with steeltyred cars.

Efficient Shunting Locomotives.

Diesel-electric shunting locomotives perform, to-day, useful service in many lands. A new design is incorporated in a shunting locomotive recently put into service on the Great Western Railway. The engine is of the six-cylinder vertical type, the cylinders having a bore of 10 inches, and a stroke of 12 inches, and develops 350 B.H.P. at 68o r.p.m. The compression pressure is about 450 lbs. per sq. in., and the maximum normal explosion pressure 600 to 700 lbs. per sq. in. The engine is water-cooled. Both fuel and air supplies are carefully filtered on their way to the cylinders. The lubrication system includes a safety device whereby the engine is shut down should the oil pressure fail. The transmission equipment comprises a self-ventilated main generator of 230 k.w. continuous capacity directly coupled to the engine. The current is fed to two motors driving on to the end axles, and coupling rods are employed to transmit the drive to the centre axle. Either traction motor may be cut out of the circuit should a defect arise, and the remaining motor used for hauling half the load. Simplicity of control is a feature of the locomotive. The revolutions of the engine, output from the generator, and speed of the locomotive are all controlled by a single lever.

International Railway Conferences.

The Home railways, apart from carrying enormous quantities of freight arising in the country itself, are intimately concerned in the movement of traffic between Home centres and all parts of Europe. Some time ago, reference was made in these Letters to the activities of the International Railway Conference which arranges through passenger movement across the continent. It will, perhaps, come as a surprise to many readers to learn that almost all the principal European railways, including the Home lines, are members of yet another international body, known as the Freight Train Time-Table Conference, which is responsible for the drawing-up of the international freight train timetables covering the continent from east to west.

There are 31 member-administrations of this conference, and the meetings, conducted in French and German, are held at selected continental centres in March and November each year. At the November meetings questions mainly of principle are discussed. At the March gatherings effect is given to the decisions reached, and the freight train time-tables corrected and approved for issue. The international freight train time-table is published in May each year. It runs to more than 300 pages, in French, German and Italian, and contains about 500 international freight train time-tables.

One of the Railway Department's new 40-ton cranes in operation at Wellington, New Zealand.

One of the Railway Department's new 40-ton cranes in operation at Wellington, New Zealand.