It may be the case that I’m going to die laughing long before the 100 Golden Virginia ” Roll Ups ” I smoke ever day kill me from Lung Cancer, but I do use Swan Filter Tips which may reduce the risk as those evil Tobacco once said. However, I’m minded to conclude that my prolific consumption of ” Coffin Nails ” over the last few months has sealed the fate of the Ten Bob Fat Cat corrupt politicians all over the world !
Big Corporate Media Frenzy about the maiden voyage of the Flying Scotsman, but as usual extremely economical with the real truth since the East Lancashire Railway had to put an H G Ivatt modified Stanier Black 5 ( probably the engine which won WW2 on the Home Front ) bejind it to push it up the bank to Ramsbottom. The Scotsman has also been rebuilt to final BR specification with Kylchaps Double Chimney, which will need the provision of German Type Smoke Deflectors to prevent the driver’s view being obstructed and the possibility that he might miss a vital signal !
Nigel Gresley only got the job as Chief mechanical Engineer on the formation of the LNER in 1923 because Sir Vincent Raven of the North Eastern Railway was close to retirement and Gresley’s A1 Great Northern Railway ” ‘Pacific ” was far better than Raven’s attempt and a member of the class was subsequently exhibited at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, Standing directly beside the A1 ( Which originally had 180lb & High Degree Super-heating ) was an ( alleged designed by C B Collett ) Great Western Railway ) ” Castle Class ” ( which had 225lb BP but low degree super-heat ) which at the time had the highest Tractive Effort of any British Express Passenger Locomotive.
British Empire Exibition attending members of the general public were asking themselves ” How could it be that such a puny little thing like the Castle could be more powerful than Gresley’s veritable Whale in comparison “. Therefore interchange trials were arranged where the 4-6-0 Castle would work East Coast Main Line trains and Gresley’s 4-6-2 would work GWR Expresses. The Castle beat ” booked time ” easy, whereas Gresley’s Whale was almost always late ( and you were deemed late after 5 minutes unlike today’s exuberant 10 ! ), therefore Gresley quickly embarked on a revised design.
The original Gresley Pacific’s fatal flaw was its short travel valve gear, whereas the Castle had long travel valves ( which G J Churchward introduced to the UK after a trip to the US ), Gresley also increased the Boiler Pressure as far as he dare to ( eventually 220lb ) before it became immortal as the first steam locomotive to ” Officially ” reach 100 Mph.
The Gresley A3 Pacific’s major handicap was Gresley’s patent Two To One combination rocking lever whereby you could avoid separate valve gear for the insider cylinder on a Three Cylinder Engine thus avoiding the need for a pit for the driver to do the pre ” booked turn ” oiling, and it was not unknown for GWR engine-men to get trapped oiling the inside valve gear on a Castle and need assistance to escape, and perhaps on occasions leading to the late start of the train !
Furthermore, multiplication of wear in the Two to One linkage plus linear expansion of the piston valve rods when hot meant that the ” inside engine did more than its fair share of the work, which in turn overheated the inside Big End, and thence completely knackered it if the driver didn’t notice in quick time !
It was not unknown for A3’s to have to be replaced at short notice after the inside big end ran hot and be substituted by an old Large Boiler Two Cylinder 4-4-2 ” Atlantic as designed by H A Ivatt, the CME of the GNR prior to his assistant Gresley taking over in about 1911. World Record Breaking 126 MPH A4 Mallard was similarly afflicted after charging flat out down Stoke Bank between Grantham and Peterborough.
And as a final killer blow to Corporate-Nazi Engineering History Mythology, one of the streamlined German 4-6-4 ” Baltic ” Steam Loco’s Hitler used to Double Head his personal train achieved 124 Mph on a far more gentle downgrade than Stoke Bank for miles on end !