03.07.

1938: The World Speed Record for Steam Locomotives Achieved

1938: The World Speed Record for Steam Locomotives Achieved
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ „Mallard locomotive 625“ von Das Original wurde von G-Man in der Wikipedia auf Englisch hochgeladen - Übertragen aus en.wikipedia nach Commons.. Lizenziert unter CC BY-SA 3.0 über Wikimedia Commons.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 3 July 1938
  • Mallard was a steam locomotive weighing over 100 tons and with a distinctive aerodynamic body, which allowed high speed with less fuel consumption. It could generate a pulling force of up to 157.7 kN (roughly the thrust of the Concorde supersonic aircraft).

On this day in 1938 the speed record for a steam locomotive was achieved.

The British locomotive Mallard reached the speed of 202.58 km/h while driving on a railway line in England.

That record still stands, although it has been more than three quarters of a century since it was set.

Mallard was a steam locomotive weighing over 100 tons.

„Mallard Record Plate 01“ von Dudva - Eigenes Werk. Lizenziert unter CC BY-SA 3.0 über Wikimedia Commons.
„Mallard Record Plate 01“ von Dudva – Eigenes Werk. Lizenziert unter CC BY-SA 3.0 über Wikimedia Commons.

It had three steam cylinders, and could generate a pulling force of up to 157.7 kN (roughly the thrust of the Concorde supersonic aircraft).

The Mallard’s wheel arrangement was 4-6-2, which means that it had three pairs of driving wheels.

These driving wheels were over 2 meters in diameter, which is perfect for attaining high-speed on track.

Mallard type locomotives had a distinctive aerodynamic body, which allowed high speed with less fuel consumption.

It is interesting how it was made sure not to overheat the bearing of the locomotive.

Specifically, it was fitted with a “stink bomb” containing aniseed oil which would begin to emit odor at high temperatures.

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