The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 7 (October 1, 1937.)
Our London Letter — The Famous “Coronation Scot”
Streamlined throughout, and decorated in a wonderful exterior colouring of blue and silver, the “Coronation Scot,” new Anglo-Scottish flyer of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway has excited world-wide admiration. Covering the 401½ miles each way between London (Euston) and Glasgow (Central) in six-and-a-half hours, the “Coronation Scot” is easily the fastest rail service on record between the two cities. Five new streamlined, high-speed locomotives have been built for the service, together with three complete nine-coach luxury trains employing air-conditioned ventilation and striking schemes of exterior and interior decoration. The locomotives are a product of the railway shops at Crewe, while the carriages also are railway-built, coming from the L.M. & S. shops at Wolverton.
In effect, the new “Coronation” locomotives are a modified streamlined version of the successful “Princess Royal” class, introduced in 1933. All projections have been smoothed away, the only visible parts reminiscent of an orthodox locomotive being the wheels and motion. Nearly 74 feet long overall, the locomotive weighs 164 tons 9 cwts. It has a larger boiler than the “Princess Royal,” and in order to give increased speed the driving wheels are of 6 ft. 9 in. diameter (3 in. larger). Steam pressure is 250 lbs. per sq. in., and the four cylinders each have a diameter of 16½ in., while the grate area is no less than 50 sq. ft.—eleven per cent, greater than the “Princess Royals.” The superheater is exceptionally large, consisting of 40 tubes with a total heating surface of 856 sq. ft. The comfort of the engine crews has been carefully studied, features of the cab equipment being double sliding-windows, tip-up seats, and draught-preventing doors and look-out screen. The six-wheeled tender is the largest ever built by the L.M. & S. for passenger work. A novel feature is the provision at the back of the tender of a steamoperated coal - pusher (which may be operated by the engine-men during the run) so as to push the coal forward within reach of the fireman, thus saving considerable manual labour.
The colour scheme of the “Coronation” locomotive is blue and silver, there being four horizontal bands of silver running along the engine, and continuing throughout the train, and meeting in a V-shaped point at the streamlined “nose” of the locomotive. The effect at full speed is that of a glorious blue and silver flash. Each nine-coach train seats 82 first and 150 third-class passengers, the total weight of the train being 297 tons unloaded. Two kitchen cars are included in the make-up of each complete train. Both saloon and compartment type accommodation is provided, and the interior decoration is on pleasing modern lines. Different timbers are used in each car, these varying from English oak to Australian maple and walnut. The furnishings and trimmings are carried out in blue, green and brown, each train being completed in one colour. The metal fittings are finished satin matt chrome in the first-class cars, and oxidised Venetian bronze in the third-class. For lighting, tubular strip lamps are mainly employed, harmonising with the general decorative scheme.
Altogether, the “Coronation Scot” is indeed a handsome train.
Fast running, which is now becoming general on the Home railways, calls for increased attention to roadbed and track. Extensive experiments are being made with a view to heightening permanent-way efficiency, new types of flat-bottomed rails, weighing 110 lb. per yard as compared with the standard 95 lb. bull-headed rails, being installed, with new types of bed plates replacing the conventional chair. The welding together of continuous lengths of rails is also being tried out. On the London & North Eastern main-line south of Peterborough there have been laid rails of 100 lb. per yard and 120 ft. in length. At the beginning of the century the standard main-line rail lengths at Home were 30 ft. and 45 ft. After the Great War the 60 ft. standard was established, and since that time this has gradually been increased to 100 ft.
The relaying of the Home railway tracks follows an ordered programme. For one mile of express track there are needed 176 rail lengths, each 60 ft. long and 95 lb. per yard, weighing 149 tons. In addition, 4,230 cast-iron chairs, each of 46 lb., and weighing in the aggregate 87 tons, are fixed to 2,115 sleepers by 12,690 chair-screws. A similar number of wooden screw ferrules, 4,230 felt pads to rest between page 18 page 19 chairs and sleepers, 470 steel fishplates, and fish-bolts to match weighing nearly 2½ tons, are also laid down to each mile of track, not overlooking some 3,500 tons of stone ballast for every mile of double track. Truly, it is a “permanent-way” our trains run on!
International Railway Congress.
Of immense benefit to one and all is the exchange of ideas and information among railwaymen of every land. It was in recognition of this fact that there was established as long ago as 1885 that influential body known as the International Railway Congress Association, which has recently held its thirteenth session in Paris. The first meeting in 1885, held in Brussels, was attended by the delegates of 19 governments and 131 railway administrations representing 31,500 miles. Today, the Association comprises approximately 126 European railways, 28 members in Asia and Australasia, 24 in Africa, and 25 in the Americas. In all, these administrations control the operation of nearly 319,000 miles of railway. At each Congress the subjects handled come under five sections: way and works; locomotives and rolling-stock; working; general; and light railways. Reporters from various lands, who are experts in their respective subjects, circulate questionnaires prior to the Congress to the various member undertakings, and their summaries and comments are placed before the gathering and discussed at length. The effect is to bring a concise picture of developments in every field in every corner of the railway world before the delegates, thus enabling them to direct future progress along the soundest lines. This year's Congress, held in Paris, was followed by several interesting excursions, including a visit to the locomotive testing-station at Vitry, and the inspection of the crack French liner “Normandie.”