M. G. asked in Cars & TransportationRail · 8 years ago

Average speed of a steam engine train?

Anyone know the average speed of a steam engine? or how fast does it normally travel when they get going?

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Depends on the railway that they are travelling on. On the first class main lines in Great Britain in the steam era the maximum permitted speed was generally around 70-80mph (113-129kph), and up to 90mph (145kph) in places. However, since few steam locomotives had speedometers, these speeds were often exceeded. Many railway enthusiasts delighted in timing the trains that they travelled on, and using a stop-watch and looking out for the quarter-mile posts could work out the speed that they were travelling at. Speeds of 100mph (161kph) were achieved quite often. Indeed, the London & North Eastern Railway set the unbroken World speed record of over 126mph (202kph) in 1938 with the A-4 class 4-6-2 locomotive 'Mallard'.

    The AVERAGE speed would vary immensely, depending upon how you work it out. It would be a lot lower if it was the mean speed between departure and arrival at the end of the run, and a bit higher if the net running time (deducting the time at station stops) was worked out.

    Source(s): Retired UK Train Driver, lifetime of interest
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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Norfolk and Western's number 611, of which it had about 11 or 12 "sister" trains designed just alike is retirted in the Virginia Transportation Museum. It used to make an annual run between Lexington, Kentucky and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    Built in 1945 and weighing 800,000 pounds when the boiler was full of water, it represented an engineering feat second to none. Testing its top speed, while pulling ten cars behind it, the engine topped out at an astounding 110 miles per hour.

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  • 8 years ago


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