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What was the max speed of partially fitted/unfitted freight trains?


Flood

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First things first, I have the wagon drawing books from the Barrowmore site so I do know all the individual maximum speeds for each wagon. From looking at specific stock the lowest maximum speed is 45 mph (even for unfitted 16 ton mineral wagons).

 

I'm guessing that as Class 7 and Class 8 freights had to meet a specific brake force on the train then the brake force would go towards determining the maximum speed the train could run at.

 

I haven't got a copy of "Part 6 of the Working Manual for Rail Staff" but would I be correct in that it contained a table of overall train tonnage related to brake force to give a specific maximum speed? If so would anyone here have a copy of this table?

 

One of threads posted by a Barrowmore member on another forum states that they do have a copy of the Working Manual for the LM Region dated 1975 so I can send an email to them but I would like to clarify what I would need first.

 

I do know that Class 6 trains ran at 60 mph (or 55 mph if the train wasn't Class 6+) so can I just run a Class 7 train at 45 mph and a Class 8 at 35 mph for simplicity? If this is the case what was the maximum speed for a Class 9 (unfitted) freight, 25 mph?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I do know that Class 6 trains ran at 60 mph (or 55 mph if the train wasn't Class 6+) so can I just run a Class 7 train at 45 mph and a Class 8 at 35 mph for simplicity? If this is the case what was the maximum speed for a Class 9 (unfitted) freight, 25 mph?

 

I'm pretty sure those were the limits in 1987 when I started (45 - 35 - 25), they were in the table of bell codes in the "Regulations for Train Signalling and Signalman's General Instructions" (I think). I've got an older copy of that at home, I'll have a look tonight if no-one else has confirmed that one way or the other in the meantime.

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Can you be more specific on year - the reason I ask is that the speed of Class 6(a) trains (block loads/company trains) was changed in 1976 (at latest) from 'to be timed at 60mph' to to be timed at the maximum permitted speed of vehicles booked to be in the train (which could be lower than 60mph of course, or higher).

 

I haven't got any Brake Force figures immediately to hand for earlier than 1987 by which time everything except Class 9 was fully fitted and Class 9 was limited to a maximum of 35 mph. To give a meaningful answer is difficult as the Brake Force is dependent on the tonnage of the train, for example to run a Class 6 at 60 mph it need 300tons of Brake Force for a trailing load of 1015 tons or 150 tons of B/F for a trailing load of 510 tons. Similarly a Class 7 only 150 tons of B/F to run at 45 mph with a trailing load of 715 tons and with 300 tons of B/F it could have a trailing tonnage of 1430 tons at that speed. (cor this is taking me back, I did the 'New Freight Train Loads System' training course back in 1968 and we did stuff like that for the exercises at the end - except for those we also had to add up the loads and calculate the available B/F and in one exercise we even had to work out what Class of loco we needed to get the required B/F.

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The year would be 1979.

 

I've got all the individual brake force figures for the wagons and the locos so I can calculate the total train brake force and the trailing load. I guess I'll just need to get a copy of the specific table.

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flood, i have a working manual, tables E1(cl.4 and 6a trains) and E2 (cl.6b,7,8 trains).

table E1 gives max speed per load/brake force, E2 gives max load per brake force/route class. the route class is A,B,C,D and it says 'will be shown in the appropriate column of loads tables', but no speeds given

it's the may 1982 revision but, may be useful enough for your purposes, as long's there wasn't too much change from the previous edition

 

edit: in the working section (H) class 9 are 25mph max

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Thanks Keefer, tables E1 and E2 sound perfect to me (I wouldn't have thought that much would have changed from 1979 to 1982, it was still before the miner's strike). Any chance you could scan them for me?

 

In the meantime I've done some calculations to produce the following:

 

7E13 06.55 Severn Tunnel Jn. to Tinsley, 23 wagons, 645 tons trailing load (6 fitted wagons, b/f 36 tons), Class 25 and Class 31.

If I remember rightly if you have two different locos you double the brake force of the lesser loco which gives 2 x 63.8 tons for a Class 25 = 127.6 tons. Plus the wagon brake force of 36 tons equals a total of 163.6 tons - more than enough to run at 45 mph going by the Stationmasters example.

 

8V63 11.05 Tinsley to Severn Tunnel Jn., 21 wagons, 360 tons trailing load (13 fitted wagons, b/f 89 tons), Class 25.

Class 25 brake force of 63.8 tons plus the wagon brake force of 89 tons equals a total of 152.8 tons - again, more than enough to run at 45 mph going by the Stationmasters example.

 

It looks like I can run both of these at 45 mph. The last consist is as follows:

 

8E79 Willington to Seymour Jn. empties, 32 wagons, 348 tons trailing load (depending if the leading wagon is piped either 0 tons b/f or 46 tons), 2 x Class 20.

2 x Class 20 brake force of 121.8 tons plus the wagon brake force of either 0 or 46 tons equals a total of either 121.8 tons or 167.8 tons. Both of these are probably enough to run at 45 mph.

 

So the Class 8 trains could run at 45 mph even though they may have been timed (in the Working Timetable) to run slower. As freight train timings were pretty bad in those days (could be very early or very late) does this sound likely?

 

 

Just seen Keefer's edit so that answers Class 9 trains.

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Thank you to everyone for all their input on this subject.

 

Keefer's info doesn't specify speeds for Class 6( B), 7 and 8 trains but does state the brake force required for a particular tonnage of train on a range of routes. I belief the combination of the train classification on a particular route gives the columns A, B, C and D mentioned in post #5.

 

So I have found out how much brake force would have been required but not the speed the train would have run at. The search continues but in the meantime post #2 from stuartp seems a good basis to go by.

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So the Class 8 trains could run at 45 mph even though they may have been timed (in the Working Timetable) to run slower. As freight train timings were pretty bad in those days (could be very early or very late) does this sound likely?

 

 

Freight train timing methods varied quite considerably between the BR Regions with the Western system probably being the most sophisticated and certainly accurate (if the load was in the correct timing band) judging by my few trips out timing freights and from Traction Inspectors' running logs as well as Control information. The eastern also operated a fairly sophisticated system for freight timing - it seemed a bit more complicated than the WR system but was I, understand, pretty effective. The Southern method was different again and not too bad although if privatisation hadn't come along it would have been replaced by the WR system for organisational reasons and simplicity.

 

Scotland I know little about but I think like much else on the ScR it was ver different from anything anybody else did. The LM Region was by far the worst, when a couple of us did an analysis of their Manual of Agreed Pathways timings in the early 1990s we found that some were unchanged from the time when the trains were worked by 8Fs and I think some of their permanent timetable stuff wasn't much better.

 

As for freights running late or early that was usually, in my experience, down to them running out-of course with early departures giving some very peculiar times as they missed booked loopings etc. Late running also resulted in trains losing their path and usually resulted in delays and of course trains running light load would gain time in running.

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Thank you to everyone for all their input on this subject.

 

Keefer's info doesn't specify speeds for Class 6( B), 7 and 8 trains but does state the brake force required for a particular tonnage of train on a range of routes. I belief the combination of the train classification on a particular route gives the columns A, B, C and D mentioned in post #5.

 

So I have found out how much brake force would have been required but not the speed the train would have run at. The search continues but in the meantime post #2 from stuartp seems a good basis to go by.

 

What is the number and date of issue of the page you are looking at? Table E1 usually had speeds shown on the top line reading across the page while E2 has the maximum speed shown in the notes at the top of the page.

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What is the number and date of issue of the page you are looking at? Table E1 usually had speeds shown on the top line reading across the page while E2 has the maximum speed shown in the notes at the top of the page.

Table E1 has got the speeds listed on it while table E2 doesn't appear to have the speeds in the notes. BR30054/6 revised May 82, page E3 and E4.

 

post-7112-0-42960600-1333056281_thumb.jpg

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Hmm. Beware of people posting half-remembered snippets, sorry. The 1972 Regs don't have the speeds in after all, sorry.

 

Class 7 states "Express freight train not fully fitted, but with brake force not less than that shown in Section E of the Working Manual for Rail Staff".

 

Class 8 omits the word 'express'.

 

Class 9 reads "Unfitted freight train (where specially authorised) / freight train, Officers' Special train or Engineer's train requiring to stop in section".

 

It's not in the 1972 Rule Book either. I've read it somewhere, I know I have, possibly in a later publication.

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like stuart, i was sure i remembered a list which gave speeds.

on searching about, the nearest i've found is http://www.solihullmrc.org/head_and_headlampcodes.html#br1962

 

the next one given is http://www.solihullmrc.org/head_and_headlampcodes.html#br1971 where it seems to be more about brake forces etc.

 

from the info in the working manual i have and the descriptions above, it looks like speed/timing info became more localised - i.e specific routes/services, as opposed to blanket regs.

 

mention is made of 'load books/tables' , whether depot/regional/WTT booklet related. the brake-force route classifications A,B,C,D contained in these documents would presumably be related to gradient/curvature etc of specific lines or routes, with the timings being the relevant parameter.

 

incidentally, mention is made of the fact that the max. speed of a certain train could depend on any more restrictive speed restrictions on individual wagons in the consist

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Table E1 has got the speeds listed on it while table E2 doesn't appear to have the speeds in the notes. BR30054/6 revised May 82, page E3 and E4.

I wonder if that was quickly superseded - the 1987 Table E2 is applicable only to Class 9 trains. Not sure if I've got any pages from earlier but definitely won't find them tonight if I have.

 

For the issue you are looking at the speed reference/limits should be either in Section H or the General Appendix (the source I used in an earlier post).

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For the issue you are looking at the speed reference/limits should be either in Section H or the General Appendix (the source I used in an earlier post).

 

the relevant sections don't mention any speeds for 6a or 6b/7/8 trains (sections H2 or H4). they only mention loads/brake force as defined in the WTT/depot/regional load books.

the only general appendix i have is oct. 1972, where the classification of trains is as detailed in http://www.solihullmrc.org/head_and_headlampcodes.html#br1971 . not sure when the GA was next revised?

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It's not in the 1972 Rule Book either. I've read it somewhere, I know I have, possibly in a later publication.

 

They are in the General Appendix - hence my query regarding which year because some changes were made in 1976.

 

The first general reference to freight train speeds was published in Supplement No.1 to the 1960 General Appendix, June 1962.

The reference to speeds was shown in a different way in the 'Standard Classifications and Headcode' information in Suuplement 3, May 1969, and the reference to Brake Force came in (I suspect this was actually published in late 1968 when the new loads system was introduced but there wasn't a full GA supplement until the following year; at that change Class 7 and 8 were upped to 45 mph timing speed maximum).

The next change - only in respect of Class 6(a) came with the GA revision in 1972 and - as I indicated above - it was further revised in 1976 (which in fact changed it back to the way it had been in 1971.

 

As far as other various suppositions above are concerned it was always the situation that the maximum speed of any train was limited to that of the most heavily speed restricted vehicle it contained. This all became a lot easier from 1968 when the new loads system introduced data panels so the speed references were all in one place (either on the wagon or if it hadn't got its yellow label they were in the WMRS). The data panels also gave the Brake Force and weight - for wagons and locos.

 

The practice of publishing individual train loads for freights goes back a long time - all that has changed over the years (and basically not much since 1968 as far as I'm aware) is the method of showing the information and it was of course gradually incorporated into TOPS as well as appearing in printed Loads Books and Trip Books.

 

The general information and restrictions plus individual wagon restrictions and Route availability are a national thing. What Regions produced in respect of their own trains was their concern but it was basically to a standard style. Train loads were latterly based on calculations made at Derby M&EE HQ but prior to that - including the early days of dieselisation - the calculations were done in regional M&EE organisations. Regrettably I don't know when it was centralised on Derby

 

'Modern' load calculations take numerous factors into account including curvature, gradient, vehicle rolling resistance for some block/company trains, weather conditions, infrastructure speed restrictions, and - obviously - loco capabilities and adhesion. I don't know how the basic calcs are done since privytisation but in BR days the Regions took the Derby information and converted into Load Books etc obviously also relating it to traffic patterns and so on.

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the relevant sections don't mention any speeds for 6a or 6b/7/8 trains (sections H2 or H4). they only mention loads/brake force as defined in the WTT/depot/regional load books.

And our load tables were published in Section H at one time of course (another Region had theirs in Section E) and they were in Timing Column code anyway :O .

 

Mind you post 1968 it all depended on what the wagon data panels said and that all went onto TOPS once it was going full spate so the Train List gave the max speed, the timetable simply worked on the basis of the maximum speed the train was timed at - which in turn was based on what it was supposed to be conveying.

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Following on from the opening line in Mike's post #18 I have found that Supplement No. 2 of the General Appendix (4 Dec 1976) Note 2 on Standard Classification of Trains states:

 

"Trains in Class 6(b.), 7 express freight, 8 and 9 will be timed to reflect a maximum speed of 45 m.p.h. or such other lower maximum speed it may be necessary to impose on individual trains."

 

Brian recollects that 16 ton mineral wagons (9ft wheelbase) were limited to 35 m.p.h. (also stated by Poor Old Bruce at a club meeting a few months ago). According to the drawing below this is not the case:

 

post-7112-0-08514400-1333099891_thumb.jpg

 

So apart from Keefer's note from Table H that Class 9 trains are 25 m.p.h. max all the others can run at 45 m.p.h. (if the wagons in the train have a maximum speed of 45 m.p.h. or more, see post #24).

 

Thanks again for all your help.

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Isn't the inclusion or absence of 16t minerals in the train formation a factor in determining the maximum speed as well? My recollection is that the 9' wheelbase variety (ie, all bar about 400) were limited to 35mph, whereas 10' wheelbase wagons could run at 45 mph.

 

Yes, I remember that restriction being introduced, but not when it happened.

When I first went into Bristol TOPS in October 1978, 16t mins were good for 45 mph.

I am guessing the restriction did not happen until the early 1980s, the only Working Manual I can find is a re-issue dated June 1988,

on page C38 it shows MCV MXV ZHV as max speed 35 mph.

 

cheers

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Probably the slowest was the Crewe-Rugby-Redhill sand train we used to work. Though the wagons could run at 45, the train when loaded was restricted to 35 because the sand blew everywhere! Useful in autumn I suppose...

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From reading the Supplement to the General Appendix again the only difference between Class 7 and Class 8 fitted freights appears to be that Class 7 are called express freight trains whereas Class 8 are just called freight trains.

 

Looking at the working timetable between Derby and Chesterfield the timings are different between the two Classes of train so I would reckon that a Class 7 train was timed so that it contained wagons that had a maximum speed of at least 45 m.p.h. whereas the Class 8 train was timed so that it contained wagons that had a maximum speed of at least 35 m.p.h.

 

The only wagons in the B.R. wagon drawing books uploaded on the Barrowmore site that have a maximum speed of 35 m.p.h. are some of the HI and HK Ironstone hoppers and from other drawings I have there were also the HJ Ironstone hoppers, UY and UZ Anhydrite hoppers and, most surprising of all, the 10 ft wheelbase 16 ton mineral wagons (see below)

 

post-7112-0-20016900-1333150395_thumb.jpg

 

Whether the other 16 ton mineral wagons were altered soon after this drawing I don't know but the fact that any of the above wagons could have appeared in a freight train shows that a distinction between express freight trains and freight trains was needed and it would seem that the difference was the maximum speeds of 45 m.p.h. and 35 m.p.h. for timing purposes.

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I suspect the Barrowmere books are in 'as-issued' form; mine have come from a number of operational railway sources, and have lots of striking-outs and hand-written modifications on them. Whilst most operational documents had either pages, or whole volumes, reissued, it would appear that the Diagram Books only had pages for new types added (hence the 10' mineral), with changes being advised by circular. Unfortunately, the Diagrams in my possession don't include any 'flat-bottomed' minerals, so I have no confirmation of a 35 mph restriction from this source; however, I do recollect reading an article about the system-wide introduction of air-braked services, stating that all other wagonload traffic would be conveyed by Residual Wagonload Services, running at 35 mph due to the presence of 9' wheelbase wagons.

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