Australian rail speed records

 
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
Hi,

Would anyone happen to know any Australian speed records going back past the ones mentioned in this table? Citations, too, would be appreciated. It could be anything – a newspaper (including date, title, and publication), a book (name, etc.) or a somewhat trustable website.

Thanks

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  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

The Prospector cars introduced in 1971 were often referred to as the fastest train in Australia. John Dunn’s book A history of Commonwealth Engineering, vol. 3, p. 77, reports that the 1971 Prospector cars had a maximum speed of 145 km/h, , although they would not have achieved this in regular service.
  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

The Tilt train speed record was reported in Railway Digest, June 1999, p. 15.

I'm sceptical about the accuracy of the 120.7 km/h of Creamy Kate in 1934 being an Australian rail speed record at the time.
New South Wales's 36 Class, Victoria's S Class and South Australia's 520 Class were all in service before 1934 and were capable of greater speeds. They may not have been allowed to regularly run at high speeds because of track limitations, but some drivers certainly tested the limits.
Someone may know of official speed trials on those classes.

I know you were requesting earlier figures, but they may be difficult to obtain. Don't think I've ever seen them reported.
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
The Prospector cars introduced in 1971 were often referred to as the fastest train in Australia. John Dunn’s book A history of Commonwealth Engineering, vol. 3, p. 77, reports that the 1971 Prospector cars had a maximum speed of 145 km/h, , although they would not have achieved this in regular service.
Spletsie
The Prospector was also among the fastest train services in Australia at the time. It an average speed of about 80 km/h.

Thanks
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: no longer in Sydney
I think you might be fishing in an unstocked pond there Trainlover222.

Official records (ie - recorded properly by the authorities - and not just from a wristwatch between two mile/km pegs, which may not even be accurately placed) would be few.

Unofficial ones are just word of mouth, and the speed tends to increase with each retelling of the tale.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I think you might be fishing in an unstocked pond there Trainlover222.

Official records (ie - recorded properly by the authorities - and not just from a wristwatch between two mile/km pegs, which may not even be accurately placed) would be few.

Unofficial ones are just word of mouth, and the speed tends to increase with each retelling of the tale.
mikesyd
I agree totally the so called speed records are blurred some what

I did read an article somewhere long ago about the XPT in southern NSW. They recorded it's speed using a police hand held radar gun at a level crossing.

Official Speed records require a complex set of conditions, as an example I was once involved in official speed trials for power boats conducted by the Australian Power Boat Association.
The course is a measured 1000m (required qualified surveyor's certification!) The boat is required to make a pass of the course in BOTH directions.
The run is timed in the following manner, two stop watches ( a & b) are started when the boat enters the course from one end, then at the other end when the boat exits the marked course two more stop watches are started (c & d), the boat then is allowed a maximum of 5 minutes to turn around and make a return run in the opposite direction.
As the boat passes the course marker watches c & d at stopped and recorded, then as the boat exits the course (original start marker) watches a & b are stopped.
Then you average watches a & b to get total time, average watches c & d to get the turn around time, Turn around time is then deducted from total time and the result is divided by 2 to give a time for the base 1,000m and hence calculated to give a speed in kph.

So an official speed record is NOT a simple matter of looking at a speedometer for a few moments!
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: no longer in Sydney
I think you might be fishing in an unstocked pond there Trainlover222.

Official records (ie - recorded properly by the authorities - and not just from a wristwatch between two mile/km pegs, which may not even be accurately placed) would be few.

Unofficial ones are just word of mouth, and the speed tends to increase with each retelling of the tale.
I agree totally the so called speed records are blurred some what

I did read an article somewhere long ago about the XPT in southern NSW. They recorded it's speed using a police hand held radar gun at a level crossing.

Official Speed records require a complex set of conditions, as an example I was once involved in official speed trials for power boats conducted by the Australian Power Boat Association.
The course is a measured 1000m (required qualified surveyor's certification!) The boat is required to make a pass of the course in BOTH directions.
The run is timed in the following manner, two stop watches ( a & b) are started when the boat enters the course from one end, then at the other end when the boat exits the marked course two more stop watches are started (c & d), the boat then is allowed a maximum of 5 minutes to turn around and make a return run in the opposite direction.
As the boat passes the course marker watches c & d at stopped and recorded, then as the boat exits the course (original start marker) watches a & b are stopped.
Then you average watches a & b to get total time, average watches c & d to get the turn around time, Turn around time is then deducted from total time and the result is divided by 2 to give a time for the base 1,000m and hence calculated to give a speed in kph.

So an official speed record is NOT a simple matter of looking at a speedometer for a few moments!
Pressman
Yes, I seem to remember that the first XPT one had some Police involvement. It was in the very early days of the XPT when there was lots of publicity being fed to the public.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Yes, I seem to remember that the first XPT one had some Police involvement. It was in the very early days of the XPT when there was lots of publicity being fed to the public.
mikesyd
I seem to remember a photo of a cop leaning on his patrol car facing the speed gun (not a laser one) sideways pointing down the track.

Strangely, a concept taken up some 30 years later with fixed "safety" cameras** now commonplace at level crossings.


** South Australian Government term for a fixed place combination Red Light / Speed Camera
  SEMartin Chief Train Controller

Location: Canberra ACT
The Prospector cars introduced in 1971 were often referred to as the fastest train in Australia. John Dunn’s book A history of Commonwealth Engineering, vol. 3, p. 77, reports that the 1971 Prospector cars had a maximum speed of 145 km/h, , although they would not have achieved this in regular service.
The Prospector was also among the fastest train services in Australia at the time. It an average speed of about 80 km/h.

Thanks
TrainLover222
Geoffrey Higham's history of rail passenger services in WA ('Marble Bar to Mandurah') claims that during the 1980s, the Friday afternoon departure of the Prospector was Australia's fastest timetabled train service and unofficial holder of the 'average' (not absolute) rail speed record by virtue of covering the 655km from East Perth to Kalgoorlie in a flat 6 hours for an average speed of 109.2km/h. Undoubtedly, the 145km/h capability of the original Prospector cars were well used on long stretches east of the WA wheatbelt.

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