• UK Record Holders Of Steam

    UK Record Holders Of Steam

    By Nels Anderson (4 June 2002)

    Class: Princess Coronation
    Railroad: LMS
    Name: Duchess of Hamilton
    Number: 6229
    Class: Princess Coronation
    Railroad: LMS
    Name: Coronation
    Number: 6220
    Class: A4 Express
    Railroad: LNER
    Name: Mallard
    Number: 4468
    Class: A4 Express
    Railroad: LNER
    Name: Silver Link
    Number: 2509
    Class: King
    Railroad: GWR
    Name: King Edward I
    Number: 6024
    The UK Branch team at 3D Train Stuff is certainly keeping busy creating high quality steam locomotives and cars for UK railroading fans. First it was their LMS Steam And Freight add-on, with freight vans and light freight steam equipment. Now, with UK Record Holders Of Steam they take on the opposite end of the spectrum, creating some of the fastest and most advanced steam equipment ever made.

    You need a scorecard to keep track of all the included equipment, so at the right one is provided. The line up includes five locomotives in three classes from three railroads, along with matching passenger coaches. Consists are pre-made for your convenience, offering light engines, standard MSTS cars as well as, most importantly, matched sets of locomotives and cars.

    As you can see, included are LMS (London Midland & Scottish Railway) Princess Coronation Class locomotives "Duchess of Hamilton" and "Coronation", LNER (London & North Eastern Railway) A4 express locomotives "Mallard" and "Silver Link" and GWR King class locomotive "King Edward I".

    The included coach lineup has one set of LNER "Silver Jubilee" coaches, a set of "Coronation Scot" coaches in blue with silver stripe and a set of "Coronation" Scot" coaches in red with gold stripe. The default GWR coaches make a good match for the "King Edward I".

    A4 Pacific Express Locomotives

    When talking about record holders, this is the one type that cannot be missed. The Mallard holds the absolute world record for a steam engine, having achieved 125 mph during a test on 4 July 1938. Train-sim fans wanting to duplicate this should note the run was on a 0.5% down grade and with full throttle and 45% cut-off.

    Also included from this class is the Silver Link, which is noteable for being the first member of this class which eventually totalled over 30 locomotives. On its inaugural run the Silver Link broke the British speed record at 112.5 mph.

    The A4 Pacifics are direct descendents of the A1 Pacific "Flying Scotsman" class with MSTS fans are no doubt familiar with. They were clearly designed for speed and were intended to be run with matching train sets.

           
    LNER #4468 "Mallard"

    Princess Coronation Class Pacific Locomotives

    Also known as the Duchess Class, these 4-6-2 locomotives were the most powerful steam locomotives ever to run in the UK. LMS developed them for the high speed Coronation Scot train from Euston to Glasgow, and the included "Coronation" was the first of the class. The other included class member, "Duchess of Hamilton" is one of the few surviving members and is still in main line running condition.

    This class held the British speed record too, at 114 mph, though only briefly. They were held back because they were fired manually, with a single fireman being hard pressed to keep up with coal demand.

           
    LMS #6220 "Coronation"

    King Class 4-6-0 Locomotives

    In 1926 the Great Western Railway (GWR) needed a more powerful locomotive. Improvements in infrastructure allowed the current Castle class to be stretched into the King class, which when completed was the most powerful express passenger locomotive in England. Though it does not appear that this class held any specific speed records, modifications late in their history did enable a recorded speed of 108.5 mph. The last locomotive of the class was taken out of service in 1963.

           
    GWR #6024 "King Edward I"

    Train Simulator Versions

    With that historical background out of the way, now to the simulator versions of the locomotives. Each of the three classes and five paint schemes shows a great attention to detail. All five locomotives are remarkably colorful, especially for people used to American steam locomotives which are usually found only in black, at least during the era these represent.

    Each locomotive has a 3D engineer and fireman clearly seen in the cab. Other fine details are apparent as you scan the outside of both locomotives and tenders.

    One of the highlights is the driving wheels and associated rods. The wheel textures are remarkably sharp and it's a real pleasure watching the locomotive come to life from a stop as the wheel slowly begin to move and then gradually build up speed. It's so nice to watch it's almost a shame to make them go fast.

           
    LNER #2509 "Silver Link". The same cab is used on the Mallard.

    But speed is what all these machines are meant for, and all the train-sim versions are quite capable of it. I was able to get all of them up to and above 100 mph. I did not try to duplicate their specific record speeds as that would not really be meaningful unless done on the same route but it's safe to say these locomotives will pull a large set of cars on any route generally at the highest speed the route itself will allow.

    Each of the three classes of locomotive comes with its own cab view. The detail here is just as high quality as that of the outside of the locomotives. To really enjoy using these machine you would need to spend some time learning the various controls inside the cab; it's certainly not as easy as a diesel where there are fewer controls and usually labels on them...there's nothing like that here! The forward view from the cabs is very restricted (and the windows are pretty dirty too!) but the handy head out the window view is available. One possible point of confusion here is that on the locomotives where the engineer is on the left the keys for the outside view are reversed from their normal usage; the key you're used to using for looking back looks front.

    In addition to the locomotives, it should be mentioned that three sets of matching coaches is included:

    • LNER "Silver Jubilee"
    • Coronation Scot, blue with silver stripe
    • Coronation Scot, red with gold stripe

    Between these and the default Settle & Carlisle passenger coaches you can make up some very nice looking trains. Actually, you don't need to make them up, as a variety of different consists are automatically included as part of the normal installation.

           
    LMS #6229 "Duchess of Hamilton". The same cab is used on the Coronation.

    Conclusion

    There's no denying that these are some very attractive locomotives and I'm convinced that the train-sim versions do them justice. Anyone who like British steam, or who likes 1930's era streamliners, or who likes to go fast...well practically anyone who likes trains will like this add-on.

    Nels Anderson
    [email protected]

    Visit 3D Train Stuff's web site.

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