Good (and not so lively) on the Berks & Hants
My colleague Doug Landau is an acknowledged performance analyst, and I’m truly grateful to him for pulling together details of some outstanding performances in recent years on the westbound climb to Savernake. These are set out in Table 3, which includes runs by Clan Line, Flying Scotsman in its ‘Super A3’ guise with the 250lb boiler, and Duke of Gloucester, to which I have appended column 4 for my own recent run with Tornado. Doug Landau has calculated the horsepower outputs over two sections, both equivalent drawbar horsepower and indicated horsepower, from Milepost 56 to Milepost 70 and nearer the top of the bank from Milepost 64 to 70. This has enabled values to be established for horsepower to ton and horsepower per square foot of grate, which make interesting reading. The gradients from Newbury to Savernake were described earlier. I should explain the discrepancy of a few seconds between the Savernake passing time shown here and that in Table 2. Table 3 shows the time passing Milepost 70 itself, whereas Savernake station site is 70.10 miles from London, and that passing time appears in Table 2. Acton-based Driver Dave Davis (sadly deceased) featured in several outstanding performances over the Berks & Hants route with both Clan Line and Taw Valley in the late 1990s. Table 3 shows runs starting from Newbury Racecourse, but there were others not shown here, which started from Newbury itself.
Thus, on February 15 1997, the redoubtable team of Messrs Davis and Greystone produced a performance with the smaller ‘West Country’ Taw Valley. Its performance was only slightly inferior to that of Clan Line, averaging 66.1mph from Milepost 64 to 70, with speed falling from 67½mph at Bedwyn to 64 at Savernake, and with a 13-coach train grossing 510 tons, against Clan Line’s 475 tons. When I included a run with Flying