learning something new every day... a Dynomometer Car for measuring locomotives power


A dynamometer car is a coach for measuring the power of a locomotive and it is marshalled in a train next to the locomotive. To measure power it is necessary to measure the pull exerted by the locomotive and the speed.

Constructed in 1906, retired in 1951

 The dynamometer car in the photograph was used in:
 Mallard's record breaking run,
Flying Scotsman's 100 mph,
Papyrus's 108 mph,
Silver Fox's 113 mph
 and in the 1948 Interchange Trials

It was built by the North Eastern Railway (NER) at York Works, being one of the last carriages to be built with a clerestory roof. It has large three section windows projecting at each side (for ease of line side observation) and a specially strengthened underframe, to accommodate the measurement and record equipment.

The recording table was driven by an 'independent' wheel of special construction with parallel thread and turned at 440 revolutions per minute. This wheel was raised when not in use.

The special spring used to measure the pull on the drawbar connecting the vehicle to the locomotive consists of 30 steel plates carefully designed, assembled and calibrated. The spring was overhauled and modified for maximum accuracy in 1933. Previous to that GN type bogies were fitted in 1928 and in 1935 further improvements were made and new equipment added. These included overhaul of the transmission gearing from the distance measuring wheel and installation of a more accurate chronometer. Other instruments in the car measure and record steam, smokebox and firebox temperature, carbon dioxide content of the smokebox gas and feed water temperature.

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learning something new every day... a Dynomometer Car for measuring locomotives power
learning something new every day... a Dynomometer Car for measuring locomotives power
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