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The Fastest by ZCochrane The Fastest by ZCochrane
My parents' house is right next to a railway line, and it happens rather frequently that we hear a steam engine. Sometimes we rush out, get the car and try to catch it. Not always, but 18 201 is a very good reason. It did not stop for long in Goslar (all locations in Germany), but we were able to overtake it through Langelsheim and finally found a picture site on a field just outside Langelsheim. Sadly, on the wrong side of the tracks as far as the sun was concerned, but I think this image is pretty nice anyway.

18 201 is a locomotive with a very long history. The GDR never had any own need for fast locomotives; most lines didn't allow for speeds higher than 120 km/h, and even that was rare. However, the GDR also was a huge exporter of passenger rail cars (if you look at pictures of trains from eastern europe, the passenger cars will almost always have been built in the GDR), and to test them at higher speeds, they needed a specific test engine. Only one, and it should be cheap, though.

So the testers took the frame and wheels come from 61 002, a prototype high speed tank engine from before the war, as well as parts of various other prototypes and normal locomotives. The green paint scheme was non-standard, but for a one-off locomotive, nobody seemed to mind. And it worked! The pacific, named 18 201 in honor of the saxon type of pacific (which was the original class 18.2, but all were gone by then) reached speeds of up to 182 km/h. Today, its top speed is 160 km/h, and even that is reached only on special occasions (last in june 2011). Still, it's pretty fast, and it holds the world record as fastest active steam engine. Screw Tornado.

A fun fact: To increase its range in a time when most stations have no facilities to provide water or the oil it burns, 18 201 usually travels with two tenders these days, although on special events, it is more common to hide the second one. It is not alone in that regard; 01 1066 is another locomotive that is usually seen with double tenders.
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:iconrockyrailroad578:
Rockyrailroad578 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
what an artfully designed Pacific! I guess if the company was using it for speed demonstration, it had to look as fast as it went!
I particularly like the lines on the engine's curved running boards and the angle they create against the smoke deflectors.
Now if they do race 'Tornado' and 18 201, remember that if they want more tenders, uncouple tenders as they go, 'Tornado' has only one and there is no WAY that anyone will let her couplers TOUCH that water canteen at the National Rail Museum.

Now at those speeds she must obtain, I'd imagine that being in the cab at the throttle must be fun, but the fireman's got to keep up with the engine, lucky this one burns oil and has no need for shovels.

Although that high-speed tank engine interests me...
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:iconsteamrailwaycompany:
SteamRailwayCompany Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Railways have always put safety first. That is a good thing, although their safety policies have often resulted in unnecessarily slow speed limits that inhibit speeds decent enough to compete with highways and airliners. Steam engines alone can handle today's passenger traffic at high speeds as it is. There are many plans to build new high speed electric railways from scratch. It would be a colossal waste of money to do so rather than simply use the existing lines. Slow speeds on railways have no excuse as long as the tracks are well maintained and aligned.
This engine is a very fine late steam era locomotive. :) It does I believe have reasons to be called the fastest steam engine running. Although there are many other steam engines such as British Railways Tornado and LNER Flying Scotsman that I believe could give it a run for its money. ;)
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Student Photographer
A comparison with Tornado would be interesting indeed. Apparently (according to Wikipedia) Tornado has more indicated power, while Flying Scotsman has about the same. Of course, what I'd really like to see is another attempt at a speed record with one of the remaining operational A4s (although I imagine their owners might be a bit worried).

It's true that there's no good reason why steam engines couldn't run as fast as modern electrics if you just let them, but the speed limits in general are there for a good reason. Old track can't take really high speeds without compromising safety beyond an acceptable limit. Of course, that's only part of the reason why high speed lines are needed. The other is that there are simply not enough tracks in the country to run all the trains that need to be run. If you have to build a new railway line, why not do it high speed from the beginning?

Steam engines can't handle today's passenger traffic, though. It's one thing to reach 200 km/h once; it's quite another to do so every day with a fully loaded train, let alone 250 or 300 km/h. Then there are the maintenance requirements, the need to add water, the need to turn the locomotive around at the end, environmental concerns… nah, steam is better left as an exotic spice rather than a main dish. :D
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:iconsteamrailwaycompany:
SteamRailwayCompany Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Any railway line in existence can be constructed for high speed just so long as there are are not sharp curves nor steep grades and the tracks are properly built and maintained. I find it quite impressive though that your country is actually constructing new railway lines in addition to the presently operable ones however. America sadly has not seen much new railroad construction because of inflexible government regulations placed upon such heavy industries including railroads. Amtrak is also a total mess, for the trains are infrequent, rather late, untimely, not widely available to all cities like trains should, and they are not making as good times as they should. :( Since the number of passenger trains in America is lenient, steam like the Southern Pacific GS-4 could definitely handle it, especially considering the heavy American engineering that Yankee steam has. :flagus: The Hiawatha for instance was a steam locomotive built intended for regular 100 mile an hour or more running on regularly scheduled trains. There are also words of the Hiawatha having gone 125 miles an hour, for it certainly could compete with the British A4s. The LNER A4s however scarcely even went over 90 miles an hour, let alone 100. When it comes to railway travel, steam should always be the main dish.
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:iconvineyard86:
Vineyard86 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013
Definitely my favourite steam engine! And a very good picture! :)
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013  Student Photographer
Thank you! :)
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:iconvineyard86:
Vineyard86 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013
:D
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:iconjoseph-w-johns:
Joseph-W-Johns Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
Placed at #50 on the 2012 TRFN top 50 deviations and deviants list [link]
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Student Photographer
Cool!
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:iconloganberrybunny:
loganberrybunny Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I love Tornado, and would never want to say "Screw" that loco... but the sheer speed of 18 201 is amazing in the 21st century. I doubt Tornado will ever go 100 mph -- maybe 90 -- so this one should keep the record for a long time. And such a fine sight here.
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Student Photographer
I'm joking a bit. Of course Tornado is amazing. But some rail fans keep arguing that Tornado is the best steam locomotive ever built in any regard, which is a bit of an exaggeration.
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:iconloganberrybunny:
loganberrybunny Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Nah. The best steam locomotive ever built is 82045 -- or will be in a few years' time -- because I'll have had a tiny bit of a hand in making that one possible. :)
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Student Photographer
Oh, that's cool! :)
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:iconloganberrybunny:
loganberrybunny Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, only by contributing financially, not by actually metal-bashing. Still, it'll be nice to know I helped, even in that small way. :)
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:iconthemightyquinn:
TheMightyQuinn Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Very nice!
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Student Photographer
Thanks! :)
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:iconziggyshadowdust:
ZiggyShadowDust Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Since when did they say Tornado was the fastest? Not even Jeremy Clarkson said it was the fastest and he's a man who loves poweeeerrr! No right to say "Screw it".
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Student Photographer
No, but you will find a lot of people out there who say "It is designed to run 100 mph! It can be the fastest!" Well, it needs to reach that speed, first. And then it needs to beat 180 km/h.

Some even say "Maybe it can even beat Mallard!", which is particularly outrageous - the difference in power between 100 mph and 125 mph is a lot more than between 75 mph and 100 mph.
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:iconsteamrailwaycompany:
SteamRailwayCompany Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The trouble is British Railways have a 75 miles per hour speed limit for main line steam locomotives. It is very ridiculous actually. Tornado I am certain can do over 100, but the staff won't let it. If they brought it to Germany or France, which have less lenient speed limits for steam, it might possibly be a different story. Tornado never did reach 100, but that doesn't guarantee it can't.
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Student Photographer
You don't get points for "could, in theory", though. :D Seriously, though, I'd love to see Tornado over here, whether it reaches that speed or not. But getting official approval from the authorities will probably be a challenge; the entire german rail industry keeps complaining about how incredibly strict the german federal railroad authority is. Oh, and of course it will need some (temporary) modifications, in particular german train control systems, so even if approval is possible, it won't be cheap.
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:iconsteamrailwaycompany:
SteamRailwayCompany Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Bah! They just think they're too delicate for a little competition. Cheapskates.
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:iconjsh50:
JSH50 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012
Superb !
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Student Photographer
Thank you! :)
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:iconherrdrayer:
HerrDrayer Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
UP 844 often travels with two tenders too. The second one is painted canary yellow to match the UP business train's consist.
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Student Photographer
Interesting! Are both tenders the same otherwise?
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:iconherrdrayer:
HerrDrayer Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
More or less. The auxiliary tender has had a curious history. It was originally built for a 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy," then converted to a Bunker C fuel tender for a "Big Blow"gas turbine electric, before getting converted yet again to an auxiliary tender for the 844.
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:iconbotboy41:
Botboy41 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
What a Magnificent Sight
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Student Photographer
Thank you! :)
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:iconwordworker:
Wordworker Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Professional Writer
Beautiful! Solid shot!
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Student Photographer
Thank you! :)
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:iconsamreevesphoto:
samreevesphoto Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Professional Photographer
Nice! The extra water bottle is not an American phenomenon after all!
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:iconziggyshadowdust:
ZiggyShadowDust Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Flying Scotsman would run with two tenders.
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Student Photographer
It's not that common on european railroads, but yes, it does happen!
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:iconacela:
acela Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
Excellent work on the shot here! Good use of the lighting despite almost shooting directly into the sun. And great positioning of the loco well into the shot.
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Student Photographer
Thank you! I wasn't quite sure how the pictures would turn out, but this one ended up being my favorite shot.
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:iconpaxaeternum:
PaxAeternum Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
screw tornado INDEED sir. I have been further investigating that engine, and she is very shoddily made and full of flaws. for one, they did not make the inner firebox out of copper, and another they should have done away with the inferior conjugated valvegear.
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Student Photographer
Maybe they did it to better match the original?
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:iconpaxaeternum:
PaxAeternum Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
thats the funny part, the original engines HAD copper fireboxes! :(


Steel inner-fireboxes not only make for worse heat transfer, but in boilers with the odd geometries such as the gresleys, it leads to stress-cracking (which she needed major repairs for last year)
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:iconsampug394:
Sampug394 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Never thought I'd see the day when German locomotive has an auxiliary tender... Lovely machine as always. :la:
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:iconshenanigan87:
shenanigan87 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
You must've missed this then: [link] :B
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:iconsampug394:
Sampug394 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I did indeed XD
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Student Photographer
Thank you for the fav!
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:iconsampug394:
Sampug394 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Quite welcome
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