Average speed and top speed

Discussion in '4-8-4 Northern' started by Railfanatic1522, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Railfanatic1522

    Railfanatic1522 Austin Jackson

    Good morning gentlmen,

    While looking through the diagrams of the 4500 northerns i was paying close attention to the psi and drivers. Therefore it draws me to these questions, what was the average top speed of these giants and what was their fastest recorded speed?

  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The Frisco's maximum speed was 70 mph for passenger trains, and it was 50-55 mph for freight trains. Speeds in excess of these speeds were not sanctioned by management, so even though Frisco enginemen might cheat a bit, an actual top speed produced by these locomotives has been lost to history.

    Since the 4500's were near copies of the CB&Q's O-5a's, and since we know that the Burlington ran its passenger trains at 85-90 mph, we can assume that the 4500's were capable of 90 mph if not slightly more.
  3. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Great reply Karl. In order to really stretch out, you need a long run of straight track or curves of less than 2 degrees. Back in the day, curves with elevation's exceeding 5 inches was common. Frisco had some long straight track, but it was not the norm. Most areas of course has lots of curves. City's also can and did impose speed restrictions. As the railroads aged and in today's time, speeding is a serious offense.
    William Jackson
  4. Railfanatic1522

    Railfanatic1522 Austin Jackson

    Thank you Karl, also just to hit two birds with one stone, the 4500's have draw string whistle pull cords correct?
  5. Frisco4501

    Frisco4501 Member

    While I cannot speak on this positively, I do know that our engine in Springfield (4524) has buttons on both the engineer an fireman side for what we are assuming are the whistle. I do not know if she had a whistle chord in addition to this but I believe the 4500s had push buttons whistles.
  6. Frisco1515

    Frisco1515 Frisco1515

    My Dad worked in the Ft. Scott roundhouse and car shop for 37 years. He knew many engineers well and he told me a couple of interesting stories regarding loco speeds. Engine 182 ,a rebuilt 4-4-0, was the daily power for the two car trains 121 an124..the Joplin Plug. Dad asked the engineer how fast the 182 would run, and the engineer replied,"between 75 and 80". All Frisco folks knew that the 1060 4-6-4s were fast; we never found out how fast but here is a story that was told by a fireman. He was firing on a run and the engineer said he was going to see how fast a 1060 would run. They hit a straight stretch and the engineer opened the throttle and sat on his seat with his watch in his hand. After two or three miles the engineer pushed in the throttle, his face white as as sheet. When the fireman asked how fast they were going the engineer wouldn't tell him. I don't know if the 1060s had a speed recorder then or not, but it is a good story.
  7. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter


    I have heard similar things. I asked a KC Sub engineer, what his favorites were. Without hesitation, he responded that the big Ten Hundreds and the 4300's were his favorites. He said that they would run as fast as the engineer had guts to run'em
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2013
  8. FriscoGeorge

    FriscoGeorge Frisco Employee

    The fastest recorded speed for a steam locomotive probably died with Casey Jones.

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