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SHow fast can Hornby Live Steam go?


47 posts

The OO Live Steam Club gets youngsters to 'have-a-go' at its Roadshows partly to show sceptical grey haired onlookers that they can be realistically and accurately controlled




So the Club decided to launch the Model Mallard Speed Challenge - a 6 month competition with lots of prizes already donated by partners and well-wishers. Hornby are donating an original Live Steam promo shirt.


The campaign launches at Doncaster Railway Station on July 3 next week (all day), the 80th anniversary of Mallard's record 126mph run.


Do you think Hornby's Live Steam Mallard can do a scale 126mph?


More information here:-



2377 posts

The members of the OO Live Steam Club should be able to answer your questions..........HB

Do you know who I am?..........No, but I'm sure Matron does!


47 posts

OK you found me out howbiman...

but we haven't found a reliable way of actually measuring the speed. We have aspeed wagon but the display flickers wildly. You have to take photos. This one appears to read 108mph


47 posts

but the second pic seems to have a 2 in front - over 200mph - surely not. But it was going fast


2377 posts

I'm sure there must an electronic circuit comprising of two infrared sensors spaced 1 yard apart where the first beam broken starts the timer and the second beam stops the timer.........the recorded time would be between 1 and 2 seconds to be within the desired speed range.......just needs a techie to design the circuit........HB

Do you know who I am?..........No, but I'm sure Matron does!


47 posts

calling all techies...

It's important for the Club to get this right because it's 'official' has has some important partners.

We have until december when the finals take place.

We have found a commercial unit in the USA. Maybe we could borrow one for a trial?...


9595 posts

Community Moderator

You may be able to chat up your local plod and get the loan of a radar gun or if not...

No tech needed, only basic tools.

Stop watch and a mirror set up as an enoscope and this formula

V(MPH) = D(Feet) / 1.47*T(Seconds)

The 1.47 converts Feet/Sec into MPH


Method - as the loco passes the enoscope mirror the observor starts the stopwatch and stops it as the loco passes his marked point.  The Base length is known in feet.


Halton Brat - Running Win 10, 64-bit - RM (Pro-Pack) with Elite as Controller-A, Select as Walkabout and E-Link as Controller-B - Locos are mostly TTS. - http://myweb.cytanet.com.cy/honnor/


2847 posts

I know there is an American electronic device that measurs train speed (albeit H0) although not sure how it 'scales' time. It was tried out on my layout but I didn't take in that much while others got excited about it.


Unfortunately we've lost contact with the chap who brought it along three or four years ago. However, I'm sure than can be found on the internet.


If time permits I'll have to set a train running at what looks to be (say) a scale 40mph and time it over a mile length to see what tumbles out (slightly subjective on setting the speed I'll admit).  Wink

I enjoy life - it gives me something to do! - especially modelling BR's Southern Region 1955-61.


2377 posts

@RAF96.........that formula works ok, Rob.........measured over 6 feet in a time of 3 seconds the scaled up result equates to 103mph...........for the model to achieve a scale speed of 126mph it would have to traverse the 6ft gap in 2.45 seconds, not easy to measure with a stopwatch.........Laughing..........HB

Do you know who I am?..........No, but I'm sure Matron does!


47 posts

We do time our live steamers over our complete Roadshow circuit. It's a scale half mile so a circuit in 15 seconds is 120mph. "Beat 15 seconds and you've broken the world speed record for steam tarins" we tell youngsters having a go.

For some live steam locos they vant quite get to that speed (pulling an 8 coach train), most will get there but some seem to want to go much faster but we dont want derailments so that's about as far as we go.

But how much faster could they go?

It's certainly intriguing!

We're looking into speed traps on sale in USA - there are  couple - but HO?

Watch this space or contribute to it please.

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