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by SHKarlson Sun Apr 8th, 2007 at 11:04:07 PM EST

Monte in Montana is curious about the Milwaukee Road's steam race tracks.

During the time schedule stabilizing runs, the hand of the speed indicator was often reported against the pin at 128 miles per hour. Exactly what maximum speed was reached is not known--but it was plenty.

Some time ago, at my main site, I posted a speedroll of a Hiawatha running Chicago to Milwaukee. There aren't any hills or curves of any consequence: there is a check for the flat crossing of the EJ&E at Rondout, for some curves at the Illinois-Wisconsin state line, and on the climb up the ridge that separates the Mississippi River basin from the Lake Michigan basin south of Milwaukee.

Because the passenger trains of the day were being converted to diesel, record-keeping and preservation did not rank high in the railroad's projects. There are stories of similar fast performances on the Midwest Hiawatha service particularly west of Hampshire, Illinois, but no documents have come to my attention.

Yes, I've heard these reports as well. Sadly, they are only anecdotal but hauling 1000 ton trains at steady speeds well in excess of 100 mph was some feat. It's an absolute certainty that if they'd had the chance of pulling a flea weight train down a cliff like the Mallard did they'd have accelerated through 126 mph and still be pulling hard.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 12th, 2007 at 12:40:29 PM EST

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