RailPictures.Net Photo: 3440 Great Western Railway Steam 4-4-0 at Toddington, United Kingdom by Graham Williams
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» Great Western Railway (more..)
» Steam 4-4-0 (more..)
» Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway 
» Toddington, United Kingdom (more..)
» May 23, 2009
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
» 3440 (more..)
» n/k (more..)
» Graham Williams (more..)
» Contact Photographer · Photographer Profile 
Remarks & Notes 
A view at the Glocs Warks Spring Gala in 2009. GWR Number 3440 City of Truro was designed by G.J.Churchward and built in 1903. It is one of the contenders for the first steam locomotive to travel over 100 miles per hour. Its maximum speed has been the subject of much debate over the years. On 9 May 1904, this loco was timed at 8.8 seconds between two quarter-mile posts whilst hauling the "Ocean Mails" special from Plymouth to London. This timing was recorded from the train by Charles Rous-Marten, an eminent train timer of the day. This time corresponded to a speed of 102.3 mph. The GWR would not allow this feat to be published, as they were concerned that it may harm their reputation for safety. However, the morning after the run two Plymouth newspapers reported that the train had reached a speed between 99 and 100 miles an hour whilst descending Wellington Bank, Somerset. This claim was based on the stopwatch timings of a postal worker, who was also on the train. Although Rous-Marten published the maximum speed the following year it was not until just before his death in 1908 that he named the loco as City of Truro. The GWR only officially confirmed it in 1922. From then onwards City of Truro featured prominently in the GWR's publicity material. Some people had doubts over the record based on the power of the locomotive and some contradictions in the passing times. However, the milepost timings are consistent with a speed of 100 mph or just over. Recent computerised research has examined the evidence and shows that a speed of 100 mph was possible and that the timings support such a speed. However, in 1904 City of Truro was not the fastest train in the world, as 130 mph had been reached in 1903 on an experimental electric railway near Berlin. Another calimant to the first 100mph was New York Central and Hudson River Railroad 4-4-0 locomotive No. 999. An unconfirmed run of over 100 mph by that loco is recorded from 1893. But this claim apparently has little supporting evidence. After the 1904 speed record, 3440 continued in everyday service until becoming obsolete in 1931 and was being withdrawn from. The loco was preserved at the Railway Museum at York. In 1957 City of Truro was returned to service by British Railways. The locomotive was both for hauling special excursion trains and for normal revenue services. It was repainted into the ornate livery it carried at the time of its speed record in 1904. Withdrawn for a second time in 1961, it was taken to Swindon's GWR Museum in 1962 where it stayed until 1984, when it was restored for the GWR's 150th anniversary celebrations the following year. After that she returned to the National Railway Museum from where she was occasionally used on main line outings. Her latest restoration to full working order was undertaken in 2004, at a cost of £130,000, to mark the 100th anniversary of her record-breaking run, and the loco has subsequently hauled several trains on UK main lines, although due to the lack of certain safety features she no longer operates on the main line. 3440 was withdrawn from traffic in early September 2011 with serious tube leaks and was moved to Shildon Locomotion Museum and placed on static display. After a brief return to service in 2012, the NRM declared the locomotive was to be withdrawn, stating repairs to leaking tubes 'uneconomical'.
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