Loco speedometers and track-destroying trains

Mallard’s Flaman Speed Recorder

This is the Flaman speed recorder now fitted to Mallard but it is not the original. The Flamans in all of the A4s were removed in WW2 as there weren’t the resources to keep using the recordings (they used a lot of paper and staff time to check them). This one was fitted by Doncaster works when Mallard was preserved and was sourced in France. The speed dial had to be made from scratch because the French one was in kilometres per hour.

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One Response to Mallard’s Flaman Speed Recorder

  1. Bob Illingworth says:

    It is unlikely that the Flaman in Mallard was sourced from France circa 1963 .NRM has two Flamans with very close serial numbers, one of which contains a small amount of recording paper with the speed graduated in MPH. It would have been very difficult to source such paper at that time. The design of the recording styluses dates from, at latest, the 1940s.. SNCF had made modifications to all their Flamans to incorporate recording of events from the “crocodile” signalling system long before 1963 and NRM`s examples do not have this. If the NRM examples were sourced from collectors ( who are few and far between in France) then it seems strange that they bought two, and with such close serial numbers. I supplied a note on Flamans to NRM in late 2012 which discusses the issue in detail and should be available in their archives. Flamans were used on a number of Peppercorn Class A1 locos soon after their introduction. It seems unlikely, at a time of austerity and in a period where line speeds were fairly low, that BR would have gone to the expense of acquiring more units if the originals had been scrapped during the war. It is much more likely that a number of the pre-war units survived and that the unit in Mallard is one of these.

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