PS the composition was same as for 3827 in 1970I also had a re-read of John Thompson's book regarding the Coota tour also noted his comment about 27 under a photo in an earlier page. For me I assume, he gave a personal view based I would say on the Coota tour. The Coota tour had a very experienced driver in Clive Clease who was also an acting locomotive inspector at the time and later became a senior inspector, no mention of who the fireman was but both were from Goulburn. Reading the Coota tour report in the book provides a fair bit of detail regarding the events and some adversities they experienced on the trip, something that was both common and uncommon at times, certainly the work on the lubricators arm is a classic but not unknown for that to happen on the Mechanical lubricators.In my time at Enfield as a volunteer there quite a few 38 cl fanatics, sadly a few of whom are no longer with us. Two that came up as good performers were 03 and 15 (15 won Round House's award as the 38 of the year for 1964). 3830 was also highly regarded. At the other end were 11 and particularly 24, some also had reservations about 08 and 10. As I understand it, withdrawal was based on expiry of boiler life rather than on mechanical condition which explains why 30 was withdrawn relatively early while 24 remained in service longer than it should have. There is an oblique reference in John Thompson's 38 book to 3811 at p 119 that suggests 11 was not a great performer.3827 hauled a day train to Coota return, shortly before withdrawal. 80 mph running?I will check my copy as well.
And some mechanical lubricator was dodgy and hand operated with fence wire.
May have red in ‘38’ , might dig it out and check.
Re Picton Mossy trials, 3830 and 42101.
Edit from 20/12/2016
raymcd's post is almost certainly right - from memory, John Thompson's 38 class book refers to 3827 doing 89.6 mph on the 1970 Coota tour (if my memory is faulty, I apologise). I was a volunteer at Enfield in 1971 and some of the other volunteers went on the 1971 tour with 3820 - they timed 3820 at between 88-92 mph before its big end gave out. My father timed a 38 at 39 seconds to the mile on a down Flyer in the late 1940s, I think that would be low 90s. Can't vouch for its accuracy because he probably used his wristwatch but it's still fast. We'll probably never know just how fast those engines were but some of the tours of the early 70s are memories I will treasure forever. Would be very interested to hear from former railwaymen and enthusiasts from the 60s.
Of the RTM's 38s, 01 was certainly regarded as the poorest performer and 13 as better than 20 but not by much. I have very fond memories of 3813 doing 85mph ("these engines are capable of 85 mph, but 70 is the maximum track speed permissible" - from Monarch of the Rails) between Penrith and Parramatta on the return of an ARHS tour to Wimbledon in March 1971. The reference to 3827 doing 89.6mph is at p 159 in "38".
3827 certainly had a special place in the hearts of the 38cl fanatics at Enfield, starting I think with it doing the Broadmeadow-Sydney return leg of the Werris Creek tour of 1969. I wonder though whether part of the reason for its fame was being in the right place at the right time. It was withdrawn in November 1969 and then did 3 tours before scrapping - to Orange, the legendary 'Coota tour in January 1970 and to Taree in February 1970. Having been withdrawn and about to be scrapped it didn't matter whether it was flogged to death which might partly explain its outstanding performances. Of course, it still had to be up to doing it. Thompson's book regards it as the best of the 38s, eg p 121 in "38".
From a personal perspective I would be loathe to pick out one single engine from a class as being the best, and how that belief was formed, especially from the outside looking in rather than the inside looking out. One other aspect in this is to consider the load that 27 had, and it was very light (as I have put the book away) around well under what would have been the load for a 38cl on pax working on both primary sections, Sydney - Goulburn - Goulburn - Coota and return, on that scale it would have helped in getting performance levels and speed overall. Both load and how many carriages on the train makes a big difference as to how a loco performs.
I mentioned 3x38 before that I found to be the best of all those I worked on, and they were each on full goods load and length trains from Enfield to Goulburn and return. I also mentioned some others that I worked on that were ok but not as good as the first 3. I worked on more than that list, and 12 we had slipping issues with on a workers train to Sig Shops at Chullora, it had hollow wheels and was set aside once we got back to Loco Enfield.
For me, the worst of the 38's was 01 after its RTS from Cardiff. For whatever reason it did not seem to have the power as others, when it finished its trials on passenger working which automatically allowed it to work goods trains, which some enthusiasts did not like and in an RTM bulletin it was set straight as to the reason behind it, all this because the RTM contributed towards its overhaul. I worked on 01 to Goulburn, and it seemed sluggish even at top BP, also the screw was out further than was usual by two notches, the driver reported that at Glbn. Some weeks later, with the same driver and well known author and expert we were sent to Clyde Up yard to relief the incoming crew on 392 Pick up. The drivers as usual conversed with each other and the incoming driver commented about it being weak, the load behind 01 was a full length of 55x4 wheelers and load of 1000tonnes, the load for 36/38 and goods engines from Moss Vale to the metro area, so no problems should have been had.
On getting into the cab the shunters waved us up so that we could shunt the wagons off that were needed to come off. with a full head of steam, 01 refused to lift the load and only slipped at every attempt. After more than half dozen attempts one of the 50cl on the yard shunter was brought down and coupled up and assisted us up the yard. Over 200 tonnes were dropped off and we left to go to Enfield, on departure it still slipped.
Rumours had it that there was issues with the way the cylinders and valve timings had been adjusted or other items carried out at Cardiff. Most crews tended to be of common belief that it had a lot of bark to it but little bite.
Most engines allocated to the West were well maintained as were those at Eveliegh and Enfield, even to the extent of them being kept clean, black oiled every second day and a full dry wipe on the intermediate days. Those allocated to BMD were ok maintained but did not seem to be as maintained as well as those at the other depots, and certainly very rarely did they get a good clean.
When working on the south, I personally preferred a pig over a 38c, except for 3658 which was a total dog of an engine and Glbn crews called it a smeg. OTOH, the 59cl were a wonderful replacement for the pigs and only had one with an issue that was caused by a slack fuelman at Moss Vale.
PS. I in no way want to discredit the view of the 38cl books author and his view of 3827, all have their individual favourites and often based on what they have experienced one way or another. The comment regarding 3801 on its Perth run and finishing the trip on one cylinder gives credit to the engine and the crew, none less the locomotive inspector the Late Ian Thornton a personal friend of mine. Someone sorely missed by all who knew, worked and tripped with.