SEQLEC 2007 will follow the familiar format of previous years. Once steam has been raised in the locomotive, the driver couples his engine onto his train and readies for a familiarisation lap.
While the driver chooses the number of passengers and riding cars for his run, each train will have a dynamometer car (operating on its home track), an observer and a guard to complete the train.
When all is ready, the driver can proceed with the familiarisation. This ensures that the locomotive has a good coal fire before the start of the actual 30 minute trial. After this initial circuit, drivers can adjust the weight of their train, up or down, to match the track, the weather conditions and their confidence.
Coal consumed during this test run on the track is not included in the efficiency calculations. Before the competition run, measured coal stores are added to the bunkers, the fire is checked with a gauge, and the water level and boiler pressure are recorded.
The contest is based on one- half hour of continuous running. The driver may take on coal (in weighed measures) and water as needed. Additionally, if their estimate of the load for the train was overly optimistic, they can reduce the number of passengers or cars during the run.
At the end of 30 minutes, the driver brings the train to a stop at the starting point, and the passengers disembark. The locomotive is brought back to the condition in which departed- Coal is added to the fire as needed, and the water in the sight glass and boiler pressure are restored to their initial levels. Meanwhile, the readings from the dynamometer car are recorded and un-burnt coal left over from the pre- weighed quantity is removed & and weighed. The resulting calculations from this data provide a measure of the efficiency of the driver and locomotive team.
When all the readings are finished, the locomotive and driver retire to the steaming bay while the next contestant arrives to take their position and passengers climb aboard for another run.
The main track is 1,083ft long and the station loop is 575 feet. During the competition, the station loop will be traversed twice and the main track many times within the stipulated 30 minute period.
SEQLEC was last held at Balleny Green in 2000. This year's competition will be the 16lh in this series of efficiency competitions, which are hosted yearly at different tracks around Britain. Note, there was no national SEQLEC event held in 2006
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