Smiths Speedometer

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Frequently Asked Questions...

When did speedos for locos become the norm ?

The SMITH'S speedometer used to be attached to the DJ class in New Zealand. Are these still in use worldwide, or no

Best Answer...


All the locomotives I have worked on in the last 20 years or even more are part of an "event recorder" system, that can include air brake pressure, headlight, horn, bell, throttle setting, speed and distance, no voice recorders yet.
When I first started it was just a paper in a reel that had a stylus on it, if you were worried that the "tape" was not going to be your friend there were ways to override it, or just heave it out the window, not any more, it is all transmitted to the carrier via computer.
I have never seen a smith speedometer, actually here we call them speed recorders.
I remember the Barco ones, some models had a vertical rod next to the stylus you could slip an air hose gasket over and it would stop the needle from going up above whereever you set it at. that was kind of handy on the slow branch lines.
I remember when i went ot work there speed recorders on some locos that RR had acquired in the 1940's but I am sure they go back a lot farther, I am only going by my own personal experience.