Charpy upper shelf energy is widely used as a fracture controlling parameter to estimate the crack arrest/propagation performance of gas transportation pipeline steels. The measurement of this fracture criterion particularly for modern steels and its apportion into different components, i.e. fracture and non-related fracture energy, are of great importance for pipeline engineers. This paper presents the results of instrumented Charpy impact experiments on high-grade pipeline steel of grade X100. First, the instrumentation technique including the design and implementation of a strain gauge load-cell and the details of the data-recording scheme are reviewed. Next, the experimental data obtained from the Charpy impact machine so instrumented are presented and discussed. These include the test data from full and sub-sized Charpy V-notched specimens. The instrumented Charpy machine was able to capture the load history in full during the fracture process of the test specimens resulting in a smooth load-time response. This eliminated the need for filtering used in similar test techniques. From the recorded test data the hammer displacement, impact velocity and fracture energy were numerically calculated. The results showed that there was a significant drop in hammer velocity during the impact event. This resulted in a change in the fracture mode from dynamic to quasi-static which was more appreciable for full-size Charpy test samples. As a result, sub-sized specimens might be preferable for impact testing of this steel in order to guarantee the conditions of dynamic crack propagation in the specimen ligament. Accurate analysis of the instrumented impact test data showed that the ratio of crack initiation energy to propagation energy was around 30% for the X100 steel. It can be concluded that in impact testing of high-grade pipeline steel a significant portion of overall fracture energy is consumed in non-related fracture processes. This high fracture initiation energy should be accounted for if the current failure models are going to be used for toughness assessment of highstrength low-alloy gas pipeline steels.