Love/Hate Relationship

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Love/Hate Relationship
Posted by SPer on Thursday, October 05, 2017 3:58 PM

why did Santa Fe loves diesel-electric locomotives and hated steam locomotives

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, October 05, 2017 7:15 PM

I wouldn't say Santa Fe hated steam locomotives, far from it.  Look how many were donated to various communitys along the way.  That would indicate to me they were quite proud of them.

However, sheer practicality had to win out in the end, so steam had to go.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, October 05, 2017 7:18 PM

What did the Santa Fe have against steam locomotives? Steam engines required a lot of water--and alkaline water is not good for boilers.

Johnny

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, October 05, 2017 9:02 PM

Deggesty

What did the Santa Fe have against steam locomotives? Steam engines required a lot of water--and alkaline water is not good for boilers.

 

Deggesty

What did the Santa Fe have against steam locomotives? Steam engines required a lot of water--and alkaline water is not good for boilers.

 

And of course, there's no coal where the Santa Fe ran, or in most places where they ran, so they burned oil as soon as it was practical.

But if you're going to use oil as a fuel, it makes sense to use it in the most efficient way possible, so it's back to diesels again.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, October 06, 2017 10:19 AM

Santa Fe's relatively early dieselization was in part a function of the territory it served.  Santa Fe was able to get so many FT's during wartime because they were better suited for operations in the Arizona desert.

Why does the OP keep beating this dead horse? Confused

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Posted by selector on Friday, October 06, 2017 10:45 AM

SPer

why did Santa Fe loves diesel-electric locomotives and hated steam locomotives

 

Why is the moon purple?  If I ask the question, the listener is forced to either answer as if the underlying premise is correct (ie, the moon IS purple), or to reject it and to say the question is unanswerable. It happens to be that the question I posed is unanswerable.  It happens that your question is also unanswerable because I must reject your premise prima facie.

Perhaps you would be good enough to point to a credible source, other than your assertion, that supports your premise.  From there we might be able to engage in something approximating a discussion.

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Posted by SPer on Friday, October 06, 2017 12:21 PM

that's why Santa Fe stopped using steam locomotives in freight service in 1953 to become a all-diesel-electric road and never looked back

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Posted by DSchmitt on Friday, October 06, 2017 2:12 PM

All US railroads switched to diesels and never looked back. Some earlier, some later.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by SPer on Friday, October 06, 2017 3:45 PM

So when Santa Fe officially ended steam in 1953 and what steam locomotive.

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Posted by selector on Friday, October 06, 2017 4:38 PM

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMFF74_Last_Steam_Locomotive_Run_on_the_Santa_fe_Railroad

The above may be incomplete and misleading as it doesn't say that 3759 was the last steam locomotive to run revenue service for the Santa Fe.  However, one could conclude that the railroad's 4-8-4's were used until the end, and an educated guess says their wonderful 2-10-4 and 4-6-4 variants were also used until near the very last in 1953.  You'd need a history of the Santa Fe to get a definitive answer.

As an example of how your date of 1953 could be wrong, see the following:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe_5017 

...meaning that freight probably lasted somewhat longer because sure as aitch that locomotive wasn't hauling the Chief.

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Saturday, October 07, 2017 7:41 AM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Santa Fe's last stand with steam when it sent several 2-10-4's to the Pennsy for duty in Ohio during the autumn of 1956.  Visit www.columbusrailroads.com

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, October 07, 2017 11:42 AM

TRBB, you're absolutely correct!  Those Santa Fe 2-10-4's leased to the PRR were well-liked by those Pennsy crewmen who ran them too.

I guess no-one's mentioned it because it was a short episode, easily forgotten except by Pennsy and Santa Fe fans.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 09, 2017 9:18 AM

I still consider the Ripley Sante Fe 2-10-4's the very best non-articulated freight power with the Pennsy and C&O 2-10-4s a very very close second.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, October 13, 2017 8:30 PM

When did Santa Fe last run steam?

Well, this is from an article in "Classic Trains" Special Edition "Steam Glory 3" from 2012.  It's from an article called "Insiders View Of Santa Fe Steam" by Jack Elwood, an SF veteran who began railroading in 1939.  I'll quote Mr. Elwood directly...

"The curtain came down on Santa Fe steam in August 1957.  The last stand of the great 4-8-4's and 2-10-4's took place in New Mexico, in  helper service between Belen and Mountainair.  These engines were only 13 years old and had many more years left in their service life. Some of us at the time were confounded at the decision to scrap these engines, especially when I recalled that the first steam locomotive I worked on in Santa Fe service was 40 years old at the time.  It was unprecedented for engines to be scrapped at such a young age."

Indeed!  I'm sure Mr. Elwood had plenty of company!

Great article.  In fact, the whole special issue is a keeper.  I believe it's still available as a back-issue from Kalmbach.

 

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Posted by SPer on Saturday, October 14, 2017 3:19 PM

Santa Fe would have follow in the footsteps of Southern,Rock Island,Cotton Belt,Western Pacific,and Delaware and Hudson by ending steam in 1953, It could take Santa Fe 84 years to put out this fire

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Posted by Fr.Al on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 6:51 PM

The Rutland also ended steam in 1953, but oddly enough had purchased 4 4-8-2s in 1946, when hardly any railroads were ordering steam locomotives.

    But as far as Santa Fe goes, let's quote Lucius Beebe from "Highball" . "Before Diesel operation it was necessary to transport three million gallons of water a day to one point." I'll let anyone interested do their own research.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:24 AM

The point in question is Hackberry, Arizona.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, October 21, 2017 9:09 AM

Per Father Al's comment, I'd suspect the reason the Rutland bought those 4-8-2's in 1946 was they needed something new now, and there was a waiting list for diesel road units.  Sometimes you just have to go with what's available.

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Posted by Fr.Al on Monday, October 23, 2017 9:30 AM

You may be completely right, but if the Rutland needed a temporary solution to their motive power shortage, might it have not made more sense to buy some used steam locomotives, especially since other railroads were discarding them at that time? Why invest in four brand new locomotives if you know you're likely to set them aside in 6-7 years?

     The tragedy for me personally is that those 4-8-2' s didn't last 5 more years. That way, I might have had some childhood memories of them. Or that the Rutland didn't sell them off to another US railroad or possibly even to Mexico? Would that one of them might have been preserved!

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 23, 2017 10:54 AM

Fr.Al
You may be completely right, but if the Rutland needed a temporary solution to their motive power shortage, might it have not made more sense to buy some used steam locomotives, especially since other railroads were discarding them at that time?

Yes, and I think that both the 'act' and the timing are very significant.  Note that these were not just "4-8-2s", they were some of the best 4-8-2 prototypes ever built in this country, and they had remarkably sophisticated tenders.  These were not 'temporary' engines in any sense of the word; they just happened to have been greenlighted and then ordered at precisely the wrong time, before the 'bottom fell out' starting very shortly, but not well-predicted, thereafter.

It would likely pay to look at how the Rutland earned the credit to finance or purchase these locomotives, likely riding the wave of accessible credit that so many railroads experienced after the forced profitability of the war years.  And that the cost of even this very sophisticated, device-laden, and maintainable steam would have been 1/3 or less the cost of equivalent diesel horsepower at the time, and then-available diesel still been first-generation squirrelly and involving expensive new crafts and skills to implement.

Might also look at why PRR went ahead and built all those T1s very close to that time, or why NYC went into prompt production of the high-speed version of the Niagara when it had plenty of optimized wartime L4s.  The rhetorical question almost answers itself: no one would invest in four brand-new locomotives, especially large road locomotives arguably oversophisticated and with difficult tenders to back up, if they knew or even reasonably expected they were likely to set them aside in 6-7 years. 

Better to look at the period when the decisions were being made to scrap them, and what had happened to the development of diesel power, traffic fall-off and projection for the Rutland as a railroad, and the costs of maintaining speed by that time.  All those are MUCH less sanguine than in 1946.  Consider also the rationale followed by the Old and Weary in its motive-power priorities, and what would likely have happened to them earlier had they not 'dieselized' as they did.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, October 23, 2017 11:00 PM

Rutland was in bankruptcy at the time, and my recollection is that the 4-8-2's were ordered for financial considerations.  They were scrapped after a change in management.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, October 26, 2017 8:38 PM

I went into the archives here at the "Fortress Firelock" to do some checking on the Rutland.  Pulled out the late George Drury's "Guide To North American Steam Locomotives" and in a nutshell, this is what George had to say.

In 1945 Rutland's steam locomotives, or most of them, were just plain worn out.  The last new purchases of passenger locomotives, Pacifics, was in 1929, the last new freight locomotives purchased were USRA Mikados purchased in 1918.  Everything else they had was pre-World War One.  They had to have something new.  Diesels were a possibility but that meant building diesel servicing facilities and the money the Rutland had scraped up for new motive power just wouldn't stretch that far.

Also, with the exception of the Boston and Maine, who had just begun dieselization, all of Rutland's neighbors such as the NYC, D&H, CV, CN, and CP were "...still solidly in the steam camp..." as George put it.  I get the impression Rutland was taking a "wait and see" attitude.

Several years later, the Rutland made the jump.  The scrapped the unused Addison branch, the oldest freight cars, and all the steamers with the exception of the 4-8-2's and used the money for nine RS-3's, six RS-1's, and a GE 70-tonner, plus presumably a servicing facility for the same.  The 4-8-2's were finally retired in 1955 and scrapped as well.

Anyway, dieselizing didn't save the Rutland anymore than it saved any other Northeast "Fallen Flag."  Other things involved here obviously, but you know what I mean.

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Posted by Fr.Al on Friday, October 27, 2017 8:14 AM

The 4-8-2' s, per Mr. Shaughessy, were dormant from '52 or '53. The Addison branch operated a mixed before being shut down in May '51. Maybe we need to start a new thread about the Rutland.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, October 28, 2017 11:13 AM

That's a good idea, Father.  I'm not a fan or a student of the Rutland so it'd be interesting to see what people have to say about it.

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Posted by Fr.Al on Saturday, October 28, 2017 12:51 PM

I see you're from Virginia. Are you a fan of the Virginian electrics?

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, October 28, 2017 1:42 PM

Well, I live in Virginia now, but originally I'm from New Jersey, so I'm a fan of the Jersey 'roads, i.e Jersey Central, Erie, Susquehanna, and so forth.  The only southern road I'm interested in is the Norfolk and Western, having ridden behind 611 and 1218.  I certainly know of the Virginian, however, and those electrics they had, especially those funky jackshaft units, were really cool!

But by no means am I an expert on the Virginian.

If you're interested in the Virginian here's a 26 minute video I'm sure you'll enjoy.  The jackshaft electrics show up (I think) about three or four minutes into the film.  Watch this and you'll know as much about the Virginian as I do!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3ix6fUNaL4

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 29, 2017 1:34 PM

What is wrong with continuing to discuss the Rutland on this thread?

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Posted by Fr.Al on Monday, October 30, 2017 11:04 AM

Nothing per se. It's just funny that we started out talking about the Santa Fe and the switch to diesel. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, October 30, 2017 7:28 PM

Fr.Al

Nothing per se. It's just funny that we started out talking about the Santa Fe and the switch to diesel. 

 

Threads do take on a life of their own and go off in various directions.  And you know what, as long as we're having fun and learning something, who cares?

Several times in the past I've had a little fun with the original posters on various threads by asking...

"NOW see what you've started?"

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Monday, October 30, 2017 9:37 PM

Firelock76

Threads do take on a life of their own and go off in various directions.

Cough, cough... ...string-lining... ...cough cough.

These are the best kind of threads.  Very relaxing to read for me.  No pressure to stay on topic.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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