Mark Twain Zephyr under restoration

336 views
9 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 12,010 posts
Mark Twain Zephyr under restoration
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 9:06 PM

Something I actually found out from a post to a Mark Twain literary list, although it originated from the Trains Newswire:

The Mark Twain Zephyr consist, plus the car from the Pioneer Zephyr taken out for reasons if limited space at the Museum of Science and Industry (how many of you knew that?), have been purchased by an operating railroad, and effective restoration is being started.

http://www.marktwainzephyr.com/

Or, pinching my nose,

https://m.facebook.com/MarkTwainZephyr/

Current plan is to re-engine with a 6-567, which could be interesting; somewhere I picked up the impression that the early Wintons in at least some of these motor trains were inline 6s and 8s?  (Anyway, the story says they have checked and the transplant engine will fit, so the issue is not severe.)  

I confess I'd have gone straight to a modular Tier 4 plus engine and generator on a 'skid' designed to fit the legacy Winton footprint, but I think part of the decision is that they already have the 567 and electrical gear on hand 'free'.  And I'm among the LAST people to complain about putting a running 567 in anything...

May the restoration live long and prosper!  (And may media and public  interest in it result in resumption and successful completion of work on the Flying Yankee...)

 I posted this over in Steam & Preservation but as so many people here are boycotting 'that other Kalmbach site' I'm mentioning it here for discussion with less chance of trolling or devolution... Whistling

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 4,772 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 9:21 PM

I saw the Mark Twain Zephyr article on "Newswire" but didn't say anything at the time as I wasn't sure what to say.

Hey, as long as they get it up and running again I could care less about the powerplant!  I'd be more concerned about ease of maintanance concerning the same just to keep it alive as long as possible.  An EMD 567 is a good "close enough!"  

The rebuild plans sound spectacular, and I'm really impressed with the plan to put a fully functional diner car in the consist!  That'll make for some fun trips! 

Best of luck to 'em!  

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • From: I've been everywhere, man
  • 2,599 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 10:05 PM

I hope they have been and will continue to exchange tips with the Flying Yankee group.

Short of an actual operating Winton or Cleveland (very, very rare these days, and not a single 201A is left running), a 6-567C is the best possible choice.  It will sound very similar, will produce the right amount of power, is low-tech and from the same general era, and can be rebuilt with many 645 series parts, which are still in production and should continue to be for many years to come.  

Overmod is correct that the 8 cylinder Winton 201 and 201A's were inline engines (was there ever a 6 cylinder version?).  But the narrow V angle of the 567 was specifically chosen so it would fit into locomotives, and even without looking at the measurements I see no reason why it shouldn't fit, as a Zephyr power car should have the same interior width as an E or F-unit.

I don't dare mention this on the 'other forum' (it was mentioned on RYPN), but I wonder if the power car will be renamed.......

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 12,010 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 11:34 PM

It's the fit between the short V crankcase and the existing bedplate that's my great concern; if a sled of any height is needed, the height, not the width, of the 567 becomes the concern.


SD70Dude
I don't dare mention this on the 'other forum' (it was mentioned on RYPN), but I wonder if the power car will be renamed.......
I sure didn't bring it up, and there is a certain amount of woe in changing it to some other Twain character name.  My guess is that they quietly settle for taking the name off or 'plating' something quietly over it and mention the sensitive handling of the name issue only if specifically asked... see the eagles on the preserved 05 class in Nuremberg for a somewhat parallel exemplar.

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • 4,027 posts
Posted by M636C on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 11:48 PM

I understand the 6-567Cs are very thin on the ground, 6-645Es even more so.

If a 567 or 645 will fit, a V-8 might be easier and cheaper to buy and fit.

Certainly, the UP streamliners had the engine recessed a long way into the frame and I think the early Zephyrs were also like this. A Cummins QSK19 would probably fit and they are good for 750HP. You might be able to find one in a discarded Genset unit lying around somewhere...

Peter

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 571 posts
Posted by Erik_Mag on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 12:50 AM

M636C

 A Cummins QSK19 would probably fit and they are good for 750HP. You might be able to find one in a discarded Genset unit lying around somewhere...

One fly in that ointment is the electrical gear. If there is a generator associated with the 6-567C, that may make it a lot easier work on the electrical side. OTOH, some COTS traction inverters are good for 300kW, so a couple of these could be set up to power a pair of AC traction motors on the front truck.

Still think it wold be cool to drop a straight 8 into the power car, but don't know if anyone makes such an engine of appropriate size. The GEVO's were available in straight 6 and straight 8 configurations, guessing a V-6 or V-8 would entail ugly problems with balancing and torque resonances.

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • 1,479 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 3:56 AM

I wish them every success in the coming years. My focus will be on the recreation of furniture and all the details inside the train, like those fancy deep-cushioned lounge seats, curtains, lighting fixtures, etc. The team will have to rebuild and mimic the style and craftsmanship of the 1930s, making them historically accurate. It won't be easy but it will be fun. 

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,140 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 5:39 AM

The 201-A that belonged to the Flying Yankee was almost completed by the Claremont & Concord Railway before work on the project was halted there.  The train is now in Lincoln, where the group decided not to use the Winton but to use something more modern.  Kind of academic as no work has been done on the train in several years.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 12,010 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 6:03 AM

rcdrye
The 201-A that belonged to the Flying Yankee was almost completed by the Claremont & Concord Railway before work on the project was halted there. 

If I remember correctly, it was fantastic cost overruns on the Winton restoration that ran them out of money.  And that they were planning to run a regular schedule of operations and excursions with that rebuilt engine, which couldn't have ended well.

One electrical constraint for 'replacement' is that an entire DC generator has to be provided if any modern high-speed 'genset' engine is to be used.  There was a similar problem repowering Baldwins, where the generator was wound to suit peak rpm of 625 but make significant loading power (enough to get a typical road-switcher over 29mph) and this did not at all suit the characteristics of a Woodward-governed 567.

This is not a particular difficulty; in fact it is not particularly difficult to model the generator characteristic in alternator-field control before DC rectification and smoothing, or adjust the nominal DC-link voltage of a commercial AC drive to be used in historic-style traction motors.  The problems are with first cost and maintenance/support of nonstandard equipment and controls.  It is 'theoretically easy' in the sense AC transversion to build a 'runnable' excursion GG1 is... and you will notice how many successfully-converted GG1s have been built.

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,140 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 8:29 AM

The major cost overruns weren't from the 201-A, but rather from the unexpectedly large amount of stainless steel fabrication required to fix things like door hinges etc. along with the work to get the body and truck articulation fixed.  I don't think the generator had been overhauled by the time the train left Claremont - based on other heavy electrical overhauls I've seen that would have been in the $50-60K range, plus whatever cost to overhaul the GE traction motors.  The C&C shop folks had sourced many original 201-A parts and were pretty confident it could take the service load.  As often in the preservation field the group that took over the partial restoration thought they could complete it for much less money than it really needed, and than they were able to raise. 

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter