Mystery locomotive #710 Help identify RR

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Mystery locomotive #710 Help identify RR
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 29, 2007 12:47 AM

Some years ago I purchased the attached photo, an early 1900's scene of a steam locomotive roaring along a river canyon from a flea market. The seller knew nothing about it and I would like to know if anyone can identify the railroad and possibly the location of the photo.

With a magnifying glass the only identification visible is the engine number 710 on the engine front. The angle of image is so close to head on that I can only guess the wheel arrangement is 2-6-0. The first car after tender looks like an RPO or combination car. From the square top steam chests it looks like a Baldwin locomotive but I'm no expert on early engines.

Searching other forums located a CB & Q engine 710 displayed at Omaha, NE but it is an all together different machine built in 1901 and rebuilt in 1928.

I hope there is an expert historian out there who can solve the mystery of loco710. I can post a close up of the locomotive only if that would help. 

 Stude8

 

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, July 29, 2007 9:06 AM

The locomotive is on a passenger train, and would appear to be photographed in the early years of the last century. The locomotive boiler is too high for the normal 2-6-0, which was not often used in passenger service.

I would suggest that it is a 4-4-2 or a 4-6-0. I don't think there is enough to identify the builder in that view.

Are there any clues in the scenery? Can it be narrowed down to an Eastern, Mid West or Western location?

My plan would be to check George Drury's "Guide to North American Steam Locomotives" and just check for locomotives numbered 710.

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Posted by J. Edgar on Sunday, July 29, 2007 9:52 AM
 way out there Confused [%-)].....looks to me like a 4-4-0...maybe more a Rogers....good guess would be early 1890's on.....locale could realy be anywhere....im throwin my hat towards New York somewhere....maybe NW New Jersey but you know it aint the Erie.....and im sure theirs others here that'll tell ya just what and where....im just guessin....Approve [^]
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 29, 2007 11:20 AM

Thank you for the response, I'll have to investigate the Drury book you mention.

To help the investigation I am attaching the closeup view of mystery locomotive 710.

It is really difficult to confirm wheel arrangement, I am sure there are only 6 drivers but the leading truck is shrouded by the pilot and looks to me to only be 2 wheels.

Stude8

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Posted by Snoq. Pass RR on Sunday, July 29, 2007 12:13 PM
From my point of view, it looks like it is a 4-4-0 American.  When you expand the photo, I can see two (2) small wheels and two (2) large wheels.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 29, 2007 1:16 PM

 http://spec.lib.vt.edu/imagebase/norfolksouthern/full/ns800.jpeg

Is this it?

Upon closer exam, I see what I think is a counterweight on what we thought was the second pilot axle. I say this is it.

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Sunday, July 29, 2007 3:38 PM

Headlight is different, stack cap is different, second dome is different, whistle location is different, cab roof curvature is different. 

Unless it had been in a severe wreck betwixt the times of the two photos, I doubt if all those differencs would exist.

 

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by Snoq. Pass RR on Sunday, July 29, 2007 3:53 PM
Semper you are right.  This is a different locomotive.  When you read the bottom of the photo it reads:  "Originally Lynchburg & Durham #5 to Norfolk & Western A?? #710 in 10-96.  Renumbered 511 in 703 AVB 12/78 Class O-17"
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Posted by KCSfan on Sunday, July 29, 2007 8:10 PM

The engine appears to be of early 1900's vintage say between 1900 and 1910. By that date I think few 4-4-0's were being built and the shift was to bigger more powerful locomotives. The photo also (to me at least) shows 6 drivers and no trailing wheels. Since it's obviously in passenger service it's most likely to be a 4-6-0 not a mogul which was more commonly a freight engine. One feature that stikes me as unique is the height of the slats in the pilot which appear to extend about to the top of the cylinder heads. This might be a clue that the engine belonged to a western railroad which ran through open (unfenced) range land where cattle on the tracks was more likely to be encountered than in the east or midwest. The absence of ballsast would also be more likely to be found on a relatively new western line than on the long established eastern roads. Beyond these observations and speculations I don't have a clue as to the railroad.

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 29, 2007 11:41 PM

I like the theory it is a 4-6-0 from all the observers minds coming together.

I would like to know how "Safety Valve" found that library image of a #710 N & W locomotive, by chance or a systematic index search? I agree with the other observations that it is not the mystery 710 because of the mechanical variations especially the head lamp and steam domes.

I had hoped the same image would be located in some older publication with identification but maybe this is a unique photograph however it was well planned in my opinion and not a chance happening.

Stude8 

 

 

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 29, 2007 11:55 PM

Simple search terms on web until I find images.

Then narrow down based on #710. It may or may not be it.

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Monday, July 30, 2007 1:33 AM

http://www.steamlocomotive.info/index.cfm

Lists a 710 (a 4-6-0) from the CB&Q, but the stack and domes are wrong.

Same one found at: http://www.trainweb.org/screamingeagle/gallery/cbq/cbq710.jpg

But those photos indicate another thing that might help identify the one in question... it has what is called a "Wagon Top Boiler"... (i.e.: the boiler has two diameters, the front being smaller than the back).  The CB&Q engine refered to here is a straight boiler or at least has a smaller change in diameters.  The mystery loco is much more pronounced in diameter difference.

There is a 710 laying on its side at:

http://www.lakemirabel.com/Railroad/ShortStories1.html#HelpWreck

but that ain't the right one either.

Somewhere there was another web site that had 10's of thousands of locomotive photos, from all over the world and you could sort the list of photos by RR or engine # or whatever, but I can't remember where it was.... anybody else remember it?

 

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by feltonhill on Monday, July 30, 2007 8:22 AM

I'm no expert on 1900-vintage locos, but here are a couple of suggestions.

First the photo appears to be distorted and the loco is too high and too narrow.  I put the pic in Photoshop and changed the proportions from 14.222 x 10.667 to 15.5 x 10.667.  This seemed to give a less oval shaped smokebox front and made the loco a bit more normal looking.  Eyeball only, nothing scientific here.

Second,  after enlarging the photo there are only four points of contact on the rail.  It's either a 4-4-0 or 2-6-0.  The resolution of the photo (710A) is very good.

Third, cylinder centerlines are located along the same plane as the centers of the driving axles, give or take an inch.  In this case, I would guess the drivers are pretty tall because the cylinders are not close to the rails.  This seems to point to a 4-4-0.

Fourth, those beautifully porportioned domes may be a clue to the railroad, builder or era. 

Hope this helps.

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Posted by KCSfan on Monday, July 30, 2007 1:15 PM

Give me 2to1 odds and I'd bet the mystery loco and the Burlington 710 pictured on the steam locomotive info web site are one and the same. Note the similarities: headlight, sand dome, number plate, front end angle braces, cab roof curvature and that distinctive pilot. The CB&Q 710 as orignally built probably had square steam chests as shown in the mystery photo. She was undoubtedly rebuilt, maybe more than once, in her career at which time the stack, steam dome and cylinders were replaced to the configuration shown in the much later color photo.

Mark 

 

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Monday, July 30, 2007 2:25 PM

I'd have to agree with feltonhill... it is a 2-6-0 or 4-4-0 and my bet is 2-6-0, due to that flat area above the tire on the 2nd wheel, looks like a small counterweight.

I agree that rebuilds did occur and could certainly alter the looks of an engine.  Including altering the number of wheels!  But, I can't see enough similarity to the CB&Q for it to be the one unless it was a massive rebuild... and that much of a rebuild would probably have changed the engine number.

There were lots of RR's that had an engine numbered "710"... how many???? No way to guess.

I think we may not find another photo of this exact engine... this may be the only photo of this locomotive.  Looking for photos of other 2-6-0's (or 4-4-0's) may lead to an engine similar enough to this one to identify the builder... then it MAY be possible, using the builder's records to find the RRs that purchased them and maybe find their records to see how many of them numbered (or even re-numbered) that style engine in the 700's.  The difficulties will be whether the builder's or RR's records still exist or if whoever has them can be found so they can be studied.

I'm gonna go look at some photos this afternoon just to see what I can see... besides looking at steam locomotives is great fun and a wonderful way to spend a hot afternoon in the airconditioned house!

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 30, 2007 3:17 PM

The Locomotive IS a 4-4-0 and it's Driver Diameter can be estimated by comparing Cylinder Center Height from Rail as Compared with Nominal Horizontal Center of Drawbar from Rail, as this is a 'Standard.'

Look at the Rails, they appear to be Joined by Six-Hole Bars, Some Know-it-All from the Track Dept. may well, just by looking at the Photo, Give Rail Year and Month, Weight, Mill, and which Railroads Purchased this Type of Rail in that Year.

Photo; Eastern Road 1895-1905?

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Monday, July 30, 2007 5:10 PM

What a lovely afternoon of perusing photos of steam locomotives!

FIRST and foremost, generalizations are near useless, I KNOW that!

But...

I looked a hundreds of 4-4-0's and IN GENERAL, they have tapered stacks, not straight pipes, and they had either does with "caps" on them or "bands" around them.  The mystery loco has a straight pipe stack and smooth bell shaped domes.

I found no photos of 4-4-0's that looked close to the mystery loco.

I looked at dozens of 2-6-0's and IN GENERAL, they have all kinds of stacks and domes.  BUT... many have the smooth bell shaped domes, similar to the mystery loco.

I submit the following for your consideration as being similar to the mystery loco...

(Ugh, now to try to pare the list of 20 down to just a few...!)

http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=1110
Whistle is in the right place, but the cowcatcher is not as big and the headlight is in the wrong place.

http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=31
Smoke box door is not quite right and second dome is too small.

http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=1798
Wheels are too small.  Cab front wrong.

http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=643
Wheels are too small.  Cowcatcher too small.

http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=1919
Headlight and whistle are missing, but cab roof is not curved enough and the cowcatcher is too small.

All in all, I think the mystery loco is a Canadian National 2-6-0.  But I am sure others could easily come to a different conclusion.

And a pleasant afternoon spent looking at steam locomotives... what a nice day!

 

 

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 30, 2007 11:56 PM

Special thanks to Felton Hill & Semper V. for the scientific observations.

I blew the closeup view up to 150% and yes there are only 4 wheel contact points on the rail under loco710. The 2nd, 3rd & 4th wheels show counter weights congruent with drive wheels, I believe it is a 2-6-0 configuration. The boiler double diameter shape is more apparent also.

The Locomotive.com gallery images Semper posted do suggest the mystery loco 710 might have Canadian origins. Previous comments about unballasted roadbed suggest a new track in Western territory that could be North of the border as well.

Maybe I'll try some Canadian library photo collections if I can find any online that might have railroad images to browse for leads.

If any of you come up with better confirmation info please do add it to this thread.

Thanks again, Stude8  

 

 

 

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Posted by DanRaitz on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 7:59 AM
 Semper Vaporo wrote:

What a lovely afternoon of perusing photos of steam locomotives!

FIRST and foremost, generalizations are near useless, I KNOW that!

But...

I looked a hundreds of 4-4-0's and IN GENERAL, they have tapered stacks, not straight pipes, and they had either does with "caps" on them or "bands" around them.  The mystery loco has a straight pipe stack and smooth bell shaped domes.

I found no photos of 4-4-0's that looked close to the mystery loco.

 

Charles,

Take a look at NYC #999

Dan

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Posted by feltonhill on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 9:03 AM

The things I'll do to avoid yard work on a muggy day!

I enlarged the photo again and looked very closely at the the points where the four wheels contact the rail.  At the rear, shadows that the wheel tread is wider on the rear two axles than the front two axles, which cast no shadow.  Looking at the wheel tread itself, the rear two treads appear wider than the second axle wheel tread which I believe is the second lead truck axle.  This seems to be relatively strong evidence that 710 is a 4-4-0.  The pilot also looks like it may be boiler tube construction rather than wood slat, so that may mean something about the RR or the era.  Hard to tell with the lighting.

Here are some additional observations and estimates based on drawings of 1895-1900 4-4-0's the book, 100 Years of Steam Locomotives.  I decided to try to estimate various dimensions on 710 using the coupler height standard mentioned earlier, which is about 33.5" to the coupler horizontal centerline.  This is on the resized photo with the horizontal dimension extended to make the loco look less "tall and skinny."  I compared these estimates, which because of photo perspective are very approximate, with typical 4-4-0's of the era.  Here's what I found: 

Coupler height - 0.54" = 33.5"  Standard measure on which all other dimensions are based

Cylinder centerline height - 0.56" = 34.7" x 2 = 69.5" driver diameter. Typical is 68" to 73" with examples above and below that range

Centerline of boiler - 1.64" = 101.7"  Typical is 98" to 104"

Overall Height - 2.89" = 179.3" = 14.9'  Typical is 14.7' to 15'

Cylinder centers - 0.62" from approx loco centerline = 38.5" x 2 = 77"  Typical is about 78", couldn't find much on this

Again, perspective in the photo makes all this very approximate, particularly as one moves further back into the photo. 

I'm not sure what all this indicates other than 710 may be a middle of the road 4-4-0 constructed in the 1895-1900 era, albeit a very stylish example IMO. 

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 9:05 AM
 DanRaitz wrote:
 Semper Vaporo wrote:

What a lovely afternoon of perusing photos of steam locomotives!

FIRST and foremost, generalizations are near useless, I KNOW that!

But...

I looked a hundreds of 4-4-0's and IN GENERAL, they have tapered stacks, not straight pipes, and they had either does with "caps" on them or "bands" around them.  The mystery loco has a straight pipe stack and smooth bell shaped domes.

I found no photos of 4-4-0's that looked close to the mystery loco.

 

Charles,

Take a look at NYC #999

Dan

Yeah... that is why I said "generalizations are near useless"... I knew someone would find something that contradicted my generalizations.  And 999 is a pretty good contradiction!

Let's see if I can weasel out of it... Uh... besides the similarities; tall cowcatcher, bell curved domes, straight stack, curved cab roof... okay... the bell is visible behind the stack, the whistle is in the wrong place, the second dome is squarish on top, an air compressor is mounted on the side... granted, all things that could easily be (and often were) modified from one engine to another, even within the same class on the same RR.

Well, my best "out" is that I said "I found no photos"... I didn't say there were none anywhere, just that "I" found none.

Still, it bugs me that I missed this rather famous one!

Thanks for the nice photo!

 

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by route_rock on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 1:59 PM

  I have some videos called Americas Railroads the steam train legacy. One of them ( watching right now) is a bunch of video that Mr Edison and his creews took in the late 1800's and early 1900's of trains in the North East, one specific train was the LV Black Diamond Express. I would say this is North east US, cant say LV's as the shots were of Camelbacks on the BDE. Maybe it is NYC? Has to be sometime after the brotherhoods mandated knuckle couplers and air brakes( looks like an air pump on the side)and photography wise it is taken at speed ( some phot historian can tackle that one) so we have narrowed it down some more.

Yes we are on time but this is yesterdays train

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Posted by route_rock on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 2:13 PM

 NEWS FLASH!!! Said video has  a shot of the 999 in 1902 spitting image of the 710 here!! High tubes on the cowcatcher square cylinders the same look all around!

  The movies are put out by Marathon music and video. Its on the tape called early steam trains ( in that segment half way in)the Milwaukee Road and the CZ.

Yes we are on time but this is yesterdays train

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Posted by arkansasrailfan on Friday, August 17, 2007 9:07 PM
so since you compared it, maybe it is, but right now I strongly agree that it is a NYC loco.I think I do infact have the videos you have, so I'll check it, but I need which volume and time.
-Michael It's baaaacccckkkk!!!!!! www.youtube.com/user/wyomingrailfan
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Posted by route_rock on Sunday, August 19, 2007 3:15 PM

  Hi wyoming sorry for the late response have been busy with the old railroad.

  The volume is called Americas Railroads the steam train legacy Volume 6. The segment is Early steam trains. as for time in video I am not sure as the vid is at home and I am at inlaws.I do know the narrator says " Here comes the Empire State Express pulled by the 999" Its a short snippet but shows off all the details of the front of the 999 in the 1900's

  Will try to get the time for you.BTW Best Buy has a box set on the vanishing steam train ( I for the life of me cant remember the title) IT IS WORTH THE MONEY!!!!!!!! Has all kinds of shots of American steam. THe cover looks like a Polish steamer but it is all American.Some shots even of the 1218 in the 90's. Check it out.

Yes we are on time but this is yesterdays train

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Posted by JanOlov on Thursday, August 23, 2007 7:57 AM
I almost want it as an 4-4-2.....
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Posted by Benjaminw on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 4:27 PM

While I do realize this thread is ten years old, I believe I have solved the mystery. Y'all determined that 710 looks a lot like 999 in her early days, which is quite accurate. 999 belonged to the NYC&HRRR, and the family resemblance is perfect as demonstrated by this H class 4-4-2 (with the exact same pilot as 710 I might add).

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiN5OGHuJHWAhXCzVQKHQmDD3kQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.britannica.com%2Ftopic%2FNew-York-Central-Railroad-Company&psig=AFQjCNFrK8JqwgLOjLV_x2jSyoTpdTZSww&ust=1504817439839289

Having determined that the locomotive was a member of the NYC&HRRR family, I wondered how a 4-4-0 numbered 710 would fit into the same scheme as 999. 710's driving wheels are clearly smaller than 999s were, and that's when I remembered something. 999 was a member of the I class with MUCH larger driving wheels. So I started looking, and I found something the NYC&HRRR I class was numbered 740-836. Now you might be thinking that that's irrelevant since this engine is numbered 710 right? Think again, if you look EXTREMELY closely, you can just make out a thin nose like shape extending from the center number very close to the rear of the seven. The NYC&HRRR used a font where the "nose" of the 4 was extremely narrow, but in this shot it is visible. This engine isn't numbered 710, it's numbered 740. This engine is a NYC&HRRR I class 4-4-0 sometime before rebuilding by the NYC but after recieving knuckles and airbrakes. After a quick search, I found a sister engine pre-knuckle/air. It looks identical in all major dimensions.

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/6301/2500/1600/1004%20front.jpg

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 9:46 PM

Since I posted on July 29, 2007, I have obtained the excellent two part New York Central roster books. The locomotive does look a lot like "999" as modified with a different boiler and smaller driving wheels. I should have been bolder in my efforts of ten years ago...

Peter

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 7:15 PM

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