Classic Railroad Quiz (at least 50 years old).

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, March 06, 2019 1:36 AM

The service began with steam when it ran through on the elevated's bridge to 129th Street elevated station.  It was cut back to Willis Avenue with the 1903 electrification of the 3rd Avenue Elevated, with the 2nd having been electrified to 129th a bit earlier.   When it was converted to electricity, the service was provided by steel open-platform  cars built for earlier main-line service for the railroad's first electrification.  These were relaced in regular service by two closed-platform cars that lacked a feature that all other nearly identacle cars had on this railroad, with one of the open-platform cars substituted when one of these two cars was in for inspection and/or maintenance.  The service was ended around 1931.  The track for this service at the northern teminal still exists, and the island platform adjacent to it is now a high platform.  Except for the steam-era elevated track, the route still exists and nearly all host passenger trains, but certain of the tracks it used along this route were removed with track rationalization.

One station, more recently removed, a minor tragedy, at one time at "a streetcar that met all trains."  The streetcar had a "P" sign.

Bonus:  After the 1931, this station later had something of railfan effort and interest.  What was it?

  

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, March 07, 2019 7:04 AM

This HAS to be the ex-Suburban IRT shuttle line that was taken out of (subway) service in 1924.  As here.

I have no time to track down fun details for the next few hours, so that devolves on rcdrye or one of you other traction mavens.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, March 08, 2019 7:00 AM

The closed-platform cars lacked third rail shoes and DC capability.  I think they were originally built for the New Canaan shuttle.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, March 10, 2019 5:22 AM

The IRT took over part of the comopetition between end-points, and the competition, in addition to a lower fare, had better IRT cionnections than just the 2nd and 3rd Av. Els, via Willis-to-129th Shuttle.  And the track for the service in the question still exista at the north end of this service.  Except at Willis Avenue station, and its approach track, the entire route still sees passenger trains.  Except for the portion used by the IRT, now the A Division, the competition track's are gone, although some catenarry supporting structure remains. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, March 10, 2019 4:54 PM

IRT took over the portion between 180th and Kingsbridge Rd. NYW&B cut back the service from Willis Ave. to Kingsbridge Rd and what is now the end of the A division's Dyre Avenue line.  Only the short section between Kingsbridge Rd and the NYW&B/NYNH&H main line has no service today.  I think the connecting track you're referring to is at the 180th st station.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, March 11, 2019 4:18 AM

None of what you posted regards the service that was compatitive between endpoints to the NYW&B.   The NYW&B did cut-back service, back from Portchester to New Rochelle, since in that zone its stations were adjacent to or shared with the NYN&H.  The only part of the NYW&B that sees service today is the 5 between E180 and  Dyre Avenue.  The main line between Dyre and Mt. Vernon Jc. and the branches to White Plains and to New Rochelle and Portchester were ripped up before WWII.

The service I am looking for still has all its track in place (except for the steam-age service on elevateds' tracks) and is used by many passenger trains except for the approach to the Willis Avenue service, and will see more passenger trains in the future.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, March 11, 2019 6:13 AM

NYNH&H's Harlem River branch is in daily use by Amtrak.  New stations along the line are supposed to be ready in 2020 or 2021. The new stations, along with some Penn Station slots opening up after LIRR's East Side Access to Grand Central is completed, will bring Metro-North trains from the New Haven line into Penn Station.

A footnote there is that the M-N cars will run off the LIRR third rail in Penn.  A short extension of the third rail will be added from Harold Interlocking to CP Gate at the foot of the Hell Gate incline.  M-N trains will be able to operate into Penn without using Amtrak's 25 Hz wire, which begins westbound at Gate.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, March 11, 2019 12:01 PM

I think I knew about the Suburban Railroad connection to the Put ... but if I understand rcdrye correctly, he's saying NEW YORK CENTRAL is involved, even if allowing New Haven trackage rights via a different route from the 'direct' New Haven connection...

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 6:08 AM

Over, the Central was not involved.  Both this service, for what it was, and the entire NYW&B financial disaster (with the subway city-built connection only now in part being realized, and only in part and way too late) were attempts by the NYNH&H to avoid paying the Central fees for use of GCT and the Woodlawn - GCT tracks , for suburban service anyway.  The initial service used Forney tank engins with elevated-sized open-platform coaches.  These were moved to Hartford - Middletown suburban service when the elevated was electrified (1903) and replaced by regular open-platform coaches and steam, running only Willis Avenue and not using the elevated track, served by the Willis - 129th El shuttle.  It remained steam until the Hell Gate Bridge route was electrified.  When the NYW&B was opened, that railroad share this route's tracks and low-level platform stations, Hunters (Hunts?) Point Avenue - Willis Avenue and provided the majority of the service at these The Bronx stations.  

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 8:14 AM

New Haven operated Harlem River line local service until some time after NYW&B opened, but never operated it to Penn Station.  Only through trains with PRR operated over Hell Gate Bridge.  The current M-N plan is to offer service to several stations on the Harlem River line en route to Penn Station.  Expectation is that traffic will be fairly well balanced inbound and outbound even during rush hours.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, March 17, 2019 8:21 AM

The Harlem River Local Service you refer to is the service I was asking for, and I was specific that initially it was operated to the East 129th Streeet Elevated Station, then cut back to Willis avenue when The Bronx portion of the 3rd Avenue Elevated was electrified in 1903 and the Willis Avenue - 129th Street Shuttle inaugurated.  I wrote that it was electrified with the Hell Gate Bridge Line electrfication, not that it ever ran across the bridge, which the new service will do.

Track 5 at the New Rochelle station was the track for it to end and begin its runs.

The very beautiful stone Pelham Manor Station housed a huge and beautifully sceniced O-gauge model railroad with its own electric division.  Fontain Fox's "P" streetcar line, part of the Third Avenue Railway Sysstem, Served the Pehlam Manor Station, as well as the existing Pelham Station and also crossed Boston Post Road, where one could transfer to the "A" northeast to New Rochelle or southwest to E. 241st St. White Plains Rd (Av.) and the IRT Subway.

Harlem River Local service ended in 1931. Shortly aferward, while keeping the track, the IRT replaced the elevated shuttle with a one-block covered walkway from the then remaining Willis Avenue platform to the 133rd Street Elevated Station.

Your question.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, March 18, 2019 10:08 AM

One of the last pre-Amtrak trains to get a new name, this train was the result of two cutbacks removing two thirds of its run making the old name misleading.  The name, which comes from a Zane Grey novel, fits the region where the train ran.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, March 18, 2019 10:51 AM

Perhaps the Rock Island Plainsman Twin Cities- KC cut back from Twin Cities-Houston Twin Star Rocket. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, March 18, 2019 1:52 PM

Miningman

Perhaps the Rock Island Plainsman Twin Cities- KC cut back from Twin Cities-Houston Twin Star Rocket. 

 

The Plainsman it is. When the Plainsman was discontinued in 1969 it left a hole in the midwest that caused a ripple effect elsewhere.  KCS cited it among other trains that had previously fed the Southern Belle.  The book title the name came from was "The Last of the Plainsmen" published in 1908.

Other possible names from Zane Grey books (especially in the 1960s...):

The Wanderer of the Wasteland

The Wilderness Trek

 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 9:23 AM

Geez, I got one of rcdrye's questions..  I feel like a chess master! 

Of course it was that Zane Grey tip combined with being a Rock Island afficiando.

I will post a question some point before lunch today. Stand by! 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 11:17 AM

Alrighty then-- These unique units, 38 of them!, were modified for light branchlines with A-1-A trucks, de-rated  to 1400 HP, fuel tanks reduced from 1,000 gallons to 700 gallons and the sand box to half size. 

What were they originally, where did the A-1-A trucks come from and of course what were the redesigned locomotives new designation

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 6:45 PM

Canadian National converted 38 MLW RS18s fom 1800 HP B-B units to 1400 HP A1A-A1A units by using trucks recovered from scrapped MLW RSC-13s and RSC-23s.  The new configuration was referred to as RSC-14.  The horespower change, to accomodate slightly smaller motors, was done by changing the fuel injector settings.  They were used on light rail branch lines in the Maritimes including Prince Edward Island.  All were retired by 1996, though some went earlier, including a couple sold for use in Jamaica.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:33 PM

rcdrye-- Right on the money and a great answer 

RSC-14

1783-1782 (ex 3888 and 3886) in a scenic view Black Point, NS 5/25/1987 
Tom Nemeth/Joseph Testagrose Collectionh

1754 Moncton, NB November 17, 1994 Preserved at Salem & Hillsborough 

1760 above and 1761 show two different paint schemes same year, same location. 

The Original RS-18 before the modifications

 

Canadian Railway Museum 
Exporail 

3684 RS-18 MLW 82226 1/1958 

September 24, 2018 

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 8:51 AM

So... Away from the prairies and into the woods!

The U.S. Army funded the construction of 13 railroads in 1917/1918, of which 4 were "permanent" and 9 were "temporary".  One of the "temporary" ones lasted until 1959, long after the "permanant" ones were gone.  Equipment included at least one geared locomotive lettered for the Army.

The railroads were constructed to deliver a specific product for a specific purpose.  What was the product, and what was its purpose?

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Posted by narig01 on Thursday, March 21, 2019 5:55 PM
Crazy wild guess, Troops from training camps to railhead(for on forwarding to ports) , and then troops to the trenches. Probably wrong but I was reading about some of the 600mm trench railways in France & Belgium during WWI.
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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, March 21, 2019 8:05 PM

rcdrye
The railroads were constructed to deliver a specific product for a specific purpose. What was the product, and what was its purpose?

Spruce, for all the myriad aircraft that were to be powered by the flaming-coffin Liberty V-12s and sweep the Hun from the skies.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, March 22, 2019 9:13 AM

The Signal Corps' "Spruce Production Division" opened operations in October 1917, with the goal of producing 30 million board feet of aircraft-quality spruce per month, a goal which was achieved in October 1918, just in time for the Armistice. Many of the crews were enlisted in the Army, and some even wore uniforms.

The four "permanent" and nine "temporary" railorads were operated either directly by the Signal Corps or by contracting logging firms.  The last of the lines, one of the "temporary" ones, operated as the non-common-carrier Toledo & Siletz in Oregon until December 1959.

 

https://oldphotoguy.com/p333085964/h12F3C992#h12f3c992

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 22, 2019 5:58 PM
 anyone who isn't Overmod might as well ask the next question. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 23, 2019 7:44 PM

Spruce

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 10:44 AM

A well-known railroad installed dynamic braking on part of some unusual locomotives for an unusual stated reason.  What was that reason, and the technical issues that led to the decision? 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, March 30, 2019 6:51 PM

Maybe, perhaps: 

A GE steam turbine locomotive on a test run in 1938

Another advanced feature was dynamic brakes, where some (or most) braking is created by running the traction motors in reverse as generators, and then dissipating that electric power in resistors to produce heat. In this case, the heat was generated in the locomotive as opposed to the roof-top open-air coolers on most modern locomotives. The resistors were cooled by water from the steam loop, thus heating it. This allowed the braking energy to be recaptured into motive power, or as it is more typically known, offered regenerative braking.[6]

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 30, 2019 11:30 PM

That's pretty standard dynamic braking, for train braking purposes.  I'll grant you the recovery of braking heat in the Rankine cycle is a valuable and desirable thing.

The locomotives I'm after, though, are reasonably straightforward diesel-electrics.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, April 01, 2019 9:08 AM

Union Pacific retfrofitted 2400 HP TR5 cow-calf units (cabs only) with EMD-designed dynamic brakes in 1952 and 1953.  The pairs were used in helper service on grades in southern California and Nevada.  Excessive brake shoe wear on light, downbound trips led to the change, but also explains why only the cabs were so fitted.  The dynamic brake equipment was deactivated some time around 1956, but remained in place until rebuilds for other purposes caused its removal.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, April 02, 2019 5:46 PM

rcdrye
Union Pacific retfrofitted 2400 HP TR5 cow-calf units (cabs only) with EMD-designed dynamic brakes in 1952 and 1953.

Thought he'd get it... that's it to a T (TR,that is...)

The reason for the 'excess' brake shoe wear (and why it was solved this peculiar way) was the riding characteristics of the switcher trucks on these units when 'road speed' was needed as the units ran downgrade light.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, April 03, 2019 6:40 AM

Overmod
The reason for the 'excess' brake shoe wear (and why it was solved this peculiar way) was the riding characteristics of the switcher trucks on these units when 'road speed' was needed as the units ran downgrade light.

Switcher brake shoes were cast "soft" for fast stops in yard service.  UP looked at using harder shoes, but the cost of using them must have been higher then the cost of the dynamic brake refit.  EMD did ship some SW1200s to West Virginia Northern that were factory equipped with dynamic brakes, so the UP units may have offered EMD a chance to test out the idea.

This midwestern railroad bought A-B-A F3 sets in 1947 and 1948, coming back to EMD for "F5" and F7 B-units in 1949 and 1950, along with some F7A "singles".  Its last order for F-units came in 1951, starting with an A-B-B-A FP7A/F7B set, and ending with four more F7Bs, three of them boiler-equipped. The boiler F7Bs allowed the final retirement of steam on mainline passenger trains, where one was paired with a "freight" F7.  The FP7 set probably never ran as anything other than as two FP7/F7B pairs, and the FP7s often ran as single units.

In the practice in use at the time units were numbered as if they were part of a single locomotive.  Since the initial orders were for A-B-A sets, cabs were -A and -C, boosters -B, with the "extra" boosters added to the original sets as -D.  The three extra passenger boosters were "added" to the FP7 set, resulting in a seven-unit locomotive, the new units getting -E, -F and -G suffixes.

As built, none of the F3, F7 or FP7 units had nose MU, affecting how they were later used in freight service.  Name the railroad.

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