Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 6:03 AM

What I was looking for were the trins taht went intact to Miami.  A stroll though a February 1948 OG found a bunch from the northeast and the coach-only trains from the west.  The Miamian and Vacationer carried sleepers from wherever Pullman could dig them up, with western cars common.

Here's one to see how sharp-eyed you have been in actually reading Classic Trains:

 

Towards the end of this train's life, its owner's own sleeping cars were stored in favor of prewar cars leased from another railroad.  Name the railroad, the train, and the owner of the leased cars.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 8:16 AM

Was it the Colorado Rocket and RI from the UP?

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 8:35 AM

This was from an article in Classic Trains.  The cars used were a near color match for the owner's own cars.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 5:53 PM

I'll say Soo Line out of Chicago with 'red' cars leased from the Pennsylvania.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 6:06 PM

That's it.  Soo Line used its own cars on the Winnipeger, but leased prewar "Cascade" 10 rmt 5 DBR cars from PRR for the Chicago-Superior Laker during the last couple of years of the train's operation.  Soo probably got the cars through Pullman rather than direct from PRR, which stll had a contract with Pullman.  The Porter-in-charge was most likely a Soo Line employee.  The other remaining train carrying sleeper on the Soo Line at the time was the Milwaukee's Copper country Limited which ran with MILW cars.

The Laker was mainly a mail train in its last years, enduring a circuitous exit from IC's Central Station in Chicago via the IC Iowa line and the IHB before hitting Soo's own rails in Franklin Park.  Actual passenger equipment was a coach or two and the sleeper following a fair number of mail cars.  The loss of the mail contract was the end of the train ("As a mail train the Laker was something the Soo could live with." Wallace W. Abbey) Some mail and one of the coaches operated to the Twin cities from Owen.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 7:48 PM

Shortly before WW1 a railroad felt the need to install expensive speed recorders on a class of locomotives for a somewhat unusual purpose, and then carefully and regularly review the speed information.

What was the railroad, the engine type, and the need for the vigilance?

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, August 30, 2020 5:42 PM

I think the LS&MS (New York Central) installed speed recorders on some of their 2-6-2 prairie types assigned to the Fast Mail to try to keep the speed in between the contract speed and the speed at which they tended to derail becouse their equalization wasn't adequate.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, August 31, 2020 2:26 AM

rcdrye
I think the LS&MS (New York Central) installed speed recorders on some of their 2-6-2 prairie types assigned to the Fast Mail to try to keep the speed in between the contract speed and the speed at which they tended to derail becouse their equalization wasn't adequate.

That would have been long before the thing I was thinking of -- although if you have details it would be highly interesting.  It is hard to figure out if the guiding on the big Prairies was as bad as usually made out: the LS&MS apparently ran them very fast for a much longer time than a bad design would have been tolerated, and apparently only stopped when NYC arbitrarily (so went the tale as I heard it) assumed control and ordered the Prairies converted forthwith to somewhat inferior Pacifics.  This might have been late enough to represent backlash against the Wilgus use of similar Bissel arrangement on the early 1-D-1 motors that were emergency force-modified to have shoehorned-in Adams bogies.

For the thing I'm looking for, the drive to the speed recorder had to be more than usually precise...

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, August 31, 2020 5:37 AM

Pennsylvania Railroad for freight-train air-brake tests.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, September 11, 2020 7:57 AM

Not a question, but adding some more West Penn pictures scanned:

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 11, 2020 7:47 PM

Not yet but in the right general area of the country.

Think big!  PRR did in fact have something similar at just about the same time... but saw no need for fancy speed monitoring...

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, September 12, 2020 7:43 PM

New York Central water-pan tests.

 

West Penn's Brownsville Terminal was unusual:

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, September 12, 2020 10:40 PM

daveklepper
New York Central water-pan tests.

Interesting thought, but no.  There are some likely quiz questions lurking in the 85mph speedup with automatic scoop retraction, though -- interesting that even the highest capacity tender design (64T) did not need a cistern increase, indicating that perhaps even higher speeds were in the offing for track-pan operation...

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, September 12, 2020 10:40 PM

daveklepper
New York Central water-pan tests.

Interesting thought, but no.  There are some likely quiz questions lurking in the 85mph speedup with automatic scoop retraction, though -- interesting that even the highest capacity tender design (64T) did not need a cistern increase, indicating that perhaps even higher speeds were in the offing for track-pan operation...

Should I just give it up and ask something more interesting?

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 13, 2020 12:59 AM

Your question is interesting, just tough!

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 13, 2020 1:11 AM

As a hint: the speed recorders were French, from Flaman, and likely very expensive both to buy and to import.  What would require that level of precision?

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 13, 2020 8:55 AM

If engineers had determined there was a maximum safe speed for a descending grade and wished to confirm that a signal system was operating to allow trains to descend at exactly that speed but not a fraction of a mph or kph faster......

B&O Sand Patch?

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 13, 2020 10:41 AM

Interesting thought.

Adjust your line of thinking slightly, to what else might produce a hard limit on top speed for a given type of equipment...

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 13, 2020 10:47 AM

But steam is very forgiving in that respect.   Pssibly the original B&O Camden Tunnel Electrification?

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 13, 2020 5:12 PM

daveklepper
But steam is very forgiving in that respect.

As another hint, sometimes it is decidedly not, despite the best efforts of its designers to overcome some of the difficulties.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 14, 2020 8:19 AM

With my last two guesses, do  have the right railroad?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, September 14, 2020 10:28 AM

Overmod
daveklepper
But steam is very forgiving in that respect.

As another hint, sometimes it is decidedly not, despite the best efforts of its designers to overcome some of the difficulties.

That sounds like 'hammer blow', but I have no idea which railroad it could be.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, September 14, 2020 5:20 PM

SD70Dude
That sounds like 'hammer blow', but I have no idea which railroad it could be.

You're getting into the right context.  This was a railroad NOT particularly known for the particular issue involved.  And at least one other approach they tried in the same period apparently solved the issue, but introduced others...

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, September 14, 2020 5:21 PM

SD70Dude
That sounds like 'hammer blow', but I have no idea which railroad it could be.

You're getting into the right context.  This was a railroad NOT particularly known for the particular issue involved.  And at least one other approach they tried in the same period ... bigger still, it should be added, apparently solved the issue, in a novel fashion, but introduced others...

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 3:47 AM

Was this the B&O in connection with their own experimental 4-4-4-4 and the other apprach three cylinders?

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 18, 2020 12:09 PM

No, and by then America was building a much better railroad speed monitor system as part of the Valve Pilot device.

Did B&O try something with three cylinders in those years?  I thought all the Hudsons were 2-cylinder, and Lady Baltimore of course was -- when they went back to 'inside cylinders' they did so with a vengeance on the W-1, one of the few steam designs that wouldn't need mechanical overlimit protection!

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 18, 2020 12:10 PM

No, and by then America was building a much better railroad speed monitor system as part of the Valve Pilot device.

Did B&O try something with three cylinders in those years?  I thought all the Hudsons were 2-cylinder, and Lady Baltimore of course was -- when they went back to 'inside cylinders' they did so with a vengeance on the W-1, one of the few steam designs that wouldn't need mechanical overlimit protection!

Another hint: this was pre-WWI, but not by much.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 21, 2020 8:15 AM

Connection with a mail contract?

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Monday, September 21, 2020 6:06 PM

Overmod

Shortly before WW1 a railroad felt the need to install expensive speed recorders on a class of locomotives for a somewhat unusual purpose, and then carefully and regularly review the speed information.

What was the railroad, the engine type, and the need for the vigilance?

 

Would this be the application of the recorders on Delaware & Hudson's 20 0-8-8-0 Mallet locomotives around 1913? The engines were to be used as mountain-grade pushers and it was thought that for good operation and economical maintenance the engines could only have a top speed of 15 mph. The recorders would provide evidence for the dersired operation.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 5:49 AM

Indeed it was!

Apparently there was a VERY hard limit on that 15mph, even with all the compression relief carefully designed in; I suspect a great deal of that had to do with the absence of a leading truck of any kind on the forward engine.  It was not a matter of operation or maintenance in the normal sense, but expensive mechanical damage for even slight overspeed, probably with rapid (essentially catastrophic by the time of engineer response) onset.  Hence the added precision of the Flaman recorders (instead of a homebrewed simple recording-tape documentation).  Or so went the story.

Question is yours.

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