Pennsy goes with EMD and abandons long time chosen builder Baldwin.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, July 10, 2016 2:02 PM

Well the 2 practices that you pointed out certainly don't seem unreasonable at all. I was thinking more along the lines of the "hanky panky spanky" file. 

I suppose that Baldwin and Lima, even with all those countless years of service in providing the finest in locomotive production, design and innovations just didn't have the right pieces to face the challenges ahead. Still think that BLH could have made it to the second round. 

Westinghouse is a whole different story and could fill volumes and volumes. Quick version 1st page Westinghouse, last page CBS. 

Thanks again for the input. 

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Posted by wanswheel on Monday, July 11, 2016 12:02 AM

Overmod

the case wanswheel mentioned was brought, probably with no little political motive, during the Kennedy and Johnson years,

Excerpt from From Steam to Diesel by Albert J. Churella (1998) (The Federal Government Intervenes, pages 129-132)

https://issuu.com/cruelty73/docs/from_steam_to_diesel 

On April 12, 1961, EMD became a part of this “attack on bigness” when a federal grand jury indicted GM for alleged violations of Section 2 of the Sherman Act regarding its activities in the locomotive industry. In February 1959, Attorney General William P. Rogers, an Eisenhower appointee, intiated an investigation against EMD, and this led directly to the 1961 indictment. A grand jury, empaneled on November 17 of that year, met for the next seventeen months, while the new Kennedy administration continued and expanded this antitrust action.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 11, 2016 10:01 AM

Thank you for putting this in proper perspective.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, July 11, 2016 1:06 PM

Thanks yet again Wanswheel. That kept me up half the night reading away. 

Especially like the line "Schpeterian gales of creative destruction".

and..."customers like Ralph Budd did more to push GM into the locomotive industry than did the top management"

It does read as a bit biased on EMD's side. There are instances in the text where what's good for the goose.....well you get the drift, however, I am sure the corporate mindsets, design errors and poor construction/quality at Baldwin, Lima, FM, and to a lesser extent Alco, were as noted, however, those tales seem a bit "thick". The put downs of Samual Vauclain are particularly harsh and over the top. 

The absolute perfect timing, all the time. every time, over decades by EMD/GM versus the perfect bad timing, all the time, every time, over decades by everyone else is a bit rich as well. 

FM story is amusing. 

If that's the way it occurred then so be it. Different story up here in the Great White North, ...and I'm leaving the files open 

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Posted by DS4-4-1000 on Monday, July 11, 2016 1:35 PM

Overmod
I have wondered at times why Westinghouse, which surely at the time had the will to compete with GE in consumer equipment (did GE have anyone like Betty?) not put together financing arrangements for locomotives using their electrical gear built by their controlled subsidiary ... or set up or rename a division to manufacture locomotives if the Baldwin/Lima 'brands' were seen as too retro or too run by failure-prone people at the time.

Take a look at Kirkland's "Dawn of the Diesel Age" or "The Diesel Builders" volume on Baldwin.  Baldwin had a modern diesel engine on the test bed when Westinghouse bought controlling interest in Baldwin and promptly scrapped all of Baldwin's diesel research.  They even replaced the design staff with Westinghouse people.  Westinghouse promoted development of a clone of the Junkers aircraft OP engine to compete with the FM OP.  When the problems of the OP became obvious to everyone Westinghouse bailed out and left Baldwin to die.

I am with you on my opinion of Westinghouse.  The list of companies that Westinghouse executives mismanaged into bankruptcy is long. 

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Posted by wanswheel on Monday, July 11, 2016 4:47 PM
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Posted by Miningman on Monday, July 11, 2016 5:19 PM

Well the 2 practices that you pointed out certainly don't seem unreasonable at all. I was thinking more along the lines of the "hanky panky spanky" file. 

I suppose that Baldwin and Lima, even with all those countless years of service in providing the finest in locomotive production, design and innovations just didn't have the right pieces to face the challenges ahead. Still think that BLH could have made it to the second round. 

Westinghouse is a whole different story and could fill volumes and volumes. Quick version 1st page Westinghouse, last page CBS. 

Thanks again for the input. 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, July 11, 2016 7:37 PM

If you stood outside of the Eddystone Complex in 1945 and told people that in about ten years from now 75% of the buildings would be demolished and the rest sold off and Baldwin no longer makes locomotives they would have carted you off to the asylum. 

That is the dichotomy I struggle to understand. That amount of experience, importance to the national interest, and the industrial might  to simply just vanish. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 11, 2016 8:49 PM

Miningman
That is the dichotomy I struggle to understand.

Happens today.  Research in Motion/Blackberry, anyone?

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, July 11, 2016 9:26 PM

Point taken Overmod! That would sort of make Microsoft the EMD and Apple the GE. Looks as if Blackberry may get out of the hardware altogether. 

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 7:50 PM

While reading Albert J. Churella "From Steam to Diesel" ( link earlier in this thread from Wanswheel ) the author points out over and over, at least 20 times, that steam locomotives were put together with very loose fitting parts and literally shook themselves to pieces. That the tolerances in machining and craftsmanship were 10 times less than that acceptable in diesels. That spare and replacement parts were always ill fitting. That steam locomotives were very loose contraptions. That mass production methods used in diesel builds were inherently far superior to the methods used in steam, where individuals and craftsman, that may be having a bad day, introduce numerous errors and sloppy work whilst machining staybolts or whatever. 

By the 17th time referencing this problem, you could figure this would explain why some locomotives in an order, or of particular class, were better steamers than others, it is a wonder how a locomotive ever made it over the road from Azusa to Cucamonga without falling apart. 

You would assume that at the end of this run there must have been a phalanx of pipe fitters and men with giant wrenches putting the thing back together again. 

It's too bad we don't have any steamers left like a N&W J or a Union Pacific 4-8-4 or Challenger so we can witness this spectacle ourselves. 

There must have been  a few fellows left from the halcion days at Baldwin or Lima during the war years, that upon reading this in 1998, shed a tear or two.  

 

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