Favorite steam locomotive

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Favorite steam locomotive
Posted by CARMINE PELAIA on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 9:12 AM

Name your favorite type of Steam locomotive

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 5:29 PM

Well, if I had to name one, and one only, it would have to be the Norfolk and Western Class J, best passenger locomotive built, ever!

But it goes farther than that.  I love those old Civil War era 4-4-0's, especially the way they were painted and decorated, more like works of art than locomotives.  Then there's those funky Camelbacks the Jersey Central ran, AND the Centrals "Blue Comet."

I could add the Erie's K-1 Pacifics with their Russian Iron boilers, the New York Central's Dreyfuss Hudsons, man, I could go on and on.

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Posted by JOHN C TARANTO on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 5:48 PM

This is a very tough question when you are an admirer of the steam locomotive.  The "Hudson" type (4-6-4 wheel arraingment) will always catch my attention first. 

Being a big fan of the New York Central System, my favorite class of NYC Hudson is the J-3a, non-streamlined, Boxpok drivers, with the PT tender. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 6:40 PM

Berkshires of the Lima/Nickel Plate Road variety.  Light Mikados of the same heritage come in a close second.

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Posted by K4sPRR on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 7:04 PM

I sympathize with John, a very tough question when you chase down every type of steam locomotive running just to see and admire it.  For me:

Passenger:  Pacific 4-6-2 ( PRR K4s particularly)

Freight:  N&W Y class,  also Mountain and Texas types (M-1, J-1, C&O T-1).

Like Firelock 76, the list can go on and on....

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 10:30 PM

Mission impossible question! ...but I'll take the bait.

Canadian Pacific's original Jubilee's 4-4-4's with the real gold leaf lettering. 

PRR T1's because they were stunning, represented the future, actually very mysterious and left us far too soon. 

 

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Posted by rrlineman on Thursday, October 06, 2016 6:32 AM
Pennsy E6s and J1a's .
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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 06, 2016 6:55 AM

I am fond of every type mentioned above, and would add the SP's Daylight 4-8-4, the Q's O-4's, Niagras, Southern green and gold Pacifics, CPRR Royal Hudsons, and NYNH&H I-5's.

But the top remains the N&W J. Really great appearance and tops in performance and not a roundhouse queen for maintenance..

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, October 06, 2016 10:11 AM

I'll start with IHB U-4a three-cylinder 0-8-0's and conclude with NKP S-class 2-8-4's, the only steam locomotives I ever saw in regular service.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by PRR8259 on Monday, October 10, 2016 5:58 PM

My favorite locomotive is the Texas & Pacific 4-8-2, second group numbers 905 to 909. 

My second choice is the Rutland 4-6-2.  They were simply beautiful and had a very balanced classic look to them.

Third are the Rio Grande 4-8-2's.

John Mock 

 

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Posted by PRR8259 on Monday, October 10, 2016 6:29 PM

Deleted

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Thursday, October 13, 2016 4:14 AM

Indiana Harbor Belt's 0-8-0's with their feedwater heaters and offset bells remain the most beautiful steam switchers ever built! 

I miss T&P 2-10-4 #638 that my grandfather took me to see when it was placed on display at Dallas Fair Park.  Only words to describe what should have happened to the FP official who had her scrapped: Hang him higher than the original Big Tex who we lost a couple of years ago!  You can bet your shiny new cowboy boots Big Tex is a model railroader and he's running #638 on the layout that's in the roundhouse in the sky located just beyond the Big Rock Candy Mountains!

Though a failure, Russia's huge 4-14-4 was a beautiful locomotive in it's own right.  It even made the pages of Trains!

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Thursday, October 13, 2016 11:11 PM

CN's U-1-f Class 4-8-2 Mountains and U-4 streamlined 4-8-4 Northerns have always caught my eye, and they had the performance to back it up.  And while these classes were strictly passenger engines the earlier dual-service U-1 Mountains and U-2/3 Northerns gave the same impressive performances without the flashy streamlining.

U-1-f (6060 still operates, but is currently under rebuild) 

U-4 (green was changed to Royal Blue for the 1939 tour)

U-1-a (the first class of locomotives ordered by the then-new Canadian National in 1923)

U-2 (CN had the largest fleet of 4-8-4's and these were the backbone of it.  It is a crying shame that 6218 now rusts away in a Fort Erie, Ontario park)

And I suppose we are all partial to the locomotives we grew up around or work with, for me there are 2 of those:  The ex-Calcasieu Paper 107 that the Fort Edmonton Park now operates, now lettered for the Edmonton, Yukon & Pacific (a grandly named line of the early 1900s that barely made it 10 miles out of Edmonton), and the ex-CN (nee Canadian Northern) 4-6-0 1392 that I now help operate & maintain at the Alberta Railway Museum.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

RME
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Posted by RME on Friday, October 14, 2016 11:47 AM

SD70M-2Dude
CN's U-1-f Class 4-8-2 Mountains and U-4 streamlined 4-8-4 Northerns have always caught my eye, and they had the performance to back it up.

One little comment: I have always thought that the Grand Trunk's version of the streamlined 4-8-4 was far more attractive, particularly due to the treatment of the front of the skyline casing and the transition into the 'artillery shell half' nose.

See more pictures of them here.

 

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, October 14, 2016 2:58 PM

RME- Great pictures!  

Agree with you 100% on the GTW streamlined 4-8-4's.

The ONLY thing better is being ten years old and watching this beast tearing through town at 89MPH. ( then running home to tell your mom that "you would not believe what I just saw" )

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Posted by nycstlrr on Friday, October 14, 2016 8:34 PM
Even though I have never seen it in real lie and never will, thanks to being a bed ridden slug now.... It has always been the UP 844, followed in a close second by the NKP 765. I have had the chance to ride behind her many times! Bill
RME
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Posted by RME on Saturday, October 15, 2016 3:08 PM

nycstlrr
Even though I have never seen it in real lie and never will, thanks to being a bed ridden slug now.... It has always been the UP 844 ...

Come to Memphis the morning of the 22nd and you can see her in real life, no lie.  Surely it's worth figuring out how to rise from bed or be transported somehow!  (Or check out the route to and from Memphis to see if any of the 'intermediate' stops and locations work better. 

UP has promised a real-time locator like the one for 765, so you can tell exactly where the locomotive is during the trip... their existing tracing tool is here.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, October 15, 2016 7:37 PM

I know I posted earlier about my favs but today I went down to the old B&O roundhouse and finally after 40 years was reunited with ex-GTW mikado 4070:

Oh, and the 2100 is here too!

For all you T-1 fans out there!

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 5:42 AM

How could I forget the CNR 4-8-4's with their Elesco feedwater heaters?  Shame on me! Truly, clean machines!  You may tar and feather me but please don't make me eat crow!  My favorite streamlined steam locomotives: The Southern Pacific Daylights!

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 6:45 PM

No tar, feathers or crow today Joe!  While the CN engines are my favourites I must admit those Daylights are some of the best south of the border, right up there with the J and Niagara.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

RME
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Posted by RME on Thursday, October 27, 2016 6:49 PM

Please, guys... the Daylights are trains.  What pulled them were GS (Golden State) class locomotives, most famously GS-4s.

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Friday, October 28, 2016 11:55 AM

Robert J. Church always referred to Espee's GS class locomotives as Daylight 4-8-4's.  In 1966 Kratville Publications released the book he authored on them titled Those Daylight 4-8-4's.  In 1976 it returned as a Second Expanded Edition which included renowned 4449 and it's part in America's Bi-Centennial celebration.  In 2004 Signature Press published Church's huge monumental 424 page book Southern Pacific Daylight Locomotives.

As a result, the GS class are commonly referred to as Daylight locomotives.  During WWII the Golden State class were reclassed General Service to satisfy the War Deparment Board so SP could justify ordering additional 4-8-4's if memory serves me well.  I stand corrected, however, Daylight remains the popular name for these beautiful machines just the same!

 

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Friday, October 28, 2016 1:58 PM

If we are prohibiting nicknames does that mean I can't call a RSD-15 an Alligator, or a 4-axle EMD a Geep? Confused

I saw my first picture of 4449 as a small child, but did not learn that she and her sisters were classed "GS-4" or named Golden State until a bit more research in my late teens.  "Daylight" was the only name I new them by before then, and I suspect many people are in the same boat today.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, October 28, 2016 4:22 PM

SD70-2Dude, I just looked at the photo of 1392.  My complements sir, that machine looks so clean you could eat off it!  I'll bet she's a fun one to run too!

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Saturday, October 29, 2016 9:25 PM

Thanks Firelock, she is indeed one beautiful machine.  When that photo was taken in 2013 she was in fresh paint after a 5-year inspection and rebuild, but several years later looks just as sharp.  While I am not yet qualified to run or fire (kinda sorta unofficially know how to fire but need more practice) and am far to young to pose as a Conductor I regularly serve as Trainman or crossing Watchman when we operate, and she is indeed a delight to ride on or behind, or simply just watch.  She has lots of pep being a high-drivered (by CNoR standards) ex-passenger engine, and plenty of power at speed.  I'm told she settles right into a groove at about 30 MPH, and has hauled a 30 car freight with ease while deadheading home from a filming gig (Monte Walsh starring Tom Selleck) some years ago; apparently the freight crew idled the diesels for a while to see what she could do.  Unfortunately we only have 0.5 miles of 10 MPH track to run back and forth on so her existence today is somewhat akin to a caged lion, but a real-live lion nonetheless.

Here's a link to the results of a night photo shoot we hosted in September, 1392 was the star attraction having been kept hot for an extra week after Labour Day:

http://www.meetup.com/The-Edmonton-Shutter-Bugs/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=27256033

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, October 29, 2016 9:55 PM

Great shots from your "Night At The Museum," and who's the "Flapper" getting ready for her train ride?  She's cute!

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Sunday, October 30, 2016 4:50 AM

Hey Dude, when I make it to Alberta and visit you at the museum I'll volunteer to be the crossing watchman.  Regretfully, I am not mechanically inclined but De-clined.  I still have my well worn hickory striped railroader cap to protect my old old head when I'm on duty.  

The pix are really cool.  The young lady is quite a cutie for sure!  Lest we forget, the green and gold CNR color scheme was one of the most beautiful creations that ever graced a covered wagon!  When you consider that Alaska Railroad has returned to their classic blue and yellow scheme, KCS to the Southern Belle image, it's high time for CN and CP to re-introduce the classics to their diesel fleets too!

 

 

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Posted by selector on Thursday, November 03, 2016 6:01 PM

My choices:

For passenger, hands down the Niagara or the T1 Duplex.  J Class very close, stepping on their toes. I'm also fond of the ATSF 4-8-4.  But tell me either of the S1b or the T1 is my choice and I'll be happy.

Freight, I'd have to say the UP 9000 4-12-2 class with flying pumps and that big Delta trailing truck. Next, a toss-up between any of the J1 2-10-4, the A Class, or the Y6b. The Penny's J generated almost the same tractive effort with two cylinders that UP's Challengers did with four, and many more drivers.

Here's a shot of the UP 9035:

RME
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Posted by RME on Friday, November 04, 2016 5:15 PM

selector
For passenger, hands down the Niagara or the T1 Duplex.

Sounds to me that your actual favorite is the NYC C1a.

http://www.railarchive.net/nyccollection/nyc_6053.htm

Actually, in all seriousness there was a fairly detailed proposal for the C1a.  One of the 'regulars' on the YouTube NYC Group (Hugh T. Guillaume)  has a twenty-odd page document describing it (unstreamlined, with what looks like a long Niagara boiler and a properly large firebox and chamber), and Al Staufer did an ink drawing of a side view at speed in NYC Later Power.

Aside from West Albany Hill, the Water Level Route was better suited to duplexes than was much of the PRR.  As I recall the C1a was to have Baker gear to piston valves, so plenty of room for a conjugating shaft, and divided drive would have solved any major issue with main pins or buckling rods...

Of course, Arnold Haas to the contrary NYC had no particular need of 120mph power; even the successful passenger diesels were geared low, and the ICC order on train control that went into effect by 1951 put a damper on any speed increase that might have become more feasible as the Great Steel Fleet began to thin out in that decade.  By the time PRR had worked the conceptual bugs out of the duplex, the entire market for new passenger steam had collapsed completely (1948).

 

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Posted by selector on Friday, November 04, 2016 8:04 PM

Mmm....funny, but that doesn't work for me.  While I appreciate the duplex-type drive of a Super Niagara, I really like the articulated rods of the various Northern types, and the roller bearing look of the J and S1b.  Their visual appeal, I mean.  I guess if the various Duplexes the Pennsy trialed and ultimately produced were good investments, it stands to reason that eventually other roads would have to sit up and take notice.  It coulda happened.....for sure.

I appreciate your having taken the time to consider what I posted and offering your input, RME.  I hadn't known about the C1a.  I'm truly bummed that no Niagaras survived the cutter. 

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