Was this the last operating steam on the NYC, and the end of steam on the NYC

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Was this the last operating steam on the NYC, and the end of steam on the NYC
Posted by Miningman on Friday, June 30, 2017 10:04 PM

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, June 30, 2017 10:38 PM

Is that the ten-wheeler that ran to Courtright ?

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, June 30, 2017 11:13 PM

Yes sir it sure is!

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, July 01, 2017 7:53 AM

I don't know where Courtright is, but if it's in Ontario then that humble Ten-Wheeler was the last of NYC steam, just quietly going about it's business until the diesel replacement finally showed up.

And happy Confederation (Canada) Day to all our friends up North!

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 01, 2017 9:50 AM

Courtright is just South of Sarnia, Ont. and Port Huron, Michigan. It was a branch line, an important one, serving oil refinieries and, along the way, oil producing area's of Petrolia and Oil Springs. It was also a productive rural farming area all along the line. The branch ran from St. Clair Junction, just West of St, Thomas all the way to the St. Clair River.

Interchages and crossings with Pere Marquette, later Chesapeake and Ohio, CNR, CPR. 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 01, 2017 11:17 AM

Check out that pretty hefty bell and whistle on the 1290. Also the marker lights up front. Looking over this old gal she is pretty ancient and very simple, nothing too modern or complicated thats for sure. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, July 01, 2017 1:33 PM

"Nothing too modern or complicated..." which is probably the reason it lasted so long.  All you needed to keep a steam engine like that going was a set of wrenches and a good machine shop.

And looking at the valve chests it seems it was never superheated, which would have made keeping it alive even more simple.

Ironic that what closed out NYC steam wasn't a colossus like a Hudson, a Niagara, or even a Mohawk, but a simple "work-a-day" steamer that never got much attention until the very end. 

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, July 01, 2017 3:06 PM
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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 01, 2017 4:51 PM

Wanswheel-Nice! So sad to see a picture of 1290 in that gallery with it whitelined. The archive link states there was an attempt to save 1290 and/or sister 1291 but was not successful. They were worth $4000 and change in scrap value. 

1290 was replaced by #700, an Alco SW1.

Shortly after the line went too!

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, July 01, 2017 5:26 PM

Miningman

They were worth $4000 and change in scrap value. 

Canada Southern was saving for a rainy day (and 15 minutes of fame on Wall Street).

Excerpt from NY Times, March 31, 1976

Stock prices fell again yesterday as trading continued at its slowest pace since this year’s opening session.

The Dow Jones Industrial average, down by 9½ points in early afternoon trading, finished at 992.13 with a loss of 5.27 points.

The market’s feature was Canada Southern Railway, a seldom traded stock, which rose 40 points to close at 81, thanks to the declaration on Monday of an extraordinary dividend of $60 a share. The dividend is payable April 23 to stockholders of record on April 9.

This marked one of the largest single day’s gain for a common stock—one virtually as little known on Wall Street as it is to the investing public—and also constituted one of the biggest one-day advances in modern market history.

Canada Southern is a solvent leased line of the bankrupt Penn Central, which owns nearly 72 percent of its outstanding shares. Canada Southern, whose stock last traded on February 26, has less than 500 shareowners. Yesterday’s volume came to 2,233 shares for the stock that trades in 10-share lots.

The Consolidated Rail Corporation, which is succeeding to most of the transportation assets of the Penn Central, lost a court bid last week to enjoin Canada Southern from paying the dividend, which will come out of the latter road’s retained earnings.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 01, 2017 7:30 PM

June 1976 - Effort to claim missing Canada Southern assets.

Lot of shenanigans going on! Thanks for the NY Times excerpt Wanswheel. People were pretty upset.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, July 01, 2017 10:44 PM

The line west to Courtright was to connect by ferry across the St. Clare river to St. Clare, Michigan.  The Michigan Midland ran from there to Richmond, where it connected to the Michigan Air Line that ran to Jackson and beyond.  Grand Trunk Western got ahold of the Richmond-Jackson line, which ended MC's plan for this as a thru route.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, July 02, 2017 12:25 AM

Thanks for that Midland Mike- would have made for a great Classic quiz question.

March 16, 1943 - Oil shipments continue to expand on the local railroads. It has been approved to carry oil in fifty balloons that would allow 10,000 gallons of oil to be carried in boxcars. The B&O have automobile cars that carry four steel tanks.  **

June 15, 1943 - CASO handles 600 cars of oil per day **

January 26, 1946 - During the war 1400 cars of oil passed through St Thomas daily. The oil trains started in 1943, the CASO ran 10 loaded eastbound trains a day. The NYC - because of the tunnel - could not haul explosives but the Pere Marquette and the Wabash could. The NYC ran from two to three troop trains every day.*

OK..so a question is...How does a rail line go from 8,000 cars a day and 81.5 million passengers a year down to 0 and abandonment. Of course WWII inflated the numbers, but even so those numbers were always around 2,500 cars a day and several scheduled passenger trains every day. I remember the CASO from '53 to '65 or so and saw a lot of change. It's hard to wrap one's head around. 

Well we all know what happened and the outcome. Also the reasons are "rationalized" and everyone is a good parrot and sounds the same ....more to it than that. 

The role played by the railroads were essential to winning the war. Each and every one of them. Simply amazing. 

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Posted by wanswheel on Sunday, July 02, 2017 1:52 PM

https://ia801904.us.archive.org/9/items/jstor-3304931/3304931.pdf

New York Central was in Canada Southern’s financial picture in the Commodore’s lifetime.

https://archive.org/stream/canadasouthernra00canauoft#page/12/mode/2up

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, July 02, 2017 3:11 PM

Fascinating reading on both links.  Another great book for my digital library.

Here is another account of a stuck whistle.

May 15, 1944 - NYC 2058 had its whistle stuck while hauling an oil train. 

Now that is not a Hudson. It's a Mike,  2-8-2 H7 class. 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, July 03, 2017 1:29 PM

From the book gratefully posted by Wanswheel.

"The run from Amherstburg to Fort Erie, two hundred and twenty nine miles, was made on May 5 1881 with Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt and party of New York Capatalists in two hundred and thirty five minutes by the celebrated Fontaine Locomotive.

A print of it appears on Page 5 on the page titled "The Canada Southern Railway" " A few notes of interest along the line"

I'm sure most of us are somewhat familiar with the Fontaine locomotive. I did not know it achieved this remarkable feat and with the Big Boss on board. Suppose it was not such "folly" after all. 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, July 03, 2017 9:24 PM

I'm not quite getting this one Wanswheel. Am I missing something?

Is it about the Fontaine Locomotive?

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Posted by wanswheel on Monday, July 03, 2017 11:51 PM

Yes, the first one. It seems there two Fontaines and another unbuilt.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 12:08 PM

"It ran like a bird and rode like a parlour car. I want to tell you that I can go faster than any man in the world. The engine hugs the rails and is as steady as a clock"

I believe RME was a fan, or was it as Overmod. 

Would have been really something to behold trackside. 

Suppose they chose the CASO for the run because of its long straight runs with zero grades. They claim only one curve all the way between Amhertsburg and St. Thomas. 

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Posted by wanswheel on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 3:24 PM

http://detroithistorical.pastperfectonline.com/photo/14AC135D-5675-4FA4-B05B-914379932228

American Railroad Journal, Dec. 11, 1880

Mr. Eugene Fontaine, the inventor of the new locomotive bearing his name which is attracting so much attention in the West, was born near Quebec of French Canadian parents, learned his trade as machinist at Rouse's Point N.Y., is 46 years old and lives in Detroit, Mich., where five years ago he took charge of the “Pin Works” and in April last began work on the drawings of the new locomotive which has just been built at Paterson, N.J., and successfully tried at Detroit. The Fontaine locomotive has four drive wheels, revolving above the boiler upon the flanges of the smaller wheels below running upon the track; the lower wheels revolving one and three-quarter times to each revolution of the upper wheels. It is reported to have run a mile in forty-eight seconds.

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9E07E3DF113CEE3ABC4A51DFB667838A699FDE

Mechanics, Aug. 5, 1882

Eugene Fontaine, probably better known in connection with the locomotive which bears his name, came to the United States a number of years ago from a backwoods life in Canada. After various ups and downs he started a pin factory at a point in Indiana, using machines mostly of his own invention. Working without capital, however, the results were not profitable until some 10 years since he enlisted Mr. D.M. Ferry in the enterprise. The machinery was then removed to Detroit and organized as the National Pin Company, of which Mr. Fontaine became superintendent. This factory is probably the most rapid and economical manufactory of pins in the world. Recently Mr. Fontaine invented a machine for manufacturing needles. The machine is automatic in character, and is fed with a continuous steel wire of the size of the desired needle, from which it clips a piece of the requisite length and continues its manipulations until it emerges a perfect needle ready to be tempered. We understand that a joint stock company has been organized in Brooklyn for working this invention. The capital stock is $500,000, of which Mr. Fontaine retains $100,000. The capacity of the works about to be built is stated as 3,500,000 needles per day of 10 hours.

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9500E6DB173DE533A25751C0A9619C94639FD7CF

Michigan History Magazine, Nov. 1, 2013

Some technical experts called it "peculiar," "ungainly," and "a mechanical mistake." The public, judging the contraption by its looks and not its operational merits, referred to it as "the grasshopper" and "the go-crab." The machine in question was the Fontaine locomotive.

Eugene Fontaine was born in Quebec, Canada in 1834. At the age of 16, he left home for Rouses Point, New York, where he served as an apprentice in the machine shop of the Ogdensburg Railroad. After three years, he resigned his position and spent the next 36 months traveling the world, including Asia, Australia, and South America.

Upon his return to the U.S., Fontaine took charge of a machine shop near New Orleans. By the fall of 1858, he was back up north, running a locomotive between Rouses Point and Montreal, a job he held for two years before becoming foreman of the machine shops of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad. Before long, he took charge of an express engine on that road, and continued in that service for 14 years.

He spent his leisure hours studying and devising inventions. One of the first products of this creative effort was the Fontaine Stack, a special chimney for reducing sparks and cinders from wood-burning engines. In the same year, he also invented a livestock car with adjustable floors, the rights to which were sold to the Montgomery Palace Stock-Car Company of New York for a large sum.

In 1872, Fontaine devised a machine for the manufacture of metal straight pins. He equipped a plant in Valparaiso, Indiana to utilize these instruments; in 1875, the firm was moved to Detroit and thereafter operated as the National Pin Company. Fontaine came to Detroit as part of the deal, agreeing to superintend the running of the new firm for a period of 10 years.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 5:40 PM
  
A rare picture of the second
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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 5:42 PM

Above photo:

A rare picture of the second Fontaine, shown here arriving at St Thomas, Ontario, Canada, in July 1881, for trials on the Canada Southern Railroad. Engineer Ike Deyell stands in the gangway, whileFireman George Westfall is leaning from the cab.

From A Locomotive Engineer's Album
George B Abdill 1965

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 11:31 PM

3.5 Million Pins every 10 hours. Wow. Seems Mr. Fontaine worked very hard, was very innovative, was very inventive and industrious. Hope he did not lose all his money on the locomotive. 

Reading accounts of the locomotive the reasons behind the thinking were solid enough. The criticism afterward is mostly ridicule. 

Well, here's to Mr Fontaine and his pin machine and his short lived speed record and claim to the fastest man in the world. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 12:43 AM

This is all news to me.  Did not know anything about this "invention."

But I cannot see any real advantage to the additonal complications over regular rod-drive locomotives.   Anybody able to explain?

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 1:34 AM

RME can explain far better than me and in technical 3D colour!

There is a fair account in the description of the locomotive provided by Wanswheel. 

The "gearing" was supposed to make the wheels revolve faster than a conventional setup. It was a fast locomotive, but apparently all it really did was increase slippage. Fontaine was no fool and he believed in something better but his creation did not survive to any refinements or further developments. The locomotives were converted to a conventional drive. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 3:13 AM

I can understand the gearing principle.  But the thing only makes sense if there was some limit on piston and valve-gear speed.  Perhaps there is some limit, but I doubt that it was ever reached in a practical lomotive.  With every up-gearing for speed there is, of course, a proportional down for tractive effort.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 5:13 PM

From what I've read of the Fontaine locomotive it was one of those "Great in theory, poor in practice"  things and just didn't amount to much.

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Posted by RME on Friday, July 07, 2017 9:41 AM

daveklepper
I can understand the gearing principle. But the thing only makes sense if there was some limit on piston and valve-gear speed. Perhaps there is some limit, but I doubt that it was ever reached in a practical lomotive.

Well, it helps to remember that this is the early 1880s, a time when metallurgy, machining, and tribology, for example, were not as advanced.  Both the idea of 'increase-speed gearing' from crank to smaller road wheels and of steam traction increasing were well-known (if somewhat discredited) at that time - see Sinclair's 'Development of the Locomotive Engine' for a few details.

Yes, there would have been a relatively low limit on machinery speed, much more for piston and rod lubrication and balance than for the valve gear.  (Remember that at this time the 'basic principle' in slide-valve design was to shorten the physical distance moved by the valves, even at the cost of more tortuous steam passages, and to use trick porting to increase both the relative speed of unporting and the total area open to steam -- I believe in some cases a great many parallel ports were involved, giving some of the value later attributed first to long-lap/long-travel valves with respect to port opening, and to Willoteaux valves for large net opening.

Balance was still a primitive thing in most American practice, and I suspect dynamic balance was not extensively practiced (though it seems an obvious thing if you're interested in high road speed) and the trade-off between reciprocating and rotating balance becomes significant on relatively light locomotives worked at high mass flow.  More significant was the issue of lubrication, both of the piston and rings and of the piston-rod glands.  We're only talking 85psi or so nominal boiler pressure, but there's still considerable heat there, and how good the effective 'lapped-in' finish between ring and bore, or rod and packing, might have been is not known to me.  All this a fancy way of saying 'yes - the reduction in machine speed due to the gearing effect would have been non-trivial'.

Some of this effect, of course, would be lost with the steep pitch of the cylinders, which are located where they are for good steam-distribution reasons but will have some trouble with condensate and lubrication together even if the cylinder-cock arrangements are carefully made to suit the angle (as I suspect the Fontaine people whould have done).

There may be more than a semantic similarity between the 'advantages' touted for this arrangement and the political explanation of compression lift nearly a century later (a similar 'more-than-the-sum-of-the-parts' "gain" in performance for mysterious reasons).  Here again, I have suspected the answer is tribological in origin, hinging in part on the ability of the Fontaine's drivers (by which I mean the wheels directly driven by the cranks) to run substantially unloaded by weight at high speed, with 360 degrees of strong bearing support.  One fundamental issue with a 'conventional' contemporary locomotive is that the horizontal component of piston thrust causes nothing but binding and additional load at right angles to the "bearing" (weight-bearing) brass in the driving box; there is also the need to assure good suspension following with road wheels, so there's a fight between play and lubrication in the pedestals.

On the Fontaine, the effective 'adhesion' onto the road wheel is accomplished with some combination of springs and steam pressure, perhaps but probably not enhanced by gravity.  This is 100% in the vertical plane (in other words, the way the road-wheel brass expects to be loaded) and any augment force will be expressed similarly, only in the vertical plane to the road-wheel rim (the 'horizontal' or more precisely axial augment being taken in the A-frame pedestals, fixed to the locomotive frame).  This in turn means that tractive force is consistently (and non-reversingly) applied only to the forward face of the road-wheel pedestal when the engine is running forward, and there will be no working or binding of the bearings or the suspension due to reciprocation.

I would note that some of these 'advantages' go away or are mitigated, perhaps severely, if more than one road wheel is provided below the elevated driver pair (which is an obvious "improvement" to people like, say, Holman, and certainly does get around some of the issues with adhesion of a single road-wheel pair).  I have not seen drawings of the Fontaine with two sets of drivers and road wheels, but there is no 'objective' reason why something like this could not have the drivers rod-connected while preserving some (or all) of the free-running characteristics.

Where the design founders, I think, is implicit in some of the reports wanswheel has provided -- note that "high speed" here is still only about 60mph, and it was not long from the time of these early runs on the CASO to W.H.Vanderbilt's somewhat celebrated outburst about how high speed and express service didn't pay where it counted.  When I was much younger, I speculated on how a combination of the Shaw principle and Fontaine-style drive could produce high effective torque on an optimized running-tread profile ... but you'd need a reason to build an expensive racehorse for American service, and even the finest flower of such a service, anywhere in the pre-superheat era (I would argue the competing Atlantic City services) needed no more than high-drivered Atlantics to achieve.

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