7 2-8-0's required for one train...regularly

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7 2-8-0's required for one train...regularly
Posted by Miningman on Thursday, September 07, 2017 6:16 PM

Quite amazing that 7 WM 2-8-0's are required each time for this coal drag...are those rails still there? 

WM coal train in Blackwater Canyon

Western Maryland 2-8-0s 840 and 816 swing around one curve and into another as they lead a coal train east through rugged Blackwater Canyon between Elkins and Thomas, W.Va., in May 1952. Three more 2-8-0s at mid-train, and two more on the rear, help the 78-car train upgrade.
Ed Theisinger photo

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Friday, September 08, 2017 6:12 AM

WOW!  Shades of the old Colorado Midland in Ute Pass or in the Colorado Rocky Mountain High on Hell Gate....almost anyway.  Just imigine what the crew cost must have been? 

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, September 08, 2017 10:42 AM

Yes that's a lot of water and coal ... and of course 7 crews, .. no mu, communication with hand signals and whistles must have been critical. Actually the whole thing is rather stunning. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, September 08, 2017 1:30 PM

Miningman
Yes that's a lot of water and coal ... and of course 7 crews, .. no mu, communication with hand signals and whistles must have been critical. Actually the whole thing is rather stunning. 

Actually 7 Engine crews and one Train Crew.  WM operated in territory with serious grades.  I could be mistaken but I believe WM was the only Class 1 to order a Shay locomotive for regular service, others that rostered Shay's were normally logging companies.

         

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Posted by DS4-4-1000 on Friday, September 08, 2017 1:38 PM

BaltACD
I could be mistaken but I believe WM was the only Class 1 to order a Shay locomotive for regular service, others that rostered Shay's were normally logging companies.

New York Central used Shay locomotives for the street running in New York City.  The locomotives were covered in sheet metal so as to not scare the horses.

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Posted by NDG on Friday, September 08, 2017 1:56 PM

Could be wrong, in advancing age, but, did not Union Pacific also have a Shay for their Uintah Branch in Colorado?? way back???

It was mentioned, w/ a photo, in a ' Trains ' article decades ago along with a switcher which had an antenna on it's roof to operate the locomotive by radio?

 

If the WM train had to stop for WATER on it's journey, it would require a lot of ' Spotting ' and delay.

 

Thank You.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, September 08, 2017 3:35 PM

I stand corrected.

         

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, September 08, 2017 4:17 PM

NDG

Could be wrong, in advancing age, but, did not Union Pacific also have a Shay for their Uintah Branch in Colorado?? way back???

It was mentioned, w/ a photo, in a ' Trains ' article decades ago along with a switcher which had an antenna on it's roof to operate the locomotive by radio?

 

If the WM train had to stop for WATER on it's journey, it would require a lot of ' Spotting ' and delay.

 

Thank You.

 

Just where and when did the UP's Uintah branch run?

Johnny

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Posted by NDG on Friday, September 08, 2017 5:23 PM

I do NOT know the location, probably Colorado or Utah. A Shay was used re grades as more practicable.

A search of ' Trains ' Magazines c. 1960 will turn up photo and data re same.

The item made emphasis on that UP was NOT usually regarded as a RR. which owned a Shay.

Similar in concept to the idea that Mighty NYC had those shrouded Shays for City work.

Someone who HAS ' Trains ' in their files from that era could find it.

Ditto on steam switcher w/ bedframe antenna on cab for it's remote operation, as both items were in same issue?

I do Not. Donated all that stuff, years ago.

 

Codicil.
 
 
Just found this.
 
Not the photo I was thinking of.
 
BUT it DOES SAY Union Pacific on Tender Tank!!
 
Shows power reverse and linkage Fireman's Side.
 

 

Thank You.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, September 08, 2017 10:02 PM

The UP branches in the Tintic mining area of Utah had shays.

http://utahrails.net/up-steam-roster/up-shays.php

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, September 09, 2017 10:44 AM

MidlandMike

The UP branches in the Tintic mining area of Utah had shays.

http://utahrails.net/up-steam-roster/up-shays.php

 

 

Thanks, Mike. I doubt that this part of the UP system was known as the Unitah Branch, since it is southwest of Salt Lake City, and the Unitahs are north and east of Salt Lake City.

The only railroad I know of in the Unitahs was the Uintah, which was not a part of the UP, and had no physical connection with the UP.

Johnny

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 09, 2017 10:48 AM

BaltACD-- So 7 engineers, 7 Firemen, at least 1 Conductor and 2 Brakeman..minimum of 17. I suppose the 2 pushers at the rear would cut off at some point. What a lot of preparation work and quite a feat to coordinate. Conmmunication must have been vital.

Some Math nut out there should calculate how much water is evaporated and turned into usable energy for this train.  

That must have rained cinders for some time. The sound echoing off those rugged walls must have been incredible to hear. A symphony.

Does anyone know if this branch still exists?

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, September 09, 2017 11:09 AM

I did some on-line research and it looks like this particular WM branch was abandoned and is now a hiking trail.  As a matter of fact if I remember and article I read a while back (I think in "Classic Trains") most of the WM was abandoned when it was absorbed into the Chessie System/B&O.  Just why was a mystery to the author as the WM had some better engineered routes with easier grades than the B&O did.

At any rate, that's a magnificent photograph.  Reminds me of a phrase Don Ball once used, "This was railroading for all eternity."

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, September 09, 2017 12:35 PM

Firelock76
I did some on-line research and it looks like this particular WM branch was abandoned and is now a hiking trail.  As a matter of fact if I remember and article I read a while back (I think in "Classic Trains") most of the WM was abandoned when it was absorbed into the Chessie System/B&O.  Just why was a mystery to the author as the WM had some better engineered routes with easier grades than the B&O did.

At any rate, that's a magnificent photograph.  Reminds me of a phrase Don Ball once used, "This was railroading for all eternity."

Most all WM territory was Single track.  Where destinations overlapped, the B&O's double track lines were the survivors.

The WM's 'Dutch' line between Baltimore and Hagerstown via Gettysburg survived because of the local business that was served, especially the quaries at Bittenger that supplied Bethlehem Steel at Sparrows Point and a number of aggregate dealers in the Baltimore area.  The line between Emory Grove and Highfield, that was severly damaged in hurricane Agnes in 1972 was sold off to the Maryland Midland.  Several coal hauling subdivisions in Western Maryland were retained for the mines they served.

         

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, September 09, 2017 6:28 PM

Thanks Balt!  Nothing like getting it from one who was there.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 09, 2017 8:52 PM

A hiking trail? Figures...suppose that is somewhat ok...must be a lot of cinders underfoot. Yes, thanks for the info BaltACD. 

Anyone know the whereabouts of RME? 

Hope the updated rules of posting and editorial muscle has not caused him to rethink his contribution and withdraw. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, September 09, 2017 9:10 PM

Miningman

BaltACD-- So 7 engineers, 7 Firemen, at least 1 Conductor and 2 Brakeman..minimum of 17. I suppose the 2 pushers at the rear would cut off at some point. What a lot of preparation work and quite a feat to coordinate. Conmmunication must have been vital.

Some Math nut out there should calculate how much water is evaporated and turned into usable energy for this train.  

That must have rained cinders for some time. The sound echoing off those rugged walls must have been incredible to hear. A symphony.

Does anyone know if this branch still exists?

 

And the same was also done with a mix of diesels and steam.

It happened all the time. Whistle signals, the reading of brake pressure gauges, and simply the "feel", allowed engineers to coordinate thier actions.

Tight curves and steep grades made larger locos impractical - so they simply used more locos......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, September 09, 2017 9:40 PM

the Uintah Railroad itself was narrow gauge and connected with the D&RGW main line at Mack.   Famous for running narrow-gauge articulateds, not sure if they were Mallets (compounds).

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, September 09, 2017 10:46 PM

Deggesty, the only UP branch I knew near the Uintah Basin or Uinta Mountains was the Park City branch, and they ran rod locos.

Dave K, your post got me to reach for my copy of Beebe's Narrow Gauge in the Rockies.  The Uintah Railway's articulateds were simple, and not true Malleys, although many refered to them as such.  The Uintah Ry. also had NG shays.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, September 10, 2017 9:21 AM

Miningman

A hiking trail? Figures...suppose that is somewhat ok...must be a lot of cinders underfoot. Yes, thanks for the info BaltACD. 

Anyone know the whereabouts of RME? 

Hope the updated rules of posting and editorial muscle has not caused him to rethink his contribution and withdraw. 

 

RME just kind of comes-and-goes, I'm sure he'll be back eventually.  I like his engineering insights and posts in general, so I hope it's not a long absence.

Cinders underfoot along the Blackwater Canyon Trail?  It wouldn't surprise me.  I haven't been there, but from what I've read on the old B&O Sand Patch Grade the cinders from long-gone steam engines are still at least ankle-deep along the right of way.

I suppose they're the railroad equivalent of the old Civil War earthwork remnants you find around the Richmond VA area, or the old trenches and dugouts on the Western Front in Europe.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 10, 2017 10:22 AM

Were not they also one-of-a-kind for North America, not only the only -ft-gauge articulateds, but also articulated tank engines, without separate tenders?  But when sold, I think to Rayonier in Oregon, they were made into tender engines and looked better as a result.  Were any preserved?

The first time I rode the D&RGW main through Mack in 1960, the Uintah grade was still visible.  The last time it had been grown over and was not visible from the train, around 1994.   Ditto also the "Giants' Ladder," the grade with switchbacks that was used before the opening of the Moffet Tunnel for the D&StL trains to Craig.

Quote:   Dave K, your post got me to reach for my copy of Beebe's Narrow Gauge in the Rockies.  The Uintah Railway's articulateds were simple, and not true Malleys, although many refered to them as such.  The Uintah Ry. also had NG shays.

[quote user="MidlandMike" above and below]

Deggesty, the only UP branch I knew near the Uintah Basin or Uinta Mountains was the Park City branch, and they ran rod locos.

.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 10, 2017 10:58 AM

Thinking on that Western Maryland coal drag with the 7 locomotives it brings up an interesting contrast to todays operations. 

Back then it was get all the business you can, if it makes a dollar we are good and think of all the employment we provide, the mine, the miners, the railroader, everyone. There was pride, dedication, and a real feeling of tremendous accomplishment. Every dollar added to the revenues was good. This was how capitalism and nation building operated. 

Obviously other branch lines to coal mines did not require this amount of sheer cost and were more profitable. The thinking that the assets could be better served by shutting this one down and moving assets or even eliminating them altogether to be more profitable did not exist to the extent that it does today. 

Today this would be shut down in ten minutes, sell the locomotives, to heck with the miners, lay off our railroaders, our shareholders demand it. They would think this is a waste of their precious bazillions and time. It would be regarded as ridiculous. It makes money but not enough money. 

You serve us, we do not serve you. You are lucky to have us at all and we can snap our fingers at any time and you are poof gone. 

There are still some trying but the vultures always circle above. 

The Western Maryland was a class act all the way.

Lost in CSX. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, September 10, 2017 8:42 PM

Dave K,  Beebe said the two Uintah 2-6-6-2 were the only narrow gauge articulateds built for a common carrier.  They were sold to the Sumpter Valley.  Eventually they were sold to a line in Guatemala.  They were reported both scrapped in 1971.

http://www.trainweb.org/highdesertrails/svry.html

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 11, 2017 3:06 AM

Thanks.  While in the USA I had Beeebe's Narrow Gauge through the Rockies and Main Line through the Rockies, bu somehow they got left behind 21 years ago on the move to Jerusalem.  A real shame.  Also Giants Ladder, the David Moffat story.   And Mixed Train Daily

Hope to replace all those books some day.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 11, 2017 3:54 PM

Another look at the economics of this seven-locomotive, 78-car coal train.  Works out to one locomotive for every 11 cars of loaded coal.  Would not some short-line railroads even today be happy with a eleven-car loaded coal train?  And wages were less in those days, and there was the saving of one train crew as compared with seven.  And the branch was probably only one crew district, and on the main line this train was probably handled by one of Western Marylands articiulateds with one pusher for the tough grades.  Thus, a profitable train anyway!

Some interurban lines of the period would have been tickled pink with one 11-car loaded coal train each day!

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, September 11, 2017 5:18 PM

Dave K.--Interesting and optimistic way of looking at it. Now I want to know more about this branch and the mine. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, September 11, 2017 6:31 PM

Miningman

Dave K.--Interesting and optimistic way of looking at it. Now I want to know more about this branch and the mine. 

 

 

I don't know or recall all the details, but the Western Maryland owned or had interest in many of the mines it served.

So it was important to get their own product to market.

Understand this, coal is where coal is and this was the only technology at the time to get it to market. Building better trackage, easier grades and broader curves, would have cost way more than the cost of these crews and the motive power over the life of the mine.

Once these trains reached the mainline, they went directly to regional yards and were made up into trains bound for whichever big city or port. Those trains were pulled by BIG power, and it still took lots of help over the worst grades.

Also keep in mind that the reason for moving it as one train rather than several shorter trains was time. Several shorter trains would not be able to go any faster, therefor they would tie up the trackage and it would actually take longer to get those 70 cars out to the main yard as 4-5 shorter trains. The coal needed to move at the production rate of the mine......... 

Here is another example of railroading from that era in the same region.

The typical mixed freight leaving Baltimore and heading west toward Cincinnati in the 1940's or early 1950's would consist of 70-100 cars pulled by two 2-8-2's.

That is two engine crews and a train crew. The first leg of that trip was to Brunswick, MD. I believe the ruling grade is about 1.5%.

At Brunswick, just south of Harpers Ferry, WV, the two Mikados would be replaced with two articulated locos, 2-8-8-0's or 2-8-8-4's, for the trip over the Allegheny summit, a rulling grade of about 2.5%. And while the curves are gentle enough, the curves never stop, it looks like a snake on the map.....

For the worst grade, that train would require a pusher, typically two more 2-8-8-0's or in latter times an ABBA F3 or F7 diesel lash up.

So there you have a mainline train requiring a 2-8-8-0 for each 20-25 cars.

It was just typical railroading of that time, nothing unusual or special about it.

As for speculating about costs, and profits, and that economy vs today, I will leave that to you, as that part of the conversation does not interest me.

I pay zero attention to modern railroading, so I have no basis on which to compare.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 9:26 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
Miningman

Dave K.--Interesting and optimistic way of looking at it. Now I want to know more about this branch and the mine.  

I don't know or recall all the details, but the Western Maryland owned or had interest in many of the mines it served.

So it was important to get their own product to market.

Understand this, coal is where coal is and this was the only technology at the time to get it to market. Building better trackage, easier grades and broader curves, would have cost way more than the cost of these crews and the motive power over the life of the mine.

Once these trains reached the mainline, they went directly to regional yards and were made up into trains bound for whichever big city or port. Those trains were pulled by BIG power, and it still took lots of help over the worst grades.

Also keep in mind that the reason for moving it as one train rather than several shorter trains was time. Several shorter trains would not be able to go any faster, therefor they would tie up the trackage and it would actually take longer to get those 70 cars out to the main yard as 4-5 shorter trains. The coal needed to move at the production rate of the mine......... 

Here is another example of railroading from that era in the same region.

The typical mixed freight leaving Baltimore and heading west toward Cincinnati in the 1940's or early 1950's would consist of 70-100 cars pulled by two 2-8-2's.

That is two engine crews and a train crew. The first leg of that trip was to Brunswick, MD. I believe the ruling grade is about 1.5%.

At Brunswick, just south of Harpers Ferry, WV, the two Mikados would be replaced with two articulated locos, 2-8-8-0's or 2-8-8-4's, for the trip over the Allegheny summit, a rulling grade of about 2.5%. And while the curves are gentle enough, the curves never stop, it looks like a snake on the map.....

For the worst grade, that train would require a pusher, typically two more 2-8-8-0's or in latter times an ABBA F3 or F7 diesel lash up.

So there you have a mainline train requiring a 2-8-8-0 for each 20-25 cars.

It was just typical railroading of that time, nothing unusual or special about it.

As for speculating about costs, and profits, and that economy vs today, I will leave that to you, as that part of the conversation does not interest me.

I pay zero attention to modern railroading, so I have no basis on which to compare.

Sheldon

In your Baltimore-Cincinnati scenario you are overlooking one critical element of the operation.  Manifest trains all operated to Cumberland to be classified and switched for their multiple destinations - both over 17 Mile Grade and over Sand Patch Grade.

Back in the day the only things that operated over the Patterson Creek Cut-off were coal loads and empties (switching of both was done a Keyser, WV;) and The Cincinnatian during it's years of operation.  Manifest and all other passenger trains operated via Cumberland.  In today's world the Patterson Creek Cut-off has been long abandoned.

         

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 3:47 AM

What is the status of the roadbed?   What would happen if suddenly mining operations on the line were found to be profitable?  Or some other source of traffic developed?   Not likeiy, but what if?

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 1:26 PM

daveklepper
What is the status of the roadbed?   What would happen if suddenly mining operations on the line were found to be profitable?  Or some other source of traffic developed?   Not likeiy, but what if?

What line are you referring to.

         

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