Steam Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway

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Steam Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway
Posted by SPer on Thursday, December 28, 2017 6:20 PM

I bought a book the Steam Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway and i found out that none of the GN 4-8-4s or Mallets went to Portland, Oregon in the steam era. I don't know why GN kept them out of the Rose City for a reason. so what's the reason.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, December 28, 2017 9:43 PM

Wouldn't their Portland section trains been handeled by the SP&S ?

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, December 28, 2017 10:01 PM

The GN did operate between Portland and Seattle, over NP tracks. I do not know how many freights the GN operated nto Portland, but there was the pool passenger service, with the UP using the NP track part way, but using the Union Station (along with the Milwaukee) in Seattle, whereas the NP and GN trains used the King Street Station there.

Johnny

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, December 28, 2017 10:36 PM

My guess is grades. GN steam would have been operated only between Seattle and Portland, and the Seattle Subdivision between these points has a 1% ruling grade. The bigger power was better used in the mountains.

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Posted by SPer on Friday, December 29, 2017 3:33 PM

Didn't Great Northern large steam locomotives such as Mallets,Northerns and Mountains, travel through the Cascade Tunnel to get to Seattle and Portland.

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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, December 29, 2017 3:42 PM

To Seattle yes, to Portland no. The only way GN proper got into Portland was via the Seattle Sub from Seattle.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, December 29, 2017 3:44 PM

SPer

Didn't Great Northern large steam locomotives such as Mallets,Northerns and Mountains, travel through the Cascade Tunnel to get to Seattle and Portland.

 

GN's Cascade Tunnel was electrified in 1909 and re-electrified in 1927 shortly before the new, longer Cascade Tunnel was completed.  At 7.79 miles, I doubt steam was allowed except as dead-in-train.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, December 29, 2017 9:49 PM

Yes, steam was traded for electric at Wenatchee and Skykomish on either side of Cascade Tunnnel.  The electrified division covered both the tunnel and the long grades leading up to it.

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 2:59 PM

I guess short answer would be "they didn't need to"? I don't think it was not having enough clearance or anything, they just didn't need their biggest passenger and freight engines to haul the trains running between Seattle and Portland.

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Posted by SPer on Wednesday, January 03, 2018 12:40 PM

I thought large GN steam locomtives run the entire system

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, January 04, 2018 12:52 PM

I'm more familiar with GN's east end, but I would assume it was similar in the west. GN's line between the Twin Cities and Duluth/Superior had a decent amount of traffic, but not enough to normally warrant the largest GN engines. They used Pacifics for passenger, Mikes for freight...and starting in the 1940's, A-B sets of FTs for both.

Stix

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