Better late than Never?

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Better late than Never?
Posted by Miningman on Thursday, March 29, 2018 6:27 PM

Wrapped up the last 2 hours of classes 1/2 hour early giving my hard working students ( and myself) a wee bit of a head start on our big 10 day spring/Easter break. 

So on the way home I stop at the gas bar where our Post Office Boxes are located inside to pick up the mail. One item, instantly recognized as a Kalmbach magazine, wrapped in plastic for shipping as usual.

I thought "hey I just got Trains, Classic came in last week, what the heck is this?"

Sitting in the driveway now, relaxed, looking forward to the break, I pick up the item and open it to see just what this is. 

It is the Spring 2015 issue of Classic Trains. 

'Special Anniversary Issue'--16 Extra Pages! 15 Years!

So it was only 3 years late. Suppose it bounced around lost in the Postal Service looking for a home and finally found home. 

Well that's the good news.

The bad news is it's all F Units!!! FT's F3's, FL9's,,, F frick fraggin everything! Cover to cover F this F that!  No steam...no steam!

What is the universe trying to tell me. F Units indeed....are you kidding me!

Bewildered, confused, disappointed, unnerved. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, March 29, 2018 7:32 PM

Well, it WAS the "Big F-Unit Issue" after all, just like there was a "Big GG1 Issue" at one time, and a "Big PA Issue," and a "Big Interurban Issue."

That interurban issue was a keeper, as far as I was concerned, it NEVER made it to the recycle bin or the mag rack at the gym!  I still have it!

You suppose that F-Unit issue dropped out of the "Twilight Zone" just to play mind games with you?  Or maybe "The Outer Limits?"

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, March 29, 2018 7:48 PM

Yes, yes I do Firelock. I'm looking over my shoulder during this break, that was the opening sequence, a foreshadowing of whats to come. 

 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, March 29, 2018 9:12 PM

Miningman

No steam...no steam!

Just a wee bit, many F's did carry steam generators.  But it is true that Vapor-Clarkson's products are a poor imitation of the real thing. 

I quite enjoyed the F-unit issue, especially the colour photos.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, March 29, 2018 9:39 PM

It's not that I do not like F Units. Hated them when they first arrived. It took some time to warm up to the invaders. Maybe 40 years. Of all the issues and of all the people for this to happen to and in all the places. Must have got stuck in some postal bag that became surplus or slid behind a filing cabinet somewhere. 

It's not like we are high tech in some areas up here,

https://imgur.com/a/LhhdD

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Thursday, March 29, 2018 10:13 PM

Postal service has been going down hill since the RPOs came off.

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, March 29, 2018 10:52 PM

Seppburgh2 is obviously one keen fella and has risen to exalted status in my world. The man knows what hes talking about.

Firelock-- Now I am really concerned about that Chinese Satellite Magic Bus thingie coming right through my roof. 

I understand that if you get hit by a Chinese Satellite you are hungry again 2 hours later.

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Posted by Enzoamps on Friday, March 30, 2018 2:34 AM

I like the special issues.  I have saved that F unit one, and the equally comprehensive E unit one.  A good one on the EMD GPs.  I like that GG1 issue too.  They and a couple others live in a stack in my ... reading room.  I have honestly read each a hundred times.

Sure, I liked the special Big Boy issue too.  And any special about how the mahines work.  Having a senior moment, what is that vaguely bowtie shaped thing on the side of some steam locos that calculated where to set the valves?  It recorded the engineer's setting and was ther to improve efficiency.  And anything about valve gear.

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, March 30, 2018 8:12 AM

I received my winter issue--after notifying Classic Trains three times--a few days before my spring issue arrived. The publisher was kind enough to try each time after I let them know it had not arrived. 

Johnny

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 30, 2018 8:52 AM

Enzoamps
what is that vaguely bowtie shaped thing on the side of some steam locos that calculated where to set the valves?

The famous Valve Pilot device.

This used a friction wheel acting on the rim of one of the drivers, and a specially-cut cam, to associate road speed and (reasonably) proper valve setting.  There are a number of YouTube videos (some with surprisingly unrelated subjects!) that show the inner workings of the device if you want more technical information; several relatively unmolested examples have survived into preservation.

This of course proved an 'ideal' place to sneak in a recording of 'speed tapes' and a business reason to keep them recorded (it was of course associated with valve setting, and by extension economical operation) ... you can guess, though, that very few overspeed examples resulted in brownies for wasting fuel and water.

As an aside, in IxD (the field of interaction design) the display used for Valve Pilot operation was a good example of the 'right' kind of haptics for an operating steam-locomotive 'environment'.  The device showed two needles on a common gauge face, and all that was required to get the locomotive into 'rough' efficiency (according to how the cam was made and how accurately it reflected the performance of its particular locomotive that day) was to adjust the cutoff to 'match needles'.  Easy to set, easy to understand complicated information at a glance, easy to figure out which way to adjust things when needed.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 30, 2018 8:58 AM

SD70Dude
But it is true that Vapor-Clarkson's products are a poor imitation of the real thing.

I humbly submit that if you were to build a Vapor-Clarkson generator to produce 130,000lb/hr steam, at the pressure and quality such a device could produce, it would be both more economical and faster-responding than any Stephensonian steam boiler has a hope of being. 

Of course, it would make no more economic sense than the comparable Besler (or a generation earlier, International) generators did for power steam.  You'd need engines that work well on the peculiar combination of qualities that is flash steam.  If you wanted a reciprocating locomotive with direct drive, the Paget comes to mind; some reasonable compromise between the German Roosen motor locomotive (19 1001 being the famous example, and workable) and the Besler constant-torque drive (B&O W-1 being the famous example, and probably NOT quite workable as designed) is most likely the thing that ought to be built.

Or turbines, of course, likely with Bowes drive.  But we don't need to go there.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, March 30, 2018 10:10 AM

seppburgh2

Postal service has been going down hill since the RPOs came off.

 
It's kind of hard to mechanize mail sorting within the confines of an RPO or HYPO.  Also, by 1967-1968 when almost all RPO's were withdrawn, most first-class mail was going by air.
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 Miningman on Friday, March 30, 2018 1:56 PM

Feel a bit better now with todays Photo of the Day. Was not sure they would put one up being Good Friday but there it was. 

Just look at all that. Wow. Diesels could never put on that kind of a show. Thank you Classic Trains. Good medicine.

Burlington “Banana Special”

Two Burlington Route 2-10-2s power away from Edgemont, S.Dak., with a westbound “Banana Special,” 67 reefers of bananas bound for the Pacific Northwest, in November 1948.
G. B. Taylor photo

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, March 30, 2018 5:24 PM

What a sight!  Gettin' out there and gettin' it done, movin' those 'nanas!

Nothing like it to compare today, and that's a fact.

How's about a little musical interlude?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFDOI24RRAE

 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, March 30, 2018 7:51 PM

Personally, I like the cover of the current issue an awful lot.  It may be my all time favorite.

Can't imagine why....

Yes, steam does make quite the impression.  Especially when you're 6 years old.  Wink

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, March 30, 2018 9:09 PM

Let me tell you, steam makes a pretty big impression when you're three years old!

One of the earliest memories I have is of a steam locomotive rolling through a grade crossing, I couldn't have been more than three and I can close my eyes and still see that "gentle giant" rolling past.

Research tells me it had to be on the New York Centrals West Shore Line, now CSX's River Subdivision.  The Central ran steam on the West Shore as late as 1956, which would have made me at least three to see steam and remember it.

I call it a gentle giant because I wasn't frightened by it, I was fascinated!

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 30, 2018 9:33 PM

CNR and CPR were awash in active steam in 1956...still rebuilding and outshopping them to new, the clock ticked for another 3.5 years then poof gone. I miss those night trains and the glow from the coaches, diners and sleepers...looked very warm and cozy in there plus the mystery of where were they going...and of course the whistles. Steam at night is exceptionally stunning. 

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, April 06, 2018 9:09 PM

Penny-- How did it come to this? Is there any chance for a future for 4070?

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, April 07, 2018 6:31 PM

Miningman

Penny-- How did it come to this? Is there any chance for a future for 4070?

 

Oh heck yes!  It was outside because they were renting the roundhouse space to the 2100 group, Horizon Rail and maybe others to raise money to restore more of the roundhouse.

In this shot you can see how 4070's boiler was marked up for testing:

This is how the roundhouse looked in October of 2016:

And this is a pic from last summer from the MRHS web site https://www.midwestrailway.org/:

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 07, 2018 7:00 PM

Penny--OK, thanks for that. I recall you posting those pictures before but I thought the 4070 was past it's date with the scrapper...but if you say it is not beyond hope then that is good news indeed. 

The roundhouse itself looks a bit rough! Looks can be deceiving though and I'm sure all is well. 

I need to escalate my exploration activities, find that dang gold mine, so I can become a billionaire benefactor. 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, April 08, 2018 1:39 AM

Miningman

I need to escalate my exploration activities, find that dang gold mine, so I can become a billionaire benefactor. 

I call Dibs on the first donation!

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 08, 2018 2:18 AM

No worries Dude! T1 Trust, whatever you guys in Alberta want, Pennys GTW 4070. Lets build a J3a, get a K1a going, a Selkirk, A and B passenger Sharks (Bp20's) and a pair of Centipedes...better throw in an A and B C Liner for NDG. Oops, forgot the Niagara...no problem, can't take billions with me!

Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting (HBM&S) new flagship mine ( Lalor Lake Mine) coming up to speed in Snow Lake Manitoba is exactly what I'm looking for. The deeper you go the higher the Au values, Ag values and Platinum Group Metals...incredibley rich ...it is what the Cobalt Camp was at surface, only 95% of that was long eroded and carried away. (Above all that is thousands of feet of Copper, Zinc, Cobalt ) This is at depth and untouched.

There is another out there.. I can smell it. 

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 08, 2018 9:45 AM

Well that's good, because my system for winning one of the big lotteries doesn't seem to be working well lately.

Not that it ever worked, but now it's working even less well than it used to!

And speaking of "Better late than never..."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g42EG7LD1UY

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 08, 2018 12:25 PM

Well, we can do dang near anything if we are determined enough. Miners are a pretty determined bunch. We will find it given an opportunity to do so. They mined Copper and Uranium from the Grand Canyon going down trails made of Juniper logs, climbing down the 'Hummingbird Path', so named because you had to be a hummingbird to get down there. Have a nice homemade powerpoint on this done years ago for my students. PM to me and I'll forward it to anyone.

When the mines ran out they charged folks $1.00 to take the trail they built, then built a hotel! 

Better builld a pair of magnificient Erie Berks for Firelock/Wayne. 

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 08, 2018 3:45 PM

Ah, the magnificent Erie Berkshires, the locomotives that turned the "Weary Erie" into a true contender for those hot Chicago to New York loads.

Wouldn't be bad, but what I'd really like to see is someone reproduce one of these...

www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=312594

The elegant Erie K-1 Pacific, in all it's Russian Iron, "Order Of The Red Spot" glory!   Pure class from President Teddy Roosevelt's time!  I believe the old "Rough Rider" himself may have ridden behind one of these at one time.  The last steam run on the Erie was by a K-1 on a commuter run up the New Jersey & New York Railroad, an Erie subsidiary, now New Jersey Transit's Pascack Valley Line.

March 17, 1954.  NOT a happy Saint Patricks Day for Erie steam fans.  And they didn't save even one of them!  Not one damn one!  Enough to make you weep!

OK, Russian Iron being unobtainable it'd be OK with me to cheat a bit and paint the boiler jacketing a metal-flake blue.

It'd be my dream to run one of these up the old Erie Main Line from Hoboken to Port Jervis, maybe even up the Pascack Valley Line, but as New Jersey Transit doesn't seem to be interested in having a pet steam engine it's not likely.

But we can dream, can't we?

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 08, 2018 11:21 PM

Nice! We could offer the Governor and other key politicians and power brokers a cab ride and a turn at the throttle at a safe time 

Yes the Erie went down hard fast and early with steam, as did the Lackawanna. Overmod has pointed out it was accelerated by the Korean War Scrap drive, so yet another casualty of that horrible conflict. 

Any word on that Erie locomotive that was shipped over there?

Had it not been for the trauma and scramble of the Korean War I'm thinking the Erie would have saved one or two locomotives and we might have a Pocono as well. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, April 09, 2018 7:36 PM

Oh yeah, if ever there was a mystery locomotive it's that Erie K-1 shipped to South Korea to aid the rebuilding of the country.  Supposedly it was seen operating as late as 1969, then it dropped out of sight, never to be seen again.

Folks have gone looking for it, but have always come up empty handed.

Overmod's probably correct as to skyrocketing scrap metal prices accelerating the scrapping of steam, But one of the contributing factors (and I know I've mentioned this before)  was the rash of coal strikes and miner work stoppages that began after World War Two and continued right into the early 50's.  You think steam, you think coal, and without coal most steam couldn't run back then. 

So it's no wonder many roads hesitating about going diesel finally took the plunge.

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