Brightness of headlight in the 1930s to 1950s

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:29 PM

NDG

 

FYI.
 
Two Headlights.
 
CP 2527 with Two 2 Headlights on Test w wood consist.
 
Montreal West c. 1951.
 
 
 
Note Nachod Signal to left governing entrance to single track on curve, Montreal Tramways.
 

Impressive. Thank you very much for sharing!Thumbs UpIdea

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Posted by shunter on Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:37 AM
Not certain about U.S. Regulations but 32 Volts is regarded as 'Low Voltage, for safe workplace and non-qualified staff to attend in most countries. More than adequate to do the job. 'Hydro Man'
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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:42 AM

 Thank you 'Hydro Man'! 

C&NW Class E4 4-6-4 Super Hudson probably had the greatest number of headlights when built.
Before 1956, headlight can be switched off before sunset  according to the States regulation. 
 

 

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:08 PM

On the CNW E-4, looks like it has two headlights, most likely one main headlight and one Mars light - similar to set-up on passenger diesels. What appears to be a third headlight on the top of the front of the engine might be a red emergency light, but since it appears to have some sort of grillwork where the light would be it might be a protective housing for the engine's horn. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, August 17, 2018 2:18 AM

wjstix

On the CNW E-4, looks like it has two headlights, most likely one main headlight and one Mars light - similar to set-up on passenger diesels. What appears to be a third headlight on the top of the front of the engine might be a red emergency light, but since it appears to have some sort of grillwork where the light would be it might be a protective housing for the engine's horn. 

Thank you for your respond. Before the renowned Twin Cities 400 being dieselized, there un-streamlined locomotive, quote from wiki “The steam locomotives were upgraded to feature a 45° lamp on top of the boiler just ahead of the smokestack. These lights were intended to announce the approach of the train and could be seen for a great distance in rural areas. In 1937, one locomotive was equipped with a prototype Mars light, the first ever put into use.
I don’t know why only CNW and MILW, served on similar market or route had this special treatment. I guess It was because the train need to go through a lot of county side and smaller communities thus the engine needed to install more headlights for safety measure.
 
 
 
CNW E-2 Pacific
 
 
 
The CNW Hudson didn’t have the chance to haul the Twin Cities 400, since the management of CNW switched to diesel before they arrived from the shop, but these Super Hudson equipped these extra lights as built. I note MILW Class A and F7s also added Mars light to their front end in late 40s.


MILW #102, looked so beat up here, was the engine which had a gearing failure accident during high speed in 1950. Not long after the accident, MILW used Diesel instead of Steam to run their famous named train. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 17, 2018 3:46 PM

Union Pacific had vertical headlights on some of the early Streamliners, the idea being similar to the angled headlights --  the projected fast-moving searchlight beam supposedly acting like spotlights at a Hollywood premiere to arrest the attention of nearby motorists and get them to Recognize High-Speed Death Is Near while still far away from crossings.

I have never seen a reference that said that it worked as expected, on any road that tried them.  To my knowledge all were removed or disabled early; whether or not this was due to ICC/FRA regulations requiring them to work all the time if installed I do not know.

Picture of an E-4 Hudson in Chapelon's LLAV (I use Carpenter's 1952 translation) appears to confirm that the 'upper' feature is, as I would have expected, the red light C&NW used to show a stop or emergency-brake application to facing trains on double track.  (I believe NYC tried implementing this at the very end of steam, with the little indicator in those Pyle double-sealed-beam headlight arrangements, but don't know that for sure.)

You do know there is a painting of the 'critical moment' when the main pin failed -- and it's linked in some posts on these forums!

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 17, 2018 4:45 PM

"Trouble at the mill"

...."What kind of trouble?"

"Apparently the flayrods gone askew on the treadle"

( Spanish Inquisition skit from Monty Python)

Did not the same thing happen to the S1? Or was it the S2? 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 17, 2018 8:11 PM

Miningman
Did not the same thing happen to the S1?

Not to my knowledge.  And even with "7200hp" not particularly likely.

Or was it the S2?

Not a chance.  Those rods just connected the gear-driven axle sets to the outer pairs. 

What you need for this kind of catastrophe is an extended main pin, with dicey web thickness between pin and axle fits in the driver center (as you know, the T1 had the ABSOLUTE thinnest measurement here that Baldwin considered feasible, for the reduced piston thrust of  short-stroke "Atlantic" size cylinders, this with driver centers sized for 80"). 

Part of the 'secret agenda' with duplex drives was that the thrust of many modern engines with Timken lightweight rods got up into the range that main-pin stress raisers got established and propagated.  As I've said, I suspect that kind of catastrophic failure would become more and more documented as the urge to decrease rotating and reciprocating mass and lateral offset became greater (assuming big steam remained popular past the late Forties).

Add to this the fun, and perhaps unsurprisingly functionally under-documented, note by Chapelon in LLAV that if you subtract the lateral play observed in rod bearings from the permitted lateral, the 'logical' conclusion is that the rods are flexing laterally with every revolution.  While conveying substantial stress, and while the stress in the pins is all one way with rotation, that in the rods most certainly is not...

NO ONE expects the main pin failure!  Its chief effects inspire fear ... fear and surprise, surprise and fear, in attempting to provide ruthless efficiency...

and perhaps an almost fanatical devotion to Porta? Wink

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 17, 2018 9:19 PM

Nice summary, in the spirit of things a-la Monty Python. Thanks.

Perhaps one day real jocularity will return. 

I recall an issue of 'Trains' featuring a page with an Ariel photo of Crestline and the commentary running North-South column style alongside the picture outlining what it is we actually see. At first glance it appears all is well, lots of steam about but upon further investigation it is revealed that we are seeing dead and whitelined locomotives. I cannot remember the particulars exactly but I do recall the S1 being there, the 'Big Engine', I think perhaps the S2, some T1's , perhaps Q2's. One of the reporting sentences goes on to say that,( I think it was the S1, but someone here will recall correctly), that the main rod had let loose and flayed the entire side of the locomotive and here it was waiting for the bitter end. That the entire post war fleet of duplex drive and experimental locomotives were failures, now merely stored here and the era was over. 

I have the all time Trains issue Disc but will have to wait until I get back to my 'real' computer in the classroom and at my desk in my office. Someone can beat me to the punch. I'm just not certain which locomotive it was that had the flayed severely damaged side. 

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, August 18, 2018 5:55 AM

Overmod

......Union Pacific had vertical headlights on some of the early Streamliners, the idea being similar to the angled headlights --  the projected fast-moving searchlight beam supposedly acting like spotlights at a Hollywood premiere to arrest the attention of nearby motorists and get them to Recognize High-Speed Death Is Near while still far away from crossings.



Yes, the UP GE steam turbine locomotive had such vertical headlights on the roof of the driver cab, a very strange design in my book.

 

Overmod

......You do know there is a painting of the 'critical moment' when the main pin failed -- and it's linked in some posts on these forums!

Yes, this drawing is still in my MILW pics folder Stick out tongue. IIRC NYC's Super Hudson and MILW F7s used  Baker Valve Gear and Walschaerts Valve Gear respectively. I cannot remember the details, but the official explanation of this incident was “engine lubrication system failure” ……something like that, but I suspect it was caused by speeding. TE of both Hudson type from NYC and MILW was quite low, compared to PRR K4s, MILW or many people claimed that their F7s can go beyond 120mph but NYC only claimed 95mph. Why and how?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, August 18, 2018 6:37 AM

Miningman

......One of the reporting sentences goes on to say that,( I think it was the S1, but someone here will recall correctly), that the main rod had let loose and flayed the entire side of the locomotive and here it was waiting for the bitter end. That the entire post-war fleet of duplex drive and experimental locomotives were failures, now merely stored here and the era was over......

This is really interesting, Miningman, since I have read a similar story from a post on Facebook (please don't laugh at me) about the incident you mentioned. I tried to find the post again, but it wasn’t there anymore. 

I can’t remember the detail, but it said one day when S1 or T1 was running at 100mph, one of the main rod loosed and destroyed part of the skirting and the engineer side windows, the “big engine” was lifted up a little by the loosed rod which was slammed into the ground. The crew applied emergency brake and the train stopped without derailment. The engine was towed aside and stayed there for a month…… something like that. The story sounds familiar, isn’t it?
 
I have at least 4 books and 3 articles about Pennsy steam power but none of them mentioned such accident, even the author who gave the harshest comment to S1 or T1 didn't mention such story or incident. I went through the PRR Chronology from 1936 to 1948 many times, no such incident was recorded as well. 

24-wheel Twin Unit Dining Car designed for the new Trail Blazer in 1939.

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, August 18, 2018 11:44 AM

Overmod

Union Pacific had vertical headlights on some of the early Streamliners, the idea being similar to the angled headlights --  the projected fast-moving searchlight beam supposedly acting like spotlights at a Hollywood premiere to arrest the attention of nearby motorists and get them to Recognize High-Speed Death Is Near while still far away from crossings.

I have never seen a reference that said that it worked as expected, on any road that tried them.  To my knowledge all were removed or disabled early; whether or not this was due to ICC/FRA regulations requiring them to work all the time if installed I do not know.

Kratville's book on the UP Streamliners stated that the vertical lighs did not work as well as expected and thus were not repeated after the first few units. His book made no mention of removal due to ICC regulations, so my guess is that the UP did so on their own volition. His book did state that management was concerned about grade crossing accidents, hence that's why the vertical lights were installed in thefirst place. The installation of Mars lights shortly thereafter comes across as the next step in experimentation on improving visibility to the motorists at grade crossings.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, August 18, 2018 12:37 PM

UP  G.M. M-10003 to M-10006 (best looking early diesel imo)  and CB&Q Zephyr 9900 added extra headling/Mar lights above the driving cab




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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, October 26, 2018 7:33 AM

Railway Age, 1948

This was my first post on Classic Trains forum. With the helps of our forum members and all the infomation provided by you guys; including important key words for seaching things on the internet , I can study more topic in depth from the publishment avalible on the web. Thank you everyone! Yes

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 26, 2018 4:19 PM

erikem
His book made no mention of removal due to ICC regulations, so my guess is that the UP did so on their own volition.

I bring up the point because it was painfully clear that the later experiments on SP with high-visibility lights of various kinds were terminated 'with extreme prejudice' thanks to the FRA mandating that any light, no matter how superfluous to nominal CFR requirements, had to be kept in perfect working order. 

The installation of Mars lights shortly thereafter comes across as the next step in experimentation on improving visibility to the motorists at grade crossings.

Yes, but there comes fairly quickly the idea, on UP as on other roads, of using the red Mars light strictly as a signal to facing trains, not as optical grade-crossing warning.  Whether that started as an 'excuse' to put red lenses on anticollision warning lights that didn't produce the desired degree of warning, I can't say.

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, October 27, 2018 4:25 PM

Overmod

 

erikem
His book made no mention of removal due to ICC regulations, so my guess is that the UP did so on their own volition.

I bring up the point because it was painfully clear that the later experiments on SP with high-visibility lights of various kinds were terminated 'with extreme prejudice' thanks to the FRA mandating that any light, no matter how superfluous to nominal CFR requirements, had to be kept in perfect working order.

My understanding was tha the vertical headlight removal was done prior to WW2. Espee's "pouring on the lights" was going on until at least the late 1960's.

OTOH, I remember getting home well more than an hour late on evening due to a failure of the ditch lights on the Amtrak train taking from Irvine to Solana Beach. Solution was coupling our train to the later train just south of San Juan Capistrano.

Heck, even the FAA allows airliners to fly with a certai number of systems non-functioning...

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, December 15, 2018 3:15 AM

( Chicago & North Western Railway: A Brief History of the Chicago and North Western Line)

CNW Twin Cities 400 powered by class E-2-A #2908( 79-inch disc drivers) with an additional large headlight ahead of the smokestack. The light was originally 45° pointed upward, intended to announce the approach of the train and could be seen for a great distance in rural areas. TE of CNW E-2-A class was 45,800lbs, they were claimed to be one of the fastest steam engines in 1935. 

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, December 17, 2018 2:00 PM

Jones1945

Thank you for your respond. Before the renowned Twin Cities 400 being dieselized, there un-streamlined locomotive, quote from wiki “The steam locomotives were upgraded to feature a 45° lamp on top of the boiler just ahead of the smokestack. These lights were intended to announce the approach of the train and could be seen for a great distance in rural areas. In 1937, one locomotive was equipped with a prototype Mars light, the first ever put into use.

I don’t know why only CNW and MILW, served on similar market or route had this special treatment. I guess It was because the train need to go through a lot of county side and smaller communities thus the engine needed to install more headlights for safety measure.
 

 
Mars lights were added because as the streamliner era started, passenger train speeds increased considerably. It was thought the Mars light (and using airhorns instead of whistles - even on steam engines) would give better warning to motorists at grade crossings.
 
I think a simpler explanation as to why only the CNW and Milwaukee used Mars lights on steam engines serving the Twin Cities had to do with the Mars light coming out about the same time as streamlined passenger diesels. CNW and Milwaukee chose to run their top trains with steam, so added Mars lights to them. Other railroads like the Burlington and Rock Island were already using diesels by then - with Mars lights.
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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:08 PM

SP started removing the "packages" from the trailing ends of units around 1972.  At least some of the units in the Commute pool (SDP45s, GP9Es, GP40P-2s and a pair of SD9Es) kept them until 1982 or so.  Many of the "E" upgrades got the simplified package with a pair of sealed-beam headlights, and a combo two-lens mars light above.  Some of the dual-control GP9s retained the full package on both ends, though they lost their red "wings" on the long hood in the GP9E rebuild.

Ohio Brass had a headlight that North Shore used for Merchandise Despatch trains the had a very bright headlight and two "bullseye" bulbs, intended for use on the Chicago L.  After a couple of test runs with newly rebuilt Silverliners in 1950 they were banned from the L south of Montrose Avenue, where the MD trains had previously ended their runs.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 5:40 PM

wjstix
 
I think a simpler explanation as to why only the CNW and Milwaukee used Mars lights on steam engines serving the Twin Cities had to do with the Mars light coming out about the same time as streamlined passenger diesel. CNW and Milwaukee chose to run their top trains with steam, so added Mars lights to them. Other railroads like the Burlington and Rock Island were already using diesels by then - with Mars lights.
 

Thanks! I note some railroads from the Northeast like NYCentral, B&O and Pennsy never install Mars lights on their new diesels, so I wonder if there was a special need or regulation for mid-west railroads like CNW and MILW to install those Mar lights? Thanks a lot.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:28 PM

rcdrye-- Why were they banned from certain areas??

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 2:34 PM

This engine caught my attention when I was browsing some brass train website: CNW Class H-1. That massive extra headlight above the smokebox door was probably a huge red light, but it could be the same type of lamp used on the CNW 400. 

  

https://www.railarchive.net/randomsteam/cnw3026.htm

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3580569

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 2:54 PM

I think the decision to use or not use Mars lights was pretty much a railroad-by-railroad decision, and had little or nothing to do with regulation.  Atlantic Coast Line and RF&P both used Mars lights on at least some of their E-units.  NKP's PA1 fleet had them as well, running side by side with NYC across Ohio, PA and New York.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 3:18 PM

Anyone care for a Mars light demonstration?

Here's two, although these aren't railroad models, they're from fire engines, but I'm sure they're not all that different.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXp7dKqbY3o  

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

Don't you love that "The Light From Mars" label on the first one?

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, January 31, 2019 1:52 AM

Thank you for clarifying that, rcdrye. No wonder some Class I of the Northeast never or seldom had an engine equipped with Mar lights or extra lamps. 

One of a kind of PRR, the extra lamp was removed later: 

Source: rrmuseumpa internet archive.

Flintlock76

Anyone care for a Mars light demonstration?

Here's two, although these aren't railroad models, they're from fire engines, but I'm sure they're not all that different.

Yes! This is another video showing Mars light in use. I may feel dizzy if I am the engineer...

Another pic of CNW Class H-1: 

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, January 31, 2019 8:34 AM

My family's first trip to Florida was on the ACL's East Coast Champion - I can remember standing in the vestibule with my Dad, we had the Dutch Door open and were watching the progress of our train - as the curves moved toward our side of the train you could see the locomotive's Mars Light gyrating from side to side and up and down.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, February 01, 2019 5:52 AM

That is a sweet story, Balt. I remember when I was a kid, my father usually took me to take a tram ride after dinner. One of the things I concern the most is how bright was the headlight. At the time I didn't have the concept of "to be seen" type of headlight of the tram car. My father and I usually took the double-deck tram at the terminal where we can choose where to sit. I seat in the front roll and tried to observe how the 60W incandescent bulbs headlight illuminates the object in front of it. Silly me! CoffeeSmile

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, February 01, 2019 12:27 PM

I suspect the decision on whether to use Mars lights or not had to do with how many remote grade crossings the railroad had. A Midwestern railroad running through small town/rural areas may have thought the extra warning the Mars lights gave made them worth having - especially when buying new streamlined, higher speed passenger equipment -  where an Eastern railroad with a busy mainline serving mainly urban areas may have had fewer grade crossings (because the road passed over or under the tracks to avoid congestion) or hadn't had problems with the crossings they had.

Stix

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