PRR Duplexes and Experimental Engines Discussion ( S1, S2, T1 etc.)

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PRR Duplexes and Experimental Engines Discussion ( S1, S2, T1 etc.)
Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 4:25 AM

I have been collecting photos, models and learning this two mysterious engines for about two years (another one is S2 #6200 turbine), I searched every corner on the web, but information about PRR Duplex S1 #6100 and Q1 #6130 are so rare that, take S1 for example, I can't even find its total mileage in its career.

I know there are some good readings in a few issues of "Keystone Magazine" about T1 4-4-4-4, but content about S1, Q1 are very rare and briefly. In some books and web pages, some of their informations about S1 and Q1 are based on rumors or even incorrect. If you have any book or files would like to recommend, please kindly let me know! Much appreciated! Thumbs Up

 

(Source: Railroad Museum of Penssylvania )
The General towed by PRR S1 6100


Q1's conceptual plan? 
Q1's conceptual plan?

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 8:43 PM

The main "rumour" about 6100 is its claim to have run at 141 miles per hour.

This is definitely unproven and likely to be false since it is based on one man's estimate of times.

However, if a steam locomotive were to run at 140mph, something like the S1 would be needed to do it. I'd want it to have a dynamometer car attached with more than one speed recording device....

The various "Pennsy Power" books all provide basic details of the S1 and Q1 and show them as built and as modified.

There is a good book in German "Record Lokomotiven" which covers locomotives credited with speed records, NYC 999, PRR E2 7002, DR 05 002, DR 61 003, LNER Mallard and it has a full chapter on 6100. I'll post more detail later....

Peter

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, July 26, 2018 12:15 AM
Thank you, Peter. I have "Pennsy Power: Steam and Electric Locomotives of the Pennsylvania Railroad, 1900-1957" by Staufer, Alvin F, "Black Gold - Black Diamonds: The Pennsylvania Railroad & Dieselization" Volume 1 by Eric Hirsimaki and "Pennsy Streamliners: The Blue-Ribbon Fleet" by Joe Welsh, they did provide only basic information of them, but their official testing result and performance detail are nowhere to be found. There are some fragmentary stories about S1 and Q1 on the internet, but I want more than this. I have a feeling that the PRR was hiding something on these two experimental engines or maybe everyone was so busy working during the World War......so many questions unanswered.

Btw If the speed record of S1 above 100mph are all "fake", I can say I have reasonable doubt that its wheelslip problem was also exaggerated too. S1 as a prototype served on Fort Wayne Division for at least 5 1/2 years (1941-1946), almost equal to the T1s (1945/46 to 51/52) and its Factor of adhesion is very close to PRR Q2 and Santa Fe 4-8-4 "Northern" according to steamlocomotive.com, (I understand that the duplex design probably made the wheelslip problem worse compare to a 4-8-4 design), I wonder what the PRR did to deal with the wheelslip problem of S1? Did they just sit on their office chairs and did nothing? I believe they did something, if not S1 wouldn't had assigned to haul The Trail Blazer, a money tree of PRR. Unfortunately, I can’t find any official record about this topic. Anyway, please feel free to share your thought here! Thumbs Up
PRR Q1 4-6-4-4

 

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, July 26, 2018 12:50 AM

Classics Trains Photo of the Day a few years back. Always adored this photo... it is imposing, stunning and beautiful, even mysterious and haunting. Forum memeber David Klepper saw it in person when it was brand new and showed off at the 1939 Worlds Fair. 

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, July 26, 2018 1:20 AM

I assume November 1939 was between the 1939 and 1940 seasons of the New York World's Fair...?

So they had to extract it by a fairly roundabout route and reinsert it for the following summer, as well as changing the lettering from "American Railroads" to "Pennsylvania" and back the next year...

As was posted above, it did quite a bit of work on the Chicago end, and no problems were attributed to the Walschearts valve gear and piston valves...

Peter

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, July 26, 2018 2:09 AM

Miningman

Classics Trains Photo of the Day a few years back. Always adored this photo... it is imposing, stunning and beautiful, even mysterious and haunting. Forum memeber David Klepper saw it in person when it was brand new and showed off at the 1939 Worlds Fair. 

20140401

This is the one and the only one photo of S1 taken during snowy day, very rare and beautiful! I remember I read a story on a post about S1 was freezed during heavy winter, but the crews managed to start it up. I read forum member David Klepper's post, I wish we could see more first hand stories or info like his sharing.

I always wonder why S1's pics and video are so rare, I believe I have seen more pics or videos of K4s #3768 than S1. 

M636C
I assume November 1939 was between the 1939 and 1940 seasons of the New York World's Fair...?

As was posted above, it did quite a bit of work on the Chicago end, and no problems were attributed to the Walschearts valve gear and piston valves...

Peter

The closure of 39 World Fair was in October 1940, I didn't know if S1 was stayed there until the end or not. Smile Franklin poppet valves was planned to be installed on S1 when it was under construction in 1938 but due to some technical difficulty S1 was off the hook! IF I was the PRR HQ, I would apply Franklin type B poppet valves on S1 after its retirement in mid-1946 instead of thrown it on the scrapheap, but PRR was not run by railfans anyway, and they were probably busy fixing their brand new T1s   Stick out tongue

(Another lazy photoshoped pic)
S1 racing J3

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, July 26, 2018 5:58 AM

The closure of 39 World Fair was in October 1940

(From Wikipedia) The fair was open for two seasons, from April to October each year, and was officially closed permanently on October 27, 1940

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 26, 2018 6:29 AM

M636C
The main "rumour" about 6100 is its claim to have run at 141 miles per hour. This is definitely unproven and likely to be false since it is based on one man's estimate of times.

We've discussed this fairly extensively in the past, and I attempted to verify the 'supposed' story by contacting the FRA to determine what, if any ICC "police" action was taken (the high-speed run was supposedly made on the Trail Blazer in 1947 prior to enforcement of the ICC speed restrictions imposed after Naperville).  There is no Government record of this (and no formal enforcement at the time) but we should recapitulate some of the details.

The story is attributable to Arnold Haas, who is better known as a NYC man ... one who is on record as having seen Niagaras regularly exceed 120mph in regular service, so make your own assessments.  The mentioned speed is not 141mph but 141.2, which should make all you non-metric railfans highly suspicious that this is in fact a converted number from a more 'round' Germanic speed, even before you start looking at likely observation error for recording that speed using the watch and milepost method (the speed recorder for 6100 pegging higher than other PRR engines at 110, the T1s in particular being 100mph, about which more later, so no way to observe 'directly' and no Valve Pilot fitted to either engine).  A good story also involves a certain lack of interest in the riding characteristics of the trailing consist; admittedly I have nothing but anecdotal evidence, but even the best PRR business cars were increasingly hard-riding as slow as 110mph, worse than the locomotive, and it is hard to believe that a long Trail Blazer coach consist even with Dave Klepper's favorite homemade lightweight coaches would have produced tolerable riding at the speed Haas claimed.

It is possible to model the S1 in software and do multiphysics and kinematic analysis on the chassis to determine its stability and freedom from resonant couples (as was done, for example, for the German 05 class which had a calculated severe emergent critical speed close to 122mph, perhaps explaining why a run to outdo Mallard was never made).  There are some details that would need to be addressed to make the locomotive properly stable on contemporary PRR track west of Crestline, particularly the lateral on the lead truck and on the first driver pair; to my knowledge, this received nothing like the attention the T1s did in the period between 1946 and 1948.

The Q1 is interesting because it was intended as the 'modern' follow-on to the M1 (the 'performance envelope' specifically chosen to be 5/4 greater in capacity and in speed according to records preserved at the Hagley in Delaware) in the presumed higher-speed world of the future Pennsylvania.  Remember that this was in the era of the B&O George Emerson and the ATSF 6-4-4-4 proposal, and all three of those designs essentially relied on divided drive to get around conventional balancing limitations rather than using later approaches like close-inboard Timken roller rods (and the ability of disc centers to handle the additional angling balance for the heavier bearings used with them) and Glaze-style balancing.  It is valuable to consider in particular why 77" drivers were used here, but 69" on the vastly more capable Q2s (which among other things had a rigid wheelbase shorter than any ATSF 2-10-4 higher than 5001 class, but I digress) that were designed for more expedient wartime speeds.  This while many of the J1-class engines, after "debugging", were getting 70" drivers...

A considerable effort was made to preserve the S1 'Big Engine' for the collection, it being arguably the most famous and recognizable PRR engine aside from 7002 and 460.  In the end it was the sheer (over)size of the project that tipped the balance; PRR was still having balance sheet problems and had prioritized acquiring more diesels stat, and the scrap value of the engine was over $35,000 (considerably more impressive converted to modern dollars).  Again much of the correspondence on this survives at the Hagley and it might make an interesting article for Classic Trains. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, July 26, 2018 10:39 AM

Overmod

 A good story also involves a certain lack of interest in the riding characteristics of the trailing consist; admittedly I have nothing but anecdotal evidence, but even the best PRR business cars were increasingly hard-riding as slow as 110mph, worse than the locomotive, and it is hard to believe that a long Trail Blazer coach consist even with Dave Klepper's favorite homemade lightweight coaches would have produced tolerable riding at the speed Haas claimed.



That's a very good point, not until 45 (or later?), the first batch of post-war light weight coaches and sleeper arrived and were put into service. Before that, the Trail Blazer was used a full set of rebuilt P70 cars with the original truck. I remember I read a story that in UK 1938, when the streamlined "Coronation Scot" reach 113mph, all the foods or drinks carried on the plate by the waiters in the diner were thrown all over the place (haha), and many China in the kitchen car were broken because of the hunting oscillation effect ! S1 was a preferred engine for hauling The Trail Blazer, I wonder how fast could those rebuilt/betterment cars can handle. But compare the massive size of the boiler and total heating surface area with T1s, if the latter can haul 800-1000 tons at 100mph or above, I believe S1, even without the poppet valves and is much heavier, should be capable to go at least 110mph. A German source say it can go around 120mph, I do believe it can, but not went that fast everyday.
 
P70KR car #4269 used on The Trail Blazer, how fast it can handel? Umbrella (HAGLEY DIGITAL ARCHIVES)
P70KR used by The Trail Blazer until 1946

Overmod

It is possible to model the S1 in software and do multiphysics and kinematic analysis on the chassis to determine its stability and freedom from resonant couples (as was done, for example, for the German 05 class which had a calculated severe emergent critical speed close to 122mph, perhaps explaining why a run to outdo Mallard was never made).  



I am actually doing something like this with my daughter's video game "TrainZ" simulator, which allow me to config the 3D engine as relistic as I can, but anyway it is not a professional software, its just a game which worth $30!

(S1 and T1 6111 in the game "TrainZ")
PRR S1 and T1 in video game

Overmod
The Q1 is interesting because it was intended as the 'modern' follow-on to the M1 (the 'performance envelope' specifically chosen to be 5/4 greater in capacity and in speed according to records preserved at the Hagley in Delaware) in the presumed higher-speed world of the future Pennsylvania....... It is valuable to consider in particular why 77" drivers were used here,.....


For me, Q1 is not only interesting, I consider it one of the most beautiful steam engine ever built by PRR. I don't understand why many consider the 77" drivers were too large for a feight locomotive, Q1 was built during the war when construction of pessanger steam locomotive was limited (or banned temperately ?), officially it was a new design for fast feight service but I agree with you that it was intended to be the new "M1" which was supposed to be a dual service engine (at least it could switch its roles) . Q1 was a larger streamlined, next gen version of M1 which was probably inspired by the Grand Trunk Western 4-8-4. The U-4-b class was also a duel engine with 4 set of 73" driver and streamlined casting. I can understand that why Q1 was streamlined and using such a large diameter for (express) feight service. Unfortunely, Q1's serving details is also very rare...... I wonder If it was a 4-6-4-6, carry a larger fire box would had helped.


Streamlined Yeah 70+ inches Drivers Yeah Dual Service  Yeah 

Grand Trunk Western


Overmod
A considerable effort was made to preserve the S1 'Big Engine' for the collection, it being arguably the most famous and recognizable PRR engine aside from 7002 and 460.  



Thank you very much for reminding me that! When S1 was retired, it was just one year after World War II...... One year after it was sent to the torch in 1949, another war began in the far east....... I always tell my friend that If I was PRR HQ, I would at least do some experiment like applying newer model of poppet valve and roller bearings on S1 after its first retairment in 46, its massive firebox and boiler shouldn't be wasted like this. Imagine S1 was sold to some 3rd world countries for express service, I believe she is still in service today. : )

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Posted by Redwards on Thursday, July 26, 2018 3:21 PM

Some years ago Feltonhill had recommended the following article on the S1:

 
"The S1's history was covered in a 7-page article by the late Charlie Meyer in the Jan 1992 (Vo.10, N0.1) issue of Milepost, a magazine published by Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. I believe they're still in existance, maybe out of Strasburg, and this is available as a back issue. It's well worth trying to get. It's probably the only detailed account written at this point."
 
I managed to find a copy on eBay and as he states, it's the most detailed account I've seen on the S1. 
 
--Reed 
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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 26, 2018 3:25 PM

Jones1945
I remember I read a story that in UK 1938, when the streamlined "Coronation Scot" reach 113mph, all the foods or drinks carried on the plate by the waiters in the dinner car were thrown all over the place (haha), and many China in the kitchen car were broken because of the hunting oscillation effect !

Oh no, the story is FAR more amusing than that, and someone should provide a link to one of the contemporary accounts as they contain some fun Britannic prose.

As I recall the story, the 114mph (to beat Silver Fox) was attained running downgrade, within a couple of miles of Crewe station, where it then developed (somewhat astoundingly when I first heard the story, and somewhat astoundingly still) that for some reason the Press Run Coronation Scot had been lined across not just one but several crossovers to put the train several tracks off any sort of straight line through.  Very sharp crossovers, probably 20mph crossovers.  Taken at what was supposed to be about 57mph.

I am still not quite sure how the train made it through this, hunting oscillation playing a comparatively small objective role in the kinematics.  But certainly very clear it was that a great deal of the crockery didn't.  Certainly stopped any great tendency for the superior four-cylinder LMS Pacifics to be raced up to compete with Mallard later.

As I recall this was mid-1937.

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, July 26, 2018 6:07 PM

Jones1945
(another one is S2 #6200 turbine)

The Vol 45, No. 3 Keystone has a pretty decent article about #6200 if you don't already have that issue.

It is still available as a back-issue:

http://www.prrths.com/estore/keystone_magazine.html#2012

 

Regards, Ed

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, July 26, 2018 8:30 PM

Beautiful covers on the Keystone. They truly capture the spirit of the Pennsy.

Overmod states " A considerable effort was made to preserve the S1 'Big Engine' for the collection, it being arguably the most famous and recognizable PRR engine aside from 7002 and 460.  In the end it was the sheer (over)size of the project that tipped the balance; PRR was still having balance sheet problems and had prioritized acquiring more diesels stat, and the scrap value of the engine was over $35,000 (considerably more impressive converted to modern dollars).  Again much of the correspondence on this survives at the Hagley and it might make an interesting article for Classic Trains."

Well isn't that just lovely that a bunch of executives can send each a whack of memos to cover their butts regarding scrapping. Maybe that's a bit harsh but a billion of dollars company is showing their greed and quite frankly, stupidity. There is no justification, you can play the Northhumberland Card, or the Diesels Now Card, poverty Card is ridiculous, but none of it justifies just a bunch of greedy yes men all lined up to prove how old fashioned steam was. What brave men!

Just as bad the New York Central Hudson's and Niagara's. New sheriff in town I guess, dumb and insensitive. The two 4-6-0's in St Thomas, much beloved, and very late in the game to be retired in the Spring of '57, were scrapped for $4,928.57 in scrap value. The only engines that still existed that were built for CASO/MichiganCentral/NYC in the St. Thomas erecting shops.

Obviously the $4,928.57 did not save the mighty Central, but I'm sure it bought some nice cigars and Bahama yacht vacation for a couple of the swells. 

Same darn thing for the S1 and any other of at least one duplex example. There is zero justification. Setting the table for the crooks like Saunders to follow. 

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, July 26, 2018 8:39 PM

Oh no, the story is FAR more amusing than that, and someone should provide a link to one of the contemporary accounts as they contain some fun Britannic prose.

This is the internet version:

Between 1937 and 1939, two significant records were set by locomotives of the Coronation class. Before the introduction of the Coronation service, No. 6220 headed a special train of invited guests from London Euston to Crewe on 29 June 1937. Just south of Crewe, the train (disputably) achieved a speed of 114 miles per hour (183 km/h), narrowly beating the previous British record for a steam locomotive (held by the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER)). Insufficient braking distance had been left before entering a series of crossover points at Crewe, and although the train held the rails, much crockery in the dining car was smashed.

THe LMS invited Cecil J Allen...

http://www.steamindex.com/library/allen.htm

which was something like coupling a dynamometer car to the train...

Cecil J Allen was a Civil Engineer who worked for the LNER and inspected rails prior to delivery. His hobby was timing trains and he had a pass that allowed him to travel all over Britain as part of his job. The photo in the link above shows him sitting next to Sir Nigel Gresley on the trial of the LNER train Coronation not to be confused with the LMS locomotive of the same name being discussed here.

Forty nine years ago next week I celebrated my 21st Birthday. Of the presents I received from friends, three were books by Cecil J Allen, in cluding his autobiography.

In the autobiography he comments on the LMS trial.

All I can recall offhand is the words "Coronation rode through the crossovers like the great lady she is..."

I'll try to find more - I still have the books, of course.

Peter

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, July 27, 2018 2:35 AM
Redwards
Some years ago Feltonhill had recommended the following article on the S1:
 
"The S1's history was covered in a 7-page article by the late Charlie Meyer in the Jan 1992 (Vo.10, N0.1) issue of Milepost, a magazine published by Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. I believe they're still in existence, maybe out of Strasburg, and this is available as a back issue. It's well worth trying to get. It's probably the only detailed account written at this point."
 
I managed to find a copy on eBay and as he states, it's the most detailed account I've seen on the S1. 
 
--Reed 

 


Thank you so much, Reed! This is exactly what I am looking for!

Overmod
 Very sharp crossovers, probably 20mph crossovers.  Taken at what was supposed to be about 57mph.

I am still not quite sure how the train made it through this, hunting oscillation playing a comparatively small objective role in the kinematics.  But certainly very clear it was that a great deal of the crockery didn't.  Certainly stopped any great tendency for the superior four-cylinder LMS Pacifics to be raced up to compete with Mallard later.

As I recall this was mid-1937.

This reminds me (IIRC) a story about the PRR S2 #6200 steam turbine engine, during a test run, when the train reached 110mph, the engineer slowed it down before it was about to reach a cross over because of the regulation. Its seems that LMS and LNER would stop at nothing for a speed record, risked the live of their crews and guests!

Another thing amazes me is that the
 “Gresley double-bolster 8ft 6in bogies used on their standard coaches(LNER), a 1920s design managed to go as fast as 90mph+ without falling apart, I don’t know how was the ride quality though, but it is not hard to imagine riding a speed boat. :P

PRR 2DP5 vs Gresley Bogie

PRR 2D-P5 and Gresley Bogie

Miningman

The two 4-6-0's in St Thomas, much beloved, and very late in the game to be retired in the Spring of '57, were scrapped for $4,928.57 in scrap value. The only engines that still existed that were built for CASO/MichiganCentral/NYC in the St. Thomas erecting shops.

Obviously the $4,928.57 did not save the mighty Central, but I'm sure it bought some nice cigars and Bahama yacht vacation for a couple of the swells. 

Same darn thing for the S1 and any other of at least one duplex example. There is zero justification. Setting the table for the crooks like Saunders to follow. 

Very well said! Thing haven’t changed since then I believe; many transportation companies are still running by “elites” who have no feeling about their fleets, it’s just a job, a business and dollar sign for them. I don’t know if “elites” is an appropriate term to describe the Leaders of PRR and NYC during post-war period; NYCRR bought 700 lightweight cars for their “Great Steel Fleet” to lure passenger back from Airplane and their own fancy cars…… PRR hired Raymond Lowey to design the shrouding of their most important express steam engines in order to set up an outstanding image for the company but allow the work forces to torn them apart like trash (PRR HQ didn’t even order the work forces to keep the shrouding of at least one streamlined engine, maybe S1 or T1 6110, remain intact! )……

"Did you hit something my friend?"

T1 with damage on front end


gmpullman
Jones1945
(another one is S2 #6200 turbine)
 The Vol 45, No. 3 Keystone has a pretty decent article about #6200 if you don't already have that issue.
It is still available as a back-issue:http://www.prrths.com/estore/keystone_magazine.html#2012
 Regards, Ed

Thank you, Ed. One of my friend have a copy of this, it is a must read for everyone who interested in #6200! I don’t know why there is no article about S1 #6100 on Keystone, they are one of the most reliable source.

M636C

Between 1937 and 1939, two significant records were set by locomotives of the Coronation class. Before the introduction of the Coronation service, No. 6220 headed a special train of invited guests from London Euston to Crewe on 29 June 1937.

Peter


Thank you very much for your sharing, Peter. I wonder if there was any guest puked or felt unwell during the special run Stick out tongue I studied about the Coronation Class and Coronation Scot like 10 years ago, the engine and LMS used to be one of my favorite, even though it was no longer the fastest steam locomotive after the duck "gone downhill". Wink

PRR S1 and LMS Coronation Class in a video game.

PRR S1 and LMS Coronation in the game TrainZ

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, July 27, 2018 8:32 AM

M636C
The closure of 39 World Fair was in October 1940(From Wikipedia) The fair was open for two seasons, from April to October each year, and was officially closed permanently on October 27, 1940

Peter



Sorry for my late reply Peter. I missed your post! So there was a 5 months break between two seasons of the fair. I bet PRR just left the "big engine" there instead of moving this giant back to the system. Please correct me if I am wrong. : ) (Edit: I was wrong, according to the picture posted by forum member Miningman, "6100 shrugs off an early Chicago winter snow storm as it pauses at Englewood Union Station with the eastbound Manhattan Limited in November 1939." Which mean PRR did put S1 back to the system between the break of 39 World Fair. PRR ordered two T1 prototype from Baldwin in mid-1940, I believe they did think that the idea of duplex is practicable base on the operating result of S1 during the break. (assuming that the date of the photo is correct)

Another topic I just started studying recently is the use of roller bearing of steam locomotive. According to Timken's advisement during the 39 World Fair, Timken's roller bearings were equipped to the crosshead pins, all engine truck, driving axles, trailer truck and tender trucks on S1. I wonder if the use of roller bearing had any effect on the wheel slip problem of S1 or not? did it ease the problem, made it worse or had no impact?

Roller bearings can reduces the friction between the wheels and the axles or the trucks, but won’t affect the weight and friction between the engine and the rail track, does that mean a steam engine with roller bearing equipped can use less power to move the engine itself thus it have more power left to tow the cars behind it, compare to another steam engine which is not using roller bearings and towing a consist with the same weight? Does that mean roller bearing can improve the starting time of a passenger train but cannot ease wheel slip problem since the weight and friction between the engine and the rail remain unchanged? Thank you very much!  

This is a screenshot from a video (available on YouTube) of S1 leaving Englewood in Winter, early 1946, She was hauling the standard 14 cars consist The Trail Blazer, sand was applied when it was leaving the station. No wheel slip can be seen in the short video. 
S1 at Englewood, 1946
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Posted by Miningman on Friday, July 27, 2018 12:26 PM

Well a 65,000,000 dollar investment in duplex drives and they worry about $35,000  and destroy the best public relations tool they had? Not for the bottom line, no way. 

It was image, dirty, smokey steam was outdated now, old fashioned, ridiculed, and Pennsy wanted a progressive image for the future. Besides it was all part of the brainwashing that had started, see the thread of 'Commander E. Jay Quinby's 1945 warning", and culminated with Ike's warning of the 'Military-Industrial Complex'. Big auto, big rubber and big oil won. 

A very brief glimpse of a future that never happened, or better yet, was not allowed to happen. The T1's were soon sabotaged with bad coal, poor training, corporate wink and nod. GM standing on the sidelines with their expensive Diesels and easy peasy credit. Buy now, pay later. Baldwin, Lima, frantically abandoning steam and going down the drain. Took a bit longer to kill off Alco, and they retreated up here to Canada, a niche market. 

I think there was a brief time when highly qualified wise elders were in charge of running the freight, passenger and motive power departments, you know, the guys that got them through the war, but a new group came in shortly into the post war years and a real duality existed but not for long. 

A way of life started to disappear quite rapidly and now we have what we have today. 

Overcrowded airports, overcrowded and dangerous highways, no rails to small towns, folks arguing about peanuts spent on Amtrak long distance, everyone clamouring for High Speed Rail that costs a trillion bucks. Double stacks of defective Chinese junk that end up in yard sales for 0.25 cents going from the West coast to the East coast and the East coast to the West coast. 

I firmly believe we could have had the best of all worlds but we abondoned too much of one thing... local rail, intercity rail, downtown to downtown, freight and passenger. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, July 28, 2018 4:31 AM

Miningman

Well a 65,000,000 dollar investment in duplex drives and they worry about $35,000  and destroy the best public relations tool they had? Not for the bottom line, no way. 

Thank you for your deep sharing, Miningman. English is not my first language; would you mind telling me what is the $35000 was about? Anyway, PRR was a quitter of their “duplex movement” when their president Martin Clement announced to remove all steam engine from through passenger trains west of the electrified territory in 1948. At that time, they had 78 (T1s+Q2) brand new, next gen duplex engine waiting for fine tuning or modification in 1946 which would have allowed them to continue serving for 20 more years+ (1966) but they choose to ditch these brand new T1 and Q2 like trash.

 In a long run, EMD's diesel might have saved a lot of money for PRR, but tons of money already spent on the duplex. The total investment cost for Duplex’s plus Diesel (to replace Steam engine) and the money saved by
dieselizing offset each other. Not to mention The PRR bought some problematic early Diesel from Baldwin and Alco with tons of money, even more money was wasted. In hindsight, if PRR used their money to further improve the performance of their Duplex like applying the Franklin Type B Poppet Valves on both T1 and Q2 or other steam locomotive instead of buying this and that, we might have seen a much “romantic” ending. :P 

Miningman

It was image, dirty, smokey steam was outdated now, old fashioned, ridiculed, and Pennsy wanted a progressive image for the future. Besides it was all part of the brainwashing that had started, see the thread of 'Commander E. Jay Quinby's 1945 warning", and culminated with Ike's warning of the 'Military-Industrial Complex'. Big auto, big rubber and big oil won. 

A very brief glimpse of a future that never happened, or better yet, was not allowed to happen. The T1's were soon sabotaged with bad coal, poor training, corporate wink and nod. GM standing on the sidelines with their expensive Diesels and easy peasy credit. Buy now, pay later. Baldwin, Lima, frantically abandoning steam and going down the drain. Took a bit longer to kill off Alco, and they retreated up here to Canada, a niche market. 



The murder of the Fallen flags were some organized crimes, similar things is still happening here and there…….

How many forum memeber still remeber this clip? ( Starting from 19m22s)


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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, July 28, 2018 5:21 AM

Jones1945
Roller bearings can reduces the friction between the wheels and the axles or the trucks, but won’t affect the weight and friction between the engine and the rail track, does that mean a steam engine with roller bearing equipped can use less power to move the engine itself thus it have more power left to tow the cars behind it, compare to another steam engine which is not using roller bearings and towing a consist with the same weight? Does that mean roller bearing can improve the starting time of a passenger train but cannot ease wheel slip problem since the weight and friction between the engine and the rail remain unchanged? Thank you very much!

First, there is a distinction between rollers on the axles and rollers in the rods and valve gear.  Most of the advantages for the former have little to do with reducing running friction, as a good hydrodynamic plain bearing will do fine at much less cost and complexity.  One advantage (which really requires Franklin wedges or something like them) is 360-degree support for axle forces,  A plain bearing only provides between journal and brasses, and very seldom allows any loadbearing support to arrest downward motion of the axle relative to the brass.

Difficult to keep oil-lubricated roller bearings running happily in some designs of trailing truck, where there is close contact with blowdown water, grate and ashpan heat, and various kinds of cinders and dirt.  You sometimes see locomotives with rollers on all axles ... except the trailing truck.

Note that some devices like Hennessy lubricators were supposed to provide much of the theoretical benefit of fancy rolling-element bearings at a tiny fraction of the expense.Note that the early Reading T1s were built with plain main bearings, but the last order (of which 2124 is the only surviving representative) was built with rollers -- that probably speaks well of the practical superiority.  The great advantage of rollers was in maintenance (see NYC and N&W practice for some of the more thoroughgoing and professional applications).

There might have been some 'advantage' in rollers maintaining low friction and precise alignment on drivers spinning up to high rotational speed, for example by allowing quick acceleration up to the range where inertia made re-establishment of adhesion difficult in quick response.  Likewise a lower machine friction might make breakaway a bit more likely when operating at speed and power otherwise close to the adhesion limit (as is likely to be the issue with T1s experiencing classical high-speed slipping), but other factors including valve performance are likely to be far more significant.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, July 28, 2018 5:44 AM

The "$35,000" is the thirty pieces of silver received as scrap value for the 6100.

There is some evidence that PRR had solved, in principle, most of the operating issues with the T1 in 1948 (this being the Franklin type A poppet version, not wholesale conversion to T1a) including changes to the valves and seats to make them more resistant to damage at the higher 'debounce' closing pressure.  Unfortunately this couldn't make up for some of the design limitations like the 92' grate (an issue that has carried over into the T1 Trust parameters) and the reliance on what turned out to be an overripe tomato of a feedwater-heater system.

Personally, I have come to suspect a far more likely conspiracy than that alleged for NCL killing off trolleys in favor of GM buses in the abrupt changes made from 1948 forward.  There were enormous equipment-trust charges, going forward a substantial number of years, on All Those T1s, and the only way the bankers would let these go was if the locomotives proved to be hopeless, irrremediable dogs, engines that slipped all the time and broke repeatedly and could never, never be made to run reliably... oh wait, does this sound familiar to anyone?

The problem is, as a perusal of the contemporary trade press starts to show, that the costs involved with even the best steam power in the East were starting to balloon uncontrollably in the late '40s as other areas of the economy began to expand again.  This is most notable in just the period between 1947 and 1948 that the drive to produce advanced steam on PRR goes bottom-up: you see an almost violent switch in motive-power assessment regarding not only the T1s but the mechanical turbines (both the 4-8-4 S2 followups and the V1 'centipedes').  There is something of a scam associated with Yellott's development of coal turbines at BCR, which factors into that part of motive power options increasingly during the early Fifties, but that and the potential of free-piston gas generation are more associated with diesel-type operation than high-overhead Rankine-cycle steam with staybolted fireboxes and chambers.

One sad detail normally overlooked is that the difference in calendar years between PRR giving up on the T1s and NYC effectively giving up on the Niagaras is no more than about 5 years.  And this shows the dramatic changes in various costs and issues that led to steam being removed everywhere in the Northeast in the Korean War period, the demand for scrap being really little more than a situation that made it possible to unload large numbers of now-obsolescent locomotives expediently.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 28, 2018 11:19 AM

With exceptions! Nickel Plate, Grand Trunk Western in particular, Illinois Central, N&W. Of course N&W went quickly when it did and perhaps the others really are not East, I dunno, Chicago-Detroit-Buffalo, is that East?

Aaaannnd....why were T1's and Niagaras's obsolete? I think they could have had a stand alone specialized usage for many years yet, somewhat akin to Nickel Plates Berkshire. Ditto for Lackawanna 4-8-4's and Firelocks beloved Erie Berkshires. 

The firebox wrappers problem  of the Niagaras's could have been solved. 

This did not happen so I quess my thinking is all screwy but it could have happened quite easily and with not so much of a rush to ruin.  

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, July 28, 2018 3:50 PM

Miningman
Aaaannnd....why were T1's and Niagaras's obsolete? I think they could have had a stand alone specialized usage for many years yet, somewhat akin to Nickel Plates Berkshire.

Yes but ... the standalone specialized use of the T1 involved sustained high speed, implicitly higher speed than the point that the 'conventional valves' on the T1a started to have their obvious effect on free admission and exhaust (somewhere between 85 and 100mph; it's in the Keystone material and the T1 Trust repository, including the comparative TE/speed curves).  No regular PRR train that wasn't better handled by diesels required (or could be given) that sort of speed cost-effectively, and as it developed, many of the PRR steam guys either had little interest in learning not to horse the passenger Duplexes or were to some degree willing participants or 'fellow-travelers' in the make-'em-fail effort.

The Niagara's whole raison d'etre economically was repeated use on long, fast passenger trains with effectively implemented maintenance.  Even by the time the Kiefer report was published, what there was of that traffic was being converted to 'Dieseliners'; all you really need to know about the follow-on experimentation with the type A installation rigged on 5500-the-Niagara was how quickly the locomotive was retired from service, please note while T1s were happily polishing the rails still.  And then came the great falloff of the Great Steel Fleet, very quickly to levels that effectively orphaned 6000hp locomotives whether or not they could be run effectively to lower levels of performance with careful sliding-pressure firing as the Niagaras could.

However we may think of Arnold Haas for his tales about 142-mph Trail Blazer runs and 120+mph Niagara flights, I think we can take him at his word about various engineers taking special pains to work the remaining Niagaras to death with ridiculously short or long cutoff in their last years. 

Ditto for Lackawanna 4-8-4's and Firelocks beloved Erie Berkshires.

Yes, the Poconos (and while we're there, the LV equivalents) as well as the big Hudsons had plenty of life in them, but notice that they went completely and early, and comparatively ordinary kinds of diesel replaced most of them.  It is possible that if Lackawanna had been associated with Nickel Plate, as the 1925 plan would have provided, it would form a kind of natural bridge route for high-speed freight that would make best use of Berks on the west and Poconos on the east. But ... better still with Fs and later things of that ilk.

Suspect Erie didn't have the money to withstand the putative diesel savings.  They were considerable on the Pascack Valley and Northern branches, net of all saving.

The firebox wrapper problem of the Niagaras could have been solved.

I thought it WAS solved.  Most if not all the Niagaras received new boilers fairly quickly when the problems with nickel steel were determined.  I haven't yet read the (likely definitive) account in Know Thy Niagaras, but suspect this was solved beyond dispute.  What would not be as easily solved would be the carryover problem due to the domeless separators combined with the ease with which the lightweight rodwork would bend laterally (and then quickly catastrophically!) with even heavy compression, let alone actual water through the elements.  One instance of such a thing would likely be a death sentence from the early '50s on.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 28, 2018 6:08 PM

Well thank you Overmod for the reply and the info. At least the Niagara's , with the exception of 5500, got 10 years and fairly useful ones at that. The T1's half that. Maybe a bit more but used sparingly.

It is the fact that they were so modern and still new. They were not 'one of's' but whole fleets. Same goes for N&W J's, C&O 0-8-0 switchers , then N&W and VGN switchers,  CPR Selkirk's and on and on. 

Still boggles the mind though.there she goes, hook, line and sinker.

Wartime profits squandered away permanently and GM reaping a harvest of incredible wealth. 

By the way, putative can be defined as 'supposed'.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, July 28, 2018 6:44 PM

Miningman
By the way, putative can be defined as 'supposed'.

Precisely.  You will be familiar with the general GM arguments for adoption of first switching and then road power.  You are likely also familiar with Brown's paper (from 1961) discussing why some of the arguments "against steam" might have been exaggerated or even wrong.

Many of the arguments for first-generation dieselization didn't really hold up that well, as the preservation of the St. Clair 4-6-0s demonstrates in a number of ways.  Even as late as the second-generation locomotives with Flexicoil trucks a great deal of the 'advantage' in low track forces, effective train-handling, etc. was in the explaining and not in the doing, if you take my point; this is one of the reasons Ross Rowland notes 614T was recorded as producing less track-damaging force than contemporary diesel alternatives at the time of the testing in the '80s.  Alco and GM tried building better-mousetrap trucks in that period with dubious success.

Meanwhile, the great advantages of road-switcher power on the Pascack Valley and Northern branches were being brought out in the early-'50s trade press: no more water tower maintenance and filling, no more having to turn the power on a wye or table, no more keeping all the engines fired and hot all night under inspection to ensure they will be ready for a fairly short duty turn twice a day... etc.  You can examine the plant at the Hudson River terminal end of the runs and tell me where you're going to maintain steam for all the trains Erie and later EL wanted to run.  

Even with the fun of maintaining 244s all those years -- and they often got fairly tractorish in those last few, more endearingly than not -- the RS units ran those services effectively.  In a way that steam never possibly could and be cost effective.

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, July 28, 2018 9:49 PM

The problem with keeping a limited quantity of steam locomotives around is that you also have to maintain the associated fueling and maintenance facilities, also.  That's why some railroads dieselized by division.  At one fell swoop, they could get rid of coaling towers, waterspouts and most divisional roundhouses.  Since the T1s were meant for long distance, interdivisional runs, that couldn't have happened.  Look at my username.  I have a special affinity for back/erecting shops and roundhouses.  I miss them but that's from a hobbyist's point of view.  From a practical, economic point, I understand completely why most aren't around anymore.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 28, 2018 11:41 PM

Yes that is logical and makes good sense and generally that is what happened. So here comes the but....but Donald Russell of the Southern Pacific kept hordes of steam of all sorts stored serviceable in Houston I believe. He did not believe that expensive Diesels should be idled during slower times so things were cut real tight. If there was an upturn somewhere along the system the steam was pulled out. 

Not everyone was on the same wavelength. 

This arraignment stuck around for quite some time. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, July 29, 2018 2:23 AM

Overmod

The "$35,000" is the thirty pieces of silver received as scrap value for the 6100.



Thank you very much Overmod, things I have learnt from you guys sharing is beyond expectation! $35,000 in 1946 is almost equal to 100K today, not enough to buy a decent house in first tier cities, assuming S1 can keep in service for 40 years, doing Excursions, hauling special train for tourist or used for other creative business ideas, I believe it can bring more than $35,000 to PRR. But PRR was never good at publicity stuff.

When NYCRR successfully turned the 20th Century and the Empire State Express into a fancy club and social networking platform for the elites, the only thing PRR did to their Broadway Limited was to redesign the interior of their new pullman trainset, there was no creative ideas and method to convert the underdog to the upper hand. They didn’t even tired to streamlining a few more K4s to haul their Blue Ribbon Fleet or maintain consistency of their named train’s livery. Milwaukee Road, NYC, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific and many smaller railroads did a much better job at building up a corporate image, PRR probably thought they were too big that they didn’t really need it. They did something but it always fell between two stools.

Good looking Yeah Reliable Yeah Fast and powerful Yeah Loved by the public  Yeah Not a PRR Train Oops

MILW F7 Hudson


Overmod
There is some evidence that PRR had solved, in principle, most of the operating issues with the T1 in 1948 (this being the Franklin type A poppet version, not wholesale conversion to T1a) including changes to the valves and seats to make them more resistant to damage at the higher 'debounce' closing pressure.  Unfortunately this couldn't make up for some of the design limitations like the 92' grate (an issue that has carried over into the T1 Trust parameters) and the reliance on what turned out to be an overripe tomato of a feedwater-heater system.

Personally, I have come to suspect a far more likely conspiracy than that alleged for NCL killing off trolleys in favor of GM buses in the abrupt changes made from 1948 forward.  There were enormous equipment-trust charges, going forward a substantial number of years, on All Those T1s, and the only way the bankers would let these go was if the locomotives proved to be hopeless, irrremediable dogs, engines that slipped all the time and broke repeatedly and could never, never be made to run reliably... oh wait, does this sound familiar to anyone?



This is inspiring Overmod. One topic I seldom think about or never have a chance to study is Corruption between Railroad Company and their business partner in the past. I don’t really know how the equipment-trust charges works back in 40s, but I can understand that *if corruption (in any form) really existed between Railroads and businesses around them, Railroads like PRR, NYC would be one of the biggest hot bed of Corruption and crimes. Any new development, project, purchase of expensive equipment would have been a corruption opportunity for the criminals. Similar things still happen today. 
 
If this is the case, no wonder detailed information of some train are so hard to find, no wonder some leaders of railroad made so many silly or restless mistakes in the past. Take PRR S1 as an example, the construction cost was two times a T1 prototype, but Baldwin, Alco, Lima and PRR, with so many years of experience in manufacturing locomotive couldn’t even notice the clearance problem of it? Even a clerk would notice that problem if you let him place an O gauge S1 model on a sharp curve, it is too hard to believe. T1 had a lateral motion devices allowed them to negotiate 16-degree curves, S1 had the similar thing equipped according to a source from German, but at the end, PRR just told their shareholder it was too big to go through sharp curve outside Pittsburgh station blah blah blah……. I believe there are more stories behind all this. 
 
"We only have four of these, but we are too lazy to clean it"

A dirty streamlined K4s
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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, July 29, 2018 4:05 AM

Overmod
However we may think of Arnold Haas for his tales about 142-mph Trail Blazer runs and 120+mph Niagara flights, I think we can take him at his word about various engineers taking special pains to work the remaining Niagaras to death with ridiculously short or long cutoff in their last years. 

 

I am not familiar with the history of Niagara, did NYC ever release an official speed record of it like what they did for the Super Hudson during road test? (IIRC its was 95mph)

For S1 speed, I tried my best to use the train simulator “TrainZ” (Please don’t laugh at me Stick out tongue), the only programme available to find the answer for me. Base on the figures in the config file of C&O 2-6-6-6 Class H-8 Allegheny, I adjusted all parameter for S1. Using realistic mode, it took more than 20 mins for her to reach 100mph hauling 1025 tons P70 consists on level track. It took her much longer to reach 110mph or above but never can surpass 120mph on level track. Another test was S1 hauling 1600 tons consists, it stuck at 60mph forever. 

The engine itself and the cars behind it will start shaking like a speedy boat once the speed excess 75mph, at 100mph plus, they looks like building in a magnitude 8 earthquake. S1 (in the game) can go as fast as 130mph only if it is hauling nothing behind her in the game, but as many pointed out, the gear would probably fallen apart in real life.

N&W J Class and PRR S1

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 29, 2018 5:07 AM

Jones1945
$35,000 in 1946 is almost equal to 100K today, not enough to buy a decent house in first tier cities, assuming S1 can keep in service for 40 years, doing Excursions, hauling special train for tourist or used for other creative business ideas, I believe it can bring more than $35,000 to PRR.

Once again, these are Bretton Woods dollars so it's appropriate to compare 'modern' value to the price of gold; that's a value of just under 1 and a quarter million.  Hard to justify that to the stockholders, especially when so little practical use of the locomotive could be demonstrated through the latter half of the Forties.  PRR had no place to run a very big, very fast locomotive like that economically, and some of its cost was likely still very much stuck on the PRR balance sheet.  The decision to cash the Big Engine in was not taken idly, but in a world of PRR losing money and deciding to dieselize fast there was little question which way it would go.

The story about the approach curve 'restriction' in Pittsburgh station was well-documented by the T1 Trust, as was the research that eventually put enough lateral into T1s to get around it (I believe it was later removed with track realignment, but don't remember the specifics.)  It did not as I recall involve access to all tracks in the station (tight point of a double slip switch?). 

On the other hand, starting suitably long and heavy trains through complicated and possibly poorly lined and surfaced track arrangements was NOT where an unconjugated duplex, even with the exordinate FA the T1s wound up with, would be happy about.  Unlike transient loss of adhesion on a 4-8-4 over a low joint or frog, the same thing on one engine of a duplex caused prompt unloading of up to 25% of the available adhesion.  The lack of any kind of separate throttle for the two engines (and PRR's engine crew training, which as noted didn't emphasize careful handling for front-end throttles feeding poppet valves) made recovery from this difficult; the size and length of the locomotive made slipping, particularly of the forward engine, difficult to detect.

There are, of course, ways to get around this issue, ranging from the very simple (separate wheelslip lights) to complex but automatic (Deem-style conjugation with Ferguson clutch).  If you convert a T1 to type B-2, the rear nightmare box can be removed, which opens up a clear and easy path for shaft conjugation.  Use of Wagner throttles (look at the ACE3000 patent and understand that Porta couldn't spell very well sometimes) solves any tendency for the front end to break loose while the rear engine is still expected to make power; you can neatly and proportionally trim the forward engine to any percentage of the rear one without having to find space (and there really is none) to provide double front-end throttles in the available space.

The closest thing PRR really achieved to a grand train was the Congressional Limited so beloved of Dave Klepper.  And that, of course, didn't really involve steam power.  It might have been interesting to see if PRR would have developed an actual high-speed Fleet of Modernism if the 1928 plans to develop a New Main Line with much higher achievable speeds had in fact been achievable (but that would involve not only no Depression, but no significant use of funding for electrification, for steam to be involved more than 'experimentally').

The case of the Q2 'success' is worth looking at in this context.  Much has been made of the J1s being 'good enough' for PRR at vastly lower capital and maintenance cost.  But what I think is forgotten is that the Q2s were win-the-war locomotives, built for services that PRR could run faster than "normal" 50mph freight speed, and almost always sure of the opportunity of enough cars for a full train meriting nearly 8000 peak hp. when a train needed to be moved.  Once you go back to postwar density (in non-electrified sections where Q2s could operate) at typical speeds with typical maintenance and attention, the joys of the sophisticated duplex were no longer as applicable, but the double costs for running gear were still leveraged out on the bleeding edge of rising costs.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 29, 2018 5:48 AM

If there is specialized Niagara testing at high speed, it would likely be covered by Tom Gerbracht (either in Know Thy Niagaras or via an appropriate e-mail to him via NYCSHS.

My guess would be that with the known problems of lateral buckling in the rods, there would NOT be any greased-rail slip testing, and in the absence of something like Wagner drifting valves a la ATSF (or some sort of Nicolai/Trofimov arrangement) no extreme high-speed instrumented testing. 

The Hudson test (about which there seems to be considerable old-wives'-tale story spinning) is recounted in Kiefer's motive power study of 1947.  This is a greased-rail test, I believe of a J3a, and the highest recorded "speed" (derived from rotational frequency) is just above 161mph.  Here is where some care needs to be interpolated: on firm track this produced no overt wheel 'bounce' (meaning that at that rps the vertical augment was less than the imposed weight via the equalization) BUT on track with less stiffness or damping in the vertical plane, effects could be seen in the low 100s -- so track stiffness was and presumably is a major factor in expressed augment and "all that that implies".

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