PRR Duplexes and Experimental Engines ( S1, S2, T1, Q1, V1 etc.)

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:28 AM

 

 
 
 
Overmod
The issue was not the electrification; it was the railroad itself.  Not for nothing was the 1928-on improvement plan contingent on substantial straightening and line relocations, and even then I have strong doubts that sustained fast running between slow points would have been practical for many years, far longer in the event than PRR would have had even had the Depression (and the political priority of the Washington electrification) not intervened.
 
No disagreement here. I admit that when I am sharing my views about the electrification of PRR, too much imagination was involved. What happened has already become history, we can’t change that with our subjective wishes. If the original electrification plan of PRR didn’t or never planned to support HSR or quasi-High Speed services, I think it was a waste of opportunity. I understand that different countries have different pace of living. But the reason behind the change of schedule like the 20th Century and the Broadway Limited, from 20 hours in 1920s to 16 hours in 1940s was an objective reality. There were needs to shorten the travel time especially when Airline, buses and high way traffic joined the competition. PRR had superior electric engine like GG1, it was such a waste if after 1940s, PRR didn’t adjust their whole electrification plan to due with new challenges.
 

 
 
Overmod
That was a squirrelly time for industrial electronics, let alone complicated control systems for complicated trains (developed in complicated Government programs).  It also pays to remember how many times the Northeast Corridor had to be 'rebuilt' before it would actually support very-high-speed operation without an exordinate amount of shock and vibration to the equipment...
 
I still need more time to study this topic in-depth. The story of the Metroliner gave me an impression that this project didn’t received enough support by the Government. America was a developed country long before the WWII but when speaking of development of HSR, it wasn’t going as smooth as other countries; like Japan in 1960s; a conquered nation of WWII. Maybe it was a result of US’s transportation policy. Who would take the plane anymore if there was an HSR service available which could have been more comfortable, higher frequency, connecting the heart of the cities? Both UAC TurboTrain and The Metroliner were loved by the patrons, but had a rather short life in the States. Viva GG1!

 
 
Overmod
  I call your attention to the fact that none of the fancy tin applied to this locomotive worked out in practice, except circumstantially in that cinders didn't preferentially accumulate under the front of the boiler where the angled plate was installed.
 
Not quite understand this part to be honest. Stick out tongue But I agree your analysis. Beside economical consideration, I believe there was aesthetical consideration as well; note how they equipped S2 #6200 with a smaller, curved smoke deflector for one year before the elephant-ear-style one was installed.  PRR tested different smoke deflectors on K4s #5038, this version was the largest one, at least one source said it actually worked. The large smoke deflector did give her a streamlined looks, I think it was probably the cheapest way to streamlining a K4s. I don’t know the details of why RRs like NYC, UP and SP thought that smoke deflector worked on their engines but PRR thought it didn’t worth the investment. Some pics of K4s #5038 from Hagley:
 
 
  
Mar 1940
  
Mar 1940
 
Nov 1940
 
Nov 1942 

 
Overmod
 Note that I suspect the F7 could, and did, regularly reach speeds the E-4 couldn't, but these are in the very low 100s, about the same as the valve-limited ATSF 3460 class.  My personal and somewhat uncharitable belief is that neither one would get much above 105mph on level track, with maybe 110 as an extreme top speed.  (And an ATSF 3765 or better would probably go faster than that!)
 
I believe It was the case. When some books mentioned about MILW F7s, I noted the author usually using the 100mph figure. I actually like the appearance of the F7s, even though I think they were a little bit under powered for their duty. It was like pushing the limit of a heavy Pacific with a booster engine and max out the power of them on a daily basic. No wonder this kind of accident happened: 
On July 27, 1950, F7 #102 was on a run between Chicago and Milwaukee on the "North Woods Hiawatha." 73 miles from Milwaukee, the right main crosshead overheated, broke, and dropped from the guide while the train was traveling at an estimated speed of over 100 mph. The engine was severely damaged, broken drive gear tore up ties and roadbed, two railroad employees were injured, and debris (including the main rod) was found as far as 1400 feet west of Edgebrook Station. The train itself continued to over 10,560 feet from the station until coming to a complete stop.” (From Wiki)
 
 

 
 
Overmod
 Suspect this was conservative, as you'd be likely talking about the 'improved' J3s with roller rods and (various) disc centers.  I don't particularly trust Haas (of 142+-mph-with-the-Trail-Blazer fame) when he says that both Hudsons and Niagaras regularly ran at 120mph, but I do think they would easily run well faster than 100mph when let out.  
 
Yes, I was talking about the “Super Hudson” NYC J3a. I don’t trust Haas stories neither, even they did reach 120mph with lighter passenger stock behind them, it wouldn’t be a regularly thing; the technical specification of different Hudsons of different RRs were never a secret; there were a lots of reference data to estimate how powerful they were, how fast they could go, ...... What Haas did was like someone telling people that The RMS Lusitania and Mauretania could "actually" reach 30 knots regularly. 
 
The roller rods probably helped these engines to reach much higher speed. I wonder how PRR #5399 would have performed with rods equipped with roller bearings......also on my dear S1 #6100.    
 
 (to be continue, since I am not felling quite well; but I am ok. Bow)

 

 

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:27 PM

 

 

At this time, the Japanese were building locomotives that looked just like this for the standard gauge in Korea: PS5 Pacific and MT1 Mountain...

Peter

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:31 PM

M636C

At this time, the Japanese were building locomotives that looked just like this for the standard gauge in Korea: PS5 Pacific and MT1 Mountain...

Peter

That's very interesting, Peter. I can't find a pic of them until I use the google translator to seaching in Korean, they really looked like PRR K4s #5038 of 1942!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:13 PM
(Continue of my #411 post) 
 
Overmod
…So that "71mph" is a VERY different thing in practice from a train that spends much of its time running around 70mph.  (Meanwhile, conventional recip steam efficiency drops off remarkably fast above around 85-90mph, slightly above effective diameter speed, so it makes little sense to run much above that unless you have ways to monetize the actual speed or its associated time savings or can create the perception that you can (as with the Hiawathas).
Yes, I understand how the average speed was calculated. There were many track sections on a route with much lower speed limit like before entering tunnels, bridges, local stations, sharp curves, steeper gradings, switches etc. This was why PRR paid so much concern on the makeup time ability of N&W Class J. 

 
Overmod
 I would not-so-humbly submit that the lion's share of the time reductions on the Century culminating in the low 15-hour range are attributable to operating improvements made possible by diesel-electric power.  (And not just the sort of improvement that, say, a C1a with 64T tender would produce!)
 
Me neither. I heard EMD’s sales strategy was very aggressive. But just as we discussed before that the level of comfort of any all-Pullman trains would have offset by a shortened schedule or faster speed at night in 1940s. HSR sleeper train is not a common thing even in nowadays. I always mention about my fantasy HSR route in 1940s between Chicago and New York, offering 10 hours schedule for travelers, leaving both ends in the morning and arrive in the evening, or leaving at night and arrive in early morning, it probably only could happen in a sci-fi novel… or maybe a movie? Cool  
 

Overmod
 
 As early as the 1880s (remember the context of the famous W.H. Vanderbilt quote?) railroads understood that competitive high speed was a waste of money and a source of pointless danger and damage.  Technological changes coupled with the cutthroat economics in the Depression led to streamliner competition; see how fast most of that speed went away as soon as it couldn't be made to pay a premium.  As with most else about a railroad, it's about the money.  (And arguably should be.)  
 
 I agree what W.H Vanderbilt said. Cut-throat competition leads all parties to nowhere but losing the game. Pullman played a role to prevent such situation happened between different RRs Pullman trains, but shorter distance route like Milwaukee to Twin Cities and others all-coaches routes in the mid-west was what Pullman couldn’t control. They were a lot of resource overlapping which only Wartime traffic could support such competition and survival of different RRs. Once the war is over; and the airlines started attracting passenger to try the feeling of “travel on the sky”, we knew what happened to these RRs. Economic freedom allowed such competition though.
 

 
Overmod
  In all fairness, the situation is completely different.  5550 is explicitly an excursion locomotive, and won't be subjected to lowest-dollar operation by indifferent people in cheapest-cost service, with road damage left unattended unless and until critical.  A production locomotive in the '40s needed substantial construction 'up front' and couldn't involve anything that might crack or break and let stuff fall off or, worse, get under the lead truck or the leading driver flanges.  
 
 I agree with you that the purpose of building the 5550 is completely different to T1s in the 1940s. I heard Amtrak won’t encourage excursion in their system anymore, so 5550 would stay Idle most of the time. I admit that I forgot this point. But If it won’t involve a lot of money investment or expenses, any measure to make the maintenance easier wouldn’t be a bad thing as long as it won’t affect the appearance of 5550’s front end.  
 

 
Overmod
  But in the half-decade from 1945 to 1950 not just the T1, but ANY high-speed coal-burning steam locomotive became at best obsolescent, with any reciprocating power at all, including Roosen motor locomotives, becoming a dead letter.   (It might have remained to be seen if the TE-1 could be evolved into a meaningful 'diesel alternative', but as it was built and operated it most certainly was not.) ……I would also note that in all the intervening years ... and not for want of brilliant design work, or trying ... heavy reciprocating power has never made a comeback on American railroads.  "Plandampf" is cute, but most of it has to be 'rightsized' to work, and the least little complicating factor usually throws a wrench in the economics.
 
I totally agree with you. There is an article in the issue of Classis Trains “Steam Glory 3” sharing similar views with yours and I 100% agree with the author. What I feel regret was that when the production T1s were put into service, they weren’t going as smooth as other steam engines like N&W Class J or NYC’s Niagaras; due to its innovative design and carelessness of Pennsy, quite a lot of rebuilt, modification and fine tune was needed. The production T1 gave the general public a not so positive impression which required a lot of authors to clarify for them.
 
 
It is a sad thing to see there were so many people tried to save or prolong the life of reciprocating or stream power, but none of them made it. Even though engines like T1s, Class J, Niagaras made it to 1960s, what could be next? The demise of reciprocating stream power was only about time and inevitable……By the way, I almost forget that there was at least one T1 equipped with Franklin Type B poppet valve after rebuilt, if Pennsy thought it was as economic as diesel electric, they wouldn’t switch to diesel in 1948. 
 
Speaking of N&W TE-1, I remember N&W wanted to order 19 more of this class, but the price of the engine was raised thus N&W given up…  
 
C&O 's turbine and generator, Railway Age Magazine 
 
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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 19, 2018 1:55 PM

Jones1945
This was why PRR paid so much concern on the makeup time ability of N&W Class J.

The real 'missing link' was PRR applying high-speed balancing and running gear to an M1 or M1a in the mid-Thirties, with the evocatively numbered UP 7002 together with 2906, and some of the C&NW work done for the 400 power, as all the technological proof-of-concept and technology necessary.  Note specifically that much of the UP work did not necessarily involve the very light-weight rods and expensive roller bearings as used on the T1s; in particular the application of floating bronze liners over the main pins as designed for the FEFs would give a good, positive 'tandem' solution.  The immediate effect of the rebalance would be the practical achievement of the speed range for which the 77" drivers of the posited M1-replacement Q1 were intended, while specifically retaining the acceleration advantage of 72" drivers.  (And all the paid-in capital relating to the dual-service M1 fleet...)

If there were a firm body of research showing just how much actual PRR passenger requirement was served by this kind of improvement (vs. 80" or 84"-drivered fantasy power) the revelation of what was possible with Glaze balancing principles would likely have resulted very quickly in application of the methodology to M1s.  This together with front-end and firebox improvements might have resulted in a locomotive able to handle many upsized PRR consists as well as a brace of K4s without going to a nominally larger and heavier (with circulators and whatnot) rear boiler construction necessitating a two-axle truck.  And capable of 100mph dash with the lower machinery speed of the M1 wheel...

I always mention about my fantasy HSR route in 1940s between Chicago and New York, offering 10 hours schedule for travelers, leaving both ends in the morning and arrive in the evening, or leaving at night and arrive in early morning, it probably only could happen in a sci-fi novel… or maybe a movie?

Would you settle for the 1870s?  (Well in advance of the Chicago and New York Air Line, or the very well-developed plan for 18-minute-headway high-speed service between New York and Philadelphia from the late 1890s.)

That was the Weed electric railroad, which is notable in more than a few respects as an interesting idea.  It starts with the idea that real high-speed service was necessary for packages and mail, not people ... and that streamlining a vehicle with small cross-section was far easier, and power and stability requirements far easier, than building de luxe express trains to run at high speed (even less cost-effective than either of those by itself!)

So, similar to a telpher or pneumatic-tube container, the Weed proposal involved small 'containers', here running unattended on narrow-gauge track.  This reduced all the land-acquisition, grading, construction, and tax consequences to an extreme minimum, while preserving all the likelihood that "100%" of the lucrative business-paper market between various Eastern and Midwestern points" would go by the fastest means.  The chief issue I always saw with this was security, but I think there were expedient ways (in the 19th Century, at least) to provide reasonable assurance against the usual kinds of damage or theft.

There is at least one picture 'out there' of field testing of one of the example cars, showing the general scale of the installation.

As an amusing aside, I thought when I first heard of the actual Weed proposal that it would be nifty to have the high-speed lines converge on a few central points, where the M&E would be resorted for maximum speed or minimum dwell in going to what would presumably be an REA-scale number of destinations in minimum end-to-end time.  This would not be too different from what subsequently came to be the Federal Express model, but with 'mail-stop' aircraft rather than separate flights from all the originating points...

What I feel regret was that when the production T1s were put into service, they weren’t going as smooth as other steam engines like N&W Class J or NYC’s Niagaras; due to its innovative design and carelessness of Pennsy, quite a lot of rebuilt, modification and fine tune was needed ... at least one T1 [was] equipped with Franklin Type B poppet valve after rebuilt, if Pennsy thought it was as economic as diesel electric, they wouldn’t switch to diesel in 1948.
Keep in mind that there were problems with other classes, too -- one very notable one being the fiasco with nickel boiler steels that led to a great many full reboilerings on short notice, and a few replacement boilers that were never even installed.  The fate of the RC-equipped T1 is all the indication you need to understand that fixing the valves and steam distribution wasn't the fundamental economic issue facing the T1, or most other large Eastern steam outside of the artificial world of the N&W.  I firmly believe it was not the 'slipperiness' or the differential maintenance cost of four cylinders over two that led to failure; it was the overall economics-falling-in-a-hole of the high-maintenance provision of big steam that did.  I certainly expect to find out much of the objective data as the T1 Trust project proceeds.
Speaking of N&W TE-1, I remember N&W wanted to order 19 more of this class, but the price of the engine was raised thus N&W given up…
If you have not read Newton's Rails Remembered 4: Tale of a Turbine ... go out and read it, very carefully.  Take notes.  I suspect you will then agree with me that this would have been one of the great disasters of the contemporary railroad world, far outstripping the T1 in ghastliness, after no more than a few years in "service".It's difficult to account for how many of the (many!) issues with the TE-1 in operation were results of dropping the main generator, just as it's hard to discriminate the early operating issues of Bulleid's Leader resulting from design misconception or expediencies in construction vs. sabotage or perhaps-intentional damage when testing the running gear.  But one thing is certain: by the end of the testing, a large number of the Westinghouse hexapole motors were damaged beyond economical repair.  And anything that can burn out a Hexapole while not doing the work of a reciprocating locomotive a quarter its cost is ... not something I can support with full enthusiasm.  (Then we can get into the fly-ash and ash dump concern, the excessive working length and visibility problems, the lies about realizable top speed with a train, damping and lateral control of the trucks, and a host of other little gotchas, which were likely waiting in the wings but never got the chance, a bit like why cancer incidence was low in the 1300s because so few people lived to the age past the Hayflick limit where cancers become more prevalent...)

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, October 19, 2018 9:45 PM

 Sayeth Overmod, ....

"T1 is all the indication you need to understand that fixing the valves and steam distribution wasn't the fundamental economic issue facing the T1, or most other large Eastern steam outside of the artificial world of the N&W.  I firmly believe it was not the 'slipperiness' or the differential maintenance cost of four cylinders over two that led to failure; it was the overall economics-falling-in-a-hole of the high-maintenance provision of big steam that did."

Respectfully disagree. First off N&W was far from an "artificial world",  in fact the opposite. They lead the way, especially in maintenance with their lubritoriums, design, applications and construction methods of steam. If they were the only ones flipping the bird to Diesel well good for them and others should have put their egos aside, taken serious notice, and joined in. I would say they were the only ones not chasing their tail and tripping over themselves backwards and dreaming of huge profits from 'them thar cost savin Diesels'. Group think. Sanctioned too. They had to send the Vandel himself and his addle brained crookiness steeped in lawyer juice to murder the N&W steam. Atta boy, good job, wanna tear down Pennsylvania Station as a reward? Big money for you and your buddies. We can call you Vandel. 

Secondly, the statement  " overall economics -falling-in-a-hole of the high maintenance provision of big steam". The roundhouse crews and craftsman had their craft honed to a science, those guys just came through the war and they knew very well what they were doing, efficiently and skillfully. You going to deny the mega-fold-more cost of all those garbage Diesels, breakdowns, lost time and an enourmous capital expense down the drain that makes the T1's cost a blip. How long did all the PA's. PB's, FM anything, Baldwin Sharks and Centipedes, 244 anything Alco , Baby Faces and so on last on the Pennsy, Central and others. How much down time? Throw in lost good will, degradation of service and morale? Big bucks. Huge. Come on, it's a joke, you think this is better? 

Also your closing statement is very thin.. sort of like 'because, that's why'. 

It kind of reminds me of UFO stuff in the late 40's 50's, where the government convinced all that we were all just sharing an illusion and those that got too close to the truth somehow suffered a fatal accident. 

Sorry can't get deeper tonight, been a tough 2 weeks, unable, Will pick up the challenge tomorrow.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 20, 2018 5:20 AM

The reason I say N&W was its own little world is that they artificially sustained steam 'for its own sake' (or rather, coal burning power) long past the era it became de facto impossible for lesser roads to maintain all the little proprietary devices that were no longer manufactured -- the arch brick, the feedwater-heater parts, the mechanically-governed steam turbines, etc.  You watch these firms dropping off, self-destructing, 'retasking' themselves in the pages of the trade press, even as you read about the soaring cost of all the labor as the consumer economy got ramped up in the late '40s.  SOME of the roundhouse people had their craft honed to a science; the problem is that for each skilled person there are a plurality of scut positions, with advance being very slow, and a growing range of careers (not just job positions) available to people with even slightly more than a detectible pulse.  We think big steam is noble and nostalgic ... ask the guy in the aluminized Nomex suit crawling backward into his nth hot firebox of the night whether he thinks the same.  Even on railroads that tried their hardest (Nickel Plate being a dramatic example) there came a time that steam no longer worked even where it was best suited.  And, significantly to me, that time was far shorter than most hard-headed industry people thought would be possible at the end of WWII.

As with the discussion of Kiefer's report we had earlier, the correct benchmark for dieselization wasn't the rush to try squirrelly first-generation power; it was the systematic implementation of second-generation horsepower and associated control systems that led all the remaining railroads with any credit (and some decidedly without, like NYO&W) to pick reasonable diesels and then standardize on what they could afford.  Note how fast the door slams between 1956 and 1960, and how no one ever goes back with any scale as soon as they dieselize.  Yes, that's empirical, and yes, I don't have full access to the reasons why each particular road did things the way it did.  But none of the late innovations in modern steam survived more than about a decade, and I think that someone with the time and patience to investigate the actual data behind the actual trend toward dieselization would not find anything surprisingly different from the 'common sense' understanding of the factors that can be understood from essays and pieces in the trade press.  There are some minor aspects of conspiracy (e.g. in saying EMDs required less care and maintenance tinkering than was the actual case in the early years) but there doesn't have to be some NCL-like conspiracy to get rid of steam.  Everyone loves it in their backyard... for the weekend, until the novelty wears off.  Find your 18th load of washing in a row speckled with soot and sporting the occasional scorch or burn mark ... not so much. 

Problem with fat Saunders was that he was a lawyer, and he was expedient.  But the whole management trend at N&W after the years Newton apprenticed was a string of lawyers with bean-counting tendencies.  Who, unfortunately, knew what the beans meant when they counted them.  That fooled PRR/PC into giving the Vandal the keys to a decidedly UNmaintained cluster-in-progress masquerading as a wedding.  But I almost can't imagine PC trying to survive with large amounts of typical steam power, even with large numbers of Mohawks refusing to abdicate and all that.  Would have been grand as long as it ran ... but it wouldn't be long, sooner or later, before it didn't.  And diesels tend to fail less catastrophically, spectacularly, and finally than large steam driven economically close to its working capacity...

It gets worse.  Look at power-by-the-hour plans and other guarantees associated with Welch's dash-9s and the power that came after them.  Can you imagine approximating that level of routine performance with steam locomotives built to a price?

 

 

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, October 20, 2018 10:49 AM
Overmod
…Note specifically that much of the UP work did not necessarily involve the very light-weight rods and expensive roller bearings as used on the T1s; in particular the application of floating bronze liners over the main pins as designed for the FEFs would give a good, positive 'tandem' solution. 
 
You are right, Overmod. I just note that UP FEF-3 of 1944 had no roller rods but it didn’t have prominent negative impact for being a reliable and fast engine. The using of roller bearings and its benefits is another topic I am going to study in-depth; I guess the investment of lightweight reciprocating parts and roller bearings worth the money if RRs was going to use the engine equipped such thing for let say 20 – 30 years. Form NYC J3a, Niagaras; C&O L-1 streamlined Hudson to the whole fleet of my dear PRR T1s were equipped roller bearings, I think RR thought they worth it, though many engines built in late 1940s were sent to the torch with these expensive components.
 
 
Overmod
The immediate effect of the rebalance would be the practical achievement of the speed range for which the 77" drivers of the posited M1-replacement Q1 were intended, while specifically retaining the acceleration advantage of 72" drivers.  (And all the paid-in capital relating to the dual-service M1 fleet...)
 
I agree with your analytics. IIRC PRR M1’s top speed in passenger service was around 75mph and people seldom saw them hauling passenger stock since Pennsy was flooded with K4s. I believe Q1(because I can’t find any operation or testing data of her) could reach the same speed range with her beautiful 77” drivers. There are not many author called it out that Q1 was supposed to be a dual-service locomotive like M1. Q1 was like the Pennsy version of  Grand Trunk Western's U-4-b. Q1 had a better FA than PRR M1b and 33.5% higher TE, the design reduced dynamic augment aka hammer blow by 60% compared to PRR Class J1 at 70mph, but Pennsy had a 50mph freight train speed limit.
My guess is PRR was sold on of the duplex concept base on the mixed performance of S1, thus they decided to keep on going the development of duplexes and designed their own Q1 of 1942 to compare with Baldwin’s T1 (a non-Pennsy design), therefore Q1 was heavily streamlined (low-key by Loewy). If turned out Q1 was performed well enough as a dual-service locomotive, T1 wouldn’t be the only choice for Pennsy’s new passenger locomotive. Q1’s design flaws and wartime traffic made Pennsy no choice but purchased 125 J1s and later, 26 powerful Q2 for freight service only. My assumption can be wrong, but I am glad that I have the chance to discuss rare engines like Q1 with mentor Overmod.    Geeked
 
 
 
Overmod
Would you settle for the 1870s?  (Well in advance of the Chicago and New York Air Line, or the very well-developed plan for 18-minute-headway high-speed service between New York and Philadelphia from the late 1890s.)
That was the Weed electric railroad, which is notable in more than a few respects as an interesting idea.  It starts with the idea that real high-speed service was necessary for packages and mail, not people ...
 
18 minutes from NY to Chi-town is very impressive, but it won’t fit the tone and plot of my forthcoming sci-fi movie! Stick out tongue C’mon 18 mins was such a short time that my main characters won’t have time to finish the “love scene”. Anyway, such idea reminds me of the Hyperloop of Elon Musk. 
 
Overmod
…I certainly expect to find out much of the objective data as the T1 Trust project proceeds…
 
Agree. I know there are many different opinions on the 5550 projects. As a railfan, I am happy to see more steam locomotives from different countries and different era coming back to life!  Let alone T1s was one of my favorites steam locomotives.
 
 
 
Overmod
…I suspect you will then agree with me that this would have been one of the great disasters of the contemporary railroad world, far outstripping the T1 in ghastliness, after no more than a few years in "service"…Then we can get into the fly-ash and ash dump concern, the excessive working length and visibility problems, the lies about realizable top speed with a train, damping and lateral control of the trucks, and a host of other little gotchas, which were likely waiting in the wings but never got the chance, a bit like why cancer incidence was low in the 1300s because so few people lived to the age past the Hayflick limit where cancers become more prevalent...)
 
I thought C&O’s M-1 was devastating enough (for a RR), sounds like N&W TE-1 was something even worse! you've triggered my curiosity! TE-1 reminds me of some drawings of Pennsy’s conceptual steam turbine electric engine, one of them had a GG1 style body, with a water tender oddly attached behind it.
 
 
    
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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, October 20, 2018 11:04 AM

Miningman

It kind of reminds me of UFO stuff in the late 40's 50's, where the government convinced all that we were all just sharing an illusion and those that got too close to the truth somehow suffered a fatal accident. 

Sorry can't get deeper tonight, been a tough 2 weeks, unable, Will pick up the challenge tomorrow.

 
Fatal accident or get assassinated in broad daylight Zip it! Thank you for joining our discussion, Miningman. More different angles and ideas = more fun. DrinksSmile, Wink & Grin 
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 20, 2018 11:49 AM

Jones1945
18 minutes from NY to Chi-town is very impressive, but it won’t fit the tone and plot of my forthcoming sci-fi movie!

Ayaaaah, no!  The 'eighteen-minute headway' was the time between trains on the proposed 'super-interurban' between New York and Philadelphia ... one of the specific points of the service being that you wouldn't have to wait long for the next train, vs. an hour for a 'Clocker'.  You should research this as an extensive amount of the engineering work, including much of the requirements for the grading, was published as proof-of-concept, iirc around 1897, and is available (some in color!) on the Web.  It would have been completely practical to build it and it would likely have been interestingly improved in the ensuing years...

Not quite sure how you have a love scene on a Weed train, but you'd have much more time to build up to it.  Top speed of the equipment was estimated as around 150mph, but of course the train wouldn't run 'straight through' most of the time, and the times I recall seeing were in the 9-to-10-hour range.  That of course is enough for 'business overnight with morning delivery' most places in the financial East even net of switching or network-routing considerations.

The problem you face there is there's really only room for one at most in a given cross-section of those cramped little cars ... no room for most kinds of romantic action even if you had a pair of claustrophiles in the mood.  I also suspect that the ride would be less than comfortable, as would the 'space conditioning' provided (although I'd expect controlled-atmosphere and -temperature shipments to be recognized early on as an advantage, the ducts required for them would even further cut into the usable part of the loading gage).

On the other hand, it should have been possible for the Weed cars to run directly into an augmented version of the Chicago freight-tunnel system on arrival, giving some interesting plot possibilities... Wink

 

Meanwhile, the Q1 never made sense except as a passenger or dual-service M&E locomotive, which made its nominal design as 'follow-on improvement to M1 capability' more telling.  It's important to note how very different the detail design of the Q2 (which was expressly designed as a high-capacity wartime freight locomotive) was, and not just in dealing with the discovered issues with the Q1 configuration.  One example: the rigid wheelbase, even before accounting for lateral-motion accommodation, is shorter for the Q2 than for any of the production ATSF 2-10-4s.

The TE-1 comes directly out of the V1 project, but it's instructive to piece together what happened to the V1 after 1944 to understand why.  In this connection it helps to have read the somewhat one-sided correspondence that survives at the Hagley involving first the contretemps over the Loewy 'triplex' and the secret Baldwin project to get around the Steins patent (the 'take' at PRR was that Baldwin did hurry-up engineering to be the 'first' with a steam turbine-electric and the results sure showed, but the presence of the drawing you posted from Yank clearly shows the Baldwin, not the Steins/PRR configuration)

There is clear indication that N&W took up the idea of the V1 after PRR abandoned it (again, nominally for pure considerations of water rate) -- there is at least one cut of a 4-8-0+4-8-0 in a contemporary trade press article that can be nothing but a V1 adaptation.  However, by 1950, the reports of steam-turbine development at N&W had firmly switched to the siren call of electric traction (among other reasons to motor the axles of the engine trucks; you'd think the PRR experiment with the P5b would have been a cautionary tale to them, but it wasn't.  There are reports as late as the early '50s ('51 for sure, perhaps '52) that show detail work on this version of the turbine-electric, which I believe was even at this point being optimized for the Babcock & Wilcox chain-grate high-pressure watertube boiler. 

The change to bogie trucks mirrors developments in electric and diesel design both at BLH and elsewhere in world practice, promising 100% adhesion, true bidirectional operation, and supposedly better riding and guiding than the V1 chassis design would provide, with cheaper construction and promised compatibility with production diesel-electrics to sweeten the pot.  That in turn changed some of the carbody requirements but not the overall length, which was acceptable competitively for 1954 but not into the second-generation era which effectively started only a couple of years later.  Note that derating the locomotive even from its original 8000 nominal hp (let alone the fantasy 9000+ that PRR started touting, probably to justify the reduction in train length that the huge water rate of that power would imply) to a measly 4500hp, with all that complexity, makes little more operating sense than the Heilmann locomotive did in context.  (And remember that people I trust looked into the idea of expanding the B&W boiler detail design to serve 6000hp and concluded it wouldn't work...)

You may have concluded by now, as I did, that the subsequent Krauss-Maffei Amerika-Lok experiments (and then Alco's DH-643 etc.) established that mechanical Cardan-shaft drive to multiple bogie trucks was fraught with both engineering and economic issues, so even if the original V1 had been modified to that kind of undercarriage it would have been at most a highly conditional 'success'.  One that shared many of the characteristics that turned out to doom conventional steam, such as even the revised issues about steam-boiler maintenance that direct-steam plants, good water treatment regimens, welded shell construction, and coherent servicing plans couldn't fully address.

Still, I'd have liked to see them try.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, October 20, 2018 9:35 PM
Overmod
Ayaaaah, no!...It would have been completely practical to build it and it would likely have been interestingly improved in the ensuing years...
 
Was it really called “the weed electric railroad” since I searched it for hours but what I could find was some pics and videos of weed control trains, a lot of plants which makes people chill and for some creepy reasons, it leaded me to the page of “the lost colony of Roanoke”. Please help me mentor Overmod!Blindfold
 
Overmod
Not quite sure how you have a love scene on a Weed train, but you'd have much more time to build up to it.
 
Sometimes life is too predictable and repetitive, our world needs more love even on a Weed train.Thumbs Up
 
 
 
Overmod
Top speed of the equipment was estimated as around 150mph, but of course the train wouldn't run 'straight through' most of the time, and the times I recall seeing were in the 9-to-10-hour range.  That of course is enough for 'business overnight with morning delivery' most places in the financial East even net of switching or network-routing considerations.
 
That would be “only” 4 to 5 hours faster than EMC’s proposal for PRR. But since the frequency was so high, it would have dramatically changed the visitor’s flowrate between two cities; if people in 1890 was “open-minded” enough to travel at 150mph. If the travel time from NY to Chi-town shorten to 9-10 hours, coach only "consist" would be good enough for daytime service. I want to see how the carriage of the Weed electric railroad looked like before I continue fantasy stuffs as well as changing the plots and theme of my movie script.
 
 
Overmod
The problem you face there is there's really only room for one at most in a given cross-section of those cramped little cars ... no room for most kinds of romantic action even if you had a pair of claustrophiles in the mood. 
 
No worries, Overmod. A 3ft X 5ft car would be enough. The idea of the Weed train saved a lot of money for my limited budget.    
 
Overmod
On the other hand, it should have been possible for the Weed cars to run directly into an augmented version of the Chicago freight-tunnel system on arrival, giving some interesting plot possibilities... Wink 
 
Your name should be in the film credits to be honest, so please! please allow me to add your name on it. Smile, Wink & Grin
 
Overmod
Meanwhile, the Q1 never made sense except as a passenger or dual-service M&E locomotive, which made its nominal design as 'follow-on improvement to M1 capability' more telling.  It's important to note how very different the detail design of the Q2 (which was expressly designed as a high-capacity wartime freight locomotive) was, and not just in dealing with the discovered issues with the Q1 configuration.  One example: the rigid wheelbase, even before accounting for lateral-motion accommodation, is shorter for the Q2 than for any of the production ATSF 2-10-4s.
 
I would probably never know why PRR followed the tracks of an overthrown chariot of B&O. Even B&O never made their N-1, it wasn’t really that hard to foresee the problem of the Q1’s rear cylinders; it wasn’t a cheap engine, compared to T1’s construction cost. But I found some ideas which PRR wanted to apply on Q1 was quite interesting; like they considered to allow only the front cylinders to move the train which means both cylinders could have operated separately for fuel and cost saving. Q2 is considered the most successful Duplex by PRR, but they were too heavy for part of the Penny’s system. Anyway, a single unit could generate 7800hp was really something. If only there were some ways to lower their operating cost, and weight.
 
Overmod
There are reports as late as the early '50s ('51 for sure, perhaps '52) that show detail work on this version of the turbine-electric, which I believe was even at this point being optimized for the Babcock & Wilcox chain-grate high-pressure watertube boiler……Note that derating the locomotive even from its original 8000 nominal hp (let alone the fantasy 9000+ that PRR started touting, probably to justify the reduction in train length that the huge water rate of that power would imply) to a measly 4500hp, with all that complexity, makes little more operating sense than the Heilmann locomotive did in context.…Still, I'd have liked to see them try.
 
Yes, at least they tried. It showed how devoted N&W was, they kept trying to make this concept works until 1952; on the other hand,  how lucky Pennsy was off the hooks from this extreme expensive experiment. I wonder if any RR ever considered to build a steam turbine electric base on the design of S2, no reverse boiler was needed, but a longer front end to place the 6900hp turbine and the power plant.  
 
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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, October 20, 2018 10:09 PM

So are you saying the N&W TE-1 Jawn Henry was an improved version of anything the PRR would have come up with had the V1 been built?

One VP at N&W was impressed enough to push for 19 more TE-1's but got overruled. As you say a likely failed end and the same fate would have occurred to any follow up orders of the proposed V1. 

The verdict is in. This is how it will be. Obviously the concept is flawed, best to buy Diesels. Buy now, pay later. Credit available because you blew all your wartime profits on reequipped passenger trains and steam of the future. Too bad. That's our territory now. Big oil, Big rubber, Big auto. 

Quite genius I would say. 

How many steam locomotives nationwide were scrapped owing to Diesels, 100,000?  600 Mohawks on the Central alone. Gads Zooks! 

Steam survived 2 decades more all over the world, even in England, Western Europe and Australia. 3 and 4 decades elsewhere. Not a total expensive out dated flop after all. 

We all suffered the same massive hallucination. Bring in an 'ex-spurt' and call it swamp gas. Of course, its swamp gas. Steam is no good. Diesels much better. We have not been visited by extraterrestrials, no such thing.  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, October 20, 2018 11:28 PM
Miningman
So are you saying the N&W TE-1 Jawn Henry was an improved version of anything the PRR would have come up with had the V1 been built?
One VP at N&W was impressed enough to push for 19 more TE-1's but got overruled. As you say a likely failed end and the same fate would have occurred to any follow up orders of the proposed V1. 
 
That is an important question I forgot to ask; if TE-1 was a failure why the management of N&W wanted to purchase more of them? I had a rather good impression of N&W’s broad, especially when they made one of the most successful 4-8-4 in the States.
 
 
 
Miningman
How many steam locomotives nationwide were scrapped owing to Diesels, 100,000?  600 Mohawks on the Central alone. Gads Zooks! Steam survived 2 decades more all over the world, even in England, Western Europe and Australia. 3 and 4 decades elsewhere. Not a total expensive out dated flop after all. 
 
Steam locomotive in developing countries like China and India survived even longer. I heard in some remote areas in Mainland China, there were steam locomotives hauling light load freight trains for “private company” just a few years ago. I believe Peter knows much better than me. Some prewar Steam engines imported by different countries in 1930s; before the Civil War of China in late-1940s were used until 1970s to 1980s. Due to China’s special political situation, geographical environments  and enormous population, diesel, electric, steam engine worked together  for almost 4 decades. I am not trying to compare America with China though, its like compare an apple to an orange. 
 
 
First 2-10-2 built by PRC in early-1950s
 
Miningman
We all suffered the same massive hallucination. Bring in an 'ex-spurt' and call it swamp gas. Of course, its swamp gas. Steam is no good. Diesels much better. We have not been visited by extraterrestrials, no such thing.  
 
For the last point, I highly recommend our reader study Linda Moulton Howe’s stories (Free on YouTube) and what she said about this topic. If only 20% of what she told the public was real, it is still a very big deal for everyone who wants to know the truth.
 
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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, October 21, 2018 1:17 AM

I'm trying to draw a parallel with the reasons for the end of all steam in all forms, mercilessly, recklessly, without reason, even the most advanced that won the war, with other mass cover ups, whether the truth or not. One was the interests of big business that was anything but railroading, the other was government, not wanting us to know stuff, whatever it be. ( I've seen things in remote exploration camps in isolation that can't be explained )

A functioning system of Interurbans, streetcars, steam roundhouses everywhere, passenger service with dining and sleeping car service to every corner of North America from your own local station. All lost. 

Folks will never give up though. The Steampunk movement is quite a little phenom even if it is just fashion and fantasy at this time. At least people are thinking. Perhaps we wil come to our senses. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, October 21, 2018 9:49 AM

I was going to jump in, but wow, the water's gotten awful deep!

I'll say this about Norfolk and Western steam and no more.  The men running the N&W back in the Fifties weren't starry-eyed kids, they were mature men and seasoned railroaders.  They knew the end of steam was coming, it was just a matter of when, but as long as their steamers, which they were very proud of by the way, were running well, were maintainable, and were making them money they weren't in any great rush to retire them.  They took a "wait-and-see" attitude toward dieselization and paid close attention to how it was working out for everyone else.  It paid off too, when they bought diesels at last they were good ones, in this case Geeps, even though trains like the "Cavalier" and the "Powhatan Arrrow" looked lousy with a Geep on the head end instead of a Class J.

It was that living embodiment of the "Peter Principle" Stuart Saunders that rushed the process and put the N&W in the red for the first time in its history.  Needless to say the N&W being a coal pipeline and a guaranteed money-maker that "red" period didn't last too long.

It's possible that without Saunders coming along N&W steam might have lasted until 1965, possibly 1970, but certainly the environmental laws that were passed in the 1970's would have put an end to it. That was inevitable. 

PS:  I know about "Steampunk."  I haven't been to one of their festivals yet, but maybe I shoulld go one of these days, it looks like fun!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, October 22, 2018 12:53 AM

Although I am quite disappointed on how PRR panicky switched to diesel electric in 1948, but when I am looking at the figures on this report, I feel sympathy for the situation they were facing. Note the extremely high operating expenses. Although it only shown data of two months, but it gave us a glimpse of how bad their financial situation was.
 
 
I am not saying the high expenses was a result of using steam engine but not impotent management or other factors since I don’t have enough data and historical facts to support such conclusion. But I believe the pressure to cut cost was very strong and was requested by the board and many shareholders. IIRC, the Pennsy couldn’t even paid Raymond Loewy to finish the refurbishment of Penn Station in 1948. Purchases of problematic early diesels from BLW, Alco and FM made the situation worse while 52 T1s (equal to 104 units of K4s or 156 EMD diesel units) were already fine-tuned but forced to retire early by 1952.    
 
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Posted by Miningman on Monday, October 22, 2018 12:54 AM

Alright Wayne, let's get deep. 

Ayn Rand writes the following:

"The demand to restrict technology is the demand to restrict man's mind. It is nature, ie reality, that makes both these goals impossible to achieve. Technology can be destroyed and the mind can be paralyzed but neither can be restricted. Whether and wherever such restrictions are attempted, it is the mind, not the state, that withers away."

Could this possibly be an explanation for the wholesale demise of advanced steam technology, and all steam, after WWII? How did we use the authority of government to divert technologies, energy and so on and let it be so intrusive. The federal takeover of science. Prior to WWII there was little government involvement in science. A  scientocracy was formed after the success of the Manhatten project.

Could it explain brand new T1's sabotage, S2 failed with no actual attempts of improvements, S1 scrapped, assured failure of coal turbines afterward... and so much more? 

The end of coal in any way to power the Nations railroads. The military industrial complex imposing their will on the railroads and not allowing even a sliver of light. Guaranteed failure and new energy source aimed at the very heart of Railroading itself. 

Resistance is futile! 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 22, 2018 3:23 AM

Please.  I know the clout of the oil firms that shaped foreign policy, a walkl away from USA energy independence, and eventully led to the World Trade Center - Pentagon disaster, El Quada, etc.  But dieslilzation of railroads?

Note that every major railroad system in the world has dieslized or electrified or a combination of both, with the choice based on economics.  No major railroad system, world-wide, relies on steam power today.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, October 22, 2018 9:08 AM

Perhaps it has a 1% chance of being a viable explanation but maybe that was the 1 time. It fits in its own way. 

I full well expect harsh blowback and many groans. Yet as pointed out steam survived even in Western countries around the world for decades yet. 

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Posted by selector on Monday, October 22, 2018 9:51 AM

They survived where it made economic and fiscally responsible sense.  When it didn't, steamers were cashiered. There are older diesels still being used, far less efficient than those designed to replace them.  Same diff.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 22, 2018 11:08 AM

Miningman
Could it explain brand new T1's sabotage, S2 failed with no actual attempts of improvements, S1 scrapped, assured failure of coal turbines afterward... and so much more?

The BCR coal-turbine project WAS the product of that scientocracy, and became the scam that it was when the "scientists" did the analogue of grant swing and kept mooching on the member railroads for work that locomotive builders or other 'interested parties' should have taken up on their dime.

If Union Pacific couldn't get it to work, on the shoestring of shoestrings that was the locomotive 80 and then 8080 project, I suspect no one could have gotten it to work.  And by the end of that effort you had no 'locomotive' builder even remotely interested in direct coal combustion who would undertake building it in quantity.  A good thing, as there is NO way it could be adapted to even 1970s pollution standards within contemporary gage limitations and working conditions.

And then we can take up how miserable a thing it would be to run.

The problem with so much of 'advanced steam technology' was that it had all the materials and fabrication expense of more sophisticated approaches, but none of the practical thermal efficiency and not enough maintenance 'saving'.  Lubritoria were a wonderful idea, but the gains were relative to total-loss lubrication in the first place; many water-treatment regimens were dependent on ghastly continuous blowdown, and so on: it's romantic to see one steam locomotive operating, quite another thing to have a fleet of maintained-to-a-price examples going by every day (or not going by, broken down expensively somewhere).

In my opinion the road that used modern steam best was the Nickel Plate, which to this day operates fast bridge trains at speeds right at the horsepower peak of their best locomotives.  I believe the Brown paper used data from just before the time Nickel Plate dieselized; if you look at why that road gave up Berks when it did (and for what) you will have a good understanding of why the transition became inevitable by that point, for that era.

A case could be made that interurbans failed because their proponents (usually utility combines looking to capitalize on uses and excuses for wiring out their regions - something increasingly unnecessary and non-lucrative after the War) were less popular than the far more convenient and useful automotive cartel.  Part of the success is documented in 'The Insolent Chariots' -- how could increasingly rattletrap trolleys compete with that juggernaut?  If Los Angeles, of all places, could get rid of its system, why invoke conspiracy when the sheep did the job themselves?

Consider, again, that the Niagara was only competitive with diesel power in a very specific service; when that ceased to exist either for marketing or economic reasons, let alone a combination of both, all the collateral expense of that particular 'weapons system' increasing dramatically after 1947, you should not be surprised at unwillingness to continue.

Now, it is possible that had there been "modern" small power, perhaps the sort of thing Steins was developing in the early Thirties, with some of the advantages of modern maintenance and servicing on an appropriate scale, you might have seen more use of steam until it had been 'costed down'.  But this is precisely the sort of place that dieselization became established where continued operation of small-scale railroading made sense.  Steam disappeared coincidentally with All Those Canadian Railroads that are gone when you look around, not in isolation.  It may be hard to distinguish which of them was doomed the more. 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, October 22, 2018 12:02 PM

Well that was gentle Overmod. I full well expected a good thrashing and holes blown in my little rubber dinghy out in the ocean like that, so thanks. 

Makes everyone think a bit though. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 22, 2018 2:37 PM

One of the illustrative pieces of history is: what became of the engineers who so carefully worked out that New York to Philadelphia high-speed interurban?  I thought, when I read it, imagine what would happen when the 'boom' in eastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey with cheap Portland cement concrete got going.  What would those engineers have done with gleepsite?

And the answer is: as 'visionary' they saw very well what the use of concrete would be: they got into the good roads movement, and the engineer became one of the original authorities in paving equipment.  As far as I know he never considered another railroad project...

Almost the only thing that could have replaced a government-assisted good-roads program would have been government ownership (not just regulation or subsidy) of a strategic network of 'electric railways' serving regionally.  But (judging by the efforts made by steam railroads to electrify over part of their routes, most of which were pretty much done by WW1) that would need to have been done prior to the Wilsonian excuse for federal control ... and it would have been tough to apportion revenue with the then-budding power-company magnates like Insull.  Whether we'd have had the excuse to use federal money for something like TVA, who knows?

People tend to forget this, but by 1928 it was very clear that the United States would be running out of gasoline-producing reserves very soon.  So clear that one of the Standard Oil spinoffs spent an ungodly amount of money licensing the Fischer-Tropsch process to synthesize gasoline from coal.  This would raise the cost of gasoline ... but you didn't see the rate of development in the automobile industry damped by this in the late '20s, right up to the point that the Depression arrested it for other reasons. 

The other thing was the rise of 'reliable' used cars very, very cheap -- in part, a consequence of all those Model Ts produced better and cheaper each year.   An interurban depends upon a large enough volume of people who don't care much when they get to someplace a few miles away, all going at the same time, without needing to transport very much.  A streetcar depends upon people willing to take a long time, stopping and starting, to get someplace without walking.  In both cases, when you have a cheap set of wheels not only do you have a convenient alternative to transportation but you can take others along, probably for more than a streetcar fare as you can dogleg off the car route to accommodate passengers or get over to the curb.  Success of the proto-Uber jitney movement, in the teeth of City Hall taxi preservationism, is some indication of the power involved.  But one of the things that kept jitneys a fad was the evolving ease with which everyone could have their own...

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, October 22, 2018 7:54 PM

Dave K. -- I invoke Ayn Rand only for that post war era when there were huge investments in not only Duplex Drives, based on what had previously been built, and coal Turbines but also Alleghenies, exceptional switchers, some remote controlled, outstanding 4-8-4's, some rebuilt steam such as C&NW Zeppelins, CPR Selkirks and simple but advanced and highly efficient branch line Pacific's and on and on. 

I still have my Trains magazines where it was reported that every record in the book was smashed by the T1's on the test beds in Altoona. The look of the future was put forth in steam and it looked like the future. 6 months it lasted. Suddenly just like that it's all no good and junk. Something really smelled here. Something was stifled. 

Of course Diesels in all likelihood would have been the order of the day but much later, decades perhaps. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, October 22, 2018 11:46 PM

Miningman

I still have my Trains magazines where it was reported that every record in the book was smashed by the T1's on the test beds in Altoona. The look of the future was put forth in steam and it looked like the future. 6 months it lasted. Suddenly just like that it's all no good and junk. Something really smelled here. Something was stifled. 

Of course Diesels in all likelihood would have been the order of the day but much later, decades perhaps. 

 

 
I really appreciate and absolutely agree with your points about the T1s, Vince. Regarding T1s prototypes’ “glowing” test report, it was either the Pennsy lied to the shareholders and even to themselves by a rigged report; or the design of Baldwin’s T1s; consists of four cylinders plus Franklin’s poppet valve gears really made T1s the future of coal burning steam power; at least it was still an better option of prime power beside diesel electric by 1945 or a bit earlier.
 
On the other hand, EMD kept improving their diesel electric products since mid-1930s thus T1s, a late-1930s design couldn’t catch up with engine like E7, E8 in terms of lower operating expenses and other economics advantages. (However, early mainline diesel products from BLW, ALCO and FM were something worse than a scam, the trouble they created made the situation more complicated for RRs who purchased them.)
 
What our forum members pointed out was right that even though Class I RRs in the States kept using the steam engine until late-1960, they probably wouldn’t survive after 1971 due to the environmental law. But as a railfan who prefer coal burning steam power to diesel electric, that 20 more years of “steam” would means a lot......at least to me. 
 
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 3:29 PM

Jones1945
Miningman

I still have my Trains magazines where it was reported that every record in the book was smashed by the T1's on the test beds in Altoona. The look of the future was put forth in steam and it looked like the future. 6 months it lasted.

I really appreciate and absolutely agree with your points about the T1s, Vince. Regarding T1s prototypes’ “glowing” test report, it was either the Pennsy lied to the shareholders and even to themselves by a rigged report ...


 
Ah, no.  You can figure this out with a little applied thought, remembering that the test plant doesn't simulate cross-level defects or low joints/frogs, and changes in both speed and wheelrim load are relatively slow and usually monotone increase or decrease at a give point in the testing. 
 
The objective benefits of the divided-drive design WITHOUT conjugation was good enough for Paul Kiefer and a number of his compatriots to play 'you bet your company' on a properly-revised but not terrifically different version of the design as late as spring 1945, long after many of the problems were observed in road testing and much work had been done on starting to address them.  In particular, the very low water rate observed in some of the tests -- among the best figures for any locomotives using outside-coupled two-cylinder simple engines -- was essential in allowing NYC to make their flagship runs without a fuel stop.  No Niagara ever managed that, and probably couldn't even with the full 64T tender...
 
 
On the other hand, EMD kept improving their diesel electric products since mid-1930s thus T1s, a late-1930s design couldn’t catch up with engine like E7, E8 in terms of lower operating expenses and other economics advantages.
 
Don't run these two EMD designs together.  It was specifically proven in 1947 that a good 4-8-4 in the right service was the equal of the somewhat squirrelly, overexpensive E7.  There's much more in the E8/9 than a few more working horsepower.  Comparable is true of F and GP units after the Forties. 
 
On the other hand, there was nothing like EMD customer service in the steam world.  And the margins wouldn't likely have supported it.  Steam was never going to be high-tech, or particularly efficient enough to warrant mecanicien-level attentiveness for anything except the most important and lucrative services.  And as we have seen, those were NOT as cost-effective for steam as for diesel, even where steam's horsepower curve and other characteristics were superior at the time to diesel equivalents.
 
... early mainline diesel products from BLW, ALCO and FM were something worse than a scam, the trouble they created made the situation more complicated for RRs who purchased them.
 
When making claims like this, be very careful that the scam was premeditated, rather than emergent (or circumstantial, like the maintenance issues with FM OP engines).
 
Baldwin had very careful reasons for maintaining slow-speed details in the 600-series engines; keep in mind that by then not only had they experimented with high-speed V-12s, some turbocharged, they had developed V-8 gensets to production (it appears to be cost, not operational details, that spelled the end for the 408-powered Essl 6000hp locomotive design that so impressed Paul Kiefer).  Alco likewise thought they really had something with their four-stroke 2000-hp from a single prime mover; the issue with turbo lag could have been easily solved with an overrunning 'turboelectric' drive that motored the compressor turbine when quick loading was desired.  But those two were still building to a price, and making production changes on a unit-by-unit basis continually, and not coherently documenting maintenance and upgrading... the list of what EMD did with panache, and its competition didn't, is fairly long.
 
What our forum members pointed out was right that even though Class I RRs in the States kept using the steam engine until late-1960, they probably wouldn’t survive after 1971 due to the environmental law.
 
I suspect there would have been extensive waivers, some based on hardship, by that point.  Part of the trouble is that there really isn't any way to extrapolate from the 'likely' consequences of not dieselizing in the '40s to get to the Clean Air Act as enacted.  You'd likely have had far more failures than NYO&W by the Sixties, and probably much worse ones, had steam been the only effective road power.  Whether that would have served as a wake-up call to an earlier Congress or Cabinet, or whether it would lead to better mergers, is something only alternative historians should tinker with.
 
In any case, y'all have something of a Hobson's choice regarding 'modern steam' -- it may well have been possible to preserve "steam" only in the form of turbine-electrics or the ACE idea of a 4-8-4 that telescoped an SDP40F.  That's almost the worst of both worlds in an alarming number of ways...
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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 9:30 PM

Ok and around we go again.

If the test bed was incapable of simulating real conditions then why bother with it. If the technology was not advanced enough to do this then a mathematical correction could be easily applied. Surely all those scientists and engineers, Pennsy and Baldwin, knew this. So not buying it fully. Besides they had the S1 and Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon as a functioning out on the road in real conditions in all weather, in wartime conditions to boot! as the test bed. So not buying it even more now. 

Up here in the Great White North steam was in abundance right up until 1959, even beyond, but less so,  until spring 1960. Recall the account of  a Forum member from Buffalo who visited a roundhouse in Niagara Falls that was full packed with active steam one weekend and the following weekend nothing.. all gone. That is how it happened here. Both the CPR and CNR got together and decided on a final day. Just like that. Both John St and Spadina roundhouses were full of steam in Toronto in pictures from 1959, then poof gone. Brand new overhauled, paint still wet locomotives sat in dead lines at Stratford and Angus and Winnipeg.  So perhaps 5-10 years lag with the US, but neither CNR or CPR showed any adverse economic effects. I cannot believe that steam into the 60's would have seen massive NY,O&W copycats. There were specific irreversible reasons for the demise of that road. You could cost cut that road down to a dog pulling kids carts and still lose money. Besides we already have the Penn Central bankruptcy with now second generation Diesels that did nothing to save their sorry state. To think steam would have made it worse is too bizarre to forward. Maybe the merger would not have happened at all if steam was advanced. 

As to non EMC builders and Jones' claim, well the government directly influenced that outcome by disallowing anyone but Electro Motive from building the real stuff. They all had to play catch up and cut corners and rush and, worse still, they knew it. Fingers crossed and all that. Too bad, the table was already set. Again up here in Can-a-der the government mandated fairness between Alco/MLW, EMC/GMD and to a lesser extent CLC/FM but even they still got a good whack at it. The CPR liked them enough. GM was in a minority position up here. 

I agree 100% about conjecture as to steam in the future and how things unfold and the consequences of prevalent steam. Better mergers, more end to end? Longer hauls, more competing big systems. Railroad power exempt from environmental laws?  Perhaps eventually but quickly Federal 'forgive it' loans for massive electrification projects. That would make up for the St. Lawrence Seaway, Interstate Highways, Roads and bridges, Airports and so on. Fully justified in levelling the field. It would look like peanuts today. However all that is historical speculation. 

Beware the Scientocracy.

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 2:08 AM
Overmod
Ah, no.  You can figure this out with a little applied thought, remembering that the test plant doesn't simulate cross-level defects or low joints/frogs, and changes in both speed and wheelrim load are relatively slow and usually monotone increase or decrease at a give point in the testing. 
 
Alas! Coffee Smile, Wink & Grin There was a reason why my response was right-sized, but I appreciate you and other forum member’s thorough reply which give me the chance to learn from the best.
 
Just as Vince stated that there were not only test reports from the test plant at Altoona. Pennsy tested total four duplexes built for different purposes since 1940 by putting them on regular revenue services. They were S1 #6100, T1 #6110 and #6111 of 1942 and Q1 #6130 before they decided (a very important decision) to purchases 50 more “passenger duplex” plus 26 “freight duplex” aka production T1 and Q2 in mid-1940s. We know they were not only the answer of Pennsy to the concept of super power (4-8-4s) but also part of an attempt to prolong the use of coal burning steam power instead of diesel electric (Pennsy rejected EMC’s proposal in late-1930s). But the decision of purchasing total 76 duplexes was proved wrong by Pennsy itself (not me) when they decided to completely dieselize in phases (Yes, in phases) since 1948 (since but not by) and withdrawn all the duplexes (all but not some of them) from revenue service before 1953 (action speaks louder than words) The whole duplexes concept is seen as a failure.
 
There was only one man in the PRR’s management who named James M. Symes had the guts (can’t use other words in this forum) to called it out and required a 4-8-4s like N&W Class J but not the problematic T1s before Pennsy signed the checks for 76 more duplexes, but PRR insisted. From a steam lover’s point of view (me for example), the duplex adventure was probably one of the best things ever happened. But from an angle of business management, it was part of the history of a world class disaster orchestrated by the largest railroad in the world (which was gone for good).
 
 
 
 
Overmod
 Don't run these two EMD designs together.  It was specifically proven in 1947 that a good 4-8-4 in the right service was the equal of the somewhat squirrelly, overexpensive E7.  There's much more in the E8/9 than a few more working horsepower.  Comparable is true of F and GP units after the Forties.  
 
OK but not ok. There was a reason why I mentioned E7 and E8 but not E6, E7, E8 or E6, E7, E8, E9 when I was talking about things about T1s. So please allow me to repeat and clarify what I wrote one more time:
 
 
EMD kept improving (Yes, they kept improving but not stuck on fixing, modifying and fine tuning a late-1930s engine design year after year like T1s) their diesel electric products since mid-1930s thus T1s, a late-1930s design couldn’t catch up with engine like E7 (It was the #1 rival T1 and other steam power like 4-8-4s and steam turbine engines needed to beat at the time, we heard and read about the test report by Paul W. Kiefer thousands of times since 1946), E8 (a product which had even higher standard of reliability and mechanical advantages, good enough to put a full stop to prime steam power in the States and it did) in terms of lower operating expenses and other economics advantages.
 
However, early mainline (Yes I said mainline power not switcher) diesel products from BLW, ALCO and FM were something worse than a scam (worse than but not equal to. the financial situation was bad enough before 1948, not only Pennsy seen them as a pain in the whatever you can imagine body part not long after they were put into service) , the trouble they created made the situation more complicated (Yes, even worse) for RRs who purchased them.
 
 
 
Overmod
 You'd likely have had far more failures than NYO&W by the Sixties, and probably much worse ones, had steam been the only effective road power.  Whether that would have served as a wake-up call to an earlier Congress or Cabinet, or whether it would lead to better mergers, is something only alternative historians should tinker with.
 
 
I can only speak for myself. I believe steam and diesel as well as other form of power could have worked together a bit longer in the States instead of handling it like a zero-sum game; the UAC TurboTrain was a good example (of course our reader can write a 20000 words article about its problems) . Unless someone offer me a ticket for time traveling, I am not going to write a 2046 pages proposal about how such idea is practical and could be beneficial to the consumer.
 
I believe some reader would call us beating a dead horse (very hard). But I think Pennsy was a good example to show people in power that how your whole business can be messed up by making irrational and reckless decisions one after another. There were stories behind all these decisions waiting for us to discover (or to expose, if you can find the evidences, including oral orders from the Pyramid's top). I am not going to repeat every single point our forum members and me have made in this ten-page thread though. I believe our reader can understand what we wanted to express from different angles and in different ways.    
 
 
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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 6:08 PM

Last night I pullled out my copy of "French Steam", an English (Ian Allen) book covering the period from 1946 to the end of steam in France around 1969, to check up on some aspects of the 230K, mentioned in another thead.

It has captons in French and English, but the French captions are usually more detailed.

There was a photo of 242A1 at its depot, indicating that it ran in a roster with a group of 141P four cylinder mikados. The french caption, but not the English caption, indicated that 242A1 was withdrawn and scrapped before its running mates because it cost too much to maintain. That a three cylinder compound stood out among four cylinder compounds as too expensive to maintain is a statement in itself. Many such locomotives were superseded in the 1950s by the two cylinder 141R, which was recognised as cheap to maintain, if less economical on fuel and which could be run without releying on regular crews who undestood a particular locomotive's foibles, thus providing much greater availability.

The SNCF was criticised for building the 241P instead of Chapelon's 242A1 for the PLM main line which was planned for electrification anyway. Electrification took place as far as Lyon by 1951, the magazines greeting electrification with "Paris-Lyon, les trains plus vite du monde" (the fastest trains in the world) which was true at the time. It was again when the TGV was introduced on a new line years later.

But the 241P was a development of the PLM 241C which meant that the crews unserstood the locomotives and all the controls were in the familiar places.

Peter

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 10:41 PM

M636C

 

The SNCF was criticised for building the 241P instead of Chapelon's  for the PLM main line which was planned for electrification anyway. Electrification took place as far as Lyon by 1951, the magazines greeting electrification with "Paris-Lyon, les trains plus vite du monde" (the fastest trains in the world) which was true at the time. It was again when the TGV was introduced on a new line years later.

But the 241P was a development of the PLM 241C which meant that the crews unserstood the locomotives and all the controls were in the familiar places.

Peter

Thank you very much, Peter. That was a very considerate arrangement for the crews; intended or not. It benefited both side; the crews knew how to handle the new engine immediately while the SNCF didn't need to waste extra man power and time to retrain the crews.
 
 
The distance between Paris to Lyon is around 280 miles, dozens of miles longer than the route between New York and Washington DC. The electrification and what SNCF achieved; from world speed record in 1955 to the introduction of TGV, were some inspiring examples. 

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