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

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, October 21, 2019 5:37 PM

Flintlock states " Like trashing the "Mona Lisa" because her hair and dress are out of style."

Now that's worthy of some kind of David P. Morgan award!

Of course Overmod is correct if looked at in that light. How about they stick with them, make it right and never spend the enourmous capital outlay plus interest on the E8's. 

T1's on the PennCentral ... whooo boy, they wouldn't be able to keep them on the rails, maintenance would likely go to nil. The E8's looked like hell enough! 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 21, 2019 6:03 PM

Flintlock76
Well hey, they could have run a T1 or two in the steam-starved 60's and called it a ride, not transportation. 

If the Reading stopped doing it with theirs, what would keep the PRR in the ramblin' biz?

While we're in shouda-woulda-coulda mode, what PRR might have done is what UP actually did: take one of their special first-line engines and, instead of relegating it to the dead collection in Northumberland, kept it alive as a special project and 'show of pride'.  

Would have involved no more special equipment and planning than the T1 Trust feasibility plan already calls for.  And when Penn Central came to be, you'd have a happy market for the fire-sale shuck that would probably have happened ... without some of the risk involved with a Dick Jensen-style fall through the cracks.  Heaven knows provision of adequate spares could have been arranged for very little money!

(Regrettably for Jones, and me, and a few others: you see why you would NOT do this with the S1, right? ...)

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, October 21, 2019 6:45 PM

Well, the Reading stopped doing it because the flue times had expired on the T1's so they just decided to call it a day, or so I've heard.  Aside from that, I like your thinkin' about the PRR adopting a UP-style steam program, certainly do-able, and with very little effort.

Why they couldn't do it with the S1 is no mystery, it was good, but too damn big!  Kind of reminds me of the old gag of the guy who builds a boat in his backyard and then can't get it out past the house!  Which actually happened in one case I know of, to a certain Major (at the time) George S. Patton!  Patton's son said his dad's profanity at the time was truly remarkable!  He said it was also one of the few times he saw his mother collapse in hysterical laughter!  

They still should have sent the S1 to Northumberland.  Pity they didn't.  Or a T1.  They saved an example of darn near everything else.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 21, 2019 8:11 PM

Flintlock76
They saved an example of darn near everything else.

Pointedly, no L5s.  Which were a whole long part of PRR history.

Or L6s either.  Even one of the completed carbodies could have been used.

Not even the R1.  And only one P5, and that only because St. Louis stepped in.  We won't go into Baldwins...

(At least we have Rivets... but why not 4801?)

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 4:55 AM

Flintlock76

You know boys, I look at those construction photos of the T1 and all I can think of is...

"All that design genius, all that foundry work, all that machine shop artistry, all that sweat, patience, and probably a little blood, and then wrapped up in a Raymond Lowey gift-wrap, gone for scrap, like it all meant nothing.  Nothing at all."

What a shame.  Like trashing the "Mona Lisa" because her hair and dress are out of style.   

Exactly. I wish there wasn't any serious industrial accident involved during the construction of S1 and T1s. But if there was any, I wish their names would be remembered when the 5550 will be built. Minor injuries are probably inevitable, knock knock on wood! All the effort and money spent was flushed or purged like the brown fish in the toilet...... though I can understand that many people who are not railfan or railfan who never liked the T1s never see them as "Mona Lisa" or something that they would cherish. 

Overmod

(Regrettably for Jones, and me, and a few others: you see why you would NOT do this with the S1, right? ...)

Yes. The book value of the S1 just before scrapping was $500,000. Scrap value was $14,291. I don't think there was any buyer who wants to buy an engine that couldn't run on their system, or to spend that amount of money to place it inside a department store or someone backyards. Pennsy could have donated the S1 or even the whole "Raymond Loewy steam engine collection" to colleges or museums, but there was a man in PRR who wanted to get rid of all of them so badly, the New VP of Operation, Jim Symes. He wanted the N&W Class J instead of the T1s before his promotion. He was probably right about the choice of engine type, though. I don't blame him since I have been working on helping our younger folks to bring the S1 back in 3D model form and scaled model form at an affordable price. Maybe someday there will be a S1 Trust in America or other countries, or other planets... and the Promised Land. 

Miningman

Flintlock states " Like trashing the "Mona Lisa" because her hair and dress are out of style."

Now that's worthy of some kind of David P. Morgan award!

Of course Overmod is correct if looked at in that light. How about they stick with them, make it right and never spend the enourmous capital outlay plus interest on the E8's. 

T1's on the PennCentral ... whooo boy, they wouldn't be able to keep them on the rails, maintenance would likely go to nil. The E8's looked like hell enough! 

I am still interested in calculating the total amount of money that PRR spent on purchasing mainland passenger diesel engines from 1947 to 1967, the overall maintenance and operating cost of it, and compared it to the figures if PRR kept using the T1s and Q2 until the 1960s. I do believe that some Pennsy fans have done this before but I am distracted with many other things recently. Anyway, it was just less than 16 years between the T1s all sent for scrap and the end of PRR. 

 

From: rrmuseumpa.org

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 8:21 AM

Jones1945
The book value of the S1 just before scrapping was $500,000. Scrap value was $14,291.

But look at the numbers for the aggregate amount PRR paid on the S1 project from inception through the great number of apparent 'change orders' Baldwin came up with.  I think the total is well north of $3 million (!!!) which was amplified in both effect and opportunity cost substantially by the Depression.

If that money had to be 'kept on the books' while the asset was intact, it wouldn't be surprising to see the now-inevitable taking its course...

I think it's documented that Symes disliked the S1 because of its impact on regular operations, and that includes its tendency to go on the ground at the least provocation when hostling.  That perception may be a Chris Baer artifact, but I suspect he's looked at the issue more than anyone else.

Note that much of the "HSR optimization" that would have been done from the 1920s through the 1940s would still be useful today if extant... and explicitly designed for speed or 'snapping' rather than decreasing freight grade or the need for 'helping'.  That would likely be particularly true for Amtrak service from New York to 'the west' as, even by way of the Philadelphia area, there was no practical alternative other than the NYC, much longer.  Combination of the Sam Rea line with electrification would only enhance this, even given the necessity of substantially and perhaps completely rebuilding that electrification for constant-tension to be of maximum worth.

The cutoff around the Philadelphia issues is likely as significant in improving timing as a great many miles of curve reduction via tunnelling.  And for PRR this would become important with the rise of TrucTrain business even in the early Fifties...

Note the stylistic 'bullets we dodged' in not adopting the more highly 'styled' versions of the PRR duplex 4-4-4-4.  We'd see that ribbed stainless nose love patch again on the Olympian Hi's Erie-builts ... but it worked there.  (I do have to wonder whether Old Man Thunder was thinking of that other one when designing the nose of the first-generation Shin Kansen trainsets...)

Inspect that 'near' driver pair carefully, as it's an education in itself.  The absolute minimum of stroke reduction on an engine this size, even considering the reduction of main-pin thrust from the duplex principle; the carrying of side rods as close to the locomotive centerline as possible; the provision of large-diameter very thin roller bearings for lightweight rods; the use of controlled lateral motion; and, of course, Baldwin Disc: both the double-disc and folded-plate aspects of the design are clearly visible here...

 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 12:50 PM

Q2, T1 in front , many others ... gone gone gone ain't never coming back.

Took their 30 pieces of filthy lucre, gained in a dishonourable way then lost the Company itself! 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:14 PM

So the scrap value of the S1 was $14, 921?  Just how many minutes  of PRR operations would that have paid for?  And the scrap value of a T1 was probably even less.

Which is why I say saving the S1 and T1 wouldn't have affected the PRR's bottom line all that much, if at all, and not doing so was a tremendous lapse in judgment, especially for a company with so much self-pride.  

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 9:05 PM

The actual scrap value was something in the 35,000 dollar range (with gold-standard dollars) which is nontrivial.  Point is the utter irreplaceability of the locomotive and all the history behind it ... never mind that PRR in general and Symes in particular wished a lot of it had never been...

There was probably a successful marketing career open to the Big Engine with far more return than scrap... the T1 is far less astonishing and still wicked cool to millions.  But there was not even a Jones Tours in Travelers Rest to pony up the required dollars when it mattered.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, October 24, 2019 4:57 AM

Overmod

But look at the numbers for the aggregate amount PRR paid on the S1 project from inception through the great number of apparent 'change orders' Baldwin came up with.  I think the total is well north of $3 million (!!!) which was amplified in both effect and opportunity cost substantially by the Depression.

If that money had to be 'kept on the books' while the asset was intact, it wouldn't be surprising to see the now-inevitable taking its course...

I think it's documented that Symes disliked the S1 because of its impact on regular operations, and that includes its tendency to go on the ground at the least provocation when hostling.  That perception may be a Chris Baer artifact, but I suspect he's looked at the issue more than anyone else.

Yes, the S1 project went over budget for so many times. According to an article in the back issue of the Milepost, when all Baldwin bills added up, the final book value of the S1, including construction, had more than doubled to $669,000 in 1938 (= $12,182,395.11 today), as expensive as a Bugatti Centodieci 2019. But the locomotive was supposed to be the highlight of the 1939 1940 World Fair when the staff in the Juniata Shops didn't even know how the engine looked like until the components were sent from Baldwin one after another, so I think it worth the money and effort.

Baldwin probably knew that the S1 was not going to work well on any railroad, but someone or a group of people in power probably asked Pennsy and Baldwin to build something "Great" enough to WOW the pre-war world, including many honorable guests from the UK. Your insight into Chris Baer's interpretation of the "relationship" between S1 and Symes is interesting. I wish I could visit Harley in person to find out things that "non-Pennsy fans" may miss.  Chris Baer mentioned the name of S1 in the interview of this article about Harley's PRR historical records. ( http://www.prrths.com/newprr_files/Hagley/salvaginghistory2005.pdf )

Overmod

Note the stylistic 'bullets we dodged' in not adopting the more highly 'styled' versions of the PRR duplex 4-4-4-4.  We'd see that ribbed stainless nose love patch again on the Olympian Hi's Erie-builts ... but it worked there.  (I do have to wonder whether Old Man Thunder was thinking of that other one when designing the nose of the first-generation Shin Kansen trainsets...)

Yes, the ribbed stainless nose on MILW's Erie-builts was extraordinary, I see them as a transformation of the "wings" on the MILW's Class F7 and Class A's nose. I don't and I won't believe that the design of the first generation of Shinkansen (0 Series) wasn't inspired by any American's diesel engine like the Erie-Builts and UP's M10003-6.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, October 24, 2019 7:47 AM

Jones1945
According to an article in the back issue of the Milepost, when all Baldwin bills added up, the final book value of the S1, including construction, had more than doubled to $669,000 in 1938


The number I saw recently, and I have to go back and find it again, was that the full amount that went to Baldwin on the S1 project was over $3 million.  That was real money back then!

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, October 24, 2019 9:29 AM

Jones1945

 

 

Any idea of the date of this photo?

How early were C&NW running E6 and DL109 in multiple?

Is that the "400" observation car just behind the DL109?

Peter

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, October 25, 2019 6:20 PM

M636C

Any idea of the date of this photo?

How early were C&NW running E6 and DL109 in multiple?

Is that the "400" observation car just behind the DL109?

Peter 

Judging by the extra mars light installed on the Union Pacific "City of Denver", the photo should be taken between 1948 to 1953. I am not sure about the "400" trains (some photos of the C&NW E6 and 5007A in MU: please click here )

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, October 25, 2019 7:18 PM

M636C
 
Jones1945

  

Any idea of the date of this photo?

How early were C&NW running E6 and DL109 in multiple?

Is that the "400" observation car just behind the DL109?

Peter

Weren't E-6's and DL-109's both manufacturered pre-War - 1940 ish.

I think - CNW painted the ends of their cars to match how the sides were painted.  Can't think of a reason that the 400 Observation car would be coupled next to the engine consist.

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Posted by M636C on Saturday, October 26, 2019 7:22 AM

Weren't E-6's and DL-109's both manufactured pre-War - 1940 ish.

 

I think - CNW painted the ends of their cars to match how the sides were painted.  Can't think of a reason that the 400 Observation car would be coupled next to the engine consist.

Having checked with Scribbins' book, the four E-6 and the single DL109 arrived att the same time, in 1941. My concern was the ability to run the Alco and EMD units in multiple, since in those days different control voltages and different control cable pin arrangements were used. I know that ATSF were able to run their Alco #50 with EMDs by the end of WWII. So I suspect this photo was towards the end of operation of M 10003 type units on the City of Denver.

At the time, the 400 cars all had full width diaphragms which show up as black in B&W photographs, but it appears the leading end of the combine was painted green and yellow. I found a photo in Scribbins' "400 Story" that confirms this.

It had occurred to me that they might have coupled locomotives onto the rear of a 400 for this obviously posed photo, but this was not the case.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 26, 2019 8:31 AM

Interesting point about the potential MU incompatibilities.  It would be interesting to see (although, perhaps, impossible by now) the original order contract to see if the Alco engine was ordered with specific EMD pinout compatibility; I'd suspect that it would be if intended to work with EMDs.

It's also possible that the engine was ordered as a 'test' and only wartime expedience required its use as part of a multiple-unit combination.  We seem to see it leading a mixed consist as well as trailing, so whatever the modifications they produced at least working compatibility in more than just trailing-unit control with 8-notch governor logic.

Certainly the mixed consists wouldn't have appeared in publicity pictures if not acknowledged as both working and railroad-preferred.  (There may also be a consideration of 'promoting' both locomotive builders as valued)  

We might remember that the City of Denver consists continued on this run until 1953, even as elsewhere on UP more modern lightweight postwar consists were being implemented, so it is at least possible that postwar publicity shots might feature them.

With regard to the car question:  Do I not clearly see the top of a vestibule door with the top left corner of a window on the side of 'whatever it is'?  That ought to be a reasonable spotting feature for C&NW fans...

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, October 27, 2019 7:41 AM

Overmod
Interesting point about the potential MU incompatibilities.  It would be interesting to see (although, perhaps, impossible by now) the original order contract to see if the Alco engine was ordered with specific EMD pinout compatibility; I'd suspect that it would be if intended to work with EMDs. It's also possible that the engine was ordered as a 'test' and only wartime expedience required its use as part of a multiple-unit combination.  We seem to see it leading a mixed consist as well as trailing, so whatever the modifications they produced at least working compatibility in more than just trailing-unit control with 8-notch governor logic.

EMC and GE control systems were pretty compatible.  The main difference would be the jumper socket - the modern 27-pin socket wasn't universal until the late 1960s.  Early EMCs used a 16-pin socket, Alco(-GE) used a two-socket setup with 12 and 21 pins.  Either the DL109 had a 16-pin socket (not crazy) or the C&NW shop crews made up a jumper with different plugs on each end.  More important were compatible brake hoses - the hoses required for MU seem to have been standardized fairly early - probably since almost all brake systems were produced by WABCO or under WABCO license.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 1:22 AM

Overmod

...With regard to the car question:  Do I not clearly see the top of a vestibule door with the top left corner of a window on the side of 'whatever it is'?  That ought to be a reasonable spotting feature for C&NW fans... 

From:Brasstrain.com

Is that extra streamlining on the rear-end roof a feature for an observation-leading consist? 

Overmod

 

The number I saw recently, and I have to go back and find it again, was that the full amount that went to Baldwin on the S1 project was over $3 million.  That was real money back then! 

$3,000,000 in 1939 equals $55,415,611.51 in 2019! Very expensive indeed......

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 12:30 PM

That's not at all what I see for the car end adjacent to the engines in the picture.  Roof makes 'square corner' vertically with top of end bulkhead; grabirons adjacent to what has to be a door in the front corner, no outside end window where there is obviously a huge visible swath of yellow.  Find the forward end of a 400's baggage car and I'll bet you get a closer match.

(Incidentally, either somebody's got a heavy hand with the touch-up brush or those full-width diaphragms really, really match the roof color!)  

Suspect that 'cowl' at the end of the car is intended as an air scoop, taking the slipstream and perhaps boundary layer over the top of the train (where the air is at least nominally least dusty) and using some presumable ram air effect to aid ventilation.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 1:40 PM

Overmod
Suspect that 'cowl' at the end of the car is intended as an air scoop, taking the slipstream and perhaps boundary layer over the top of the train (where the air is at least nominally least dusty) and using some presumable ram air effect to aid ventilation.

Think car wash.  With the roof scoop on the observation car, the rear windows were kept clean by airfow, a nice competitive feature (contemporary MILW beavertails were notoriously dirty.)  On-board AC would have been more than adequate for ventilation.

Incidentally, C&NW's diners built for the "400" seated 56 - the highest capacity in a single unit car.  Except for a few built to UP specs for Overland or City service, all of C&NW's diners had that density.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 6:20 PM

Well I'll be jiggered!  Window washing -- but it makes sense.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, October 31, 2019 5:47 AM

More details about the freight train lead by PRR S1 can be found in the book "The Pennsylvania Railroad, 1940s-1950s" By Don Ball, P.185, the author says the PRR S1 "roared through Plymouth, Ind., with ninety freight cars at 73 miles per hour! A local law officer took to the parallel highway to confirm suspicion and the mayor of the town called Philadelphia! Engineer of tests, Lloyd "L.B." Jones, was onboard enjoying the Pullman-like-ride until arrival in Fort Wayne!"

VP of Operation, Jim Symes also requested PRR to assign the S1 to freight trains, which might have prevented breakdown caused by high-speed operation (or probably wheel slip at high speeds) of passenger trains, but the PRR insisted and rejected his request. 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, October 31, 2019 6:10 AM

Jones1945
If it is not a fabrication and really happened in 1942, I believe the test result contributed useful data for the design and construction of the PRR Q1 4-6-4-4, which made 70mph when hauling 125 freight cars (10000 tons) at 40% cutoff.

Nothing as late as 1942 is likely to have had much impact on actual development of the Q1, which likely began in advance of the 1940 'greenlighting' date and contained just about as many blind-alley approaches to locomotive design as any other engine.  

While it is somewhat less implausible that the testing helped with design of the Q2, a far more successful design, I think that any data would have been negative rather than positive: establishing, for example, that a higher FA, a shorter rigid wheelbase, and the smallest practical driver diameter were all valuable considerations for a working duplex-drive locomotive.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, October 31, 2019 6:29 AM

Overmod

Nothing as late as 1942 is likely to have had much impact on actual development of the Q1, which likely began in advance of the 1940 'greenlighting' date and contained just about as many blind-alley approaches to locomotive design as any other engine.  

While it is somewhat less implausible that the testing helped with design of the Q2, a far more successful design, I think that any data would have been negative rather than positive: establishing, for example, that a higher FA, a shorter rigid wheelbase, and the smallest practical driver diameter were all valuable considerations for a working duplex-drive locomotive.

Yes, I remember it wrongly that the Q1 was built in 1943 instead of May 1942! But another question arises: since it was probably not an official record of the PRR, did people mistake Q1 as S1?! Not everyone attended the 1939 World Fair and it is possible that people who were not interested in locomotive told railfan that they saw a big streamlined steam engine was hauling freight train at Plymouth; and we know how rumors spread. Although I inclined to believe that it really happened and related information still can be found in Hagley...

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, November 8, 2019 7:19 PM

Taken by Bliss B. Straight Jr. around 1941.

South Shore Gauntlet Bridge (South Shore - Penn-Wabash Bridge), Gary, Ind. 

I guess the train was the Eastbound Liberty Limited with mixed heavyweight and lightweight cars, including the baggage-lounge and a Budd coach. (But the real question is: who was on the train?CoffeeSurprise)

 

https://bridgehunter.com/in/lake/bh61275/

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