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

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Posted by djlivus on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 7:30 AM

Jones1945

 By mid-1943 the PRR's steam turbine project had evolved from a three-unit locomotive to a single unit housed in an elongated GG1-style carbody mounted on a D-C+C-D chassis. Because of the Steamotives' problems with their condensers, a tender was added to supply water and simplify the design. Unfortunately, the project was cancelled within three years."

 Are they visible in the d-c-c-d drawing pictured in the book - the height and the lenght of this locomotive? In the picture above it is  blurred, so i can't see the numbers. I have ordered the book two months ago from abbebooks, but I havn't received yet because of US mail problems

 
 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 9:20 AM

I'm beginning to suspect several technical projects are being rolled into one here.

Steamotive involves flash steam generation, either in a mono tube or an evolved version of the 'generator' type used on the big International steam cars.  I have not seen reference to any of these plants operating at under 900psi throttle pressure.  As this is above the saturation temperature for damaging silica dissolution, distilled water is used, hence the obligate full condensation.

I don't find it credible that a Steamotive boiler could be effectively PC fired with appropriate fast load following without amazing difficulties with ash, erosion, and fancy desuperheating/tempering.  And of course providing tender loads of distilled water, without the usual pH adjustment, deoxygenation scavenging, etc., defies practical credibility.

Meanwhile as late as 1947 the Baldwin secret project involved no more than 310psi, atmospheric exhaust, etc. and the V1 of course used common pressure for its derived Q2 boiler architecture, so I think that any design that involves a 'water tender' and atmospheric back pressure (i.e. 15psia or higher at turbine exit) would be lower pressure -- I think the stated 650F is right up at the top end of the 'possible'.

I also don't see the colossal condensation involved in a Steamotive installation of the horsepower being discussed.  UP 1 and 2 were restricted to 2500hp apiece primarily due to condenser physics (look at the size of the exhaust plenum for a guide on the combination of volumetrics and heat-transfer effectiveness required!) and the PRR unit would involve at least this area -- probably with full shuttering but large free cooling-air area.  I see nothing even remotely of the kind on the D-C+C-B drawing.

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Posted by djlivus on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 10:21 AM

These info from below - from PRR chronology - could be related with that locomotive project: the last quote is about a gg1 body style D-C-C-D locomotive

"Nov. 6, 1936 PRR authorizes General Electric to proceed with its proposal to design one 5,000 HP steam turbo-electric locomotive, using the combustion of pulverized coal to power a turbine; project is put on back burner as GE concentrates on its "Steamotive" for Union Pacific; marks beginning of project undertaken by a group of nine coal-hauling railroads after World War II. (SMPE)"

"Apr. 1, 1937 Chief Electrical Engineer J.V.B. Duer rejects the offer of ElectroMotive Corporation to provide a twin-unit, 3,600 HP EA passenger road diesel for limited trains between Paoli and Chicago or St. Louis; says would need a third unit of 1,800 HP for mountain running and fluctuating loads; claims first cost, use of oil rather than coal, and operating costs will all be more expensive than the proposed (but aborted) General Electric steam turbine-electric locomotive now under development; instead, EMC makes a sale to the B&O which introduces streamlined road diesels in the East. (CMP)"

"Late 1939 PRR completes preliminary design for steam turbine locomotive burning pulverized coal; A-B-A units 205' long with GG1-type nose, one unit containing the condenser, one the boiler and turbine, and one the coal bunker; 2+B-1+B+B-B+B+1-B+2 wheel arrangement; designed to haul 1,200-ton train at 100 MPH."

"Apr. 12, 1944 Pres. Clement meets with heads of other coal-hauling railroads to promote the development of a coal-burning turbine locomotive."

"Sep. 13, 1944 PRR Board authorizes the expenditure of $375,000 for a 4,000 HP EMD E7 A-A set; track changes at “Q” Tower at Sunnyside Yard; approves a contract between the railroads and the General Electric Company for a coal-burning steam turbine electric locomotive of 5,435 HP. (MB)"

"Dec. 15, 1944 Bituminous Coal Research, Inc., the R&D organization of the coal industry, forms a Locomotive Development Committee, with representatives of the railroads, coal companies, and the American Locomotive Company and chaired by Roy B. White of the B&O, to develop a gas turbine-electric locomotive using powdered coal as fuel; thus retaining the railroad market for the coal industry in face of diesel threat."

"May 1, 1945 Development of steam turbine locomotive by Locomotive Development Committee begins under engineer John I. Yellott (1908-1986); plan calls for burning pulverized coal and screening fly ash to prevent damage to the turbine blades; locomotive to be housed in a diesel-type car body. May 1945 Dr. John I. Yellott (1908-1986), currently Director of the Institute of Gas Technology at Illinois Institute of Technology, is named to direct the Bituminous Coal Research project to develop a coal-burning turbine locomotive. (RyAge)"

"May 18, 1945 Illinois Central Railroad Pres. Wayne A. Johnston announces that the 9- railroad consortium’s steam-turbine-electric locomotive burning pulverized coal will have its boiler tests in June. (NYT)"

"July 1945: Boiler for Eastern Railroads' proposed coal-turbine locomotive tested at Altoona; cannot reach rated horsepower without slag formation and is returned to Baldwin for rebuilding; turbine locomotive is now conceived as a single unit on D-C+C-D trucks and a GG1-style body. (Hirsimaki - check - according to SMPE tests probably began in Aug. and concluded 11/20)"

"Nov. 20, 1945 Boiler for GE/Babcock & Wilcox coal-burning turbine completes tests at Altoona Test Plant, which had to be altered to test a boiler without chassis; tested with five types of bituminous coal; problems with fly ash and clinker; (tests probably began in Aug. or early Sep.) (SMPE)"

"Jan. 11, 1946 Partly disassembled boiler for proposed coal-burning turbine shipped from Altoona to Babcock & Wilcox Company for modification and further tests. (SMPE)"

"June 12, 1946 PRR Board approves northward expansion of Bay View Yard; authorizes an additional $91,000 for coal-burning turbine locomotive consortium"

"June 18, 1946 PRR and eight other coal railroads contribute $45,500 to Phase II of General Electric Company’s steam turbine locomotive project, which covers building a chassis for the turbine. (Rdg)"

"July 18, 1946 Babcock & Wilcox begins tests on redesigned pulverized coal-burning boiler for Eastern Railroads' proposed turbine locomotive at its facility at Kent, Ohio; features a water-tube boiler designed for 650 p.s.i., 850º F. steam; boiler efficiency varies from 60.2% to 68.75% in tests; this is less than the Test Plant efficiency of the conventional boiler of the PRR Class S2 turbine locomotive. (VPO)"

"Feb. 21, 1947 General Electric Company issues final report on coal-burning turbo-electric locomotive; was to have been 6,700 HP with estimated cost of $1.15 million each; compares unfavorably with four-unit 6,000 HP diesel at cost of $540,000 each; cost per horsepower $172 for turbine vs. $90 for diesel; concludes that the turbine cannot be competitive, and the project is scrapped. (SMPE)"

"May 28, 1947 John V.B. Duer of Mechanical Officers Committee informs other eight railroads participating with PRR in General Electric Company’s steam turbine project that the committee has received copies of all the patents, drawings and test reports, that there will be no further work, and the project is closed. (Rdg)"

http://www.prrths.com/newprr_files/Hagley/PRR1945.pdf

http://www.prrths.com/newprr_files/Hagley/PRR1944.pdf

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 11:36 AM

djlivus

https://i.imgur.com/gIMTLeg.png

Here is pictured the D-C+C-D version. I think the design was awesome, a really giant. Of course, I do not know if it was techically viable, but visually it was impressive for sure. Like a turbo giant, super GG1!

 

 

That is what you will get from Hirsimaki's book. Actually, that is a scanned image from that book.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, July 2, 2021 12:15 PM

The end of an era......

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Posted by djlivus on Friday, July 2, 2021 1:36 PM

https://patents.google.com/patent/US2306990A/en?inventor=Essl+Max

https://patents.google.com/patent/US2299420A/en?inventor=Essl+Max

2 patents for diesel locomotive from Max Essl. First: 1-D+D-1. Second: 2-C+C-2

There were any further developments?

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 2, 2021 5:05 PM

The whole list of Essl patents is here:

https://patents.google.com/?inventor=Essl+Max

as it's almost impossible to search for individual Google patents via Google, for some reason best known only to Alphabet.  There are some highly interesting items in this, for example 2299421A, issued the same day as the 'whole locomotive' modular patent but of highly different detail (it was submitted a half year later, in mid-May 1940, by which time some of the cost and complexity issues of the built locomotive might have become visible...)

Note that the '990 patent only involves seals for the modular engine construction, and not the details of the drive (covered in part in the '420 patent).  What is valuable here is that the illustration only has six modules, which are either inline engines or representations of the earlier 412 motors, but shows eight distinct traction motors -- so the modular one-genset-to-one-motor design of the experimental 2-D-D-2 demonstrator was not being emphasized at that filing date (February 12 of 1941).

The earlier '420 illustrates the V8 configuration as built in the demonstrator (in which only 4 of the 8 carbody positions were filled) but as noted it only has six engines and, coincidentally as far as the patent language is concerned, six traction motors.  Interestingly the patent indicates that the engines are spaced to have very little room between them, with the implied intent that the easy modular extraction and sealing would favor swapping engines rather than conduct even simple maintenance or repair in the locomotive.  (In my opinion the modular one-engine-to-one-axle idea facilitates this.)

The demonstrator as built showed one of Essl's points that would later be remarked upon by Kiefer: the provision of high horsepower in a relatively short carbody and combination.  Were all 8 of the 408s installed, the locomotive would have its rated horsepower of 6000 in a single carbody, with an underframe designed for 120mph operation.  Relative longitudinal balance without ballasting could be achieved for combinations of 2, 4, or 6 physical engines at a time, if the whole carbody wasn't filled at order time, and of course any combination of engines could be started or idled for use with minimum consumption or 'keeping warm' in bad weather.

Apparently the cost of production of those things is what 'killed' the effort (with the underframe famously being recycled for the first Centipede).  I have always found it strange that Westinghouse/Baldwin did not try to emulate some of the EMD financing practices to enable the high-horsepower-at-speed that one of these locomotives would have offered.

The effective thing that killed this conclusively was probably the ICC Order of 1947 that strictly reimposed the automatic train-control speed limits starting in the early Fifties.  I attribute the cancellation of the Ingalls 2000hp passenger unit (which would have likewise enjoyed relatively high top speed independent of traction-motor considerations) to this same cause.  Once the high horsepower needed for true high speed isn't necessary, there is less reason to purchase a large, heavy and complicated locomotive plus the appropriate number of 'spare' gensets and componentry, and railroads did not see the attractiveness of the 'flexible power possibilities' given the enormous cost of the locomotive up front.

Meanwhile, very quickly after the Essl prototype was built, Baldwin strategically went to light carbodies and swivel trucks, like the 'competition'.  Of course what worked for Dilworth with a relatively lightweight welded-crankcase 2-stroke powerplant was much more -- shall we say 'difficult'? -- with tugboat power.

 

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Posted by djlivus on Sunday, July 4, 2021 7:29 AM

Thank you very much for these info!

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 4, 2021 9:07 AM

It occurred to me afterward that you might not have seen the built locomotive:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lightning72/3967547669/

Parhaps the best of the Essl patents to get the 'feel' for this was

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/b8/29/bd/57ae3c16c62d28/US2317849.pdf

which shows the underframe, gensets, and air-compressor compartment in the 'center' module very nicely.

Note the irony in his careful concern for the provision of adequate traction-motor cooling ducting for the right traction motors... 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, July 4, 2021 9:39 AM

Combined the drawings (click to enlarge):

 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 4, 2021 11:05 AM

Nice work!

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Posted by djlivus on Monday, July 5, 2021 8:47 AM

It seems that Max Essl applied 3 patents - first two for 4000 hp locomotives and the last for 6000 hp loccomotive

 

"Feb. 27, 1939 Max Essl, Chief Engineer-Diesel Locomotives of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, files for a patent for a 4,000 HP diesel on 1-D+D-1 trucks; the double-ended design reflects Baldwin-Westinghouse designs for electric locomotives and single large units over combining separate units of lower horsepower; Essl is also inspired by seeing the PRR containers to design a series of engines mounted transversely that can be lifted out through the roof for servicing. (Kirkland)"

"Nov. 14, 1939 Max Essl of the Baldwin Locomotive Works files for a patent for his modified design of a 4,000 HP double-ended diesel locomotive riding on 2-C+C-2 trucks with 6 model 408 engines instead of 8. (Kirkland)"

"Jan. 30, 1941 Max Essl of the Baldwin Locomotive Works files for a patent for a third design for a 6,000 HP single-ended diesel locomotive riding on 2-D+D-2 trucks with 8 model 408 modular engines; ancestor of the “Centipede”; construction of the underframe is begun in May. (Kirkland)"

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 5, 2021 5:53 PM

All the patents make no mention of the actual number of engines.  None I have seen so far discuss the one-to-one modular relationship of genset to driving wheel associated with it -- this was supposedly an important feature when the demonstrator was being promoted.

I was told that the original transverse engines were going to be transverse 412s, which match the six-cylinder-long blocks visible in the earlier patent.  It will pay to look carefully at the timeline for evolution of the 400 series engines to see when the advantage of the 'shorter' 408 with the 'integral' walkway passing between engine and generator became the 'standard' option; this is to me clearly related to the maximum 750hp per axle that I'd expect the cost-effective antislip control of that era to work with.

That the locomotive actually built was 6000hp is not really surprising: as a demonstrator it would offer the full rated power to those roads interested in, say, three E units, but easily scaled back for roads wanting smaller locomotive peak unit horsepower (and less than ocean-liner overall length!) -- but there is a catch: much of the excessive expense of the modular design would be shared between the full 2-D-D-2 and a putative 2-C-C-2 (even, say, with GSC using some molds and cores from the GG1 pattern underframes) and in fact relatively little saving of either length or weight by omitting one axle's worth of underframe vs. leaving out two genset modules and their corresponding traction motors in the longer 8-wheel chassis and corresponding carbody.  (The difference would likely be even less with the lightweight tubular construction...)

The Trains article on the Essl locomotive (in January 1963) mentioned that Baldwin went to the truss-frame swivel-truck design of locomotive relatively early, I believe before the demonstrator was rebuilt to give Seaboard its single-unit 2-6-6-4 replacement at half the horsepower with conventional DeLaVergne-style motors.  

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Posted by djlivus on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 4:23 AM

Very interesting info!

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 1:33 PM

Taking up the '679 patent first: it is somewhat surprising this issued in this form, as the layout of the components is scarcely novel by the application date (the Loewy's and Steins Triplexes having considerable priority) and the use of full condensing already being common on the Steamotive turbines (albeit for far more than feedwater recovery or Rankine heat recovery).  That leaves the pulverized fuel as the principal novelty, which might lead to some interesting speculation regarding the stillborn GE pulverized-coal turbine canceled just two years after that patent was issued (to the inventor's widow).

Note that Edward Gray appeared to be blissfully ignorant of the plant size required to justify a practical STE, to say nothing of the physics of steam condensation of turbine exhaust.  That he would think a plethora of little turbines is preferable to using electric motors for auxiliaries indicates he was not exactly aware of railroad-design reality...

The other patent is fascinating for certain implications.  Look at the patent effective date.  Then look at the date EMD introduced the traction alternator as an alternative to DC main generator.  The Westinghouse patent claims involve the use of a three-phase alternator and Ignitrons for motor control -- interesting, since the very contemporary PRR ignitron locomotives operated off single-phase 11kV AC and single-phase is pointedly not directly mentioned.


I suspect the wheel arrangement is something of a red herring, as the comparable arrangement on the C&O M-1s was a demonstrable flop by then and the 'existing' Baldwin flat-deck arrangement of 2-D-D-2 articulated chassis as superior to the pictured 2-D-2 units as a GG1 was to the R1... which some have argued was a wash but no one familiar with the P5s for very long would.

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Posted by djlivus on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 10:34 AM

Thank you for these very interesting considerations!

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Posted by djlivus on Friday, July 9, 2021 9:13 AM

Jones1945

 

 
 

 

That is what you will get from Hirsimaki's book. Actually, that is a scanned image from that book.

 

 

One solution would be to take a photo to the picture with mobile phone. Many times I ve made some photos to book pictures with almost invisible writings and letters and I ve got pictures with huge resolutions and with tiniest details visible.

 

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Posted by djlivus on Friday, July 9, 2021 9:25 AM

djlivus

https://i.imgur.com/gIMTLeg.png

Here is pictured the D-C+C-D version. I think the design was awesome, a really giant. Of course, I do not know if it was techically viable, but visually it was impressive for sure. Like a turbo giant, super GG1!

 

 

 

I have took a closer look at the photo above - after I ve downloaded in my phone (much better visibility of the characters on a small screen) and I am almost sure about these values: total lenght of the locomotive: 112 feet, that is 34,2 m and wheelbase lenght is 105 feet (32 m). Height is still to hazy, i can t see the numbers.

That would make it the longest steam locomotive ever (a few cm longer than N&W Jawn Henry) and - for sure - the longest single unit locomotive ever

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 9, 2021 10:15 AM

What is more fun, calculate the lateral clearance at front, rear, and middle on -- let's say -- Horse Shoe (the detailed data for which are on Sam Berliner III's wonderful site).  For those 'with eyes to see' this will tell you where the optimal pivot points for the undercarriage are likely to be... and how likely it is that buff, draft, and shock forces will be tolerably handled for the consist the locomotive would be expected to pull...

I swear that Jones1945 has, in the past, posted a ¾ view rendering of this locomotive, perhaps back in this very thread.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, July 10, 2021 8:12 AM

I can't recall I have posted a rendering of that locomotive before, but if I found any I will post it here asap. 

 

15000 hp of power!

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Posted by djlivus on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 4:52 PM

https://www.nscale.net/forums/cache.php?img=http%3A%2F%2Fi445.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fqq175%2Fnscalepennsyguy%2F35-044.jpg%3Ft%25201280157741

In the old prr publicity photo above they mention V1 turbine, GE turboelectric and a super GG1 succesor. 

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Posted by djlivus on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 4:55 PM

https://utahrails.net/up/up-diesel-story-1934-1982.php

Here is quoted a project from 1972 about a giant 7200 HP double engined SD45 project. It was "too long and too heavy" to be built.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 5:18 PM

It would be interesting to have Dave Goding's thoughts on a 'double SD45' -- there might not be that much more length required for the extra eight cylinders; I'd expect most of the fun being in the required cooling arrangements... and the higher fuel burn.

I'd think the real 'killer' was that the 645E3 could be pushed to 3300hp as in the Centennials -- something that might have been too much for a comparable V20.

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Posted by djlivus on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 4:22 PM

Overmod

There is an untold story lurking in here somewhere. Remember that the V1, developed between the late '30s, greenlighted in 1944, and suspended by 1947, was a PRR design for a PRR that no longer had interest in new coal-burning power. But PRR had nominal control over a railroad that DID have such an interest... and lo and behold, in 1950 we hear that N&W is signing a contract for a turbine-electric... the little 'artist's rendition' of which is EXACTLY the chassis of the turbine-mechanical V1, and not the Baldwin turbine-electric.

However, by a couple of years later, N&W confirmed that the locomotive was to have electric, traction-motor drive (it's a whole article in Railway Age) and by that time the general details of the 600psi watertube boiler, chain grate like the M2 Automatic, and so forth were mature. I do not think, however, that the design had gone to span-bolstered trimounts like the ones that ultimately appeared on the TE1 (Jawn Henry)

This was an early version of Jawn Henry or a different locomotive never made? Only for freight or also passenger locomotive?

 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 5:37 PM

djlivus
This was an early version of Jawn Henry or a different locomotive never made?

As far as I know, this was the development that led up to Jawn Henry... step by step.  I have pieced some of this together from announced 'stages' with illustrations and descriptions of work.

The earliest description post-'47 is an item in the trade press, featuring a drawn side elevation of a locomotive with the PRR V1's wheel arrangement illustrating a blurb that a particular railroad (I believe it was characterized as a 'coal road') was considering the steam-turbine electric.  Considering the PRR-N&W 'connection' it seemed obvious how and where the technology transfer was going.  Certainly once PRR had deprioritized steam-turbine implementation (partially, perhaps, in favor of coal gas-turbine development) it would only be logical for N&W to build on what at that point was a project that had been greenlighted for construction in 1944.

By 1950, and then to 1952, there are reports covering how N&W was actively developing 'their' steam-turbine: I think it had progressed to electric drive by 1950 and was being given all-wheel drive (including the two 'smaller' trucks) by 1952.  Considering the marked lack of enthusiasm around the PRR P5b 5702 experiment into powered small trucks of this sort, and the rather dramatic failures involved with the C&O M-1s, it is not surprising that the same thing that induced the Dutch to go to 'bogie power trucks' in their early-'50s electrics was also seen here in a 'revision' of all-wheels-powered chassis for a large steam-turbine-electric.  In my opinion this was decidedly not a camel's-nose-in-the-tent for truck-compatibility with a diesel fleet, as would be a clear advantage on a railroad less decidedly diesel-hostile than N&W in the early Fifties.  Certainly if it were seen as a major incentive for other coal railroads to adopt TE-1-style engines in lieu of diesels, the compatible-truck argument especially with Westinghouse motors ought to have been tried... however, since Westinghouse had abandoned the domestic railroad market by the time that would have mattered, and brought Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton along for that ride, it wouldn't have been that valuable (and the fact that N&W managed to irrevocably damage something like six of the Hexapole motors in what was basically extended testing is a very, very dangerous issue that I seldom see discussed in connection with this design).

A missing link involves the boiler design used in the early Fifties, before the adoption of the chain-grate 600psi design that essentially limited the locomotive to 4500hp, half or less of what PRR designed their 'comparable' post-V1 locomotive to develop.  I had thought this would be a pulverized-coal watertube design, but I have neither drawings nor hard technical descriptions to prove this.  I strongly suspect material is 'out there' that can resolve the question.  Unfortunately I expect much of the necessary technical records were disposed of at the same time, perhaps in the same dumpster, that the main-turbine drawings for the TE-1, but none for the V1, were 'recovered from the trash' when Westinghouse purged some of its obsolete records.

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Posted by djlivus on Thursday, July 22, 2021 5:16 AM

Thank you for this very complete  explanation! 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, July 22, 2021 8:23 AM

Yes, double-thanks!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 3:07 PM

I have read the Keystone Magazine article by Neil Burnell's about the PRR S2 recently. Today I ordered another Keystone Magazine that contains two more articles (one of them is a letter from the reader, another one is "Problems with the operation of S2" by David E. Slee, a 10-page article. I will sum up my thoughts here after reading all of them. (Who would have thought wheel slippery was one of the problems that S2 had to fix?!)

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 4:40 PM

Be interesting to see if he mentions the Westinghouse improvement patents on the S2-style drive system in the latter half of the '40s, particularly the two-speed planetary and the elimination of the unfortunate geared reverse-turbine idea.

It will be interesting to read whether the unsprung-mass concerns I had about the drive as implemented (see those expressed by Juniatha and Sara T.) turned out to be serious in PRR practice.  

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