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

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Posted by Hermann on Monday, April 20, 2020 6:46 AM

Hello Jones1945!

Did you buy them all? Bow

 

Charlie Meyer mentioned in Milepost Jan 1992, that WWII actually prolonged S-1's life due to the need for passenger engines. As unreliable as the S-1 was - only 161.000 miles in four years - it is no wonder to me that the S-1 disappeared from passenger service as soon as the more reliable T-1s arrived in Crestline from November, 1945. IIRC, Crestline was the first shed to get serial T-1s.

The request to put the S-1 in freight service may be just the pragmatic intention to use her as long as her boiler ticket runs, with affecting the schedules of passenger trains the least possible.

One main drive behind the construction of the S-1 was a letter by J.F.Deasy to Fred Hankins, saying basically: "the Pennsy guys are building a 100-mph-locomotive". So as to the end of the T-1 about ten years later-  there may have been a conspiration or not - probably all these known factors, plus the coal strikes, have been met by the same pressure from the competitor about a decade before, now in the form of the motto:

"The Pennsy have bought diesels!"

In an interview in the late 1970's, Andre Chapelon spoke of conspiracy of the diesel producers as he said that there had been failures by diesel locomotives, "but they would be kept secret.."

So unless other data comes up, I personally think the end of the S-1 may just as well have been set by the boiler ticket running out....

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, April 19, 2020 4:48 PM

BigJim

 

 
Overmod
but how crews avoided getting into trouble with a match between key contacts of the "speed recorder" equipment.  All this makes for good Railroad Magazine stories, or for bull sessions in the caboose

 


Supersonic speeds aside, this practice was not "story", but, was actually used by enginemen. All of the old heads knew how to beat the speed recorder!

 

 

Yes, as Big Jim says, enginemen knew how to make time and not be caught. I have timed IC trains on a line with ABS as they ran a mile in 36 seconds--and I rode the engine of the City of New Orleans for the first 100 miles southbound out of Memphis, and saw the speedometer needle bouncing around 90 mph. (There was no time to get a proper signal off for all crossings in towns with two or more crosssings close together).

And N&W enginemen would also make time in selected areas between Roanoke and Bristol.

Johnny

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Posted by BigJim on Sunday, April 19, 2020 4:24 PM

Overmod
but how crews avoided getting into trouble with a match between key contacts of the "speed recorder" equipment.  All this makes for good Railroad Magazine stories, or for bull sessions in the caboose


Supersonic speeds aside, this practice was not "story", but, was actually used by enginemen. All of the old heads knew how to beat the speed recorder!

.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, April 19, 2020 3:07 PM

Miningman

The Fix.  Stick with what you know , stand by with unflinching loyalty to your troops, get every top notch lawyer across the system and a few good real slippery ones to fight the local, State and Federal governments like a crazed weasel. Push for Government funded research into next generation intercity rail resulting in beating the Japanese to the punch with the Bullet Trains. Go into partnership with cities on commuter services, retaining ownership of the rails and operations while assured of a reasonable rate of return. Keep all steam for at least ten years, maybe 15 or 20.  Work with GM, Alco and Baldwin on those next generation intercity trains, don't buy what they are offering. 

If the bombed out Japanese and French can do it then surely to heck we can do it 5 years earlier. Fund everything with higher gasoline taxes and chill out. 

Now I realize all of what I have written here can be blown away by 'rational' thinking and ' you don't get it' or 'you're nuts' but there is the spiritual side, the human side, something you can't grab and show, something we all know but don't acknowledge as 'rational thinking'.

I believe that was all overlooked and never considered. Think we are doing better though.

I love your ideas. We have more than enough points and content to make a very good Hollywood movie base on your ideas. If it would be a sci-fi movie, let's call it "Morning Broadway Limited" or "Fleet of the 20th Century". 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, April 19, 2020 2:19 AM

T do not have the knowledge to contribute to this discussion, but I d find it the most fascinating and interesting on the website.  Hats off to all of you!

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Posted by Hermann on Sunday, April 19, 2020 1:28 AM

Hello Jones1945!

Did you buy them all?Bow

Jones1945
The S1 was assigned to haul a 90-car freight train for testing before she was officially put into service. James M. Symes requested to make it a freight engine due to her unstable performance (probably caused by constant over speed), but PRR HQ rejected it. She was retired from passenger service around May 1946, and there was no photographic evidence showing she was put into freight service after May 1946. Maybe Arnold Haas had found some evidence that no longer existed, maybe some people have mistaken S1 for Q1, just as people confused the K4s 3768 with S1 6100.

 

Probably Symes just wanted to take the S-1 out of passenger service now he had enough T-1s and he just looked for another occupation for that rather unreliable (look at her mileage..) single-piece just as long as her boiler ticket ran. Some of the first serial T-1s, delivered nov/dec 1945,  were assigned to Crestline.

Charlie Meyer mentioned in his Milepost-article, that WWII prolonged the life of the S-1.

Haas surely  must have known a lot, but as he mixed up or exaggerated so much so often, none of his information can be seen as credible unless confired by official sources, leaving all of his speed claims as "hearsay". "Fake news" is not a new invention, and the style of his writing tells a story about a guy who liked to show off.

 

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 19, 2020 1:24 AM

You kind of wonder if anyone was really thinking straight. I still say a lot of post war trauma ran through all of society and that combined with rapid changes all around made it difficult day to day to understand and make solid decisions, but I say they did not recognize that. 

A lot of ' give me those money saving Diesels' thinking was the order of the day in the entire industry. Legions of layoffs ensued. The loss of steam lost a lot of jobs, friends, people that won the war. This had to have an effect on morale at the railroad. That had to be bad. Was any of that considered? The romance and charm disappeared from the public and quickly. 

Now these men at the top of the PRR were not immune but I think they thought they were. It's like the story Overmod told of the British Upper Crust fellow who thought Syphilis was a disease of the 'lesser' and injected himself to prove it and died. 

There was a rush to judgement and damn the consequences. It all just added to the chaos and trauma.  

Many first generation Diesels from several builders soon proved unreliable adding to the pool of confusion. The difference between 1950 and 1960 was incredible, shocking and unforeseen. Governments turned their back on the railroads and an aggressive campaign of 'railroads are old fashioned, but a Chevrolet isn't' by Madison Ave. ... and they meant the trains not just the steam. Then GM sold the Diesels to those very railroads  ... in effect the railroads took their own poison. 

They must have been slapping themselves silly at GM HQ. 

Did the men at the top have a clue? Did they think rationally, or were they chasing their own tail. Did they see a dim very soon to be future? 

No NYC Hudson was saved , not the S1, all the T1's were scrapped far too early and to put a cherry on top they tore down the greatest symbol of the PRR .. the Pennsylvania Station.  

This was not rational thinking by the better men and leaders of society and in Railroading.  

This thinking added to their own demise.

The S1, S2, T1's, Q2's Hudson's , Niagara's , the rest of the East, fell victim to group think... and they were swindled and betrayed .. never saw it coming. 

The Fix.  Stick with what you know , stand by with unflinching loyalty to your troops, get every top notch lawyer across the system and a few good real slippery ones to fight the local, State and Federal governments like a crazed weasel. Push for Government funded research into next generation intercity rail resulting in beating the Japanese to the punch with the Bullet Trains. Go into partnership with cities on commuter services, retaining ownership of the rails and operations while assured of a reasonable rate of return. Keep all steam for at least ten years, maybe 15 or 20.  Work with GM, Alco and Baldwin on those next generation intercity trains, don't buy what they are offering. 

If the bombed out Japanese and French can do it then surely to heck we can do it 5 years earlier. Fund everything with higher gasoline taxes and chill out. 

Now I realize all of what I have written here can be blown away by 'rational' thinking and ' you don't get it' or 'you're nuts' but there is the spiritual side, the human side, something you can't grab and show, something we all know but don't acknowledge as 'rational thinking'.

I believe that was all overlooked and never considered. Think we are doing better though.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, April 18, 2020 9:51 PM

Part of the reason I bring this up is because an awful lot of the motive-power correspondence in those years survives ... and is accessible from friendly people ... at the Hagley in Delaware.  I spent some time researching the V1 turbine and, incidentally, saw quite a bit of the correspondence regarding the S1 and S2 in the postwar years, including the detailed correspondence about preservation and the ultimate failure thereof. 

It certainly looks as though I need to spend a coupla days in there about what was done year by year in the postwar period.  I don't have the impression PRR thought it was going to get anywhere near its money's worth out of the big girl after the War, became increasingly resigned to it, and may have resorted to excuse in getting the hellish allotted expenses blotted off the books  -- perhaps a dry run for doing something similar with the T1s?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, April 18, 2020 8:38 PM

Syme's request is mentioned in the article "The S1 - Biggest of them all" by Charlie Meyer, but the specific reason is not well documented. A reasonable estimate is that Symes wanted to get rid of the S1 for the reason you stated, but since PRR HQ insisted to keep using the S1 between Crestline and Chicago, he had no alternative but to settle for the second best by requesting the HQ to put S1 into freight service. That means the S1 could have been operated within the speed limit of the freight train and that would have prevented her from the constant breakdown on the route caused by wear parts and over-speed operation. I don't think Syme thought that S1 was an ideal engine for freight service.

According to The Keystone Magazine Volume 39, Number 2, Syme's complaints on the S1 are well documented. The author couldn't find any complaints on the Q1.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, April 18, 2020 6:04 PM

I would have to see very specific correspondence from Symes indicating his intent to continue this locomotive in service but restrict it to 'freight only'.

I am not quite certain from first principles why anyone, on or off PRR, would think that a comparatively short-stroke engine with 84" drivers would have effective adhesion at relatively low speed, let alone proper train-starting characteristics with divided drive, let alone the ability to make reasonable horsepower in the appropriate speed range for PRR peacetime freight.  

Presumably at least part of the 'instability problem' involved improper starting procedure with an engine using a front-end throttle (in other words, much the same problem that was reported, well after mid-1946, for the T1s) but again, unless by 'freight operation' is meant generally leisurely operation with fairly restricted consists, it's difficult to see why Symes in particular would be trying to wring additional ton-miles of this kind of service out of a locomotive in which PRR had invested so very many hundreds of thousands of development dollars.  It is also nearly impossible for me to see what advantage to PRR could result in seeing the World's Fair Famous Future of Passenger Trains engine plodding along like some 70'-drivered incarnation of 999 on milk trains.

In any case, the fix for the 'unstable' divided-drive performance would be relatively more simple than for the T1, due to the more limited distribution at higher mass flow in the Walschaerts gear; something no more complicated than the divided proportional application of independent rigging we propose for T1 5550 would have done the job even without implementing 'trim' (or separate throttling) of steam distribution or reverser positioning to one of the engines.

Now on the other hand Symes would have had no reason whatsoever to 'make a freight engine' out of the Q1 because it had explicitly been one since its inception, albeit one intended more for heavy fast M&E on a railroad where passenger traffic was handled with full double Atlantics.  Here the situation was complicated by the fact that F units would outperform the Q1 in almost any respect in practice; if there was going to be a future for the M1 legacy on PRR outside what diesels could do better, it would be in 5/4 scale updesign of Berkshires instead of Mountains, in other words via the 70"-drivered J1as PRR already had in such numbers.  Those might not be able to reach anywhere near the theoretical speed of a Q1, or offer the low peak augment promised ... but they could be relied upon to run any heavy train otherwise involving doubleheaded M1s about as fast, and of course with far less consternation and overhead maintenance and potential for various and relatively spectacular failures.  And of course there were turbines waiting in the wings to replace any reciprocating locomotive with augment ... and F units better than the turbines almost from the beginning.

The problem I have with Haas from the NYC side is the same I have with him claiming ridiculously high metric speed for the S1: I suppose what it really comes down to is that I've never really forgiven Freeload Cubbard and his ilk for having taught me from a very early age that PRR had locomotives that ran the Pennsylvania Special from Alida to AY at over 127mph.

There is a distressing tendency elsewhere in the United States to think that just because something runs a certain speed, with a little hot-rodding you can 'obviously' go much faster.  And if a locomotive is just a bigger car, with a little superior knowledge (in America) or Stakhovite effort (in Russia) a faster and faster performance will result.  Only much later, and usually by banging up firsthand against the cruelty of the physics and materials of 'the world as it is', do people begin to appreciate just what is required to achieve the higher speed.  Certainly wishful thinking was not going to get Hudsons regularly well over 120mph, but Haas went beyond that and talked about it as if it were commonplace ... but underremarked.  Stan Repp not only went on about testing speeds on ATSF up to 150mph, but how crews avoided getting into trouble with a match between key contacts of the "speed recorder" equipment.  All this makes for good Railroad Magazine stories, or for bull sessions in the caboose ... but one strongly suspects that actually producing these results out on the railroad was a different story, and one much more difficult in its 'telling'.

Now, something that might be interesting and fun at the same time would be to model the ROW from Lewistown west over an improved Sam Rea/Ohio cutoff line, with its low grades and minimum curves allowing greater sustained speed and perhaps better duplex train-handling, and see just what would have been required for an S1 run in its proper context.   I have the grim suspicion that electrics would still have been 'better' all the way west of the Alleghenies, and of course the S1 already had level-playing-field advantage from Crestline all the way until almost into Chicago.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, April 18, 2020 8:28 AM

Hello and welcome, Hermann. Smile

Speaking of the S1 painted red, I found this brass model from the bay a few months ago:

I thought the model was painted like that on request by the model's owner, but now I understand why it was painted red.

The S1 was assigned to haul a 90-car freight train for testing before she was officially put into service. James M. Symes requested to make it a freight engine due to her unstable performance (probably caused by constant over speed), but PRR HQ rejected it. She was retired from passenger service around May 1946, and there was no photographic evidence showing she was put into freight service after May 1946. Maybe Arnold Haas had found some evidence that no longer existed, maybe some people have mistaken S1 for Q1, just as people confused the K4s 3768 with S1 6100.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, April 17, 2020 11:10 AM

And there were  ten Pennsy K4's painted Tuscan Red at one time to match the new Tuscan Red passenger cars, but how long they kept that color I don't know. 

I found some color footage of the "America's Railroads" exhibit from the 1939 New York World's Fair, including "Railroads on Parade."  No sound though.

Some good shots of the S1, but the color footage doesn't tell us much.  It certainly looks like it was "Brunswick Green," you know, "Two parts black, one part green?"  But not even Kodachrome was right 100% of the time. 

No, there's no shots of a young railfan named David Klepper running wild through the railroad exhibits with his exasperated parents chasing him.  Sorry.  Wink  

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

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, April 17, 2020 10:11 AM

If there was a 'red' color the S1 "should" have been painted, it was the bronze that was applied to 3768.

On the other hand, I can't find a hard reference either way on how long 3768 might have appeared there in this paint at the Fair (as I recall as part of the Pageant of Transportation).  Most sources indicate she was repainted to DGLE fairly quickly, possibly before the S1 was finished.  That and other available evidence strongly indicates that the S1 itself would have been 'green' both years ... 

Of course, very famously Lionel took to calling their tubby little 3768 the "Torpedo" (going so far as to characterize it in a children's book as 'the fastest locomotive in the world' or some such language) and this may have led people to conflate, over the years, the streamlined locomotives they might have seen at the Fair.

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Posted by Hermann on Friday, April 17, 2020 8:56 AM

daveklepper

I was at the Worlds Fair in both summer 1939 and 1940, saw the S-1 many times,

 

Oh, I'm jealous now!

 

and my memory has it either Brunzwick green, like most GG-1s, or a very dark redish-brown-black, sort of ultra-dark Mehogny, but definitely not Tuscan Red like PRR-120. It may have had both colors, one each year.
 

 

Hello Daveklepper,

your last sentence sounds interesting! Never thought of that.

There is at least one color-photo in the web showing the S-1 in glossy black, as well as 5548 on an exposition in Harrisburg in 1949 seems to be glossy black. Some 20 years ago I had an email exchange with a guy who also remembered the T-1 and S-1 locomotives first hand. He saw the S-1 in black, the two prototypes in DGLE and about the serial T-1s he wasn't so sure as they were too dirty to tell..

 

Probably all those now debunked myths about the speed may have created at least part of a supporting climate that led to the establishment of the Trust which is therefore dedicated to build a T-1 and not, say, a Dreyfuss Hudson. Not that I would mind seenig another beauty in action; I just feel there may not be enough donators for two big projects at one time out of the UK.

 

By the way (here's my chance to ask those in the know):

Are there any reports about when heavy overhauls of the T-1 happened to which engine?  Did somehow the assignment of locomotives from 1946 - 1948 show up lately? And, if as of march, 1952 as cited here in this thread, 19 T-1s were "stored in good running order", did these happen to be the same 19 units which had their lateral motion modified to operate between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh?

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, April 17, 2020 3:05 AM

I was at the Worlds Fair in both summer 1939 and 1940, saw the S-1 many times, and my memory has it either Brunzwick green, like most GG-1s, or a very dark redish-brown-black, sort of ultra-dark Mehogny, but definitely not Tuscan Red like PRR-120. It may have had both colors, one each year.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 16, 2020 10:21 PM

Hermann
In the 1970's, he wrote two articles about the S1 and T1 locomotives, and in his essays quite a few things turned up which caused some irritation for years, to say the least. According to him, the S1 was painted dark red for the World's Fair, where its four driving axles were moved by electric motors, and in March 1946 it received a fine for speeding at 141,2 mph by the ICC.

He is also famous for noting that NYC Hudsons and Niagaras operated regularly at 120mph (in Memories of New York Central Steam).

We very carefully debugged the ICC story; it's not right, for a number of independent reasons that all converge.  It is possible that the engine could have been revised to make the necessary power to reach comparable speed, but PRR would have required cars capable of riding properly at that speed, which they did not have.  Note that the "141.2" works out to a suspiciously round metric number...

I will not judge him for thinking the S1 went to the fair in Tuscan; I was around for the heroic restoration of 4935, was there when Loewy signed her with a flourish, rode back on the rear platform of Pins' 120 (which was Tuscan) ... and distinctly remember the engine as being painted red.  Sometimes what you see is shaped by what you expect to see.

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, April 16, 2020 3:10 PM

Welcome  aboard Hermann!  This is a good place to be, we have a lot of fun here and certainly do learn from each other!

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Posted by Hermann on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 4:08 PM

Hello Jones1945 and Hello All,

 

this very thread has convinced me to enter this forum!

The S1 and T1s were always among my favourite engines and as I am not from the USA, the beginning of my learning curve about these beauties - many years ago - was with the German "Lok Magazin", a monthly magazine usually packed with well-researched information. Whilst the main focus was on European prototypes, sometimes some USA locomotive types were featured by Arnold Haas, who, IIRC, was a Swiss journalist.

 

In the 1970's, he wrote two articles about the S1 and T1 locomotives, and in his essays quite a few things turned up which caused some irritation for years, to say the least. According to him, the S1 was painted dark red for the World fair, where its four driving axles were moved by electric motors, and in March 1946 it received a fine for speeding at 141,2 mph by the ICC.

As well, according to Haas, the S1 was put into freight service from October 1946, and after retirement no museum wanted to have it for free, as it was too big.

So this is where it is from!

 

Now the figures from the Reuter book about the S1/T1 are mainly the same as those in the Haas articles, and as to your question, Haas also wrote that the S1 had developed more than 8200 ihp in Altoona. No indication was given when (or if..) this event might have taken place.

 

So the accuracy of the Reuter text is mainly, lets say, influenced by the numbers from Haas.

 

So much for today!

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 15, 2020 8:48 PM

I believe Q2 IS listed; it's the 'fifth' line on the chart, the top one.  

This chart is also proof that the Q1 was built with a booster: the notched trace proves it.  This is where the steam overflow going into the booster at high speed is redirected to the main cylinders once they are operating at a cyclic rate sufficient to make 'better use' of what was being directed to the small, full-cutoff engine operating at excessive speed.

Whether a Q2 could effectively exert the near-starting TE corresponding to that trace under 'real-world' PRR conditions is another thing!  But there is no question why PRR didn't think it needed a 'bigger' articulated design...

Note the ghastly fall-off in TE at speed once the Q1's booster cuts out.  They badly needed better steam-circuit design and valves ... to start with.)
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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, February 15, 2020 4:26 AM

Overmod

Be careful here because "TE" and power are not at all the same thing.  What you want to examine is not 'starting tractive effort' but the development of that additional 5 tons of tractive effort at some particular speed.

This is well-remarked in discussions of the early Berkshires, whose TE might be only indifferently higher than a predecessor Mikado (for a sizable increase not only in overall engine weight but in non-adhesive weight) but whose over-the-road performance with tonnage might be definitively better, and faster.

Part of the issue with PRR not doing a 4-8-4 is that, of course, the Q1 is a locomotive with 5/4 the adhesion of a Northern, with the same front and rear steering characteristics and at least equivalent firebox capacity, but with far less augment than any contemporary one.  Another part of the issue is that for high-speed passenger work PRR was off in a different duplex direction, but one that was not viewed as 'overlapping' what the Q1 represented.

(Note that the two Baldwin T1 'adaptations' of the double-Atlantic passenger duplex were ordered in late June of 1940, well in advance of the October 9th 'greenlighting' of the Q1 for production ... this is not just an example of 'ours' vs. 'theirs' production.  In this light the option for 'common' Franklin type A gear for the rear engine may make a little better sense, and the difficulties with packaging the cambox not yet as obvious as they would become. 

Perhaps the most interesting detail involves the Q2s, which were far over the horsepower the Q1 could ever develop, and which included boosters as part of their design.  I find I can't locate a copy of the TE-at-speed graph I found for the V1 turbine (which is, in color, at the Hagley Museum in Delaware) but I've posted it in at least a couple of threads and someone may be patient enough to locate and repost it here.  It is interesting to consider what the TE recorded for that locomotive (there is a very distinct 'kink' in the plot where the booster cuts out) represents ... or what corresponding figures for the Q1, which essentially would have become the near-equivalent of a 77"-drivered Challenger at starting, would have been...

Speaking of that "distinct 'kink' in the plot" where the booster cuts out, here is a graph and data from Keystone you might find interesting:

 

 

It would be even more interesting if T1 and Q2's data is included, and a graph that can compare the change of dynamic argument of a duplex and "nonduplex" (including doubleheaded K4s). 

Pennsy insisted to develop their own dual service duplex engine instead of asking Baldwin to design and build one for them in 1940 after they placed the order of two prototypes from Baldwin just a few months ahead. One interesting fact many missed was that Pennsy did require Baldwin to design a 4-4-6-4 frigid frame duplex as early as 1936! 

Pennsy was so determined to Ralph P. Johnson's idea, the T1 prototypes #6110 and #6111 cost $600,000 while the Q1 alone cost $595,000, all three of them cost $1,195,000 (= $22,019,667.50 today) in total. I wonder how much did an EMD E6 A-B-A set cost in 1940... I only have Paul W. Kiefer's 1946 steam-versus-diesel trial figures, which show the "Approximate relative first costs" of EMD E7 A-B-A set was 214% of a single NYC Niagara, but the overall maintenance and operation cost of a Niagara was very competitive. E8 came and put a full stop to almost everything...

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:03 PM

Be careful here because "TE" and power are not at all the same thing.  What you want to examine is not 'starting tractive effort' but the development of that additional 5 tons of tractive effort at some particular speed.

This is well-remarked in discussions of the early Berkshires, whose TE might be only indifferently higher than a predecessor Mikado (for a sizable increase not only in overall engine weight but in non-adhesive weight) but whose over-the-road performance with tonnage might be definitively better, and faster.

Part of the issue with PRR not doing a 4-8-4 is that, of course, the Q1 is a locomotive with 5/4 the adhesion of a Northern, with the same front and rear steering characteristics and at least equivalent firebox capacity, but with far less augment than any contemporary one.  Another part of the issue is that for high-speed passenger work PRR was off in a different duplex direction, but one that was not viewed as 'overlapping' what the Q1 represented.

(Note that the two Baldwin T1 'adaptations' of the double-Atlantic passenger duplex were ordered in late June of 1940, well in advance of the October 9th 'greenlighting' of the Q1 for production ... this is not just an example of 'ours' vs. 'theirs' production.  In this light the option for 'common' Franklin type A gear for the rear engine may make a little better sense, and the difficulties with packaging the cambox not yet as obvious as they would become. 

Perhaps the most interesting detail involves the Q2s, which were far over the horsepower the Q1 could ever develop, and which included boosters as part of their design.  I find I can't locate a copy of the TE-at-speed graph I found for the V1 turbine (which is, in color, at the Hagley Museum in Delaware) but I've posted it in at least a couple of threads and someone may be patient enough to locate and repost it here.  It is interesting to consider what the TE recorded for that locomotive (there is a very distinct 'kink' in the plot where the booster cuts out) represents ... or what corresponding figures for the Q1, which essentially would have become the near-equivalent of a 77"-drivered Challenger at starting, would have been...

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, February 13, 2020 8:24 AM

Overmod

...I don't remember the source, but the Q1 wound up being an incremental increase in power over the M1a Mountain, but they increased the diameter speed at the same time they took down the dynamic augment...

Yes, the Q1 was in part due to President Martin Clement's request for a feasibility study as to the possibility of expanding the TE of the M1 by mere 10000lbs. After a thorough study by the Mechanical department, they replied that although some improvement in TE could be obtained, it wasn't an economical option since it would reduce the efficiency of the M1's boiler. A trailing truck booster could be applied to increase the engine's ability to start a heavier train, but this would be an expensive appliance only suited to use at low speed. They thought it was impractical to upgrade the M1s. Lima offered a proposal to rebuild one M1 into a 4-8-4 with poppet valves equipped, but PRR rejected. That would have provided much of the additional power Clement desired.

Neil Burnell, the author of Keystone Magazine's Q1 article, stated that he read official files of Q1, but he didn't have access to the actual design information. I believe the engine was build as a competitor to Baldwin's T1 4-4-4-4, given that the project was executed and carefully monitored by Clement himself, with Raymond Loewy involved for the streamlining. Note that the design work of Q1 started as early as 1939. It seems that Pennsy wanted to build something a bit smaller than S1 and much more practical, a dual-purpose engine that could have handled both fast freight service and passenger train service, all by Pennsy themself.

Neil Burnell also stated that most of the PRR Test Department files were destroyed by an NYC official in the PC era, we probably never know if Q1 ever hauled passenger train for testing, why and who stopped the engine from becoming a passenger train engine, also could have been seen as Baldwin's duplex competitor between 1943 to 1945. Did Baldwin negotiate with PRR, persuaded them to use their patented duplex design, the T1 prototype in 1942 exclusively for PRR's passenger trains, instead of PRR's duplex design, the Q1? We will probably never know.

One last thing, Clement suggested equipping Frankin poppet valve gear on Q1's rear-engine but was rejected due to inaccessibility for maintenance of the cambox. Ironically, the poppet valve gear cambox on the T1's rear-engine was also inaccessible for maintenance!

 

 

Overmod

It needed to be conjugated for serious freight work, just as the S1 would have had to be.  And it needed precisely the emphasis on long TOFC consists or extended M&E at elevated speed that constituted a hole in the late-Forties operation -- no more long, high-speed freights as in wartime; no reason to accelerate conventional track-pounding interchange freight past 50mph...

Just as those Southern Pacific GS-3, GS-4, and ATSF's Northern with 80" drivers. They were assigned to haul freight trains in the late 1940s. TE of PRR T1 was 64,653lbf, much higher than the L1s 61,465lbf, but they didn't have the chance since there were already 574 L1s, let alone the I1s/I1sa were much more powerful in terms of TE...

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 6:38 PM

I don't remember the source, but the Q1 wound up being an incremental increase in power over the M1a Mountain, but they increased the diameter speed at the same time they took down the dynamic augment, not something you do unless you have a very good idea you'll be running heavy trains at far over PRR freight speed.  I think they thought of it as being an incremental step past a double-Atlantic for highest speeds: a piece of motive power that would do the work of doubleheaded K4s on everything but hell-fast trains.  And that, it would have done.

It needed to be conjugated for serious freight work, just as the S1 would have had to be.  And it needed precisely the emphasis on long TOFC consists or extended M&E at elevated speed that constituted a hole in the late-Forties operation -- no more long, high-speed freights as in wartime; no reason to accelerate conventional track-pounding interchange freight past 50mph...

... and of course when the time came, F units on the one hand and surplus E units on the other hand filled any gaps the Q1 would have excelled at.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 5:15 PM

Overmod

Q1 was always a dual-service engine; few freight engines in the world, let alone one on a railroad with a hard 50mph peacetime freight speed limit, use 77" drivers.  

We know that Q1 was definitely a dual-service engine, but many railroad historians, authors, brass train manufacturers are under the impression that it was designed as a freight engine from day one. Before I updated Q1's wiki page, there wasn't a single word about 'dual service' or 'passenger train' in the context, but only the conventional belief about Q1 that the 77" driver was unfit for freight service. President Clement actually enquired the MP dept twice about the size of the driver on Q1, it wasn't a reckless decision. 

 

"Coal-Burning Steam Freight Locomotive"

 

Regarding the performance, Neil Burnell, the author of the Keystone article said that he has previously suggested that the Q1 might have been successful as a passenger locomotive, hauling the heaviest consist, and he believes this is consistent with its power output of 4800dbhp, equivalent to the corrected dphp of T1 #5539, when tested on the C&O. His conclusion is backed up by Q1's revenue run records from May 1942 to July 1942, which is included in the Keystone Magazine. When Q1 was hauling 5000+ tons freight trains, its rear-engine always slipped when starting, which sometimes led to stalling with sandbox empty!                                                                                        

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 10:04 AM

Q1 was always a dual-service engine; few freight engines in the world, let alone one on a railroad with a hard 50mph peacetime freight speed limit, use 77" drivers.  

This even if we discount that wartime 'expediency' demanded nominal dual service capability to get something new like this past the WPB construction restrictions ... remember certain GS engines on Southern Pacific?

Note that the 'class repairs' date is a month after VE Day, at a time it was probably becoming very clear that there was little prewar advantage to the Q2s (a far more successful freight duplex capable of most PRR M&E freight speed if required).  Big order for T1s had been approved over 6 months ago.  

Who needed that thing as a passenger engine by that point?  It certainly wasn't reliable enough in a number of respects... (might be a touch of irony in there somewhere, as things turned out)

...and I strongly suspect the bronze bell may have gone to one of the T1s a-buildin'.  That would represent a substantial savings of cost, even in those days... 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, February 10, 2020 2:31 PM

Additional information about the PRR Q1 #6130 4-6-4-4 duplex as a dual service engine instead of a freight-only engine between April 1942 to June 1945:

  1. On April 10, 1942, H.W. Jones, Chief of Motive Power, told Altoona that the Q1, #6130, would be considered a passenger engine as far as striping and lettering were concerned. 
  2. On June 9, 1942, President Clement approved locating the keystone number plate above the center of the smokebox. He did not like it on the front cooler.
  3. In June 1945, during class repairs, the bronze bell was replaced with a steel one, since bronze was reserved for passenger engines.

Source: The Keystone Magazine Volume 39, Number 2, Page 30.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, January 18, 2020 2:49 PM

Overmod

I'd have been amused to see a completed Chicago New York Air Line Railway built out to double track with proper high-speed overhead power (probably catenary rather than improved pole) and the degree to which it would compete with heavy railroads throughout subsequent "likely history".  (My guess would be conversion to four-lane "Turnpike" at a fairly early date, following the example of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and possibly changing the course of the New York State Thruway as built.)  Unlike the South Penn, a CNYAL would have been inherently straight-graded and have few curves...

In case our younger reader missed our discussion about the CNYAL eariler:

"I am in!"

https://chicagology.com/transportation/airlinerailroad/

A farsighted project like the CNYAL would have encouraged the development of  electric railroad equipment, including but not limited to electric traction motor, pantograph, and overhead lines or 3rd rail exclusively designed for highspeed railroad; suspension system, body structure for lightweight high-speed trains, let alone the development of infrastructure that would have required for running a high-speed railroad system, and the change of traveling habit of American long before the WWII era, the country would have been benefited directly without a doubt. The CNYAL would also have been used to transport troops during the WWII, at least 50% (or more) travel time saved between NYC to Chicago if the top speed of the trains on the CNYAL was improved and shortened throughout the early 1900s to the 1940s.  The CNYAL would have been powered by steam indirectly by steam-electric power stations, but of course, my fantasy HSR for America would have been running by steam-streamliner, like the Pennsy duplexes and UP's steam turbine. 

Some extensions of the CNYAL would be interesting: Chicago to Denver via St. Louis and Kansas City, Toronto to Chicago via Detroit (That would have made it an international high-speed rail and Miningman could use it). New York to Denver in 18 hours or less! Who wants to join? 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:00 AM

Jones1945
Overmod: If the Sam Rea Line was built, I hope that it wasn't PRR built it alone because, in the cruel reality (with 20/20 hindsight), PRR should have cooperated with other RRs like NYC and B&O to beat the odds.

The initial problem with this is that NYC (and to a lesser extent B&O with NYC connection) had utterly no need for a super railroad running from Harrisburg to north of Pittsburgh when far less heroic engineering could have improved significant parts of the Water Level Route (or the B&O/Reading/CNJ route to New York from the West) to comparable speed.  

Were there to be construction overruns, or difficulties, or ongoing maintenance problems or costs, any 'joint venture' might find highly leveraged expenses for (as you indicate) relatively small actual high-speed gain, and less 'monetization' potential.  Incremental removal of the (many!) small and large bottlenecks either on the PRR Chicago routes or the 'Northeast Corridor' south to Washington would have produced essentially the same time savings with dramatically less work and risk (and quicker actual RoI).

True high-speed construction would have involved some very different details from what a Sam Rea Line would have received in 1923.  A number of these, such as practical class 9 track structure, only evolved decades later, well after the LGV development got under way.  In particular I think fairly substantial 'active tilt' would be required many places on the Rea line (and its prospective contemporary extensions to either side) and designng, providing, and maintaining that even in the headiest Fleet of Modernism days would have been near-impossible and perhaps often dangerous.

I'd have been amused to see a completed Chicago New York Air Line Railway built out to double track with proper high-speed overhead power (probably catenary rather than improved pole) and the degree to which it would compete with heavy railroads throughout subsequent "likely history".  (My guess would be conversion to four-lane "Turnpike" at a fairly early date, following the example of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and possibly changing the course of the New York State Thruway as built.)  Unlike the South Penn, a CNYAL would have been inherently straight-graded and have few curves...

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, January 16, 2020 9:33 AM

Peter: I guess this is the three-locomotive train you mentioned: https://www.ilportaledeitreni.it/2019/05/26/253697/

Overmod: If the Sam Rea Line was built, I hope that it wasn't PRR built it alone because, in the cruel reality (with 20/20 hindsight), PRR should have cooperated with other RRs like NYC and B&O to beat the odds. The Sam Rea Line would have been the first high-speed rail in America that allow express passenger trains went through some rather long tunnels at high speed, therefore, from simple things like stronger or more flexible window frame and glass that could withstand the pressure fluctuation to evacuation plans and facilities for emergency situations in the tunnels, a lot of things would have been thoroughly discussed. There is one essential fact that put me off the topic, which is the inevitable postwar decline. The Sam Rea Line was financially impractical; It could have decreased the travel time from NYC/Washington DC to Chi-town (and St. Louis?) by merely three hours only (probably more than three hours if diesel engine was used), let alone the route bypass two major cities, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, I don't think the original Sam Rea Line would be competitive enough to attract the general public to give up their cars or travel by air in the late 1940s. 

I wish there was a HSR that based on the idea of Sam Rea Line could provide a 9-hour schedule for New York/Washington DC to Chicago (and St. Louis) express trains. Day trains (all-coach train just like the SP Coast Daylight) depart from 6 am to 12 pm, arrive in both directions from 3 pm to 9 pm or later, night trains (sleeper, slower, like The Lark of SP) depart from 6 pm to 10 pm, arrive at the destination next morning. But I still doubt that it would be competitive enough, even SP's Coast Daylight couldn't withstand the postwar decline... I guess a 4-hour schedule would do it, but not even the never-existed-156mph-S1 could do it...Surprise 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 5:44 AM

M636C
I am reminded of a trip I made in early 1974 from Allesandria to Savona in Italy.

Of course the Europeans are famous for developing practical 'four-power' locomotives and systems of operation to run and maintain them correctly.  I believe to this day there are TGVs built to run on multiple power sources.

We have discussed the existing proposals for dual-mode at 'equivalent diesel horsepower' including the very detailed one for Conrail.  I do not think there is particular difficulty in adapting this to variable sections of from 11kv nominal at 25Hz to 25kV or even 50kV in places at 60Hz.  

I doubt the big tunnels on the Rea and other lines would have either modern-high-voltage catenary clearance or easy attainment of 'double stack' clearance.  That would involve possibly heroic modification scale and perhaps even preferential abandonment (a la A&S perhaps) in the bad old days...

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