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

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 9:17 PM

Overmod

Just as a heads-up:  At the beginning of this thread, back in 2018, Peter Clark was going to look up PRR S1 6100 in Reuter's Rekord-Lokomotiven.  I don't remember what the actual result of that check was.

Perhaps if Mr. Clark is away from the references, or if someone else wants to comment on this, here is the amazon.com listing for the book.  (There are of course other sources; it's not a 'rare book' yet.)

 

Overmod,

Could you indicate what aspect of the S1 you wanted information about from Reuter's book? I'll be back home some time next week.

I can recall pulling the book out and checkng it last year, but I may not have answered your request.

I've been showing another Trains forum member around much of New South Wales, if that is an excuse...

Peter

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 1:54 PM

Thanks a lot, Overmod and Vince! I am busy handling some people's emergency situation right now (no worries, we are ok) I will write a response to you guys later! Yes

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 11:27 AM

Overmod-- " by the way, you have him more or less directly to blame for why there are no preserved Hudsons or Niagaras.  Just so you and Vince know."

Well thank you for that. Have read much the same previously but no details. He certainly was an innovative and forward looking character but a victim of the times and his own addle minded visions. Did not survive the stock spiralling downward of the New York Central.  

As the adage goes " there but the grace of God go I". 

Interesting to speculate and arm chair quarterback motive power and make the necessary adjustments. A more cautious approach would not have stopped much and 1960 was just around the corner. 

Way way too much to say about that. It's in my book!

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 1:57 PM

Jones1945
I wonder how much money would have saved if PRR chose the N&W Class J instead of the duplexes. It can be calculated since the total cost of all of the duplex engines was recorded.  The Js could have been the successor of both K4s and M1s, the best dual-service steam engine ever made ... Too perfect for *me!

 But you are forgetting the most important lesson imparted by the high-speed testing: the class J just didn't fit enough of the PRR.  Boiler was too big, for example, to run anywhere near Chicago.

Likewise you couldn't start with a Q2 boiler less one course; that was at clearance limit with only 69" ... not even 70" ... drivers.

So a putative PRR 4-8-4 would likely be more like a Niagara's running gear with a slightly downsized big Belpaire boiler that would 'just fit'.  We can't use the T1 trailing truck as it's only sized for the 92' grate and structure; if you want we can modify the Q1 casting design.  While it doesn't help that Baldwin, not Alco, is the 'design partner' it does have to be said that the experience with Timken rods and bearings ... and with the #4 driver pair extended crankpins cracking on the PRR-controlled N&W ... would have produced the equivalent of NYC's 6000-hp driveline right through to the hollow piston rods, probably with centrifugally-cast pistons using the 1948 T1 valve improvement techniques.

Take the cab design off the 2-10-4 for a start; if you adjust it, do so based on crew needs rather than outside aesthetics.  (But keep those semilune windows!)

You have the same issues for the smokebox and front as with the Niagara, avoiding the Frankenstein "outer door" arrangement but of course preserving the 'beauty treatment' generator and headlight swap... perhaps with the two-light vertical Pyle treatment as applied to one of the T1s (to me it looks pretty good).  I leave it up to you whether it gets smoke deflectors, as I personally think a Niagara looks a bit like a mobile package boiler plant without them, and this is a comparable shape.

The drivers are the fun part.  Remember that 72" is M1 country and a Fleet of Modernism 4-8-4 had better have more potential; remember also that 75" on a Niagara was throwing away money and even with Central's uber-restricted loading gage they couldn't get 79" (the NYC equivalent of 80") high wheels on it fast enough.  The 77" of the Q1 would (based on documents like the review of the N&W J) be about the minimum Cover et al. would have tried; the good news here is that repurposed T1 driver centers wouldn't have worked because of the designed-in short stroke, so you have a clean slate picking high-wheel cast centers or even Web-Spoke if you swallowed ... I think Baldwin had a finger in that pie ... the Fla-Vor-Aid of that approach on the non-main wheels.  There is a sweet spot at 76" (see the H class and the aborted Lima 4-8-6s) and I'd be sorely tempted to exploit it with lightweight gear ... BUT it would leave you just that little notch down on the NYC for perceived high speed, with little or no true incremental gain over the Niagara in any aspect of running gear (since Alco already optimized it a bit too far)

 

That [a double-turbine Q] would have been a fascinating major rebuild. Though I strongly believe that it wouldn't be an economic and flexible engine which could challenge the diesel F units, it would have been a very cute white-elephant. A Q2 size welded boiler, a chassis long enough for 4-10-4 or 4-10-6, V1-style turbines, alloy steel rods, 70+ inches drivers with the best balancing, roller bearings here and there, anti-slip control, an attractive semi streamlining.

As a side note: you need neither the high drivers nor the 'best balancing' on one of these turbines, as the drive is almost entirely balanced and there is of course no overbalance surge.  There are a couple of ways, including a modification of the Langer balancer, to get around the quartered augment of the side rods used; as you probably know, the S2 originally had coupling rods only on the outer pairs, but very quickly acquired a full set, so we know more about the gear arrangement than history lets on, so we design from the start for full rod beams per side plus thin Timken bearings, run as close inboard as we can make them.  That's really good enough for any practical PRR working speed, which was over 90mph for the 68" drivers on the S2, especially since much of the mass advantage from the duplex principle carries over to conjugating rods in a lateral direct-drive turbine layout.

You likely wouldn't use V1 style turbines (unless the V1 design was jiggered by Westinghouse to be usable in the transverse configuration, which at the least would require some interesting exhaust-plenum design).  From what we know, those were axial-flow and fairly long, with lots of room at the LP end for good exhausting.  What you would want to use instead would be something like a paired-turbine arrangement (symmetrical around the main pinion in the center) -- HP admission inboard, with relatively short and inflexible HP branch manifold that easily clears the spring rigging, and large outside plena and exhaust trunking.  Since you have what are in essence four blade nests, they can individually be very small; of course they are in two sizes but most of the blading itself will be common.

Reverse in this design is NOT via a separate geared turbine, it would be via an interposed idler in the main gearbox and bath.  Since this would not move other than 100% from forward to reverse, it is unlikely to require either 'sprung' construction or heavy shock-tolerant mounting; it will be as high up in the gear train as possible to reduce tooth and stress forces (which is fine because we care little about how fast the idler will have to spin).  Important for a dual service engine: you have the same torque, responsive to the same throttle adjustment, in reverse as you do in forward; if you want to design the engine for bidirectionality (with, for example, FM-TV from the end of the Castor/Aphrodite project for vision off the tender) you certainly could.  The main implication is for the trailing truck: it will need to be stable in guiding in both directions, which a normal Delta trailing truck really isn't.  I leave this as a solution for the alert reader.

 

I am still obsessed with the 6-wheel truck design.

Don't be.  Unless you have to -- and I suspect with the more 'efficient' firebox and chamber construction you will have to. 

Just as a point: the six-wheel truck costs.  In the first place, for construction and fabrication with additional mass and casting complexity.  In the second place, with 150% additional tread and brake-rigging wear.  You lose length, have increased swing, need better steering and weight-transfer accommodation at the rear, and all for what? the ability to blow through water faster and have to make more stops.  The only real advantage is the weight-bearing capability ... and weight minimization is always a good idea on modern power, especially toward the rear; you can use every pound for better auxiliaries or better circulation.

The point here is that a good modern boiler will have some version of Snyder combustion-air preheaters, which are like coils of brake-air 'radiator' pipe in weight, and a full Cunningham circulator, which involves saturated-water manifolding nearly the length of the water legs with multiple ports and vanes into the waterspace.  Consider this all (on a PRR 4-8-4 design) completely aft of the rear drivers for weight-distribution purposes.

If the 4-wheel trailing truck of the Q1 could be replaced by the 6-wheel truck, it would have had more space for a larger firebox or provided more room for a completely new firebox design without sacrifice the room of the cab.

Something I guarantee you will NOT need or want is a "larger firebox", at least larger in terms of grate area.  That needs to be about 100 to 104' ... but... you have the thermodynamic gains from the air preheat and then the enhanced radiant-section circulation, each accounting in tests for about a 10% increase in boiler steam-generation efficiency and neither affecting much of the potential gain from the other.  Add to this the practicality of operating with sliding-pressure firing while maintaining full superheat to the turbines and you wind up with little need to go to enormous, heavy, water-filled structure or increase the actual radiant uptake surface dramatically to try to take advantage of the higher grate limit from a larger box.  Fuel costs; if the additional fuel is used to boil 'more' water, the water costs; delivery of both to an engine in service is the chief rock that sank big advanced turbine steam on PRR in the first place.

But that means my fantasy white elephant would have been as gigantic as the S1 (Cool!).

Cool, yes.  Necessary, no.  You will note that none of the Lima six-wheel-trailer proposals had need of equally long structure at the smokebox end; in fact, the more advanced ones were only 2-8-6s (in part to gain back the length and reduced siding capacity imposed by the six-wheel rear truck).  Since the firebox improvements are mostly spring-borne by the trailer arrangements and only secondarily equalized with the drivers, there are no implications other than some inertial-accommodation issues with having relatively little weight forward of the third driver pair compared to the rear, even at high speed.

Now PRR for reasons of its own will insist on a pin-guided leading truck.  In my opinion what you'd get on a converted Q1 (which of course no longer has its cylinders to require low truck sideframes or outboard clearance) would be an adapted T1 outside-frame engine truck.  If you wanted to have some fun here, I suspect you could easily hang one of the air compressors per side neatly in the space where the front engine cylinders had been, giving you all the accessibility needed and involving only slight adjustment to the brake piping.  Then if you wanted to see if an ACFI heater arrangement works better than, say, Worthington you have room for it on the pilot beam. 

 

However, I think they were not powerful nor fast enough in my fantasy world!

Even in a fantasy world, you have to remember the implications of basic physics and the assumption (in part driven by your stockholders) to get the greatest revenue (long-term, too) from a given capital investment.  That means picking the least cost per reliable horsepower, and efficient operation over the range of loads and speeds that your railroad's profile and anticipated trainload characteristics impose.

The good news is that a PRR 4-8-4 or 4-8-6, turbine or otherwise, is unlikely to be more than a M&E 'dual service' engine; it specifically can be designed to spend a high percentage of its service life at or close to design speed with an appropriate load behind it -- the same criterion that made the Niagaras so famous and so able to run up high reliable mileage.  Now, if we utilize some of Voyce Glaze's balancing conventions in a relatively high-wheel 4-8-4 we begin to have an engine PRR had little practical need for ... but was beginning to look at definite applications for.  By the mid-Fifties this would have been right in the sweet spot for passenger-trucked TrucTrain consists ... run 'em as fast as the trailers will take.  This in the same timeframe the Nickel Plate could make Berks pay with conventional interchange car trains.  Makes you think, doesn't it?

 

With the help of our forumer Reed, I have the chance to read the 7-page article about the S1 in Milepost's back issue of 1992. It seems that the wheel slip problem, probably mostly occurred at high speed, wasn't solved. There were so many wheels and drivers needed to be replaced during her short service life.

Now this is important: did he say "drivers" or "driver tires"?  And note that the enormous inertia of the locomotive, and the long distance from the truck pivot to the leading driver flanges, didn't make it easy for slip forces to be accommodated when (not if) they developed.

Are there answers?  Yes, and many of the ones developed for the T1 are applicable on an S1.  Even if we treat the 84" drivers in Golsdorf fashion and make no expectations of speed above the 110mph of the speed recorder, we need nothing more than proportional steam throttling off the Q2 analog-computer mechanism and lateral-acting rim brakes to solve the issue definitively.  Just that there's no point in optimizing a 140' engine that weighs as much as a Big Boy to pull just one money-losing train.

 

I can see the author also noted that the S1 was *probably built exclusively for the World Fair, (the whole construction progress was unnaturally kept as a secret) but he couldn't find any solid evidence to back up this point.

The best evidence, to me, is that all the major locomotive builders conspired in the construction process.  That means the engine was intended as a kind of Four Aces on steroids, a proof of the duplex 'concept' that was over the top in the same way many show cars with over-1000-horsepower quad-turbo engines are.  It just happened that PRR wanted such an engine, and nobody else did.  So they got the demo built to their particular wishes.

 

The idea of the duplex, a by-product of the competition between the New York Central and PRR ...

That is almost certainly not what it came out of.  You will note that little B&O started building theirs not long after the idea was first floated, and NYC based most of theirs on PRR's second-generation design ... only to abort the whole idea before any metal was even cut or cast to make one.  

Think of the duplex as the last gasp of '20s-style design, aimed at increasing practical horsepower and capacity through multiple cylinders while reducing old-school augment force on the track, and keeping all the cylinders and presumably their valve gear nicely outboard and familiar to maintenance forces.  For 1933 it was a marvelous innovation; the point was that better ways to achieve high horsepower out of a 4-8-4 were only just being practically tested out -- with one glaring failure still almost a half-decade in the future.

The biggest thing PRR did with duplexes, in my opinion, was how to get four rear-facing cylinders accommodated with minimal impact on the rigid wheelbase.  In a cast engine bed.  The solution on the Q2, and it was a very conscious and experienced solution, was so good that its rigid wheelbase, for almost 8000hp at high speed, is actually less than an ATSF 5011-class 2-10-4 of markedly lower capacity.  But, of course, unless you have an actual need (and commensurate bottom-line return on investment) for that kind of power, you're better off providing yourself with...

 

Pennsy low key constructed  4-8-4s based ... on their own M1s or K5...

Would have been nice to ream out important gage restrictions on suitable main lines to make larger engines possible.  In particular had the stack revolution started at the end of WWII instead of waiting until the '70s, the additional clearance could have made a high-wheel class J a practical thing.  Of course it would be impossibly top-heavy and head for the ditch every chance it could take, but that's another story...

It is interesting to consider what an improved Mountain could have offered PRR -- or more precisely what you'd get by putting a modern welded boiler together with Snyders and Cunningham on an M1a with a lower back-pressure front end.  Remember the extra axle for carrying?  Now you have a locomotive with appropriate cylinder capacity needing only the lightweight running gear to thrive ... and how many of them had PRR (over)bought by the Depression era?

And disc mains on 72" with the lightweight gear is all the improvement needed for balancing up well past 110mph...

Just no fun even thinking about streamlining one, let alone a fleet of them.  Could be done, of course, but it's a waste of the weight, much like the Blue Goose shroud slated for ATSF 3765.

 

I really don't understand the transaction between C&O and Baldwin for the M-1 turbine electric...

It's really simple: Baldwin essentially lied through their teeth to get C&O to buy in to their project for a 6000hp single-unit turbine.  Probably pointing over at the idea of N&W getting modified V1s, which is still one of those inexplicable road-not-taken stories of the mid-1940s.

Now, I'd thought (from reading the story on the Chessie in Trains) that one of the ideas behind that train was that it would be a rolling palace, something like 32 cars long assembled outside its origin station and disassembled and multiple-switched into adjacent tracks on arrival.  A train that size going over C&O's grades needs a steam-turbine electric of that size to avoid double-heading or worse, even if we ignore all the slipping and other limitations of 2-cylinder simple steam locomotives doing that job.

It turns out that the plans were scaled back (and nearly everyone could get C&O ordered cars for a good price up to a couple of years later!) and of course nobody really needed a supertrain to Cincinnati (just ask B&O and N&W, who actually geared up for the potential competition in this period but to my knowledge didn't make anything much out of it) so it wound up being the capacity to take a train quicker over the mountains that could then be handled by, say, a 490-class streamlined Hudson on the flatter portions.  And I really don't doubt that Baldwin told them the same lie they told N&W over the 'final solution' TE-1 design: that it was capable of high horsepower at 65mph or better.

Which of course it wasn't -- neither of them was.  The turbine is relatively fixed-horsepower as designed, if it has to exhaust to atmosphere; even if it weren't, the output is pegged by generator capability.  And by traction-motor limitations.  Even in the absence of conductive and abrasive coal dust and liberal amounts of moisture and high sulfur in some of the coal... and so on.

A full-welded boiler, already becoming a trade possibility as the M-1s were being assembled, might have helped the design.  But little in the driveline was going to 'thrive', and practical alternatives would have involved technology that really didn't mature until this century. 

I'd like to have seen a destreamlined version of the M-1 run, though.  That would be cool.

 

... for C&O's management led by Robert Ralph Young, it was probably one of the most reckless decisions ever made by the leader of a class I railroad in the western hemisphere.

I don't know if the Leader class then a-buildin' in Blighty technically counts as being in the Western Hemisphere (it would of course be very close even if not) but that makes an M-1 look like a gold-edged bond by comparison.  And this was FAR from the wackiest thing the little weasel inflicted on C&O, or NYC for that matter -- by the way, you have him more or less directly to blame for why there are no preserved Hudsons or Niagaras.  Just so you and Vince know.

 

I won't be surprised if all three of them were actually gifted to (or 70% off) C&O but I am just assuming and do not want any people getting offended.

You know, I never even thought about that angle. 

My guess is Baldwin got full price both for 'development' and construction, as C&O was a cash-rich 'sucker' with only incidental exposure to more than conservative motive-power development up to that era.  More interesting is that even an 'improved' J-3 type Greenbrier wouldn't have been capable of the turbine's anticipated performance; it's difficult to imagine any eight-coupled doing the work or any ten- or twelve-coupled making the time.

What I find reprehensible is how quickly Baldwin left C&O twisting in the breeze after all the showstopping problems turned up.  But by then the diesel revolution and the free-piston extravaganza were in full swing there, and the finances going swiftly to hell.

 

When we read about the history of many class I railroads which survived the decline, they seldom or never introduce any experimental steam engine during the transitional era...

Oh, there were many; they were just stillborn and then their records were lost or disposed of.  You'd have seen quite a bit more interesting steam in the late '40s and perhaps into the early '50s had GM not bought EMC and Winton in the early Thirties and then turned those talented people loose on commercializing large road power.  I for one would have liked to see exactly what LV planned to do with a Q2-style duplex in a world where Alco and Baldwin weren't spurred to diesel production and Lima wasn't castrated in a merger-of-convenience.

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 11:18 AM

Overmod

I suspect the major contribution of the Q2s to the Korean War (which started in 1950) was the alloy steel and other metals in their composition.  Were any even seriously running at that point?

This is probably the truth, Mr. Overmod. Although most of them were not retired by 1953. The S2, Q1 and the Q2 phototypes were all dropped from the roster in Jan 1952. Compared them to other freight engines in the PRR system, steam, electric and diesel, Q2's contribution to the Korean War were negligible. I think it was discussed many times before but it would be nice to review the history of railroading during the Korean War if our forumer could share with us their first-hand experience or research. 

I wonder how much money would have saved if PRR chose the N&W Class J instead of the duplexes. It can be calculated since the total cost of all of the duplex engines was recorded.  The Js could have been the successor of both K4s and M1s, the best dual-service steam engine ever made. But sometimes the reality is a playground of no-fun-allowed, this is why I still love Q1 and Q2 better than the Js (both N&W & PRR). 

Too perfect for *me!

Overmod
In my opinion, had there been no turbines we might have seen some attempt to de-sow's-ear the Q1, probably involving a switch to smaller drivers and perhaps some rebushing of the cylinders to adjust the cyclic water rate upward to suit (and perhaps some application of RC poppet gear in a reverse T1a change to three-valve Franklin type C as on ATSF 3752, but I doubt it).  At this point I am tempted to speculate a bit and note 'what if we put a welded boiler and better firebox on the chassis, and geared in a couple of smaller V1-style turbines with the full-proportional version of the Q2 slip control' which still wouldn't have solved the lethal water-rate problem but would give us a highly interesting testbed... just don't expect Baldwin to build the pieces. 

I suspect much of the correspondence over the design options here would make interesting reading

That would have been a fascinating major rebuild. Though I strongly believe that it wouldn't be an economic and flexible engine which could challenge the diesel F units, it would have been a very cute white-elephant. A Q2 size welded boiler, a chassis long enough for 4-10-4 or 4-10-6, V1-style turbines, alloy steel rods, 70+ inches drivers with the best balancing, roller bearings here and there, anti-slip control, an attractive semi streamlining.

I am still obsessed with the 6-wheel truck design. If the 4-wheel trailing truck of the Q1 could be replaced by the 6-wheel truck, it would have had more space for a larger firebox or provided more room for a completely new firebox design without sacrifice the room of the cab. But that means my fantasy white elephant would have been as gigantic as the S1 (Cool!). Yes, I admit that the duplexes of Pennsy were white-elephant outside my fantasy world. It wasn't because they had a bad design, but there wasn't a strong need to build such a powerful engine after the war in the PRR's network, in hindsight once again. 

However, I think they were not powerful nor fast enough in my fantasy world!

 A GTW 4-8-4 with one more pair of the driver

Overmod
PRR was, according to some of the notes at the Hagley, proud of the way it handled the steam'pipe and snifting valve arrangements at the rear of the Q1 to avoid the kinds of problems B&O had on their locomotive.  If you look at it from pure engineering, they did a pretty good job.  Just that nobody told the steam, and the dirt, and the things in casual collision with items located near the limits of the loading gage, about how to respect products of superior intellect ... as it were.

I am delighted to know that PRR Motive Power actually knew what they were doing when designing the Q1 since many critics Pennsy repeated the same mistake of B&O's N-1. Even though it was not good enough to be mass produced, but in Baldwin's eyes, the Q1 was at least a symbol of Pennsy's bargaining power, a potential competitor to Baldwin's ill-fated duplex product. 

With the help of our forumer Reed, I have the chance to read the 7-page article about the S1 in Milepost's back issue of 1992. It seems that the wheel slip problem, probably mostly occurred at high speed, wasn't solved. There were so many wheels and drivers needed to be replaced during her short service life. I can see the author also noted that the S1 was *probably built exclusively for the World Fair, (the whole construction progress was unnaturally kept as a secret) but he couldn't find any solid evidence to back up this point. 

The idea of the duplex, a by-product of the competition between the New York Central and PRR, was one of the most expensive, overbudget drama in NA's railroading history. If Pennsy low key constructed a 4-8-4s base on the N&W Class J or their own M1s or K5, Pennsy would have had won hands down.

Overmod
...Baldwin, seeing its own future more than a little closely aligned with that of Steins et al., decides to implement its own 'hush-hush' design effort to end-run around the Steins patents ... the result of which comedy was (as no one I suspect will be surprised to learn) the C&O M-1 turbines.  (In case you were wondering why there were three, and so little testing was done to debug the first one...)  This essentially threw down the gauntlet to PRR Motive Power in a way that makes it potentially easier to see why no further direct-turbine work was undertaken at that critical time that turbine steam power was the wave of the future... and the compound-expansion answer to the whole double-maintenance problem of the duplexes at a stroke...

I really don't understand the transaction between C&O and Baldwin for the M-1 turbine electric, I can understand why Baldwin rushed the fubar M-1 before PRR's "Triplex" can be built, but for C&O's management led by Robert Ralph Young, it was probably one of the most reckless decisions ever made by the leader of a class I railroad in the western hemisphere.  I won't be surprised if all three of them were actually gifted to (or 70% off) C&O but I am just assuming and do not want any people getting offended.

When we read about the history of many class I railroads which survived the decline, they seldom or never introduce any experimental steam engine during the transitional era, that was a tough time for the whole industry, steam and diesel engine development were struggling (except EMD), traffic is declining, trackage and engine worn out, passenger had way more travel options than before, risky investment was not a normal option, but somehow, the fubar M-1 was born in this era. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 10:05 AM

Overmod

That doesn't mean that losing All That Steam so quickly isn't a shame for all us non-railroaders at trackside.  Tracksiders pay few bills and incur few responsibilities, but they know what they like.

 
I only saw a handful of NKP 2-8-4's in regular service so I don't miss steam, you don't miss what you didn't see.  I've always enjoyed diesels and straight electrics and relish the varieties of each.  I also enjoy seeing what's new.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 10, 2019 12:36 PM

Just as a heads-up:  At the beginning of this thread, back in 2018, Peter Clark was going to look up PRR S1 6100 in Reuter's Rekord-Lokomotiven.  I don't remember what the actual result of that check was.

Perhaps if Mr. Clark is away from the references, or if someone else wants to comment on this, here is the amazon.com listing for the book.  (There are of course other sources; it's not a 'rare book' yet.)

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 10, 2019 12:35 PM

.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 10, 2019 12:25 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
What folly??  Sticking with an overdesigned steam locomotive in an attempt to make up for lost time caused by ignoring improvements not originated by PRR?

You have to put the folly in context.  F units were demonstrably better than anything PRR had in the steam-development pipeline, and most of the first-generation follies involved taking nearly-untried competitive approaches (244-engined FAs being one that comes to mind more forcefully than any four-axle Baldwin power, interestingly enough) that were not built following EMD's design and quality paradigms.  So the argument isn't dieselization -- that was established definitively by 1949 by the economic forces only becoming evident by about 1947 -- just incompetent dieselization forced by "the market".

Although I often moan about it, PRR fixed this problem pretty definitively in 1963, when they bit the bullet and got rid of all the old 'orphan' units, even those that were running reasonably well in service or had 'rebuild potential' (the BP-20s in particular as I've noted offering some interesting possibilities).  It is difficult to imagine working a railroad with steam, any steam, as well as it could be worked with SD40s, let alone SD40-2s ... and we need not go much more modern than that.  There are reasons not one of the modern-steam-revival programs, including those I participated in, went much of anywhere, and those reasons only get stronger each year.

That doesn't mean that losing All That Steam so quickly isn't a shame for all us non-railroaders at trackside.  Tracksiders pay few bills and incur few responsibilities, but they know what they like.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, June 10, 2019 11:10 AM

Oh my! Thank you for your amazing response, Overmod. I will need some time to write a thorough response to your awesome post.

Using Q1 or even S1 as a test bed to further the steam engine development is one of my fantasy. On the other hand, I am still trying to figure it out what really happened between the PRR, Baldwin (& Westinghouse), Loewy, GM, etc. Even though we already know the official stories. 

When critical information is inaccessible on my side, imagination mixing with logical reasoning might bring me closer to the truth. 

Coffee

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 10, 2019 10:34 AM

Jones1945
The Q2 and T1 actually participated in two global conflicts, at least. The Korean War somewhat extended Q2 and many steam engines' service life of different railroads.

I suspect the major contribution of the Q2s to the Korean War (which started in 1950) was the alloy steel and other metals in their composition.  Were any even seriously running at that point?

It would be highly interesting to see where the T1s were used, and how useful they were (even in the sense of allowing other steam or diesels to work more strategic services).  Again, though, this was probably into the equipment-trust-saving part of the T1 retention effort, so I wouldn't expect much voluntary reactivation of stored power for main trains or other explicit wartime traffic.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, June 10, 2019 10:19 AM

Miningman

Followed of course by rows and rows and rows of unreliable super high cost Diesels that didn't last much longer than the Q1 and Q2's. 

Wonder if someone was hauled on the carpet for this unbelievable folly.

What folly??  Sticking with an overdesigned steam locomotive in an attempt to make up for lost time caused by ignoring improvements not originated by PRR?

Most PRR diesels lasted until they were fully depreciated (15 years) or even longer.  Except of course for such disasters like Baldwin's Centipede.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, June 10, 2019 9:56 AM

Miningman

Very short lived and under utilized (165,000 miles). Do you remember 2015? Of course, seems like yesterday almost.. from then until now that's how long it lasted. 

Q2's fantastic performance and as Overmod calls them " win the war now locomotives" also ridiculously short lives. 

Definitely, Miningman. The Q2 and T1 actually participated in two global conflicts, at least. The Korean War somewhat extended Q2 and many steam engines' service life of different railroads. 

I do remember many details happened in my private life as well as my civil service in 2015, but there is one thing I almost can't remember its existence, which is justice. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 10, 2019 9:24 AM

Jones1945
Pennsy could have built their own duplex and set the price of the new engine independently, that means Baldwin would have lost their largest client. If Pennsy really had such intention, once Pennsy obtained all the data of the S2 turbine, as well as the T1s, they would have ditched Baldwin afterward. How Baldwin would have had reacted to such a situation? the plot thickens...

To paraphrase the sense of the Easter service, 'thickens indeed'!

Baldwin was a principal player in the 'intellectual property' development of the duplex idea (perhaps overly so) -- this being one of the key post-Eksergian efforts to eliminate the evil effects of augment.  How much the railroad world was pawing around in the half-dark is evidenced by the infamous R1 story; how clearly they got a good answer is not much later (in the 'refit kits' on, for example, the T&P 2-10-4s, the rebuilt 3751 class; the double rebuilding of the Hs into world-class glory matched (imho) only by the Niagaras).  But in the world of the Q1, anything larger than -- say -- the M1a was going to be hopeless at dual-service speed, and so...

There's an old riddle about 'what's a camel?'  The answer to which is 'a horse designed by a committee'.  Here's PRR designing a 5/4 M1 but deciding to get more and more carried away with the fun, evidently forgetting Leonor Loree's lesson about practical technology on the way.  

Part of the 'key' here is to note why the driver size was ramped up all the way to 77" instead of using disc centers and better balancing at 72". -- it's highly likely lower water rate a la Golsdorf was not part of that design decision, considering the priorities in the Q2 and V1 designs.  Instead, as in the B&O locomotive (and I suspect the putative ATSF 6-4-4-4) you have conventional drive on normal wheels which now can have smaller balance weights and overbalance consequences.

PRR was, according to some of the notes at the Hagley, proud of the way it handled the steam'pipe and snifting valve arrangements at the rear of the Q1 to avoid the kinds of problems B&O had on their locomotive.  If you look at it from pure engineering, they did a pretty good job.  Just that nobody told the steam, and the dirt, and the things in casual collision with items located near the limits of the loading gage, about how to respect products of superior intellect ... as it were.

End result is interesting precisely because the design didn't try to do what the Q2 did, produce very high horsepower at elevated speed, so you wound up with a super locomotive hobbled by just the wrong constraints to realize the promise of the 'good bits'.  Most of the issues of backpedaling drive were not particularly difficult to address (ahem, cough, cough, cab-forwards?) probably including the issue of crap rammed into the multiple-bearing crosshead surfaces, so you may be looking at T1-failure-duplicitous levels of railfan-led-by-the-nose mythology there.  On the other hand, limiting the locomotive to M&E as its prospective 'dual service' (in a world where PRR freight never topped 50mph) can be seen without particular reference to accurate hindsight as a relative waste of time and money.

Nobody seems to have thought very carefully that a locomotive that required the same cylinder care and maintenance as two M1s had better be capable of doing more things better than two M1s as possible (particularly if it cost more than three M1s to build, but I digress).  We see the same issue repeated for the Q2s as soon as no one needed 150-car trains pulled at meteoric speed over wartime-maintenance track: in a normal PRR world, the J1a (no slouch of a design itself, particularly with the upsized driver diameter) did about everything a Q2 could do on any particular practical train but with Ferrari-level maintenance for Ferrari performance the job no longer called for.

MEANWHILE ... back to the Baldwin story.

You will remember how the order for the T1s was split, half to Baldwin and half to Altoona, with the expensive valve-gear and technological bits outsourced (so Baldwin had no technological 'lock' on the market as they would have, via their controlling Westinghouse connection, on steam turbines).  Behind the scenes, here comes the future! as Steins et al. duke it out with Loewy over the 'triplex' plan and then develop the magic solution that would replace reciprocating steam with a three-box configuration that didn't involve Baldwin Locomotive Works.  (Although it did involve Westinghouse, about which more anon).

Baldwin, seeing its own future more than a little closely aligned with that of Steins et al., decides to implement its own 'hush-hush' design effort to end-run around the Steins patents ... the result of which comedy was (as no one I suspect will be surprised to learn) the C&O M-1 turbines.  (In case you were wondering why there were three, and so little testing was done to debug the first one...)  This essentially threw down the gauntlet to PRR Motive Power in a way that makes it potentially easier to see why no further direct-turbine work was undertaken at that critical time that turbine steam power was the wave of the future... and the compound-expansion answer to the whole double-maintenance problem of the duplexes at a stroke.

In my opinion, had there been no turbines we might have seen some attempt to de-sow's-ear the Q1, probably involving a switch to smaller drivers and perhaps some rebushing of the cylinders to adjust the cyclic water rate upward to suit (and perhaps some application of RC poppet gear in a reverse T1a change to three-valve Franklin type C as on ATSF 3752, but I doubt it).  At this point I am tempted to speculate a bit and note 'what if we put a welded boiler and better firebox on the chassis, and geared in a couple of smaller V1-style turbines with the full-proportional version of the Q2 slip control' which still wouldn't have solved the lethal water-rate problem but would give us a highly interesting testbed... just don't expect Baldwin to build the pieces. 

 I suspect much of the correspondence over the design options here would make interesting reading

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, June 9, 2019 4:48 PM

Very short lived and under utilized (165,000 miles). Do you remember 2015? Of course, seems like yesterday almost.. from then until now that's how long it lasted. 

Q2's fantastic performance and as Overmod calls them " win the war now locomotives" also ridiculously short lives. 

Followed of course by rows and rows and rows of unreliable super high cost Diesels that didn't last much longer than the Q1 and Q2's. 

Wonder if someone was hauled on the carpet for this unbelievable folly.

Don't think so, they were all in on it, and couldn't rid themselves of their steam fast enough. Blink and you missed it all. 

Nothing new here that hasn't been stated previously but the whole thing S1 thru to T1's was a darn shame. When Pennsy turned its back on its best moment and then destroyed it all what can you say besides ridiculous.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, June 9, 2019 3:01 PM

(For the record) I never heard about this but I just found out that the S1 once hauled a 90-car freight consist and hit 73mph during a test outing, according to the Keystone Magazine Vol.27, No.2, summer 1994. I don't think we discussed such testing of S1 before but the T1s towing freight train for testing was mentioned in several posts. 

If that road test was conducted during the break of the World Fair, the result of it might affect the design of Q1 later in 1940. Many say that the 77" drivers on Q1 were too large for a freight engine (It was a dual service engine actually) but the result of S1 towing the 3600 tons (presuming all cars were loaded, 40-ton* 90) freight train probably encouraged Pennsy to not using the smaller driver on the Q1.

I still believe that Q1 was one of the most ambitious plans of Pennsy during the transitional era. If the Q1, as the successor of the M1s 4-8-2, was good enough to be mass produced, the PRR didn't even have to cooperate with Baldwin or other steam engine manufacturer anymore. Pennsy could have built their own duplex and set the price of the new engine independently, that means Baldwin would have lost their largest client.

If Pennsy really had such intention, once Pennsy obtained all the data of the S2 turbine, as well as the T1s, they would have ditched Baldwin afterward. How Baldwin would have had reacted to such a situation? the plot thickens...... Movie Coffee

Designed and built by PRR.

^The supposed to be the new Pennsy face, designed by Raymond Loewy and altered on Clement's request.  

Fast, strong, flexible and stylish. 

Not as slippy as the T1s,

not as oversized as the S1,

dual services ready,

built by Pennsy's own shop,

the mother of the Q2s,

long forgotten outside this forum......

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 6:13 AM

Old News:

I believe many Pennsy fans already knew this for years but in model railroading world, this information is always omitted, which cost them a lower sale due to lack of Raymond Loewy's fame.

According to Keystone magazine vol. 26, number 3, Autumn 1993, an interview of John W. Epstein, Special Projects Manager and vice president, Raymond Loewy & AssoC., he mentioned that not only K4s 3768 and PRR S1 which both were displayed in 1939-40 World Fair, the four K4s streamlined for the Jeffersonian and South Wind, the streamlining of PRR R2, Q1, Q2, V1 as well as T1s were all designed by Raymond Loewy & AssoC., (with involvement of Clement). But I believe that due to WWII, there was no publicity about it, let alone some of the original design was altered according to President Clement's idea. 

In 1939, PRR requested Raymond Loewy to design the proposed streamlined E6s, it didn't happen but the similar design was applied to the South Wind and Jeffersonian Scheme. President Clement involved in Q1's design including the appearance of the front end which he wanted the headlight placed above the smokebox center and the Keystone plate should be placed right under the headlight, it is like a tradition of the "Pennsy look".

Streamlining of R2 4-8-4 steam turbine due cancelation and S2 was proposed to be streamlined by Loewy, but PRR made a smart choice to not streamlining it like Q1.

Before:

After: 

 

The proposed streamlined PRR E6s, note the similarity of the placement of Keystone plate and headlight compared to Q1's design.

Copyright: THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD, RAYMOND LOEWY's STUDIO.  Coffee

Speaking of Q1, accord to another issue of the Keystone magazine, this dual service duplex's front engine seldom have wheel slipping problem, but the rear engine's drivers constantly slip. The performance of her was above average which the engine NEVER received a complaint from the crew and management after accumulating 165,000 miles of service. Coffee Thank you for your attention. Wink

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, February 28, 2019 4:28 AM

Redwards

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

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

 

Dear all,

I extremely regret to let you guys know that after a half year of eBay hunting, I cannot find a hard copy of Reed's suggestion: Charlie Meyer, Jan 1992 (Vo.10, N0.1) issue of Milepost, published by Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

If you have this issue and willing to "share" with me in any form, please kindly let me know! I would appreciate it greatly if you could help me to find this last piece of the puzzle of my dream engine PRR S1!

Thank you for your attention!  Thumbs Up

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 9:38 AM

The T1 engine in Trainz is a payware DLC which user cannot adjust, modify or upgrade its setting. The silly bubbles thing can be removed if some pc guru willing to share the trick to modify this 7 years old official content. Or maybe they tried to render the leaking in the Franklin poppet valve gear in a funny way. Wink

The estimated completion date of T1 5550 (without bubble blowing) will be 2030 which is only 11 years later, let's wait for it and see the real T1 running without bubbles blowing CoffeeAngel

By the way, if the bubbles can make you happy, I have at least one more video to show you :-P 

 

Shy

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7:47 AM

Wow.  The T1 WAS blowing bubbles out of the cylinders!

"OK, who's the wise guy who put Ivory soap in the boiler water?"

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Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7:32 AM

That's cute how the T1 blows bubbles out of the cylinders! Wink

.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 6:19 AM

 

"!HEAD TO HEAD! - PRR S1 vs PRR T1"

The "Big Engine" PRR S1 6-4-4-6 Duplex, a locomotive built for the 1939-40 World's Fair to show off all the cutting edge technologies of America at the time, racing head to head with the "practical version" of her, The PRR T1 #5500, the production version of PRR's last steam locomotive; she was the answer of PRR to the concept of "superpower" "Northern 4-8-4s" from the 1930s. 

*The T1 in this simulator is using the default engine config file by the game developer. *S1's engine config file is adjusted base on the real S1's spec, figures like the boiler size, cylinder's volume, firebox size, total heating surface area, fire temperature and the number of cylinders etc with the help of many nice people from Classic Trains Magzine Forum. ( http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/740/t/2727... )

==If you are good at computer programming and computer simulation and willing to provide a more accurate engine config file to us, we are more than willing to do another race with different kinds of trains by using your engine config file for an even better result==

At the end of the video, it is also the end of the map, so I stopped recording once we know who is the winner. 

In this video, the T1 and S1 was hauling the historically accurate consist of 1943 The Admiral and The Trail Blazer, so you can see the Admiral is a typical American style mixed consist with old and new cars in the video: )

Suggestion and advice are always welcomed! Thank you for watching! :D

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, February 10, 2019 9:09 AM

The is PRR form 109-J 1948 provided by Charles Crawford, the official spec of Q1, Q2, S1, S2.



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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, February 7, 2019 1:10 PM

This new video is from my family's hobby YouTube channel. I think I found the answer regarding the capability of PRR S1. CoffeeHmm

 

= 138 mph = PRR Class S1 Duplex Steam Locomotive

"We heard about a lot of tales and rumors about how fast the 7200hp PRR S1 could go in the past. I think It is the right time to show the whole world about her power, her top speed, and her capability to break any speed record created by any other steam locomotive in the world at any time. 

- 100 mph (06:42)

- 120 mph (10:58)

- 130 mph (12:26)

- 138 mph (16:45)

Pennsylvania Railroad was a responsible railroad, they encouraged safety driving and paid attention to the comfort level of their premier train. Therefore, The PRR, as well as many other great railroads in the States like MILW and NYCentral never claimed any speed record during and after World War II. 

But with the help of computer simulation, like Trainz, we could show you which steam engine was supposed to be the fastest steam engine ever made in human history! In this video, PRR S1 is hauling a historically accurate 1939 standard 8-car consist of the "Broadway Limited". I added one 13 double bedroom Pullman sleeper (re-skinned from a sleeper made by  K&L Trainz) on it for heavier loading. The engine's config file has been carefully tuned for historical accuracy. 

Just like other speed test video, the train won't obey any speed limit on the route and the "derailment" function is off. The feature of "Auto Fireman" is activated, so maybe you can make the PRR S1 run even faster with better fireman skill! Do you wanna try? :P

Thank you for watching!"

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, February 3, 2019 3:10 AM

Liberty Limited powered by the PRR S1 #6100 in April 1941 (78 years ago). Meanwhile, B&O is winning the game with their diesel-powered Royal Blue and Capitol Limited in the Washington D.C - New York and Chicago market.


The Train of Tomorrow vs The Train of PRR's Tomorrow! 3600hp vs 7200hp! It was a good game well for all railfans anyway!


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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, January 26, 2019 12:40 PM

30 years earlier before the arrival of PRR T1 prototype (#6110, #6111), we had PRR E6sa #1092 using an experiential rotary valve designed by O. W. Young. According to Wiki, It was actuated by regular Walschaerts gear (?) and was not a completely unsuccessful experiment.

 

PRR #1092 in 1912:

PRR #1092 in 1937: 

Source: HAGLEY DIGITAL ARCHIVES

 

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, January 20, 2019 10:45 AM

rrlineman

With all discussion on what could have been or why the PRR did this or that, I remember some years back in the PRR Keystone someone did a similar study. One of the things this person did was to create the R2. A steam engine that used the S2's boiler with either an expanded M1a chassis or a drivetrain from one of the Santa Fe's big 4-8-4's. He even had a painting to show what it would have looked like along with his proposed Specs of speed, HP-TF etc. Does anyone remember this article??

Thanks for the useful information, rrlineman. I remember there is at least one, probably only one article on Keystone Magzine about Q1 (but not even one about S1). I wish more railroading document and historical material will come out of the surface (Not only Pennsy) before they were forgotten or storing in different universities for another three hundred years. 

By the way, do you mean using the Q2's boiler on a M1a chassis? We have some very intensive discussions no long ago about why PRR "skipped" the development of Hudsons and Northern. The M1s were so powerful and reliable that this class could have been the only Mountain class which is epic enough to fit into the "Super Power" category. If Pennsy wanted to make 4-8-4s their prime power, there would have been no difficulties for them to build one or a fleet of it.

I think I can call it a consensus that PRR was so ambitious to make something more than any RRs can imagine. But turn out all these new prime steam power development plans had a lot of set back and didn't go according to plan.

I believe Q1 was designed base on the concept of CN/Grand Trunk Western 4-8-4s of 1938, but Pennsy wanted to make it a lot more powerful than it and let it become the successor of M1s. Coffee Both class using 77" drivers, streamlined and was a dual-service engine.

 

locomotive.wikia.com

 

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Posted by rrlineman on Saturday, January 19, 2019 2:02 PM

With all discussion on what could have been or why the PRR did this or that, I remember some years back in the PRR Keystone someone did a similar study. One of the things this person did was to create the R2. A steam engine that used the S2's boiler with either a expanded M1a chassis or a drivetrain from one of the Santa Fe's big 4-8-4's. He even had a painting to show what it would have looked like along with his proposed Specs of speed, HP-TF etc. Does anyone remeber this article??

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, January 18, 2019 10:19 PM

selector

Middle one is really a 4-6-4-4.

Edit: Did you mean the middle loco in the first set?  If so, you are correct.  I failed to see that there are only two images.

 

Thank you very much for pointing it out. Extra info is added to improve the typesetting. : -)

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Posted by selector on Friday, January 18, 2019 12:42 PM

Middle one is really a 4-6-4-4.

Edit: Did you mean the middle loco in the first set?  If so, you are correct.  I failed to see that there are only two images.

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