PRR Fleet of Modernism (1938-1947) integrated discussion

11498 views
111 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 16,298 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 9:26 PM

Flintlock76
Good film!  Thanks for posting Balt!

They've done some good stuff on Pennsylvania Public Television.  One classic is "Pennsyvania Diner,"  but watching that one'll make you hungry, trust me!

Well OK, here it is, from the 1990's...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmoDYCyB5kM   

It's about an hour-and-a-half long, so you may want to take it in small "bites."  Dinner  Whistling

For a number of years, living in Baltimore and having my inlaws in Akron - the PA Turnpike was the normal route connecting the two - The Midway Service area was a frequent stop in both directions.  My favorite was HoJo's blueberry pancakes.  

Now a days, with the toll robbery that PA has on the Turnpike, I travel I-68 & I-79 to get to I-77 - No Tolls - with the PA & OH Tolls being about $20 and only shortening the trip by about 10 minutes - it isn't worth the tolls.

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, January 31, 2019 9:41 AM

Flintlock76

Oh, I like that picture of the "Fleet of Modernism" train heading off into the sunset!  It doesn't matter if that sunset is literal or figural, it's still cool!

Thanks a lot, Wayne. The colors of the sunset was a perfect match with the FOM-Tuscan red plus maroon and golden strip. It was the best color scheme of Pennsy as well as Raymond Loewy's work for railroading, but it barely lasted about 10 years. My favorite PRR FOM car was the heavyweight betterment Pullman sleeper:

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 7,612 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 01, 2019 1:36 PM

MidlandMike
The N&W was primarily a coal conveyor and their steam was suited for the purpose.

And you think a 70"-drivered locomotive with lightweight Timken rods on the last 5 examples is optimized for coal hauling -- how?

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,335 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, February 01, 2019 2:28 PM

MidlandMike

The N&W was primarily a coal conveyor and their steam was suited for the purpose.  PRR's efforts were primarily toward a general freight RR.  I don't see how N&W's practices would have translated to PRR.

 

Well, you have to realize that when Miningman and myself are talking about the PRR adopting N&W practices what we mean is this, and bear with me.

The PRR's steam development essentially stopped in 1914, anything that came afterward was a variation on a basic theme.  "Build 'em simple and build 'em reliable" was a good policy as long as everthing stayed static.  But it didn't.

N&W on the other hand was always looking for ways to improve steam performance and utilization, the R&D never stopped.  Automatic lubrication, roller bearings, lightweight steel alloys, all were tested in turn and applied as soon as practical.

Then there were the N&W's "Lubritoriums," so designed that one of N&W's modern state-of-the-art steamers could be serviced and back on the road in anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes.  The PRR had nothing like them, as far as I know.

When the Pennsy started to look at steam design again they came up with the S-1, good but too big, the S-2 turbine, good in theory but bad in practice, and the T-1, good but just a little too late.  

What the 'roads hauled was of little real consequence.  The N&W was a coal pipeline to Tidewater, and probably got their coal fuel at a discount from the mining companies, but they hauled other things besides coal. 

The PRR could have learned a lot from the N&W, but ignored them.  The best tribute to N&W's steam team probably came from the crew at Lima Locomotive Works, no slouches themselves when it came to steam design...

"N&W?  There's nothing we can teach them about building steam locomotives!"

Of course, by the 50's the men running N&W could see the writing on the wall, they knew diesels were coming, it was just a matter of time, but even then they played it smart.  They waited to see what everone else's experiences were with diesels and then made their choice.  They bought EMD's "Geeps."

Even though "Geeps" looked absolutely awful on the head end of trains like "The Cavalier,"  "The Pocahontas," and the "Powhatan Arrow!"   

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 4,177 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, February 01, 2019 10:40 PM

Overmod

 

 
MidlandMike
The N&W was primarily a coal conveyor and their steam was suited for the purpose.

 

And you think a 70"-drivered locomotive with lightweight Timken rods on the last 5 examples is optimized for coal hauling -- how?

 

I used the word "primarily", not "exclusivly".  I think the N&W had 14 of the engines you alluded to (primarily for passenger service?)

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, February 02, 2019 2:12 AM

Flintlock76

Well, you have to realize that when Miningman and myself are talking about the PRR adopting N&W practices what we mean is this, and bear with me.

The PRR's steam development essentially stopped in 1914, anything that came afterward was a variation on a basic theme.  "Build 'em simple and build 'em reliable" was a good policy as long as everthing stayed static.  But it didn't...

...The PRR could have learned a lot from the N&W, but ignored them.  The best tribute to N&W's steam team probably came from the crew at Lima Locomotive Works, no slouches themselves when it came to steam design...

"N&W?  There's nothing we can teach them about building steam locomotives!"

Of course, by the 50's the men running N&W could see the writing on the wall, they knew diesels were coming, it was just a matter of time, but even then they played it smart.  They waited to see what everone else's experiences were with diesels and then made their choice.  They bought EMD's "Geeps."

Even though "Geeps" looked absolutely awful on the head end of trains like "The Cavalier,"  "The Pocahontas," and the "Powhatan Arrow!"   

 

I agree with most of your points, Wayne.

I believe the "I don't need you to teach me how to run the world's largest railroad" attitude was something leaded PRR to a very bad ending. 

In hindsight, the plus side of Pennsy was that it tried to bring themselves as well as the railroad industry some new and competitive steam engine with their duplexes and steam turbine design but they went a bit too far and not really that well prepared. Q1 was the best example to show how they dissociated from their own business. It failed to become the successor of M1s and fell between two stools: mechanically it was not as simple and powerful as the J1s and was too powerful (waste of fuel) and heavy for passenger service. Q1 was the root of Q2, the 8000hp single unit freight engine. But once the war was over, Q2's service life also didn't last long. Was Q2 really that successful? it's a matter of opinion.

PRR J1 2-10-4 and M1s were considered some of the most successful steam engines Pennsy ever had by the crew, but the former was seen as an alien in the fleet due to its original sin -a non-Pennsy design. The management was so eager to cancel the last 32 J1s order and replaced it with Q2s when the duplex freight engine was available, and we know which class survived longer. 

I think I don't need to create another wall of text to review the history of how Pennsy and Franklin messed up the T1 project unintentionally. In short, if Pennsy trusted and respected some suggestions of their higher officials and business partner like Baldwin, trusted and respected the noted industrial designer they hired, paid more attention to how B&O and NYCentral run their premier passenger train business. Then PRR might really have become the "Standard Railroad of the World".

Imagine Pennsy built 76 dual services 4-8-4s base on N&W Class J; didn't cancel the last 32 J1s order, developing the duplex at a much smaller scale and using the Franklin type B valve gear for testing, kept developing the "Fleet of Modernism" brand for its premier passenger train service, testing all early diesel mainline prime power before purchases, sharing resource (car, engine, asset, office, track etc) with N&W......But the demise of LD trains in the States and dieselization was inevitable; there are so many things out of Pennsy control, and the plot of those long forgotten inside stories of Pennsy may beyond your imagination!...

We steam fan hope that the steam engines can be running in the railroad system forever, but there are tons of individual and organization out there want to get rid of them. 

PRR T1 & N&W Class J CoffeeSmile, Wink & Grin

 

 

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,335 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, February 02, 2019 10:22 AM

Oh, that was oh-so-cool,  an "Art Deco Drag Race" between a T-1 and a Class J!

Of course, it never happened in real life, but given the postulated situation, that is straight-as-an-arrow trackage on a billiard table flat landscape, I'd have to put my money on the T-1.  Pains me to say so as much as I love the Class J's.

Reason being, the T-1 was designed for 100 mph (and faster) running and the J's weren't.  Oh, the J's could  get up to 100 mph and faster, but they weren't really designed for sustained running at that speed. 

No matter, it was a fun video, although the T-1 "tailgating" the Class J's train at the end has me a bit puzzled.  Looks like it's going to take a bite out of the obs car!  

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 7,612 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 02, 2019 11:05 AM

Flintlock76
Reason being, the T-1 was designed for 100 mph (and faster) running and the J's weren't. Oh, the J's could get up to 100 mph and faster, but they weren't really designed for sustained running at that speed.

But we're discussing a drag race, which is acceleration from a standing start over a relatively short fixed distance.  Even assuming we leave low-speed slipping (an acknowledged T1 "characteristic") out of this discussion, I think all authorities agree that the higher-wheel, shorter-stroke T1 would be at a substantial power disadvantage up to about 35mph (above which they were noted for strong acceleration up to the speed range where high-speed slipping might rear its head).  Up to that speed at least the J can develop more practical drawbar pull and hence train acceleration, and continues to be no slouch thereafter; I'd have to wonder seriously whether the T1 would even start to gain back some of its lost differential until the trains had accelerated over the distance corresponding to a 'made speed' of over 40 to 45mph. 

"Flying mile" timings once up to maximum achieved speed are another matter entirely, and I'd expect the T1 both to reach and to sustain (albeit for different reasons) speeds well over what the J could safely provide.  Which isn't really the point.  It might  be interesting to see what Voyce Glaze et al. might have produced if tasked to build an unlimited-speed road locomotive for a railroad that could use that capability.

Someone who has quick access to the drawbar pull/speed curves of the two locomotives could work up a comparison of the distance at which the locomotives would be 'neck and neck' again.  Alas! I am no longer that person.  (But it is interesting to consider that it may be possible to conduct an empirical test of the matter within a few years...)

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,335 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, February 02, 2019 12:25 PM

Unfortunately I couldn't go full-screen with the video, so I'm not sure if the data on the right side of the screen was giving any speed indications.  

I'd have to agree, from a standing start the J would have had the advantage, but that video ran for 12 minutes on apparantly an endless section of trackage.  Sooner or later the J would have to back off.

There was one time when a J was brought up to (I think) 115 mph on the "racetrack" between Petersburg and Norfolk.  If I remember correctly it was done under observation and not for laughs, for lack of a better term.  Eventually the crew felt "discretion is the better part of valor" and slowed it down.  

Just because you can go like a bat out of hell doesn't mean you should.

And I still can't figure out why the T-1's trying to bite the J's train in the butt!

"Show ME up, you lousy hillbilly?  I'll show YOU!"

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, February 02, 2019 2:17 PM

SmileGlad to know you guys interested in my TrainZ simulator drag race video! The video I post was actually an extract from a 20 mins video which included the NYC Niagara but it probably glitched when I driving it on "realistic mode". So I only show the part where the N&W Class J and PRR T1 6110 chasing each other. You guys may already notice that I slow down both train multiple times to fit the "plot", so it was not a serious drag race! (at least the ending is funny...)

But I am gonna arrange a real drag race just for you guys. Both Class J and T1 will be hauling the same load and I will show you guys from their starting to reaching top speed. I will need to double check and confirm the figures in the engine config file are realistic and accurate first (the mass/volume of the cylinders, the size of the firebox, heating surface and the size of the boiler etc.) just like my PRR S1 : ) If I can fix the Niagara, she will be in the race as well. : ) 

This is a video showing my PRR S1 hauling the General + Trail Blazer combined consist on the level track. 1380 tons including the engine itself. She can reach 105 mph within 10 mins. I believe it is not 100% accurate but it shouldn't be too far away from reality (if you watch it on YouTube, the full-screen function should be fine:


CoffeeCaptain

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, February 04, 2019 1:54 PM

The Trail Blazer joined PRR's Fleet of Modernism in 1939. It was arguably the most successful Fleet of Modernism train, popular and highly profitable. K4s was the trains prime power before S1 was put into revenue service in 1941. Streamlined coaches towed by the best Pacific in the world, should I can it a "semi-streamliner"? 

Standard consist was 9 cars, like the Broadway. It was increased to 14 cars when S1 and T1 prototype were available during the peak of wartime traffic.  

Source: http://digital.denverlibrary.org

Source: http://digital.denverlibrary.org

If patrons thought a ticket of the Broadway and the 20th Century wasn't worth it, this was the train for them. 

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,335 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, February 04, 2019 2:01 PM

Is that a K4 with smoke lifters in photo one?  That's unusual, it's the first time I've ever seen one fitted up like that.

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 2:03 AM

Flintlock76

Is that a K4 with smoke lifters in photo one?  That's unusual, it's the first time I've ever seen one fitted up like that.

Yes, that is a K4; PRR #3876 with an oddball smoke lifter! I believe it was the reason why this photo was taken. Beside #3876, #3380 was equipped a smaller smoke lifter and #5038 was equipped an "NYCentral" style smoke lifter. According to Pennsy Power I, all of these smoke lifter were removed from the engine post-war. 

There was no official record about why Pennsy never install smoke lifter on their steam engine post-war but our forumer thought that it was a money problem. 

Speaking of #5038, it was seen (in photo and video) double headed with streamlined K4s hauling long consist. 

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,335 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 9:12 AM

I'd suspect that K4 smoke lifter installation may be a "one-time, what-if" experiment.  From what I've read how well smoke lifters worked depended on the locomotive configuration and how fast it went, among other things.

I suppose the PRR tried them and decided they weren't worth it. 

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 3:08 PM

Flintlock76

I'd suspect that K4 smoke lifter installation may be a "one-time, what-if" experiment.  From what I've read how well smoke lifters worked depended on the locomotive configuration and how fast it went, among other things.

I suppose the PRR tried them and decided they weren't worth it. 

That makes sense, Wayne. I believe it was some sort of research and experiment for Pennsy to understand the effect of smoke deflectors in different shape and form. The Classes that really needed to equip smoke deflector were probably the S2 and T1s, not the K4s, but as Overmod stated that the effect and usefulness of the smoke deflector are inconclusive. 

PRR S2 #6200 a.k.a the "Volcano" and the "Big Whoosh", the engine that made me become a Pennsy Fan Shy:

 

Tags: PRR S2

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, February 07, 2019 2:01 AM

Another pic of a "semi-streamliner". A good old K4s hauling a full consist of streamlined heavyweight betterment car, the Trail Blazer.

Some HD and adjusted photo of Fleet of Modernism hauling by non-streamlined engines:

The "South Wind" hauling by a K4s.

PRR S2 powered the Trail Blazer since mid-1945

A comment was made on the Facebook by a gentleman who is the son of an engineer of Franklin that Pennsy gave utmost attention to the NYCentral who inaugurated the Empire State Express before the attack of Pearl Harbour changed everything.

PRR did purchases at least 30 P85R coaches from Budd by 1940 (in the 2nd lot of new lightweight equipment) and streamlined (only) four K4s for the "South Wind" and  "The Jeffersonian" to expand the scale of Fleet of Modernism. We know which train became a legend in the history of American railroads. 

 

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, February 10, 2019 12:12 PM

Jones1945

 My favorite PRR FOM car was the heavyweight betterment Pullman sleeper:



When the party was over...

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, February 15, 2019 7:28 AM

These pics were taken in 1938-39 (80 years ago) but mirrored. I would like to share them with our forumer after some touch-up and adjustment of them. 

===

At least one of the pic was taken at Fort Wayne and the rest of them were taken in the electrified section of PRR's network.

In this photo, it is probably an all-coach train consist leading by the PRR 4?10, a PB70 Passenger-baggage car which was seen in the consist of the Jeffersonian. Note more than half of the consist had no skirting under the car but carrying the new FOM livery.

Is that a P70 arch roof coach after the coach-baggage? I have never seen a modernized P70 with FOM livery but without skirting when new. 

 

Pullman heavyweight 12-1 sleeper "Potter Palmer" was carrying the Fleet of Modernism livery. The train is powered by a GG1.

Taken at Fort Wayne, the Pullman Harbour series 2 bedroom bar-lounge car can be seen on the right-hand side. All streamlined equipment looks fresh and clean. one of the trains could be the Broadway Limited. 

 ===

Pre-war Pullman Observation car of The Spirit of St. Louis, the consist mixed with different pre-war PRR cars and liveries. 

 

Better option to hauling the Broadway?... The golden strips on the PRR #1120, with simplified streamlining design by Raymond Loewy, matched the position of golden strips of the entire consist, unlike #3768.

There was a photo of #3768 hauling the Trail Blazer, but I can't find it in my HD anymore... :- ( 

Thank you for watching.

 

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 3:53 AM

PRR #1188 "Skyline" was leading a train consisted of an ACF made FoM lightweight Pullman 4-4-2 sleeper (Please correct me if I am wrong, thanks!)

After 80 years, the Coach Yard finally releases the HO scale PRR betterment car set including P70gsr paired window and the twin-unit dining car ( inspired by SP Daylight's dining car). Without these cars, a collector cannot create a complete consist of many FoM trains which was using betterment cars.

Tags: P70gsr , Coach Yard

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, February 28, 2019 3:53 AM

Dear all,

According to "The Car of Pullman" by Joe Welsh. P121-122, Mr. Welsh mentioned that public reaction to the lightweight equipment of 1938 of both PRR and NYC were so positive and successful that, quote from P.121:

" ...PRR take delivery of 84 new Pullman through mid-1939, with some variation of the floor plan...".

Another quote from P.122 "... So successful were the 1938 re-equipping that both railroads (NYC & PRR) ordered an additional car for delivery in 1939 and 1940. NYC augmented its lightweight fleet with 82 more sleeping cars in this period, while PRR added 56 cars to its 1938 Fleet of Modernism by the end of 1940." (quote end)

In Joe Welsh another book, he didn't mention the additional order, but 52 Pullman built lightweight cars plus 4 Budd built Diners (Total=56 cars). So I thought the total number of prewar Pullman, ACF, Budd built lightweight cars were only 56, but according to the additional information provided by Joe himself, there were at least 84+56 (=140) lightweight cars being purchased by PRR before 1941!

Could someone please confirm that if this is correct? Thank you very much! Bow

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 16,298 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 28, 2019 1:33 PM

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, March 01, 2019 4:50 AM

Those comments on IMDb about this movie are mostly right, watching the original film is like eating a pizza baked in the microwave oven in the next morning after an overnight party. Pizza 

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter