[ POLL ] Which front-end design of EMD E series do you prefer?

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 26, 2018 3:37 PM

These tires were a special heavy construction by Michelin, which if I recall correctly Budd obtained under license.  (There was an article on the Silver Slipper in Trains in the early '70s that covered some of the details but did not go heavy on the technology).  One note was the reported high number of 'flats' that occurred on typical jointed rail; this led me to think the 'system' involved relatively high-sidewall tires kept aligned by the inner steel flanges, but that would not be correct.  And in fact some of this might involve other problems than just 'no air'...

Something interesting that came out of the '70s that would curl hair over on the main Trains forums was that the Chevy Nova family somewhat conveniently had a front track that matched standard gauge almost if not exactly.  Railfans discovered that if you drove one of those cars up onto the rails there was a strong 'self-steering' effect, especially if you let a little air out of the tires, that would let you go considerable distances without touching the steering wheel or 'hitting the ties' even at some speed.  The real reason this worked, I think largely unrecognized at the time, is akin to the patented "mechanism of action" in the Michelin system: the tread face of the tire is negatively flexed until concave over the railhead, and this explains why there is rudimentary if any visible tread: any lateral perturbation or curve force results in the tire 'self-centering' even if there is considerable bounce.

There are obvious consequences if you get any reflected energy that shows up as vertical 'bounce' -- yes, there is a metal flange in case the self-steering force is exceeded, but you can bet if there is any reflected yaw building up (an additional likely reason for the five axles plus pony guides) there will be interesting unanticipated vibration modes in the suspension...

But more importantly, this is early-Thirties rubber and carcass design, with the tread, sidewalls, and shoulder all being repeatedly and severely flexed every time the contact patch is loaded.  No surprise you get seps, cracking, etc. -- or that the tire comes apart dramatically well when the air pressure goes out and the tire gets pushed down toward internal rim contact (you can see the evolution of this in the RATP system with the whole steel wheel and rail arrangement inboard of the tires, and flat running surface contact of a normally 'domed' contact patch)

Now load it heavily enough to keep the ride from bouncing like a basketball, in that age of Houdaille or friction dampers ... including lateral component driven by the elastic rebound of the relatively high pressure.  And remember also what happens, especially acoustically, when the ride runs out of compliance either against the guides at the ends of the trucks or the flanges.

After all this, we get to the issue of braking in the presence of water on the rails, let alone organic matter of the general sort that poses adhesion issues.  There is a reason "high traction" asphalt composite using ground-up tires to enhance braking ... something that can be demonstrated to make substantial stopping-distance reductions on test ... never caught on, and the answer is succinctly 'moisture' -- when it's present, rubber-to-rubber contact turns into Slip City.

Looks to me as if the rubber donuts were derived from inner-tubes, probably truck inner tubes, but I don't think that's a vestibule door to go from car to car (and just look at the thin gauge of the sheet metal used in the bodies!!!) -- I think it's a means of reducing perceived surge between tender and train when a steam locomotive with longitudinal augment is being run in one of its critical speed ranges.  The air cushion has no inherent 'spring rate' or harmonic as something like a Franklin radial buffer would.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, October 26, 2018 7:02 PM

Was the first streamliner built in the 19th century?

I came accross this tantalizing bit while paging through (half-reading for the millionth time) "ALL ABOARD! The story of Joshua Lionel Cowen and his Lionel Train Company" by Ron Hollander today:

"The First Streamlined railroad train was designed by the coach of the Harvard rowing team in 1865.  The reverend Samuel R. Cathtrap was watching his team practice when it struck him that racing shells-like other boats-were long and tapered but that land vehicles were flat-nosed.  He set to work.  In a few months, he developed what he called the Air Resistor, which he somewhat irreverently described as a miracle train.

Cathtrap patented the design and tried to sell it to the railroads, but they were only interrested in getting government money for the transcontinental railroad or on lobbying for contracts to carry the mail.  Strange-looking trains could wait.  Cathtrap went back to coaching crew."

I've been trying to picture a Civil War era 4-4-0 with a racing shell attached all day.  Laugh

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 26, 2018 7:07 PM

Penny Trains
I've been trying to picture a Civil War era 4-4-0 with a racing shell attached all day.

You'd have gotten better results in seconds if you spelled his name correctly as Calthorpe ... ah, Calthrop ... well, anyhow if you looked up patent 49227.  It's right there ... suitable to appear under the tree this year in Parma.

Then Google "Adams Windsplitter"

(Note that if all the morons involved with the Arrowedge had read this patent down to the relevant section on wedge flow dynamics they could have saved themselves considerable time and trouble...)

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, October 26, 2018 7:27 PM

Overmod
You'd have gotten better results in seconds if you spelled his name correctly as Calthorpe

Don't look at me, I quoted the book exactly.  And it definately says "Cathtrap" three times on page 138.

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 26, 2018 9:31 PM

Penny Trains
Don't look at me, I quoted the book exactly. And it definately says "Cathtrap" three times on page 138.

I'm not digging at you (of all people!).  Just noting that it's really, really, really unlikely that there was anyone named 'Cathtrap' anywhere in the Boston area, so what was the correct name before lazy authors, even lazier editors, and Kalmbach-grade proofreaders let that whopper into print?  Then plug "'Air Resistor' train patent" into your friendly neighborhood search engine and scroll down to something that says 1865...

... and there it is.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US49227 (download the PDF; the OCR is almost as bad with the spellings as the book!)

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US49227-0.png

Streamlined 4-4-0 circa 1865

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, October 27, 2018 7:44 AM

Overmod

...Now load it heavily enough to keep the ride from bouncing like a basketball, in that age of Houdaille or friction dampers ...

I love this metaphor. By the way, these are some pics for our forum members who interested in this topic:

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, October 27, 2018 9:53 AM

Regarding the conceptual streamliner designed by F.U.Adams in 1890s, here are some patent drawings of it. 

  • https://patents.google.com/patent/US489908?oq=F.U.Adams

 

  • https://patents.google.com/patent/US489911?oq=F.U.Adams

 

"The Adam's "Windsplitter," B&O experimental streamlined train of 1900"

I have never imagined someone actually wanted to streamline a 4-4-0 in 1890s!! It seems that adapting innovative ideas was a tradition of B&O since 1890s. Respect! 

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, October 27, 2018 10:37 AM

Interesting, that Calthorpe streamliner patent.

I was looking at the patent date, August 8, 1865.  I wonder if Mr. Calthorpe was influenced by the emerging science of ballistics?  This was the age of the Minie' ball and other conical bullet designs used in the Civil War after all, to say  nothing of the Hotchkiss, Parrott, and James artillery shells, among others.

I guess we'll never know.  At any rate since the average passenger train speed back in those days was 25 to 35 miles an hour it's unlikely the streamlining would have made much difference in performance anyway.

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, October 27, 2018 11:07 AM

At 35 MPH, streamlining would have barely noticeable affects on performance. At 60 MPH, air resistance was starting to become the dominant source of train resistance for single car interurbans. A 1903 booklet by Ernest Gonzenbach, Engineering Preliminaries for an Interurban Electric Railway, mentioned that a two car train with one four motor care and one two motor car could maintain the same speed as a single four motor car as most of the drag was coming from the ends. Later work in train resistance suggested that each of the following cars have about 10% additional drag, so that an eleven car train would have twice the air drag of a single car train.

With that in mind, streamling was a significant improvement for the Pioneer Zephyr, but less so for the longer and heavier trains that followed.

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, October 28, 2018 5:25 AM

Jones1945
 
Overmod

...Now load it heavily enough to keep the ride from bouncing like a basketball, in that age of Houdaille or friction dampers ...

 

 

I love this metaphor. By the way, these are some pics for our forum members who interested in this topic:

 

On page 123 of issue 170 of Chemin de Fer for October 1951, there is a review of a run from Paris to Strasbourg on train No 1 consisting of six vehicles of pneumatic tyred stock weighing 130 tonnes, so about 22 tonnes per car. An equivalent train of conventional cars would weigh 300 tonnes and these would be used if the lightweight train was unavailable.

The 230K was described as the largest 4-6-0 in France  with 2.1 metre driving wheels (around 82.5 inches). The locomotive used was 230K267.

At one point the locomotive was running at 120km/h, with cut-offs of 30% high pressure, 50% low pressure, with a partly open regulator, with 240 psi in the boiler, 156 psi at the inlet to the hp cylinders and 28 psi at the inlet to the lp cylinders.

Later it was indicated that superheat was being maintained at between 360 to 380 degrees celsius, with "oil fired reheat" at 85 degrees celsius. I'd welcome any additional information on the last.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 28, 2018 6:48 AM

Firelock76
I was looking at the patent date, August 8, 1865. I wonder if Mr. Calthorpe was influenced by the emerging science of ballistics?

Read the patent; he clearly describes both where he gets his theory and how the 'precedents' need to be modified to suit the railroad case.  To me, the idea that he is reasoning from crew shells rather than artillery shells is pretty clear, but that is more to note that hydrodynamics was a better-understood thing for him at the time.  Certainly Adams and most if not all the European 'windsplitters' of even half a century or more modern provenance did not learn from ballistics in the modern sense; the early work on railcar streamlining leading to optimization of front and rear profiles similarly involved wind-tunnel observation rather than analogies to early hypersonic analyses (which wouldn't be looking for the right things anyway)

At any rate since the average passenger train speed back in those days was 25 to 35 miles an hour it's unlikely the streamlining would have made much difference in performance anyway.

There were proposals for "150mph" railways by the 1850s, including one for north-south traffic that might have been associated with the Mobile and Ohio (the route is marked on a map in the Pine Bluff railroad museum where I saw it), and I think the line relocations in central New Jersey that were performed in that general time period, given appropriate track reinforcement, could be intended to be run in a high enough speed range to benefit from full streamlining of the Caltrop, or Cowflop, or whatever the right spelling is, type.

Now, whether or not balancing theory and practice would have evolved to permit locomotives to run that fast in that pre-specialty-steel era is something else.  It would be nice to think this would drive correct thinking and practice some three-quarters of a century earlier than it actually came about. 

Whether true HSR trains could have been made to pay at the higher speed, in that era, or financially survived the first appalling wreck resulting from wooden equipment coming apart at those speeds, is another question, not as easily answered.  Certainly William H. Vanderbilt wouldn't have liked it.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 28, 2018 7:07 AM

Are there any clear pictures that show the equalization and damping on the five axles?

We can note some highly interesting (to lightweight train nerds, anyway) details in that shot of the bogie with her skirts up.  Note the brake arrangements inherent in the inside of the axle and the shoe arrangement visible on the axle end in the background -- like the Talgo, these wheels rotated individually, presumably on pairs of tapered roller bearings as in automotive practice, and it would be interesting to know what use was made in practice of the electromagnetic track brake which I see between the two nearest axles.

Certainly the idea of independent rotating wheels did not 'help' high-speed dynamics, as Wickens would go into a couple of decades later.  I also note in the detail shots that the Michelin tires, as built, had positive lateral tread curvature even unloaded (which could only increase both with loading and rotational speed unless arrangements to reduce the internal tire pressure were present (and that, I doubt was provided).  So there would be continuous flexing in some complex modes between positive and negative curvature in the very small region of the contact patch; it might be interesting to model this to see the effect on contemporary structural materials as fabricated.

At the given pressure ranges, reheat would clearly be beneficial if not required to get any sort of reasonable high-speed performance.  Note that at the reported time, SNCF would have had several years' experience with the reheat system on 160 A1 (which used loops similar to short superheater headers in enlarged tubes low down in the boiler) and an oil-fired system would have to have either packaging or operating advantages over that sort of arrangement.

I second Peter's interest in seeing how this was done; it would not be efficient to use oil firing at the firebox end of flues adapted to take reheat loops, as there would be insufficient oxygen there even if stable flameholding could be assured.  So I'd suspect an independent reheat unit with its own controls, probably exhausting into the stack.  If we can find more details on the locomotives involved (I will check Carpenter's translation of Chapelon later to see what I can find there) it would be interesting.

Of course Claude Bersano has died just before his knowledge of this sort of detail woud have proven invaluable.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, October 28, 2018 7:46 AM

Overmod

Are there any clear pictures that show the equalization and damping on the five axles?

Voilà, Overmod. It doesn't show the equalization and damping on the axles clearly, but this is the only pic I can find with a better angle of it. DrinksSmile, Wink & Grin

Source: http://autorails.free.fr/fmichelin7b.htm

(Without coil springs)

(Coil springs installed)


 

Budd–Michelin rubber-tired rail  cars:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budd%E2%80%93Michelin_rubber-tired_rail_cars

 

Pennsy's rubber-tired rail cars:

 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 28, 2018 10:46 AM

Overmod
... it would be interesting to know what use was made in practice of the electromagnetic track brake which I see between the two nearest axles.

Upon reviewing the site, we find that's not a track brake, it's a metallic contact that provides the necessary 'high confidence' contact to shunt the signal system since the rubber tires act, of course, as good insulators when running as intended.  This appears to be larger and more carefully designed than arrangements on, say, Budd RDCs (or Australian EMUs, or sensible Amtrak consists) that don't give assured actuation to relay-logic-based systems because of contact issues.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, October 28, 2018 12:53 PM

Geez, a PRR Zephyer, who knew? 

I suppose next you're going to tell me the NYCentral will try a rocket train... 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, October 28, 2018 7:31 PM

Overmod, you're right, I should have read the patent application.

Thing is, some days I'm in the mood for 19th Century verbosity and that just wasn't one of those days.

After the week I had I was so beat on Saturday my hair hurt.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, October 29, 2018 11:12 PM

Jones1945

 

 
Overmod

Are there any clear pictures that show the equalization and damping on the five axles?

 

 

Voilà, Overmod. It doesn't show the equalization and damping on the axles clearly, but this is the only pic I can find with a better angle of it. DrinksSmile, Wink & Grin

Source: http://autorails.free.fr/fmichelin7b.htm

(Without coil springs)

(Coil springs installed)


 

These photos show what appear to be small diameter flangeless wheels on the near end of the bogie. Are these a backup souce of contact for signalling? The don't look as if they are intended as support in case of tyre failure...

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 29, 2018 11:27 PM

M636C
These photos show what appear to be small diameter flangeless wheels on the near end of the bogie. Are these a backup souce of contact for signalling? The don't look as if they are intended as support in case of tyre failure...

They are in fact to support, and help guide, the bogie if more than one tire goes flat on one side at a time.  (See the different responses to the electrical telemetry that indicates flat tires ... more than one means an immediate stop and (probably) on-the-road repair, as they seem to be noting that in the original design when more than one tire goes flat it throws the load on the others to a point where the normal stresses of running will induce 'bursting' (eclat) in others.  I'm presuming the wheels are close enough to the railhead that their contact would keep all the load from going on the 'other' tires in a case like that.  (The metallic flanges would keep guiding even on flattened tires in this case).

There is some indication that these bogies did NOT have primary springing at all (as did the later cars for Madagascar) in which case the rubber in the peculiar contact patch and 'environs' would be handling all the vertical cross-level compliance as well as the running lateral compliance and centering.  The helical secondary springing apparently did substantially all the bogie-to-carbody springing ... and as I see no damping or link struts, there might have been some interesting ride kinematics there...

The little pad contacts between the outer and second axles are the shunts.  I suspect, but can't prove, that they were inflated, to maintain good electrical contact no matter how much tire bounce might be present.

Note the substantial shoes riding the railhead just ahead of the emergency wheels, to get anything off the rail that might tend to produce a puncture or sep.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 2:03 AM

Miningman

Geez, a PRR Zephyer, who knew? 

I suppose next you're going to tell me the NYCentral will try a rocket train... 

 
Actually, they had another "Zephyer" but not using  rubber-tired wheels: 
PRR #4663, a streamlined doodlebug
 
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 6:11 AM

Jones1945
Actually, they had another "Zephyer" but not using tired wheels:

Here's what 4663 looked like before getting the homemade shroud:

and for an alternative view of the Budd-Michelin pair (apparently painted Tuscan at that point!)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/16101926247

(Flickr does not support hotlinking; there is a wealth of detail in this picture which you can see by enlarging the image.)

Note that there are pictures of the Pennsylvania car pair (motor and trailer) in 'bare stainless' that show the PRR number, but have no 'Pennsylvania' on the letterboards -- I find on reflection that I can't tell whether it was airbrushed out, or the somewhat crude 'Pennsylvania' in the original publicity shots was retouched in.

Budd was famous as a manufacturer of one-piece truck wheels (still known in trucking as 'Budd wheels') and this may have in part influenced their decision to license the Michelin system for the 'doodlebug' market.  Rather interestingly, the original Michelin patent (1929/1930; US1,830,879) prominently involves the 'older' separable rim wheel design, and never appears to have been 'improved', but the Budd wheels are a prominent feature of all the American designs and, perhaps more significantly, of the five-axle bogies we've been discussing.

Here is a picture of the Budd 'test' car Lafayette, which was sent over to France as 'proof of concept' early:

and here is one of the original three-axle bogies

both from Marc Dufour's site.

I am still looking for a picture of the original 'Green Goose' test mule; there is some confusion whether Reading car 65 is this or not.  There are several pictures on the Web of the Reading 65, but none I have found so far have good enough detail of the running gear to post here.  Those of you familiar with the Besler publicity movie from the Prelinger archive will remember that a steam car of very similar apparent carbody design and construction is featured therein (starting at 5:15 in the YouTube version.  Ragsdale's design patent for the carbody (90,166) was filed in October 1932 and granted in the middle of the following year.

The Silver Slipper is fascinating as one of the very first explicitly streamlined motor trains; whether it was designed to achieve high speed is quite a different thing.  It used something interesting as power: gasoline fire-engine motors, and by even contemporary standards was somewhat underpowered even considering the very light trailer; the Trains article on it in the early '70s made particular note that the weight on the lead truck was excessive enough to produce chronic bearing problems there, an indication to me that engineers who didn't really know their business at the time were involved.   It's fascinating to see just how much advance in streamliner design came in the very short period between the Silver Slipper and the Zephyr diesel (and electric!) trains...

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 6:29 AM

an alternative view of the Budd-Michelin pair (apparently painted Tuscan at that point!)

They didn't age gracefully, did they...

The scoops on the roof and the tall exhaust stack don't help. I assume the scoop on the lead car is for engine cooling air. What is the scoop towards the rear of the trailing car for, since it also faces forward?

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 6:48 AM

M636C
What is the scoop towards the rear of the trailing car for, since it also faces forward?

Almost certainly ventilation - a trailer this light and cheap might not even get fans.  (Reading 65 had 'forced air heating' but using radiators supplied from the power truck's Cummins engine...)

This might also account for the extended stacks.  Few people enjoy the scent of doodlebug exhaust...

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 9:26 AM

Overmod

 

and for an alternative view of the Budd-Michelin pair (apparently painted Tuscan at that point!)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/16101926247

(Flickr does not support hotlinking; there is a wealth of detail in this picture which you can see by enlarging the image.)

 

Wow! Thank you for sharing the link, Overmod. Almost 5000 HD pics of Pennsy in this Album! I am sure this is a happy Halloween for me. Drinks I used to searching pics on Flickr for other topics, but sometimes searching on google in other languages would give me more result.  

 

Overmod

Here is a picture of the Budd 'test' car Lafayette, which was sent over to France as 'proof of concept' early:

and here is one of the original three-axle bogies

both from Marc Dufour's site.

I am still looking for a picture of the original 'Green Goose' test mule; there is some confusion whether Reading car 65 is this or not.  There are several pictures on the Web of the Reading 65, but none I have found so far have good enough detail of the running gear to post here.  

Ok, besides the streamlined E8 4-4-2 proposed by PRR, we had one more target to add on the searching list. This sounds challenging. Smile *Before an in-depth searching, let's review some pics of Reading #65 available on the web:

Patent of the Budd 'test' car Lafayette? 

https://patents.google.com/patent/US2197708A/en?q=E.J.W.&q=Ragsdale&oq=E.J.W.+Ragsdale&page=1

Not related to the topic we are discussing, just an example showing what we could find in different publishments in digital form (imagine all the pics, 8 mm films and articles which are not uploaded on the web yet) There should be a movement to digitalize every copyright released publishment. Save them before they are destroyed like trash!


 

Can't resist posting this. My favorite Railcar Autorails Bugatti.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 10:47 AM

Overmod

and here is one of the original three-axle bogies

Clearer version:

Detail about Reading #65:

http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/railroads/RREquip/Budd/Reading%20Budd-Micheline%20Rail%20Car.pdf

 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 1:26 PM

Jones1945
Patent of the Budd 'test' car Lafayette?

Interesting, this.

This is the VERY long technical patent about the actual construction of the Budd-Michelines; it was filed after the Ragsdale design patent for the nominally-later Reading 65-style and, in fact, appears to have been granted only in 1940, long after any new orders for rubber-tired cars of this type were long extinct.

It is interesting to compare what this patent finds important and teaches with the practices used as early as fabrication of the original Zephyr trains.  These were really little more than fancy enlarged railbuses... and that was not where the streamliner interest went, even for things like Motorailers that shared elements like flat floors over the engines.

Those Bugatti 'Triple' Autorails were indeed fascinating. 

You might see, while looking these or the other Bugattis up, if you can find the Bugatti drawings for the steam railcar engines (or the technical information on the T50 chassis steam automobile, one of the very best modern designs).

I think that if Jean hadn't been killed we'd have seen some VERY interesting further "Pursang du Rail" developments from Molsheim...

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, November 01, 2018 1:21 AM

Overmod

Those Bugatti 'Triple' Autorails were indeed fascinating... 

...I think that if Jean hadn't been killed we'd have seen some VERY interesting further "Pursang du Rail" developments from Molsheim...

 
Glad to know that I am not the only one here interested in the Bugatti Autorails. IIRC Nigel Gresley and Raymond Loewy inspected the aerodynamic technology used on the Bugatti Autorails but I need time to find the source. They were very handsome in my book and loved by the patrons but the overall design still needed improvement. 
 
Jean Bugatti's death was such a tragedy; who would have imagined that a tree, a cyclist, a hole in a tree fence could dramatically change the fate of a talented man and an automobile company which had a bright future. 
 
If the Bugatti Autorails can handle a longer consist, I wonder what kind of role they could have played in America's railroad history. 
 
(please turn off the volume, starting from 0m43s)

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