What is this, what does it do?

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What is this, what does it do?
Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 30, 2018 6:44 PM

While researching CASO/New York Central/Michigan Central for recent threads I ran across this picture. It has no identification or explanation and I'm wondering just what the heck this is? I'm certain someone has an answer. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, September 30, 2018 7:11 PM

Miningman
While researching CASO/New York Central/Michigan Central for recent threads I ran across this picture. It has no identification or explanation and I'm wondering just what the heck this is? I'm certain someone has an answer. 

WAG - Steam Heat Generation car - looks like it was built upon the frame of what was some form of a diesel locomotive.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 30, 2018 7:15 PM

So does it move under its own power or has to be pushed around? 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, September 30, 2018 7:16 PM

Interesting.  The New York, Ontario & Western built steam heat generator cars out of the tenders of scrapped steam locomotives.

Here's the scoop, although it may be more than anyone wants to know!

http://nyow.org/heater_car.pdf

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, September 30, 2018 7:25 PM

Miningman
So does it move under its own power or has to be pushed around? 

I am guessing it is moved to outlying locations where passenger cars are set off or picked up and require steam for the cars - especially if the steam plant at the location has failed.  It might also get used in the coach yards where, for whatever operating reasons, a track without 'ground steam' is being used to build a train.

         

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 30, 2018 8:12 PM

Thanks Balt and Firelock.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 30, 2018 8:39 PM

I kind of figured it was a steam heat provider but certainly not one used behind a train. I assume the electric loco behind it has something to do with this, at GCT or Harmon.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 30, 2018 9:20 PM

BaltACD
WAG - Steam Heat Generation car - looks like it was built upon the frame of what was some form of a diesel locomotive.

That's almost certainly a tender frame, with what appear to be fairly common never-powered drop-equalizer trucks very common on NYC, as well as other, tenders.

Much more interested in the provenance of that 'hood' which I think is likely the former cab and stack, if not more, of someone's steam shovel.  Perhaps this is where Mary Ann went after they installed gas heat in the municipal building later... Smile

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:08 PM

Yes! A steam shovel or crane cab merged with a tender. So it was a 'portable' steam heat provider, ok, but how and why was it used? Steam generator cars were common enough but this one must have met some special or different requirement and application. 

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Posted by wjstix on Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:42 PM

It looks to me like the tall smokestack is on something behind H-24, it's clearly not attached to it if you look close. It's about the right size to be a steam generator car, but appears to have been heavily modified at some point, perhaps for use in MoW service. Here's what they normally looked like:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2335271

Given the equipment around it, my guess would be it's sitting in a scrap line, perhaps in the 1960's. Electric passenger engines had steam generators so wouldn't have needed these cars by the way, they were so in a pinch a freight engine could pull a passenger train and still have a way to heat the passenger cars.

Stix
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Posted by wjstix on Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:49 PM

After my last post I did some more checking, found another website that has the same pic and lists it as a "steam generator car".

http://passcarphotos.rypn.org/Indices/NYC3.htm

(need to scroll down a ways.)

Stix
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Posted by Miningman on Monday, October 01, 2018 12:05 AM

Yes the source of the pic is the same each time 'Canada Southern'. 

This thing should be easy but nothing clear and definitive yet. Turning into another Bowie Racetrack quest. 

What about this... MOW frequently used old passenger equipment of all sorts and this went along in cold months to provide heat.. don't think locos assigned to MOW would have steam generators most times.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, October 01, 2018 7:10 AM

Apparently eight of them existed, H-1 to H-8, for use behind R-class motors, which did not have heaters, mostly for mail/express trains on the West Side line.  Built at Harmon, bodies bear strong resemblance to the main part of contemporary Baldwin-Westinghouse steeple cabs (right down to the three window config), but may have been purpose-built. See page below for more details.

http://sbiii.com/boxcabny.html

At least one of his photos shows fuel/water connections, and steam lines.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, October 01, 2018 9:02 AM

Was hoping rcdrye would weigh in. Thanks for the info and clarification on its use. Unfortunately your link does not work. Can you re-post?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, October 01, 2018 10:26 AM

In an article about NYC's suburban service in July 1965 TRAINS (the first issue I ever purchased), the XH-series steam generator cars were described as resembling the ghosts of prehistoric boxcab diesels, which they were not.

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, October 01, 2018 11:22 AM

I have to wonder if H-24 was originally intended to handle yard things like switch defrosting -- the job subsequently done by the jet blowers? for example, in Mott Haven yard during the Great Steel Fleet years.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, October 01, 2018 11:23 AM

rcdrye

Apparently eight of them existed, H-1 to H-8, for use behind R-class motors, which did not have heaters, mostly for mail/express trains on the West Side line.  Built at Harmon, bodies bear strong resemblance to the main part of contemporary Baldwin-Westinghouse steeple cabs (right down to the three window config), but may have been purpose-built. See

http://http://sbiii.com/boxcabny.html for more details.

At least one of his photos shows fuel/water connections, and steam lines.

 

In Middleton's When the Steam Railroads Electrified there is a photo of R-2s hauling a mail train on the West Side line.  He also noted that 6 R-2s were transferred to the Detroit River Tunnel in later years, hence the OP photo of the R-2 that is coupled to the heater car on CASO.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, October 01, 2018 12:51 PM

Miningman

Was hoping rcdrye would weigh in. Thanks for the info and clarification on its use. Unfortunately your link does not work. Can you re-post? 

I note that many webpage created by devoted railfans around Year 2000 or during the geocities/html era doesn't work anymore, I wish one day someone or some organization will backup them systematically , beside the Internet Wayback Machine. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 01, 2018 2:32 PM

Jones1945
I note that many webpage created by devoted railfans around Year 2000 or during the geocities/html era doesn't work anymore

Aaaaaah -- you have a treat in store.  All that was wrong with the link is that it contained the 'typo' of having the http:// twice.  And it refers to one of the great treasures of the Internet, Sam Berliner III's far-flung empire of interesting pages.  Start here: http://sbiii.com/rr.html

The specific boxcab link (one among many!) repeated here for convenience is http://sbiii.com/boxcabny.html

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, October 01, 2018 2:47 PM

Fixed it on the original post.  Works now.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, October 01, 2018 6:24 PM

Yeah but ... H-24 doesn't resemble the others.

http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/images/nyc-diesel-1954.pdf

The drawings of the H1-H8 are nothing like H-24. 

This is a pretty comprehensive list .. I cannot seem to find H-24. 

Perhaps it is listed and recorded as rolling stock. This would make Overmods theory more correct. Someone out there knows this thing!

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Posted by erikem on Monday, October 01, 2018 10:21 PM

Overmod

And it refers to one of the great treasures of the Internet, Sam Berliner III's far-flung empire of interesting pages.  Start here: http://sbiii.com/rr.html

My first reaction on seeing the Berlinerwerke webpages was that the people responsible for the site were utterly complete lunatics - i.e. my kind of folks...

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 01, 2018 11:18 PM

erikem
... utterly complete lunatics

Perhaps the finest of all sigs belongs to a frequent poster on RyPN who assembled an animgif of all the "GG1 variants" changing at lunatic speed. 

(I copied this and ran it through an animgif editor to slow down the cyclic rate to something more enjoyable to the migraine-susceptible; it's more entertaining to play it that way to enjoy the rabid creativity)

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, October 02, 2018 12:14 AM

Overmod

 

 
erikem
... utterly complete lunatics

 

Perhaps the finest of all sigs belongs to a frequent poster on RyPN who assembled an animgif of all the "GG1 variants" changing at lunatic speed. 

(I copied this and ran it through an animgif editor to slow down the cyclic rate to something more enjoyable to the migraine-susceptible; it's more entertaining to play it that way to enjoy the rabid creativity)

 

---> Slowed down a bit <---

Laugh

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, October 02, 2018 7:22 AM

Getting back to our heater car H-24 - it has equipment on the end that suggests it has hostler controls similar to those found on NYC hump trailers (searching for hump trailers on internet search engines gets - umm - interesting results).  Steam pipes visible underneath, NYC name is on what are clearly water tanks on the side.  Probably retired before 1954, so not in the diagram book.  The engine it's coupled to is an R-2.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, October 02, 2018 9:36 AM

Yeah I know if I searched 'hump trailers' at the school I would get a visit by IT in about 5 minutes, followed by our CEO shortly after. 

So we are still not sure what's it's exact usage was, only what it does, we think. It might be used on mail and express trains or work trains more likely, but with that configuration I don't think it was behind any passenger trains... maybe on the Rock Island but not the Central. 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 02, 2018 1:58 PM

Miningman
Yeah I know if I searched 'hump trailers' at the school I would get a visit by IT in about 5 minutes, followed by our CEO shortly after.

Your trouble is that you don't understand search engine syntax.  Obviously you type in the word 'railroad', followed by "hump trailer" in double quotes, and get 2410 answers to your question in 0.44 seconds, the very first ones of which give you exactly what you need.*

Including this illustration of an actual hump trailer:

The thread from which this came covers their use; it pretty much rules out H-24 from being used either as augmented (repetitive independent) braking for the associated power (valuable both for electric and steam) or for typical slug purposes with electrics.  But then again, he didn't say it WAS a trailer, only that it had controls to allow its coupled engine to be operated as if it were.  In my opinion that strongly supports its use as a steam source for yard track de-icing: the fine control to get it over parts of the switch needing steam, and the need for careful inspection of the result without having to use some sort of signals to a remote engineer pushing you.

*That is, to answer the question posed in the previous posts.  Not any ah, carefully unrequested other things that the original search might, ah, have assisted with answers for...

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, October 02, 2018 7:08 PM

All in good fun. Just playing along with rcdrye BUT it is easy to mess up here and there when it comes to the Net. Sometimes you think the computer must know what your thinking or mean, which of course is ridiculous.  I am super duper careful with the good taxpayers of Saskatchewans computer at work, not so much with my own at home or with my iPad. I like wearing my housecoat or vintage smoking jacket a-la Heff at home but I sure has heck don't wear that to the college. Same kind of thing. Whatever.

I like your theory as a switch ice melter but it would be swell to get some definitive documentation or eyewitness account. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 3:11 PM

CASO expert:   Steam generator associated with the Detroit Tunnel electrification?

For when trains were pulled without the steam locomotive attaached?

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 5:31 PM

The pipe connections underneath are for passenger cars.  Since it's coupled to an R-2, a design known to be used with heater cars, it's most likely a heater car for passenger trains.  If the R-2 is 338 (could be 332) it was in a group geared for passenger train use, even though none of the R-2s had boilers. Some of the hump trailers (slugs) had hostler controls that look a lot like the weird structure on H-24's front deck.  The PCL controls used with the DES-2 class tripower units would would have worked with an R-2.

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