Very strange things

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, June 18, 2020 11:26 AM

Ah, the Rhodes, Guffey & Sheehan tunnel mask!  (Photo 2)  Very popular on the Southern Railway's "Rathole" division, on account of the numerous tunnels.

Aside from some barely readable patent drawings and the fact it's a derivative of World War One era gas mask technology I can't find much else about it.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 18, 2020 1:40 PM

Well now, let's see.  The tunnel mask takes clean air from the locomotive main reservoir, filters it and muffles what might otherwise be a compressed-air screech, and inflates the helmet via the formed 'insulating' space between inner and outer liners.  Some of this air is provided to the area around nose and mouth for cool breathing, but the rest is ported down through vents near the top of the wearer's head, forming a laminar-curtain effect down past the scalp and face and giving positive pressure at the shoulders to keep cinders, smoke and steam out.

Oh yes: the construction was arranged so that when pressurized it would keep the 'goggle' eyepieces carefully aligned while the wearer moved around; it had a handy ring at the top to hang it 'connected' for speedy access and donning, and the inventors note it is good safety against broken gauge-glasses and resulting steam.

It would be interesting to build one of these and test it in 'the real world' to see how wearable it was.  It seems far better designed than any gas mask I have seen; in fact it would be near-perfect for people having to mass-treat ARDS victims in open-ward settings...

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, June 18, 2020 2:53 PM

Overmod-- Wow that's amazing really. Classic Forum rounders have solved yet another problem by uncovering very useful things. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, June 18, 2020 6:47 PM

Overmod
The tunnel mask

Also prevented your nose, ears and lips from being burned off I hear.

Trains, trains, wonderful trains.  The more you get, the more you toot!  Big Smile

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, June 18, 2020 6:56 PM

Miningman
More celebrated in the East but the Union Pacific tried out the AeroTrain on the City of Las Vegas.

Disneyland had one too!  Wink  It was called the Viewliner:

Here's the article on the site where the pics come from:

The Viewliner

BACKSTORY (June 26, 1957–Sept. 15, 1958): A narrow gauge, miniature train that operated alongside parts of the Disneyland Railroad main line. It was billed by as “the fastest miniature train in the world.” Two separate trains, designed and built as scale replicas of General Motors’ futuristic Aerotrain, traveled along a figure-eight track through parts of Tomorrowland & Fantasyland. Conceived as a way to take up the space vacated by the Mickey Mouse Club Circus, Bob Gurr was tasked by Walt with designing this train of the future which was intentionally conceived to be a short-term attraction that would bite the dust once a better form of transportation would come to fruition. Walt's idea of a train came about because "trains are cheap," as he told Bob Gurr. The track would not mean very much of an investment. Gurr sketched an engine design “inspired by” General Motors’ 1955 Aerotrain. As Gurr related the story to me, he had seen the Aerotrain and been inspired by it, but didn't know until later who had designed it (Chuck Jordan). Gurr changed the front end slightly by intersecting two ovals to house the headlights (The Aerotrain had all its lights in one oval) and streamlined the sides of the passenger cars with channeled chrome that ran the length of the train. The engine and top of the passenger cars were painted in matching colors; the Tomorrowland Train in red, the Fantasyland one in blue.

The Viewliner’s passenger cars were built by outside vendors while Gurr built the engines using Oldsmobile “Rocket” V8 gasoline engines and the parts from two 1954 Oldsmobiles. Oldsmobile also furnished the windscreen, doors, and instrument console for each of the two 5,000-pound (2,300 kg) locomotives. Gurr was still putting out fires (literally) the morning of the Viewliner premiere. For the inaugural trip, the band played while Walt jumped in the engine and drove off, with Gurr in a new uniform sewn together the night before.

The Tomorrowland train featured cars that were named for the planets, while the cars of the Fantasyland train were named after various Disney characters. The trains were placed into service to represent the future of rail travel, in contrast to the steam-powered DLRR which represented its past. The attraction operated until construction began on the Matterhorn and Submarine Voyage; the Disneyland Monorail System ultimately took the place of the Viewliner in June of 1959, making it one of the shortest-lived attractions in Disneyland history.

Here is the text from the original Viewliner sign:

Specifications of the Santa Fe and Disneyland Viewliner

The Viewliner is built on the principle of an interurban express train of the future. Incorporating the features of articulated cars and low center of gravity which enables it to maneuver curves at high speed scale 1/2 full size. Guage of track: 30 inches.

SPEED...at 30 mph The Viewliner is traveling the equivalent of 120 mph in a full scale train. The Viewliner is capable of 60 mps or 240 mph full scale.

LOCOMOTIVE...An 0-4-4-0 Type...Weight: 5,000 lbs. Powered by a gasoline engine with an automatic transmission the 8 wheel drive enables The Viewliner to reach peak acceleration in 15 seconds.

COACHES...Built of aluminum on steel frames...weight: 1600 lbs. ea. Each coach is equipped with 2 speedometers calibrated to the scale-speed of the train. Communication speakers and automatic electric doors are controlled by the engineer.

SAFETY FEATURES...Vacuum operated brakes on every wheel. Electronic block signal system automatically applies brakes if train runs through a red light.

The Viewliner was designed, engineered and assembled at the Walt Disney Studio, Burbank, California.

The original in Chicago in 1955:

And when it was in service:

https://www.davelandweb.com/viewliner/

Compare it side by side with the Mark 1 Monorail:

Trains, trains, wonderful trains.  The more you get, the more you toot!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, June 18, 2020 7:05 PM

Well you live and learn!  I had no idea!

I'll bet Disney's "AeroTrain" was a lot more popular than the real thing was! 

At least it didn't turn its passengers to Jello at high speed!

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, June 20, 2020 1:31 AM

If you look at the identification across the window you can make out 'City of Las Vegas'.  Not quite sure what the two gold rainbows are reaching up to the GM logo. Maybe good luck for the gamblers? 

Lady can't smile for the camera. Oh well.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 20, 2020 3:52 AM

I want someone to find Web pictures of the Chuck Wagon car on the City of Las Vegas Aerotrain.  Kratville had some in the Streamliners book.

Does the Viewliner nose treatment remind anyone of the GMDH-1s?

BTW Douglas Self has some details off.  NPC 21 was Thomas & Stetson (for the engineer-designer and the then president).  It is possible this was a commuter engine!  See the writeup in the railroad press (you may have to scroll a smidge to read the beginning):

https://books.google.com/books?id=D5EjAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA60&lpg=RA1-PA60&dq=thomas+burner+locomotive&source=bl&ots=TqCiQwyzDI&sig=ACfU3U36XgcM-mcyj_PJ6e0zLEdTRAIqUQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwih2_bB_o_qAhVhm-AKHfW-D1AQ6AEwDHoECG0QAQ#v=onepage&q=thomas%20burner%20locomotive&f=false

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 20, 2020 2:31 PM

Oh, well-done (as usual).

Interesting that they note the Chuck Wagon was part of the 'replacement' train, whereas I remembered Kratville as saying that was the name for the Aerotrain's service.  Maybe it was both.  Note the dramatic effect of the free food... and how not-too-difficult modifications might cut down on the overhead cost.

One again, and now with some additional details, we see how dedicated short trains, formally articulated or not, are victims of their own popularity when not present in large enough numbers to fully accommodate demand with additional frequency.  (At which point you run into the granularity problems that so dramatically affected People Express at times.)

It wouldn't help today that the Aerotrain required a formal helper at two distinct points in the trip.  This is related to the fun PRR had in having to use a GG1 on their Aerotrain service (as I recall, the adaptation of third rail would have required little reconstruction of actual DC plant west of the tunnel, but the grade was too substantial for the TMs to overcome even with additional current).  The Tubular Train made perhaps better sense by keeping the 'hotel power' part of the consist separate from the motive power -- I believe UP itself figured this out with the early Streamliners, and I suspect there will be comparable experience from the evolved shovelnose Zephyrs that had multiple Cummins gensets for their 'hotel power'.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, June 20, 2020 3:24 PM

Re:  Free Food--Perhaps Amtrak should take note. I can imagine the howls from the "defund Amtrak, except for us" types and " we carry you smelly rural hicks with our money".

Just keep it simple but good and free with all the seconds you want. People love that!  

Dedicated train sets definitely limit large groups. Turning away 50 people is embarrassing.  Equipment needs to be flexible and be able to add on or you need the very expensive option of another spare train set, crews and all, on standby. 

New York Central had no problem with a second section, third, fourth, but then they knew what they were doing and service meant something. Instead of taking away from shareholders it actually enhanced value. What a concept!

Of course today you can't even arrive in Vegas by rail. What a concept!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, June 21, 2020 12:16 AM

Overmod

I want someone to find Web pictures of the Chuck Wagon car on the City of Las Vegas Aerotrain.  Kratville had some in the Streamliners book.

Yes, it is on page 397. The largest web pics of the Chuck Wagon I could find is this one:

It seems to me that UP did a great job making the Chuck Wagon looks delightful and attractive. The Chuck Wagon was tiny, and the food was free, but it didn't look cheap in the photo. The bar was like a mini liquor cabinet in the corner of the coach, a refrigerator with a small table on it. 

 

 

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, June 21, 2020 5:47 PM

The Tubular Train made perhaps better sense by keeping the 'hotel power' part of the consist separate from the motive power -- I believe UP itself figured this out with the early Streamliners, and I suspect there will be comparable experience from the evolved shovelnose Zephyrs that had multiple Cummins gensets for their 'hotel power'.

The change of power on UP Steamliners occurred in 1942, with the second pair of big Transcontinental trains, LA4/5/6 and SF4/5/6....  These used axle generators and steam heating from the locomotives.

The 1937 sets LA1/2/3 and SF1/2/3 each had a generator car which had a taller profile than the trailing passenger cars. These used Winton diesel generator sets and the power cars are often included in official portraits of the motive power of these two trains, suggesting that they were assembled by EMC. They were eventually converted to baggage cars after the 1937 trains were modified to operate in the normal fleet.

In the case of UP, it may have made sense to standardise on steam heat, since the locomotives from the E2 onwards always had steam generators.

In Australia, head end power was adopted in 1949. The New South Wales Railways introduced twelve train sets which had head end power for the air conditioning and these ran most of the day trains (and from the 1960s the sitting portion of some overnight trains) until 1994 or so. These trains used a generator car with guard's compartment or generators mounted in the outer end of a passenger car.

There was an earlier (1937) lightweight train, the Silver City Comet which ran in the far west of the sate of NSW through desert areas, which had HEP provided from the locomotive. This was a last minute addition to the train introduced in 1937. This used DC power, while the later trains used three phase AC. The locomotives were diesel hydraulic using two stroke diesels built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast. These performed so badly that the operator cast its own new cylinder heads based on Winton designs in order to get anything like the advertised power. The HEP was provided by two small English diesels mounted in one baggage compartment.

Peter

 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, June 21, 2020 7:09 PM

M636C
There was an earlier (1937) lightweight train, the Silver City Comet which ran in the far west of the state of NSW through desert areas, which had HEP provided from the locomotive.

How many trains have their own piece of music?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=INUuS2naStI

Note that the 'fix' for the wretched diesels was to substitute the same kind of engine used on the RDCs... after which the thing appeared to have a long and successful life.

I could gloat a bit and say that smaller GM two-strokes (6-71s instead of 110s) were the salvation of Creamy Kate, but that's another story...

 

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 3:54 AM

How many trains have their own piece of music?

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=music+Coronation+Scot&docid=608026064407300586&mid=99BAC886F1B43B1AC9BF99BAC886F1B43B1AC9BF&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

The "Coronation Scot"?

(only the locomotive nameplates in these scenes made it to the NY World's Fair)

The "Southern Aurora"?

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=music+Southern+Aurora&docid=608010920466318766&mid=50F2BF2354277DBD408A50F2BF2354277DBD408A&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

(sadly no train pictures)

Peter

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 6:16 AM

Note that the 'fix' for the wretched diesels was to substitute the same kind of engine used on the RDCs... after which the thing appeared to have a long and successful life.

I could gloat a bit and say that smaller GM two-strokes (6-71s instead of 110s) were the salvation of Creamy Kate, but that's another story...

There is a good online reference to the whole fleet of railcars we are discussing here:

http://www.railmotorsociety.org.au/rm_class_frame.htm

To be fair to Railmotor 38 (Creamy Kate), it kept its Leyland petrol engines from 1934 until 1958, somehing like the entire life of the contemporary Pioneer Zephyr.

Railmotors 3 to 37 (and second 1 and 2) each had a single Leyland petrol engine which was replaced by a Detroit 6/71 in the 1950s. These were upright engines, incidentally, not horizontal engines like the 6/110s under Budd cars. The Detroit drove through a torque converter with a lock-up feature but with no other gearing apart from the final drive.

I have fond memories of sitting next to the driver in a CPH (there were longitudinal bench seats each side of the tiny driver's cubicle) and watching him release the brakes and push the throttle open and listening to the three 6/71s (the train had three power cars and one trailer) scream away at full power as the train slowly moved away as the torque converters worked as intended. It was very smooth but quite noisy.

Peter

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 9:17 PM

Jones1945

 

 
Overmod

I want someone to find Web pictures of the Chuck Wagon car on the City of Las Vegas Aerotrain.  Kratville had some in the Streamliners book.

 

 

Yes, it is on page 397. The largest web pics of the Chuck Wagon I could find is this one:

It seems to me that UP did a great job making the Chuck Wagon looks delightful and attractive. The Chuck Wagon was tiny, and the food was free, but it didn't look cheap in the photo. The bar was like a mini liquor cabinet in the corner of the coach, a refrigerator with a small table on it. 

 

 

 

I looked up Kratville's references to this train and its conventional replacement.

I think that it is most likely that the title "Chuck Wagon" was applied to the food service cars on the replacement train.

Kratville says: "The lunch counter cafe car replaced the Chuck Wagon and provided seating for 21 at its counter and sixteen at four tables...."

However the photo of the car in CoLV service in the book shows that the seats had been removed from the "lunch counter" and the counter simply replaced the shelf in the Aerotrain and passengers served themselves at the counter. There were two serving staff behind the counter, who may have served some items. The area behind the servers was stacked high with plastic trays, suggesting that the intention was that passengers returned to their coach seats (or to the tables in the car) with the meal.

Since these cars could no longeroperate as lunch counter cars with the counter seats removed, I suspect they were called Chuck Wagon cars in this service.

Sadly, Kratville does not include any drawings of the 4000 class cars (although there are most other types included).

A typical consist in 1965 was:

5340 coach

5353 coach

4002 cafeteria

6203 club lounge

5339 coach

A photo shows such a five car train hauled by a single E8 or E9.

It seems that the train operated for ten years after the inauguration with the Aerotrain so it must be regarded as a success in a declining market.

Peter

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 9:49 PM

"Coronation Scot" and "Southern Aurora" were both wonderful!  I've never heard them before!

(I do have to admit to a slight preference for "Coronation Scot.")

Thank you Peter!

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, June 25, 2020 1:35 AM

Flintlock76

"Coronation Scot" and "Southern Aurora" were both wonderful!  I've never heard them before!

(I do have to admit to a slight preference for "Coronation Scot.")

Thank you Peter!

 

I share your preferences.

However, I have heard "Coronation Scot" much more often, It was often played on Australian radio during the 1950s. But it is an example of "popular music" from 1937, just as "Southern Aurora" was typical of music from 1962. They are both interesting and worth being remembered.

The "Southern Aurora" uses the sound of the locomotive horn at the beginning and end. This may be the horn of the 44 Class Alco, which was a five chime horn, while the S class had only two single horns as built.

The group that recorded it back in 1962, Col Joye and the Joye Boys, is still around, although I don't know how many original members (other than Col Joye) remain.

The "Coronation Scot" uses musical instruments to represent train sounds. It is vaguely similar to the theme from the 1970s "Murder on the Orient Express" Movie.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 25, 2020 7:44 AM

Since this thread is 'Strange Things' ...

For those who, like me, love that 'surf sound' from the early '60s... it may be highly interesting that the release of "Southern 'Rora" (measured by its appearance on the charts) actually PREDATES the recording of "Telstar" (the Tornadoes) by a month or so.  This might be highly interesting to follow up...  

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, June 25, 2020 9:21 AM

Overmod

Since this thread is 'Strange Things' ...

For those who, like me, love that 'surf sound' from the early '60s... it may be highly interesting that the release of "Southern 'Rora" (measured by its appearance on the charts) actually PREDATES the recording of "Telstar" (the Tornadoes) by a month or so.  This might be highly interesting to follow up...  

 

 

Apart from the fact that neither Telstar nor the Southern Aurora were obvious subjects for the Surf Sound, I think I recognised Southern Aurora as being from that genre on its release. I think Col Joye was from Sydney, which has a very strong surfing culture, possibly as strong as in California. I myself was taken to the beach most Sunday mornings by my father, who was a dedicted body surfer who looked down on board riders as recent arrivals.

The Australian music industry in the 1960s was such that popular music from the USA or UK was often released as cover versions by local groups owing to restrictions on importing and broadcasting. Much of this was due to international music publishing organisations imposing limits on importation of discs from the USA or UK, even overseas artists having to have the records pressed locally.

This link

https://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/05/04/3207608.htm

includes some music from the period with some background notes.

I recall "Bombora" ( term referring to a type of breaking wave...) as typical of the time.

Peter

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, June 25, 2020 10:07 AM

For those who don't remember The Tornado's "Telstar,"  here it is:

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

Almost 60 years later, and it still sounds good!

I remember the Telstar broadcast from 1962, Europe to the US. Only about 15 minutes or so long, it was astounding.  

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, June 25, 2020 10:25 AM

That was back in the days when a broadcast "via satellite" was a big deal.  I can remember when ABC Sports broadcast the USA-USSR games live from Kiev with Jim McKay as the lead commentator.

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 Flintlock76 on Thursday, June 25, 2020 10:48 AM

Remember when ABC "owned" the Olympics?

Personal opinion, but I don't think any other network has covered them as well.  Ever.  Oh, they have tried, but the magic just isn't there.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 25, 2020 12:23 PM

To give you a flavor of what high American engineering and broadcasting was in that era, listen to this (made for a New York radio station before the satellites were launched):

https://www.wnyc.org/story/felker-talking-telstar/

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, June 25, 2020 12:43 PM

Yes those were heady days! Not only that they were fun too, not just because we were younger because the future looked limitless and the air was electric. 

The story of Joe Meek... fascinating and tragic. Well worth the short read.

https://www.steynonline.com/10040/telstar

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, June 25, 2020 5:10 PM

"No, no, I said I need trucks, not A truck!"

 

2)  Railroad of the Mystics. The door opens to Space Time. Cannot reveal the location. Not yet. Someday.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 25, 2020 6:27 PM

I think I read about that Railroad of the Mystics in the Ball & Frimbo book on the '40s.  Secretly related to these?

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 25, 2020 6:38 PM

Miningman
The story of Joe Meek...

All these guys are fun to discuss but they weren't the source of the sound.  This ... THIS is the fountainhead:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fHEmDLQKrrk

And that pretty quick will get you here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIU0RMV_II8

Then the algorithm kicks in and we come out here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vITjH5OO-yU

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, June 25, 2020 7:16 PM

Didn't care for the first one much, but the next two, oh yeah, makes you want to grab a six-pack and head for the beach! 

But it's hard to beat this sweet classic from the 60's, before the whole decade when down the tubes.  It sounded good coming from a transistor on the beach.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqMZePE7SQk  

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