Very strange things

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 16, 2020 10:49 AM

Miningman

Penny.--  Friggin in the riggin' ... check out that sailor bottom left peering out the hatch, nice seat!

 

 

Too bad I can't see the whole ship, but I think that's either the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) in Boston or possibly the USS Constellation in Baltimore.  

Those guys ain't sailors, they look more like civilian contractors.  

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 16, 2020 11:20 AM

pennytrains
Funny story, while it was docked in Cleveland for 2 years somebody built a bridge which trapped the vessel.

Why didn't somebody tell this story to Roanoke while there was still time???

Wayne, didn't you mean 'voyage of no returns'? Laugh  Incidentally this shows where the rear of the thing was lopped off for transport, a story in itself -- was it designed that way or quickly 'field amputated'?  And what fun was had with welding it back and dressing, priming, and painting under Antarctic conditions...

I suspect the car-carrier picture is a posed shot.  Someone collecting parts cars put them on a 'parts' trailer for fun...

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 16, 2020 12:19 PM
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 16, 2020 3:30 PM

Miningman

So it WAS "Old Ironsides!"  Dang, am I good or what!

Thanks, Vince and Mike!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 16, 2020 3:38 PM

Overmod
Wayne, didn't you mean 'voyage of no returns'? 

Nah, the singular was good enough, the "Byrd-Mobile" was the only casualty of that particular operation.  I DO hope that gorgeous Beech "Staggerwing" came home, though.

That car carrier a posed shot?  Maybe, but I've you've ever seen "Hoarders" or even "American Pickers" you'd know there's plenty of unbelieveable crazy accumulations of, ahem, "stuff" out there!  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 16, 2020 3:46 PM

Overmod
Wayne, didn't you mean 'voyage of no returns'? 

Nah, the singular was good enough, the "Byrd-Mobile" was the only casualty of that particular operation.  I DO hope that gorgeous Beech "Staggerwing" came home, though.

I still can't figure out how the designers could have had a collective "brain fart" and thought the thing would work just fine in the Antarctic running on "slicks."  Did they think the Antarctic was going to be easier going than the Midwest in winter?  Jeez!  

That car carrier a posed shot?  Maybe, but I've you've ever seen "Hoarders" or even "American Pickers" you'd know there's plenty of unbelieveable crazy accumulations of, ahem, "stuff" out there!  

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Posted by pennytrains on Sunday, August 16, 2020 5:54 PM

Birdmobile....Whistling

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 16, 2020 7:25 PM

Holy smoke, it's been so long I forgot!  The Penguin DID hijack the Batmobile on one show!

And with all due respect to Danny DeVito, Burgess Meredith WAS the Penguin!  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 16, 2020 7:53 PM

pennytrains

 

 
Miningman
3) Remember the Byrd Arctic thingie... well here we are on the deck, and that looks a bit precarious... hope that spare tire is lashed down too!

 

Nah!  If it was lashed the crew couldn't go tubing!  Laugh

By the way, here's Byrd's ship at the Great Lakes Expo:

Funny story, while it was docked in Cleveland for 2 years somebody built a bridge which trapped the vessel.  Whistling

 

Speaking of sailing ships and the Great Lakes, I couldn't have found this at a better time!  Watch and have fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIkOt1kJJlc  

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, August 20, 2020 1:52 PM

Weird Contraption Edition 

Plenty of strange and weird things have been built in the transportation business.  Here are just a few ( mostly to clear out odds and ends in my photo file)

1)  Not sure just what this is or why but someone here might know.

Perhaps a cab forward design for tunnels. 

 

2)  Kind of reminds me of the movie 'The Meg' where the Megaladon just scoops up a lot of folks in its huge mouth.

 

 

3)  Penn Central/Conrail switcher with a sun tanning porch. 

 

4)  1983 Steinwinter Supercargo 2040 'Cab Under'.  Maybe inspired by SuperCar.

 

5)  1938 REO Tractor and Curtiss Aerocar Fifth wheeler 

Trailer reads Vagabond. The tractor reminds me of something...hmmm...Union Pacific perhaps? 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 20, 2020 4:52 PM

Miningman
Weird Contraption Edition

#1 is one of the most famous locomotives in the world.  It was even featured (retrospectively) in DPM's Trains Magazine!  Google 'Heilmann locomotive' and be sure to consult Douglas Self at some point along the way.  A good idea, just not enough shp to do what was expected.  Had this been coordinated with the AEG railcar experiments in the next decade, though, there might have been some real fun RIGHT at the beginning of the high-speed era -- and if Weems had been in the loop ... well, imagine the Dan Patchization of the C&NYALRR at 150mph six decades before Sikorsky...

 I have supported vehicles like the Steinwinter for many years ... they are in fact the same principle as drive-under tractors for quick and automated side gang-unloading of TOFC on HPIT or Iron Highway like trains and a good solution for using typical containers in urban intermodal service.  The chief problem is that they are difficult to make safe in a wide variety of troublesome ways (although being hit by your own trailer in a head-on impact becomes less a problem)

The sun porch is a fun consequence of re-engining -- I think at DeWitt, where redoing RS3s with EMD power was as institutional as GP10s at Paducah.  Here we have a 567 under a modified RS3 style hood, but with a switcher cab and the integral addition of a shoving platform.  I suspect we may see something like this with the re-introduction of need for extensive, very rapid flat switching...

I believe that bus is for quick BRT between airports (there are two in São Paulo and I bet the other one is displayed on the other end...)

Note that the bus is symmetrical with taillights on both ends and no side doors at all.  That and the width tell me this is dedicated service...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, August 20, 2020 7:26 PM

Miningman
 Maybe inspired by SuperCar.

For those not old enough to remember.  ( I don't fit in that category myself.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8m9Z010pM4  

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, August 20, 2020 8:42 PM

Well thank you for all those good explanations Overmod. 

Do not recall that article DPM's Trains magazine at all. 

I admit fully that I thought of you with Steinwinter as it is along the lines of what you have talked about many times. Thinking " oh Overmod is going to luv this thing". 

Interesting about modifying switchers for extensive flat switching so what's old is new again. Bring it on. 

Good eye on the tail lights with the funky people eating bus. 

Flintlock/Wayne--  Oh yeah Supermarionation ( maybe that should be all in caps).  Andersons great TV shows, Fireball XL5 the best! Great lines, great music.... " I wish I were a Spaceman, the fastest guy alive, I'd fly you around the universe, in Fireball XL5". 

The Doctor was Bones, the Engineer at the engines was Scotty... hmmm...well before you know what came along.  

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Posted by M636C on Friday, August 21, 2020 12:47 AM

In respect of the Heilmann locomotives, the following drawing might explain things:

There is a six cylinder upright steam engine driving a generator....

A sort of electric modified Fairlie, I guess...

A circuit diagram and many other illustrations at:

http://douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/heilmann/heilmann2.htm

Peter

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 21, 2020 2:33 AM

Peter-- Merci caboose! How was this not pursued further and developed into a success?  The link you provided is fabulous. Sometimes you just got to shake your head. Could this be considered a 'lost' technology or a seriously lost opportunity? 

Lost Technology or 'we don't do this anymore story'. 

There was a child's ride in Port Dover that required no power whatsoever. It had five spaceships spread out equally in an octopus fashion. The arms lay on the ground and 2 kids could get in the spaceship back to back, one facing front and the other to the back. Each had a little ray gun with lights and a funny buzzer noise. When all five space ships were full or it was time to get the ride going the operator released a big bar in the ground and then pushed with all his might... maybe 3 or 4 times around... the ships would climb up about waist level to an adult and go around and around and around seemingly with ease and seemingly forever. The lights and ray gun 'buzz' would now function. After a bit the operator pulled up another bar in the ground to brake it ... just manpower, muscle. No power bill, no fuel ( well maybe you had to feed the operator a good lunch). 

For some reason I consider that a lost technology. That ride was really old, probably from the Jules Verne days. They tore it out before the 80's got underway. Talk about green technology! ... and it was all grass under and around it so really green!  

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 21, 2020 7:40 AM

Miningman
Merci caboose! How was this not pursued further and developed into a success?

Well, using the right kind of piston engine, it certainly was!  But I hear you chronically complain about that... Whistling

The development of that sort of thing mirrored practice elsewhere in electrical power generation with steam: even comparatively early the game went to turbines.  Even then, you see practical development of mechanical-drive steam in preference to electric drive at high horsepower, notably in the PRR V1 and the proposed planetary-transmission follow-up to the S2... if there is a steam-electric anywhere that was a market success, let alone a practical diesel competitor, I have not seen it... and I speak as someone currently involved in design of steam-electrics.

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 21, 2020 12:24 PM

Well, using the right kind of piston engine, it certainly was!  But I hear you chronically complain about that... Whistling  

Yes that is very true. But!... we are talking steam, not Mr. Diesel. 

( where is Q when you need him to change a few constants in the universe) 

Another area of steam that did not seem to be pursued is the electric firebox. I know the Swiss gave it a go ( out of necessity). Zero emissions from the locomotive, just water vapour... what's not to like. 

A kettle heats up with electricity at home, just steam, my own whistles too! Does this not translate into the steam locomotive world? 

No coal, no oil, no ashes, no particle matter, just fast disappearing water vapour and no one went down that path?  They had the catenary, the power stations.  Porquois? 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, August 21, 2020 3:48 PM

Miningman
Another area of steam that did not seem to be pursued is the electric firebox.

Interestingly enough, I saw some O gauge live-steamers at a train show about ten years ago that did just that!  Drew their power from the tracks and sent it to a heating element under the boiler.  Imports from somewhere, I don't know where, because after I looked at the price tags and had my heart attack further investigation was pointless!  

I've seen photos of those Swiss electric-steamers, wild lookin' things!  Hey, they worked, but when you come right down to it if you're going to use electricity to run a locomotive you might as well bypass the boiler and send it to traction motors.  Oh well.   

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 21, 2020 4:52 PM

... yeah but... one is not using electricity to run the locomotive, you are using steam. Steam was a thing for a long time, so no coal, no oil, no coal chutes, no ash pits, all that stuff. The fact there is no black smoke or smoke with particulate matter may have extended steam for a lot longer than it did. 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 22, 2020 12:32 AM

Miningman
... yeah but... one is not using electricity to run the locomotive, you are using steam.

And steam is a lousy thing to use in a cheap reciprocating engine if all you have is resistive heat production in grids using rotating-dynamo current -- probably 50 to 60Hz "grid" power that can be wheeled to full alternative use at any time the prospective 'steamer' is drawing less power.

First, in order for steam to become a gas and exert any pressure at all, you have to pump considerable energy into it on top of whatever you needed to use to get it up to 212 F (and keep it there against losses).  You throw all that away when you exhaust the steam uncondensed.  You lose still more in cost and foregone capacity if you condense.  This alone made Holcrift-Anderson an interesting prospective technology -- pity they were bombed out of existence.

Then no matter how hot you get your grid it is still 2D.  You will not get this to couple its emitted heat to air well even if you have enormous air fan movement across the Calrods or Nichrome or whatever into the convection section... and if you do get good rejection at high airflow, you'll get wyick melting and all that implies if the airflow is either reduced or compromised unexpectedly...

What might have been interesting to see would be a cage of incandescent elements with reflectors substantially orthogonal to a firebox inner wall.  This would at least capture the fourth-power-of-temperature energy as in a good luminous plume; the catch then being to use a Velox-style blower arrangement past a different (temperature-optimized to go inside tube elements like hot Besler tubes) to get USGS-test 'scrubbing' of heated air in the tubes.   

But you will notice how much easier it is just to use a plume of luminous flame to accomplish this stuff, without the whole presumably 'white coal' power infrastructure and transmission losses.

Might as well go to running a heat-pump cycle with high-boiling ORC fluid, to get an increased proportion of 'process heat' moved over to make steam... Laugh

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 22, 2020 2:41 AM

Fascinating... or vasilating.

I'm beginning to think that steam technology as applied to locomotives has millions, perhaps billions of variables, and like a lottery, out of all of it, all the variables, there is one correct grand winning ticket. 

The rules of the game would be the laws of Physics. But, like the rules in say a hockey game, the outcomes are unpredictable despite the rules. Not surprisingly there is a winning ticket out there but it makes me wonder if we have yet to encounter it. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, August 22, 2020 8:34 AM

The Swiss Electric-steam engines were "Tigerli" designed for shoving one or maybe two two-axle cars around in a local station.  Wth a steam service-ready weight (including coal) of around 35 metric tons (the electric gear added 7 tons) they were hardly main line rigs, but in stations near hydroelectric plants their heating units didn't have to be particularly efficient, and the boilers could still be coal-fired if necessary.  In operation it was found that they could run for a while off the wire once the boiler was up to temperature.  The coils could draw about 450 KW producing around 600 boiler horsepower.  One of the two so equipped (E 3/3 8522) survives today, without the electric gear.  The "E" is a class letter for "Tenderlokomotiven" (Switching or Tank engines).  An electric Traktor with the same wheel arrangement would be a Te 3/3.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 22, 2020 9:42 AM

Miningman
I'm beginning to think that steam technology as applied to locomotives has millions, perhaps billions of variables, and like a lottery, out of all of it, all the variables, there is one correct grand winning ticket.

The problem there, just as with Marxist/Hegelian pseudoscientistic theory, is that there is no One True Design that optimizes everything at once.  Porta grappled with this far more intensively than I ever have, with far more enthusiasm; in a sense his 'Argentina' still represents a kind of high-water mark in a surprising number of interrelated respects ... but is evidently not a guide for even 'Generation 2' steam.

Note that solutions for even something as simple as Andreas Schwander's steam monorail or 'Plandampf' conversion of Swiss commuter service are different from Porta's practical 'biomasa' projects. And both those are wildly different from Tom Blasingame's designs, or the 5AT optimization, or either the original or 'upgraded' Turbomotive 2.

The split becomes even more radical when you have to start with fuel technology 'politically' and practically suitable for purpose.  (With the alternative always being properly-treated B100 or ethanol derivative from biomass, with any required additives, with DEF in an IC engine manufactured with many alternative uses and the usual higher engineered flexibility...)

I of course have beat the drum for forced waterwall circulation replacing pachinko staybolting in the radiant section of a 'Stephenson' boiler for some time.  A combination of shipbuilding fab techniques and laser hybrid welding can produce a leakproof version of a Jacobs-Shupert firebox that contains suitable geometry for this, and even a 'multiple-thread screw' waterfall as in LaMont's ship boilers (each "thread" going to its own centrifugal inertial steam separator, etc.) should get you there -- the following convection stage being entirely tuned like a HRSG with common header into the separator vessels, and long-path economization down to below combustion-water condensation in the feed train -- etc.

The general consensus of whatever actual technologists remains active at SACA is that this approach scales to automobile size and is preferable to other 'modularly-scalable' boiler designs including all the flash or semiflash generators that modulate flame and water in counterflow.

If you want to go high-tech there is still promise in the enginion AG ultrasupercritical approach, which appears to have foundered more on politics and weird expediency (a German electrical-generating company bought a large stake in the company doing the development, then forced it into optimizing the design for distributed emergency grid-power generation!). This approach uses liquid fuel to generate very high-pressure steam and then superheat it separately at time of use, injected as a supercritical liquid for long expansion).  While this requires relatively exotic metallurgy (with alloy elements from certain 'other lands') the absolute amounts are relatively small, as is the actual mass flow required to make power.  Makeup is with highly distilled water actively treated for self-dissociation, which gets rid of the various problems with feedwater treatment cost and consequences otherwise requiring something like McMshon-Porta treatment.

And there is the Oxford Cycle, which uses a fairly cheap catalyst mixture to react methanol or ethanol fuel in water with roughly 30% hydrogen peroxide (distilled from natural sources) to produce steam directly at the maximum superheat for conventional locomotive-suitable expanders -- somewhere in the 800 to 840F range, largely hinging on required tribology.  The controls are fascinatingly different from most historical steam plants, and the carbon emissions about as low as you can get with a practical non-carrier fuel formulation.  Unfortunately terrorists can make a nifty hard-to-detect state explosive out of H2O2 and 'household chemicals' ... part of why we can't have nice things.  (For the sake of completeness, Dave Klepper's beloved MIT has a version of this for space power that makes steam at something like 2200 degrees F; this is nifty for orbital applications but not so much for locomotive practice...)

And then there us the fascinating world of bottoming cycles, of which the poster child is the ALPS locomotive combined with the asynchronous compound.  You can actually still get to much of the detail design via the University of Texas website resources (although you have to dig a bit now; start with  the CEM published papers).  Whenever this comes up in conversation it reminds me with the twinge of a bad tooth that it is a shame the JetTrain design was altered...

The rules of the game would be the laws of Physics.

Except that they are not.  And, like it or not, seldom have really been.  The laws of economics, and behind them the rules and principles of finance, have almost always dominated and dictated the "best solutions" for steam or other power.  Note that while there are exceptions, they all have 'failed to thrive' over time; it would be nice if this were a conspiracy theory like NCL or the idea that GM set up a cabal of cognate interests to buy up all the makers of specialty or patent steam-locomotive auxiliaries either to shut them down (like Soros was accused of plotting to do with domestic firearm manufacturers) or simply and innocently pricing them in line with increasingly limited production... which, with the greater strikes against conventional recip steam, would have the same effect.

But, like the rules in say a hockey game, the outcomes are unpredictable despite the rules. Not surprisingly there is a winning ticket out there but it makes me wonder if we have yet to encounter it.

In my opinion, if there is, it would require the somewhat magical convergence (usually not properly acknowledged as such) of Sloan's management of EMC and Winton in the decade after their strategic acquisition.  In other words, innovative engineering, savvy promotion, and both 'championing' (in the six-sigma sense) and broad and deep-pocket support from an organization stable enough to support it long-term to design and production and aftermarket maturity.  No reason at all why that combination would 'only' work for diesels, and I think had there been financing and some kind of trade-in credit offered when railroads were relatively flush with cash after WWII not only might things have been different for a while, some of the 'new' approaches to steam might have had the chance to flourish or 'build share'...

Instead, Baldwin didn't even learn the lessons of the USRA, and Alco 'bet their company' on an alliance with GE and are gone largely as a result of it, and Lima missed the boat on where postwar Super-Power would come from...

Get that combination of savvy and morale, though, and I have some bingo moments for ya.  But be advised that comparatively few of them resemble attractive legacy steam.  There are very few powerplant foamers out there... perhaps for understandable reasons... Whistling

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 22, 2020 1:29 PM

Well at least that gives me some hope. I mean we live in a living human universe and and to think of all the random interactions that did and did not occur for us to even be here is enough to overload some brain circuitry so the possibility of two entities coming together to create a new resurgence of steam technology with things not even imagined yet could occur. I mean, mitochondria was a chance meeting and quite a stretch and without even that we would be a dull single cell organism world in perpetuity. Or an event that could have been a non event, say a fist sized rock had glanced off the asteroid a billion or two years ago changing its course ever so slightly but multiplied over hundreds of millions of years then missed the earth. You know the one that wiped out the dinosaurs .... Don't think it's a stretch to say we would not be here otherwise. 

Its a real smack down however to use the EMC/Winton/General Motors example though. Makes me root for that fist sized rock/dinosaurs. 

Also major thank you once again to rcdrye for his input on the Swiss electric/steam. A minor role shunting small one or two cars around is a start but being able to sustain itself for a while without continuous electric feed is encouraging. Makes sense. 

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 22, 2020 4:11 PM

Miningman
Its a real smack down however to use the EMC/Winton/General Motors example though. Makes me root for that fist sized rock/dinosaurs.

Why?  Just because EMD played its cards right doesn't make it the equivalent of Nazism.  We need proper paradigms to make 'more' of steam than the various folks historically doing so did.

[quote]Also major thank you once again to rcdrye for his input on the Swiss electric/steam. A minor role shunting small one or two cars around is a start but being able to sustain itself for a while without continuous electric feed is encouraging.[quote]The thing is, this is nothing more than the fireless cooker effect -- with the relatively slow electric rate of heat transfer them being required, much slower than the usual fire less recharge technique of sparging with superheated steam...

An interesting point, not bothered with on the Tigerli but of high interest once you look at German high-pressure fireless designs, is that electrical elements can be easily sealed into pressure vessels far stronger than 'boilers' and optimized for structure as not requiring external heating.  This would easily allow charge pressure above supercritical, giving very protracted run time with very high functional superheat even at high mass flow.  I would have to worry about cumulative pressure cycling and the risk of catastrophic vessel failure... but it's much less than with a conventional high-pressure-boiler tube failure to the fire space as on LMS Fury...

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 22, 2020 4:48 PM

Oh come on, it was comedy and I thought quite flattering comedy at that. Rooting for the dinosaurs??  Your analogy or example was .. errrr....fine. Just painful. ( I have to keep up appearances, pride before the fall and all that rot). Mitochondria, that's the ticket! Without it we could not be having this discussion. 

Yes I came within an inch of mentioning the fireless cookers, but why ruin or belittle some attempted new technology.  It worked and possibly held promise but alas not to be.

Interesting point at the end... I just have to wonder if something beautiful comes along in steam technology and everyone goes bonkers for it. Like the winning lottery ticket.. there it is. 

I consider N&W J class, C&O/N&W magnificent late built steam switchers, Alleghenies, GS-4, Big Boy, Challengers, Sante Fe Northerns and Hudsons as secondary and tertiary lottery prizes. Peanuts compared to the The Grand Prize which has yet to be won, it will be, just don't think we have the winner yet. 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 22, 2020 5:22 PM

Miningman
Peanuts compared to the The Grand Prize which has yet to be won

One of these was the V1 with Bowes drive, the thing that fancy shell design patent was made for in 1947.  Much the same performance as the Ingalls 2000hp passenger unit, but almost the full 8000hp to the rails in direct, and a major percentage in assisted 'overdrive'.  Pity if died before being fully documented; all that really survives of the 'freight' V1 is its cancellation for ridiculous water rate -- which, even so, was better than the Q2 in a locomotive with no augment at all.

Another was the B&O W-1, which had enough built that it 'could' have been finished if there had been a little more ready money ... a few percent of what Baldwin 'stole' from PRR on the S1 project that might well have been slower than the B&O engine.  I'm frankly surprised Jones1945 hasn't had it modeled yet.  Now I have my doubts that it would have held up in service, but if I can figure out how to improve it, the Beslers certainly could ... and we brought back Roosen's a half-decade later with the solution for controlling the motors, the probable torque-moment issues and, worst come to worst, how to hang motors outside the gauge and quill-drive the wheels with low unsprung mass.  

Personally there is still a little bit of me that wishes the good parts of the Paget locomotive had been recognized.  Multiple well-jacketed cylinders with 'eccentric' short stroke posed a highly interesting analogue to what B&O was proposing as 'constant torque' and could be easily configured with just a light pair of quartered rods ... or gears, or Morse chain.  Now make two of these in Garratt configuration with a multipass package boiler slung between... or a Meyer with a big,deep Lamont firebox down to rail level together with the four tall centrifugal separators...

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