Very strange things

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, June 22, 2019 3:16 PM

Allied airmen executed on the ground.  A more exact term would be murdered.

That was the thing during the bombing campaigns over Germany.  As the bombings got worse and worse it became a race to get to the airmen who parachuted out, the German army and Luftwaffe trying to get to them first before the SS or enraged civilians did.  Sometimes the army and Luftwaffe lost.  

If aircrews had to bail out over the occupied countries sometimes they got lucky and resistance groups got to them before the Germans did and were able to spirit them out of the country.   Chuck Yeager was one of those men saved by the French resistance.

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Posted by M636C on Saturday, June 22, 2019 10:24 PM

Overmod

 

 
M636C
I'm sure you will get $4.78 worth of reading from even a somewhat degraded copy of the book. I've never seen a paperback version of that book but I have paperback copies of other contemporary Ian Allan titles and they are fine. I have replaced a couple with second hand hardbacks which will last better.

 

As it turns out, what I received today (for my $4.78 plus almost nominal shipping) is the hardbound reprint of the book, still in its dust jacket, that was produced by the Promotional Reprint Company in 1995.  This appears to have Bonanza-Book-like offset-printing issues with the black-and-white plates, but the line drawings are very clear.  Does the original also have plates ("Figs") 70 and 71 reversed?

 

The caption error on page 54 was not corrected by the 1973 third printing, which was the version I first purchased. I trust that the folding diagrams of the LNER W1 and the Ministry of Supply 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 are reproduced in your copy....

The photo reproduction was much the same in both original printing versions. The photos were one of the attractions of the original book but the technical points being made (Boiler differences on early Stanier LMS locomotives for example) should still be visible.

Chapter 12 on testing of locomotives would be relevant to our discussion on indicators elsewhere. I note on page 152 a diagram of a "Steam Flow Indicator" which seems to be a measure of blast pipe suction, but I haven't thought much about it. The diagram is post 1948 since it refers to "WR" (Western Region).

Another book I mentioned earlier that should be of interest to many here is:

"British Piston Aero Engines and their Aircraft" by Alec Lumsden. Note that I got the title wrong in my earlier reference from memory. This was published by Airlife Publishing in 1994, ISBN 1 85310 294 6. This is an amazing book, and apparently the author was in hospital for four years while writing it.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 24, 2019 9:18 AM

Flintlock76
Allied airmen executed on the ground.  A more exact term would be murdered.

No, "murdered" is more reserved for the residents of Hamburg who died in agony after Mr. Churchill opened the window.  Or all those French railway employees who were targeted without mercy as a matter of policy.

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, June 24, 2019 9:44 AM

Overmod

 

 
Flintlock76
Allied airmen executed on the ground.  A more exact term would be murdered.

 

No, "murdered" is more reserved for the residents of Hamburg who died in agony after Mr. Churchill opened the window.  Or all those French railway employees who were targeted without mercy as a matter of policy.

 

 

Hamburg?  They sold their souls to a maniac and paid the price.  Sounds heartless I know, but a nation cannot wage total war on another nation without expecting some kind of retaliation.  

Here's the thing.  When war is forced on you the only logical way to fight it is by inflicting the maximum amount of damage on the enemy in the least amount of time with the least possible cost to yourself.  You hit the enemy as hard as you can and as often as you can until he asks for peace.  Now if you want to feel ashamed of yourself after you've done it, that's fine.  It's understandable, and you wouldn't be human if you didn't have that bit of doubt.  But during a knock-down-drag-out war like WW2 that's a luxury you don't have, especially when you're fighting a monstrous evil like the Third Reich, or Japanese militarism for that matter.  

And at the time, the Brits saw nothing wrong with "Giving Jerry a bit of his own back."  Ask the people of Warsaw, Rotterdam, London, Portsmouth, Dover, and Coventry.  

The French?  They understood.  Not all, but most, or they wouldn't have welcomed back their liberators from the end of the war to the present day.

And before I question what was done by those of the past I always ask myself...

"Was I there?  Did I live through what those people lived through? Did I see what they saw?  Did I lose what they lost?  Did I suffer what they suffered?  Then who am I to judge?  What do I know?"

War is hell.   Crying

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 24, 2019 11:18 AM

Flintlock76
Hamburg?  They sold their souls to a maniac and paid the price.  Sounds heartless I know, but a nation cannot wage total war on another nation without expecting some kind of retaliation.

Also known as the justification theory "look what you made me do."  There's a word for that in psychology.

Here's the thing.  When war is forced on you the only logical way to fight it is by inflicting the maximum amount of damage on the enemy in the least amount of time with the least possible cost to yourself.

That's very good Staff College thinking, and tactically I think that's very true.  The problem comes when you start down the slippery slope of 'who' that enemy is, and what the kinds of maximum damage involved are.  This was demonstrated in many respects in Viet Nam, where 'the enemy' might easily be a 4-year-old with a grenade, but where 'revenge' for being shoved in a dangerous situation might become a My Lai.  We had all sorts of fun with 'body counts' as the metric for 'inflicting the maximum amount of damage on the enemy' without seemingly wondering, or even asking too carefully, whether that was the right thing to be emphasizing.  We certainly changed few hearts or minds, did little to stop the effective flow of supplies to the Viet Cong, or effectively interdict North Vietnamese support -- which was 'really' the enemy in a proper sense -- until the Arc Light raids.  (Which, please note, were highly effective in getting the little weasels to the peace table, but more because of the targeting on strategic assets, particularly those valued by little-weasel enabling nations who thought they had a free pass to gun-run with impunity...)  

We lost that war strategically, between 1973 and 1975, for reasons I think are important to remember.  They have nothing to do with American fighting power or professionalism, although there are plenty of people who are happy to step up to the plate and take a swing at them.  

You hit the enemy as hard as you can and as often as you can until he asks for peace.  Now if you want to feel ashamed of yourself after you've done it, that's fine.  It's understandable, and you wouldn't be human if you didn't have that bit of doubt.  But during a knock-down-drag-out war like WW2 that's a luxury you don't have, especially when you're fighting a monstrous evil like the Third Reich, or Japanese militarism for that matter.

Ideally you never doubt things done in wartime, except when they were mistakes in judgment that can become 'lessons learned' to keep you from fighting the last war when the next one comes up.  That's not the thing I'm talking about.  I don't propose that we criticize Tibbets for flying the missions; only that Tibbets had the choice not to go into bombardment in the first place.  

By your logic, we should have used things like the weaponized anthrax at Porton Down early and often; brought back war gases on the scale envisioned in 1919; deployed the 'German atomic bomb' (which was biologically-activated radiological dusting).  All's fair in love and war until it's over? 

I note that you haven't discussed the British practice of shooting down parachuting airmen, which was completely justifiable at the time (particularly when the outcome of the Battle of Britain wasn't as clear as it should have been) but changes one's moral outrage when it's your airmen involved.  Does the situation change that radically once they hit the ground?

And at the time, the Brits saw nothing wrong with "Giving Jerry a bit of his own back."  Ask the people of Warsaw, Rotterdam, London, Portsmouth, Dover, and Coventry.

Nothing at all wrong with giving "Jerry" hell ... only with deciding what constitutes that 'Jerry'.  Did you consider what resistance to 'the maniac' would have entailed for a great many German civilians?  Could they have 'voted him out' as easily as they let him in, say by 1942 or so?  That's an easy rationalization, but when you poke it with any particular strength it remains just that, a rationalization.

Bombing the hell out of war industries 'staffed by civilians'?  I have no problem with that.  (Or if staffed with 'slave labor' either, but that's another discussion for another day).  Situation gets a bit more complicated when you intentionally distribute war efforts in residential areas, as the Japanese did (we should remember that, famously, the Vietnamese loved installing gun emplacements and possibly SAM equipment on the roofs and grounds of schools and hospitals).  We had little success in the eyes of world opinion with that 'look what you made me do' line of argument for bombing schools, hospitals, paddy dikes and the like ... and I'm just not altogether sure my answer would follow that line of reasoning as a matter of policy -- the wackjob restrictions on target allocation that characterized so much of the Johnson administration's approach were in no small part intended to prevent vengeful airmen from addressing this quite unjustifiable militarization of civilian facilities.

The French?  They understood.  Not all, but most, or they wouldn't have welcomed back their liberators from the end of the war to the present day.

This is not a situation where we can 'take the bitter with the sweet', although that is certainly not how Churchill argued the precise point in his history of the Second World War.  There is a functional difference between the liberators who fought, and often died, to take France back, and the intentional targeting of Frenchmen whenever someone saw the chance.  I confess I wouldn't be as brave as the French mother who, after the British annihilated Darlan's fleet, put British flags on her son's coffins ... but that was much more a legitimate military action.  

And before I question what was done by those of the past I always ask myself... "Was I there?  Did I live through what those people lived through? Did I see what they saw?  Did I lose what they lost?  Did I suffer what they suffered?  Then who am I to judge?  What do I know?"

Don't you start with the moralizing.  I was trained to understand exactly how to judge these situations of policy, and when to make tough assessments and when to be understanding.  I may not do that perfectly, but I have no trouble implementing morality while doing that, either.

Just exactly what is your moral basis for indiscriminate city bombing?  That the Germans 'did it first'?  (They didn't.)  That what someone else does to you justifies doing it tenfold to them?  That because Uncle Sam issued you orders to fly over and murder people, it saves you from the Nuremberg accusation about 'only following orders' (and remember that maniac behavior very often didn't govern what the 'following orders' involved, monstrous as that could become).

We've been having a somewhat similar argument over the effective use of armed drones, by the same kind of people who liked taking pictures of naked men in collars at Abu Ghraib, I think.  At what point does summary use of prompt area munitions to get a targeted individual become 'acceptable collateral damage'?  The history of PGM is full of moral intent as well as expedient enhancement of the various 'boom factors'.

Meanwhile, in my opinion at least part of the justification for dropping the atomic weapons on Japan is just as "expedient" as that for the fire raids: the underlying understanding that Majestic etc. would put potentially over a million American lives at direct risk, and likely wipe out the Japanese people as a significant group.  It was fun to watch the revisionists in the 1960s try to prove that the Russian invasion of Manchuria was the only thing that really got the Japanese government to cave ... but it is also important to remember that massive fire-raid aerial bombardment did not shut the British down a couple of years earlier, that there were few indications that the level of bombing we could provide even into the later 1940s would alone eliminate Japan's internal economy sufficient to cripple defense of the home islands, and that LeMay's later "bomb them back to the Stone Age" invocation of Douhet's principles didn't work well with manned airplanes even at Mach 3+ (which is in part why we have no B-70s and their associated technology development).  Wasn't until the early 1970s that we actually turned conventional bombing into a practical deterrent, and even today there can be problems both pro and con with doing it effectively (I for example have little formal sympathy for the Revolutionary Guard units taken out at the beginning of the Gulf War, but I have to wonder whether they knew what was about to happen to them, or whether they'd have followed orders if they did, and 140,000 eliminated in a few minutes is, if not precisely reprehensible, a little impressive.  Didn't make Saddam slow down much, though.) 

Would I have targeted the French railway system in the runup to the Normandy invasions? Of course I would, and with additional munitions.  Would I have wholeheartedly targeted French railway workers as prime targets?  That's no better than the Germans shooting French railway workers for perceived sabotage ... something I'll bet you consider 'murder'.

We make fun of 'Straws' ... but he undeniably arranged foreign policy to try to make 'terrible' war less likely, and his support for the 'Super' was comparatively quickly justified by events.  And when you come right down to it, it worked after all -- I'm proud of the fact no thermonuclear weapon has ever been fired in an act of war, even tactically.  People tend to forget that avoiding the hell in the first place -- which for Hitler could and should have been done effectively and promptly in All Those Years it would have been trivial -- is the take-home message of wars like WWII, not the expedience covering up afterward with atrocities like indiscriminate area bombing a la Douhet.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, June 24, 2019 12:23 PM

Quite a response me old son, time to respond back.

You know, when you engineers get into it here (quite entertainingly I might add) I step back out of the picture, keep my mouth shut, and my ears (figuratively) and eyes open, and maybe I might just learn something.  And I'm always interested in your opinions, but...

Now your're on my turf!  I'm the old military man here, I've got the perspective that a lot of you don't, and while I don't mind being questioned just remember who you're questioning.

First, forget Vietnam. We're not talking about Vietnam. Hamburg's not in Vietnam, neither is Dresden, Berlin, Essen, Nuremberg, or Hiroshima or Nagasaki for that matter.  We're talking about World War Two, not 'Nam, which we never should have gotten involved with.  

Moralizing?  I was trained to make tactical appraisals too you know, better than you were, unless you've worn a uniform with brass on the shoulders.  If you haven't, then despite how good you are at your own trade you're a military amateur.  Don't second-guess me.

And don't second guess those men who had the terrible burden of command in WW2.  They had to fight that war with what weapons they had, the delivery  systems they had, and the tools  they had.  They would have given everything to have had the precision-guided munitions we take for granted nowadays, but they didn't.  You fight a war with what you've got.  

Staying with WW2 and it's victims.  I feel sorry for the Germans to a point.  I feel sorry for the Japanese to a point.  I question what Bomber Command and the 8th and 15th Air Forces did to a point, but not beyond.  Even if you were a civilian in those days if you were providing the Wehrmacht with the tools of the trade you were bound to be a target, sooner or later.

And it's very easy to say "Two wrongs don't make a right."  Sometimes it's too easy, things aren't always that simple.  And I'm sure you realize that if the Germans and Japanese had the means to hit American industry and cities they'd have done so, but they didn't have the means, so they couldn't.  

I could go on but I'm not interested in writing a doctoral dissertation on warfare and it's ramifications and it's effects on the innocents.  As I said before, you do what you have to do to win.  Mind you, I don't mean by deliberately  ordering atrocities, but in this age of modern warfare we've inherited the innocents are somewhere, somehow, going to get caught in the crossfire.  The days where civilians could hide in the basements until Austerlitz, Waterloo, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, or Mars-La-Tour are over are past us now, never to return.     

Remember what Bedford Forrest said (I know what he did after The War, don't bother to bring it up.  Don't bring up Fort Pillow either, that'll never be resolved to anyone's satifaction.)

"War means fighting and fighting means killing."

And of course the whole thing could have been avoided if Hitler had stayed in his own backyard.  No-one would have bothered him, the Third Reich might still possibly exist, and he'd have died in his bed and not like a rat in a sewer.  

Same goes for the Japanese militarists.  

I've said enough.  You're a good guy Overmod, you can have the last word.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, June 24, 2019 12:53 PM

Overmod

By your logic, we should have used things like the weaponized anthrax at Porton Down early and often; brought back war gases on the scale envisioned in 1919; deployed the 'German atomic bomb' (which was biologically-activated radiological dusting).  All's fair in love and war until it's over?

I don't want to interrupt this discussion, but here's a few more things to think about (of which you may be aware already).

Churchill suggested bombing German cities with chemical and biological (anthrax) weapons.  The idea was rejected.

The U.S. was stockpiling chemical weapons in the Pacific in preparation for Operation Downfall (invading Japan).  The atomic bombings and subsequent Japanese surrender meant they were never used.  Of course, Japan had already been using chemical weapons for years.

Sir Arthur Harris' nickname should tell us exactly what the rest of the RAF thought of him.

I'll end this with a postwar quote from Curtis LeMay, on the morality of firebombing:

"Killing Japanese didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.... Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier."

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, June 24, 2019 1:32 PM

In case anyone is interested and does not know, the first photo shows the 9th Avenue elevated, above, and the 6th below. between the Rector Street stations of both lines and the flat junction to the double-track elevated structure to South Ferry.

6th abandoned in 1938, 9th in 1940.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, June 24, 2019 2:56 PM

Thanks David! Glad you found the pic. We knew that you would know the location.

Fascinating discussion Firelock/Overmod/Dude

Now to get back to some very strange things.

This picture has me puzzled, to a degree anyway. It is a very strange thing but just maybe it is not.

Here we have Pennsy passenger PA's, pinstripes and all, assisting an I1 Decapod pushing a coal drag. Also the 2 Diesels are behind the steam locomotive, not a good idea as stack exhaust from the Decapod will get sucked into the intake fans of the PA's. 

Derated and demoted to this service this early in the game when the Decapods were still around? Or just what happened to be available in a pinch? 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, June 24, 2019 3:57 PM

Thanks for bringing us back to Square One David, I don't know how we got to where we were.  I was wondering just where that was myself.

Depending on when the picture of the PA's was taken they may just have been demoted to pusher service.  That's what happened to the PRR's Baldwin Centepedes.  If not, I'd suppose they were just handy.

'Dude, Churchill proposed hittting the Germans with anthrax because he was furious at the V-2 assaults on London, which there was no defense for, and he wanted to hit back at the Germans somehow.

He was talked out of it.  The RAF pointed out that to get enough coverage would take assets they couldn't spare, and in addition to which the Germans were losing the war anyway, the ultimate end was just a matter of time.  Also the Allies would be occupying Germany post-war and the last thing we needed was to expose our own people to anthrax.  So the anthrax bombing never took place.

 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, June 24, 2019 6:28 PM

With their A1A trucks PA's would not have made very good helpers.  Perhaps this was during a brief test in that service, or perhaps they are from a following train and are helping a stalled freight. 

Wayne, I did know the reason behind Churchill's anthrax bombing proposal, and it was not a rational plan for the reasons you listed.  The British ended up trying to redirect the V-2 attacks though their counter-intelligence network, by feeding the Nazis false information that the rockets were overshooting London.  This worked quite well as a majority of the subsequent attacks landed outside London, many of them in the countryside.  The British then started to send reports that the V-2's were all striking London, with heavy casulties. 

Since you mentioned the Axis powers' inability to attack North America, the Nazis intended to use the V-2 to attack cities over here.  These rockets would have been launched from a platform towed by a U-boat, fortunately this design never made it off the drawing board.  Ditto for the Amerikabomber and its 15,000 mile range, aside from the few Me-264 prototypes that never saw any action.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by M636C on Monday, June 24, 2019 8:35 PM

Some miscellaneous thoughts on British Locomotives related to this thread:

The restored Great Western steam railcar used the original vehicle, which had been converted many years ago to push-pull operation using a control equipped locomotive. I understand that the engine unit was entirely built new to the original design.

Overmod's newly obtained book "British Steam Railway Locomotives" has another error not easily found. There is no "Fig 281" and two "Fig 282". The folding diagram of the MoS 2-10-0 should be "Fig 281".

In the BSRL section regarding post WWII developments, a complete diagram of the Iraqi streamlined Pacific (discussed elsewhere on this forum) and a detail drawing of its firebox is included for comparison with the retrofit of a Western Region locomotive for oil burning.

Sir Arthur Harris did not get a locomotive named after him. The senior RAF Officers so honoured were all from Fighter Command and associated with the Battle of Britain, starting with Sir Keith Park... One Canadian, Lord Beaverbrook, was hooured for his contribution in organising aircraft production before and during the Battle of Britain.

The Great Western also named a series of Castle Class locomotives after Fighter aircraft used in the Battle of Britain. One of these "Blenheim" was a night fighter converted from a bomber. It also partly duplicated the name of an earlier locomotive "Blenheim Castle". Hornby made a model of "Blenheim" but the box was lettered "Blenheim Castle".

Peter 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 24, 2019 11:09 PM

Blenheim what?

The Blenheim the aircraft was named after was a country house that has become a 'palace'.  It is certainly not fortified! 

I can't find any reference to a locomotive actually named 'Blenheim Castle' and would be delighted to know what it was. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 24, 2019 11:21 PM

SD70Dude
Since you mentioned the Axis powers' inability to attack North America, the Nazis intended to use the V-2 to attack cities over here. These rockets would have been launched from a platform towed by a U-boat, fortunately this design never made it off the drawing board. Ditto for the Amerikabomber and its 15,000 mile range, aside from the few Me-264 prototypes that never saw any action.

I would be much more concerned with the proposed A10 (so lovingly described in Gravity's Rainbow) which actually promised to have transatlantic range, and of course with the Silbervogel, the Sanger skip-glide bomber that was the inspiration for so much later hypersonic research. 

I have not been able to verify a story I was told many years ago, that a long-distance flight in one of the Condors had been made to within sight of New York and then return.  Hard to imagine much of a practical bombload ... then.

It was a Yalie, William Liscum Borden, who put the pieces of the long-distance missile, the A-bomb, and what he called a 'rocket Pearl Harbor' together (in a book reasonably aptly titled 'There Will Be No Time' -- this got very serious attention as Borden was an aide to powerful senator Louis Johnson at about that time.  (How much this influenced Korolev et al. was not documented at the time I was studying this, but might be known now.)  It seems very strange to me that the 1998 reprint of Douhet's Command of the Air doesn't even mention Borden, the fellow who first figured out how to make much of Douhet's thinking 'practically achievable'.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Monday, June 24, 2019 11:52 PM

OTOH, we had Vannevar Bush, in Modern Arms and Free Men, claim that an A-bomb on an intercontinental missile would never amount to much as the effective blast radius was much smaller than the circular error probability. A lot changed shortly after he wrote the book in 1949. Guidance is now good enough that a hunk of metal at typical re-entry velocity can be a very effective weapon.

More on topic: While the PA rode on A1A trucks, they were riding on 40" wheels versus the 36" wheels on the E's allowing for GE-752 traction motors.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 12:29 AM

Well thank you Eric_Mag, about the PA's that is. You would think that during the late time period the Pennsy Decapods were still in regular use those PA's were still on important passenger trains and that the real effects of the public abandoning rail travel were just becoming quite apparent. I really don't know much about the PA's role with the Pennsy but did they give up on them or deem them surplus that quickly. 

I suppose they could have been regeared for freight or helper service and they probably were. This one not in Tuscan and multiple pin stripes. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 10:18 AM

The PA's, Erie-Builts, various Baldwins, etc. were bumped from passenger service by PRR's fleet of E7/E8's.  Most were regeared for freight service which explains the PA's as road power with a 2-10-0 as the helper.

Many roads with PA's demoted them to freight power as passenger train-miles shrank.  EL ran PA's in freight service up to around 1969 or 1970.

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 Wednesday, June 26, 2019 10:44 AM

Flintlock76
If you haven't, then despite how good you are at your own trade you're a military amateur.  Don't second-guess me.

We're all friends here, so there is no argument.  It's just that this line was just a bit amusing in the context of strategic planning.  Especially the condescending tone.  One thing it does do, probably salubriously, is to establish a healthy dose of humility for me.  Very healthy.

On the other hand, since I so dislike arguments from any kind of authority, it means that no few of the points I was trying to make didn't get their actual points across -- for which I apologize both now and in advance.

And I would (of course, but perhaps the point does need to be specifically made) never question either your experience or knowledge in tactical matters, or your effective service both on and off the record.  I specifically have neither the intention nor the lack of morality to make any 'stolen valor' claims to service in the military -- aside from the fact, now that you remind me, it still rankles that I couldn't go to advanced training in ROTC because of poor eyesight all those years ago.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 1:57 PM

Let us remember that the NYNH&H considered its A-1-A - A-1-A Alcos, both prewar DL-109s and postwar PA's, as dual-service, passenger by day and freight by night.  The GE traaction motors of the time were bigger than those used on the E-series EMDs.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 2:15 PM

daveklepper
Let us remember that the NYNH&H considered its A-1-A - A-1-A Alcos, both prewar DL-109s and postwar PA's, as dual-service, passenger by day and freight by night.

Now, a certain amount of this involved the New Haven not overloading the locomotives, on comparatively short runs, and having a good traffic mix that even in the age of steam could involve high speeds.  But there is little doubt that a brace of DL-109s was at least the functional equal of one of the three-cylinder Mountains ... the question being more whether the capital cost of the two locomotives was being recovered fully in the available service vs. the 'opportunity cost' of the steam.  I'd be inclined to agree that this would be more so with the locomotives 'gainfully employed' more hours a day, perhaps with the whole cost being 'assumed' to be covered out of passenger service with added freight use being a bit like EL using the U34CHs 'after hours'.

There's little that says an A-1-A locomotive is inherently unsuited to freight operation (or, to expand the thing a bit, a B - A-1-A locomotive like a 2400hp C-liner).  The issue is that you can only use 2/3 the adhesive weight for what may be a substantially heavier locomotive, and (in the earlier years) slip control was if anything even less effective.

As I think I noted, PRR made frequent use of the BP-20 boosters in freight service (between B-B Sharknose cabs for instance) which is very different from something like trying E units on TrucTrain consists for better speed.  I wouldn't be surprised to see any regeared 'obsolescent' passenger power used as helpers, particularly (as seen) when there's a cab on each end to mitigate the issues of 'seeing out clearly' when backing down.

I don't recall any great use of the NH PAs on freight, however, and I'd argue that's a better comparison if we're considering an actual successful A-1-A passenger unit ... I got the impression that the 539-engined DL109s were not exactly stellar on railroads that actually operated them routinely where 120mph gear speed would be useful.

As I mentioned somewhere today, the first Erie-Built acquired by KCS was explicitly meant as a single 8000hp four-unit locomotive, and even though painted in the Belle scheme, I doubt it was intended primarily as passenger power.

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 3:02 PM

So then the Pennsy PA's were obsolescent as early as when the Decapods were still in use? 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 4:04 PM

Miningman
So then the Pennsy PA's were obsolescent as early as when the Decapods were still in use?

Keep in mind that PRR lost a LOT of passenger business in the relatively early Fifties, quickly enough that they were finding alternative uses for their E8s on fast trailer trains before implementing automatic back transition on them.  There was little need to keep PAs with problematic turbochargers and some other issues in first-line service, more or less as soon as there were enough utterly-reliable E7s and E8s to cover passenger demand.  

I don't have any reference that discusses the use of the Alco cabs, so I don't know if that photograph actually represents PAs in helper service, or even a one-time expedient to get a train started or over the road.  HOPEFULLY someone who knows, or who has the appropriate book(s), will comment further.

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 5:29 PM

Yes, perhaps someone knows more details. If it is a stunning revelation to us imagine what it was to the Pennsy at the time. Millions of dollars on beautiful passenger locomotives that turned out to be somewhat unreliable (244) and other issues and then the reason for buying them vanishes before their eyes. What a blow! The one problem can be fixed in time but the other cannot so they had to at least try repurposing them to something of use. What a shame. Best intentions and all that. 

Anyway while.we wait for further historical clarity here are some additional very strange things:

1) What the?.... are you kidding me?

2) Ok, now I know this is abondoned, vandalized and gone to rust but what is up with that stack and that steam dome! Also could you make the wheels any smaller? 

3) What the redux!

 

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 6:57 PM

#1 is a famous thing -- it's related to the Bulldog Mack the same sort of way the Fordson Tractor is related to the Model T.  A very good, reliable small car mover.

#3 of course is a photoshop job, and not a very good one.  Those bogies are distinctive - Nederlandse Spoorweg electric, from the '50s, I think.  They are covered in the Encyclopedia of World Railway Locomotives.

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 9:41 PM

Mod-man, it's too bad your eyesight kept you from going all the way with ROTC, you would have made a good soldier, I have no doubt of that.  You've got passion, and I admire passion, even if at times I don't agree with some of it.

I'll let you in on a dirty little secret.  MY eyesight's so poor that the only reason I got in the Marine Corps was because they were desperate!  Well, it WAS 1974, and I'm sure you remember what was going on in those days!  Military service wasn't exactly popular at the time, to put it mildly.  Still, there were enough of us interested to keep them in business.  

Otherwise, I'd have had to have gotten my military jollies by joining a Revolutionary War re-enactment group!

It's all good.  I'm glad you're here, we need guys like you.

To echo what you said on another post, I wish Juniatha was here too, but what can you do?  I wonder if she looks in as well.

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 10:05 PM

Miningman

 

2) Ok, now I know this is abondoned, vandalized and gone to rust but what is up with that stack and that steam dome! Also could you make the wheels any smaller? 

 

This was one of the standard Eastern Bloc forestry locomotives, used in Poland Russia and China to my knowledge. The stack is some form of modification, possibly a feed water heater that was not on the standard locomotive.

Peter

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 10:38 PM

M636C/Peter-- I thought perhaps some kind of scrubber or spark arrestor but that's just conjecture. It's a strange looking beast, but many logging locomotives were, which by the way I did not know it was until you told me. I thought perhaps a plantation or something like that.

Overmod-- Darn, I got hoodwinked again, that's twice now. As to the Mack locomotive who the heck can fit into that cab? 

Regardless, thanks to both of you!

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 11:45 PM

Miningman
As to the Mack locomotive who the heck can fit into that cab?

Here's a picture for you with someone inside for scale:

and here is another view with a person for scale:

I know you steam guys are just dying to see the motor under one of those diminutive hoods: small as it is, it's a gas-electric.

Only 9'7" high, and 15'7" over coupler faces (which makes it shorter stood on end than a N&W J is tall...)

 

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, June 27, 2019 12:11 AM

Very nice, thank you. 

Is that fella wearing a suit and tie in the cab while working the switching? 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 27, 2019 12:25 AM

Miningman
Is that fella wearing a suit and tie in the cab while working the switching?

I believe he's a Mack guy from Plainfield doing a demo.

This is, I believe a model BS.  It apparently dates from surprisingly late -- 1927.

You will be amused to know that it apparently has a 6-pin connector so that more than one can run in MU.

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