Altoona

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Altoona
Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 02, 2019 12:17 PM
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, August 02, 2019 12:55 PM

What an absolutely stunning video!  Almost moved me to tears!

Thanks Mike for finding it!  And thanks Vince for passing it on!

Maybe one day we'll have Overmod's (and my) fondest wish come true and see 4014 roaring through those magnificent mountains on it's way east for further adventures. 

Big steam belongs  in those mountains!

Not a super-big Pennsy fan, but all I can say is...

Altoona aeterna est!  

 

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Posted by Fr.Al on Friday, August 02, 2019 2:03 PM

It has been speculated that Big Boy might have a problem with the curve. I'd like to hear from the experts.

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Posted by timz on Friday, August 02, 2019 6:35 PM

Horseshoe Curve is less than 10 degrees -- would any engine ever built have a problem with it?

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 02, 2019 6:46 PM

Gotta love those LIRR cars in the picture -- MP70s, in town for rebuilding?

Here's a page on them for the interested...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, August 02, 2019 8:48 PM

Lawn Gyland MP70s.  Real New Yorkers, always showing up where they're least expected!.  Wink

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, August 02, 2019 9:09 PM

I first visited Altoona in the early 80's and saw the long lines of dead power there.  I could just imagine what it was like in its heyday.  As my username suggests, I have a special interest in railroad ercting/backshops.  I've seen Paducah, Collinwood, Reading, Colonie and many others, but Altoona dwarfs them all, in both size and aura.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 03, 2019 12:42 AM
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, August 03, 2019 8:39 AM

Oh wow, "The Freight Wreck At Altoona!"

That old song's been part of a private joke between myself and Lady Firestorm since we read "Scalded To Death By The Steam," that history and anthology of classic train wreck songs.  Man, there used to be a LOT of them!

Joke goes like this...

"The Wreck Of The Old Number One."

"The Wreck Of The Old Number Two."

"The Wreck Of The Old Number Three."

"The Wreck Of The Old Number Four."  AND...

"The Freight Wreck At Altoona!"   

Spoken in a apropriately grim voice.

Mike strikes again!  Thanks Mike, and thanks Vince for passing it on!

Seems kind of up-beat for a wreck song though, doesn't it?

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 03, 2019 2:47 PM
Altoona Tribune, Aug. 8, 1949
 
“An engineer from Denmark suggested that since the first railroad shop in the world had been built at Altona in that country, the new railroad town could well be named for it. The extra "o" made the name a bit more individual.”
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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:44 PM
"In the twentieth century, the Pennsylvania Railroad often promoted itself as the "Standard Railroad of the World." Among its many achievements, it could claim, in 1945, over 16 percent of all passenger miles in the U.S. It was among the first to use coal-burning locomotives, steel rails, and air brakes; and its Altoona shops, the largest railroad-owned construction shops in the country, had been the training ground for many American railroad builders and engineers.The company saw itself as setting the "standard" by which all railroads should be run and against which all railroads might be measured. In another sense, however, the railroad, particularly in its shops at Altoona, pioneered in standardization itself. At Altoona, the railroad introduced standard car designs in 1859, standard locomotive classes in 1868, and, with the establishment of the first railroad test department in 1874, standard product specifications."

 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:45 PM
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 10:18 AM

Agent: They hated you in Mechanicsville (D&H).

Burns:  But they loved me in Altoona.

Burns and Allen learned their craft the hard way on the vaudeville circuit, bombing in some places and wowing them in others.

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, August 28, 2019 11:33 AM

Miningman
A railfan dream.

And not a word about the pending electrification all the way to Harrisburg, and the DD2 being tested to optimize performance on it, or any of the pending thought even at that time to extend it over the mountains to Pittsburgh, prioritized as late as 1943...

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 11:37 AM

It's all about the steam baby, all about the steam.

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 1:35 PM

Miningman
 A railfan dream.

I have a flyer from the Great Altoona Tour from the Chicago side:

 PRR_tour_cover by Edmund, on Flickr

 PRR_tour_inside by Edmund, on Flickr

 PRR_tour_back by Edmund, on Flickr


 

Another Altoona Treat!

 

 RR_views_0035 by Edmund, on Flickr

 RR_views_0034 by Edmund, on Flickr

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 3:46 PM

Wow!  A Mack pumper!

Even the PRR's Altoona Works Fire Department had pure class!

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 9:47 PM

Some more of the story of that Model L (built 1941) including a picture of it in yellow (!) with Conrail lettering (!!)

https://yngfire.com/index.php?threads/pennsylvania-rr-fd-altoona-pa-1895-1985.12642/

Says they ran their Ahrens-Fox all the way to 1965!

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 11:34 PM

Fascinating.. good find! 

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 30, 2019 9:05 AM

Not to be outdone by Pennsy, the New York Central organizes a big railfan trip.

Beats them to the punch by a month.

 
 
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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, August 31, 2019 3:09 AM

Miningman
Not to be outdone by Pennsy, the New York Central organizes a big railfan trip.

Wouldn't 'ya know. I happen to have the brochure from that trip Smile (no, sadly, I wasn't in attendance).

 NYC_Alco by Edmund, on Flickr

 NYC_Alco_0003 by Edmund, on Flickr

 NYC_Alco_0004 by Edmund, on Flickr

 NYC_Alco_0005 by Edmund, on Flickr

 NYC_Alco_0006 by Edmund, on Flickr

 NYC_Alco_0007 by Edmund, on Flickr

 NYC_Alco_0008 by Edmund, on Flickr

 NYC_Alco_0009 by Edmund, on Flickr

A wonderful time was had by all—

As far as I can discern this is the only recognizable remaining structure still standing from the Alco complex:

 Alco_site5 by Edmund, on Flickr

I have highlighted the same building in this aeroplane view:

 Alco_remains by Edmund, on Flickr

 A casino and brewery have recently been added to the site. Sad

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, October 04, 2019 7:24 AM

Miningman

The is the first I have EVER heard of this 16 cylinder steam project.

My father, being 14 at the time of the Fair of the Iron Horse, purchased a set of 'stereo slides' and the appropriate viewer that was sold about the event. I have the set and it is mostly complete (a slide ot two may be missing).  The location where I closed out my career was on the property where the Fair of the Iron Horse was held.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, October 04, 2019 10:58 AM

That mention of the "Railroad Wonder Trip" reminded me of something.

I've got a superb DVD called "Northeastern Steam 1935-1937" where an NYC "Wonder Trip" is shown, also a few other rail enthusiasts trips as well, PRR, NH, and others. Restored footage and well done.

56 minutes long, it's available from Anchor Videos, http://www.train-video.com  

Here's the direct link, http://www.train-video.com/rvp202d.html  

I recommend it highly!

I've met the seller at a number of train shows, nice guy!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, October 05, 2019 3:55 AM

Miningman

Thanks a lot for these useful links, Vince. Those are some very high-quality photos of B&O's 4-4-4, 4-6-4 and 4-4-4-4!

 

https://collections.digitalmaryland.org/digital/collection/mdbo/search

First time ever looking at this untouched up conceptual drawing of The B&O Class W-1 Besler Type 4-2-2-2-2-4 (click to enlarge)! In other touched-up versions, there are four B&O logos on the journal box of the drivers on the streamlined shrouding, and the four individual “Besler” steam engine inside the skirt was interpreted as a leaf springs due to the shape of the Besler steam engine. In this "original" drawing, all Besler steam engines were covered by the skirt and visible from outside through the grills.

 

A Europe example, DRB Class 19.10

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 05, 2019 9:06 AM

The W-1 design has outside frames, and those leaf springs are functional suspension.  

Unlike the Roosen motor locomotive, which has outside motors and 'end drive' similar to quill drive on one end of each axle (the motors alternating by side), the W-1 motors are mounted centrally, between the drivers, with cylinders acting vertically past both the front and back sides of the axle.

Note the 55:19 gear ratio, which gives the equivalent of about 92 strokes per revolution per engine, but will force the engine to move at high cyclic rpm during any drifting.  Interesting to contemplate the high-speed-slipping potential of this engine in service.

  They have very little shock attenuation visible in their gear drive, and I can't imagine that maintaining the steam, exhaust, lube and control connections in that area, even with the skirts providing a partial low-pressure area (or with a full belly pan from pilot to ashpan), would have been a pleasant ongoing experience.  If only Emerson had lived a couple of years longer, or the war not intervened...

MEANWHILE does anyone here have data on the actual layout, design, or operation of the B&O's short flirtation with front-end stokers around the time we became involved in WWII?  Supposedly over 70 locomotives were so equipped ... yet I can't find any real technical discussion of either the approach or its implementation.  I have my suspicions on what happened, but I'd like to know more actual historical fact...

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, October 05, 2019 7:02 PM

Overmod

The W-1 design has outside frames, and those leaf springs are functional suspension.  

Unlike the Roosen motor locomotive, which has outside motors and 'end drive' similar to quill drive on one end of each axle (the motors alternating by side), the W-1 motors are mounted centrally, between the drivers, with cylinders acting vertically past both the front and back sides of the axle.

Note the 55:19 gear ratio, which gives the equivalent of about 92 strokes per revolution per engine, but will force the engine to move at high cyclic rpm during any drifting.  Interesting to contemplate the high-speed-slipping potential of this engine in service.

  They have very little shock attenuation visible in their gear drive, and I can't imagine that maintaining the steam, exhaust, lube and control connections in that area, even with the skirts providing a partial low-pressure area (or with a full belly pan from pilot to ashpan), would have been a pleasant ongoing experience.  If only Emerson had lived a couple of years longer, or the war not intervened...

MEANWHILE does anyone here have data on the actual layout, design, or operation of the B&O's short flirtation with front-end stokers around the time we became involved in WWII?  Supposedly over 70 locomotives were so equipped ... yet I can't find any real technical discussion of either the approach or its implementation.  I have my suspicions on what happened, but I'd like to know more actual historical fact... 

Thanks, Overmod. That means the untouched up drawing I posted was actually showing the unfinalized W-1 without much detail of the Besler steam engine and the outside frame.

Four pairs of heavy steam motors like this mounted on the driving wheel axles without adequate shock-absorbing device, all of them would be bouncing with the axles when the driving wheels hitting the seams between the rail, switches ..... probably only works "better" on seamless rail I guess? CoffeeSurprise

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, October 05, 2019 9:42 PM

Wow, what is that thing?  It accelerated like a scalded cat, and then some!

Rough road indeed!  Reminds me of a story...

A railroad track maintanance foreman was riding in the cab when the engineer turned to him and said, "You know, it takes a lot of nerve to sit up here and run one of these things!"

"Really?"  said the foreman.  "It takes a lot  more nerve for me to sit up here and ride with you!"

"How so?"

 know what you're ridin' on!"

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, October 05, 2019 11:29 PM

Flintlock76

Wow, what is that thing?  It accelerated like a scalded cat, and then some!

Rough road indeed!  Reminds me of a story...

A railroad track maintanance foreman was riding in the cab when the engineer turned to him and said, "You know, it takes a lot of nerve to sit up here and run one of these things!"

"Really?"  said the foreman.  "It takes a lot  more nerve for me to sit up here and ride with you!"

"How so?"

 know what you're ridin' on!"

Love your story, Wayne. Smile Such a humorous way to teach that arrogant engineer a lesson, reminds him of the spirit of cooperation in railroading. The maintenance foreman ensures the train track is safe for every single train to run on it, the engineer ensures the train arrives at the destination safe and on time; everyone is equally important. Their salaries would be different though, but a person who is humble and helpful would bring him good things that money can't buy. 

Speaking of workplace relationship, a trainwreck happened in Springer, New Mexico, Sep 1956 comes to my mind. A Santa Fe Chief run head-on into a mail train. If I remember correctly, I read somewhere that the engineer on the Chief had a beef with the engineer on the mail train. Although it had nothing to do with the accident, it is noted by the related authorities during the investigation. 

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