Some Random Classic Pics perhaps worthy of Discussion

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Posted by York1 on Friday, March 20, 2020 8:04 PM

Miningman, I sent you a PM.

John  --  Saints Fan  

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 20, 2020 8:10 PM

Miningman
BUT the whole duplex drive thing was very much Pennsy's direction and future.

No.

For a while they thought it was, but the bloom came off that rose very quickly.

First they get cozened out of north of $3 million in Depression-era gold-backed dollars by Baldwin, getting a grand-looking engine that never quite did what it should.  Then they work really hard making the answer to a whole bunch of questions that weren't asked right, in the Q1... look how far that design's details wound up in later practice.  Then the Q2s, grand for running 150-car trains at high speed on a railroad ... largely devoted to mineral traffic (only 13.5% 'merchandise' in 1946, said Trains at the time, in the 100th PRR Anniversary issue) and possessed of a hard 50mph speed limit.  Then 50 T1s, and we all know the shuckin' and jivin' that went on with them as early as 1948.

The wave of the future was in the noncondensing turbines, first the S2 and then the various flavors of V1.  And even those went to the curb (in the case of the V1 without even having a prototype built, although the 1944 version would likely have been something of an operational failure) when F7s did everything better and ran across 5 divisions without trouble, too.

PRR along with many other railroads 'lost the peace' in many, many ways; I think they expected along with most others that the newer, better streamliner revolution would surely bring the clientele back as it did in the late Thirties.  But it wasn't going to be steam doing any of the really fast work; look how quickly Milwaukee shucked the As and Fs once it had even relatively conservative diesels ... and how quickly those things went to the dogs, much like GG1s did, when no longer actively maintained...

GM was no overt enemy of PRR or any other railroad; they were not just 'opportunists' but followed the Sloan game plan to enter and win the motive-power wars.  And no company did it better, or more successfully, than they did.  Note that GM did not get into the aviation business, even as a bit player, which would surely be a tactic if they intended to promulgate a "NCL" model to destroy part of an industry.  Just because they'd sell more trucks than locomotives doesn't mean they were actively lobbying against railroads ... just for more free roads.  Consumers did the rest... admittedly, hornswoggled by Insolent Chariots social engineering and marketing, but not as a conspiracy to ruin railroads.

My take on PRR coming apart is more rooted in hidebound Philadelphia arrogance, and refusal to understand how things were changing.  They got all the way through formalizing the legalities of the merger without determining their dispatch and computer systems were not only howlingly primitive but utterly incompatible.  Then threw out Perlman and all his wise practices in favor of ... well, it's a little hard to figure out what the priority was going to be.  

Everything I read when I was young essentially said NYC didn't have much of a pot to piss in after Young shot himself, and just got worse and worse to the point PRR was supposed to stop the shoestringing.  Come to find PRR had not much of a pot either, and some decidedly poor ways to aim the streams.

They still had soul in the Sixties; it just wasn't enough to carry them in the grand manner to which they had become expected.  Had they fought for deregulation then... oh wait, they wouldn't.  They'd have to appeal to the wrong sort of politicians anyway, who wouldn't give the arrogant Pennsylvania anything but a bigger tax bill to please actually voting constituencies.

I almost can't imagine how bad it would have been if they'd engaged in the amount of indebtedness involved in the Sam Rea line, shortcuts in New Jersey, and faster line bypassing Pittsburgh for the passenger trains -- only to find that even nine-hour trains to Chicago wouldn't sell.  Heck, they shucked the Atglen and Susquehanna and there were far more reasons to retain that than a high-maintenance bridge line largely in tunnels through low-inhabited nonindustrial parts of Pennsylvania. 

Frimbo basically had the word on how the government paid PRR, and most other railroads, back after WWII: they couldn't even be bothered to lift the 10% 'war tax' long after there was no war to gouge the railroads over.  I have not forgotten the clever little scam with the 'land grant' mileage, either.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, March 20, 2020 9:10 PM

Overmod

Frimbo basically had the word on how the government paid PRR, and most other railroads, back after WWII: they couldn't even be bothered to lift the 10% 'war tax' long after there was no war to gouge the railroads over.  I have not forgotten the clever little scam with the 'land grant' mileage, either.

That deal sounds about as square as the one Roscoe Arbuckle got.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 20, 2020 10:49 PM

Well thank you for the reply Overmod. It is an historical account and quite accurate with the facts as selected. 

My fictional conversation between the President of the PRR and the Head of Motive Power staring at the Q2 live, as it is in the photograph, captures the 'essence' of what I think was going on. 

I hardly think that the Pennsy or the Central with their history and important real estate holdings, their credibility and power in society, their ability to tap into the very being of the USA, not to mention an army of blue chip lawyers, and probably some pretty darn good Saul Goodman shady types made them helpless dupes. 

Maybe they had to play hardball, even dirty hardball,  and not turn their back on what they were, recognize what they have, appreciate and draw strength from the roundhouse and their 100 years acquired expertise and stuck with what they do best and fight on. 

As an armchair quarterback ..what did they have to lose? 

By the time those scrapyard brothers got around to torching the T1's in maybe '56-'57 those expensive first generation Diesels Pennsy was in such a rush to get were right behind them. Double down loss. 

The steam was perfectly fine and could have lasted to 1970, but of course that's not what happened and they betrayed and scorned themselves. 

Just a dreamer and a romantic trying to see it another way. 

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Posted by M636C on Friday, March 20, 2020 11:56 PM

Note that GM did not get into the aviation business, even as a bit player, which would surely be a tactic if they intended to promulgate a "NCL" model to destroy part of an industry.

GM were a big supplier to the aviation industry.

Allison supplied most of the engines for USAAF fighter aircraft (P-39, P-40) until the Rolls Royce Merlin was built under licence by Packard.

Post war, Allison turboprops powered the hundreds of C-130s and P-3 Orions (and a few commercial Electras).

They still supply the engines for the Marines' V-22, although Rolls Royce own Allison and Detroit Diesel now. This ownership is the result of GM going the same way as the PRR.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 21, 2020 4:46 AM

I don't know if this is Crestline - if I'm not mistaken the picture is taken right in front of an 'extended' stall of the kind built for the S1, but as of 1942 Crestline didn't have such a stall in that location:

http://www.crestlineprr.com/trackchart.jpg

Could it have been Fort Wayne?

 

Miningman
Try this conversation or  How the Pennsy went bust.

Pres. of the PRR-- " Ahhh, one of those Q2's, won the war for us, and they are still nearly new! What a great locomotive! The future looks bright for us!"

Head of Motive Power-- "Well sir we are scrapping them"

Pres.--" Whaaat? Explain yourself"

Head of Motive Power-- "Well, they cost much more to operate than our J1 2-10-4s, and there is very little operational performance difference, or maintenance saved through use of the duplex principle, at the speed we run freight.  We didn't specify the antislip gear correctly, either, and it turns out many of our men have trouble operating our duplex locomotives with front-end throttles correctly without that device working.  Their water rate is through the roof -- not as bad as the turbines, but we can only carry enough even in our largest tenders for about 150 miles over the road."

We're also looking at Diesels sir, Diesels... they're better. Cost a bit more but well worth it.  Our major locomotive builders say it's the way of the future.  We can get most of the advantage of our 1943 plan to electrify the railroad from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh without the expense.  And we don't have to put in turntables or long wyes to turn them.  And it looks like the cost of maintenance and supply of steam locomotives is going through the roof, much more than catering to our online coal producers can save."

Pres.-- "How much more are these Diesels?"

Head of Motive Power--"Well about three times the first cost, for equivalent horsepower; but they do things a Q2 won't like start any train they can pull, so we only need four of them to replace one 8000hp Q2 or V1.  And this guy Dilworth points out we can use the individual units into smaller sets to suit train size, so since we no longer have wartime loads to justify 7500 horsepower per train this looks particularly useful to us going forward."

Pres.-- " Hmmm... twelve times the cost to replace each nearly new Q2... that hurts, but look what we save in infrastructure, maintenance and idle-time cost over the years, if the builders are telling us the truth about Diesel reliability and in-service availability ... and maybe we can get some of our money back on the duplexes by making them out to be dogs ... good job! Well done!"

It might also be mentioned that fixing the Q2 slip control to the extent of providing active traction control through a split independent brake neatly gets around many of the issues with putting the power to the ground, certainlly better than the bang-bang design of butterfly valve in superheated steam that got built.  There was no problem with the frankly fascinating computer that did the slip assessment and correction, only with the (crude) mechanism tinkering with the steam flow -- problem was that it was designed only as an emergency device, like penalty-brake systems in '20s ATC, so no continuous operation or sophistication in steam modulation was involved ... for all the trouble and expense, and at least in 20/20 hindsight the utter necessity, of providing autonomic slip control on high-power duplexes run near the limits of their capacity.

I won't go into the disaster that was their boilers as built, except to note that while welded boilers would have fixed the problems even more expediently than it did on 'certain other roads', neither PRR nor Baldwin had invested (as Alco did) in the necessary technology to make them right, and that's a big and complex boiler to have to fabricate.  If they had shared follow-on use of the boiler with other projects -- notably with N&W and Lehigh Valley, and on the second-generation mechanical turbines -- there might have been something in it.  But if you're going to higher and higher technology to get locomotives to run on the cheapest coal without training your people how to benefit from all the wizardry ... expect to be leveraged out very fast when the cost of your 'cheapness' goes west in the postwar economy while you are constrained to run the thing to its full appetite in a world that no longer monetarily values what it does for all that expense.

I should have been more specific with respect to GM in aviation that I meant actual airplanes -- as with GM building automobiles and not just components for 'assembled cars' elsewhere, or making locomotives at EMC and not just powerplants via Winton/Cleveland for 'serious' locomotive builders of the day.  And it's not as if GM didn't try building aircraft -- just that I, and you, and probably anyone else, would really rather forget what happened when they did...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, March 21, 2020 11:11 AM

Ah me, the death of steam, the death of the PRR, the death of the NYC.

"The head understands, but the heart never will."

Maybe railroad empires are like other empires, or "...players who strut and fret their hour upon the stage, then are seen no more."  

Wasn't Bill Shakespeare a genius?  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, March 21, 2020 11:12 AM

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, March 21, 2020 11:10 PM

Miningman
Maybe they had to play hardball, even dirty hardball,  and not turn their back on what they were, recognize what they have, appreciate and draw strength from the roundhouse and their 100 years acquired expertise and stuck with what they do best and fight on. 

On Wall Street, 100 years of success means nothing the minute you start loosing money.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, March 23, 2020 5:32 PM

Of Ferries and Barges, Street Running, more Missouri Pacific stuff, and things straight from Hades!

 

1)  SS Ann Arbor #5 ... capacity 30 cars. Busy place.

 

2)  Southern Pacific ferry barge the 'Mastodon' with passenger train crossing the Mississippi at New Orleans.

 

3)  Fifth St. Layfayette, Indiana.  The Monon is the Big Man on Campus!

 

4)  Monroe St. Passaic, New Jersey. 

 

5)  The Erie running downtown in Passaic, NJ. For our Erie and Jersey fans of which I know there are at least 2 here!

 

6)  Almost the Missouri Pacific, sort of.  National Railways of Mexico FP4A with the Aztec Eagle , Mexico City to Nuevo Laredo near the border with Laredo, Texas.

 

7)  Missouri Pacific Baby Face Baldwin.

8)  MoPacs passenger trains had a very pleasing colour scheme. Exquisite!

 9)  The Chessie Turbine looks like it just arrived from Hades! Or the Twilight Zone. In any case pretty dramatic photo.  Also look at all the 'hats' hanging around. Methinks something went wrong .... as usual.

 

10)  Is it just me or does that Proctor and Gamble locomotive have a really large bell. Plenty of room to swing it too! 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, March 23, 2020 7:08 PM

Miningman
6) Almost the Missouri Pacific, sort of. National Railways of Mexico PA with the Aztec Eagle , Mexico City to Nuevo Laredo near the border with Laredo, Texas.

Almost the Continental...  NdeM had FPA4s, just like CN.  The PAs came a lot later.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, March 23, 2020 7:28 PM

 Who cares about the bell?

What on earth is the locomotive?

It appears to have Blunt trucks suggesting it started life as an Alco S1 or S3. It has an EMD hood, so it must have been re-engined with an EMD at some time.  It has a non standard low clearance cab. But look at that exhaust stack just near the radiator grille. This unit must have been re-engined a second time with a small Caterpillar or Cummins engine.

Peter

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, March 23, 2020 7:40 PM

rcdrye-- Ok thanks! Sure had me fooled. An FP4A it is! Went too fast and didn't look at the trucks..again! Clearly B-B. 

M636c-- research time!!  See what I can dig up !

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, March 23, 2020 8:53 PM

Under whose cat wire is the Chessie turbine running?  PRR near Washington?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, March 23, 2020 10:12 PM

Ah yes, the old Erie mainline through Passaic NJ.  It lasted up to around 1960 or so, then instead of a convenience for train riders it became a royal PITA, so it was re-routed outside of the downtown area.  

But at the time it sure was dramatic, wasn't it?

Monroe Street in Passaic?  That's the Erie's old Dundee (industrial) Spur, abandoned for good in 2019 after the last customer left.  

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Monday, March 23, 2020 11:11 PM

Miningman

 

3)  Fifth St. Layfayette, Indiana.  The Monon is the Big Man on Campus!

 

My son, the Purdue freshman, thinks he knows where that picture was taken. I crossed Fifth street several times last October when my wife and were visiting him. FWIW, Purdue is across the river in West Lafayette.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, March 23, 2020 11:25 PM

Flintlock-- Yes! ...the photo caption called the train 'The Dundee' I didn't include it in the description. 

Midland Mike-- Not sure where, no help from the photo, just a date 1948.   Someone here will know. 

M636-- No help from the photo. Still searching 

Erik_Mag-- Always cool when you know the exact location and you've been there recognized from a photo years later! 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 12:50 AM

M636C---,   This is what I could find.

It served in Port Ivory, Staten Island, until 1991.

It was called The Mutt. Had no number.

It had an Alco frame with Blunt trucks, from a S1 or S3.

It was built by Chattahoochie Locomotives in Conyers, Georgia   

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 10:55 AM

M636C
What on earth is the locomotive?

If I'm not mistaken, we had a fairly recent thread involving either this locomotive or one very like it -- now painted white, and in some danger of being scrapped.  Perhaps this jogs someone's better memory.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 11:52 AM

Erik_Mag and all--  Another pic of Fifth St. Layfayette, Indiana but this time back in the day with steam. That must have been quite the sight.

Crew has the smoke under control. 

  

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 1:43 PM

 

Amazing what is to be found out there.

Thank You.
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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, March 26, 2020 11:27 PM

1)  Last train on Division St. in Evansville, Indiana. July 31, 1973.

Four car L&N consist , aboard the Mayor and other city officials. Street running replaced by a new by pass.

 

2)  Union Pacific M-10000 .. in Buffalo of all places. Sure got around!

 

3)  Now where oh where is my engine?  Very busy! A scene we are lucky to have captured on film as we will never see the sights of this again.

 

4)  South Goa, India.  Train crosses over incredible waterfall. 

 

5)  Those were the days. Sandusky passengers could transfer to steamers on Lake Erie. Something Overmod has lamented is gone now.

 

6)  St. Petersburg Florida 1954.  Passenger trains ran through the streets of St. Petersburg causing massive traffic jams! I don't even see any gates! 

 

7)  Juniata Scale - Weigh Instruments 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, March 27, 2020 8:11 PM

Miningman
5) Those were the days. Sandusky passengers could transfer to steamers on Lake Erie. Something Overmod has lamented is gone now.

A closer look.

Looking the other way:

This was the pier at the park:

 +

Non postcard version:

I like this one:

This one's great too:

The pier was destroyed when on June 28, 1924 a massive tornado tore through Sandusky.

This is the "new pier" built after.

Some of the regular steamers.  The A Wherle Jr:

The Arrow:

The Goodtime:

And the Eastland:

 

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, March 27, 2020 8:21 PM

Oh wow, steam trains, steam ships, what a fun way to get around! 

The sun, the sky, and a whiff of coal smoke to round it all off.  Big Smile

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 27, 2020 9:15 PM

That's the spirit Penny! Can't beat Lake Erie on both sides! I can smell the fries and malt vinegar right through the computer...... And all the glorious places to dine in splendour. CASO on the other side and a host of Electric Lines. A very rich fulfilling life. 

Was worried I wasn't going to get a single comment so thanks for that too Penny. Lordy I miss Lake Erie in the summer, actually any time. 

Celery bread here I come! 

 

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, March 27, 2020 10:05 PM

Were those boats coming from Sandusky, or were they coming from places like Cleveland, or maybe other places?

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 27, 2020 10:28 PM
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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 28, 2020 8:18 AM

Recall taking a ferry from a slip West of downtown Sandusky to Put-in-Bay on a vacation in 1972.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, March 28, 2020 9:42 AM

The pier was also served by Lake Shore Electric! The spur ended just short of the pier.  Interline service from Mansfield was offered from 1909-1912, and through trains from Cleveland and Detroit brought passengers as well, with summer excursion trains common until the 1930s.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, March 28, 2020 7:20 PM

Well this led to something I never saw before!  Check this out:

The photo description reads:

 

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

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