Some Random Classic Pics perhaps worthy of Discussion

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, January 12, 2020 2:45 PM

Firelock/Wayne-- I believe the Rutland baggage car is at Steamtown. 

As for the UP steam turbines here's a bit of their story. It seems to indicate they preformed well at the end for the Great Northern. It does seem a bit vague and mysterious why they would be discarded in the middle of a war though. 

This is kind of cool though...  " It There was one more locomotive superficially near-similar to M-10003-10006 but using an entirely different source of power. For two one-month periods in 1939, UP operated a two-unit, 5,000-horsepower steam turbine-electric locomotive built by General Electric. It was completed in December 1938 and delivered to UP at Omaha, Neb., on April 3, 1939. Union Pacific historians William Kratville and Harold Ranks described the promise of the pair, writing that the steam turbines "were lauded as replacement to steam—successor of diesels."

 completed in December 1938 and delivered to UP at Omaha, Neb., on April 3, 1939. Union Pacific historians William Kratville and Harold Ranks described the promise of the pair, writing that the steam turbines "were lauded as Numbered UP 1 and 2, the two steam turbine units each generated 2,500 horsepower, and burned oil to produce the steam for the units' turbines. Built by GE under contract to Union Pacific, they were the first railway turbine locomotives built in North America. They also represented GE's only attempt at steam-powered locomotives. The two locomotives were under construction during most of two years, with a final built date of December 1938, although a photograph dated December 24, 1937, shows them about 95 percent completed. Both units were tested extensively on GE's test track at its Erie (Pa.) plant until final road testing, which took place on New York Central from January through March 1939.

The two locomotives worked their way to Council Bluffs, Iowa, over NYC and Chicago & North Western, and as noted, were delivered to UP on April 3, 1939. During April, they operated in several test and publicity trains between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyo., between Cheyenne and Denver, and from Cheyenne to Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. They were in Los Angeles for the grand opening of the new Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal. They returned to Omaha and were displayed near that city's downtown on April 27, 28, and 29, 1939, during the world premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's epic film "Union Pacific" on April 28. During the first two weeks of May 1939, they completed a whirlwind movie promotion tour of the eastern states for Paramount Studios, including an exhibition for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They returned to UP and made several trips as separate units on passenger trains between Omaha and Denver. In early June, they were reunited and used to take the Paramount movie special back to Los Angeles, after which they returned to Omaha.

Despite all of that high-profile activity, the tests had shown that the steam turbine concept was not quite ready for railroad service, due mostly to the units' low reliability and increased maintenance. Several minor failures had occurred, and at least one major road failure, in which a 2800-class Pacific pulled the pair and their train from Colorado into Omaha. Simply put, the two units were unsuccessful during UP's tests in long-haul service and never entered regular revenue service.

The locomotives were returned to General Electric on June 17, 1939, via Chicago. Representatives from both UP and GE continued to work at improving the units' reliability, with cold-weather tests taking place on New York Central. A February 1941 report by a UP staff engineer was positive in its contents, but by the end of 1941, it was obvious to UP that the design was not what it wanted. On December 18, 1941, UP President William Jeffers notified GE that the railroad had no further interest in the project. After UP pulled out of the project, the units were repainted dark gray and renumbered to GE 1 and 2. During 1943, they were leased to Great Northern Railway for nearly a year for wartime short-haul freight service in Washington, performing without major failure. By late 1943, they were returned to GE and retired.

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, January 12, 2020 2:55 PM

Interesting reading Vince!  I suppose those units were just a little too "oddball" for railroad management of the time to get any acceptance.  And it could be with dieselization coming over the horizon they may have figured "If we're going to burn oil for a fuel, it might as well be in the most efficient way possible."

Just another interesting "might have been."

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, January 12, 2020 3:05 PM

Added a bit more . Seems they were hopeful and touted this as the successor to Diesels!

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, January 12, 2020 9:32 PM

The problem is that they were successors to E3s in the way the Niagaras could be competitive with E7s.  All that length and complexity for only 2500hp a unit, too.  Much the same economics that killed the 6000hp modular Essl Baldwin of about the same era was the real doom of this idea... as would be the case really for any steam/turbine electric.

What put the nail in the operational coffin was the obligate condensing.  This was a 1500psi design with an exhaust plenum many times the turbine size and (as with the ACE 3000) any time there was a glitch in the function or the recirculation, there was likely to be Confusion and Delay in the offing.  I suspect winter on the GN was far kinder to the shuttered arrangement, in addition to whatever refinements to the machinery were made...

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, January 13, 2020 3:49 PM

I so wish that the UP Steam Turbine Sisters was a success but unfortunately they were another disappointment of the magic year 1939. The only thing I don't like about them is that they had been designed to operate together "elephant style", nose to tail instead of tail to tail like the Baldwin DR-12-8-1500/2. The brass train model of them is beautiful, especially after some lighting effect enhancement, but the "gigantic" nose of E3s and the UP Steam Turbine Sisters was not for everyone. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 13, 2020 4:33 PM

The nose is nowhere near as bulbous in line as it appears in some of those photographs, including at least two in the YouTube pastiche that are displaying in 'stretch' aspect ratio to common effect.

The 'streamliner' corrugated siding around the windows is not metal fluting, as on passenger cars: it is vent grilles.  As I recall there was a lot of optional venting, much of it made to be blocked off in the wintertime.

You would not run these back-to-back because the condensers would interfere with each other if you did.  There was a relatively large swept area back there.  My HO scale models have a fun little detail: all the vertical louvers move in sync when you push them with a toothpick!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, January 13, 2020 5:13 PM

Great films Mr. Jones, thanks for posting them!

And thanks for the "Why no back-to-back running?" explaination Mod-Man, you saved me the trouble of asking.  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, January 13, 2020 6:20 PM

Overmod

The nose is nowhere near as bulbous in line as it appears in some of those photographs, including at least two in the YouTube pastiche that are displaying in 'stretch' aspect ratio to common effect.

The 'streamliner' corrugated siding around the windows is not metal fluting, as on passenger cars: it is vent grilles.  As I recall there was a lot of optional venting, much of it made to be blocked off in the wintertime.

You would not run these back-to-back because the condensers would interfere with each other if you did.  There was a relatively large swept area back there.  My HO scale models have a fun little detail: all the vertical louvers move in sync when you push them with a toothpick!

Interesting detail on the real engine and your HO scale model as well! This is the lighting mod on the Overland version:

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 13, 2020 7:38 PM

Hey, I didn't realize the Overland used electroluminescent panels on the nose!  I could put them on mine!

Sad that neither engine did the chassis with proper detail.  It deserved better than to be painted brown.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, January 13, 2020 8:50 PM

Overmod

Hey, I didn't realize the Overland used electroluminescent panels on the nose!  I could put them on mine!

Sad that neither engine did the chassis with proper detail.  It deserved better than to be painted brown.

It is modded. There was a video showing a collector modifying the UP steam turbine. The original panels had a tiny light bulb under it. Toleration is inevitable even after you spent several thousand for an HO scale model; there is always at least one mistake, some minor damaged parts, and running problem... 

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 5:19 AM

Looking at the early colour film, it appeared to me that the turbines were grey below the yellow and not brown. The first City trains were brown but LA4/5/6 and SF 4/5/6 were grey. Since the Turbines were between these either is possible but it looks grey to me.

Shouldn't the model sound be that of the condenser cooling fans rather than the hiss of steam?

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 5:56 AM

All the discussions I've read indicate the brown running gear.  I wholeheartedly believe that gray would have been better even if retaining brown on the car body; I did not like the brown roof, either, and would think it better in the later Harbor Mist.

I don't think any modeler has much of an idea what these things would sound like in operation, and have just assigned likely files to various CVs as they think seems appropriate.  There would be flash-boiler noise reasonably predictable from the sound signature of something like a big OK-series Vapor-Carlson steam generator, and probably some blowing or gurgling from condensate ... but little audible steam hissing, even when running at high power but low speed.  This raises the question of the sound of train-heat steam generation, which sure didn't come from the distilled water in the turbine circuit...

Plenty of gear noise and various ticks and spangs from the underframes. with age.  This might be cribbed from GG1s, with editing of frequencies and power spectra to reflect the differences in motors and final drive.

Most of the noise is indeed going to be condenser and other fan noise, and it will need to be varied in 'swell' as the louver sections modulate open and closed and various winter panels come to be applied behind the grilles.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:54 AM

The electric motor noise would depend on how the motors were mounted in the trucks.  My guess is that the chassis is basically a Cincinatti Union Terminal "P Motor" with GE 746 motors, which would be about the right size for the job.  A GG1 would have more clicks due to the quill drive and dual motors per axle.

UP already had 5400HP E2s in service at the time the steam turbines showed up.  My guess is that the relative ease of maintenance was pretty obvious to UP folks, along with the ability to de-rate the E2s in blocks of 900HP, not 2500.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 8:55 AM

I think this is right about the motoring - single motor and pinion, but if I remember correctly the motors built in a CUT P-motor are a bit different (and this facilitated their rebuilding from 3000V to 750V when opportunity came; we had a thread on these.)

Suspect UP would still be comparing these to a FEF, "100%" of which would be 'derated' if not working.  I think E2s still had those cable hoists on runners so riding maintainers could change out engine components on the fly...

It is possible that the GE turbines were billed as 'low maintenance' especially compared to contemporary reciprocating steam power.  They certainly had a better water rate ... even at the worst of times! ... compared to any other Union Pacific steam power.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 9:56 PM

rcdrye
Cincinatti Union Terminal "P Motor"

That was another Ohio city, Cleveland

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 10:53 PM

Great discussions. 

Someone will know what's happening here. Lehigh Valley with FA-FB-FA, ( think that's a 5 not a 6, but maybe it is 6 then it's a PA)  a long string of heavyweights and a switcher on the end. Must be at one of their shops? It's a bit unusual.

 

#2 Sticking with Lehigh Valley. This is just too great!

 

#3  A Lehigh Valley hat trick tonight.  Nice to know the Central had some competition on on the Honeymoon business!

 

4) One for the Erie fans. A very proud moment, all is well on the Erie.

 

#5  Not railroad but Classic .. Sweet Caps are long gone, O'Keefe Ale long gone, suspect the store is long gone as well... and the cart.  Corner of Markham and Queen in Toronto. The Streetcars still roam Queen though! 

 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 11:04 PM

Miningman

Great discussions. 

Someone will know what's happening here. Lehigh Valley with FA-FB-FA, ( think that's a 5 not a 6, but maybe it is 6 then it's a PA)  a long string of heavyweights and a switcher on the end. Must be at one of their shops? It's a bit unusual.

I see steam generator vents on all three units.

The lead unit is FPA-2 594, one of two purchased by LV.  They also got two FPB-2's.  So that photo contains 75% of the small fleet. 

For about a year in 1954-1955 594 and B-unit 583 were used to test the then-new ALCO 251 engine.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 11:16 PM

Wow. Jackpot! Thanks Dude, really interesting and great info. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:31 AM

Ah, pictures three, four, and five...

If I remember the drill correctly, Lehigh Valley trains were pulled into and out of New York's Pennsylvania Station by the PRR.  They were received from and handed off to the Lehigh Valley at the Waverly Avenue interchange in Newark NJ.  Obviously the Valley's locomotives (steam or diesel) couldn't operate through the Hudson River tunnels.

Awesome shot of that Erie diesel "blowing it's nose!"  I don't think it's Jersey City, Chicago maybe?

Nice nostalgic shot of that corner store, a nice reminder of the days when most neighborhoods had one.  I think  "Sweet Caporals" lasted into the 1960's, in the American market anyway.  I've heard of O'Keefe's Ale but don't know when they passed from the scene.  A lot of old-time brews fell by the wayside when tastes changed or they were bought out by other breweries.  

That old house to the right of the corner store is interesting as well.  I wonder how old, and what kind of story it has to tell?

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:47 AM

Of course the CUT with P-motors was Cleveland.  The catenary bridges are still in use by Cleveland's RTA.

The CUT P1 motors as built had GE278C motors, just slightly larger than the 746 motors used onthe Erie-builts and Virginian's EL-2B motors.  As P2 motors on the NYC, they had 755A motors, which were similar internally to the 746, but had different cases.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 6:54 PM

CUT class P1a:

Collinwood Yard repair facility on  the east end of CUT:

 

Cab view:

Linndale facility on the West end:

This photo is labled "First crew of student engineers for the CUT electrics."

Too bad neither the locomotives or their facilities survived into the museum and restoration era.

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

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 10:15 PM

Two of the M-G sets used to provide the 3,000VDC for the locomotives were bought by the Milwaukee. these sets were rated for 3MW coninuously, 4.5MW for two hours and 9MW for five minutes. One went to Janney, where it assisted the three existing 1.5MW sets for powering trains over the continental divide and the other went to Tacoma, so the existing 2MW set could be added to the Doris substation.

These sets were beefy enough that the caternary could be hit by lightning with only a hort growl coming out of the commutators on the DC generators.

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, January 16, 2020 5:02 AM

Penny Trains
Too bad neither the locomotives or their facilities survived into the museum and restoration era.

The P1a shed has survived. Not sure if CSX uses it for anything anymore. It was unoccupied a few years ago when I took this shot:

 P1A_shed by Edmund, on Flickr

The Linndale inspection shed still stands. It borders a junk yard near W. 130th St.

 Linndale_P1a-Inspection1 by Edmund, on Flickr

 

P-1a New at Erie:

 CUT_1050crop by Edmund, on Flickr

— and a whole gaggle of them:

 GE_Erie_p1a by Edmund, on Flickr

Not all of the catenary supports survived, 

 CUT_R-of-W by Edmund, on Flickr

 

Here's the equipment layout inside the carbody:

 P-1a_General Apparatus by Edmund, on Flickr

Are these the M-G sets?

 CUT_GE_1930_06 by Edmund, on Flickr

P-1a No. 218 was the first to be trial-converted to third rail. Retired in 1948 and the work was done at Harmon in 1951.

The very last operation of the P-1a in Cleveland was on November 16, 1953.

Around 1954 the other motors were returned to Erie to be converted to third rail. Anyone know what the story is behind No. 220 that was destroyed by fire? Was it actually in Erie or did it not make it there and caught fire somewhere else?

 CUT_P1a_Erie by Edmund, on Flickr

Thank you, Ed

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, January 16, 2020 6:58 AM

gmpullman
Are these the M-G sets? 

The electrical machines are rotary converters.  Basically a large 3 phase motor connected to a DC generator.

The "Dynamotor" in the carbody served two functions, providing 1500 VDC so a single compressor could be operated by itself and providing a shaft for a low voltage (74VDC or 32 VDC, maybe with taps for both) generator for headlights and control circuits.

CUT's electrification is the only one I know of that used chain in some of the catenary "pull-offs".

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:05 AM

Miningman
#3  A Lehigh Valley hat trick tonight.  Nice to know the Central had some competition on the Honeymoon business!

"Ernest Lehr, Superintendent of Motive Power for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, watches as the last westbound "Black Diamond" leaves Sayre, PA on May 11, 1959."

Sayre Evening Times photo.

Richard Palmer collection.

https://scotlawrence.github.io/BDE1896/BDE-page3.html

"The final run of the Black Diamond Express occurred on May 11, 1959, 63 years after the first run on May 18, 1896."

 

LV Class T-3 (77" driver):

 

https://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr2821.htm

"Although the pacifics were the primary power, the new 4-8-4 Wyomings did haul the train on occasion, when super-power was needed. Although the 4-8-4 Wyomings were used primarily as freight power, five of the type, the T3 class wyomings, were designed as dual-service engines and did see some use in passenger service."

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 16, 2020 11:34 AM

The last two T-3 Wyomings, just after the locomotive pictured, had roller bearings on all axles (probably a result of the Four Aces demonstrator).  They are notable in being a 'high-speed' design just at the dawn of the age of true high-speed balancing and design, the best of 'conventional' wisdom just before things would change dramatically.

Very few people know about them ... which is a shame.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:23 PM

rcdrye

 

gmpullman
Are these the M-G sets? 

The electrical machines are rotary converters.  Basically a large 3 phase motor connected to a DC generator.

Slight nit-pick on terminology, "rotary converter" is usually considered to be a synonym for "synchronous converter", which is a machine with a single armature with a commutator on one end (DC) and slip rings on he other end (AC). The windings are connected to both the commutator and slip rings. Since much of the conversion is effectively done by mechanical rectification, the synchronos converter is typically cheaper and more effeicient than a motor generator (M-G) set. The down side is that a 60Hz synchronous converter is limited to about 750VDC. The IC and South Shore 1500VDC electrification had several substations with two converters in series.

FWIW, a "Dynamotor" has a single armature with commutators on both ends and is used convert on DC voltage to another. On the CUT locomotives, the dynamotor has two essentially identical sets of windings insulated from each other and each winding set is connected to just one commutator apiece (i.e. one winding connected to the "A" end commutator and the other winding connected to the "B" end commutator). The brush connections for the two commutators are connected in series, so each set of windings is carrying 1500VDC, with the winding connected between +3000VDC and +1500VDC acting as a motor and the winding connecting +1500VDC and +0VDC acting as a generator. As with a synchronous converter, the dynamotor is cheaper and a bit more efficient than a DC to DC motor generator set.

Dynamotors were used in tube type mobile two way radios to provide the high voltage for the B+ supply (typ 250 to 400V).

To gmpullman: Those were indeed the M-G sets used to supply the 3000VDC for the CUT electrification. They consisted of a 360rpm synchronous motor in the center and two 1500VDC generators  (one at each end) wired in series.

And thank you very much for uploading the scans of the GE CUT bulletin to flckr!

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, January 17, 2020 8:29 AM

The Lehigh Valley 4-8-4 Wyoming's were beautifully proportioned locomotives, every bit as iconic as the NYC Hudson's but certainly less well known or at least talked about. Gone far too soon.

The P-1a's were also good looking locomotives, although most electrics were, and that's without any sort of streamlining. Most look every bit as good as a GG1 which had that benefit. They definitely had a railroad look to them, powerful and mysterious.

Catanery coming down anywhere is short sighted and backwards. 

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, January 17, 2020 11:35 PM

The suicide curve on the old NY City elevated, but this time under steam power!

 

#2  Sticking with the elevated, here's an interesting perspective on the operation, from its security guards on high.

 

#3  Along the Reading.  The rather oddly named Phoenixville sports a beautiful station.  Research has told me that the towers are gone but the main part remains, however, not railroad related any longer.

 

4)  Another pleasant scene.  I could hang out here on a nice spring day even if nothing was happening.  Virginian electrics and a Trainmaster. Not bad. 

 

5)  CN/Wabash service facilities and yard in Fort Erie. It was a very busy place for a hundred years, even into the modern era, but no longer! Everything is gone except for a portion of the locomotive service building. It is the home of a struggling Railroad Museum.

 

 

6)  Another look at those Canadian Pacific Dome cars , 40 years before Dome cars!  

 

7)  A sad thing.  Big Oil, Big Rubber, Big Auto did their job well. Beware the Military Industrial Complex.  The Good News is Streetcars and Interurban type operations are making a comeback and it seems to be accelerating. Perhaps we are coming to our senses, in a sense anyway. 

 

8)  Sleeping cars making a huge comeback in Europe.  Maybe it will begin here anew as well!  Climate, Privacy and a Bed!  Sounds good to me ! Get there rested, not all flustered.   An airplane can't do any of those things.

What's your Slumber Number? 

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Saturday, January 18, 2020 12:48 AM

Miningman

The P-1a's were also good looking locomotives, although most electrics were, and that's without any sort of streamlining. Most look every bit as good as a GG1 which had that benefit. They definitely had a railroad look to them, powerful and mysterious.

The P-1a's were indeed good looking locomotives. I reviewed the characteristic curves for the GE-278-C-1500/3000 motor, looks like the P-1a would have been good for at least 6,000dbhp short term.

Imagine taking the design for the P-1a, adding another powered axle to each truck (2-D+D-2 instead of 2-C+C-2), changing the gearing to 80/21 instead of 74/27 for more mountainous service, adding regenerative braking and a longer streamlined cab - the result would be a Little Joe.

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