Some Random Classic Pics perhaps worthy of Discussion

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 25, 2019 8:55 PM

SD70Dude
REA could have (and should have) evolved into a door-to-door intermodal delivery subsidiary.

It would never have paid.

Look at the history of small intermodal ramp service (a thread spun at some length over on the MR forum) for some of the reasons why not.

REA "worked" as long as it did because most of the package arrivals were already 'bulk-broken' and highly LCL, coming straight off the local (or express) train to storage, then delivery, in the closed package vans reasonably common to all the stations.  (I wince for the tires in some of the published pictures of REA vans backed up across team tracks for ease of access!)

For intermodal, you would need some means of either handling swap-bodies or parking cuts of flats with loads ... and the chassis and trucks to handle them.  No benefit whatsoever in adding a fancy intermodal anything, as it already comes off the baggage car or RPO or out of the vestibule directly.  

And let's look at what handles the putative REA trailer or container when it gets to East Pudknock ... not only does it need to reside on its 'new mode' chassis; it needs some sort of specialized truck to pull it.  Perhaps even specialized yard-tractor equipment like a hydraulic fifth wheel or near-zero-turn steering.  Which is essentially worthless... decidedly unlike a parcel van... at any time there isn't an intermodal load (inherently a very large fraction of a container or van load) to be drayed.

And this begs an even further question: how is the bulk in the van or container subsequently broken, and what time does it save doing that?  There wasn't, and in most cases still isn't, enough business in most of these little towns to justify even 20' units on the legacy service frequency.  So you wind up with the idea of intermodal to distribution centers, where the bulk is broken and the little vans are loaded for delivery ... and that'll work, but other companies had the equipment and the operating disciplines to do the job better purely with direct OTR in the presence of good, essentially free road systems.  The thought of REA succeeding as an OTR carrier is not beyond belief, but the evidence certainly proved they couldn't cross that chasm when they could.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 25, 2019 8:41 PM

Strangely, their CNJ map shows neither the L&NE nor the L&HR ... wasn't the latter a key part of the Reading Combine?  I wonder why?  I also wonder what the 'most direct route to Chicago' consisted of in the late 1860s ... handover to the Philadelphia and Erie?  Someone should trace this out and map it!

Interesting that out of all the photos I've seen taken of the Aldene station, this site has the first one that indicates where the Garden State Parkway crosses.

It's hard to imagine the 'net savings' from that simple little ramp up to the LV.  Remember that Jersey Central had an enormous four-track bridge across Newark Bay (see the post August 17th) ... no need for it any more.  C'paw and E'port ... don't need them much, either.  

Pity parent B&O got kicked out of Penn Station before the days of the Bullet... might have been interesting to see the timing by way of the two Penn Stations, and later via the Aldene Connection if it had lasted that long ...

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 25, 2019 8:17 PM

Miningman
I thought much the same about the number of axles, not that many but it just goes on and on.

Now that you mention it, I wonder if that old steam dodge of slanting the board in the darkroom has been used on that picture.  You know how some old pictures of articulated have those egg-shaped wheels... ?

We could take some measurements and see.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, October 25, 2019 6:54 PM

Miningman
GMD London Ontario ...shown is the listing for the property. Typical GMD builders plate (mounted on wall panel). Collection of Al Howlett Apparently it is currently a greeting card and party balloons business.

That's even funnier than you may know!  Wink  The Linndale roundhouse property became in part the world headquarters of the American Greetings greeting card company!  Laugh

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, October 25, 2019 10:00 AM

REA could have (and should have) evolved into a door-to-door intermodal delivery subsiduary.  Sort of like what CNTL does now, but for all the railroads.

Ask the big old GM about being too big to fail....

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, October 25, 2019 9:08 AM

"Capital" vs. "Capitol."

A lot of Americans get that one wrong too!

"Too big to fail."  As far as I'm concerned there's a corollary to that phrase...

"Too big to fail can also mean too big to succeed."   Think about it.

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, October 25, 2019 9:04 AM

Yup, fixed the spelling. I thought much the same about the number of axles, not that many but it just goes on and on. REA RIP, great logo and brand. Maybe in some alternative universe it's still flourishing and all is well. Thanks for the reply and the discussion. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 25, 2019 5:49 AM

Miningman
The Baltimore and Ohio before the Capitaol Limited ...

Thanks for fixing the spelling.

Ask BaltACD about salads, and ever so much more.  His father oversaw the service for many years, and if you like Southern-type home cooking there was said to be no railroad that did better.

 

You do realize that in your picture of the UP turbine, you have less than half the locomotive visible?  Each half was only 2500 nominal horsepower (I think this was at least in part condenser-limited) and while they could be operated separately you'd normally find them together doing the work of a good large 4-8-4.  

There really aren't "that" many axles under there; the wheel arrangement is not far different from that of, say, a GG1 if you put tankage between the underframes.  (Note that later developments went to span-bolstered trucks, both for steam and gas turbines, which could lower the overall length... the N&W TE-1 was monstrously long for 4500hp but nowhere near what turbines 1 and 2 showed when coupled)

Much of the length involves those condensers -- and they were probably too small for many requirements on the UP system.  For something more amusing, see if you can find a picture of the actual steam turbine used in one ... and compare its size to the exhaust plenum provided for it!

I continue hoping, more and more dimly, that someone took notes on how the bugs in these locomotives were worked out during their WWII service on GN, and that the notes will come to light.  These were interesting and seemingly well-designed locomotives, and when built were sensible alternatives to early diesels.

 

There are books that could be written about the inability of REA to 'switch paradigms' and survive against UPS in the post-passenger-train world... in fact, I think there have been.  In an era of effectively-free M&E service to a wide range of 'destination pairs', maintaining relatively small trucks at nearly every station that were driven by people with local knowledge was a cost-effective strategy.  Once that died back, and I get the impression that the change was very rapid in the postwar years, trying to duplicate the backbone with anything else, specifically including any of the versions of intermodal service that otherwise were flourishing from the early '50s on, was relatively hopeless.

It was my impression, when I looked at this in the '70s, right about the time they finally gave up the ghost, that they had the basic idea both that they were 'too big to fail' and that they couldn't make the huge changes in both operations and capital to transition what they had... until they had no effective future.

That was a shame because they were a known symbol for 'express package service' to most everyone in America, and their livery remains distinctive to this day.  Throwing that away -- and by now it is nearly completely thrown away, as the last people who remember it pass 'the edge of history' -- was nearly incomprehensible ... but then again, so were other contemporary business changes, including so many of the railroads in the Northeast that were 'fixtures' right up to the '70s.

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, October 24, 2019 11:10 PM

More Classic Days photos maybe worth talking about.

1) The Baltimore and Ohio before the Capitol Limited, famous salads and  an equally famous Monopoly square.

2) Now this is how you do street running.. big wide right of way and seperate lanes for street traffic ... Irontown, Ohio

3) Lot of talk on this Forum about Sunnyside Yard lately... so here's a great aerial view.

4) Conrail in its baby years, wearing baby blue and as the saying goes "using it up". Pretty darn skimpy on the graphics ... a simple small CR, common in its early days.

5) UP Turbine... as stunning as the S1..

 Look at all those axles and the length!

 

6) Norfolk and Western and REA in an iconic scene that us Classics dudes sadly  

miss... " don't know what you got 'till it's gone"

 

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Monday, October 14, 2019 1:32 AM
Montreal Locomotive Works.
 
C. 1947. Click to Enlarge.
 
 
Top Tracks, Top Two once Electrified quasi Interurban.. Later to CNR c. 1927 Streetcars then on City track.
 
 
 
Bottom Two CNR Moreau St. Stn. and East.
 
Bottom Right. MLW Spur to waterfront crosses Montreal Tramways double track Route 22 Notre Dame.
 
New FA1s. Locomotive for India, Rear.
 
 
MLW Site. Google. Note angled Building.
 
 
FYI.
 
 
 
Once MLW Offices. 1050 Dickson.
 
 
 
 
 
Thank You.

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, October 13, 2019 8:57 PM

GMD London Ontario ...shown is the listing for the property.

Typical GMD builders plate (mounted on wall panel). 
Collection of Al Howlett

Apparently it is currently a greeting card and party balloons business. 

Aerial photo showing property for sale. General Dynamics property to left. 
CPR Galt Sub. main line at bottom including GMD test track former passing track.
Note: Most in-plant trackage dismantled by OSR.

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, October 13, 2019 8:27 PM

So to our friends at Alco:

 Alco_remains by Edmund, on Flickr

The building I circled in blue is, as far as I can tell, the only remaining structure.

 Alco_site5 by Edmund, on Flickr

Presently occupied by a steel sales service. The remaining property is now a casino Ick!.

At least the distinctive "Cross" of the Baldwin Office Building, eddystone, Pennsylvania, still exists.

http://wikimapia.org/21018966/Baldwin-Tower-Office-Building

Anyone know the status of the EMD property at La Grange?

Regards, Ed

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, October 13, 2019 7:12 PM

Where most useful things go...

http://towns-and-nature.blogspot.com/2016/04/lima-oh-locomotive-works.html

...to oblivion in the name of progress.

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

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, October 13, 2019 3:46 PM

Some more food for thought just to remind us how far things railroading have been destroyed and removed from everyday life. 

1) Perhaps if you strolled deep into the woods of the Granite State you could find an old timer in a checkered shirt who can relate.

2) A Lackawanna advert without Phoebe, extolling the virtues of their bread and butter ... Freight! Yet another road needlessly wiped out of existence. Long Live the Lackawanna!

 

3) "Keeping passengers in good humour and enhancing prestige"

Obviously boosters were very good! 

4) Alco and the mighty 3 cylinder steam locomotive! Just another fading memory of a great technology.

3) Lima! Never gave up... always believed in steam.. where are you Lima, where are you? 

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, October 13, 2019 2:30 PM

Interesting Overmod, something I did not know. Converted from a 4-4-0 of very early design. 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 13, 2019 8:17 AM

Miningman
8) The elusive 2-2-0 single driving axle. Big crew. That's a long reach on the main rod.

That's almost certainly a converted 4-4-0, probably one of the pre-1850 or so engines with the four-wheel lead truck awkwardly under the cylinders instead of the Mason design with the wheels before and behind.  That's a perfectly normal main rod; what's unusual is the longer piston rod and crosshead guide that allow drive on what was previously the 'rear' of the two axles; see the comparable arrangement on the forward engine of a PRR T1 that allows all four main rods to be common.

Interesting that with the wheels at the 'corners' the thing would ride as well as a Pullman car, and there's plenty of deep firebox and boiler capacity for that pair of little long-stroke cylinders... balance those drivers well (and compensate somehow for the effect of surge) and it should show a surprising turn of speed.

Might need a better crosshead and crosshead-lubrication design, though!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, October 11, 2019 10:34 PM

Miningman

8) The elusive 2-2-0 single driving axle. Big crew. That's a long reach on the main rod.

  

If you google 2-2-0, you will find a lot of interesting early steam engines from different countries, and strange photos like this:

CoffeeSurprise

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:48 PM

More pics for possible discussion 

1) A very very early picture, among the first, of a through train on Horseshoe Curve.

2) Still on Horseshoe but years and years later.. A Pennsy funeral train of dead steam, featuring a former hard working Decapod, being taken on its last journey. 

3) Its days are over... a NYO&W wooden milk car, forlorn and abandoned.

4) A remarkable survivor into 1960! AT&SF antique wooden box in very good shape.

5) Big Power featured in post war ads from steam locomotive suppliers.

6) C&NW in Rochelle. Wouldn't it be a shocker to see this whole train cross the diamonds at the park.

7) Saskatoon! A one horse town! Very old days. I can personally attest that it does not look like this any longer. Still flat though!

 

8) The elusive 2-2-0 single driving axle. Big crew. That's a long reach on the main rod.

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 18, 2019 5:07 PM

NDG

 

FYI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpGNKO6wz10

The CHAIN DRIVE Mack Truck w the crane would be a Classic these days.

Thank You.

 

No doubt!

Mod-man, I know just what you're saying.  All true.  Still, it's a shame nonetheless.

Have you ever heard of the original  ending to that sequence in "The Best Years Of Our Lives"?   I forget where I read or heard this, maybe in a "Great Movies"  type magazine, maybe on Turner Classic Movies, but purportedly the sequence originally ended with Dana Andrews committing suicide in the the nose of the B-17.  If you've seen the movie you know his whole life's come totally apart by that point.

Anyway, in several "sneak previews" the audience had such a bad reaction to it, it "Stopped the picture COLD!" to use a Hollywood phrase, the sequence was re-shot and the ending we see in the clip was substituted. 

Is is true?  Maybe. 

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Sunday, August 18, 2019 4:43 PM

 

FYI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpGNKO6wz10

The CHAIN DRIVE Mack Truck w the crane would be a Classic these days.

Thank You.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 18, 2019 3:17 PM

Flintlock76
Now I'm not saying all  of those warplanes should have been saved, that would have been totally impractical, but the preservation of a goodly number of them should have been attempted instead of wholesale junking. 

But they were ridiculously obsolete for most military purposes, expensive to maintain and run, and not the kind of thing a person would want in his yard as a memorial.  The thing's been said far more powerfully than anything I could possibly indicate here ... the personal side, too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpGNKO6wz10

Prefabricated houses, bigger jets, the TurboTrain ... those were the way of the future.  And that was only 1946, when steam still had a bright future on American railroads...

I do know of at least one company that tried to make 'civilian' use of these aircraft: the On Mark company with A-26s.  Some of the engineering changes used to accomplish the conversion were ingenious.  Didn't appear to help.  But the results were spectacular...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 18, 2019 1:11 PM

Miningman

Flintlock/Wayne -- Are you sure we won the war? 

 

Oh, we won the war all right, but it's amazing how fast the tools that made victory possible disappeared when they weren't needed anymore.  Ships, tanks, planes, steam locomotives, and eventually a lot of railroads themselves that dieselizing couldn't save.

Check this depressing stuff out...

https://www.airplaneboneyards.com/post-wwii-long-term-aircraft-storage-sites.htm  

Now I'm not saying all  of those warplanes should have been saved, that would have been totally impractical, but the preservation of a goodly number of them should have been attempted instead of wholesale junking. 

I don't know, I wasn't there, what do I know?  Maybe all everyone wanted to do was get the war behind them as soon as possible and get on with their lives.  Can't blame them for that.

By the way, several years ago I read an article in "Air Classics" magazine written by a former USAAF pilot who ferried fighter planes to the boneyard.  P-39's, P-40's, P-47's, you name it, and when he got to the boneyard it was always "Park it over there," or "Park it over here," no-one asked him to sign a delivery voucher, or sign any paperwork whatsoever.  It was always "Park it..."

Afterwards he'd hop a ferry flight back to where the planes were being returned from overseas and pick up another one, then start the wole process over.

"Geez!" he said in the article, "I could have flown one or more of those planes to my parents farm, stuck 'em in one of the barns, and no-one would have been the wiser!"

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 17, 2019 10:22 PM


Mind boggling ... that's a long way from originally trading with the Native folks

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 17, 2019 6:35 PM

Flintlock/Wayne -- Are you sure we won the war? 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 17, 2019 6:18 PM

It can be worse.  At least C'paw was obsolescent by the '70s.  You couldn't really say that about Orangeville, which in my memory was alive with locomotives.  And now...

https://www.navpooh.com/orangevillemap.html

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, August 17, 2019 6:09 PM

It's funny how small the Elizabethport Shops actually were.  It's interesting how some larger railroads had relatively small shops while smaller ones had huge (for their size) ones.  US Steel roads had large backshops, along with the anthracite roads while NKP Conneaut didn't seem to be large at all.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, August 17, 2019 5:00 PM

The eradication of the CNJ's landmarks gets even worse.

Here's the story of the CNJ's Newark Bay Drawbrige, an engineering marvel.  When the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey wanted it gone it was doomed.  Not a trace remains.

Here's the story, and the photo really doesn't do it justice, it was a colossus!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRRNJ_Newark_Bay_Bridge  

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 17, 2019 4:18 PM

That double Roundhouse in the background ...just gone and all that yard trackage. What a whammy. 

So all those railcars have been replaced by trucking? 

Thanks for building New York and surrounding areas, winning the war for us and building our economy, now GET LOST! 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, August 17, 2019 4:08 PM

Oh yeah, those "before and after" shots!

It's stunning how something like the Jersey Central terminal area can disappear so completely, isn't it?  

All that hard work that went into building it. Lost.  What a shame.

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