Some Random Classic Pics perhaps worthy of Discussion

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, August 8, 2020 10:45 AM

Well, it's all speculation anyway.  It certainly makes a lot more sense as far as a "what if?" scenario than say, "USS Constitution vs. HMS Victory, who would win?" or "What if General Lee had an atomic bomb at Gettysburg?"  

And considering the B-29 had its development problems the Air Force was going to have to use something.  As it was the the B-29's "bugs" were sufficiently worked out, although if Air Force historian Col. Walter Boyne is to be believed, and I don't see why not, when all was  said and done the Air Force never loved the B-29 the way they loved the B-17.  

A few more things...

The "Tsar Bomba."  I wonder how many shots of Stoly those Soviet bomber crewmen needed to settle down after THAT mission?  

And Hiroshima's "Shadow People."  In a way, they were the lucky ones.  They never knew what hit them.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 8, 2020 5:18 AM

Flintlock76
... parachutes could  have been applied to the A-bombs if needed, it wouldn't have been difficult.

Perhaps I should have worded that a bit more strongly: parachute retardation was clearly an option, and a technically much-preferred one for obvious reasons, but was specifically rejected for the early A-bomb drops.  This is not a matter of speculation.

As I recall, the stated military reasoning was that a retarded drop would provide more time for them enemy' to shoot at the device to disable it (or fire any salvage fuzing early) if they recognized it, but (in my opinion much more importantly) in the event of nondetonation the drop would lovingly convey to the Japanese a near-intact copy of $4B of applied secret research.  They certainly had physicists who would know more or less exactly what it was, and how to reverse-engineer most of its details.

It has been my opinion since reading about the Lancasters in the Groves book that parachute retardation would have been needed for that aircraft's survival, and that rejection of that aircraft type would have functionally followed regardless of any 'American carrier for American bomb' chauvinism actually involved.

 

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Posted by pennytrains on Friday, August 7, 2020 6:43 PM

The soviets did drop them by parachute.  Or at least, they did with this one:

75 years ago the term "Hibakusha" was invented.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, August 7, 2020 3:36 PM

Overmod
 In a world where parachute retarding was not advisable, I tremble to think of the survivability of those Lancasters...  

Well, the concept of parachute bomb fall retarding was known by that time, the Air Force making use of it during very low level bombing missions, they called them "parafrags," so parachutes could  have been applied to the A-bombs if needed, it wouldn't have been difficult.

The only other airplane capable of carrying A-bombs would have been the Convair B-32 "Dominator," originally contracted as a back-up for Boeing's B-29, "just in case," but development was agonizingly slow, the B-32's not making it to the Pacific until mid-summer of 1945.  I won't tell the whole story of the B-32, anyone curious can look it up easily.  Suffice to say all B-32's produced (there weren't many) were dropped from Air Force inventory by the end of 1945.  Obviously the Air Force didn't think much of it.  

The Lancs probably could have pulled off the atomic missions, losing that five tons of dead weight would have certainly given them an immediate gain in airspeed, and the bombs would have still had that 45 second interval from drop to detonation, maybe much longer if they put drag chutes on them.

But it's all speculation anyway, since the scenario never happened.  

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 6, 2020 10:18 PM

Flintlock76
Speakig of "The Gadgets," did you know if things had gone a little differently they might  have been dropped by RAF "Lancasters?"

That was in the era of German nuclear target priority and the use of the Thin Man plutonium gun bomb.  The part of the Lancs that made the difference was the special drop gear.  In a world where parachute retarding was not advisable, I tremble to think of the survivability of those Lancasters...

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, August 6, 2020 7:56 PM

All those thousands of people involved, and the secret was kept right up to the end. 

Yes, they only knew about the particular piece of the puzzle they were working on, but they still kept their mouths shut about the piece.  Says a lot.  

Except for a few who didn't, but their story doesn't belong here.

Speakig of "The Gadgets," did you know if things had gone a little differently they might  have been dropped by RAF "Lancasters?"  Here's the story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XX9ptCNpik  

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, August 6, 2020 6:19 PM

1)  

Excerpt from SEDs at Los Alamos by Benjamin Bederson
I entered the army through the draft in 1942, possessed of 2½ years of college (City College of New York) as a physics major. At some time in 1943 I had found myself happily back in college, at Ohio State University, taking an electrical engineering course courtesy of the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). This program was intended to teach technical skills to soldiers for an army that was experiencing ever-increasing demands on such skills in fighting a modern war. Just as I was completing this course in January 1944, the Army announced that it was going to abandon the ASTP because of the increasing demand for combat troops in Europe and the Pacific. Coincidentally, at that moment my commanding officer asked me if I would be interested in being interviewed for a new project, called the Manhattan Project, where my physics and engineering training, such as they were at the time, might come in handy. And, he remarked, this might get me back to my beloved Manhattan, of whose affection I had made no secret in Columbus, Ohio. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity, and shortly thereafter was interviewed by a visiting board of three civilians. They asked rather peculiar questions, I thought at the time, consisting mainly of elementary physics questions, for example about Newton’s laws, and about my career interests.
 
A few days later I received orders, marked Secret, along with a train ticket, to proceed to a town called Knoxville, Tennessee, to be met there by a car that would take me to another town called Oak Ridge. On the train I met several other GIs who also had received the same orders. We arrived in Oak Ridge to discover a city in the throes of heavy construction. There was orange-red mud everywhere, and a number of tall buildings with a peculiar look – if I hadn’t known better I would have sworn they were moonshine factories, and in view of their location in the hills of Tennessee, I first thought that the government was secretly manufacturing Tennessee sour mash on a huge scale – perhaps to drop huge vats of it over Europe to disable German troops. It turned out that the plants were indeed distillers, only not for whiskey but rather for the gaseous diffusion separation of U235 from U238. Of course, I didn’t discover this until later. I was assigned to the Special Engineering Detachment – the SED, and I remained in it until my discharge in January 1946.
 
Something unusual was obviously going on at Oak Ridge, since among other reasons, while we were quartered in barracks they were cleaned, and our beds made, by local young girls! No KP, latrine duty, or even drill – not a typical army experience. Instead, we were given a series of tests and interviews. After about a week I received new shipping orders, this time to report to an address in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Again I traveled by civilian train, to a town called Lamy. That was when I discovered that the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad did not (and still doesn’t) go to Santa Fe… 

 

2)  New Home of Facebook

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/nyregion/facebook-nyc-office-farley-building.html

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 7:38 AM

Flintlock76
GeoffS
Hoboken NJ also, correct?

By that I suppose you mean you could walk up to the locomotive and chat with the crew?  As far as I know yes you could, depending on the length of the train, by that I mean as long as the locomotive was reachable by the platform.

At Hoboken the platform tracks as I recall were in 'pairs'. and in my relatively brief (1963 to ~1990) experience everything conventionally locomotive-hauled came in head-first, rather than backing in to keep smoke away from the station.  Plenty of time for a conversation before the consist was pulled off and the light engine taken for servicing.

Outbound the platforms might not be long enough for you to reach the engine cab and the approach trackage, in potentially heavy use, was very tight very quick right after the platform end.  I would no more mess with this than with engines on the ready tracks at Enola.

Most trains at Newark Penn, and come to think of it New York Penn, had the engine windows accessible from the high-level platform.  Many's the time I could easily talk to enginemen on GG1s and E60s; it became positively cozy on AEM-7s and the like.  Further out (for example at the old Princeton Junction) the platforms were low and shorter; even after raising, the engine often overran the end.

  Pennsylvania Station in Newark NJ was the same, according to a story by the late Curtis Katz. 

Most of the stations in New Jersey were pretty much the same.

 

[/quote]

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, August 2, 2020 9:50 PM

Notes from the Amazon entry for the book:

"The occasion of the naming of an engine Royal Signals — a lunch party held by the London. Midland & Scottish Railway — was also the occasion of the first encounter between R. A. Riddles and his present biographer. Both were leaving the party early on their respective duties.

'Where are you off to?'
To see if the Guard of Honour has arrived.'
'Damn the Guard of Honour. I want to see if the engine has arrived.' "

My first thought was: "What was Royal Signals and when was it named?"

Most of the LMS locomotives named after British Army units were Royal Scot class built from 1927, but these were not all originally given Army names.

However a search revealed that Royal Signals was one of the smaller Patriot class, which was a smaller boilered version of the Royal Scot for use on lines unable to take the larger type. These were theoretically rebuilds of older four cylinder 4-6-0s of the LNWR Claughton class and used a boiler also used on some Claughton class locomotives. The only component actually used from the LNWR locomotive was the leading bogie. Royal Signals was the fourth of these "rebuilds" built by Stanier in 1932 as number 5987, the old locomotive nominally rebuilt. It was renumbered 5504 in 1934 and was named, as described by Rogers, in 1937.

Peter

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 2, 2020 4:26 PM

GeoffS
Hoboken NJ also, correct?
 

By that I suppose you mean you could walk up to the locomotive and chat with the crew?  As far as I know yes you could, depending on the length of the train, by that I mean as long as the locomotive was reachable by the platform.  Pennsylvania Station in Newark NJ was the same, according to a story by the late Curtis Katz. 

Most of the stations in New Jersey were pretty much the same.

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Posted by GeoffS on Sunday, August 2, 2020 1:57 PM
Hoboken NJ also, correct?
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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 2, 2020 1:27 PM

Thank you rcdye for the important correction. I have edited the original. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, August 2, 2020 12:13 PM

Nickel Plate ran out of LaSalle Street in Chicago.  Its joint (with Lackawanna) service to Hoboken NY was slower than almost any NYC train, but NKP trains still lasted until after the N&W merger.

The NKP passenger entrance to Chicago came joined the IC main line on the far South Side, entering from State Line Crossing and using rights on the Belt Railway of Chicago part of the way. From there some NKP freights used the IC's lakefront line to the NKP freight house on the lakefront. The NKP crossed the IC on a through truss bridge, ducked under the PRR and NYC mains and joined the NYC east of the Englewood Station.  The former NKP connection from the IC main line to the NS main is targeted for a passenger connection to allow closing the St. Charles Air Line near downtown Chicago (see www.grandcrossingrail.com ).

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 2, 2020 10:06 AM

Miningman
Almost like you could walk right up to that engineer and have a good chin wag.

Depending on the passenger loading platform and the station, in some places you could.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 2, 2020 6:26 AM

The other are just fine as is, but the NYNH&H picture deserved some improvement, I thougt, so:

 The location is in the South Bronx, north of the Hell Gate Bridge, looking west.  The diesels are on a freight from Bay Ridge, during the period before the ex-Virgina then NH EF-4 then PC E-33s were bought.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 2, 2020 12:38 AM

Some more great pics and rememberances that perhaps can provoke some stimulating conversation.

1)  Show stopper pic... I never saw the New Haven but a lot of you here have.  The PA, the McGinnis scheme, even the cool cars of the time. Feel like I was there! 

 

2)  Here's another road we don't discuss too often... the Pittsburg and West Virginia. An important road and had some very interesting variation in its motive power.

 

3)  Likely you've seen this pic before but time for a replay. Here's the late great Nickel Plate and it's often overlooked Hudsons in Chicago, at the LaSalle Street station. Almost like you could walk right up to that engineer and have a good chin wag.

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, July 31, 2020 8:50 AM

Good job David!  Putting a little smoke in it brings it to life!  Good job on the color enhancement as well!

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, July 31, 2020 7:49 AM

Unhappy with smoke reduction, so:

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, July 31, 2020 7:11 AM

A beautiful "Photo of the Day," here repeated, an L&N Pacific on a run over the Red River Valley.

Louisville & Nashville steam locomotive crossing high trestle.

As posted, did most of you, like I did, assume it was a black-and-white photograph?  I did, but when I got it on my hard-drive, and attempted to get the details of the locomotive to to display better while preserving most of the drama of the sky, I discovered it was a color photograph, with age taking its toll.  So, I decided to do someething about it, using only the photograph's own material, but using MS Photo Editor a lot and MS Paint a little to produce this:

Comments welcome

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 11:47 PM

Overmod

It's funny that the steam community has almost completely edited Riddles out of memory; I never thought of him much as important (despite Duke of Gloucester and the 9F balancing) while Porta and Chapelon and Kiefer (and Bulleid) get written about in detail.  I think there is much more of a story in politics and selective arrogance than has been fully put together for North Americans to appreciate, but some of the issues, like conserving foreign exchange losses by not going to oil for diesel fuel in the '40s, don't get the overall emphasis they should. 

 

 

At least part of the problem is that Stewart Cox, who worked for Riddles, pretty much claimed credit for the BR Standard locomotives. Cox was quite a prolific author, both in technical papers and books for the public. Even Cox indicated that Riddles was largely responsible for the proposal for a 2-8-2 version of the Britannia  becoming the 9F 2-10-0, and indicates that experience with the War Department 2-10-0 developed by Riddles from the Stanier 2-8-0 (by way of his own 2-8-0) was critical in the adoption of the 2-10-0 design.

The War Department 2-10-0 basically recognised that much European track could not take the heavier axleload of a 2-8-0 designed for British main line use, but also was the first British design with a wide firebox over a trailing coupled axle.Greece could not have used the WD 2-8-0, for example.

As to the "Duke of Gloucester", as I understand it the air ducts in the ashpan were significantly smaller than shown on the drawings, an error by the tradesmen who built it. Since there was only one, the error was not detected until the heavily corroded ashpan was discarded during the restoration and replaced by a new pan which actually matched the drawings. In retrospect, Cox's attempts to explain the poor steaming not knowing about the ashpan are quite amusing.

Riddles' work was derivative, based on Stanier and H G Ivatt who preceded him, but the decisions were his.

The biggest argument against the BR Standard locomotives is that given their short operating lives, existing designs could have been built at a lower cost, although there may have been greater resistance to the use of one of the group dsigns on another system.

The best anecdote I know about Riddles comes from a formal inspection by the British Transport Commission in 1948 of proposed colours for passenger locomotives. Three new LMS "Black 5" locomotives had been painted in the shades of green used by the Southern, London North Eastern and Great Western. After the three locomotives had passed by the reviewing location, Lord Hurcomb, the BTC Chairman, asked Riddles if there were any other options. Riddles, who had trained with the London and North Western, and later with the LMS, produced a similar  Class 5 finished in high gloss black with cream and red lining, the colours of the LNWR passenger locomotives. The response from the BTC Chairman, knowing Riddles' background, was "Riddles, you b*****d!". Needless to say, the lined black was adopted for all but the largest passenger types, which had the GWR scheme.

Peter

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 3:29 PM
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 12:28 PM

It's funny that the steam community has almost completely edited Riddles out of memory; I never thought of him much as important (despite Duke of Gloucester and the 9F balancing) while Porta and Chapelon and Kiefer (and Bulleid) get written about in detail.  I think there is much more of a story in politics and selective arrogance than has been fully put together for North Americans to appreciate, but some of the issues, like conserving foreign exchange losses by not going to oil for diesel fuel in the '40s, don't get the overall emphasis they should. 

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 11:41 AM
Why did Vera Lynn die before I ever heard of Robert A. Riddles?
 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 8:48 AM

Overmod

It's sort of a shame that Riddles chose to reject both three- and four-cylinder power in doing the Standards.  (I understand why, but still...)  I also have to chuckle at the assumptions in 71000's design and construction as built -- there is little question 'the fix was in' both for that design and not too much later for Riddles' career with the British railways!

The 71000 as built was definitely not what Riddles wanted. The major design flaws of it were noted and could have corrected during the construction stage if BR didn't insist to cut corners. Fortunately, Riddles' name is cleared after the Duke of Gloucester Steam Locomotive Trust not only brought back the 71000 to life but also made the design works so much better than the as-built version.

I guess the fascinating story of the 71000 and its preservation history has caught the eye of the T1 Trust Team. When I look at the 71000 running at 70mph with 12 coaches behind her, I immediately thought of the T1 5550. I believe the T1 Trust will achieve the same level of great success. 

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 6:19 AM

It also does have to be said that the LMS had a more wretched main line for sustained high speed than the LNER.  Look at the subsequent history of the ECML and WCML for some of the differences.

It's sort of a shame that Riddles chose to reject both three- and four-cylinder power in doing the Standards.  (I understand why, but still...)  I also have to chuckle at the assumptions in 71000's design and construction as built -- there is little question 'the fix was in' both for that design and not too much later for Riddles' career with the British railways!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 3:28 AM

Yes, It would be interesting to see how Kylchap exhausts could have further improved the performance of the Coronation Class, making it an even more competitive steam engine in the London to Glasgow express train market. If Kylchap exhausts can boost the performance of the A3, A4 and BR Standard Class 8 Pacific, it should have also worked on the Coronation Class.

Although the Coronation Class didn't beat the LNER Mallard in terms of top speed, their operating top speed was almost equal. The average top speed of the Coronation Scot on the timetable was merely 80mph (between Lichfield and Rugeley, 8 miles). 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 9:17 PM

Jones1945
What LMS couldn't change was the size of the steam engine. Compared to B&O's streamlined P7a #5304 designed by Otto Kuhler, the 4-cylinder Coronation Class was much smaller. 

That translates into much smaller frontal area, which even at effectively low Cd produces radically lower resistance at higher speed.  A similar consideration likely explains Mallard reaching 125mph.

Interestingly a number of British sources say that the balanced 4-cylinder drive within British loading-gauge constraints and piston-valve limitations restricts the available power to about what the engine historically reached, about 115mph.  I confess it would be interesting to see what one of these engines would do if given the usual 'improvements' like reversible compression control, a full Kylchap front end with exhaust tract flow streamlining, and higher admission pressure and superheat...

Incidentally there are sources who note, with some justification, that R.A.Riddles and not Stanier oversaw the conceptual and detail design of these locomotives...

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 7:14 AM

Miningman

"American observers have been very favorably impressed by the paintwork of the locomotive and coaches of 'The Coronation Scot'. This was described as the 'most lustrous and beautiful paint job' they had seen on any train." Not only the paint job was excellent, but the whole consist was also beautified and streamstyled with skirts and diaphragms added to all cars. This special version of Coronation Scot also included a club car and sleeper, an end car with rounded-off rear edges, and a "hamster-tail" paint-job that mirrored the gold "whiskers" on the locomotive's nose. 

What LMS couldn't change was the size of the steam engine. Compared to B&O's streamlined P7a #5304 designed by Otto Kuhler, the 4-cylinder Coronation Class was much smaller. 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, July 27, 2020 8:32 AM

I can't say I didn't see that scrap line photo coming.  What a shame.  

On the other hand, that fandom article about "Belle" was fun!  I had no idea!

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