Archived Photos of Chesapeake and Ohio M-1 Steam Turbine Engines

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 7:04 PM

Hmmm... you're applying late 40's thinking to this... we know what happened with the underhanded and clandestine moves with, of all companies, Baldwin, and the C&O.  I'm saying that today Pennsy would have sought out great gobs of Federal funding and Baldwin would do the same working with C&O. No need for super secrecy and dirty betrayals just mountains of mullah with plenty of gender equality, muchos diversity, slick but wholesome ah sucks spokespeople, a fine sprinkling of nepotism and long long lines around the block of lobbyists and consultants. In the end the result would be the same, scrap pile in 2 years or so, the other one cancelled. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, February 28, 2020 1:30 AM

Miningman

Very nice Mr. Jones. Always a fascinating but tragic locomotive to look at. What a way to burn up all those wartime profits. In today's world this would have been a government funded project with all kinds of consultants and spokespersons and all that jazz.  

These big-boned sisters were indeed very huge from our perspective, but imagine you look at them from a very tall skyscraper or a structure like the CN-Tower, they were a tiny steam-electric power station on wheels! 

Overmod

The Baldwin locomotive was really little more than a conventional electric's undercarriage with a plain old riveted-construction boiler propped on top.  By that time I'm sure Vauclain & Co. had seen plenty of the preliminary design for the mechanical PRR V1 and decided its configuration was just nifty for electrical axle power instead of gears ... before figuring out anything relating to the Bowes drive.  Meanwhile N&W was proceeding to fall off the trolley in a different impractical direction, succumbing to the siren call of all-axles-driven in a complex V1-style chassis ... and then, of course, going to all truck-borne design.

Speaking of the Bowes drive, it is something I never have seen in person before. But after reading the patents of Thomas D. Bowes, I realize why Pennsy thought that the device, a dynamoelectric machine transmission unit, would have been too large for the engine, let alone the construction cost of it.

PRR CHRONOLOGY 1946

"June 13, 1946  Chief of Motive Power Howell T. Cover request the use in the proposed Class V1 turbine locomotive of an electric drive and reversing mechanism invented by Dr. Thomas D. Bowes, naval architect and used in ship propulsion; it will raise the cost of the complete locomotive by $10,000 to $985,000; Cover recommends building and testing one truck complete before proceeding with the whole locomotive, and speed is necessary to secure the use of the patent if it proves successful. (VPO)

---

Aug. 20, 1946  Meeting of PRR, Baldwin Locomotive Works and Westinghouse Electric Corporation personnel held in Philadelphia on the proposed Class V1 turbine locomotive; both the Bowes drive and DC transmission are rejected as they would make the locomotive 10-20 feet longer; Carleton K. Steins calls for the coal capacity to be increased from 32.5 tons to 42 tons. (CMP)"

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 28, 2020 8:40 AM

It should be borne in mind that the version of the Bowes drive under initial discussion at PRR is very much a 1940s-era device, even if Bowes kept the patent 'open' with improvements until 1949 -- which I think is likely.  (We know there was a revival of interest for something very similar to the V1 chassis for passenger service by 1947, since we have the design patent for the shell issued that year, and of course the device was adapted for high-speed diesel-mechanical service in the Ingalls 2000hp passenger unit...)

Note in the 1949 patent the specific detail drawing showing the device at 'minimum length' (it is much more highly effective at large diameter than by extending the length) although this does not show the 'spider' that would have been used to connect to the mechanical shafting, and perhaps one or more gearcases to lower the shaft line of the drive.  If you are familiar with the mechanical layout in the V1 chassis you will see the somewhat interesting packaging concerns here.

It is also potentially interesting to note that the technological development of this approach to high-power torque conversion did not end with the late versions of the Bowes drive.  One particular example from the early '70s was Mole's work on segmented homopolar magnetic devices (see patent 4034248 and some of the associated dtic.mil periodic reports) which, while science fiction for most bankrupt railroads in that era, certainly allowed for dramatic flexible performance at good efficiency.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, March 1, 2020 2:56 AM

Overmod

Note in the 1949 patent the specific detail drawing showing the device at 'minimum length' (it is much more highly effective at large diameter than by extending the length) although this does not show the 'spider' that would have been used to connect to the mechanical shafting, and perhaps one or more gearcases to lower the shaft line of the drive.  If you are familiar with the mechanical layout in the V1 chassis you will see the somewhat interesting packaging concerns here.

I found the 1943 patent and still looking for the 1949 patent. I am under the impression that V1 would have been a "direct-drive" steam turbine locomotive which was similar to the PRR S2... 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, March 1, 2020 7:05 AM

Jones1945
I am under the impression that V1 would have been a "direct-drive" steam turbine locomotive which was similar to the PRR S2... 

It was different in almost every significant mechanical way (aside from the principle of direct connection of the turbine to the wheels)

Much of the detail design of the original version, including a very clear elevation drawing, survives in the Hagley.  The locomotive uses relatively low drivers (IIRC 40, like the Centipedes) in groups of 8 in cast underframes.  These have a nominal 4-8-0 arrangement, and there are two turbines, smaller than those for the S2, one per underframe in line with the longitudinal axis and driving shafts.  The modified Q2 boiler sits backward with the low firebox and ashpan over (and carried by) the second unit's 'lead' truck, and there is no 'trailing truck' as on the Baldwin turbines.

The coal bunker is all the way forward and the stack at the rear, just as with the M-1s, and you will recall this was in Loewy's original 'Triplex' idea and was a major bone of contention in  Loewy's subsequent "discussions" with Steins et al. about what part of the V1's design was whose.  The styling adopted for the 'production' locomotive was reminiscent of the DD2.

It is probably important to look at the timeline carefully.  The V1 was 'greenlighted' for production in 1944, presumably as the next logical evolutionary step in war-winning high-capacity freight power; it was not 'proceeded with' postwar because the water rate was so colossal.  Much of the problem changes when you have asynchronous control of turbine rpm vs. driving-wheel speed at high torque, which even the early version of the Bowes drive (which would be the one considered in 1946) would permit.  (The operative question, of course, being "is much of the problem enough of the problem?" and of course the definitive answer is 'not as much answer as F units provide' as we all know by now.)

As late as 1948 we see a cut in the trade press, discussing the N&W further interest in the mechanical steam turbine, that still has the "4-8-4-8" chassis and DD2-like nose.  This would change radically by 1950 as N&W ... perhaps influenced by the Baldwin approach ... went to all axles electrically motored.  As we've discussed in other contexts, the general trend from 'high-speed' cast underframes to bogie trucks (usually C trucks for freight work) was very strong in the late '40s, including in heavy electric-locomotive design, so it shouldn't be surprising how we got from a N&W six-motor-per-underframe design (with two types of motor in custom castings) to six-motors-in-two-span-bolstered-trucks as on the TE-1.  (Much more surprising, or less surprising if you are aware of the ongoing issue of water rate, is the almost ridiculous underpowering of the TE-1 even relative to existing reciprocating steam locomotives in comparable service; PRR in the late Forties even had flackery proposing the mechanical turbine power be increased to '9000hp' which, to anyone even slightly familiar with atmospherically-exhausted steam in the late '40s, was a laugher...

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, March 1, 2020 8:35 PM

These have a nominal 4-8-0 arrangement, and there are two turbines, smaller than those for the S2, one per underframe in line with the longitudinal axis and driving shafts.  The modified Q2 boiler sits backward with the low firebox and ashpan over (and carried by) the second unit's 'lead' truck, and there is no 'trailing truck' as on the Baldwin turbines.

 

Stoffels in Lokomotiven und Dampftechnik illustrates the PRR V-1 on page 283 in a very detailed artist's impression in side elevation. For example, it shows the water scoop between the trucks on the tender, so I think we can assume that it accurately shows one version of the locomotive. It is however described as a turbine-electric design of 1948. Elsewhere he describes the locomotive as 2'Do' 2'Do' wheel arrangement which matches the idea of electric drive.

The locomotive looks pretty much like a C&O M-1 missing both its trailing truck and the section of body containing the turbine and generators, painted and lettered for the PRR.

The M-1 is described as having a wheel arrangement 2' Co1' 2' Co1' Bo'.

In this illustration the leading truck of the trailing turbine unit is clear of the firebox. Each truck shows the outline of equipment above the leading truck which I take to be the turbine and its reduction gear.

Each power truck is seen to be pivoted between the second and third powered axle although there may be some form of sliding support pad above the turbine. The drawing is very similar to this patent drawing previously posted by Jones 1945 in another thread.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, March 2, 2020 1:17 AM

M636C
Stoffels in Lokomotiven und Dampftechnik illustrates the PRR V-1 on page 283 in a very detailed artist's impression in side elevation. For example, it shows the water scoop between the trucks on the tender, so I think we can assume that it accurately shows one version of the locomotive. It is however described as a turbine-electric design of 1948.

The 'original' V1 material (the freight-specific design) at the Hagley all matches the language in the Steins patent (2413119) in being a straight mechanical drive using 'line shaft and gears'.  Part of the 'secret project' at Baldwin involved getting around the durable mechanical conjugation with traction motors -- which were only on three axles of the cast bed frames, as indicated in Stoffels' rendition of the M-1 wheel arrangement.   (I have read more than one explanation why all the 'principal' axles were not driven.)

It is possible that PRR did go to traction motors by 1948 for higher-speed work, but where were the generators going to be packaged?  is it possible that Stoffels mistook the Bowes-drive version for big electric motors connected to the driveshafting (as this was one interpretation of what the drive did as propulsion)?

Certainly N&W gave up on direct lineshaft drive fairly early, as even if they had only intended powering the 'rigid' axles in the two chassis, they had extended this to all axles including the trucks by 1950 or so (there are reports in the trade press tht will corroborate this)  I think electrifying the twin-turbine drive was a mistake, not just because it followed the expensive C&O 'experiment' with few apparent improvements but because it added wild levels of expensive complexity on top of all  the high-maintenance and catastrophic-failure characteristics of the high-pressure Q2 style boiler and its auxiliaries.  But that is because I recognize the interesting approaches to provide functional geared lineshaft drive to one of these things...   

The locomotive looks pretty much like a C&O M-1 missing both its trailing truck and the section of body containing the turbine and generators, painted and lettered for the PRR.

Remember that what you're looking at is from 1944.  The Baldwin work that resulted in the M-1s didn't begin until 1945.  It would be fairer to describe the M-1 as a slightly longer and 'improved' version of the V1 rather than get things out of cause-and-effect order just because the M-1s were more infamous. 

In this illustration the leading truck of the trailing turbine unit is clear of the firebox.

Note that the Steins patent shows the 'moral equivalent' of a banjo frame to support the direct weight of the Q2-size firebox.  This allows the pin-guided truck underneath to steer the rear four-axle chassis correctly without centering rockers to take some of the weight on the truck frame.  It is interesting to contemplate ashpan arrangements  over and perhaps around this truck and its equalization. 

Each truck shows the outline of equipment above the leading truck which I take to be the turbine and its reduction gear.

Compare it with the dotted lines in the Steins patent.  

I do not yet know what reduction arrangements were used to adapt the Bowes drive to the turbine and driveline, particularly the large-diameter 'pancake' version depicted in the early-version Bowes-drive patent.  There is limited space under relatively harsh conditions for this machinery as designed... 

Yes, I think the thing would not be easy to back up against the kind of train it would likely be assigned to.  It would be interesting to see how it would actually ride and track, too.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, March 2, 2020 6:17 AM
Remember that what you're looking at is from 1944.  The Baldwin work that resulted in the M-1s didn't begin until 1945.  It would be fairer to describe the M-1 as a slightly longer and 'improved' version of the V1 rather than get things out of cause-and-effect order just because the M-1s were more infamous. 

I wasn't trying to imply a relationship, just trying to describe the appearance (before I remembered the patent application.)

Part of the 'secret project' at Baldwin involved getting around the durable mechanical conjugation with traction motors -- which were only on three axles of the cast bed frames, as indicated in Stoffels' rendition of the M-1 wheel arrangement.   (I have read more than one explanation why all the 'principal' axles were not driven.)

Looking at the M-1 drawing, I could see two convincing reasons for neither trailing axle being motored: on the leading four axle truck the motor would have been outboard right next to the the firebox. On the trailing four axle truck, the pivot of the trailing motored delta truck is located right where the motor should be...

I feel sure they could have avoided both of these problems with some foresight.

In the case of the V1, they could have used four transverse turbines each driving two axles as was done on the S-2. That part of the S-2 worked, as far as I can tell, and avoided the right angle drives that would have caused most of the problems in the twin turbine configuration. But four turbines would cost more than two.

How did they intend to reverse the V1?

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, March 2, 2020 7:28 AM

M636C
In the case of the V1, they could have used four transverse turbines each driving two axles as was done on the S-2. That part of the S-2 worked, as far as I can tell, and avoided the right angle drives that would have caused most of the problems in the twin turbine configuration.

The plot thickens, of course, when you recall what Steins patented in 1944 (applied for as late as 1942) which clearly shows 6-coupled reciprocating engines with the two-axle lead and no trailing trucks.  This patent (2338212) is the one cited in Steins' subsequent patent application for the [highly necessary] pumped water-balancing system (which was applied for in 1946 after the application for the famous patent already cited).  

Among the things of potential interest here is that no attempt to show a lateral-turbine drive for the six-coupled engines in the '212 patent seems to have been made, even though it should have been relatively simple to provide gearing between two of the axles with conjugating rod drive as provided on the evolving S2 (there was originally no rod between the two geared axles, but one was found to be necessary in service).

(Incidentally, a good quiz question along the lines of the one I recently foisted on the forum involves a patent Steins cites as a precedent.  In 1872 an inventor proposed an improvement on locomotives which involved three driver pairs with four-wheel trucks before and aft of the driver wheelbase.  What was the inventor's name?)

But four turbines would cost more than two. How did they intend to reverse the V1?

Steins conveniently does not disclose his reversing arrangement in the '119 patent, which is more than a little strange; I don't think I have come across anything at the Hagley yet which says in black and white what reversing arrangement was incorporated into the 'greenlighted' production design, although there surely would have been one.  

I do not know the time by which it would have become obvious that the reverse-turbine arrangements on the S2 as built were incompetent; I do not have information on what the 'best fix' according to PRR and Westinghouse for this issue would have been.  Apparently both the idea of providing a clutch for the reverse turbine and the use of a reversing 'idler' close to the turbine output shaft (as was proposed for at least one of the '20s turbines in Europe) were considered insufficiently robust for railroad service on a locomotive of that size and weight; I'd presume the same argument would apply to the V1's 4000hp drivelines, so I'd think you would have the same arrangement of higher-reduction smaller reverse turbine acting on the primary reduction gear arrangement between turbine and line shaft.  (This might have also been applied at the 'distal' end of the primary-turbine rotor, turning the whole arrangement backward without steam being admitted to the primary rotor...)

I have not been exactly sanguine about the 'fix' for the most logical reason for full-power reversing: setting back against a standing train.  It is rapidly clear that the many mechanical issues posed by this are relatively easily solved by using an electrical transmission -- and that the Bowes drive provides both the essential 'contactless' flexibility and the ability to lock up in direct drive that are desirable without the expense of full-power generators, switchgear, and traction motors.

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 5:12 AM

Among the things of potential interest here is that no attempt to show a lateral-turbine drive for the six-coupled engines in the '212 patent seems to have been made, even though it should have been relatively simple to provide gearing between two of the axles with conjugating rod drive as provided on the evolving S2 (there was originally no rod between the two geared axles, but one was found to be necessary in service).

I had wondered about the central coupling rods on 6200...

This immediately brought to mind British Railways No 10100.

I'm sure Overmod is completely familiar with this fairly unusual locomotive but for anyone else interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_10100

Anyone who needs real detail will need: http://www.paxmanhistory.org.uk/paxfell.htm

What caused this to come to mind was that this locomotive had gear drive to the two innermost axles from a single gearbox and originally had coupling rods between these two axles but these were later removed, this being the opposite of PRR's considerations with the S2 mentioned above.

Peter

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 7:01 AM

Interesting discussion! Some drawings of the proposed steam turbine locomotives of PRR:

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 9:56 AM

M636C
I had wondered about the central coupling rods on 6200...

I don't know if there's been a formal analysis of why these were added, comparable to the discussion of torque-strut addition to the Roosen motor locomotive in Germany.

It is pretty clear, though, what the problem would have been.  Each of the two 'independent' four-wheel groups would have had the same issues with transient adhesion that the unconjugated T1 does.  Any slip, or more precisely the shock when adhesion is restored, will not be taken through the flexible gear, but the gear train from the flexible gear's rim outward to the axle gears.

The sensible thing to do here was to implement the 'shock abatement' as full coupling (using, as Chapelon noted, the considerable lateral flexure of the Timken rods for any shock compensation needed to save the gears)  Whether you could in fact then go to single-gear drive (onto the equivalent of a 'main' driver pair) rather than split between the two central axles is a question likely reserved for a second, lighter prototype.  (Which Westinghouse retained interest in up to some point in 1948...)  Technically there is 'overconstraint' when you have mutual gear drive on two central axles that are now rod-conjugated; I do not know if this produced any effects (probably on the rod eyes or bushings) in service.

This immediately brought to mind British Railways No 10100 -  http://www.paxmanhistory.org.uk/paxfell.htm

What caused this to come to mind was that this locomotive had gear drive to the two innermost axles from a single gearbox and originally had coupling rods between these two axles but these were later removed, this being the opposite of PRR's considerations with the S2 mentioned above.

My guess is that these were rigid, without buckling flexure.  And this might result in differential loading at the gear teeth, and perhaps accelerated wear.

I remember one of the salient points of the Fell 'design concept' being different sizes of the four traction engines, part of the idea being you could 'fine-tune' the actual horsepower of the locomotive in fairly fine increments by firing up different combinations of motors.  It is always amusing to see engineers spend hundreds of thousands of pounds building mechanical contrivances to save a few pints of fuel oil ... although I always enjoy a good complex design when somebody else is paying for it.  

The 'separately-fired supercharger' idea is similar to some of the early turbojet research which used a separate combustion engine to drive the compressor -- the Italians in particular tried this approach with some very large engines (as they would have to be!).  The problem is that that's an awful lot of packaging and weight.  (Of course in those days, effective turbocharging was still an infant science, and power-assisted turbocharging still something years in the future.)

For the early BR world, especially given the economic issues surrounding suitable fuel-oil supply that could be paid for in pounds sterling, absolute fuel conservation at the cost of massive amounts of high-tolerance mechanical complexity and careful maintenance by intelligent people might have made sense.  For a while.  I confess to being highly suspicious about how that bolt got loose in there, or whether the train-boiler fire might be related in some respects to the "loose" smokebox-door situation that finally ended the Leader test program.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 10:35 AM

Some thoughts on these things:

Jones1945
Interesting discussion! Some drawings of the proposed steam turbine locomotives of PRR:

 

This is notable for implicitly using many of the cores and molds GSC developed for the production T1s -- that is the most likely reason for the rigid-wheelbase spacing here.  I'd presume there is even more likelihood for 'commonalty of design details' in the T1-styled design referenced in the caption.

Unlikely that this would work satisfactorily as drawn, given what we know about high-speed adhesion of four-coupled engines on 'typical' PRR right-of-way construction.  You might be able to make up 'special' long conjugating rods at lighter weight per foot to connect the 'inside' driver pairs without throwing off the rotating balance 'too far'.

There are two things about this that may deserve interest.  First, this is very likely co-developed with the V1 project, not a 'predecessor' and certainly not a successor; and second, note the very large provision for a train-heat boiler.

These tell me that this is likely a help-win-the-war project, something capable of handling very long troop 'main' trains (presumably divided into consists to be handled by more 'normal' locomotives when that was desirable) as well as working fast and very heavy freight in 'minimum time'.  It is condensing to cut down on the need either to 'scoop' or to stop and take water ... something that you can expect would be dramatically often for the anticipated horsepower.

It would probably not work for anything except full effort in a 'hot' war, let alone be a profitable thing to run actual PRR passenger trains with the right 'distinctive competence' ... or scarce-capital utilization! 

Here is the drawing from the second Steins "V1" patent.  Note the Garratt-like ashpan arrangement, specifically designed to keep the second-engine lead truck out of trouble.  This is pointedly absent from the C&O M-1 design, which implicitly used the 'leading' truck on the "4-8-4" rear engine to support the firebox and ash arrangements ... in part to keep the overall length of the already-long locomotive from becoming still more insane, and perhaps avoiding Cooper loading issues for the axles adjacent to the heavy-framed 'gap' in the Steins design.

I confess I'd have liked to see what happened if the Baldwin chassis had been 'pushed' to "1948 electric drive" V1 power level (more than 1000hp per driving axle in the Baldwin chassis as detail-designed!) using a Q2 firebox over that intermediate truck.

Note that by some point between 1950 and 1952, the N&W version of the Steins chassis was motoring the small lead truck axles too.  I'd be interested to see if there was any give-and-take between the team at N&W working on this and the people at PRR who did the P5b; a great many of the design details ... and problems found out 'after the fact' ... would have been common.

It is somewhat difficult to unwind just how workable the Yellott research actually turned out to be.  There were repeated 'breakthroughs' in the issue of ash separation, but none of them actually solved the long-term problems with it ... or, looked at in any kind of engineering detail, were they likely to.  Part of the fun (when you go and look at the research for yourself) involves the mass flow required for reasonable (or even basic) cost-effective horsepower for the weight, length, and complexity of the overall design.  Combine this with (a) the TOF involved in combusting this mass within the folded 'inertial' seeparation arrangement, and (b) the heat profile of the combustion gas net of ignition and proper turbulence for full combustion at various distances from the burner corresponding to the TOF.
 
It was my opinion in the 1970s, and remains my opinion today, that the only way to have made this turkey fly was to use some form of SRC, or chemical treatment removing (not just converting) at least the glassing components of the ash.  That, of course, was not likely to happen; the (highly misguided!) desire to use cheap mine-run coal with as few pulverizer stages as possible was probably enough to ruin any idea of long-term operation.  In any case, even the ash release from something like the chain-grate arrangement in the N&W TE-1 would become increasingly untenable as we got further and further into EPA regulations... and if you think the baghouse and emissions packaging on a steam-turbine electric are profound and uneconomical, consider the alternative for a direct coal turbine!
 
Interestingly enough, the coal-burning Eldorados did precisely what I would have advised: they used a fuel visually (and in some respects, chemically) almost indistinguishable from Wayne's copier toner, with all the ash components, sulfur, mercury etc. carefully removed.  The thought of this stuff as a practical alternative to diesel oil in regular locomotive service is ... well, not something I would want to have to try selling.
 
In my opinion, the whole BCR effort increasingly failed as the joint effort went -- necessarily from an engineering-development standpoint but most certainly not necessarily in the view of many of the railroads being repeatedly dunned for more and more expensive participation -- into the sort of design details that should have been the responsibility of locomotive builders.  I do not know if Hirsimaki has a timeline of the various railroad notes and comments on this, but the perception into the Fifties was increasingly that the railroads were subsidizing the locomotive builders' profitability in ways that were not recoverable in any 'financially responsible' way.  Meanwhile Yellott kept going, feathering his nest as it became more and more obvious that the trick wasn't going to work cost-effectively; you'll have to make your own assessment of how ethical this was (or even if it would have been ethical in a government or defense-related project).
 
That the dream wasn't seen as wholly impossible might be seen from Union Pacific's experience with the thing.  If I recall correctly, UP was one of the early roads to bolt from the BCR design project ... but they also followed up a few years later with that magnificent UP80/8080 locomotive, the finest piece of adaptive reuse that may ever have been seen in American railroading.  This used one of the largest electric locomotives as a basis -- then put a whole Centipede tender reworked with fancy machinery behind it, and a war-weary PA complete with its 244 running at full power as a cab.  
 
(Now, it does have to be said that UP was looking at the same high horsepower in minimum length requirements that produced the gas turbines, and would afterward produce various kinds of 'double diesel'.  So at least theoretically a direct coal-burning cycle that could be repackaged into a less heroic sort of locomotive would be highly interesting.  Part of the fun, though, appears to be the somewhat-Bunker-C-like fuel selection for this thing: if it were the stuff the Big Boys were 'optimized' to run on, the effort would be 'dead on impact' from fairly obvious first principles.  And given the amount of general crawfishing regarding the course of the experimentation and testing, both on the part of UP and various historians, it would appear that UP came to understand the various unworkabilities in a more or less predictable timeframe, without appearing to have carefully enough considered some of the things already established by BCR.)
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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 7:28 PM

I remember one of the salient points of the Fell being the different sizes of the four traction engines, part of the idea being you could 'fine-tune' the actual horsepower of the locomotive in fairly fine increments by firing up different combinations of motors. 

The Paxman website reference suggests that all four main engines on 10100 were identical:

The prototype Fell locomotive built at the L.M.R. Locomotive Works, Derby, employs four main propelling engines each of nominally 500 H.P. and two auxiliary engines driving the blowers etc., each developing 150 H.P. It will be seen that the four main engines are arranged in pairs at the ends of the locomotive. These engines are Vee type 12 cylinder R.P.H. series made by Davey Paxman & Company Ltd., Colchester. They are of 7" bore and 7¾" stroke and operate over a speed range of 500 to 1500 r.p.m.

Peter

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 8:54 PM

... but they also followed up a few years later with that magnificent UP80/8080 locomotive, the finest piece of adaptive reuse that may ever have been seen in American railroading.  

I am under the impression that 80/8080 never actually turned a wheel burning coal.

Even in testing, the turbine burnt the same oil as it had when fitted in one of the 4500HP Turbines...

I think that some static testing on coal dust occurred.

The actual turbines were used turbines from the 4500HP units that had reached the end of their effective life and could be destroyed by the abrasive solids left in the gas...

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 9:09 AM

M636C
I am under the impression that 80/8080 never actually turned a wheel burning coal. Even in testing, the turbine burnt the same oil as it had when fitted in one of the 4500HP Turbines... I think that some static testing on coal dust occurred.

I admit I was being sarcastic.  But any information you have on the actual testing is valuable.

It seems peculiar that UP would go to all the trouble and expense of building the pulverizing and distribution systems for the plant without actually running them.  (I will confess that I'd do this into the mechanical equivalent of a 'dummy load' until I was SURE all 'deleterious contaminants' in the combustion gas had been eliminated, and this may be what colors my interpretation of the test progress.)

I'd be fairly sanguine just from my knowledge of coal combustion and the experimental separation results up to about 1954 that there wasn't going to be a good answer to hot coal-fired gas being usable in turbines at the required power density, unless (as above) you used a de-ashed fuel.  Note that the usual methods used in 'clean coal' to reduce ash issues will probably not help problems in turbines, even if you build them to run at comparatively slow speed to reduce impingement relative velocity.

 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 12,837 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 10:28 AM

My introduction to the Fell locomotive was in the notes provided in Ransome-Wallis' Encyclopedia of World Railway Locomotives, which I read avidly when very young and then again when I found a copy 'on the street' in the late '80s.  It is possible that the description of horsepower 'tuning' with combinations of different engines was part of the "Mark 2" locomotive (that was never finished) -- I don't have access to the book but someone here will, and can find the section and comment.

Incidentally, I said:

M636C
This immediately brought to mind British Railways No 10100 -  http://www.paxmanhistory.org.uk/paxfell.htm What caused this to come to mind was that this locomotive had gear drive to the two innermost axles from a single gearbox and originally had coupling rods between these two axles but these were later removed, this being the opposite of PRR's considerations with the S2 mentioned above.
My guess is that these were rigid, without buckling flexure.  And this might result in differential loading at the gear teeth, and perhaps accelerated wear.

That would be mistaken.  Interestingly enough, the Paxman Web site specifically mentions that this was called "Pennsylvania Drive" establishing that not only the concept but the actual detail design was likely carried over ... although this may be more from the GG1-style quill drive than from the flexible-gear approach on the S2, the strange situation Peter described does remain a question, and an interesting one.

Incidentally, the 'nonreversing clutch' arrangements on the multiple-planetary transmission (they are described as Legge clutches, U1 to U4) are like a kind of 20th-Century successor to Francis Webb's original nonconjugated compound.  I was initially concerned about how much shock these might produce when they engaged -- note the comment about concern they would not 'release' once engaged --  but the idea that the locomotive might lock up in a way that might require a fitter to release makes the slow-reversing wackiness of the Krauss-Maffei diesel-hydraulics look comparatively benign by contrast.  

As noted, the 'pressure charging' arrangements represent one of those endearingly dotty Pommie engineering efforts, here representing a very expensive and maintenance-intensive way to get the engines to produce lower output horsepower than they otherwise would ... but hey! the torque is even across the rpm range!  Interestingly in the 'unanticipated consequences' department is the observation that this thing was apparently colossally loud in stations, and probably even more so at starting.  I suspect that the exhaust characteristics of high-output forced charging at relatively low crankshaft rpm might have been less than pleasant, too...

Paxman apparently did considerable research on achieving this sort of result with the effort culminating in what was called the Hi-Dyne, and there is a highly interesting page on the Paxman site that describes this, together with a couple of very illustrative papers as appendices.  I confess that I am far less diplomatic than Don Meiklejohn in considering what actual overall advantage the approach provided, whether from tapped turbocharger or external 'compressors'...  

 

 

 

 

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