RF&P and WM Potomacs

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RF&P and WM Potomacs
Posted by SPer on Sunday, March 29, 2020 1:25 AM

What if RF&P and Western Maryland share the type name Potomac for their 4-8-4s just like NYC and NdeM did with Niagara 4-8-4s

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, March 29, 2020 7:14 AM

RF&P & WM both operate in the watershed that is the Potomac River.

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Posted by Fr.Al on Sunday, March 29, 2020 7:17 AM

I understand your answer. I didn't understand the question.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, March 29, 2020 9:05 AM

Well, the RF&P could  have called their 4-8-4's "Potomacs" if they wanted to, certainly there was NO WAY a good southern 'road was going to call them "Northerns,"  however with two different categories of 4-8-4 the RF&P went their own way, calling the first batch "Generals" after prominent Confederate commanders, and the next two batches "Governors" and "Statesmen" after various distinguished Virginians.  

Many 'roads that operated 4-8-4's called them something other than "Northerns," for various reasons.

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Posted by Fr.Al on Sunday, March 29, 2020 2:04 PM

Ok, I know the NYC had Mohawks and Niagaras. My question is, did any roads have a different name for the Hudson type?

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, March 29, 2020 2:49 PM

We've covered this before.

The original large 4-6-4s with fireboxes borne by the trailing axles (I.e. not tank engines) were European, before WWI, and called 'Baltics'.  When C.H.Bilty of the Milwaukee invented the modern 4-6-4 and went to Baldwin to build it circa 1926, he expected to call it by that name, and indeed that's what all the CMStP&P locomotives were called -- you can win money off rivet counters in a bar betting that Milwaukee never had any Hudsons, since that's true.

However, Milwaukee was then in financial straits (whether or not from the Pacific Extension costs) and couldn't have their F6s built until after a certain other railroad had built their prototype... and named it.  

As I recall, the New Haven I-5s were either called "Shore Line" or "Shoreliner" type as the 'railroad official' public name - Mr. Klepper will know.

There was not the great proliferation of 'names' that occurred with the 4-8-4, both 'south of the Mason-Dixon line' and elsewhere.  Part of the issue was that the original 4-8-4 was just a 'heavy Mountain' and only with the advent of better balancing practice did it actually become a true high-speed locomotive; even as late as 1936 it was 'conventional wisdom' that only six-coupled engines at most were suitable for real high-speed traffic (and of course we know how Atlantic-loving PRR decided to go when eight drivers were needed...)

Then again... I might just be over-rationalizing.  In an age of Whyte coding the 'official' type name of a novel wheel arrangement no longer had to be commonly accepted like the name of a new element...

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Sunday, March 29, 2020 10:33 PM

The one and true name for a 4-8-4 is "Golden State". Mischief

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, March 30, 2020 3:44 AM

N ew Haven people usually used just the I-5 name, did occasionally use the word Shoreliner, but were not upset if one said Hudson, and often didn't bother to make the correction.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, March 30, 2020 4:45 AM

Erik_Mag
The one and true name for a 4-8-4 is "Golden State".Mischief

Until it's "General Service"... MischiefMischief

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, March 30, 2020 5:05 AM

SPer
What if RF&P and Western Maryland share the type name Potomac for their 4-8-4s just like NYC and NdeM did with Niagara 4-8-4s

The answer to this, though, is backward.  NdeM named theirs (I am too inept to type it with the necessary accent on the first 'a'; interestingly enough their pronunciation is far closer to the correct Native American word than the one New York Staters and New York Central used!) years after the Central made the name an effective exemplar of modern 4-8-4s.

As is well-known, the 'Potomacs' were among the very last designs of 4-8-4 adopted, coming long after RF&P had named all three types of theirs.  Why would the later name 'have' to be adopted -- bodies of water not being precisely the greatest thing to name locomotives after, especially compared to more inspiring things...

This is not to disparage the WM locomotive ... although I confess I'd never have known how good it was without having found it described in an unsung appendix in an S. Kip Farrington book on a virtually unrelated subject.

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Posted by oldline1 on Friday, October 23, 2020 3:02 AM

From what I have read and gathered the Potomacs were loved and respected by the WM crews as they were smooth riders, powerful, fast and easy to operate plus had great reliability. Personally, I love their brute looks and the paint job was beautiful

oldline1

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 23, 2020 8:19 AM

oldline1
From what I have read and gathered the Potomacs were loved and respected by the WM crews as they were smooth riders, powerful, fast and easy to operate plus had great reliability.

They were so good that S. Kip Farrington, who was a bit like a combination of Beebe and Whitaker specializing in locomotives, put a whole appendix in one of his books (Riding the Locomotive Cabs) involving them.  (It should be remembered that Farrington thought the NYC Hudsons were highly overrated... so his positive opinion was not bought lightly!)

I don't think it's been mentioned, though, that the RF&P engines were completely different.  They were not of course as mechanically 'advanced' as the Potomacs, but they were at the top of the list of the most beautiful locomotives in America.  Probably the greatest of all the great shames in preservation is that one survived in private boiler service as late as 1966(!) but was not saved.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, October 23, 2020 8:59 AM

Overmod
 Probably the greatest of all the great shames in preservation is that one survived in private boiler service as late as 1966(!) but was not saved.

Roger that.  The RF&P, which was a very high-class operation by the way, is another imponderable in that they showed great pride in their steam locomotives while they were in service but kicked them to the curb completely when it was time to dieselize. I don't think they even made any offers to anyone.  Oddly enough, a C&O 2-8-4 is preserved here in Richmond (At the Science Museum) but none of the RF&P steam locomotives of any kind.  

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, October 23, 2020 1:56 PM

Overmod

 ...bodies of water not being precisely the greatest thing to name locomotives after, especially compared to more inspiring things...

Pacifc, Atlantic, Baltic, Mohawk, Potomac, Hudson, Kanawha, Niagara. Also, look at the all railroads that had "Pacific" or "Ohio" in their names.  You seem to be in minority.

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