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Berkshires

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 21, 2020 3:55 PM

Backshop
Another couple of "Ohio Berkshires" that no one has mentioned are C&O #2700 in Dennison and 2776 in Washington Court House.

But of course those are not Berkshires.  And not from Ohio.

And of them, technically the most important by far is another Indiana sojourner, 2789 -- which I now find actually was supposed to have a public outing in mid-October -- pandemic or no pandemic, I'd have gone if I had known!  What a pity I can't strrrrrrrrretch out enough excuse to put that Kanawha in the august running for SLOO.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, December 21, 2020 4:40 PM

Perhaps not among the well-known Berkshires, but my favourites of the type were the two that Montreal built for the TH&B, after they had tested one of the B&A's early Berks on the grade, out of Hamilton, up the Niagara Escarpment.   

I probably saw them (as a very young child) as the TH&B tracks, on an elevated right-of-way, ran right past our front porch on Hunter Street, a couple blocks east of the main TH&B station. 

They had Coffin feedwater heaters, too, but they were barely visible unless you knew they were there. 

My other favourites were the Central's Hudsons (the New York Central was a part owner, along with the CPR, of the TH&B).  The TH&B bought two Hudsons from the Central, but they were gone before I was old enough to fully appreciate them.  They too were scrapped at Stelco, in Hamilton, where I later spent my working life.

Wayne

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 21, 2020 4:56 PM

doctorwayne
... my favourites of the type were the two that Montreal built for the TH&B ...

Two of the most significant locomotives in Canada ... and two of the very nicest.

I believe there is a movie showing these being constructed.

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Posted by pennytrains on Monday, December 21, 2020 7:44 PM

Not a Berk, and not a Lima grad, but C & O Kanawha 2707 (a Van Sweringen loco at least) was here in the C-L-E from 1955 to 1981.  Unfortunately she was so abused (tagged) that she had tyo be given up.  I do however remember seeing her in 1976 in Brookside Park when we rode the Cuyahoga Valley Line down to Hale Farm and back.

Pics of 2707 at the park may be heartbreaking to view.  But here are a few at IRM: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/locoPicture.aspx?id=35169

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, December 21, 2020 9:25 PM

2707.  Wow.  Yikes and yuck!

Well, at least it's at the IRM and away from any further vandalism. I hope.  At least that's something. 

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, December 21, 2020 11:06 PM

I prefer Hudsons to Berkshires. To me it looks a bit off when an engine has fewer pilot wheels than trailing wheels.

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Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 8:24 AM

Lithonia Operator

I prefer Hudsons to Berkshires. To me it looks a bit off when an engine has fewer pilot wheels than trailing wheels.

 

One's a fast passenger engine and the other is for freight. Apples and oranges.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 8:38 AM

Backshop
One's a fast passenger engine and the other is for freight.

Almost every Berkshire in Europe was a passenger engine.  The Russians even streamlined one and seem to have claimed to get it to the equivalent of 110mph (I think they're mixing it up with their streamlined penile Hudson, but don't know for sure...)

Many later Berkshires were perfectly capable of passenger-train speed for the railroads that used them -- Emmas being one case in point.  (I'll grant you that Hudsons were supposed to be much, much faster.)

Bet Lithonia doesn't like Prairies, the fastest conventional locomotives in the country at one time...

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Posted by IA and eastern on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 8:38 AM

Lima had a proposal to update older bershires with new frames and 69" drivers also to convert convert older bershires to 2-8-6s. Gary

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 8:44 AM

IA and eastern
... also to convert older Berkshires to 2-8-6s

Was that in Hirsimaki?  It might make a kind of convoluted sense, if they rebuilt the running gear to low-inertial-mass and put poppet valve gear on after the cast-frame conversion.  Judging (again) by what Frisco did in the late '40s to create locomotives like 1351, there would have been 'incentives' to rebuild older locomotives, starting along the lines of what T&P did to the 600s but extending, perhaps, to the suite of improvements C&NW made on the second go-round with the H engines, in 1948...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 1:38 PM

Overmod
Prairies, the fastest conventional locomotives in the country at one time...

Well they were, but not for long.  If what I've read is true Prairies had a bad habit of "hunting" at high speeds and the head end crews found that wobbling a bit disconcerting, to say the least.  

So it was back to the four wheel lead trucks for passenger work. 

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Posted by IA and eastern on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 4:47 PM

The IC rebuilt steam locomotives but nobody else had much interest in big improvement in their locomotives.UP motive power wanted to rebuild 2-10-2s and 4-12-2s into more powerful locomotives but the board said new 4-6-6-4s or rebuilding older locomotives but not both. Other railroads had same ideal. Gary 

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 7:40 PM

pennytrains
Pics of 2707 at the park may be heartbreaking to view.

C&O 2707 in happier times:

 April_RR_C&O2707 by Edmund, on Flickr

That's me in dad's arms. Glad nobody blew the whistle!

There's an album here of first-hand experiences removing the 2707 from Brookside Park. It almost became what would have been front-page news!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/24653690@N03/albums/72157629751418122

[  EDIT:  I added a different link. Try this one]

 Read the captions in sequence.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 11:19 PM

Backshop

 

 
Lithonia Operator

I prefer Hudsons to Berkshires. To me it looks a bit off when an engine has fewer pilot wheels than trailing wheels.

 

 

 

One's a fast passenger engine and the other is for freight. Apples and oranges.

 

 

Thats true, but I was just talking about looks. Looks is looks.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 11:23 PM

gmpullman
There's an album here of first-hand experiences removing the 2707 from Brookside Park.

And it appears to be locked unless you are a Flickr member.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 11:27 PM

I like Praries. Like Hudsons, they are balanced. That is, same number of pilot wheels as trailers.

I also like engines with more pilot wheels than trailers, like Pacifics.

But for sure, the Berks had their particular brutish beauty.

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Posted by Ben Klesc on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 9:46 AM

So here's a question I have for someone who is not too familiar with railroad history. When it comes to trains such as these Berkshires, were railroad companies themselves ever involved in building these or did they outsource the building to other companies. I saw a photograph the other day of a Penn Central employee at a factory riviiting a boxcar roof. That got me curious. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 10:55 AM

gmpullman
That's me in dad's arms. Glad nobody blew the whistle!

You ain't kiddin'!  Both you and your dad would have wound up in orbit! 

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Posted by pennytrains on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 7:17 PM

gmpullman
Glad nobody blew the whistle!

I'm hip!  Big Smile  I was filming alongside "2765" when it was doing the Steel City Express trips out of Akron and about wet myself when the whistle blew!  Laugh

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by oldline1 on Monday, January 11, 2021 4:07 PM

Wayne,

I have to agree the TH&B Berks were pretty handsome. 

oldline1

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Posted by rrnut282 on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 9:21 AM

Ben,

Sure, some railroads built their own.  Pennsy built locomotives in Altoona and Fort Wayne, including thier famous K4 Pacifics.  Norfolk and Western built many of their late steam locomotives at Roanoke Js, Ks, As, and Ys, IIMN.  These are probably the most famous examples.  I'm sure there were others that escape me right now.  As for Berkshires, I can't think of any railroad that built their own.  

Pennsy also built cars in Fort Wayne, too.  Sadly, the shops, both locomotive and car were torn down for a post office building.  Bang Head

Mike (2-8-2)
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 10:19 AM

SP at Sacramento and L&N at South Louisville also had some home-built steam.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 7:10 PM

I am not a big fan of Berkshires or steam engines initially designed for freight use, but Berkshires are indeed good looking. My favorite version is the NYC/P&LE 2-8-4 A-2-A; I love the front end design that reminds me of the Niagara. 

  

https://i.imgur.com/VD4QDSM.jpg

 

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Posted by Backshop on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 7:00 PM

I'm the exact opposite.  I started railfanning in about 1970, when the passenger train was about dead.  I always much preferred freights and the Berkshire has always been my favorite steam locomotive wheel arrangement.

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