Of Mallets and “Mallets”

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Of Mallets and “Mallets”
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, December 20, 2020 10:24 PM

I just read that DMIR crews called their Yellowstone locomotives "Mallets." I've also read that SP crews called the cab-forwards "Mallets" (or "Mallies").

But neither of those locos were compounds, AFAIK.

Was it somewhat common for railroaders to call any articulated a Mallet? Would that have been true on lots of roads?

Did crews back then, when saying the word "Mallet," commonly pronounce it "Mallie?" Or Mallet, rhymes with ballot.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 21, 2020 3:18 AM

This is something of a timeless topic.

The canonical answer begins with Anatole Mallet, who ceaselessly waged a campaign to confirm that compounding was an essential part of his invention.  It is for this reason that many refer to 'simple articulateds' instead of 'Mallets' -- a matter of courtesy and respecting the inventor's own wishes.

Now when I was little, Trains referred to D&RGW 'Mallets' with Elesco 'brow' feedwater heaters enough that I associated the two -- you know, like a croquet mallet across the engine front.  Somewhere in there I saw reference to "malleys" and realized that 'Mallet' and 'ballet' (which my sister had taken up) were from the same language and were supposed to rhyme ... this was hard to remember to do at first.  In those days, more than a half-decade before the reprint of 'Articulated Locomotives' and the dawn of the plus-sign craze in Whyte coding, the use of the phrase "Mallet-type" was used enough in the magazine that I understood it to refer to any large articulated locomotive of that kind.

More recently we have had opinionated posters who used 'Mallet' to refer to the chassis arrangement alone -- to which I overreacted at the time.  I note that Wiener refers at times to 'Mallet-pattern' (and the like) and I think that it is a matter of 'individual conscience' whether you respect the values of the dead or opt for convenience.

I have never heard a railroader say the word, so I can only go by the use of occasional phoneticisms like the aforementioned 'Malleys' to judge how various pronunciations or butcherings of the name were used.  Considering the frightful and extremely widespread mispronunciations and misspellings of "Boxpok" in the ranks of professional steam men, I suspect that 'Mallet' was said all sorts of ways.  (I recall reading that the way Anatole said his name had some dialectical peculiarity in it -- but unfortunately I do not recall what that might have been, so I have to fall back on something like mal-LAY as in ballet as the best compromise with la belle langue.  And continue with 'simple articulated' as an assumed technical term implying a Mallet-pattern chassis... out of respect.)

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, December 21, 2020 6:17 AM

SP's first cab-forwards were compounds, though most if not all were simpled by the 1920s.  Since SP didn't make any distinction between cab-forward and conventional layout in class designators, those can be used easily.

MM Class - Mallet Mogul (2-6-6-2 or 4-6-6-2)

AM Class - Articulated Mogul (most of these were rebuilt MMs)

MC Class - Mallet Consolidation (2-8-8-2)

AC Class - Articulated Consolidation (2-8-8-2, 2-8-8-4 or 4-8-8-2)

Some of the early cab-forwards had two wheel lead trucks.  The 2-8-8-4 was the coal burning AC-9 class.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, December 21, 2020 8:57 AM

Thanks, OM and redrye.

I would guess Mr. Mallet said mahl-LAY. And I would guess no American railroader ever said it that way!

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, December 21, 2020 9:28 AM

Lithonia Operator
Thanks, OM and redrye.

I would guess Mr. Mallet said mahl-LAY. And I would guess no American railroader ever said it that way!

Despite Mallet being the proper designation for the two engine sets under a common boiler with one of the engines operating on low pressure 'used' steam from the high pressure engine - the term Mallet was used colloquially on many roads to apply to any steam engine that had two engine sets operating under a single boiler with both engine sets using high pressure steam.

As we know, while there can be narrowly defined proper terms for things; when the mass of population gets involved the definition can be made much wider.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 21, 2020 10:08 AM

BaltACD
the term Mallet was used colloquially on many roads to apply to any steam engine that had two engine sets operating under a single boiler with both engine sets using high pressure steam.

We know this.  What I explained is why some people have come to think differently.  

What is also important is that not just "any" steam engine that has two engine sets and a single boiler is a Mallet chassis: it specifically refers to one engine rigidly attached to the boiler, and the other one hinged to pivot relative to the first.

If either or both engines are provided as 'motor bogies' - it's not a Mallet.  If both engines are rigid (as in a duplex) it's not a Mallet.  If the firebox comes between the engines, it isn't a Mallet.  (But if you have a Mallet-style chassis either side of a Beyer-Garratt boiler, the result was called by Beyer Peacock a "Mallet-Garratt"... apparently whether or not 'compound', as I don't recall ever seeing a 'super-Garratt' that wasn't single-expansion...)  On the other hand, it doesn't matter if the hinged engine leads or trails, and I don't think it matters if the four cylinders face mutually in or out (there being a famous 0-6-6-0 built by Angus Shops with the former arrangement...)

A secondary issue that "might" concern the Mallet name is the type of hinge provided.  In many of the early designs, particularly a couple from Baldwin, much is made of the vertical compliance in the hinge, allowing the forward engine to follow the track 'away' from the rigid line of the boiler.  In practice this led to some exaggerated boogaloo action, particularly from large compound cylinders and excessive compression on the hinged LP engine, which no amount of practical snubbing or springing could compensate for.  This was only solved by N&W in the A-class design by providing almost no vertical compliance in the hinge at all, requiring the driver equalization system to handle all the vertical curvature; this was later "stolen" by Alco which touted it as a major innovation in the Challengers.  If the vertical hinging was considered as much 'essential' to the patent by M. Mallet as compounding was -- which I don't know -- then we might need a distinction between "high" and "low" speed simple articulateds.  (It would be nice to follow Baldwin's lead, as they produced the first practical high-speed design circa 1930 (please don't make me go through the ATSF problems!) but not all their detail design actually produced the intended high speed or good running...)

LeMassena and plus-sign snobbery aside, I do think that it pays at least to think about how Wiener considered the naming 'conventions' -- even though nearly the entire history of practical simple articulateds, including the whole of practical high-speed designs, came after the publication of Articulated Locomotives ... and of course we got only a reprint in 1970, not an 'updated and enlarged' version.  (Which has yet to be written, the more shame on me for not evangelizing the idea...)

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Posted by timz on Monday, December 21, 2020 10:41 AM

I bet "Mallie" was the usual railroader term for any Mallet in the US, simple or compound. Maybe someone new to the RR mistakenly pronounced the T, but he would soon have learned better.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, December 21, 2020 12:32 PM

timz
any Mallet in the US

By that, do you mean any articulated?

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 21, 2020 12:55 PM

Lithonia Operator
By that, do you mean any articulated?

Any railroad that used the word 'Mallet' to describe its articulateds.

My guess is that there were many systems that just used the number series, or the class, or even a type name.  We'll see what timz says.

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Posted by pennytrains on Monday, December 21, 2020 7:50 PM

In my neck of the woods "Malley" means this: https://malleys.com/ WinkDinner

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, December 21, 2020 9:32 PM

Oh wow, those dark chocolates look goooooood!  

Dark chocolate is the best.  Bittersweet, like love itself!  Whistling

But back to the other Mallets.  If what I've read is true, the real railroaders never called the locomotives by the popular names, but by the class numbers, as in:

"What are ya takin' out today?"

"One of the 4000's."  (A simple articulated, not a Mallet!  Hint, hint!)

"Lucky guy!"

For the most part anyway.

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 9:17 AM

Flintlock76
If what I've read is true, the real railroaders never called the locomotives by the popular names, but by the class numbers, as in: "What are ya takin' out today?" "One of the 4000's."

Very true. Similarly, working railroaders tended to refer to scheduled trains by their number, not the names used in advertising / public timetables. "18 has to take the siding to allow 47 by" rather than "the Cannonball has to to take the siding to allow the Midnight Special by".

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Posted by timz on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 10:16 AM

I just meant any railroader that said "Mallet" pronounced it Mallie. No idea how many railroaders used the term at all.

"Any articulated"... were there any in the US, aside from Mallet-style?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 10:29 AM

Let's see now, you have Shays, Climaxes, Heislers, Mason Bogies, among others.  Wiener lists all of these, he also considered Mallets to be semi-articulated.

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 Overmod on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 11:26 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
... he also considered Mallets to be semi-articulated.

Correctly so, too. (Except for certain ATSF and Baldwin engines with 'hinged boilers' -- really just fancy feedwater heater stuff in the hinged section...)

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Posted by timz on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 10:31 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
Shays, Climaxes, Heislers, Mason Bogies, among others

Never paid attention to those -- do they have articulated frames?

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 11:13 AM

timz
Never paid attention to those -- do they have articulated frames?

Trucks that swivel 'count' as articulation, as do radiating axles/Klien-Lindner.

See if you can find a copy of Wiener's 'Articulated Locomotives' used (there are usually Kalmbach -reprint copies available for a reasonable price shipped).  Many is the interesting form of articulation you will see.

The thing missing from Wiener is a full discussion of why tender boosters were an unalloyed Bad Idea, and a good lead-in is in Fryer's Experimental British Steam (there is an interesting discussion of the use of tender-type boosters correctly, too)

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 11:13 AM

The Santa Fe "prairie mallets" had the original Mallet-style frame link with both vertical and horizontal motion.  The accordion-style joint used on one engine (1157) had bad issues with cinders collecting in the bellows, especially on top, so a later engine (1158)had a sort of ball-and-socket arrangement that was equally (un-)successful due to poor seals at the joint.  Baldwin also built a fair number of rigid-boiler Prairie Mallets that ran into the 1930s.  Both flexible versions had damping devices to keep the two halves of the boiler from wandering too much.  There was a 44" cylindrical flue attached to the rear boiler section to keep the joints clear of combustion by-products.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 11:49 AM

Baldwin sold a fair number of 'conversion kits' to turn your pounding hog into their version of articulated Super-Power -- the whole forward section was not a boiler, but intended as a huge superheater/steam dryer and economizer.…

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 12:35 PM

Overmod

Baldwin sold a fair number of 'conversion kits' to turn your pounding hog into their version of articulated Super-Power -- the whole forward section was not a boiler, but intended as a huge superheater/steam dryer and economizer.…

 

Hence Santa Fe's 2-10-10-2s, which started out as, and ended up as, well, Santa Fe types (2-10-2). 

Virginian's 10 class AE 2-10-10-2s were built as such by Alco, and were reasonably successful, even getting drag freight assignments on the relatively flat East End during WW II.

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 3:03 PM

Lithonia Operator
I just read that DMIR crews called their Yellowstone locomotives "Mallets." I've also read that SP crews called the cab-forwards "Mallets" (or "Mallies").

The Missabe's first articulateds were the Duluth Missabe & Northern's 2-8-8-2 M-class engines from 1910. These engines were "true" Mallets, as they were compound articulateds. By the time the Yellowstones arrived, Missabe train crews had been calling their articulated engines "Mallets" for 30 years, so it makes sense they continued to do so, even though those engines were simple engines.

BTW pronouncing Mallet as "malley", rhyming with "valley", wasn't just on one or two railroads. In the US it was pretty much universal.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 3:46 PM

Overmod
See if you can find a copy of Wiener's 'Articulated Locomotives' used (there are usually Kalmbach -reprint copies available for a reasonable price shipped).  Many is the interesting form of articulation you will see.

I found a copy in the sadly now-closed "Old and Weary Car Shop" in Tappan NY several years ago.  A very interesting book, but within two weeks it was winging its way over to Germany and into the hands of someone we all know and sorely miss.

Crying

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 9:59 PM

timz

I just meant any railroader that said "Mallet" pronounced it Mallie. No idea how many railroaders used the term at all.

"Any articulated"... were there any in the US, aside from Mallet-style?

 

I had been under the impression (until I read the SP-related book) that to be a Mallet it had to be a compound articulated, period. So I never thought of simple articulateds being Mallets or "Mallet-style."

I may be wrong, but I think the great majority of North American articulateds were simples.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 10:00 PM

wjstix

 

 
Lithonia Operator
I just read that DMIR crews called their Yellowstone locomotives "Mallets." I've also read that SP crews called the cab-forwards "Mallets" (or "Mallies").

 

The Missabe's first articulateds were the Duluth Missabe & Northern's 2-8-8-2 M-class engines from 1910. These engines were "true" Mallets, as they were compound articulateds. By the time the Yellowstones arrived, Missabe train crews had been calling their articulated engines "Mallets" for 30 years, so it makes sense they continued to do so, even though those engines were simple engines.

BTW pronouncing Mallet as "malley", rhyming with "valley", wasn't just on one or two railroads. In the US it was pretty much universal.

 

Thanks. That makes sense about the Yellowstones.

I had not been aware of any non-compounds even being called Mallets, until I read that book.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 10:36 PM

Overmod

 

 
timz
Never paid attention to those -- do they have articulated frames?

 

Trucks that swivel 'count' as articulation, as do radiating axles/Klien-Lindner.

 

See if you can find a copy of Wiener's 'Articulated Locomotives' used (there are usually Kalmbach -reprint copies available for a reasonable price shipped).  Many is the interesting form of articulation you will see.

The thing missing from Wiener is a full discussion of why tender boosters were an unalloyed Bad Idea, and a good lead-in is in Fryer's Experimental British Steam (there is an interesting discussion of the use of tender-type boosters correctly, too)

 

Articulation means a flexible joint.  Calling it anything with swiveling trucks is just making up definitions.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 24, 2020 2:03 AM

MidlandMike
Articulation means a flexible joint.  Calling it anything with swiveling trucks is just making up definitions.

Take it up with Wiener, not me.  His have been the accepted definitions for locomotives for nearly a century.

Articulation means different things in different contexts.  Articulated trains involve nothing more than a plain horizontal hinge above a swiveling truck (although in practice more degrees of freedom have to be accommodated -- as in Garratts that don't break their pivots.  The difference for Wiener is that his 'swiveling truck' is in fact what we might call a 'motor bogie' with the steam "engine" incorporated in it, able to take up a different orientation from the boiler above it.  He saw no difference in having the pivot above the driving wheelbase instead of, say, above the rear (as in a Garrett) or fully behind it (as in a Mallet).  

"Articulation" in the 4x4 community means something quite different, and indeed in some contexts in railroad design, for example hammer-blow in steam locomotives,  this becomes relevant and has to be used and defined in context.

In kinesiology of course it is still different, but that's irrelevant to locomotives except metaphorically; in mechanical design ... and we have one if the world experts on the topic here in Prof. Milenkovic ... it does involve more degrees of freedom, but in locomotives many of those are constrained (rightly or wrongly) to those which designers feel will 'let the locomotive follow the track while producing tractive effort'.

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Posted by timz on Thursday, December 24, 2020 10:36 AM

Lithonia Operator
I had not been aware of any non-compounds even being called Mallets...

When the first fleet of simple Mallets appeared (the C&O 2-8+8-2s) Rwy Age called them simple Mallets, as you'd expect. Think it called the first GN simple Mallets of 1925 (?) simple Mallets too. I never noticed any discussion of the semantics, but for whatever reason the press quit using the term "simple Mallet".

The first (?) simple Mallets were the PRR 2-8+8-2 and 2-8+8-0 -- don't recall what the magazines called them.

Overmod
Trucks that swivel 'count' as articulation

Powered trucks, I guess you mean. So putting a booster on a trailing truck makes the locomotive an articulated, and 99% of diesels are articulated locomotives.

Lithonia Operator
I may be wrong, but I think the great majority of North American articulateds were simples

I doubt it was the great majority, especially if we only count the ones that were simple when first built.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 24, 2020 1:18 PM

timz
Powered trucks, I guess you mean. So putting a booster on a trailing truck makes the locomotive an articulated, and 99% of diesels are articulated locomotives.

An Ingersoll (Franklin) trailing-truck booster is mechanically identical to the hinged engine on a Mallet, aside from not being compounded directly with the cylinders.  So no confusion there.  For diesel-electrics, consider the number built with rigid frames (such as the original successful road locomotives in the '20s, in Canada, or those with unquestionably 'articulated' rigid frames with trucks for guiding, like the Centipedes.  Then ask whether swiveling a powered rigid frame in a steam locomotive... I suggest a Mason bogie for one, and a double-Fairlie as example for two ... constitutes an 'articulated locomotive' (for Wiener they clearly did, and he explains why in the text).  Merely because the power transmission is not steam should not change the terms...

timz
Lithonia Operator
I may be wrong, but I think the great majority of North American articulateds were simples
I doubt it was the great majority, especially if we only count the ones that were simple when first built.

The great issue with Articulated Locomotives is that it was published in 1930, when simple articulateds were still in their infancy, meant to cut down on the thermal losses of poor design or produce more reliable drag TE from the two engines.  The whole history of higher-speed design is not mentioned, including the 'real' 2-6-6-4s, the Challengers, or the use of the Allegheny to get right up to the practical horsepower limit of a single steam locomotive.

A secondary issue is the number of compound articulateds that were failures, or that were 'simpled' through rebuilding or being reworked into two locomotives.  I can't think offhand of a simple articulated that received such treatment.

Likewise missing from Wiener is much discussion on Chapelon's methods of increasing compound efficiency through IP receiver injection, or the somewhat similar N&W use of the 'booster valve'.  A combination of the two applied to a Y6 'optimized' chassis would have produced a compound articulated easily capable of balanced operation at 45mph road speed, and that might well have led, in a world without diesel-electrics, to more adoption of compound 'Mallets' on other railroads.

I'm sure that someone has gone through and totted up all the simple articulateds built since 1930, very few of which were actual failures (the only one coming to mind being the B&O conversion of the 'high-speed' 2-6-6-2 to a 4-4-6-2) and the number of compound articulateds since then is really the number built by N&W, so I think there is a reasonable answer to that question if absolute.  But if you go by fleet acceptance of a Mallet-style chassis in general service, the simple articulated wins hands-down.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Thursday, December 24, 2020 11:14 PM

IIRC, C&O class H-6 were true Mallets - including 1309.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 25, 2020 12:51 AM

Erik_Mag
IIRC, C&O class H-6 were true Mallets - including 1309.

You remember correctly.  The discussion of bypass valves has been furthered by the restoration of 1309.

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